June 27. Left Lord Harcourt's, and having received an invitation from the Duke of Leinster, passed through Mr. Conolly's grounds to his Grace's seat at Cartown. The park ranks among the finest in Ireland. It is a vast lawn, which waves over gentle hills, surrounded by plantations of great extent, and which break and divide in places so as to give much variety. A large but gentle vale winds through the whole, in the bottom of which a small stream has been enlarged into a fine river, which throws a cheerfulness through most of the scenes: over it a handsome stone bridge. There is a great variety on the banks of this vale; part of it
p.22consists of mild and gentle slopes, part steep banks of thick wood. In another place they are formed into a large shrubbery, very elegantly laid out, and dressed in the highest order, with a cottage, the scenery about which is uncommonly pleasing: and farther on this vale takes a stronger character, having a rocky bank on one side, and steep slopes scattered irregularly, with wood on the other. On one of the most rising grounds in the park is a tower, from the top of which the whole scenery is beheld; the park spreads on every side in fine sheets of lawn, kept in the highest order by eleven hundred sheep, scattered over with rich plantations, and bounded by a large margin of wood, through which is a riding.
From hence took the road to Summerhill, the seat of the Right Hon. H. L. Rowley. The country is cheerful and rich; and if the Irish cabins continue like what I have hitherto seen, I shall not hesitate to pronounce their inhabitants as well off as most English cottagers. They are built of mud walls eighteen inches or two feet thick, and well thatched, which are far warmer than the thin clay walls in England. Here are few cottars without a cow, and some of them two. A bellyful invariably of potatoes, and generally turf for fuel from a bog. It is true they have not always chimneys to their cabins, the door serving for that and window too. If their eyes are not affected with the smoke, it may be an advantage in warmth.
p.23Every cottage swarms with poultry, and most of them have pigs.
Went in the evening to Lord Mornington's at Dangan, who is making many improvements, which he showed me. His plantations are extensive, and he has formed a large water, having five or six islands much varied, and promontories of high land shoot so far into it as to form almost distant lakes; the effect pleasing. There are above a hundred acres under water, and his lordship has planned a considerable addition to it. Returned to Summerhill.