The Project Gutenberg EBook of Just Irish, by Charles Battell Loomis

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Title: Just Irish

Author: Charles Battell Loomis

Release Date: August 9, 2012 [EBook #40465]

Language: English


Produced by Greg Bergquist, Matthew Wheaton and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


    [Illustration: LISMORE CASTLE]



    _Author of "Cheerful Americans," "A Bath in an English Tub," "A
    Holiday Touch," "The Knack of It," "Little Maude's Mamma," Etc.,

    _With many illustrations from photographs by the Author._


    _Copyright 1909 and 1910 by Richard G. Badger_
    _All rights reserved_

    _The Gorham Press, Boston_

    Dedicated to my first friends in Ireland, the Todds of 'Derry


The first edition of this book was printed before I had thought to
write a preface.

Now, my readers may not care for a preface, but as a writer I do not
feel that a book is completed until the author has said a word or two.

You don't hand a man a glass of wine or even an innocuous apple in
silence: you say, "Here's looking at you," or, "Have an apple?" and
the recipient says, "Thanks, I don't care if I do," or, "Thanks, I
don't eat apples." In either case you have done what you expected of
yourself, and that, let me tell you, is no small satisfaction.

So now that my publisher has thought it worth while to get out an
illustrated edition of this unpretentious record of pleasant (though
rainy) days in Ireland, it is my pleasure to say to all who may be
about to pick it up, "Don't be afraid of it--it won't hurt you. It was
written by a Protestant, but while he was in Ireland his only thought
was that God was good to give him such a pleasant time and to make
people so well disposed toward him. It was written by a man without a
drop of Irish blood in his veins (as far as he knows), but he felt
that he was among his brothers in race, because their ideas so chimed
in with his, and every one made him so comfortable."

This is a good opportunity to thank those of Irish birth or extraction
who in their papers and magazines said such nice things about the

The pictures, all snap shots, were taken by me, and even the Irish
atmosphere was friendly to my purpose, and gave me considerable
success. A pleasanter five weeks of travel I never had, and if you who
read this have never visited Ireland, don't get too old before doing
so. And if you do visit it give yourself up to it, and you'll have a
good time.

Here's the book--like it if you can, drop it if you don't. Never waste
time over a book that is not meant for you.

                              CHARLES BATTELL LOOMIS.


  Lismore Castle
  A Real Irish Bull
  Government Cottage, Rent a Shilling a Week
  Horses in County Kerry
  To the Men of '98
  Prosperity in Limerick
  Mackerel Seller, Bundoran, Donegal
  In Donegal
  The Bungalow of Seumas McManus
  A Sky Line at Bundoran
  The Rocks at Bundoran on the West Coast
  Geese in Galway
  Dublin Bay
  A Dublin Ice Cart
  O'Connell's Monument, Dublin
  On the Road to Lismore, in a Rain Storm
  Milk Wagon, Mallow
  Green Coat Hospital, Cork
  A Bit of Killarney
  Street in Youghal
  Thatched Cottage, Wicklow
  Wicklow Peasants
  Lost in his Lunch, Mallow, County Kerry
  A Side Street, Wexford
  Picturesque Galway
  A String of Fishermen, Galway
  Waiting for the Circus, Galway
  Gaelic Sign, Donegal
  Gone to America


     _I. A Taste of Irish Hospitality_
    _II. Around about Lough Swilly_
   _III. A Joyful Day in Donegal_
    _IV. The Dull Gray Skies of Ireland_
     _V. The Joys of Third-Class Travel_
    _VI. A Few Irish Stories_
   _VII. Snapping and Tipping_
  _VIII. Random Remarks on Things Corkonian_
    _IX. A Visit to Mount Mellaray_
     _X. A Dinner I Didn't Have_
    _XI. What Ireland Wants_
   _XII. A Hunt for Irish Fairies_
  _XIII. In Galway with a Camera_
   _XIV. The New Life in Ireland_



_A Taste of Irish Hospitality_

"Irish hospitality." I have often heard the term used, but I did not
suppose that I should get such convincing evidence of it within twelve
hours of my arrival at this northern port.

This is to be a straightforward relation of what happened to some half
dozen Americans, strangers to each other, a week ago, and strangers to
all Ireland upon arrival.

In details it is somewhat unusual, but in spirit I am sure it is
characteristic of what might have befallen good Americans in any one
of the four provinces.

To be dumped into the tender that came down the Foyle to meet the
Caledonia at Moville at the chilly hour of two in the morning seemed
at the time a hardship. We had wanted to see the green hills of old
Ireland and here were blackness and bleakness and crowded humanity.

But the loading process was long drawn out, and when at last we began
our ascent of the Foyle there were indubitable symptoms of morning in
the eastern skies, and we saw that our entrance into the tender was
like the entrance of early ones into a theater before the lights are
turned up. After a while the curtain is lifted and the scenic glories
are revealed to eyes that have developed a proper amount of eagerness
and receptivity.

With the first steps of day a young Irishman returning to his native
land mounted a seat and recited an apostrophe, "The top of the mornin'
to ye," and then a mist lifting suddenly, Ireland, dewily green and
soft and fair, lay revealed before our appreciative eyes.

[Illustration: A REAL IRISH BULL]

The sun, when he really began his morning brushwork, painted the trees
and grasses in more vivid greens, but there was a suggestiveness of
early spring in the first soft tones that was fully valued by eyes
that had been used to leaden skies for more than half the days of the

But I am no poet to paint landscapes on paper, so we will consider
ourselves landed at Londonderry and furnished with a few hours of
necessary sleep, and anxious to begin our adventures.

Our party consisted of a half dozen whose itineraries were to run in
parallels for a time. There were four ladies and two of us were men.
One of the men had to come to Ireland on business, and he found he had
awaiting him an invitation to lunch that day with a country gentleman
with whom he had corresponded on business matters.

As the one least strange to the country this American had tendered his
good offices, American fashion, to the ladies who would be traveling
without male companions after we left them, and so he dispatched a
messenger with a note to the effect that he must regretfully decline,
and stating his reasons for so doing.

While we were lunching at the hotel a return note came to him, this
time from the good man's wife, cordially asking that we all come and
have afternoon tea.

Here was a chance to see an Irish household that was hailed with
delight by all, a delight that was not unappreciative of the warmth of
the invitation.

We would go to the pleasant country house, but--our trunks had not
come. Would our traveler's togs worthily represent our country?

But our friend said, "Don't let clothes stand between us and this
thing. I'm sure this lady will be glad to welcome us as Americans, and
for my part I never reflect credit on my tailor, and people never
clamor for his address when they see me. As for you ladies, I'd think
any tea of mine honored by such fetching gowns, if that's the proper
term. I'm going to write her that we're coming just as we are."

So he sent another messenger out into the country--telephones seem as
scarce as snakes here--saying, well, he used a good assortment of
words and arranged them worthily.

The two young girls of the party clamored for jaunting cars, and so
two were ordered for four o'clock. One of them had red cushions and
was as glittering in its glass and gold as a circus wagon.

My friend, on ordering this one, said to the "jarvey" (by the way,
they call them drivers here in this part of Ireland, but jarvey has
always seemed so delightfully Irish that I prefer to stick to it),
"Get another car as nice as this."

"Sure, there's none as nice as this," said he, pride forcing the
confession, "but I'll get a good one."

It was a beautiful day except for the extreme heat--and yet they say
it always rains in Ireland. I felt that it must be exceptional, and
said to the waiter at lunch, "I suppose it's unusual to have such
weather as this?" "Sure, every day is like this," said he with
patriotic mendacity.

When the jaunty jaunting cars drew up a little before four o'clock
there were portentous black clouds in the sky, but the jarvies assured
us that they were there more for looks than anything else--that there
might be a matter of a spit or two, but that we'd have a fine

So we mounted the sides of the cars, and holding on to the polished
rails, as we had been told was the proper fashion, we set out bravely
on our way, little wotting what a wetting all Ireland was soon to

In a half hour or so we would be walking over Irish lawns and
admiring Irish laces as they decked the forms of gaily clad femininity
gathered for sociability and tea alongside the rhododendrons and
fuchsia bushes.


A few drops of rain fell, but the wind was south and we seemed to be
going east.

"Isn't this gay?" called the young girls, as we jiggled along in
holiday mood. Suddenly a silver bolt of jagged lightning cleft the sky
to the south, and almost instantaneously a peal of thunder that
sounded as if it had been born and bred on Connecticut hills, so loud
was it, told us that the people living to the south of us were going
to get wet.

And then we came to a bend in the road and turned south.

"Ah, 'twill be nothin'," said our driver, in answer to a question.

To give up what one has undertaken is a poor way of playing a game and
we were all for going on. "It's not so far," said the jarvey, but
this was a sort of truth that depended on what he was comparing the
distance with. It was not so far as Dublin, for instance, but 'twas
far enough as the event proved.

We put on our cravenettes, hoisted what umbrellas we had, and gave the
blankets an extra tucking in and after that--the deluge!

Bang, kerrassh! A bolt from heaven followed by a bolt from each horse.
A sort of echo as it were. The drivers reined them in and ours started
to seek shelter under a tree.

As I sometimes read the newspapers when at home I told our driver to
keep in the open.

The lightning now became more and more frequent and was so close that
we let go our hold on the brass rails, preferring to pitch out rather
than act as conductor on a jaunting car--such things as conductors
being unknown anyway.

It was terrifying, and to add to my discomfort I found I was sitting
in a pool of water, the rain having an Irish insinuatingness about it
that was irresistible. And now, just to show us what could be gotten
up on short notice for American visitors, it began to hail and the
wind blew it in long, white, slanting, winter-like lines across the
air and into our faces, and the roads having become little brooks, the
horses had to be urged to the driver's utmost of threats and cajolery.

I thought of that waiter who had told me it was always sunny in
Ireland and I wished him out in the pelting storm.

"I've not seen the like in twinty yairs, sirr," said the driver.

To go back was to get the storm in fuller fury, for the wind had
shifted. To go ahead was to arrive like drowned rats, but we were
anxious for shelter, and still the driver said, "It's not far," and so
we went on. I have been in many places in all sorts of weathers, but
it is years since I've been out in such a storm. The hailstones were
not as large as hen's eggs, but they were as large as French peas.

There was not a dry stitch on us and the red of the gay cushion went
through to my skin. My cravenette treacherously refused to let the
water depart from me, but shed it on the wrong side--which may be an
Irish bull, for all I know.

"Here we are now, sirr," said our driver, as he turned in at a
beautiful driveway. A winding drive of a minute or two and we arrived
like wet hens--all of us--at the house of these people who had never
heard of us until that day.

But the warmth of the welcome from our host and hostess who came out
to the door to greet us made us not only glad we had come, but even
glad we were wet.

Had there been the least stiffness we should have wished the storm far
enough (and indeed all Ireland did wish it, for it turned out to be
the most tremendous thunder and hailstorm in a score or more of
years), but our new found friends frankly laughed with us at our funny
appearance, and we were hurried off to various rooms to change our

Our protestations of regret at putting them to trouble were met with
protestations of delight at being able to serve us, and as my host
brought me some union garments that had been made for a man of three
times my size and I wrapped them round and round me until they were
giddy, I was glad I had not turned back to spend a damp afternoon in a
lonely hotel.

The rest of the party fared well in getting clothes that became them,
but when I was fully dressed I looked like Francis Wilson in Erminie.
As I turned up my sleeves and triple turned up my trousers I knew I
would be good for a laugh in any theater in Christendom.

There was but one thing to do--go down and look unconscious of my
misfit appearance. It would never do to stay in my room through a
mistaken sense of personal dignity.

So I went down, and meeting host and hostess and my compatriots, a
laugh went up that would have broken the ice in a Pittsburgh
millionaire's drawing room.

And then we were taken to the tearoom and in a few minutes I forgot
that I was no longer the glass of fashion and the mold of form, for I
was made to feel that I was just a friend who had dropped in (or,
perhaps, dripped in would be better), and when a couple of hours later
we drove home through the soft Irish verdure, doubly green after its
rough but invigorating bath, we all felt that Irish hospitality was no
mere traveler's tale, but a thing that had intensity and not a little
emotion in it.



_Around about Lough Swilly_

To a tired New Yorker who has sixteen days at his disposal I would
recommend a day on Lough Swilly at Rathmullan. It is separated from
the island of Manhattan by little else than the Atlantic, and every
one knows that a sea voyage is good for a wearied man.

Take a boat for Londonderry from the foot of Twenty-fourth Street, and
then for the mere cost of a shilling (if you travel third class, and
that is the way to fall in with characters) you will be railroaded and
ferried to Rathmullan, where you'll find as clean an inn and as
faithful service as heart could wish. And such scenery!

And every one will be glad to see you, because you are from America.
("Welcome from the other side," and a hearty hand grip from leathery

Of course a day is a short time in which to get the full benefit of
the peaceful atmosphere of the place and perhaps you will stay on as
we are doing for several days.

Then you can return for a shilling to 'Derry, take Saturday's steamer
to the foot of Twenty-fourth Street, New York, and you'll soon be
walking the streets of the metropolis filled with pleasant memories of
one of nature's beauty spots.

Lough Swilly is an arm of the Atlantic and its waters are salt. At
Rathmullan the lough is surrounded by lofty green hills, mostly
treeless, gently sloping to the water, and for the better part of the
time softened in tone by an Indian summer haze indescribably

We came down according to the program I have outlined, and traveled
third class for the reason I have stated, but as the only other
occupant of the coach was a lone "widow woman" we were unable to get
any characteristic conversation. In fact, up here in Donegal, as far
as I have observed, the natives talk more like the Scotch than they do
like the Irish made known to us by certain actors. When I get south I
expect to hear rich brogues, but here the burr is Scotch.

We were ferried from Fahan in a side-wheel steamer, and soon the
painfully neat-looking white houses of Rathmullan lay before us and we
disembarked, and carrying our own grips unmolested (a sure sign of an
unusual place) we made our way up the stone pier between restless
steers who were waiting for us to get out of the way so that they
could go to the slaughter house. There had been a cattle fair that day
in Rathmullan.

We knew little of the town save what Stephen Gwynn says of it in his
delightful "Highways and Byways in Donegal and Antrim."

