Njála, 078

From WikiSaga
Jump to: navigation, search


Contents

Chapter 78

Njal could ill brook Gunnar's death, nor could the sons of Sigfus brook it either.

They asked whether Njal thought they had any right to give notice of a suit of manslaughter for Gunnar, or to set the suit on foot.

He said that could not be done, as the man had been outlawed; but said it would be better worth trying to do something to wound their glory, by slaying some men in vengeance[1] after him.[2]

They cast a cairn over Gunnar, and made him sit upright in the cairn. Rannveig would not hear of his bill being buried in the cairn, but said he alone should have it as his own, who was ready to avenge Gunnar. So no one took the bill.

She was so hard on Hallgerda, that she was on the point of killing her; and she said that she had been the cause of her son's slaying.

Then Hallgerda fled away to Gritwater, and her son Grani with her, and they shared the goods between them; Hogni was to have the land at Lithend and the homestead on it, but Grani was to have the land let out on lease.

Now this token happened at Lithend, that the neat-herd and the serving-maid were driving cattle by Gunnar's cairn. They thought that he was merry, and that he was singing inside the cairn. They went home and told Rannveig, Gunnar's mother, of this token, but she bade them go and tell Njal.

Then they went over to Bergthorsknoll and told Njal, but he made them tell it three times over.

After that, he had a long talk all alone with Skarphedinn; and Skarphedinn took his weapons and goes with them to Lithend.

Rannveig and Hogni gave him a hearty welcome, and were very glad to see him. Rannveig asked him to stay there some time, and he said he would.

He and Hogni were always together, at home and abroad. Hogni was a brisk, brave man, well-bred and well-trained in mind and body, but distrustful and slow to believe what he was told, and that was why they dared not tell him of the token.

Now those two, Skarphedinn and Hogni, were out of doors one evening by Gunnar's cairn on the south side. The moon and stars were shining clear and bright, but every now and then the clouds drove over them. Then all at once they thought they saw the cairn standing open, and lo! Gunnar had turned himself in the cairn and looked at the moon. They thought they saw four lights burning in the cairn, and none of them threw a shadow. They saw that Gunnar was merry, and he wore a joyful face. He sang a song, and so loud, that it might have been heard though they had been further off.

"He that lavished rings in largesse, When the fights' red rain-drips fell, Bright of face, with heart-strings hardy, Hogni's father met his fate; Then his brow with helmet shrouding, Bearing battle-shield, he spake, 'I will die the prop of battle, Sooner die than yield an inch, Yes, sooner die than yield an inch."

After that the cairn was shut up again.

"Wouldst thou believe these tokens if Njal or I told them to thee?" says Skarphedinn.

"I would believe them," he says, "if Njal told them, for it is said he never lies."

"Such tokens as these mean much," says Skarphedinn, "when he shows himself to us, he who would sooner die than yield to his foes; and see how he has taught us what we ought to do."

"I shall be able to bring nothing to pass," says Hogni, "unless thou wilt stand by me."

"Now," says Skarphedinn, "will I bear in mind how Gunnar behaved after the slaying of your kinsman Sigmund; now I will yield you such help as I may. My father gave his word to Gunnar to do that whenever thou or thy mother had need of it."

After that they go home to Lithend.

References

  1. by slaying some men in vengeance : “Blodig hämnd är självklar för honom [Njal]; att avstå från den är den svåraste skam han kan föreställa sig. […] Det handlar om att fienderna skall avstå från våld, inte om att hans familj och vänner skallgöra det. Någon principiell syn på hämnd uttrycker inte hans strävan efter fredlig förlikning.” Sävborg, Daniel. Konsten att läsa sagor (p. 189).
  2. slaying some men in vengeance after him.: " There is obviously no right to such revenge; should they pursue it they would leave themselves open to outlawry for taking it. But Njal believes that they can get away with it because, for one, Gunnar is too grand a man to die unavenged, so that there would be a kind of higher aesthetic justice served by avenging such as he, the law be damned." Miller, William Ian. Revenge for Gunnar: Chapters 77–81 (p. 145).

