Njála, 116

From WikiSaga
Jump to: navigation, search


Contents

Chapter 116

OF FLOSI AND HILDIGUNNA.

Hildigunna was out of doors, and said, "Now shall all the men of my household be out of doors when Flosi rides into the yard; but the women shall sweep the house and deck it with hangings, and make ready the high seat for Flosi."

Then Flosi rode into the town, and Hildigunna turned to him and said, "Come in safe and sound and happy kinsman, and my heart is fain at thy coming hither."

"Here," says Flosi, "we will break our fast, and then we will ride on."

Then their horses were tethered, and Flosi went into the sitting- room and sat him down, and spurned the high seat away from him on the dais, and said, "I am neither king nor earl, and there is no need to make a high seat for me to sit on, nor is there any need to make a mock of me."

Hildigunna was standing close by, and said, "It is ill if it mislikes thee, for this we did with a whole heart."

"If thy heart is whole towards me, then what I do will praise itself if it be well done, but it will blame itself if it be ill done."

Hildigunna laughed a cold laugh, and said, "There is nothing new in that, we will go nearer yet ere we have done."

She sat her down by Flosi, and they talked long and low.

After that the board was laid, and Flosi and his band washed their hands. Flosi looked hard at the towel and saw that it was all in rags, and had one end torn off. He threw it down on the bench and would not wipe himself with it, but tore off a piece of the tablecloth, and wiped himself with that, and then threw it to his men.

After that Flosi sat down to the board and bade men eat.

Then Hildigunna came into the room and went before Flosi, and threw her hair off her eyes and wept.

"Heavy-hearted art thou now, kinswoman," said Flosi, "when thou weepest, but still it is well that thou shouldst weep for a good husband."

"What vengeance or help shall I have of thee?" she says.

"I will follow up thy suit," said Flosi, "to the utmost limit of the law, or strive for that atonement which good men and true shall say that we ought to have as full amends."

"Hauskuld would avenge thee," she said, "if he had the blood-feud after thee."

"Thou lackest not grimness," answered Flosi, "and what thou wantest is plain."

"Arnor Ornolf's son, of Forswaterwood," said Hildigunna, "had done less wrong towards Thord Frey's priest thy father; and yet thy brothers Kolbein and Egil slew him at Skaptarfells-Thing."

Then Hildigunna went back into the hall and unlocked her chest, and then she took out the cloak, Flosi's gift,[1] and in it Hauskuld had been slain, and there she had kept it, blood and all. Then she went back into the sitting-room with the Cloak; she went up silently to Flosi. Flosi had just then eaten his full, and the board was cleared. Hildigunna threw the cloak over Flosi,[2] and the gore rattled down all over him.

Then she spoke and said, "This cloak, Flosi, thou gavest to Hauskuld, and now I will give it back to thee; he was slain in it, and I call God and all good men[3] to witness, that I abjure thee, by all the might of thy Christ, and by thy manhood and bravery, to take vengeance for all those wounds which he had on his dead body, or else to be called every man's dastard."

Flosi threw the cloak off him and hurled it into her lap, and said, "Thou art the greatest hell-hag, and thou wishest that we should take that course which will be the worst for all of us. But 'women's counsel is ever cruel.'"

Flosi was so stirred at this, that sometimes he was bloodred in the face, and sometimes ashy pale as withered grass, and sometimes blue as death.

Flosi and his men rode away; he rode to Holtford, and there waits for the sons of Sigfus and other of his men.

Ingialld dwelt at the Springs; he was the brother of Rodny, Hauskuld Njal's son's mother (1). Ingialld had to wife Thraslauga, the daughter of Egil, the son of Thord Frey's priest (2). Flosi sent word to Ingialld to come to him, and Ingialld went at once, with fourteen men. They were all of his household. Ingialld was a tall man and a strong, and slow to meddle with other men's business, one of the bravest of men, and very bountiful to his friends.

Flosi greeted him well, and said to him, "Great trouble hath now come on me and my brothers-in-law, and it is hard to see our way out of it; I beseech thee not to part from my suit until this trouble is past and gone."

"I am come into a strait myself," said Ingialld, "for the sake of the ties that there are between me and Njal and his sons, and other great matters which stand in the way."

"I thought," said Flosi, "when I gave away my brother's daughter to thee, that thou gavest me thy word to stand by me in every suit."

"It is most likely," says Ingialld, "that I shall do so, but still I will now, first of all, ride home, and thence to the Thing."

ENDNOTES:

(1) They were children of Hauskuld the White, the son of Ingialld the Strong, the son of Gerfinn the Red, the son of Solvi, the son of Thorstein Baresarks-bane.

