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Nicholson, Asenath, 1792-1855 / Annals of the famine in Ireland (1851)

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[chapter 4]

  [p. 93]  

“I stand alone, without fear, in the midst of thousands, though the valiant be distant far.” — OSSIAN.

Now, reader, summon your forces, collect your strength, and see if you are prepared to meet such a formidable host and go forth to battle. There was one in the face and eyes of all the foregoing graphic facts, stood up single-handed; and, like the shepherd son of Jesse, went forth and boldly challenged this gigantic Goliah. Yes! Lord George Hill is not a George Washington, his work was a mightier one — his was a grapple with mind, with untutored mind, gathering strength for ages, till it seemed to defy all attempts of reform; and, like the bold cliffs which hung over their wild coast, stood up in their pride and said, “Dash on, we heed you not.” Washington had carnal battles to fight, and with carnal weapons, in the hands of gallant soldiers, he scattered the foe. But mark! He that by moral power grapples with the worst passions of men, and lays them harmless at his feet, has done more than he who has conquered whole armies by the sword. This, Lord George Hill has done. In 1838 this indefatigable man purchased small holdings, adding to them, till the whole amounted to upward of 23,000 acres. 3,000 people then inhabited the land, and but 700 paid rent.   [p. 94]   What did he do? Did he take a body of policemen, and arm himself with a pike and pistol, and go forth, demanding submission or death? He had an efficient agent; and “temporary apartments were fitted up on the spot.” He then went himself into every hut on his estate: and, understanding Irish, he soon gained access to their hearts: they said, “he could not be a lord because he spoke Irish.”

His first work was to check the illicit distillation of their grain; and he built a corn store, 87 feet long and 22 wide, with three lofts, and a kiln; then a quay was formed in front of the store, admitting vessels of 200 tons, having 14 feet of water at the height of the tide. A market was established, where the same price was paid for grain as at Letterkenny, 26 miles distant. The difficulties of building this store were great indeed — no masons or carpenters in the vicinity — and the site must be excavated by blasting a solid rock. But what will not, and what did not perseverance do? It was done, and next a wheelwright was employed; timber and iron brought from Derry; until the calls multiplied, the store was stocked with the common necessaries of life, and at last it was increased double in size. The inhabitants, for the first time, began to eat bread; and, can you believe it? savage as they were, they loved it. The next difficult work was to place each tenant on his own farm; and to do this every landholder was served with notice “to quit.” A surveyor had drawn maps, the tenants were assembled, and, the new allotments made according to his rent, all previous bargains were   [p. 95]   adjusted to mutual satisfaction. But the final allotments of land took three years to settle: they must look over their new farms, all in one piece, and cast lots for them. The Rundale system, when disturbed, brought new difficulties to these people; it broke up their clusters of huts, and the facilities of assembling nights, to tell and hear long stories; and they must tumble down their cabins, which were of loose stones; and the owner of the cabin hired a fiddler, which no sooner known, than the joyous Irish are on the spot: each takes a stone or stones upon his or her back, (for women and children are there,) — they dance at intervals — the fiddler animates them on while the day light lasts, and then the night is finished by dancing. When the houses were set up anew upon the farms, Lord George thought it advisable to have a few ten acre farms, fenced in on the waste land. This was instantly opposed, for they did not want these divisions occupied, as by so doing it would thin out the crowds and break up the clanship too much. They would not be hired to make the ditches; and a “fearless wanderer” could only do the work; though sods of turf were hurled at him he kept on, but the contest was so sharp that it was settled at last by two policemen, at night, who frightened away the assailants, who had assembled to “settle” the ditch. Peace was concluded, ditches were made, premiums were offered for the best specimens of clean cottages, which now had chimneys and windows, whitewashed walls, suitable beds and bedsteads, crockery and chairs, and the manure heap at a respectable   [p. 96]   distance, and all bearing the appearance of comfort. These premiums extended to growing green crops, draining farms, good calves, pigs, colts, &c., and for webs of cloth, best knit stockings, firkins of butter, &c., &c. The premium day was the wonder of wonders; for they were told that the noble-hearted Lord George was to dine with them, which the poor people could not believe, and were afraid to go in, till the surveyor assured them that it was true. This was the crowning of the whole, and puts forever at rest any doubts of the good sense of this well-balanced mind, which knew how to lay the foundation, set up the walls, and put on his seal to the topmost stone. Our Savior explained this principle emphatically, when rebuked for eating with publicans and sinners: “I came not to call the righteous,” &c. Lord George Hill knew well the secret avenue to the hearts of these people; he knew they were men, and though circumstances had made them degraded ones, yet if the smothered embers of that Image in which they were created could be stirred, living sparks would be emitted. Did this “familiarity breed contempt?” Did they take undue advantage, and say, “We will not have this man to rule over us,” and was God offended? Come and see the fruits of his decision and condescension — they both stand out in as bold relief as the old mountain Arrigle which nods its cloud-capped head over this district.

But details must be left: Facts from Gweedore, should be in the hand and heart of every landlord who may have anything to do in difficulties like these. Let   [p. 97]   him visit these comfortable cottages, supplied with decencies, to cause the inmates to feel that they are human; let him see the industry of the women and the becoming clothing of the peasantry; let him visit the store, the mill, the union-house, school-house, and dispensary; and while he is doing all this, let his home be for a few days in that well-ordered hotel, and notice the consistency of the whole; and if he can, let him go and do likewise. If he cannot, let him retrace all his steps, and impartially decide how far his own negligence, improvidence, love of ease, and indifference to the real good of his tenantry, may have contributed to bring him into this state. If he have not capital, like Lord George Hill, where is his capital? Have horses, coaches, hunting dogs, and hunting dinners frittered it away? Then woe betide him, his day is over, who can help him? The school-house at Bunbeg, near this store, is not a small item in this great work. The room is 25 feet by 15, lofty and well-ventilated. The teacher has a dwelling under the same roof; and when I visited it all was order and comfort. The girls are taught sewing, for of this the people are quite ignorant, and it may safely be presumed that Lord George would not restrict their advance in education to certain bounds, lest their talents should transcend their station in life. I spent a Sabbath in that quiet hotel, and attended the Church service, which was then conducted in the schoolroom; a house of worship was in progress, but not ready to be opened. The female tenantry who were at home, walking upon the street, or calling into the hotel, always   [p. 98]   had their knitting-work in motion whenever I saw them, and such a surplus of stockings as amounted to about £200, was then on hand, all of which the females had been paid for knitting. “They shall not be idle,” said his lordship, “though the work is on my hands unsold.” His family residence is located about twenty miles from Gweedore, but he and his wife were at the hotel the evening that I reached it, and meeting him in the morning in the hall — supposing him to be some respectable appendage to the house — made inquiries concerning it; and not till he made some remarks respecting my self-denying travels in Ireland, did I find my mistake. I saw at once the secret of his mighty achievements; his simplicity was his dignity and strength. He had struggled hard during the famine to keep his tenantry from suffering, without much foreign aid, had sacrificed much, and difficulties were increasing. The next winter the hotel was closed for a time; sickness had made inroads into the house, and death likewise; but it was re-opened the next season, under more encouraging auspices.

