Fellow Passengers

My chum now entered; we were shut in—and, like or dislike, there was no alternative; snugly packed as we were, there was no escape, and we immediately set ourselves about, as Eve's daughters are wont to do, ascertaining each other's pedigree, object, and destination.

I found her to be an Irish lady, born and bred in the city of Dublin, but she had passed five years in the city of New York, to which she had become greatly attached. She had left her husband and three children to go on business to Ireland, and though she cast many a "longing, lingering look" back to them, yet she never forgot that she must do good unto all when opportunity presented, and she never neglected the performance of that duty, when necessity required it. Her tall and noble figure, her high open forehead, united with an unpretending though dignified manner, and the benevolence of her heart, which beamed in her placid eye, made her to me an object not only of interest, but of warm attachment. Often when she returned to the berth from some errand of kindness among the sick and distressed have I said in my heart,"Who would not love such an angel of mercy?" Thus was the beginning of my journey prosperous, and all anxiety for the morrow was banished by the blessings of to-day.

Our cabin companions consisted of the widow of a clergyman, with her son and daughter, who were returning from New York to England, their native country; an Irishman, who had spent the last twenty-five years in America, a naval officer, an editor from the United States (a genuine American), and the young Irish wife of the mate, on a visit to "her people." These, with one exception, gave more cause of praise than blame, and made me quite willing to balance accounts with them all when we parted.

Read "Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger" at your leisure

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Read Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Her journey took her through the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Cork, Kerry, as well as parts of King's County (now Offaly) and Queen's County (now Laois).

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.


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