Perilous position

The conversation now turned upon the subject of giving the Bible to the common people; the Catholic urging that when they could not read it, what possible good could it do? And that it was so little valued by them, whenever they had any of it, they used it for wrapping-paper, and often for lighting their pipes. The debate was ended by passengers crowding in, so that the ride was quite uncomfortable. I had previously asked the privilege of riding outside, to escape the old man, but was denied, because the coachman said it was quite unsafe. The door now opened, and the coachman invited me to take a seat upon the top, promising to make me as comfortable as possible. I would not refuse, because I had asked the favor; and though the eminence looked perilous, it must be tried. There were no seats upon the top, and I was fixed upon the edge, my feet hanging down, with a heavy coarse sack flung across them to keep them warm, which I was obliged to hold in one hand, and with the other to grasp a wire, to secure me from falling from this dizzy height. This position I found so uneasy, I was obliged to draw my feet upon the top of the caravan, and in this cramped condition rode fifteen miles to Dublin. Here, in my old lodgings, I found additional welcome, for it was followed by an invitation to make the house my home, free from charges. My trunks had been well minded, and the kindness here seemed but the other extremity of the chain, beginning at Doctor White's.

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.