This man has proved to a demonstration what can be done even with the most hopeless, and under the most discouraging circumstances; for if Lord George Hill could transform those wild mountain goats, even to common civilized bullocks, what could not be done with any and all of the wild game of Ireland? Pity, great pity, that so few have applied the right key to the Irish heart! Still greater pity that so few believe there is a key that can find a right entrance; give Lord George   [p. 99]   Hill a patent right, and let all who will improve it, and Ireland will arise.

Now, in 1850, he writes, “Say that no person died of famine at Gweedore, though many of the aged and infants, from being scantily fed, died earlier than otherwise they would, as well as from change of diet; also that the people are reviving in a great degree, from the potatoe having held out this year.”

Lord George Hill is an Irishman of the Hillsborough family, in the county Down, brother to the late and uncle to the present Marquis of Downshire, a true Irishman, who lives and acts for his country.

Two miles from Gweedore an English gentleman had fixed a residence on the woody side of a hill, with a fine lake at a little distance, who was attracted there by the beauty of the scenery, and a desire to enjoy the evening of his days in a romantic peaceful retirement among a peasantry which pleased him; and his wife and daughters were quite an acquisition to the scattered intelligent class, which dotted the wild scenery there. His family were then in England, and when I met him a few weeks after in Derry, he said, “I waited all day to see you, but when you come again we shall not be disappointed.” He died a few weeks after, and left a sad breach in the hearts of many.

This little incident is named to show how much the English, who go to Ireland because they admire the country, and justly appreciate the people, are beloved. They are always mentioned with the greatest admiration   [p. 100]   where they have behaved with a proper condescension and kindness to the people.

My next excursion was from Gweedore to Dungloe, with Mr. Foster, who conducted me to his pretty cottage and lovely family, in the parish of Templecrone. It was a wild and dreary waste which led us to it — here and there a cluster of miserable cabins, and still more miserable inmates, met the eye; now and then a hungry being would crawl out and make some sorrowful complaint of neglect by the relieving officer, which could not be remedied; but when we reached the cottage of my guide, all bespoke plenty and comfort. Here, in the midst of desolation and death, this isolated bright spot said, “Mercy is not clean gone forever.” Here was the minister of Templecrone, who had come to dine, for he heard that a stranger who pitied Ireland was to be there, and his heart was made of tenderness and love. Seldom can be met a being where such amiable, tender, and sympathetic kindness, are united with energy and perseverance, as were in this man. He was alive to every tale of woe, and active to surmount all difficulties; with his own hands, he labored to assist the poor — they have laid their dead around his gate in the night, knowing that the “blessed minister would not let them be buried without a board on ’em.” We spent a painful-pleasant evening at this hospitable house, talking of the dreadful scenes of death in their midst, and then the kind man rode eight miles on horseback to his home. The next day we were to visit Arranmore, a pretty sunny island, where peace and comfort   [p. 101]   had ever reigned. The peasantry here were about 1500 in number, occupying a green spot three miles in length, and had always maintained a good character for morality and industry. They kept cows, which supplied them with milk, sheep with wool, geese with beds, fowls with eggs; and grew oats, potatoes, and barley; they wore shoes and stockings, which none of the female peasantry can do in the country places; they likewise spun and made their own wearing apparel, and as the difficulty of crossing the channel of the sea, which was three miles, was considerable, they seldom visited the main land. When they saw the potatoe was gone, they ate their fowls, sheep, and cows, and then began to cross the sea to Templecrone for relief. What could they find there? One man could do but little to stay the desolation. Hundreds had died before this, and though I knew that painful scenes were in waiting, yet, if possible, the half was not told me. Six men, beside Mr. Griffith, crossed with me in an open boat, and we landed, not buoyantly, upon the once pretty island. The first that called my attention was the death-like stillness — nothing of life was seen or heard, excepting occasionally a dog. These looked so unlike all others I had seen among the poor I unwittingly said — “How can the dogs look so fat and shining here, where there is no food for the people?” “Shall I tell her?” said the pilot to Mr. Griffith, not supposing that I heard him.

This was enough: if anything were wanting to make the horrors of a famine complete, this supplied the   [p. 102]   deficiency. Reader, I leave you to your thoughts, and only add that the sleek dogs of Arranmore were my horror, if not my hatred, and have stamped on my mind images which can never be effaced.

We made our first call at the door of the chapel; the fat surly-looking priest was standing there; and, saying to him, “Your people, sir, are in a bad state.” “Bad enough, they give me nothing.” “Why should they? — you cannot expect or ask anything of the poor starving creatures.” The curate withdrew, leaving the battle to be decided by the priest, pilot, and myself, for he had known him before. “Ah,” said the pilot, softly, “he’s a hard one; there’s the Christian for you,” pointing to the curate, “he’s the man that has the pitiful heart, — not a cratur on the island but would lay down the life for him.” This pilot was a Roman Catholic, but that characteristic impartiality, peculiar to the Irish, where justice and mercy are concerned, belonged to him likewise. We went from cabin to cabin, till I begged the curate to show me no more. Not in a solitary instance did one beg. When we entered their dark, smoky, floor-less abodes, made darker by the glaring of a bright sun, which had been shining upon us, they stood up before us in a speechless, vacant, staring, stupid, yet most eloquent posture, mutely graphically saying, “Here we are, your bone and your flesh, made in God’s image, like you. Look at us! What brought us here?” May God forgive me, and I believe he will, or I would not say it. With Job, I said, “Let darkness and the shadow of death stain that day when first the potato was planted I   [p. 103]   in this green isle of the sea, to oppress the poor laborer, and at last bring him to a valley of death — deep, dark, intricate — where slimy serpents, poison lizards, and gnawing vultures creep and wind about his wasted limbs, and gnaw into the deepest recesses of his vitals.

