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Notes and References
Remarks.—We have still to connect the legend with Llewelyn and with Bedd Gelert. But first it may be desirable to point out why it is necessary to assume that the legend is a legend and not a fact. The saving of an infant's life by a dog, and the mistaken slaughter of the dog, are not such an improbable combination as to make it impossible that the same event occurred in many places. But what is impossible, in my opinion, is that such an event should have independently been used in different places as the typical instance of, and warning against, rash action. That the Gellert legend, before it was localised, was used as a moral apologue in Wales is shown by the fact that it occurs among the Fables of Cattwg, which are all of that character. It was also utilised as a proverb: "Yr wy'n edivaru cymmaint a'r Gŵr a laddodd ei Vilgi ("I repent as much as the man who slew his greyhound"). The fable indeed, from this point of view, seems greatly to have attracted the Welsh mind, perhaps as of especial value to a proverbially impetuous temperament. Croker (Fairy Legends of Ireland, vol. iii. p. 165) points out several places where the legend seems to have been localised in place-names—two places, called "Gwal y Vilast" ("Greyhound's Couch"), in Carmarthen and Glamorganshire; "Llech y Asp" ("Dog's Stone"), in Cardigan, and another place named in Welsh "Spring of the Greyhound's Stone." Mr. Baring-Gould
where it occurs as c. xxxii., "Story of Folliculus." We have thus traced it to England whence it passed to Wales, where I have discovered it as the second apologue of "The Fables of Cattwg the Wise," in the Iolo MS. published by the Welsh MS. Society, p. 561, "The man who killed his Greyhound." (These Fables, Mr. Nutt informs me, are a pseudonymous production probably of the sixteenth century.) This concludes the literary route of the Legend of Gellert from India to Wales: Buddhistic Vinaya Pitaka—Fables of Bidpai;—Oriental Sindibad;—Occidental Seven Sages of Rome;—"English" (Latin), Gesta Romanorum;—Welsh, Fables of Cattwg.