Kafli 78

Njáll kunni illa láti Gunnars og svo Sigfússynir. Þeir spurðu hvort Njáli þætti nokkuð eiga að lýsa vígsök Gunnars eða búa mál til. Hann kvað það ekki mega er maður var sekur orðinn og kvað heldur verða að veita þeim vegskarð í því að drepa menn nokkura í hefnd[1] eftir hann.[2]

Þeir urpu haug eftir Gunnar og létu hann sitja upp í hauginum. Rannveig vildi eigi að atgeirinn færi í hauginn og kvað þann einn skyldu á honum taka er hefna vildi Gunnars. Tók því engi á atgeirinum. Hún var svo hörð við Hallgerði að henni hélt við að hún mundi drepa hana og kvað hana valdið hafa vígi sonar síns. Stökk þá Hallgerður til Grjótár og Grani son hennar. Var þá gert féskipti með þeim. Skyldi Högni hafa land að Hlíðarenda og bú á en Grani skyldi hafa leigulönd.

Sá atburður varð að Hlíðarenda að smalamaður og griðkona ráku fé hjá haugi Gunnars. Þeim þótti hann vera kátur og kveða í hauginum. Fóru þau heim og sögðu Rannveigu móður Gunnars atburðinn en hún bað þau segja Njáli. Fóru þau þá til Bergþórshvols og sögðu Njáli en hann lét segja sér þrem sinnum. Eftir það talaði hann lengi hljótt við Skarphéðin.

Hann tók vopn sín og fer með þeim til Hlíðarenda. Þau Högni og Rannveig tóku við honum allvel og urðu honum fegin mjög. Rannveig bað að hann væri þar lengi. Hann hét því. Þeir Högni gengu út og inn jafnan. Högni var maður vasklegur og vel að sér ger og tortryggur og þorðu þau fyrir því eigi að segja honum fyrirburðinn.

Þeir Skarphéðinn og Högni voru úti hjá haugi Gunnars suður frá. Tunglskin var bjart en stundum dró fyrir. Þeim sýndist haugurinn opinn og hafði Gunnar snúist í hauginum og sá í móti tunglinu. Þeir þóttust sjá fjögur ljós í hauginum brenna og bar hvergi skugga á. Þeir sáu að Gunnar var kátlegur og með gleðibragði miklu. Hann kvað vísu og svo hátt að þó mátti heyra gjörla þótt þeir væru firr:


25. Mælti döggla deilir,

dáðum rakkur, sá er háði

bjartur með bestu hjarta

benrögn, faðir Högna:

Heldur kvaðst hjálmi faldinn

hjörþilju sjá vilja

veitidraug en vægja,

val-Freyju stafur, deyja

og val-Freyju stafur deyja.


Síðan laukst aftur haugurinn.

„Mundir þú trúa fyrirburð þessum ef Njáll segði þér eða eg?“ segir Skarphéðinn.“

„Trúa mundi eg,“ segir hann, „ef Njáll segði því að það er sagt að hann ljúgi aldrei.“

„Mikið er um fyrirburði slíka,“ segir Skarphéðinn. „Hann sjálfur vitrast okkur og vildi heldur deyja en vægja fyrir óvinum sínum og kenndi hann okkur þau ráð.“

„Engu mun eg til leiðar koma,“ segir Högni, „nema þú viljir mér að veita.“

„Nú skal eg það muna hversu Gunnari fór eftir víg Sigmundar frænda yðvars. Skal eg nú veita yður slíkt er eg má. Hét faðir minn því Gunnari þar er þú ættir hlut að eða móðir hans.“

Gengu þeir síðan heim til Hlíðarenda.


Tilvísanir

  1. að drepa menn nokkura í hefnd : “Blodig hämnd är självklar för honom [Njal]; att avstå från den är den svåraste skam han kan föreställa sig. […] Det handlar om att fienderna skall avstå från våld, inte om att hans familj och vänner skallgöra det. Någon principiell syn på hämnd uttrycker inte hans strävan efter fredlig förlikning.” Sävborg, Daniel. Konsten att läsa sagor (s. 189).
  2. drepa menn nokkura í hefnd eftir hann.: " There is obviously no right to such revenge; should they pursue it they would leave themselves open to outlawry for taking it. But Njal believes that they can get away with it because, for one, Gunnar is too grand a man to die unavenged, so that there would be a kind of higher aesthetic justice served by avenging such as he, the law be damned." Miller, William Ian. Revenge for Gunnar: Chapters 77–81 (s. 145).

Links

Personal tools