Public-house honesty

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXII (2) | Start of Chapter

The house I was in was a whiskey den, and leaving my gloves and pocket-handkerchief upon a table in my room, I stepped down, and told the woman who was selling the baneful commodity that though I had asked for lodgings in her house, yet I could not stay to leave one shilling in a place devoted to such evil work, and begged her to think seriously of the degrading wicked business she was in, and abandon it for one that was more honest. She was angry, and talked as a woman would talk in such an employment; and while I was standing there, my gloves and handkerchief were taken. I mentioned it to the woman, who refused making inquiry. I told her this was proof positive of what had so offended her, that the employment was dishonest, and those who were engaged in it were not to be trusted in matters where self-interest was concerned.

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.