The Danish History, Books I-IX eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 487 pages of information about The Danish History, Books I-IX.
with passion for her; but counselled Hother not to attack him in war, worthy as he was of his deadliest hate, for they declared that Balder was a demigod, sprung secretly from celestial seed.  When Hother had heard this, the place melted away and left him shelterless, and he found himself standing in the open and out in the midst of the fields, without a vestige of shade.  Most of all he marvelled at the swift flight of the maidens, the shifting of the place, and the delusive semblance of the building.  For he knew not that all that had passed around him had been a mere mockery and an unreal trick of the arts of magic.

Returning thence, he related to Gewar the mystification that had followed on his straying, and straightway asked him for his daughter.  Gewar answered that he would most gladly favour him, but that he feared if he rejected Balder he would incur his wrath; for Balder, he said, had proffered him a like request.  For he said that the sacred strength of Balder’s body was proof even against steel; adding, however, that he knew of a sword which could deal him his death, which was fastened up in the closest bonds; this was in the keeping of Miming, the Satyr of the woods, who also had a bracelet of a secret and marvellous virtue, that used to increase the wealth of the owner.  Moreover, the way to these regions was impassable and filled with obstacles, and therefore hard for mortal men to travel.  For the greater part of the road was perpetually beset with extraordinary cold.  So he advised him to harness a car with reindeer, by means of whose great speed he could cross the hard-frozen ridges.  And when he had got to the place, he should set up his tent away from the sun in such wise that it should catch the shadow of the cave where Miming was wont to be; while he should not in return cast a shade upon Miming, so that no unaccustomed darkness might be thrown and prevent the Satyr from going out.  Thus both the bracelet and the sword would be ready to his hand, one being attended by fortune in wealth and the other by fortune in war, and each of them thus bringing a great prize to the owner.  Thus much said Gewar; and Hother was not slow to carry out his instructions.  Planting his tent in the manner aforesaid, he passed the nights in anxieties and the days in hunting.  But through either season he remained very wakeful and sleepless, allotting the divisions of night and day so as to devote the one to reflection on events, and to spend the other in providing food for his body.  Once as he watched all night, his spirit was drooping and dazed with anxiety, when the Satyr cast a shadow on his tent.  Aiming a spear at him, he brought him down with the blow, stopped him, and bound him, while he could not make his escape.  Then in the most dreadful words he threatened him with the worst, and demanded the sword and bracelets.  The Satyr was not slow to tender him the ransom of his life for which he was asked.  So surely do all prize life beyond wealth; for nothing is ever cherished more among mortals than the breath of their own life.  Hother, exulting in the treasure he had gained, went home enriched with trophies which, though few, were noble.

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The Danish History, Books I-IX from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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