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An Exhausting Day

Wednesday, 25.--I took horse a little after four and, about two, preached in the market place at Llanidloes, two or three and forty miles from Shrewsbury. At three we rode forward through the mountains to the Fountainhead. I was for lodging there; but Mr. B-- being quite unwilling, we mounted again about seven. After having ridden an hour, we found we were quite out of the way, having been wrongly directed at setting out. We were then told to ride over some grounds; but our path soon ended in the edge of a bog. However, we got through to a little house where an honest man, instantly mounting his horse, galloped before us, up hill and down, till he brought us into a road which, he said, led straight to Roes Fair.

We rode on till another met us and said, "No; this is the way to Aberystwith. If you go to Roes Fair, you must turn back and ride down to yonder bridge." The master of the little house near the bridge then directed us to the next village, where we inquired again (it being past nine), and were once more set exactly wrong. Having wandered an hour upon the mountains, through rocks, and bogs, and precipices, we, with abundance of difficulty, got back to the little house near the bridge. It was in vain to think of rest there, it being full of drunken, roaring miners; besides that, there was but one bed in the house, and neither grass, nor hay, nor corn, to be had. So we hired one of them to walk with us to Roes Fair, though he was miserably drunk till, by falling all his length in a purling stream, he came tolerably to his senses. Between eleven and twelve we came to the inn; but neither here could we get any hay.

When we were in bed, the good hostler and miner thought good to mount our beasts. I believe it was not long before we rose that they put them into the stable. But the mule was cut in several places, and my mare was bleeding like a pig, from a wound behind, two inches deep, made, it seemed, by a stroke with a pitchfork. What to do we could not tell till I remembered I had a letter for one Mr. Nathaniel Williams, whom, upon inquiry, I found to live but a mile off. We walked thither and found “an Israelite indeed," who gladly received both man and beast.

After I had got a little rest,: Mr. W. desired me to give an exhortation to a few of his neighbors. None was more struck therewith than one of his own family, who before cared for none of these things. He sent a servant with us after dinner to Tregarron from whence we had a plain road to Lampeter.

Friday, 27.--We rode through a lovely vale and over pleasant and fruitful hills to Carmarthen. Thence, after a short bait, we went on to Pembroke and came before I was expected; so I rested that night, having not quite recovered my journey from Shrewsbury to Roes Fair.

Sunday, 29.--The minister of St. Mary's sent me word he was very willing I should preach in his church; but, before service began, the mayor sent to forbid it; so he preached a very useful sermon himself. The mayor's behavior so disgusted many of the gentry that they resolved to hear where they could; and accordingly flocked together in the evening from all parts of the town. Perhaps the taking up this cross may profit them more than my sermon in the church would have done.

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