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Færeyinga Saga

The Saga of Thrond of Gate an 1896 translation into English by F. York Powell

Section Reference 29


As the summer passed, King Olave fared north of Throndham and came to South Mære, and as he lay at guesting with a rich franklin, there came out of the Færeys, according to the king's bidding, Sigmund Brestesson and Thore his kinsman. When Sigmund came to the king, the king welcomed him as blithely as might be, and they soon fell to talk together. The king said, "Thou hast done well, Sigmund, not to sleep over this cruise; and for this cause chiefly did I bid thee here, for that much was told me of thy boldness and skill, and I will gladly be thy friend indeed, if thou wilt hearken to me in the one thing that I think of most worth. Some men say that fellowship between us two would not be unbecoming, because we are both called men of prowess, and have long tholed toil and trouble before we won the worship we ought to have, for we two have had no unlike lots in our outlawry and bondage. Thou wert a child, and sat by when thy father was slain sackless, but I was in my mother's womb when my father was betrayed and slain for nothing that he had done, but for the wickedness and greed of his kinsmen. It hath also been told me that, far from offering thee boot for thy father, thy kinsmen bade slay thee as well as thy father, and that thou wert afterward sold into thralldom, yea, that money was paid that thou mightest become a bondsman and a thrall and an outcast and a wanderer withal from thine own and from thine own land; and that thou hadst no helper in an unknown land for a long while, save that men who knew thee not showed thee mercy by His help who is mighty in all things. But things not unlike those I have heard tell of thee have happened to me. As soon as I was born ambush was laid for me, and I was hunted for, nay, my life was compassed by my own countrymen, so that my mother was brought low and had to fly with me from her father's countrymen and her kinsmen and all that she had. So passed the first three winters of my life. Then we were both taken by Wickings, and then I parted with my mother, so that I never saw her again. I was thrice sold into thraldom. Then I was in England with men that I knew not till I was nine winters old. Then came thither one of my kinsmen who knew my kindred, and he loosed me out of bondage and took me away with him east into Garthric, and there I was other nine winters in outlawry, though I was at that time held a free man. Then I grew somewhat near manhood, and won greater honour and worship at King Waldemar's hand than would seem likely for an outlander, though it was after the manner of the honour thou gottest at the hands of Earl Hacon. And now it hath so come about after all, that each of us is come into his father's heritage and to the land of his birth after long lack of happiness and honour. And now, above all, inasmuch as I have heard that thou hast never slain offerings to false gods after other heathen men's guise, therefore have I good hope that the high King of heaven, Maker of all things, will lead thee by my words to the knowledge of His holy Name and holy Faith, and make thee my fellow in the right faith, as thou art my match in strength and all feats of skill, and other of His merciful gifts which He hath given to thee as He did to me, long before I had any knowledge of His glory. Now the same all-swaying God grant that I bring thee to the true Faith and into His service, so that thereafter thou mayst by His mercy, after my example and at my urging, bring all thy liegemen to His glory; which thing also shall, I think, come to pass. Thou shalt also, if thou wilt hearken to my words, as I have before said, and serve God truly with steadfastness, get friendship and worship of me, although that is nothing worth by the side of the honour and bliss that Almighty God will give thee, and every other man who keeps His commandments for the love of His Holy Ghost, to reign together in the highest glory of His heaven. "When the king had done speaking, Sigmund answered, "It is known to you, lord, moreover it was told of in your speech, that I was bound in service to Earl Hacon. He gave me his good favour, and I was right well pleased with my way of life, for he was faithful and wise of counsel and loving to his friends, as he was grim and false to his foes. But great unlikeness is there between your two faiths, and as far as I can guess from your fair words, this faith that thou holdest is in all ways better and fairer than that which thou heathen men hold, therefore I am willing to follow your counsel and win your friendship. And I would not offer sacrifices to false gods, because I saw long ago that that usage was of no good, although I knew none better. "King Olave was glad, when he heard the words that Sigmund spake, that he took his counsel so wisely. And Sigmund was baptized and all his fellows, and the king had them taught the holy lore. Sigmund was then with the king through the winter in great honour.


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