Candid Hotel-keeper

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXII (17) | Start of Chapter

So much for disappointment, and hatred of deceit, and so much for not feasting my eyes on Dunquin, which had been a most ardent desire of my heart. But Dingle must be left. My stay had been a long one, and notwithstanding that all the good people there did not understand what kind of religion one must possess, to be concerned about any party but one's own, and that self-denial is neither to be required nor expected 1800 years after the pattern was set in the church—that the'world is constantly improving, and the church must keep pace with it or lose her respectability—yet there were a few that received Christ's legacy with all its tribulations. With these few I had passed profitable hours, and from these few I regretted to part. But the morning came, when the car must go out to Tralee. Mrs. Jackson was early preparing me refreshments for my journey, and by the middle of the day I was in Tralee, and stayed long enough to write a note to my friend Mr. Walpole, which I presume was not so palatable as another three shillings would have been. My next car that day took me to Tarbert; stayed at a hotel; the price was exorbitant, and when I expressed my surprise to the woman, saying no other hotel in Ireland was so high, her answer was certainly a candid honest one, "I intend to make all I can out of every one that comes here, and if I can make a shilling out of you, I will."

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.