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THE MABINOGION


GEREINT SON OF ERBIN





It was Arthur's custom to hold court at Caer Llion on Usk, and he held it continually for seven Easters and five Christmasses. And once upon a time he held court there at Whitsuntide, for Caer Llion was the most accessible place in his dominions, by sea and by land. And he gathered about him to that place nine crowned kings who were vassals of his, and along with them earls and barons; for those would be his guests at every high festival unless sore straits prevented them. And when he would be at Caer Llion holding court, thirteen church would be occupied with his Masses. This is how they would be occupied a church for Arthur and his kings and his guests, and the second for Gwenhwyfar and her ladies; and the third would be for the steward and the suitors, and the fourth for Odiar the Frank and the other officers; nine other churches would be between nine captains of the war-bands, and for Gwalchmei above all, for he by excellence of renown for feats of arms and dignity of noble birth was chief of the nine captains of the war-bands. And there might not be contained in any one church more than we have mentioned above.

  Glewlwyd Mighty-grasp was head porter to him; but he would have nothing to do with the office save at one of the three high festivals; but seven men who were in office under him would share the year between them, namely, Gryn and Penpinghon and Llaesgymyn and Gogyfwlch, and Gwrddnei Cat-eye who could see as well by night as by day, and Drem son of Dremhidydd, and Clust son of Clustfemydd, who were warriors of Arthur's.

   And Whit Tuesday as the emperor was sitting at his carousal, lo, a tall auburn-haired youth coming in, with a tunic and surcoat of ribbed brocaded silk upon him, and a gold-hilted sword about his neck, and two low boots of cordwain upon his feet; and he came before Arthur. 'All hail, lord,' said he. 'God prosper thee,' he replied, 'and God 's welcome to thee. And hast thou fresh tidings?' 'I have, lord, ' he replied. 'I know thee not,' said Arthur. 'Now I marvel thou dost not know me, And a forester of thine am I, lord, in the forest of Dean.' 'And Madawg is my name, son of Twrgadarn.' 'Tell thy tidings,' said Arthur. 'I will, lord,' said he. 'A stag have I seen in the forest, and I never saw the like of it.' 'What is there about it,' asked Arthur, 'that thou shouldst never have seen its like?' 'It is pure white, lord, and it goes not with any animal for presumption and pride, so exceeding majestical it is. And it is to ask counsel of thee, lord, that I am come.' 'What is thy counsel concerning it?' 'I shall do what is most fitting,' said Arthur; 'go to hunt it to-morrow in the young of the day, and have that made known to-night to each one from the lodgings, and to Rhyferys (who was head huntsman to Arthur) and to Elifri (who was Arthur's head groom), and to every one besides those.' And on that they determined; and he sent the groom on ahead.

  And then Gwenhwyfar said to Arthur, 'Lord,' said she, 'wilt thou give me leave to go to-morrow and see and listen to the hunting of the stag that the youth spoke of?' 'I will, gladly,' said Arthur. 'Then I shall go,' said she. And with that Gwalchmei said to Arthur, 'Lord, 'said he, 'were it not meet for thee to permit him to whom it should come in his hunting to cut off its head and give it to the one he would wish, either to his own lady-love or to his comrade's ladylove, whether it come to a rider or to one on foot?' 'I grant it, gladly,' said Arthur, 'and on the steward be the blame if every one be not ready in the morning to go a-hunting.'

  And they spent the night with temperate indulgence in songs and entertainment and stories, and service a-plenty. And when they each of them thought it time to go to sleep, they went.

  And when day came on the morrow they awoke. And Arthur called on the chamberlains who guarded his bed, none other than four squires. These were they: Cadyrieith son of the porter Gandwy, and Amhren son of Bedwyr, and Amhar son of Arthur, and Goreu son of Custennin. And those men came to Arthur and greeted him and arrayed him. And Arthur marvelled that Gwenhwyfar had not awoke, and had not turned in her bed. And the men desired to wake her. 'Wake her not,' said Arthur, 'since she had rather sleep than go to see the hunting.'

  And then Arthur went on his way, and he could hear two horns sounding, one near the lodging of the head huntsman and the other near the lodging of the head groom. And a full muster of all the hosts came to Arthur, and they set out towards the forest. And through Usk they came to the forest, and they left the high road and travelled land high and lofty till they came to the forest.

  And after Arthur had gone from the court, Gwenhwyfar awoke and called her maidens and was apparelled, 'Maidens,' said she, 'I had leave last night to go and see the hunting; and let one of you go to the stable, and let her have brought what horses are there that are suitable for women to ride.' And one of them went, and there were found in the stable two horses only. And Gwenhwyfar and one of the maidens set off on the two horses. And they came through Usk, and followed the trail of the men and horses and their tracks. And as they were travelling in this wise they could hear a mighty great commotion. And they looked back and could see a horseman on a young willow-grey charger of immense size, and a young auburn-haired bare-legged knight of princely mien upon it, and a gold -hilted sword on his thigh, and a tunic and surcoat of brocaded silk about him, and two low boots of cordwain upon his feet, and over that a mantle of blue-purple, and an apple of gold at each of its corners. And the horse stepped out high-mettled, brisk and lively, with short even tread. And he overtook Gwenhwyfar. And he greeted her. 'God prosper thee, Gereint,' she made answer, 'and I knew thee when just I saw thee now, and God's welcome to thee. And why didst thou not go to hunt with thy lord?' ' ' Because I knew not when he went,' said he. 'I too marvelled, ' said she, 'how he might go without letting me know.' 'Aye, lady,' he said, 'for my part I slept so that I knew not when he went.' 'And thou art the very best companion for me,' said she, 'of a young man, to have my companionship, in the whole dominion. And there could be as much pleasure from the hunting for us as for them, for we shall hear the horns when they are sounded, and we shall hear the dogs when they are loosed and when they start to bay.'

  And they came to the edge of the forest and there they halted. 'We shall hear from hence,' said she, 'when the dogs are loosed.' And with that they heard a commotion. And they looked back towards the commotion, and they could see a dwarf riding a big sturdy horse, wide-nostrilled, ground-devouring, strong-mettled. And in the dwarf's hand there was a whip ; and near the dwarf they could see a lady on a handsome pale white worse, of proud even pace, and a royal robe of brocaded silk about her, and near to her a knight on a great mud-stained charger, and heavy shining armour on him and his horse. And certain were they that they had never seen man and armour more remarkable for size than they; and each one of them near to the other.

  'Gereint,' saith Gwenhwyfar, 'dost know yonder big knight?' 'Not I,' he answered; 'yonder huge outlandish armour permits neither his face nor his expression to be seen.' 'Go, maiden,' said Gwenhwyfar, 'and ask the dwarf who the knight is.' The maiden went to meet the dwarf. The dwarf waited for her, when he saw her coming towards him. And the maiden asked the dwarf, 'Who is the knight?' said she. 'I will not tell thee,' said he. ' Since thy manners are so bad ,' said she, 'that thou wilt not tell me that, I will ask him in person.' 'Thou wilt not, by my faith,' replied he. 'Why? ' said she. ' Because thine is not the dignity of a person for whom it is fitting to speak with my lord. 'Then the maiden turned her horse's head towards the knight. With that the dwarf struck her with a whip that was in his hand, across her face and eyes, till the blood streamed forth. The maiden, for pain of the blow, returned to Gwenhywfar, bemoaning her pain. 'Most churlishly,' said Gereint, 'did the dwarf deal with thee. I will go,' said Gereint, 'to find out who the knight is.' 'Go thou,' said Gwenhwyfar.

  Gereint came to the dwarf. Said he, 'Who is the knight?' ' I will not tell thee,' said the dwarf.' I will ask it of the knight in person,' he answered. ' Thou wilt not, by my faith,' said the dwarf. 'Thou art not of dignity enough to have a right to speak with my lord. ' 'I have spoken with a man who is as good as thy lord, ' said Gereint, and he turned his horse's head towards the knight. The dwarf over took him and struck him in the same place as he had struck the maiden, till the blood stained the mantle that was on Gereint. Gereint set his hand to the hilt of his sword, and debated in his mind, but considered how it was no vengeance for him to slay the dwarf and the armed knight take him cheaply and without armour. And he came back to the place where Gwenhwyfar was.

  'Wisely and prudently didst thou act,' said she. 'Lady,' said he, 'I shall again go after him, with thy leave, and he will come at last to an inhabitated place where I may pro- vide myself with armour, either on loan or against surety, so that I may pit my strength against the knight.' 'Go then,' said she, ' but go not too close to him until thou art provided with good armour. And great anxiety shall I feel for thee,' said she, 'till I have tidings of thee.' 'If I am alive,' said he, 'by nones to-morrow evening thou shalt hear tidings, if I escape.' And with that he set off.

  The way they went was below the court in Caer Llion, and at the ford on Usk they crossed over and travelled fair level land, high and lofty, until they came to a walled town. And at the town's end they could see a stronghold and a castle. And to the town's end they came. And as the knight proceeded through the town the people of every house would arise to greet and welcome him. And when Gereint came to the town he looked in every house to seek to recognize any of those he might see . But he knew none , nor any one him, so that he might have the favour of arms, either on loan or against surety. And he could see every house full of men and arms and horses, and shields being polished, and swords furbished, and armour burnished, and horses shod.

