A Jaunting Car Jaunt

We now reached Athy, and happy was I to exchange the tedious maid for a seat on the novel Irish car, with a genteel young lady on one side, going to Kilkenny. The rain commenced, which deprived me of seeing the country as I wished; but troops of ragged urchins, who rushed from the national school, and from every cabin we passed, made up the deficiency. I was sitting alone, and succeeded, unperceived by the driver, in beckoning three of them upon the car. Their ready answers solved all my questions about the country, for what Paddy left out, Micky could supply, and they manifested none of that rudeness which is so often met among city boys. We passed a barren spot of country, but were soon repaid by here and there a rich domain, tenanted by some grasping landlord, who kept the poor about him cringing for a day's work at sixpence or eightpence a day. A Protestant gentleman joined the lady on the other side of the car; he was a talking noviciate, just entered upon his charge. He left in a few miles, and a Roman Catholic clergyman, grave in demeanor, supplied his place. The young lady had the exclusive privilege of both, and my little, civil, and profitable companions left the car at the beautiful town of Castlecomer.

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.