In every cabin we visited, some were so weak that they could neither stand nor sit, and when we entered they saluted us, by crawling on all fours toward us, and trying to give some token of welcome. Never, never was the ruling passion stronger in death. That heart-felt greeting which they give the stranger, had not in the least died within them; it was not asking charity, for the curate answered my inquiries afterward, concerning the self-control, which was the wonder of all, that he had sent a man previously through the island, to say that a stranger, from across the sea, was coming to visit them, but she had no money or food to give, and they must not trouble her. I gave a little boy a biscuit, and a thousand times since have I wished that it had been thrown into the sea; it could not save him: he took it between his bony hands, clasped it tight, and half-bent as he was, lifted them up, looked with his glaring eyes upon me, and gave a laughing grin that was truly horrible. The curate turned aside, and beckoned me away. “Did you see that horrid attempt to laugh?” “I cannot stay longer,” was my answer. We hurried away. The noble-minded pilot said, “Will you step into my little place, and I will show you the boiler where I made the soup and stirabout, while the grants lasted.” These grants were mostly sent by the churches in England,   [p. 104]   and some poor deserving persons selected to give them out, and a very small compensation granted them, from the food they were distributing; and it should be here remarked, that when mention is made of the difference between “hirelings” and “volunteers,” I mean those “hirelings” who were paid by government great salaries, and like the slave-overseers, could order this flogging, and withhold that, according to their own caprices. This does not in the least apply to such distributors as these.

The house of this man was a step in advance of the common cabins, and every part as clean as cabin or cottage could be; his young despairing wife sat, with a clean cap and apron on, for she knew we were coming, and uncomplainingly answered our inquiries respecting food, that they had not eaten that day, and the husband led us into the next room, opened a chest, took out a small bowl, partly filled with some kind of meal, and solemnly declared that they had not another morsel in the cabin or out, nor a sixpence to buy any. The curate said, “I know him well, he is a deserving man, and tells us the truth.”

When we left this cabin we passed a contiguous one, and a decently clad woman, with shoes and stockings, and blue petticoat, (that was the kind the peasants always wore in their days of comfort,) very pleasantly offered me a bowl of milk. Astonished at the sight of such a luxury, I refused, from the principle that it would be robbing the starving. “I regret,” said the curate, as we turned away, “that you did not take it,   [p. 105]   her feelings were deeply injured: a shadow of disappointment,” he said, “came over her face, as she answered in Irish: ‘The stranger looks wairy and her heart is drooping for the nourishment.’” O, my Heavenly Father! my “heart drooping for nourishment,” after having taken a wholesome breakfast, and with the prospect of a good dinner at our return. A second kind woman was about making the same offering, when I begged Mr. Griffith, who spoke Irish, to say how much I thanked her; but that I never drank milk, and was not in the least hungry. Inquiring how we came to find milk, the pilot answered, that scattered here and there, a comfortable farmer, who had milked some three or four cows, had saved one from the wreck; but that would soon go, and then all must die together. We hurried away. And now for the burying-ground. “You have seen the living, and must now see the place of the dead.”

A famine burying-ground on the sea-coast has some peculiarities belonging to itself. First, it often lies on the borders of the sea, without any wall, and the dead are put into the earth without a coffin, so many piles on piles that the top one often can be seen through the thin covering; loose stones are placed over, but the dogs can easily put these aside, and tear away the loose dirt. This burial-place was on a cliff, whose sides were covered with rough stones, and the ascent in some parts very difficult. We ascended, sometimes keeping erect, and sometimes being obliged to stoop and use our hands. When we reached the top, the painful novelty repaid all   [p. 106]   our labor. It was an uneven surface of a few perches, with new-made graves and loose stones covering them. A straw-rope was lying near a fresh-dug grave, which the pilot said belonged to an old man, who two days before he saw climbing the cliff, with a son of fifteen lashed to his back by that cord, bringing in his feeble hand a spade. “I untied the cord, took the corpse from the father’s back, and with the spade, as well as I could, made a grave and put in the boy;” adding, “Here you see so many have been buried, that I could not cover him well.”

This was the burial-place of Arranmore, and here, at the foot, was the old roaring ocean, dashing its proud waves, embracing in its broad arms this trembling green gem, while the spray was continually sprinkling its salt tears upon its once fair cheek, as if weeping over a desolation that it could not repair. At a little distance was a smooth green field, rearing its pretty crop of young barley, whose heads were full and fast ripening for the sickle. “This,” said Mr. Griffith, “is the growth of seed which was presented by William Bennet, last March; the poor creatures have sowed it, and if the hands that planted it live to reap the crop, they will have a little bread. Take a few heads of it, and send them to him as a specimen of its fine growth, and of their care in cultivating it. Had these industrious people,” he added, “been supplied in the spring with seed of barley and turnips, they would not need charity from the public. The government sent a supply around the coast, the delighted people looked up   [p. 107]   with hope, when, to their sad disappointment, this expected gift was offered at a price considerably higher than the market one, and we saw the ships sailing away, without leaving its contents; for not one was able to purchase a pound. And we have since been told, that the ‘lazy dogs’ were offered seed, but refused, not willing to take the trouble to sow it.”

We left without doing one favor, and without being asked to do one, except to drink a basin of milk. We found two little meagre, almost naked girls, sitting upon the beach picking shells and grinding them in their clean teeth; they gave a vacant look as we spoke, but answered not.

I gave the six boatmen a shilling each, who had not eaten one mouthful that day, and Mr. G. added six-pence each. Their grateful acknowledgments were doubly affecting, when they said, “This is more than we have had at one time since the famine,” and they hastened to the meal-shop to purchase a little for their starving families. We went to a full dinner, prepared in that style which the gentry of Ireland are accustomed to prepare for guests; but what was food to me? The sights at Arranmore were food sufficient. What could be done? Mrs. Forster said, she had written to England, till she was ashamed to tire their generosity again; not once had she been refused from the churches there, and she felt that their patience must be exhausted. She gave the names of some of her donors. A letter was written in the desperation of feeling to an Independent minister there; and God forever bless   [p. 108]   him and his people, for the ready response. Arranmore was relieved a little.

