Visit to the Rectory

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter IV (3) | Start of Chapter

On Monday, the family of my hostess were invited to make a social visit at the rector's. His cottage, like those of most of his neighbors, was surrounded by shrubbery, and a little lawn spread out at the front.

"The soil improved around, the mansion neat,

And neither poorly low nor idly great."

It was consistency outside, and within neatness and good order prevailed. The mother of Mrs. D. and Mr. D.'s sister, together with the usual accompaniments, children to the number of three, composed the family of the rector and his lady. The sister had travelled considerably, was highly intelligent, and the wife and mother would do honor to any exalted station. The evening passed pleasantly and profitably to me, as Mr. D. gave what he thought the true condition of Ireland, and the cause of her sufferings, namely, popish influence and the bad government of England in the beginning, together with absenteeism. In his opinion, if repeal were granted, the extermination of all Protestantism must and would take place.

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.