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WELL-SUNNED, WELL-AIRED MOUNTAINS.
“ Aberystwyth, October 3rd. “I wrote to Maggie yesterday, which, with a letter to Mr. Whally, I found occupation enough. The letter I wrote you from Builth was too late for the post. That day was the sweetest of all my journey, for it was among the well-sunned, well-aired mountains, where every breeze seemed to breathe health upon me. My road during the morning was up rough, and, in many places, wooded glens; but after passing Rhyadhon, where I breakfasted, I cleared the region of cultivation, taking the hill-road to what they call the Devil's Bridge, or Havod Arms, an inn within twelve miles of Aberystwyth. Among the sheep and the sheepfolds I found that air which I wanted; hunger came hours before its time, and I seemed to feel the strength of my youth. I do not find it so by the shore of the sea, though this be assuredly a sweet and healthy place, at the opening of a short valley, which in five or six miles carries you into the bleak air of the mountains. It will give you some idea of my returning strength when I tell you that next morning I arose at seven, and, with the Boots of the inn for my guide, descended to the bottom of that fearful ravine of roaring cataracts, 320 feet below the level of the road, and ascended again, and surveyed them one by one with great delight. . . . . This Aberystwyth is against letter writing. I was interrupted yesterday; and so I will interrupt my description, and leave it for a letter to dear Maggie. The house of Mrs. Brown was open to me, and a bed prepared for me. Mr. Carré also abides under her roof since her son came home. Mr. Brown has the felicity of seeing his family joined together in one mind. ... No doubt they have all to be tried, and their faith is yet but in its infancy; but it is most heart-cheering to see the house of one mind. Since my coming, Mr. Brown has opened his house at morning and evening worship to those who are godly disposed, where I have had an opportunity of instructing and counselling many of the Lord's people. Dear Carré preaches in the open air at the head of the Marine Parade, where the main street of the ancient town descends into the noble crescent which hath been builded of late years for the accommodation of the company who chiefly resort from the West of England hither
for the sea-bathing and sea-air; and he was wont to open the Scriptures further, within doors, at seven, to those who came to Mr. Brown's; but now that he has seen the better way of combining domestic worship with that household ministration, I think he will adopt it, and continue what I have begun. Mr. Brown departs for his cure at Maddington on Wednesday next week.
“Harlech, Merionethshire, 7th October. “I write you from the inn which overlooks one of the three strong castles with which Edward III. did bridle all this region of North Wales. It stands frowning, like the memory of its master, over land and over sea. Out of the window, where I have dined, I have seen the most beautiful sunset, full of crimson glory, with here and there a streak of the brightest green. It was at the time that I was with
you all in spirit in Newman Street, and I took it as a figure of the latter-day glory. Yesterday I set out from Aberystwyth, from that dear family, who were all up to see me off at seven o'clock; and, being mindful of Dr. Darling's words, rode enveloped in India rubber to Machynlleth (which being pronounced is Machuntleth). This was a stage of eighteen miles before breakfast ; nowise particularly interesting ... But from Machynlleth to Dolgelley, is by the foot of Cader-Idris, a mountain surpassed by none, if equalled hy any, for its rugged majesty and beauty. I had much communion with God in the first part of this stage, for the Church, for Mr. Cardale, but above all, for you and for all wbo have received from us life. When I descended upon the base of CaderIdris, on my left hand there shot out a vista towards the sea, which terminated in a clear and bright sky. I cannot describe the pleasure which I had in looking away from the terrible grandeur of Cader-Idris down that sweet glade opening into the beautiful skies. But it was the instant duty of myself and horse to cross up a shoulder of the mountain and get on our way.
About six I arrived at my inn, and was much refreshed by my dinner and bed. This morning I sent my horse early down to Barmouth, proposing myself to come by a boat, which I was told sailed at half-past nine and got
CARE NOT TO TAKE HIS WIFE “ OUT OF HER PLACE.” 359
down in forty minutes—all to see the scenery, which is very, very beautiful upon the estuary or loch ; but when I came to the boathouse, about two miles walking, I found the boat would not be there for more than an hour, would tarry some time, and then had a rough sea and rough head-wind to sail with. My purpose was to be here before the meeting of the church, and this is ten miles from Barmouth. There was nothing for it but to ferry over the water, and walk the remaining eight miles, along with three skinners going thither on their business, men in whom was the fear of God. I gave them my greatcoat to carry, and walked by the rough side of the loch with a strong wind ahead, and was no worse, but I thought rather the better for it. Then I rode hither, and being all alone, have been more with you than with myself. Truly the Lord hath laid Mr. Cardale upon my heart, and the whole Church, and all those to be presented, and I have prayed for them every one, according to my discernment. Show this sentence to Mr. Cardale, or transcribe it, for I am not able to write to-night,
and this to Mr. Woodhouse—(two sentences in Latin are here inserted in the manuscript). It is not because I may or can not trust you, most trustworthy wife, that I write these answers in Latin, but because I would not take you out of your place. .. Now the peace and blessing of the Lord be with you and all the house."
