|ÞORSTEINS ÞÁTTR BÆJARMAGNS||THORSTEIN MANSION-MIGHT|
|Late 13th Century||Translated by Hermann Pálsson & Paul Edwards,|
Seven Viking Romances, London, 1985.
Previously posted with permission at Jormungrund
|1. Uppruni Þorsteins|
Í þann tíma, er Hákon jarl Sigurðarson réð fyrir Noregi, bjó sá bóndi í Gaulardal, er Brynjólfr hét. Hann var kallaðr úlfaldi. Hann var lendr maðr ok mikil kempa. Kona hans hét Dagný; hún var dóttir Járnskeggja af Yrjum. Þau áttu einn son, er Þorsteinn hét. Hann var mikill ok sterkr, harðúðigr ok óaflátssamr við hvern, sem eiga var. Engi var jafnstórr í Noregi, ok trautt fengust þær dyrr, at honum væri hægt um at ganga, ok því var hann kallaðr bæjarmagn, því at hann þótti ofmagni bera flestum húsum. Hann var óþýðr, ok fekk faðir hans honum því skip ok menn, ok var Þorsteinn þá ýmist í hernaði eða í kaupferðum, ok tókst honum hvárttveggja vel.
Í þenna tíma tók ríki í Noregi Óláfr konungr Tryggvason, en Hákon jarl var skorinn á háls af þræli sínum, þeim sem Þormóðr karkr hét. Þorsteinn bæjarmagn gerðist hirðmaðr Óláfs konungs. Þótti konungi hann röskr maðr ok helt mikit til hans, en ekki var hann mjök kenndr af hirðmönnum. Þótti þeim hann stríðlyndr ok óvæginn, ok hafði konungr hann mjök til þess at fara sendiferðir þær, sem aðrir töldust undan at fara. En stundum fór hann kaupferðir at afla konungnum gersema.
About the time Earl Hakon Sigurdarson was ruler of Norway, there was a farmer called Brynjolf Camel living in Gaulardale, a landed man and a great fighter. Brynjolf was married to Dagny, the daughter of Jarnskeggi of Yrjar, and they had a son called Thorstein, a tall strong man, harsh-minded and unflinching, no matter who he was dealing with. Thorstein was the biggest man in Norway, so big that in the whole country there was hardly a door he could walk through without some difficulty, and since he seemed to be a bit too well-developed for most houses he go the name of Thorstein Mansion-Might. Thorstein was so unfriendly, his father gave him a ship with some men, and he spent the time alternately plundering and trading, and was equally successful at both.
It was about this time that King Olaf Tryggvason came to the throne of Norway, after Earl Hakon's throat was slit by his own slave Thormod Kark. Thorstein became Olaf's retainer, and the king thought highly of him for his courage, but the other retainers had no great liking for him. He seemed to them rough and unyielding. The king used to send Thorstein on dangerous missions that other retainers refused to undertake, but sometimes Thorstein would go on trading trips to buy things of value for the king.
|2. Þorsteinn fór til undirheima|
Eitt sinn lá Þorsteinn austr fyrir Bálagarðssíðu, ok gaf honum eigi at sigla. Gekk hann á land einn morgin, ok er sól var í landsuðri, var Þorsteinn kominn í eitt rjóðr. Hóll fagr var í rjóðrinu.
Hann sá einn kollóttan pilt uppi á hólnum, ok mælti: "Móðir mín," segir hann, "fá þú mér út krókstaf minn ok bandvettlinga, því at ek vil á gandreið fara. Er nú hátíð í heiminum neðra."
Þá var snarat út ór hólnum einum krókstaf, sem eldsskara væri. Hann stígr á stafinn ok dregr á sik vettlingana ok keyrir, sem börn eru vön at gera.
Þorsteinn gengr á hólinn ok mælti slikum orðum sem piltrinn, ok var þegar út kastat staf ok vöttum ok mælt þetta: "Hverr tekr nú við?"
"Bjálfi, sonr þinn," sagði Þorsteinn.
Síðan stígr hann á stafinn ok ríðr þar eptir, sem piltrinn fór undan. Þeir kómu at einni móðu ok steyptu sér ofan í hana, ok var því líkast sem þeir væði reyk. Því næst birti þeim fyrir augum, ok kómu þeir at, sem á fell fram af hömrum. Sér Þorsteinn þá byggð mikla ok borg stóra. Þeir stefna til borgarinnar, ok sitr þar fólk yfir borðum. Þeir gengu í höllina, ok var höll skipuð af fólki, ok var þar af engu drukkit utan af silfrkerum. Trapiza stóð á gólfi. Allt sýndist þeim þar gullligt ok ekki drukkit nema vín. Þat þóttist Þorsteinn skilja, at engi maðr sá þá. Félagi hans fór með borðum ok henti allt þat, sem niðr fell. Konungr sat þar í hásæti ok drottning. Menn váru glaðir um höllina.
Þessu næst sér Þorsteinn, at maðr kom í höllina ok kvaddi konung ok kveðst vera sendr til hans utan af Indíalandi ór fjalli því, er Lúkanus heitir, frá jarli þeim, er þar réð fyrir, ok segir konungi, at hann var huldumaðr. Hann færði honum einn gullhring. Eigi þóttist konungr betri hring sét hafa, ok fór hringrinn um höllina til sýnis, ok lofuðu hann allir. Hann var sundr tekinn í fjórum stöðum. Annan grip sá Þorsteinn, er honum þótti mikils um vert. Þat var dúkr sá, er lá á konungs borðinu. Hann var með gullligum röndum ok í festir þeir tólf gimsteinar, sem beztir eru. Gjarna vildi Þorsteinn dúkinn eiga. Kemr honum í hug at treysta á konungs hamingju ok vita, hvárt hann getr ekki nát hringnum. Nú sér Þorsteinn, at konungrinn ætlar at draga hringinn á hönd sér. Þá greip Þorsteinn hringinn af honum, en annarri hendi tók hann dúkinn, ok fór allr matr í saur, en Þorsteinn hljóp á dyrr, en krókstafr hans varð honum eptir í höllinni.
Verðr nú upphlaup mikit, hlaupa menn út síðan ok sjá, hvar Þorsteinn ferr, ok stefna eptir honum. Sér hann nú, at þeir muni geta nát honum. Hann mælti þá: "Ef þú ert svá góðr, Óláfr konungr, sem ek treysti mikit til þín, þá veittu mér lið."
En svá var Þorsteinn frár, at þeir kómust ekki fyrir hann, fyrr en hann kom at ánni, ok staldraði hann þá við. Þeir slógu hring um hann, en Þorsteinn varðist vel ok drap ótal marga, áðr förunautr hans kom ok færði honum stafinn, ok hurfu þeir þegar í móðuna. Komu þeir aptr á inn sama hól sem fyrr gátum vér, þá sól var í vestri. Kastaði piltrinn þá inn stafnum ok klæðsekk þeim, sem hann hafði fylldan af góðum krásum, ok svá gerði Þorsteinn. Kollsveinn hljóp inn, en Þorsteinn nam staðar við glugginn. Hann sá þar tvær konur, ok vaf önnur guðvef, en önnur ruggaði barni.
Sú mælti: "Hvat dvelr hann Bjálfa, bróður þinn?"
"Ekki hefir hann mér fylgt í dag?" sagði hann.
"Hverr hefir þá farit með krókstafinn?" segir hún.
"Þat var Þorsteinn bæjarmagn," segir Kollsveinn, "hirðmaðr Óláfs konungs. Kom hann okkr í mikinn vanda, því at hann hafði ór undirheimum þau þing, at eigi munu slík í Noregi, ok var við því búit, at vit mundum drepnir, er hann kastaði stafnum í hendr þeim, ok eltu þeir hann til niðrgangs, ok þá færði ek honum stafinn, ok víst er hann hraustr maðr, því at eigi veit ek, hversu marga hann drap." Ok nú laukst aptr haugrinn.
Fór Þorsteinn nú til sinna manna, ok sigldu þaðan til Noregs, ok fann Óláf konung austr í Vík ok færði honum gersemi þessi ok sagði frá ferðum sínum, ok fannst mönnum mikit um. Konungr bauð at gefa Þorsteini lén mikit, en hann kveðst enn vilja fara eina ferð í Austrveg. Var hann nú með konungi um vetrinn.
|2. To the Underworld.|
One morning, when Thorstein was lying off the Finnish coast waiting for a favourable wind, he went ashore, and when the sun was in the south-east he came to a clearing. There was a beautiful mound in the clearing and on top of it stood a bald-headed boy.
'Mother,' he was calling, 'hand me my crooked stick and gloves, I want to go go for a witch-ride. They're having a celebration down below in the Underworld.'
Then a crooked stick, shaped like a poker, was thrown out of the mound. The boy put on the gloves and sat astride the stick and started riding it, as children often do.
Thorstein went up on to the mound and repeated the boy's words. Right away a stick and a pair of gloves were thrown out, and a voice asked, 'Who is it wants these?'
'Your son, Bjalfi,' said Thorstein.
