No Lodging Place

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XI (2) | Start of Chapter

There was a lodging-house near, and the unmarried sister offered to accompany me, adding, "The woman is quite odd, and may tell you she can't lodge you when she can." We went. A positive denial was the result. I begged her to give me a shelter from the pitiless storm, giving her my usual pass-word, "American stranger," telling her that the Irish were so hospitable, and if she would visit my country I would do her all the good I could. All this cringing and coaxing was unavailing. "I have told ye I would'nt lodge ye, and that's enough." There was an inviting bright fire upon the hearth. I begged her to let me lie down upon the chairs, and stop till the rain should cease, and I would go out at any hour. "I shall not keep you, and that's enough." I next went to an English family; they refused because they had just moved in.

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.