[2-2] Literally, ‘thyself,’ LU. and YBL. 539.
[3-3] LU. and YBL. 540-541.
“Well hast thou given judgement, little lad,” said Conchobar. “In sooth, we ourselves could not give one that would be better,” said Cathba.[a] “Why should it not be from this that thou shouldst take the name Cuchulain, (’Wolfhound of Culann’)?” “Nay, then,” answered the lad; “dearer to me mine own name, Setanta son of Sualtaim.” “Say not so, lad,” Cathba continued; “for the men of Erin and Alba shall hear that name and the mouths of the men of Erin and Alba shall be full of that name!” “It pleaseth me so, whatever the name that is given me,” quoth the little lad. Hence the famous name that stuck to him, namely Cuchulain, after he had killed the hound that was Culann’s the Smith’s.
[a] The name of Conchobar’s druid.
“A little lad did that deed,” [LL.fo.64b.] added Cormac Conlongas son of Conchobar, “when he had completed six years after his birth, when he slew the watch-dog that hosts nor companies dared not approach in the same cantred. No need would there be of wonder or of surprise if he should come to the edge of the marches, if he should cut off the four-pronged fork, if he should slay one man or two men or three men or four men, now when his seventeen years are completed on the Cattle-driving of Cualnge!”
* * * * *
THE TAKING OF ARMS BY CUCHULAIN AND THE SLAYING OF THE THREE SONS OF NECHT SCENE IS NOW TOLD HERE
[W.1068.] “The little lad performed a third deed in the following year,” said Fiachu son of Firaba. “What deed performed he?” asked Ailill.
[1-1] Eg. 1782.
[2-2] LU. fo. 61a, in the margin.
“Cathba the druid was with his son, namely Conchobar son of Ness, imparting learning to his pupils in the north-east of Emain, and eight[a] eager pupils in the class of druidic cunning were with him. That is the number that Cathba instructed. One of them questioned his teacher, what fortune and presage might there be for the day they were in, whether it was good or whether it was ill. Then spake Cathba: “The little boy that takes arms this day shall be splendid and renowned for deeds of arms above the youths of Erin and the tales of his high deeds shall be told forever, but he shall be short-lived and fleeting.” Cuchulain overheard what he said, though far off at his play-feats south-west of Emain; and he threw away all his play-things and hastened to Conchobar’s sleep-room to ask for arms. “All [W.1077.] good attend thee, O king of the Fene!” cried the little lad. “This greeting is the speech of one soliciting something of some one. What wouldst thou, lad?” said Conchobar. “To