  And the knight and the lady and the dwarf made for the castle that was in the town. Every one in the castle made them welcome, and on the battlements and on the gates and in every direction they were breaking their necks to greet them and make them welcome. Gereint stood and looked to see whether he would tarry in the castle, And when he knew for certain that he was staying, he looked about him and could see, a short way from the town, an old ruined court and in it a broken hall. And because he knew no one in the town he went towards the old court, and after he had come to the court he could see hardly any thing, but an upper chamber he saw, and a stairway of marble coming down from the chamber. And on the stairway he saw sitting a hoary-headed man with old tattered clothes about him. Gereint looked at him closely for a long while. The hoary-headed man said to him, 'Youth,' said he, 'what thoughts are thine?' 'I am thoughtful,' he replied, 'because I know not where I am to go this night.' 'Wilt thou come on hither, chieftain,' said he, 'and thou shalt have the best that can be got for thee?' 'I will, ' he replied, 'and God repay thee.' And he came forward and the hoary- headed man went on to the hall before him. And he dis- mounted in the hall and left his horse there, and came for- ward to the upper chamber, he and the hoary-headed man. And in the chamber he saw an exceeding old woman seated on a cushion, with old tattered garments of brocaded silk upon her; and when she had been in the flush of her youth he believed that no one had seen a woman fairer than she. And a maiden was to be found near beside her, and about her a shift and a mantle, very old and growing threadbare. And certain was he that he had never beheld any maiden more fully endowed with beauty, grace and comeliness than she. And the hoary-headed man said to the maiden, 'There is no groom for this youth's horse to-night, save thee.' 'The best attendance I can,' said she, 'I will give, both to him and his horse.' And the maiden drew off the young man's boots, and then supplied the horse with straw and corn. And she made for the hall as before, and came back to the upper chamber. And then the hoary-headed man said to the maiden, ' Go to the town,' said he, 'and the best provision thou canst manage of meat and drink, have it brought here,' 'I will, gladly, lord, ' said she, And the maiden came to the town. And they conversed whilst the maiden was in the town. And presently, lo, the maiden coming and a manservant with her, and a bottle on his back full of bought mead, and a quarter of a young ox; and in the maiden's hands there was a helping of white bread, and one manchet loaf in her mantle. And she came to the upper chamber. 'I failed said she, 'to get better provision than this, nor would I be given credit for better than this.' 'Well enough, ' said Gereint; and they had the meat boiled. And when their food was ready they went to be seated, that is, Gereint sat between the hoary-headed man and his wife. And the maiden waited upon them; and they ate and drank.

  And when they had finished eating Gereint began to converse with the hoary-headed man and asked him whether it was he who first owned the court that he was in. 'I am he, to be sure,' said he, 'who built it, and I owned the city and the castle thou hast seen. 'Alas, man, said Gereint, 'why didst thou lose it then?' ' I lost a great earldom along with it,' he replied, 'and this is why I lost them. I had a nephew, my brother's son, and his dominions and my own I took unto me. And when he came to his strength he laid claim to his dominions, I withheld his dominions from him. He then made war on me and conquered the whole of what was in my hands.' 'Good sir,' said Gereint, 'wilt thou tell me what coming was that of the knight who came to the city a while ago ,and the lady and the dwarf ? And why there is the preparation I saw by the making ready of arms?' 'I will tell thee,' said he.' It is a preparation against to-morrow for a game that the young earl has, namely, to set up two forks in a meadow that is there, and on the two forks a silver rod , and a sparrowhawk will be set upon the rod, And there will be a tournament for the sparrowhawk, and the throng thou sawest in the whole town of men and horses and arms will come to the tournament. And the lady he loves best will accompany each man, and that man will not be permitted to joust for the sparrowhawk with whom there is not the lady he loves best. And the knight thou sawest has won the sparrowhawk two years; and if he win it the third it will be sent to him every year thereafter, and he will not himself come thither, and Knight of the Sparrowhawk will the Knight be called henceforth.'

  'Good sir,' said Gereint, 'what is thy counsel to me concerning that knight, about an injury I received from the dwarf, and a maiden of Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's wife, received?' And Gereint told the hoary-headed man the story of his injury. 'It is not easy for me to give thee counsel, for there is neither woman nor maiden thou dost avow, so that thou might go to joust with him, Those arms there that were mine, thou couldst have, and, wert thou to prefer him, my horse instead of thine own.' 'Good sir,' he replied, 'God repay thee. My own horse is good enough for me, I am used to him, together with thine arms. And wilt thou not permit me, good sir, to avow yonder maiden, who is thy daughter, at the appointed hour to-morrow? And if I come from the tournament alive, my loyalty and love will be to the maiden so long as I live. If, however, I come not away, the maiden will be as chaste as before.' 'Gladly will I do that,' said the hoary-headed man, 'and since thou art settled upon that plan, thou must needs when it is day on the morrow have thy horse and thy arms ready, for then the Knight of the Sparrowhawk will make proclamation, that is, he will ask the lady he loves best to take the sparrowhawk, since it becomes her best. 'And thou hadst it, ' he will say, 'last year, and the last two. And if there is any one who denies it thee to-day, by force will I defend it for thee.' And for that reason,' said the hoary-headed man, 'thou must needs thyself be there when it is day; and we three will be with thee. ' And upon that they determined; and at that hour of the night they went to sleep.

  And before day they arose and dressed them. And by the time it was day they were all four standing on the meadow bank. And the Knight of the Sparrowhawk was then making proclamation and asking his lady-love to fetch the sparrowhawk. 'Fetch it not,' said Gereint. 'There is a maiden here who is fairer and more comely and of nobler lineage than thou, and has a better claim to it.' 'If thou maintain the sparrowhawk as her due, come forward to joust with me.' Gereint came forward to the meadow's end, furnished with a horse and heavy rusted mean outlandish armour upon him and his horse; and they bore down upon each other. And they broke a set of spears, and broke the second, and broke the third set, and that every other, and they broke them even as they were brought them. And when the earl and his troop could see the knight of the Sparrowhawk with the upper hand, then there would be a shout of exultation and joy from him and his troop; and the hoary-headed man and his wife and daughter would be sad. And the hoary-headed man served Gereint with spears even as he broke them, and the dwarf served the Knight of the Sparrowhawk. And then the hoary-headed man came to Gereint. 'Chieftain,' said he, 'see here the spear that was in my hand the day I was ordained an ordained knight; and from that day till this I have not broken it; and there is a right good point to it. For not one spear of thine avails thee. 'Gereint took the spear, with thanks to the hoary- headed man therefor. Thereupon, lo, the dwarf coming to his lord, and with him too a lance. ' See thou too here a spear that is not worse, ' said the dwarf, ' and bear in mind that no knight ever withstood thee as long as this has stood.' 'Between me and God,' said Gereint, 'unless sudden death take me, he will be none the better for thy help.' And far off from him Gereint spurred his horse and bore down upon him, with a warning to him, and struck him a keen- piercing, cruel-hard blow in the strong part of his shield, so that his shield was split and his armour broken fronting the blow, and so that his girths broke and he too and his saddle were over his horse's crupper to the ground, And Gereint quickly dismounted, and was fired with rage, and drew his sword, and fell upon him with impetuous might. The knight too arose and drew another sword against Gereint, and they fought on foot with swords until either's armour was shivered by the other, and the sweat and blood were taking away the light of their eyes. And when Gereint would have the upper hand, the hoary-headed man and his wife and daughter would rejoice; and when the knight would have the upper hand, the earl and his party would rejoice. And when the hoary-headed man saw that Gereint had received a mighty painful blow he quickly drew nigh to him and said to him, 'Chieftain,' said he, 'remember the injury thou didst receive from the dwarf. And was it not to seek to avenge thine injury thou camest here, and the injury done to Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's wife? ' And there came to Gereint remembrance of the dwarf 's words to him, and he summoned up his strength and raised his sword and smote the knight on the crown of his head so that all his head armour was broken and all the flesh and skin broken, and into his pate, and so that it gave a wound to the bone and the knight fell on his knees and threw his sword from his hand and asked quarter of Gereint. 'And too late, ' said he, 'have my false presumption and my pride permitted me to ask quarter. And if I do not gain respite to make my peace with God for my sins, and to talk with a priest, I shall be none the better for quarter.' 'I will grant thee quarter on this condition,' said he, that thou go to Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's wife, to make her amends for the injury done to her maiden by thy dwarf. Sufficient for me, however, is that which I have done to thee for what injury I received of thee and thy dwarf. And thou art not to dismount from the time thou goest hence into the presence of Gwenhwyfar to make amends to her even as will be appointed in Arthur's court,' 'And I will do that gladly. And who then art thou?' asked he. 'I am Gereint son of Erbin. And thou too, say who thou art.' 'I am Edern son of Nudd.' And he was then thrown on to his horse, and he came straight to Arthur's court, and the lady he loved best before him, and his dwarf, and a great lamentation with them. (His story so far as that.)


  And then the young earl and his troop came to where Gereint was, and greeted him and invited him along with him to the castle. 'Not I,' said Gereint. 'There where I was last night will I go this night.' 'Then since thou wilt not be invited for now, thou shalt have abundance of what I can have prepared for thee there where thou wast last night; and I will have a bath prepared for thee, and do thou rid thee of thy weariness and fatigue.' 'God repay thee,' said Gereint, 'and I will go to my lodging.' And in this wise Gereint came, and earl Ynywl and his wife and daughter. And when they came to the upper chamber, the young earl's chamberlains had come to the court with their service and were making ready all the living quarters and supplying them with straw and fire, and in a short while the bath was pre- pared. And Gereint went thereto, and his head was washed.

  And thereupon the young earl came, one of forty ordained knights, what with his own men and guests from the tournament. And then he came from the bath, and the earl bade him go to the hall to eat. 'Where is earl Ynywl?' said he, 'and his wife and daughter?' 'They are in the upper chamber yonder,' said the earl's chamberlain, putting on the raiment which the earl has had brought to them.' 'Let not the maiden,' said he, 'wear any thing save her shift and mantle until she come to Arthur's court, for Gwenhwyfar to dress her in whatever raiment she will have, 'And the maiden did not dress herself.