There is a most picturesque and ivy-grown ruin of an abbey dating
back to the fifteenth century. It is much more beautiful than

We bent our steps to the plain-looking little inn, and entering the
taproom we asked for lodgings for the night. The inn is kept by a
widow who still bears trace of a beauty that must have been
transcendent in her girlhood. As it is, she could serve as a model to
some artist for an allegorical painting representing "Sorrowful
Ireland"; the arched eyebrows, the melting eyes, the long, classic
nose, and the grieving mouth--very Irish and very lovely.

We have seen many pretty women here in Ireland, but in her day this
inn keeper must have been the peer of any.

Her husband kept the inn formerly, but as an Irishman told me, "He
died suddenly. Throuble with the head," said he, tapping his own.
"'Twas heart disease, I think." This is the first Irish bull I've

[Illustration: TO THE MEN OF
               '98 OLIVER SHEPHARD, SCULPTOR]

My companion thought he would like a room fronting Lough Swilly and so
did I.

The maid who had taken charge of us said that that wouldn't be
possible, as the only available rooms having such an outlook had been
engaged by wire.

"But," said my insistent friend, who is the type of American who gets
what he wants by smiles if possible, but who certainly gets it, "they
won't be here to-day, will they?"

"No, not to-day; to-morrow."

"Well, let us have the rooms for to-night."

"But, will ye give them up when they come?" said she, still

"Surely. Depend upon it. Count on us to vamoose just as soon as you
give the word."

"But these people come every year," said she tenaciously.

"I don't wonder at it," said O'Donnell. (My friend is of Irish
descent.) "I would, too, if I didn't live so far away. Don't you
worry, honey. We'll just go out like little lambs as soon as you give
the word."

There was something delightfully quaint in the notion that because
people were coming to the rooms to-morrow night we ought not to have
them to-night--the girl was perfectly sincere. She evidently knew the
lure of sunrise on the mountains and the lake and feared her ability
to oust us once we were ensconced.

"We're passing on to-morrow and will be _just_ as _careful_ of the
rooms," said O'Donnell in the tone of one who talks to a child, and
the pretty maid succumbed, and our valises were deposited in the
coveted rooms.

But just as she left us she said once more, "You'll go when they come,
won't you?"

"We sure will," said O'Donnell, with a solemnity that carried
conviction with it. "Now about dinner," said he; "we'd like dinner at
six thirty. It's now four."

"We haven't begun to serve dinners at night yet," said the maid. The
summer season had evidently not begun.

"Oh, that's too bad," said O'Donnell, "but you'll make an exception in
our case now, won't you?"

She thought a minute, and O'Donnell smiled on her.

I can imagine ice banks melting under that smile.

"I suppose we could give you hot roast chicken," said she.

"Why, of course you could. Roast chicken is just what you _could_ give
us, and potatoes with their jackets on----"

"And soup," said the girl, evidently excited over the prospect.

"Yes, we'll leave the rest to you."

So we went out and walked through the lovely countryside, noting that
in Ireland fuchsias grow to the proportions of our lilac bushes and
are loaded with the pretty red flowers.

We were unable to name most of the trees we saw (but that sometimes
happens in America), yet we were both sure we had not seen their like
at home. And the freshness of them all, the brilliant quality of their
green, fulfilled all expectations.

We took a long walk and arrived at the inn with appetites sharpened.

Friends in America had told me that I'd not fare very well in Ireland
except in the large towns. I would like to ask at what small
hotel--New York or Chicago or Philadelphia--I would get as well cooked
or as well served a dinner as was brought to me in Londonderry for
three shillings and sixpence.

If one is looking for Waldorf magnificence and French disguises he'll
not find them here unless it is at Dublin, but if one is blessed with
a good appetite and is willing to put up with plain cooking I fancy he
will do better here than at like hotels at home.


The Irish are such good cooks that we in the east (of America) have
been employing them for two generations. Let us not forget that.

We entered the dining-room and had an appetizing soup and then the
Irish potatoes (oh, such Irish potatoes!) and anything tenderer or
better cooked than the chicken it would have been hard to find. We
looked at each other and decided that we would not go on to Port Salon
next day, but would spend another night in Rathmullan, and we said so
to the maid.

"But you'll take other rooms?" said she, alarmed at once.

"Oh, yes, honey, we'll go anywhere you put us."

Now you know we had an itinerary, and to stay longer at Rathmullan was
to cut it short somewhere else, but the stillness and calm, the purple
shadows on the mountains and the lake (Lough Swilly means Lake of
Shadows), had us gripped and we were content to stay and make the
most of it.

A simple, golden rule sort of people the inhabitants are. We came on a
man clipping hawthorn bushes and asked him how far it was to a certain
point and whether we could "car" it there.

He told us we could and then he said, "Were ye thinkin' of hirin' a
car, sir?"

"Yes," said O'Donnell.

"I have one," said he.

"Well," said O'Donnell, "we've talked to the landlady about hiring

"Ah, yes," said the man. "Sure I don't want ye to take mine if she
expects to rint hers."

Such altruism!

We had comfortable beds in the rooms that had been engaged by wire
"for to-morrow," and indeed they were so comfortable that we never saw
the sunrise at all. But the view from our windows was worth the price
of the rooms and that was--listen!--two shillings and sixpence

Wheat porridge and fresh eggs (oh, so fresh!) and yellow cream and
graham bread and jam for breakfast. What more do you want?

Oh, yes, I know your kind, my dear sir.

"What! no steak? No chops, and fried ham and buckwheat cakes and
oranges and grapefruit and hot rolls? What sort of a hotel is this
for an American? You tell the landlady that they don't know how to run
hotels in this country. You tell her to come to God's country, that's
what. Then she'll learn how."

Yes, then she'll learn how to set out ten or twelve dinkey little
saucers of peas and corn and beans and turnips and rice, all tasting

But Mr. O'Donnell and I will continue to like the simplicity of this

We astonished the easy-going natives by climbing the mountain on Inch
Island in the morning for the magnificent view and going fishing for
young cod in the afternoon. The young fellow who took us out had the
somewhat Chinese name of Toye, but he was Irish.

When it came time to settle for the use of the boat and his services
for a matter of two hours he wanted to leave it with us.

"No, sir," said O'Donnell. "Your Uncle Dudley doesn't do business that
way," with one of his beaming smiles.

"Oh, I don't know what to charge, sir, pay me what's right."

"That's just it. I don't know what's right."

"Well, ye were not out so long. Is two shillin's apiece right?"

"Very good, indeed, and here's sixpence extra for you," said
O'Donnell, paying him.

"Oh, thank you, sir," said the boy, evidently thinking the tip far too

But as we had caught forty-eight fish in the hour we were at the
fishing grounds we felt that it was worth it. Sixpence--and to be
sincerely thanked for it! There are those who are not money grubbers.


They use a tackle here that they call "chop sticks"--two pieces of
bamboo fastened at right angles, from which depend the gut and hooks,
while back of them is the heavy sinker. The sinker rests on the bottom
and the ugly red "lugs" (bait) play around in the water until they are
gulped by the voracious coddlings, or cod. We had small hooks and
caught only the youngsters.

Time after time we threw in our lines, got "two strikes" at once and
pulled in two cod as fast as we could pull in the line.

No sport in the way of fight on the part of the party of the second
part, but not a little excitement in thus hauling in toothsome food.

We had them for supper and I tell you, O tired business man, if you
want to know how good fish can taste, come over here and go
a-fishin'. Like us you will stay on and on.

Oh, yes, about those other people. No, we didn't get out of our rooms,
because the landlady had relatives in America and so she made other
arrangements for her expected guests and we stayed on and overlooked
Lough Swilly.

Americans are popular over here. But I hope they won't spoil these
simple folk with either excessive tipping or excessive grumbling.


_A Joyful Day in Donegal_

Holland is noted the world over for its neatness. The Dutch housewives
spend a good part of each morning in scrubbing the sidewalks in front
of their houses. Philadelphia is also a clean town and there you will
see house-maids out scrubbing the front stoops and the brick
pavements. Now a good part of the inhabitants of Donegal emigrate to
Philadelphia. (We in America all know the song, "For I'm Off to
Philadelphia in the Morning.") Well, the third neatest place that
occurs to me is Rathmullan, in Lough Swilly, in County Donegal.

Whether Philadelphia is neat because of the Irish or the Irish of
Donegal go to Philadelphia because it is neat, I leave to others to

All my life I've read and have been told that the north of Ireland was
very different from the south; that the people were better off and
more thrifty, but I did not expect to see such scrupulous neatness.
The houses are mostly white and severely plain in line, built of stone
faced with plaster, sometimes smooth and sometimes rough finished, but
always in apple-pie order (unless they were on parade the three days I
was there). Even the alleys are sweet and clean, and where the people
keep their pigs is a mystery to me. I snapped one, but he was being
driven hither and thither after the manner of Irish pigs, and may not
have lived in Rathmullan at all.

Here in the town of Donegal while the houses are not of Philadelphia
neatness, they show evidence of housewifely care, and if there is
abject poverty it is carefully concealed. (I have been a week in
Ireland and I have not seen a beggar or a drunken man, although I have
kept my eyes moving rapidly.)

[Illustration: IN DONEGAL]

How often must an emigrant who has elected to live in noisome
tenements in American cities long for the white cottages and the green
lanes and noble mountains and verdant valleys of Donegal!

Every hotel at which I have stopped so far has had hot and cold water
baths and I have only been to small towns.

I heard a bathing story from a vivacious Irish lady at an evening
gathering that may never have seen American printer's ink.

She said that in former times a lady stopping at a primitive hotel in
the west of Ireland asked for a bath. She was told by the maid that a
colonel was performing his ablutions in the room in which the bathing
pan was set.

"But he'll not be long, I'm thinkin', miss," said the maid.

This lady waited awhile in her room, and at last growing impatient,
she stepped out into the hall and found the maid with her eye to the
keyhole of the bathroom.

On hearing the lady's footstep she turned around quite unabashed and
said, "He'll be ready in a minute, miss. He's just after gettin' out
of the tub."

This story was told me in a drawing-room with many young people
present, so it must be true, but candor compels me to say that I have
observed nothing of the kind on this trip. There are no terrors like
those of a bath in an English tub of which I had occasion to speak
last year.

Speaking of anecdotes, I heard one that concerned the father of the
man who showed us through the lovely ruins of McSwiney's castle at
Rathmullan. Son, father, and grandfather have all in their turn acted
as caretakers of the ruins, and proud enough is the son of his

But it is of the father that the story goes.

The wife of an English admiral, whose family were in the habit of
being buried in the graveyard adjoining the abbey whenever they died,
departed this life, and to "Jimmy" fell the task of digging her grave.

Meeting the admiral some two weeks later he said, "It'll be ten
shillings for yon grave."

"Is it ten shillings, man?" said the admiral. "Why that's
extortionate. I'll pay five shillings and that's a shilling more than
usual, but I'll not pay ten shillings."

"Ah, well," said Jimmy, composedly, "if ye'll not pay ten shillings
then I'll dig her up again." And the admiral, knowing Jimmy to be a
man of his word, paid him what does not look to be an exorbitant

Among the most impressive ruins in the world are those of the Grianan
(or summer palace) of Aileach on Elagh mountain. Here is a circular
fort of rocks some three hundred feet in circumference that antedates
Christ's nativity by from two thousand to three thousand years. It is
supposed to have been a temple of the sun worshippers and occupies a
magnificent and awesome position from which to see either the arrival
or the departure of the sun god, for the half of County Donegal lies
north, south, east, and west at your feet. Such an extended view is
seldom vouchsafed to the dwellers within towns and I don't wonder that
the sun worshippers built there a temple to their deity.

There it still stands, its walls eighteen feet high and twelve feet
thick. It has been somewhat restored by Dr. Bernard, of Derry, but
does not seem to vie with the Giant's Causeway as an attraction to
visitors. There were only three persons there when we went up, but
there is a holy well just outside of it and from the number of
bandages fluttering in the wind there I imagine that a good many
maimed people manage to scale the steep ascent.

I said that Elagh mountain afforded a fine view for the dwellers
within towns. It is only six miles by car and a mile by foot (I
suppose seven miles in any manner would cover it) from Derry.

By the way, for ease and comfort to a naturally lazy man, commend me
to a jaunting car. The cushioned top with which they cover the "well"
that lies between the sidewise seats is an admirable place on which to
"slop over" and loll on from the seat, and so far from being an
insecure perch, it is just as safe as a dog cart or a buggy. And the
motion is pleasantly stimulating to the system. The well-built,
vigorous, well-fed cob trots with the regularity of a metronome or a
London cab horse, reeling off mile after mile. We did our twelve miles
to and from Elagh mountain in less than two hours and at a cost of
three shillings apiece, exclusive of the sixpenny tip. They don't do
those things as cheap in New York or Chicago.

At Donegal my friend had to see a solicitor on business and after it
was over he came to me and said that the solicitor would like to take
us sailing down Donegal Bay. I was delighted to go, but I wondered
whether we would walk down to the bay or ride there. I knew that it
was several miles out, for I had seen it across the wet sands that
stretch from the town's center seaward.

My uncertainty was soon dispelled, for two minutes' walk brought us to
where the bare sands had been a few hours before, and lo, Donegal Bay
had come to us and the solicitor's boat was riding on the water
waiting to be off. A tide is a handy thing to have about.

As one leaves the inlet and looks back he gets a picture that might
have been composed by an exceedingly successful landscape gardener.
The trim little town showing a bit of the ruins of Donegal castle and
one graceful church spire, wooded hills running up from the town on
either side; back of all this hills of greater magnitude, destitute
of trees, and then, towering up in the distance, the great, gaunt
Barnesmore that forms part of a heaven-kissing train.

We sailed well out into the bay with favoring winds, and had most
noble views of purple mountains on every side, but when we turned to
go back the wind made off to sea, laughing at us, and we came back
laggingly, but in plenty of time for a cozy supper in the solicitor's
home and an all evening chat with him.

We had never met until that day, but his welcome was as hearty as if
he had been anxiously awaiting our coming.

As I got off the train at Donegal a heavy hand clapped me on the
shoulder, and, turning, I saw Seumas McManus, whose Irish stories are
so well known in America.

