True Delivery of my one-armed Charioteer

Passing on, I reached the hospitable house of Oranmore, where I stopped in November, and was received with the kindest greetings, and kept without expense. The Connemara girl had long been gone, but no other changes had taken place.

A night's rest refreshed all but my feet, and I attempted to walk to Galway, as I had sent on my carpet bag, and felt a little uneasy. The distance was but four and a half miles, but my feet soon became so painful, that it seemed quite impossible to proceed. An old woman saluted me, "An' ye'll be kilt with walkin', an' wouldn't ye ride for sixpence? I know a poor man who keeps a little ass, that would gladly take ye for that." She took me to a hovel, and called out, "Here, John, wouldn't ye take a lady to Galway for sixpence?" "And that I would," said John, jumping out of bed. It was eight o'clock; the children were preparing for school, and though ragged they were not dirty. There were five of them, all with black hair and eyes, and the mother was a comely well-bred woman. The man had but one arm, and no means of support but by his cart and ass. In a few moments all was ready. I insisted that he should stop and eat his potatoe, though I saw none preparing. I found afterwards he had none, and no prospect of any till the sixpence should be earned. It was a touching case of uncomplaining want. When we were going away, the woman said, "Maybe the lady hasn't got the change now." Taking the hint that she wanted the sixpence, I said "Yes." But the poor man's sensitiveness was awakened, and he hurried me away with "Never mind—never mind," which made me anxious to hear his history. He had been a herder, with twenty-five pounds a year, and brought a swelling on his arm by lifting, which after twelve months of suffering ended in amputation. He lost his employment, and could do nothing but drive about that little ass and cart. "A kind gentlewoman, ma'am, was all my hope for many a year, who called on me to go on an errand to fetch a bucket of water, and never gave me less than a shillin'; and many a sorry day since I knew not where to get the potatoe. But God is good."

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.