Staring in Galway beyond Description

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter IX (20) | Start of Chapter

The next morning I walked to the docks, and would not forget to say, that in Galway I never went alone.

A man or two, and perhaps half-a-dozen women, would he in comfortable staring distance; and this morning, dreading the repetition of the yesterday's annoyance, I went early, but a Connaughtman was on the spot, with pipe and dog; nor did he leave me, nor did he speak to me, nor did he cease staring at me, when the position was a favorable one. The docks have been built at immense expense, and the unfortunate man who pledged himself to do the work died with grief at his misfortunes. A few solitary masts were bowing gently to the breeze, only mementoes of Ireland's dearth of commerce. This ancient harbor has been the depôt of many a bloody vessel, laden with instruments of death and carnage, to lay waste the fair isle; and many a startling legend is now related of deeds of darkness and of murder, which have ever blotted the fame of this bright gem of the sea.

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.