Thorstein got astride the stick and rode after the boy. They came to a wide river and plunged into it and it was as if they were wading through smoke. After some time the mist cleared before their eyes and they came to where the river was cascading over a cliff. Thorstein saw a thickly populated district and a large town. They made their way towards the town, and found the people there sitting at table. They walked into the palace where crowds of people were drinking from silver cups. There was a table standing on the floor. Everything seemed to be golden in colour, and nothing was drunk but wine. Then Thorstein realized that they were both invisible to the people there. The bald-headed boy moved along the tables picking up from the floor all the titbits that fell down. A king and queen were sitting on the throne, and all the people inside were enjoying themselves.
Then Thorstein saw a man come into the hall and greet the king. The newcomer said he had been sent by the earl who ruled over Mount Lucanus in India, and explained to the king that he was an elf-man. He presented the king with a gold ring. The king thought he had never seen a more exquisite ring and it was passed around the hall for everyone to admire. This ring could be taken apart in four sections. Thorstein noticed another fine thing that appealed to him very strongly, and that was the cloth on the royal table. It had stripes of gold and was set with twelve precious stones, the best there are. Thorstein had to have the tablecloth, and it struck him that he might try out King Olaf's luck, and see whether he could get the ring. Now Thorstein saw that the king was about to put the ring on his finger, so he grabbed it and with the other hand took hold of the cloth, spilling all the food into the mud. Then Thorstein ran for the door, leaving the crooked stick behind.
At once a great uproar broke out. Some men ran outside, saw which way he had gone and started after him. He could see now that they might soon catch up with him, so he called out, 'If you are as good, King Olaf, as my faith in you is strong, help me now.'
Thorstein ran so fast that the pursuers couldn't intercept him before he came to the river, but there he had to stop. They set on him from all sides, but Thorstein gave a good account of himself, and had killed a number of them when his companion appeared with the crooked stick, and at once they both plunged into the river. Eventually they got back to the mound they had started from, and now the sun was in the west. The boy threw the stick into the mound and the sack as well, which he had filled choice food, and Thorstein did the same. The bald-headed boy ran into the mound but Thorstein waited outside at the skylight. He saw two women in the mound, one of them weaving a precious cloth and the other rocking a baby.
The younger one said, 'What can be holding up bjalfi, your brother?'
'He didn't come with me today,' said the bald-headed boy.
'Who took the crooked stick?' she asked.
'That was Thorstein Mansion-Might,' said Bald-Head, 'King Olaf's retainer. He got us into a lot of trouble by stealing those treasures from the Underworld, the like of which aren't to be found in Norway, and we came very close to being killed when he threw his stick right into their hands. While they were chasing him to his death I brought the stick back to him. He's certainly a very brave man and I've no idea how many he may have killed.' With that the mound closed.
Thorstein went back to his men, and sailed off to Norway. He found King Olaf in Oslofjord, gave him the treasures and told the story of his travels, which made a great impression on everyone. The king offered to give Thorstein big estates, but he said he wanted to take one more trip to the east. Then he stayed with the king over winter.
|3. Frá Þorsteini ok dvergi|
At vári bjó Þorsteinn skip sitt. Hann hafði snekkju ok fjóra menn ok tuttugu. Ok er hann kom við Jamtaland, lá hann í höfn einn dag, ok gekk hann á land at skemmta sér. Hann kom í eitt rjóðr. Þar var einn mikill steinn. Skammt þaðan sá hann einn dverg furðuliga ljótan, ok grenjaði upp yfir sik. Sýndist Þorsteini kjaptrinn snúinn út at eyranu, en öðrum megin nefit niðr at kjaptinum. Þorsteinn segir, hví hann léti svá heimsliga.
"Þú, góði maðr," sagði hann, "undrast eigi. Sér þú eigi þann mikla örn, er þar flýgr? Hann hefir tekit son minn. Ætla ek þat, at sá ófögnuðr sé sendr af Óðni, en ek spring, ef ek missi barnit."
Þorsteinn skaut eptir erninum, ok kom undir vænginn, ok datt hann dauðr niðr, en Þorsteinn henti dvergsbarnit á lopti ok færði föðurnum, en dvergrinn varð feginn mjök ok mælti: "Þér á ek at launa lífgjöf ok sonr minn, ok kjós þér nú fyrir laun í gulli ok silfri."
"Græð þú fyrst son þinn," sagði Þorsteinn; "er ek eigi vanr at taka mútur á afli mínu."
"Eigi væri mér at óskyldara at launa," segir dvergrinn. "Mun þér ekki þykkja framboðligr serkr minn af sauða ullu, en eigi muntu á sundi mæðast ok eigi sár fá, ef þú hefir hann næst þér."
Þorsteinn fór í serkinn, ok var honum mátuligr, en honum sýndist dvergnum of lítill. Hann tók ok silfrhring ór pungi sínum ok gaf Þorsteini ok bað hann vel geyma ok sagði honum aldri féfátt verða mundu, meðan hann ætti hringinn.
Síðan tók hann einn stein svartan ok gaf Þorsteini, - "ok ef þú felr hann í lófa þér, sér þik engi. Eigi hefi ek fleira, þat þér megi gagn at vera. Hall einn vil ek gefa þér til skemmtunar."
Tók hann þá hallinn ór pungi sínum. Fylgdi honum einn stálbroddr. Hallrinn var þríhyrndr. Hann var hvítr í miðju, en rauðr öðrum megin, en gul rönd utan um.
Dvergrinn mælti: "Ef þú pjakkar broddinum á hallinn, þar sem hann er hvítr, þá kemr haglhríð svá mikil, at engi þorir móti at sjá. En ef þú vilt þíða þann snjó, þá skaltu pjakka þar, sem gulr er hallrinn, ok kemr þá sólskin, svá at allt bræðir. En ef þú pjakkar þar í, sem rautt er, þá kemr þar ór eldr ok eimyrja með gneistaflaug, svá at engi má móti at sjá. Þú mátt ok hæfa þat, sem þú vilt, með broddinum ok hallinum, ok hann kemr sjálfr aptr í hönd þér, þegar þú kallar. Get ek nú ekki launat þér fleira at sinni."
Þorsteinn þakkar honum gjafirnar. Fór hann nú til sinna manna, ok var honum þessi ferð betr farin en ófarin. Þessu næst gefr þeim byr ok sigla í Austrveginn. Koma nú á fyrir þeim myrkr ok hafvillur, ok vita þeir ekki, hvar þeir fara, ok var þat hálfan mánuð, at þessi villa helzt.
|3. The Dwarf|
In the spring Thorstein made his ship ready and gathered a crew of twenty-four men. He sailed first to Jamtland, and one day when he was lying in harbour there he went ashore for a stroll. He came to a clearing and saw a hideous-looking dwarf standing there beside a huge boulder, screaming at the top of his voice. It seemed to Thorstein as if the dwarf's mouth was twisted up to the ear on one side, and on the other side the nose overlapped the mouth. Thorstein asked the dwarf why he was acting like a madman.
'No wonder, man!' said the dwarf. 'Cant you see that great eagle flying over there? It's got hold of my son. It must be a devil sent by Odin himself. It would kill me to lose that child.'
Thorstein aimed a shot at the eagle, hitting it under the wings, and the bird dropped down dead. Thorstein caught the dwarf's boy as he fell and gave him back to his father. The dwarf was very happy and said. 'My son and I owe you a great debt for saving his life, and now I'd like you to choose your own reward in gold and silver.'
'You'd better see to your son first,' said Thorstein, 'and anyway, I'm not in the habit of taking money just for showing my talents.'
'That doesn't make my duty to repay you any the less,' said the dwarf. 'I don't suppose you'd consider accepting my sheep's wool shirt? You'll never get tired at swimming and never be wounded as long as you wear it next to your skin.'
Thorstein tried on the shirt and it was a perfect fit although it had seemed too small for the dwarf. He also took a silver ring from his purse and gave it to Thorstein, warning him to take good care of it, for he would never be short of money as long as he kept the ring.
Then the dwarf gave Thorstein a black flint. 'If you hide this in the palm of your hand no one can see you. There aren't any other useful things I can give you, except for a bit of marble I want you to have just for your amusement.'
He took this bit of marble from his purse and with it a steel point. The marble was triangular in shape, white in the centre and one of the sides was red, with a yellow ring around it.
The dwarf said, 'If you prick the white part with the point, a hail-storm will come, so fierce no one will be able to face it. When you want to thaw out the snow, you have only to prick the yellow part and the sun will shine and melt it all away. But when you prick the red part, fire and flames and a shower of sparks will come flying out that no one will be able to bear. Besides that, you can hit anything you aim at with the point and the marble, and they'll both come back into your hands when you call for them. This is all the reward I can give you for now.'
