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The Mabinogion, tr. by Lady Charlotte Guest, [1877], at

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217a KILHWCH AND OLWEN.--Page 217.

THE curious tale of Kilhwch and Olwen appears to be purely British. The characters and events which it celebrates are altogether of native origin, nor has any parallel or counterpart been discovered in any other language.

It abounds in allusions to traditions of personages and incidents belonging to a remote period, and, though it is true that some few of these have now become obscure or unintelligible, yet many are, even to the present day, current in the principality. Of a much greater number, though all distinct recollection has ceased to exist, yet the frequent references made to them in Bardic and other remains, prove that, to our ancestors at least, they were well known; and so numerous are the instances we meet with of this class, that we may safely infer that all the allusions this Mabinogi contains were generally familiar to those for whom it was designed.

Beyond the adventures here ascribed to him, no particulars of the hero Kilhwch mab Kilydd mab Kelyddon have come down to us.

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217b ANLAWDD WLEDIG.--Page 217.

THE name of this prince occurs in the Pedigrees as being father of Tywynwedd the mother of Tyvrydog mab Arwystli Gloff. Tyvrydog was a saint who flourished in the sixth century. (Rees's Welsh Saints, p. 276.) In the Pedigrees, Tywynwedd is mentioned as the mother of Caradawc Vreichvras, of Gwyn ab Nudd, and Gwallawc ab Lleenawg.

Eigr, the fair Ygraine of romance and mother of King Arthur, is likewise said to have been the daughter of Anlawdd, by Gwen, the daughter of Cunedda Wledig. This explains the relationship between Kilhwch and Arthur.


218a KING DOGGED.--Page 218.

THE name of this most unfortunate king is enrolled among the number of the Saints of Wales, and he is recorded as the founder or the church of Llauddogged in Denbighshire. King Dogged was the son of Cedig ab Ceredig 1 ab Cunedda. Wledig, and brother of Avan Buallt, a bishop, whose tomb still remains at the church of Llanavan Fawr, in Breconshire, which he founded. The date assigned to these brothers is from 500 to 542.--Rees's Welsh Saints, p. 209.


219a OLWEN.--Page 219.

OF Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr, but little is now known beyond what is related concerning her in the present tale; but with the bards of old her beauty had passed into a proverb. Amongst those who made frequent allusion to her charms, we may instance Davydd ap Gwilym, the Petrarch of Wales; and Sion Brwynog, a poet who flourished in the sixteenth century, commences some complimentary verses addressed to a young damsel, by comparing her to

"Olwen of slender eyebrow, pure of heart."


219b CUT THY HAIR.--Page 219.

IN the eighth century, it was the custom of people of consideration to have their children's hair cut the first time by persons for whom they had a particular honour and esteem, who in virtue of this ceremony were reputed a sort of spiritual parents, or godfathers to them. This practice appears, however, to have been still more ancient, inasmuch

p. 261

as we read that Constantine sent the Pope the hair of his son Heraclius, as a token that he desired him to be his adoptive father.--See Rees's Cyclopædia.


219c A HUNDRED KINE.--Page 219.

IT appears that in early times cows formed the standard of currency among the Welsh; for in the laws of Howel Dda, after a certain enactment concerning the payment of fines, the following remark is added, "For with cows all payments were made formerly." And the price of a cow is stated to be forty pence.

The Liber Landavensis furnishes numerous examples of the custom of resorting to this method of valuation. Amongst others may be instanced the case of Brychan, the son of Gwyngon, who bought three uncias of land, on which three villages were situated, "for seven horses of the value of twenty-eight cows, and the whole apparel of one man of the value of fourteen cows, and a sword of the value of twelve cows, and a hawk of the value of six cows, with four dogs of the value of fourteen cows," p. 456. This property, consisting of about 324 acres, was purchased by him to present to the Church of Llandaff, in the time of Bishop Trychan, who is supposed to have lived about the early part of the seventh century.



PENGWAED is the Land's End. In the Triad on the three divisions of Britain, it is named as the extreme point to the south of the island, which was distant nine hundred miles from Penrhyn Blathaon, supposed to be Caithness in North Britain.--Triad ii.



ARTHUR'S ship is mentioned several times in the course of the present tale. Its name was Prydwen, and under that appellation it is alluded to by Taliesin in his Preidden Annwn, 1 the Spoils of Hell. In that mystical poem, which appears to be full of allusions to traditions now no longer intelligible, various expeditions, consisting of as many warriors as would have thrice filled Prydwen, are represented as setting forth on different enterprises, from each of which only seven returned.

The ancient chroniclers speak of these treasures of Arthur's with due reverence. Sometimes, however, they bestow the name of Prydwen on his shield instead of his ship. Thus old Robert of Gloucester, in the following quaint description,

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Þe kynn, was aboue yarmed wyþ haubert noble & rẏche,
wẏþ helm of gold on ys heued, (nas nour hẏm ẏlẏche)
Þe fourme of a dragon þeron was ycast.
Hys sseld, þat het Prydwen, was þanne ẏhonge wast
Aboute ys ssoldren, and þeron ẏpeynt was and ẏwort
Þe ẏmage of our Lady, inwan was al ys þoʒt.
Mẏd ẏs suerd he was ẏgurd, þat so strong was & kene,
Calẏbourne yt was ẏcluped, nas nour no such ye wene.
In ys rẏʒt hond ẏs lance he nom, pat ycluped was Ron,
Long & gret & strong ynow, hym ne mẏʒt atsytte non.
                                                                           I. 174.

Gruffydd ab Arthur's account of King Arthur's arms agrees with this; but respecting his sword Caledvwlch, or Caleburn, he adds the information that it was formed in the Isle of Avallon. 1 It has already been detailed in a previous portion of this work (p. 32), how Arthur finding himself mortally wounded at the battle of Camlan, confided his sword to one of his knights, charging him to cast it into the lake, and how when the knight proceeded to fulfil his behest, a hand and arm arose from the water, and seizing the precious weapon, brandished it three times, and disappeared with it in the lake. This circumstance must have been unknown to Richard the First, or he would hardly have sent to Tancred, King of Sicily, as a valuable present, a sword which was supposed to have been the, sword of Arthur. 2

The Llenn, here rendered, the Mantle, but which appears to have served sometimes as a covering, and sometimes as a carpet, was celebrated as one of the thirteen precious things of the Island of Britain. Its property was to render invisible any one who was either under or upon it, while everything around was visible to him. In another Mabinogi it is said to have been called Gwenn.



ONE of the three architects of the island of Britain, whose privilege it was to go wheresoever they would, so that they did not go unlawfully.--Triad 32.



This warrior, whose grave is noticed in the Englynion Beddau,

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[paragraph continues] (see p. 33), was father to one of the three wives of Arthur, who all bore the name of Gwenhwyvar. 1

It is he that fights with Gwyn ab Nudd, for the fair Cordelia, every first of May. 2


223c GWYN THE SON OF NUDD.--Page 223.

IN Gwyn ab Nudd, we become acquainted with one of the most poetical characters of Welsh romance. He is no less a personage than the King of Faerie, a realm, the extent and importance of which is nowhere better appreciated, or held in greater reverence, than in Wales. Very numerous indeed are the subjects of Gwyn ab Nudd, and very various are they in their natures. He is the sovereign of those beneficent and joyous beings, the Tylwyth Teg, or Family of Beauty (sometimes also called Bendith i Mammau, or Blessing of Mothers), who dance in the moonlight on the velvet sward, in their airy and flowing robes of blue or green, or white or scarlet, and who delight in showering benefits on the more favoured of the human race; and equally does his authority extend over the fantastic, though no less picturesque class of Elves, who in Welsh bear the name of Ellyllon, and who, on the other hand, enjoy nothing so much as to mislead and torment the inhabitants of earth. Indeed, if Davydd ap Gwylim may be believed, Gwyn ab Nudd himself is not averse to indulging in a little mischievous amusement of this kind; for one dark night the bard, having ridden into a turf bog on the mountain, calls it the "Fishpond of Gwyn ab Nudd, a palace for goblins and their tribe," to whom he evidently gives credit for having decoyed him into its mire. Perhaps he may have been tempted to exclaim like Shakespeare,

"Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy."

According to the same testimony, the Owl was more particularly considered as the bird of Gwyn ab Nudd.

There is, in the Myvyrian Archaiology, a dialogue between Gwyn ab Nudd, and Gwyddno Garanhir, 3 in which he is represented as a victorious warrior. Gwyddno apostrophizes him thus,

"Gwyn, son of Nudd, the hope of armies, legions fall before thy conquering arm, swifter than broken rushes to the ground."

In the same composition, Gwyn ab Nudd styles himself the lover of Cordelia the daughter of Ludd, or Lear, for whom his contest with Gwythyr mab Greidawl, on every first of May till the

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day of doom, is recorded in the text; he also mentions that Karngrwn was the name of his horse.

The Triads commemorate Gwyn ab Nudd, as one of the three distinguished astronomers of the Island of Britain, who by their knowledge of the nature and qualities of the stars, could predict whatever was wished to be known to the end of the world. 1

A very curious legend, in which Gwynn ab Nudd bears a conspicuous part, is contained in the Life of St. Collen (Buchedd Collen), which is printed in a collection of Welsh remains, entitled the Greal. 2 This Saint was the son of Gwynawc, ab Caledawc, ab Cawrdav, ab Caradawc Vreichvras, and having distinguished himself greatly in foreign countries 3 by his zeal and piety, be returned to Britain and became Abbot of Glastonbury; after a time Collen desired to lead a life of greater austerity than his high office at Glastonbury permitted; so he departed thence, and went forth to preach to the people. The impiety, however, which he met with distressed him so much, that at length he withdrew to a mountain, "where he made himself a cell under the shelter of a rock, in a remote and secluded spot.

