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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
From ‘Branwen the Daughter of Llyr’
The Mabinogion
 
Translation of Lady Charlotte Guest

PEACE was made, and the house was built both vast and strong. But the Irish planned a crafty device; and the craft was that they should put brackets on each side of the hundred pillars that were in the house, and should place a leathern bag on each bracket, and an armed man in every one of them. Then Evnissyen [Branwen’s brother, the perpetual mischief-maker] came in before the host of the Island of the Mighty, and scanned the house with fierce and savage looks, and descried the leathern bags which were around the pillars. “What is in this bag?” asked he of one of the Irish. “Meal, good soul,” said he. And Evnissyen felt about it till he came to the man’s head, and he squeezed the head until he felt his fingers meet together in the brain through the bone. And he left that one and put his hand upon another, and asked what was therein? “Meal,” said the Irishman. So he did the like unto every one of them, until he had not left alive of all the two hundred men save one only, and when he came to him, he asked what was there? “Meal, good soul,” said the Irishman. And he felt about until he felt the head, and he squeezed that head as he had done the others. And albeit he found that the head of this one was armed, he left him not until he had killed him. And then he sang an Englyn:—
  “There is in this bag a different sort of meal,
The ready combatant, when the assault is made,
By his fellow warriors prepared for battle.”
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