Rebuff from a Clergyman

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter VI (3) | Start of Chapter

I arose refreshed, and after taking my breakfast of the same materials as the supper, I said good morning, and resumed my journey. A long walk down the hill led me near the extensive domain of a Protestant clergyman, on whom I had been requested to call, as a frank, intelligent man, who could give me information concerning Protestantism in the part of the country where he was located. I had called the day before, and was told by a man servant that he had gone to Kilkenny with his wife, and would be back in the evening. "Call," said he, "in the morning, and he will be at home." The hall-door was open when I ascended the steps. A well-dressed lady crossed the hall without welcome or nod. I rang the bell, and the same servant appeared, saying, "the master has not returned." I hesitated, having no doubt that the person who crossed the hall was his wife; and descending to the next lower step, I leaned against the railing. The servant walked in, and in a moment the door was shut in a violent manner, and I walked away. He had a rich living, and read his prayers weekly to a flock of perhaps one in one hundred of the population of his parish.

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.