The Age of Chivalry eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 350 pages of information about The Age of Chivalry.

In consequence of this, the men of the Island of the Mighty obtained such success as they had; but they were not victorious, for only seven men of them all escaped, and Bendigeid Vran himself was wounded in the foot with a poisoned dart.  Now the men that escaped were Pryderi, Manawyddan, Taliesin, and four others.

And Bendigeid Vran commanded them that they should cut off his head.  “And take you my head,” said he, “and bear it even unto the White Mount in London, and bury it there with the face towards France.  And so long as it lies there, no enemy shall ever land on the island.”  So they cut off his head, and these seven went forward therewith.  And Branwen was the eighth with them.  And they came to land on Aber Alaw, and they sat down to rest.  And Branwen looked towards Ireland, and towards the Island of the Mighty, to see if she could descry them.  “Alas!” said she, “woe is me that I was ever born; two islands have been destroyed because of me.”  Then she uttered a groan, and there broke her heart.  And they made her a four-sided grave, and buried her upon the banks of the Alaw.

Then the seven men journeyed forward, bearing the head with them; and as they went, behold there met them a multitude of men and women.  “Have you any tidings?” said Manawyddan.  “We have none,” said they, “save that Caswallawn, [Footnote:  Cassivellaunus.] the son of Beli, has conquered the Island of the Mighty, and is crowned king in London.”  “What has become,” said they, “of Caradoc, the son of Bran, and the seven men who were left with him in this island?” “Caswallawn came upon them, and slew six of the men, and Caradoc’s heart broke for grief thereof.”  And the seven men journeyed on towards London, and they buried the head in the White Mount, as Bendigeid Vran had directed them. [Footnote:  There is a Triad upon the story of the head buried under the White Tower of London, as a charm against invasion.  Arthur, it seems, proudly disinterred the head, preferring to hold the island by his own strength alone.]

CHAPTER X

MANAWYDDAN

Pwyll and Rhiannon had a son, whom they named Pryderi.  And when he was grown up, Pwyll, his father, died.  And Pryderi married Kicva, the daughter of Gwynn Gloy.

Now Manawyddan returned from the war in Ireland, and he found that his cousin had seized all his possessions, and much grief and heaviness came upon him.  “Alas! woe is me!” he exclaimed; “there is none save myself without a home and a resting-place.”  “Lord,” said Pryderi, “be not so sorrowful.  Thy cousin is king of the Island of the Mighty, and though he has done thee wrong, thou hast never been a claimant of land or possessions.”  “Yea,” answered he, “but although this man is my cousin, it grieveth me to see any one in the place of my brother, Bendigeid Vran; neither can I be happy in the same dwelling with him.”  “Wilt thou follow the counsel of another?”

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The Age of Chivalry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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