He lives at Mount Charles, a village lying three Irish miles from
Donegal, and nothing would do but my friend and I must have dinner
with him.

We accepted with pleasure, and next day walked up there, meeting more
pretty girls returning from mass than it seemed right for two to meet
when there were so many people in the world who seldom see a pretty
face. But we tried to bear our good fortune meekly and strode on,
quite conscious in the warm sun that an Irish mile has an English mile
beaten by many yards. That ought to be cause for satisfaction to any

McManus has a bungalow on top of Mount Charles, and at his feet lie
seven counties. They have a way of throwing counties at your feet in
this part of Ireland that makes the view superb. The furthermost land
that is his to look at on a clear day lies a hundred miles to the

Such a view ought to stimulate a man to noble thoughts, and I was not
surprised to learn that McManus is a member of the Sinn Fein (Shinn
Fane) Society (it means, "Ourselves Alone"), what one might call
bloodless revolutionists, although it comprises much of the best blood
and the youngest blood in Ireland.


McManus is an ardent believer in a glorious future for Ireland when
she shall have shaken off the shackles that bind her, and as a good
American, I wrote in his guest book, "May Ireland come to her own
before I die."


_The Dull Gray Skies of Ireland_

I am coming more and more to believe that we have better weather in
America than we give the poor country credit for. What passes for good
weather here would make a poor substitute for the American article. I
will not deny that it is soft and insinuating, but it is also not to
be depended upon. I went out to climb a wild-looking mountain near
Bundoran, on the northwest coast. To my inexperienced eye the day
looked promising--that is promising rain--but the driver, of whom I
had ordered a car to take me to the base of the mountain, said there'd
be no rain. All those ugly clouds hovering over the summit of it were
merely reminders that there was such a thing as rain, and so we

[Illustration: A SKY LINE AT BUNDORAN]

And here let me make a few remarks about Irish weather in general. You
are out walking in a fine "mizzle," that penetrates ordinary cloth
with the utmost ease, and you meet a countryman to whom you observe
"Not very pleasant." "Oh, it's a bit soft, but it's pleasant enough."
What a blessing it is to be easily satisfied.

You strike a day without sun and positively chilly, and the natives
assure you it is fine, that they had awful weather last week, but
that, according to the barometer, the weather is going to be steady
for awhile. They have borrowed the barometer habit from the English,
and it really is a comfort when you're going for a long walk or drive
to see that it points to fair. "Fair to middling" would be better.

Well, my driver and I set out for the mountain, and on the way I asked
him the question I ask all of the peasants with whom I hold
conversation, "Would you like to go to America?"

"Sure I would. I'll not be stayin' here long. I've an aunt an' a
brother an' a cousin an' a sister an' an uncle beyant. There's no
chance here."

I wonder whether the reason why there is no chance is because the
Irishman is lacking in application. I fell in with a delightful man at
a little town in County Fermanagh. I wanted a little thing done to my
watch and I asked him how long it would take to do it.

He assured me that he was driven to death with work and was up till
late every night trying to get ahead, but that he would try to find
time to mend my watch some time before seven o'clock, when he
nominally closed. Then he followed me to the door of his shop and
began to ask me questions about America, which I was glad to answer,
as I had a half hour to kill before starting for some sight or other,
and I killed that half hour most agreeably with the little man's help.
He pointed out different passers by and told me their life histories.
And every once in a while he would say, "I've not had a day off for
nearly a year, not even bank holiday. Never a minute for anything but
work. I've an order now that's going to keep me busy, except for the
time I'll give to your watch, all the rest of the day. And dinner
eaten in my workshop to save time."

I told him I wished he wasn't so driven, but I knew how it was with a
man who did good work, and then I bade him good day and didn't go near
there until seven in the evening. I found him outside the shop
discussing the strike of the constabulary at Belfast with a neighbor.

"Awfully sorry, sir, but I've been so busy to-day that I've been
unable to finish that job. It'll not take over twenty minutes when I
get to it. Can you come in the morning?"

I told him I could, say about eight o'clock.

"Oh, dear no. We don't open the shops until nine."

"Very well, then, nine will do."

And having some more time that I wished to kill I entered into a
discussion with him and his neighbor as to the extent to which the
constabulary disaffection would spread, and it was eight o'clock when
I went back to my hotel.

Next morning I was at the shop at nine and he was just taking down the
shutters. Said he'd worked until ten the night before, but seemed
further behind than before. If I'd come up into his workroom he'd fix
my watch while I waited.

Up there he had some photographs to show me that he had taken a year
ago and had only just found time to develop, and we talked photography
for a matter of twenty minutes, and then he fixed my watch in a jiffy
when he got to work.


He's typical not only of Irishmen, but of Yankees, too--men who can
work fast if you seal their mouths.

I was sorry I had to journey on, because our talks had been pleasant
and it had never once entered his head that he was wasting that time
of which he had so little, although he dealt in watches.

But to return to my driver.

When we reached the base of the mountain he put the horse up in a
stone stable that belonged to a poor woman. Think of a poor woman
housing her cow in a stone stable, built to stand the wear and tear of

We had no sooner begun our climb of the hill or mountain than the rain
came down in earnest, and my shoes were soon wet through, but I
persevered, somewhat to the disappointment of the boy, who was better
used to being wet on his car than on foot. But when we reached the
top the view of all Donegal bay and the mountains beyond, and many
other bits of geography not half as beautiful on the map as they are
in nature, repaid me for my climb and wetting.

And when I said, "It's too bad it rained just as we got here," my
driver said, "It's always rainin' on the mountains," although when he
was getting me for a passenger he had assured me it wouldn't rain on
the mountain.

We made our way down through the wet, but still beautifully purple
heather, and just as we reached the level the rain stopped. It was as
if our feet upon the mountain had precipitated the rain.

But at the close of the drive I found a comfortable inn and a most
agreeable dinner of fresh caught fish, and that mutton that we never
seem to get in America, and I still felt that the climb was worth the

But the weather never ceases to astonish me. Dull gray skies at home
would depress me, but here I am thankful for dull gray skies if they
only stop leaking long enough to enable me to do my accomplished task
of walking or driving.

But real rain has no terrors for countryman or city man in Ireland. I
attended a concert at the exhibition in Dublin (and it would not have
been a tax on the imagination to pretend one was at Lunar Park in
Coney Island or at the French Exposition or the Pan-American). There
was the usual bandstand, and the Dublin populace to the extent of
several thousands were seated on little chairs listening to the
combined bands of H. M. Second Life Guards, the Eighty-seventh Royal
Irish Fusiliers (Faugh-a-Ballaghs) and the Forty-second Royal
Highlanders (the Black Watch).

Outside the circle of those in seats passed and repassed a slowly
promenading crowd made up of pretty Dublin girls and their escorts,
with mustaches as spindle-waxed as ever any Frenchman's, a sprinkling
of English, and the ever-present Americans, with their alert eyes, the
Americans straw-hatted, the English derbied, and the Irish, almost to
a man, wearing huge, soft green or gray-visored cloth caps.

Suddenly the rain began to fall.

I know at least two Americans who put for shelter, but the Irish
people present merely put up umbrellas and went on promenading and
sitting and listening to the music. Gay strains from "The Mikado"
(there were no Japanese present), somber umbrellas, colorful millinery
and drizzling rain. An American crowd would have made for the main
exhibition building, but I doubt if the Dubliners noticed that it was
raining. Their umbrellas went up under subconscious direction.

After the concert the crowds went home in the double-decker electric
trams, and every seat on the roof of every car was filled by the
holiday crowd, although the rain was still coming down in a
relentless fashion.

In the north they would have called it a bit soft. I know we felt like
mush when we arrived at our hotel.


_The Joys of Third-Class Travel_

In Ireland, if you wish to travel third class, it is well to get into
a carriage marked "non smoking." If there is no sign on it it is a
smoking compartment, quite probably, the custom here being often the
direct opposite of that in Great Britain.

If you are traveling with women in the party the second class is
advisable, but the third has this advantage--it saves you money that
you can spend on worthless trinkets that may be confiscated by our
customs house officers.

I have been ten days in the north of Ireland and I met my first
drunken man in a third-class carriage.

Will the W. C. T. U. kindly make a note of this? Allow me to repeat
for the benefit of those who took up the paper after I had begun--I
have been ten days in Ireland and have traveled afoot, acar, and on
train and tram through half a dozen northern counties and have been on
the outlook for picturesque sights, and I saw my first drunken man
yesterday afternoon--the afternoon of the tenth day.

He was in a third-class smoking compartment, and in my hurry to make
my train I stepped in without noticing the absence of the sign.

He was a very old and rather nice-looking, clean-shaven man, and his
instincts were for the most part of the kindliest, but he would have
irritated Charles Dickens exceedingly, for he was an inveterate
spitter, of wonderful aim, and, like the beautiful lady in the
vaudeville shows whose husband surrounds her with knives without once
touching her, I was surrounded but unharmed. When the old man saw my
straw hat a gleam of interest came into his dull eye, and he came
over and sat down right opposite me.

"Are ye a Yankee?" said he. I assured him that I was. "I thought so be
your hat, but you don't talk like a Yankee." So I handed him out a few
"by Goshes," which he failed to recognize and told me plainly that he
doubted my nationality. Except for my hat I was no Yankee. Now my hat
was made in New York, but I knew that this was a subtlety that would
pass him, so I again proclaimed my nationality, and he asked me with
great politeness if I objected to his smoking (keeping up his
fusillade all the time) and I with polite insincerity told him that I
didn't. For his intentions were of the kindliest. I believe he would
have stopped spitting if I had asked him to, but I hated to deprive so
old a man of so quiet a pleasure.

The talk now turned to the condition of Ireland, and he told me in his
maudlin, thickly articulated way that Ireland was on the eve of a
great industrial revival. As I had repeatedly heard this from the lips
of perfectly sober people I believed it. I told him that he would live
to see a more prosperous Ireland.

[Illustration: GEESE IN GALWAY]

This he refused to believe and once more asked me if I was as American
as my hat. I assured him that perhaps I was even more so and that his
grandchildren would surely live to see Triumphant Ireland. This he
accepted gladly, and coming to his place of departure, bade me kindly
farewell, and stumbled over his own feet out of the compartment. And I
immediately changed to one where smoking was not allowed.

It was on the same journey that I stopped at a place called Omagh, and
while waiting for a connection we were at the station some time. I was
reading, but suddenly became conscious that some young people were
having a very happy time, for peal after peal of laughter rang
through the station. After awhile I looked up and found that I was the
cause of all this joy on the part of young Ireland. There were three
or four girls absolutely absorbed in me and my appearance. I supposed
it was again the American hat, but suddenly one of the girls "pulled a
face" that I recognized as a caricature of my own none too merry
countenance, and the group went off into new peals of merriment.

"How pleasant a thing it is," thought I, "that by the mere exhibition
of the face nature gave me in America I can amuse perfect strangers in
a far-off land," and I smiled benignantly at the young women, which
had the effect of nearly sending them into hysterics.

Life was a little darker for them after the train pulled out, but I
could not stay in Omagh for the mere purpose of exciting their
risibles by the exposition of my gloomy features.

Everywhere I go I am a marked man. I feared for a time that there was
something the matter with my appearance, but at Enniskillen I fell in
with a young locomotive engineer from California, and he told me that
he too aroused attention wherever he went, and that in Cork youngsters
followed him shouting "Yankee!" Fancy a "Yankee" from California!

At Enniskillen I went for a walk with this young engine driver and we
passed two pretty young girls, of whom he inquired the way to the
park. It seems that the young women were on their way there themselves
and they very obligingly showed us how to go. It occurred to the
gallant young Californian that such an exhibition of kindliness was
worth rewarding, and he asked the ladies if they did not care to
stroll through the park. They, having nothing else to do and the
evening being fine, consented, and we made a merry quartette.

I have been somewhat disappointed in the Irishman as a wit in my
actual contact with him on his native heath, but these girls showed
that wit was still to be found. They were very quick at decorous
repartee, and although my San Francisco friend neglected to introduce
me to them (possibly because he did not know their names), I paid a
tribute to their gifts of conversation.

Nor should it be imagined for a moment that they were of that
sisterhood so deservedly despised by that estimable and never to be
too well thought of Mrs. Grundy--they were simply working girls who
were out for an evening stroll and who saw in a chance conversation
with representatives of the extreme east and west of America an
opportunity for mental improvement.

They were, it may be, unconventional, but how much more interesting
are such people than those whose lives are ordered by rule.

We left the young women in the park intent upon the glories of a day
that was dying hard (after eighteen hours of daylight) and as we made
our way to the hotel we agreed that a similar readiness to converse
with strangers on the part of young women in New York would have given
reasonable cause for various speculations.

But Ireland has a well-earned reputation for a certain thing, which
the just published table of vital statistics for the year 1906 goes
far to strengthen.

In the morning the young locomotive pusher and myself had attended a
cattle show at Enniskillen fair grounds.

I don't mind saying that I had stayed over a day in order to go to the
fair, for I have not read Irish literature for nothing, and I was
perfectly willing to see a fight and ascertain the strength of a
shillelagh as compared with a Celtic skull.

It was a great day for Enniskillen and for the Enniskillen Guards, who
were out in force. There were also pretty maidens from all the
surrounding counties and not a few of the gentry who had been
attracted by the jumping contests.

But--what a disappointment.

Irishmen? Why, you'll see more Irishmen any pleasant day below
Fourteenth Street in New York. And those that were there were so
painfully well behaved and quiet. And as for speaking the Irish
dialect--well, I wish that some of the Irish comedians who have been
persuaded that Irishmen wear green whiskers would come over here and
listen to Irishmen speak. They wouldn't understand them, they speak so
like other people.

For ginger and noise and varied interests any New England cattle show
has this one beaten to a pulp--if one may use so common an expression
in a newspaper.

The noisiest things there were the bulls, and they were vociferous and
huge. But the men were soft spoken and there seemed little of the
"Well, I swan! I hain't seen you for more'n two years. How's it
goin'?" "Oh, fair to middlin'. Able to set up an' eat spoon vittles"
atmosphere in the place, although undoubtedly it was a great gathering
of people who seldom met. Not a single side show. Not a three-card
monte man or a whip seller or a vendor of non-intoxicants.