"And as he was one day in his cell, he heard two men conversing about Gwyn ab Nudd, and saying that he was king of Annwn and of the Fairies. And Collen put his head out of his cell, and said to them, 'Hold your tongues quickly, those are but Devils.'--Hold thou thy tongue,' said they, I thou shalt receive a reproof from him.' And Collen shut his cell as before.

"And, soon after, he heard a knocking at the door of his cell, and some one inquired if he were within. Then said Collen, 'I am; who is it that asks?' 'It is I, a messenger from Gwyn ab Nudd, the king of Annwn, to command thee to come and speak with him on the top of the hill at noon.' 4

"But Collen did not go. And the next day behold the same messenger came, ordering Collen to go and speak with the king on the top of the hill at noon.

"But Collen did not go. And the third day behold the same messenger came, ordering Collen to go and speak with the king on

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the top of the hill at noon. 'And if thou dost not go, Collen, thou wilt be the worse for it.'

"Then Collen, being afraid, arose, and prepared some holy water, and put it in a flask at his side, and went to the top of the hill. And when he came there, he saw the fairest castle he had ever beheld, and around it the best appointed troops, and numbers of minstrels, and every kind of music of voice and string, and steeds with youths upon them the comeliest in the world, and maidens of elegant aspect, sprightly, light of foot, of graceful apparel, and in the bloom of youth; and every magnificence becoming the court of a puissant sovereign. And he beheld a courteous man on the top of the castle, who bade him enter, saying that the king was waiting for him to come to meat. And Collen went into the castle, and when he came there, the king was sitting in a golden chair. And he welcomed Collen honourably and desired him to eat, assuring him that, besides what he saw, he should have the most luxurious of every dainty and delicacy that the mind could desire, and should be supplied with every drink and liquor that his heart could wish; and that there should be in readiness for him every luxury of courtesy and service, of banquet and of honourable entertainment, of rank and of presents: and every respect and welcome due to a man of his wisdom.

"'I will not eat the leaves of the trees,' said Collen. 'Didst thou ever see men of better equipment than those in red and blue?' asked the king.

"'Their equipment is good enough,' said Collen, 'for such equipment as it is.'

"'What kind of equipment is that?' said the king.

"Then said Collen, 'The red on the one part signifies burning, and the blue on the other signifies coldness.' And with that Collen drew out his flask, and threw the holy water on their heads, whereupon they vanished from his sight, so that there was neither castle, nor troops, nor men, nor maidens, nor music, nor song, nor steeds, nor youth, nor banquet, nor the appearance of any thing whatever, but the green hillocks."


223d EDEYRN THE SON OF NUDD.--Page 223.

See Page 195.



GADWY MAB GERAINT was noticed for his courtesy to guests and strangers, as we learn from Triad xc.

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223f FFLEWDDUR FFLAM.--Page 223.

A NOTICE concerning Flewddur Flam, occurs in Triad 114, where under the appellation of Fleidur Flam mab Godo he is ranked as one of the three sovereigns of Arthur's Court who preferred remaining with him as knights, although they had territories and dominion, of their own.--For this Triad, see the note on Cadyrnerth mab Porthawr Gandwy, p. 191.


223g RHUAWN PEBYR.--Page 223.

RHUAWN or Rhuvawn Pebyr stands conspicuous amongst those who distinguished themselves in the battle of Cattraeth. Aneurin says,--

"The warriors went to Caltraeth with marshalled array and shout of war,
With powerful steeds and dark blue harness, and with shields.
The spears were mustered--the piercing lances,
The glittering breastplates, and the swords.
The chieftain would penetrate through the host
Five battalions fell before his blade.
Rhuvawn Hir--he gave gold to the altar,
And gifts and precious jewels to the minstrel."
                                     Gododin, Myv. Arch. I. p. 6.

His name occurs again in the same poem, as having approved himself an intrepid warrior, standing firm in the hour of battle.--Myv. Arch. I. p. 12.

It is said that he fell in battle, and that it is owing to the circumstance of his body having been redeemed for its weight in gold that he became recorded as one of the three golden corpses of the Island of Britain. 1

He is also spoken of with Rhun ab Maelgwn, and Owain ab Urien, as one of the Three blessed Kings; 2 and another Triad ranks him with the three imperious ones. 3 Other versions, however, of the same triad, read Rhun mab Einiawn, in the place of Rhuvawn Pebyr.

There is extant a poem composed by Hywel, the son of Owain Gwynedd, about 1160, and printed in the Myvyrian Archaiology, I. p. 277, which commences with these lines,--

The white wave mantled with foam, bedews the grave,
The resting place of Rhuvawn Pebyr, chief of kings."


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Upwards of a century after this, we find the grave of Rhuvawn mentioned by the bard, Gwilym Ddu, in a manner that makes it evident that its locality was then well known.--Myv. Arch. I. p. 411.



HE was one of the three compeers of the Court of Arthur with Trystan mab March, and Rhyhawd mab Morgant ab Adras. The name of his horse was Fferlas.--Triad 113, and Trioedd y Meirch, v.


223i ISPERYR EWINGATH.--Page 223.

THERE is an Esperir mentioned in the Englynion y Clyweid.

Hast thou heard what Esperir said,
When he discoursed with Meni Hir?--
In adversity is the true friend known.
                              Myv. Arch. I. p. 173.

It is uncertain whether he is identical with the Isperyr Ewingath of the Twrch Trwyth.



LLOCH LLAWWYNNAWC is named, with several of the other warriors adjured by Kilhwch, in the curious dialogue between Arthur, and Kai, and Glewlwyd, of which mention has been made.--Page 42.


223k AUNWAS ADEINIAWC.--Page 223.

THE preceding note applies as well to Aunwas as to Lloch Llawwynnawc.

It is doubtful whether he may be considered as the Aedenawc of the Triads, celebrated with his brothers, Gruduei, and Henbrien, as the three brave ones of the Island of Britain, who returned from battle on their biers. The parents of these three brothers were Gleissiar Gogled and Haernwed Vradawc.--Triad xxxiii. Myv. Arch. II. p. 15.



has been already noticed with Geraint ab Erbin, and March ab Meirchion, ai one of the three who had the command of the fleets of the Island of Britain. Each of them had six score vessels with Six score men in each.--See page 193.

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His son Goronwy has already been cited as one of the Sovereigns who preferred residing at Arthur's Court, to remaining in their own dominions.--See p. 191, where the triad is given.


223n DADWEIR DALLPENN.--Page 223.

A VERY curious story concerning the sow of Dadweir (or, as he is there called, Dallweir) Dallpenn, is contained in the Triads. It is there related that Coll ab Collfrewi was one of the three powerful swineherds of the Island of Britain, and that he kept the swine of Dallweir Dallben, in the valley of Dallwyr in Cornwall. And one of these swine, named Henwen, was with young, and it was prophesied that this circumstance would bring evil to the Island of Britain. So Arthur assembled his host and sought to destroy the swine; but she went burrowing along till she came to Penhyn Austin, where she plunged into the sea, and she landed again at Aberdarogi, in Gwent Iscoed. And all the way she went Coll ab Collfrewi held by her bristles, both by sea and by land, and at Maes Gwenith (Wheatfield) in Gwent, she left three grains of wheat and three bees, since which time the best wheat and the best honey have been in Gwent. And thence she went into Dyved, and there, at Llonnio Llonnwen, she left a grain of barley and a little pig; and Dyved has produced the best pigs and barley from that time to this. And from Dyved she went into Arvon, and she left a grain of rye at Lleyn in Arvon, and thenceforth the best rye has been found at Lleyn, and at Eivionydd. And by the side of Rhiwgyverthwch, she left a wolf cub and a young eaglet, and the wolf was given to Brynach Wyddel, of Dinas Affaraon, and the eagle to Benwaedd, the lord of Arllechwedd, and there was much talk concerning the wolf of Brynach, and the eagle of Benwaedd. And when she came to Maen Du in Arvon she left there a kitten, and Coll ab Collfrew, took it, and threw it into the Menai. But the sons of Palug in Mona (Anglesey), reared this kitten, to their cost; for it became the Palug Cat, which, we are told, was one of the three plagues of the Isle of Mona which were reared therein, the second being Daronwy, and the third, Edwin king of England.

These particulars are collected from the three series of Triads, printed in the Myvyrian Archaiology. The version given in the second series is the fullest of them.--Triad lvi.

This story is supposed to have a figurative meaning, and, under the appellation of Henwen, the sow of Dallweir Dallpen, to allude to

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some vessel that brought to this island various sorts of grain and animals not previously known here. Indeed, there is another triad, which attributes to Coll ab Collfrewi the introduction of wheat and barley into Britain, where only oats and rye were cultivated before his time.--Triad 56.

Coll ab Collfrewi, the keeper of this marvellous sow, was one of the chief enchanters of this island, and his magical arts were taught him by Rhuddlwm Gawr. It has already been suggested as probable that it is to him that Chaucer refers in his House of Fame, under the title of Coll Tragetour, or Coll the Juggler.--See p. 213.



