SCANDINAVIAN-CANADIAN STUDIES/ÉTUDES SCANDINAVES AU CANADA
Vol. 27 (2020) pp.50-104.

Title: Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns: A Translation

Author: Philip Lavender
Author: Alaric Hall
Author: Gary Harrop
Author: Védís Ragnheiðardóttir
Statement of responsibility:
Marked up by
Martin Holmes

Marked up to be included in the Scandinavian-Canadian Journal
Source(s): Lavender, Philip, Alaric Hall, Gary Harrop, Védís Ragnheiðardóttir, and Lucy Arnold, Victoria Cooper, Alison Hardie, Imogen Hobson, Frank Jackman, Valerie Legg, Katarzyna Mączyńska, Katherine Miller, Antonia Murath, Judith Nordby, Christie Oliver-Hobley, Helen Price, Nathan Ramsden, T. P. Rowbotham, Rose Sawyer, Catalin Taranu. 2020. Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns: A Translation. Scandinavian-Canadian Journal / Études scandinaves au Canada 27: 50-104.
Text classification:
Keywords:
edition
Keywords:
  • medieval Icelandic romances
  • Icelandic sagas
  • Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns
  • MDH: Added missing accent on author's name 11th September 2020
  • MDH: Editor's final proofing corrections 12th August 2020
  • MDH: encoded French abstract 4th August 2020
  • MDH: entered editor's proofing corrections 11th June 2020
  • MDH: entered authors' proofing corrections 27th May 2020
  • MDH: entered authors' proofing corrections 20th May 2020
  • MDH: started markup 23rd March 2020

Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns: A Translation

Philip Lavender
Alaric Hall
Gary Harrop
Védís Ragnheiðardóttir
Lucy Arnold, Victoria Cooper, Alison Hardie, Imogen Hobson, Frank Jackman, Valerie Legg, Katarzyna Mączyńska, Katherine Miller, Antonia Murath, Judith Nordby, Christie Oliver-Hobley, Helen Price, Nathan Ramsden, T. P. Rowbotham, Rose Sawyer, Catalin Taranu

ABSTRACT: Agnete Lothʼs edition of the longer version of Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns included an accompanying English paraphrase (by Gillian Fellows Jensen), but there has never been a full translation into English, much less of the shorter version as edited by Hugo Rydberg. We rectify that omission here, providing a normalized text of Rydbergʼs edition with an English translation alongside in the hopes of making this entertaining saga more accessible to a wider audience.
RÉSUMÉ : L’édition longue d’Agnete Loth de Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns comprenait une paraphrase en anglais (par Gillian Fellows Jensen), mais il n’y eut jamais de traduction complète en anglais et encore moins de la version courte telle qu’éditée par Hugo Rydberg. Nous rectifions ici cette omission, en fournissant un texte normalisé de l’édition de Rydberg auquel est jointe une traduction anglaise, dans l’espoir de rendre cette divertissante saga accessible à un public plus large.
The shorter version of Jarlmanns saga, as edited by Hugo Rydberg in Jarlmanns saga ok Hermanns i yngre handskrifters redaktion (Copenhagen: Møller, 1917), is presented here in the left-hand column. The orthography has been normalized to Modern Icelandic. This is principally because the two manuscripts used by Rydberg contain an Icelandic that lies between medieval and modern standards, being as they are from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They already use, for example, features such as epenthetic -u- in masculine nominative singular endings. Moreover, since, as discussed in the introduction, ninety per cent of all witnesses of the saga are from after 1700, it seemed that normalized modern Icelandic orthography was closer to the written language in which most earlier readers would have become acquainted with the narrative. A few small emendations, beyond normalization, have been made to Rydberg’s text on occasions where either Rydberg or his source manuscripts are deemed to have accidentally produced erroneous readings. Footnotes show where this is the case. An English translation appears in the right-hand column. The aim of the translation was to present a text that was pleasant to read, rather than one that was verbatim. Thus, for example, verb tenses are changed and synchronized on a number of occasions when a block of text includes shifts between present and past tense (and these shifts have no real semantic content). At times strings of short sentences have been joined together in order to avoid an overly-staccato feel. At other times long sentences with many clauses have been divided up. On a couple of occasions pronouns have been replaced with proper names when it is clear who the referent is but the repeated use of pronouns makes the text unpleasant to read.

Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns

The Saga of Jarlmann and Hermann

1.
1. Vilhjálmur hefir konungur heitið, er réð fyrir Frakklandi. Hann var höfðingi mikill. Hann hafði fengið drottningu af dýrum ættum og átti við henni tvö börn. Son hans hét Hermann; hann var mikill vexti og sterkur að afli, vænn að yfirliti, vinfastur og einþykkur. Dóttir hans hét Herborg; hún var allra meyja fríðust, þeirra er menn höfðu séð í þær mundir. Hún hafði numið allar kvenlegar listir, sem þá var títt að nema í þann tíð. Faðir hennar unni henni mikið, og sat hún í einum ágætum turni innan borgar. Þar voru til fengnar ágætar konur að þjóna henni, svo og hæverskir menn. Margir ríkir menn héldu lönd og lén af konungi og voru honum lýðskyldugir.
1. There was a king called Vilhjálmur who ruled over France. He was a great sovereign. He had married a queen of noble birth and had two children with her. His son was called Hermann: he was of great stature and physically strong, handsome, loyal, and resolute. His daughter was called Herborg: she was the most beautiful of all the maidens whom people had seen in those days. She had acquired all the feminine arts that were customary to learn at that time. Her father loved her greatly, and she spent her time inside a fine tower in the city. Noble women were brought there to serve her, along with courtly men. Many powerful men held land and fiefs granted by the king and were his liegemen.
2.
Roðgeir hét ríkur jarl í Frakklandi; hann var mikill vinur Vilhjálms konungs og hélt mikið ríki af honum. Íþróttamaður mikill var hann og kunni allan riddaraskap, svo og allar bóklistir, þær sem einn riddari skyldi kunna. Hann var ráðagerðamaður mikill, og laut að honum mikill hluti landstjórnar sökum hans vitsmuna. Hann hafði átt eina ágæta konu og við henni einn son, þann er hét Jarlmann. Hann var íþróttamaður hinn mesti og líkur föður sínum upp á riddaraskap og vitsmuni. Hann kunni og allar tungur að tala.
Roðgeir was a powerful earl in France. He was a great friend of King Vilhjálmur and was granted authority over a large fief by him. He was a man of great talents and was skilled in all those chivalric and learned arts that a knight ought to know. He was a great strategist and a large portion of the governance of the land fell to him on account of his wisdom. He had taken a fine wife and had one son with her, who was called Jarlmann. He was extremely talented and similar to his father in chivalry and wisdom. He could also speak every language.
3.
2. Nú víkur þangað sögunni, að Hermann konungsson óx upp hjá föður sínum. Þótti föður hans hann svo til vitsmuna kominn og aldurs, að honum sómdi að bera riddaravopn og læra þess háttar listir. Því sendir hann með sveininn til Roðgeirs jarls, að hann skyldi dubba hann til riddara og kenna honum allar listir og íþróttir, og fékk honum sæmilegt föruneyti og svo mikið fé, að hann mátti sig ríklega halda. En sem Hermann kemur til Roðgeirs jarls, fagnar jarlinn honum vel og leiðir hann í borgina og setur hann sér hið næsta og gerir honum sóma sem mest má hann í öllu, og er svo sagt, að hann lærði allar þær íþróttir, er jarlinn var fær honum að kenna, á litlum tíma, hvað aðrir gátu trautt eða aldrei numið.
2. Now the story turns to Hermann, the king’s son, who grew up with his father. It seemed to his father that he had acquired sufficient wisdom and years that it would be fitting for him to bear the weapons of a knight and learn the arts of chivalry. Therefore, he sent the boy to Earl Roðgeir along with instructions that he should dub him a knight and teach him all arts and skills, and procured for Hermann a fine company and ample money in order that he might maintain himself nobly. And when Hermann comes to Earl Roðgeir, the earl welcomes him warmly and leads him into the city and places him right next to himself and does him the greatest possible honour in all respects. And it is said that within a short time he had learned all those skills which the earl was capable of teaching him, those which others could learn only with difficulty or not at all.
4.
Konungsson og jarlsson voru að flestu mjög líkir; þeir voru og jafngamlir; þeir lögðu félag og fóstbræðralag, og þóttu ei aðrir þeim samlíkir. Hermann konungsson var fríður sýnum, sterkur að afli og ákafur í skaplyndi, djúpvitur og ör af peningum. Blíður og lítillátur var hann og vinsæll af öllum.
The prince and the earl’s son were in most aspects very alike. They were also the same age, and so they became companions and sworn brothers, no-one else being deemed a match for them. Prince Hermann was handsome, physically strong and hot-tempered, very wise, and generous with money. He was cheerful and modest and liked by all.
5.
Jarlmann, fóstbróðir hans, var líkur honum um afl og íþróttir. Hann var djúpvitur og ráðagerðamaður mikill; hann var skjótráður og sköruglegur, og varð það allt að framgangi, sem hann ráðlagði, og eru þeir nú báðir fóstbræður með jarli langan tíma í góðu yfirlæti.
Jarlmann, his sworn brother, was like him in strength and accomplishments. He was very wise and a great strategist; he was decisive and commanding, and everything he advised was put into effect. And now both the sworn brothers spent a long time with the earl and were treated well.
6.
3. Það segir nú þessu næst, að Vilhjálmur konungur tók sótt, er hann leiddi til bana. Voru þá boð gerð Hermanni konungi, að hann skyldi heim koma og taka ríki eftir föður sinn. En er hann heyrði þetta, segir hann fóstbróður sínum, hvar komið var, og biður hann með sér fara. Því næst lyfta þeir ferð sinni og heim til borgarinnar, er konungur hafði í setið. Roðgeir jarl fylgdi þeim á leið með miklu föruneyti. Síðan var Hermann til konungs tekinn yfir öll þau ríki, sem faðir hans átti. Tók hann að sér fé og hirð alla. En Roðgeir og hans fóstbróðir Jarlmann hélt stjórn og skipun landslaga.
3. Next the story tells us that King Vilhjálmur was struck down with an illness that led to his death. Word was then sent to King Hermann that he should come home and take charge of his father’s kingdom. On hearing this, he told his sworn brother what had happened and asked him to accompany him. They then set out on their journey home to the city from which the king had governed. Earl Roðgeir accompanied them on their way with a great entourage. Hermann was afterwards taken as king over all the dominions that his father had possessed. He took charge of the treasury and the whole court, while Roðgeir and Hermann’s sworn brother Jarlmann undertook governance and administered the laws of the land.
7.
Eftir þetta fór jarl heim í ríki sitt og hafði samt lén af konungi eða þó meira, og var þeirra vinátta hin mesta. Jarlmann var eftir hjá konungi, og leið svo fram um stundir, að þeir juku ríki sitt á marga vegu og urðu mjög víðfrægir. Þóttu þá engir þeim jafnfrægir.
After this the earl travelled home to his fief and held on behalf of the king the same or perhaps even greater dominion than he had before, and they were the best of friends. Jarlmann remained with the king, and as time went on, they extended his dominions in many directions and became widely renowned. At that time none were thought to be of equal renown.
8.
4. Það bar til einn dag, að Hermann konungur sat í sinni höll og hirðin með honum; þá var gleði mikil. Þá mælir konungur til sinna manna og spyr, hvar þeir vissu þann konung, að hans líki væri eða meiri. Flestir sögðu, að sá mundi ei auðfundinn, og óx þar af mikið tal um alla höllina. Konungur spyr Jarlmann, hvað hann segi til þessa: “Eða hví ertu svo fátalaður hér um? Eða þykir þér ei hér um sem öðrum?”
4. It happened one day that King Hermann was sitting in his hall along with his court, and there was great merriment on that occasion. Then the king spoke to his people and asked where a king who was his equal or greater could be found. Most said that such a man would not be easy to find, and talk of this kind spread throughout the hall. The king asked Jarlmann what he might say to this: “And why are you so quiet on this matter? Or does it not seem to you as it does to the others?”
9.
Jarlmann svarar: “Svo þykir mér sem öðrum um riddaraskap þinn og íþróttir og allan höfðingsskap. En veit ég þann hlut, sem yður skortir við margan þann, sem yður er ei jafntignar.”
Jarlmann replied: “I am of the same mind as others regarding your knightliness, your skills, and all your magnificence. But I know one thing that you lack compared with many a man who is not as noble as you.”
10.
“Hvað finnur þú til þessa?” segir konungur.
“What would that be?” said the king.
11.
“Það,” sagði Jarlmann, “að þér hafið ei fengið yður drottningu, sem yðar tign sómir. Er það besta gæfa að fá gott kvonfang með ríkum mægðum og eiga sér eðalborna erfingja eftir sig til fjár og ríkis. Er og mikill frami að mægjast við ágæta menn, þá honum má langgæður styrkur að verða.”
“That you have not,” said Jarlmann, “got yourself a queen who befits your status. It is the greatest good fortune to get a good wife with powerful family ties and to have noble-born heirs to your wealth and kingdom. It is also a great advantage for a king to marry into a noble family, who will provide him with long-lasting support.”
12.
Konungur spyr: “Hvar veistu þá mey eða konu, að mín sæmd vaxi við, þó ég fái hana?”
The king asked: “Where do you know of a maiden or a woman with whom my honour would grow, should I marry her?”
13.
“Þér munuð nærri geta,” segir Jarlmann, “hver við yðar skap er, því fáir kunna þetta fyrir annan að kjósa.”
“You would be better at guessing,” said Jarlmann, “who is to your liking, because few are able to choose this for another.”
14.
“Ei hefi ég þá konu séð,” segir konungur, “að við mitt geð sé eða fullræði að tign og fé. En með því þú hefir hér orðum á komið, þá muntu einhverja til nefna, er þér þyki saman draga.”
“I have not seen a woman,” said the king, “who is to my liking or would be my equal in status and wealth. But since you have brought this up, I suppose you will be able to name someone whom you think combines these qualities.”
15.
“Spurn hefi eg,” segir Jarlmann, “að konungur sá ræður fyrir Miklagarði, er Katalatus heitir hinn mikli, en sumir kalla hann Dag. Hann á dóttur, er Ríkilát heitir; hún er fríðari en allar aðrar konur og meyjar og betur mennt en nokkur mey á allar listir” (þær þeim var títt að nema í þær mundir). “Hún er svo góður læknir, að hún græðir allt heilt, sem lífs er von og hún leggur sínar höndur yfir. Á hinu vinstra handarbaki hennar er einn kross svo litur sem skærasta gull, og með þessu merki var hún fædd. En ef þér fengjuð þessa mey, þætti mér yðar vegur vaxa.”
“I have heard,” said Jarlmann, “that a king rules Constantinople by the name of Katalatus the Great, though some call him Dagur. He has a daughter called Ríkilát; she is more beautiful than all other women and maidens and better educated than any other maiden in all arts” (those that were customary for women to study in those times). “She is such a good healer that she can heal anything as long as there is hope of life and she lays her hands upon it. There is a mark on the back of her left hand, a cross, the same colour as the brightest gold, with which she was born. And I think that if you were to marry this maiden, your glory would grow.”
16.
Þá mælti konungur: “Með því þú sagðir svo mikið af þessari mey, þá vil ég senda þig að forvitnast, hvort það er með sannindum sagt, sem af henni er talað, og ef þér virðast svo vitsmunir hennar og annað athæfi, þá skaltu biðja hennar mér til handa.”
Then the king said, “since you had so much to say about this maiden, I want to send you to investigate whether what is said about her is true, and if her wisdom and other characteristics seem to you to be such as they were described, you shall ask for her hand in marriage on my behalf.”
17.
Jarlmann segir: “Skyldur er ég að fara, sem þér bjóðið. En það kann ég yður að segja, að farið hafa þeir menn sjálfir hennar að biðja, að ei þykjast minni en þér, og þó ei fengið hennar, en sumir ei kost að sjá hana eða við hana tala, og engum útlenskum manni er lofað að koma í hennar höll, svo mikið er af henni haldið. En fara mun ég þessa ferð, ef þér viljið, og ræður auðnan því, hvernig það gengur.”
Jarlmann said: “I am obliged to go, as you command. But I can tell you that men have travelled to seek her hand in person who do not consider themselves lesser men than you yourself, and still not won her—and some did not even manage to see her or talk to her, and no foreign man is permitted to enter her palace, so highly is she regarded. But I will undertake this journey, if you desire it, and fate will decide how it turns out.”
18.
5. Nú lætur Hermann konungur búa ferð Jarlmanns með miklum fékostnaði. Hann hafði fimm skip úr landi, og var valið lið á þau, það sem reynt var að hreysti og harðfengi. Hans skip voru glæsilega búin með gullofnum seglum og gylltum veðurvitum.
5. Now Hermann had arrangements made for Jarlmann’s journey, sparing no expense. He had five ships with which to travel abroad, crewed with a select group who were tried and tested in valour and adversity. His ships were splendidly equipped with gold-woven sails and gilt weather-vanes.
19.
En er þeir voru til búnir, gengur Jarlmann í turninn konungsdóttur; hún fagnar honum vel og spurði, hvert hann býðst að fara. En hann segir hið ljósasta. Hún segir Ríkilát vera þá greiðkeyptari en af henni væri sagt, ef að sending þyrfti við hana að hafa aðeins, svo mörgum manni ágætum sem hún hefir frá vísað. “En vel þykir mér maðurinn til fallinn að reka þetta erindi sakir þess, að mér þykir þú góður drengur og að þú ert trúr mínum bróður og með eiðum við hann bundinn. Nú vil ég fá þér eitt gull, en sá steinn, sem þar stendur í, hefir þá náttúru, að ef þú dregur það á hönd konu og heldur um, svo orni, þá skal hún unna þeim, er þú vilt, og varðar þá miklu, hversu sá vill venda, er með fer.”
And when they were ready, Jarlmann went to the princess’s tower. She welcomed him and asked where he had volunteered to travel to, and he explained it to her. She says that, considering how many noble men she has dismissed, it must be easier to acquire Ríkilát than is rumoured if it is only necessary to send her a message. “But I think the right man has been selected for this mission, because I consider you to be a good man and because you are faithful to my brother and bound to him by oaths. Now I want to give you a certain gold ring, and the stone with which it is set has this power, that if you put it on a woman’s hand and hold onto it, so that it grows warm, then she will love whomsoever you choose, and so what matters the most is how he who has it wants things to turn out.”
20.
Síðan kveður hann konungsdóttur og finnur svo konung, tekur svo orlof af honum til ferða. Konungur fylgir honum til skipa með hirð sinni, og skilja með vinskap.
Jarlmann then takes his leave of the princess and goes to see the king and receives permission from him to make the journey. The king accompanies him down to the ships with his retinue, and they part amicably.
21.
Sigldi Jarlmann í brott af Frakklandi með fríðu föruneyti. Hann hafði fimm skip, sem fyrr segir; sigldi hann blíðan byr, sem leið liggur, og er fréttalaust um ferð hans, þar til þeir koma í Miklagarð. Jarlmann leggur skipum sínum í eina leynihöfn og allnærri borginni. Hann stígur á land einn frá mönnum sínum og segir þeim fyrir, að þeir bíði hans þar um þrjár nætur og geri ekki vart við sig. Hann gengur heim til borgarinnar í fátæklegum búnaði, og brugðið hefir hann yfirbragði sínu, sem væri hann með kranklegri ásjónu. Hann skoðar setning borgarinnar og þykist skilja, hvar vera mun kastali konungsdóttur. Síðan kom hann til þess höfuðmusteris, sem honum þótti líkast hún mundi til tíða ganga, og sest hann þar fyrir kirkjudyr.
Jarlmann sails away from France with his fair company. He has five ships, as mentioned previously. A fair wind attends him on his course, and there is nothing to be said of his journey until they come to Constantinople. Jarlmann steers his ships into a hidden cove quite close to the city. He disembarks alone and tells his men that they should wait for him there for three nights and not make their presence known. He walks into the city dressed in humble attire and having changed his appearance so as to look sickly. He examines the layout of the city and reckons he understands where the princess’s castle is. Then he comes to the principal temple, where it seems to him most likely that she would go to attend mass, and he sits himself down there in front of the church door.
22.
Líður svo fram á daginn. Því næst sér hann opnast kastalann, og koma þar fyrst út leikarar með allra handa hljóðfærum; þar næst herklæddir menn með vænum búnaði; hér næst ganga kurteisir sveinar, berandi sér í höndum blómasamlega vöndu sætlega ilmandi um alla borgina; hér næst ganga fjórir jarlar og tveir stívarðar með henni, berandi gulllegar stengur. Á þeim ofan var einn glerhiminn; á honum var skrifuð öll himinsins sköpun, sólar, tungls og himintunglanna gangur. Þar upp yfir var einn páfugl með miklum meistaradóm gerður; hér undir gekk þessi sæmilega jómfrú með skínandi búnaði. Hennar möttull var ofinn með svo miklum meistaradóm, að enginn meistari kunni skyn á, af hverju það væna smíði var gert. Hennar klæðum héldu uppi fjórir margreifar. En þar um kring gengu margar jómfrúr skrýddar með hinum besta búnaði. Þetta nálægðist skjótt musterið, það sem Jarlmann stóð hjá. En sem hann sá jómfrúna komna gagnvart sér, kastar hann sér fram fyrir hennar fætur, svo mælandi: “Miskunna þú mér, frú, fyrir guðs sakir.”
The day wears on. Then he sees the castle doors open, and first out come entertainers with all kinds of instruments; after them armoured men with fine gear; next come courtly boys, bearing in their hands bunches of flowers, which spread their sweet aroma throughout the whole city; there follow four earls and, with the princess, two stewards bearing golden poles. On top of them stood a glass canopy on which was inscribed the whole structure of the heavens and the courses of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Up above that was a peacock wrought with great craftsmanship, and under it walked this noble maiden in her radiant apparel. Her mantle was woven with such great skill that no craftsman understood what that beautiful artefact was made of. Four margraves held up her train, and around her walked many other maidens, decked out with the finest raiment. The procession quickly neared the temple that Jarlmann was standing beside. And when he saw the maiden pass in front of him, he threw himself down before her feet, saying “Pity me, lady, for God’s sake.”
23.
“Hver ertu?” segir hún.
“Who are you?” she says.
24.
Jarlmann segir: “Ég er einn útlenskur maður úr Norðurálfunni, krankur til yðar kominn, mjög þurfandi yðar lækningar við.”
Jarlmann says: “I am a foreigner, from the North, and have come to you sick, in great need of your healing.”
25.
Hún mælti og brosti við: “Hvernig á ég að lækna þig, maður minn?” Hún kallar á aðra jómfrú og talar svo til hennar: “Fylg þessum manni heim í minn kastala, þar sem eru aðrir krankir menn.”
She answered, smiling: “How should I heal you, my good man?” She calls over another maiden and speaks to her thus: “Accompany this man home to my castle, where the other sick people are.”
26.
Mærin gerir sem henni var boðið. En konungsdóttir stóð að tíðum, til þess að allar voru úti. Síðan gengur hún í sinn kastala. Voru þá borð til reidd með hvítum dúkum og dýrlegri fæðu, og sest jómfrúin svo undir borð. En sem þau voru ofan tekin, stendur hún upp og gengur þangað, sem krankir menn voru inni. Þeir fagna henni vel. Hún spyr nú eftir þeim manni, sem fyrir skemmstu hafði hana lækninga beðið. Hann stóð upp og laut henni. Hún spurði, hversu hans sóttarferli væri háttað. En hann sagðist það ógerla vita og segir hún muni því næst geta, ef hún færi þreifandi um sinn líkama.
The young lady does as she has been commanded, while the princess attended mass until it was finished. Then she proceeded to her castle. Tables were then laid with white cloths and sumptuous food, and that maiden sat down to dine. But when the tables had been taken down, she stood up and went to where the sick people were. They welcomed her warmly. She now asked for the man who had sought her healing just a short time before. He stood up and bowed to her. She asked what sort of illness he had, but he said that he did not entirely know and said that she would come closest to knowing if she proceeded to examine his body.
27.
Síðan lætur hún hann í afvikinn stað frá öðrum sjúkum mönnum og vill nú skoða og rannsaka hans sjúkdóm, hvernig honum sé háttað. Síðan talar hún til hans: “Ég hefi hugsað um hríð, og finn ég ei sótt í líkama þínum, nema svo sé henni háttað, sem orðskviðurinn hljóðar, að ‘sá er ekki heill, sem hugurinn veikir,’ og hygg ég, að svo muni vera.”
Then she shows him to a place away from the other sick people and now wants to observe and investigate his illness and how it presents itself. Then she speaks to him: “I have thought for a while, and I cannot find any illness in your body, unless it is the kind of thing where, as the saying goes, ‘he is not whole, whom the mind weakens.’ And I think that this is the case here.”
28.
“Frú mín,” segir hann, “rétt segir þú mitt sóttarferli, og vil ég nú biðja yður griða, því ég er á yðru valdi, en fjarri yðar landi fæddur, og hefi ég lengi hugsjúkur verið, hversu ég mætti yðar fundi ná eða við yður tala. Er nú mikið mitt sóttarferli batnað, síðan ég sá yðvart andlit og ég heyrði yðvart mál; því væntir mig, að svo muni fleira ganga um mitt erindi, áður en við skiljumst að. En með yðru lofi vil ég tala mitt erindi.”
“My lady,” he says, “you have diagnosed my condition correctly, and I now want to request your mercy, for I am in your power and born far from your land, and I have been sick at heart for a long time, considering how I might gain an audience with you or speak to you. My condition has now improved considerably, since I saw your face and heard your speech. I expect that my mission will have repercussions for many more, before we part ways. And by your leave, I would like to explain my mission.”
29.
Hún segir: “Hvert er þitt nafn eða kynferði? Eða í hverju landi ertu fæddur? Enginn maður kom hér sá fyrr, að mig þyrði svo að dára.”
She says “What is your name or ancestry? Or in what country were your born? No man ever came here before who dared to mock me like this.”
30.
“Ei kom ég hér til þess, frú,” segir hann, “að dára yður. Mitt heiti er Jarlmann og mitt fósturland hið lofsæla Frakkland. En minn faðir er Roðgeir jarl hinn ríki. Minn lávarður heitir Hermann; konungur er hann yfir Frakklandi, ungur og listugur, vaskur og vel menntur, og af hans forlagi kom ég hingað. En sakir frægðar þeirrar, sem fer af fegurð yðar og vitsmunum, þá vil ég fyrst vita, hver svör þér viljið til gefa, ef hann kæmi að biðja yðar sér til eiginkonu.”
“My lady, I did not come here,” he says, “to mock you. My name is Jarlmann and my home the praiseworthy land of France. And my father is Earl Roðgeir the Mighty. My lord is called Hermann. He is the King of France, young and skilled, valiant and well-educated, and I came here because he sent me. On account of the fame that spreads as a result of your beauty and wisdom, I want first to know what sort of answer you might want to give, if he were to come here to ask for your hand in marriage.”
31.
En hún svarar: “Mikla forhugsan hefir þú haft í þinni för um okkarn fund, og mun ég svo í ljósi láta þetta efni fyrir þér sem ei þurfti til að taka. Er mér maður sá ókenndur að öllu, svo að ég hefi ei nema spurn til hans. En þótt hann sé lofaður af öllum, þá hafa þó komið sjálfir þeir menn þess erindis, að ég veit ei, hvort minni eru háttar en hann, og hefir mér ei sýnst að giftast þeim. Eru þeir menn þó oss alkunnugir að mörgum góðum hlutum.”
But she replies: “You have given a great deal of thought to our meeting in the course of your journey, but I will explain this matter to you, who need not have taken on this matter. I don’t know that man at all: hearsay is all I have to go on about him. And even though he is praised by everyone, men whom I do not know to be any lesser men than he is have come here in person with the same intentions, and I have not seen fit to marry them, even though those men are well known to me for many good things.”