There was just one man selling what must have been mock oranges, for
such mockeries of oranges I never saw. They were the size of peaches
and the engineer told me they were filled with dusty pulp.

I bought none.

The racing and fence jumping in the afternoon were interesting, but
there was no wild Yankee excitement on the part of the crowd and no
hilarity. There was only one man that I noticed as having taken more
than was necessary, and the only effect it had on him was to unlock
the flood gates of an incoherent eloquence that caused a great deal
of amusement to those who were able to extricate a sequence of ideas
from the alcoholic freshet of words.

One venerable-looking man, with a flowing white beard of the sort
formerly worn by Americans of the requisite years, fell from a fence
where he was viewing the jumping and was knocked out for a time. He
had been "overcome by the heat," at which, out of respect to him, I
took off my overcoat. The Irish idea of heat is different from the New
York one.

The splendid old fellow had served thirty-three years on the police
force and had been a police pensioner for thirty-one years, and as he
must have been twenty-one when he joined the force he was upwards of

Would Edward Everett Hale view a race from a picket fence? There is
something in the Irish air conducive to longevity. In the evening I
saw the old man standing in the doorway of a temperance hotel talking
with men some seventy years younger than he.

A local tradesman told me that in the town of Enniskillen where
formerly any public gathering was sure to be followed by a public
fight, he had seen the Catholic band and the Orangemen's band playing
amicably the same tune (I'll bet it wasn't "The Wearing of the
Green"), as they marched side by side up the main street.

The world do move.


_A Few Irish Stories_

If you enter Ireland by the north, as I did, you will not hear really
satisfying Irish dialect until you reach Dublin. The dialect in the
north is very like Scotch, yet if it were set down absolutely
phonetically it would be neither Scotch nor Irish to the average
reader, but a new and hard dialect, and he would promptly skip the
story that was clothed in this strange dress.

But in Dublin one hears two kinds of speech, the most rolling, full
and satisfying dialect and also the most perfect English to be found
in the British Isles.

It is a delight to hear one's mother tongue spoken with such careless
precision, with just the suspicion of a brogue to it. I am told it is
really the way that English was spoken when the most successful
playwright was not Shaw, but Shakespeare.

[Illustration: _DUBLIN BAY_]

The folk tale that follows was told me, not by a Dublin jarvey, but by
a Dublin artist whose command of the right word was as great as his
command of his brush.

He regaled me with many stories of Irishmen and Ireland and never let
pass a chance to abuse the English in the most amusingly good-natured
way. To him the English as a race were a hateful, selfish lot. Most of
the Englishmen he knew personally were exceptions to this rule, but he
was convinced that the average Englishman was a man who was nurtured
in selfishness and hypocritical puritanism.

But this is far afield from his story of the first looking glass.

Once upon a time (said my friend) a man was out walking by the edge
of the ocean and he picked up a looking glass.

Into the glass he looked and he saw there the face of himself.

"Oh," said he, "'tis a picture of my father," and he took it to his
cabin and hung it on the wall. And often he would go to look at it,
and always he said, "'Tis a picture of my father."

But one day he took to himself a wife, and when she went to the mirror
and looked in she said:

"I thought you said this was a picture of your father. Sure, it is a
picture of an ugly, red-headed woman. Who is she?"

"What have ye?" said the man. "Step away and let me to it."

So she stepped away and let him to it and he looked at it again.

"Ah," said he with a sigh (for his father was dead), "'tis a picture
of my father."

"Step away," said she, "and let me see if it's no eyes at all I have.
What have you with pictures of women?"

So he stepped away and let her to it, and she looked in it again.

"An ugly, red-headed woman it is," said she. "You had a lover before
me," and she was very angry.

"Sure we'll leave it to the priest," said he.

And when the priest passed by they called him in and said, "Father,
tell us what it is that this picture is about. I say it is my father,
who is dead."

"And I say it is a red-haired woman I never saw," said the woman.

"Step away," said the priest, with authority, "and let me to it."

So they stepped away and let the priest to it, and he looked at it.

"Sure neither you nor the woman was right. What eyes have ye? It is a
picture of a holy father. I will take it to adorn the church."

And he took it away with him, to the gladness of the wife, who hated
the woman her husband had in the frame, and to the grief of the man,
who could see his father no more.

But in the church was the picture of a holy man.

Quite the folklore quality.

I heard a story of a well-known Dublin priest, Father Healy, very
witty and very kindly, who was invited by a millionaire, probably a
brewer, to go on a cruise with him.

Over the seas they sailed and landed at many ports, and the priest
could not put his hand into his pocket, for he was the guest of the

At last they returned to Dublin and the millionaire, being a man of
simplicity of character, the two took a tram to their destination.

"Now it's my turn," said the priest, with a twinkle in his eye, and,
putting his hand in his pocket, he paid the fare for the two.

[Illustration: A DUBLIN ICE CART]

And here's another.

Two Irishmen were in Berlin at a music hall, and just in front of them
sat two officers with their shakos on their heads.

Leaning forward, with a reputation for courtesy to sustain, one of the
Irishmen said, pleasantly, "Please remove your helmet; I can't see the
stage for the plume."

By way of reply the German officer insolently flipped the Irishman in
the face with his glove.

In a second the Irishman was on his feet and in another second the
officer's face was bleeding from a crashing blow.

Satisfaction having been thus obtained, the two Irishmen left the cafe
and returned to their hotel, where they boasted of the affair.

Fortunately kind friends at once showed them the necessity of
immediately crossing the frontier.

That the Irishman had not been run through by the officer's sword was
due to the fact that he was a foreigner.

Speaking of fights, the other day an American friend of mine was
taking a walk in Dublin and he came on a street fight. Four men were
engaged in it, and no one else was interfering. Passers by glanced
over their shoulders and walked on. Two women, evidently related to
the contestants, stood by awaiting the result.

My friend mounted a flight of steps and watched the affair with
unaffected interest.

A member of the Dublin constabulary happened to pass the street, and,
glancing down, saw to his disgust that it was up to him to stop a

Slowly he paced toward them, giving them time to finish at least one

But the two women saw him coming and, rushing into the mixture of
fists and arms and legs, hustled the combatants into the house, and
the policeman went along his beat twirling, not his club, but his
waxed mustache.

I told a Dublin man of this incident, deploring my luck in not having
come across it with my camera in my hand.

He said: "That policeman was undoubtedly sorry that he happened on the
row. He would much have preferred to let them fight it out while he
sauntered by on another street all unknowing. Not that he was afraid
to run them in, but that an Irishman loves a fight."

Another sight that I saw myself at a time when my camera was not with
me was two little boys, not five years apiece, engaged in a wrestling
match under the auspices of their father, who proudly told me that
they were very good at it. The little fellows shook hands, flew at
each other, and wrestled for all they were worth. And from the time
they clinched until one or the other was thrown they were laughing
with joy. They wrestled for several rounds, but the laughter never
left them.

How much better it is for little children to learn to fight under the
watchful and appreciative eye of a kind father than to learn at the
hands of vindictive strangers.



_Snapping and Tipping_

The poor man never knows the cares and responsibilities that beset the
man of wealth, and the man without a kodak does not know how keen is
the disappointment of a picture missed--be the cause what it may.

Heretofore I have traveled care free for two reasons: one was I never
had any money to speak of, and the other was I never carried a camera.
I looked at the superb view, or the picturesque street group, solely
for its passing interest, with never a thought of locking it up in a
black box for the future delectation of my friends, and to bore
transient visitors who, as I have noticed, always begin to look up
their time tables when the snapshot album is produced of a rainy
Sunday afternoon.

But this year some one with the glib tongue of a salesman persuaded me
of the delights that were consequent on the pressing of a button, and
I purchased a camera of the sort that makes its owner a marked man.

The first two or three days I was as conscious as a man who has just
shaved his mustache on a dare, and who expects his wife home from the
country any minute. I fancied that every one knew I was a novice,
although even I hadn't seen any of my pictures as yet.

I snapped a number of friends on the steamer, and even had the
audacity to make the captain look pleasant--but in his case it came
natural, and really, when it was printed, even strangers could hear
his hearty laugh whenever they looked at the picture, so true to life
was it.

Of course it was beginner's luck, but as I went on snapping and
getting the films developed I found that I had picked up a fine lens,
and the pictures I was taking were really worth while, and then--

Say, have you ever had hen fever? Has your pulse ever quickened at
sight of an egg you could call your own? Have you ever breathed hard,
when the old hen led forth thirteen fluffy chickens and you reflected
that thirteen chickens would reach the egg-laying stage in seven
months, and that if each of them hatched out thirteen you would have
one hundred and sixty-nine inside of a year--and then have you gone
out and bought twenty old hens, so as to have wholesale success--with
deplorable results? If you have done all these things you know what a
man does whose first snapshots are successful. I laid in supplies of
films till my pockets bulged and my purse looked lean.

And the first time the sun shone after landing at 'Derry, I went out
to see the Giant's Causeway--and left my camera behind me.

Then I experienced for the first time the sensation as of personal
loss, when the views that might have been mine were left where they

On my way back I came on a hardened old sinner of sixty odd years
teaching a little kiddie of four to smoke a cigarette. If I had had my
camera I could have batted the old man over the head with it. But it
was in the hotel.

When I show my views to visitors they will say, "And didn't you go to
the Giant's Causeway?" nor will they accept my reason for the lack of
a view. And I feel that the set is incomplete.

As time went on I noticed several things that are probably obvious to
every amateur. One was that on the days on which I remembered to take
my camera I saw very commonplace subjects and only snapped because I
had the habit. Another was that no matter how fine the weather was
when I set out with my camera, it was sure to cloud up, just as we
reached the castle or met the pretty peasant girl, who was only too
willing to be taken.

[Illustration: ON THE ROAD TO LISMORE,
               IN A RAIN STORM]

One day I was walking from Cappoquin to Lismore, all unconscious of
what lay before me, and just for wantonness I took trees and pictures
that might have been in any country. At last I had but two films left,
and then the meeting of several droves of cattle coming from Lismore
told me that it must be Fair Day there. Just then lovely, noble,
glorious Lismore castle burst on my view and I had to take it.

And then I came on the fair and saw pictures at every turn.

Funny little donkeys with heads quite buried in burlap bags the while
they sought for oats, gay-petticoated and pretty-faced women in
groups, grizzled farmers that looked the part, waterbutts on wheels in
Rembrandtesque passageways, leading to sunlit courtyards
beyond--regular prize winners if one had any sort of luck.

And then a man with an ingratiating brogue asked me to take him and
his cart and almost before I knew it I had taken a sow that weighed
all of five hundred pounds, and my snapshooting was over for the day.

You may be sure that next day I went well prepared, but Fair Day is
only once a month, and fair days are not much more plentiful, and it
rained all day, and the only thing I saw worth taking was a sort of
Don Quixote windmill that had been run by a horse probably years
before the expression "the curse o' Crummel" (Cromwell) came to be
used, and I was in a swiftly moving train and there was a woman in the
way--oh! there's no doubt that camerading is fascinating, but it is
also vexatious.

Still, my advice to those about to travel is--take a camera. If it's a
very rainy Sunday you may want them to leave on an early train.

Tipping is a subject that is always worth discussing. A man does not
like to give less than the usual tip, and he ought not to give more,
because it makes it hard for the next man, who may not be able to
afford much of an expenditure.

Tipping in Ireland is a very mild thing compared to continental
tipping. I'll never forget my first experience in Amsterdam. I have
spent many agreeable and useful years since then, and the world has
been better for my presence, for eighty-four months at least, since
that day, but the comic opera features of that first wholesale tipping
stand out as if I heard the whole thing last night at some Broadway

There were two of us, and we had spent two delightful days in
Amsterdam, doing the picture galleries and confirming Baedeker as hard
as we could, and now we must give up the two huge rooms on the first
floor that we occupied at the Grand Hotel (to give it a name) and make
our way to other Dutch hostelries.

I said to Massenger, "How about tipping? Does it obtain in Holland?"

"Oh, yes," said Massenger, with a gleam in his eye. "It obtains all
right. You leave it to them."

"How much shall I leave to them?" said I, looking at the small coins I
had withdrawn from my pocket.

"Well, we have been royally treated, and there are a good many waiters
and chambermaids and 'portiers,' and a proprietor or two, and the
equivalent for boots, and the 'bus driver."

"But how are we to get them all?"

"Just pay your bill and you'll get them all right," said Massenger. (I
should explain that whoever travels with me is called Massenger. It
saves trouble.)

I did not quite understand, but I signified my intention of paying my
bill, and the proprietor or his steward was all bows and smiles, and
handed it to me, at the same time ringing a bell.

Then the chorus began to assemble. Lads and maidens in the persons of
waiters whom I had never seen, and chambermaids of whom I had never
heard, began to swarm into the office.

After they had ranged themselves picturesquely the boots began to
arrive. Some from neighboring hotels who had heard the bell came
running in, and grouped themselves behind the maids. Then a head
waiter who looked like a tenor came seriously in and I expected that
in a moment I would hear:

    "'Tis the very first of May,
    Though we've not a thing to say,
    We will stand here, anyway
    Stand awhile and sing."

I looked at Massenger and asked him what it all meant.

"It's in our honor," said he. "We've got to shell out."

And sure enough it was. We had to disgorge pro rata to all the
assembled ones, and Massenger said afterward that he thought one or
two of the guests came in for certain of our gratuities.

When we stepped into the 'bus, quite innocent of coins of any sort, I
listened, expecting to hear:

    "Now, in spite of rainy day,
    We have gone and made our hay.
    And I don't care what you say,
    When the Yankees come this way
    We get what they bring."

They got it all right, but I was quite unnerved for some time. The
attack had been so sudden.

In Ireland there is nothing to equal this for system, and a copper
does make a man feel grateful--or at least it does make him express
gratitude. I have yet to hear curses in Ireland.

But when you visit private houses you don't know what to do. Tips are
expected there--not by everybody, but by maid and coachman, anyhow,
and you wonder what is the right thing to do.

