Parting from True Friends

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter VIII (8) | Start of Chapter

Again I must leave these people and this family, and take a tour to Roscrea; and everything was done to make the journey comfortable. A car and driver were provided to take me twenty miles, which was the distance, free of expense. "You will come back to us," said the doctor and his wife, "and you shall always find a welcome home, and wish we could do better." "Why is it," I said, as I passed from the sound of these kind voices, "that such favors should be shown to me by these strangers who had never seen me, while many were looking on me with suspicion, and wondering what strange fancy should have brought me here?" They manifested no fear about my heretical Protestantism, though I talked freely, and read the Scriptures in their hearing many a time. They conducted me to the Protestant church, showing me the way, and then turned to go to their own. I felt that their liberality in opinion and conduct was quite a rebuke on many, who profess the guidance of the Scriptures and the teaching of the Holy Ghost.

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.