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Færeyinga Saga

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

Section Reference 7


Now it must be told of the two brethren, Breste and Beine, that they had two homesteads, one in Scufey and the other in Dimun. Breste had a wife whose name was Cecilia. She was of Northern kin. They had a son whose name was Sigmund, and he was nine winters old when these things came to pass. He was both big and handsome. Beine had a leman whose name was Thora, and a son by her whose name was Thore, and he was eleven winters old at this time, and the hopefulest of lads.

Now it must be told that once on a time, while the two brothers Breste and Beine were dwelling at their homestead at Dimun, they were minded to fare out to little Dimun, whereon no man dwelt, and there they were wont to let their sheep feed, and the cattle they meant to kill. The two boys, Sigmund and Thore, begged to go with them, and the brethren suffered them to go, and they all went out to the island. The brethren had their weapons with them. Of Breste it is said that he was both big and strong, and a better swordsman than any other man, and a wise man withal, and beloved of all his friends. Beine, his brother, was a good man of his hands, and well skilled in feats, but he was not a match for his brother. Now soon they put out from the little Dimun, and as they steered their course for the greater Dimun, which men dwell in, they saw three boats with twelve men. They knew the men when they saw them. In one boat was Hafgrim of Southrey, Thrond of Gate was in another, and Bearne of Swiney in the third. They steered in between the brothers and the island, and cut them off from their landing-place; but the brethren brought up their boat at a place on the foreshore. There was a jutting rock above them, and they sprang up on it with their weapons in their hands, and set the two boys down beside them on the cliff. The cliff hung over both sides down to the sea, and here they stood, and it was a good place of vantage. Soon Hafgrim and they that were with him came up in their three boats and leapt out of the boats on to the foreshore where the cliff was; and Hafgrim and Swiney-Bearne made an onslaught upon the two brothers, but they defended themselves well and manfully. Thrond and his boat's crew reached the shore after the others, and they were not in that onset. Breste held the rock where it was easier to set on him and the worse to keep. Now they fought for a while, but could do little against the brethren. Then spake Hafgrim: "I thought thou, at least, Thrond, wouldst give me thy help, and that is why I gave thee my fee. "Thrond answered him, "Thou art the greatest of cowards surely, that canst not get the better of two men though thou hast two dozen with thee. But it is ever thy way to have others for targets before thee, and little thou carest to come near where any risk is. It were the best thing, if there be any heart in thee, for thee to set on Breste first, and let the others follow thee. Otherwise I see that thou canst do no good. "And he egged him on as hotly as he could. Then Hafgrim sprang up on the rock before Breste, and made at him with a spear, and drove it at his middle, and thrust him through. And when Breste felt that he had got his death-wound, he thrust himself forward on the spear towards Hafgrim, and hewed at him with his sword, and the stroke fell on Hafgrim's left shoulder, and clove down through shoulder and side, so that his arm fell down on the ground, and Hafgrim dropt down dead off the cliff, and Breste over him, and there they both lost their life. Then in the second place they set upon Beine, and he defended himself well; but the end was that he also lost his life there. Men say that Breste killed three men before he slew Hafgrim; Beine also slew two men there before he died. And when they were dead, Thrond bade slay the two boys, Sigmund and Thore. Bearne answered him, "They shall not be slain!""Yea," said Thrond, "nevertheless, if they are saved they will be the death of most of the men that are here today. "But Bearne said, "Ye shall slay me first!"Then said Thrond, "I never meant what I said; I only spake to try how thou wouldst take it; and now I will make it up to the boys for my being here today at this fight, and I offer to foster them. "The two boys were sitting on the cliff looking on while all these things happened, and Thore wept, but Sigmund said, "Do not let us weep, kinsman, but let us think on it the longer. "In the end they all went off, and Thrond took the boys home to Gate with him. Hafgrim's body was borne to Southrey, and there laid to earth after the old way; and the friends of Breste and Beine took their bodies home to Scufey, and buried them there after the old way. Now these things were spread abroad over all the Færeys, and every one mourned for the two brethren.


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