To be sure you have caused trouble. You have placed your boots outside
your door, just as you have latterly learned to do at home, and it
was a maid who gave them that dull polish that wears out in a half
hour. Leave polish behind when you leave America--that seems, by the
way, to be the motto of a good many traveling Americans, but I
referred to the kind that you can see your face in when imparted by an

[Illustration: MILK WAGON, MALLOW]

I had an experience when on my way to visit Lady ----, in County
Monaghan, in the central part of Ireland.

Just how much to tip a coachman of a "Lady" I did not know. A shilling
did not seem enough, and two shillings seemed a good deal, and the
fellow did not have the arrogance of an English coachman. He was
simple and kindly, and was willing to talk to me, although he never
ventured a word unless I spoke to him.

When I had alighted at Ballybully station a ragged man had seized my
valise, and on ascertaining my destination had carried it to a smart
jaunting car driven by a liveried driver. I offered him a copper, and
he looked at it and said, "Sure, you're too rich a man to be contint
with that."

So to contint meself I gave him sixpence, just what I had paid for
having my trunk carried one hundred and eighty miles, and climbed to
the car.

On the way to the estate of Lady Clancarty (to give her a name also) I
figured on what I'd better give. To give too much would be as bad as
to give too little. Still, if it cost a sixpence for my suit case to
go a hundred yards, a three-mile drive should be worth a half pound at

At last, just as we were driving in at the lodge gates, I foresaw that
I must make haste--as it would never do to hand out my tip in the
presence of my hostess--so I reached over the "well" and handed two
shillings to the driver. He seemed surprised and pulled a bit hard on
the left line. There was a swerve, a loud snap, and the step of the
car was broken short off against the gate!

I was conscience-stricken, but said not a word for a minute. Then the
driver said, "I've been driving for twinty-three years and niver had
an accident before."

He had jumped out and thrown the step into the "well" between us.

I had visions of the sacking of the old family driver, and all because
I had not known how much of a gratuity to give him.

But when I offered to make up the damage he said, "Indeed an' I'll be
able to fix it myself." And fix it he did, so that no one was the

But the pain of those few moments when I expected to be driven into
the presence of my hostess with the car a wreck will not soon fade.

As a matter of fact, it was a good half mile to the house after we
left the lodge, and when we arrived I jumped from the seat without
using the step, and no one ever knew the humiliation that had come to
the driver after twenty-three years.


_Random Remarks on Things Corkonian_

They told me that Cork was a very dirty city. They even said it was
filthy, and they said it in such a way as to reflect on Irishmen in
general and Corkonians in particular.

Yes, they said that Cork was a dirty city, and so I found it--almost
as dirty as New York. This may sound like a strong statement, but I
mean it.

When I arrived in Cork I saw a hill and made for it at once, because
after railway there is nothing that so takes the kinks out of a
fellow's legs as a walk up a stiff hill. And anyhow I was on a walking

I arrived at the top about sunset. On reading this sentence over I
find that it sounds as if the hill was an all-day journey, but it was
only a matter of a few squares, and when I started the sun had long
since made up its mind to set.

In Ireland the sun takes on Irish ways, and is just a little dilatory.
It always means to set, and it always does set in time to avoid being
out in the dark, but it's "an unconscionably long time a dying."

At the summit of the hill I saw a church steeple that appealed to my
esthetic sense, and I asked a little boy what church it was.

"Shandon churrch, sirr," said he with the rapid and undulating
utterance of the Corkonian.

"Where the bells are?" said I.

"Yes," said he, smiling. "And over beyont is the Lee."

"The pleasant waters of the river Lee," I quoted at him, and he smiled
again. Probably every traveler who goes to Cork quotes the lovely old
bit of doggerel, but the Corkonian smiles and smiles.

The river Lee runs through the center of Cork, and at evening it is a
favorite place for fishing, also for learning to swim on dry land.

The fishermen seem to fish for the love of casting, and the little
boys swim on the pavement--two pursuits as useless as they are
pleasant. Over the bridge the fishermen leaned, and cast their lines
in anything but pleasant places--for the river is malodorous--and the
little boys stood on benches and dived to the pavement, where they
spat and then went through the motions of swimming.

There were dozens of the little boys, and most of them seemed to be
brothers. Some of them were quite expert in diving backward, and all
of them were dirty, but they seemed to be happy. I could not help
thinking how soon the Celtic mind begins to use symbols, for it was
easy to see that when the boys spat it signified a watering place to
them. I dare say they were breaking a city ordinance in spitting, and
if they knew that they were that much happier--stolen sweets are the

During the time I watched the setting sun--which was still at it and,
by the way, performed some lovely variations on a simple color scheme
in the sky--not even an eel was caught, but the fishermen cast under
the bridge, let their bait float down the (un) pleasant waters, and
drew in their lines again and again--mute examples of a patience that
one does not associate with Ireland.

At last I left them and started out to find Shandon church, which
seemed but a few squares away.

My pathway led through the slums, and up a hill so steep that I hope
horses only use it as a means of descent. I passed one fireside where
the folks looked cosy and happy and warm. It was a summer evening, but
chilly, and the place into which I looked was a shop for the sale of
coal. Shoemakers' children are generally barefooted, but these people
were burning their own coal, and the mother and the dirty children
sprawled around the store or home, in a shadow-casting way, that would
have delighted Mynheer Rembrandt if he had passed by.

I was struck with the population of Cork. It was most of it on the
sidewalk, and nearly all of it was under sixteen. Pretty faces, too,
among them, and happy looking. I think that sympathy would have been
wasted on them. They had so much more room than they would have had in
New York, and they were not any dirtier--than New Yorkers of the same

After I had reached the top of the hill I turned and looked for
Shandon church and it was gone. I asked a boy what had become of it,
and he told me that in following my winding way through the
convolutions known as streets I had gotten as far from the church as
I could in the time. He told me pleasantly just how to go to get to
the church, and it involved going to the foot of the hill and
beginning again.

I asked a number of times after that, and always got courteous but
rapid answers. The Irish are great talkers, but the Corkonian could
handicap himself with a morning's silence, and beat his brothers from
other counties before evening.

At last I came on the church, passing, just before I reached it, the
Greencoat Hospital National School, with its quaint and curious (to
quote three of Poe's words) statues of a green-coated boy and girl.

I asked a man when the bells began to ring (for I had been told that
they only rang at night).

"'Every quar-rter of an hour, sirr, they'll be ringing in a couple of
minutes, sirr."


One likes to indulge in a bit of sentiment sometimes, and I stood and
waited to hear the bells of Shandon that sound so grand on the
pleasant waters of the river Lee. I had left the Lee to the fishermen
and the make-believe swimmers, but the bells would sound sweetly here
under the tower that held them.

A minute passed, and then another, and then I heard music--music that
called forth old memories of days long since dead. How it pealed out
its delight on the (icy) air of night. And how well I knew the tune:

    "Down where the Wurzburger flows."

No, it was not the chimes, but a nurse in the hospital at a piano.
Before she had finished, Shandon bells began, but they played what did
not blend with what she sang, and I went on my way thinking on the
potency of music.

I passed on down where the river Lee flowed, and the fishermen were
still fishing, but the little boys had tired of swimming.

Two signs met me at nearly every corner. One read, "James J. Murphy &
Co.," and the other "Beamish & Crawford," or "Crawford & Beamish," I
forget which. Both marked the places of publicans (and sinners, I
doubt not), and both were brewers' names. The publican's own name
never appeared, but these names were omnipresent.

Again I thought of Shandon bells, and the romantic song, "Down Where
the Wurzburger Flows," and leaving the Lee still flowing I sought my

I would like to make a revolutionary statement, that is more often
thought than uttered, but before I make it, I would like to say that
there are two classes of travelers: those who think there is nothing
in Europe that compares with similar things in America, and those who
think there is nothing in America that can hold a candle to similar
things in Europe.

I hope I belong to neither class. If I mistake not, I am a Pharisee,
and thank my stars that I am not as other men are. Most of us are
Pharisees, but few will admit it.

I began being a Pharisee when I was a small child, and that is the
time that most people begin.

I kept it up. In this, I am--like the multitude.

Having thus stated my position, let me go on to say, that I am
perfectly willing to admit that this or that bit of scenery in France,
or Switzerland, or England, or Ireland, lays over anything of the sort
I ever saw in America, if I think it does, and I am equally willing to
say, that America has almost unknown bits that are far better than
admired and poet-ridden places in Europe.

Twin Lakes in Connecticut is one of them, and Killarney is a
poet-ridden place.

Why, even in Ireland there are places just as lovely as Killarney, but
they have not been written up, and so no one goes to visit them.

I felt that one of the worst things about Killarney was the American
sightseer, and I came away soon.

Cook's tourists have never heard of Twin Lakes, thank fortune, and it
will be some time before they (the lakes) are spoiled.

The Lakes of Killarney are so beautiful that they are worthy of the
pen of a poet, but the pen of a poet does not make any lake more
beautiful, and I am quarreling because so many people refuse to
believe the evidence of their own senses, and take their natural
beauties at the say so of another.

There is a tower going up in New York at present, a tower that with
the exception of the Eiffel Tower is the tallest on earth.

Many persons look at it, reflect that it is a skyscraper, and then
dismiss it as therefore hideous. But it is really very beautiful, and
seen from certain vantage points, it is architecturally one of the
glories of New York.

[Illustration: A BIT OF KILLARNEY]

If it ever gains a reputation for beauty, you will find persons raving
over it, who to-day class it among the "hideous skyscrapers."

A hundred years ago there were some skyscrapers in Switzerland, and
they were thought to be hideous. After awhile a man with a poet's eyes
and a courageous tongue visited them, and he said "The Alps are

When their reputation for beauty was established, travelers left the
region round about the Rockies to go and rave over the beauties of

That's all.


_A Visit to Mount Mellaray_

Many persons whom I met in Ireland told me that I ought to go to Mount
Mellaray "for my sins." Mount Mellaray (to those who don't know) is a
Trappist monastery, set among hills that would be at once the
temptation and despair of a colorist in landscape.

To it go the brain and heart weary from all countries, and the good
monks (there's no doubt that they are good) welcome them whether they
have money or not.

They tell of a man who went to Mount Mellaray and accepted the
hospitality of the inmates and on his going away he did no more than
bid them good by. Not a penny did he leave behind him, although he
had sat at table with the other guests several days.

Next year he came again for his soul's rest, and the monks received
him as an old friend. Those who were not under vows of silence spoke
to him, the others nodded to him, and once more he rested on the side
of the purple hills and partook of their hospitality.

When it came time for him to go away he left behind him--a pleasant
impression, but not a cent did he give to the cause of charity.

Another year passed by, and he came again. Hundreds had come in the
meantime, and none so poor but had left something in return for the
restfulness and peace that are to be had there.

Quite as an old friend he was now received and was made to feel
welcome. No one knew who he was--perhaps he was nobody--but on his
going away for the third time he showed that he had been but _acting_
the part of an ingrate, for he gave the father who acts as keeper of
the gate a hundred pounds.

This story I told to the jarvey who took me up the hilly road to the
monastery, and he listened with interest, and when I had finished he
said, "It's quite true."

As I did not expect to visit it again I made up my mind to do my
giving on leaving the place, but my hundred pound notes are all in the
future, and therefore no one can ever tell a similar tale of me.

I must confess that, being a Protestant, I felt a little compunction
about going to the place, but I had been assured that my sect would
make no difference, that the fathers were glad to receive all who
came, and that I would be as well treated as though I were a saint.

On my way up my jarvey told me of the amount of good that the monks
do, not only in a spiritual, but in a material way, by providing work
for the able-bodied men of the vicinity.

We passed a neat stone cottage with ivy growing on it, and a vigorous
fuchsia tree blooming in the garden, and he told me that it was a
government cottage and rented for the absurd sum of a shilling a week.

"And how much can a man earn in the fields?" said I.

"A matter of ten shillings a week," was his reply.

Query: If a man gets ten dollars a week in New York and lives in a
crowded Harlem flat for which he pays at least five dollars a week, is
he as well off as this Irishman, in his native land, with all the
fresh air in the world, fowls and fresh eggs, and butter of his wife's
making, and one of the loveliest views imaginable before him?

But you'll find the man in the neat little government cottage anxious
to fly to the land of dollars--and when he's there he'll hand out more
dollars to his landlord for inadequate accommodations than he could
earn at home in a month of Sundays.

Human nature is human nature, and the daisies in the field over the
pond are always more beautiful than the ones that lie at your feet.

I was received at the monastery by a monk, who on learning that I
wished to become a guest, took me over to the guest house, and there a
white-robed father took my surname, and I began to feel that I had
renounced the world, and that perhaps I was trying something that I
would regret, and wouldn't mamma come and get me.

But the bearded man before me was kindly, and when I told him (not
wishing to sail under false colors) that I was a Protestant, he told
me that it was a fast day, and had I dined.

Fortunately I had eaten heartily at noon. "If ye have not dined we can
give you something substantial," said he, but I decided that it would
be better to be treated as the other guests were to be treated, and so
I told him, and he said that at six o'clock there would be tea, and
that at eight I would retire to my room, and at ten all lights must be

It was raining dismally, but he said that I could go for a walk in the
garden, or stay in my room, or go to the "smoke shed," to smoke a pipe
or a cigar.

I chose the smoke shed as I understood there were other human beings
there, and although I had only been in the monastery five minutes, I
felt the need of companionship.

After a brother had taken my traps to my room, I went out to the smoke
shed, and found there some ten or twelve guests, five or six of them
priests, and all Catholics but myself.

They were very quiet as I came up, and I feared to speak above a
whisper myself, but a jolly-looking priest, seeing a newspaper
sticking out of my raincoat pocket, said: "Is that to-day's paper?"
and on my saying it was, he asked me if he might borrow it, and then
he stood up in front of them all and said:

"The news of the day.... 'Irish Ireland. A Leaguer's Point of View.'
'The French Trunk Horror.' 'The Bachelor Tax,' discussed by Mr.

"Rade that, father," said a young chap with a twinkling eye.

"Sure it's in dialect," said the priest with a smile, and his own

"Never mind. Go ahead. 'Tis a dreary day."

The paper was the Dublin Independent, and in a moment more I was
listening to the familiar humor of the funniest man in America, and
that in a monastery, of all places.

"'This here pa-aper says,' said Mr. Hennessy, 'that they're goin' to
put a tax on bachelors. That's r-right. Why shudden't there be a tax
on bachelors? There's one on dogs.'"

