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Wesley in the Fens

Tuesday, 22.--I took a solemn and affectionate leave of the society at Norwich. About twelve we took coach. About eight, Wednesday, 23, Mr. Dancer met me with a chaise and carried me to Ely. Oh, what want of common sense! Water covered the high road for a mile and a half. I asked, "How must foot-people come to the town?" "Why, they must wade throughl"

About two I preached in a house well filled with plain, loving people. I then took a walk to the cathedral, one of the most beautiful I have seen. The western tower is exceedingly grand, and the nave of an amazing height. Hence we went through a fruitful and pleasant country, though surrounded with fens, to Sutton. Here many people had lately been stirred up: they had prepared alarge barn. At six o'clock it was well filled, and it seemed as if God sent a message to every soul.

Friday, 25.--I set out between eight and nine in a one-horse chaise, the wind being high and cold enough. Much snow lay on the ground, and much fell as we crept along over the fen-banks.

Honest Mr. Tubbs would needs walk and lead the horse through water and mud up to his mid-leg, smiling and saying, "We fen-men do not mind a little dirt." When we had gone about four miles, the road would not admit of a chaise. So I borrowed a horse and rode forward; but not far, for all the grounds were under water. Here, therefore, I procured a boat, fully twice as large as a kneading-trough. I was at one end, and a boy at the other, who paddled me safe to Erith. There Miss L-- waited for me with another chaise, which brought me to St. Ives.

No Methodist, I was told, had preached in this town, so I thought it high time to begin. About one I preached to a very well-dressed and yet well-behaved congregation. Thence my new friend (how long will she be such?) carried me to Godmanchester, near Huntingdon. A large barn was ready, in which Mr. Berridge and Mr. Venn used to preach. And though the weather was still severe, it was well filled with deeply attentive people.

Saturday, 26.--I set out early, and in the evening reached London.

1775. Wednesday, February 22.--Ihad an opportunity of seeing Mr. Gordon's curious garden at Mile End, the like of which I suppose is hardly to be found in England, if in Europe. One thing in particular I learned here, the real nature of the tea tree. I was informed 1) that the green and the bohea are of quite different species; 2)that the bohea is much tenderer thanthe green; 3) that the green is an evergreen and bears, not only in the open air, but in the frost, perfectly well; 4) that the herb of Paraguay likewise bears the frost and is a species of tea; 5) and I observed that they are all species of bay or laurel. The leaf of green tea is both of the color, shape, and size of a bay leaf; that of bohea is smaller, softer, and of a darker color. So is the herb of Paraguay, which is of a dirty green and no larger than our common red sage.

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