Completely Watersoaked

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXIII (14) | Start of Chapter

The sun looked out long enough for me to put all in readiness for departure, and when I had proceeded about a mile, the wind increased almost to a tornado, and the rain seemed to have cleared out all her pipes, and was pouring forth torrents fresh and clean. I was now in a woeful plight—my parasol, which had withstood many a buffeting, soon turned inside out, and became a wreck. No cabin was near till I was drenched. At last a miserable one met my eye, and going in, I was welcomed by two young women, and a young man, who was a traveller too, and inquired, "Where did ye come from, that ye are out in this stawrm?" Telling him, and that it was fine when I left, he said, "Aw, he's a blackguard and a rascal to let ye from his door today. He knew it would be stawrmy, an' he's a honey tongue, but his wife is a sour heifer; and wasn't ye a payin' the blackguard, that he was so willin' to let ye come?" "I was paying them full price for all I had." "They are divils then, and the divil 'll have 'em, and that's the end on't." I heard of Connemara—that it had been a custom from time immemorial, that if a stranger is not welcomed into a cabin at night-fall, or leaves it in a storm, the cabin-holder is immediately called upon to inquire into the reason; and if it appears that it is inhospitality, that family is set up as a mark of contempt to its neighbors.

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.