Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XIII (9) | Start of Chapter

A night in Clonmel was spent, a good portion of it in seeking a lodging-place, my kind friend O'Connolly accompanying me, and at last a tolerable one was found for sixpence, and early on the morrow, I took a Bianconi for Cork. A long ride of fifty miles in a snowy wintry day, on an open car, with the wind blowing full in my face, and my seat the next one to the horses, made me more than willing to reach the city. About midday passengers were exchanged, and a young Englishman, a young boarding-school miss from Dublin, and a spruce Dublinite, fresh from the army, with two dogs, a big and little one, were seated upon the car, the larger one, dog-like, sitting upon the seat, the small one upon his master's lap. We had proceeded but a few miles, when a huge Goliath, with brandy-blotched face and beef-eating front, made application for a seat, and the senior dog was transferred to a box over my head. The restless animal, tied to the box, had no certain resting place but on my shoulders or bonnet, and at every jostle of the car, his talons took a fresh grip of the foundation beneath him. Twenty miles in this deplorable plight, brought us at nine o'clock to Cork.

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.