THE part assigned to Menw ab Teirgwaedd in the present tale, is in precise accordance with the character in which he appears in the Triads, and other legendary remains of the Welsh. He is there commemorated as one of the three men of Phantasy and Illusion in the Island of Britain, and it is said that be taught his enchantments to Uthyr Pendragon, the father of King Arthur.--See p. 213.

In the Abergavenny Prize Essay, 1 on the Genuineness of the Coelbren y Beirdd, or Bardic Alphabet, by Mr. Taliesin Williams (Ab Iolo), there is a curious allegorical tale, which connects Menw with the discovery of that alphabet. The substance of the tale is as follows.--Einigan Gawr saw three rays of light, on which were inscribed all knowledge and science. And he took three rods of mountain ash, and inscribed all the sciences upon them, as it should seem in imitation of the three rays of light. And those who saw them, deified the rods, which so grieved Einigan, that he broke the rods and died. And after the space of a year and a day, Menw ab Teirgwaedd saw three rods growing out of the mouth of Einigan, and upon them was every kind of knowledge and science written. Then Menw took the three rods, and learned all the sciences, and taught them all, except the name of God, which has originated the Bardic secret, and blessed is he who possesses it.--P. 6.

It may be remarked that the Bardic symbol is formed of three radiating lines which, it is said, are intended to represent the three diverging rays of light, which Einigan Gawr saw descending towards the earth; and it is somewhat curious that these three lines contain all the elements of the Bardic alphabet, as there is not a single letter in it that is not formed from them. No less singular is it, that this alphabet, which is alleged to have been only used

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upon wood (perhaps also implied by the three rods), is so constructed as altogether to avoid horizontal or circular lines, which could not be cut on wooden rods without splintering or running, on account of the grain of the wood.

For the proofs of the genuineness of this alphabet the reader is referred to the Essay itself.



CONCERNING Drudwas mab Tryffin, a curious tradition is presented in an interesting letter from the celebrated antiquary, Robert Vaughan, to Mr. Meredydd Lloyd, dated July 24th, 1655. It is printed in the Cambrian Register (III. p. 311). In the following extract we have that portion of it which relates to Drudwas.

"The story (or rather fable) of Adar Llwch guin, I have, but cannot finde it. The birds were two griffins, which were Drudwas ab Tryffin's birds, whoe had taught them to seise upon the first man that should enter into a certain fielde, and to kill him. It chanced, that having appointed a day to meete with King Arthur to fight a duell in the same fielde, he himselfe protracting the tyme of his coming soe long that he thought surely Arthur had come there long before, came first to the place, whereupon the birds presently fell upon him, and killed him; and they perceiving that he, whom they had killed was theire master, much lamented his death with fearfull screechings and mournfull cryings a long tyme; in memory whereof there is a lesson to be played upon the crowde, the which I have often heard played, which was made then, called Caniad Adar llwchgwin; and, to confirm this history in some parte, there's a British epigram extant, which I cannot remember, but, if you have the story and it, I pray you send it me."

According to the Triads, Drudwas mab Tryffin was one of the three Golden-tongued Knights, whom no one could refuse whatsoever they might ask; Gwalchmai, and Eliwlod ab Madawc ab Uthur were the other two.--Triad 115.


224a CAERDATHAL.--Page 224.

CAERDATHAL, which the Mabinogion assign as a residence to Math ab Mathonwy, is in Caernarvonshire, and crowns the summit of all eminence near Llanrwst. It is peculiar for having large stones set upright to guard its entrance.

The name of this place occurs in Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr's Elegy on the death of his patron Owain Gwynedd, circa 1160. The

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passage in the Myvyrian Archaiology, I. p. 206, is imperfect, but the Cambro-Briton, II. p. 3, gives it in the following manner:--

"Around the region of Caer Dathal
Lay those whom the vultures had mangled,
Reddening the hill and the headland and the dale."


224b KAW.--Page 224.

CONSIDERABLE variations exist in the different catalogues which axe extant of the numerous sons of Kaw. In that, however, given by Jones, in his Welsh Bards, II. p. 22, the names exactly correspond with those in the text. Some of these personages are enumerated amongst the Saints of Wales, but of the individual history of the greater number little is known. Some account has already been given of one of the most eminent of them, Gildas mab Kaw, p. 1913. Huail, another of the brothers, obtained a less honourable notoriety for his vices which eventually cost him his life. Jones details the circumstances of his ignominious death, from the authority of Edward Llwyd, who derived them from a Welsh MS. in the handwriting of John Jones, of Gelli Lyfdy, dated June the 27th, 1611.

From this account, it appears that Huail was imprudent enough to court a lady of whom Arthur was enamoured. The monarch's suspicions being aroused, and his jealousy excited, he armed himself secretly, and determined to observe the movements of his rival. Having watched him going to the lady's house, some angry words passed between them, and they fought. After a sharp combat, Huail got the better of Arthur, and wounded him severely in the thigh, whereupon the contest ceased, and reconciliation was made upon condition that Huail, under the penalty of losing his head, should never reproach Arthur with the advantage he had obtained over him. Arthur retired to his palace, which was then at Caerwys, in Flintshire, to be cured of his wound. He recovered, but it caused him to limp a little ever after.

A short time after his recovery, Arthur fell in love with a lady at Rhuthyn, in Denbighshire, and, in order the more frequently to enjoy the pleasure of her society, he disguised himself in female attire. One day he was dancing with this lady, and her companions, when Huail happened to see him. He recognized him on account of his lameness, and said, "This dancing might do very well, but for the thigh." It chanced that Arthur overheard his remark; he withdrew from the dance, and summoning Huail before him, upbraided him angrily for the breach of his promise and oath, and commanded him

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to be beheaded upon a stone, which lay in the street of the town, and which, from this event, acquired the appellation of Maen Huail. 1 This stone is still to be seen in the town of Rhuthyn.

In the Triads, Huail the son of Kaw of North Britain, Lord of Cwm Cawlwyd, is represented as one of the three Diademed Chiefs of Battle (Triad 69) and the Englynion y Clyweid appropriate a stanza to one of his Sayings--

Hast thou, heard what was Sung by Huail
The son of Kaw, whose saying was just?
Often will a curse fall from the bosom."--
                                    Myv. Arch. I. p. 173.



THE history of Taliesin, which is exceedingly wild and interesting, forms the subject of a separate Mabinogi, and as such will be given in its proper place.



THIS chieftain, who figures in the Triads, will be alluded to hereafter in the notes to one of the Mabinogion more particularly relating to him.


224e GERAINT THE SON, OF ERBIN.--Page 224.

OF this chieftain a full account has been given in the notes to the Mabinogi bearing his name.--It may be added that a saying of his is preserved in the Englynion y Clyweid: it is as follows:--

"Hast thou heard what Geraint sang,
The son of Erbin just and Skilful?
Short-lived is the hater of the saints."--
                                   Myv. Arch. 1. p 172.

Geraint's own designation of "the friend of the saints" (Câr i Saint) appears to be alluded to in this Englyn.--See Llyw. Hên's Elegies.


224f DYVEL THE SON OF ERBIN.--Page 224.

THE death of Dyvel mab Erbin is mentioned in the dialogue between Myrddin Wyllt and Taliesin, where the former says:--

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"Through and through with rush and bound they came,
Yonder and still beyond, were Bran and Melgan seen approaching,
And by them, at the battle's close,
Dyvel ab Erbin and his hosts were slain."--
                                             Myv. Arch. I. p. 48.

His grave was in the plains of Gwesledin.--Ib. I. p. 80.



IN days when, as we have already seen (p. 219), the value of articles, even of luxury and ornament, was estimated by the number of cows they were worth, we cannot be surprised that the herdsmen were sometimes men of rank and distinction, and considered worthy to occupy a place in the Triads. Accordingly we find that the subject of the present note figured in those curious records, as one of the three Tribe Herdsmen of the Island of Britain. He tended the kine of Nudd Hael, the son of Senyllt, in whose herd were twenty-one thousand milch cows. The other two herdsmen (and they had each a like number of cows under their care) were Bennren, who kept the herd of Caradawc the son of Brân and big tribe, in Gorwenydd in Glamorganshire; and Gwdion the son of Don, the celebrated enchanter, who kept the herd of the tribe of Gwynedd, above the Conwy.--Triad 85.

His own cow went by the name of Cornillo, and was one of the three chief cows of the Island.--Trioedd y Meirch, xi.

Of the no less remarkable personages, who tended the swine of the Island of Britain, an account has already been given, p. 268.

Llawnrodded's knife was one of the thirteen precious things possessing marvellous properties. It would serve four-and-twenty men at once with meat.



THIS circumstance of the three warriors escaping from the battle of Camlan is related in the Triads, in words very nearly corresponding With those in the text. The two accounts differ only as regards the name of the third man, whom the Triad-, instead of Kynwyl Sant, represent to have been Glewlwyd Gavaelvawr, to whom, as King Arthur's Porter, we have already been introduced.--Triad 83.

From the Hanes Taliesin, we learn that Morvran was the son of Tegid Voel and Ceridwen.

p. 274

225a LLENLLEAWG WYDDEL.--Page 225.

THIS name occurs in the Englynion y Clyweid.--

Hast thou heard what Llenlleawg Gwyddel sang,
The noble chief wearing the golden torques?
The grave is better than a life of want."--
                                     Myv. Arch. I. p. 174.