The next day, a ride of eight miles took me to the house of Mr. Griffith; and here was a family made up of that kindness which the husband and father possessed. He occupied a spot among the honest poor indeed. We went over the bleak waste, to visit a romantic pile of cliff, upon the sea-coast, and on our way the laughing sport of children suddenly broke upon the ear, the first I had heard since the famine; it was from behind a little hillock, and the sound was mournfully pleasant. We hurried on to greet the joyous ones; and, unperceived, saw two little ragged girls, not wasted entirely by hunger, who had come out of a little dark cluster of stone cabins, and forgetting their sufferings, were playing as other children play. We saluted them, and told them to “play on, we are glad to see your sports.” We spoke of the allusion of the prophet, when boys and girls are again “to be seen playing in the streets of Jerusalem,” as a token of its happiness — a happiness which, until the famine of Ireland, I never valued enough, but now it is one of the brightest sunbeams that shine across my path. We at last reached one of the most fearful, sublime, and dangerous broken piles of rocks imaginable, tumbled together, and standing almost perpendicularly over the ocean. Deep and frightful caverns yawned between them, and how they came tumbled in this mass never has been made out; they appeared as if shaken together by some sudden crash, and stopped while in their wildest confusion, each seizing   [p. 109]   hold of its contiguous one to save it from falling. I was glad, quite glad to get away, for had my toot stumbled or slipped, some dark deep gulf might have placed me beyond help or hope. Ossian might have made his bed among these caves, when he says —

“As two dark streams from high, rocks meet and mix.”

Rain hurried us to our dinner, and poured upon us, during the ride of eight miles, in darkness, to the cottage of Dungloe. A little incident occurred this evening, which happily testified to a remark made by Mr. Forster, in a letter to a committee, during the famine. Speaking of the starving poor, he says, “They are suffering most patiently, and in this parish, where there are ten thousand souls, not one single outrage has ever been committed in the memory of man.”

Mrs. Forster and myself in our retreat and hurry had neglected to shut the hall door; in the morning it was quite open and the hall floor covered with water. “What a dangerous condition,” I said, “is this, to leave a house at night, especially in a time of hunger, as the present.” “Not in the least,” was the answer; “I should not be afraid to leave every door unlocked at night, and every window open, with food or any other property in reach; not the least iota would be touched by one of them.” This was self-discipline, which can scarcely be reconciled with hunger in any stomachs but the Irish.

A letter from Mrs. Griffith, in the spring of 1849, says, that the people of Arranmore had recovered their   [p. 110]   former standing, that relief was immediately sent from England, and they had saved as much for seed as they could, and not starve. Five hundred died from famine on that island. The potatoe was not blasted the following year, and they again looked up with tolerable comfort. The island has since been sold, and cultivation will be carried on upon a more extensive and profitable scale. Could a new race of landlords settle upon that coast, and drain and plow the now useless soil, the tenants that are drooping and discouraged, would lift up their heads with joy and hope. The air blows as pure as ever breezes did; and were industry encouraged, and food abundant; the inhabitants would cause the grave-digger to have the same source of complaint that once was made in the South, when a poor woman exclaimed, “The times are dreadful, ma’am, Patrick has not put a spade to the ground this six weeks, not a word of lyin.”

The comfort and hospitality at Roshine Lodge must be left, and with the kind Mrs. F. and her friend I turned away sadly from the scenes of desolation there witnessed, and again went to Gweedore, to meet Mrs. Hewitson, who was to accompany me to Belfast, and we prepared for the journey. She had distributed her grants, and her unceasing labors, often for twenty hours in twenty-four, called for relaxation. We left the pretty spot in sadness, for the starving were crowding about and pressing her for food, following the carriage — begging and thanking — blessing and weeping. We were obliged to shake them off, and hurried in agony   [p. 111]   away. “Many of these poor creatures,” she observed, “will be dead on my return.” On our way we passed the afternoon and night at Derry; it was a day for a flower and cattle show. Here were attracted most of the gentry in the county, as well as nobility; and we had an opportunity of sitting on a seat upon the sloping side of a hill, for nearly three hours, in a public garden, which overlooks a pretty part of the town, and feasting our eyes with a view of it. It was supposed nearly three thousand ladies had come out in their best, on this pleasant day, to see this pretty show of flowers; and though these were almost surpassingly beautiful, as Ireland’s flowers are, yet the ladies were more so. Their pretty figures, (for they are in general of a fine form,) and becoming dresses, in all the variety of modern colors and fashions, brought me, after more than two hours’ admiration, to the conclusion that a more beautiful assemblage of females, of the like number, could not be found. Had the women been educated after the model of Solomon and Paul’s “virtuous women and housekeepers,” what a crown of glory would they be? But alas! The most of the fine material of which woman is composed, is made up for ornament rather than use, in that unhappy country. A few Mrs. Hewitsons and Forsters are sprinkled here and there, and many can be found in Belfast who have arisen to a higher standard in this respect than the country in general; and the famine, which has been the proof of all that is praiseworthy and all that is deficient in females, has shown that Belfast has a capital, which when employed   [p. 112]   can be worked to a great and good advantage. But their late rising and late breakfasts wasted the best part of the day; and their foolish custom, which made it approach to vulgarity to give a call before twelve, retarded much that might have been done more easily and effectually. It is much to be scrupled whether one arose “while it was yet dark, to prepare meat for her maidens.”

I spent a day in the Library, which was instituted in 1788, and now contains 8,000 volumes, without one of fiction. Is there another library on the globe that can say this? It speaks more for the good sense and correctness of principle in the people of Belfast than any comments or praise whatever can do. I felt, while sitting there, that here was an atmosphere of truth, entirely new. What would the reading community of all nations be, if youth had access to such libraries as these, and to no others?

