The Story Of Frithiof The Bold

Chapter 11: Frithiof Fareth To See King Ring And Ingibiorg

Frithiof waxed ever in riches and renown whithersoever he went: evilmen he slew, and grimly strong-thieves, but husbandmen and chapmen he let abide in peace; and now was he called anew Frithiof the Bold; hehad gotten to him by now a great company well arrayed, and wasbecome exceeding wealthy of chattels.But when Frithiof had been three winters a-warring he sailed west,and made the Wick; then he said that he would go a-land:

“But ye shallfare a-warring without me this winter; for I begin to weary of warfare,and would fain go to the Uplands, and get speech of King Ring: buthither shall ye come to meet me in the summer, and I will be here the first day of summer.”

Biorn said:

“This counsel is naught wise, though thou must needs rule; rather would I that we fare north to Sogn, and slay both those kings, Helgi and Halfdan.”

“It is all naught,”

said Frithiof;

“I must needs go see King Ring and Ingibiorg.”

Says Biorn:

“Loth am I here to that thou shouldst risk thyself alone in his hands; for this Ring is a wise man and of great kin, though he be somewhat old.”

But Frithiof said he would have his own way:

“And thou, Biorn, shalt be captain of our company meanwhile.”

So they did as he bade, and Frithiof fared to the Uplands in the autumn, for he desired sore to look upon the love of King Ring and Ingibiorg. But or ever he came there he did on him, over his clothes, agreat cloak all shaggy; two staves he had in his hand, and a mask over his face, and he made as if he were exceeding old.So he met certain herdsmen, and, going heavily, he asked them:

“Whence are ye?”

They answered and said:

“We are of Streitaland,whereas the king dwelleth.”

Quoth the carle:

“Is King Ring a mighty king, then?They answered:

“Thou lookest to us old enough to have cunning to know what manner of man is King Ring in all wise.”

The carle said that he had heeded salt-boiling more than the ways ofkings; and therewith he goes up to the king’s house.So when the day was well worn he came into the hall, blinking aboutas a dotard, and took an outward place, pulling his hood over him tohide his visage.

Then spake King Ring to Ingibiorg:

“There is come into the hall a manfar bigger than other men.”

The queen answered:

“That is not such great tidings here.”

But the king spake to a serving-man who stood before the board, andsaid:

“Go thou, and ask yon cowled man who he is, whence he cometh,and of what kin he is.

”So the lad ran down the hall to the new-comer and said:

“What art thou called, thou man? Where wert thou last night? Of what kin art thou?”

Said the cowled man:

“Quick come thy questions, good fellow! but hast thou skill to understand if I shall tell thee hereof?

“Yea, certes,”

said the lad.

“Well,”

said the cowl-bearer,

“Thief is my name, with Wolf was I last night, and in Grief-ham was I reared.

”Then ran the lad back to the king, and told him the answer of thenew-comer.“Well told, lad,” said the king;

“but for that land of Grief-ham, I know it well: it may well be that the man is of no light heart, and yet awise man shall he be, and of great worth I account him.”

Said the queen:

“A marvellous fashion of thine, that thou must needs talk so freely with every carle that cometh hither! Yea, what is the worthof him, then?”That wottest thou no clearer than I,”

said the king;

“but I see that he thinketh more than he talketh, and is peering all about him.”

Therewith the king sent a man after him, and so the cowl-bearer wentup before the king, going somewhat bent, and greeted him in a lowvoice. Then said the king:

“What art thou called, thou big man?”

And the cowl-bearer answered and sang:

“Peace-Thief they called me
On the prow with the Vikings;
But War-Thief whenas
I set widows a-weeping;
Spear-Thief when I
Sent forth the barbed shafts;
Battle-Thief when I
Burst forth on the king;
Hel-Thief when I
Tossed up the small babies:
Isle-Thief when I
In the outer isles harried;
Slains-Thief when I
Sat aloft over men:
Yet since have I drifted
With salt-boiling carls,
Needy of help
Ere hither I came.”

Said the king:

“Thou hast gotten thy name of Thief from many amatter, then; but where wert thou last night, and what is thy home?”

The cowl-bearer said:

“In Grief-ham I grew up; but heart drave mehither, and home have I nowhere.”

The king said:

“Maybe indeed that thou hast been nourished in Grief-ham a certain while; yet also maybe that thou wert born in a placeof peace. But in the wild-wood must thou have lain last night, for nogoodman dwelleth anigh named Wolf; but whereas thou sayest thou hast no home, so is it, that thou belike deemest thy home nought, because ofthy heart that drave thee hither.”

