Garrulous fellow-traveller

We now reached the handsome town of Abbeyleix, as the caravan was about leaving for Dublin. A garrulous old Protestant of more than eighty, who said he built the second house in Abbeyleix, 48 years before, the daughter and granddaughter of the old gentleman, an elderly Catholic man, a young Irish girl, and a live turkey made up the passengers, including myself. When I had answered the knowing old gentleman all questions about America, from the sitting of congress to the cultivation of pigs, geese, and turkeys, he told me in turn the wonders of his nation, some of which were quite incredible, if not ridiculous. His daughter, who was a married woman, and well dressed, seemed to enjoy the unceasing volubility of her father; and when I remonstrated, she added, "O! he must be gratified," and I then said I must leave the caravan. He was well dressed, had read much, and apparently belonged to the higher class of society, so called. What surely am I to meet next in travelling through Ireland? All sorts of characters, in all sorts of condition, were meeting me at almost every turn.

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.