225b DYVYNWAL MOEL.--Page 225.

DYVYNWAL MOELMUD, King of Britain, and the first lawgiver whom the nation boasts, is supposed to have lived about 400 years before the Christian era. There are four Triads relating to him, in all of which he is represented as a great benefactor to his people. 1 In one of these he is styled one of the three National Pillars of the Island: in another, one of the three Primary Inventors: and in a third, one of the beneficent Sovereigns of the Cymry, because he had first reduced to a system, and improved, and extended their laws, institutions, customs, and privileges, "so that right and justice might be obtained by every one in Britain, under the protection of God and His peace, and under the protection of the country, and the nation." Again we find him designated as one of three chief System-formers of Royalty, by reason of the excellency of his mode of government.

Howel Dda, the Welsh Legislator, in compiling his celebrated Welsh Code, in the tenth century, made great use of the laws of Dyvynwal Moelmud, some of the Triads and institutes ascribed to whom are to be found in the third volume of the Myvyrian Archaiology, and are very curious and interesting remains.



RHUN the father of Gwystyl, was one of the chieftains mentioned by Gruffydd ab Arthur, 2 as being present at King Arthur's Coronation, at Caerlleon upon Usk.--Both he and Nwython are named in Taliesin's poem addressed to Gwallawg. 3



IN addition to the notice already given (p. 187), of this fantastic personage, who was so sharp-sighted, that he could descry a mote in the sunbeam in the four corners of the world, we may remark that in the

p. 275

[paragraph continues] Englynion y Clyweid, he is represented to have pronounced the very sensible opinion recorded in the following lines:--

"Hast thou heard what Dremhidydd sang,
An ancient watchman on the castle walls!
A refusal is better than a promise unperformed."--
                                    Myv. Arch. I. p. 174.


225e GELLI WIC.--Page 225.

OF Gelli Wic (or, as it is generally written, Gelliwig), in Cornwall, frequent mention is made in the Triads, where it is named as one of the three national thrones of the Island of Britain, 1 and one of King Arthur's chief seats of empire, in which he was used to celebrate the high festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide. At the time of Arthur's sovereignty, when he was Supreme Ruler (Penrhaith as it is called in Welsh), Bedwin was the chief Bishop, and Caradawc Vreichvras was the chief Elder, of Gelliwig. It was one of the three Archbishoprics of Britain. 2 When Medrawd, Arthur's wicked nephew, usurped the government of the island during his uncle's absence, he went to Gelliwig, and dragged Gwenhwyvar from her throne with contumely, and left neither meat nor drink in the court, "not even so much as would feed a fly," but consumed and wasted all. 3 The fatal battle of Camlan was fought to avenge this insult.

The site of Gelliwig is now a matter of some doubt. Hals places it at Callington (Kellington or Killiwick), as we learn from the following extract from his MS. quoted by Polwhele:--

"I take this to be the same place mentioned by the Welsh poets or bards, and called by them Kellywick, and Kinge Arthur's palace or court, viz., his court-leet or baylywick. Such in his time vndoubtedly it was, as Duke of Cornwall or Kinge of Britaine; for this manor of land with its appurtenances was, by act of Parliament, given to Edward the Black Prince as parcell of the lands of the ancient kinges or earles of Cornwall, then translated into a dutchy or dukedom." 4

It may be taken as some confirmation of this opinion with regard to the locality of Gelliwig, that there is a place in the vicinity of

p. 276

[paragraph continues] Callington still bearing the appellation of Arthur's Hall. It is on a rocky tor in the parish of North-hill, which is in the same hundred as Callington, and within a short distance of it. Norden gives the following description of the spot:--"It is a square Plott, about 60 foote long and about 3.5 foote broade situate in a playne Mountayne, wrowghte some 3 foote in the grounds and by reason of the depression of the place there standeth a otarige or poole of water, the place (being) sett round about with flat stones." Near to the Hall are many rocky basins, called by the common people Arthur's Troughs, and in which, according to tradition, that monarch used to feed his dogs; for (says Gilbert, from whom this account is taken) it is "the custom in Cornwall to ascribe everything that is great and whose use is unknown to that immortal hero." 1



PEN or Penrhyn Blathaon (supposed to be Caithness in Scotland) has already been noticed 2 as the extreme point from Penwaeth or Pengwaed, in Cornwall, from which it was distant nine hundred miles. 3 The distance between these two places was determined by the British Legislator, Dyvynwal Moelmud. In the Welsh Laws is given the following passage, relating to the admeasurement of the island made by him:--

"Before the Saxons seized the crown of London and the sceptre, Dyvynwal Moelmud was King of this Island; and he was the Earl of Cornwall, by the daughter of the King of Lloegr. And after the male line of inheritance became extinct, he came into the possession of the kingdom, by the distaff (that is by the female line), as being the grandson of the King. Now he was a man of great wisdom, and he first made laws for this Island, and those laws continued to the time of Rowel Dda, the son of Cadell. And afterwards Rowel Dda made new laws, and changed some of the laws of Dyvynwal. But Howel did not alter the measurements of the lands of this Island, but left them as Dyvynwal framed them; for he was an excellent measurer. He measured this Island from the Promontory of Blathaon, in North Britain, to the Promontory of Pengwaed, in Cornwall, which is nine hundred miles, and that is the length of the Island, and from Crugyll, in Anglesey, to Sorram (Shoreham) on the shore of the sea of Udd (the Channel), that is the breadth of the

p. 277

island. And the reason of his measuring it was to know the number of miles in his journeys.

"And this measurement Dyvynwal made by a grain of barley. Three lengths of a barley corn in an inch, three inches in a handbreadth, three handbreadths in a foot, three feet in a step, three steps in a jump, three jumps in a land, which is in later Welsh a ridge, and a thousand lands or ridges make a mile, and this measure is used here till now."



ORKNEY, the Isle of Wight, and the Isle of Man, are the three primary islands lying adjacent to Britain, according to the authority of the Triads, which proceed to mention, that subsequently Anglesey was separated from the main land, and became an island, and that in like manner the Island of Orkney was divided, and became a multitude of islands, and that other parts of Wales and Scotland became islands likewise.--Triad 67.

This coincides with Nennius's account of the three islands adjacent to Britain, which is given in these words:--

"Tres magnas insulas habet [Britannia], quarum, una vergit contra Armoricas, et vocatur Inisgueith; secunda sita est in umbilico maris inter Hiberniam et Brittanniam, et vocatur nomen ejus Eubonia, id est, Manau, alia sita est in extremo limits orbis Brittanniæ ultra Pictos, et vocatur Orc. Sic in proverbio, antiquo dicitar, quando de judicibus vel regibus sermo fuit, 'Judicavit Brittanniam cum tribus insulis.'"--P. 7, ed. 1838.


226b GWYNN GODYVRON.--Page 226.

MENTIONED in the dialogue between Arthur, Kai, and Glewlwyd see p. 42, where the passage is given.


226c GARSELIT WYDDEL.--Page 226.

"Hast thou heard what Garselit sang,
The Irishman whom it is safe to follow?
Sin is bad when long pursued."--
                              Englynion y Clyweid. 1


p. 278


THIS is very probably an allusion to the disposition made by Arthur of his forces, previous to the battle of Camlan. Geoffrey of Monmonth states that he arranged his army in nine divisions, with a commander over each, of whom Gwynnhyvar was possibly one.


227a GWARE GWALLT EURYN.--Page 227.

GWARE GWALLT EURYN was the son of Pwyll and Rhianon. The mysterious circumstances connected with his birth are detailed in another Mabinogi.



THE Welsh have a fable on the subject of the Hanner Dyn or Half Man, taken to be illustrative of the force of habit. In this allegory Arthur is supposed to be met by a sprite, who appears at first in a small and indistinct form, but who on approaching nearer increases in size, and, assuming the semblance of half a man, endeavours to provoke the king to wrestle. Despising his weakness, and considering that he should gain no credit by the encounter, Arthur refuses to do so, and delays the contest, until at length the Half Man (Habit) becomes so strong that it requires his utmost efforts to overcome him.


228b SAWYL BEN UCHEL.--Page 228.

SAWYL BEN UCHEL is accused of being one of those whose arrogance produced anarchy in the Island of Britain; and the lawless party united with the Saxons, and themselves became Saxons at last.--Triad 74.



IOLO GOCH'S allusion to Gwrhyr's extraordinary aptitude for acquiring languages has already been noticed, in the notes to Geraint ab Erbin. The Englynion y Clyweid refer in like manner to the singular talent by which he was characterised:--

Hast thou heard what Gwrhyr Gwalstawt sang,
He who was perfect in all languages?
Who practises deceit will be deceived."--
                                     Myv. Arch. I. p. 172.


p. 279

228d BEDWINI THE BISHOP.--Page 228.

BEDWINI was Bishop of Gelliwig in Cornwall, and as such is spoken of in the Triads, 1 and in the British Chronicles. One of his sayings is preserved in the Englynion y Clyweid:--

Hast thou heard what Bedwini sung,
A gifted Bishop of exalted rank?
Consider thy word before it is given." 2


229a INDEG.--Page 229.

SOME of the ladies here adjured are celebrated in the Triads, and others figure in the writings of the Romancers of the Middle Ages.