Then spake Ingibiorg:

“Go, Thief, get thee to some other harbour, orin to the guest-hall.”

“Nay,”

said the king,

“I am old enow to know how to marshal guests;so do off thy cowl, newcomer, and sit down on my other hand.”

“Yea, old, and over old,”

said the queen,

“when thou settest staff-carles by thy side.”

“Nay, lord, it beseemeth not,”

said Thief;

“better it were as the queen sayeth. I have been more used to boiling salt than sitting beside lords.”

“Do thou my will,”

said the king,

“for I will rule this time.”

So Thief cast his cowl from him, and was clad thereunder in a darkblue kirtle; on his arm, moreover, was the goodly gold ring, and a thick silver belt was round about him, with a great purse on it, and therein silver pennies glittering; a sword was girt to his side, and he had a greatfur hood on his head, for his eyes were bleared, and his face allwrinkled.

“Ah! now we fare better, say I,”

quoth the king;

“but do thou, queen,give him a goodly mantle, well shapen for him.”

“Thou shalt rule, my lord,”

said the queen;

“but in small account do I hold this Thief of thine.

”So then he gat a good mantle over him, and sat down in the high-seat beside the king.The queen waxed red as blood when she saw the goodly ring, yet would she give him never a word; but the king was exceeding blithe with him and said:

“A goodly ring hast thou on thine arm there; thou must have boiled salt long enough to get it.”

Says he,

“That is all the heritage of my father.”

“Ah!”

says the king,

“maybe thou hast more than that; well, fewsalt-boiling carles are thy peers, I deem, unless eld is deep in mine eyesnow.”

So Thief was there through the winter amid good entertainment, and well accounted of by all men; he was bounteous of his wealth, and joyous with all men: the queen held but little converse with him; but the kingand he were ever blithe together.


Chapter XII: Frithiof Saves The King And Queen On The Ice

The tale tells that on a time King Ring and the queen, and a great company, would go to a feast.

So the king spake to thief:

“Wilt thou farewith us, or abide at home?”

He said he had liefer go;

and the king said:

“Then am I the more content.”

So they went on their ways, and had to cross a certain frozen water.

Then said Thief:

“I deem this ice untrustworthy; me seemeth ye fare unwarily.”

Quoth the king:

“It is often shown how heedful in thine heart thou wilt be to us.”

So a little after the ice broke in beneath them, and Thief ran thereto,and dragged the wain to him, with all that was therein; and the king and the queen both sat in the same: so Thief drew it all up on to the ice, with the horses that were yoked to the wain.

Then spake King Ring:

“Right well drawn, Thief! Frithiof the Bold himself would have drawn no stronger had he been here; doughty followers are such as thou!”

So they came to the feast, and there is nought to tell thereof, and the king went back again with seemly gifts


Chapter 13 : The King Sleeps Before Frithiof

Now we areth away the mid-winter, and when spring cometh, the weather groweth fair, the wood bloometh, the grass groweth, and ships may glide betwixt land and land. So on a day the king says to his folk:

“I will that ye come with us for our disport out into the woods, that we may look upon the fairness of the earth.”

So did they, and went flock-meal with the king into the woods; but so it befell, that the king and Frithiof were gotten alone together afar from other men, and the king said he was heavy, and would fain sleep.

Then said Thief:

“Get thee home, then, lord, for it better beseemeth men of high estate to lie at home than abroad.”

“Nay,”

said the king,

“so will I not do.”

And he laid him down there with, and slept fast, snoring loud.Thief sat close by him, and presently drew his sword from his sheathand cast it far away from him.A little while after the king woke up, and said:

“Was it not so,Frithiof, that a many things came into thy mind e’en now? But well hast thou dealt with them, and great honour shalt thou have of me. Lo, now, I knew thee straight way that first evening thou camest into our hall: now no wise speedily shalt thou depart from us; and somewhat great abideth thee.”

Said Frithiof:

“Lord King, thou hast done to me well, and in friendly wise; but yet must I get me gone soon, because my company cometh speedily to meet me, as I have given them charge to do.”

So then they rode home from the wood, and the king’s folk came flocking to him, and home they fared to the hall and drank joyously; and it was made known to all folk that Frithiof the Bold had been abiding there through the winter tide


Chapter 14 : King Ring’s Gift To Frithiof

Early of a morning-tide one smote on the door of that hall, wherein slept the king and queen, and many others: then the king asked who it was at the hall door; and so he who was without said:

“Here am I, Frithiof; and I am arrayed for my departure.”

