Exchange of Compliments

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXIII (10) | Start of Chapter

"I have done much, honored lady, for these lads before you, and to say the truth they are the first fellows in the kingdom. Come here; let's hear you conjugate this verb." Before the boy had half run through, "There, lady, what do you think of my manner of teaching?" "It cannot be disputed, sir." "I ought to be promoted for what I have done. Go on, honey, and tell the whys and wherefores. And so you see, lady, no stone's unturned." I assured him I had seen nothing like it in all Ireland. "Hear, hear, my good fellows! Here's a lady of the first order speaking, and mark what she says. I knew when she entered, by her looks and language, she was a lady of the highest order. Now mark!"

"Full well they laughed, and counterfeited glee."

Hear, hear! I made a speech somewhat in keeping with the place and persons, and had I never before felt my own greatness, now was the favorable moment. A long and low bow, ended by two or three short ones and a hearty good-bye on my part, finished the morning comedy.

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.