  And then they came each one to the hall, and they washed and went to sit and eat. This is how they sat: on one side of Gereint sat the young earl, and then earl Ynwyl; on the other side of Gereint were the maiden and her mother, and thereafter each one as his dignity gave precedence. And they ate, and had unstinted service and abundance of divers kinds of dishes. And they conversed, that is, the young earl invited Gereint for the morrow.'Not I, between me and God,' said Gereint. 'To Arthur's court will I go with this maiden to-morrow. And long enough I reckon the time that earl Ynwyl has been in penury and tribulation; and mainly it is to seek to enhance his substance that I go. 'Chieftain,' said the young earl, 'it is not through injustice of mine that earl Ynwyl is without dominion.' 'By my faith,' said Gereint, 'he will not be without his dominion unless sudden death take me.' 'Chieftain,' said he, 'concerning what discord there has been between me and Ynwyl, I will gladly abide by thy counsel, since thou art impartial as to justice between us.' 'I do not ask,' said Gereint, 'that he be given any thing save what is rightfully his, and his various deprivations from the time he lost his kingdom till this very day.' 'And I will gladly do that for thy sake,' said he. 'Aye,' said Gereint, 'let all those that are here who should be vassals of Ynwyl do him homage here and now.' And all the men did so, and that settlement was agreed on. And his castle and his town and his dominion were made over to Ynwyl, and all that he had lost down to the least jewel he had lost.

  And then Ynwyl said to Gereint, 'Chieftain,' said he,'the maiden thou didst avow the day the tournament was, is ready to do thy bidding; and here she is in thy power.' 'I desire naught,' said he, 'save that the maiden be as she is until she come to Arthur's court. And I would have Arthur and Gwenhwyfar be bestowers of the maiden.' And on the morrow they set out on their way to Arthur's court. (Gereint's story so far as this.)

  Now this is how Arthur hunted the stag. They apport- ioned the hunting stations for the men and dogs, and loosed the dogs upon it; and the last day that was loosed upon it was Arthur's favourite dog. Cafall was his name. And he left all the dogs behind and caused the stag to turn; and on the second turn the stag came to Arthur's hunting station And Arthur set upon it, and or ever a man might kill it Arthur had cut off its head. And then the horn was sounded for the kill; and then they all assembled together. And Cadyrieith came to Arthur and said to him, 'Lord,' said he, 'yonder is Gwenhwyfar, and no one with her save one maiden.' 'Then do thou ask, ' said Arthur, ' Gildas son of Caw and all the clerics of the court to proceed with Gwenhwyfar towards the court.' And that they did.

  And then they set forth each one, and they debated concerning the stag's head, to whom it should be given; one desiring to give it to the lady he loved best, another to the lady he for his part loved best, and each one of the house- hold and the knights bickering sharply over the head. And with that they came to the court. And Arthur and Gwenhwyfar heard the bickering over the head, and Gwenhwyfar said then to Arthur, 'Lord,' said she, 'this is my counsel concerning the stag's head, that it be not given until Gereint son of Erbin come from the quest he has gone on. ' And Gwenhwyfar told Arthur the reason for the quest, 'Let that be done, gladly,' said Arthur. And that was determined on.

  And on the morrow Gwenhwyfar caused watchers to be on the rampart against Gereint's coming, And after midday they could see a hump of a little man on a horse, and behind him a woman or a maiden, as they thought, on a horse, and behind her a big bowed knight, with his head hanging low, exceeding sad, and broken worthless armor! upon him. And before they came near the gate, one of the watchers came to where Gwenhwyfar was and told her the kind of folk they could see and the kind of appearance that was upon them. 'I know not who they are,' said he. 'I know,' said Gwenhwyfar; 'that is the knight Gereint went after, and I think it likely it is not of his own free will that he comes. And if Gereint has overtaken him, he has avenged in full the injury done to the maiden.' And thereupon, lo, the porter coming to where Gwenhwyfar was. Lady, ' said he, 'there is a knight at the gate, and no man has ever seen a sight so dreadful to look upon as he: there are broken worthless pieces of armour on him, and the color of his blood upon them getting the better of their own colour.' ' Knowest thou who he is ?' asked she. 'I do,' he answered.' He is Edern son of Nudd,' said he, 'but I know him not.'

  And then Gwenhwyfar came to the gate to meet him, and in he came. And it grieved Gwenhwyfar to see the sight she saw on him, did he not permit along with him the dwarf, so ill-mannered as he was. Thereon Edern greeted Gwenhwyfar' God prosper thee,' said she. ' Lady,' said he, 'greetings to thee from Gereint son of Erbin, the best and bravest of men.' 'Did he encounter thee?' she asked. 'Aye,' said he, 'and not to my advantage; but the fault of that was not his, but mine, lady. And greetings to thee from Gereint; and in greeting thee he has compelled me to this place to do thy bidding for the hurt done to thy maiden by the dwarf. But he has forgiven the hurt done him because of what he has done to me, for he thought I was in peril of my life, and a strong, forceful, firm and warriorlike compulsion did he impose upon me unto this place to do thee justice, lady.' 'Alas, sir, where did he overtake thee? 'In the place where we were jousting and contending for a sparrowhawk, in the town that is now called Caerdyf. And with him there was nothing of a retinue save three persons, very poor and mean in appearance, namely, an exceeding old hoary-headed man and an aged woman and a fair young maiden, with old tattered clothes upon them, And by Gereint's avowing the love of the maiden, he took part in the tournament for the sparrowhawk, and declared that maiden had better claim to the sparrowhawk than the maiden there, who was with me. And for that reason we jousted. And even as thou seest, lady, did he leave me.' ' Sir,' said she, 'when dost thou think Gereint will come here? ' 'Tomorrow, lady, I think he will come, and the maiden.'

  And then Arthur came to him, and he greeted Arthur. 'God prosper thee,' said Arthur. And Arthur gazed a long while upon him and marvelled to see him thus. And he thought he recognized him, and asked him, 'Art thou Edern son of Nudd?' 'I am, lord,' said he, 'having met with exceeding great affliction and unbearable wounds.' And he told Arthur the whole of his misadventure. 'Aye,' ' said Arthur, 'it is right for Gwenhwyfar to be merciful to thee, from what I hear.' ' Whatever mercy thou wilt, lord,' said she, ' I will show him, for it is as much an insult to thee, Lord, for me to be put to shame as for thee thyself.' 'The best justice in the matter, ' said Arthur, 'is to permit the man to have healing till it is known whether he will live. And if he live, let him make amends as the nobles of the court shall decide, and do thou take sureties to that end. but if he die, too much will be the death of a youth so excellent as Edern in atonenment for a maiden's hurt.' 'I am content with that,' said Gwenhwyfar. And then Arthur went as surety for him, and Cradawg son of LLyr and Gwallawg son of Llennawg, and Owein son of Nudd, and Gwalchmei, and many a man besides. And Arthur had Morgan Tud summoned to him. Chief of physicians was he. 'Take to thee Edern son of Nudd, and have a chamber prepared for him, and seek a cure for him as good as thou wouldest have it for me were I wounded. And let none into his chamber to disturb him, save thyself and thy disciples who will be about his cure.' 'I will do that gladly, lord.' said Morgan Tud. And then the steward said, 'Where is it right, lord, to give the maiden into keeping? 'To Gwenhwy- far and her handmaidens,' he replied. And the steward gave her into keeping. (Their story so far-)

  On the morrow Gereint came to the court, and Gwenhwyfar had watchers on the rampart lest he should come unawares. And the watcher came to where Gwenhwyfar was. 'Lady,' said he, 'I think I see Gereint and the maiden with him. And he is on horseback, but with a walking garb upon him. The maiden, however, I see her very white, and like to a linen garment do I see about her.' 'Make ready, all my women, and come to meet Gereint, to welcome him and wish him joy.'And Gwenhwyfar came to meet Gereint and the maiden. And when Gereint came to where Gwenhwyfar was he greeted her. God prosper thee,' said she, 'and a welcome to thee. And a profitable, prosperous, well-blessed and praiseworthy venture hast thou been on. And God repay thee,' said she, 'for having amends made me so handsomely as thou hast.' 'Lady,' said he, 'it was my desire to have amends made thee according to thy wish. And here is the maiden because of whom thou hast been freed from thy disgrace.' 'Aye,' said Gwenhwyfar, 'God's welcome to her, and it is not improper to welcome her.'

  They came inside and dismounted, and Gereint went to where Arthur was and greeted him. 'God prosper thee,' said Arthur, 'and God's welcome to thee. And even though Edern son of Nudd has come by affliction and wounds at thy hand, a prosperous venture hast thou been upon.' 'Not on me the blame for that,' said Gereint, 'but the arrogance of Edern son of Nudd himself, that he would not declare his name. Nor would I leave him till I knew who he was, or till the one should vanquish the other.' 'Sir,' said Arthur, 'where is the maiden whom I have heard thou dost avow?' 'She is gone with Gwenhwyfar to her chamber.'

  And then Arthur came to see the maiden. And Arthur and his companions and every one from the whole court welcomed the maiden. And each of them was certain that if the provision made for the maiden should be in keeping with her beauty, they had seen never any better endowed than she. And Arthur bestowed the maiden upon Gereint; and the bond that was at that time made between two persons was made between Gereint and the maiden; and a choice of all Gwenhwyfar's raiment for the maiden. And whoever might see the maiden in that raiment, he would see in her a fair, seemly and beauteous sight. And that day and that night they spent with songs a-plenty and abundance of dishes, and divers kinds of drink and profusion of games. And when they thought it time to go to sleep, they went. And in the chamber where was Arthur and Gwenhwyfar's bed, a bed was prepared for Gereint and Enid. And that night for the first time they slept together. and on the morrow Arthur satisfied the suitors on Gereint's behalf with ample gifts. And the maiden acquainted herself with the court, and companions were brought to her of men and women till there was better report of no maiden in the Island of Britain than of her.

