Kolbein Kaldaljos.—The bishop has ordered to set a guard over the see, and to ring out the ‘Peace of God’ over all the land.
Broddi (in furious wrath).—The hellish coward! So afraid he was for his life! A manifold crime it would be, then, if we attempt anything. Better had it been for us Northlanders if the archbishop had appointed a dog to be our bishop! (The watchword is taken up outside, first near by, then farther and farther away: ‘God is our castle,’ ’God is our castle,’—’is our castle,’ ‘our castle,’—’castle.’ The cathedral bells begin ringing out the ‘Peace of God.’ BRODDI rushes at KOLBEIN KALDALJOS.) Let them stop this ringing!
Kolbein Kaldaljos.—No, no, the bishop has commanded it.
Broddi (grips him with both hands at his shoulders and forces him on his knees).—Let them stop this ringing, wretch!
Kolbein Kaldaljos.—Hold the peace of the church, Broddi! I am an old man.
Broddi (letting go of KOLBEIN).—But a few moments ago our fight with Kolbein was altogether won, but now it is (casts his steel glove on the floor) altogether lost.
(The ringing continues vigorously while the curtain drops.)
(The ‘Little Hall’ at Reynistad. Daytime. Enter LADY HELGA, JORUN, and her two sons, KALF, eight years, and THORGEIR, six years.)
Jorun.—What do you need for your journey, lady? I do not know whether I can assist you, because there is no one but women at home.
Helga.—That knew I well that only women were at home. I need ice-spurs for my horse, or else he will fall under me and I lose life or limb.
Jorun.—You are welcome to our horseshoes as to all other things, lady.
Helga.—Harden well the ice-spurs for my horse, Haf. It seems to me that most iron is soft at Reynistad.
Haf.—It shall be done, lady! (Exit.)
Jorun.—Soft iron bends but does not break!
Helga.—Neither does it remain sharp long.
Jorun.—Are you finding fault with my husband and me because we observe the ‘Peace of God’? I might easily let the women fetch so many of my servants as would be needed to take you and Haf prisoners.
Helga.—Yes, if we waited until they came. But let us drop this; rather show me your boys, because I should like to see what will become of them when they grow up.
Jorun.—There are but few that can see that in such small boys, excepting their own mother.
Helga (sits down and extends her hand).—Come to me, Kalf, my foster-son. (KALF comes up to her.) What do you want to be when you grow up? A bishop?
Kalf.—I want to become a great chieftain!