Indeg, the daughter of Garwy or Afarwy hir, of Maelienydd, was one of the three ladies best beloved by Arthur. 3 Her beauty is often the theme of the bards.

Morvudd was the daughter of Urien Rheged, the twin sister of Owain, and the beloved of Cynon the son of Clydno Eiddyn. Her mother's name was Modron, the daughter of Avallach. 4

Creiddylad is no other than Shakespeare's Cordelia, whose father, King Lear, is, by the Welsh authorities, called indiscriminately Llyr and Lludd Law Ereint. All the old chroniclers, from the Brut to Milton, give the story of her devotion to her aged parent, but none of them seem to have been aware that she is destined to remain with him until the day of doom, whilst Gwyn ab Nudd, the King of the Fairies, and Gwythyr mab Greidiawl, fight for her every first of May; and whichever of them may be fortunate enough to be the conqueror at that time, will obtain her as his bride. She is quoted in the Englynion y Clyweid:--

Hast thou heard what Creiddylad sang,
The daughter of Lludd, the constant maiden?
Much will the faithful messenger effect."--
                                   Myv. Arch. I. p. 174.

Essyllt Vinwen or Fyngwen, the daughter of Culvanawyd Prydain, and sister of Owain's faithless wife Penarwen, is mentioned very disparagingly in the Triads. 5 She was married to March ab Meirchion, and acquired a very undesirable celebrity for her attachment to her husband's nephew Tristan ab Tallwch, the renowned Sir Tristan of

p. 280

the Romancers, who bestow upon Essyllt the appellation of Yseult La Belle.

Essyllt Vingul, we may presume to be the Yseullt aux Blanche Mains of romantic fiction, whom Sir Tristan, although at the same time deeply enamoured of her fairer namesake, married out of gratitude for her having effected his cure, when wounded by a poisoned arrow.


230a DRYCH AIL KIBDDAR.--Page 230.

ONLY the first series of the Triads, printed in the Myvyrian Archaiology, takes notice of Drych ail Kibddar, and there be is classed among the dealers in phantasy or enchantment.--Triad xxxiii.


236a AMAETHON THE SON OF DON.--Page 236.

AMAETHON, the signification of whose name is "husbandman," would seem to have been a very proper person to send for to perform the office. required by Yspaddaden Penkawr. He was brother to the celebrated illusionist or enchanter, Gwydion ab Don, and he appears to have had himself some dealings with the powers of darkness; for it is fabled that he brought from Annwn (the Lower Regions), a white roebuck, and a whelp, which were the occasion of the Cad Goddeu, or Battle of the Trees. Taliesin has a long mystical poem on the subject of this battle; and some curious lines relative to it are given in the Myvyrian Archaiology. 1 These, with the prose heading that accompanies them, are as follows:--

These are the Englyns that were sung at the Câd Goddeu (the Battle of the Trees), or, as others call it, the Battle of Achren, which was on account of a white roebuck, and a whelp; and they came from Hell, and Amathaon ab Don brought them. And therefore Amathaon ab Don, and Arawn, King of Annwn (Hell), fought. And there was a man in that battle, unless his name were known he could not be overcome; and there was on the other side a woman called Achren, and unless her name were known her party could not be overcome. And Gwydion ab Don guessed the name of the man, and sang the two Englyns following:--

'Sure-hoofed is my steed impelled by the spur;
The high sprigs of alder are on thy shield:
Brân art thou called, of the glittering branches.'


p. 281

                    And thus,
'Sure-hoofed is my steed in the day of battle
The high sprigs of alder are on thy hand:
Brâ the branch thou bearest
Has Amathaon the good prevailed.'"

These lines have the appearance of being transcribed from a very ancient and probably mutilated manuscript. Some of the words are scarcely intelligible; but perhaps the foregoing will be found not very remote from the meaning of the original.

This battle, in the Triads, is styled one of the three frivolous battles (ofergad) of the Island of Britain, and is said to have been on account of a bitch, a hind, and a lapwing; and it is added that it cost the lives of seventy-one thousand men.--Triad 50.

The brothers, Gwydion and Amaethon, are mentioned as being efficient of counsel, in Taliesin's Elegy on Aeddon of Mon. 1


236b OXEN OF GWLWLYD.--Page 236.

THESE animals, to which some fabulous story probably attached, are spoken of in the Triads, together with those required by Yspaddaden in the subsequent paragraph.--Tr. y Meirch x.

One of these is alluded to in Taliesin's mystical poem, entitled Preiddeu Annwn, the spoils of Hell. 2

"They know not the brindled ox with the broad headband Seven score handbreadths are in his yoke."


236c NYNNIAW AND PEBIAW.--Page 236.

ON turning to the ancient records, we meet with kings bearing the names of those who were turned into oxen for their crimes.

Nynniaw was a prince of Glamorgan, and his descendants appear to have profited by the lesson which his disastrous fate afforded; for we find that Marchell, his great grand-daughter, was the mother of the celebrated and canonized Brychan Brycheiniog, 3 who had himself the happiness of being father to no less than forty-eight saints, twenty-three of whom were sons, and five-and-twenty daughters.

According to the Liber Landavensis, King Pebiaw, who was the son of Erb, was equally fortunate in the character of his descendants, one of whom was Saint Dubricius himself, the particulars of whose miraculous birth are there given in the following words.

p. 282

"There was a certain king of the region of Ergyng 1 (Archenfield) of the name of Pebiau, called, in the British language, Claforawg, and in Latin, Spumosus, who undertook an expedition against his enemies, and returning from thence be ordered his daughter Eurddil to wash his head." The legend then goes on to state that circumstances led him to suspect that Eurddil was pregnant, and that "the King, therefore, being angry, ordered her to be put into a sack, and cast headlong into the river, that she might suffer whatever might befall; which, however, happened contrary to what was expected, for as often as she was placed in the river, so often was she, through the guidance of God, impelled to the bank. Her father, then, being indignant because he could not drown her in the river, resolved to destroy her with fire. A funeral pile was therefore prepared, into which his daughter was thrown alive. In the following morning, the messengers who had been sent by her father to ascertain whether any of the bones of his daughter remained, found her holding her son in her lap, at a spot where a stone is placed in testimony of the wonderful nativity of the boy; and the place is called Madle, 2 because therein was born the holy man. The father, bearing this, ordered his daughter with her son to be brought to him; and when they came he embraced the infant with paternal affection, as is usual, and kissing him, from the restlessness of infancy, he touched with his hands the face and mouth of his grandfather, and that not without divine appointment; for by the contact of the hands of the infant, he was healed of the incurable disease wherewith be was afflicted, for he incessantly emitted foam from his mouth which two persons who constantly attended him could scarcely wipe off with handkerchiefs.

"Who, when he knew that he had been healed by the touch of the infant, rejoiced greatly, like one who had come to a harbour after having suffered shipwreck. And he, who at first was as a roaring lion, was now turned to a lamb, and he began to love the infant above all his sons and grandsons; and of that place, Madle (that is, Mad, good, lle, place, and whence Madle, a good place), he made him heir, and also of the whole island, which took its name from his mother Eurddil, that is, Ynys Eurddyl, which by others is called Maes Mail Lecheu." 3

p. 283

Whether these events took place before or after King Pebiaw's distressing transformation does not appear. All the further information concerning him, in the Liber Landavensis, consists of the due. recital of sundry grants of land which be made to the Church, "being penitent, with an humble heart, and mindful of his evil deeds."

Lewis, in his "History of Great Britain," printed in 1729, mentions Pebiaw as King of Erchenfield, and states that in a parish church in Herefordshire is a picture of a king, with a man on each side of him, wiping his face with napkins, "which king the country people call King Dravellor."

The insane arrogance of these wicked kings is recorded in a curious Welsh legend, a translation of which is printed by Mr. Taliesin Williams, in the notes to his poem of Colyn Dolphyn. It is as follows:--

"There were two Kings, formerly in Britain, named Nynniaw and Peibiaw. As these two ranged the fields one starlight night, 'See,' said Nynniaw, 'what a beautiful and extensive field I possess!' 'Where is it?' said Peibiaw; 'the whole Firmament,' said Nynniaw, 'far as vision can extend.' 'And do thou see,' said Peibiaw, 'what countless herds and flocks of cattle and sheep I have depasturing thy field.' 'Where are they?' said Nynniaw; 'why the whole host of stars which thou seest,' said Peibiaw, 'and each of golden effulgence, with the Moon for their shepherdess, to superintend their wanderings.' 'They shall not graze in MY pasture,' said Nynniaw; 'They shall,' said Peibiaw; 'They shall not,' said one: 'They shall.' said the other, repeatedly, in bandied contradiction, until at last it arose to wild contention between them, and from contention it came to furious war; until the armies and subjects of both were nearly annihilated in the desolation. RHITTA, the Giant, King of Wales, hearing of the carnage committed by these two maniac kings, determined on hostility against them; and, having previously consulted the laws and his people, he arose and marched against them because they had, as stated, followed the courses of depopulation and devastation, under the suggestions of phrenzy. He vanquished them, and then cut off their beards. But, when the other Sovereigns included in the twenty-eight kings of the island of Britain, heard these things, they combined all their legions to revenge the degradation committed on the two disbearded kings, and made a fierce onset on Rhitta the Giant, and his forces; and furiously bold was the engagement, But Rhitta the Giant won the day. 'This is my extensive field,' said he, then, and immediately disbearded the other kings. When the kings of the surrounding countries

p. 284

heard of the disgrace inflicted on all these disbearded kings, they armed themselves against Rhitta. the Giant and his men; and tremendous was the conflict; but Rhitta the Giant achieved a most decisive victory, and then exclaimed: 'This is MY immense field!' and at once the kings were disbearded by him and his men. Then pointing to the irrational monarchs, 'These,' said he, 'are the animals that grazed my field, but I have driven them out: they shall no longer depasture there.' After that he took up all the beards, and made out of them a mantle for himself that extended from head to heel; and Rhitta was twice as large as any other person ever seen."

