A profitable Sixpence

Now, kind friends, if you have followed me through rain and storm to Roscrea, remember the sixpence given to the poor woman when I passed through the town, and mark its progress. I stood, not knowing what to do. In a hotel I could not get a bed, for want of money. A voice from a dark corner called out, "Aint ye the American lady that went through here a few weeks since?" I answered that I was. "I've heard of you, and you shall have a bed if I sit up. You kept a cabin over a poor woman's head, and God won't let you stay all night in the stawrm." The mistress was in bed; this woman went to her, told her who I was, and extolled my excellencies so vividly, that the mistress said, "I have a bed in the garret where the servant sleeps, but there is nothing but a ladder that leads to it. I could give her clean sheets, and a chaff bed, but am ashamed to offer such a place." I heard it, and said, "A ladder is no objection; give me clean sheets, and all will be well." The mistress arose, made me a cup of coffee, and brought bread and butter, and put me in a situation to dry my clothes. I ate some bread, and took a "sup" of milk, ascended the ladder, and never slept sweeter. "Cast thy bread upon the waters and after many days thou shalt find it." I had found my bread in the place where I left it, and at the very time I most needed it. But for that trifling sixpence, I should probably have staid under some hedge that night, or been walking upon the street on my way to Urlingford.

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.