From Belfast I went up the coast of Antrim, visited many beautiful towns and places, but all was saddened by the desolations of the famine. Industrial schools were everywhere showing their happy effects; and often by the wayside, in clusters upon a bank., or under a tree in some village, were young girls with their fancy knitting, sitting pleasantly together, busy at their work; and this was a striking fact, that in no case, where they were thus employed, did they look untidy; though their garments were of the plainest and poorest, yet they appeared cleanly. I visited a school at Lame, of this description, conducted by a pious widow woman; and   [p. 113]   the arrangements, in all respects, reflected honor on the superintendents and teacher. Their reading, writing, working, and knowledge of the scriptures, manifested great wisdom and faithfulness in the teacher, as well as aptness in the scholars. The most useful work was done there, and the finest fancy material, much of which has been sold in London, at a fair price, for the benefit of the poor children. One little girl of twelve, by her industry in that school, the preceding winter, had kept a family of three or four from the poor-house by her fancy knitting, occasionally working nearly all night. The father came to the window with a load of turf, to thank her for the instruction of the child, which had fed them through the winter, and this small token of his gratitude, humble as it was, he hoped she would not refuse. These schools, scattered through the island, in the midst of the desolating famine, looked, to the traveler, like some humble violet or flower, springing in the desert or prairie, where a scathing fire had swept over the plain, and withered all that was most prominent to the beholder. Never did I see a company of these little ones, at their cheerful work, or have one present me with a specimen of her attainments, but the unassuming hope-cheered look, eloquently said, “Will you let us live? Will you give us our honest bread, for the willing labor of our hands, and allow us a dwelling-place among the nations of the earth?” Here in these pretty towns, along the coast of Antrim, had the poor-laws manifested their handy-work. The advice of Daniel O’Connell concerning them, was, “If you begin to   [p. 114]   build poorhouses, you had better at once make one grand roof over the whole island, for in due time the whole country will need a shelter under it.” This precaution was not altogether a random one, for already had many of the industrious respectable tradesmen and widows, who were keeping lodging-houses, been compelled to give up their business — the taxes had come in and taken all within doors, which would sell at auction, for the poor-rates. I was directed to a respectable house to procure lodgings for a few days; the disheartened widow said, “Two days ago I could have given you a well-furnished bedroom and parlor, but now I have neither table, chair, or carpet on the floors; the money was demanded for a new tax just levied, I could not raise it, my furniture was taken, and I have no means to fetch it back, or to get bread.” She could not expect respectable lodgers to stop with her, and saw nothing but hunger or the poorhouse for herself and children. Telling her if she would give me a place to lie down, I would stop, and give the usual price, she gladly accepted it, and the money paid her for this was all the means she had to get one meal for herself and three children, while I was in the house. This was a person of good reputation, kept a tidy, well-furnished lodging-house; and before the extra taxes had been laid on, had been able to put by a little money, but it had all been demanded the past year, and the means taken away to procure any more. This was the condition of the entire country.

While riding upon the car, the driver pointed to a   [p. 115]   peculiar dwelling, with a sign for refreshment, saying, “The woman here is a lucky one, for she pays no rent; if you wish I will stop and let you go in.” The entrance was through a door, into a cave, which narrowed as it extended back, till it came to a point, and was very much in the shape of a harrow. A person could stand upright at the mouth, but must stoop, and then crawl, if he proceeded. The old woman lit up her torch, and crept on, insisting that I should follow. The passage was so long, dark, and narrow, that paying the old woman her expected sixpence, I got excused. She had an old bed, lying by the side of one wall of the cave, a little table on the other, on which she kept cakes and “the drap of whisky,” for the traveler; and she told us merrily, that no landlord had disturbed her, and she had got the comfortable “bit” for many a twelve-month. Happy old woman! It is hoped that when her gray hairs shall be removed to a still darker cave, the inheritance will fall to some other houseless head, who, like her, shall enjoy unmolested and unenvied this happy den, which like comfort few of the poor outcasts of Ireland can ever hope to attain. Some of the most romantic spots are scattered upon this coast, which is for many a mile enlivened by white rocks, and small white pebbles, near the sea, so that the whole is so inviting, taking sea, rocks, beautiful road, and in many places backed by the rich woodland, that I left the carriage, and loitered among the varying beauties of running brooks, murmuring cascades, neat cottages and pretty churches, and deep green glens. My imagination   [p. 116]   was inclining to drink in the spirit of the simple little boy who accompanied me. When looking down from an eminence, on the path where we were walking, I saw a crumbling stone cabin, deep below me, in so narrow a defile that its opposite walls nearly extended to the perpendicular hills on each side; and inquiring of the child who could ever build there, expecting to live in it, he simply replied, “Oh, lady! that is a fairy’s house; the people have put on the roof many a time, but at night the fairies come and take it off. They live in this glen, ma’am.” “Then the fairies do not like roofs to their houses?” “I ‘spose not, ma’am.”

These fairies have doubtless saved many an agent or tithe-gatherer a “good baitin’,” whose cowardly conscience has come by night to rob some corn or hay-stack for his unjust gain. Leaving my little companion, I ascended higher and higher, till at my feet far away stretched the broad sea; and about were sprinkled cabins, looking like the “shabby gentility,” which a decayed person who had fallen from higher life keeps up. I entered one of cleanly appearance, and stumbled upon a most frightful sight. A woman with a child on her lap gave me an indifferent nod of welcome, and pointed to a bed through the door; supposing some starving object lay there, I turned to look, and on a bed lay her husband his face uncovered, swollen and black, entirely blind, and blood still fresh about his hair and pillow, and he speechless. She was alone with him,   [p. 117]   her infant the only inmate: the doctor had just left without dressing his face.

The story was, two hours before, going to his labor, a furious bull had broken from his fastenings and was in mad pursuit after a lady, whose screams attracted the poor laborer; he ran with his spade, rushed between the horns of the animal and the lady, but could not save himself from the bull, which trampled him in the dirt, gored his face, broke his upper jaw, and tore apart one nostril. Three of the animal’s legs were tied with the rope when he accomplished all this. The story ended by — “Thank God, the lady was saved, and the mad bull shot by the owner,” and not one word of complaint about her husband. When I said, “What a pity that he went near him.” “But, ma’am, didn’t he go to save the lady, and wouldn’t she been kilt if he hadn’t done it?” So much for being a lady in Ireland, and for Irish courage and humanity. Returning to Belfast, I prepared for Dublin, and again sought out old Cook Street; some of my pensioners had removed, but none dead: their rent had been left to be paid weekly for them, and sufficient knitting given for their employ. Another grant was coming for me, to be deposited at Belfast, and the expense of transportation to Dublin would be such, that it was placed in the trustworthy hands of Mrs. Hewitson, who could get it conveyed to her destitute people at a smaller expense, when she should return. This donation, she afterwards said, was eked out for months at the most sparing rate; and the only relief she had in her power during the following   [p. 118]   winter season. A box of clothing was in my possession, and with this and a little money, I resolved to go to the western coast, in Connaught. I went, and Connaught will long live in my memory, for there are still scenes of suffering, of cruelty, and of patience, which no other people yet have shown to the world. That people who from the time of the invasion have been “hunted and peeled,” treated as the “offscouring of all things,” driven into “dens and caves of the earth,” as the only shelter, now still live, to hold out to the world that lineament of the “image of God,” which is, and which must be the everlasting rebuke of their persecutors; which says in the face and eyes of all mankind, to their spoilers — “You have hated me, you have robbed me, you have shorn me of my beauty; and now, while famine is eating up my strength, gnawing my vitals, you are turning me into the storm, without food, or even “sheep-skins or goat-skins” for a covering; and then tauntingly saying, “Wherein have we robbed you?”