This Rhitta Gawr is none other than King Ryons of North Wales, who appears to have been almost as presumptuous as the unfortunate monarchs whom he so deservedly chastised. The Morte d'Arthur represents him as sending to demand the beard of Arthur himself, which it need hardly be added that he failed to obtain. 1

We are told that Nynniaw and Pebiaw were the names of the horned oxen (Ychain Banawg) employed by Hu Gadarn 2 to draw the Avanc out of the Lake of Floods, so that the lake burst no more. This bursting of the lake is considered to bear reference to the universal Deluge, as it is said in the same Triad, that when that occurrence took place, the male and the female of every living thing were preserved in the ship of Nevydd Nav Neivion. It would be useless to follow all the theories which have been founded on the name of Hu Gadarn, and his connexion with that important event. For these, reference may be made to Davies's Mythology of the

p. 285

[paragraph continues] Druids, and Celtic Researches, Dr. Owen Pughe, in his Dictionary, and Cambrian Biography, &c. &c. Suffice it to say, that Hu Gadarn or the Mighty is looked upon as a patriarch, and that there are seven 1 Triads commemorative of the benefits which he is said to have conferred upon "the Cymry," whom he is recorded to have instructed in the useful arts of agriculture, before their arrival in Britain, and while they remained in the Summer country, which an ancient commentator has described to be that part of the East now called Constantinople. The next benefit that he conferred on the people, of whom he thus appears to have been the head, was the dividing of them into various tribes, and directing them at the same time to unity of action, for which he is represented as one of the three primary System-formers of the nation of the Cymry. In addition to this, he is further commemorated as having been the first who devised the application of song to the preservation of record and invention, and as having contributed thereby to the institution of Bardism. The occurrence, last in succession, appears to have been his arrival in the Isle of Britain, with the nation of the Cymry, whom he is stated, in two Triads, to have conducted from the Summer country already noticed, here called Deffrobani, and a colony of whom he is also said to have fixed at the same time in Armorica, on the coast of Gaul. And his landing in this country, as we find from another of these ancient documents, was not marked by any characteristics of violence; for he is described as not desirous of obtaining dominion by war and bloodshed, but by justice and peace, for which reason his followers are ranked among the three gentle tribes of the Isle of Britain. 2



THIS marvellous basket is reckoned amongst the thirteen precious things of the Island of Britain. In the following catalogue of these treasures, which is copied from an old MS. in the collection of Mr. Justice Bosanquet, its properties are, however, made to differ slightly from those assigned to it by Yspaddaden:--

1. Dyrnwyn the sword of Rhydderch Hael; if any man drew it except himself, it burst into a flame from the cross to the point, and all who asked it received it; but because of this property all shunned it: and therefore was he called Rhydderch Hael.

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2. The basket of Gwyddno Garanhir; if food for one man were put into it, when opened it would be found to contain food for one hundred.

3. The horn of Bran Galed; what liquor soever was desired was found therein.

4. The chariot of Morgan Mwynvawr; whoever sat in it would be immediately wheresoever he wished.

5. The halter of Clydno Eiddyn, which was in a staple below the feet of his bed; and whatever horse he wished for in it, he would find it there.

6. The knife of Llawfrodded Farchawg; which would serve four-and-twenty men at meat all at once.

7. The cauldron of Tyrnog; if meat were put in it to boil for a coward it would never be boiled, but if meat were put in it for a brave man it would be boiled forthwith.

8. The whetstone of Tudwal Tudclud; if the sword of a brave man were sharpened thereon, and any one were wounded therewith, he would be sure to die, but if it were that of a coward that was sharpened on it, he would be none the worse.

9. The garment of Padarn Beisrudd; if a man of gentle birth put it on, it suited him well, but if a churl it would not fit him.

10, 11. The pan and the platter of Rhegynydd Ysgolhaig; whatever food was required was found therein.

12. The chessboard of Gwenddolen; when the men were placed upon it, they would play of themselves. The chessboard was of gold, and the men of silver.

13. The mantle of Arthur; whosoever was beneath it could see everything, while no one could see him.

This version is rather different from that given by Jones, in his Welsh Bards, 1 which omits the halter of Clydno Eiddyn, but adds the mantle of Tegau Eurvron, which would only fit such ladies as were perfectly correct in their conduct, and the ring of Luned, by which she effected the release of Owain the son of Urien, as bas already been seen in the story of the Lady of the Fountain; whoever concealed the stone of this ring became invisible.

Gwyddno Garanhir, the possessor of the basket, was the Prince of Cantref y Gwaelod, which was overflowed by the sea. This event will be detailed hereafter in the notes to another Mabinogi, where it is more particularly referred to.

p. 287

237b THE HARP OF TEIRTU.--Page 237.

THE harp of Teirtu appears to be alluded to by Davydd ab Edmwnt, a bard who flourished about the middle of the fifteenth century. In an elegy which he composed on a celebrated harper, named Sion Eôs, or John the Nightingale (who suffered death for manslaughter, although his weight in gold was offered to redeem his life), the bard, addressing Reinallt, a once rival harper, says:--

"His companion has become silent,
The turtle-dove of the Harp of Teirtud." 1

This passage has generally been considered to refer to the Triple Harp; and it is likely that Teirtu, who was probably the inventor as well as the possessor of this harp, may have derived his name or cognomen from the instrument's triple row of strings.

St. Dunstan's harp is said to have been endued with the same miraculous powers as that of Teirtu; when suspended against the walls of his cell, it was wont to pour forth the most harmonious sounds, without the intervention of any visible hand.

I have heard that a Welsh nursery tale is still current, of a harp possessing equally wonderful properties. This harp belonged to a giant; and a dwarf, named Dewryn Fychan, endeavoured to purloin it; but as he carried it off the harp, commenced playing, and aroused the giant, who immediately set off in pursuit of the offender. A similar tale exists in English.

There is a place called Castell Teirtud, mentioned in the Liber Landavensis, as being in Breconshire, in the hundred of Builth.--P. 374.


239a TWRCH TRWYTH.--Page 239.

IT may be a matter of controversy, which in the present imperfect state of Welsh MSS. might be difficult to determine, whether certain lines of Aneurin's Gorchan Cynvelyn (Incantation of Cynvelyn) were intended to refer to the very ancient tradition of the Twrch Trwyth.--Myv. Arch. I. p. 60.

Davies, in his "Mythology of the Druids," 2 and Jones, in his "Relies of the Welsh Bards," 3 appear to have no doubt upon the subject, and in that spirit quote the passage, which the learned Dr. Owen Pughe has also thus translated. 4

p. 288

"Were I to compose the strain--were I to sing--magic spell, would spring, like those produced by the circle and wand of Twrch Trwyth."

Such authority is of great weight, when we consider the mass of information possessed by Dr. O. Pughe, on matters of this kind, and his facilities for consulting the various readings of different MSS. between which important variations sometimes exist.

Davies states that he considers that a passage in a very old and curious MS. of Aneurin, now in the possession of the Rev. Thomas Price, of Crickhowel, alludes to objects represented on the ancient British coins; and when the description contained in his translation is compared with the figures referred to, it must be acknowledged that the coincidence appears very striking. The Gorchegin, high shoots, appear on several coins, but more particularly do we remark the Trychetin Trychinffwrch, or monstrous horse cut off from the haunches; the Carn Caffan, or hoof with the capped stick; the Esgyrnvyr, short bones, of the legs separated from the body; yr vach varchogion, the diminutive riders (beads or circles on the mane and the back); the ysfach, bird's beak, instead of the horse's head: and when we add to this the Incantation of Cynvelyn, corresponding with the name of Cunobeline on the coin, we can hardly suppose that the whole is the effect of accident; if the connexion is so far established, we may perhaps be allowed to suggest that the figure of the boar on some of the coins is referred to in the words Trychdrwyt in the third line of the poem.

Some have supposed that the distorted figure of the horse is merely the result of want of skill in the artist, but it is evidently a mistake, as the other parts of the coins are finished in such a manner as totally to preclude any such idea. Even the bird's beak, and the small object which it holds, are executed with considerable attention, and no small care seems to have been taken to preserve the separation between the bones of the legs and the body of the animal. All this occurring on coins of different dies, clearly Shows an uniformity of design, and tends greatly to corroborate Davies's hypothesis.

Besides the specimens in the British Museum, there is a beautiful gold coin of this class in the possession of the Rev. John Jones (Tegid), found near Oxford, which shows the above characteristics very distinctly.

