Return to Dublin

When leaving New York, a friend said to me, "Give us all the information of the country you can; but don't touch politics. That is miserable work for a woman." But I soon found in Ireland, it was a great misfortune that I had not acquainted myself more with at least the technicals of the different parties; many egregious blunders might have been saved, and not a word need have been spoken. "You had better take the Radical to Dublin," said a man, "it is not so crowded as the Conservative coach." I nodded assent, without knowing the coach virtues of either term, as applicable to anything in my case, or indeed the case of Ireland, as I have since known it. I took the Radical, was well seated, well used, and found my journey back quite the reverse of the sad and savage one down. These were O'Connell-days, and this Radical was a repeal coach. "What do you think of repeal?" said a well-dressed gentleman; "as I never had the pleasure of seeing an American lady before in Ireland, I should like to know her opinion." "A woman, sir, I am told, should not meddle with politics, but this I will venture to say, that Ireland ought to be redeemed from her bondage, and whether it be done by repeal or some other instrument, let it be done." This man was a Roman Catholic priest; his parish including the fishermen of Arklow, who were all tetotalers, not one having broken his pledge. He was well skilled in the doctrines of his church, but complaisant and patient under contradiction; and report says he has done much to improve the morals and the condition of his people. When I alighted, I was determined to remember the Radical coach, not forgetting the kindness of the driver.

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.