The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson.
one dark night, they betook themselves to flight.  No sooner had the Master missed them than he sent in pursuit of them; but in vain, and the heavens were too overcast to admit, according to his custom, of reading their whereabouts in the stars.  So they traveled day and night and all the following day.  But the next night was clear, and the Master at once read in the stars where they were, and set out after them at full speed.  Then Saemund, casting his eyes up at the heavens, said, “Now is my Master in chase of us, and sees where we are.”  And on John asking what was to be done, he answered:  “Take one of my shoes off, fill it with water, and set it on my head.”  John did so, and at the same moment, the Master, looking up at the heavens, says to his companion:  “Bad news; the stranger John has drowned my pupil; there is water about his forehead.”  And thereupon returned home.  The pair now again prosecute their journey night and day; but, in the following night, the Master again consults the stars, when, to his great amazement, he sees the star of Saemund directly above his head, and again sets off after the fugitives.  Observing this, Saemund says:  “The astrologer is again after us, and again we must look to ourselves; take my shoe off again, and with your knife stab me in the thigh; fill the shoe with blood, and place it on the top of my head.”  John does as directed, and the Master, again gazing at the stars, says:  “There is blood now about the star of Master Koll, and the stranger has for certain murdered him,” and so returns home.  The old man now has once more recourse to his art; but on seeing Saemund’s star shining brightly above him, he exclaimed:  “My pupil is still living; so much the better.  I have taught him more than enough; for he outdoes me both in astrology and magic.  Let them now proceed in safety; I am unable to hinder their departure.”]

[Footnote 2:  Bishop P.E.  Muller supposes the greater number of the Eddaic poems to be of the 8th century.  Sagabibliothek II, p, 131.]

[Footnote 3:  Codex Regius, No. 2365, 4to.  The handwriting of this MS. is supposed to be of the beginning of the 14th century.]

[Footnote 4:  Snorre, at the death of John Loptson (A.D. 1197), does not appear to have possessed any property whatever, though he afterwards became the wealthiest man in Iceland.  His rise in the world was chiefly owing to his marriage with Herdisa, the daughter of a priest called Bersi the Rich,—­a very enviable surname, which no doubt enabled the Rev. gentleman to brave the decrees of Popes and Councils, and take to himself a wife—­who brought him a very considerable fortune.  If we may judge from Snorre’s biography, Christianity appears to have effected very little change in the character of the Icelanders.  We have the same turbulent and sanguinary scenes, the same loose conduct of the women, and perfidy, and remorseless cruelty of the men, as in the Pagan times.]


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The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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