During the middle ages, the story of the Twrch Trwyth was current amongst the Welsh, and Lewis Glyn Cothi alludes to him in these words,

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"He would destroy the towns with wrath, wounds, and violence he would tear down all the towers like the Twrch Trwyth." 1

We find a direct reference to the hunt of the Twrch Trwyth in the catalogue of the marvels of the Island of Britain, which in some copies is appended to the "Historia Britonum" of Nennius. The MS. from which the passage is copied into this place is preserved in the British Museum (Harleian MSS. 3859), and is pronounced by the learned editor of "Nennius" to be of the tenth century. 2

"Est aliud mirabile in regione quæ dicitur Buelt. Est ibi cumulus lapidum, et unus lapis superpositus super congestum, cum vestigio canis in eo. Quando venatus est porcum Troynt, impressit Cabal, qui erat canis Arthuri militis, vestigium in lapide, et Arthur postea congregavit congestum lapidum sub lapide in quo erat vestigium canis sui, et vocatur Carn Cabal. Et veniunt homines et tollunt lapidem in manibus suis per spacium diei et noctis, et in crastino die invenitur super congestum suum."--P. 60.

--There is another wonder in the region called Buelt. There is a heap of stones, and one stone laid on the heap having upon it the footmark of a dog. When he hunted the swine Troynt, 3 Cabal, which was a dog of the warrior Arthur, impressed the stone with the print of his foot, and Arthur afterwards collected a heap of stones beneath the stone in which was the print of his dog's foot, and it is called Carn Cabal. And people come and take away the stone in their hands for the space of a day and a night, and on the next day it is found on its heap.--

The fact of this story of the Twrch Trwyth being found in a MS. of so early a date, appeared at once so interesting and important that a facsimile of the whole passage relating to the event was taken from the venerable document, and inserted in my edition of the Mabinogion, II. 1840. But if we are surprised to find this singular hunt thus recorded, and even the name of Arthur's dog Cavall preserved in connection with it, much more may we be astonished to learn that Carn Cavall is no fabulous mound, the creation of the poet or romancer's fancy, but is actually a mountain in the district of Builth, to the south of Rhayader Gwy, and within sight of that town. Such was the interest excited in my mind by the discovery of the existence of such a remarkable piece of evidence, corroborative of the great antiquity of the traditions contained in the Mabinogi of Kilhwch, that I prevailed upon a gentleman to undertake a pilgrimage

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for me to the summit of Cefn Carn Cavall. The following is the account he wrote me of his expedition; whether he has succeeded in finding the stone itself, bearing the imprint of Cavall's footstep, I must leave to others to determine.

"Carn Cavall, or, as it is generally pronounced, Corn Cavall, is a lofty and rugged mountain, in the upper part of the district anciently called Buellt, now written Builth, in Breconshire. Scattered over this mountain are several carns of various dimensions, some of which are of very considerable magnitude, being at least a hundred and fifty feet in circumference. On one of these carns may still be seen a stone, so nearly corresponding with the description in Nennius, as to furnish strong presumption that it is the identical object referred to. It is near two feet in length, and not quite a foot wide, and such as a man might without any great exertion, carry away in his hands. On the one side is an oval indentation, rounded at the bottom, nearly four inches long by three wide, about two inches deep, and altogether presenting such an appearance as might, without any great strain of imagination, be thought to resemble the print of a dog's foot; on a more minute inspection it will be found that although there is towards the middle part a slight mark corresponding with the ball of the foot, yet the divisions of the toes and marks of the nails are wanting; but when we make allowance for the effect of a thousand winters in this high and stormy region, it is not too much to suppose that at one time the resemblance was still more striking.

"As the stone is a species of conglomerate, it is possible that some unimaginative geologist may persist in maintaining that this footprint is nothing more than the cavity, left by the removal of a rounded pebble, which was once imbedded in the stone; such all opinion scarcely requires a remark. The following sketch will give an idea of the stone."


240a MABON THE SON OF MODRON.--Page 240.

BOTH the Triads relating to Mabon's mysterious captivity having already been cited in this volume, p. 192, it is considered unnecessary

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to repeat them in this place. One of them (Triad 61), places his prison among the Gwyddyl Ffichti in Alban, and represents his whole kindred as having shared it with him. In the Graves of the Warriors we find,

The grave in the upland of Nanllau;
His story no one knows,
Mabon the son of Modron the sincere."--Myv. Arch. I. p. 78.

He would seem to be alluded to, as Mab a Mydron, the servant of Uthir Pendragon, in the dialogue between Arthur, Kai, and Glewlwyd, where Mabon ab Mellt is also mentioned.--See p. 267.


246a OUSEL OF CILGWRI.--Page 246.

DAVYDD AP GWILYM was acquainted with the tradition of these ancient animals, as is proved by his poem entitled "Yr Oed." He has, however, altered their localities. His mistress having disappointed him in keeping an engagement, he complains that the delay was so tedious to him that he might be compared to the inhabitant of Gwernabwy; for though it was true he was no Eagle, still, having waited for three generations, he had, through long tarrying, come to resemble that venerable bird; and he adds that for love he had grown as infirm as the stag of Cilgwri, and as grey as the owl of Cwm Cawlwyd.

The Cwm Cawlwyd is probably the territory which belonged to Caw and his descendants, who are always styled Lords of Cwm Cawlywd, in North Britain. There is a place of this name in Caernarvonshire, and another in Carmarthenshire. Cilgwri is in Flintsbire.


248a LLUDD LLAW EREINT.--Page 248.

LLUDD LLAW EREINT, an ancient king of Britain, will be better known to the English reader by the name of King Lear, or Llyr, as it is written by the Welsh, who celebrate him under the appellation of Lludd and Llyr, indiscriminately.


251a LLAMREI.--Page 251.

THIS Mare of Arthur's was very celebrated. Her name implies bounding or curvetting. Taliesin speaks of her in his Cân y Meirch, as "Llamrei full of vigour."--Myv. Arch. I. p. 44.


253a PORTH KERDDIN.--Page 253.

THE precise position of this harbour is not easily ascertained. The proximity of places called Pen Arthyr and Trelethin (probably, Tre

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[paragraph continues] Lwydden ap Kelcoed), would induce a conjecture of Porthmawr, near St. David's Head, Pembrokeshire, being the site of Porth Kerddin. The words in the text, however, "And there is the measure of the cauldron," would favour the supposition of Porth Kerddin being another place in the same county, now called Pwll Crochan (the pool of the cauldron), about five miles westward from the town of Fishguard. It may not be irrelevant to remark that the whole surrounding district abounds with Druidical and other ancient remains. Not far from it is a small village alleged to have been the birthplace of the celebrated Asser Menevensis, whose name it bears; and about two miles from Tre Asser is a place where an ancient British town is said to have been founded by the hero of the present tale, and after him called Tref Kilhwch, the only remains of which are some foundations of houses occasionally met with in ploughing.



THIS name stands translated in the text as the Summer Country, which is its literal meaning. This is the way in which it is usually rendered with reference to Triad 4, where it is said that Hu Gadarn came over with the race of the Cymry from the Gwlad yr Hâv, considered to be somewhere near Constantinople. In the present instance, however, it may have been intended to allude to Somersetshire, of which Gwlad yr Hâv is the Welsh appellation, and with which the etymology of the Havren (Severn) is probably connected.


254a PORTH CLEIS.--Page 254.

THIS place, at which the Twrch Trwyth landed, and commenced his devastating expedition through the Principality, is a small but well-known harbour in Pembrokeshire, at the estuary of the river Alun: Although it is only capable of affording accommodation to what are now termed small craft, it was, in times past, a much frequented port, and was the landing-place in several marauding excursions of the Gwyddyl Ffichti, one of whom, named Boia, is recorded in the Liber Landavensis as having been the source of great annoyance to St. David and St. Telliaw. The former of these saints is traditionally reputed to have been a native of Porth Cleis, and to have been baptized at a holy well in its immediate vicinity.

Mynyw, or St. David's, is the next place mentioned in the progress of the Twrch Trwyth, and we thence trace him to Aber deu Gleddyf,

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or Milford Haven, On leaving Aber deu Gleddyf, we find him overtaken by Arthur while destroying the herds of Kynwas Kwrr y Vagyl, and this we may conjecture to have occurred at a place still called Kynwaston or Canaston, not far from Narberth. Blaengwaith Noe ab Arthur, near Lampeter Velfrey, and Buarth Arthur, and the Cromlech of Gwal y Filast, or Bwrdd Arthur (Arthur's Table), in the parish of Llanboipy, probably mark the course of this singular hunt to the Preselly Mountains, the highest range in Pembrokeshire. At the eastern extremity of these mountains rises the river Nyver, or Nevern, on the banks of which the British warriors drew themselves up in array, and close to the highest peak of the range, named Preselly Top, is the dingle of Cwm Kerwyn, where the Twrch Trwyth is said to have committed such dreadful havoc among Arthur's champions. Within a distance of two miles, Arthur's name is again perpetuated in the rugged summit of Carn Arthur, whence the imagination may easily trace some remembrance of the Twrch Trwyth and his progeny, in the names of the opposite eminence, Moel Dyrch; and of Tre Dyrch, the adjacent farm.

