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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 487 pages of information about The Danish History, Books I-IX.
But when he threatened that he would have the truth out of her by a trial, he was told that he was the offspring of a slave.  By the evidence of the avowal thus extorted he understood the whole mystery of the reproach upon his origin.  Abashed as he was with shame for his low estate, he was so ravished with the young man’s cleverness, that he asked him why he had aspersed the queen with the reproach that she had demeaned herself like a slave?  But while resenting that the courtliness of his wife had been accused in the midnight gossip of guest, he found that her mother had been a bondmaid.  For Amleth said he had noted in her three blemishes showing the demeanor of a slave; first, she had muffled her head in her mantle as handmaids do; next, that she had gathered up her gown for walking; and thirdly, that she had first picked out with a splinter, and then chewed up, the remnant of food that stuck in the crevices between her teeth.  Further, he mentioned that the king’s mother had been brought into slavery from captivity, lest she should seem servile only in her habits, yet not in her birth.

Then the king adored the wisdom of Amleth as though it were inspired, and gave him his daughter to wife; accepting his bare word as though it were a witness from the skies.  Moreover, in order to fulfil the bidding of his friend, he hanged Amleth’s companions on the morrow.  Amleth, feigning offence, treated this piece of kindness as a grievance, and received from the king, as compensation, some gold, which he afterwards melted in the fire, and secretly caused to be poured into some hollowed sticks.

When he had passed a whole year with the king he obtained leave to make a journey, and returned to his own land, carrying away of all his princely wealth and state only the sticks which held the gold.  On reaching Jutland, he exchanged his present attire for his ancient demeanour, which he had adopted for righteous ends, purposely assuming an aspect of absurdity.  Covered with filth, he entered the banquet-room where his own obsequies were being held, and struck all men utterly aghast, rumour having falsely noised abroad his death.  At last terror melted into mirth, and the guests jeered and taunted one another, that he whose last rites they were celebrating as through he were dead, should appear in the flesh.  When he was asked concerning his comrades, he pointed to the sticks he was carrying, and said, “Here is both the one and the other.”  This he observed with equal truth and pleasantry; for his speech, though most thought it idle, yet departed not from the truth; for it pointed at the weregild of the slain as though it were themselves.  Thereon, wishing to bring the company into a gayer mood, he jollied the cupbearers, and diligently did the office of plying the drink.  Then, to prevent his loose dress hampering his walk, he girdled his sword upon his side, and purposely drawing it several times, pricked his fingers with its point.  The bystanders accordingly

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