Thorstein thanked him for the gifts and went back to his men, feeling that this trip had not been altogether wasted. Then they got a favourable wind and sailed on to the east, but soon they ran into fogs and lost their bearings. For a whole fortnight they had no idea where they were going.
|4. Þorsteinn kom til Risalands|
Þat var eitt kvöld, at þeir urðu varir við land. Köstuðu þeir nú akkerum ok lágu þar um nóttina. Um morguninn var gott veðr ok sólskin fagrt. Váru þeir þá komnir á einn fjörð langan, ok sjá þeir þar hlíðir fagrar ok skóga. Engi maðr var sá innanborðs, at þetta land þekkti. Ekki sáu þeir kvikt, hvárki dýr né fugla. Reistu þeir nú tjald á landi ok bjuggust vel um.
At morgni mælti Þorsteinn til sinna manna: "Ek vil gera yðr kunnigt um ætlan mína. Þér skuluð bíða mín hér sex nætr. Ætla ek mér at kanna land þetta."
Þeim þótti mikit fyrir því ok vilja með honum fara, en Þorsteinn vill þat eigi, "ok ef ek kem eigi aptr, áðr sjau sólir eru af himni," segir hann, "þá skuluð þér sigla heim ok segja svá Óláfi konungi, at mér mun ekki auðit verða aptr at koma."
Gengu þeir þá með honum upp á skóginn. Því næst hvarf hann þeim, ok fóru þeir aptr til skips ok breyttu eptir því, sem Þorsteinn bauð þeim.
Nú er at segja af Þorsteini, at allan þann dag gengr hann um mörkina ok verðr við ekki varr. En at áliðnum degi kemr hann á eina braut breiða. Hann gekk eptir brautinni, þangat til at aptnaði. Gekk hann þá brott af brautinni ok víkr at einni stórri eik ok stígr upp í hana. Var þar nóg rúm í at liggja. Sefr hann þar um nóttina.
En er sólin kom upp, heyrir hann dunur miklar ok manna mál. Sá hann þá, hvar margir menn ríða. Þeir váru tveir ok tuttugu. Þá bar svá skjótt um fram. Undraðist Þorsteinn mjök vöxt þeira. Hafði hann eigi sét jafnstóra menn fyrr. Þorsteinn klæðir sik. Líðr nú morgininn til þess, at sól er komin í landsuðr.
One evening they realized that they were close to land, so they cast anchor and lay there overnight. In the morning the weather was fine, with bright sunshine. They saw that they were in a long narrow fjord, with lovely wooded slopes on either side. No one on board could identify this land. They could see no living thing anywhere, neither beast nor bird. So they set up their tents ashore and made themselves comfortable.
The following morning Thorstein said to his men, 'I'll tell you what I have in mind. Wait for me here for six days while I go and explore this country.'
They weren't at all happy about this and insisted they wanted to go with him, but Thorstein wouldn't have it. 'If I don't come back before the seventh sunset,' he said, 'you're to sail back home and tell King Olaf that it's not my fate to return.'
They walked with him as far as the wood and then he vanished out of sight. They made their way back to the ship and waited there as they had been told.
Thorstein walked on through the forest all day without noticing anything particular, but towards evening he came to a wide road and followed it till dusk. Then he turned off the road and made for a huge oak tree. He climbed it and found there was plenty of room to lie down, so he slept there through the night.
At sunrise he heard a great deal of noise and some voices and saw twenty-two men riding hard past the tree. Thorstein was amazed to see how big they were - he had never seen men of this size before. He put on his clothes, and the morning passed till the sun was in the south east.
|5. Þorsteinn fór með Goðmundi|
Nú sér Þorsteinn þrjá menn ríða vel vápnaða ok svá stóra, at enga menn sá hann fyrr jafnstóra. Sá var mestr, er í miðit reið, í gullskotnum klæðum á bleikum hesti, en hinir tveir riðu á grám hestum í rauðum skarlatsklæðum.
En er þeir kómu þar gegnt, sem Þorsteinn var, mælti sá, sem fyrir þeim var, ok nam staðar: "Hvat er kvikt í eikinni?"
Þorsteinn gekk þá á veginn fyrir þá ok heilsaði þeim, en þeir ráku upp hlátr mikinn, ok mælti inn mikli maðr: "Sjaldsénir eru oss þvílíkir menn, eða hvert er nafn þitt, eða hvaðan ertu?"
Þorsteinn nefndi sik ok kveðst vera kallaðr bæjarmagn, "en kyn mitt er í Noregi. Er ek hirðmaðr Óláfs konungs."
Inn mikli maðr brosti ok mælti: "Mest er logit frá hirðprýði hans, ef hann hefir engan vaskligri. Þykki mér þú heldr mega heita bæjarbarn en bæjarmagn."
"Lát nokkut fylgja nafnfesti," segir Þorsteinn.
Inn mikli maðr tók fingrgull ok gaf Þorsteini. Þat vá þrjá aura. Þorsteinn mælti: "Hvert er þitt nafn, eða hverrar ættar ertu, eða í hvert land er ek kominn?"
"Goðmundr heiti ek. Ræð er þar fyrir, sem á Glæsisvöllum heitir. Þar þjónar til þat land, er Risaland heitir. Ek er konungsson, en mínir sveinar heitir annarr Fullsterkr, en annarr Allsterkr, eða sáttu enga menn ríða hér um í morgin?"
Þorsteinn mælti: "Hér riðu um tveir menn ok tuttugu ok létu eigi lítinn."
"Þeir eru sveinar mínir," segir Goðmundr. "Þat land liggr hér næst, er Jötunheimar heitir. Þar ræðr sá konungr, er Geirröðr heitir. Undir hann erum vér skattgildir. Faðir minn hét Úlfheðinn trausti. Hann var kallaðr Goðmundr sem allir aðrir, þeir á Glæsisvöllum búa. En faðir minn fór í Geirröðargarða at afhenda konungi skatta sína, ok í þeiri ferð fekk hann bana. Hefir konungr gert mér boð, at ek skyldi drekka erfi eptir föður minn ok taka slíkar nafnbætr sem faðir minn hafði, en þó unum vér illa við at þjóna Jötnum."
"Hví riðu yðrir menn undan?" segir Þorsteinn.
"Mikil á skilr land vort," segir Goðmundr. "Sú heitir Hemra. Hún er svá djúp ok ströng, at hana vaða engir hestar nema þeir, sem vér kumpánar eigum. Skulu hinir ríða fyrir uppsprettu árinnar, ok finnumst vér í kveld."
"Þat mundi skemmtan at fara með yðr," segir Þorsteinn, "ok sjá, hvat þar verðr til tíðenda."
"Eigi veit ek, hversu þat hentar," segir Goðmundr, "því at þú munt kristinn."
"Ek mun mik ábyrgjast," segir Þorsteinn.
"Ekki vilda ek þú hlytir vánt af mér," sagði Goðmundr, "en ef Óláfr konungr vill leggja gæfu á með oss, þá mundi ek framt á treysta, at þú færir."
Þorsteinn segist því heita vilja. Goðmundr biðr hann fara á bak með sér, ok svá gerði hann.
Ríða þeir nú til árinnar. Var þar eitt hús, ok tóku þeir þar önnur klæði ok klæddu sik ok sína hesta. Þau klæði váru þeirar náttúru, at ekki festi vatn á þeim, en vatnit var svá kalt, at þegar hljóp drep í, ef nokkut vöknaði. Riðu þeir nú yfir ána. Hestarnir óðu sterkliga. Hestr Goðmundar rasaði, ok varð Þorsteinn vátr á tánni, ok hljóp þegar drep í. En er þeir kómu af ánni, breiddu þeir niðr klæðin til þerris. Þorsteinn hjó af sér tána, ok fannst þeim mikit um hreysti hans. Ríða þeir nú sinn veg.
Bað Þorsteinn þá eigi fela sik, "því at ek kann at gera þann hulinshjálm, at mik sér engi." Goðmundr segir þat góða kunnáttu.
Kómu þeir nú til borgarinnar, ok kómu menn Goðmundar í móti honum. Riðu þeir nú í borgina. Mátti þar nú heyra alls háttar hljóðfæri, en ekki þótti Þorsteini af setning slegit. Geirröðr konungr kom nú í mót þeim ok fagnaði þeim vel, ok var þeim skipat eitt steinhús eða höll at sofa í ok menn til fengnir at leiða hesta þeira á stall. Var Goðmundr leiddr í konungshöll. Konungr sat í hásæti ok jarl sá hjá honum, er Agði hét. Hann réð fyrir því heraði, er Grundir heita. Þat er á millum Risalands ok Jötunheima. Hann hafði atsetu at Gnípalundi. Hann var fjölkunnigr, ok menn hans váru tröllum líkari en mönnum.
Goðmundr settist á skörina fyrir öndvegit gagnvart konungi. Var sá siðr þeira, at konungsson skyldi ekki í hásæti sitja, fyrr en hann hafði tekit nafnbætr eptir föður sinn ok drukkit væri it fyrsta full. Ríss þar nú upp in vænsta veizla, ok drukku menn glaðir ok kátir ok fóru síðan at sofa. En er Goðmundr kom í hús sitt, sýndi Þorsteinn sik. Hlógu þeir at honum. Goðmundr sagði mönnum sínum, hverr hann var, ok bað þá ekki hafa hann at hlátri. Ok sofa þeir af um nóttina.
|5. Godmund of Glasir Plains|
Then Thorstein saw three horsemen riding up, fully armed and so enormous, he had never seen such men. The one in the middle was the tallest, and was wearing gold-trimmed clothes and riding a pale dun horse. His two companions wore scarlet clothing and rode on grey horses.