Leaving the Preselly Mountains, and passing through Aberteivi or Cardigan town, the Twrch Trwyth again appears in Dyffryn Llychwr, or Loughor, on the confines of Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan. The Dyffryn Amanw of the tale is identical with the valley of the river Amman, which falls into the Llychwr some few miles from the sea. In the Mynydd Amanw we recognize the lofty heights, which form a natural boundary between the counties of Brecon and Carmarthen, called Mynydd Du, and Bannau Sîr Gaer, or the Black Mountain and Carmarthenshire Vans. On this range tradition has assigned to Arthur a resting-place of the most ample dimensions, called Gwely Arthur, or Arthur's Bed, and near to the spot where the river Amman rises is an elevated knoll, called Twyn y Moch, at the foot of which is Llwyn y Moch, both of which names may bear some allusion to the adventures detailed in the text. The same remark may be said to apply to the adjacent river Twrch, which rises on the Van, and runs into the Tawy, below Ystradgynlais. Another singular coincidence may be traced between the name of 'a brook in this neighbourhood, called Echel, and the Echel Forddwyttwl, who is recorded in the tale as having been slain at this period of the chase. On the Llangadock side of the Black Mountain we meet with fresh reminiscences of the British monarch in Pen Arthur, and Coiten Arthur. The latter is one of two large rocks in the bed of the Sawdde river, said to have been the hero's quoit, which be flung from the summit of Pen Arthur to its present position; a distance of

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about a mile. The rock beside the Coiten was thrown into the stream from the same eminence by a lady of those days, being a pebble in her shoe which gave her some annoyance. As there are several localities on the Tywi bearing the appellation of Dinas, it would be difficult to determine to which of them Din Tywi is intended to refer.

At Ystrad Yw, we find ourselves once more on well-known ground, and hence we may conjecture that the course of the Twrch Trwyth lay across Carn Cavall and the Brecon Mountains 1 to Abergwy, where the Wye falls into the Severn below Chepstow, and where the princely monster also dashes into the flood, to appear again but for a moment in Cornwall, before he vanishes entirely from our view.


256a LLYN LLIWAN.--Page 256.

WHETHER the immersion of the boar Trwyth into the Severn near Llyn Lliwan, or Llinlivan, as it is generally called, has any reference to the wonders that characterise that remarkable spot, does not appear, but it would seem reasonable to suppose that something more than a natural cause must have led to the marvellous results thus related in the tract De Mirabilibus Britanniæ, attached to some of the copies of Nennius.

"There is another wonder, which is Oper Linn Liuan, 2 the mouth of which river opens into the Severn; and when the tide flows into the Severn, the sea in the like manner flows into the mouth of the above-named river, and is received into a pool at its mouth, as into a gulf, and does not proceed higher up. And there is a beach near the river, and when the tide is in the Severn, that beach is not covered; and when the sea and the Severn recede, then the pool Liuan disgorges all that it had swallowed from the sea, and that beach is covered therewith, and it discharges and pours it out in one wave, in size like to a mountain. And if there should be the whole army of all that country there, and they should turn their faces towards the wave, it would draw the army to it by force, their clothes being full of moisture, and their horses would be drawn in like manner. But should the army turn their backs towards the wave, it will not injure them. And when the sea has receded, then the whole beach which the wave had covered is left bare again, and the sea retires from it. 3

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In an expedition of Arthur's to the North, the Scots fled before him, and betook themselves to the Lake Llumonyw (probably Loch Lomond), in which were sixty islands and sixty rocks, and on each an eagle's nest. Every first of May these came together, and from the sound of their voices the men of that country knew what should befall during the coming year. And sixty rivers fell into this remarkable lake, but only one river ran from the lake to the sea.

Arthur soon dislodged his opponents from their stronghold, the singular nature of which excited great surprise in the mind of Howel the son of Emyr Llydaw, who accompanied him. But when Howel expressed his wonder at it, Arthur told him that there was a still more marvellous lake not far thence, which was twenty feet long and twenty feet broad, and consequently square; and it contained four different races of fishes, and a fish was never found in a part of the lake occupied by a race to which it did not belong. 1 And he told him also that there was another lake in Wales near the Severn, which the men of that country called Llyn Llivan; and that lake, when the sea flowed, received water into it, and swallowed it as though it had been a mountain, until it overflowed its banks; and if it chanced that any stood with their faces towards the lake, and any of the spray of the water touched their clothes, it was hard for them to avoid being drawn into the lake; but if their backs were towards it, how near soever they might stand to its edge, it would have no effect upon them. Brut Gruffudd ab Arthur.--Myv. Arch. II. p. 310.


260:1 From him the county of Cardigan (Ceredigion) received its name.

261:1 Myvyrian Archaiology, I. p. 45.

262:1 Myvyrian Archaiology, II. p. 306.

262:2 Lord Lyttelton's History of Henry II.

263:1 Myvyrian Archaiology, II. p. 14.

263:2 See page 251.

263:3 Myv. Arch. I. p. 165.

264:1 Myv. Arch. II. p. 71.

264:2 Greal, p. 337, 8vo. London, 1805.

264:3 St. Collen, having rendered essential services against the Pagans in Greece, the Pope bestowed upon him, on his return into Britain, a precious relic, which was the lily that had suddenly blossomed before the glory on some one's saying, "It is no more true that the Virgin has a son, than that the withered lily in yonder vessel bears blossoms." "And that lily did St. Collen bring to this Island, and it is said that it is in Worcester to this day."

264:4 We are told that Gwyn ab Nudd greatly affects the tops of mountains.

266:1 Triad 77. In this triad, he is styled the son of Gwyddno Garanhir, and not of Dewrath (or Dorath) Wledig, as in Triad 25, and in the text.

266:2 Triad 25.

266:3 Triad xxxiv. Myv. Arch. II. p. 15.

269:1 Published at Llandovery 1840.

272:1 Welsh Bards, II. p. 22.

274:1 Triads, 4, 57, 59, 36.

274:2 Myv. Arch. II. p. 321.

274:3 Myv. Arch. I. p. 58.

275:1 The other two cities which ranked with Gelliwig, were Caerlleon upon Usk, and Penrhyn Rhionydd, in the North.

275:2 Triads 62, 64, 111.

275:3 Triad 52.

275:4 Powhele's Hist. of Cornwall, 4to. II. p. 50.

276:1 C. S. Gilbert's Historical Survey of Cornwall, I. p. 170.

276:2 See p. 261.

276:3 Triad ii.

277:1 Myv. Arch. I. p. 174.

279:1 Triad 64.

279:2 Myv. Arch. I. p. 173.

279:3 Triad 110.

279:4 Tr. lii. liii.

279:5 Triad 105.

280:1 Myv. Arch. I. p. 167.

281:1 Myv. Arch. I. p. 70.

281:2 Myv. Arch. I. p. 45.

281:3 Jones's Hist. of Breconshire, I. p. 42.

282:1 Ergyng, or Archenfield, comprehended the portion of Herefordshire, S.W. of the river Wye, of which the present Ecclesiastical Deanery of Archfield, or Irchenfield, constitutes a part.

282:2 "Madley is a parish in Herefordshire, on the S. of the river Wye."

282:3 Liber Landavensis, p. 323, 4.

284:1 "This meane wbyle came a messager from kynge Ryons of Northwalys. And kynge he was of all Ireland and of many Iles. And this was his message gretynge wel kynge Arthur in this manere wyse sayenge, that kynge Ryons had discomfyte and ouercome xi kynges, and everyche of hem did hym homage, and that was this, they gaf hym their berdys clene flayne of, as moche as ther was, wherfor the messager came for kyng Arthurs berd. For kyng Ryons had purfyled a mantel with kynges berdes, and there lacked one place of the mantel, wherfor he sent for his berd or els he wold entre in to his landes, and brenne and slee, & neuer leas tyl he haue the hede and the berd. Wel sayd Arthur thow hast said thy message, the whiche is the most vylaynous and lewdest message that euer man herde sente vnto a kynge. Also thow mayst see, my berd is ful yong yet to make a purfyl of hit. But telle thow thy kynge this, I owe hym none homage, ne none of myn elders, but or it be longe to, he shall do me hommage on bothe his kneys, or els he shall lose his hede by the feith of my body, for this is the most shamefullest message that euer I herd spoke of. I have aspyed, thy kyng met neuer yet with worshipful man, but telle hym, I wyll haue his hede withoute he doo me homage, thenne the messager departed."--Morte Arthur, I, c. xxvii.

284:2 Cambro-Briton, I. p. 129-11. p. 61. Cambrian Register, III. p. 165.

285:1 Triads 4, 5, 54, 56, 57, 92, 97.

285:2 Cambro Briton II. p. 61, where will be found a summary of the opinions concerning Hu Gadarn.

286:1 Jones's Welsh Bards, II. p. 47.

287:1 Jones's Welsh Bards, I. p. 44.

287:2 Myth. of the Druids, p. 42.

287:3 Jones's Welsh Bards, II. p. 13.

287:4 Gentleman's Magazine, Nov. 1790.

289:1 See Dr. Owen Pughe's Dictionary, II. p, 206. 8vo. 1832.

289:2 See Mr. Stevenson's Preface to the Edition of Nennius, published by the English Historical Society. London, 1838, p. xxi.

289:3 Another MS. has Troit, which is still nearer to the Welsh Trwyth.

294:1 The summit of which still retains the name of Cadair Arthur. There is also in Breconshire a valley bearing the name of one of the pigs; Cwm Banw.

294:2 Probably a corrupted form of the Welsh "Aber Llyn Llivan."

294:3 Nennius. Published by the English Historical Society. London, 1838, p. 57.

295:1 This appears to be the same as the marvel described in the Catalogue appended to Nennius, where it is styled Finnaun Guur Helic, and is placed in the region of Cinlipluc.

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