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There was a man whose name was Njal. He was the son of Thorgeir Gelling, the son of Thorolf. Njal's mother's name was Asgerda (1). Njal dwelt at Bergthorsknoll in the land-isles; he had another homestead on Thorolfsfell. Njal was wealthy in goods, and handsome of face; no beard grew on his chin. He was so great a lawyer, that his match was not to be found. Wise too he was, and foreknowing and foresighted (2). Of good counsel, and ready to give it, and all that he advised men was sure to be the best for them to do. Gentle and generous, he unravelled every man's knotty points who came to see him about them. Bergthora was his wife's name; she was Skarphedinn's daughter, a very high- spirited, brave-hearted woman, but somewhat hard-tempered. They had six children, three daughters and three sons, and they all come afterwards into this story.


(1) She was the daughter of Lord Ar the Silent. She had come out hither to Iceland from Norway, and taken land to the west of Markfleet, between Auldastone and Selialandsmull. Her son was Holt-Thorir, the father of Thorleif Crow, from whom the Wood-dwellers are sprung, and of Thorgrim the Tall, and Skorargeir.

(2) This means that Njal was one of those gifted beings who, according to the firm belief of that age, had a more than human insight into things about to happen. It answers very nearly to the Scottish "second sight."

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