January 19, 2020

Lludd and Llevelys part 1

Lludd and Llevelys  (Anonymous: Some Time Before 14th Century)

only is nothing known of the author of this story, but it is hardly possible to
make a good guess within several centuries of the date of its composition. The Mabinogion,
from which it is taken, is the title given to a collection of translations made
from the Welsh by Lady Charlotte Guest some eighty years ago, in which she
included twelve old Welsh romances. The literature of early Wales was extremely
rich; from it sprang a host of stories, of which the most important were those
treating of King Arthur and his court. In the words of Lady Guest, Welsh
literature has “strong claims to be considered the cradle of European romance.”

present tale, translated by Lady Guest, is reprinted from The Mabinogion,
Everyman’s Library, by permission of the publisher, J. M. Dent and Sons.

Lludd and Llevelys

The Mabinogion

the great, the son of Manogan, had three sons, Lludd and Caswallawn, and
Nynyaw; and according to the story he had a fourth son called Llevelys. And
after the death of Beli, the kingdom of the Island of Britain fell into the
hands of Lludd, his eldest son; <and Lludd ruled prosperously, and rebuilt
the walls of London, and encompassed it about with numberless towers. And after
that he bade the citizens build houses therein, such as no houses in the
kingdoms could, equal. And moreover he was a mighty warrior, and generous and
liberal in giving meat and drink to all that sought them. And though he had
many castles and cities this one loved he more than any. And he dwelt therein
most part of the year, and therefore was it called Caer Lludd, and at last Caer
London. And after the stranger-race came there, it was called London, or

loved Llevelys best of all his brothers, because he was a wise and discreet
man. Having heard that the king of France had died leaving no heir except a
daughter, and that he had left all his possessions in her hands, he came to
Lludd his brother, to beseech his counsel and aid. And that not so much for his
own welfare, as to seek to add to the glory and honor and dignity of his
kindred, if he might go to France to woo the maiden for his wife. And forthwith
his brother conferred with him, and this counsel was pleasing unto him.