Njála, 154

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Chapter 154

KARI GOES ABROAD.


Those messmates Kari and Kolbein the Black put out to sea from Eyrar half a month later than Flosi and his companions from Hornfirth.

They got a fine fair wind, and were but a short time out. The first land they made was the Fair Isle, it lies between Shetland and the Orkneys. There that man whose name was David the White took Kari into his house, and he told him all that he had heard for certain about the doings of the burners. He was one of Kari's greatest friends, and Kari stayed with him for the winter.

There they heard tidings from the west out of the Orkneys of all that was done there.

Earl Sigurd bade to his feast at Yule Earl Gilli, his brother- in-law, out of the Southern isles; he had to wife Swanlauga, Earl Sigurd's sister; and then, too, came to see Earl Sigurd that king from Ireland whose name was Sigtrygg. He was a son of Olaf Rattle, but his mother's name was Kormlada; she was the fairest of all women, and best gifted in everything that was not in her own power, but it was the talk of men that she did all things ill over which she had any power.

Brian was the name of the king who first had her to wife, but they were then parted. He was the best-natured of all kings. He had his seat in Connaught, in Ireland; his brother's name was Wolf the Quarrelsome, the greatest champion and warrior; Brian's foster-child's name was Kerthialfad. He was the son of King Kylfi, who had many wars with King Brian, and fled away out of the land before him, and became a hermit; but when King Brian went south on a pilgrimage, then he met King Kylfi, and then they were atoned, and King Brian took his son Kerthialfad to him, and loved him more than his own sons. He was then full grown when these things happened, and was the boldest of all men.

Duncan was the name of the first of King Brian's sons; the second was Margad; the third, Takt, whom we call Tann, he was the youngest of them; but the elder sons of King Brian were full grown, and the briskest of men.

Kormlada was not the mother of King Brian's children, and so grim was she against King Brian after their parting, that she would gladly have him dead.

King Brian thrice forgave all his outlaws the same fault, but if they misbehaved themselves oftener, then he let them be judged by the law; and from this one may mark what a king he must have been.

Kormlada egged on her son Sigtrygg very much to kill King Brian, and she now sent him to Earl Sigurd to beg for help.

King Sigtrygg came before Yule to the Orkneys, and there, too, came Earl Gilli, as was written before.

The men were so placed that King Sigtrygg sat in a high seat in the middle, but on either side of the king sat one of the earls. The men of King Sigtrygg and Earl Gilli sate on the inner side away from him, but on the outer side away from Earl Sigurd, sate Flosi and Thorstein, son of Hall of the Side, and the whole hall was full.

Now King Sigtrygg and Earl Gilli wished to hear of these tidings which had happened at the burning, and so, also, what had befallen since.

Then Gunnar Lambi's son was got to tell the tale, and a stool was set for him to sit upon.

References


Kafli 154

Tóku þeir Friðarey. Hún er á milli Hjaltlands og Orkneyja. Við Kára tók sá maður er hét Davíð hvíti. Hann sagði Kára allt um ferðir þeirra Flosa slíkt sem hann hafði vís orðið. Hann var hinn mesti vin Kára og var Kári með honum um veturinn. Höfðu þeir þá fréttir vestan úr Hrossey allar þær er þar gerðust.

Sigurður jarl bauð til sín að jólum Gilla jarli mági sínum úr Suðureyjum. Hann átti Svanlaugu systur Sigurðar jarls. Þá kom til Sigurðar jarls konungur sá er Sigtryggur hét af Írlandi. Hann var sonur Ólafs kvarans en móðir hans hét Kormlöð. Hún var allra kvenna fegurst og best að sér orðin um það allt er henni var ósjálfrátt en það var mál manna að henni hafi allt verið illa gefið það er henni var sjálfrátt.

Brían hét konungur sá er hana hafði átta og voru þau þá skilin því að hann var allra manna best að sér. Hann sat í Kantaraborg á Írlandi. Bróðir hans var Úlfur hræða, hinn mesti kappi. Fóstri Bríans hét Kerþjálfaður. Hann var son Kylfis konungs þess er margar orustur átti við Brían konung og stökk úr landi fyrir honum og settist í stein. En þá er Brían konungur gekk suður þá fann hann Kylfi konung og sættust þeir þá. Tók Brían konungur við syni hans Kerþjálfaði og unni meira en sínum sonum. Var hann þá roskinn er þetta er tíðinda og allra manna fríðastur. Dungaður hét son Bríans konungs en annar Margaður, þriðji Taktur, þann köllum vér Tann. Hann var þeirra yngstur en hinir eldri synir Bríans konungs voru frumvaxta og manna vaskastir. Ekki var Kormlöð móðir barna Bríans konungs. En svo var hún orðin grimm Bríani konungi eftir skilnað þeirra að hún vildi hann gjarna feigan. Brían konungur gaf upp þrisvar útlögum sínum hinar sömu sakir. En ef þeir misgerðu oftar þá lét hann dæma þá að lögum. Og má af slíku marka hvílíkur konungur hann hefir verið.

Kormlöð eggjaði mjög Sigtrygg son sinn að drepa Brían konung. Sendi hún hann nú til Sigurðar jarls að biðja hann liðs. Kom Sigtryggur konungur fyrir jól til Orkneyja. Þar kom þá og Gilli jarl sem fyrr var ritað.

Svo var mönnum skipað að Sigtryggur konungur sat í miðju hásæti en til sinnar handar konungi sat hvor jarlanna. Sátu menn þeirra Sigtryggs konungs og Gilla jarls innar frá en utar frá Sigurði jarli sat Flosi og Þorsteinn Síðu-Hallsson og var skipuð öll höllin.

Sigtryggur konungur og Gilli jarl vildu heyra tíðindin þau er gerst höfðu um brennuna og svo síðan hún var. Þá var fenginn til Gunnar Lambason að segja söguna og var settur undir hann stóll.


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