White-robed Procession

Friday early, I heard the tolling of a bell, and was told it was the convent bell, tolling the funeral of a nun, the matron of the institution. I passed by the crowded gate, and though the keeper was preventing the entrance of the crowd, finding that I was an American stranger, the porter said, "Welcome, welcome in," and opened the gate. This was a favorable moment; the crowd, without preface or apology, rushed in, and pressed me by force into the convent yard. The procession was conducted by priests in white robes, followed by twelve girls in white; then the nuns in white robes, with black veils, and all bearing lighted candles; the priests reading prayers in Latin, intelligible to all but the listeners. They entered the high walled enclosure where the nuns were interred, and chanted a plaintive funeral song, while the corpse was being buried.

A gentleman approached, asking, "Have you seen the interment?" adding, "had I seen you before, you should have been admitted, as you are a stranger."

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.