Chapter 48 - Of the banquet at earl Arnfid's.

Thorolf stood northwards with his force past Holland, and they put into a harbour there, as the wind drove them back. They did not plunder there. A little way up the country dwelt an earl named Arnfid. But when he heard that freebooters had come to land there, he sent his men to meet them with this errand, to know whether they wished for peace or war. Upon the messengers' coming to Thorolf with their errand, he said that they would not harry there, that there was no need to harry there or come with warshield, the land being not wealthy. The messengers went back to the earl, and told him the issue of their errand: but when the earl knew that he need not gather men for this cause, then he rode down without any armed force to meet the freebooters. When they met, all went well at the conference. The earl bade Thorolf to a banquet with him, and as many of his men as he would. Thorolf promised to go.

On the appointed day the earl had riding-horses sent down to meet them. Thorolf and Egil went, and they had thirty men with them. When they came to the earl, he received them well; they were led into the dining-hall. At once beer was brought in and given them to drink. They sate there till evening.

But before the tables were removed the earl said that they should cast lots to drink together in pairs, man and woman, so far as numbers would allow, but the odd ones by themselves. They cast then their lots into the skirt of a cloak, and the earl drew them out. The earl had a very beautiful daughter then in the flower of youth; the lot decreed that Egil should sit by her for the evening. She was going about the floor of the hall amusing herself. Egil stood up and went to the place in which the earl's daughter had sat during the day. But when all took their several seats, then the earl's daughter went to her place. She said in verse:

      'Why sittest in my seat, youth?
      Thou seldom sure hast given
      To wolf his warm flesh-banquet.
      Alone I will mine own.
      O'er carrion course thou heard'st not
      Croak hoarse the joying raven,
      Nor wentest where sword-edges
      In warfare madly met.'

Egil took her, and set her down by him. He sang:

      'With bloody brand on-striding
      Me bird of bane hath followed:
      My hurtling spear hath sounded
      In the swift Vikings' charge.
      Raged wrathfully our battle,
      Ran fire o'er foemen's rooftrees;
      Sound sleepeth many a warrior
      Slain in the city gate.'

They two then drank together for the evening, and were right merry. The banquet was of the best, on that day and on the morrow. Then the rovers went to their ships, they and the earl parting in friendship with exchange of gifts.

Thorolf with his force then stood for the Brenn-islands. At that time these were a great lair of freebooters, because through the islands sailed many merchant-ships. Aki went home to his farms, and his sons with him. He was a very wealthy man, owning several farms in Jutland. He and Thorolf parted with affection, and pledged them to close friendship. But as autumn came on, Thorolf and his men sailed northward along the Norway coast till they reached the Firths, then went to lord Thorir.

He received them well, but Arinbjorn his son much better, who asked Egil to be there for the winter. Egil took this offer with thanks. But when Thorir knew of Arinbjorn's offer, he called it rather a hasty speech. 'I know not,' said he, 'how king Eric may like that; for after the slaying of Bard he said that he would not have Egil be here in the land.'

'You, father, can easily manage this with the king,' said Arinbjorn, 'so that he will not blame Egil's stay. You will ask Thorolf, your niece's husband, to be here; I and Egil will have one winter home.'

Thorir saw from this talk that Arinbjorn would have his way in this. So father and son offered Thorolf winter-home there, which he accepted. They were there through the winter with twelve men.

Two brothers there were named Thorvald Proud and Thorfid Strong, near kinsmen of Bjorn Yeoman, and brought up with him. Tall men they were and strong, of much energy and forward daring. They followed Bjorn so long as he went out roving; but when he settled down in quiet, then these brothers went to Thorolf, and were with him in his harrying; they were forecastle men in his ship. And when Egil took command of a ship, then Thorfid was his forecastle man. These brothers followed Thorolf throughout, and he valued them most of his crew.

They were of his company this winter, and sate next to the two brothers. Thorolf sate in the high seat over against Thorir, and drank with him; Egil sate as cup-mate over against Arinbjorn. At all toasts the cup must cross the floor.

Lord Thorir went in the autumn to king Eric. The king received him exceedingly well. But when they began to talk together, Thorir begged the king not to take it amiss that he had Egil with him that winter. The king answered this well; he said that Thorir might get from him what he would, but it should not have been so had any other man harboured Egil. But when Gunnhilda heard what they were talking of, then said she: 'This I think, Eric, that 'tis now going again as it has gone often before; thou lendest easy ear to talk, nor bearest long in mind the ill that is done thee. And now thou wilt bring forward the sons of Skallagrim to this, that they will yet again smite down some of thy near kin. But though thou mayest choose to think Bard's slaying of no account, I think not so.'

The king answered: 'Thou, Gunnhilda, more than others provokest me to savageness; yet time was when thou wert on better terms with Thorolf than now. However I will not take back my word about those brothers.'

'Thorolf was well here,' said she, 'before Egil made him bad; but now I reckon no odds between them.'

Thorir went home when he was ready, and told the brothers the words of the king and of the queen.

 



48. kafli - Egill hefir vetrvist me Arinhirni.

rlfr helt lii snu norr fyrir Halland ok lgu ar til hafnar, er eim bgi ver, rntu ar ekki. ar var skammt land upp jarl s, er Arnfir er nefndr. En er hann spuri, at vkingar vru ar komnir vi land, sendi hann menn sna fund eira ess erendis at vita, hvrt eir vildi ar friland hafa ea herna. En er sendimenn vru komnir fund rlfs me sn erendi, sagi hann, at eir myndi ar ekki herja, sagi, at eim var engi nausyn til at herja ar ok fara herskildi, sagi, at ar var land ekki auigt.

