Till about the Year of Grace 860 there were no kings in Norway, nothing but numerous jarls,--essentially
kinglets, each presiding over a kind of republican or parliamentary little territory; generally striving each to be
on some terms of human neighborhood with those about him, but,--in spite of "_Fylke Things_" (Folk Things,
little parish parliaments), and small combinations of these, which had gradually formed themselves,--often
reduced to the unhappy state of quarrel with them.
Who has not heard of the Vikings—the dauntless sea-rovers, who in the days of long ago were the dread of Northern Europe? We English should know something of them, for Viking blood flowed in the veins of many of our ancestors. And these fierce fighting men came in their ships across the North Sea from Norway on more than one occasion to invade England. But they came once too often, and were thoroughly defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, when, as will be remembered, Harald the Hard, King of Norway, was killed in attempting to turn his namesake, King...
The following narrative is not so much a story as a biography. My hero is not an imaginary one; he was a real flesh and blood man who reigned as King of Norway just nine centuries ago. The main facts of his adventurous career -- his boyhood of slavery in Esthonia, his life at the court of King Valdemar, his wanderings as a viking, the many battles he fought, his conversion to Christianity in England, and his ultimate return to his native land -- are set forth in the various Icelandic sagas dealing with the period in which he...
A deadly feud was raging among the boys of Numedale. The East-Siders hated the West-Siders, and thrashed them when they got a chance; and the West-Siders, when fortune favored them, returned the compliment with interest. It required considerable courage for a boy to venture, unattended by comrades, into the territory of the enemy; and no one took the risk unless dire necessity compelled him. The hostile parties had played at war so long that they had forgotten that it was play; and now were actually inspired with the emotions which they had formerly simulated. Under the leadership of their...
Often enough, staying in a hotel in a foreign town, I have wished to sally forth and to dine or breakfast at the typical restaurant of the place, should there be one. Almost invariably I have found great difficulty in obtaining any information regarding any such restaurant. The proprietor of the caravanserai at which one is staying may admit vaguely that there are eating-houses in the town, but asks why one should be anxious to seek for second-class establishments when the best restaurant in the country is to be found under his roof. The hall-porter has even less scruples,...
the meane time, Brenne aduertised hereof, assembled a great nauie of ships, well furnished with people and
souldiers of the Norwegians, with the which he tooke his course homewards, but in the waie he [Sidenote:
Guilthdacus king of Denmarke.] was encountred by Guilthdacus king of Denmarke, the which had laid long in
wait for him, bicause of the yoong ladie which Brenne had maried, for whome he had béene a sutor to hir
father Elsing of long time.
This tale is founded upon two sagas, which have been translated literally and without attempt to accord their
discrepancies by York Powell and Vigfussen in their invaluable Origines Icelandicae. As well as those
versions I have had another authority to help me, in Laing's Sea-Kings of Norway. I have blent the two
accounts into one, and put forward the result with this word of explanation, which I hope will justify me in the
treatment I have given them.