Over-lading of Vehicles

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XIII (7) | Start of Chapter

The next day was spent with the three sisters, who prepared me coarse bread and cocoa for my journey on the morrow, which saw me depart, packed upon a car with a sailor on one side and a quiet josy on the other, who kept his terra firma without any variation, occasionally saying, "I'm afraid ye're crushed, ma'am," and this continued for thirty-three miles to the old town of Waterford. The unmerciful loading of cars and coaches in Ireland, the whipping and driving to "keep up to time," has no parallel in any country I have travelled. A lame and worn-down horse is often loaded with six and seven passengers, and all necessary baggage, often with a galled back, and then beaten till I have, when expostulation was unavailing, jumped from a car, ready to resolve I never would ride a mile upon any vehicle drawn by a horse, while in the country. It is true, merciful men have enacted merciful laws against cruelty in the country, and these laws are sometimes enforced; yet still, could the dumb ass "rebuke the madness" of these Irishmen as often as he is unmercifully beaten, Ireland would have talking asses added to her incongruities, in every part of the island.

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.