Return to Westport

The next day a fair was held in Westport. Nothing new or interesting marked the occasion. The people in and about the town are tolerably tidy-looking peasantry, and though they could not wholly refrain from staring at me, yet I was not in that imminent danger of being swallowed alive, that seemed to threaten me in Galway. Another pleasant call at Mr. Smith's made the day pass profitably. He invited me into his place of worship, which was near his house, and while there I had occasion to speak of a clergyman in Dublin who was a friend of Mr. Smith, and from whom I had just received a letter. I read the letter to him; he seemed pleased, as if a doubt had been loosened but not removed respecting my good character and intentions. Pausing a moment, he said, "And is that letter from my friend? Let me see the handwriting." He took a letter from the same clergyman out of his pocket-book, compared the writing, and seeing there was actually no forgery, he was apparently much gratified.

I was more pleased with the good man now than before; for though he had not intimated by a word that he was jealous of my real character, nor did I let him know that I understood his doubts about the letter, yet I now saw he had been vacillating; and notwithstanding, had he known me to be a saint, he could not have treated me more kindly in word and action than he had done. Though his Scotch caution whispered that he must be upon the watch-tower against deceivers, yet he was "careful to entertain strangers" until he proved that they were not impostors.

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.