Christianity at Dingle

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXII (5) | Start of Chapter

In the morning I arose in the celebrated town of Dingle, a "city on a hill." Distant as it is from all the world beside, yet it has for the last few years said to all who would hear, "Turn aside, and look at me." Its bay is full of interest, and its people more so; and as the people were my object, I must talk of them. A Catholic woman of much good nature and some intelligence called early, and offered to accompany me to see the town. Her first depôt unasked was to the house of a priest; considerable time was taken to get an introduction to his presence, and when we did, his every look and taciturnity seemed to say, "what brought you here?" He was the first I had met who showed reserve, but Dingle had been struggling with party creeds, and as the "soupers," as the Protestant converts are called, were getting quite numerous, the priest had all his sensibilities awake to keep the prowler from making further inroads into his fold. A new comer from a foreign country might be the very "wolf in sheep's clothing" to beguile more of the faithful, and, as I was afterwards informed, he therefore kept more caution. So I was sent empty away.

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.