GXD13Y8-20WcLeEZm8aPxw Laxdæla Saga

Laxdæla Saga

The Story of the Laxdalers a 1903 translation into English by Robert Proctor

Section Reference 70


Thorkel Eyjolfson soon waxed a mickle chieftain; he held much by men's repute of him. He was a man of might in that countryside and much given to matters of law, though here be his Thing-dealings untold. He was deemed to have gotten him that marriage that was of the most worship. Thorkel was the mightiest man in Broad-firth while he lived, next after Snorri the Priest. Thorkel upheld well the stead at Holyfell: he did do make all the house great and at great charges. He marked out likewise the ground for a church, and let it be known that he was minded to seek church-timber. Thorkel and Gud-run gat a son betwixt them : he was named Gellir : he had all the makings of a man in him as he waxed up. Bolli the son of Gudrun was by turns at Holyfell or at Tongue. Snorri loved him passing well. Thorleik his brother abode ever at Holyfell. Those brethren became mickle men and well knit, and Bolli was first in all things. Thorkel and those his stepsons agreed well together. Gudrun loved Bolli the best of all her children. And when Bolli was sixteen winters old, and Thorleik twenty, then Thorleik made known to Thorkel his stepfather, and to his mother, that he would fain fare from the land: It irks me now, saith he, to sit at home here as a daughter: I would some faring-goods were gotten me. Thorkel answers : Methinks I have not been wont to gainsay you brethren since the ties between us were made : I deem it much seemly that thou shouldst long to ken the ways of other men : because I trow that thou wilt be held for a valiant man whithersoever thou goest among doughty men. Quoth Thorleik that he would not be eager for much goods : he said that unclear was it how he might see to it; because I am young and unredy in many wise. Thorkel said that he should have whatso he would. After this Thorkel buyeth a share in a ship on behalf of Thorleik ; that ship lay at Daymealness. Thorkel goes with him to the ship, and furnished him well from home every way. Thorleik fareth in that summer : the ship cometh to Norway : then was ruler in the land Olaf the Holy, Haraldson. Thorleik fareth straightway to find Olaf the king. The king greeted him well, and knew him by his kindred, and bade him abide with him. Thorleik yeasaid that. He is with the king that winter, and is made of his guard : the king held him in good liking. Thorleik was deemed the boldest of men. Thorleik was with the king until more than one winter was past. Now is it to be told of Bolli Bollison, that when he was eighteen winters of his age, in the spring he made known to Thorkel his stepfather and to Gudrun likewise that he would that they give over to him his father's heritage. Gudrun asketh him then what his mind is, that he calleth for the goods at their hands. Bolli answers : It is my will that a woman be bidden for on my behalf. This would I, kinsman Thorkel, that thou be the go-between for me herein that the suit may go forward. Thorkel asked what woman should be bidden for Bolli. Answereth Bolli: The woman hight Thordis : she is daughter to Snorri the Priest: she is the woman that I most long to have, and I shall not wed speedily if I get not my way in this : and I deem that all is at stake for me herein that this go forward. Thorkel answers : Just and right is it, kinsman, that I should take up this suit, if thou deem it of so much avail to thee : it is like that it will be no hard matter to deal with Snorri, because he will be able to see that the bidding is a good one whereas thou art. Spake Gudrun : Short is the word, saith she, that for this end I will spare nought that Bolli may get such a marriage as liketh him ; both for that I love him most, and moreover he hath been the gentlest of all my children in doing all according to my will. Thorkel said that he was minded for his own part to see that Bolli was well looked to: that is fitting for many causes : moreover methinks it like that good will be the man-cheap in Bolli. Now is this rede fully agreed to. And no long while after they betake them to the journey, to wit, Thorkel and Bolli, and were not right few men in all. Now fare they till they come to Tongue. Snorri greeted them full blithely: there have they the best of welcome at Snorri's hands. Thordis the daughter of Snorri was at home with her father, and was the fairest of women and the best of housewives. And when Thorkel and his company had been a few nights at Tongue, then Thorkel opened their errand to Snorri: for I will, quoth he, speak of an alliance with thee on behalf of Bolli my stepson, and for his marriage with Thordis thy daughter. Then answereth Snorri: Such a suit I call right welcome, as I deem it like to be of thee: I will give good answer to this suit, because methinks Bolli is the manfullest man: methinks the woman full well bestowed who is wedded to him. But yet must this weigh most herein, how the mind of Thordis is towards it; for she shall have that man only who is most to her heart. Now is this wooing told to Thordis, She answereth thus, that she will follow her father's foresight herein, but saith that she is more fain to be wedded to Bolli than to a man wholly unknown to her. And when Snorri knew that it was not against the heart of Thordis, and whereas many were they who much desired it: then Snorri too saw clearly that this was the worthiest match that might be, and gainsaid it not to his daughter. This is now agreed upon; now fared the betrothal forward. Snorri is to hold the marriage-feast at his house, and it shall be at midsummer. Herewith they ride thence, Thorkel and Bolli, and home to Holyfell: now is Bolli at home there till it wears to the time appointed for the bridal. Now they make them ready to depart, Thorkel and Bolli, and those men withal that were minded for the journey : that was a mickle company and full bravely arrayed. Now ride they on their way till they come to Tongue; there get they all-blithe welcome : a mickle company was there and a feast most worshipful. And when the feast draweth to a close, men make them ready to fare thence. Snorri gave to Thorkel Eyjolfson seemly gifts, and to Gudrun in like wise; such like also to other of his friends and kinsmen. Now rideth home to his own place each of those men who had sought to that guesting. Bolli abode yet at Tongue. Soon grew mickle love betwixt Bolli and Thordis, and good was their life together. Snorri spent full mickle pains in entreating Bolli well; he was more to him than his own sons. Bolli too was glad thereat: he abides at Tongue all those seasons after that he was wedded. The next summer came a ship into Whitewater: half that ship was owned by Thorleik Bollison, and half by Norsemen. And when Bolli his brother learned his coming out, then rideth he straightway south to Burgfirth and to the ship in Whitewater: either of those brethren was full fain of the other. Bolli abides there certain nights: then ride both westward to Holy fell. Thorkel greeteth Thorleik much blithely and Gudrun likewise, and they bade him abide with them through the winter. Quoth Thorleik that he would yeasay that. Now tarrieth he at Holyfell for a space : then he rides to Whitewater and lets lay up his ship and flit her lading westward. Thorleik had won good store of wealth and worship, because he had put his hands betwixt those of the mightiest of men, even Olaf the king, as is afore written. Thorleik was at Holyfell that winter, but Bolli at Tongue with Snorri his wife's father.


28 December 2019 saga, laxdalers, norse, viking, translated, english Read Book