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my grief. It was wrong in thee, and I so sorely afflicted." “ Truly,” said Luned, “I thought thy good sense was greater than I find it to be. Is it well for thee to mourn after that good man, or for anything else that thou canst not have ?" 66 I declare to Heaven," said the Countess, “ that in the whole world there is not a man equal to him.” “Not so,” said Luned, “ for an ugly man would be as good as, or better than he.” 66 I declare to Heaven,” said the Countess, “ that were it not repugnant to me to put to death one whom I have brought up, I would have thee executed, for making such a comparison to me. As it is, I will banish thee.” “ I am glad,” said Luned, “ that thou hast no other cause to do so than that I would have been of service to thee, where thou didst not know what was to thine advantage. Henceforth, evil betide whichever of us shall make the first advance towards reconciliation to the other, whether I should seek an invitation from thee, or thou of thine own accord shouldst send to invite me."
With that Luned went forth; and the Countess arose and followed her to the door of the chamber, and began coughing loudly. And when Luned looked back, the Countess beckoned to her, and she returned to the Countess. “In truth," said the Countess, “evil is thy disposition ; but if thou knowest what is to my advantage, declare it to me." “ I will do so," said she.
“Thou knowest that, except by warfare and arms,
it is impossible for thee to preserve thy possessions ; delay not, therefore, to seek some one who can defend them." " And how can I do that?” said the Countess. “I will tell thee,” said Luned ; “unless thou canst defend the fountain, thou canst not maintain thy dominions; and no one can defend the fountain except it be a knight of Arthur's household. I will go to Arthur's court, and ill betide me if I return not thence with a warrior who can guard the fountain as well as, or even better than he who defended it formerly.” “That will be hard to perform," said the Countess. “Go, however, and make proof of that which thou hast promised.”
Luned set out under the pretence of going to Arthur's court; but she went back to the mansion where she had left Owain, and she tarried there as long as it might have taken her to travel to the court of King Arthur and back. And at the end of that time she apparelled herself, and went to visit the Countess. And the Countess was much rejoiced when she saw her, and inquired what news she brought from the court. “ I bring thee the best of news,” said Luned, “ for I have compassed the ob ject of my mission. When wilt thou that I should present to thee the chieftain who has come with me hither?” “Bring him here to visit me to-morrow,” said the Countess, “and I will cause the town to be assembled by that time.”
And Luned returned home. And the next day, at noon, Owain arrayed himself in a coat and a surcoat, and a mantle of yellow satin, upon which was a broad band of gold lace; and on his feet were high shoes of variegated leather, which were fastened by golden clasps, in the form of lions. And they proceeded to the chamber of the Countess.
Right glad was the Countess of their coming. And she gazed steadfastly upon Owain, and said, “Luned, this knight has not the look of a traveller." “What harm is there in that, lady?” said Luned. “I am certain," said the Countess, “that no other man than this chased the soul from the body of my lord.” “So much the better for thee, lady,” said Luned, “ for had he not been stronger than thy lord, he could not have deprived him of life. There is no remedy for that which is past, be it as it may." “Go back to thine abode,” said the Countess, “and I will take counsel."
The next day the Countess caused all her subjects to assemble, and showed them that her earldom was left defenceless, and that it could not be protected but with horse and arms, and military skill. “Therefore,” said she, “this is what I offer for your choice: either let one of you take me, or give your consent for me to take a husband from elsewhere, to defend my dominions."
So they came to the determination that it was better that she should have permission to marry some one from elsewhere; and thereupon she sent for the bishops and archbishops, to celebrate her nuptials with Owain. And the men of the earldom did Owain homage.
And Owain defended the fountain with lance and sword. And this is the manner in which he defended it. Whensoever a knight came there, he overthrew him, and sold him for his full worth. And what he thus gained he divided among his barons and his knights, and no man in the whole world could be more beloved than he was by his subjects. And it was thus for the space of three years.
* There exists an ancient poem, printed among those of Taliesin, called the Elegy of Owain ap Urien, and containing several very beautiful and spirited passages. It commences :
“ The soul of Owain ap Urien,
Reged's chief the green turf covers.” In the course of this Elegy, the bard, alluding to the incessant warfare with which this chieftain harassed his Saxon foes, exclaims :
“Could England sleep with the light upon her eyes !”
THE LADY OF THE FOUNTAIN, CONTINUED.
It befell that, as Gawain went forth one day with King Arthur, he perceived him to be very sad and sorrowful And Gawain was much grieved to see Arthur in this state, and he questioned him, saying, “O my lord, what has befallen thee?” “In sooth, Gawain," said Arthur, “I am grieved concerning Owain, whom I have lost these three years; and I shall certainly die if the fourth year pass without my seeing him. Now I am sure that it is through the tale which Kynon, the son of Clydno, related, that I have lost Owain.” “There is no need for thee," said Gawain, “to summon to arms thy whole dominions on this account, for thou thyself, and the men of thy household, will be able to avenge Owain if he be slain, or to set him free if he be in prison; and, if alive, to bring him back with thee.” And it was settled according to what Gawain had said.
Then Arthur and the men of his household prepared to go and seek Owain. And Kynon, the son