The Age of Fable eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,207 pages of information about The Age of Fable.

As Kay and Bedwyr sat on a beacon-cairn on the summit of Plinlimmon, in the highest wind that ever was, they looked around them and saw a great smoke, afar off.  Then said Kay, “By the hand of my friend, yonder is the fire of a robber.”  Then they hastened towards the smoke, and they came so near to it that they could see Dillus Varwawc scorching a wild boar.  “Behold, yonder is the greatest robber that ever fled from Arthur,” said Bedwyr to Kay.  “Dost thou know him?” “I do know him,” answered Kay; “he is Dillus Varwarc, and no leash in the world will be able to hold the cubs of Gast Rhymi, save a leash made from the beard of him thou seest yonder.  And even that will be useless unless his beard be plucked out alive, with wooden tweezers; for if dead it will be brittle.”  “What thinkest thou that we should do concerning this?” said Bedwyr.  “Let us suffer him.” said Kay, “to eat as much as he will of the meat, and after that he will fall asleep.”  And during that time they employed themselves in making the wooden tweezers.  And when Kay knew certainly that he was asleep, he made a pit under his feet, and he struck him a violent blow, and squeezed him into the pit.  And there they twitched out his beard completely with the wooden tweezers, and after that they slew him altogether.  And from thence they went, and took the leash made of Dillus Varwawc’s beard, and they gave it into Arthur’s hand.

Thus they got all the marvels that Yspadaden Penkawr had required of Kilwich; and they set forward, and took the marvels to his court.  And Kilwich said to Yspadaden Penkawr, “Is thy daughter mine now?” “She is thine,” said he, “but therefore needest thou not thank me, but Arthur, who hath accomplished this for thee.”  Then Goreu, the son of Custennin, the herdsman, whose brothers Yspadaden Penkawr had slain, seized him by the hair of his head, and dragged him after him to the keep, and cut off his head, and placed it on a stake on the citadel.  Then they took possession of his castle, and of his treasures.  And that night Olwen became Kilwich’s bride, and she continued to be his wife as long as she lived.



Gwyddno Garanhir was sovereign of Gwaelod, a territory bordering on the sea.  And he possessed a weir upon the strand between Dyvi and Aberystwyth, near to his own castle, and the value of an hundred pounds was taken in that weir every May eve.  And Gwyddno had an only son named Elphin, the most hapless of youths, and the most needy.  And it grieved his father sore, for he thought that he was born in an evil hour.  By the advice of his council, his father had granted him the drawing of the weir that year, to see if good luck would ever befall him, and to give him something wherewith to begin the world.  And this was on the twenty-ninth of April.

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The Age of Fable from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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