Letters From High Latitudes By Lord Dufferin


The English King said to the Northmen who were with
him, Do you know the stout man who fell from - Page 270
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The English King Said To The Northmen Who Were With Him, "Do You Know The Stout Man Who Fell From His Horse, With The Blue Kirtle, And Beautiful Helmet?"

"That is the Norwegian King," said they.

English Harold replied, "A great man, and of stately appearance is he; but I think his luck has left him."

And now twenty gallant English knights ride out of their ranks to parley with the Northmen. One advances beyond the rest and asks if Earl Toste, the brother of English Harold (who has banded with his enemy against him), is with the army.

The Earl himself proudly answers, "It is not to be denied that you will find him here."

The Saxon says, "Thy brother, Harold, sends his salutation, and offers thee the third part of his kingdom, if thou wilt be reconciled and submit to him."

The Earl replies, at the suggestion of the Norse King, "What will my brother the King give to Harald Hardrada for his trouble?"


"Then," says the Earl, "let the English King, my brother, make ready for battle, for it never shall be said that Earl Toste broke faith with his friends when they came with him to fight west here in England."

When the knights rode off, King Harald Hardrada asked the Earl, "Who was the man who spoke so well?"

The Earl replied, "That knight was Harold of England."

The stern Norwegian King regrets that his enemy had escaped from his hands, owing to his ignorance of this fact; but even in his first burst of disappointment, the noble Norse nature speaks in generous admiration of his foe, saying to the people about him, "That was but a little man, yet he sat firmly in his stirrups."

The fierce, but unequal combat is soon at an end, and when tardy succour arrives from the ships, Harald Hardrada is lying on his face, with the deadly arrow in his throat, never to see Nidaros again.

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