32.
“Spurt höfum vér það,” segir Jarlmann, “og þykir mörgum yður hafa það yfir sést, að þér reynið svo hamingjuna að, þá hún býður yður farsællega hluti. Því vant er að vita, hvað við tekur, ef góðu neitar.”
“So we have heard,” says Jarlmann, “and many think that you fail to take into consideration, that you are putting Fortune, who offers you an advantageous thing, to the test. Because it is difficult to know what comes next, if you turn down something good.”
33.
Jómfrúin svarar: “Endast mun okkar skraf hér um að sinni, en með því mér virðist þitt orðalag vel og skil, að þú ert maður vitur, þá megið þér dveljast hér nokkra stund og kenna mér Frakklands vísu og segja mér tíðindi af því.”
The maiden replies: “Our conversation will now end for the time being, but since it seems to me that you are eloquent and I recognize that you are a wise man, you may remain here for a while and teach me the ways of France, and tell me news of it.”
34.
“Það viljum vér gjarnan, frú,” segir hann. Nú situr Jarlmann í turninum konungsdóttur, og vitu það engir utan hennar trúnaðarmenn, og jafnan talar hann um sitt erindi vegna síns fóstbróður, þegar hann fær tóm til, og lofar Hermann konung sem mest hann má. Hefir hann nú tekið sæmilegan búnað og leynir ekki sinni ásjónu fyrir konungsdóttur. Sýnist henni hann bæði vænn og vaskur, sköruglegur og þar með hæverskur.
“I would be delighted to, my lady,” he says. Now Jarlmann sits in the princess’s tower, and no one but her confidants know this. He speaks frequently about his mission on behalf of his sworn brother, whenever he has the opportunity, and praises King Hermann as much as he can. He has now donned fine clothing and does not hide his face from the princess. He seems to her both handsome and valiant, commanding and, moreover, courtly.
35.
6. Eitt sinn talar frú Ríkilát til hans: “Seg mér nú satt, Jarlmann, er Hermann konungur svo stór og fríður sem þú ert?”
6. On one occasion Lady Ríkilát speaks to him: “Tell me truthfully, Jarlmann, is King Hermann as tall and as handsome as you?”
36.
Jarlmann segir: “Það er eftir því, sem von er, bæði vegna slektis og nafnbótar, að hann ber svo mikið yfir mig sem konungur ber yfir jarl að allri tign. En fegurð og karlmennsku ber hann yfir alla þá menn, sem ég hefi séð.”
Jarlmann says: “As one would expect, judging by both his status and title, he towers as greatly over me as a king towers over an earl in every respect. And he surpasses every man that I have seen in terms of being handsome and manly.”
37.
Þá mælti frúin: “Muntu kunna að kasta upp á múrinn eitt líkneski eftir hans mynd mér til skemmtunar?”
Then the lady said: “Would you be able to produce a likeness of him on the wall for my amusement?”
38.
“Ég skal við leita, frú,” segir hann. Hann tók sitt pincer og dregur eitt mannlíkan eða líkneski eftir hans mynd á múrinn með miklum hagleik og mjúkri list og biður frúna þar til að líta.
“I shall endeavour to do this, my lady,” he says. He took a drawing implement and etches the image of a man or a likeness on the wall with great skill and sensitive artistry, and asks the lady to look at it.
39.
En hún hyggur að og mælir: “Víst ertu mikill meistari, og ekki kann ég ætla, að nokkur mundi sig öðruvís kjósa, þó sjálfur ætti um að ráða.”
She considers it and says: “You are clearly a great master, and I cannot imagine that anyone would want to look any different, even if they were free to choose.”
40.
“Meira mundi yður til finnast, ef þér sæjuð Hermann konung,” segir Jarlmann.
“You would feel more strongly if you were to see King Hermann,” says Jarlmann.
41.
Nú hefir Jarlmann dvalist þar næstu þrjár nætur. Því næst talar hann við Ríkilát: “Ég hefi nú dvalist hér með yður í góðu yfirlæti; vildi ég nú fá orlof að finna mína menn, þá ég skilda við fyrir litlu, og vil ég nú ganga til konungs um mitt erindi, hvað um það verða skal.”
By now Jarlmann has been staying there for three more nights. Then he talks to Ríkilát: “I have now stayed here with you and been treated well; I would now like to have leave to find my men, whom I parted with a little while ago, and I will now go to the king regarding my mission, to see what is to become of it.”
42.
“Vel hefir þú með oss verið,” segir hún, “og gott orlof skaltu af oss hafa. En engin boð mun ég gera Hermann konungi um þetta mál og engum konungi öðrum.”
“It has been good to have you here,” she says, “and you will go with my blessing. Yet I will make no offers to King Hermann as regards this matter, nor to any other king.”
43.
Jarlmann segir: “Skilmála nokkurn muntu gera og lofa því að giftast eigi öðrum um eitt ár, fyrr en þér sjáið þennan mann, svo þér hafið yðar raun við, hvað fjarri er því, sem ég hefi sagt yður.”
Jarlmann says: “You will surely agree to one thing: promise to marry nobody else for the period of one year, until you have seen this man, so you will know for yourself whether what I have told you is far from the truth.”
44.
“Mjúka tungu hefir þú, Jarlmann,” segir hún, “og með mikilli list hefir þú rekið og flutt þíns herra erindi. En engum manni veðset ég mig. En fyrir okkarn vinskap og þína æru vil ég þessu játa fyrir þér, ef ég er sjálfráð.”
“You are silver-tongued, Jarlmann,” she says, “and you have pursued and advanced your lord’s suit with great skill. But I will not give myself as a pledge to any man. Yet on account of our friendship and your nobility I will agree to this for you, if I am free to choose.”
45.
“Frú,” segir hann, “ég vil nú ei framar beiða, og fáið mér yðar fingurgull, að þetta skal standa stöðugt.”
“My lady,” said he, “I will ask no more of you now, so give me your gold ring, as a token of surety.”
46.
Hún gerir nú sem hann beiddi. Hann lætur nú sitt gull koma á hennar hönd og heldur að, svo ornar, og biður hana að hyggja, hversu vandlát hamingjan væri, ef nokkur oftreystir henni. Gefur hann henni síðan góðar kveðjur og snýr í brott. Hún bað hann vel lifa og þótti sýnum mikið við hann að skilja.
Now she does as he asked, and he allows his ring to come into contact with her hand and holds it there so that it grows warm, and asks her to consider how Fortune could be hard to those who trust in her too much. Then he extends his fond farewells and turns away. She wishes him well, and is noticeably affected by his departure.
47.
En er hann kemur út af kastalanum, sá hann að höfnum sigla mikinn skipaflota og mjög hermannlegan. Þau voru sex hundruð að tölu og fimm drómundar að auki, furðulega stórir. Jarlmann flýtti sér ekki úr borginni, því að hann vildi fá vitund af, hvert erindi þessir eiga.
But when he came out of the castle, he saw a great fleet, equipped for battle, sailing into the port. There were 600 ships in total, and five dromons as well, remarkably large. Jarlmann did not hurry out of the city, because he wanted to get an idea of what their intentions might be.
48.
Nú ber skipin að landi, og reisa þeir herbúðir sínar. En er þeir hafa um búið, gengur Jarlmann til stranda, og sem hann er kominn nokkuð svo frá borginni, þá ríða í móti honum tólf menn furðulega stórir. Hann heilsar upp á þá og spyr, hvaðan þeir séu. En sá, sem fyrir þeim var, mælti: “Ég heiti Starkus.”
Now the ships make land, and they set up camp. And when things were in place, Jarlmann walked to the beach, and when he had come a bit of a way from the city, twelve remarkably large men ride towards him. He greets them and asks where they are from. And the one who represented them spoke: “I am called Starkus.”
49.
Jarlmann spyr: “Hver ræður þeim mikla skipaflota, er þar er nýkominn við land?”
Jarlmann asked: “Who controls the great fleet that has just come ashore?”
50.
Starkus segir, að hann heiti Rómanus konungur, son Ródíans konungs af Púl. “Förum vér þess erindis hingað að fá konungsdóttur, því mikil fregn gengur af hennar listum og fegurð.”
“His name,” says Starkus, “is King Rómanus, son of King Ródían from Apulia. We have travelled here in order to get the princess, because word has travelled of her skills and beauty.”
51.
Jarlmann sagði: “Ég vænti, að ykkur verði það ekki að erindi, því að hún er trúlofuð öðrum manni áður.”
Jarlmann said: “I expect you will not succeed in that mission, because she is already engaged to another man.”
52.
“Ekki mun það hefta ferð vora,” segir Starkus, “því að vér förum ekki héðan á brott, fyrr en hún fylgir oss, þó hennar faðir vilji það ekki, og ekki fær neinn maður því á móti staðið; svo höfum vér mikinn her, að slíkt stoðar ekki.”
“That will not put a stop to our quest,” said Starkus, “because we will not leave here without her accompanying us, even if her father is against it, and no man will be able to prevent that. We have such a great army, that it is no use trying.”
53.
Þeir skilja að svo mæltu.
With this said, they part.
54.
7. Það er nú því næst, að Miklagarðs konungur sat í sinni höll og hefir spurn af þeim mikla her, sem nú er kominn yfir hans hafnir. Nú lúkast upp hallardyr, og ríða þar inn tólf menn furðulega stórir og þó sem með sendimanna búning; þeir ríða fyrir konung. Sá mælti, sem fyrir þeim var: “Enga kveðju eigum vér þér að bera, því að þeir eru þess eigi maklegir, sem kristnir kallast. Rómanus konungsson utan af Púl er hér kominn í yðrar hafnir; hann gerir yður þau boð, að þér sendið honum yðra dóttur, svo framt sem þér viljið halda yðru ríki, því að eigi viljum vér, að kristnir spenni svo væna jungfrú. En ef þér viljið nokkuð í móti mæla, þá eru endaðir þínir lífdagar og allt yðvart ríki forráðið, því að vér höfum bílagt yðrar hafnir og allt yðart fólk er griðalaust fyrir oss. Nú ger á góðan úrskurð um vort mál, því að ei viljum vér lengi athafnarlausir, því að svo mikinn her höfum vér hingað dregið, að engi von er yður hjálpar, þótt nokkur væri svo heimskur, að við það vildi leita, því að vér höfum sex hundruð skipa og þar til fimm drómunda. Er allt fólk í veröldu við mig hrætt.”
7. The next thing that happened was that the King of Constantinople is sitting in his palace and receives word of the great army that has now arrived upon his shores. The palace doors are opened and in ride twelve remarkably big men, and yet judging by their clothes merely envoys. They ride up to the king. The one who represented them said: “We are not obliged to bring you any greetings, because those who call themselves Christians are not worthy of them. Prince Rómanus of Apulia has come here to your shores. He sends you this message, that you must send your daughter to him, assuming you want to hold on to your kingdom, because we do not want Christians having such a beautiful maiden in their grasp. But if you want to object, then your days are numbered, and all your kingdom forfeit, because we have blockaded your harbours and your people will receive no quarter from us. Now make a wise decision about our suit, because we will not sit around for long, because we have brought so great an army here that there is no hope of you receiving any help, even if anyone was foolhardy enough to want to attempt to, given that we have got six hundred ships and five dromons as well. Everyone in the whole world is afraid of me.”
55.
Konungur svarar máli hans: “Hvorttveggja er, að þú ert mikill, enda flytur þú ákaflega þín erindi. En ef þinn herra er svo mikill sem þú segir, þá bíði hann morguns til svara, því að ég vil tala við dóttur mína og vini um þetta mál. En fyrr skal ég deyja en ég gifti hana utan hennar vilja.”
The king answers his request: “You are both large and state your purpose with vigour. But if your lord is as mighty as you say, then he will wait until tomorrow for an answer, for I want to discuss this matter with my daughter and my friends. But I will die before I marry her off against her will.”
56.
Sendimenn fara nú á brott. En konungur situr eftir hryggur og ókátur og allir hans menn, því að svo mikil ógn stóð af sendimönnum og þeirra heitum, að þeim þótti sér lítil von friðar. Sendimenn fóru, til þess er þeir fundu Rómanus konungsson, og sögðu honum, hver svör konungur hefði gefið. En hann varð ákaflega reiður, svo að réð um, hvort hann mundi halda vitinu.
The envoys depart, but the king and all his men remain behind, downcast and gloomy, because the envoys and their words were so terrifying that there seemed little hope of peace. The envoys went to meet Prince Rómanus, and they told him what answers the king had given. He became so enraged that it was uncertain whether he would keep himself in check.
57.
8. Nú kallar konungur saman alla sína menn og leitar ráðs, hversu með skal fara, að flestum þótti úr vöndu að ráða. Konungur spurði að dóttur sína, hversu hún vildi vera láta, en hún kvaðst fyrr skyldu ganga út á bál en samþykkjast þessum fjanda, sem bæði væri hundheiðinn og að öllu illa fallinn.
8. Now the king calls all his men together and seeks advice as to how the matter should be dealt with, and most thought this was a difficult matter to solve. The king asked his daughter how she wanted to have things, and she said that she would rather throw herself on a pyre than consent to marry this fiend who was both a heathen dog and unfit for anything.
58.
Konungur bað þá sína menn búast við bardaga með slíkum styrk sem þeir kunna að fá. Var á þessi nótt mikið brak í borginni og öllum nálægustum stöðum, svo vítt sem komast mátti. Bjó hver sig og sinn hest, og biðu svo morguns.
Then the king asked his men to prepare for battle with such strength as they could muster. That night there was a lot of hubbub in the city and all the neighbouring places that were within reach. Each man readied himself and his horse, and then they awaited morning.
59.
Nú er að segja af heiðingjanum, að Rómanus konungsson vaknar snemma og vekur upp herinn og biður þá herklæðast og ganga að borginni og brenna hana, en drepa hvert mannsbarn, er þeir fá náð, og svo gerir nú allur herinn, blása í sína lúðra, stíga á sína hesta og láta allhreystimannlega. Starkus tekur í hönd sér merki konungssonar, og eru nú albúnir.
Now let us tell of the heathens: Prince Rómanus wakes up early and rouses the army and tells them to arm themselves and march to the city and burn it and kill every human being whom they can get hold of. The whole army now does as instructed, blowing their horns, mounting their horses, and acting boldly. Starkus takes up the prince’s standard, and they are now ready.
60.
9. Þennan morgun snemma, sem sólin rýður, sáu menn úr borginni fimm skip sigla með gylltum veðurvitum og gullstöfuðum seglum, og stefndu að Stólpasundum. Var höfnin upp lokin fyrir þeim. Þeir lögðu í konungslægi og gengu á land vel fimm hundruð manna. Þeir létu leiða af skipinu góða hesta og stigu á bak, riðu skyndilega til borgarinnar. Hafði konungur þá skipað sínum mönnum til varnar, og voru læst öll borgarhlið. Jarlmann bað orlofs á konungs fund til viðtals, og að því fengnu reið hann í borgina og gekk fyrir konung og kvaddi hann virðulega. Konungur spyr, hvað manna hann væri.
9. Early that morning, as the sun rises, people saw from the city five ships sailing with golden weather-vanes and gold-striped sails and heading into the Golden Horn. The harbour was opened up for them. They docked in the royal berth and about five hundred men disembarked. They had fine horses brought off the ship and mounted them, riding in haste to the city. By then the king had set his men in defensive positions and all the city gates were locked. Jarlmann asked for permission to speak with the king, and when his request was accepted, he rode into the city and went before the king and greeted him honourably. The king asked what his parentage was.
61.
“Jarlmann heiti eg,” segir hann, “en ætt mín er á Frakklandi, og þar er ég barnfæddur. En sá konungur sendi mig hingað, er Hermann heitir. Hann stýrir öllum Frans og miklu ríki öðru. Hann vill fá yðra dóttur Ríkilát, er lof ber allra meyja, þeirra er vér höfum spurn af. Vill hann þessa ráðs vitja til yðars lands, ef þér viljið hér nokkurn kost á gera með hennar samþykki.”
“I am called Jarlmann,” he says, “and my family is from France, where I was brought up. But I was sent here by a king named Hermann. He rules the whole of France and a great realm besides. He wants to marry your daughter Ríkilát, who is praised more highly than any other maiden whom we have heard of. He wants to come to your land to make arrangements for this marriage, if you decide to accept his proposal, with her consent.”
62.
Konungur svarar: “Það var um stund, að oss þótti hennar gjaforð standa til góðs efnis, en það veit nú allt öðruvís við, því að hér er nú kominn einn blár berserkur og vill kúga hana af oss með ógrynni hers og ógnar oss dauða.”
The king replies: “Not long ago, I believed she would be married to a fine man, but now it is all looking rather different, because a black berserker has now come here and wants to take her away from us by force using an immense host, and he threatens us with death.”
63.
Jarlmann segir: “Ekki stendur oss það fyrir ráðum, ef þér viljið oss nokkurn kost á gera, því að eigi hræðumst ég heiðingja, þó að þeir séu margir, því að jafnan selst þeirra ofstopi illa.”
Jarlmann says: “That is not an issue if you are happy to accept our proposal, because I am not afraid of heathens, even if there are a lot of them, because their arrogance always turns out badly.”
64.
Konungur lætur nú kalla dóttur sína þangað, og þegar hún kemur, kennir hún Jarlmann og hvort þeirra annað, þó konungur vissi það eigi; og varð hennar brjóst harðla fegið, því að síðan þau skildu, gekk hennar hugur aldrei af Hermanni konungi.
The king now has his daughter called in, and when she comes, she recognizes Jarlmann, and he her, though the king did not know that. And her heart was deeply relieved, because ever since they had parted, she had thought constantly of King Hermann.
65.
Konungur segir nú dóttur, í hvert efni komið var, og biður hana gefa skjótt ráð og gott. En hún svarar: “Ég veit nú eigi, hvort góðu einu kemur við,” segir hún, “en ólíkt þykir mér að eiga kristinn mann, þann sem vér höfum góða spurn af, en þann bölvaða hund, sem ills eins er að von. En ef Jarlmann vill oss lið veita síns fóstbróður vegna, þá mun ég þessu játa.”
The king now tells his daughter what the situation is and asks her to suggest at once a sensible course of action. But she replies: “I do not know whether good alone will come of this,” she says, “but it seems to me quite another matter to marry a Christian, of whom we have heard good reports, rather than that cursed dog, of whom only evil can be expected. If Jarlmann wishes to offer us assistance on behalf of his sworn brother, I will agree to this.”
66.
Jarlmann segir: “Viljið þér, frú, selja mér yðra trú til að vera eiginkona míns fóstbróður og mér fylgja heim í Frans, þá skal ég ganga í lið með föður þínum og glaður berjast við Rómanus. En ef þér viljið ei svo gera, mun ég fara heim aftur til míns lands og engan hlut í eiga með yður. En lofið mér því einu, sem þér viljið stöðugt halda.”
Jarlmann says: “If you will, my lady, give me your pledge to be the wife of my sworn brother and accompany me home to France, then I will join your father’s force and gladly fight Rómanus. But if you do not want to do so, I will go back home to my country and take no part in your dealings. But only make me a promise that you are sure you can keep.”
67.
Þessu játar nú konungur og hans dóttir, og tekur Jarlmann handfestur að vitni alls hersins. Og þegar í stað lætur Jarlmann lúka upp hliðunum - og ganga allir menn út af borginni - og fylkja sínu liði á völlinn og blása síðan herblástur og bíða svo tilkomu heiðingja.
The king and his daughter now agree to this, and Jarlmann shakes hands on it with the whole army as a witness. And straight away Jarlmann has the gates opened—every man marching out of the city—and has his force arrayed on the plain and the war-trumpets blown; and thus they await the arrival of the heathens.
68.
10. Nú var ei langt að bíða, áður en blámennirnir geysast neðan frá skipunum með miklum gný og vopnabraki. Rómanus konungsson var auðkenndur fyrir sakir vaxtar og vopnabúnings; hann var öðrumegin blár sem hel, en öðrumegin fölur sem aska; hans augu voru gul sem í ketti og svo hið sama tennur; hljóð hans var svo mikið, að dvergmála kvað í hverjum hamri, er hann talar. Á sömu leið var Starkus, hans merkismaður. Margur annar var þar mikill vexti, en illur kosti.
10. It was not long before the dark-skinned devils rushed down from the ships with a great racket and din of arms. Prince Rómanus was easily recognizable on account of his size, weapons, and armour; on one side he was as black as night, but as pale as ashes on the other; his eyes were yellow like a cat’s, as were his teeth; his voice was so loud that it echoed in every crag when he spoke. Starkus, his standard-bearer, was the same. There were many other men there of great size, but nonetheless unpleasant characters.
69.
Síga nú saman fylkingar með miklum gný og vopnabraki. Jarlmann fylgdi svo konunginum, að ekki mátti umkringja þá. Hann hafði skipað í vígskörð marga bogamenn að skjóta á heiðingja, og voru þeir menn til þess valdir, sem vel kunnu að skjóta, en voru svo gamlir, að þeir máttu eigi ganga í höggorrustu, og urðu þeir heiðingjum mjög skeinuhættir. Jarlmann sækir nú fram djarflega með sínum mönnum og höggur bæði menn og hesta; þurfti sá engi um sár að binda, sem hans sverð nam; og er hann kominn í miðjan her heiðingja, svo að merki þeirra stóð á baki honum. Slíkt hið sama gerði Grikkjakonungur og fylgir fram sínu merki, drepur allmargan mann, því hann var hinn besti riddari.
The two armies now clash with a great thundering and din of arms. Jarlmann accompanied the king in order to ensure that the enemy could not surround them. He had arrayed many archers on the battlements to shoot at the heathens and chosen those men who knew how to shoot well, but were so old that that they could not engage in close combat, and they caused a great deal of damage to the heathens. Jarlmann now presses boldly forth with his men and strikes both men and horses; no one whom his sword touched had cause to bandage his wounds; and he had reached the middle of the heathen army so that their standard was behind him. The Greek king proceeded likewise and followed his standard forward and killed a great many men, because he was an excellent knight.
70.
Nú ríður fram Starkus hinn mikli, og honum í mót kemur merkismaður Grikkjakonungs. Starkus leggur til hans með merkistönginni og þegar í gegnum hann og vegur hann upp sem hæst mátti hann og lætur hann sprikla á oddinum. Þessu var nær staddur Grikkjakonungur og hjó til Starkus og í sundur merkistöngina og fjórðunginn af skildinum, og hljóp sverðið ofan á lærið, svo í beini stóð, og féllu á jörð bæði senn merkin, og varð þá gnýr mikill. Starkus hjó á móti til konungs, og kom á hjálminn, og tók af fjórðunginn og af konungi hið hægra eyrað. En höggið var svo þungt, að konungur hné í óvit fram á söðulbogann. Í því kom Jarlmann að ríðandi og hjó til Starkus á hálsinn, svo að af tók höfuðið og stökk yfir þrjá þá, sem næstir voru. Þetta sama högg tók höfuð af hestinum, og var þá dyntur mikill, er Starkus féll til jarðar.
Now Starkus the great rode forth and the standard-bearer of the Greek king came towards him. Starkus thrusts his standard-pole towards him and immediately runs him through and lifts him up as high as he can and lets him flail about on the point. The Greek king was nearby and dealt Starkus a blow, chopping the standard-pole in two and a quarter off his shield, bringing the sword down on his thigh so that it got stuck in the bone, and both standards fell to the ground at the same time and there was a great boom. Starkus struck back at the king, hitting his helmet and taking off a quarter of it and the king’s right ear. And the blow was so heavy that the king passed out, falling forwards onto his saddlebow. At that moment Jarlmann came riding towards them and struck Starkus on the neck so that his head came off and flew over the three nearest men. This same blow took off the head of his horse, and then there was a great crash when Starkus fell to the ground.
71.
Rómanus konungsson ríður nú fram alldjarflega og gerir bæði að höggva og leggja, og á lítilli stundu hefir hann drepið hundrað manna af liði Jarlmanns, og svo háan valköst hlóð hann, að jafnhátt bar hans söðulboga á báðar hliðar, og engi maður vogar honum á mót að ríða.