Bangor, 9th October. “MY DEAREST WIFE,For I have heart and strength to write only to you; indeed it is in my heart to write many letters; but a due sense of my duty of resting when the labours of the day are over, holds my hand, and I have committed my flock into the Shepherd's hand. I rode from Harlech, before breakfast, along the sea shore until we found an inlet to follow up, at the head of which sits Taw-y-bwlch, in such stillness and beauty, among the most sublime and beautiful mountain scenery. Oh! it is a place of peace and repose! Thence I crossed rugged and barren mountains, with occasional views of the ocean, until the road swept up a mountain pass of great sublimity, and opened at the head of
it upon Beddgelert, a place of the like character with Taw-ybwlch, but not so sequestered. (This is for Maggie, but it is profitable to us all). Beddgelert means, “the grave of Gelert.' Gelert was a hound of matchless excellences. The hound fell at his master's feet and breathed out his life in piteous moanings. He was hardly dead when the babe awoke from some place of greater security whither the dog had carried it, and when they looked beneath the bed they found a mighty and ferocious wolf, whose mangled body showed what a desperate conflict poor Gelert had waged that day for his master's infant. Ah, me! what faithfulness God hath put into the hearts of his creatures! what pure love must be in His own! The name Bedd-Gelert commemorates that event. Here I had a harper to play to me the choicest of the old Welsh airs, Of a noble race was Shenkin, The March of the men of Harlech, &c. The old blind man was very thankful for a sixpence, and I taught him how to use his harp as David had done, in the praise of his God. From thence I set myself to begird the roots of Snowdon, for he covered his head from the sight of man. I had seen his majestic head lifted above the mountains from Aberystwyth, and it is the only sight I have had of him. He is the monarch of
many. The mountains stand around him as they shall stand around Zion. When I was seeking to disentangle the perfect form of one of them from the mist, which I thought must surely be he, a countryman told me my mistake. That beautiful sunset which I saw at Harlech yielded only wind; and as I rode
these defiles the 'wind was terrible. It made the silken shroud over my shoulders rattle in my horse's ears until he could hardly abide it; and, in truth, I had to take it off, for the bellowing of the wind itself was enough for the nerves of man or horse. I never endured such a battery of wind. I arrived at my inn a little after the setting of the sun-Dolbaddon, an inn like a palace. Thence I rode this morning to Carnarvon, secluded on the outgoing of the Menai Straits; and I turned off my road to look at the bridge – that wonder of man's hand. And now here I am in the very house of the Shunamite woman, for though it is an inn like a castle, the Penrhyn Arms, mine hostess is a very
BEGINNING OF THE END.
mother. Mr. Pope is resident here, having married a wife of the daughters of the land. To him I wrote a letter of brotherly love; but it hath been in vain, I fear. The Lord's will be done. Now I doubt that this is too late for the post; but come when it will, let it come with the blessing of God upon you and upon all the house. I begin to feel a strong desire that you were with me. I do not know, but it may be well to commit that thing to the Lord against the time I reach Glasgow."
“Flint, Saturday Night, 11th October. “I am still able to praise the Lord for His merciful and gracious dealings; though these two last days, or rather the two before this, have been days of trial to me. When view ing the Menai bridge I got wet by a sudden gust driven through the straits by the wind, and though I put on my cloak, and changed all at that motherly inn, I had a very fevered night, and was in a very fevered state next day. Still I felt my horse's back and the beautiful day to be my medicine, and rode to Conway very slowly, having a good deal of headache. There I found myself little better, and the inn being kept by a surgeon, I was greatly tempted to take his advice. My spirits sank for one half hour, and I had formed the serious resolution of turning into the sick room. But I remembered the words of the Lord upon my journey, and ordered my horse, and having now not more than two hours of good daylight I rode with great speed, and, as it were, violently. This I soon discovered to be my remedy; for while the cool air fanned the heat of my lungs and carried it off, the violent riding brought out a gentle perspiration, until I came to the hotel at Abergele, where I gave myself with all my heart to cry to the Lord. I drank copiously of tea, and had gruel, and bathed my feet, which God so blessed, that when I awoke this morning, the feeling of all within my breast was such that I exclaimed, Can it be that I am entirely healed!' But I soon found that the Lord's hand is still upon me. Yet am I sure that I received a very great deliverance that night. To-day my headache has returned, with sick