Good-bye to Glengariff

But we must not stop in this glen. The morning had opened, the sun looked out upon a clear sky, and the boy who was to accompany me had eaten his potatoes, and was ready at an early hour. "You shall give us nothing but your prayers, and you shall have ours; and if ye wouldn't think it too much to leave the little book to Mary, she loves it so well, I will cover it with linen, and she shall read it twice a day, we should be more than paid."

This little Mary had entwined herself around my heart by so many acts of kindness, as well as her good sense and integrity, that when she took the little book, and said, "I thank you kindly," I felt like snatching her from the glen, and fixing her in a soil where she should no longer "blush unseen."

Master and Mistress, Mary, and the little affectionate dog Vixen, stood out upon the clean pathway and lawn before the cottage—a moment's pause—"and we'll never forget ye," was the last sound that fell upon my ear; for, as I proffered my hand, and saw the tear glistening in the kind eye of little Mary, I hastened away without speaking.

I looked back, the sun was shining upon this little group; the holly, the arbutus, and the laurel—my favorite shrubs of the glen—were quivering in its rays at their side. I was going forth upon wild, heathy mountains, and should see the little company no more, "till the heavens be rolled together as a scroll." They had been more than kind, and how had I repaid them? Had I done what I could to scatter light in their path? Are they no worse for my coming among them? was my heart-felt inquiry. Have the evening prayers which they nightly asked me to put up in their family, and the reading of the sweet words of eternal life, which for the last ten days had been heard in their dwelling—had these entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and would they return with a blessing upon their heads?

The little Vixen watched the return of the family into the cottage, and leaped after me, keeping the opposite side of the stream till he had entered the thickest of the wood, and then attempted crossing it, nor could we urge him back; and not till the little Mary appeared and turned him away would he leave us, and we soon lost sight of them for ever.

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.