Honesty and kindness of the poor Irish Peasantry

Another most important object was attained by my travelling as I did. The Irish, their enemies would have it, are murderers; they will kill a person for a few shillings. I was days and weeks in the wildest parts, certainly much better attired than they were, often with a small locket about my neck, which they supposed was a watch. They knew I had crossed the Atlantic, they knew I was alone, and they did not suppose, till I told them, but that I had money in abundance; and for the most of the time I was wholly in their power. Why did they not use this power? Why, on some lone mountain, three and five miles from any cabin, did they not leave my bones to bleach there? Or why did not some dark glen cover the stranger for ever from the ken of man! I learned, too, the true nature of their hospitality, and proved to a demonstration that it was not feigned; for invariably when I told them I could not reward them for their potatoe or lodgings, "And didn't ye crass the ocean to see the poor? Ye may stay as long as ye will."

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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