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Njal's Saga
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Title: The Story of Burnt Njal
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Originally written in Icelandic, sometime in the 13th Century A.D.
Author unknown.

1. OF FIDDLE MORD

There was a man named Mord whose surname was Fiddle; he was the son of Sigvat the Red, and he dwelt at the "Vale" in the Rangrivervales. He was a mighty chief, and a great taker up of suits, and so great a lawyer that no judgments were thought lawful unless he had a hand in them. He had an only daughter, named Unna. She was a fair, courteous, and gifted woman, and that was thought the best match in all the Rangrivervales.

Now the story turns westward to the Broadfirth dales, where, at Hauskuldstede, in Laxriverdale, dwelt a man named Hauskuld, who was Dalakoll's son, and his mother's name was Thorgerda.(1) He had a brother named Hrut, who dwelt at Hrutstede; he was of the same mother as Hauskuld, but his father's name was Heriolf. Hrut was handsome, tall and strong, well skilled in arms, and mild of temper; he was one of the wisest of men -- stern towards his foes, but a good counsellor on great matters. It happened once that Hauskuld bade his friends to a feast, and his brother Hrut was there, and sat next him. Hauskuld had a daughter named Hallgerda, who was playing on the floor with some other girls. She was fair of face and tall of growth, and her hair was as soft as silk; it was so long, too, that it came down to her waist. Hauskuld called out to her, "Come hither to me, daughter." So she went up to him, and he took her by the chin, and kissed her; and after that she went away.

Then Hauskuld said to Hrut, "What dost thou think of this maiden?
Is she not fair?" Hrut held his peace. Hauskuld said the same thing to him a second time, and then Hrut answered, "Fair enough is this maid, and many will smart for it, but this I know not, whence thief's eyes have come into our race." Then Hauskuld was wroth, and for a time the brothers saw little of each other.

ENDNOTES:

(1) Thorgerda was daughter of Thorstein the Red who was Olaf the
White's son, Ingialld's son, Helgi's son. Ingialld's mother
was Thora, daughter of Sigurd Snake-i'-the-eye, who was
Ragnar Hairybreek's son. And the Deeply-wealthy was
Thorstein the Red's mother; she was daughter of Kettle
Flatnose, who was Bjorn Boun's son, Grim's son, Lord of Sogn
in Norway.

2. HRUT WOOS UNNA

It happened once that those brothers, Hauskuld and Hrut, rode to the Althing, and there was much people at it. Then Hauskuld said to Hrut, "One thing I wish, brother, and that is, that thou wouldst better thy lot and woo thyself a wife."

Hrut answered, "That has been long on my mind, though there always seemed to be two sides to the matter; but now I will do as thou wishest; whither shall we turn our eyes?"

Hauskuld answered, "Here now are many chiefs at the Thing, and there is plenty of choice, but I have already set my eyes on a spot where a match lies made to thy hand. The woman's name is Unna, and she is a daughter of Fiddle Mord, one of the wisest of men. He is here at the Thing and his daughter too, and thou mayest see her if it pleases thee."

Now the next day, when men were going to the High Court, they saw some well-dressed women standing outside the booths of the men from the Rangrivervales. Then Hauskuld said to Hrut "Yonder now is Unna, of whom I spoke; what thinkest thou of her?"

"Well," answered Hrut; "but yet I do not know whether we should get on well together."

After that they went to the High Court, where Fiddle Mord was laying down the law as was his wont, and after he had done he went home to his booth.

Then Hauskuld and Hrut rose, and went to Mord's booth. They went in and found Mord sitting in the innermost part of the booth, and they bade him "Good-day." He rose to meet them, and took Hauskuld by the hand and made him sit down by his side, and Hrut sat next to Hauskuld. So after they had talked much of this and that, at last Hauskuld said, "I have a bargain to speak to thee about; Hrut wishes to become thy son-in-law, and buy thy daughter, and I, for my part, will not be sparing in the matter."

Mord answered, "I know that thou art a great chief, but thy brother is unknown to me."

"He is a better man than I," answered Hauskuld.

"Thou wilt need to lay down a large sum with him, for she is heir to all I leave behind me," said Mord.

"There is no need," said Hauskuld, "to wait long before thou hearest what I give my word lie shall have. He shall have Kamness and Hrutstede, up as far as Thrandargil, and a trading- ship beside, now on her voyage."

Then said Hrut to Mord, "Bear in mind, now, husband, that my brother has praised me much more than I deserve for love's sake; but if after what thou hast heard, thou wilt make the match, I am willing to let thee lay down the terms thyself."

Mord answered, "I have thought over the terms; she shall have sixty hundreds down, and this sum shall be increased by a third more in thine house, but if ye two have heirs, ye shall go halves in the goods."

Then said Hrut, "I agree to these terms, and now let us take witness." After that they stood up and shook hands, and Mord betrothed his daughter Unna to Hrut, and the bridal feast was to be at Mord's house, half a month after Midsummer.

