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Branwen, daughter of Llyr

Part 7

The warriors and the chief men of Ireland were brought together in haste, and they took counsel.
  "Lord," said the nobles unto Matholwch, "there is no other counsel than to retreat over the Linon (a river which is in Ireland), and to keep the river between thee and him, and to break down the bridge that is across the river, for there is a loadstone at the bottom of the river that neither ship nor vessel can pass over. So they retreated across the river, and broke down the bridge.

Bendigeid Fran came to land, and the fleet with him by the bank of the river.
  "Lord," said his chieftains, "knowest thou the nature of this river, that nothing can go across it, and there is no bridge over it?"
  "What," said they, "is thy counsel concerning a bridge?"
  "There is none," said he, "except that he who will be chief, let him be a bridge. I will be so," said he
And then was that saying first uttered, and it is still used as a proverb. And when he had lain down across the river, hurdles were placed upon him, and the host passed over thereby.

And as he rose up, behold the messengers of Matholwch came to him, and saluted him, and gave him greeting in the name of Matholwch, his kinsman, and showed how that of his goodwill he had merited of him nothing but good.
  "For Matholwch has given the kingdom of Ireland to Gwern the son of Matholwch, thy nephew and thy sister's son. And this he places before thee, as a compensation for the wrong and despite that has been done unto Branwen. And Matholwch shall be maintained wheresoever thou wilt, either here or in the Island of the Mighty."
  Said Bendigeid Fran, "Shall not I myself have the kingdom? Then peradventure I may take counsel concerning your message. From this time until then no other answer will you get from me."
  "Verily," said they, "the best message that we receive for thee, we will convey it unto thee, and do thou await our message unto him."
  "I will wait," answered he, " and do you return quickly."

The messengers set forth and came to Matholweh.
  "Lord," said they, "prepare a better message for Bendigeid Fran. He would not listen at all to the message that we bore him."
  "My friends," said Matholwch, "what may be your counsel?"
  "Lord," said they, "there is no other counsel than this alone. He was never known to be within a house, make therefore a house that will contain him and the men of the Island of the Mighty on the one side, and thyself and thy host on the other; and give over thy kingdom to his will, and do him homage. So by reason of the honour thou doest him in making him a house, whereas he never before had a house to contain him, he will make peace with thee."
So the messengers went back to Bendigeid Fran, bearing him this message.

To part 8

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