Loud was the laughter in the smoke shed at this sally, and none
laughed louder than those professional bachelors, the priests.

[Illustration: STREET IN YOUGHAL]

"'I suppose,' said Mr. Dooley, 'that next year ye expect to see me
throttin' around with a leather collar an' a brass tag on me neck. If
me tax isn't paid th' bachelor wagon'll come around, an' th' bachelor
catcher'll lasso me an' take me to the pound, an' I'll be kept there
three days, an' thin, if still unclaimed, I'll be dhrowned, onless th'
pound keeper takes a fancy to me.'" (Loud laughter by priests and

The ice thus broken by my friend Dunne, I was soon in conversation
with the group, and discovered two compatriots from Indiana, one a
native of Ireland returning to visit it once more before he departed,
the other his son.

Vesper bells broke up the talk, and I went with the rest to chapel.

After vespers came "tea," which I had supposed would be literally
nothing else, but there was the most delicious graham bread I have had
since I came to Ireland, and unlimited milk. There was no butter, as
it was a fast day. This I regretted keenly.

Talk went on among us all until a bearded monk in white came in and
began to read passages from Thomas à Kempis. His enunciation was
peculiarly pure, and I doubt not that he was a gentleman born. It was
a pleasure to hear such English. While he read we were all silent.

After supper we went out to the garden, and in a sheltered place
(although we did not need a shelter, as the fickle rain had stopped)
those who wished played a spirited game that consisted of tossing
stones into a little pocket of earth. One of the priests was an adept,
and he carried all before him.

In such simple pleasures, or in walking, the evening was spent until
it came time to go to chapel again.

One of my companions (and they were there from all parts of Ireland,
and you might hear the Scotch accent of the north, the pure Dublin and
Wicklow Elizabethan English, the slightly thickened Waterford
variety, and the hurried talk of the Corkonian, as well as other
styles I could not place--probably west coast dialects, mournful and
slow) asked me what I thought of Ireland, and I told him my
impressions had been tremendously favorable so far. He said that a man
who had returned not long since told him that Ireland was hopelessly
behind the times, and I told him, for his comfort, that to take one
instance in which Ireland was up to date, the tram service in Dublin
was far ahead of that of New York, both in the elegance of its rolling
stock, its cheapness, and the civility of its employes. He was much
amused at the idea of horse cars in New York. (Electric cars play an
important part in all the large Irish cities, and a ride on the top of
one to Howth, a lovely suburb of Dublin, is worth every bit of the
eight cents it costs).

They have yet to introduce the transfer system, but in other
particulars, like Mr. O'Reilly, "they're doin' dam' well." All this I
told him.

At eight I sought my room, where there was reading matter suitable to
the place, but the candle was not conducive to extended reading unless
I held it close to the book, and then it dazzled me, and at nine
o'clock I was in my bed, and until two in the morning the house was
quiet, save for a snore here and there. But at two the bells began to
ring, and kept it up at intervals all through the night. I was told
this, but "tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep," came to my
aid, and I dreamed it was a feast day and that all the monks were
sitting at the breakfast table, singing at each other joyfully.

Next day was a feast day (to my relief). I was up at six, but it was
some time after that that I heard steps in the hall. I had looked out
of the window from time to time, hoping to see some one in the garden.
The table of the duties of the day hung in my room, and I noticed
that breakfast was at nine. Luckily I had some chocolate, or I might
have felt I was likely to faint by the wayside.

I did not go to early devotion, and when I heard the footsteps in the
hall I opened my door and found that it was Father David, the keeper
of the gate, going around to see if any were still in bed. When he saw
me, he said to the brother who accompanied him, "Oh, it doesn't make
any difference with him." Then to me, "Would you like to walk in the
garden?" I said that I would, and walked round and round its lonely
paths for over an hour, now and then eating a square of chocolate to
keep off death.

But before eight the good father came and asked me if I'd like to see
the interior of the monastery, and he showed me the bakeshop with its
most up to date ovens, and oh, how hungry the smell of baking made me,
and the steam-saw, and the creamery, and the library with its old
newspaper telling to Irishmen that Cromwell had departed to his rest
the day before. Not very sorrowful news, that, I imagine, to the
Irishman of that day.

And Father David showed me and the other Americans an incubator, and
explained the process, with an innocent circumstantiality that we
respected. Why tell him that the woods were full of incubators in
America? The things that appealed most to him, however, was the big
circular saw that would saw up a log of wood in a "minyit."

With his permission I took a photograph of a beautiful Irish cross in
the graveyard, but when I suggested my taking him, he averted his
palms at me. Such vanities were not for him.

At breakfast there were eggs and milk and tea, and delicious butter in
abundance, and the reading of some holy book by Father David, which
did not stop all conversation. Being a feast day, there was one priest
who felt his tongue could be loosened, and he kept up an undercurrent
of conversation, to Father David's annoyance, but it was a human touch
that was not out of place.

The monks are themselves vegetarians, but a school is run in
connection with the monastery, and the students are allowed meats.

At nine my jarvey called for me and took me to the boat for Youghal,
and I made my offering and shook hands with Father David, and felt
that I had been benefited by my stay in the retreat. I even felt that
had I more time at my disposal, I would stay on for several days,
talking with the guests, pitching stones into the hole, and looking at
the rolling landscape and the awe-inspiring hills behind the chapel

One thing in America had interested Father David--the Thaw trial--and
he wanted to know if Thaw would be hanged.

One day the only American news in the 'Derry papers was to the effect
that Evelyn Thaw thought of going on the stage.

Not our art, or our literature, or our suppression of the boss, but
the Thaw trial, is the thing that has made a deep impress on Great
Britain and Ireland, and everywhere I am asked to give an opinion.

The Thaw trial was a matter of moment to the good old man, with his
incubators and his steam saw and his absence of personal vanity.

As half way down the mountain I turned and looked back at the spire
against the somber hills (for it had begun to rain) I wished that my
camera would take them for me, but I knew that snapshots of hills are
like literary snapshots--inadequate.


_A Dinner I Didn't Have_

The best laid schemes of mice and men aft gang aglee, or words to that
effect, and in a small village in County Wicklow I fared differently
from what had been my expectation.

I had a letter to a literary man of whom I had heard nothing but
pleasant words, and I looked forward to spending several hours with

I had dispatched my letter of introduction to him over night,
intending to perch on his door sill during a flight from Dublin
further south: Waterford and Cork.

The day was beautiful (whenever the clouds rolled away from before the
sun) and as I left my grips in the station and fared forth I imagined
how pleasantly we would talk together on matters and things, how soon
we would find we had mutual friends, how possible it was that one or
the other of us would commit the bromide of "It's a small world after
all, isn't it?"

It was a long time before the dinner hour, but if he invited me to
stay on and dine I would certainly do it. Tasteful napery, handsome
women, light and joyous talk, delicate viands and sparkling wines--

"Plaze, sorr, would ye help a poor man to's dinner. I've walked from
Ovoca the day an' devil a bit or a sup is in me."

A beggar!

The idea of a man who never saw me before asking me and evidently
expecting me to help him to a dinner.

But of course when you meet a fellow out in the country away from
professional beggars you naturally feel like helping him, particularly
if the Irish weather is so fine that it hasn't rained for a quarter of
an hour--


"Oh, thank ye, sorr. May your bed in heaven be aisy an' may ye
oversleep on the day of judgment."

A kind wish.

As I walked on I couldn't help thinking how similar was his case to my
own. In all probability he had the price of a meal in his pocket when
he met me and I too had the price of several meals in my pocket and
even as he had "braced" a total stranger, so I was about to do the
same thing, only I expected intellectual talk, a dinner, possibly a
drive around the country, and when all was said and done I wouldn't be
able for my _quid pro quo_ to call down such a blessing as he had
given me.

At last I came to the lodge of Heatherdale and asked if Mr. W---- was

He was not. He had gone by an early train to Dublin and would not be
back until seven.

Oh, such a noise of falling air castles.

My letter had been to him, not to his wife.

I could not, or at least I felt that I could not present my card to
her and explain that I was very much disappointed, and would Mrs.
W---- kindly entertain me with intellectual talk and food and drink.

I turned sadly away and put on my raincoat (for it had begun to rain
dismally as soon as the lodgekeeper had told me Mr. W---- was out) and
made my way back to the station, intending to take the next train.

The urbane station master, resplendent in a gay new uniform, told me
kindly but firmly that there was no train until seven o'clock, that
that train did not go as far as Waterford, only to Wexford, and that
my through ticket to Waterford was good for this day only and would be
waste cardboard when the morning dawned, and I took the first train
from Wexford there.

That meant the price of an excellent dinner thrown away----

An excellent dinner. It was twelve o'clock; time to begin to think of
a dinner of some kind.

No (said the station master) there was no hotel in the place. I might
get something at some farmhouse, but no dinner anywhere.

And Mr. W---- in Dublin for the day. What good had the tramp's
blessing done me?

I left the station and walked toward the village. At last I came to a
"public" and there I found my tramp drinking porter with gusto--but
nothing else. His hunger had evidently departed. Perhaps the same
thing that had put it to flight would allay mine.

But the first incivility that I have received since I came to Ireland
was offered me here. The proprietress of the public laughed at me and
said that they had nothing but bread in the house--and she evidently
did not care to part with that.

"There's a good hotel at Rathdrum, sorr," said the tramp to me. "It's
not five miles away an' the road light as a feather, barrin' the

I had no notion of going five miles on the light road on the light
breakfast I had eaten--and no certainty that there would be a dinner
at Rathdrum, so I left the public, and the rain having stopped and the
sunshine having come out with a most businesslike air, as much as to
say, "See here, you clouds have been running things altogether too
much lately; it's now my turn at the wheel," I set out as blithely as
I could (with the thought of my letter of introduction crossing Mr.
W---- on his way to town and me a homeless wanderer) and before long I
came to a little whitewashed cabin in front of which a handsome old
woman in a man's cap was bending over some flowers.

"Good morning. Can you let me have something to eat?"

"Sure 'tis little I have," said she, with a smile that took five years
off her age.

"Some fresh eggs, perhaps, or some milk?"

"Aye, I can give ye those, but me house is no place for the likes----"

"That'll be just what I want," said I, and she went into the house and
bade me follow.

Fresh eggs and unlimited milk are not the same as brill and young lamb
and sauterne and cigars and witty conversation, but when you are
hungry from outdoor exercise they are not so bad.

And Mrs. Kelly, like every other man, woman, and child in the whole of
Ireland, had relatives in America.

She'd a son there long since and Ja-mes just turned twenty-one had
gone there this summer to the "states of Indiana. Did I know the
states of Indiana?"

I told her I did, that I'd been to them many a time. And where did
"Ja-mes go to--to what city?"

To Lafayette (with as French an accent as you'd wish) and was I ever

I was. Her face lighted up.

If I went there again would I ask for Ja-mes Kelly an' he'd be her son
an' as fine a boy as ever left Ireland (with a true Dublin roll of the

Still thinking of the dinner I had not had at Heatherdale house I
asked her if she knew Mr. W----.

"Sure I do, an' the finest man in all Ireland. Me boy Ja-mes worked
there at gardening and whin he was leaving for America Mr. W---- gave
a dinner for him to all the villagers and gave him a watch with his
name on it and 'in remimbrance of Heatherdale' in it. Oh, yes, a fine
man an' humble. Sure, if Jimmy'd be sick for a day it's Mr. W----
would be down here in me cottage askin' afther him an' could he be
doing annything for him.

"Humbleness. That what the blissed Lord taught us. He could have been
borrn in a palace, but he was borrn in a stable in Bethleh_a_m. Are
you a Catholic?"


"Ah, never mind. There's arl kinds of good people----"

"Is Mr. W---- a Protestant?"

"Sure, I dunno," was Mrs. Kelly's guarded reply. "He goes to the
Protestant church, but I don't know what he is, on'y he's a good
man--none better in all Ireland.

"The good Lord," she continued, as she filled up my cup with rich milk
(she had no tumblers at all, she said), "taught us to be kind to one
another and to be humble, the same as He was kind and humble, although
He could have had a palace if He'd chosen, and if we keep His
commandments we'll all go to heaven, but if we don't (here the good
Mrs. Kelly lowered her voice) we'll be damned in everlasting fire. The
Lord tells us so."

I told her that I had heard such things, that I had a grandmother who
taught me all about "Bethleh_a_m" and the rest----

"Oh, the good woman," said Mrs. Kelly, feelingly. "Well, it's true.
Be kind and be good and be humble and ye'll be rewarrded."

After I had finished the lunch she asked me if I could take a picture
of her.

I told her that I could, but she must come out of doors. Off came her
man's cap and she arranged her wisps of white hair and washed her face
and then said, "Be sure to get me eyes good and clear. I do take a
fairly (very) good picture, and me eyes always come out fine."

The good woman had eyes she might well be proud of in spite of her
desire to be humble, and they danced and snapped with joy as I leveled
the camera at her and took her photograph.

All the afternoon I climbed the beautiful heather purpled hills in the
vicinity with her youngest son, a boy of nineteen, eating wild
fraochans, a kind of whortle-berry, and had "afternoon tea" with her
at six and then went on to catch my train.

The son was a very intelligent boy and I was struck with his easy and
correct use of English. He told me that it was easier to understand me
than an Englishman, and I took it as a compliment, for I certainly
never heard better English spoken than is talked in the Dublin
district by rich and poor alike. London and New York should come to
Dublin and vicinity to learn the proper pronunciation of English.

[Illustration: WICKLOW PEASANTS]

As I left the village I felt that I had lost one good time to have
another, and the day on the hills made me sleep like a top.


_What Ireland Wants_

Before I went to Ireland I imagined the Irish standing in a crowd with
their right hands pointing to heaven and all of them demanding home
rule. But talk about shades of opinion and political differences at
home, why, it's nothing to the mixture here.

I meet a man to-day and as I shake his hand I tell him with heartfelt
sympathy that I hope he'll get home rule, that most of us are with him
in the United States, and he wrings my hand and tells me that American
sympathy is the thing that has kept Ireland up.

My bosom swells with pride and I feel that I have hit on just the
right phrase to use.