Prince Rómanus now rides forward very boldly, both striking and thrusting, and in a short while he has killed a hundred of Jarlmann’s troops, with those he had slain lying piled up so high on either side that they came up to his saddlebow, and no one dared ride against him.
72.
Jarlmann hafði sett eftir á skipum sínum sex hundruð manna, þá sem vaskastir voru, og skyldu þeir koma í opna skjöldu heiðingjum. Rémund hét sá, sem fyrir þeim var, hinn mesti kappi og frændi Jarlmanns. Og þá hann kom í bardagann, urðu heiðingjar felmsfullir bæði af falli Starkus og af sókn Rémundar. Rémund hjó eitt mikið högg til eins kappa, er Gibbon hét. Það högg kom þvert framan í hjálminn um þvert andlitið, svo að sundur tekur höfuðið fyrir neðan augun, og féll hann dauður niður til jarðar. Þetta hið mikla högg hræðast heiðingjar og þykjast til dauða dæmdir, ef nokkur verður fyrir þeim. En hann gengur þegar djarflega fram og höggur á tvær hendur sér, drepur svo margan mann, að ótal mátti heita.
Jarlmann had left behind on his ships six hundred of the most valiant men, who were to attack the heathens when they were least prepared for it. The one who led them was called Rémund, a great warrior and a relative of Jarlmann. And when he entered the battle, the heathens became frightened, both on account of Starkus’ death and Rémund’s assault. Rémund dealt a mighty blow to a warrior named Gibbon. That blow landed right across the helmet and across his face so that his head split in two below the eyes, and he fell dead to the ground. This great blow terrified the heathens and they felt that they were doomed, should they meet any of these men on the battlefield. Rémund, however, immediately goes boldly forth and deals blows on both sides, killing an incalculable number of men.
73.
Þetta getur að líta Rómanus konungsson, hversu mikinn skaða þessi maður gerir á hans liði. Snýr hann nú í mót Rémundi og leggur til hans sínu digra spjóti; kemur lagið í söðulbogann hinn fremra, svo hann klofnaði, en spjótið hljóp í brynjuna fyrir neðan bringspalirnar og svo út um bakið. Nú hefir Rémund fengið sitt banasár. Nú er hann svo vaskur, að hann höggur til konungssonar, og kom það á fótinn fyrir ofan ökklann og tók í sundur með brynhosunni, svo að lítið loddi við, og féll Rémund þegar dauður af hestinum. En Rómanus konungsson eirir nú engu og drepur nú allt það fyrir honum verður, svo að hvorki stendur fyrir honum hjálmur né brynja. Þykir þeim vísast, að hann muni drepa einn allt það lið, sem þar er saman komið.
Prince Rómanus can see how much damage this man is inflicting on his forces. He turns towards Rémund and jabs his hefty spear at him; the blow strikes the front saddlebow, splitting it, and his spear jabbed into the coat of mail below the ribs and then out through the back. Rémund has now received a mortal wound. He is emboldened now to such an extent that he strikes at the prince and hits him on his leg above the ankle, slicing through both leg and greaves, so that it dangled by a thread, and Rémund fell down at once, dead, from his horse. Now Prince Rómanus shows no mercy, killing every living thing that gets in his way, so that neither helmet nor coat of mail can withstand him. They felt certain that he would kill the entire troop that had gathered there all by himself.
74.
Þetta getur að líta Jarlmann, en þó átti hann ærið um að vera, því hann var einn kominn í miðjan her heiðingja, svo að þeir voru bæði á bak og fyrir og á báðar hliðar. En hann ruddi þeim frá sér með sínu sverði. Er nú höggvinn hans skjöldur og hjálmur; blóðgar eru hans báðar hendur til axla; þó snýr hann nú þangað, sem konungsson var, og fær eitt mikið spjót og skýtur til konungssonar. Það kemur í lærið, svo að í gegnum gekk, og svo söðulfjölina, að meiri hlutur spjótsins hljóp inn í búk hestinum. Nú höggur konungsson til Jarlmanns, svo af gekk blakan af hjálminum, en sverðið hljóp niður á brynjuna, og af honum geirvörtuna hina hægri, svo að skein í bert holdið. Nú sér Jarlmann, að engi er lífs von líkari en að hefna sín. Því höggur hann nú til Rómanus og af nefbjörgina hjálminum og af honum nefið sjálfum; sverðið hljóp niður í milli skjaldarins og brynjunnar, og af honum báðar hendurnar í olbogabótinni, en sverðið nam staðar í söðulboganum, og steyptist Rómanus dauður til jarðar. En Grikkir lustu upp miklu sigurópi; heiðingjar tóku að flýja til skipa sinna. En konungur og Jarlmann elta þá, suma á kaf, en drepa suma á landi, svo nálega komst engi undan af þessum mikla her.
Jarlmann could see this, but he had his hands full, because he had made it unaccompanied into the middle of the heathen army so that they were both behind and in front and on both sides of him. Nevertheless he cleared the way with his sword. His shield and helmet were now battered; both his arms were bloody up to the shoulder. Regardless, he turns to where the prince is and grabs a large spear and throws it at him. It hits him in the thigh, going right through it and the saddle-board, and most of the spear ended up lodged inside the body of the horse. Now the prince deals Jarlmann a blow, so that he knocks the visor from his helmet, and his sword cuts down into the mailcoat, taking off his right nipple and exposing raw flesh. Now Jarlmann sees that his best hope of survival lies in avenging himself. Therefore, he deals Rómanus a blow, taking off his helmet’s nose-guard as well as his nose. The sword sliced down in between the shield and coat of mail and took off both his arms at the elbow, coming to a stop in the pommel, and Rómanus fell dead to the ground. The Greeks raised great cries of victory, and the heathens began to flee to their ships. But the king and Jarlmann pursued them, chasing some into the sea and killing others on land, so that almost nobody from this large army escaped.
75.
Fara þeir nú síðan heim til borgarinnar og áttu fögrum sigri að hrósa og miklu herfangi. Engi maður kom ósár heim, sá sem í þessum bardaga hafði verið, en svo mikill fjöldi fallinn, að varla kom tölu á. Allir lofuðu Jarlmann fyrir sína hreysti. Ríkilát tók að græða sár með mikilli list og kunnáttu og svo föður sinn og marga aðra, þá sem mikils þurftu við. Nú er Jarlmann gróinn sára sinna, en látið hefir hann í þessum bardaga hundrað sinna manna. Hefir hann nú konung á málstefnu og dóttur hans, heimtir fram þau ummæli, sem honum voru lofuð, þá er hann gekk í lið með konungi; og er þá ekki getið, að konungsdóttir hefði þá nokkur mótmæli um þetta.
They go now home to the city and they had a great victory to celebrate and a great deal of booty. No man who had been in this battle came home without wounds, and so many had been killed that it was almost impossible to count them. Everyone praised Jarlmann for his bravery. Ríkilát began to heal his wounds using her great skill and knowledge, and likewise for her father and many others who were in great need. Now Jarlmann is healed of his wounds, but he has lost a hundred of his men in this battle. He now holds a meeting with the king and his daughter and demands assurances from them as regards what he was promised when he agreed to fight alongside the king. And there is no mention of the princess having anything to say against this.
76.
Konungur segir: “Svo mikið eigum vér þér að launa,” segir hann, “og mikill skaði er oss, að slíkir menn vilja eigi hjá oss staðfestast. Eða hvar fyrir annt þú þér eigi hins besta ríkis? Því að vel hefðir þú til unnið, þótt þú hefðir átt hana sjálfa.”
The king says: “We owe you so much,” he says, “and it is a great harm to us, that such men as you do not want to settle down here with us. Why do you not desire the best fief for yourself? Because you would have received the desired reward, had you wished to have her.”
77.
Jarlmann segir: “Eigi fyrir þína dóttur né mikið ríki vil ég drottinssvikari heita. En ósýnt þykir mér, ef ég hefði ekki hér verið, hver þinnar dóttur hefði notið, og þykjumst ég því vel til kominn, þó að haldinn sé skildagi við mig.”
Jarlmann says: “I wouldn’t be called a traitor for either your daughter or a large fief. But it seems unclear to me who would have married your daughter, had I not been here, and thus I think that it’s for the best that I came, even though the agreed terms remain in place as far as I’m concerned.”
78.
En konungur segist ekki í móti mæla, ef dóttir hans vildi svo. En hún gefur þar já til, því hún segist þeim manni best eiga að launa, “og mun þá eftir hið meira, ef svo fer sem mig varir.”
And the king says he will not contradict his daughter if she wants it to be so. And she agrees, because she said she had much to repay that man for, “and I think I will end up owing him even more, if all goes as I suspect.”
79.
Lauk svo þessari stefnu, að þetta var fullráðið, að frú Ríkilát skyldi fylgja Jarlmanni heim í Frakkland, og sór hann henni sína trú, að hann skyldi henni hollur og hjálplegur, hvers sem hún kynni með að þurfa.
This meeting ended with it being fully resolved that Lady Ríkilát should accompany Jarlmann home to France, and he swore an oath to her that he would be true to her and helpful in whatever she might require.
80.
Lætur konungur nú búa ferð dóttur sinnar með miklu föruneyti í gulli og silfri og mörgum dýrgripum, svo sem honum sómdi og báðum þeim mátti mest til heiðurs verða. En þegar hennar ferð var fullbúin, vill Jarlmann eigi bíða lengur, því hann hafði búið sig og sín skip. Leiddi konungur þá til strandar dóttur sína og fól hana honum á hendur og kenndi henni mörg heilræði. Konungur gaf Jarlmanni sæmilegar gjafir og öllum hans mönnum. Því næst gengu þeir á skip. Við þeirra skilnað var engi svo harður, hvorki karl né kona, að vatni mætti halda, og grétu allir Ríkilát og þótti sem aldrei mundi koma slík kona í Grikkland. Sigla þau nú í haf, þegar þeim gefur byr.
The king now organizes his daughter’s journey and provides her with a great retinue, endowed with gold and silver and many treasures, as befitted his status and would be of greatest honour to them both. And when her journey was fully prepared, Jarlmann did not want to wait any longer, because he and his ships were fully prepared. The king then led his daughter to the shore and handed her over to him and gave her a great deal of wise advice. The king gave Jarlmann and all his men costly gifts. Then they went on board. At their parting there was no person, neither man or woman, who was so hard-hearted that they could hold back their tears, and all wept for Ríkilát and thought that such a woman would never come to Greece again. They now sail out to sea when the wind is favourable.
81.
Látum þau nú sigla, sem þeim vel gegnir, en víkjum til heima í Frakklandi, hvað þar hefir fram farið, síðan Jarlmann fór á brott.
We will now let them sail, as befits them, and let us head for home in France to find out what has been going on there while Jarlmann has been away.
82.
11. Það er sagt einhvern dag, sem Hermann konungur sat í sinni höll með hirð sinni, og var þar þá gleði mikil, þá var lokið upp hallardyrum, og gengu þar inn tólf menn í ríkulegum búningi. Þeir gengu fyrir konung. Sá sem fyrir þeim var kvaddi konung og mælti síðan: “Vér erum sendimenn þess konungssonar, að ekki þykir meira til þín koma en eins óbúins spora; en spurt hefir hann, að þér eigið eina systur, er lof ber allra meyja fyrir norðan Mundíufjöll. Nú ef þér viljið enga hneisu af honum fá, þá sendið honum yðra systur, því að það er hans erindi, að hann vill hennar fá, og má þá vera með tillögum góðra manna, að þér haldið ríkinu. En ef þér viljið eigi svo gera, þá hafið þér tapað yðrum sóma, því að hann kemur hér á morgun með svo mikinn her, að yður er eigi lífs von, nema þér látið hann einn öllu ráða.”
11. It is said that one day when King Hermann was sitting in his hall with his court, and people were enjoying themselves, the hall doors opened, and twelve men came in wearing fine clothing. They came before the king. Their leader greeted the king and then said: “We are envoys of that prince, who is no more impressed by you than by an unfinished spur. He has heard that you have a sister who is praised most highly of all the maidens north of the Alps. Now if you do not want to be humiliated by him, then send your sister to him, because his intention is to have her, and then it may be that you get to keep your kingdom, if good men intercede. But if you do not want to do this, then your honour will be lost, because he is coming here tomorrow with such a big army that there is no hope of you surviving, unless you cede complete control to him.”
83.
Konungur leit til hans brosandi og mælti: “Hvert er nafn þitt, góður drengur? Eða hvað heitir konungur sá, er mér gerir slíka kosti?”
The king looked at him smiling and said: “What is your name, good sir? Or what is that king called who presents me with such a choice?”
84.
Hann segir: “Minn lávarður heitir Ermanus, son Mundíans konungs af Svíþjóð hinni köldu. Þar fellur nægra gull en grjót, þar eru menn sterkir sem birnir, en grimmir sem ljón, svo fljótfættir að þeir sigra mjóhunda á rás. Um allt Asía og svo um Eystrasalt eru allir menn við oss hræddir. Ger nú skjótan úrskurð fyrir oss, því að ekki rýfst þér það ég segi.”
He said: “My lord is called Ermanus, son of King Mundían from Sweden the Cold. There gold is more abundant than gravel, and men there are as strong as bears and as vicious as wolves, so fleet of foot that they defeat greyhounds in a race. Throughout Asia and likewise across the Baltic Sea all men fear us. Now make a quick decision for us, because what I say to you won’t fail to come to pass.”
85.
Hermann konungur sagði þá: “Ef þú finnur Ermanus konungsson, þá mátt þú þetta segja honum, að ég hefi ekki numið að lúta nauðugur nokkrum manni, og ekkert já vil ég á hans boðskap gera. En ef hann sækir oss heim, þá munum vér hans heima bíða, en ef hann kemst í brott héðan, þá mun hann það sanna, að aldrei fór hann sér óþarfari ferð.”
King Hermann then said: “If you find Prince Ermanus, then you can tell him this, that I have not taken to bowing unwillingly to any man, and I will not grant his request. And if he visits us, then we shall await him at home, and if he gets away from here, then he will have proof that he never made a more unnecessary journey.”
86.
“Ekki veit ég,” segir Landrés, “hvaðan þú dregur þá dul á þig, að þú svarar svo drembilega slíks manns orðum, því að mér sýnist menn þínir veiklegir og þó ekki margir, og mun þér annað sýnast, þá þú sér hans mikla kappa.”
“I don’t know,” said Landrés, “how you came to be so ill-informed that you would answer so arrogantly the words of such a man, because your men seem weak and in short supply, and you will change your mind when you see his great warriors.”
87.
“Haf engi hót frammi,” segir Hermann konungur. “Séð hefi ég slíka menn mjöl sælda og eta sjálfir sáðirnar.”
“Don’t make any more threats,” said King Hermann. “I have seen such men sift flour and eat the seeds themselves.”
88.
Þá snerist Landrés í brott og kvaddi ekki konung. Konungur talaði þá til sinna manna: “Góðir drengir,” sagði hann, “vér höfum fengið ný tíðindi, og leggið nú til góð ráð, hversu með skal fara að halda vorri sæmd.”
Then Landrés turned away and did not say goodbye to the king. The king then spoke with his men: “Good sirs,” he said, “we have received news so now give me some good advice as to how I should proceed in order to preserve our honour.”
89.
En allir sögðust hans vilja og ráðum fylgja vilja. Hann segir svo: “Aldrei skal ég á flótta leggja fyrir heiðingjum, heldur skulum vér ganga út af borginni og berjast við þá með það lið, sem vér fáum, og megum vér skjótt af atburðum segja. En ef oss tekst það eigi, megum vér halda aftur í borgina, læsa hana og láta hana geyma vor; og mun oss snart koma mikið lið, ef vér gerum boð landsmönnum, og skulum vér aldrei upp gefast, meðan vér getum borgina varið.”
Everyone said they wanted to follow his will and advice. He thus said: “I shall never flee before heathens: rather we shall go out of the city and fight against them with those troops whom we can get, and events will soon reveal to us the outcome. And if we do not succeed, we can fall back into the city, lock it, and let it keep us safe. Many troops will surely come swiftly to us if we send out a call to the people of this country, and we will never surrender as long as we can defend the city.”
90.
Voru nú þangað boð ger um alla nálæga staði. Kom þar hver maður, sem skildi mátti valda, því að konungurinn var svo vinsæll, að allir vildu með honum bæði lifa og deyja. Bjó hver sig og sín herklæði, sem best voru fengin.
A call to arms was now sent out to all the neighbouring regions. Every person who could bear a shield came there, because the king was so popular that everyone wanted both to live and to die alongside him. Each man prepared himself and got ready the best armour that could be had.
91.
12. Þetta sama kveld kom til höfuðborgarinnar Roðgeir jarl með hundrað riddara og vissi enga von í þessu stríði. Konungur fagnaði honum vel. Varð konungur nú glaður við hans komu og sagði honum til sinna vandræða og svo, hver svör hann hafði gefið sendimönnum, og bað hann til leggja góð ráð, hversu með skyldi fara. En hann sagðist eigi kjörið hafa öðruvís svör úr hans hálsi en þessi, “og er betra að falla með heiður en lifa með skömm; og skal ég veita þér slíkt er ég má. Mundi ég fjölmennari hafa verið, ef ég hefði vitað þetta fyrir. Var ég lengi hræddur um það, að ég munda deyja inni á pallstrjám mínum sem kerlingar, og má mig það mikið gleðja, þótt ég falli hér, ef þér yrði nokkuð lið að mér og mínum riddurum. Skulum vér ganga út úr borginni á morgin með alla vora menn og gera þeim svo hart áhlaup, að sá skal betra þykjast hafa, sem fjarri oss er, því að oft eru heiðingjar illir í þrautum.”
12. That same evening Earl Roðgeir came to the capital with a hundred knights and knew nothing of this strife. The king greeted him warmly, cheering up because of his arrival, and told him about his troubles and also each answer that he had given to the envoys, and asked him to proffer any good advice about how to proceed. Roðgeir said that he would not have chosen to utter any other answers than these, “and it is better to die with honour than live with shame. I will help you as much as I can. I would have come with more men, if I had known about this in advance. For a long time I feared that I would die in my bed like an old woman. It would please me greatly, even if I should die here, if I and my knights could be of some help to you. We will leave the city in the morning with all our men and attack them so fiercely, that the further away from us a man is, the better off he will consider himself, because heathens are often poor in a hard struggle.”
92.
Síðan gengu þeir til drykkju og gerðu sig svo glaða sem þeir ætti ekki um að vera og sváfu í náðum um nóttina. En þegar er dagur kom, skorti hvorki lúðragang né vopnabrak í borginni. Gengu þeir þá út af staðnum og á slétta völlu og fylktu liði sínu og settu upp merki sín. Þeir höfðu frítt lið og ekki mikið. Sjá þeir, hvar heiðingjar geysast frá sjó neðan og höfðu svo mikinn her, að það var sem á ísmöl sæi. En þegar þeir finnast, þá slær í hörðustu sókn af hvorumtveggja; mátti þar sjá mörg högg og stór og margan dramblátan heiðingja úr söðli falla og svo hart niður koma, að þeir stóðu aldrei upp síðan.
Afterwards they went to drink and enjoyed themselves as though they had nothing to be concerned about and slept peacefully through the night. But as soon as day came, there was no lack of either the sound of trumpets or the din of weapons in the city. Then they went out from that place and onto the level field and arrayed their troops and raised their banner. They had a fine troop, but not large. They see where the heathens are surging up from the shore, and they had such a huge army that they were like the grains of sand on a beach. When they came together, extremely hard fighting broke out from both sides. Many mighty blows could be seen, as well as many haughty heathens falling out of their saddles and coming down so hard that they never stood up again.
93.
Landrés bar merki Ermanus konungssonar og ruddist um fast. Ermanus konungsson fylgdi sjálfur merkinu og drap menn á tvær hendur sér, og þótti hann líkari tröllum en mennskum mönnum. Roðgeir jarl reið fram karsklega. Háls lágur var á baki fylkingum heiðingja öðrumegin; undir brekkunni hafði hann sett hundrað manna, og skyldu þeir koma heiðingjum í opna skjöldu. Þeir höfðu merki og skyldu bera hátt, svo að sjá mætti upp yfir hálsinn, og sýnt bil á milli merkjanna, og blása allir í lúðra, svo sjá megi merkin, en heyra lúðrablásturinn, og hugðu þeir, að þar mundi undir mikill fjöldi hers. Þar var og undir mikill fjöldi hesta og nauta, svo að heiðingjum skyldi sem mest sýnast tilsýndar.
Landrés bore the banner of Prince Ermanus and cleared the space around himself. Prince Ermanus himself accompanied the banner and killed men on either side of himself. He seemed more like a troll than a human being. Earl Roðgeir rode briskly forth. There was a low ridge behind the heathen troops on the other side. Behind the hill he had placed a hundred men, and the idea was that they would come at the heathens where their guard was down. They had banners and would raise them high, so that they could be seen over the ridge as well as wide gaps between the banners. Every man was to blow a trumpet, so that the banners would be seen and the trumpets heard, and the enemy would think that there must be a massive army back there. There were also a large number of horses and cattle there, so that the heathens would think that the host was extremely large based on appearances.
94.
Nú ríður fram Roðgeir jarl og hans fóstri, Hermann konungur, og verða þar undan að láta heiðingjar, þó fræknir þættu. Sneri Hermann nú á vinstra veg og drepur á lítilli stundu meir en hundrað heiðingja. Roðgeir jarl snýr á móti Landrés; þá lagði Landrés til hans með spjóti og hæfði í brjóst hestinum og upp í gegnum söðulbogann. Tók þá skjöldurinn við, og var hann svo harður, að ekki festi á honum. Hann rétti upp hestinn, svo hann stóð á eftri fótunum. En jarlinn stökk af baki og kom standandi niður. Hann skaut sínu spjóti til Landrés, og kom í augað, því að hvergi var bert annars staðar, og gekk út um hnakkann; var það hans bani. En Roðgeir jarl hljóp þegar á hest hans og reið djarflega í mót heiðingjum.
Now Earl Roðgeir and his foster-son, King Hermann, rode forth, and the heathens had to give way, though they seemed brave. Now Hermann turned to the left and killed a hundred heathens in a short while. Earl Roðgeir turned to attack Landrés. Landrés then lashed out at him with a spear, and it hit his horse in the breast, piercing both it and the saddlebow. It then collided with the shield, but that was so hard that the point was deflected. He made his horse rear so that it stood on its hind legs. The earl, however, sprang down off his horse’s back and landed on his feet. He launched his spear at Landrés, so that it hit him in the eye, because no other spot was unprotected, and it came out the back of his neck. That was the death of him. And Earl Roðgeir immediately mounted his horse and charged boldly into the heathens.
95.
Í þessu bili komu bakjarlar upp á hólinn með liði sínu og gerðu mikið af sér, blésu í hvella lúðra, og sýndist heiðingjum það lið svo mikið, að þeir örvæntu sér liðs og flýðu þegar til skipa. En Ermanus kallar hátt og bað mannhunda ekki flýja að engri raun. Þeir voru og margir, að ekki létu sem heyrðu, hvað hann sagði. Hann reiddist Roðgeiri jarli og lagði til hans með spjóti. En Roðgeir jarl hafði ærið um að vera, því að hann hafði þá nýdrepið einn kappa. Lagið kom í millum herðanna og gekk út um brjóstið, og vó hann upp og kastaði honum yfir hina næstu þrjá, svo að hvert bein brotnaði í honum, er hann kom niður.
At that moment men arrived on the hilltop with the rear-attack troop and drew attention to themselves, blowing in shrill trumpets. The heathens thought the host was so big that they lost all hope of taking them on and immediately fled to the ships. But Ermanus shouted loudly and ordered the scoundrels not to flee without having tested themselves. There were many who pretended not to have heard what he said. He became furious with Earl Roðgeir and drove his spear at him. Earl Roðgeir was fully occupied, having just killed a noted warrior. The blow struck him between the shoulder blades and came out through his chest, lifting him up and throwing him over the three nearest men, so that every bone in his body broke when he hit the ground.
