A Kind Offer declined

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXI (2) | Start of Chapter

A little mountain girl, from a rocky foot-path leading from the ascent, accosted me. "And sure ye hav'n't far to walk alone?" Answering her, "To the foot of the mountain." "To the fut of the mountain! and the night 'ill be on ye; but I'm in the way with ye a good bit." She was a pleasant companion for two miles, when a comely well dressed young man, on a good horse, accosted me, wondering at seeing me on foot. "The wild scenery of these mountains," I answered, "was one great inducement, and to shorten my route, another." "And wouldn't ye get up, and let me give ye a lift of a couple of miles?" I looked at the lively steed, the sprightliness of the young man, and had I been in my teens, might have been strongly prompted to accept the offer. But as my appearance to the complaisant gallant was nothing favorable, I declined, and he walked his horse to keep me company, giving me intelligent answers to my inquiries of the state of the country, presenting the same dark picture of its hapless condition as others had done, till a different road turned him away; and when I saw the grey courser gallopping off, and heard the last sound of his hoofs upon the path, I paused—all was solitude.

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.