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The Delights of North Wales

Friday, August 6.—On this and the next day I finished my business in Ireland, so as to be ready to sail at an hour’s warning.

Sunday, 8.—We were to sail, the wind being fair; but as we were going aboard, it turned full east. I find it of great use to be in suspense: it is an excellent means of breaking our will. May we be ready either to stay longer on this shore or to launch into eternity!

On Tuesday evening I preached my farewell sermon.  Mr. Walsh did the same in the morning. We then walked to the quay. But it was still a doubt whether we were to sail or no, Sir T. P. having sent word to the captain of the packet that if the wind were fair, he would go over; and it was his custom to keep the whole ship to himself. But the wind coming to the east, he would not go; so about noon we went on board. In two or three hours we reached the mouth of the harbor. It then fell calm. We had five cabin-passengers beside Mr. Walsh, Haughton, Morgan, and me. They were all civil and tolerably serious; the sailors likewise behaved uncommonly well.

Thursday, 12.—About eight we began singing on the quarter-deck and soon drew all our fellow passengers, as well as the captain, with the greatest part of his men. I afterward gave an exhortation. We then spent some time in prayer. They all kneeled down with us; nor did their seriousness wear off all the day. About nine we landed at Holyhead, after a pleasant passage of twenty-three hours.

Friday, 13.—Having hired horses for Chester, we set out about seven. Before one we reached Bangor, the situation of which is delightful beyond expression. Here we saw a large and handsome cathedral, but no trace of the good old monks of Bangor so many hundreds of whom fell a sacrifice at once to cruelty and revenge. The country from hence to Penmaen-Mawr is far pleasanter than any garden. Mountains of every shape and size, vales clothed with grass or corn, woods and smaller tufts of trees, were continually varying on the one hand, as was the sea prospect on the other.

Penmaen-Mawr itself rises almost perpendicular to an enormous height from the sea. The road runs along the side of it, so far above the beach that one could not venture to look down except that there is a wall built all along, about four feet high. Meantime, the ragged cliff hangs over one’s head as if it would fall every moment. An hour after we had left this awful place, we came to the ancient town of Conway. It is walled round, and the walls are in tolerably good repair. The castle is the noblest ruin I ever saw. It is four-square and has four large round towers, one at each corner, the inside of which have been stately apartments. One side of the castle is a large church, the windows and arches of which have been curiously wrought. An arm of the sea runs round two sides of the hill on which the castle stands—once the delight of kings, now overgrown with thorns and inhabited by doleful birds only.

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