When they were opposite the tree where Thorstein was hiding the leader said, 'What's that moving in the oak?'
Thorstein climbed down to meet them but when he greeted them they all burst out laughing. The tall man said, 'It's not every day that we see someone like you. What's your name, and where are you from?'
Thorstein gave his name, and added that he was also known as Mansion-Might. 'My family belongs to Norway, and I'm King Olaf's man.'
The tall man smiled and said, 'This regal splendour of his must be a great lie, if he has nobody braver-looking than you. In my opinion you ought to be called Mansion-Midget, not Mansion-Might.'
'Give me a naming-gift, then,' said Thorstein.
The tall man took a gold ring off his finger and gave it to Thorstein. 'What name are you called by?' asked Thorstein, 'What's your background, and what's the name of this country?'
'I'm called Godmund, and I'm the ruler of Glasir Plains; this country's a dependancy of Giantland. I'm a king's son, and these are my companions, Full-Strong and All-Strong. Did you by any chance see some riders pass by this morning?'
'Twenty-two men rode past here,' said Thorstein, 'and they weren't exactly unobtrusive.'
'Those would be my lads,' said Godmund. 'The neighbouring country's called Jotunheim and there's a king called Geirrod ruling it just now. We're tributaries under him. My father, Ulfhedin Trusty, was known as Godmund, as all the other rulers of Glasir Plains have been. He travelled over to Geirrod's town to hand over his tribute to the king, but during this trip my father died, so King Geirrod has asked me to a funeral feast in my father's honour, and to take my father's titles as well. But we're not happy about being ruled by giants.'
'Why did your men ride ahead of you?' asked Thorstein.
'There's a great river that divides our countries. It's known as the Hemra and it's so deep and swift the only horses that can ford it are the three we're riding on. The rest of my men have to ride as far as the source of the river, but we'll all meet tonight.'
'It could be amusing to go with you and see what happens there,' said Thorstein.
'I'm not so sure about that,' said Godmund, 'I suppose you're a Christian.'
'I can take care of myself,' said Thorstein.
'I shouldn't want you to come to any harm on my account,' said Godmund. 'But if King Olaf will give us his good luck, I'm willing to risk taking you with us.'
Thorstein gave his word, so Godmund told Thorstein to get up behind him, which is what he did.
They rode as far as the river. On the bank there was a hut and from it they took a set of clothes for themselves and their horses. These clothes were made so that the water couldn't touch them, for the river was so cold that it would cause instant gangrene to any part of the body that came into contact with the water. They forded the river, with the horses struggling hard, but Godmund's horse stumbled, so Thorstein got his toe wet, and gangrene set in at once. When they got out of the river they spread their clothes on the ground to dry. Thorstein cut off his toe, and they were immensely impressed by his toughness. Then they rode on their way.
Thorstein told them there was no need for them to hide him. 'I can make myself a helmet of invisibility, so nobody can see me,' he added. Godmund said this was a useful skill to have.
When they arrived at Geirrodstown, Godmund's men came to meet them, and they rode all together into the town. They could hear the sound of all kinds of instruments, but Thorstein didn't think much of the tune. King Geirrod came out to meet them and gave them a good welcome. They were shown to a stone-house or hall where they were meant to sleep and their horses were taken to the stable. Godmund was escorted into the royal palace where the king was sitting on the throne and beside him Earl Agdi, ruler of Grundir which lies between Giantland and Jotunheim. Agdi had his residence at a place called Gnipalund; he was a sorcerer and his men were more like giant trolls than human beings.
Godmund sat down on a footstool beside the high-seat opposite the king. It was their custom that no prince could take his seat on the throne until he had assumed his father's titles and the first toast had been drunk. Soon an excellent feast was well under way, with everyone drinking and having a good time. When it was over the guests went to sleep, and as soon as Godmund came back to his quarters Thorstein made himself visible again. They all laughed at him until Godmund told them who he was and asked them not to make fun of him. So they slept soundly through the night.
|6. Frá Geirröði ok Goðmundi|
Nú er morginn kom, váru þeir snemma á fótum. Var Goðmundr leiddr til konungs hallar. Konungr fagnaði honum vel. "Viljum vér nú vita," segir konungr, "hvárt þú vilt veita mér slíka hlýðni sem faðir þinn, ok vil ek þá auka þínar nafnbætr. Skaltu þá halda Risalandi ok sverja mér eiða."
Goðmundr svarar: "Ekki er þat lög at krefja svá unga menn til eiða."
"Þat skal vera," sagði konungr.
Síðan tók konungr guðvefjarskikkju ok lagði yfir Goðmund ok gaf honum konungsnafn, tók síðan horn mikit ok drakk til Goðmundi. Hann tók við horninu ok þakkaði konungi. Síðan stóð Goðmundr upp ok sté á stokkinn fyrir sæti konungs ok strengdi þess heit, at hann skal engum konungi þjóna né hlýðni veita, meðan Geirröðr konungr lifði. Konungr þakkaði honum, sagði sér þat þykkja meira vert en þótt hann hefði eiða svarit. Síðan drakk Goðmundr af horninu ok gekk til sætis síns. Váru menn þá glaðir ok kátir.
Tveir menn eru nefndir með Agða jarli. Hét annarr Jökull, en annarr Frosti. Þeir váru öfundsjúkir. Jökull þreif upp uxahnútu ok kastaði í lið Goðmundar. Þorsteinn sá þat ok henti á lopti ok sendi aptr, ok kom á nasir þeim, er Gustr hét, ok brotnaði í honum nefit ok ór honum allar tennrnar, en hann fell í óvit. Geirröðr konungr reiddist ok spurði, hverr berði beinum yfir hans borð. Sagði hann, at reynt skyldi verða, hverr sterkastr væri í steinkastinu, áðr en úti væri.
Síðan kallar konungr til tvá menn, Drött ok Hösvi: "Farið þit ok sækið gullhnött minn ok berið hann hingat."
Þeir fóru ok kómu aptr með eitt selshöfuð, er stóð tíu fjórðunga. Þat var glóanda, svá at sindraði af svá sem ór afli, en fitan draup niðr sem glóanda bik.
Konungr mælti: "Takið nú knöttinn ok kastið hverr at öðrum. Hverr, sem niðr fellir, skal fara útlægr ok missa eignir sínar, en hverr eigi þorir at henda, skal heita níðingr."
Early in the morning they all got up, and Godmund was led to the royal palace. The king gave him a good welcome. 'What I'd like to know now,' he said, 'is whether you're willing to show me the same obedience as your father. If so, I'm willing to add to your titles and let you keep Giantland as long as you swear me an oath of loyalty.'
Godmund answered, 'It isn't lawful to demand oaths of a man as young as me.'
'Have it your way,' said the king.
Then he took a cloak of precious material and laid it over Godmund and gave him the title of king. Geirrod picked up a large drinking-horn and gave a toast to Godmund, who took the horn and thanked the king. Then Godmund stood up, stepped on to the foot-board in front of the high-seat before the king and mde a solemn vow that he would neither serve nor obey any other king as long as Geirrod lived. The king thanked him for that and said it pleased him more than if he had sworn him formal oaths. Then Godmund emptied his horn and returned to his seat. Everyone was cheerful and happy.
Earl Agdi had two men with him, called Jokul and Frosti, both very jealous men. Now Jokul took hold of an ox-bone and hurled it at Godmund's men. Thorstein saw this, caught it in flight, and sent it back where it came from, hitting a man named Gust right in the face, breaking his nose and every tooth in his mouth, and knocking him senseless. This annoyed King Geirrod and he asked who was hurling bones over his table, adding that before it was all over they would find out which of them had the strongest throwing-arm.
Then King Geirrod called over two men, Drott and Hosvir. 'Go and fetch my gold ball, and bring it here,' he told them.
Off they went, and came back with a seal's head weighing two hundred pounds. It was red-hot, with sparks flashing from it like a forge-fire and fat dripping from it like burning tar.
The king said, 'Take the ball now and throw it to each other. Anyone who drops it will be made an outlaw and forfeit all his property: and anyone afraid to throw the ball will be thought a coward.'
|7. Frá knattleik ok glímum|
Nú kastar Dröttr knettinum at Fullsterk. Hann greip á móti annarri hendi. Þorsteinn sá, at honum varð orkufátt, ok hljóp undir knöttinn. Þeir snöruðu at Frosta, því at kapparnir stóðu fremstir við hvárntveggja bekkinn. Frosti tók mót sterkliga, ok kom svá nær andliti hans, at kinnbeinit rifnaði. Hann kastar knettinum at Allsterk. Hann tók í móti báðum höndum, ok lá við, at hann mundi kikna, áðr Þorsteinn studdi hann. Allsterkr snaraði at Agða jarli, en hann greip móti báðum höndum. Fitan kom í skeggit á honum, ok logaði þat allt, ok var honum til þess annast at afhenda knöttinn ok fleygir at Goðmundi konungi. En Goðmundr snaraði at Geirröði konungi, en hann veik sér undan, ok urðu þeir fyrir Dröttr ok Hösvir, ok fengu þeir bana. En knöttrinn kom á glerglugg einn ok svá út í díki þat, sem grafit var um borgina, ok hljóp upp eldr logandi. Var nú lokit þessu gamni. Tóku menn þá til drykkju. Sagði Agði jarl, at honum hrysi hugr við jafnan, er hann kom í flokk Goðmundar.