96.
Þetta getur að líta Hermann konungur og verður nú ákaflega reiður og vill hefna síns fóstra eða fá skjótan dauða. Ríður hann til móts við Ermanus konungsson, þar sem hann brýst um, og þegar þeir til nást, höggur hvor til annars og klýfur hvor annars skjöld að endilöngu. Sverð Ermanus konungssonar kom á lær Hermanni konungi, og var það mikið sár, svo að í beini stóð. Hermann konungur hjó í mót Ermanus konungssyni um þvert andlitið, svo í sundur tók höfuðið í einu, svo að í jörðu nam staðar. Þetta hið mikla högg óttast allir heiðingjar, og flýja allir, hver sem því mátti við koma, sumir til skipa, en sumir annarstaðar. En konungur rekur flóttann og drepur af slíkt, er hann getur, og af öllum þeim fjölda komst ekki meira á brott en eitt skip, og voru þeir þó illa leiknir. Venti konungur nú aftur miklum sigri og skiptir herfangi miklu með sínum mönnum. En þá er hann kom heim frá bardaganum, þá hafði hann eigi meira en hundrað menn, þá sem liðfærir voru, og voru þeir þó mjög sárir.
King Hermann was able to see that and became now exceedingly angry and wanted to avenge his foster-father or die a quick death. He charged over to where Prince Ermanus was fighting as hard as he could, and when they came together, each lashed out at the other, and they split each other’s shields from top to bottom. Prince Ermanus’ sword struck King Hermann in the thigh, and the wound was so deep that it stuck in the bone. King Hermann struck Prince Ermanus across the face, splitting his head in a single cut, and the sword came to a stop in the ground. All the heathens were terrified upon seeing this great blow, and those who could, fled, some to the ships and others elsewhere. But the king pursued those who were fleeing and killed those whom he could, and out of all of them not more than a single ship got away, and even they were the worse for wear. The king now turned back having won a great victory and divided the large amount of booty among his men. Yet when he came home from the battle, he had no more than a hundred men who were in a decent state, and they were nevertheless severely wounded.
97.
13. Þá var eigi langt að bíða, áður Jarlmann kom heim með frú Ríkilát, og varð konungurinn við það furðu glaður og fagnaði þeim með mikilli gleði og blíðu. Sagði hvor öðrum slíkt, er gerst hafði, og þótti hvorumtveggja mikils verð annars frægð. Þakkaði konungur Jarlmanni með mörgum fögrum orðum sína festarkonu Ríkilát. Tekur hún að græða sár konungs og þeirra manna, sem mest þurftu. Sáu menn brátt, að hún var afbragð annarra kvenna bæði til vænleiks og visku; því felldu allir góðan hug til hennar. Hún gerði sér alla góða menn að vinum; hún var blíð og lítillát við alla.
13. There was not long to wait before Jarlmann came home with Lady Ríkilát, and the king was overjoyed and welcomed them with great happiness and affection. They told each other what had happened, and each of them thought highly of how the other had distinguished himself. The king thanked Jarlmann with many fine words for his bride-to-be, Ríkilát. She set to work healing the king’s wounds as well as those of the men who most required attention. People soon saw that she surpassed other women, both in beauty and wisdom. For this reason everybody warmed to her. She befriended all the good people and was gentle and humble with everyone.
98.
Nú er Hermann konungur gróinn sára sinna, en svo mikil mannfæð orðin í hans ríki, að hann þóttist eigi mega halda sitt brúðlaup með fullri sæmd, fyrr en hann hafði gert sínum vinum boð og búist svo við sem honum þætti vel sóma, og sendir hann nú sína menn víða í brott að kaupa þeim föng, sem þurfti, og bjóða þeim til, sem hann vildi koma láta. En nokkru síðar en þeir voru brott farnir, gerðist Hermann konungur nokkuð ókátur, og fór svo fram nokkra stund, og undruðust allir það. Nú kemur frú Ríkilát að máli við Jarlmann og mælir svo til hans: “Góði vinur,” sagði hún, “hvað mun valda konungur er svo óglaður?”
King Hermann’s wounds had now healed, but the population of the kingdom was so greatly depleted that he did not think he could hold his wedding feast with full honour before he had invited his friends and made such preparations as would confer distinction upon himself. He now sends his men far and wide to buy the necessary provisions and to invite those whom he wanted to have present. And some time after they had set out, King Hermann became somewhat dejected and remained thus for a while, and everyone wondered about this. Lady Ríkilát now came to speak with Jarlmann and said the following to him: “Good friend,” she said, “what can be making the king so unhappy?”
99.
“Þér munuð það vita, frú,” sagði hann, “því að ég hefi ei hann að spurt. Eða hvers getið þér til?” segir hann.
“You ought to know that, my lady,” he said, “because I haven’t asked him. What is your guess?” he said.
100.
“Ei vildi eg, að af mér stæði,” sagði hún.
“I don’t want it to be because of me,” she said.
101.
“Með yðru lofi, frú,” segir hann, “þá mun ég eftir spyrja og vita, ef ég kann vís verða, hvað honum stendur fyrir gleði.”
“With your permission, my lady,” he said, “I shall enquire and find out whether I can ascertain what is standing in the way of his happiness.”
102.
“Alls er ég ófús um það,” sagði hún, “því að illt mun af standa, ef svo fer sem mig grunar.”
“I am far from happy about this,” she said, “because it will turn out badly if it goes as I suspect.”
103.
Jarlmann gengur nú fyrir konung, og ganga þeir á málstefnu. Jarlmann talar þá til konungs: “Seg mér, kæri vin, hvað veldur þinni miklu ógleði, er þér hafið fengið? Ertu reiður manni nokkrum? Eða þykist þú ekki svo giftur sem þú vildir? Eða kemur nokkuð til mín af þessu máli, þá skal ég gjarna um bæta, ef ég má.”
Jarlmann now goes before the king, and they have a conversation. Jarlmann says to the king: “Tell me, dear friend, what is the cause of this great sadness which has taken hold of you? Are you angry with somebody? Or is your planned marriage not to your liking? Or if this matter is in any way related to me, then I’ll gladly make reparations, if I can.”
104.
Konungur svarar máli hans: “Góður vin,” segir hann, “það tregar mig að segja, en þó með því að þú spyr eftir, þá vil ég eigi leyna þig, hvað mér býr í skapi: Konan líst mér ágæta vel, og eigi kjósi ég öðruvís, ef ég mætti njóta. En nú uggir mig, að hún unni þér betur en mér, og munt þú fífla hana fyrir mér.”
The king responds to his entreaties: “Good friend,” he says, “it grieves me to say so, but since you ask, I don’t want to hide from you what I have on my mind. I am extremely happy with this woman and I would not choose any other, putting my satisfaction first. But now I fear that she loves you more than me, and that you will lure her away from me.”
105.
Þá svarar Jarlmann: “Það er satt, sem mælt er,” segir hann, “að ‘hvarkvæm er ástin.’ Hún kveikir það jafnan í mannsins brjósti, sem honum má mest angur að verða. Og er slíkt ólíkleg ætlan, að ég mundi svíkja yður hér í yðru landi, því að það kann ég segja yður, að kost átti ég að fá hennar, þá ég var út í Grikklandi, að frænda ráði, og vildi ég þá ekki heita drottinssvikari heldur en nú. En ég má þetta böl skjótt bæta. Ég skal mig af þínum garði skilja og aldrei koma þér til skapraunar fyrir hennar augu.”
Then Jarlmann answers: “It is true what they say,” he says, “that ‘love pervades everything.’ It always kindles those feelings in a man’s heart which can cause him the most grief. And it is a pretty unrealistic scenario that I would betray you here in your country, because I can tell you this, that I had the opportunity to get her when I was away in Greece, on the advice of her kinsmen, and I did not want to be called a traitor to my master any more then than now. And I can quickly ease your distress. I shall leave your residence and never trouble you in her presence.”
106.
“Það er mér óbætilegur skaði,” segir konungur, “að missa þína náveru.”
“It is an irreparable loss for me,” says the king, “to lose you.”
107.
“Fyrir öllu því má eigi svo vera,” segir Jarlmann.
“Considering everything, it cannot be otherwise,” says Jarlmann.
108.
Skilja þeir nú sitt mál. Kallar Jarlmann á sína menn og biður þá taka sína hesta og búast á brott sem skjótast máttu þeir. Hann gengur fyrir Ríkilát og biður hana orlofs að fara heim í sitt ríki. Hún bað hann vel fara, og gat hún ekki fleira við hann mælt fyrir harmi. Hann gekk fyrir konung og kvaddi hann og reið síðan á brott með alla sína menn, og kunnu því allir illa, og léttu þeir ei, fyrr en hann kom heim í sitt ríki. Urðu menn honum fegnir. Tók hann sitt ríki og settist um kyrrt.
They now ended their conversation. Jarlmann called his men and asked them to fetch their horses and get ready to leave as quickly as they could. He went to Ríkilát and asked her permission to go home to his fief. She wished him a safe journey and could not say anything else to him on account of her sorrow. He went before the king and took his leave and then rode away with all his men, and everyone felt unhappy, and they did not stop until he came home to his fief. People were overjoyed to see him. He took charge of his fief and settled in.
109.
14. Það bar nú þessu næst til tíðinda, að til hirðar Hermanns konungs komu tólf menn; þeir voru allir í svörtum kuflum; þeir höfðu síða höttu. Þeir gengu fyrir konung og kvöddu hann. Konungur spurði, hvað mönnum þeir væri. Þeir sögðust Kuflunga heita og komnir vestan af Afríka og sögðust vera smiðir og nefndu margar borgir og kastala, er þeir höfðu smíðað, og mörg tíðindi kunnu þeir að segja. Þótti konungi skemmtan mikil að hverju þeirra orði. Konungur spurði, hvort þeir vildu smíða sér eina höll, svo mikla sem honum þætti hófleg að drekka í sitt brúðlaup. En þeir sögðu, að það skyldi með hans forsjá vera. Voru þeim þá fengnir þrælar og þjónustumenn; tóku þeir til hallarsmíðisins; þeir voru bæði hagir og fljótsmíðir. Sá konungur, að þeir voru miklir meistarar; þeir voru víðförlir og forvitnir. Mörgum var forvitni á að vita, hvaða mönnum þeir voru. En konungi þótti allt sem þeir töluðu fyrir honum. Ríkilát var jafnan ókát, síðan Jarlmann fór á brott, og lét þó sem minnst á sér finna.
14. Now the next noteworthy thing that happened was that twelve men came to the court of King Hermann. They were all wearing black cowled cloaks with low-hanging hoods. They went before the king and greeted him. The king asked who they were. They said that they were called the Kuflungar and had come from Africa in the West and that they were craftsmen, naming many cities and castles that they had built. They were able to give news of many things. The king enjoyed listening to them. He asked whether they would build him a hall, so big that he would think it fitting to hold his wedding in. They said that his wish was their command. Then slaves and servants were found for them, and they began building the hall. They were both skilled and swift in their work. The king saw that they were true master-craftsmen: they were widely travelled and inquisitive. Many people were curious about who they really were. But the king believed everything they told him. Ríkilát was always unhappy after Jarlmann had left, but did not let it show at all.
110.
Líður nú svo, að höllin er búin fyrir jól. Setur konungur nú brúðlaup sitt og sendir boð Jarlmanni, fóstbróður sínum. En hann vill ekki koma hið fyrsta kveld veislunnar. Konungur kallar Kuflunga til sín og þakkaði þeim smíðina, biður þá sjálfa kjósa sér laun fyrir. En þeir sögðust nóg hafa fé, en báðu konung veita sér þá virðingu að gefa þeim að drekka í brúðlaupinu í konungshöllinni. En með því að konungur sá, að þeir voru hæverskir og kunnu vel að þjóna, veitti hann þeim það.
And it comes to pass that the hall is finished before Yule. The king now sets a date for his wedding and sends an invitation to Jarlmann, his sworn brother, but Jarlmann does not want to come to the first evening of the feast. Now the king summoned the Kuflungs and thanked them for their work, asking them to choose their reward. They said that they had plenty of money, but asked the king to honour them by allowing them to serve him his drink at the wedding in the royal hall. And since the king could see that they were courtly men and knew well how to serve, he granted them that.
111.
Tólf hundruð manna sátu inni í konungshöllu og að auki brúðurin og hennar frúr. Þeir bera mönnum svo ákaflega drykk, að af töfrum þeirra fellur hver maður niður sofinn í sínu rúmi. En menn brúðgumans og brúðarinnar og allir menn í höllinni vakna eigi, fyrr en sól skín á alla glugga í borginni, og var þá horfin brúðurin úr höllinni og allir Kuflungar, en hallargólfið í sundur og kominn upp kolblár sjór.
Twelve hundred people sat inside the royal hall, along with the bride and her ladies. The Kuflungs were so excessive at bringing everyone drink that, through their magic, everyone fell down asleep in their place. And neither the bridegroom nor the bride’s parties, nor anyone else in the hall, woke before the sun was shining down upon all the windows in the city, and by that time the bride had disappeared from the hall along with all the Kuflungs, and the hall floor had cracked, and up through it had come coal-black seawater.
112.
Nú hlaupa menn upp, og er nú mikið kall og þys um alla borgina og víðar annarstaðar, og finnst ekki til hennar. Eigi finna sporhunda þeirra för, og hvorki völvur né vísindamenn kunnu nokkuð til hennar að spyrja. Var hennar svo leitað allan þann mánuð, og fannst hún hvergi. Þótti þetta mörgum mikil tíðindi, og voru ýmsar getur um það hafðar, hvað af henni mundi orðið hafa. Sumir hugðu hún mundi numin í brott af tröllum, sumir ætluðu, að galdrar mundu hafa sótt hana, sumir ætluðu hún mundi hafa sokkið í jörðina, sem hallargólfið hefði sundur sprungið, og mundu Kuflungar verið hafa úr undirheimum og árar fjandans.
Now everyone leapt up, and a great hue and cry was raised throughout the whole city and far beyond, but Ríkilát was nowhere to be found. Tracker-dogs cannot find their path, and neither sybils nor sages were able to get any news of her. She was sought in this way for a whole month, but was not found. People thought this a major development, and various theories arose as to what might have become of her. Some thought that she must have been abducted by trolls; some that she had been compelled by magic; and others thought that she must have sunk into the earth where the hall floor had broken apart, and that the Kuflungs must have been from the Underworld and servants of the Devil.
113.
Þetta fékk Hermanni konungi svo, að hann gáði ekki ríkis síns, og lagðist hann í rekkju af harmi. Mátti svo að kveða, að allir stæði þar í sorg og gráti. Þetta frétti Jarlmann, og þótti honum úr vöndu að ráða, býr sig og sína menn og reið til Vernissuborgar, kom þar snemma morgins og gekk í það loft, er konungur var inni, og talaði svo til hans: “Bæði er hér,” segir hann, “að mjúkt hold er spennt,” segir hann, “enda sofið þér nú lengi.”
All this affected Hermann so much that he neglected his kingdom and took to his bed out of sorrow. It is fair to say that everyone there was overwhelmed with sorrow and weeping. Jarlmann heard about this, and it seemed to him a difficult matter to solve. He prepared himself and his men and rode to Vernissuborg, arriving there early in the morning, and went to the upper room, where the king was, and said this to him: “It may well be that this is also the place where soft bodies are embraced,” he says, “but you’re certainly sleeping late.”
114.
Konungur kenndi mál hans og sagði: “Góður vin, eigi skaltu spotta mig. Legg mér heldur góð ráð, því að ég er þurftugur þeirra.”
The king recognized his voice and said: “Dear friend, don’t mock me. Instead, give me some good advice, because I am in need of it.”
115.
“Eigi mun svo illa til hafa borið,” segir Jarlmann, “að þú hafir misst Ríkilát, þótt eigi fíflda ég hana frá þér.”
“Things needn’t have turned out so badly,” said Jarlmann, “considering that you seem to have lost Ríkilát, even though I didn’t seduce her away from you.”
116.
“Því var misráðið, fóstbróðir,” segir konungur, “og fyrirgef þú mér það.”
“That was all a mistake, my sworn brother,” says the king, “and forgive me for that.”
117.
“Allt er annað tiltækilegra,” segir Jarlmann, “en að syrgja orðinn skaða. Rís heldur upp, og gefum síðan góð ráð, ef við kunnum. En ekki mundi Ríkilát í brott, ef ég hefði hér verið.”
“Anything is preferable,” says Jarlmann, “to crying over spilt milk. So get up, and we will come up with a good plan, if we can. But Ríkilát wouldn’t be gone if I’d been here too.”
118.
Ganga síðan inn í höllina. Tekur nú konungur að hressast, og taka síðan tal með sér.
Then they go into the hall. The king starts to cheer up, and they start to converse.
119.
15. Litlu síðar lætur Jarlmann búa eitt skip og hefir þar á ellefu manna, og skyldu þeir þjóna til skips, sem kænastir voru til segls og stjórnar, en þrjátigir skyldu vera hans sporgöngumenn. Gull og silfur skorti þar ei og allar gersemar, svo að enginn kunni marka tal. Hann talaði við Hermann konung: “Nú mun ég fara að leita eftir Ríkilát, hvort sem ég get hana fundið eða eigi. En til þess máttu ætla, að nær sem ég geri þér boð, þá kom þú til mín með svo marga menn sem ég kveð á og fé sem ég vil hafa, og ætlið svo til, að þar liggi við bæði hennar líf og mitt, ef þér komið eigi í nefndan tíma.”
15. Not long after, Jarlmann had a ship prepared with a crew of eleven men, and those who were chosen were the most skilful in sailing and navigating. In addition he took thirty men to assist him when needed. They had gold and silver and many kinds of jewels in such abundance that no one could count them. Jarlmann then spoke to King Hermann: “Now I will go to search for Ríkilát, to see whether I can find her or not. You can be sure that as soon as I send you word, you should come to me with as many men as I request and as much wealth as I require, and bear in mind that both her life and mine will be at stake if you don’t turn up at the appointed time.”
120.
Eftir það skildust þeir fóstbræður, og sigldi Jarlmann í haf. Hann hafði valið með sér brott af landinu þá menn, sem vaskastir eru. Sigla þeir nú leið sína ávallt, þegar byr gefur, og fara svo land af landi, og hefir Jarlmann forsögn á ferð þeirra, og er ekki getið um þeirra ferðir, hvað til tíðinda yrði, fyrr en um haustið. Þá voru þeir komnir út á Serkland hið mikla. Þar réð sá konungur fyrir, sem að Rúdent hét. Hann var svo gamall, að engi maður í því landi mundi nær hann hafði konungdóm tekið. Hann átti einn son, og var frilluson konungs, því að konungur var ógiftur. Nú kallar Jarlmann saman sína menn og talar svo til þeirra: “Góðir drengir,” segir hann, “nú er þar komið, að mér þykir á liggja, að þér farið mínum ráðum fram. Skulu þér nú breyta nafni mínu og kalla mig Austvestan, en hvað sem ég segi af ferðum vorum eða tíðindum úr öðrum löndum, þá skuluð þér það sanna. Látið mig fyrir svörum vera, hvers sem spurt er, en ef uppvíst verður, af hverju landi að vér erum, þá er það bani vor allra.”
After that the sworn brothers parted, and Jarlmann sailed out to sea. He had chosen all the most valiant men to accompany him on his journey. They now sailed, wind permitting, without stopping and travelled thus from land to land, with Jarlmann giving instructions for their journey. Nothing is mentioned about what happened on their travels until autumn, by which time they had arrived at Serkland the Great. A king named Rúdent ruled there. He was so old that there was no one in that land who remembered when he had taken power. He had one son, by a concubine, because he was unmarried. Now Jarlmann calls his companions together and addresses them thus: “My good men,” he says, “now we are at the point where I think it is essential that you proceed according to my orders. You must now change my name and call me Austvestan, and whatever I say about our travels or about news from other countries, you must corroborate. Leave all the questions to me, whatever they ask about—and if where we are really from becomes known, then we are all done for.”
121.
Þeir lofuðu allir á sína trú að gera sem hann bauð. Síðan gengur Jarlmann heim til borgarinnar með þrítuganda mann. Hann gengur fyrir konung við tólf, en aðrir kompánar stóðu úti og geymdu þeirra vopna. Hann kvaddi konung hæversklega; hann þurfti ekki túlk fyrir sér. Konungur tók vel kveðju hans ok spurði, hvað manna hann væri. Hann sagðist Austvestan heita: “Ég er fjarlægur yðru landi fæddur; ég á bróður, er heitir Norðsunnan. Við höfum tekið nafn af iðju okkarri, því að við höfum farið um allan heim, annar austur, en annar vestur. Við höfum farið víða og þess heit strengt að þjóna þeim einum konungi, sem okkur þykir allan höfðingskap hafa og engan hlut á skorta og okkur er svo eftirlátur, að við megum engan hlut að finna. Nú höfum við spurt til yðrar tignar, og hafa allir eitt um það mælt, að engi sé yðar líki. Því vildi ég dveljast hér hjá yður, þangað til er minn bróðir kemur, því að ég hefi nóg fé að leggja fyrir mig og mína menn.”
They all solemnly vowed to do as he asked. Afterwards Jarlmann headed to the city as one of thirty men. He went before the king with twelve, and his other companions waited outside and looked after their weapons. He greeted the king courteously: he had no need of an interpreter. The king received his greeting well and asked who he was. He said that he was called Austvestan: “I was born far from your land. I have a brother, who is called Norðsunnan. Our names come from our labour, because we have travelled throughout the whole world, one the east and the other the west. We have travelled far and wide and vowed to serve only the king who seems to us to display the qualities of a perfect ruler, with no defect, and who is so generous to us that we can find no fault. We have now heard about your glory, and everyone has said the same, that there is no man like you. So I would like to remain here with you until my brother arrives, since I have enough money to see to myself and my men.”
122.
Konungur svarar máli hans: “Velkominn skaltu hjá mér, svo lengi sem þig lystir að dveljast hér. Hversu marga menn hefir þú?”
The king replies to his speech: “You will be welcome here with me as long as you desire to remain here. How many men do you have?”
123.
“Vér erum fjörutigir,” segir hann, “með eitt skip.”
“Forty altogether,” he says, “with one ship.”
124.
Konungur kallaði sína menn, að þeir skyldu taka hans skip og upp setja og hirða reiðann vandlega, en skipaði þeim sæmilega steinhöll að hirða í sína peninga og sjálfir í að liggja. Hann skipaði þeim sæmileg sæti í sinni höll; sína menn lætur hann úr sætum ganga fyrir þeim. Nú færa þeir heim sinn varning og tjalda sína höll og búast um sæmilega.
The king called his men, saying that they should take his ship, draw it ashore and take good care of it. He also arranged a stone hall where they could store their money as well as sleep. He arranged fine seats for them in his own hall, and had his own men give up their seats to them. Now they take their wares home and decked out their hall with tapestries and arranged it beautifully.
125.
Næsta dag eftir gengur Austvestan fyrir konung og kvaddi hann virðulega og þakkaði honum fyrir góðar viðtökur. “Vildi ég gjarna þiggja, að þér kæmuð í mína höll í dag með svo marga menn sem þér viljið, og hún tekur, og sjáið vorn fararblóma.”
The following day Austvestan went before the king and greeted him respectfully and thanked him for the warm reception. “I would be honoured if you would come to my hall today with as many people as you wish and as it can accommodate, and so see how splendidly our expedition has been decked out.”
126.
