A. -- EXTRACTS FROM SAGAS.
1. To chaptes 1-4 (From Fl. Book, 1. 21, 22).
1. HOW NORWAY WAS INHABITED.
Now shall be told the proofs how Norway was first inhabited; or how kingly stocks began there or in other lands; or why they are called Skjoldungs, Budlungs, Bragnings, Ödlings, Völsungs, or Niflungs, from which the royal races have come: ----
There was a man called Fornjot. He had three sons; one was Hler, another Logi, the third Kari; he ruled over winds, but Logi over fire, Hler over the seas. Kari was the father of Jökull, the father of king Snow. But the children of king Snow were these: Thorri, Fönn, Drifa, and Mjol. Thorri was a noble king; he ruled over Gothland, Kvenland, and Finland. To him the Kvens sacrificed that it might be snowy, and that there might be good going on snow-shoon. That was their harvest. That sacrifice was to be at midwinter; and the month Thorri was called after it. King Thorri had three children; his sons were named Norr and Gorr, but the daughter Goi. Goi was lost and gone; and Thorri made a sacrifice a month later than he was wont to sacrifice; and they afterwards called that month in which this began Goi. Those two, Norr and Gorr, searched for their sister. Norr had great battles west of the Keel, and those kings fell before him who are so called: Vee and Vei, Hunding and Heming; and Norr laid under him that land all to the sea. Those brothers met in that firth which is now called Norafirth. Norr fared thence up on the Keel and came to a place called Wolves-moor. Thence he fared round Eystridale and afterwards into Vermland, and along the lake called Væner, and so to the sea. And all that land Norr laid under him west of those bounds. That land is now called Nor-way. At mid winter they came into Heidmark (Hedemark). There that king met them who was called Rolf of the Hill; he was the son of Svadi the giant from north of Dofra and of Ashilda daughter of king Eystein who had long ruled over Heidmark. Rolf of the Hill had seized Goi, and gone on to marry her. But when she heard of her brother Norr, then she fared to meet him, and Rolf with her; and he gave himself up into Norr's power, and was made his man. After that Norr went to a feast at his brother in law's, and Norr got to wife Hodda, a daughter of Svadi the giant, Rolf's sister. After that king Norr fared back west to the sea, and then he finds his brother Gorr. He was then come from the north out of the Frozen-sea, and had seized as his own all the isles on that way, both inhabited and uninhabited. Then these brothers shared the realm between them, so that Norr should have all the mainland from the north from Jötunheim and south to Alfheim. That is now called Norway; but Gorr should have all those isles which lay on the larboard of his warship as he fared north along the land. These were the sons of Gorr the sea-king: Heiti and Beiti, Meitir and Geitir. Beiti the sea-king fared with his warship into Drontheim and on into Beit-sea; he made them make a ship sledge under the galley; but there was deep snow and good sledging. Then Beitir sat him on the poop, and put the rudder into gear, and made them hoist the sails; and let his men drag the galley north across Galley-neck to Naumdale, and claimed as his own all that land that lay on the larboard. Beiti the sea-king was the father of Heiti the sea-king, the father of Svadi; but Geitir was the father of Glammi and Gylfi. Meiti the sea-king was father of Mævil and Myndill. Myndill was the father of Ekkill and Skekkill.
Norr was the father of these men, but Hodda, the daughter of Svadi, their mother. (Here follow the royal lineages descended from Norr, the ancestor of all future kings of the Norwegian Mainland.)
2. To ch. 12. (From the Flatey Book).
Olaf Tryggvi's son sailed from the west to the Orkneys, as was said before, but because the Pentland Firth was not passable, he laid his ship up under the lee in Osmund's voe, off Rognvald's isle. But there in the voe lay already earl Sigurd, Hlodver's son, with three ships, and then meant to go a roving. But as soon as king Olaf knew that the earl was there, he made them call him to come and speak with him. But when the earl came on board the king's ship, king Olaf began his speech thus: "It will be known to thee, earl Sigurd, how Harold the fair-haired fared with his host hither west when he had made all Norway his own; king Harold won under himself the Orkneys and Shetland, and many a realm besides here over the western sea; the king gave the isles and Shetland to his earl Rognvald the mighty as an atonement for his son, but Rognvald gave them to his brother Sigurd; then Sigurd made himself king Harold's earl. Another time king Harold fared with a very great host to fall on earl Einar; then goodwilling men came between them, the king and Einar; and they made peace on those terms, that the king called his own all the Orkneys and Shetland. This was the end of their quarrel, that the earl paid the king sixty marks of gold for the slaying of Halfdon long-leg his son, but earl Einar held the lands under king Harold. A little while after king Eric, Harold's son, came from the east from Norway; then the earls, Turf-Einar's sons, were bound to aid king Eric, and this is a mark of it, that they gave the king much force for war. But another time, when king Eric came to the isles, he had away with him two earls Arnkell and Erlend, and left over the lands earl Thorfinn their brother; but they both fell in England with king Eric. After that came the sons of Eric from England, and then they had sway over the isles. But when they were away hence they made over the lands to earl Arnfinn their brother in law. After that Havard first took the rule after his brother, then Ljot, last of all Hlodver thy father. Now hast thou, Sigurd, the earldom over those realms which I call my owndom, as well as all those other realms which king Harold the fair-haried once had, and each of his kinsmen have taken as heirs one after the other. Thou knowest that now the sons of Eric and Gunnhilda are most of them put out of the way, but though Ragnhilda their sister still lives, yet it seems to me she must have done so much mischief to the Orkneyingers, that she can have neither rede nor rule here, but rather hath she utterly forfeited both life and lands, if all those ill deeds be true which are told of her, as men think it is much to be feared, and not unlikely that they are. Now as so it is, earl Sigurd, that things