Um kveldit gekk Goðmundr at sofa ok hans menn. Þökkuðu þeir Þorsteini hjástöðu, at þeim hefði slysalaust farit. Þorsteinn kvað lítit til reynt, "eða hvat mun til gamans haft á morgin?"
"Konungr mun láta glíma," segir Goðmundr, "ok munu þeir þá hefna sín, því at fjarstætt er um afl várt."
"Konungs gæfa mun styrkja oss," segir Þorsteinn. "Hirðið eigi, þótt þér berizt þangat at, sem ek er fyrir." Sofa þeir af um nóttina.
En at morgni fór hverr til sinnar skemmtunar, en matsveinar at dúka borð. Geirröðr konungr spurði, hvárt menn vildu ekki glíma, en þeir sögðu, at hann skyldi ráða. Síðan afklæðast þeir ok tókust fangbrögðum. Þorsteinn þóttist eigi sét hafa slíkan atgang, því at allt skalf, þá þeir fellu, ok lékst mjök á mönnum Agða jarls.
Frosti gekk nú fram á gólfit ok mælti: "Hverr skal mér á móti?"
"Til mun verða einhverr," sagði Fullsterkr.
Ráðast þeir nú á, ok váru með þeim miklar sviptingar, ok er Frosti miklu sterkari. Berast þeir nú at Goðmundi. Frosti tekr hann upp á bringu sér ok keiktist mjök. Þorsteinn slær fæti sínum á knésbætr honum, ok fell Frosti á bak aptr, en Fullsterkr á hann ofan. Hnakkinn sprakk á Frosta ok olnbogarnir.
Hann stóð seint upp ok mælti: "Ekki eru þér einir at gamninu, eða hví er svá fúlt í flokki yðrum?"
"Skammt á nefit at kenna ór kjaptinum," sagði Fullsterkr.
Jökull stóð þá upp, ok Allsterkr réðst þá í móti honum, ok var þeira atgangr inn harðasti. En þó var Jökull sterkari ok bar hann at bekk, þar sem Þorsteinn var fyrir. Jökull vildi draga Allsterk frá bekknum ok togast við fast, en Þorsteinn helt honum. Jökull tók svá fast, at hann sté í hallargólfit upp at ökkla, en Þorsteinn hratt Allsterk frá sér, ok fell Jökull á bak aptr, ok gekk ór liði á honum fótrinn.
Allsterkr gekk til bekkjar, en Jökull stóð upp seint ok mælti: "Ekki sjáum vér alla þessa, sem á bekknum eru."
Geirröðr segir Goðmundi, hvárt hann vildi ekki glíma. En hann kveðst aldri glímt hafa, en kveðst eigi vildu synjast. Konungr bað Agða jarl hefna manna sinna. Hann kveðst löngu hafa af lagt, en segir konung ráða skyldu. Síðan afklæddust þeir. Eigi þóttist Þorsteinn sét hafa tröllsligri búk en á Agða. Var hann blár sem hel. Goðmundr reis mót honum. Var hann hvítr á skinnslit. Agði jarl hösvaðist at honum ok lagði svá fast krummurnar at síðum hans, at allt gekk niðr at beini, ok bárust þeir víða um höllina. Ok er þeir kómu þar, sem Þorsteinn var, þá brá Goðmundr jarli til sniðglímu ok sneri honum vakrliga. Þorsteinn lagðist niðr fyrir fætr jarli, ok fell hann þá ok stakk niðr nösunum, ok brotnaði í honum þjófsnefit ok fjórar tennr.
Jarl stóð upp ok mælti: "Þung verða gamalla manna föll, ok svá þyngst, at þrír gangi at einum."
Fóru menn þá í klæði sín.
|7. The Ball-game|
Now Drott hurled the ball at Full-Strong who caught it with one hand, but Thorstein realized that Full-Strong's strength was not quite sufficient so he threw his weight against the ball. Together they flung the ball at Frosti, because all the champions were standing in front of the benches on either side. Frosti caught the ball with firm hands but it went so close to his face that the cheek-bone was broken. He threw the ball back at All-Strong who caught it with both hands, but his knee would have given way had Thorstein not supported him. All-Strong hurled the ball at Earl Agdi who caught it with both hands, but the burning fat from the ball splashed on to his beard, setting it on fire, so he was in a hurry to get rid of the ball and hurled it at King Godmund, who threw it at King Geirrod, but he dodged out of the way so the ball hit Drott and Hosvir, killing them both. The ball travelled on through a glass window and splashed into the moat that surrounded the town. Flames erupted from it, and that was the end of the game. Earl Agdi said he felt shivers down the spine every time he came anywhere near Godmund's men.
In the evening Godmund and his men went to sleep. They thanked Thorstein for all his help and protection from danger. He told them it was nothing - 'but what sort of entertainment can we expect tomorrow?'
'The king will make us wrestle,' said Godmund. 'They'll try to get their own back on us, since they're so much stronger than we are.'
'King Olaf's luck will strengthen us,' said Thorstein. 'Don't forget, let the scuffle take you over towards me.' So they slept through the night.
In the morning everyone went to his own favourite kind of entertainment while the servants were laying the tables. King Geirrod asked the guests whether they would like to wrestle, and they said they would if that was what he wanted, so they stripped and the wrestling match began. It seemed to Thorstein that he'd never seen such a clash, for whenever someone was thrown the whole place shook. It was obvious that Earl Agdi's men were losing the contest.
Frosti stepped on to the floor and said, 'Who's going to take me on?'
'I daresay someone will,' said Full-Strong.
They set about each other and there was a fierce struggle between them. Frosti was much the stronger, and the scuffle took them close to Godmund. Frosti heaved Full-Strong up to his chest, but had to bend his knees. Then Thorstein kicked him behind the knees so Frosti fell flat on his back with Full-Strong on top. The back of Frosti's head was broken, and so were his elbows.
He got slowly to his feet and said, 'You're not playing singles in this game. And what makes you smell so foul?'
'Your nose is too close to your own mouth,' said Full-Strong.
Now Jokul got up and All-Strong turned on him. Their clash was the hardest yet, but Jokul seemed the more powerful and dragged All-Strong to the bench where Thorstein was. Then Jokul tried hard to force All-Strong away from there, but Thorstein held on to him. Jokul pulled so hard that his feet sank into the floor, ankle-deep, then Thorstein suddenly pushed All-Strong away from him, so that Jokul fell flat on his back and dislocated his leg.
All-Strong went back to his seat, but Jokul got slowly to his feet and said, 'We can't see everyone on that bench.'
Geirrod asked Godmund whether he wouldn't join in the wrestling, and Godmund said that although he'd never wrestled before he wouldn't turn down the offer. The king ordered Earl Agdi to avenge his men, and he replied that although he'd given up wrestling long ago, he would do what the king wanted. So they stripped off their clothes. Thorstein thought he had never seen a body more inhuman than Agdi's, for it was black as death. Godmund rose to his feet to meet him, and his skin was very white. Earl Agdi went for him in a rage, and gripped Godmund's ribs so hard he went right through to the bone. They staggered about all over the hall and when they came to Thorstein, Godmund tried to put down the earl with a hip-throw and swung him hard around. Thorstein threw himself under the earl's feet, toppling him over so he crashed on his nose. Not only his thieving nose was broken, but four teeth as well.
The earl stood up and said, 'An old man always takes a nasty fall, but never nastier than when it's three to one.'
At that they put their clothes back on.
|8. Frá drykkju ok viðræðu þeira Þorsteins|
Þessu næst fóru þeir konungr til borða. Töluðu þeir Agði jarl um, at þeir mundu einhvern prett við hafa haft, "því at mér býðr ávallt hita, er ek kem í þeira flokk."
"Látum bíða," segir konungr, "sá mun koma, at okkr mun kunngera."
Tóku menn þá at drekka. Þá váru borin inn tvau horn í höllina. Þau átti Agði jarl, gersemar miklar, ok váru kölluð Hvítingar. Þau váru tveggja álna há ok gulli búin.
Konungr lét sitt hornit ganga á hvárn bekk, "ok skal hverr drekka af í einu. Sá, sem því orkar eigi, skal fá byrlaranum eyri silfrs."
Gekk engum af at drekka utan köppunum, en Þorsteinn gat svá til sét, at þeir, sem með Goðmundi váru, varð engi víttr. Drukku menn nú glaðir þat, sem eptir var dagsins, en um kveldit fóru menn at sofa.
