Going to Belfast

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter III (6) | Start of Chapter

July 6th, I took the steamer for Belfast. Here was a work going on, which was paramount to all I had seen. Women were at work; and no one could justly say that they were dilatory or inefficient. Never in Ireland, since the famine, was such a happy combination of all parties, operating so harmoniously together, as was here manifested. Not in the least like the women of Dublin, who sheltered themselves behind their old societies—most of them excusing themselves from personal labor, feeling that a few visits to the abodes of the poor were too shocking for female delicacy to sustain; and though occasionally one might be prevailed upon to go out, yet but for a few days could I ever persuade any to accompany me. Yet much was given in Dublin; for it is a city celebrated for its benevolence, and deservedly so, as far as giving goes. But giving and doing are antipodes in her who has never been trained to domestic duties. The faithful John Gregg thundered his powerful anathemas on the indolent in God's vineyard, who labored not among the poor, nor descended to the duties of women in emergencies like this. They heard it: some said it was beautiful; some declared he was the most witty man they ever heard; and others said his remarks were quite amusing;—but how many ever through the week were influenced to practice his preaching, eternity will best tell.