Letters of Introduction

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter I (15) | Start of Chapter

Letters of introduction I greatly dislike, for two reasons. They place two parties in a constrained position; the individual who presents the letter feels a kind of dread lest he may bo thought a burdensome extra appendage, which, if received, will only be out of complaisance to the friend who sent the letter. The person who receives it may feel that, though he respects the friend that sent it, yet it comes in the very time when it should not, when all was hurry of business; and how can time be lost in showing picture galleries, and making pic-nics? Besides, the mistress may have a bad servant, the house may be in disorder, and one night's lodging would turn a room or two topsy-turvy, and often the visitor is politely handed over to some neighbor as a compliment, for a fresh introduction. I have so often been peddled about as a second-hand article in this way that I have now letters of introduction of years old, which I never have presented, and never shall.

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.