Employment a Novelty

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XVI (6) | Start of Chapter

Men, women, and children had watched the movements of John, and met us upon the walk as an escort. "John, which way? and what now? sure and ye aint goin' to lave us?" John was a man of some independence, and a little tact withal; and he managed to let them know by a slight toss of the head, and a significant look, that he was about business which interested the parties concerned, and should give account of none of his matters. Ludicrous as the scene might be, and playful as seemed their jokes, yet the real truth was affecting—John was about to earn a few pence, and the favor was a great and enviable one. They had looked and sauntered about the miserable town for days and weeks, for such a boon, in vain, and now the lucky John had drawn the prize!

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.