Goðmundr þakkaði Þorsteini fyrir góða hjástöðu. Þorsteinn spurði, nær endast mundi veizlan.
"At morgni skulu menn mínir ríða," segir Goðmundr. "Veit ek, at nú lætr konungr allt við hafa. Eru nú sýndar gersemar. Lætr konungr nú bera inn horn sitt it mikla. Þat er kallat Grímr inn góði. Þat er gersemi mikil ok þó galdrafullt ok búit með gull. Mannshöfuð er á stiklinum með holdi ok munni, ok þat mælir við menn ok segir fyrir óorðna hluti ok ef þat veit ófriðar ván. Verðr þat bani vár, ef konungr veit, at kristinn maðr er með oss. Munum vér eigi þurfa at vera fésparir við hann."
Þorsteinn sagði Grím eigi mæla fleira enn Óláfr konungr vildi, "en ek ætla, at Geirröðr sé feigr. Þykki mér ráð, at þér hafið mín ráð heðan af. Skal ek sýna mik á morgin."
En þeir sögðu þat hættu ráð. Þorsteinn sagði, at Geirröðr vildi þá feiga, "eða hvat segir þú mér af Grími inum góða fleira?"
"Þat er frá honum at segja, at meðalmaðr má standa undir bugtinni á honum, en álnar breitt yfir beitina, ok er sá mestr drykkjumaðr í þeira liði, er drekkr beitina, en konungr drekkr af í einu. Hverr maðr á at gefa Grími nokkura gersemi, en sú virðing þykkir honum sér mest ger, at í einu sé af drukkit. En ek veit, at mér ber fyrstum af at drekka, en þat er einskis manns þol at drekka þat í einu."
Þorsteinn mælti: "Þú skalt fara í serk minn, því at þér má þá ekki granda, þó at ólyfjan sé í drykknum. Tak kórónu af höfði þér ok gef Grími inum góða ok seg í eyra honum, at þú skalt gera honum miklu meira heiðr en Geirröðr, ok síðan skaltu láta sem þú drekkir. En eitr mun í horninu, ok skaltu steypa niðr næst þér, ok mun þik ekki saka. En þá er drykkjuskapr er úti, skaltu láta menn þína ríða."
Goðmundr sagði, at hann skuli ráða. "En ef Geirröðr deyr, þá á ek alla Jötunheima, en ef hann lifir lengr, verðr þat bani vár."
Síðan sofa þeir af um nóttina.
|8. More Drinking|
After this the king and his guests sat down at table. Earl Agdi and the others said they must have been tricked in some way. 'I always feel hot under the collar whenever I'm in their company.'
'Leave it be,' said the king; 'someone will turn up to make us wiser.'
Then the drinking began, and two horns were carried into the hall. They belonged to Earl Agdi and were very precious. The horns, called the Whitings, were two yards long and all inlaid with gold.
The king sent one horn to either side. 'Each man is to empty the horn in one go and everybody who can't manage it shall pay the steward an ounce of silver.'
Only the champions could drink it up in a single draught, but Thorstein saw to it that none of Godmund's men was penalized. When this was over, the drinking continued in a lighter mood for the rest of the day, and in the evening the men went to sleep.
Godmund thanked Thorstein for all his help, and Thorstein asked him when the feast would be over.
'My men have to leave in the morning,' said Godmund. 'I know the king will try to get his own back when he shows off his treasures. He'll have his great drinking horn brought into the hall, called Grim the Good, a magnificent treasure, ornamented with gold, and with magical powers. There's a man's head on the narrow point, with flesh and a mouth, and it can talk to people and tell them what the future holds for them and warn them when there's trouble ahead. It will be the death of us all if the king finds out that we've had a Christian with us. We'll have to be very generous to Grim.'
Thorstein said that Grim wouldn't be able to say any more than King Olaf would let him. 'I think Geirrod is a doomed man. If you'll take my advice, you'll do as I tell you from now on. Tomorrow I'm going to show myself.'
They said it would be a terrible risk, but Thorstein replied that Geirrod wanted them all out of the way. 'What else can you tell me about Grim the Good?' he asked.
'First, that the horn is so long, an average man can stand upright in the curve. The ornamental rim round the opening is a yard wide and while the greatest drinker can drink so deep into the horn, only the king can finish it all in one go. I know I'm supposed to be the first to drink from the horn, but there isn't a mortal man good enough to finsih it off in one.'
Thorstein said, 'You'd better put on my shirt, because if you do, nothing can harm you, not even poison in the drink. Take the crown off your head, give it to Grim the Good and whisper into his ear that you'll show him much greater honour than Geirrod does, and then pretend to be drinking. But since there's going to be poison in the horn, pour the drink under your clothes, and then it won't hurt you, but when all the drinking is over you'd better arrange for your men to ride away.'
Godmund told him to have it his way. 'If Geirrod dies, the whole of Jotunheim belongs to me, but if he lives much longer, we're sure to be killed.'
So they slept through the night.
|9. Frá Grími inum góða|
Um morguninn eru þeir snemma á fótum ok taka sín klæði. Þá kemr Geirröðr konungr til þeira ok biðr þá drekka velfaranda sinn. Þeir gerðu svá. Váru fyrst drukkin hornin Hvítingar næst máldrykkju skálum, en þá var drukkit minni Þórs ok Óðins. Því næst kómu inn margir slagir hljóðfæra, ok tveir menn, nokkuru minni en Þorsteinn, þeir báru Grím inn góða. Allir stóðu upp ok fellu á kné fyrir honum. Grímr var óhýrligr.
Geirröðr mælti til Goðmundar: "Tak við Grími inum góða, ok er þetta þín handsals skál."
Goðmundr gekk at Grími ok tók af sér gullkórónu ok setti á hann ok mælti í eyra honum, sem Þorsteinn hafði sagt honum. Síðan lét hann renna af horninu ofan í serk sér, ok var eitr í. Hann drakk til Geirröði konungi ok kyssti á stikilinn, ok fór Grímr hlæjandi frá honum.
Tók Geirröðr þá við fullu horninu ok bað Grím með góðri heill koma ok bað hann kunngera sér, ef nokkurr háski væri nær. "Hefi ek opt sét þik með betra bragði."
Tók hann gullmen af sér ok gaf Grími, drakk síðan til Agða jarli, ok þótti því líkast sem boði felli á sker, er niðr rann eptir hálsinum á honum, ok drakk af allt. Grímr hristi höfuðit, ok var hann borinn Agða jarli, ok gaf hann honum tvá gullhringa ok bað sér miskunnar ok drakk síðan af í þremr ok fekk byrlaranum.
Grímr mælti: "Svá ergist hverr sem eldist."
Þá var hornit fyllt, ok skyldu þeir drekka af tveir, Jökull ok Fullsterkr. Fullsterkr drakk fyrr. Jökull tók við ok leit í hornit ok kvað lítilmannliga drukkit ok sló Fullsterk með horninu. En hann rak hnefann á nasir Jökli, svá at þjófshakan brotnaði, en ór hrutu tennrnar. Var þá upphlaup mikit. Geirröðr bað menn eigi láta þetta spyrjast, at þeir skildi svá illa. Váru þeir þegar sáttir, ok var Grímr inn góði burt borinn.
|9. Grim the Good|
In the morning they were up early and dressed. Then King Geirrod came and asked them to drink his health, which they did. First they drank from the Whitings and then from the loving-cups. After that the toasts dedicated to Thor and Odin were drunk. Then various musical instruments all came playing into the hall, and two men, both rather smaller than Thorstein, carried in Grim the Good between them. All the people got to their feet, then knelt down before him, but there was an ugly look about Grim.
Geirrod spoke to Godmund, 'Take Grim the Good and let this toast bind you to your pledge.'
Godmund went over to Grim, took off his gold crown, put it on Grim's head, and whispered into his ear as Thorstein had instructed him. Next, he poured the poisonous drink into his shirt. After he had drunk in this way to King Geirrod's health, he kissed the point of the horn and Grim was taken away from him with a smile on his face.
Geirrod took the full horn and asked Grim to bring him good luck and warn him if there was any danger about. 'I've often seen you in a happier mood,' he said.
He took a gold necklace he was wearing and gave it to Grim, and then he drank a toast to Earl Agdi. It was like a sea-wave crashing over a skerry as the drink cascaded down his throat. He drank it all up, but Grim only shook his head. Then the horn was carried over to Earl Agdi who gave Grim two gold bracelets and asked him for mercy. He drank it up in three draughts and handed the horn back to the cup-bearer.
Grim said, 'The older the man, the feebler.'
Then the horn was filled yet again, this time for Jokul and Full-Strong to drink from. Full-Strong was the first to drink. Jokul took it from him, looked into it and said he had drunk like a weakling, then hit at Full-Strong with the horn, but he hit back and drove his fist against Jokul's nose, breaking his thievish chin, and scattering his teeth. This caused quite an uproar. Geirrod told them not to let it be put about that they'd parted on such bad terms, so they were reconciled and Grim the Good was borne out.
|10. Dráp Geirröðar|
Litlu síðar kom maðr gangandi í höllina. Allir undruðust, hversu lítill hann var. Þat var Þorsteinn bæjarbarn. Hann veik at Goðmundi ok sagði, at hestar væru til reiðu. Geirröðr spurði, hvat barn at þat væri.
