|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)|
Read an Excerpt
CHAPTER III. GIRLHOOD. Ireland is not among those countries that arouse in the hearts of strangers a desire to pitch their tents, and to judge from the readiness with which her own children leave her, we cannot suppose that they find her a fascinating land. And little wonder, when we consider the state of ferment and disorder which, in a greater or less degree, has always prevailed there. Yet Miss Edgeworth says : Things and persons are so much improved in Ireland of latter days, that only those who can remember how they were some thirty or forty years ago can conceive the variety of domestic grievances which, in those times, assailed the master of a family immediately upon his arrival at his Irish home. Wherever he turned his eyes, in or out of his house, damp, dilapidation, waste appeared. Painting, glazing, roofing, fencing, furnishing, all were wanting. The back yard, and even the front lawn round the windows of the house, were filled with loungers, " followers" and petitioners; tenants, under-tenants, drivers, sub-agent and agent, were to have audience; and they all had grievances and secret informations, accusations, reciprocating and quarrels eachunder each interminably. Alternately as landlord and magistrate, the proprietor of an estate had to listen to perpetual complaints, petty wranglings and equivocations, in which no human sagacity could discover the truth or award justice. Returning to the country at the age of sixteen, Maria Edgeworth looked at everything with fresh eyes. She was much struck with the difference between England and Ireland; the tones and looks, the melancholy and gaiety of the people, were new and extraordinary to her. A deep impression was madeupon her observant mind, and she laid the foundations for those acute delineations of Ir...