Work they have Done - "Wearin' o' the Green."
Many fair debutantes have made their bow at Dublin Castle before curtseying to the Sovereign at St. James's or Buckingham Palace, and the social records of the Irish Viceroyalty teem with the figures of great soldiers from Wellington to Lord Roberts, and of fair women, to mention only Lady Ormonde, who, when she attended a St. Patrick's ball in the first blush of her girlish beauty, caused the musicians to forget their parts.
The position of the wife of the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland has been one of increasing importance, and to-day she plays a part in public life almost equal to that of her husband; a knight of St. Patrick, however, she is not created.
There are, however, many pitfalls to popularity, and she may well search for the four - leaved shamrock to bring her good luck.
As she makes her public entry into Dublin with the Viceroy, passing through the dense crowds in State procession, with postillions and outriders, she will realise that she is in the midst of a people of different religion, who are conscious of subjugation, and in many of whom dislike of the Saxon rule burns as fiercely as it did in their forefathers.
As the grim and gloomy gates of Dublin Castle close behind her, she will feel that she is face to face with a difficult position. Success depends on her ability to realise the Irish point of view. That is more important than slavish adherence to points of Viceregal etiquette. True she has driven through lines of cheering, merry faces. The people are good-natured and hospitable. Pat and Biddy on the kerb are ready to give their Cead Mille Failthe to the Lord-lieutenant and his lady so far as they are concerned, but they " don't like the Castle," and they resent all that it stands for in their national history.
The great task of the Vicereine is to make the Castle popular. From it deeds of beneficence must flow in ceaseless succession, and its social functions should be arranged primarily to give the mothers and (daughters of Ireland their chance, not merely to amuse a section of English society transplanted to Dublin for a few weeks in winter.
The Countess of Aberdeen. Vicereine of Ireland Lafayette, Ltd