Goðmundr segir: "Þat er smásveinn minn, er Óðinn konungr sendi mér, ok er konungs gersemi ok kann marga smáleika, ok ef yðr þætti nokkuru neytr, þá vil ek gefa yðr hann."
"Þat er svipmikill drengr," segir konungr, "ok vil ek sjá fimleika hans," ok bað Þorstein leika nokkurn smáleik.
Þorsteinn tók hall sinn ok brodd ok pjakkar þar í, sem hvítt er. Kemr haglhríð svá mikil, at engi þorir í móti at sjá, ok varð svá mikil fönn í höllinni, at tók í ökkla. Konungr hló at. Nú stangaði Þorsteinn hallinn, þar sem hann var gulr. Kom þá sólskin svá heitt, at snjórinn bráðnaði allr á lítilli stundu. Þar fylgdi sætr ilmr, en Geirröðr kvað hann var listamann. En Þorsteinn segir eptir einn leikinn, er heitir svipuleikr. Konungr segist hann sjá vilja. Þorsteinn stóð á miðju hallargólfi ok pjakkar þar í hallinn, sem rautt er. Stökkva þar ór gneistar. Síðan hleypr hann um höllina fyrir hvert sæti. Tókust þá at vaxa gneistaflaugin, svá at hverr maðr varð at geyma sín augu. En Geirröðr konungr hló at. Tók þá at vaxa eldrinn, svá at öllum þótti við of um. Þorsteinn hafði sagt Goðmundi fyrir, at hann skyldi út ganga ok fara á hest.
Þorsteinn hleypr fyrir Geirröð ok mælti: "Vili þér láta auka leikinn?"
"Lát sjá, sveinn," sagði hann.
Pjakkar Þorsteinn þá í fastara lagi. Kemr þá í auga Geirröði konungi. Þorsteinn hleypr til dyranna ok snaraði hallinum ok broddinum, ok kom í sitt auga hvárt á Geirröði konungi, ok steyptist hann dauðr á gólfit, en Þorsteinn gekk út. Var Goðmundr þá kominn á hest.
Þorsteinn bað þá ríða, "því at nú er ekki deigum vært."
Þeir ríða til árinnar. Var þá aptr kominn hallrinn ok broddrinn. Þorsteinn segir, at Geirröðr var dauðr. Ríða þeir nú yfir ána ok þangat, sem þeir höfðu fundizt.
Þá mælti Þorsteinn: "Hér munum vér nú skilja, ok mun mönnum mínum mál þykkja, at ek komi til þeira."
"Far heim með mér," sagði Goðmundr, "ok skal ek launa þér góða fylgd."
"Síðan mun ek þess vitja," segir Þorsteinn, "en aptr skalt þú fara með fjölmenni í Geirröðargarða. Er nú landit í yðru valdi."
"Þú munt ráða," sagði Goðmundr, "en Óláfi konungi skaltu færa kveðju mína."
Tók hann þá eitt gullker ok silfrdisk ok tvítugt handklæði gullofit ok sendi konungi, en bað Þorstein vitja sín, ok skildu með kærleikum.
|10. Geirrod's Death|
A little later a man came walking into the hall. Everyone was amazed to see how tiny he was, but it was Thorstein Mansion-Midget. He turned to Godmund and told him his horses were ready now. Geirrod asked who that little child was.
Godmund said, 'This is my servant-boy that Odin sent me. He's a real king's treasure and knows a trick or two. If you think you could use him I'm willing to give him to you.'
'He seems a striking little lad,' said the king. 'I'd like to see him in action.' He asked Thorstein to perform some trick or other.
Thorstein took his marble and point and when he started pricking the white part, there was such a terrible hail-storm that no one dared open his eyes, and snow piled up in the hall ankle-deep. This made the king laugh. Then Thorstein pricked the yellow part of the marble, and blazing-hot sunshine burst out over the hall, thawing the snow in a moment. With this came a sweet fragrance and the king said that Thorstein was indeeed a clever fellow. Thorstein said he had still one more trick up his sleeve, one called the Scourge. The king wanted to see it, so Thorstein stepped into the middle of the floor and pricked the red part of the marble. Sparks began flashing from it, and Thorstein ran all over the hall to every seat, with more and more sparks flying from the marble, so that everyone had to cover his eyes; but King Geirrod only laughed. The fires grew until everyone felt it was getting beyond a joke. Thorstein had warned Godmund beforehand that this was the time for him to go outside and get away on horseback.
Thorstein ran up to Geirrod and asked, 'Do you still want more of this game?'
'Yes, let me see more, boy,' he said.
So Thorstein pricked harder than ever and the sparks flew into Geirrod's eyes. Thorstein rushed to the door, and threw the marble and point straight into Geirrod's eyes, knocking him dead on to the floor. When Thorstein got outside Godmund had already mounted.
Thorstein said they must ride off at once. 'This is no place for weaklings,' he said.
They rode over to the river and by that time the marble and point had come back. Thorstein told them that Geirrod was dead. So they forded the river and rode on to the spot where Thorstein had first met them.
'Now we must part,' said Thorstein. 'My men will be thinking it's time for me to join them.'
'Come home with me,' said Godmund. 'I'll repay all the help you've given us.'
'I'll come for that some other time,' said Thorstein. 'But you'd better go back to Geirrodstown with plenty of men. You can take control of the whole country now.'
'Whatever you say,' said Godmund. 'Give King Olaf my regards.'
Then he handed Thorstein a golden bowl, a silve dish and a gold-embroidered towel to take to King Olaf. Godmund asked Thorstein to come and visit him, and they parted the best of friends.
|11. Þorsteinn hélt til Noregs|
En nú sér Þorsteinn, hvar Agði jarl ferr í allmiklum jötunmóð. Þorsteinn ferr eptir honum. Sér hann þá mikinn húsabæ, er Agði átti. Aldingarðr var við grindhliðit, ok stóð þar við ein jungfrú. Hún var dóttir Agða ok hét Goðrún. Mikil var hún ok fríð. Hún heilsaði föður sínum ok spurði tíðenda.
"Nóg eru tíðendi," segir hann. "Geirröðr konungr er dauðr, ok hefir Goðmundr af Glæsisvöllum svikit oss alla ok hefir leynt þar kristnum manni, ok heitir sá Þorsteinn bæjarmagn. Hann hefir ausit eldi í augu oss. Skal ek nú drepa menn hans."
Kastar hann þar niðr hornunum Hvítingum ok hljóp til skógar, sem hann væri galinn.
Þorsteinn gekk at Goðrúnu. Hún heilsaði honum ok spurði hann at nafni. Hann kvaðst Þorsteinn bæjarbarn heita, hirðmaðr Óláfs konungs.
"Stórr mun þar inn stærsti, sem þú ert barnit," sagði hún.
"Viltu fara með mér," segir Þorsteinn, "ok taka við trú?"
"Við lítit yndi á ek hér at skiljast," segir hún, "því at móðir mín er dauð. Hún var dóttir Óttars jarls af Hólmgörðum, ok váru þau ólík at skapsmunum, því at faðir minn er mjök tröllaukinn, ok sé ek nú, at hann er feigr. En ef þú vilt fylgja mér aptr hingat, þá mun ek fara með þér."
Síðan tók hún þing sín, en Þorsteinn tók hornin Hvítinga. Síðan gengu þau á skóginn ok sáu, hvar Agði fór. Hann grenjaði mjök ok helt fyrir augun. Hafði þat saman borit, þegar hann sá skip Þorsteins, hljóp sá verkr í þjófsaugun á honum, at hann sá eigi. Var þá komit at sólarfalli, er þau komu til skips. Váru menn Þorsteins þá burt búnir, en er þeir sáu Þorstein, urðu þeir fegnir. Sté Þorsteinn þá á skip, ok sigldu burt. Er eigi getit um ferð hans, fyrr en hann kom heim í Noreg.
|11. Back to Norway|
Next Thorstein caught sight of Earl Agdi who was storming along in a titanic fury. Thorstein followed him until they came to the large farmstead where Agdi lived. There was a young woman standing at the gate to the orchard, Agdi's daughter. Her name was Gudrun, and she was a tall, good-looking girl. She greeted her father and asked him the news.
'There's news enough,' he said. 'King Geirrod's dead. Godmund of Glasir Plains has tricked us all and hidden a Christian there called Thorstein Mansion-Midget. He's thrown fire into our eyes, but now I'm on my way to kill his men.'
Earl Agdi threw down the Whitings and ran into the wood as if he were out of his mind.
Thorstein went up to Gudrun. She greeted him and asked him his name and he told her he was called Thorstein Mansion-Midget, one of King Olaf's men.
'His biggest must be very big indeed, if you're the midget,' she said.
'Will you come with me and embrace our faith?' said Thorstein.
