Page:Athletics and Manly Sport (1890).djvu/246

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221
HEROIC COMBAT IN ANCIENT IRELAND.

But Ferdiad was resolved not to fight Cuchulaind without high reward:

"And when he arrived he was received with honor and attendance, and he was served with pleasant, sweet, intoxicating liquor, so that he became gently merry. And great rewards were promised him for making the fight, namely: a chariot, with four-times-seven cumals; the outfit of twelve men of clothes of every color; and the extent of his own territory of the level plain of Magh Aié, free of tribute, to the end of time; and Findebar, the daughter of the King, as his wedded wife, and the golden brooch which was in Medb's cloak in addition."

Queen Medb urged Ferdiad to the fight with promise of this great reward; but Ferdiad refused to go without further guarantee. He answered:

"I will not accept it without guarantee;
For a champion without security I will not be.
Heavily will it press upon me to-morrow,
Terrible will be the battle.
Hound, indeed, is the name of Culand;
He is fierce in combat."


    Táin Bo Chuailgne: " It was upon a stream it should be set, and it was from between the toes it should be cast. It made but the wound of one dart in entering the body; but it presented thirty inverted points against coming back; so that it could not be drawn from a person's body without opening it."

    "Concerning this weapon," says Prof. O'Curry ("Ancient Irish," p. 310, vol. 11), "if we only knew of it from the exaggerated description of the manner in which it tore its way through Ferdiad's questionable armor, its existence at all might be very well doubted; but, in another ancient tale, we have very fair authority to show that Cuchulaind had unwittingly