Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 112 pages of information about Beowulf.
[1] ‘From ham’ (194) is much disputed.  One rendering is:  Beowulf, being away from home, heard of Hrothgar’s troubles, etc.  Another, that adopted by S. and endorsed in the H.-So. notes, is:  B. heard from his neighborhood (neighbors), i.e. in his home, etc.  A third is:  B., being at home, heard this as occurring away from home.  The H.-So. glossary and notes conflict.

    [2] ‘Eoletes’ (224) is marked with a (?) by H.-So.; our rendering
    simply follows his conjecture.—­Other conjectures as to ‘eolet’ are: 
    (1) voyage, (2) toil, labor, (3) hasty journey.

[3] The lacuna of the MS at this point has been supplied by various conjectures.  The reading adopted by H.-So. has been rendered in the above translation.  W., like H.-So., makes ‘ic’ the beginning of a new sentence, but, for ‘helmas baeron,’ he reads ‘hringed stefnan.’  This has the advantage of giving a parallel to ‘brontne ceol’ instead of a kenning for ’go.’—­B puts the (?) after ‘holmas’, and begins a new sentence at the middle of the line.  Translate:  What warriors are ye, clad in armor, who have thus come bringing the foaming vessel over the water way, hither over the seas?  For some time on the wall I have been coast guard, etc.  S. endorses most of what B. says, but leaves out ‘on the wall’ in the last sentence.  If W.’s ‘hringed stefnan’ be accepted, change line 51 above to, A ring-stemmed vessel hither o’ersea.

    [4] ‘Seld-guma’ (249) is variously rendered:  (1) housecarle; (2)
    home-stayer; (3) common man.  Dr. H. Wood suggests a man-at-arms
    in another’s house
.

V.

THE GEATS REACH HEOROT.

{Beowulf courteously replies.}

          The chief of the strangers rendered him answer,
          War-troopers’ leader, and word-treasure opened: 

{We are Geats.}

          “We are sprung from the lineage of the people of Geatland,
          And Higelac’s hearth-friends.  To heroes unnumbered

{My father Ecgtheow was well-known in his day.}

        5 My father was known, a noble head-warrior
          Ecgtheow titled; many a winter
          He lived with the people, ere he passed on his journey,
          Old from his dwelling; each of the counsellors
          Widely mid world-folk well remembers him.

{Our intentions towards King Hrothgar are of the kindest.}

       10 We, kindly of spirit, the lord of thy people,
          The son of King Healfdene, have come here to visit,
[11] Folk-troop’s defender:  be free in thy counsels! 
          To the noble one bear we a weighty commission,
          The helm of the Danemen; we shall hide, I ween,

{Is it true that a monster is slaying Danish heroes?}

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Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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