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CHAPTER VII.

IRISH INDUSTRIES

IT

is usually supposed that there is very

little romance about industry or business of any sort. In general, this is doubtless true, out there is an element which enters into certain kinds of industry, which if not exactly romantic, is assuredly not prosaic.

The cottage industries, as they have come to be popularly known, of Ireland, have this element of romanticism, or assuredly picturesqueness, which is not usually associated with the matter-of-fact throbbing loom and busy shuttle.

This particular phase of industry has of late become somewhat of a fad, so far as people taking an interest in its product goes, though there is a very real, tangible, and practical side to it for the workers, who, perforce, might otherwise be in idleness.

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The public-spirited men and women who have encouraged this special industry, or industries rather, for it comprehends lace-making, embroideries, and homespun woollens, are to be thanked and congratulated by reason of the success which has resulted from their efforts.

Everybody has a vague idea that there are certain products which come out of Ireland in large quantities. When called to specialize or enumerate them, they stop short at fine linen and bacon. Beyond this — what? There is but one way to find out, if one is not to visit Ireland itself, and that is from the government publications, Chamber of Commerce reports, and the like. These are dry reading, however, for some people impossible reading, and there is very little romance about them.

When one actually visits Ireland, and sees the Limerick pig in all his gaucheries, and his product in sausages, hams, and bacons, there is perhaps more romance connected with it, for there is a certain picturesqueness which invariably surrounds him. It may be a redskirted, blue-coated colleen, or it may be a green-trousered, pot-hatted gossoon, who is

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