Then was the door opened, and Frithiof came in, and sang a stave:

“Have great thanks for the guesting
Thou gavest with all bounty;
Dight fully for wayfaring
Is the feeder of the eagle
But, Ingibiorg, 
I mind thee
While yet on earth we tarry;
Live gloriously! 
I give thee
This gift for many kisses.”

And therewith he cast the goodly ring towards Ingibiorg, and bade her take it.The king smiled at this stave of his,

and said:

“Yea, forsooth, she hath more thanks for thy winter quarters than I;yet hath she not been more friendly to thee than I.”

Then sent the king his serving-folk to fetch victuals and drink, and saith that they must eat and drink before Frithiof departed.

“So arise,queen, and be joyful!”

But she said she was loth to fall a-feasting soearly.

“Nay, we will eat all together,”

said King Ring; and they did so.But when they had drank a while King Ring spake:

“I would that thou abide here, Frithiof; for my sons are but children and I am old, and unmeet for the warding of my realm, if any should bring war against it.”

Frithiof said:

“Speedily must I be gone, lord.”

And he sang:

“Oh, live, 
King Ring,
Both long and hale!
The highest king’
Neath heaven’s skirt!
Ward well, 
O king,
Thy wife and land,
For Ingibiorg now
Never more shall I meet.”

Then quoth King Ring:

“Fare not away,
O Frithiof, thus,
With downcast heart,
O dearest of chieftains
For now will I give thee
For all thy good gifts,
Far better things
Than thou wottest thyself.”

And again he sang:

“To Frithiof the famous
My fair wife I give,
And all things therewith
That are unto me.”

Then Frithiof took up the word and sang:

“Nay, 
how from thine hands
These gifts may I have,
But if thou hast fared
By the last way of fate?”

The king said:

“I would not give thee this, but that I deem it will soon be so, for I sicken now. But of all men I would that thou shouldst have the joy of this; for thou art the crown of all Norway. The name of king will I give thee also; and all this, because Ingibiorg’s brethren would begrudge thee any honour; and would be slower in getting thee a wife than I am.”

Said Frithiof:

“Have all thanks, lord, for thy good-will beyond that I looked for! but I will have no higher dignity than to be called earl.”

Then King Ring gave Frithiof rule over all his realm in due wise, and the name of earl there with; and Frithiof was to rule it until such time as the sons of King Ring were of age to rule their own realm. So King Ringlay sick a little while, and then died; and great mourning was made for him; then was there a mound cast over him, and much wealth laid therein, according to his bidding There after Frithiof made a noble feast, where unto his folk came; and there at was drunken at one and the same time the heritage feast after King Ring, and the bridal of Frithiof and Ingibiorg.After these things Frithiof abode in his realm, and was deemed therein a most noble man; he and Ingibiorg had many children.


Chapter 15: Frithiof King In Sogn

Now those kings of Sogn, the brethren of Ingibiorg, heard these tidings, how that Frithiof had gotten a king’s rule in Ringrealm, and had wedded Ingibiorg their sister. Then says Helgi to Halfdan, his brother,that unheard of it was, and a deed over-bold, that a mere hersir’s son should have her to wife: and so thereat they gather together a mighty army, and go their ways therewith to Ringrealm, with the mind to slay Frithiof, and lay all his realm under them.But when Frithiof was ware of this, he gathered folk, and spake tothe queen moreover:

“New war is come upon our realm; and now, in whatso wise the dealings go, fain am I that thy ways to me grow no colder.”

She said:

“In such wise have matters gone that I must needs let thee be the highest.”

Now was Biorn come from the east to help Frithiof; so they fared tothe fight, and it befell, as ever erst, that Frithiof was the foremost in theperil: King Helgi and he came to handy-blows, and there he slew King Helgi.Then bade Frithiof raise up the Shield of Peace, and the battle was stayed; and there with he cried to King Halfdan:

“Two choices are in thine hands now, either that thou give up all to my will, or else gettest thou thy bane like thy brother; for now may men see that mine is thebetter part.”

So Halfdan chose to lay himself and his realm under Frithiof’s sway;and so now Frithiof be came ruler over Sogn-folk, and Halfdan was to be Hersir in Sogn and pay Frithiof tribute, while Frithiof ruled Ringrealm.So Frithiof had the name of King of Sogn-folk from the time that he gave up Ringrealm to the sons of King Ring, and there after he won Hordalandalso. He and Ingibiorg had two sons, called Gunnthiof and Hunthiof,men of might, both of them.And So Here Endeth The Story Of Frithiof The Bold


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