Good Wishes

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXIV (8) | Start of Chapter

Within two miles of Clifden I entered a miserable hut, and found a company of women sitting on the floor. The woman of the cabin said, "Are ye a widow?" Answering in the affirmative, "An' I'm the same, and but one cratur in the world that belongs to me, and she's dark, ma'am. I put her in bed a sound child, an' she was dark in the mornin'. She's gone to the next town. She fiddles, but her fiddle is poor, and I can't reach money to buy her a new one." I went out, she followed, pitying and wishing she could do something for me. Looking me earnestly in the face, "Would ye know me, ma'am, if ye should see me again? I shall want to see ye, and know how ye do." She turned away, then called again, "God speed ye, and give ye long life, and may I see ye again." Hoping to hear no more tales of sorrow till I should reach Clifden, I hurried on, but was soon accosted by "God save ye kindly, and have ye travelled much since I met ye?" I looked up, and recognised the old man with his pack, to whom I read the Scriptures on the banks of the lake. I recollected my promise to give him some books, but had none with me, and could only say again, "Be ye warmed and be ye filled." He bade all manner of good wishes, and hoped I should meet his daughter in town.

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.