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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/229

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The Oldest Icelandic Folk-lore.

been baptised, she would not lie in unconsecrated earth". (2. 19.)

4. Thorkell máni the law-speaker "had lived the best life of all heathen men so far as is known. During his last illness he made them carry him out into the sunlight, and commended himself to the god who had shaped the sun" (1. 9. So in the extract from Vatnsdæla Saga found in some MSS. "Thorsteinn called on him who shaped the sun, that the berserksgang should pass off Thórir", 3. 4).

5. "When Hjalti's sons went to the thing, they were so splendidly arrayed that men thought the Æsir were come. This verse was made on the subject :—

'Never a man thought anything else than that the allglorious Æsir fared there, when hardy Hjalti's sons came to Thorskafirth thing with their helms of awe.'" (3. 10.)

6. Helgi the lean went to Iceland with his wife and children, and his son-in-law Hámund hell-skin. His religion was rather mixed; he believed in Christ, but called on Thor for seafaring and adventurous acts. (3. 12.)

7. Thorolf took land from Stafá in as far as Thorsá, and called all that Thorsness. He had so much faith in the hill that stood on the ness, and which he called Helgafell, that no man was allowed to look on it unwashed, and it was so great a sanctuary that no harm could be done to anything on the fell, whether man or beast, unless it left it of its own accord. It was the belief of Thorolf and his kinsmen that they all passed into the fell at death. On the ness there, where Thor came ashore, Thorolf held all the courts, and there was set the district-thing. While men were at the thing there no one was allowed to ease himself[1] on land; for that purpose there was assigned the reef called Dritsker, because they would not defile such a sacred piece of ground. But when Thorolf was dead, and his son Thorsteinn was young, Thorgrim Kjallak's son and Asgeirr his kinsman would not go to the reef for their errands ; the Thorsness men would not stand this, and so they fought with them there at the thing, and some fell and

  1. The phrase used is hafa álfreka', elf-drivings, i.e., the defilement drove away the elves.