Konungur játaði honum þessu, og lætur Austvestan búa sitt borð sæmilega. Kemur konungur þar með sína menn. Rís þar upp hin sæmilegasta veisla. Austvestan gengur nú brott og með honum hans fjórir sveinar, koma inn aftur og bera stórar töskur fullar af gulli og gersemum. Hann gengur að þeim manni, sem sat við hallardyr, og gefur honum sverð gott og einn mikinn gullhring; öðrum gaf hann hjálm og brynju, og öllum gefur hann sæmilegar gjafir, sem þar voru inni, og engi maður þá minna af honum en þrjú pund gulls. Konungi gefur hann einn skjöld, þann sem eigi kostaði minna en hundrað punda gulls. En áður konungur gengur á brott af veislunni, býður hann Austvestan þriggja nátta veislu með öllum sínum mönnum heim í konungsgarð.
The king agreed to this, and Austvestan had his table fittingly decked out. The king came there with his men, and the most splendid feast began. Austvestan now left, along with his four young servants, and they came back in with huge bags full of gold and jewels. He went up to the man who sat by the hall doors and gave him a good sword and one large gold ring. To the next he gave a helmet and mailcoat, and to all who were there he gave wonderful gifts, and no one received less from him than three pounds of gold. To the king he gave a certain shield, which did not cost less than one hundred pounds of gold. And before the king left the feast, he invited Austvestan along with all his men to a three-night feast at his home in the palace.
127.
Austvestan fer nú til þeirrar veislu með sínum mönnum, og er þar mikill fagnafundur. Gefur konungur honum sæmilegar gjafir, svo að miklu voru þær meira verðs en hann hafði áður gefið, og öllum hans mönnum gaf hann nokkuð. En hinn síðasta dag veislunnar stóð Austvestan upp og beiddi konung orlofs að tala sitt erindi, en konungur beiddi þegar hljóðs.
Austvestan then went to that feast with his men, and there was a joyous encounter there. The king gave him wondrous gifts, such that they were worth much more than those Austvestan had previously given, and he gave something to each one of Austvestanʼs men. And on the last day of the feast, Austvestan stood up and asked the king for permission to explain what had brought him there, and the king immediately called for silence.
128.
16. Austvestan hóf svo sitt mál: “Þakka viljum vér konungi allan sóma, sem hann gerir oss, og mun ég því lýsa, að ég hefi nú farið um allan heiminn og sótt heim höfðingja og kannað þeirra siðu, og mun ég það mæla, að ég hefi engan slíkan fundið sem þennan höfðingja, er ég hefi nú heimsótt, og af því að mér líkar hér vel, þá vildi ég, að engi maður hlyti hér illt af mér. Þó má ei illt varast, nema viti, og vil ég segja yður löst á mér: ég er svo forvitinn maður, að ég vildi allt vita, en ef ég verð nokkurs vís, þá má ég engu leyna, og verð ég allt að segja. Ég stend upp um nætur, og geng ég að forvitnast, hvað menn tala, ef ég kann nokkurs vís verða. Því má hver maður varast að tala ekki fleira, en hirða ei, hve nær upp kemur.”
16. Austvestan began to speak: “We want to thank the king for all the honour that he has shown us, and I want to let it be known that I have now travelled throughout the whole world and visited rulers and become familiar with their ways, and I must say that I have never met anyone like this ruler who I am visiting now. And because I like it here, I do not want to do wrong by anyone. However, precaution is hardest in ignorance, and I want to admit to you one of my faults. I am so curious that I want to know everything, and if I come to learn of something, I am not capable of concealing it and will say everything. I get up in the night and walk about in order to pry into people’s conversations and see whether I can learn something. For that reason every man must take care not to say more than he cares to come up in discussion.”
129.
Konungur segir, að þetta mun margan henda, þótt eigi segi svo fyrir. “Og við mundir þú vara, ef að meira væri.”
The king said that this is pertinent advice for many a man, even had they not been previously warned. “And you will warn us, if something more comes of this.”
130.
Slítur nú veislunni. Er Austvestan nú með konungi í góðum kærleika, og er hann nú svo vinsæll maður, að allir vilja svo sitja og standa sem hann vill, og líður svo veturinn fram til jóla.
The feast now comes to an end. Austvestan and the king are now on very friendly terms, and he is such a popular man that everybody is at his beck and call, and the winter passes until Yule arrives.
131.
Hið fyrsta kveld jóla var sæmileg veisla og mikill drykkjuskapur. Er Austvestan á gangi þessa nátt, sem hann var vanur. Hann gengur nú undir eitt loft og heyrir, að þar talast við þrír riddarar. Einn mælti svo: “Gott mun hér að öðrum jólum,” segir hann.
On the first evening of Yule there was a magnificent feast and much drinking. Austvestan was out and about that night, as was his custom. He was walking in a loft space and heard three knights talking to each other. One spoke thus: “It will be good here next Yule,” he said.
132.
“Því þá betra en nú?” sagði annar. “Mér þykir jafnan til sanns að ætla um það.”
“Why better then than now?” said the second, “I reckon in truth that people always think that.”
133.
“Víst mun þá meira við haft,” segir hann, “að konungur heldur sitt brúðlaup.”
“It will certainly be a grander affair then,” he said, “because the king will be celebrating his wedding.”
134.
“Hvort talar þú drukkinn,” segir hann, “eða hversu víkja við orð þín? Eða hver er sú kona, sem hann ætlar að fá sér?”
“Are you drunk?” he said, “or what are you getting at with these words of yours? Who is this woman whom he intends to marry?”
135.
Riddarinn segir, sem áður hafði þagað: “Talið ekki svo margt,” sagði hann, “þið vitið ekki, nema Austvestan sé nær og heyri til, hvað þið talið.”
The knight now spoke, the one who had been silent up till then: “Don’t talk so much,” he said, “you don’t know whether Austvestan is nearby and listening in on what you say.”
136.
“Það má ei vera,” segir hann, “því að ég sá, að hann gekk að sofa, áður vér fórum hingað. Þið verðið að segja mér,” segir hann, “nokkuð af þessu efni, því að vér höfum trúlofað, að hver skal með öðrum vita alla þá hluti, sem við bera.”
“There’s no chance of that,” he said, “because I saw him go to sleep before we came here. You have to tell me,” he said, “something about this matter, because we have sworn that each of us shall share what we learn with the others.”
137.
“Hefir þú ekki frétt,” segir hann, “að konungur sendi Kuflunga að sækja Ríkilát hina vænu? Hún er svo fögur, að gull er á henni allt handarbakið, og þá er hún kom heim, varð konungur henni feginn og vildi þegar gera brúðlaup til hennar. Hún bað fresta til þriðju jóla, og kvaðst hún þá skyldi vel una. Þá vildi konungur kyssa hana, en hún kveðst það mundi veita honum, ef hann gerði þá bæn, sem hún beiddi. Hann spurði, hver sú væri. En hún bað hann láta drepa alla Kuflunga fyrir augum sér, svo hún sæi á, og það veitti konungur henni.”
“Have you not heard,” he said, “that the king sent the Kuflungs to fetch Ríkilát the Beautiful? She is so fair that the back of her hand is completely golden, and when she came to live here, the king was extremely glad to see her and wanted to organize a wedding immediately. She asked that it be put off until the third Yule, and said that she would then be happy to proceed. The king then wanted to kiss her, but she said that she would allow him that if he would grant a request which she made. He asked what that was, and she asked him to have all of the Kuflungs killed before her very eyes, so that she might look on, and the king granted her that.”
138.
“Hvar er þessi mey geymd?” sögðu hinir.
“Where is this maiden hidden away?” the others said.
139.
“Það er oss bannað að segja,” sagði hann.
“It is forbidden for us to say that,” he said.
140.
“Til hefir þú látið hið meira,” sögðu hinir.
“You’ve said a lot more up to this point,” the others said.
141.
“Veist þú eigi,” sagði hann, “að konungur á sér móðursystur, sem heitir Þorbjörg hin digra? Hún býr í fjallinu Baldak, er norðast er á Serklandi. Henni þjóna mörg tröll. Þar er geymd Ríkilát í einum glersal; skal hún þaðan ei koma, fyrr en hún er sótt á brúðbekk.”
“Do you not know,” he said, “that the king has an aunt, his mother’s sister, who is called Þorbjörg the Stout? She lives on the mountain named Baldak, which is in the northernmost part of Serkland. Many trolls serve her. Ríkilát is kept there in a glass chamber. She won’t leave that place until she is brought to her wedding.”
142.
“Mikið þótti mér konungurinn til vinna að kyssa hana, eða hvað mundi henni til ganga, að hún vildi svo gera? Og undur þótti mér, að hann vann það til, svo mikla gersemi sem þeir sóttu honum.”
“I think the king achieved a great thing in kissing her, but what was in it for her that she wanted to do this? It seems amazing to me that he did what he did after they had fetched such a great treasure for him.”
143.
“Því gerði hann svo,” segir hinn, “að hann þóttist nóga hafa slíka, en hún óttaðist, að þeir mundu þekkja, ef nokkur af hennar liði kæmi til hjálpar henni.”
“He did so,” says the other, “because he thought that he had enough such men, but she feared that they would recognize at once if any of her friends came to her aid.”
144.
Austvestan skellur nú upp og hlær og gengur í brott; en þeir urðu mjög hræddir, og segir sá, sem þagað hafði, að nú væri betur ótalað, en riddari svarar: “Austvestan er svo góður drengur,” segir hann, “því hann lætur sem hann muni ekki þekkja oss, en vér skulum eigi sjálfir frá segja.”
Austvestan now howled and laughed and went away, but they were really frightened, and the one who had remained silent said that such things would have been better left unsaid, but the knight responded: “Austvestan is such a good fellow,” he said, “that he will act as if he doesn’t know us, and we should say nothing of it ourselves.”
145.
Fóru þeir nú að sofa, og leið svo þessi nótt.
They now went to sleep, and the night drew on.
146.
17. Næsta morgun var Austvestan snemma á fótum og kvaddi konung á málstefnu og mælti svo til hans: “Ég hefi fengið nokkur ný tíðindi í nótt,” segir hann, “að þér eigið yður festarmey og hér mun niður komin Ríkilát hin fagra, er þeir leita um alla Norðurálfuna, en hennar festarmann kvað vera sprunginn af harmi.”
17. The next morning Austvestan got up early and asked to speak to the king and said the following to him: “I have heard some news during the night,” he says, “that a woman is betrothed to you, and Ríkilát the Beautiful must have come down here, she whom everybody searches for in the North, and the man she was betrothed to is said to be overwhelmed with grief.”
147.
“Hver hefir þér þetta sagt?” segir konungur.
“Who has told you this?” said the king.
148.
“Eigi kenndi ég þá menn,” sagði hann, “en heyrði ég, að þeir töluðu, og eigi vissu þeir, hvar ég var.”
“I didnʼt know those men,” he said, “but I heard them when they spoke and they didnʼt know that I was there.”
149.
“Hér hefi ég mikið við lagt,” segir konungur, “ef nokkur segði þetta, að sá skyldi engu fyrir týna nema lífinu. En nú bið ég þig, að þú hafir sem minnst orð um þetta.”
“I have promised serious consequences,” said the king, “if someone should speak of this, and that person should lose his life straight away. And now I ask you to be as discrete as possible about this.”
150.
“Það má ég vel gera,” segir Austvestan, “því að ég hefi nú mína forvitni í ljós látna fyrir yður.”
“I can certainly do that,” said Austvestan, “since now I have been open to you about my curiosity.”
151.
Og skildu þeir nú sitt tal að sinni.
And that was the end of their conversation for the time being.
152.
En litlu síðar talar Austvestan við konung: “Mikil forvitni er mér á,” segir hann, “að sjá yðra festarmey, og mundi ég mikið til gefa.”
But a short while later Austvestan speaks to the king: “I’m very curious,” he says, “to meet your betrothed, and I would give a lot to make that come to pass.”
153.
En konungur svarar: “Það má ei gerast,” segir hann, “utan með miklum fékostnaði, því að Þorbjörg kemur eigi af sínu ríki með minna kostnað en hálfa lest gulls.”
The king answers: “That cannot happen,” he says, “unless a great deal of money is paid, because Þorbjörg does not leave her realm for less than half a ship’s load of gold.”
154.
En Austvestan svarar og segist allt vilja til leggja, “því að ég hefi nóg fé.”
Austevestan answers and says that he is willing to pay any amount, “because I have plenty of money.”
155.
Konungur segir: “Fyrir okkarn vinskap mun ég þetta veita þér, og gerum ekki orð á fyrir öðrum mönnum.”
The king says: “On account of our friendship I will grant you this, but let us not mention this to other men.”
156.
Austvestan sagði svo vera skyldu.
Austvestan says that it will be so.
157.
Hverfur konungur nú á brott nokkra daga. En þá hann kemur heim, gengur Austvestan á mót honum og öll hirðin; fögnuðu honum vel. Hinn átta dag jóla bað konungurinn alla sína menn gera sig glaða og káta og hafa það til skemmtunar, sem hver vill, “en við Austvestan munum fara tveir saman, og forvitnast engi um okkur.”
The king is now gone for several days. When he comes home, Austvestan and all the court goes to meet him, greeting him warmly. And on the eighth day of Yule the king asks all his men to be glad and cheerful and enjoy whatever entertainment they want, “but the two of us, that is Austvestan and myself, will be going on a journey, and nobody should enquire about us.”
158.
Þessu lofuðu þeir. Gengu þeir tveir á brott frá öðrum. Vissi engi, hvert þeir fóru. Þeir gengu fram í einn dal mikinn. Voru það stuttir vellir. Þar var reist eitt silkitjald á einum hól. Þangað gengu þeir. Risti konungur þar um reit. Síðan blés hann í eina silfurpípu litla. Þá opnuðust hólar þeir, sem þar voru nærri og svo víðar annarstaðar. Koma þar út álfar ok dvergar ok önnur illkvíkindi. Það sótti þangað að, sem þeir voru á vellinum, ok í sinn reit hver þjóð. En gekk konungur út ok þeytti sína pípu. Þá opnuðust gljúfur ok hamrar. Komu þar út bergrisar og tröllkonur og margur ófríður þurs. Þetta kemur og allt þar niður, sem þeir eru. Enn blæs konungur í sínu pípu. Stundu síðar sjá þeir opnast fjallið Kaldbak, og kemur þar út svo mikill fjöldi trölla og illþýðis, að þar var eigi jafnmargt fyrir. Þar fylgdi með ein kvinna nokkuð stór og hæversk. Aldrei sá hann slíka fyrr, því að hennar hæð tók langt upp hjá fjallinu. Hún hafði eina gullfesti sér í hendi. Þar var við festur einn glersalur. Hann rennur með henni á hjólum. Þau nálægjast skjótt þangað í dalinn. Þorbjörg leiðir glersalinn upp á reitinn, þann sem konungur var fyrir. Konungur gekk út og heilsaði frændkonu sinni. Hún leiddi glersalinn inn í tjaldið. Nú sér Ríkilát Jarlmann, og þekkir hvort annað; batnar hér nú sýnt í skapi.
They promised not to. Then the two of them left the others. Nobody knew where they were going. They went to a wide valley, where there were narrow plains. A silk tent was pitched there upon a hillock. They went up to it, and the king marked out squares around it. Then he blew into a small silver pipe and the hillocks close by and in many other places around opened up. Elves and dwarves and other evil beings came out. These beings came up to where they stood on the plain, and each being went to its respective square. Then the king walked out and blew into his pipe, and the chasms and crags opened up. Mountain giants and trollwomen and many a hostile ogre came out. Each and every one of them came down to where they stood. Once again the king blew into his pipe. Shortly afterwards they saw that the mountain Kaldbak opened, and out from there a great crowd of trolls and evil types came, even more than were already there. A woman, large and noble-looking, accompanied them. He had never seen anyone like her, because she reached a fair way up the mountainside. She had a golden chain in her hand. Attached to it was a glass chamber. It rolled alongside her on wheels. They approached rapidly to where they were in the valley. Þorbjörg led the glass chamber up into the square that the king stood in front of. The king stepped out and greeted his kinswoman, and she drew the glass chamber into the tent. At this point Ríkilát saw Jarlmann, and each recognized the other. Their moods now improved visibly.
159.
Konungur mælir nú til Austvestans: “Sé nú, góður vinur,” segir hann, “mína festarmey. Hvar sást þú aðra slíka fyrr?”
The king now spoke to Austvestan: “Look now, good friend,” he said, “upon my betrothed. Have you ever seen her like?”
160.
“Nei, herra,” sagði hann, “hún finnst ekki; slík heyrir yður vel.”
“No, lord,” he said: “she is incomparable. Such a woman well befits you.”
161.
Konungur talar nú við frú Ríkilát: “Mín unnasta,” segir hann, “hversu líst yður á þennan mann, sem hér stendur hjá mér?”
The king now spoke to Lady Ríkilát: “My beloved,” he said, “what do you think of this man who stands beside me?”
162.
Hún svarar brosandi: “Minn elskhugi,” segir hún, “slíka kjöra ég yður marga.”
She answered, smiling. “My darling,” she said, “I would choose for you to have many such men.”
163.
Nú gladdist konungur, er hans frú er svo blíð.
Now the king was happy that his wife was so affectionate.
164.
18. Þorbjörg settist nú niður á einn stól og biður, að sitt fólk skyldi hafa nokkuð til gamans. Standa þá upp álfar og allt smáfólk og slógu allra handa dansleika, hvert eftir sinni lýðsku, og þykir þeim mikil skemmtan. Litlu síðar biður Þorbjörg, að þeir skulu afklæðast og glíma, sem til þess eru færir. En þótt margir léti treglega við, þá varð þó hver að fara sem hún skipaði; en þau föll, er þar komu í, voru svo stór, að öll jörðin skalf. Þótti þeim Austvestan við því búið, að fjöllin mundu ofan hrjóta á þá. En er af var lokið glímunum, kallar Þorbjörg og bað þá menn upp standa, sem áður höfðu setið, og dansa og launa svo hinum, sem áður höfðu vel skemmt. Var þá dans upp tekinn.
18. Þorbjörg now sat down in her seat and asked her people to entertain themselves. Then all the elves and little people stood up and broke into many dances, according to their customs, and they thought it was great fun. A little later Þorbjörg asked those who could to remove their clothes and wrestle. And though many were reluctant, everybody ended up doing as she commanded. The wrestling-throws that followed were so fierce that all the earth trembled. Austvestan and Rúdent thought that the mountains were on the point of tumbling down on them. But when the wrestling was finished Þorbjörg called out and asked the men who had been sitting to stand up and dance and thus reward those others who had previously entertained them. So then the dance was joined.
165.
Konungur mælti þá til Austvestans: “Nú vil ég, að við förum heim að sinni; fullverið höfum við hér.”
The king then spoke to Austvestan: “Now I would like for us to go home at once, as we have been here long enough.”
166.
Austvestan svarar: “Ekki hafa kveðið enn hinir bestu mennirnir.”
Austvestan answered: “The best men are yet to recite.”
167.
“Lítið ætla ég að um batni héðan af,” segir konungur.
“I think there is little benefit to be gained from staying here longer,” said the king.
168.
Kom þá upp hljóð mikið. Konungur bað þá heim fara. En Austvestan kveðst það ekki vilja. Taka nú konurnar að kveða; þykir Austvestan nú sýnt versna, en bíður þó þess af er lokið. Þá spurði Þorbjörg, hvort þar skyldi staðar nema. En þeir, sem fyrir gleðinni gengu, sögðu farið það, sem þeir ætti til. Þeir sögðu það mikið bæta, ef dansmóðirin Þorbjörg vildi nokkra skemmtan sýna. En hún kveðst lengi af hafa lagt. Kveðst hún þó ei vilja synja þeim þess að heyra sín fögru hljóð. Var þá hljóð gefið, en hún kvað bæði hátt og hvellt, svo að dvergmála kvað í hverjum hamri, og kvað þetta upp á þeirra vísu:
Then there was a loud noise. The king asked that they might go home. But Austvestan said that he did not want to. Then the women began to chant. Austvestan thought that things were clearly taking a turn for the worse, but waited for it all to be over. Then Þorbjörg asked whether they should bring this to a close. And those who had been providing the entertainment said that their repertoire was finished. They said it would be a great boon if the mother of the dance, Þorbjörg, would entertain them somehow. She said that she had given up on that a long time ago, but also that she did not want to deny them the possibility of hearing her beautiful singing. Then there was silence, and she spoke loudly and in a high pitch, so that her voice echoed off every crag, and this was the verse she spoke:
169.
“Brúsi átti byggð í helli,
oft var hann síð á ferli.”
“In a cave was Brúsi lord,
often wandered he abroad.”
170.
Konungur bað þá heim fara, en Austvestan sagðist vilja bíða leiksloka. Gaf þá Þorbjörg hin hæverska upp að kveða, og lutu henni þá allir. Því næst er tekið til hringbrots. Stóð konungur þá upp og kveðst ekki vilja bíða lengur. Austvestan fylgdi þá konungi og kvað þó mikið fyrir að skilja við svo góða gleði. Heyra þeir á bak sér aftur dynur og dynki og ógurleg hljóð, en jörðin skalf undir þeim sem á þræði léki, svo að þeir urðu að styðja sig með spjótsköftum sínum, og léttu ei, fyrr en þeir komu heim til borgarinnar, og vissu ekki, hvað af leikslokum varð.
The king asked that they go home, but Austvestan said that he wanted to await the end of the games. Then the noble Þorbjörg stopped reciting, and everybody bowed to her. Following this the hringbrot began. The king then stood up and said that he did not want to wait around any longer. Austvestan then accompanied the king, but said that it was a great shame to leave behind such merriment. They hear behind them a crashing and banging and a terrifying sound, and the earth shook beneath them, as if it were dangling by a thread, so that they had to support themselves upon their spear-shafts. This did not stop until they got back to the city, and they did not know how the games came to an end.
171.
19. Litlu síðar en þeir voru heim komnir, gerðist Austvestan svo óglaður, en það undruðust allir, og fór því fram nokkra stund.
19. A little after they had returned home, Austvestan became so sad that everybody wondered about it, and the situation remained like this for a while.
172.
Eitt sinn kallar konungur Austvestan til sín og mælir svo til hans: “Góði vinur,” segir hann, “hvað er þér að angri eða ógleði? Eða þykir yður nokkrir hlutir að við oss eða vora menn? Eða eru þeir nokkrir hlutir, að ég má svo gera yður vel líki?”
On one occasion, the king summons Austvestan into his presence and speaks to him as follows: “Dear friend,” he says, “what is it that grieves you or makes you so unhappy? Is it something that we or our men have done? Or is there something that I could do that would please you?”
173.
“Einskis má ég yður kunna né yðra menn,” segir Austvestan, “en mun undir yður komið, hvort ég fæ mína gleði aftur eða ei og ef þér gefið mér orlof til að segja.”
“I cannot rebuke you or your men for anything,” says Austvestan, “but it is in your hands whether I should be happy again or not, if you would permit me to speak of it.”
174.
Konungur segist þar orlof til gefa.
The king says that he gives his permission.
175.
Austvestan sagði þá: “Það er yður að segja, síðan næst ég sá yðra framkvæmdar og frændkonu Þorbjörgu, hefi ég enga ró beðið hvorki nótt né dag. Hana eina hefi ég svo af konum séð, að mínu skapi gengur næst, og ef þér vilduð unna mér þann heiður að gifta mér hana, mundi ég þér aldrei bregðast.”
Austvestan then said: “I must tell you that ever since I saw your outstanding kinswoman, Þorbjörg, I have had no peace of mind night or day. She alone, of all the women I have seen, is most pleasing to me, and if you would grant me the honour of giving her in marriage to me, I would never fail you.”
176.
“Hætt þú, Austvestan,” sagði hann, “og tal ei svo. Það er ei mennsks manns náttúra að eiga við hana eða standast hennar áfang.”
“Stop, Austvestan,” he said, “and do not speak so. It is not in the nature of mere men to get involved with her or endure her embrace.”
177.
“Þar mun ég þó til voga,” segir Austvestan, “ef ég á kosti, og væri yður það ei mótþykkilegt, að þér ræðið þetta og mætti ég fá að tala við hana. En nú vil ég yður biðja fyrir okkarn kærleik að ræða þetta erindi við hana minna vegna.”
“Nevertheless I will risk it,” says Austvestan, “if I should have the chance, and I hope it is not displeasing for you to broach this matter and that I should get to discuss it with her. So now I want to ask you, for the sake of our affection, to discuss my intentions with her on my behalf.”
