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A Rough Voyage
Monday, April 9.--Desiring to be in Ireland as soon as possible, I hastened to Liverpool and found a ship ready to sail; but the wind was contrary, till on Thursday morning the captain came in haste and told us the wind was come quite fair. So Mr. Floyd, Snowden, Joseph Bradford, and I, with two of our sisters, went on board. But scarcely were we out at sea when the wind turned quite foul and rose higher and higher. In an hour I was so affected as I had not been for forty years before. For two days I could not swallow the quantity of a pea or anything solid and very little of any liquid. I was bruised and sore from head to foot and ill able to turn me on the bed.
All Friday, the storm increasing, the sea of consequence was rougher and rougher. Early on Saturday morning, the hatches were closed which, together with the violent motion, made our horses so turbulent, that I was afraid we would have to kill them lest they should damage the ship. Mrs. S. now crept to me, threw her arms over me, and said, "O sir, we will die together!" We had by this time three feet of water in the hold, though it was an exceedingly light vessel. Meantime we were furiously driving on a lee-shore, and when the captain cried, "Helm-a-lec," she would not obey the helm. I called our brethren to prayers, and we found free access to the throne of grace. Soon after we got, I know not how, into Holyhead harbor, after being sufficiently buffeted by the winds and waves for two days and two nights.
The more I considered, the more I was convinced it was not the will of God I should go to Ireland at this time. So we went into the stagecoach without delay, and the next evening came to Chester.
I now considered in what place I could spend a few days to the greatest advantage. I soon thought of the Isle of Man and those parts of Wales which I could not well see in my ordinary course. I judged it would be best to begin with the latter. So, after a day or two's rest, on Wednesday, 18, I set out for Brecon, purposing to take Whitchurch (where I had not been for many years) and Shrewsbury in my way. At noon I preached in Whitchurch to a numerous and very serious audience; in the evening at Shrewsbury, where, seeing the earnestness of the people, I agreed to stay another day.
Not knowing the best way from hence to Brecon, I thought well to go round by Worcester. I took Broseley in my way, and thereby had a view of the iron bridge over the Severn: I suppose the first and the only one in Europe. It will not soon be imitated.
Tuesday, May 1.--I rode to St. David's, seventeen measured miles from Haverford. I was surprised to find all the land, for the last nine or ten miles, so fruitful and well cultivated. What a difference is there between the westermost 3636 Correct spelling parts of England, and the westermost parts of Wales! The former (the west of Cornwall), so barren and wild; the latter, so fruitful and well-improved. But the town itself is a melancholy spectacle. I saw but one tolerable good house in it. The rest were miserable huts indeed. I do not remember so mean a town even in Ireland. The cathedral has been a large and stately fabric, far superior to any other in Wales. But a great part of it is fallen down already, and the rest is hastening into ruin: one blessed fruit (among many) of bishops residing at a distance from their see. Here are the tombs and effigies of many ancient worthies: Owen Tudor in particular. But the zealous Cromwellians broke off their noses, hands, and feet and defaced them as much as possible. But what had the Tudors done to them? Why, they were progenitors of Kings.
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