'There's not much here to keep me happy,' she said. 'My mother's dead. She was the daughter of Earl Ottar of Novogorod, and she wasn't a bit like my father in temperament. There's a lot of the giant about him. I can see now that he's doomed, so if you promise to bring me back here, I'll go with you.'
She collected her things, and Thorstein took the Whitings. They went into the wood and saw Agdi going about screaming, with his hands over his eyes. Two things had happened simultaneously; as he caught sight of Thorstein's ship he felt a terrible pain in his thief's eyes and went blind. It was sunset by the time Thorstein and Gudrun reached the ship and his men were ready to sail. When they saw Thorstein, they were overjoyed. He stepped on board and they put to sea at once. Nothing remains to be told of this voyage till he arrived home in Norway.
|12. Þorsteinn fekk Goðrúnar Agðadóttur|
Þenna vetr sat Óláfr konungr í Þrándheimi. Þorsteinn fann konung at jólum ok færði honum gripi þá, sem Goðmundr sendi honum, ok hornin Hvítinga ok marga aðra gripi. Sagði hann konungi frá ferðum sínum ok sýndi honum Goðrúnu. Konungr þakkaði honum, ok lofuðu allir hans hreysti ok þótti mikils um vert. Síðan lét konungr skíra Goðrúnu ok kenna trú. Þorsteinn lék svipuleik um jólin, ok þótti mönnum þat skemmtan mikil. Hvítingar gengu í minnum, ok váru tveir menn um hvárt horn. En ker þat, sem Goðmundr hafði sent konungi, gekk engum af at drekka utan Þorsteini bæjarbarni. Handklæðit brann eigi, þótt því væri í eld kastat, ok var hreinna eptir en áðr.
Þorsteinn talar um við konung, at hann vildi gera brullaup til Goðrúnar, en konungr veitti honum þat, ok var þat sæmilig veizla. Ok ina fyrstu nótt, er þau kómu í eina sæng ok niðr var hleypt fortjaldinu, þá brast upp þilfjöl at höfðum Þorsteins, ok var þar kominn Agði jarl ok ætlaði at drepa hann. En þar laust í móti hita svá miklum, at hann þorði eigi inn at ganga. Sneri hann þá í burtu. Þá kom konungr at ok sló hann með gullbúnu refði í höfuðit, en hann steyptist niðr í jörðina. Helt konungr vörð um nóttina, en um morguninn váru horfin hornin Hvítingar. Gekk veizlan vel fram. Sat Þorsteinn með konungi um vetrinn, ok unnust þau Goðrún vel.
Um várit beiddi Þorsteinn orlofs at sigla í Austrveginn ok finna Goðmund konung. En konungr sagðist þat eigi gera, utan hann lofaði at koma aptr. Þorsteinn hét því. Konungr bað hann halda trú sína vel, - "ok eig meira undir þér en þeim austr þar."
Skildust þeir með kærleikum, ok báðu allir vel fyrir honum, því at Þorsteinn var orðinn vinsæll. Sigldi hann í Austrveg, ok er eigi getit annars en sú ferð færist vel. Kom hann á Glæsisvöllu, ok fagnaði Goðmundr honum vel.
Þorsteinn mælti: "Hvat hafið þér frétt ór Geirröðargörðum?"
"Þangat fór ek," segir Goðmundr, "ok gáfu þeir landit í mitt vald, ok ræðr þar fyrir Heiðrekr úlfhamr, sonr minn."
"Hvar er Agði jarl?" segir Þorsteinn.
"Hann lét gera sér haug, þá þér fóruð," segir Goðmundr, "ok gekk þar í með mikit fé, en þeir Jökull ok Frosti drukknuðu í ánni Hemru, er þeir fóru frá veizlunni, en ek hefi nú vald yfir heraðinu á Grundum."
"Þar er nú mikit undir," segir Þorsteinn, "hverju þú vilt mér af skipta, því at mér þykkir Goðrún eiga arf allan eptir föður sinn, Agða jarl."
"Ef þú vilt vera minn maðr," sagði Goðmundr.
"Þá muntu ekki vanda um trú mína," segir Þorsteinn.
"Þat vil ek," sagði Goðmundr. Sídan fóru þeir til Grunda, ok tók Þorsteinn heraðit undir sik.
|12. The Wedding|
That winter King Olaf was in residence at Trondheim, and Thorstein went to see him at Christmas to bring him the gifts which Godmund had sent him and also the Whitings and many other valuable things besides. Thorstein told the king about his travels and introduced Gudrun to him. The king thanked him warmly and everyone was very impressed and praised his courage. The king had Gudrun baptized and instructed in the Christian faith. At Christmas Thorstein played the Scourge and everyone thought it great entertainment. The Whitings were used when toasts were being drunk, with two men sharing each horn. The loving-cup Godmund had sent the king was so big that no one could drink from it except Thorstein Mansion-Midget. The towel wouldn't burn even when it was thrown on the fire: the flames only made it cleaner than before.
Thorstein mentioned to the king that he intended to marry Gudrun. The king gave his consent and there was a splendid feast. On their wedding night when they had just gone to bed, the curtain came crashing down, the panelling ove Thorstein's head burst open, and through it appeared Earl Agdi whose intention was to kill Thorstein, but he was hit by such a wave of hot air he didn't dare go inside. Then King Olaf came and thumped Agdi's head with a gold-trimmed staff, hammering him right into the ground. After that, the king kept watch throughout the night. In the morning the Whitings had vanished, but the wedding feast went on without a hitch. Thorstein stayed the winter with the king and he and Gudrun loved each other dearly.
In the spring Thorstein asked permission to sail to the east to see King Godmund, but King Olaf said he couldn't go unless he promised to return, so Thorstein gave his word. The king asked him to keep his faith well. 'And put more trust in yourself than in those people to the east,' he added.
They parted the best of friends, and everyone wished Thorstein good luck, as he had now become a very popular man. So he sailed to the Baltic, and as far as is known the voyage went smoothly for him. He arrived finally at Glasir Plains and Godmund gave him a good welcome.
'Have you heard anything from Geirrodstown?' asked Thorstein.
'I went there myself,' said Godmund, 'and they surrendered the country into my hands. My son Heidrek Wolf-Skin is ruling over it.'
'What happened to Earl Agdi?' said Thorstein.
'After you left, Agdi had a burial mound built for himself,' said Godmund, 'then retired into it with a great deal of money. Jokul and Frosti were drowned in the river Hemra on their way back home from the feast, so now I'm in full control of the district of Grundir as well.'
'What matters to me,' said Thorstein, 'is how much of it you're prepared to let me have, since it seems to me my wife's entitled to all the inheritance after her father, Earl Agdi.'
'You can have it all if you become my man,' said Godmund.
'Then you won't interfere with my faith?' said Thorstein.
'That's a promise,' said Godmund. So they went ot the district of Grundir and Thorstein took charge of it.
|13. Þorsteinn fann Óláf konung|
Þorsteinn reisti bú at Gnípalundi, því at Agði jarl hafði gengit aptr ok eytt bæinn. Gerðist Þorsteinn höfðingi mikill. Goðrún fæddi sveinbarn mikit litlu síðar, ok hét Brynjólfr. Ekki var traust, at Agði jarl glettist eigi við Þorstein. Eina nótt gekk Þorsteinn af sæng sinni ok sá, hvar at Agði fór. Hann þorði hvergi inn í hliðin, því at kross var fyrir hverjum dyrum. Þorsteinn gekk til haugsins. Hann var opinn, ok gekk hann inn ok tók burt hornin Hvítinga. Þá kom Agði jarl í hauginn, en Þorsteinn hljóp út hjá honum ok setti kross í dyrrnar, ok laukst aptr haugrinn, ok hefir ekki orðit vart við Agða síðan.
Um sumarit eptir fór Þorsteinn til Noregs ok færði Óláfi konungi hornin Hvítinga. Síðan fekk hann orlof ok sigldi til eigna sinna. Bauð konungr honum halda vel trú sína. Höfum vér eigi frétt síðan til Þorsteins. En þá Óláfr konungr hvarf af Orminum langa, hurfu hornin Hvítingar.
Lúkum vér þar þætti Þorsteins bæjarbarns.
13. The End
Thorstein rebuilt the house at Gnipalund as Earl Agdi had come back from the dead and destroyed the old home. Thorstein became a great chieftain, and a little later Gudrun gave birth to a fine big boy who was called Brynjolf. Earl Agdi couldn't restrain himself from playing tricks on Thorstein. One night Thorstein got out of bed and saw Agdi wandering about, but Agdi didn't dare go through any of the gates as there was a cross on every one of them. Thorstein went over to his mound. It was open, so he went inside and picked up the Whitings. Then Agdi came into the mound, and Thorstein ran out past him and put a cross in the doorway. The mound closed up, and since then nothing has ever been seen of Agdi.
The following summer Thorstein went back to Norway and gave King Olaf the Whitings, then got permission to go back to his own possessions. The king told him he should keep his faith well. Since then we haven't heard anything about Thorstein, but when King Olaf disappeared from the Long Serpent the Whitings vanished.
And so we end the story of Thorstein Mansion-Midget.