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John Mitchel (of the Young Ireland movement and the Nation newspaper), describing Dublin during the famine in his book The Last Conquest of Ireland (perhaps):

“AFTER two years’ frightful famine,�and when it was already apparent that the next famine, of 1847-48, would be even more desolating,�it may be imagined that Dublin city would show some effects or symptoms of such a national calamity. Singular to relate, that city had never before been so gay and luxurious; splendid equipages had never before so crowded the streets; and the theatres and concert-rooms had never been filled with such brilliant throngs. In truth, the rural gentry resorted in greater numbers to the metropolis at this time; some to avoid the sight and sound of the misery that surrounded their country-seats, and which British laws almost expressly enacted they should not relieve;�some to get out of reach of an exasperated and houseless peasantry. Any stranger, arriving in those days, guided by judicious friends only through fashionable streets and squares, introduced only to proper circles, would have said that Dublin must be the prosperous capital of some wealthy and happy country.”