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Heimskringla

The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

Part 46 - King Olaf's Speech

As soon as day dawned on Sunday morning, King Olaf got up, put on his clothes, went to the land, and ordered to sound the signal for the whole army to come on shore. Then he made a speech to the troops, and told the whole assembly that he had heard there was but a short distance between them and Earl Svein.

"Now,"

said he,

"we shall make ready; for it can be but a short time until we meet. Let the people arm, and every man be at the post that has been appointed him, so that all may be ready when I order the signal to sound for casting off from the land.

Then let us row off at once; and so that none go on before the rest of the ships, and none lag behind when I row out of the harbour: for we cannot tell if we shall find the earl where he was lying, or if he has come out to meet us.

When we do meet, and the battle begins, let people be alert to bring all our ships in close order, and ready to bind them together.

Let us spare ourselves in the beginning, and take care of our weapons, that we do not cast them into the sea, or shoot them away in the air to no purpose. But when the fight becomes hot and the ships are bound together, then let each man show what is in him of manly spirit."

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