Beli 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 Llud 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 Lwndrys.
Lludd 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 honour 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.
So he prepared ships and filled them with armed knights, and set forth
towards France. And as soon as they had landed, they sent messengers
to show the nobles of France the cause of the embassy. And by the
joint counsel of the nobles of France and of the princes, the maiden
was given to Llevelys, and the crown of the kingdom with her. And
thenceforth he ruled the land discreetly, and wisely, and happily,
as long as his life lasted.
After a space of time had passed, three plagues fell on the Island
of Britain, such as none in the islands had ever seen the like of.
The first was a certain race that came, and was called the Coranians;
and so great was their knowledge, that there was no discourse upon
the face of the Island, however low it might be spoken, but what,
if the wind met it, it was known to them. And through this they could
not be injured.
The second plague was a shriek which came on every May-eve, over every
hearth in the Island of Britain. And this went through people’s hearts,
and so scared them, that the men lost their hue and their strength,
and the women their children, and the young men and the maidens lost
their senses, and all the animals and trees and the earth and the
waters, were left barren.
The third plague was, that however much of provisions and food might
be prepared in the king’s courts, were there even so much as a year’s
provision of meat and drink, none of it could ever be found, except
what was consumed in the first night. And two of these plagues, no
one ever knew their cause, therefore was there better hope of being
freed from the first than from the second and third.
And thereupon King Lludd felt great sorrow and care, because that
he knew not how he might be freed from these plagues. And he called
to him all the nobles of his kingdom, and asked counsel of them what
they should do against these afflictions. And by the common counsel
of the nobles, Lludd the son of Beli went to Llevelys his brother,
king of France, for he was a man great of counsel and wisdom, to seek
And they made ready a fleet, and that in secret and in silence, lest
that race should know the cause of their errand, or any besides the
king and his counsellors. And when they were made ready, they went
into their ships, Lludd and those whom he chose with him. And they
began to cleave the seas towards France.
And when these tidings came to Llevelys, seeing that he knew not the
cause of his brother’s ships, he came on the other side to meet him,
and with him was a fleet vast of size. And when Lludd saw this, he
left all the ships out upon the sea except one only; and in that one
he came to meet his brother, and he likewise with a single ship came
to meet him. And when they were come together, each put his arms about
the other’s neck, and they welcomed each other with brotherly love.
After that Lludd had shown his brother the cause of his errand, Llevelys
said that he himself knew the cause of the coming to those lands.
And they took counsel together to discourse on the matter otherwise
than thus, in order that the wind might not catch their words, nor
the Coranians know what they might say. Then Llevelys caused a long
horn to be made of brass, and through this horn they discoursed. But
whatsoever words they spoke through this horn, one to the other, neither
of them could hear any other but harsh and hostile words. And when
Llevelys saw this, and that there was a demon thwarting them and disturbing
through this horn, he caused wine to be put therein to wash it. And
through the virtue of the wine the demon was driven out of the horn.
And when their discourse was unobstructed, Llevelys told his brother
that he would give him some insects whereof he should keep some to
breed, lest by chance the like affliction might come a second time.
And other of these insects he should take and bruise in water. And
he assured him that it would have power to destroy the race of the
Coranians. That is to say, that when he came home to his kingdom he
should call together all the people both of his own race and of the
race of the Coranians for a conference, as though with the intent
of making peace between them; and that when they were all together,
he should take this charmed water, and cast it over all alike. And
he assured him that the water would poison the race of the Coranians,
but that it would not slay or harm those of his own race.
“And the second plague,” said he, “that is in thy dominion, behold
it is a dragon. And another dragon of a foreign race is fighting with
it, and striving to overcome it. And therefore does your dragon make
a fearful outcry. And on this wise mayest thou come to know this.
