A Shebeen House

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter IX (15) | Start of Chapter

This being a public house where I was lodging, it was common plunder for all. Sack and bags, geese, turkeys, pigs, asses, horses, and cows, were all brought in, and lodged in the kitchen, or carried into the yard, while the owner went out to make fresh purchases. The landlord was a tetotaler, but the good woman, more bent on gain, was selling her whiskey without a license, and many a glass on that rainy market day not only replenished both the tea-canister and snuff-box of the seller, but gave a new and a happy zest to the wits of the buyer.

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.