I took the train at Dublin, for twenty-five miles, then a coach to Tuam, where I tarried one night. This is the residence of Bishop M’Hale, and a somewhat respectable old town; but the picture of sorrow was here too, and the next morning I gladly proceeded to Newport. It rained hard, we, were on an open car, and the wretchedness of the country made it altogether a dismal ride. When we had reached a few miles of the town, a dissipated, tattered, and repulsive looking man was seated before me on the car, which was not a little annoying,   [p. 119]   for he might be a little intoxicated. “Has he paid his fare,” I asked the coachman, knowing that if he had, he had the same right as I had; and still more, it would confirm me in the opinion that if he had money to pay his ride, he might have money for drink. We went on, my unpleasant companion never once speaking, till we reached our stopping-place, the Post-Office, at Newport. Here, at my old tried friend’s, Mrs. Arthur, I met with a cordial welcome, and getting from the car, was still more annoyed to see this out-of-the-way companion reach the door before me, and fall prostrate in the passage; this was certainly proof that he had been taking whisky, for he did not look like one in the last stages of starvation. My severity upon myself was equal to my surprise, when we found that it was exhaustion occasioned by hunger. When he could speak in a whisper, he begged Mrs. Arthur to take a few sovereigns, which he had sewed up in his ragged coat, and send them to his wife and children, who were suffering for food. He had been at work in England, and knowing the dreadful state his family were in at home, had saved the few sovereigns, not willing to break one, and endeavored to reach home on a few shillings he had, and being so weak for want of food, he occasionally rode a few miles when it rained, and had not eaten once in two days. “Send them quick, ” he said, “I shall not live to reach home.” O, shame! shame! on my wicked suspicions; how should I be thus deceived! I could not, I would not forgive myself. His story was   [p. 120]   a true one, and by proper care he lived to follow his sovereigns home.

The astonishing suffering and self-denial of that people for their friends, is almost heart-rending. It is expected that mothers will suffer, and even die for their famishing little ones, if needful; but to see children suffer for one another was magnanimity above all. Two little orphan boys, one about nine and the other five, called at the door of a rich widow of my acquaintance, and asked for food. The woman had consumed all her bread at breakfast but a small piece, and giving this to the eldest, she said, “You must divide this with your little brother; I have no more.” She looked after them unperceived, and saw them stop, when the eldest said, “Here, Johnny, you are littler than I, and cannot bear the hunger so well, and you shall have it all.” They were both houseless orphans and starving with hunger.

I found here, at Newport, misery without a mask; the door and window of the kind Mrs. Arthur wore a spectacle of distress indescribable; naked, cold, and dying, standing like petrified statues at the window, or imploring, for God’s sake, a little food, till I almost wished that I might flee into the wilderness, far, far from the abode of any living creature.

Mrs. Arthur said, “I have one case to place before you, and will leave all the rest to your own discretion. I have fed a little boy, once a day, whose parents and brothers and sisters are dead, with the exception of one little sister. The boy is seven years old, the sister five.   [p. 121]   They were told they must make application to the poorhouse, at Castlebar, which was ten Irish miles away. One cold rainy day in November, this boy took his little sister by the hand, and faint with hunger, set off for Castlebar. And now, reader, if you will, follow these little bare-footed, bare-headed Connaught orphans through a muddy road of ten miles, in a rainy day, without food, and see them at the workhouse, late at night. The doors are closed — at last, they succeed in being heard. The girl is received, the boy sent away — no room for him — he made his way back to Newport the next morning, and had lived by crawling into any place he could at night, and once a day called at the door of my friend who fed him.

He soon came a fine-looking boy, with unusually matured judgment. The servant was paid for taking him into an outhouse and scrubbing him thoroughly, &c. A nice black suit of clothes was found in the American box, with a cap suited to his head; and when he was suitably prepared by the servant, the clothes were put on. He had not, probably, been washed for six months, and his clothes were indescribable; his skin, which had been kept from wind and sun, by the coat which had so long been gathering, was white, and so changed was he wholly and entirely, that I paused to look at him; and tied about his neck a pretty silk handkerchief, to finish the whole. “What do you say now, my boy; I shall burn your old clothes, and you never shall see them again?” A moment’s hesitation — he looked up, I supposed to thank me, when to my surprise, he burst into   [p. 122]   an agony of loud weeping. “What can be the matter?” He answered, “Now I shall sure die with the hunger; if they see me with nice clothes on, they will say I tell lies, that I have a mother that minds me; and lady, you won’t burn them old clothes,” (turning about to gather them up); and if I had not sternly commanded him to drop them, he would have clasped them close, as his best and dearest friends. In truth, this was a new development of mind I had never seen before, clinging with a firm grasp to a bundle of filthy, forbidding garments, as the only craft by which to save his life; choosing uncleanliness to decency, at an age too when all the young emotions of pride generally spring up in fondness for new and pretty garments. The silk handkerchief seemed almost to frighten him. Was it the principle of association, which older people experience when they cling to objects which have been their companions in trial, or those places where they have seen their dearest comforts depart? He would not have consented to have left those old clothes behind, but by a promise which he could hardly believe; that he should be fed every day through the winter. He was taken immediately to a school, where the children were fed once a day, and instructed for a penny a week; this penny, the teacher said, should not be exacted, as he had been clothed by me. I saw the boy through the winter, three months after his clothes were tidy and had not been torn, and he was improving.

His fears respecting the “hungry” were not groundless,   [p. 123]   no stranger would have believed that he needed charity, when decently clad.

