I left Doublin in company with Tam Neuel (Tom Neville), an Irishman, and native of Korq, and took a passport from the Viceroy of Ireland, who was then the Earl of Ormond.15
At six miles towards Limmerik we found a village called Fortinguesse (Fox and geese) destroyed by the war. There remained but one house, where was an English garrison. In the evening we arrived at Racoul (Rathcool),16 eighteen
p.8miles from Doublin, where I saw the house of the late Lord Strafford, Viceroy of Ireland, beheaded in London.17 This castle belongs to his brother,18 who resides in Doublin, and guards it by forty English soldiers. Racoul is a large village nearly ruined by the wars.
The second day we dined at Kilcolin Bridge (Kilcullen Bridge), where ends the English ground.19 We swam over a little river20 with much trouble, carrying our clothes upon our heads; the Irish having broken the bridge 21 during the religious wars. All this country was laid waste,22 and we found none but
p.9poor unfortunates on the roads, who sold buttermilk and a little oaten bread. After having passed this river, we came to sleep at Castle Dairmon (Castle Dermot) a little village under the dominion of the Catholics. It is twelve miles from Racoul.23
The third day we went to Kinkakoul ( )24 then to Balinhoulan (Ballylaughan), where there is25 a fine castle, of which the governor was of the English nation, and lately converted to the Catholic
p.10religion. This village is distant thirteen miles from Castle d'Airmon.
The fourth day we arrived at Kilkinik (Kilkenny), the Catholic capital, the seat of the Confederation of Ireland. This city is the size of Orleans,26 seated on a small river which empties itself into the sea at eighteen miles distance.27 Its castle 28 is placed on
p.11the river. There are monasteries of Jacobins,29 of Recolets,30 and a college of Jesuits,31 who are in great honour among the people.
At the gates of the city they seized upon me and led me to the mayor,32 who judging by my physiognomy that I was English, told me that I was a spythat my figure, my speech, and carriage were those of a native of England. I maintained that he was
p.12mistaken, and as politely as I could contradicted him, telling him that I was of the French nation, and a good Catholic; that the passports I had from the King of England were proof of what I advanced, that he might read them and inform himself of my profession. He took them rudely enough from my hands, and reading only the superscription in English, Mestre le Gouz his passe which signifies the pass of Mounsieur le Gouz, he was confirmed in his error, and said to the company, See, if this name be not English, and if I have not judged rightly that this fellow is a spy. Let the soldiers come and take him to prison; we do not so easily suffer these sort of ramblers; we will soon discover the truth. The impertinence of this Lord 33 shocked me: I replied to him, You say I am English without any foundation, but your imagination. Is there no Frenchman here who can judge if the French language is not natural to me, and English strange? As for my name, it is English;34 and it may be that my ancestors formerly came from England to live in Brittany, after the invasion of the Saxons, as those of many other French families did.
p.13He sent in search of an inhabitant, a native of Caen, in Normandy, who assured him that I was French. I had leave to withdraw; and owing to the Catholic Council which was held in this town the hotels were so full, 35 that if I had not met with a Norman, called Beauregard, I should have been forced to lie in the streets.