After thou hast returned home, cause the Island to be measured in
its length and breadth, and in the place where thou dost find the
exact central point, there cause a pit to be dug, and cause a cauldron
full of the best mead that can be made to be put in the pit, with
a covering of satin over the face of the cauldron. And then, in thine
own person do thou remain there watching, and thou wilt see the dragon
fighting in the form of terrific animals. And at length they will
take the form of dragons in the air. And last of all, after wearying
themselves with fierce and furious fighting, they will fall in the
form of two pigs upon the covering, and they will sink in, and the
covering with them, and they will draw it down to the very bottom
of the cauldron. And they will drink up the whole of the mead; and
after that they will sleep. Thereupon do thou immediately fold the
covering around them, and bury them in a kistvaen, in the strongest
place thou hast in thy dominions, and hide them in the earth. And
as long as they shall bide in that strong place no plague shall come
to the Island of Britain from elsewhere.
“The cause of the third plague,” said he, “is a mighty man of magic,
who take thy meat and thy drink and thy store. And he through illusions
and charms causes every one to sleep. Therefore it is needful for
thee in thy own person to watch thy food and thy provisions. And lest
he should overcome thee with sleep, be there a cauldron of cold water
by thy side, and when thou art oppressed with sleep, plunge into the
Then Lludd returned back unto his land. And immediately he summoned
to him the whole of his own race and of the Coranians. And as Llevelys
had taught him, he bruised the insects in water, the which he cast
over them all together, and forthwith it destroyed the whole tribe
of the Coranians, without hurt to any of the Britons.
And some time after this, Lludd caused the Island to be measured in
its length and in its breadth. And in Oxford he found the central
point, and in that place he caused the earth to be dug, and in that
pit a cauldron to be set, full of the best mead that could be made,
and a covering of satin over the face of it. And he himself watched
that night. And while he was there, he beheld the dragons fighting.
And when they were weary they fell, and came down upon the top of
the satin, and drew it with them to the bottom of the cauldron. And
when they had drunk the mead they slept. And in their sleep, Lludd
folded the covering around them, and in the securest place he had
in Snowdon, he hid them in a kistvaen. Now after that this spot was
called Dinas Emreis, but before that, Dinas Ffaraon. And thus the
fierce outcry ceased in his dominions.
And when this was ended, King Lludd caused an exceeding great banquet
to be prepared. And when it was ready, he placed a vessel of cold
water by his side, and he in his own proper person watched it. And
as he abode thus clad with arms, about the third watch of the night,
lo, he heard many surpassing fascinations and various songs. And drowsiness
urged him to sleep. Upon this, lest he should be hindered from his
purpose and be overcome by sleep, he went often into the water. And
at last, behold, a man of vast size, clad in strong, heavy armour,
came in, bearing a hamper. And, as he was wont, he put all the food
and provisions of meat and drink into the hamper, and proceeded to
go with it forth. And nothing was ever more wonderful to Lludd, than
that the hamper should hold so much.
And thereupon King Lludd went after him and spoke unto him thus. “Stop,
stop,” said he, “though thou hast done many insults and much spoil
erewhile, thou shalt not do so any more, unless thy skill in arms
and thy prowess be greater than mine.”
Then he instantly put down the hamper on the floor, and awaited him.
And a fierce encounter was between them, so that the glittering fire
flew out from their arms. And at the last Lludd grappled with him,
and fate bestowed the victory on Lludd. And he threw the plague to
the earth. And after he had overcome him by strength and might, he
besought his mercy. “How can I grant thee mercy,” said the king, “after
all the many injuries and wrongs that thou hast done me?” “All the
losses that ever I have caused thee,” said he, “I will make thee atonement
for, equal to what I have taken. And I will never do the like from
this time forth. But thy faithful vassal will I be.” And the king
accepted this from him.
And thus Lludd freed the Island of Britain from the three plagues.
And from thenceforth until the end of his life, in prosperous peace
did Lludd the son of Beli rule the Island of Britain. And this Tale
is called the Story of Lludd and Llevelys. And thus it ends.