3.2 The Enchantment of Dyfed

And after his return, Pryderi and Manawyddan feasted and took their ease and pleasure. And they began a feast at Narberth, for it was the chief palace; and there originated all honour. And when they had ended the first meal that night, while those who served them ate, they arose and went forth, and proceeded all four to the Gorsedd of Narberth, and their retinue with them.

And as they sat thus, behold, a peal of thunder, and with the violence of the thunderstorm, lo there came a fall of mist, so thick that not one of them could see the other. And after the mist it became light all around. And when they looked towards the place where they were wont to see cattle, and herds, and dwellings, they saw nothing now, neither house, nor beast, nor smoke, nor fire, nor man, nor dwelling; but the houses of the Court empty, and desert, and uninhabited, without either man or beast within them. And truly all their companions were lost to them, without their knowing aught of what had befallen them, save those four only.

“In the name of Heaven,” cried Manawyddan, “where are they of the Court, and all my host beside these? Let us go and see.” So they came into the hall, and there was no man; and they went on to the castle and to the sleeping-place, and they saw none; and in the mead-cellar and in the kitchen there was nought but desolation.

So they four feasted, and hunted, and took their pleasure. Then they began to go through the land and all the possessions that they had, and they visited the houses and dwellings, and found nothing but wild beasts. And when they had consumed their feast and all their provisions, they fed upon the prey they killed in hunting, and the honey of the wild swarms. And thus they passed the first year pleasantly, and the second; but at the last they began to be weary.

“Verily,” said Manawyddan, “we must not bide thus. Let us go into Lloegyr, and seek some craft whereby we may gain our support.” So they went into Lloegyr, and came as far as Hereford. And they betook themselves to making saddles. And Manawyddan began to make housings, and he gilded and coloured them with blue enamel, in the manner that he had seen it done by Llasar Llaesgywydd. And he made the blue enamel as it was made by the other man. And therefore is it still called Calch Lasar [blue enamel], because Llasar Llaesgywydd had wrought it.

And as long as that workmanship could be had of Manawyddan, neither saddle nor housing was bought of a saddler throughout all Hereford; till at length every one of the saddlers perceived that they were losing much of their gain, and that no man bought of them, but him who could not get what he sought from Manawyddan. Then they assembled together, and agreed to slay him and his companions.

Now they received warning of this, and took counsel whether they should leave the city.

“By Heaven,” said Pryderi, “it is not my counsel that we should quit the town, but that we should slay these boors.”

“Not so,” said Manawyddan, “for if we fight with them, we shall have evil fame, and shall be put in prison. It were better for us to go to another town to maintain ourselves.”

So they four went to another city.

“What craft shall we take?” said Pryderi. “We will make shields,” said Manawyddan.

“Do we know anything about that craft?” said Pryderi.

“We will try,” answered he. There they began to make shields, and fashioned them after the shape of the good shields they had seen; and they enamelled they, as them had done the saddles. And they prospered in that place, so that not a shield was asked for in the whole town, but such as was had of them.

Rapid therefore was their work, and numberless were the shields they made. But at last they were marked by the craftsmen, who came together in haste, and their fellow-townsmen with them, and agreed that they should seek to slay them. But they received warning, and heard how the men had resolved on their destruction.

“Pryderi,” said Manawyddan, “these men desire to slay us.”

“Let us not endure this from these boors, but let us rather fall upon them and slay them.”

“Not so,” he answered; “Caswallawn and his men will hear of it, and we shall be undone. Let us go to another town.” So to another town they went.

“What craft shall we take?” said Manawyddan.

“Whatsoever thou wilt that we know,” said Pryderi. “Not so,” he replied, “but let us take to making shoes, for there is not courage enough among cordwainers either to fight with us or to molest us.”

“I know nothing thereof,” said Pryderi.

“But I know,” answered Manawyddan; “and I will teach thee to stitch. We will not attempt to dress the leather, but we will buy it ready dressed and will make the shoes from it.”

So he began by buying the best cordwal that could be had in the town, and none other would he buy except the leather for the soles; and he associated himself with the best goldsmith in the town, and caused him to make clasps for the shoes, and to gild the clasps, and he marked how it was done until he learnt the method. And therefore was he called one of the three makers of Gold Shoes; and, when they could be had from him, not a shoe nor hose was bought of any of the cordwainers in the town. But when the cordwainers perceived that their gains were failing (for as Manawyddan shaped the work, so Pryderi stitched it), they came together and took counsel, and agreed that they would slay them.

“Pryderi,” said Manawyddan, “these men are minded to slay us.”

“Wherefore should we bear this from the boorish thieves?” said Pryderi. “Rather let us slay them all.”

“Not so,” said Manawyddan, “we will not slay them, neither will we remain in Lloegyr any longer. Let us set forth to Dyved and go to see it.”

So they journeyed along until they came to Dyved, and they went forward to Narberth. And there they kindled fire and supported themselves by hunting. And thus they spent a month. And they gathered their dogs around them, and tarried there one year.