178.
Konungur þagði nokkra stund og mælti síðan: “Illt er það að vita, Austvestan,” segir hann, “að þú skalt sjálfur vilja tala þér höfuðbana. En þótt hér gengi til mikill hluti míns ríkis og slíkt sem ég kann, þá fæ ég eigi fyrir séð, hvort ég fæ hér nokkrar lyktar eða eigi á gert. En fyrir okkarn vinskap mun ég við leita, að þitt mál takist, hvernig sem mér veitir.”
The king was silent for a time and then spoke: “It pains me to know, Austvestan,” he says, “that you want to talk yourself into certain death. Even if, however, I should muster up the lionʼs share of my influence and do all I can, still I cannot foresee whether I can bring this about or not. But for the sake of our friendship I will try to ensure that your cause is successful, however it turns out for me.”
179.
“Það vil ég gjarna þiggja,” segir Austvestan.
“I will gladly accept that,” says Austvestan.
180.
Slitu þeir þá sínu tali.
They now ended their conversation.
181.
En litlu síðar mælti konungur við Austvestan: “Nú skaltu geyma borgarinnar, meðan ég er á brott, en ekki er ég skemur á brott en þrjár vikur.”
And a little later the king spoke to Austvestan: “Now you must take charge of the city while I am away, and I will be absent for at least three weeks.”
182.
Austvestan segist það gjarna vilja og gerir nú hóflega glaðan. En konungur hvarf í brott. Líða nú langir tímar af. Enginn veit, hvað af honum er orðið. En að nefndum tíma kemur konungur heim. Gengur Austvestan á móti honum og öll hirðin og fögnuðu honum vel. Síðan tóku þeir tal með sér, konungur og Austvestan, og spurði hann þá, hversu hans mál hefði gengið.
Austvestan says that he would gladly do that and now becomes reasonably happy. The king disappeared off somewhere. A long time now passes. Nobody knows what has become of him. But at the appointed time the king comes home. Austvestan goes to meet him, as do all the court, and they greeted him warmly. Then the king and Austvestan spoke with each other, and the latter asked the king how it had gone.
183.
En konungur segir: “Síðan er við skildum, hefi ég margan dag á knjám staðið og mjúklega vakið þitt erindi fyrir minni frændkonu, og mjög tregt hefir mér gengið, en nú er svo komið, að við höfum fengið hennar jáyrði, og hefi ég fengið ykkur og gefið það næsta hertugadæmi, sem í mínu landi er, að auk þess, sem hún hefir áður, og skulu okkar brúðlaup vera undir eins.”
The king says: “Since we parted I have many a day grovelled and meekly pleaded your case before my kinswoman, and it has been very difficult for me, but finally it has come about that we have gotten her to agree. And I have gotten for you and given to you the second greatest dukedom in my land, in addition to what she already has, and our weddings will be on the same day.”
184.
Austvestan þakkar honum með mörgum fögrum orðum, og reis þann sama dag mikil veisla upp, og var Austvestan þá glaður og gaf öllum mönnum góðar gjafir.
Austvestan thanks him with many kind words, and the same day a great feast was held, and Austvestan was then happy and gave fine gifts to everybody.
185.
Leið nú svo veturinn, að veðráttu tók að hægja. Þá segir Austvestan konungi, að hann vill senda eftir sínum bróður Norðsunnan. Konungur bað hann svo gera. Býr hann nú sitt skip og sendir brott sína menn þrettán saman með bréfum og boðskap til síns fóstbróður, að hann skyldi þar koma nærri veturnóttum. Fara þeir og fram koma, fundu konung í Vernissuborg og færðu honum bréf síns bróður vegna. Þau eru svo ger, að þar greina öll tíðindi um hans ferð. Varð hann því harðla feginn, og þegar lét hann búa ferð sína með miklum fékostnaði og háttaði svo á allan hátt sem Jarlmann hafði honum fyrir sagt, bæði um mannfjölda og annað; siglir nú, þegar honum gefur, og létta ei, fyrr en þeir koma út í Serkland, og var þá vika til vetrar.
Winter now passed, and milder weather came. Then Austvestan said to the king that he wanted to send for his brother, Norðsunnan. The king asked him to do so. He now prepared his ship and sent thirteen of his men away with letters and an invitation to his sworn brother, saying that he should come shortly before winter. They travelled away and proceeded to where they found the king in Vernissuborg and gave him the letter on behalf of his brother. They were composed in such a way that they gave a full account of his expedition. He then cheered up greatly and started at once to prepare his journey, with no expense spared, and arranged everything according to Jarlmann’s instructions, both with regards to the number of men and everything else. Now they set sail, as soon as they got a wind, and did not stop until they came to Serkland, and then it was one week before winter.
186.
20. Austvestan gengur á mót sínum fóstbróður og fagnar honum vel, segir honum nú, hvar komið er. Síðan ganga þeir fyrir konung og kvöddu hann virðulega. Segir Austvestan konungi, að þar sé kominn hans bróðir Norðsunnan. Konungur fagnaði honum vel og setti hann sér hið næsta. Þótti öllum meira vert um hann en Austvestan. Hann gerði og veislur, gaf gull og silfur vel tvenn slík sem hans fóstbróðir hafði áður gefið, og af þessu varð hann vinsæll og báðir þeir af öllum mönnum.
20. Austvestan goes to meet his sworn brother and welcomes him warmly, telling him now how things stand. They then go before the king and greet him respectfully. Austvestan says to the king that his brother Norðsunnan has arrived. The king greets him warmly and seats him next to himself. Everyone thought that he was more distinguished than Austvestan. He also arranged feasts and gave over twice as much gold and silver as his sworn brother had given before, and because of this he became popular, as both of them were, among all the people.
187.
Líður svo veturinn fram til jóla. Er þá viðbúningur mikill í borginni, tjaldaðar hallir, en breiddur kögur á stræti og búin til hljóðfæri í hverjum turni. Hið fyrsta kveld jóla skipaði konungur höfðingjum í sæti, svo hverjum það, sem gera átti eða þjóna. Norðsunnan skyldi þjóna konungi sjálfum. Ródían konungsson skenkti Austvestan. En þeirra menn skenktu og geymdu kjallara; þeir höfðu vald yfir öllum konungs féhirslum. Síðan settust menn undir drykkjuborð og drukku með mikilli skemmtan allra handa vín og annan góðan drykk.
Winter passes in this way until Yule came. Then many preparations are made in the city: halls decked out and carpets laid out on the streets and musical instruments made ready in each tower. On the first evening of Yule the king arranged seats for the nobles, according to each manʼs obligations or duties. Norðsunnan was to serve the king himself. Prince Ródían served drinks to Austvestan. And their men served drinks and minded the cellars: they had authority over all the king’s coffers. Then people sat down at the tables and greatly enjoyed partaking of all kinds of wine and other fine drink.
188.
21. Um kveldið lukust upp hallardyr, og komu þar inn allra handa leikarar með hörpum og gígjum og alls handa hljóðfærum. Þar næst kom inn stór maður og þar eftir ein stór kona. Hún hafði einn stóran höfuðdúk sveipað að sínu andliti. Hann var svo stór og langur, að fimm álna féll niður hvorumegin, svo tók niður á hennar kné. Þetta er brúðarefnið Jarlmanns. Hún hafði einn stóran gullhring á sinni hendi; þar lék ein gullfestur við; þar er við fastur einn glersalur. Hann rennur laus á hjólum inn í höllina. En er hún fer um hallardyr, slær hún sér, svo að brakaði við, og blótaði þeim, sem gerði svo litlar dyr, að þar “máttu ei svo nertugar kvinnur inn ganga sem ég er,” segir hún. Hún opnar nú glersalinn, og er frú Ríkilát út tekin og á bekk sett og sæmilegar jungfrúr þar umkring. En henni næst settist Þorbjörg með sínu föruneyti, og sýndist mönnum mikill munur þeirra yfirlita, og mátti svo að kveða, að engi sat þar óhræddur inni fyrir ógn þeirri, sem af henni stóð. En Austvestan sýndi á sér gleði mikla, svo sem hann hugði gott til sín, og gekk þessi veisla vel fram með miklum skörungskap og allt til þess, að brúðurina skyldi til sængur leiða. Gekk þá óspart áfengur drykkur. Fóru þá út alls kyns leikarar og létu ganga sín hljóðfæri, svo gall i hverjum turni um alla borgina.
21. During the evening the hall doors opened, and all kinds of entertainers entered with harps and fiddles and a variety of musical instruments. They were followed by a large man and then a large woman. She had covered her face with a large head-dress. It was so big and long that it hung down five ells on both sides, before reaching her knees. This was Jarlmann’s bride-to-be. She had a large gold ring on her hand. A gold chain dangled from it, and attached to it was a glass chamber. It ran freely on wheels into the hall. When she came through the doorway, she collided with it so that the frame creaked, and she cursed the people who made doors so small that “women as lovely as I may not enter” (she says). She now opened the glass chamber, and lady Ríkilát was taken out and placed on a bench with beautiful maidens all around. But next to her sat Þorbjörg with her entourage, and people thought there was a great difference in their appearances, and it is true to say that nobody sat in that hall unaffected by the terror that she evoked. Austvestan, however, appeared very cheerful, as if he was pleased with his lot, and this banquet proceeded well with all lavishness until it was time for the bride to be led to bed. Then strong drinks flowed freely. All kinds of musicians then came out and played their instruments, so that music resounded off each tower throughout all the city.
189.
22. Nú hefir Norðsunnan alla ráðagerð fyrir liði þeirra. Heldur hann nú mikla sýslu. Tuttugu sína menn lætur hann flota sínum skipum og reisa viðu, snúa stofnum frá landi og búa svo um allt sem skjótt þyrfti til taka. Aðra tuttugu hefir hann heima í borginni. Þeir opna konungsins féhirslur og bera ut gull og gersemar, en einir tuttugu með tóku og báru til strandar og hlóðu sín skip. En hinir fjórðu tuttugu fóru með sjónum og meiddu öll skip, svo að ekki eitt var sjófært.
22. Norðsunnan now reveals all his plans to their troops. He has a lot of work to do. He has twenty of his men launch his ships and raise the masts, turning the prows away from the land and preparing everything as if great haste would be necessary. Another twenty he has back in the city. They open the king’s coffers and take out the gold and treasures, and another twenty men take it with them, carry it to the shore and load it on their ships. The fourth group of twenty go along the coast and sabotage all the ships so that not one was sea-worthy.
190.
Nú er Þorbjörg út leidd í það loft, sem sterkast var í staðnum, og því næst afklædd. Leggst hún í eina veglega sæng, svo vel mátti í hvíla einn keisari. Er nú frú Ríkilát út leidd í sitt svefnloft, og því næst kemur konungurinn þar og með honum Norðsunnan. Því næst sest konungur á rekkjustokkinn, en Norðsunnan dregur af honum klæðin. Þá gekk allt fólk á brott. En Norðsunnan tekur eina gullskál með gott vín og skenkti konungi. En yfir hans sæng hangir eitt sverð, svo góður gripur, að eigi fannst vildari, og það eina beit á Rúdent konung. Og það sama sverð setur hann á háls konunginum, svo að af tók höfuðið, og steypti honum fram úr sænginni, en tekur frú Ríkilát upp í silkiserk og gengur út með hana snúðugt. En þar úti fyrir eru hans men, tuttugu. Fær hann þeim frúna í hendur og biður þá skunda til skips. En hann snýr annan veg í borgina, þangað sem hann vænti síns fóstbróður.
Þorbjörg is now led away to the most secure upper chamber in that place and then undressed. She lies down on a bed so splendid that an emperor might well rest in it. Now Lady Ríkilát is led out into her bed-chamber, and then the king comes there accompanied by Norðsunnan. Then the king sits down on the edge of the bed, and Norðsunnan undresses him. Then everybody leaves. But Norðsunnan takes a gold bowl with fine wine and serves the king. Above his bed hangs a sword, a treasure so great that no finer one could be found, and it alone could cut King Rúdent. And he swings that same sword against the neck of the king, so that it takes his head off, and he throws it out of the bed and picks up Lady Ríkilát in her silken shift and rushes out with her. Twenty of his men are there outside. He hands the lady over to them and asks them to hurry to the ship. He, however, goes in the other direction into the city, to where he hopes to find his sworn brother.
191.
23. Nú er þar til að taka, að Austvestan kemur til sinnar sængur og hans brúður liggur þar fyrir. Hann sest á hennar sængurstokk, en svo hefir hann frá sagt, að honum hefði þá helst gefið á að líta og efast í, hvort hann skyldi niður leggjast eða ei. En hans fóstbróðir hafði látið hans sverð við hans sængurstokk. Ródían dregur af honum hans klæði og snýr síðan á brott og setur lás fyrir loftið svo sterkan, að hann mátti eigi upp brjóta. Nú snýst Austvestan að sinni brúði og hefir sitt sverð til reiðu og leggur fyrir hennar brjóst svo hart, að sverðið stóð í hryggnum. Hann ætlar nú að kasta sér fram úr sænginni, en hún grípur eftir honum og fær náð um hans báða fætur, þar sem þeir voru mjóstir, grenjar nú með ógurlegum látum, að allir hugðu, að fjandinn mundi laus orðinn. Ródían snýr aftur og lýkur upp loftinu sem skjótast, ella hefði það loft aldrei orðið upp lokið.
23. Now we take the story up where Austvestan comes to his bed and his bride is lying there before him. He sits down on the edge of her bed, and as he tells it, at that point he had the best opportunity to look upon her and doubted whether he should lie down or not. His sworn brother had, however, left his sword by his edge of bed. Ródían undresses him and then leaves and locks the chamber so securely that it could not be forced open. Now Austvestan turns towards his bride with his sword drawn and drives it so hard into her chest that it came out through her back. He now intends to leap out of the bed, but she grabs after him and is able to catch hold of him by the narrowest part of both his legs, letting off howls of a terrible nature, so that everyone thought that the devil must have gotten loose. Ródían returns and unlocks the chamber as quickly as he can; otherwise it would have been impossible to get out.
192.
Nú sem hann lítur inn í dyrnar, kemur Norðsunnan þar að með sitt sverð og setur á hans hrygg, svo hann tók sundur í miðju, og snarar síðan inn í loftið; sér nú, að Þorbjörg veifar hans fóstbróður um sig, en hann heldur um meðalkafla sverðsins, er stóð í gegnum hana. Hann skilur nú, hverjum hann skal lið veita, og höggur nú til Þorbjargar og af henni báðar hendurnar í olbogabótum, grípur síðan sinn fóstbróður og kastar hann á bak sér, hleypur út af loftinu og þar ofan fyrir múrinn, sem hann kom að, og kom standandi niður, og þótti mönnum sem þrítugt mundi ofan fyrir. Nú snýr hann til skipa sinna, og eru þeir albúnir. Gengur hann þegar út á skip, og slá þeir sínum seglum við. En Jarlmann liggur í öngviti, og er nú við leitað að næra hann. Svo fast hafði brúðurin Þorbjörg lagt hendur sínar að hans fótum, að hennar fingur varð í brott að skera, áður þeir losnuðu, en holdið var undan gengið allt að beini, og víða var hans búkur blár. En þó tekur hann að nærast og Ríkilát að gleðjast, og er þeim nú allra hæginda leitað.
Now when he looks in through the door, Norðsunnan approaches with his sword and swings it at his back so that he is sliced in two. Then Norðsunnan hurries into the chamber. He now sees that Þorbjörg is swinging his sworn brother around, but he is holding on to the haft of his sword, which is stuck in her. He now realizes how he can be of use and hacks at Þorbjörg, cutting off both her arms at the elbow. Then he grabs his sworn brother and throws him on his back, darts out of the chamber and over the wall that he comes to, landing down below on his feet. People thought that it must have been a significant drop. He now heads for his ships, and they are all ready. He boards at once, and they set sail. But Jarlmann lies there unconscious, and attempts are made to revive him. The bride Þorbjörg had gripped onto his feet so tightly that they had to cut through her fingers in order to prise them off, and beneath the flesh had been stripped down to the bone, and his body was black and blue in many places. Nevertheless he starts to recover, and this cheers Ríkilát, and everything possible is done to make them comfortable.
193.
Látum þau sigla sem þau kunna, en segjum, hvað til ber heima í borginni.
Let us leave them to sail, as they know how, and rather tell of what is happening back in the city.
194.
24. Nú er þar til að taka, að af léttir þeim miklu hljóðum, sem heyra til Þorbjargar. Þá hlaupa menn til loftanna og forvitnast, hvað þar fer fram, og finna þar í loftinu brúðgumann dauðan, en í brott brúðina. En þar sem Þorbjörg var inni, fundu þeir dauðan Ródían konungsson og svo Þorbjörgu, en í brott brúðgumann. Eigi fundu þeir Austvestan né Norðsunnan og engan af þeirra hálfu. Þóttust þeir skilja, í hver brögð að þeir eru komnir. Hlaupa þeir til skipa með vopnum og sjá nú, hvar þeir sigla, hrinda fram skipum og róa frá landi. Því næst fyllti undir þeim skipin. Þeir flýttu sér að landi, en þó fleiri, að þar drukknuðu. Skildi nú þar með þeim.
24. Now we take the story up when the great racket made by Þorbjörg began to abate. People then ran to the chamber and found out what had gone on there. They found the bridegroom dead in the chamber and the bride gone. In Þorbjörgʼs chamber they found both Prince Ródían and Þorbjörg dead, but the bridegroom gone. They did not find Austvestan or Norðsunnan or any of their men. Now they started to understand the deceptions which they had been subjected to. They ran to the ships with their weapons and saw where the others were sailing off. They launched their ships and rowed away from land. Then all at once their ships filled with water. They hurried back towards land, but the greater part of them drowned there. And so we leave them.
195.
Sigla þeir fóstbræður og létta eigi fyrr en þeir komu heim í Frakklandi. Verða allir menn þeim fegnir. Lét Hermann þá búast við brúðlaupi sínu. Vantaði þá engi tilföng, þau sem til þurfti. En að veislunni settri og fólk allt saman komið, þá kvaddi Hermann konungur þings, og á því þingi stóð hann upp og hóf svo mál sitt, að hann sagði frá, hversu Jarlmann hafði honum trúlega fylgd veitt og hversu hann hafði sitt líf í hættu lagt fyrir hann og hvað hann vann til að vinna aftur hans festarmey. Því lýsti hann fyrir öllum mönnum, að hann vildi gifta Jarlmanni Herborgu systur sína og með henni helming af ríki sínu og slíka nafnbót sem hann vildi sjálfur hafa. En Jarlmann þakkaði honum vel með mörgum fögrum orðum. Reis þar nú upp hin dýrlegasta veisla, og eru þessi hjón saman púsuð af ágætum kennimönnum. En það gull, sem þar var offrað, var svo mikið, að engi kunni að telja marka tali. En síðan ganga þeir til drykkju. Urðu menn glaðir og kátir. En svo sterka vörðu héldu þeir á sér, að þeim mátti ekki granda. Stóð sú veisla fullan mánuð, og að þeirri veislu gaf Hermann konungur Jarlmanni hertugadæmi og allan þann sóma, sem hann mátti honum veita. Líður nú þessi veisla, og voru allir með sæmilegum gjöfum brott leiddir. Lofuðu allir menn þá fóstbræður og sögðu, að engi maður mundi drengilegar farið hafa í jafnmiklum mannraunum sem Jarlmann. Þessu næst fer hann til Treveríaborgar og settist að sínu ríki. Tókust ástir með þeim frú Herborgu. Þau áttu þrjú börn, einn son, er Roðgeir hét, og tvær dætur, er ei eru nefndar. En þá Jarlmann hafði á samt verið tíu vetur með sinni frú, gerði hann sæmilega veislu og bauð til sín fóstbróður sínum og hans frú Ríkilát. En að þeirri veislu gerði hann opinbert fyrir Hermanni konungi og hans frú og öllum hans vinum, að hann vill ganga í stein. Segist hann heitið hafa, þá hann var út í Serklandi í mestum mannraunum, sína frú og sínar dætur í klaustur gefa, ef það væri hennar vilji; en hún játar þessu. En sinn son fær hann sínum fóstbróður og biður hann að halda hann til ríkis eftir sig. Þessu verða allir menn mjög ófegnir. En Jarlmann segir, að hann var þá svo gamall, að honum var mál guði að þjóna, “og var mér þá það í hug, er við Þorbjörg hin digra áttumst við, því að ég hefi hvorki samur orðið til afls né hugar né neinnar visku.”
The sworn brothers sailed on and did not stop until they arrived home in France. Everybody was happy to see them. Hermann then made preparations for his wedding feast. None of the necessary supplies were lacking. And at the beginning of the feast, when all the people had gathered, King Hermann called everyone together and at that gathering he stood up and delivered a speech, telling how Jarlmann had followed him faithfully and put his life in danger for him and what he had accomplished in order to get his betrothed back. He then announced before everybody that he wanted to give his sister, Herborg, in marriage to Jarlmann and with her half his kingdom and whatever title Jarlmann wanted to have. Jarlmann thanked him most eloquently. A most splendid banquet now began, and the couples were married by most learned men. And so much gold was lavished there that it was impossible to count. And then they started drinking. People became merry and cheerful. But they exercised so much control over themselves that no harm could come to them. The banquet lasted for a full month, and during it King Hermann gave Jarlmann a dukedom and all the honour that could be granted. This banquet now came to an end, and everyone was sent on their way with fine gifts. Everybody praised the sworn brothers and said that no other man would have performed so valiantly in such dire straits as Jarlmann had. Following this he went to Treveríaborg and settled down in his fief. Lady Herborg and he fell in love. They had three children: a son, who was called Roðgeir, and two daughters, who are not named. And when Jarlmann had been with his wife for ten years, he arranged a fine banquet and invited his sworn brother and his wife Ríkilát. At that banquet he announced in front of King Hermann and his wife and all his friends that he wanted to retire to a life of seclusion. He said he had promised, when he was in Serkland in the greatest peril, to give his wife and daughters to a convent, if his wife would consent, and she did. He took his son, however, to his sworn brother and asked Hermann to grant him his fief after him. Everybody was very unhappy about this. But Jarlmann said that he was so old that it was time for him to serve God, “and it occurred to me already, when I was dealing with Þorbjörg the Stout, because I have never been the same since with regard to strength or spirit or wisdom.”
196.
Verður nú svo að vera sem Jarlmann vill, þó að mönnum þætti mikið við hann að skilja. Þeir fóstbræður skilja nú með miklum kærleika. Fór konungur heim og hans systurson með honum. En Jarlmann fyllir sína ætlun, sem áður var fram sögð. Þykir mönnum sem hann muni góður maður verið hafa. En Hermann konungur stýrði sínu ríki bæði vel og lengi. Hann átti við frú Ríkilát tvo sonu; hét annar Vilhjálmur, en annar Rígarð, og segja menn, að sá Rígarð hafi verið faðir Konráðs, er fór til Ormalands, og er það trúlegt, að Ríkilát muni nokkurn góðan mann eftir sig leiða. En er þau voru gömul orðin, Hermann konungur og Ríkilát, skiptu þau þá ríki sínu með sonum sínum, en þau fóru út í Jórsalaheim og enduðu þar ævi sína, og höfum vér ekki heyrt, hver þeirra ævilok urðu.
Everything was done as Jarlmann wanted, even though the people were grieved to see him go. The sworn brothers now parted with great affection. The king went home and his nephew with him. And thus Jarlmann fulfilled his previously-stated intention. He is thought to have been a good man. And King Hermann governed his kingdom both well and for a long time. He had two sons with Lady Ríkilát: one was called Vilhjálmur and the other Rígarð, and people say that Rígarð was the father of Konráður, who travelled to Ormaland, and it is easy to believe that Ríkilát would have given birth to such a good man. When they got old, King Hermann and Ríkilát divided the kingdom between their sons and travelled to Jerusalem and ended their lives there, and we have not heard how they died.
197.
Og endast hér þessi saga með góðum endalyktum.
And on this happy note, this saga ends.