From Newport I went to Achill Sound. Here was enough to excite the pity and energy of all such as possessed them. This wild dreary sea-coast at any time presents little except its salubrity of air, and grandeur of storms and tempests, tempered with the beauty of its varied clouds, when lighted by the sun, to make it the most inviting spot. But now the work of death was going on; and, notwithstanding the exertions of Mr. Savage, with the aid of the Central Committee in Dublin, and government relief beside, at times it seemed to mock all effort. Mr. Savage seemed to be in the position of the “ass colt” in scripture, “tied where two ways meet.” He had the island of Achill on one side across the Sound, and a vast bog and mountainous waste on the other, with scarcely an inhabitant for many a mile, (but the colony of Mr. Nangle,) which could subsist only but by charity. The groups which surrounded the house, from the dawn of day till dark, called forth the incessant labors of many hands, both male and female, to appease the pitiful requests multiplying around them. Oh! the scenes of that dreadful winter! Who shall depict them, and who that saw them can ever forget? I have looked out at the door of that house, and seen from three to five, six, and seven hundred hovering about the windows and in the corners, not one woman or child having a shoe upon their feet, or a covering upon the head, with ghastly, yes, ghostly countenances of hunger and despair, that   [p. 124]   mock all description. One fact among the many is recorded, which transpired a few weeks before related to me by Mrs. Savage, which had novelties peculiar to itself:—


Mrs. Savage saw standing at her door, among the crowd, while the relief was giving out, a feeble old woman, bare-footed, and her feet and legs swollen so that they assumed a transparency, which always indicated that death had begun its fatal ravages. She was nearly a hundred years of age; her becoming bearing and cleanly appearance, united with her age, caused Mrs. S. to inquire particularly who she was.

“Why are you here — do you belong in this parish! You are a stranger!” “I am, in troth, a stranger. My name is Sara, and I have now come into the parish to stop, in a little cabin, convenient to ye, and sure ye won’t refuse the poor owld body a bit of the relief?”

Abraham, her husband, was sitting upon a form, among the crowd, waiting an answer to Sara’s request.

They were fed, but Sara could not be restored. She often called, on days when the relief was not given out, and was once told that she was troublesome; she acknowledged it in the most simple manner, and in a few days ceased coming.

Not long after Abraham called to say that Sara was ill, and had been obliged to leave the cabin where she had been stopping, and he had made her a shelter under a bank, in the bog, by the strand. She was no longer   [p. 125]   able to walk about, and daily Abraham brought a little saucepan, suspended by a cord for a handle, to get the broth, which Mrs. S. provided for his beloved Sara. He said he “had made her as comfortable as his owld hands could, but the breath would soon be cowld in her, for she could scarcely lift the hand to raise the broth to the lip.” This bed was made in the bog, within a few yards of the sea, but sheltered from its spray by a bank, under which a narrow place had been dug by Abraham, which partly covered Sara. Heath was put down for her bed, and pieces of turf for her pillow; a wall of turf a few inches high extended round, making the shape of a bed, against the side of which was a fire of turf, made to warm the broth; and this was Abraham and Sara’s house. Abraham’s part was wholly unsheltered. For days she was nursed in the most careful manner; her cloak was wrapped snugly about her; the heath under her was smoothed, and her broth carried by Abraham; and he even washed her garments in the sea, “for Sara,” he said, “loves to be clean.” In spite of all his care the life of Sara was fast ebbing; and Mary A., who had seen before the bed where she lay, called one evening and found her much altered. She raised her up, gave her a little milk, which she could scarcely swallow. “I am departing,” she whispered, “and will ye give my blessin’ to the mistress?” She had come into the parish, she said, to die, because “she knew the mistress would put a coffin on her owld body.” While Mary was here, Abraham hastened to Mrs. S. to procure some necessaries for the night; then return-   [p. 126]   ing, he sat by the side of Sara till she died. He was sitting alone, by her lifeless body, when Mary returned in the morning. The mistress was soon there. She had ordered a coffin, and brought a sheet to wrap around her body, and a handkerchief to put about her head. Mary washed and combed her, and found in her pocket a piece of white soap, carefully wrapped in a linen rag, and a clean comb, which were all that appertained to Sara of this world’s wealth, except the miserable garments she had upon her. When the body was shrouded, it was placed in her coffin of white boards; a boatman and Mary lifted her into a boat; Abraham and the mistress seated themselves in it, and were rowed to land, and put the remains of Sara in an out-house belonging to Mr. Savage, for the night, and a comfortable place was provided for Abraham to lie down. Early in the morning Abraham was found sitting on the cart, which bore Sara from the boat, with his gray head leaning against the locked door, weeping. He had waited till all was still, and then crept to the spot which in-closed the remains of her he loved, to weep alone, in the stillness of night. Not one that saw him but wept too.

This simple-hearted man, like the patriarch whose name he bore, was a stranger and sojourner, like him he had come to mourn for Sara, and he had come too to ask a burial-place for his dead, though he could not, like him, offer a sum of money; he could not take his choice in the sepulchres; no field of Ephron, nor the trees within were made sure to him, but in a lone bog,   [p. 127]   where those who had died by famine and pestilence were buried, like dogs, unshrouded and uncoffined, he was grateful to find a place to bury his “dead out of his sight.” The corpse was borne away by a few boatmen across the channel; and Sara was conveyed to her long home. I saw Abraham early in December, 1847, and the bed which he made for Sara, on that bleak sea-shore. The turf wall was still unbroken; the smoke, where the fire had been made, had left its blackness; and a piece of turf, partly consumed, was lying by this hearth; the heath-bed had not been stirred, and I begged Mrs. S. to keep it from the inroad of cattle. A wall of stone should be built around that dwelling, and the traveler pointed to it, s a relic of the greatest interest. — A relic of Ireland’s woes!

It is said that Sara, in her father’s house, was “fair to look upon,” and enjoyed in plenty the good things of this life; and, says Mrs. S., “when first I saw her the sun was shining in full strength upon her marble face; and so swollen its wrinkles were smoothed; her countenance was mild, her manner modest and pleasing, and she was an object of much admiration. She lay in that lowly bed in storm and sunshine, by night and by day, till the “good God,” as she expressed it, “should plaise to take her away:” yet lowly as was her couch, lonely as was her wake, unostentatious as was her burial, few, in her condition, were honored with so good a one.

In the same vicinity was the bed of a little orphan girl, who had crept into a hole in the bank, and died one night, with no one to spread her heath-bed, or to   [p. 128]   close her eyes, or wash and fit her for the grave. She died unheeded, the dogs lacerated the body, gnawed the bones, and strewed them about the bog.


Abraham called one day in December, at the house of Mr. Savage, and sorrow and hunger had greatly changed his looks. His garments which had been kept tidy by Sara, were now going to decay. He stood silently at the door, with a subdued look, and a little brown bag and staff in his hand. I saw him there, and among the throng marked his shades of sorrow, and inquired who he was. “It is Abraham, the old hands that made Sara’s bed,” was the answer.

