0Monday. 24th [May 1897]—Coole Park, Gort, County Galway
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24 May 1897 — Coole Park, Gort, County Galway
Monday. 24th [May 1897]. I painted in the morning. After lunch we drove in the side car. A. took me to a cabin to see a man weaving flannel. It was most picturesque– He sat there in his shirt sleeves at work. His mother, a good looking middle aged woman, sat on a low stool turned a large wheel winding the wool for him. We sat there a little while—the man was amusing & intelligent—he spoke against nuns & priests, touched on politics & the proposed new Irish Bill. From there we went to see an old castle on the Gregory property—which is inhabited by peasants. A high tower with cabins round it. We also went to a curious old mill hard by dating back from the time of the castle. The old miller was a tall fine featured distinguished looking man. He was delighted to see Augusta showed us the mill & then insisted on taking us to see his wife. She was a fat old lade in queer costume—dress pinned back—a kerchief on her shoulders, another on her head. She received us with effusion—& they both talked freely & were very amusing. The old man rallying his wife on her untidy dress– They had a queer looking idiotic young man as a servant who left the house as soon as we sat down. They said he was very good & harmless. When we left the old lady kissed my hand & called me a “grand innocent lady.” I am not quite sure what she meant by it—but I suppose it was a compliment. We returned home to tea at 5 & afterwards went for a walk & called on Mrs Dooly at the gamekeeper’s lodge & found her at home—her house very clean & she beaming. On the way back we passed the coachman’s house & found him shearing his own sheep—as I had never seen the process, we sat on a cart & watched him shear a sheep. It was quaint to see how its lamb did not recognise its mother when she emerged from her master’s hands thus transformed. We went home to dinner & bed.

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