Sendimenn fara aftr til jarlsins ok sgu honum erendislok sn. En er jarlinn var ess varr, at hann urfti ekki lii at safna fyrir sk, rei hann ofan me ekki li til fundar vi vkinga. En er eir fundust, fru ar allt vel rur me eim. Jarl bau rlfi til veizlu me sr ok lii hans, v er hann vildi. rlfr ht ferinni.

En er var kveit, lt jarlinn senda reiskjta ofan mti eim. Rust eir til ferar, bi rlfr ok Egill, ok hfu me sr rj tigu manna. En er eir kmu til jarlsins, fagnai hann eim vel. Var eim fylgt inn stofu. Var ar egar inni mungt ok gefit eim at drekka. Stu eir ar til kvelds.

En r bor skyldi upp fara, sagi jarl, at ar skyldi sti hluta, skyldi drekka saman karlmar ok kona, sv sem til ynnist, en eir sr, er fleiri vri. Menn bru hluti sna skaut, ok tk jarlinn upp. Jarl tti dttur allfra ok vel frumvaxta. Sv sagi hlutr til, at Egill skyldi sitja hj jarlsdttur um kveldit. Hon gekk um glf ok skemmti sr. Egill st upp ok gekk til rms ess, er dttir jarlsins hafi setit um daginn. En er menn skipuust sti sn, gekk jarlsdttir at rmi snu. Hon kva:

      Hvat skaltu, sveinn, sess minn,
      vt sjaldan hefr gefnar
      vargi varmar brir?
      Vesa vilk ein of mna.
      Sttau hrafn hausti
      of hrsolli gjalla.
      Vastau at, ars eggjar
      skelunnar runnusk.

Egill tk til hennar ok setti hana nir hj sr. Hann kva:

      Farit hefk blgum brandi,
      svt mr beniurr fylgi,
      ok gjallanda geiri.
      Gangr vas harr af vkingum.
      Gerum reiir rstu.
      Rann eldr of sjt manna.
      Ltum blga bka
      borghlium sfask.

drukku au saman um kveldit ok vru allkt. Var ar veizla in bezta ok sv um daginn eftir. Fru vkingar til skipa sinna. Skilust eir jarl me vinttu ok skiptust gjfum vi. Heldu eir rlfr liinu til Brenneyja. ar var ann tma vkingabli mikit, v at ar sigldu kaupskip mjk gegnum eyjarnar.

ki fr heim til ba sinna ok synir hans. Hann var mar vellauigr ok tti mrg b Jtlandi. Skilust eir me krleik ok mltu til vinttu mikillar milli sn.

En er haustai, sigldu eir rlfr norr fyrir Nreg ok koma fram Fjrum, fara fund ris hersis. Tk hann vel vi eim, en Arinbjrn, sonr hans, miklu betr. Br hann, at Egill skal ar vera um vetrinn. Egill tk at me kkum.

En er rir vissi bo Arinbjarnar, kallai hann at heldr brmlt. "Veit ek eigi," sagi hann, "hversu at lkar Eirki konungi, v at hann mlti sv eftir aftku Brar, at hann vildi ekki, at Egill vri hr landi."

"Ra mttu vel, fair," segir Arinbjrn, "v vi konung, at hann teli ekki at um vist Egils. munt bja rlfi, mgi num, hr at vera, en vit Egill munum hafa eitt vetrgri bir."

En af essi ru s rir, at Arinbjrn myndi essu ra. Buu eir fegar rlfi ar vetrgri, en hann ekkist at. Vru eir ar vi tlf menn um vetrinn.

Brr tveir eru nefndir orvaldr ofsi ok orfir strangi. at vru nfrndr Bjarnar hls ok hfu me honum fzt. eir vru menn miklir ok sterkir, kappsmenn miklir ok framgjarnir. eir fylgu Birni, er hann var vking, en san er hann settist um kyrrt, fru eir brr til rlfs ok vru me honum hernai. eir vru stafni skipi hans, en er Egill tk skipstjrn, var orfir hans stafnbi. eir brr fylgu rlfi jafnan, ok mat hann mest skipverja sinna. eir brr vru ann vetr hans sveit ok stu nst eim brrum. rlfr sat ndvegi ok tti drykkju vi ri, en Egill sat fyrir drykkju Arinbjarnar. Skyldi ar um glf ganga at minnum llum.

rir hersir fr um haustit fund Eirks konungs. Tk konungr vi honum forkunnar vel. En er eir tku rur snar, ba rir konung, at hann skyldi eigi fyrirkunna hann ess, er hann hafi Egil me sr um vetrinn.

Konungr svarar v vel, sagi, at rir mtti iggja af honum slkt, er hann vildi, - "en ekki myndi etta sv fara, ef annarr mar hefi vi Agli tekit."

En er Gunnhildr heyri, hvat eir rddu, mlti hon: "at tla ek, Eirkr, at n fari enn sem oftar, at sr mjk talhlinn, ok mant at eigi lengi, er illa er gert til n, enda muntu til ess draga fram sonu Skalla-Grms, at eir munu enn drepa nir nkkura nfrndr na. En tt ltir r engis ykkja vert um drp Brar, ykkir mr eigi sv ."

Konungr segir: "Meir frr mr, Gunnhildr, grimmleiks en arir menn, en verit hefir krra vi rlf af inni hendi en n er. En ekki mun ek or mn aftr taka vi brr."

"Vel var rlfr hr," sagi hon, "r Egill spillti fyrir honum, en n tla ek engan mun."

rir fr heim, er hann var binn, ok sagi eim brrum or konungs ok drttningar.






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