Marble Quarry

The next morning the inn-keeper took me to see a marble quarry in the mountains, which he had explored; the rain beat us cruelly, but we proceeded. The slabs were beautifully variegated with green, brown, and black. This quarry was opened, and then stopped, the owner not accepting the offer of seven pounds a ton by Government. The quarry is immense, and thousands of men might find employment if they would be allowed to work. These mountains abound in the richest minerals. This man has spent much time in exploring and analysing their properties, and has found copper and some other ore. Yet rich as Ireland is in all that might make her a bright gem indeed among all the nations, her Government gives her arts and manufactures but little encouragement.

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.


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