Njála, 074

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Chapter 74

Then Njal spoke and said, "Now I can no longer sit still and take no part. Let us go to where the neighbours sit on the inquest."

They went thither and challenged four neighbours out of the inquest, but they called on the five that were left to answer the following question in Gunnar's favour, "Whether those namesakes had gone out with that mind to the place of meeting to do Gunnar a mischief if they could?"

But all bore witness at once that so it was.

Then Njal called this a lawful defence to the suit, and said he would bring forward proof of it unless they gave over the suit to arbitration.

Then many chiefs joined in praying for an atonement, and so it was brought about that twelve men should utter an award in the matter.

Then either side went and handselled this settlement to the other. Afterwards the award was made, and the sum to be paid settled, and it was all to be paid down then and there at the Thing.

But besides, Gunnar was to go abroad and Kolskegg with him, and they were to be away three winters; but if Gunnar did not go abroad when he had a chance of a passage, then he was to be slain by the kinsmen of those whom he had killed.

Gunnar made no sign, as though he thought the terms of atonement were not good. He asked Njal for that money which he had handed over to him to keep. Njal had laid the money out at interest and paid it down all at once, and it just came to what Gunnar had to pay for himself.

Now they ride home. Gunnar and Njal rode both together from the Thing, and then Njal said to Gunnar, "Take good care, messmate, that thou keepest to this atonement, and bear in mind what we have spoken about; for though thy former journey abroad brought thee to great honour, this will be a far greater honour to thee. Thou wilt come back with great glory, and live to be an old man, and no man here will then tread on thy heel; but if thou dost not fare away, and so breakest thy atonement, then thou wilt be slain here in the land, and that is ill knowing for those who are thy friends."

Gunnar said he had no mind to break the atonement,[1] and he rides home and told them of the settlement.

Rannveig said it was well that he fared abroad, for then they must find some one else to quarrel with.

References

  1. break the atonement: "The reader had been expecting no such easy solution to Gunnarr's problems. Njáll had explained to Gunnarr what conditions would lead to his death, and Gunnarr had fulfilled those conditions, but oddly, a mere three-year exile emerged from the action. Gunnar's death, which had seemed imminent, suddenly recedes as a possibility." Berger, Alan J. The meaning of "Njáls saga" (p. 5).

Kafli 74

Þá mælti Njáll: „Nú mun eigi mega sitjanda hlut í eiga. Göngum nú þar til sem búarnir sitja.“

Þeir gengu þangað til og kvöddu fjóra búa úr kviðinum en kvöddu hina fimm bjargkviðar, er eftir voru, um málið Gunnars, hvort þeir nafnar hefðu farið með þann hug til fundar að vinna á Gunnari ef þeir mættu. En allir báru það skjótt að það hefði verið. Kallaði Njáll þetta lögvörn fyrir málið og kvaðst mundu fram bera vörnina nema þeir legðu til sætta. Voru í þessu þá margir höfðingjar að biðja sættanna og fékkst það af að tólf menn skyldu gera um málið. Gengu hvorir þá og handsöluðu þessa sætt.

Eftir það var gert um málið og kveðið á fégjald og skyldi allt greitt þegar þar á þingi en Gunnar skyldi fara utan og Kolskeggur og vera í brautu þrjá vetur. En ef Gunnar færi eigi og mætti hann komast þá skyldi hann dræpur fyrir frændum hins vegna.

Gunnar lét ekki á sig finna að honum þætti eigi góð sættin. Gunnar spurði Njál að fé því er hann hafði fengið til varðveislu. Njáll hafði ávaxtað féið og greiddi þá fram allt féið og stóðst það á endum og það er Gunnar átti að gjalda fyrir sig.

Ríða þeir nú heim.

Þeir Njáll og Gunnar riðu báðir samt af þingi.

Þá mælti Njáll til Gunnars: „Gerðu svo vel, félagi, að þú halt sætt þessa og mun hvað við höfum við mælt. Og svo sem þér varð hin fyrri ferð mikil til sæmdar þá mun þér verða þessi miklu meir til sæmdar. Muntu koma út með mikilli mannvirðingu og verða maður gamall og mun engi maður hér þá á sporði þér standa. En ef þú ferð eigi utan og rýfur sætt þína þá muntu drepinn vera hér á landi og er það illt að vita þeim er vinir þínir eru.“

Gunnar kvaðst ekki ætla að rjúfa sættir.[1]

Gunnar ríður heim og segir sættina. Rannveig kvað vel að hann færi utan og ættu þeir við annan að deila fyrst.

Tilvísanir

  1. rjúfa sættir: "The reader had been expecting no such easy solution to Gunnarr's problems. Njáll had explained to Gunnarr what conditions would lead to his death, and Gunnarr had fulfilled those conditions, but oddly, a mere three-year exile emerged from the action. Gunnar's death, which had seemed imminent, suddenly recedes as a possibility." Berger, Alan J. The meaning of "Njáls saga" (s. 5).

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