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Last month saw the release of almost a million new articles to Findmypast’s Irish newspaper archive. Take a look at what life lessons we could learn from our Emerald Isle ancestors.

One title in particular is filled with guidance. The Athlone Sentinel offered a wealth of advice on everything from being a man to the importance of white hands.

The value of energy

"He who, by any intellectual and moral energy, awakens kindred energy in others touches springs of infinite power, gives impulse to faculties to which no bound can be described- begins an action which will never end.

"One great and kindling thought from a retired and obscure person, may live when thrones are fallen, and memory of those who filled them obliterated: and, like an undying fire may illuminate and quicken all future generations."

12 June 1840

Advice to the ladies

"A white hand is a very desirable ornament", while still attached, presumably, to the owners arms. To draw attention to white hands it is recommended that she keep them in "constant motion", "which will occasion the blood to circulate freely, and have a wonderful effect".

"Let then the ladies in the morning use pure water as a preparatory ablution; after which they must abstain from all sudden gusts of passion, and particularly eschew envy, as that gives the skin a sallow paleness."

How to be loved

"When this child, about six years old, was asked what made everybody love her? she replied "I don't know, indeed, papa, unless it is because I love everybody."

12 June 1840

Advice to men in debt

"Beware of feelings of despondency. Give not place for an hour to useless and enervating melancholy. Be a man."

12 June 1840

Advice to unmarried ladies

"If you sing indifferently, hesitate not a moment when you are asked; for few persons are competent judges of singing, but everyone is sensible of a desire to please."

Actually, they had quite a wealth of guidance for the spinsters among us…

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