The Early Kings of Norway: Also An Essay on the Portraits of John Knox

By Thomas Carlyle | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII. .
REIGN OF OLAF TRYGGVESON

OLAF TRYGGVESON ( A.D. 995-1000) also makes a great figure in the Farbö er Saga, and recounts there his early troubles, which were strange and many. He is still reckoned a grand hero of the North, though his vates now is only Snorro Sturrleson of Iceland. Tryggveson had indeed many adventures in the world. His poor mother, Astrid, was obliged to fly with him, on murder of her husband by Gunhild -- to fly for life, three months before her little Olaf was born. She lay concealed in reedy island, fled through trackless forests, reached her father's with the little baby in her arms, and lay deep-hid den there, tended only by her father himself; Gunhild's pursuit being so incessant, and keen as with sleuth-hounds. Poor Astrid had to fly again deviously to Sweden, to Esthland ( Esthonia), to Russia. In Esthland she was sold as a slave, quite parted from her boy, who also was sold, and again sold; but did at last fall in with a kinsman high in the Russian service; did from him find redemption and help, and so rose, in a distinguished manner, to manhood, victorious self-help, and recovery

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