Next day I meet another Irishman, a Protestant from Belfast, and as I
wring his hand with emotional fervor, I tell him that I hope he'll get
home rule, and he pulls his hand from my grasp to bring it down on
desk or counter or table with impetuosity, as he says, "Ireland
doesn't want home rule. If the phrase had never been coined Ireland
would be happy to-day. What Ireland wants is less sympathy from
outsiders. If my child bumps his head and begins to cry, I say, 'Sure
it's nothing. Brave boys like to bump their heads,' and he begins to
laugh and forgets about it. But if a stranger says, 'Poor Patsy. It
must hurt awfully,' then he sets up a howl about it and fancies he's
injured. What Ireland needs is to forget her troubles and her
political disabilities and work. An Irish workingman in Ireland is the
laziest man alive. When he goes to America or Canada or Australia and
is released from priestly authority he's a hard worker and a success,
but Paddy in the fields is always looking for saints' days--and
finding them--and when he finds them he takes a holiday."

I am silent because I really know so little about it, but next day I
meet another Protestant and I say to him, "I suppose it's Rome rule
that is killing Ireland?"

He's up in the air at once and tells me that it is the priests who are
interesting the peasants in the revival of industries long dormant.

"Aren't the priests fine-looking men?" says he.

"Yes," breaks in another Irishman, "and they ought to be the fathers
of families. All that good blood going to waste and their lines ending
with them instead of enriching the blood of Ireland in future
generations. That's what celibacy does."

Another Irishman chimes in, "Oh, the priests are not such a fine lot.
The constabulary are, I'll admit, but the most of them are as useless
as the priests. Most of their time is spent training canaries, for
there's little else for them to do in the country districts. But the
priests; sure a man says, 'Oh, Jimmy's no good at all at all. Let's
make a priest of him.'"

"It's folly you're talking," says the one who spoke for the priests.
"There's not a finer body of men in Ireland than the priests."

"Oh," says the other, with Irish wit, "there's white sheep in every
fold, I'll admit, but if Ireland was free from political and religious
domination, she'd be able to stand upright and she wouldn't need home

All of which is very perplexing to the man who came to Ireland
thinking that with the exception of a few Orangemen all Ireland was
working morning, noon, and night for home rule.

Next day I meet a man I know to be a Protestant and I say to him in my
easy-going way (being all things to all men when I am traveling, in
order to save wear and tear), "The Catholic religion is keeping
Ireland back, is it not?"

He looks at me for a moment and then a spiritual light illumines his
eyes and he says: "Protestantism is always death to arts. Look at
Shakespeare, the last Catholic that England had, as you might say, and
look at his work with its artistry, its absence of dogmatism, and then
look at Protestant and tiresome Wordsworth and Protestant and didactic
Tennyson. Spenser was a great artist. Spenser was a Catholic.
Catholicism emancipates the artistic side of a man's nature,
puritanism seals it up, dams it, condemns him to preach sermons.

"The Irish are the most artistic people on the face of the earth when
Protestantism has not been allowed to stamp their idealism out of

"But I thought you were a Protestant. Then I suppose that you think
that the priests----"

"I think that the priests ought never to be allowed to tamper with
education. Spiritually they release Irishmen from puritan fetters (I
speak as a Protestant and the son of a Protestant) but politically and
educationally they are millstones about Ireland's neck."

I leave him and going to Hibernia Hall in Dublin, where the work of
Irish industries is being displayed, and where stands temporarily St.
Gaudens's splendid statue of Parnell, and I see there Augustine
Birrell, whom I believe to be one of Ireland's warmest and truest

I am talking to a handsome six-foot priest.

"Ah, there's Birrell," I say to him.

"Yes," says he with a twinkle in his Irish eyes, "'twould be a fine
chance to drop a little dynamite under him."

I leave the hall hurriedly and listen outside for the explosion,
meanwhile wondering why a priest who wants home rule hates Birrell,
who has tried to give Ireland a modified version of it.

I meet a literary Catholic and ask him whether home rule would mean
Rome rule and he tells me that it would not; that the Catholics would
not stand for priestly interference with politics; that the priests
themselves would not desire to interfere.

Next day I ask a jarvey if he wants home rule and he says, "Begorry,
higher wages would be better. I'd not be botherin' with home rule if
there was enough to keep me sons busy."

"Well, Michael, would home rule mean Rome rule?"

"Sure it would. Isn't the pope the head of the church?"

Ireland seems to be a house divided against itself.

I like the father of the family very much. We'll say he comes from the
south of Ireland and is a Catholic. He's a witty man, a hospitable
man, a cheery man, but won't speak to his oldest son, because he's a
Belfast Unionist and believes in letting well enough alone.


Now the eldest son is a delightful fellow. A little more reserved than
his southern father, but just as hospitable, just as cheery--almost as
witty. The mother is a Sinn Feiner, an idealist of the idealists. She
believes that Irishmen ought to withdraw from Parliament. She urges
her son, who is in Parliament, to resign, to boycott England, to get
his brother members of Parliament to come home and form a National
Council in Dublin. She doesn't believe in war, but she hates England
with an animosity that is positively amusing to one whose forbears
fought England and had done with the fight long ago. She won't speak
to her daughter, who believes in working for home rule in season and
out of season in London.

The mother is witty and cheery, and, oh, so hospitable, but when I
visit the daughter I don't mention the old lady to her, for in spite
of the ingrained love for parents that is almost as strong in an
Irishman as it is in a Chinaman, she says very sharp things about her
unpractical mother. But when we leave politics alone, she is cheery
and witty, and always as hospitable as she can be.

Now, if by means of arousing a truly national spirit (and the Gaelic
League is going about it in the right way) this family of witty and
cheery and hospitable people can be induced to sink minor differences
and act together they'll get what they want--whatever that is. And
then won't they be the happy family?

And I'm sure I do hope with all my heart that they'll get it.

For they won't be happy till they get it.


_A Hunt for Irish Fairies_

"I'll niver forget wan gintleman that kem here from America. He'd been
borrn here, but had gone to Chicago whin he was a lad, an' he had made
a fortune.

"He had hundreds under him, an' he told me he had niver touched a drop
of liquor. Oh, he was the kind man. He hired me car every day he was
here, an' he said anny time I wanted to sind anny of me sons over, to
sind them to him an' he'd take them on an' pay them good wages.

"Oh, he was the ginerous man, too ginerous in fact. He'd scatter his
money like water whin he'd be in liquor----"

"Why, I thought you said he never touched a drop, Michael."

"Oh," with a toss of the head. "Sure that was in America. Bein' on a
holiday here he tasted it, an' likin' the taste he kep' on.

"Sure he'd fling money out be the handfuls if I'd let him. I told him
if he done that the news of it would spread an' some of the wilder
ones would demand it of him, an' wance I refused to go anny further
till he'd promise to stop throwin' money away--half soverigns, mind

"Ah, but he was the kind man, drunk or sober. The day before he
left--an' he was here two or three weeks huntin' for his
birthplace--he said:

"'Michael, I've drank too much, but it tasted good. After to-day not a
drop I touch, an' me goin' back to America.'

"Sure, I hope he didn't, for he had a fine business of manufactures of
some sort, an' he says:

"'Sind them along, Mike, when they does be old enough an' I'll give
them good jobs. Only they must l'ave liquor alone.'

"Ah, a kind man he was an' a true American. Wance I met Larrd
Kinmare, an' I took off me hat to him. 'Who's that?' says he. 'Larrd
Kinmare,' says I. 'Why do you take off your hat to him?' says he;
'he's only a man like yourself.' I'll never forget that. Only a man
like meself."

I asked this same jarvey if he would like to see home rule.

"Sure, better wages would be better."

There are many like him in Ireland, men of the practical kind, who
would rather see prosperity than home rule, and who evidently do not
believe the two are synonymous terms.

Perhaps a little more of this jarvey's talk will not be uninteresting.

"What do you think of King Edward, Michael?"

He looked at me seriously. "He's not had a thri'l yit, but he seems a
nice man. When he was Prince of Wales he was here to visit with his
mother, the Queen of England, and he wint to a nunnery, an' him a
Protestant, an' he kep' his hat off his head all the time he was in.
An' him a Protestant, mind you. He seems a nice man, but he hasn't had
a thri'l yit."

There's simplicity for you. One need not have the acknowledged tact of
the best king in Europe to keep off his hat in a nunnery, but Michael
had treasured the anecdote forty years as the measure of a ruler's

But I am treading on dangerous ground and it would be better to
venture on fairy ground.

One needs to live long among the Irish peasants to get at their
folklore. They are invariably agreeable to strangers, as Michael has
shown himself to have been to me, and are more than willing to talk
about America and the sorrows of Ireland, but if the subject of fairy
folk is broached they seem to be anxious to change the subject.

I was fortunate enough to get a little insight into their beliefs, but
before I touch on the topic I would like to scatter a few thoughts on
the subject of Irish wit.

Here I have set down a conversation of a typical Irishman, but you
will notice that there is nothing witty in what he says. In books he
is witty, and in Scotland the Scotchman is witty, as I had occasion to
notice many times last year when I was there, but in Ireland (I record
personal impression) the Irishman is not witty, as I met him in the
peasant class.

I have conversed with dozens and scarcely a witty reply have I had.
Humor often, but wit seldom. I sometimes think that it is because I
have used the wrong tactics. Perhaps if I had bantered them they would
have retaliated.

I fancy that their reputation for wit is largely of English
manufacture, and that the Englishman calls it forth by his undoubted
feeling of superiority. The wit is at his expense.

We were passing a little opening in the woods the day I rode with
Michael and I said to him:

"That would be a fine place for fairies."

He quickly turned his head and looked at me.

"So it would," said he, "but they're all gone now. Whin I was a boy
the old folks did be talkin' of them, but there's none of them now."

"I suppose so," said I sympathetically, "but a friend of mine in
Connecticut, an Irishman, told me he'd been led by them into a bog
with their false lights."

"Oh," said Michael, quick as a wink, "so have I. They'd lade you to
folly the light, an' the first thing ye'd know ye'd be up to your
waist in a bog. But there's none of them hereabouts now."

And that ended Michael's remarks about fairies. And that was further
than most of them would go until I met an old woman on the west coast.
She, after I had gained her confidence, talked quite freely.

I asked her if she had ever seen any of the red leprechauns (I am not
sure of the spelling) that are so mischievous to housewives and are
so fond of cream, and while she had not seen any herself a friend of
hers had seen two of them.

"Wan had a red cap on an' the other was dressed all in green and they
was wrestlin' in a field.

"An wance I looked out of the winder," she had grown absorbed in her
own talk now--"an' I saw over there on the mountain side a fair green
field that never was there before"--the mountain was bald and rocky
and bleak--"an' in it was a lot of young lads and gerruls, all dressed
gayly, the lads and the gerruls walking like this"--illustrating by
undulatory motions--"and full of happiness.

"Oh, yes; I've seen the little folk, but I don't mind them at all. The
sight of them comes to me when I'd not be thinking of it, and it's
little I care."

She tossed her head in evident superiority, perhaps feeling that I
might think it folly for a woman as old as she to see things so out
of the ken of an ordinary mortal. But I showed an interest that was
perfectly genuine, and she went further into her revelations.

"Wance I was lookin' out of this same winder, an' a queen of the air
came out of the heavens ridin' on a cloud. Oh, she was the most
beautifully made woman I ever saw, with a stride on her like a queen.

"She had a short skirt on her, and her calves were lovely, and around
her waist was a sash with a loose knot in it for a dagger, an' the
dagger raised in her right hand--an' a crown upon her head."

"And did she look angry?"

"Indeed she didn't. A beautiful face she had, an' she come straight
for this winder, an' when she was almost before it I put up my hands
to my eyes, for I thought that if she was coming out of the other
space and I was the first she met here she might do harm to me, and
'twas well not to look at her--and when I opened my eyes again she was

[Illustration: A SIDE STREET, WEXFORD]

"Oh, never will I see so finely made a woman again; the calves of her
beautiful legs, and the arm raised high above her head like a queen."

Margaret stood looking out of the window at the mountain opposite, and
I said nothing for fear she would stop talking. After a few moments
she went on:

"Wan day I saw an elephant over on the mountain side an' him filling
his trunk, with water for a long journey--Oh, it's manny the thing I
see, but I don't mind if I never see them, only they come to me."

Filling one's trunk with water for a long journey would not appeal to
a drummer, but this flippant thought I did not extend to Margaret.
Perhaps she would not have understood, as drummers are bagmen on the
other side. That is they are bagmen in books. In hotels they are
commercial men.

Margaret was not yet through telling me the things she had seen. I was
told that there were some people that she would not talk to on occult
subjects, fearing their badinage, but her sincerity was so evident
that I could not have joked with her on the subject if I had thought
of doing so.

"Wance I saw the present King Edward, an' him about to be crowned, an'
he was in the heavens lying on a bed, and his wife standing near,
dressed in a dress with short sleeves an' point lace on them, an' I
said to me master,"--Margaret was living in service,--"'Sure he'll not
be crowned this time.'

"An' that very evening the news came that the King was ill, and he was
not crowned that time at all. An' the pitchers in the papers afterward
showed the Queen in point lace as I had seen her."

Afterward I talked to the gentleman for whom this ancient woman kept
house, and he said there was no end to the queer things she had seen.
He told me that once she saw in "the heavens" a funeral cortége
issuing from a smallish house, with big black horses, plumed and
draped, and drawing a hearse, and in it either the pope or the queen.

"Some one high up," Margaret said.

That evening came the news of the death of Queen Victoria.

Of course this is "merely" second sight, but if you don't believe in
such things you don't feel like scoffing when people see visions that
come true.

I was unfortunate enough not to meet a Galway woman, an ignorant
peasant, who saw a vision that shaped itself around a ruined castle.

She said to my informant (one of the leaders in the Gaelic revival)
that while she was looking at the castle one day a band of young
gentlemen on horseback and strangely dressed came riding up to the
castle, and in the windows of it were many handsome women, gayly
dressed and with their hair brushed up from their foreheads, and they
were laughing and talking.

And when the young horsemen came to the ditch that was around the
castle a platform that was laid against the wall was let down by
chains, and over the bridge thus made the gay young men rode and
joined the chattering ladies.

