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night. And they ate and feasted, and spent the night in mirth and tranquillity. And the time came that they should sleep, and Pwyll and Rhiannon went to their chamber.

And next morning at break of day, “ My lord,” said Rhiannon, “ arise and begin to give thy gifts unto the minstrels. Refuse no one to-day that may claim thy bounty.” “ Thus shall it be gladly,” said Pwyll,“ both to-day and every day while the feast shall last.” So Pwyll arose, and he caused silence to be proclaimed, and desired all the suitors and minstrels to show and to point out what gifts they desired. And this being done, the feast went on, and he denied no one while it lasted. And when the feast was ended, Pwyll said unto Heveydd, “My lord, with thy permission, I will set out for Dyved to-morrow.”

Certainly,” said Heveydd ; “may Heaven prosper thee! Fix also a time when Rhiannon shall follow thee.” “By Heaven," said Pwyll, "we will go hence together.” “Willest thou this, lord ?” said Heveydd. “ Yes, lord,” answered Pwyll.

And the next day they set forward towards Dyved, and journeyed to the palace of Narberth, where a feast was made ready for them. And there came to them great numbers of the chief men and the most noble ladies of the land, and of these there were none to whom Rhiannon did not give some rich gift, either a bracelet, or a ring, or a precious stone. And they ruled the land prosperously that year and the next.

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CHAPTER IX.

BRANWEN, THE DAUGHTER OF LLYR.

BENDIGEID VRAN, the son of Llyr, was the crowned king of this island, and he was exalted from the crown of London. And one afternoon he was at Harlech, in Ardudwy, at his court; and he sat upon the rock of Harlech, looking over the sea. And with him were his brother, Manawyddan, the son of Llyr, and his brothers by the mother's side, Nissyen and Evnissyen, and many nobles likewise, as was fitting to see around a king. His two brothers by the mother's side were the sons of Euroswydd, and one of these youths was a good youth, and of gentle nature, and would make peace between his kindred, and cause his family to be friends when their wrath was at the highest, and this one was Nissyen ; but the other would cause strife between his two brothers when they were most at peace. And as they sat thus, they beheld thirteen ships coming from the south of Ireland, and making towards them ; and they came with a swift motion, the wind being behind them; and they neared them

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rapidly. I see ships afar," said the king," coming swiftly towards the land. Command the men of the court that they equip themselves, and go and learn their intent.” So the men equipped themselves, and went down towards them. And when they saw the ships near, certain were they that they had never seen ships better furnished. Beautiful flags of satin were upon them. And, behold, one of the ships outstripped the others, and they saw a shield lifted up above the side of the ship, and the point of the shield was upwards, in token of peace. And the men drew near, that they might hold con

Then they put out boats, and came toward the land. And they saluted the king. Now the king could hear them from the place where he was upon the rock above their heads. "Heaven prosper you,” said he, “and be ye welcome! To whom do these ships belong, and who is the chief amongst

“ Lord,” said they, “ Matholch, king of Ireland, is here, and these ships belong to him.” “ Wherefore comes he ?” asked the king, “ and will he come to the land ?”

“ He is a suitor unto thee, lord,” said they, “and he will not land unless he have his boon." “ And what may that be?” inquired the king. “ He desires to ally himself, lord, with thee,” said they, “ and he comes to ask Branwen, the daughter of Llyr, that, if it seem well to thee, the Island of the Mighty* may be leagued

* The Island of the Mighty is one of the many names bestowed upon Britain by the Welsh.

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with Ireland, and both become more powerful." “ Verily,” said he, “ let him come to land, and we will take counsel thereupon.” And this answer was brought to Matholch. “ I will go willingly,” said he. So he landed, and they received him joyfully; and great was the throng in the palace that night, between his hosts and those of the court; and next day they took counsel, and they resolved to bestow Branwen upon Matholch. Now she was one of the three chief ladies of this island, and she was the fairest damsel in the world.

And they fixed upon Aberfraw as the place where she should become his bride. And they went thence, and towards Aberfraw the hosts proceeded, Matholch and his host in their ships, Bendigeid Vran and his host by land, until they came to Aberfraw. And at Aberfraw they began the feast, and sat down. And thus sat they : the king of the Island of the Mighty and Manawyddan, the son of Llyr, on one side, and Matholch on the other side, and Branwen, the daughter of Llyr, beside him. And they were not within a house, but under tents. No house could ever contain Bendigeid Vran. And they began the banquet, and caroused and discoursed. And when it was more pleasing to them to sleep than to carouse, they went to rest, and Branwen became Matholch's bride.

And next day they arose, and all they of the court, and the officers began to equip, and to range

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the horses and the attendants, and they ranged them in order as far as the sea.

And, behold, one day Evnissyen, the quarrelsome man, of whom it is spoken above, came by chance into the place where the horses of Matholch were, and asked whose horses they might be. “ They are the horses of Matholch, king of Ireland, who is married to Branwen, thy sister; his horses are they.” 66 And is it thus they have done with a maiden such as she, and moreover my sister, bestowing her without my consent? They could have offered no greater insult to me than this,” said he. And thereupon he rushed under the horses, and cut off their lips at the teeth, and their ears close to their heads, and their tails close to their backs; and he disfigured the horses, and rendered them useless.

And they came with these tidings unto Matholch, saying that the horses were disfigured and injured, so that not one of them could ever be of any use again. “Verily, lord,” said one, “it was an insult unto thee, and as such was it meant.” “Of a truth, it is a marvel to me that, if they desire to insult me, they should have given me a maiden of such high rank, and so much beloved of her kindred, as they have done.” “Lord,” said another, “thou seest that thus it is, and there is nothing for thee to do but to go to thy ships.” And thereupon towards his ships he set out.

And tidings came to Bendigeid Vran that Matholch was quitting the court without asking leave,

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