A Pig's Honesty

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter IX (16) | Start of Chapter

One woman had purchased a pig, and fearing, as she expressed it, the pig was not honest, she was unwilling to pay her money till she had kept it a week, to prove its soundness. The man wanted his money, and the woman would not give it, unless some one would come forward, and testify to the honesty of the pig. She appealed to the man of the house; he was incorrigible. She insisted, she urged, that he should be bail. "That I won't do, ma'am, I'll not be bail for the honesty of the pig."

"Well, then, the man should let me have it upon trial, and I'm as honest a woman as there is in all Galway, and that I can show any day." The clamor grew louder; the man was forced to beg pardon for some rude words he had used, and the woman, after telling him his pardon was granted, left seven shillings till the honesty of the pig should be proved, and took her pig, and departed. It was said that this was all intrigue on her part, to have the use of her money as long as she could.

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.