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wish by a degree of bodily fear. Their imagination represented a succession of perilous obstacles, of which the least formidable menaced highway robbery, or submersion in an unfathomable bog. Not a few really pathetic remonstrances were used to dissuade her from so daring an undertaking as that of traversing from south to north the dreaded country: exacting, at the same time, a distinct promise that, if permitted to return with life, she would publish a full and true account of every hair-breadth 'scape; together with a correct transcript of the impression made on her mind by an attentive view of existing circumstances. That promise is now redeemed; and happy will she be if these familiar Letters' tend to remove an unfounded apprehension, or unjust suspicion, as to this lovely country and its interesting inhabitants ; or to arouse a spirit of more impartial inquiry, where the judgment may have been prematurely biassed in matters deserving of the most serious, most patient, and most scrutinizing investigation. When Englishmen learn to view Ireland as she is, the first great step will be achieved towards making Ireland what she ought to be.
LETTERS FROM IRELAND.
June, 1837 You will not be much surprised at the date of this letter, knowing how anxiously I have been seeking an opportunity to take flight westward. That I have been permitted so to do, is a matter of thankfulness and joy. A long absence from Ireland, with a watchful eye constantly turned towards it, has prepared me to make the most of the short period allowed for this visit: and here I am, all alive to the delight so earnestly coveted.
It would be a grave speculation, worthy of some calculating English head, to ascertain how far the public health has been affected by the locomotive improvements of the age. I do not refer to the impregnation of our atmosphere with gas and steam, but to the serious increase of maladies requiring change of place. Formerly,
and within our recollection, the privilege of being too delicate to stay at home was reserved for those whose abundant wealth and superabundant leisure enabled them to encounter a cost of money and time, far beyond the means of their neighbours. Now it is astonishing what an indispensable necessity has fallen upon the bulk of our countrymen, and still more of our countrywomen, to migrate. How our grandsires and grandames contrived to attain the robust old age that we have admired to see, without an annual flitting to other climes, is a problem indeed. I can shrewdly guess at some of the attractions which irresistibly impelled you towards the far north: but I will not excite your tender sympathy by recapitulating the ailments that rendered my journey almost a matter of life and death. I believe they might, however, be summed up in the Swiss disorder, Malade-du-pays. Ireland, to be sure, is not my native country; but if all her children loved her as I do, the migratory propensity would here be little known. The rich would stay at home, and the poor would be fed.
My, route hither was from London, via Bristol and Waterford: my travelling companions two blithesome boys, in all the exuberance of joyous freedom from school restraints. One delighted to conduct a guest to his paternal dwelling-his