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

By Thomas Carlyle | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII .
MAGNUS THE BLIND, HARALD GYLLE, AND MUTUAL EXTINCTION OF THE HAARFAGRS

ON Sigurd the Crusader's death, Magnus naturally came to the throne; Gylle keeping silence and a cheerful face for the time. But it was not long till claim arose on Gylle's part, till war and fight arose between Magnus and him, till the skilful, popular, ever-active, and shifty Gylle had entirely beaten Magnus; put out his eyes; mutilated the poor body of him in a horrid and unnamable manner, and shut him up in a convent as out of the game henceforth. There in his dark misery Magnus lived now as a monk, -- called ' Magnus the Blind' by those Norse populations; King Harald Gylle reigning victoriously in his stead. But this also was only for a time. There arose avenging kinsfolk of Magnus, who had no Irish accent in their Norse, and were themselves eager enough to bear rule in their native country. By one of these, a terribly strong- handed, fighting, violent, and regardless fellow, who also was a Bastard of Magnus Barefoot, and had been made a Priest, but liked it unbearably ill, and had broken loose from it into the wildest courses at

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