A Kind Curate

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXIV (11) | Start of Chapter

Sabbath.—Went into the Sabbath-school, and found the old curate and his young wife, with each a scholar teaching. He gave us a cool rational sermon. This curate and his wife were very kind; and the little attentions they showed me left pleasant mementoes on my mind. They invited me to tea, and asked me to play on the piano; they afterwards left the town, not expecting to return till I should be gone, and sent me the key of the piano, as I must, they said, be lonely, and I might have access to it at any hour in the day.[20] A Bible-reader was sick in the house where I lodged, and very poor; but rich in faith. He had labored long and faithfully in a retired part of this desolate region, slept upon a ground floor, and at last sank under the accumulated weight of his burdens. From him I learned much of the poverty of the country, and much did he lament the want of vital piety in the hearts of those who professed Christ. "I am sick," he said, "of nominal Christianity."

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.