GXD13Y8-20WcLeEZm8aPxw Laxdæla Saga

Laxdæla Saga

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

Section Reference 23


It is told that one day that father and son, Hoskuld and Olaf, went from the booth to meet with Egil. Egil greeteth them well, for Hoskuld and he were well acquainted. Now Hoskuld begins the wooing for Olaf and biddeth for Thorgerd. She was likewise there at the Thing. Egil took to this suit well: he had, said he, a good report of both father and son. This too wot I, Hoskuld, quoth Egil, that thou art a man of high lineage and mickle worth; but Olaf is famed by reason of his journey; and it is nought strange, that such a man should aim high, since he lacketh nought either in his kin or the fairness of his body; but the answer to the suit shall rest with Thorgerd herself, for no man shall so prevail as to get Thorgerd to wife against her will Spake Hoskuld: This will I, Egil, that thou take rede hereof with thy daughter. Egil said that so should it be. Now went Egil to meet his daughter, and they fell to speech together. Then spake Egil: There is a man hight Olaf: he is the son of Hoskuld, and he is now the most famed man of any there be. Hoskuld his father is come awooing on behalf of Olaf, and hath bidden for thee. I have thrust it off wholly upon thy judgment: now will I wot of thine answer: but to us it seems so, that it will be most meet to give good answer to such a suit, inasmuch as the match is a right seemly one. Thorgerd answereth : I have heard thee say that thou lovest me the best of thy children : yet now I deem thee untrue therein, if thou wilt wed me to the son of a handmaid, though he be a fair man and a mickle man for show. Egil saith: Nought art thou so well learned in this as in other things : hast thou not heard that he is the daughter's son of Myrkjartan king of the Irish? He is far better born by his mother's side than his father's; and yet that would be fully welcome to us. Thorgerd said that she could not bring herself to it. Now they sunder speech, and each hath a deeming of his own way. The next day Egil goeth to the booth of Hoskuld, and Hoskuld greeteth him well. Now they fall to speech together. Hoskuld asks how the matter of the wooing has sped. Egil made small cheer thereover; he telleth all as it had past. Hoskuld said that it looked a hard case; and yet I deem thou hast done well by us. Olaf was not by when they spake together. After this Egil departs. Olaf would know now what is come of the wooing. Hoskuld said that it looked to be somewhat backward on her part. Spake Olaf: Now is it as I told thee, father, that it would like me ill if I gat so disdainful a word for my pains: thou hadst thy way the rather when this suit was first brought up ; now shall I so rule that it shall not fall to the ground thus: moreover it is sooth as the saying hath it, that wolves eat another's message. Hoskuld bade him do as he would. Olaf was arrayed in such wise, that he was clad in the scarlet which King Harald had given to him. He had on his head a helm of red gold, and the fair inwrought sword in his hand that Myrkjartan the king had given to him. Now go Hoskuld and Olaf to the booth of Egil; Hoskuld goeth afore, but Olaf close behind him. Egil greets them well, and Hoskuld sitteth down by him; but Olaf stood up and looked around. He saw where sat a woman on the dais in the booth. That woman was fair and masterful of bearing and well arrayed: he deemed he knew that she must be Thorgerd Egil's-daughter. Olaf goeth to the dais and setteth him down by her. Thorgerd hails the man and asks who he is. Olaf saith his name and his father: Thou wilt deem it an overbold deed that the son of a handmaid should dare to sit by thee and be minded to speak with thee. Thorgerd answers : Thus wilt thou be thinking, that thou must deem thou hast done more deeds of daring than to talk with women. Then they fall to speech betwixt them ; and they talk all that day. Other men hear nought of their talk, and before they sunder speech are Egil and Hoskuld brought in to it. Then is the wooing of Olaf taken up anew. Thorgerd yieldeth to the rede of her father. Then is this thing agreed on, and the plighting of troth went forward straightway. Then was the repute of the Laxdalers increased, inasmuch as the woman should fare over to them. The bridal gathering was appointed at Hoskuldsteads seven weeks before the end of summer. After this Egil and Hoskuld part; and that father and son ride home to Hoskuldstead, and abide at home that summer, and all is quiet. Then were folk summoned to the feast at Hoskuldsteads, and nought was spared thereat, for there was abundance of store. The guests come at the time appointed. The Burgfirthers were a very great company. Egil was there, and Thorstein his son. There too was the bride afaring and a chosen host out of the countryside. Hoskuld likewise had a great company. The feast was right glorious: men were sped thence with gifts. Then Olaf gave to Egil the sword Myrkjartan's-loom, and Egil was right well pleased with the gift. All was tidingless there, and men fare homeward.


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