Now both sides ride home from the Thing, and Hauskuld and Hrut ride westward by Hallbjorn's beacon. Then Thiostolf, the son of Bjorn Gullbera of Reykriverdale, rode to meet them, and told them how a ship had come out from Norway to the White River, and how aboard of her was Auzur Hrut's father's brother, and he wished Hrut to come to him as soon as ever he could. When Hrut heard this, he asked Hauskuld to go with him to the ship, so Hauskuld went with his brother, and when they reached the ship, Hrut gave his kinsman Auzur a kind and hearty welcome. Auzur asked them into his booth to drink, so their horses were unsaddled, and they went in and drank, and while they were drinking, Hrut said to Auzur, "Now, kinsman, thou must ride west with me, and stay with me this winter."

Contents:

  1. OF FIDDLE MORD
  2. HRUT WOOS UNN
  3. HRUT AND GUNNHILLDA, KING'S MOTHER
  4. OF HRUT'S CRUISE
  5. ATLI ARNVID SON'S SLAYING
  6. HRUT SAILS OUT TO ICELAND
  7. UNNA SEPARATES FROM HRUT
  8. MORD CLAIMS HIS GOODS FROM HRUT
  9. THORWALD GETS HALLGERDA TO WIFE
  10. HALLGERDA'S WEDDING
  11. THORWALD'S SLAYING
  12. THIOSTOLF'S FLIGHT
  13. GLUM'S WOOING
  14. GLUM'S WEDDING
  15. THIOSTOLF GOES TO GLUM'S HOUSE
  16. GLUM'S SHEEP HUNT
  17. GLUM'S SLAYING
  18. FIDDLE MORD'S DEATH
  19. GUNNAR COMES INTO THE STORY
  20. OF NJAL AND HIS CHILDREN
  21. UNNA GOES TO SEE GUNNAR
  22. NJAL'S ADVICE
  23. HUCKSTER HEDINN.
  24. GUNNAR AND HRUT STRIVE AT THE THING.
  25. UNNA'S SECOND WEDDING
  26. OF ASGRIM AND HIS CHILDREN
  27. HELGI NJAL'S SON'S WOOING
  28. HALLVARD COMES OUT TO ICELAND
  29. GUNNAR GOES ABROAD
  30. GUNNAR GOES A-SEA-ROVING
  31. GUNNAR GOES TO KING HAROLD GORM'SSON AND EARL HACON
  32. GUNNAR COMES OUT TO ICELAND
  33. GUNNAR'S WOOING
  34. OF THRAIN SIGFUS' SON
  35. THE VISIT TO BERGTHORSKNOLL
  36. KOL SLEW SWART
  37. THE SLAYING OF KOL, WHOM ATLI SLEW
  38. THE KILLING OF ATLI THE THRALL
  39. THE SLAYING OF BRYNJOLF THE UNRULY
  40. GUNNAR AND NJAL MAKE PEACE ABOUT BRYNJOLF'S SLAYING
  41. SIGMUND COMES OUT TO ICELAND
  42. THE SLAYING OF THORD FREEDMANSON
  43. NJAL AND GUNNAR MAKE PEACE FOR THE SLAYING OF THORD
  44. SIGMUND MOCKS NJAL AND HIS SONS
  45. THE SLAYING OF SIGMUND AND SKIOLLD
  46. OF GIZUR THE WHITE AND GEIR THE PRIEST
  47. OF OTKELL IN KIRKBY
  48. HOW HALLGERDA MAKES MALCOLM STEAL FROM KIRKBY
  49. OF SKAMKELL'S EVIL COUNSEL
  50. OF SKAMKELL'S LYING
  51. OF GUNNAR
  52. OF RUNOLF, THE SON OF WOLF AURPRIEST
  53. HOW OTKELL RODE OVER GUNNAR
  54. THE FIGHT AT RANGRIVER
  55. NJAL'S ADVICE TO GUNNAR
  56. GUNNAR AND GEIR THE PRIEST STRIVE AT THE THING
  57. OF STARKAD AND HIS SONS
  58. HOW GUNNAR'S HORSE FOUGHT
  59. OF ASGRIM AND WOLF UGGIS' SON
  60. AN ATTACK AGAINST GUNNAR AGREED ON
  61. GUNNAR'S DREAM
  62. THE SLAYING OF HJORT AND FOURTEEN MEN
  63. NJAL'S COUNSEL TO GUNNAR
  64. OF VALGARD AND MORD
  65. OF FINES AND ATONEMENTS
  66. OF THORGEIR OTKELL'S SON
  67. OF THORGEIR STARKAD'S SON
  68. OF NJAL AND THOSE NAMESAKES
  69. OLAF THE PEACOCK'S GIFTS TO GUNNAR
  70. MORD'S COUNSEL
  71. THE SLAYING OF THORGEIR OTKELL'S SON
