304 Notes on Orcndel and other Stories.
inclined to accept this date.^ Kolbing has compared the prose and the rhyme, and shows that the Saga has been doctored, commonplace adventures having been interpo- lated — viking and berserk adventures such as have intruded even into the great original Sagas," and which are very neatly detected and erased by Kolbing here. The Riinur are much more coherent, and are founded on an older and sounder version of the prose romance, which, if the date of the Rhmir is accepted, must have been current in the 14th century.
Now this story of Hjalmter, recognised by Grundtvig as resembling Kulhwch and Svipdag, is much nearer than either of the others to the forms of popular story-telling, and in some things very curiously like the forms of Gaelic story- telling in particular.^ Hjalmter, like Svipdag (Svendal) and Kulhwch, is put under a destiny by his stepmother : he had rejected her love. Unlike Svipdag or Kulhwch, and singu- larly like Mac Iain Direach, he answers her spell with another, a counterspell, like that which Mr. Nutt pointed out in his note on Walewein as a property of Celtic story-telling. This instance is more detailed, and the resemblance much stronger than in Walewein. "She says: 'Now shalt thou be paid for the blow thou gavest me : this I lay on thee, never to rest, night nor day, save on ship-board or under awnings, till thou find Hervor, Hunding's daughter.' Hjalmter answered : ' Thou shalt lay nothing more on me, for thy jaw shall stand wide open : and I think little of going to look for a king's daughter. There are high rocks down by the harbour ; there shalt thou mount and stand with a foot on one and a foot on another, and four of my father's thralls shall kindle fire beneath thee, and thou shalt live on what the ravens bring, till I come again.' " *
' Om Digtningen paa Island i det /j". og 16. Aarhundrcde, p. 144. 2 York Towell, Folk-Lore, vol. v. p. 100.
' Sagan af Hjalmter ok Olver, Rafn, Fornaldar Sogur, v. iii., pp. 453-518 (1830).
- Hjdlmters Saga, p. 479.