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Math, son of Mathonwy

part 6

As Gwydion lay one morning on his bed awake, he heard a cry in the chest at his feet; and though it was not loud, it was such that he could hear it. Then he arose in haste, and opened the chest: and when he opened it, he beheld an infant boy stretching out his arms from the folds of the scarf, and casting it aside. And he took up the boy in his arms, and carried him to a place where he knew there was a woman that could nurse him. And he agreed with the woman that she should take charge of the boy. And that year he was nursed.
And at the end of the year he seemed by his size as though he were two years old. And the second year he was a big child, and able to go to the Court by himself. And when he came to the Court, Gwydion noticed him, and the boy became familiar with him, and loved him better than any one else. Then was the boy reared at the Court until he was four years old, when he was as big as though he had been eight.

And one day Gwydion walked forth, and the boy followed him, and he went to the Castle of Arianrod, having the boy with him; and when he came into the Court, Arianrod arose to meet him, and greeted him and bade him welcome.
  "Heaven prosper thee," said he. "Who is the boy that followeth thee?" she asked.
  "This youth, he is thy son," he answered.
  "Alas," said she, "what has come unto thee that thou shouldst shame me thus, wherefore dost thou seek my dishonour, and retain it so long as this?"
  "Unless thou suffer dishonour greater than that of my bringing up such a boy as this, small will be thy disgrace."
  "What is the name of the boy?" said she.
  "Verily," he replied, "he has not yet a name." "Well," she said, "I lay this destiny upon him, that he shall never have a name until he receives one from me."
  "Heaven bears me witness," answered he, "that thou art a wicked woman. But the boy shall have a name how displeasing soever it may be unto thee. As for thee, that which afflicts thee is that thou art no longer called a damsel."
And thereupon he went forth in wrath, and returned to Caer Dathyl, and there he tarried that night.

And the next day he arose and took the boy with him, and went to walk on the sea shore between that place and Aber Menei. And there he saw some sedges and sea weed, and he turned them into a boat. And out of dry sticks and sedges he made some Cordovan leather, and a great deal thereof, and be coloured it in such a manner that no one ever saw leather more beautiful than it. Then he made a sail to the boat, and he and the boy went in it to the port of the castle of Arianrod. And he began forming shoes and stitching them, until he was observed from the castle. And when he knew that they of the castle were observing him, he disguised his aspect, and put another semblance upon himself, and upon the boy, so that they might not be known.
  "What men are those in yonder boat?" said Arianrod.
  "They are cordwainers," answered they. "Go and see what kind of leather they have, and what kind of work they can do."
So they came unto them. And when they came he was colouring some Cordovan leather, and gilding it. And the messengers came and told her this.
  "Well," said she, "take the measure of my foot, and desire the cordwainer to make shoes for me." So he made the shoes for her, yet not according to the measure, but larger. The shoes then were brought unto her, and behold they were too large.
  "These are too large," said she, "but he shall receive their value. Let him also make some that are smaller than they." Then he made her others that were much smaller than her foot, and sent them unto her.
  "Tell him that these will not go on my feet," said she. And they told him this.
  "Verily," said he, "I will not make her any shoes, unless I see her foot." And this was told unto her.
  "Truly," she answered, "I will go unto him."

To part 7

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