Abraham knew and felt the change in himself, and seeking an opportunity, asked for a piece of soap, touching his collar, which Sara had always kept clean, saying, “I do not like the feel of it.” Food and a little money were given him: he went away, and on his boggy path to his humble home he fell down and broke his arm; he lingered on a few days in destitution and pain, and the next that we heard of him, two men who were walking toward sunset on Sabbath day, met his daughter who had a shelter in the mountain, where she had kept her father, with Abraham upon her back, with his arms about her neck, a loathsome corpse, which she had kept in her cabin for days, and was going alone with a spade in her hand the distance of an Irish mile, to bury him. They took the corpse and accompanied her, and put him into the ground as he was, neither with   [p. 129]   a coffin nor by the side of Sara whom he had loved and cherished so well.

Thus died Sara and Abraham, and thus they were buried, and let their epitaph be — “Lovely and pleasant in their lives, though in death they were divided.”


Let the reader’s mind be a little relieved by a subject different, though as painful in a moral sense as famine is in a natural one. I allude to the fearful, sinful use of all kinds of intoxicating drinks in Ireland in the time of the famine. Much noise has been made the last nine or ten years respecting the great temperance reform in that country. But who have been reformed? Travel the length and breadth of the island, even in the midst of desolation and death, and in how many families when a piece of flesh meat can be afforded upon the dinner-table, would the tea-kettle for hot whisky be wanting at the close of dinner? The more costly wines, too, were on the tables of the nobility, and not always wanting among the gentry. The clergy of all denominations, in that country, are sad examples to the flock. Father Mathew is praised by some of these Bible ministers, because he kept the “lower order” from fighting at fairs; but the very fact that the vulgar were reclaimed, was a stigma upon temperance in their enlightened opinions. Four years and four months’ residence in Ireland, changing from place to place, and meeting with many ministers of all denominations, not a solitary case do I recollect of finding a minister of the Established, Presbyterian,   [p. 130]   or Methodist church, who did not plead for the moderate use of this fatal poison. I met with one Baptist minister, one Unitarian, and a few priests, who abstained entirely.

The famine, if possible, urged many of the lovers of the “good creature,” to greater diligence in the practice to “keep themselves up,” as they said, in these dreadful times. They preached sermons on charity — they urged the people to greater-self-denial — they talked of the great sin of improvidence, of which Ireland is emphatically guilty; but few, very few, it is to be feared, touched one of these burdens so much as with one of their fingers. There were noble cases of hard labor, and even curtailing of expenses, by some of the clergy; even labor was protracted till it ended in death by some, but these were isolated cases indeed:

An able writer, who wrote the pamphlet on Irish Improvidence, placed the subject in the most fearful light, when he said, “Next to the absurdity of Cork and Limerick exporting cargoes of Irish grain for sale, and at the same time receiving cargoes of American grain to be given away at the cost of the English people, may be ranked the folly — if it may not properly be called by some worse name — of seeing hundreds dying for want of food, at the same time permitting the conversion of as much grain as would feed the whole of those dying of starvation, and many more, into a fiery liquid, which it is well known, even to the distillers themselves, never saved a single life or improved a single   [p. 131]   character, never prevented a single crime, or elevated the character of a single family by its use.” Reader, ponder this well. — Enough grain, converted into a poison for body and foul, as would have fed all that starving multitude; while the clergy were preaching, committees were in conclave, to stimulate to charity, and devise the most effectual methods to draw upon the purses of people abroad.

And what shall be said of the pitiful landlords, who were still drinking their wine, pouring their doleful complaints into government’s ears, that no rents were paid; and many saying, as one of these wine-bibbers did, that his lazy tenants would not work for pay, for he had offered that morning, some men work who were hungry, and would pay them at night, and they walked away without accepting it. “How much pay did you offer?” he was asked. “A pound of Indian meal,” (Indian meal was then a penny a pound.) “Would you, sir, work for that, and wait till night for the meal, when you were then suffering?” Much better try to procure it before night in some easier way.

But these afflicted landlords, the same writer remarks, when exporting to the continent vast quantities of grain, which their poor starving tenants had labored to procure, and were not allowed to eat a morsel of this food; but buy it from others or starve. Neither can it be doubted, nor should it be concealed, that not a few of these landlords, while their grain was selling at a good price abroad, shared the benefit of many an Indian meal donation, for horses, hogs, fowls, and servants. The   [p. 132]   guilty are left to make the application, none others are implicated.

I would not say that every man who takes a glass of spirits, as he says, moderately, is guilty of downright dishonesty, or not to be trusted with the property of others; but it may properly be said, that such are in the path to the hotbed where every evil work is cultivated; and, therefore, more to be scrupled than those who from conscience would “cut off a right arm or pluck out a right eye,” rather than give offense.

Had all the professed Christians in Ireland entirely excluded alchololic drinks from their tables and houses, thousands might now be living who have been starved.

I was once in a miserable part of the country, where death was doing a fearful work, and was stopping in a house ranked among the respectables, when a company of ministers, who had been attending a public meeting in the town, were assembled for dinner. The dinner was what is generally provided for ministers — the richest and best. Wine and brandy were accompaniments. When these heralds of salvation heard a word of remonstrance, they put on the religious cant, and cited me immediately and solemnly the “Marriage of Cana,” and the tribunal of Timothy’s stomach for my doom; declaring that God sanctioned, yea required it; and ratified it by taking in moderation what their conscience told them was duty. They were pointed directly to the suffering of the people for bread, and the great difficulty of procuring coffins, all this did not move their brandy-seared hearts. When in an hour after dinner the tea   [p. 133]   was served, as is the custom in Ireland, one of the daughters of the family passing a window, looked down upon the pavement and saw a corpse with a blanket spread over it, lying upon the walk beneath the window. It was a mother and infant, dead, and a daughter of sixteen had brought and laid her there, hoping to induce the people to put her in a coffin; and as if she had been listening to the conversation at the dinner of the want of coffins, she had placed her mother under the very window and eye, where these wine-bibbing ministers might apply the lesson. All was hushed, the blinds were immediately down, and a few sixpences were quite unostentatiously sent out to the poor girl, as a beginning, to procure a coffin. The lesson ended here.

And I would conclude this episode by saying, that at the door of professed Christians of the intelligent class, lies the sin of intemperance in that suffering country, and though some of them have preached and labored hard in those dark days, yet they have not done what they could, and in this they should not be commended; but rebuked most faithfully.

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