NOTES

  1. From here until the end of chapter 6 the source text is AM 167 fol. (as AM 529 4to is defective at the start).
  2. Emended from “þotte” þótti in Rydberg (2) and AM 167 fol. (cf. Lbs 1993 8vo “þóttu ei aðrir menn þeirra líkir”).
  3. Rydberg has “enn” here, a fair transcription of AM 167 fol. where we find “en” with a nasal stroke above the “n.” We have emended to “en,” since the nasal stroke can reasonably be assumed to be superfluous.
  4. “Sex hundruð” is an emendation from AM 167 fol.’s “þusund.” The number of Rómanus’ ships is mentioned twice, once in chapter 6 and once in chapter 7. Since AM 529 4to is defective, we only see the number as given in chapter 7 there, and that is 600. AM 167 fol. is not defective and thus has both mentions, but gives the number as 1000 on both occasions. It may be that the original number was 600, which was mistaken for 1000 in some copies (“vic,” as in AM 529 4to, could be mistaken for “m”).
  5. Here the text taken from AM 529 4to begins.
  6. AM 167 fol. has “svo að varla mátti sjá hvort,” and presumably “svo að réð um” has roughly the same meaning. See Cleasby and Vigfússon’s dictionary (486) “ok réð um at fara upp í skipit” (which they translate as “and was just about to go up into the ship”).
  7. Constantinople lies next to the Bosphorus, a strait separating Europe from Asia and leading from the Aegean Sea north into the Black Sea. Off the north-western side there is an inlet alongside the old city of Constantinople, named the Golden Horn. In former times there were towers at the entrance to the Golden Horn, from which it was possible to raise a chain across the mouth of the inlet and block the entrance to the harbour in case of naval attack. The lowering of this chain seems to be referred to here.
  8. Rydberg (13) supplies this word in his edition, since AM 529 4to reads simply “nokkurn á gera” (f. 39r).
  9. Emended from “fylgja” (Rydberg, “fylgia” AM 529 4to).
  10. AM 529 4to, Rydberg’s main manuscript at this point, has “bakhiallar,” which is probably a mistake for “bakjarlar,” or what Cleasby and Vigfússon (50) describe as “foe[s] attacking in the rear.” Rydberg adds “merki,” probably influenced by AM 167 fol. where we read “bakhjallur m” (the “m,” with a nasal stroke above it, representing an abbreviated word), but we have preferred to emend.
  11. Emended from “Hann reiddist Roðgeir jarl” in Rydberg (22). AM 529 4to has the name abbreviated “Rodg. j.” (expanded by Rydberg as if it were a noun in the accusative), but “reiddist” should take a dative indirect object.
  12. The manuscript has “að myndi,” which has been emended to “mundi.” The longer version of the saga has simply “engi maður í því landi vissi nær…” (Loth 41).
  13. “Heim” makes little sense here, as Jarlmann has presumably never visited this place before, and so remains untranslated. “Heim til borgarinnar” is probably used simply because it is such an oft-repeated phrase.
  14. AM 529 4to clearly has the abbreviation for “hann” (a “h” with a stroke across the ascender), but this is presumably a scribal error for “hún.” It has been emended thus. Ríkilát wants to look on while her abducters receive their punishment.
  15. “að” has been added here.
  16. “Lagt” is an addition made by Rydberg (33) to give meaning to this utterance. It is accepted here.
  17. The same applies to “minnst” as to “lagt” in the previous note.
  18. “Kaldbak” is presumably the same as the mountain previously called “Baldak” in chapter 16.
  19. AM 529 4to has “Það nálægist” and AM 167 fol. has “það nálgast.” In both cases it is uncertain what “það” refers to, thus we have emended to “þau nálægjast,” “þau” referring to Þorbjörg (f.) and the “glersalur” (m.) (cf. “þau nalguduzt” in the longer version (Loth 50)).
  20. The manuscript has “framkvæmd og frændkonu.” This has been emended to “framkvæmdar og frændkonu,” on the basis of the similar compound “framkvæmdarmaður,” “man of prowess,” and in order that the utterance makes more sense in context. It is possible that the alliterating pair arose originally due to a scribal dittography (a misreading possibly encouraged by the presence of abbreviations).
  21. The manuscript reads “sem heyra var til,” a reading which is hard to justify. This has been emended to “sem heyra til.”
  22. A dromon(d) was a type of Greek galley, larger than the average warship.
  23. “Blá” here and “blámennir” at the start of chapter 10 are difficult terms to translate. “Blá” can be translated as “blue” or “black,” and thus in a very literal sense it can be translated as “black berserks/men.” Sometimes it is used specifically as a translation of “Ethiopians” in more geographically-oriented texts, and it is clear that at times foreign invading forces that threatened Europe were seen indiscriminately as “blámenn,” with no informed conception of ethnicity or place of origin. In other cases it is used to refer to devils or demons, who were deemed to be dark-skinned. It is impossible to disentangle the pejorative connotations given to dark skin-tone, hostile other and demonic anti-Christian presence that inform this problematic term, but to suppress it would be misleading as regards the cultural context from which narratives such as this proceed. It is hoped that not censoring such terms while at the same time drawing attention to their difficulty is the best way to give an honest yet critical picture.
  24. A literal translation gives “as vicious as lions,” but “wolves” has been substituted as more idiomatic.
  25. The general meaning of this axiom seems to be that great men can be brought low.
  26. The literal simile compares the number of heathen soldiers to crushed ice. It has been changed in translation to something more resonant with English-speaking audiences, but either way the point is that the enemy host is huge and made up up of countless individuals.
  27. “Kuflungar”, hereafter written as an English plural, i.e. “Kuflungs,” could be translated as “cowled ones” or “ones wearing cowled cloaks” (“kufl” can refer both to the entire garment or the distinguishing part, i.e. the hood). See the introduction for the significance of this designation.
  28. It seems that Jarlmann is saying that when one is in bed with a lover, it certainly makes sense to remain longer than normal, but Hermann at this time has no reason for spending so much time in bed.
  29. Literally “East-from-the-West.” The second pseudonym of his supposed brother, Norðsunnan, can likewise be literally translated as “North-from-the-South.”
  30. The hringbrot appears to be a type of dance or game accompanied by singing. See Jón Samsonarson (1980) and Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir (2010).
  31. “Þrítugt” here clearly refers to a measurement, although no unit is specified. In the paraphrase provided in Loth’s edition (64), where there is also no unit of measurement, “halfþrítugt” is translated as “twenty-five fathoms (?).” The point in both cases is that Hermann has jumped from a great height, a point that is hopefully conveyed in the non-literal translation given here.
  32. “Ormaland” is literally “land of snakes” or “land of serpents,” a place that lives up to its name as can be seen in Konráðs saga keisarasonar.

Primary Sources

  • Loth, Agnete, ed. 1962–1965. Late Medieval Icelandic Romances. 5 vols. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  • Rydberg, Hugo. 1917. Jarlmanns saga ok Hermanns i yngre handskrifters redaktion. Copenhagen: S.L Møller.

Secondary Sources

  • Cleasby, Richard, and Guðbrandur Vigfússon. 1874. An Icelandic–English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Guðmundsdóttir, Aðalheiður. 2010. “Om hringbrot og våbendanse i islandsk tradition.” Kulturstudier 1: 132–53.
  • Samsonarson, Jón. 1980. “Ritdóm [Review]: Sagnadansar, Vésteinn Ólason (Reykjavík, 1979).” Skírnir 154: 182–93.