Sacred Texts  Legends & Sagas  Iceland  Index  Previous  Next 


Then Njal stood up and said, "This I pray, Hall of the Side, and Flosi, and all the sons of Sigfus, and all our men, too, that ye will not go away but listen to my words."

They did so, and then he spoke thus: "It seems to me as though this suit were come to naught, and it is likely it should, for it hath sprung from an ill root. I will let you all know that I loved Hauskuld more than my own sons, and when I heard that he was slain, methought the sweetest light of my eyes was quenched, and I would rather have lost all my sons, and that he were alive. Now I ask thee, Hall of the Side, and thee Runolf of the Dale, and thee Hjallti Skeggi's son, and thee Einar of Thvera, and thee Hafr the Wise, that I may be allowed to make an atonement for the slaying of Hauskuld on my son's behalf; and I wish that those men who are best fitted to do so shall utter the award."

Gizur, and Hafr, and Einar, spoke each on their own part, and prayed Flosi to take an atonement, and promised him their friendship in return.

Flosi answered them well in all things, but still did not give his word.

Then Hall of the Side said to Flosi, "Wilt thou now keep thy word, and grant me my boon which thou hast already promised me, when I put beyond sea Thorgrim, the son of Kettle the Fat, thy kinsman, when he had slain Halli the Red."

"I will grant it thee, father-in-law," said Flosi, "for that alone wilt thou ask which will make my honour greater than it erewhile was."

"Then," said Hall, "my wish is that thou shouldst be quickly atoned, and lettest good men and true make an award, and so buy the friendship of good and worthy men."

"I will let you all know," said Flosi, "that I will do according to the word of Hall, my father-in-law, and other of the worthiest men, that he and others of the best men on each side, lawfully named, shall make this award. Methinks Njal is worthy that I should grant him this."

Njal thanked him and all of them, and others who were by thanked them too, and said that Flosi had behaved well.

Then Flosi said, "Now will I name my daysmen (1): First, I name Hall, my father-in-law; Auzur from Broadwater; Surt Asbjorn's son of Kirkby; Modolf Kettle's son,"--he dwelt then at Asar--"Hafr the Wise; and Runoff of the Dale; and it is scarce worth while to say that these are the fittest men out of all my company."

Now he bade Njal to name his daysmen, and then Njal stood up, and said, "First of these I name, Asgrim Ellidagrim's son; and Hjallti Skeggi's son; Gizur the White; Einar of Thvera; Snorri the Priest; and Gudmund the Powerful."

After that Njal and Flosi, and the sons of Sigfus shook hands, and Njal pledged his hand on behalf of all his sons, and of Kari, his son-in-law, that they would hold to what those twelve men doomed; and one might say that the whole body of men at the Thing was glad at that.

Then men were sent after Snorri and Gudmund, for they were in their booths.

Then it was given out that the judges in this award would sit in the Court of Laws, but all the others were to go away.


(1) The true English word for "arbitrator," or " umpire." See "Job" ix. 33--"Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both." See also Holland's "Translations of Livy", Page 137--"A more shameful precedent for the time to come: namely, that umpires and dates-men should convert the thing in suit unto their own and proper vantage."

Next: 122. Of The Judges