Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/410

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360 Reviews.

practised in Vaizdcela and Hblmverja are either omitted or marked as spurious. Such fragments of ancient practice as the law that " it was murder to kill a child " that had received a name {Hbhiverjd) might have been included here. The collection under this head is interesting. Accounts are given of the ritual followed in the ordeal of passing under the turf; in sworn- brotherhood ; in the oaths taken on the temple-ring and on the boar of Frey ; and in the divine toasts and the memorial toasts to dead kindred drunk at sacrificial feasts. In the account of the divine toasts there is an error in punctuation too important CO be overlooked. " Scylde fyrst O^ens-fidl, scylde \at drecca til sigrs oc rikes conunge sinom : en svSan Niar^arfull, oc Freys- full, til drs oc fr't^ar" should be translated "First must come Odin's toast ; he must drink that to victory and power for his king; and then Njord's toast, and Frey's toast, to plenty and peace." In the translation (p. 309), a semicolon after "Njord's toast" obscures the fact that the toasts to both Njord and Frey were "to plenty and peace," Njord still retaining a share in the functions of an earth-god, in which he was being superseded by his more popular younger rival.

In the section on " The Young Colony," only those portions of the Sagas are taken which deal with life in Iceland; the Norwegian adventures which played so important a part in the life of many young Icelanders are therefore omitted. This has the advantage of Hmiting the scope of the work strictly to Iceland and the Icelandic colonies. The Sagas from which selections are made are well chosen. Eyrbyggja is an inevitable choice, from its mass of legal material; Nj'dla, which might have been chosen for the same reason, is not included. Laxdcsla, the only other of the great Sagas represented here, and Gisla, are already well known in English versions ; but some English readers will read for the first time the tragic story of Hord, ill-fated from the day he was born into a divided household, and his sister Thorbjorg, the baby-girl who, cast off alike by her mother's kin and by her father, journeyed through Iceland on the back of a tramp till she was taken in by that protector of the destitute, Grim the Little {Hbbnverja) ; the finely told avenging of Olaf Havardsson {Havards Saga) ; and the less tragic Vatzdcela (of