  And then Gwenhwyfar said, 'Rightly did I hit the mark,' said she, concerning the stag's head, that it should be given to no one until Gereint came, and this is a proper occasion to give it to Enid daughter of Ynywl, the maiden of most fame. And I do not believe any one will begrudge it her, for there is naught between her and any, save what there is of love and fellowship. That was approved by all, and by Arthur too, and the stag's head was given to Enid. And from that time forth her fame increased thereby, and her companions, more than before. Gereint from that time forth loved tournament and stern combats, and he would come victorious from all. And a year was he thus, and two, and three, until his fame had spread over the face of the kingdom.

  And once upon a time when Arthur was holding court in Caer Llion on Usk at Whitsuntide, lo, coming towards him wise, prudent, and most learned and eloquent messengers, and greeting Arthur. ' God prosper you,' said Arthur, 'and God's welcome to you. And whence do you come ?' 'We come, lord,' said they, ' from Cornwall, and we are messengers from Erbin son of Custennin, thy uncle, And our message is to thee, and greetings to thee from him, even as an uncle should greet his nephew and as a vassal should greet his lord, and to inform thee that he is growing heavy and enfeebled and is drawing near to old age, and that the men whose lands border on his, knowing that, encroach upon his boundaries and covet his lands and dominions. And he beseeches thee, lord, to send Gereint his son unto him to defend his dominions and to know his boundaries. And to him he represents that it would be better for him to spend the flower of his youth and his prime defending his own boundaries than in tournaments which bring no profit though he win fame therein.' 'Aye,' said Arthur, 'go to change your garments and take your meat and rid you of your weariness, and before you go hence you shall have an answer, ' They went to meat.

  And then Arthur considered how it would not be easy for him to let Gereint go from him or from the same court as him. Neither was it pleasant nor fair to him to keep his cousin from defending his dominions and boundaries since his father was unable to maintain them. Not less were Gwenhwyfar's anxiety and longing and those of all the ladies and all the maidens, for fear lest the maiden should go away from them. That day and that night they spent with abundance of every thing ; and Arthur made known to Gereint the meaning of the mission and the messengers coming from Cornwall to him there. 'Aye,' said Gereint, 'whatever advantage or disadvantage come to me, lord, thereby, I will do thy will concerning that mission.' ' Here is counsel for thee in that matter,' said Arthur, 'though thy going will be painful to me; that thou go to settle into thy dominions and to defend thy boundaries. And take with thee the company thou desirest, and those thou lovest best of my liegemen to bring thee on thy way, and of thine own kinsmen and fellow knights.' ' God repay thee, and that will I do,' said Gereint. 'What murmuring,' said Gwenhwyfar, 'do I hear from among you ? Is it of men to bring Gereint on his way towards his country?' 'Aye,' said Arthur. 'I too,' said she, must think of companions on the way and provision for the lady who is with me.' 'Thou dost well, ' said Arthur.

  And that night they went to sleep. And on the morrow the messengers were let depart and were told that Gereint would come after them. The third day thereafter Gereint set out. This is the company that went with him : Gwalchmei son of Gwyar, and Rhiogonedd son of the king of Ireland, and Ondiaw son of the duke of Burgundy, Gwilym son of the ruler of France, Howel son of Emyr Llydaw, Elifri Anaw Cyrdd, Gwyn son of Tringad, Goreu son of Custennin, Gweir Big-breadth, Garannaw son of Golithmer, Peredur son of Efrawg, Gwyn Llogell Gwyr, elder of Arthur's court, Dyfyr son of Alun Dyfed, Gwrei Interpreter of Tongues, Bedwyr son of Bedrawd, Cadwri son of Gwrion, Cei son of Cynyr, Odiar the Frank, steward of Arthur's court. 'And Edern son of Nudd, ' said Gereint, 'of whom I hear that he is able to ride, I would have come with me.' 'Why,' said Arthur, 'it is not seemly for thee to take that man with thee, though he be well, until peace be made between him and Gwenhwyfar.' ' Gwenhwyfar would be able to permit him with me upon sureties.' 'If she permit him, let her permit him freely, without sureties, for afflictions and hurt enough are upon the man for the injury done to the maiden by the dwarf'' 'Aye,' said Gwenhwyfar, 'what thou seest to be right in that matter, thou and Gereint, I shall do willingly, lord.' And she then permitted Edern to go freely; and plenty more went to bring Gereint on his way.

  And they set out and went on their way, the fairest company that any one had ever seen, towards the Severn. And on the far side of the Severn were the best men of Erbin son of Custennin, and his foster-father at their head, receiving Gereint gladly, and many of the ladies of the court with his mother too, to meet Enid daughter of Ynywl, his wife. And every one of the court and of the whole dominion felt exceeding great joy and gladness at the coming of Gereint, so great the love they bore him, and so great the fame he had won since he went from them, and because he was minded to come and take possession of his own dominion and maintain his boundaries.

  And they came to the court. And for them in the court there was a rich amplitude of divers kinds of dishes and an abundance of drink and unfailing service, and divers kinds of songs and games. And in honour of Gereint all the nobles of the dominion were invited that night to appear before Gereint. And that day and that night they spent with con- venience of ease. And on the morrow in the young of the day Erbin arose and summoned Gereint to him, and the noblemen who had come to bring him on his way, and he said to Gereint, 'I am a man heavy with age,' said he, 'and so long as I was able to maintain the dominion for thee and for myself, maintain it I did. But thou art a young man, and in the flower of thy manhood and thy youth art thou. Maintain now thy dominion.' 'why,' said Gereint, 'of my own will thou hadst not for the present given authority over thy dominions into my hands, and thou hadst not yet fetched me from Arthur's court.' ' Into thy hands I now give it, and further, receive to-day the homage of thy men.'

  And then Gwalchmei said, 'It is best for thee to satisfy the suitors to-day, but receive the homage of thy dominions to-morrow.' And then the suitors were summoned to one place. And then Cadyrieith came to them to weigh their intent and to ask each one of them what was their request. And Arthur's retinue began to make gifts; and straightway there came the men of Cornwall, and they too gave. And it was not for long that they were giving, such was the eagerness of each one of them to give. And of those who came there to ask for gifts, not one went away thence save with his desire. And that day and that night they spent with convenience of ease.

  And on the morrow in the young of the day Erbin bade Gereint send messengers to his men to ask them whether it was convenient for them that he should come to receive their homage, and whether they felt grievance or offence for any thing they might have against him. Then Gereint sent messengers to the men of Cornwall to ask them that. They made answer that they had each one naught save fullness of joy and exaltation at Gereint's coming to receive their homage. And then he received homage of such of them as were there. And they were there together the third night. And on the morrow Arthur's retinue asked leave to depart. ' Too hard is it for you to depart yet, Stay with me until I shall have received the homage of those of my best men who purpose to come to me.' And they stayed until he had done so. And they set out towards Arthur's court, and then Gereint went to bring them on their way, both he and Enid, as far as Dyngannan; and then they parted. And then Ondiaw son of the duke of Burgundy said to Gereint, 'First traverse,' said he, 'the bounds of thy dominion, and mark well and closely thy dominion 's limits. And if oppression weigh on thee , make it known to thy comrades . ' ' God repay thee,' said he, 'and that will I do .' And then Gereint made for the bounds of his dominions , and skilled guidance with him of the best men of his dominions. And the furthest limit that was shown to him he bore in mind.

  And as had been his custom whilst he was in Arthur's court he frequented tournaments, and he pitted himself against the bravest and strongest men until he was ren- owned in that region as in the place he was in aforetime, and till he enriched his court and his companions and his noblemen with the best horses and the best suits of armour, and the best and most noteworthy jewels. And he did not cease therefrom until his fame spread over the face of the kingdom. And when he knew that, he began to love ease and leisure, for there was none who was worth his fighting against him. And he loved his wife and peace in his court and songs and entertainment, and he settled thereto for a while. And thereafter he loved dalliance in his chamber and with his wife, so that naught save that was pleasing to him, until he was losing his noblemen's hearts and his hunting and his pleasure, and the hearts of all the retinue of the court, and until there was a secret murmuring and scoffing at him by the people of the court because he was so utterly forsaking their company for love of a woman And those words reached Erbin's ears; and when Erbin had heard of it he told it to Enid, and asked her whether it was she who was causing that in Gereint and instigating him to forsake his household and retinue, ' Not I , by my confession to God ,' said she, 'and there is nothing more hateful to me than that.' But she knew not what to do, for it was not easy for her to confess that to Gereint, nor was it easier for her to listen to what she heard without warning Gereint thereof. And she felt great grief within her because of that,

  And one morning in the summer-time they were in bed, and he on the outer edge. And Enid was without sleep in a chamber of glass, and the sun shining on the bed; and the clothes had slipped from his breast and arms, and he was asleep. She looked upon the great beauty and majesty of the sight she saw in him, and said , 'Woe is me,' said she, 'if it is through me that these arms and this breast are losing fame and prowess as great as was theirs.' And thereupon her tears flowed freely, so that they fell on to his breast. And that was one of the things that woke him, together with the words she had just spoken. And another thought distressed him, that it was not out of care for him that she had spoken those words, but because she was meditating love for another man in his stead, and desired dalliance apart from him. And with that Gereint lost his peace of mind, and called upon a squire, and he came to him. 'Have,' said he, 'my horse and armour speedily prepared, and that they be ready, and do thou,' said he to Enid, 'arise and dress thee and have thy horse accoutred, and bring with thee the worst dress to thy name, to go riding. And shame on me,' said he, 'if thou come here till thou know whether I have so utterly lost my strength as thou reckonest, and further, whether it will be as pleasant for thee as was thy desire to seek dalliance with him thou wert thinking of.' And she arose and dressed in a simple dress. 'I know nothing of thy thoughts, lord,' said she. 'Nor shalt thou know them as yet,' said he.

  And then Gereint went to see Erbin. 'Good sir,' said he, there is a quest I go on, and I do not know when I shall come again. And do thou, sir,' said he, 'see to thy dominion until I come again.' I will,' said he, 'but I marvel how suddenly thou goest. And who will travel with thee, seeing that thou art not a man to travel the land of Lloegyr alone?' 'None comes with me save one other person.' 'Now God counsel thee, son,' said Erbin, 'and many a man with his claim upon thee in Lloegyr.'

  And Gereint came to where his horse was, and his horse was accoutred with heavy shining outlandish armour. And he then bade Enid mount her horse and travel ahead and keep a good lead. 'And for aught thou seest and for aught thou hearest,' said he, 'concerning me, turn not back. And unless I speak to thee, speak not one word either.' And they went on their way. But it was not the pleasantest and most frequented road that he caused to travel, but the wildest road and that wherein it was likeliest there would be thieves and robbers and venomous wild beasts. And they came to the high road and followed it, and they could see a great forest ahead of them; and they came towards the forest. And coming from the forest they beheld four armed knights, and these looked at them, and one of them said, 'This is a good place for us,' said he, ' to take the two horses yonder and the armour and the woman too, and those we shall have without effort so far as yonder solitary heavy- headed, dejected, lumpish knight is concerned.' And Enid heard those words, but knew not what to do for fear of Gereint, whether she should tell or hold her tongue.' God's vengeance on me,' said she, 'if I had not rather death at his hand than at the hand of an other. And though he slay me I shall tell him, lest he be seen slain unawares.' And she waited for Gereint until he was close to her. 'Lord,' said she, 'dost hear the words of yonder men concerning thee?' He raised his face and looked on her in anger. 'There was no need for thee,' said he, 'save to observe the order that was given thee, which was to hold thy tongue, Thy loving care is naught to me, and is no warning. And though thou long to see my death, and see me slain by yonder men, there is no fear in me.' And thereupon the foremost of them couched his spear and bore down upon Gereint. And he received him, and not as a weakling, and let his thrust go past, and he then thrust at the knight in the middle of his shield, so that his shield was split and his armour broken, and so that there was a full forearm's length of the shaft in him and he was the length of Gereint's spear over his horse's crupper to the ground. And the second knight made at him in wrath at the slaying of his comrade. And with one thrust he overthrew him and slew him like the other. And the third made at him, and him he slew likewise. And likewise too he slew the fourth, Sad and sorrowful was the maiden to see that. Gereint dismounted and drew off the slain men's suits of armour and placed them in their saddles, and he tied the reins of the horses and mounted on his horse, ' See what thou must do,' said he, 'take the four horses and drive them before thee, and go on in front, as I bade thee a while back . And speak not one word to me till I speak to thee. By my confession to God, ' said he, 'if thou wilt not do so, thou shalt not go unpunished.' 'I shall do what I can of that, lord,' said she, 'according to thy bidding.'

  They travelled on to a forest, and they left the forest and came to a great level plain, and in the middle of the plain there was a thick-set tangled copse. And they beheld three knights coming from it towards them, furnished with horses, and armour about them to the ground and about their horses. The maiden watched them closely; and when they drew near, the words she heard from them were, 'This is a good find for us, ' said they; 'without effort, four horses and four suits of armour. And so far as yonder drooping knight is concerned, we shall get them cheaply. And the maiden too will be in our power.' 'That is true,' said she, 'the man is fatigued after contending with the knights just now. God's vengeance on me if I do not warn him,' said she. And the maiden waited for Gereint until he was close to her. 'Lord,' said she, 'dost thou not hear the words of yonder men concerning thee?' 'What are they?' said he, ' They are saying amongst themselves that they will get this booty cheaply.' 'Between me and God,' said he. 'more irkesome to me than what the men say is that thou wilt not hold thy tongue for me, nor abide by my direction.' 'Lord,' said she, 'it is lest thou be taken unawares that I act thus.' 'Now hold thy tongue, and thy loving care is naught to me.' And thereupon one of the knights couched his spear and made at Gereint and thrust at him to good purpose, as he supposed, but Gereint took the thrust lightly and sent it glancing aside, and then he made for him in turn and thrust at his very middle, and what with the onrush of man and horse, all his armour availed not, so that the spear-head and a length of the shaft was out through him, and so that he too was his arm and his spear's length over his horse's crupper to the ground. The other two knights came, each in turn, and their onset was no better than the other. The maiden, standing and looking thereon, was anxious on the one hand for thinking that Gereint would be wounded contending with the men, and on the other hand for joy to see him getting the upper hand, Then Gereint dismounted and bound the three suits of armour in the three saddles, and tied the reins of the horses together, so that there were then in all seven horses with him.

  And he mounted his own horse and ordered the maiden to drive the horses. 'And it is no better for me,' said he, 'to tell thee than to be silent, since thou wilt not abide by my direction.' 'I will, lord, so far as I can,' said she, 'save that I cannot conceal from thee the dire hateful words that I hear concerning thee, lord, from outlandish folk that travel the wilderness, such as those,' 'Between me and God,' said he, 'thy loving care is naught to me. And from now on hold thy tongue.' 'I will, lord, so far as I can.' And the maiden went on her way, and the horses ahead of her, and she kept her distance. And coming from the copse which was even' now spoken of above? they traversed open country, lofty and fair, level and high and beautiful. And some distance from them they could see a forest, and except for seeing the edge nearest them they could see thereafter neither edge nor limit to the forest. And they came towards the forest. And coming from the forest they beheld five knights, impetuous, headstrong and powerful, on chargers strong, thickset, big-boned, ground-devouring, wide-nostrilled and mettled; and armour a-plenty upon the men and upon their horses. And after they had drawn near, the words Enid heard from the knights were, 'See here a good find for us, cheaply and without effort,' said they; 'all these horses and suits of armour we shall have, and the woman too, so far as yonder solitary, moping, lumpish, dejected knight is concerned,'

  The maiden was greatly troubled at hearing the men's words, so that she knew not what in the world to do; but at last she made up her mind to warn Gereint and turned. her horse's head in his direction. 'Lord,' said she, 'hadst thou heard the talk of yonder knights as I have heard it, thy care would be greater than it is.' Gereint gave a sour, vexed, and bitter jeering laugh and said, 'I hear thee,' said he, 'going against every thing that I forbid thee; and maybe thou shalt yet repent it.' And there and then, lo, the men encountering them, and Gereint, victoriously exultant, had the upper hand of the five men. And he placed the five suits of armour in the five saddles, and tied the reins of the twelve horses together and made them over to Enid. 'And I know not,' said he, 'what good it is for me to give thee orders, but this once, as a warning to thee, orders will I give thee.' And the maiden went on her way to the forest, and she kept her distance as Gereint bade her, And painful had it been for him to see trouble as great as that with the horses for a maiden so excellent as she, had anger permitted him. And they made for the forest; and deep and vast was the forest, and night came upon them in the forest, 'Maiden,' said he, 'it avails us not to try and proceed.' 'Aye, lord,' said she, 'whatever thou wilt, we shall do.' 'It is best for us,' said he, 'to turn aside into the forest to rest, and wait for day to proceed.' 'Let us, gladly,' said she. And that they did.

  And he dismounted and lifted her to the ground. 'I can- not for aught, ' said he, but sleep for weariness. And do thou watch the horses, and sleep not.' 'I will, lord,' said she; and he slept in his armour. And the night was passed, and at that season it was not long. And when she saw the dawn of day show its light, she looked around her to see whether he was waking. And with that he was waking. 'Lord,' said she, 'I had been wanting to wake thee for some time.' He was silent towards her with annoyance, for he had not bidden her speak. And then he arose and said to her, 'Take the horses,' said he, 'and go on thy way, and keep thy distance as thou didst keep it yesterday.'

  And a while into the day they left the forest and came to a most clear open plain, and there were meadows to one side of them, and men with scythes mowing the meadows; and they came on to a river, and the horses bent down and drank of the water, and they climbed from the river to a lofty hill side. And then there met them a young slender lad with a towel about his neck, and they could see a package in the towel, but knew not what it was, and a small blue pitcher in his hand, and a cup on the mouth of the pitcher. And the youth greeted Gereint. 'God prosper thee,' said Gereint, 'and whence comest thou?' 'I come,' he replied, from the town that is there before thee. Lord.' said he, 'would it displease thee to be asked whence thou too comest?' 'It would not,' said he; 'I am come through the forest yonder.' 'It is not to-day thou art come through the forest?' 'Not so,' said he, 'it was in the forest that I was last night.' 'I venture,' the youth replied, 'that thy state there last night was not good, and that thou hadst neither meat nor drink ' 'No, between me and God,' replied he. 'Wilt thou do my counsel,' asked the youth, 'to take of me thy meal?' 'What kind of meal?' he asked. 'A breakfast I was taking to the mowers yonder, naught else than bread and meat and wine. And if thou wilt, good sir, they shall have naught.' 'I will,' said he, 'and God repay thee.'

  And Gereint dismounted, and the youth lifted the maiden to the ground. And they washed and had their meal And the youth sliced the bread and gave them drink and waited on them in all. And when they had finished the youth arose and said to Gereint, 'Lord, with thy leave I will go to fetch food for the mowers.' 'Go first to the town,' said Gereint, 'and procure me a lodging In the best place thou knowest, and the most commodious for the horses. And thou,' said he, 'do thou take any one horse thou choosest, and its armour along with it, as payment for thy service and provision.' 'God repay thee,' said the youth, 'and that would be payment sufficient for a service which might be greater than that I have done thee,' And the youth went to the town and took the best and most comfortable lodging he knew of in the town. And after that he went to the court, and his horse and its armour along with him; and he came to where the earl was and told him all his adventure. 'And I will go, lord, to meet the knight and show him his lodging,' said he. 'Go, gladly,' he replied, 'and a joyous welcome will he get here, should he desire it, gladly.' And the youth came to meet Gereint and told him that he would have a Joyous welcome from the earl in his own court. But he wished for nothing save to go to his own lodging. And he got a comfortable chamber with plenty of straw and coverings, and a roomy comfortable place for his horses, and the youth had ample provision made ready for them.

  And after they had eased their garments, Gereint said to Enid, 'Get thee,' said he, to the far end of the chamber and come not to this end of the house. And summon the woman of the house to thee, if thou wilt ' 'I will, lord,' said she, 'even as thou sayest.' And thereupon the man of the house came to Gereint and bade him welcome. 'Chieftain,' said he, 'hast thou eaten thy dinner?' 'I have,' he replied. And then the youth said to him, 'Wilt thou have,' said he, 'drink or aught else before I go to see the earl?' ' I will, in faith,' replied Gereint. And thereupon the youth went into the town and fetched them drink. And they took drink. And straightway after that Gereint said, 'I cannot help but sleep,' said he. 'Aye,' said the youth, 'whilst thou steepest I will go to see the earl.' 'Go,gladly,' he replied,' and come back hither when I bade thee come.' And Gereint slept, and Enid slept.

  And the youth came to where the earl was, and the earl asked him where was the knight's lodging, and he told him. 'And I must go presently,' said he, 'to wait upon him.' 'Go,' he replied, 'and greet him from me and tell him I will go to call on him presently.' 'I w1ll,' he replied. And the youth came when it was time for them to awake; and they awoke and walked abroad. And when they thought it time to take their food they took it. And the youth waited upon them. And Gereint asked the man of the house whether he had company he would like to invite to him. 'Aye,' he replied 'Then bring them hither, to have their fill at my charge of whatever is best that may be found for sale in the town.' The best company that the man of the house had he brought there to have their fill at Gereint's charge.

  Thereupon, lo, the earl coming one of twelve ordained knights to call upon Gereint. And Gereint arose and bade him welcome. 'God prosper thee,' said the earl. They went to sit, each one as his dignity entitled him. And the earl conversed with Gereint and asked him what Journey he was on. 'I have in mind,' said he, 'only to look for adventures and to perform quests that please me.' The earl then looked on Enid with a close gaze, and he felt certain that he had never beheld a maiden fairer than she, nor better endowed, and he get his heart and mind on her. And he asked Gereint, 'Have I leave of thee to go to yonder maiden and converse with her? I see her as it were estranged from thee.' 'Thou hast, gladly.' And he came to where the maiden was and said to her, 'Maiden,' said he, 'it is not pleasant for thee on this journey with yonder man.' 'It is not unpleasant,' said she, 'for me to Journey now the way he journeys.' 'Thou hast neither men servants nor maidens,' he replied, 'to attend on thee.' 'Why,' said she, 'it is pleasanter for me to follow yonder man than were I to have men servants and maidens.' 'I know good counsel for thee,' he replied 'I will give my earldom into thy power, and do thou stay with me.' 'I will not, between me and God,' said she. 'To yonder man did I first of all pledge my troth, and I will not break faith with him.' 'Thou dost wrong,' he replied. 'If I slay yonder man I shall have thee as long as I will, and when I want thee not I will turn thee away. But if thou wilt do this for me of thine own free will, there will be unbroken eternal harmony between us so long as we live.'

  She pondered what he was telling her, and in her heart she determined to encourage him in what he asked. 'This is what is best for thee, chieftain,' said she, 'lest I be accused of faithlessness past telling, that thou come hither to-morrow to take me away as though I knew nothing of it.' 'That I Will,' said he; and thereupon he arose and took his leave and went away, he and his men. And at the time she told Gereint nothing of the man's conversation with her, lest there arise anger or anxiety in him, or distress.

  And they went to sleep at the proper time. And at the beginning of the night she slept a little. But towards midnight she awoke and set to rights all Gereint's arms, that they might be ready to put on. And in fear and trembling she came to the side of Gereint's bed, and quietly and softly she said to him, 'Lord,' said she, 'awake and array thee, and this is the earl's conversation with me, lord, and his thoughts concerning me,' said she. And she told Gereint his whole conversation. And though he was angry with her, he took warning and arrayed himself; and when she had lit a candle as a light for him to dress, 'Leave the candle there,' said he, 'and bid the man of the house come hither.' She went, and the man of the house came to him, and then Gereit asked him, 'Dost know what sum I owe thee?' 'I think it little thou owest, good sir,' said he. 'Then whatever I owe thee, take thou the eleven horses and the eleven suits of armour' 'God repay thee, lord,' said he, 'but I have not spent on thee the worth of one of the suits of Armour.' 'What matters it to thee? ' he asked; 'thou wilt be all the richer. Friend, ' said he, ' wilt thou come as a guide to me out of the town?' 'I will,' said he, 'gladly. And in what direction art thou minded?' 'In a direction other than the place where I came into the town I would wish to go.'

  The man of the lodging brought him on his way until he had all the guidance needed. And then he bade the maiden take up a distance in front, and she took it, and went on ahead, and the inn-keeper came home; and he had only just entered the house when, lo, the greatest commotion that any one had heard coming upon the house. And when he looked out, lo, he could see around the house fourscore knights fully armed, and the Dun Earl was at their head. 'Where is the knight that was here?' asked the earl. 'By thy hand,' said he, 'he is a good way off from here, and he went from here a good while since.' 'Why, villain,' said he, 'wouldst thou let him go without telling me?' 'Lord,' he replied, 'thou didst not give him into my keeping. Hadst thou so given him, I had not let him go.' 'What direction,' he asked, 'dost thou think that he went ?' 'I know not' he replied, 'but it was the high road that he took,'

  They turned their horses' heads for the high road, and they observed the tracks of the horses and followed the tracks and came to a great high road. And the maiden looked back when she saw the light of day, and she could see behind her a great haze and mist, and she saw it nearer and nearer to her. And she was perturbed thereat, and thought that the earl and his host were coming after her. With that she could see a knight appearing out of the mist. 'By my faith,' said she, 'I will warn him though he slay me. I had rather my death at his hand than see him slain without his being warned. Lord, ' said she, 'dost thou not see the man bearing down upon thee, and many other men along with him?' 'I do,' he replied, 'and however much thou art bidden to hold thy tongue, hold thy tongue thou never wilt. Thy warning is naught to me. And hold thy tongue!' And he turned upon the knight and at the first thrust threw him to the ground under his horse's feet. And so long as one of the fourscore knights was left, at the first thrust he threw each one of them. And from good to better they came at him, save for the earl. And last of all the earl came at him, and broke a spear, and broke a second, Then Gereint turned upon him and thrust with a spear at the thick of his shield, so that his shield was split and all his armour broken at that point, and so that he himself was over his horse's crupper to the ground and was in peril of his life. And Gereint drew near him, and what with the noise made by his horse the earl came to his senses. 'Lord,' said he to Gereint, 'thy mercy! ' And Gereint showed him mercy. And what with the exceeding hardness of the ground where the men were thrown, and the exceeding fury of the thrusts they received, not one of them took himself off without a mortal-bitter, grievous-hurtful, mighty-bruising fall from Gereint.


  And Gereint went his way on the high road he was on, and the maiden kept her distance. And near them they could see the fairest valley that any one had ever seen, and a great river along the valley. And they could see a bridge over the river and the high road coming to the bridge, and above the bridge on the other side of the river they could see a walled town, the fairest any one had ever seen. And as he was making for the bridge he saw a man coming towards him through a small thick copse, on a huge tall even-paced horse, mettled but tractable. 'Knight,' said Gereint, 'whence comest thou?' 'I come,' he replied, 'from the valley below.' 'Why, sir,' said Gereint, 'wilt thou tell me who owns this fair valley and the walled town yonder?' I will, gladly,' he replied. 'Gwiffred Petit the French and the English call him, and the Welsh call him Y Brenhin Bychan.'   1   'And I am going,' said Gereint, 'to the bridge yonder, and to the lower high road below the town.' 'Go not,' said the knight, 'on to his land past the bridge unless thou wouldst encounter him, for it his way that there comes no knight on to his land whom he does not seek to encounter, 'Between me and God,' said Gereint, ' I shall go my way despite him.' 'I hold it most likely,' said the knight, 'if thou do so, that thou wilt come by shame and humiliation.'

  Right wroth and hot-hearted Gereint proceeded along the road as was his intention before, And it was not the road that made for the town from the bridge that Gereint travelled, but a road that made for the ridge of the rough land, lofty, exceeding high, with a wide prospect. And as he was journeying thus, he could see a knight following him upon a powerful stout charger, strong-paced, wide- hoofed and broad-chested. And he had never seen a man smaller than him he saw on the horse; and armour a-plenty upon him and his horse. And when he came up with Gereint he said to him, 'Say, chieftain,' said he, 'was it of discourtesy or in presumption that thou wouldst have me lose my privilege and break my custom?' 'Not so,' said Gereint, 'I did not know the road was forbidden to any.' 'Since thou didst not know,' said he, 'come with me to my court to make me amends.' 'I will not, by my faith,' he replied. 'I would not go to thy lord's court unless Arthur be thy lord.' 'Now by Arthur's hand,' said he, 'I will have redress of thee, or I shall get exceeding great hurt from thee,' And without more ado they set upon each other, and a squire of his came to serve him with spears as they broke. And each of them gave the other heavy painful strokes till the shields lost all their colour. And it was ugly for Gereint to do battle with him, so very small was he, and so very difficult it was to mark him, and so exceeding hard were the strokes he dealt. And they did not weary of it before their horses were brought to their knees, and at long last Gereint threw him headlong to the ground. And then they set them to fight on foot, and each of them gave the other blows grievous-swift, painful-heavy, bitter-strong, and they pierced the helms and broke the mailcaps and battered the armour until their eyes were losing their light for sweat and blood. And at last Gereint was fired with rage, and summoned up his strength, and felon-hearted, bravely- swift, cruelly and mightily, he raised his sword and struck him on the crown of his head a blow mortal-keen, venomous sharp, grievous-bitter, until all the head armour was broken, and the skin and the flesh, and there was a wound to the bone, and so that his sword was out of the Little King's hand to the verge of the field, away from him. And then in God's name he begged for Gereint's quarter and mercy. 'Thou shalt have quarter,' said Gereint, 'but thy manners were not good, nor wert thou just-on condition that thou hold with me and go not against me a second time, and if thou hear of distress upon me, that thou relieve it.' 'Thou shalt have that, lord, gladly.' And he took his word thereon. 'And, lord,' said he, 'thou shalt come with me to my court yonder, to rid thee of thy weariness and fatigue.' 'I will not, between me and God,' he answered.

  And then Gwifred Petit looked on Enid where she was, and it grieved him to see such a press of afflictions on a woman of such noble presence as she. And with that he said to Gereint, 'Lord,' said he, 'thou dost wrong not to refresh thyself and take thine ease. And if hardship meet thee in that condition it will not be easy for thee to get the better of it.' Gereint wished for nothing save to go on his way, and he mounted his horse, bloodstained and uneasy. And the maiden kept her distance ahead.

  And they journeyed towards a forest which they could see some way from them. And the heat was great, and the armour sticking to his flesh with sweat and blood. And after they had come to the forest he halted under a tree to shun the heat, and he was then more mindful of the pain than when he had received it. And the maiden halted under another tree. And with that they could hear horns and a mustering. And this was the meaning of it: Arthur and his company were dismounting in the forest, He pondered which way he might go to avoid them, and thereupon, lo, a man on foot perceiving him. This was a servant of the steward who was there, and he came to the steward and told him how he had seen even such a man as he had seen in the forest. Thereat the steward had his horse saddled and caught up his spear and shield and came to where Gereint was. 'Knight,' said he, 'what dost thou there?' 'I am standing under a cooling tree, and shunning the ardour and heat of the sun.' 'What journey art thou on, and who art thou? ' 'Looking for adventures and journeying the way I would.' 'Well,' said Cei, 'come with me to see Arthur who is here close by.' 'I will not, between me and God,' replied Gereint. 'Thou wilt be made to come,' said Cei, And Gereint knew Cei, but Cei did not know Gereint. And Cei made at him as best he could. And Gereint grew angry, and with the haft of his spear he struck him under the chin so that he was headlong to the ground. But he had no wish to do worse to him than that.

  And wildly fearful Cei arose and mounted his horse and came to his lodging. And then he made his way to Gwalchmei's pavilion. 'Why, man,' said he to Gwalchmei, 'I have heard tell from one of the servants that a wounded knight has been seen in the forest above, and mean armour upon him. And if thou dost what is right, thou wilt go and see whether that be true.' 'I mind not if I go,' said Gwalchmei. 'Then take thy horse,' said Cei, 'and some of thy armour; I have heard tell he is none too courteous to any who come his way.'

  Gwalchmei caught up his spear and shield and mounted his horse and came to where Gereint was. ' Knight, ' said he, 'what kind of journey art thou on?' 'I am going about mine errands, and looking for adventures.' 'Wilt thou tell who thou art, or wilt thou come to see Arthur who is here close by?' 'I will not tell thee who I am, and I will not go to see Arthur,' said he. And he knew Gwalchmei, but Gwalchmei did not know him. ' It shall never be told of me,' said Gwalchmei, 'that I let thee get away from me before I learn who thou art.' And he bore down upon him with a spear and thrust at him into his shield so that the shaft was splintered in pieces and the horses forehead to forehead. And he then looked closely at him, and knew him. 'Alas, Gereint,' said he, 'is it thou who art here?' 'I am not Gereint,' said he, 'Gereint! between me and God,' he replied, 'and this is an ill-advised sorry venture.' And he looked about him and perceived Enid, and greeted her and welcomed her. 'Gereint,' said Gwalchmei, 'come thou and see Arthur. He is thy lord and first cousin.' 'I will not,' he replied, I am not in a state to go and see any one.' And thereupon, lo, one of the squires coming after Gwalchmei to have word with him. Gwalchmei sent him to tell Arthur how Gereint was there wounded and would not come to see him, and that it was pitiful to see the state he was in; and that without Gereint knowing, and in a whisper between him and the squire. 'And request Arthur,' said he, to shift his pavilion near to the road, for he will not come to see him of his own free will, and it would not be easy to compel him in the condition he is in.'

  And the squire came to Arthur and told him that, And he removed his pavilion to the side of the road. And then was the maiden's heart gladdened, and Gwalchmei enticed Gereint along the road to the place where Arthur was encamped, and his squires pitching a tent at the side of the road. 'Lord,' said Gereint, all hail!' 'God prosper thee,' said Arthur, 'and who art thou?' 'This is Gereint,' said Gwalchmei, 'and of his own free will he would not have come to see thee to-day.' 'Aye,' said Arthur, 'he lacks counsel.' And thereupon Enid came to where Arthur was and greeted him. 'God prosper thee,' said Arthur. 'Let some one lift her to the ground.' And one of the squires lifted her. 'Alas, Enid,' said he, 'what journey is this?' 'I know not, lord, ' said she, 'save that I needs must journey the way he journeys.' 'Lord,' said Gereint, 'with thy leave, we will be on our way.' 'Whither will that be?' asked Arthur. 'Thou canst not go at present unless thou go to complete thy death.' 'He would not suffer me to bid him stay,' said Gwalchmei. 'He will suffer me,' said Arthur, 'and further, he shall not go hence till he is whole.' 'It would please me best, lord,' said Gereint, 'if thou gave me leave to depart.' 'I will not, between me and God,' he replied. And then he had a maiden called to take Enid and lead her to Gwenhwyfar's bower. And Gwenhwyfar and all the other ladies made her welcome, and then the riding habit was drawn from off her and another placed upon her. And he called on Cadyrieith and bade him pitch a tent for Gereint and his physicians, and charged him to have ready plenty of every thing, as it might be requested of him. And Cadyrieith did so, even as he was bidden in all. And he brought Morgan Tud and his disciples to Gereint.

  And then Arthur and his company spent close on a month healing Gereint, And when Gereint's flesh was strong, he came to Arthur and asked leave to go his way. 'I know not whether thou art yet quite well.' 'In faith I am, lord,' said Gereint. 'It is not thou that I will believe in that matter, but the physicians who have tended thee.' And he summoned the physicians to him and asked them whether that was true. 'True enough,' said Morgan Tud.

  On the morrow Arthur gave him leave to depart, and he went to finish his journey. And that day Arthur went thence. And Gereint bade Enid travel in front and keep her distance ahead, as she had done before. And she went her way and followed the high road. And as they were thus they heard, close to them, the hoarsest shriek in the world. 'Stay here,' said he, 'and wait, and I will go and see the meaning of the shriek.' 'I will,' said she. And he went and came to a clearing that was near the road. And in the clearing he could see two horses, the one with a man's saddle and the other with a woman's saddle upon it, and a knight with his armour on him, dead; and standing over the knight he saw a young damsel with her riding habit about her, and shrieking. 'Ah lady,' said Gereint, 'what has befallen thee? 'Here was I travelling, I and the man I loved best, and with that there came three giants upon us, and without regard for any justice in the world towards him, they slew him.' 'Which way were they going?' asked Gereint. 'That way, along the high road,' said she. He came to Enid. 'Go,' said he, 'to the lady who is there below, and wait for me there, if I come.' Sad was she that that was bidden her, but even so she came to the maiden, and it was pitiful to hear her. And she was certain that Gereint would never come.

  He went after the giants and overtook them. And each one of them was bigger than three men, and a mighty club was on the shoulder of each of them, He bore down upon one of them and pierced him through his middle with a spear, and drew his spear out of him and pierced another of them as well; but the third turned on him and struck him with his club so that his shield was split and his shoulder stayed the blow, and so that all his wounds opened and all his blood was running from him. With that he drew his sword and made at him and struck him a painful-sharp! Terrible, mighty-powerful blow on the crown of his head, so that his head and throat were split right to his shoulders, and he fell down dead. And in this wise he left them dead and came to where Enid was. And when he saw Enid he fell to the ground for dead from his horse. Enid gave a terrible, sharp-piercing shriek and came and stood over him in the place where he fell.

  And thereupon, lo, coming in answer to the shriek, earl Limwris and a troop that was with him, who were travelling the road, And because of the shriek they crossed the road, and then the earl said to Enid, 'Lady,' said he, what has befallen thee?' 'Good sir,' said she, 'there has been slain the one man that ever I loved best and ever shall,' 'And thou,' he asked of the other, 'what has befallen thee?' 'He whom I loved best has been slain likewise,' said she. 'What killed them?' asked he. 'The giants said she, 'slew the man I loved best; and the other knight,' said she, 'went after them, and he came away from them even as thou seest him, and his blood running past measure. And I think it likely,' said she, that he came not away without having slain some of them, or all.' The knight that had been left dead the earl had buried, but he thought there was still some life in Gereint and had him brought along with him in the hollow of his shield and on a bier, to see whether he would live.

  And the two maidens came to the court. And after they had come to the court, Gereint was placed after that fashion on the bier on a head-table in the hall, They all drew off their outdoor clothes, and the earl begged Enid to change and put on another dress. 'I will not, between me and God,' said she, 'Why, lady,' he replied, 'be not so unhappy.' 'Very difficult it is to advise me in that matter' said she. 'I will so deal with thee that there will be no need for thee to be unhappy, whatever be the fate of yonder knight, whether he live or die. There is here a good earldom; thou shalt have it in thy power, and me too with it,' said he, 'and be joyous and of good cheer henceforth.' 'I will not be joyous henceforth, by my confession to God,' said she, 'as long as I live.' ' Come and eat.' said he. 'I will not, between me and God,' said she. 'Thou shalt, between me and God,' he replied. And he led her with him against her will to the table, and time and time again he bade her eat. 'I will not eat, by my confession to God,' said she, 'until he who is on yonder bier shall eat.' 'Thou canst not make that good,' said the earl; 'yonder man is well nigh dead.' 'I shall try to,' said she. He offered her a cup full of drink. 'Drink this cup,' said he, 'and it will give thee other thoughts.' 'Shame on me,' said she,'if I drink aught until he drink.' 'Indeed,' said the earl, 'it is of no more avail for me to be courteous to thee than to be discouteous.' And he gave her a box on the ear. She gave a great sharp-piercing shriek, and made outcry far greater than before, and it came into her mind that were Gereint alive she would not be boxed on the ear so. With that Gereint came to himself at the echoing of her shriek, and he rose up into a sitting posture and found his sword in the hollow of his shield, and hastened to where the earl was and struck him a keen-forceful, venomous-painful, mighty impetuous blow on the crown of his head, so that he was cloven, and so that the table stayed the sword. Every one then left the tables and fled out. And it was not fear of the living man that was greatest upon them, but the sight of the dead man rising up to slay them. And then Gereint looked on Enid and a double grief came over him: the one to see how Enid had lost her colour and her mien, and the other was that he knew then she was in the right. 'Lady,' said he, 'dost thou know where our horses are?' 'I know,' said she, 'where thine own went, but I know not where went the other. To yonder house thy horse went.' He then came to the house and detailed out his horse, and mounted upon it, and raised Enid up from the ground and set her between him and the saddlebow. And away he went.

  And whilst they were journeying in this wise, as though between two hedges, and night vanquishing the day, lo, they could see between them and the firmament spear-shafts following them, and they could hear the clatter of horses and the clamour of a host. 'I hear a following after us, and I shall place thee the other side of the hedge.' And he placed her. And thereupon, lo, a knight making at him and couching his spear, and when she saw that she said, 'Chieftain, ' said she, 'what glory wilt thou win by slaying a dead man, whoever thou art?' 'Alas, God,' he replied, 'is this Gereint? ' 'Aye, between me and God. And who art thou?' 'I am the Little King,' said he, 'coming to thine aid, after hearing how there was distress upon thee. And hadst thou done my counsel, there would not have befallen thee what distress there has.' 'Naught may be done,' said Gereint, 'with what God wills. Many a good,' he added, come of counsel.' 'Aye,' said the Little King, 'I know good counsel for thee even now, that thou come with me to the court of my brother-in-law who is here close by, to have thyself healed by the best that is to be had in the kingdom.' 'Let us go, gladly, ' said Gereint, And Enid was placed on the horse of one of the Little King's squires, and they came on to the baron's court, and a welcome was given them there and they received care and attendance. And on the morrow physicians were sent for, and the physicians were found, and in a little while they came. And then Gereint was tended till he was quite whole. And while he was being tended, the Little King had his armour repaired until it was as good as it had ever been at its best. And a fortnight and a month were they there.

  And then the Little King said to Gereint, 'We shall go now towards my own court, to rest and take our ease. 'Were it thy pleasure,' said Gereint, 'we would journey one day more and then return.' 'Gladly,' said the Little King 'go thou.' And in the young of the day they journeyed, and more joyously and gladly than ever did Enid fare along with them that day. And they came to a high road, and they could see it branch into two. And along one of these they could see a man on foot coming to meet them; and Gwiffred asked the man on foot whence he was coming. 'I come from doing errands in the country.' 'Say,' said Gereint, 'which road of these two is it best for me to travel?' 'It is best for thee to travel that,' said he; 'if thou go this, thou wilt never come back. Down below there is a hedge of mist, and within it there are enchanted games, and each and every man that has gone thither has never come back. And the court of earl Ywein is there, and he permits none to lodge in the town save those who come to him at his court.' 'Between me and God,' said Gereint, 'we shall proceed to the road below.'

  And they came along it until they came to the town, and in what they considered to be the fairest and the choicest place in the town they took lodging. And as they were thus, lo, a young squire coming to them and greeting them. 'God prosper thee,' said they. 'Good sirs,' said he, 'what purpose is yours here?' 'To take lodgings,' they replied, 'and stay the night.' 'It is not that man's custom who owns the town to permit any to lodge therein of gentle folk, save they that come to him in person to his court. And do you come to the court.' 'Let us go, gladly,' said Gereint. And they went along with the squire, and were made welcome at the court. And the earl came to the hall to greet them, and bade the tables be prepared, and they washed and went to sit down. This is how they sat: Gereint was one side of the earl, and Enid the other side. Next to Enid the Little King, then the countess next to Gereint; all thereafter as was proper for them.

  And thereupon Gereint thought about the game, and imagined that he would not be permitted to go to the game, and he stopped eating by reason thereof. The earl looked on Gereint, and thought and imagined that it was because of going to the game that he was ceasing to eat, and it grieved him that he had ever instituted those games, though it were only to avoid losing so excellent a youth as Gereint. And if Gereint had requested him to desist from that game he would have desisted from it gladly for ever. And with that the earl said to Gereint, 'What thoughts are thine chieftain, that thou dost not eat? If thou art dubious of going to the game, it shall be granted thee that thou go not, and that no man shall ever go thereto, in honour of thee,' 'God repay thee,' said Gereint, 'but I wish for nothing save to go to the game and to be directed thereto. If that pleases thee best, thou shalt have it gladly.' 'Best, in faith,' he replied. And they ate, and they had ample attendance and an abundance of dishes and profusion of drink. And when meat was over they arose, and Gereint called for his horse and armour and arrayed him and his horse. And all the hosts came until they were close by the hedge, and not lower was the hedge they could see than the highest point they could see in the sky. And on every stake they could see in the hedge there was a man's head, save for two stakes; and many indeed were the stakes in the hedge and throughout it. And then the Little King said, 'Will any be permitted to go with the chieftain, save himself alone?' 'He will not,' said earl Ywein. 'In what direction, 'asked Gereint, 'does one proceed here? ' 'I know not,' said Ywein, 'but in the direction most easy for thee to go, go thou.'

  And fearlessly, without delay, Gereint went forward into the mist. And when he left the mist he came to a great orchard, and he could see a clearing in the orchard, and a pavilion of brocaded silk with a red canopy he could see in the clearing, and the entrance of the pavilion he could see open. And there was an apple tree over against the entrance of the pavilion, and on a branch of the apple tree was a big hunting-horn; and with that he dismounted and came inside the pavilion. And there was no one inside the pavilion save a solitary maiden sitting in a golden chair, and another chair over against her, empty. Gereint sat in the empty chair. 'Chieftain,' said the maiden, 'I counsel thee not to sit in that chair.' 'Why?' asked Gereint. 'The man who owns that chair has never suffered another to sit in his chair.' 'I care not,' said Gereint, 'even though he take it ill that one sit in his chair.' And thereupon they could hear a great commotion near the pavilion. And Gereint looked to see what was the meaning of the commotion, and saw a knight outside on a wide-nostrilled, mettled, high-spirited, strong-boned charger, and a cloak in two halves about him and his horse, and amour enough thereunder. 'Say, chieftain,' said he to Gereint, 'who bade thee sit there?' 'I myself,' he replied. 'It was wrong of thee to do me shame so great as that, and disgrace; and do thou arise thence, to make me amends for thine own indiscretion.' And Gereint arose, and without more ado they went to do battle, and they broke a set of spears, and broke the second set, and broke the third set, and each of them dealt the other bitter-hard, swift-telling blows. And at last Gereint was fired with rage, and spurred his horse and made at him and thrust at him in the strongest part of his shield, so that it was split and the head of the spear was into his armour, and all his saddle-girths broken, and he himself was over his horse's crupper the length of Gereint's spear and the length of his arm headlong to the ground. And swiftly he drew his sword, intending to cut off his head. 'Alas, lord,' said he, 'thy mercy, and thou shalt have what thou wilt. ' I wish for nothing,' he replied, 'save that this game never be here, nor the hedge of mist, nor the charm nor the enchantment that has been.' 'That thou shalt have gladly, lord.' 'Then do thou see to it,' said he, 'that the mist disappear from the place.' 'Sound yonder horn,' said he, 'and the moment thou dost sound it, the mist will disappear. And until a knight who had overthrown me should sound it, the mist would never disappear from thence.'

  And sad and anxious was Enid in the place where she was, With anxiety for Gereint. And then Gereint came and sounded the horn, and the moment he blew one blast thereon the mist disappeared. And the company came together, and peace was made between each one of them and his fellow. And that night the earl invited Gereint and the Little King, and on the morrow early they parted and Gereint went towards his own domain. And he ruled it from that time forth prosperously, he and his prowess and valour continuing with fame and renown for him and for Enid from that time forth.


FOOTNOTES


[1]  Y Brenhin Bychan: The Little King.


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