(2) The mother of Egil was Thraslauga, the daughter of Thorstein Titling; the mother of Thraslauga was Unna, the daughter of Eyvind Karf.

References

  1. then she took out the cloak, Flosi's gift: " Hildigunn is arguing that the gift of the cloak imposes more than an obligation on the recipient to make a proper return; it also continually obliges the giver to warrant his gift, to ratify it, to defend the possessor of it in his right to wear it, especially a gift that bears his name. " Miller, William Ian. Valgard ‘the Wise’ and Hoskuld’s Blood: Chapters 107–16 (p. 204).
  2. Hildigunna threw the cloak over Flosi : " One may take a famous episode from Njáls saga as typical. Hildigunnr goads Flosi into avenging the death of her husband Hǫskuldr by (rather implausibly) saving up Hǫskuldr‘s blood in a cloak [...]. On the surface, this incitement seems familiar to Yngvildr‘s, right down to Flosi‘s response: ‚worst ... cold are the counsels of women.‘ But Yngvildr accomplishes her task with words alone." Waugh, Robin. Misogyny, women's language, and love-language. (p. 166)
  3. God and all good men: “I chose to begin by looking closely at Ch. 116 for two reasons. Firstly, because it summarises the three ways (within the world of the saga) in which it is possible to achieve redress for a killing: by means of the law, by a private settlement (both mentioned by Flosi) and by means of blood vengeance (which is Hildigunnr’s preference). Like most Íslendingasögur, Njáls saga rings the changes on these three methods of resolving a conflict. However, it is only when vengeance has been stretched to its fullest extent that the story can end. Secondly, this passage uses the expression ‘good man’ or ‘good men’ three times within a very short space. It occurred to me to ask what is meant by this expression and whether it has any connection with the major theme of resolving conflicts.” Jesch, Judith. "Good men" and peace in Njáls saga (pp. 64-65).

Kafli 116

Hildigunnur var úti og mælti: „Nú skulu allir heimamenn mínir vera úti er Flosi ríður í garð en konur skulu ræsta húsin og tjalda og búa Flosa öndvegi.“

Síðan reið Flosi í túnið. Hildigunnur sneri að honum og mælti: „Kom heill og sæll, frændi, og er fegið orðið hjarta mitt tilkomu þinni.“

„Hér skulum vér,“ segir Flosi, „eta dagverð og ríða síðan.“

Þá voru bundnir hestar þeirra.

Flosi gekk inn í stofuna og settist niður og kastaði í pallinn undan sér hásætinu og mælti: „Hvorki er eg konungur né jarl og þarf ekki að gera hásæti undir mér og þarf ekki að spotta mig.“

Hildigunnur var nær stödd og mælti: „Það er illa ef þér mislíkar því að þetta gerðum vér af heilum hug.“

Flosi mælti: „Ef þú hefir heilan hug við mig þá mun sjálft lofa sig ef vel er, enda mun sjálft lasta sig ef illa er.“

Hildigunnur hló kaldahlátur og mælti: „Ekki er enn mark að, nærri mun við ganga áður lýkur.“

Hún settist niður hjá Flosa og töluðu þau lengi hljótt.

Síðan voru borð tekin en Flosi tók laugar og lið hans. Flosi hugði að handklæðinu og var það raufar einar og numið til annars endans. Hann kastaði í bekkinn og vildi eigi þerra sér á og reist af borðdúkinum og þerrði sér þar á og kastaði til manna sinna. Síðan settist Flosi undir borð og bað menn eta.

Þá kom Hildigunnur í stofu og greiddi hárið frá augum sér og grét.

Flosi mælti: „Skapþungt er þér nú, frændkona, en þó er það vel er þú grætur góðan mann.“

„Hvert eftirmæli skal eg af þér hafa,“ segir hún, „eða liðveislu?“

Flosi mælti: „Sækja mun eg mál þitt til fullra laga eða veita til þeirra sætta er góðir menn sjá að vér séum vel sæmdir af í alla staði.“

Hún mælti: „Hefna mundi Höskuldur þín ef hann ætti eftir þig að mæla.“

Flosi svaraði: „Eigi skortir þig grimmleik og séð er hvað þú vilt.“

Hildigunnur mælti: „Minna hafði misgert Arnór Örnólfsson úr Fossárskógum við Þórð Freysgoða föður þinn og vógu bræður þínir hann á Skaftafellsþingi, Kolbeinn og Egill.“

Hildigunnur gekk þá fram í skálann og lauk upp kistu sinni. Tók hún þá upp skikkjuna er Flosi hafði gefið Höskuldi[1] og í þeirri var hann veginn og hafði hún þar varðveitt í blóðið allt. Hún gekk þá innar í stofuna með skikkjuna. Hún gekk þegjandi að Flosa. Þá var Flosi mettur og af borið af borðinu. Hildigunnur lagði yfir Flosa skikkjuna.[2] Dundi þá blóðið um hann allan.

