Residence in the Neighborhood

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter VI (8) | Start of Chapter

My visit among this hospitable people had been protracted partly by inclination, and partly by unavoidable hindrances, until I had visited every house and cabin in the neighborhood. I sometimes spent a day in a farm-house, cooking, in the American style, a pudding, cake, or pie, which to these bread-and-butter eaters was a perfect anomaly. My talents, I began to fear, were becoming too popular for my own interest, and at length I made myself ready to depart. "If you can stay," said the kind doctor, "don't leave us; my house shall be your home while you stay in Ireland; but if you must go, God speed you." It was then I felt the worth of kindness. I was going out, scarcely knowing where; unprotected in a strange land; and where should I meet with such kind voices, and such hearty welcomes again? Hardly could my tongue utter one word of gratitude for all the kind offices shown me, and I gathered up my effects and myself upon the car, accompanied by the doctor's kind wife, who was going to convey me ten miles to Thurles, and introduce me to her sister residing there.

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.