Njála, 159

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Chapter 159

OF FLOSI AND KARI.


Now it is to be told of Kari that the summer after he went down to his ship and sailed south across the sea, and began his pilgrimage[1] in Normandy, and so went south and got absolution and fared back by the western way, and took his ship again in Normandy, and sailed in her north across the sea to Dover in England.

Thence he sailed west, round Wales, and so north, through Scotland's firths, and did not stay his course till he came to Thraswick in Caithness, to master Skeggi's house.

There he gave over the ship of burden to Kolbein and David, and Kolbein sailed in that ship to Norway, but David stayed behind in the Fair Isle.

Kari was that winter in Caithness. In this winter his housewife died out in Iceland.

The next summer Kari busked him for Iceland. Skeggi gave him a ship of burden, and there were eighteen of them on board her.

They were rather late "boun," but still they put to sea, and had a long passage, but at last they made Ingolf's Head. There their ship was dashed all to pieces, but the men's lives were saved. Then, too, a gale of wind came on them.

Now they ask Kari what counsel was to be taken; but he said their best plan was to go to Swinefell and put Flosi's manhood to the proof.

So they went right up to Swinefell in the storm. Flosi was in the sitting-room. He knew Kari as soon as ever he came into the room, and sprang up to meet him, and kissed him, and sate him down in the high seat by his side.

Flosi asked Kari to be there that winter, and Kari took his offer.[2] Then they were atoned with a full atonement. [3]

Then Flosi gave away his brother's daughter Hildigunna,[4] whom Hauskuld the priest of Whiteness had had to wife[5] to Kari, and they dwelt first of all at Broadwater.

Men say that the end of Flosi's life was, that he fared abroad, when he had grown old, to seek for timber to build him a hall; and he was in Norway that winter, but the next summer he was late "boun"; and men told him that his ship was not seaworthy.

Flosi said she was quite good enough for an old and deathdoomed man, and bore his goods on shipboard and put out to sea.[6] But of that ship no tidings were ever heard.[7]

These were the children of Kari Solmund's son and Helga Njal's daughter--Thorgerda and Ragneida, Valgerda, and Thord who was burnt in Njal's house. But the children of Hildigunna and Kari, were these, Starkad, and Thord, and Flosi.

The son of Burning-Flosi was Kolbein, who has been the most famous man of any of that stock.


And here we end the STORY of BURNT NJAL.

References

  1. and began his pilgrimage : " Otto Springer has argued that there existed a third pilgrim route for Scandinavians traveling to Rome, a route that passed through Normandy in addition to the two better documented routes through Germany and by sea. A hard piece of evidence for this claim is found in the final chapter of Brennu-Njáls saga where we find [a] description of Kári Sǫlmundarson’s journeys." White, Paul. The Latin Men. (p. 165)
  2. Kari took his offer: "Although there are other episodes in the sagas wherein enemies are forced together by bad weather and so come to recognize each other as friends, nowhere do such great enemies so suddenly befriend each other." Berger, Alan J. The meaning of "Njáls saga" (p. 6).
  3. full atonement: “We see Kári as the final hero, uniting in himself the figures of the heroic individual, Gunnar, and the man of justice and Christianity, Njál, but finding for himself a new solution, and on which involves life, not death.” Fox, Denton. Njáls Saga and the Western Literary Tradition (p. 309)
  4. Hildigunna: "The author seems to have trouble figuring out how to end his saga. The marriage of Hildigunn to Kari is improbable and perfunctory, as if he were throwing up his hands in despair at how to bring his story to a close." Miller, William Ian. How Not to End a Saga, Unless...: Chapters 146–59 (p. 294).
  5. had had to wife: "Hildigunnr’s marriage to Kári comes at the very end of the saga, and it symbolizes a new spirit of peace and forgiveness, confirmed by Flosi and Kári receiving absolution in Rome." Vésteinn Ólason. Topography and world view in Njáls saga (p. 135)
  6. bore his goods on shipboard and put out to sea : " There is one final journey to be considered, one which forms a kind of coda to the journeys abroad in the saga, and to the saga itself. The fetching of wood for a hall or church in Iceland is a stereotyped motif, and so of course is the winter's stay in Norway and even the late start home. But to do all this as an old man, and to board an unsafe ship with the thought that it will conduct him to his appointed death, is far from the journey pattern and shows, for one final moment, how dexterously the Njala author has adapted the motifs of the journey abroad to the artistic and thematic needs of the saga." Cook, Robert. Journeys to Norway (and other foreign parts) in Njáls saga (p. 137)
  7. were ever heard: “This seems the apposite ending for a character that was never predestined to die as such but was rather obliged to suffer the deaths of all those around him, all for an act that was regretful from the very first, and was compelled to carry the foreknowledge of their deaths through the periodic and protracted revenge sequence.” Crocker, Christopher, To Dream is to Bury (pp. 289-290).