This was a woman who would not have heard of moats and drawbridges,
and but little of the castle remained save the four walls. She had
seen a vision, so my informant, a woman of forceful intellect, told
me--and I believed it then, and half believe it now. If one has
visions why not see them? I wish I might myself.

But it is very hard for the traveler to get at these revelations. The
natives are shy of strangers, who like as not do not believe in
fairies--never having seen Tinker Bell--and they will not talk.

But for my part I hope the time will come when it will be proved
beyond a doubt that there are fairies, and if the revelation ever does
manifest itself at all, doubting Thomases and the rest, I am sure
that their habitat will prove to be Ireland.

And when they are proved to exist, remember that I said I believed in


_In Galway with a Camera_

Galway comes as near as any Irish city that I ever saw to rivaling New
York's East Side for dirtiness, and yet a fair-minded observer would
be compelled to tell Galway, when the time for awarding the leather
medal came, that she was only a close second.

This does not so much mean that New York is dirtier than I realized
she was when I was there as it means that Ireland is not as dirty as
English and Irish and American writers have pictured it.

Perhaps in some parts of Ireland the pig still sleeps in the room with
the family, but as a faithful chronicler of actual sights I cannot say
that I saw such a sight in any of the numerous slums and villages I
visited in twenty counties. I hate to destroy so poetic an illusion.


There was something idyllic in the thought of a pink little pig and a
pink little boy, the two of them the pink of neatness, lying side by
side in a happy-hearted Irishman's cabin, while pig and boy and
Irishman starved to death, but the truth was something better than
that. There were pigs and little boys, but they were not neatly pink
and they were not starving, and the old man did not swing a shillelagh
or sing songs as I was passing by.

Shillelaghs were never so plentiful as they are now, but they are made
to supply the foreign demand for them, and the Irishman is amused and
perhaps a bit contemptuous as he sees Americans, with never a drop of
Irish blood in them, buying shillelaghs to take home for the sake of

I wish I might write that I saw evidences of destitution on every
side--it would please the sentimentalists--but I did not. There were
beggars, but not so many as I had feared I would see, and they did not
chase me any harder than youngsters have chased me in City Hall Park
in New York demanding a cent to buy sterilized milk.

In Sligo I was followed by a poor woman carrying a baby, and as she
raised her hand for alms her shawl dropped off and disclosed her
nakedness to the waist, but I was assured by a Sligo gentleman that
she was a professional beggar from out of town, and that possibly the
baby was not hers, and I know for a fact that she went to a public
house with the money I gave her.

And all the time I was fumbling in my pocket for coppers she was
wishing me happy days. She stands out in my recollection as the most
abject beggar I saw.

But in Galway there is dirt and squalor and it is picturesque. There
in the Claddagh one meets with old hags who are hideous enough and
Spanish looking enough to have just left Velasquez's studio, where
one can imagine them posing as models for some masterpiece of the
great realist.

Barefooted they are, and the homely ones have a great desire to be
photographed. Many and many were the pretty women I saw in Ireland,
but my camera recorded but few of their lineaments, while I was asked
more than once by plain women to take their pictures.

One nailed me as I was passing her vegetable shop in the Claddagh. She
was cross-eyed, poor thing, and in a land where pretty features are as
plentiful as blackberries, she was plain, but she besought me to take
her picture.

Now, when a woman asks you to photograph her you don't feel like
refusing her, and I was too much of a novice to make a feint at
snapping the shutter and passing on, so I stopped and tried to see a
picture in the carrots and cabbages that were displayed at the door.

Such a simpering, conscious face as she displayed! I tried to engage
her in talk so that she would at least look naturally homely, but it
was no use. Every time my finger strayed up to the little lever her
lips would become set in a smile, one eye would look at the camera and
one would look at me, and she would become the incarnation of

At last I snapped her and passed on. After that I took good care to
hurry past plain women.

The day before, at a railway station, I had gone in to get a bit of
lunch and discovered that one of the waitresses was a little beauty.
The thought came into my head, What a model for "An Irish Beauty,"
just as one of the others, who had no claim to beauty, said, "Take me

I told her that I was not a professional, looking all the while at the
pretty one, but she suggested that I take all three waitresses just
for fun, and in order to get the beauty at any cost I assented, and
the girls stood in expectant attitudes.


The beauty was so luscious looking that the other two were simply
obliterated in the finder, and I felt myself lucky at having such a
chance to carry away a permanent impression of Irish maidenhood.

My hand was raised to the lever, in another instant the face would be
mine, but just then the door opened and a man came in to buy a measly

One of the girls left the group--I could see that in the finder, but I
snapped hastily and then looked up.

It was the beauty.

I have the other two. They are undeveloped.

In the Claddagh a pretty little child came up to me and asked me to
take her "piccher," hoping for some coppers in payment.

I nodded my head to her, but a barefooted derelict ahead of me heard
her request, and wheeling around suddenly bade the child be off and
offered to pose for me herself.

Velasquez would have jumped at the chance, but I am not Velasquez and
I shook my head and hurried on.

The vehemence of the old woman's vituperative assault on the little
girl had collected a lot of loungers of both sexes, and I was besieged
for pictures, the pretty little girl saying incessantly, "I as't you
firrst. I as't you firrst. I as't you firrst."

I managed to make her understand that if she walked on far enough I
would take her picture, and only one other heard her, another little
girl who was pretty enough to grace a film.

These two kept on, while the others dropped away when they saw I was

And when my models were far enough from the others to enable me to get
them before it was suspected what I was at I snapped them and put my
hand into my pocket to get up a couple of coppers and found nothing
but a sixpence.

Of course the children could not change it, and I could not very well
divide it, so I appealed to some fishermen who were lounging on the
quay, asking them if they could give me coppers for a sixpence.

They gave me to understand that both coppers and sixpences were
strangers to them, and evidently felt that, as a "rich American" I
could easily give each child a shilling. But this would have been to
get the whole pack on me, for they already smelt money and were coming

So I gave the sixpence to the one who had first spoken to me and told
her to keep fourpence for herself and to give tuppence to her little

I'm afraid they came to blows over it. As for me, I left the
picturesque Claddagh and saw it no more.

It was that same morning that I had seen the entire population lining
one of the narrowest streets in that part of Galway, and there I got
shot after shot of the picturesque groups.

I asked what they were waiting for, and one of the mackerel selling
and barefooted Velasquez women told me that an American circus was

I felt it was worth waiting to see an American circus in Galway.

The circus was called "Buff Bill's Wild West Show." Not Buffalo Bill,
mind you, but Buff Bill.

For a long time I waited and at last my patience was rewarded.

I knew just what it would be. There would be fifty or sixty cowboys on
their broncos, a bevy of female sharpshooters, and the Deadwood stage;
and for the circus part of it an elephant or two and the $10,000
beauty, followed up by dens of wild beasts and representatives of all
the countries of the world.

At last music was heard. The band was approaching. Around a bend in
the street came the usual crowd of small boys and girls running ahead.

Then came a yellow wagon, with a cowboy band discoursing the latest
New York favorite.


Next came one dreadful dwarf, made up as a hideous clown. Behind him
rode an ordinary negro, not costumed in any special manner. He was
enough novelty as he was.

And behind these two rode a man of the toothpowder vender type, with
long hair, _boiled shirt_, sombrero, and no necktie.

He was Buff Bill.

And that made up the parade.

It was worth waiting for, if only to see what it is that constitutes a
wondrous spectacle to a small boy.

Fifty years from now some prosperous Chicagoan will take his grandson
to see a four-mile parade of some great circus of the period, with
half a hundred elephants, a thousand noble horsemen, and scores of
gilded chariots; and when the small boy voices his rapture the old man
will say with sincerity:

"It's pretty good, I suppose, but you ought to have seen the circus
that came to Galway when I was a boy of eight. That beat any circus
I've ever seen since. I couldn't sleep for weeks thinking about it."


_The New Life in Ireland_

No one can be in Ireland long without realizing that when sturdy,
practical John Bull forcibly married dreamy Hibernia, with her
artistic temperament, it was a very foolish marriage, and as a good
American I could have predicted trouble from the very start. John Bull
is accustomed to be obeyed at the drop of the hat, and Hibernia, for
all her dreaminess, is a lady of spirit and will not become a willing

John Bull has no more knowledge of the real needs and capabilities of
this Irish wife of his than the average American has of the real needs
and capabilities of an Indian, and the result of the union has been a
series of bickerings that show John up in his worst light and that do
not serve to call out the most agreeable aspects of his unfortunate
wife's nature.

He suspects her, and what good woman will stand being suspected by her
husband without resentment? In her temperamental qualities--qualities
that could be cultivated to express something noble--he sees only
idleness and shiftlessness. He treats his wife as a child, and the
wife who is treated as a child becomes a mighty poor mother.

That Hibernia is a failure as a mother is shown by the fact that
thousands of her sons are still willing and even anxious to leave her
instead of staying and showing by their industry and sobriety and
willingness to make the most of the opportunities that undoubtedly
exist in Ireland, that they are capable of developing and governing
their native land without interference of any kind from John Bull.

Ordinarily I'm quite opposed to divorce, and I know that Catholics
abhor it, but it seems as if Hibernia ought to get a decree against
John Bull on the plea of incompatibility of temper. And I wouldn't
advise Hibernia to rush into marriage again after she gets her

But through what courts she is to get her decree is beyond my
knowledge. She's a most attractive lady and she has fertile farms and
some say undeveloped mines, and there is certainly land enough,
setting aside the fact of ownership, to support all the sons who have
stayed by her.

Every Irishman in America who loves Ireland, and I can't imagine that
there are any who do not, ought to advise against further immigration.
Ireland needs every able-bodied man to help carry on the work there is
to do--a work that the Gaelic League is doing so much to foster.

The Gaelic League with its fostering of the artistic spirit that is
dormant in the Irish nature, and that already finds expression in the
weaving of rugs and in embroidery and in bookbinding and the making
of stained glass, and the Irish Agricultural Organization Society,
with its introduction of modern scientific methods of farming, its
model hospitals and schoolhouses and dwellings--these movements are
waking great interest among the younger people. And Ireland cannot
afford to part with a single man or woman from now on.

The study of Gaelic increases year by year, and whereas in former
times Irishmen, subdued by the English spirit, punished their children
if they were caught talking Gaelic, now Irishmen encourage them and
they are freely learning Gaelic in all parts of Ireland. This movement
cannot help revivifying a national spirit.

In a railway carriage I talked with some young women who, with their
brothers, were returning from a three days' fast and an all night
vigil at a little village near Bundoran. They were of course Roman
Catholics. They asked me if I was going to the national festival
about to be held in Dublin, the Oireachtas, and when I found out what
it meant I told them that I was, and asked them if they were members
of the Gaelic League.

[Illustration: GAELIC SIGN, DONEGAL]

"Indeed we are," said one, and her eyes glowed with enthusiasm as she
said it.

"And do you speak Gaelic?"

"Oh, yes. We've learned it, you understand, learned it since growing

They were heart and soul in the new movement that it is hoped will
regenerate and cultivate and spiritualize Ireland, and while I was
talking to them and felt their sincerity and ardor, I was sure that
the Gaelic League was doing more than all the politicians ever could.

It is not the Catholics only that have joined this movement; it is
non-sectarian. I talked with a young drug clerk in a northern town and
he "had the Irish" (could talk Gaelic), and wrote his name in Gaelic
characters, but he was a Protestant. He offered to give me a line to a
well-known Dublin literary man, which shows how democratic the
movement is.

To-day you'll meet with a land-owning aristocrat who is interested in
what the league is doing, and to-morrow you'll meet a jarvey who is
learning Gaelic, and the next day a young lady of gentle birth who is
teaching the poor children of the neighborhood how to weave rugs, and
then you'll meet an artist who was formerly a land owner and a
Protestant, and who was one of the first to sell his property to his
tenants under the Wyndham act--and being an artist and not a business
man he got ruinous prices for it--and has been forced ever since to
rely on his brush for his support. He, too, is heart and soul in the

Now when the yeast permeates the lump to such an extent there is bound
to be a rising--but of the peaceful kind.

"Pat," in his "Economics for Irishmen," says, "Were I a priest, I
should, I think, regard it as a sin on my soul every time a young
person emigrated from my parish while I might have shown him how he
could have made an excellent living at home."

It must strike every American, no matter whether he is a Protestant,
an atheist, an agnostic, or a Roman Catholic, so long as he is open
minded, that the size and evident costliness of the churches in the
country districts is out of all proportion to the costliness of the
houses of the peasants.

In a poor community money that is put into costly bricks and stone
that might have been put into books and bread is money inadequately
expended, even if Ruskin rise from his grave to contradict me. A
better temple to God than a granite church is a granite constitution,
and the light of health and sanity and cheerful industry in the eye of
an Irish lad is better than the light of a thousand candles.

This is not a question of religion, but of common sense. If all the
money that has been spent upon the extra embellishment of churches of
all denominations in Ireland had been spent on the physical and
educational and moral betterment of Irishmen, they would have ceased
to emigrate long since.

But this is thin ice, and as I can't swim I'll give up the skating on
it until the weather is colder.

But the priests are also interested in this Gaelic revival of which
Americans have already heard so much, and which is non-sectarian and
non-political. And the nuns are doing a blessed work all over Ireland.

Let me close this somewhat serious chapter--one can't help being
serious in Ireland when he sees that her regeneration is at hand--with
a parable that I made all by my lonesome:

Once there was a man who had a sugar maple, and there being a demand
for maple sugar he allowed the sap to run early and late, and
disposed of the sugar thus obtained. But there came by a man who said:

[Illustration: GONE TO AMERICA]

"Why, you're ruining that tree. The sap that is being made into sugar
for the whole United States is the life blood of that green old tree.
If you keep on, your tree will wither and die."

And the man took the advice and the tree renewed its youth.

Close up the sap holes and keep in the sap, for the sap is the life
blood of Ireland, and we in America have learned how to make sugar out
of many things--even out of beets--and we no longer need the Irish
young man. But the old tree needs her young blood in order to keep her
fresh and green.

Transcriber's Note:

Archaic and inconsistent spelling and punctuation retained.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Just Irish, by Charles Battell Loomis


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