Hún mælti þá: „Þessa skikkju gafst þú, Flosi, Höskuldi og vil eg nú gefa þér aftur. Var hann í þessi veginn. Skýt eg því til guðs og góðra manna[3] að eg særi þig fyrir alla krafta Krists þíns og fyrir manndóm og karlmennsku þína að þú hefnir þeirra allra sára sem hann hafði á sér dauðum eða heit hvers manns níðingur ella.“

Flosi kastaði af sér skikkjunni og rak í fang henni og mælti: „Þú ert hið mesta forað og vildir að vér tækjum það upp er öllum oss gegnir verst og eru köld kvenna ráð.“

Flosa brá svo við að hann var í andliti stundum sem blóð en stundum fölur sem gras en stundum blár sem hel.

Þeir Flosi riðu í braut. Hann reið til Holtavaðs og bíður þar Sigfússona og annarra sinna manna.

Ingjaldur bjó að Keldum, bróðir Hróðnýjar móður Höskulds Njálssonar. Þau voru börn Höskulds hins hvíta Ingjaldssonar hins sterka Geirfinnssonar hins rauða Sölvasonar Þorsteinssonar berserkjabana. Ingjaldur átti Þraslaugu dóttur Egils Þórðarsonar Freysgoða. Móðir Egils var Þraslaug dóttir Þorsteins tittlings. Móðir Þraslaugar var Unnur dóttir Eyvindar karpa.

Flosi sendi orð Ingjaldi að hann kæmi til hans. Ingjaldur fór þegar við hinn fimmtánda mann. Ingjaldur var mikill maður og styrkur og fálátur og hinn hraustasti karlmaður og fédrengur góður við vini sína.

Flosi fagnaði honum vel og mælti til hans: „Mikill vandi er kominn að hendi oss mágum og er nú vant úr að ráða. Bið eg þig að þú skiljist eigi við mitt mál fyrr en lýkur yfir vandræði þessi.“

Ingjaldur mælti: „Við vant er eg um kominn við tengda sakir við Njál og sonu hans og annarra stórra hluta er hér hvarfa í milli.“

Flosi mælti: „Það ætlaði eg þá er eg gifti þér bróðurdóttur mína að þú hést mér því að veita mér að hverju máli.“

„Það er og líkast,“ segir Ingjaldur, „að eg geri svo en þó vil eg nú heim ríða fyrst og þaðan til þings.“



Tilvísanir

  1. Tók hún þá upp skikkjuna er Flosi hafði gefið Höskuldi: " Hildigunn is arguing that the gift of the cloak imposes more than an obligation on the recipient to make a proper return; it also continually obliges the giver to warrant his gift, to ratify it, to defend the possessor of it in his right to wear it, especially a gift that bears his name. " Miller, William Ian. Valgard ‘the Wise’ and Hoskuld’s Blood: Chapters 107–16 (s. 204).
  2. Hildigunnur lagði yfir Flosa skikkjuna : " One may take a famous episode from Njáls saga as typical. Hildigunnr goads Flosi into avenging the death of her husband Hǫskuldr by (rather implausibly) saving up Hǫskuldr‘s blood in a cloak [...]. On the surface, this incitement seems familiar to Yngvildr‘s, right down to Flosi‘s response: ‚worst ... cold are the counsels of women.‘ But Yngvildr accomplishes her task with words alone." Waugh, Robin. Misogyny, women's language, and love-language. (s. 166)
  3. guðs og góðra manna: “I chose to begin by looking closely at Ch. 116 for two reasons. Firstly, because it summarises the three ways (within the world of the saga) in which it is possible to achieve redress for a killing: by means of the law, by a private settlement (both mentioned by Flosi) and by means of blood vengeance (which is Hildigunnr’s preference). Like most Íslendingasögur, Njáls saga rings the changes on these three methods of resolving a conflict. However, it is only when vengeance has been stretched to its fullest extent that the story can end. Secondly, this passage uses the expression ‘good man’ or ‘good men’ three times within a very short space. It occurred to me to ask what is meant by this expression and whether it has any connection with the major theme of resolving conflicts.” Jesch, Judith. "Good men" and peace in Njáls saga (s. 64-65).

Links

Personal tools