Part 30 - King Valdemar And Erling
In a conference which King Valdemar and Erling once had together. Erling said,
"Sire, it appears to me likely that it might lead to a peace between the countries if you got that part of Norway which was promised you in our agreement; but if it should be so, what chief would you place over it? Would he be a Dane?"
replied the king;
"no Danish chief would go to Norway, where he would have to manage an obstinate hard people, when he has it so easy here with me."
"It was on that very consideration that I came here; for I would not on any account in the world deprive myself of the advantage of your friendship.
In days of old other men, Hakon Ivarson and Fin Arnason, came also from Norway to Denmark, and your predecessor, King Svein, made them both earls.
Now I am not a man of less power in Norway than they were then, and my influence is not less than theirs; and the king gave them the province of Halland to rule over, which he himself had and owned before.
Now it appears to me, sire, that you, if I become your man and vassal, can allow me to hold of you the fief which my son Magnus will not deny me, by which I will be bound in duty, and ready, to undertake all the service belonging to that title."
Erling spoke such things, and much more in the same strain, until it came at last to this, that Erling became Valdemar's man and vassal; and the king led Erling to the earl's seat one day, and gave him the title of earl, and Viken as a fief under his rule. Earl Erling went thereafter to Norway, and was earl afterwards as long as he lived; and also the peace with the Danish king was afterwards always preserved.
Earl Erling had four sons by his concubines. The one was called Hreidar, the next Ogmund; and these by two different mothers: the third was called Fin; the fourth Sigurd: these were younger, and their mother was Asa the Fair. The princess Kristin and Earl Erling had a daughter called Ragnhild, who was married to Jon Thorbergson of Randaberg. Kristin went away from the country with a man called Grim Rusle; and they went to Constantinople, where they were for a time, and had some children.