"Do cautious, with this news of treason Flying about -- give them no reason. We hange the thief, but then we use Consideration of the excuse. I think, great king (who wilt rejoice Eagle and wolf with battle voice), It would be wise not to oppose Thy bondes, and make them thy foes.
"A dangerous sign it is, I fear, That old grey-bearded men appear In corners whispering at the Thing, As if they had bad news to bring. The young sit still, -- no laugh, or shout, -- More looks than words passing shout; And groups of whispering heads are seen, On buttoned breasts, with lowering mien.
"Among the udalmen, they say The king, if he could have his way, Would seize the bondes' udal land, And free-born men must this withstand. In truth the man whose udal field, By any doom that law can yield From him adjudged the king would take, Could the king's throne and power shake."
"A holy bond between us still Makes me wish speedy end to ill: The sluggard waits till afternoon, -- At once great Magnus! grant our boon. Then we will serve with heart and hand, With thee we'll fight by sea or land: With Olaf's sword take Olaf's mind, And to thy bondes be more kind."
In this song the king was exhorted to observe the laws which his father had established. This exhortation had a good effect on the king, for many others held the same language to him. So at last the king consulted the most prudent men, who ordered all affairs according to law. Thereafter King Magnus had the law- book composed in writing which is still in use in Throndhjem district, and is called "The Grey Goose" (1). King Magnus afterwards became very popular, and was beloved by all the country people, and therefore he was called Magnus the Good.
ENDNOTES: (1) "The Grey Goose", so called probably from the colour of the parchment on which it is written, is one of the most curious relics of the Middle Ages, and give us an unexpected view of the social condition of the Northmen in the eleventh century. Law appears to have been so far advanced among them that the forms were not merely established, but the slightest breach of the legal forms of proceeding involved the loss of the case. The "Grey Goose" embraces subjects not dealt with probably by any other code in Europe at that period. The provision for the poor, the equality of weights and measures, police of markets and of sea havens, provision for illegitimate children of the poor, inns for travellers, wages of servants and support of them in sickness, protection of pregnant women and even of domestic animals from injury, roads, bridges, vagrants, beggars, are subjects treated of in this code. -- "Schlegel." -- L.
The king of the English, King Harald, died (A.D. 1040) five years after his father King Canute, and was buried beside his father at Winchester. After his death his brother Hardaknut, the second son of the old King Canute, was king of England, and was thus king both of Denmark and England. He ruled these kingdoms two years, and then died of sickness in England, leaving no children. He was buried at Winchester beside his father. After his death Edward the Good, a son of the English king Ethelred (and Emma, a daughter of Richard earl of Rouen), was chosen king in England. King Edward the Good was, on his mother's side, a brother of Harald and Hardaknut, the sons of Canute the Great; and the daughter of Canute and Queen Emma was Gunhild, who was married to the Emperor Henry of Germany, who was called Henry the Mild. Gunhild had been three years in Germamy when she fell sick, and she died five years after the death of her father King Canute the Great.
When King Magnus Olafson heard of Hardaknut's death, he immediately sent people south to Denmark, with a message to the men who had bound themselves by oath to the peace and agreement which was made between King Magnus and Hardaknut, and reminded them of their pledge. He added, as a conclusion, that in summer (A.D. 1042.) he would come with his army to Denmark to take possession of his Danish dominions, in terms of the agreement, or to fall in the field with his army. So says Arnor, the earls' skald: --