Grateful Reflections

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter VIII (4) | Start of Chapter

I heard a kind welcome most gladly at the house of Mr. C. in Urlingford, and gave him a particular recital of Mount Mellary. Being a Catholic to the bone, he cannot but love such an establishment as this. He has ever treated me with kindness, and placed me under obligations for many little favors, which as a stranger were very grateful to my feelings. The remembrance of these kindnesses are sweet and salutary on a foreign shore, which none but a stranger can fully appreciate. I went next to Dr. White's. Of this family I can never say enough. Never, never can I forget their unparalleled, unceasing good-nature, always in exercise; never with any display, but always as though they were obliged to me for accepting it. My food, my lodging, my fire, my walking or riding, must be all for my highest comfort. The kindness of this family was confined to no sect or nation, the rich or the poor. The beggar, too, had a kind welcome.

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.