Kafli 159

Nú er segja frá Kára að um sumarið eftir fór hann til skips síns og sigldi suður um sjá og hóf upp suðurgöngu sína[1] í Norðmandí og gekk suður og þá lausn og fór aftur hina vestri leið og tók skip sitt í Norðmandí og sigldi norður um sjó til Dofra á Englandi. Þaðan sigldi hann vestur um Bretland og svo norður fyrir Skotlandsfjörðu og létti eigi fyrr ferð sinni en hann kom í Þrasvík á Katanesi til Skeggja bónda. Fékk hann þá þeim Kolbeini og Davíði byrðinginn. Sigldi Kolbeinn þessu skipi til Noregs en Davíður var eftir í Friðarey. Kári var þenna vetur á Katanesi. Á þessum vetri andaðist húsfreyja hans á Íslandi.

Um sumarið eftir bjóst Kári til Íslands. Skeggi fékk honum byrðing. Voru þeir þar á átján. Þeir urðu heldur síðbúnir og sigldu þó í haf og höfðu langa útivist. En um síðir tóku þeir Ingólfshöfða og brutu þar skipið allt í spón. Þar varð mannbjörg. Þá gerði og á hríðveður. Spyrja þeir nú Kára hvað nú skal til ráða taka en hann sagði það ráð að fara til Svínafells og reyna þegnskap Flosa. Gengu þeir nú heim til Svínafells í hríðinni.

Flosi var í stofu. Hann kenndi Kára er hann kom í stofuna og spratt upp í móti honum og minntist til hans og setti hann í hásæti hjá sér. Flosi bauð Kára að vera þar um veturinn. Kári þá það.[2] Sættust þeir þá heilum sáttum. [3] Flosi gifti þá Kára Hildigunni[4] bróðurdóttur sína er Höskuldur Hvítanesgoði hafði átta.[5] Bjuggu þau þá fyrst að Breiðá.

Það segja menn að þau yrðu ævilok Flosa að hann færi utan þá er hann var orðinn gamall að sækja sér skálavið og var hann í Noregi þann vetur. En um sumarið var hann síðbúinn. Menn ræddu um að vant væri skip hans. Flosi sagði vera ærið gott gömlum og feigum og sté á skip og lét í haf.[6] Og hefir til þess skips aldrei spurst síðan.[7]

Þessi voru börn þeirra Kára Sölmundarsonar og Helgu Njálsdóttur: Þorgerður og Ragneiður, Valgerður og Þórður er inni brann. En börn þeirra Hildigunnar og Kára voru þeir Starkaður og Þórður og Flosi. Son Brennu-Flosa var Kolbeinn er ágætastur maður hefir verið einnhver í þeirri ætt.

Og lúkum vér þar Brennu-Njálssögu.

Tilvísanir

  1. hóf upp suðurgöngu sína : " Otto Springer has argued that there existed a third pilgrim route for Scandinavians traveling to Rome, a route that passed through Normandy in addition to the two better documented routes through Germany and by sea. A hard piece of evidence for this claim is found in the final chapter of Brennu-Njáls saga where we find [a] description of Kári Sǫlmundarson’s journeys." White, Paul. The Latin Men. (s. 165)
  2. Kári þá það: "Although there are other episodes in the sagas wherein enemies are forced together by bad weather and so come to recognize each other as friends, nowhere do such great enemies so suddenly befriend each other." Berger, Alan J. The meaning of "Njáls saga" (s. 6).
  3. heilum sáttum.: “We see Kári as the final hero, uniting in himself the figures of the heroic individual, Gunnar, and the man of justice and Christianity, Njál, but finding for himself a new solution, and on which involves life, not death.” Fox, Denton. Njáls Saga and the Western Literary Tradition (p. 309)
  4. Hildigunni : "The author seems to have trouble figuring out how to end his saga. The marriage of Hildigunn to Kari is improbable and perfunctory, as if he were throwing up his hands in despair at how to bring his story to a close." Miller, William Ian. How Not to End a Saga, Unless...: Chapters 146–59 (s. 294).
  5. hafði átta: "Hildigunnr’s marriage to Kári comes at the very end of the saga, and it symbolizes a new spirit of peace and forgiveness, confirmed by Flosi and Kári receiving absolution in Rome." Vésteinn Ólason. Topography and world view in Njáls saga (s. 135)
  6. sté á skip og lét í haf. : " There is one final journey to be considered, one which forms a kind of coda to the journeys abroad in the saga, and to the saga itself. The fetching of wood for a hall or church in Iceland is a stereotyped motif, and so of course is the winter's stay in Norway and even the late start home. But to do all this as an old man, and to board an unsafe ship with the thought that it will conduct him to his appointed death, is far from the journey pattern and shows, for one final moment, how dexterously the Njala author has adapted the motifs of the journey abroad to the artistic and thematic needs of the saga." Cook, Robert. Journeys to Norway (and other foreign parts) in Njáls saga (s. 137)
  7. aldrei spurst síðan: “This seems the apposite ending for a character that was never predestined to die as such but was rather obliged to suffer the deaths of all those around him, all for an act that was regretful from the very first, and was compelled to carry the foreknowledge of their deaths through the periodic and protracted revenge sequence.” Crocker, Christopher, To Dream is to Bury (s. 289-290).

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