The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 15 - Kalf Arnason Flies The Country

Soon after this the king was at a feast at the farm of Haug in Veradel, and at the dinner-table Kalf Arnason sat upon one side of him, and Einar Tambaskelfer on the other. It was already come so far that the king took little notice of Kalf, but paid most attention to Einar.

The king said to Einar,

"Let us ride to-day to Stiklestad. I should like to see the memorials of the things which took place there."

Einar replies,

"I can tell thee nothing about it; but take thy foster-father Kalf with thee; he can give thee information about all that took place."

When the tables were removed, the king made himself ready, and said to Kalf,

"Thou must go with me to Stiklestad."

Kalf replied,

"That is really not my duty."

Then the king stood up in a passion, and said,

"Go thou shalt, Kalf!"

and thereupon he went out.

Kalf put on his riding clothes in all haste, and said to his foot-boy,

"Thou must ride directly to Eggja, and order my house- servants to ship all my property on board my ship before sunset."

King Magnus now rides to Stiklestad, and Kalf with him. They alighted from horseback, and went to the place where the battle had been.

Then said the king to Kalf,

"Where is the spot at which the king fell?"

Kalf stretched out his spear-shaft, and said,

"There he lay when he fell."

The king:

"And where wast thou, Kalf?"


"Here where I am now standing."

The king turned red as blood in the face, and said,

"Then thy axe could well have reached him."

Kalf replied,

"My axe did not come near him;"

and immediately went to his horse, sprang on horseback, and rode away with all his men; and the king rode back to Haug. Kalf did not stop until he got home in the evening to Eggja. There his ship lay ready at the shore side, and all his effects were on board, and the vessel manned with his house-servants. They set off immediately by night down the fjord, and afterwards proceeded day and night, when the wind suited. He sailed out into the West sea, and was there a long time plundering in Ireland, Scotland, and the Hebudes.

Bjarne Gullbrarskald tells of this in the song about Kalf: —

"Brother of Thorberg, who still stood
Well with the king! in angry mood
He is the first to break with thee,
Who well deserves esteemed to be;
He is the first who friendship broke,
For envious men the falsehood spoke;
And he will he the first to rue
The breach of friendship 'twixt you two."

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: