Hospitality in Death

Reaching the cottage, I was met and welcomed by a man grown grey, and a cripple. But a young wife, just out of her teens, pleasantly invited me into her fairy parlor and ante-room, and then said, "You will have some breakfast—the long walk must have given you an appetite." Brown bread and milk were placed before me, and while partaking it, she told me that three weeks ago, she had buried the best of fathers, at the advanced age of ninety; but his intellectual faculties brightened as his body decayed, especially his religious views; that his hospitality, for which he had ever been celebrated, was manifested at the last dying moment. A friend had entered to see him die. He beckoned his daughter to the bed, and inquired, "What is preparing for dinner? This kind friend has come in to see me die, and something nice must be placed before him." These were his last words. His mantle had fallen upon his daughter. The law of kindness was on her tongue. On my way to town, the peasants so detained me by inquiring about America, and what I thought of Ireland, that I had to make much haste on reaching the hotel, to be in time for the boat at three.

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

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

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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.