have fallen out so that thou hast come into my power, now thou hast two choices before thee very uneven; one is that thou shalt take the right faith, and become my man and allow thyself to be baptized and all thy undermen; then shalt thou have a sure hope of honour from me, and to have and to hold as my underman this realm with earl's title and full freedom as thou hast erewhile had it; and this over and above, which is much more worth, to rule in everlasting bliss in the kingdom of heaven with all-ruling God; that is sure to thee if thou keepest all his commandments. This is the other choice, which is very doleful and unlike the first, that now on the spot thou shalt die, and after thy death I will let fire and sword ruthlessly rage over all the Orkneys, burn and brand homesteads and men, unless this folk will have salvation and believe on the true God. And now if thou and thy undermen will choose this which was last named, then must thou, and all those who believe in divers idols, be shamefully plagued in hell-fire after speedy death with wicked devils without end." But when earl Sigurd had heard so long and clever a speech of king Olaf, he hardened his heart against him and spoke thus: "It must be told thee, king Olaf, that I have firmly made up my mind that I will not, and may not and shall not forego that faith which my kinsmen and forefathers had before me, for I know no better counsel than they, and I know not that that faith is better which thou preachest than this which we have now had and held all our lives." And with that the king saw the earl so stiffnecked in his error, he seized his young son, whom the earl had with him, and who had grown up there in the isles. This son of the earl the king bore foreward on the prow, and drew his sword, and made ready to cut off the lad's head, with these words: "Now mayest thou see, earl Sigurd, that I will spare no man who will not serve Almighty God, or listen to my exhortations and hearken to this blessed message; and for that I will now on this very spot slay this thy son before thine eyes, with the same sword which I grasp, unless thou and thy men serve my God; for hence out of the isles will I not go before I have forwarded and fulfilled this his glorious errand, and thou and thy son, whom I now hold, have taken on you baptism." And in the strait to which the earl was then come, he chose the choice which the king would have, and which was better for him, to take the right faith. Then the earl was baptized, and all the folk in the Orkneys. After that earl Sigurd was made after this world's honour king Olaf's earl, and held under him lands and fiefs, and gave him for an hostage that some son of his of whom it was spoken before; he was called Whelp or Hound. Olaf made them christen the lad by the name of Hlodver, and carried him away with him to Norway. Earl Sigurd bound with oaths all their agreement, and next after that king Olaf sailed away from the Orkneys, but set up there behind him priests to mend the folk's ways and teach them holy wisdom; so they, king Olaf and Sigurd, parted with friendship. Hlodver lived but a scanty time; but after that he is dead earl Sigurd showed king Olaf no service. He took to wife then the daughter of Malcolm, the Scot-king, and Thorfinn was their son.
3. To ch. 30 & 31. (From the Saga of Magnus the good, ch. 23 in the Hulda).
King Magnus gave Rognvald Brusi's son the title of earl, and sent him to his realm east in the Orkneys. The king got him men and ships as he needed. He set himself up in the isles, and had his realm in peace for a while, two shares of the Orkneys and Shetland; until earl Thorfinn, the uncle of earl Rognvald, claimed those lands which king Magnus had granted him. Thence arose disagreement and strife between those kinsmen, as is said in the Earls' Sagas, until earl Rognvald fled out of the isles before the overbearing might of earl Thorfinn away east to Norway to find king Magnus. Then the king again furnished him with ships, and got him the best choice of picked men out of his bodyguard. He sent also his letters with his seal to Kalf Arni's son; he had been away west there since he fled the land in Norway, staying with his connexion earl Thorfinn; he had to wife Ingibjorg earls' mother, the daughter of Finn Arni's son. That stood in the letters of king Magnus, that Kalf should get all his estates in Norway, and along with them have the friendship of king Magnus, if he would give help to earl Rognvald in his quarrel with earl Thorfinn. But when Kalf had heard the letter he said little to show that he was pleased, but still answered, "Methinks," he says, "there is great risk in the steadfastness of temper of king Magnus. Before when I laid myself out to make friends with him in everything, I was backbitten so that I had fly out of Norway, for my life was at stake." Earl Rognvald said "Thou must have heard this that the king has now forgiven all men that great quarrel in which he thought the liegemen were most guilty againt him, and has now become dearly beloved by every man; and thence it is sure that thou mayst get great honour from the king, if thou farest to meet him, for he is fast in all good promises." So it was as though it all went out at Kalf's other ear, though he heard such things spoken. But when earl Thorfinn heard that earl Rognvald was come into the isles, he gathered to him a great force and fared against him. They met at the place called Redhead and fought, and it went better for earl Rognvald. Then Kalf ran up at last with six or seven longships on the side of earl Thorfinn his connexion, because of his egging on and reproaches. Then Thorfinn won the day. And afterwards the quarrel of the earls fared as is told in their Saga. After that battle Kalf Arni's son went out sea roving and became a viking in the western sea.
4. To ch. 34 (From Fl. Book, col. 490).
Where they were standing there were berries on a mound. The king takes the berries and squeezes them in his palm. Then the king saw where the banner of the freemen was set up. Then he spoke and said, "Wretched berries," quoth he. Rognvald Brusi's son answers, "You made a slip of the tongue just now, king, you must have meant to say 'people.'" "Thou sayest right, earl," quoth the king, "Thou wilt not make a less slip of the tongue when thou hast but a short time to live." That happened afterwards, as is said in the Earls' Sagas.
5. To ch. 89-97 (From king Ingi's Saga in the Hulda ch. 17).