Njála, 111

From WikiSaga
Jump to: navigation, search


Contents

Chapter 111

THE SLAYING OF HAUSKULD, THE PRIEST OFWHITENESS.


About that time Hauskuld, the Priest of Whiteness, awoke; he put on his clothes, and threw over him his cloak, Flosi's gift. He took his corn-sieve, and had his sword in his other hand, and walks towards the fence, and sows the corn as he goes.

Skarphedinn and his band had agreed that they would all give him a wound. Skarphedinn sprang up from behind the fence, but when Hauskuld saw him he wanted to turn away, then Skarphedinn ran up to him and said, "Don't try to turn on thy heel, Whiteness priest," and hews at him, and the blow came on his head, and he fell on his knees. Hauskuld said these words when he fell, "God help me,[1] and forgive you!"[2]

Then they all ran up to him and gave him wounds.

After that Mord said, "A plan comes into my mind."

"What is that?" says Skarphedinn.

"That I shall fare home as soon as I can, but after that I will fare up to Gritwater, and tell them the tidings, and say 'tis an ill deed; but I know surely that Thorgerda will ask me to give notice of the slaying, and I will do that, for that will be the surest way to spoil their suit. I will also send a man to Ossaby and know how soon they take any counsel in the matter, and that man will learn all these tidings thence, and I will make believe that I have heard them from him."

"Do so by all means," says Skarphedinn.

Those brothers fared home, and Kari with them, and when they came home they told Njal the tidings.

"Sorrowful tidings are these," says Njal, "and such are ill to hear, for sooth to say this grief touches me so nearly, that methinks it were better to have lost two of my sons and that Hauskuld lived."

"It is some excuse for thee," says Skarphedinn, "that thou art an old man, and it is to be looked for that this touches thee nearly."

"But this," says Njal, "no less than old age, is why I grieve, that I know better than thou what will come after."

"What will come after?" says Skarphedinn.

"My death," says Njal, "and the death of my wife and of all my sons."

"What dost thou foretell for me?" says Kari.

"They will have hard work to go against thy good fortune, for thou wilt be more than a match for all of them."

This one thing touched Njal so nearly that he could never speak of it without shedding tears.

References

  1. God help me: "Höskuldur is depicted in the saga as a model of Christian virtue and the representation of his death owes much to hagiographic models. His last words, in particular, highlight his holiness (…). The graphic novel [Brennan] emphasizes the centrality of the scene by dividing it into several panels (…). The segmentation (…) gives the authors the possibility to interrupt Höskuldur's sentence with Skarpheðinn's exhortation 'vertu þig!' ('defend yourself!') which, contrasting with the victim's passivity, renders explicit and emphasizes the allusion to the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5. 38-39 and Luke 6. 29." Ferrari, Fulvio. From Saga to Comics (p. 357)
  2. forgive you: “When the author of Njáls saga modeled the killing of Höskuldr on the martyrdom of Stephen, and had him refuse to use his sword against his attackers, he made of him an embodiment of the new law in action. Höskuldr rejects the old code of ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth,’ receives Skarpheðinn ́s first blow to the head, and submits to further blows. The weapon he does choose to wield is love, articulated in the prayer for his killers, and the battle he wages is for their souls, not against their bodies.” Hamer, Andrew. Njáls saga and its Christian Background: A Study of Narrative Method (p. 198)

Kafli 111

Í þenna tíma vaknaði Höskuldur Hvítanesgoði. Hann fór í klæði sín og tók yfir sig skikkjuna Flosanaut. Hann tók kornkippu og sverð í aðra hönd og fer til gerðisins og sáir niður korninu.

Þeir Skarphéðinn höfðu það mælt með sér að þeir skyldu allir á honum vinna. Skarphéðinn spratt upp undan garðinum. En er Höskuldur sá hann vildi hann undan snúa.

Þá hljóp Skarphéðinn að honum og mælti: „Hirð eigi þú að hopa á hæl, Hvítanesgoði“ og höggur til hans og kom í höfuðið og féll hann á knéin.

Höskuldur mælti þetta: „Guð hjálpi mér[1] en fyrirgefi yður.“ [2]

Hljópu þeir þá að honum allir og unnu á honum.

Eftir það mælti Mörður: „Ráð kemur mér í hug.“

„Hvert er það?“ segir Skarphéðinn.

„Það er eg mun fara heim fyrst en síðan mun eg fara upp til Grjótár og segja þeim tíðindin og láta illa yfir verkinu. En eg veit víst að Þorgerður mun biðja mig að eg lýsi víginu og mun eg það gera því að þeim mega það mest málaspell vera. Eg mun og senda mann í Ossabæ og vita hversu skjótt þau taki til ráða og mun sá spyrja þar tíðindin og mun eg láta sem eg taki af þeim.“

„Farðu svo með víst,“ segir Skarphéðinn.

Þeir bræður fóru heim og Kári. Og er þeir komu heim sögðu þeir Njáli tíðindin.

„Hörmuleg tíðindi eru þetta,“ segir Njáll, „og er slíkt illt að vita því að það er satt að segja að svo fellur mér þetta nær um trega að mér þætti betra að hafa látið tvo sonu mína og lifði Höskuldur.“

„Það er nokkur vorkunn,“ segir Skarphéðinn. „Þú ert maður gamall og er von að þér falli nær.“

„Eigi er það síður en elli,“ segir Njáll, „að eg veit gerr en þér hvað eftir mun koma.“

„Hvað mun eftir koma?“ segir Skarphéðinn.

„Dauði minn,“ segir Njáll, „og konu minnar og allra sona minna.“

„Hvað spáir þú fyrir mér?“ segir Kári.

„Erfitt mun þeim að ganga í móti giftu þinni því að þú munt þeim öllum drjúgari verða.“

Sjá einn hlutur var svo að Njáli féll svo nær að hann mátti aldrei óklökkvandi um tala.

Tilvísanir

  1. Guð hjálpi mér: "Höskuldur is depicted in the saga as a model of Christian virtue and the representation of his death owes much to hagiographic models. His last words, in particular, highlight his holiness (…). The graphic novel [Brennan] emphasizes the centrality of the scene by dividing it into several panels (…). The segmentation (…) gives the authors the possibility to interrupt Höskuldur's sentence with Skarpheðinn's exhortation 'vertu þig!' ('defend yourself!') which, contrasting with the victim's passivity, renders explicit and emphasizes the allusion to the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5. 38-39 and Luke 6. 29." Ferrari, Fulvio. From Saga to Comics (s. 357)
  2. fyrirgefi yður: “When the author of Njáls saga modeled the killing of Höskuldr on the martyrdom of Stephen, and had him refuse to use his sword against his attackers, he made of him an embodiment of the new law in action. Höskuldr rejects the old code of ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth,’ receives Skarpheðinn ́s first blow to the head, and submits to further blows. The weapon he does choose to wield is love, articulated in the prayer for his killers, and the battle he wages is for their souls, not against their bodies.” Hamer, Andrew. ''Njáls saga and its Christian Background: A Study of Narrative Method.'' (s. 198)

Links

Personal tools