  72. OF THE SUITS FOR MANSLAUGHTER AT THE THING
  73. OF THE ATONEMENT
  74. KOLSKEGG GOES ABROAD
  75. THE RIDING TO LITHEND
  76. GUNNAR'S SLAYING
  77. GUNNAR SINGS A SONG DEAD
  78. GUNNAR OF LITHEND AVENGED
  79. HOGNI TAKES AN ATONEMENT FOR GUNNAR'S DEATH
  80. OF KOLSKEGG: HOW HE WAS BAPTIZED
  81. OF THRAIN: HOW HE SLEW KOL
  82. NJAL'S SONS SAIL ABROAD
  83. OF KARI SOLMUND'S SON
  84. OF EARL SIGURD
  85. THE BATTLE WITH THE EARLS
  86. HRAPP'S VOYAGE FROM ICELAND
  87. THRAIN TOOK TO HRAPP
  88. EARL HACON FIGHTS WITH NJAL'S SONS.
  89. NJAL'S SONS AND KARI COME OUT TO ICELAND
  90. THE QUARREL OF NJAL'S SONS WITH THRAIN SIGFUS' SON
  91. THRAIN SIGFUS' SON'S SLAYING
  92. KETTLE TAKES HAUSKULD AS HIS FOSTER-SON
  93. NJAL TAKES HAUSKULD TO FOSTER
  94. OF FLOSI THORD'S SON
  95. OF HALL OF THE SIDE
  96. OF THE CHANGE OF FAITH
  97. OF THANGBRAND'S JOURNEYS
  98. OF THANGBRAND AND GUDLEIF
  99. OF GEST ODDLEIF'S SON
  100. OF GIZUR THE WHITE AND HJALLTI
  101. OF THORGEIR OF LIGHTWATER
  102. THE WEDDING OF HAUSKULD, THE PRIEST OF WHITENESS
  103. THE SLAYING OF HAUSKULD NJAL'S SON
  104. THE SLAYING OF LYTING'S BROTHERS
  105. OF AMUND THE BLIND
  106. OF VALGARD THE GUILEFUL
  107. OF MORD AND NJAL'S SONS
  108. OF THE SLANDER OF MORD VALGARD'S SON.
  109. OF MORD AND NJAL'S SONS
  110. THE SLAYING OF HAUSKULD, THE PRIEST OFWHITENESS
  111. OF HILDIGNNA AND MORD VALGARD'S SON
  112. THE PEDIGREE OF GUDMUND THE POWERFUL
  113. OF SNORRI THE PRIEST, AND HIS STOCK
  114. OF FLOSI THORD'S SON
  115. OF FLOSI AND HILDIGUNN
  116. OF FLOSI AND MORD AND THE SONS OF SIGFUS
  117. NJAL AND SKARPHEDINN TALK TOGETHER
  118. ASGRIM AND NJAL'S SONS PRAY MEN FOR HELP
  119. OF SKARPHEDINN AND THORKEL FOULMOUTH
  120. OF THE PLEADING OF THE SUIT
  121. OF THE AWARD OF ATONEMENT BETWEEN FLOSI AND NJAL
  122. OF THE JUDGES
  123. AN ATTACK PLANNED ON NJAL AND HIS SONS
  124. OF PORTENTS
  125. FLOSI'S JOURNEY FROM HOME
  126. OF PORTENTS AT BERGTHORSKNOLL
  127. THE ONSLAUGHT (1) ON BERGTHORSKNOLL
  128. NJAL'S BURNING
  129. SKARPHEDINN'S DEATH
  130. OF KARI SOLMUND'S SON
  131. NJAL'S AND BERGTHORA'S BONES FOUND
  132. FLOSI'S DREAM
  133. OF FLOSI'S JOURNEY AND HIS ASKING FOR HELP
  134. OF THORHALL AND KARI
  135. OF FLOSI AND THE BURNERS
  136. OF THORGEIR CRAGGEIR
  137. OF EYJOLF BOLVERK'S SON
  138. OF ASGRIM, AND GIZUR, AND KARI
  139. OF ASGRIM AND GUDMUND
  140. OF THE DECLARATIONS OF THE SUITS
  141. NOW MEN GO TO THE COURTS
  142. OF EYJOLF BOLVERK'S SON
  143. THE COUNSEL OF THORHALL ASGRIM'S SON
  144. BATTLE AT THE ALTHING
  145. OF KARI AND THORGEIR
  146. THE AWARD OF ATONEMENT WITH THORGEIR CRAGGEIR
  147. KARI COMES TO BJORN'S HOUSE IN THE MARK
  148. OF FLOSI AND THE BURNERS
  149. OF KARI AND BJORN
  150. MORE OF KARI AND BJORN
  151. OF KARI AND BJORN AND THORGEIR
  152. FLOSI GOES ABROAD
  153. KARI GOES ABROAD
  154. GUNNAR LAMBI'S SON'S SLAYING
  155. OF SIGNS AND WONDERS
  156. BRIAN'S BATTLE
  157. THE SLAYING OF KOL THORSTEIN'S SON
  158. OF FLOSI AND KARI

 

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