Our Jolly Priest is no Tetotaller

We would not take dinner, and hot water was ordered for whiskey punch, and wine brought on. Now the battle commenced; the jolly priest touched his three-cornered hat, at the same moment drinking my health most heartily, while I in surly contempt turned aside, without nodding to the salute. "Ah! she's disgusted, I know. Well, ma'am, if you'll appoint a day, I will make a party in my barn as big as I did for Mrs. Hall—one hundred and sixty—and you shall see my fine parish. But this fish, ma'am, that we are forced to eat through Lent, this fish, ladies! Why, I kept Lent once, and ate nothing but salt herring, till I was scalt entirely—I was a lump of salt, ladies"—then swallowing a glass of hot punch, "I am sorry you don't know what's good, ladies." This toasting and drinking were kept up till lateness and darkness both urged a departure. We were accompanied to the door by the loquacious priest, and a glass of hot punch for the coachman, who, in answer to my remonstrances, answered with an "Aw, and I shall drive ye the better for wawrmin' my stomach a little." What can be said to coachmen, and laboring men, that will be available, when the "good creature" is presented by the holy hands of the priest or clergyman? We had a safe ride home, though the rain was severe, and the night dark, the road muddy, and the driver's noddle steeped in hot punch. The point was settled on going home, that the day had been a more than interesting one; and if the "well-disciplined parish" of this jolly priest bore any resemblance to the training they had been under, a dinner at the barn would have been one of no ordinary relish.[12]

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.