M. A Wyllie.

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coming to Norway he had embraced Christianity, and
now, after becoming King of the country, he began to
enforce the adoption of the Christian faith ; but this
was done in many cases by fear and cruelty, as Olaf
Tryggvason's Saga shows.

" Olaf Tryggvason and Bishop Sigurd both went with
many warships to Godey (God isle), where Rand the
Strong, a man of sacrifices, lived. Olaf attacked the
loft where Rand slept, and broke it and went in.
Rand was taken and tied, and of the men there, some
were killed and others taken. Rand was led before
the King, who bade him let himself be baptized.
' Then,' said the King, ' I will not take thy property,
but be thy friend, if thou wilt do this.' Rand cried
out against this, and said he never would believe in
Christ, and blasphemed much. The King grew angry,


and said Rand should die the most hideous death. He
had him taken out and lashed to a beam, a stick was
placed between his teeth to force open his mouth in
which a snake was placed ; but it would not go in,
and recoiled, because he blew against it. Then the
King had a stalk of angelica put in Rand's mouth,
with the snake in it ; he had a red-hot bar put on the
outside of it. The snake recoiled into the mouth of
Rand, and down his throat, and ate its way out of
his side, and Rand died. The King took thence a
large quantity of gold and silver and other loose
property, weapons, and many costly things. He had
slain or tortured all those of Rand's men who would
not be baptized" (c. 87). The Halfred Saga also
shows how hard it was for some men to give up the
old faith. Halfred, who had been baptized, asked King
Olaf Tryggvason to hear a song, which at first the
King declined to do, as too heathen for him, but re-
lenting, Halfred sang —

" Of yore I worshipped well
Him the bold-minded,
Lord of Hlidskjalf (Odin),
The luck of men changes."

The King said : " This is a very bad stanza ; thou must
improve it."

" Every kindred has made songs
To win the love of Odin ;
I remember the songs
Of the men of our time.

But because I love Christ
I must hate against my will
The first husband of Frigg (Odin),
For his power I liked well."


The King replied : " The gods dwell much in thy
mind, and I do not like it."

"Enricher of men, I forsake
The god-name of the raven-worshipper,
Who in heathendom performed
A trick praised by the people."

"This makes it no better; make a stanza to mend

" Fry and Freyja and the strong Thor
Ought to be angry with me ;
I forsake the offspring of Njord,
The angry (gods) may be friends with Grimmir (Odin).

I will call on Christ, for all love
The only Father and God ;
The anger of the son I dislike :
He is the famous ruler of earth."

" This is a good song, and better than none ; sing

" It is the custom with the Sygna King
To forbid sacrifices ;
We must shun most of
The time-honoured dooms of the Norner ;

All men throw

The kindred of Odin to the winds ;
Now I am forced to pray to Christ,
And leave the offspring of Njord."

The conversion to Christianity did not always have
a softening influence. Thus Olaf had in the course of
a few years, in true Viking fashion, brought the popula-
tion of the entire coast, from Viken up to the borders
of Finmarken, under the dominion of " the white Christ."
Olaf was attacked by an army of superior force that
had been gathered against him by Earl Haakon's son.


Erik, the Swedish King Olaf Skotkonung, and the
Danish King Svend Tjugeskaeg. His men were nearly
all killed, and he himself, mortally womided, sought a
grave beneath the waves. Norway was then divided
between the Danish and Swedish Kings and Earl Erik ;
but the Kings gave up their shares to Erik and his
brother Svein, who governed them as their vassals.

When the Danish King Knut the Great went to
invade England he called upon Earl Erik to help him.
The Earl obeyed, and never saw Norway again. In the
spring of 1015 Olaf Haraldsson, a descendant of Harald
Harfagre, returned to Norway from a Viking expedi-
tion. He determined to carry on the life-work of his
kinsman, Olaf Tryggvason, and here in Trondhjem
homage was done to him as King of Norway.

Olaf brought the little Upland Kings under the
Norwegian dominion, and sought in every way to place
the long-inherited power of the great chieftains under
that of the King. But by his hard-handed policy Olaf
Haraldsson soon aroused a strong opposition against
himself. The rebels sought the aid of the Danish King
Knut the Great, who came with an army to Norway in
1028 and received homage at Orething. Olaf fled to
Russia, and when, some time after, he attempted to win
back his kingdom he was slain by the chieftains at
Stiklestad in Vardalen in July 1030. Not long after he
was regarded as a holy man. This saint was a most
ruthless persecutor of his forefathers"' faith, and a most
unqualified practical assertor of his heathen privilege.
And he extended his domestic affections beyond the severe
pale which should have confined them to a single wife.
He died as he had wished to die, with the soothing con-
viction that the Valkyrs would bear him to Valhalla. One
wonders if Saint Olaf was not really heathen after all.


It is not without reason that the century which now
folloAved, after Olaf s son Magnus had ascended the
throne in 1035, has been called the period of Norway's
greatness. The kingdom was now, by the unity brought
about between the royal power and the aristocracy,
enabled to extend its influence to the world around.
Magnus became also by inheritance King of Denmark,
but after his death that kingdom passed into the hands
of Svend Estridsson, although Magnus's successor Harald
Haardrada, brother to Olaf the Holy, laid claim to it
by force of arms.

Snorro Sturleson gives us a noble and spirited reply
of the Confessor to Magnus, who as heir of Knut claimed
the English crown. It concludes thus : " Now, he
(Hardicanute) died, and then it was the resolution of
all the people of the country to take me for the King
here in England. So long as I had no kingly title I
served my superiors in all respects like those who had
no claims by birth to land or kingdom. Now, however,
I have received the kingly title, and am consecrated
King ; I have established my royal dignity and authority,
as my father before me ; and while I live I will not
renounce my title. If King Magnus comes here with
an army, I will gather no army against him, but he
shall only get the opportunity of taking England
when he has taken my life. Tell him these words of

True hero of the North, true darling of war and of
song was Harald Haardrada ! At the terrible battle of
Stiklestad at which his brother St. Olaf was killed, he
was but fifteen, but his body was covered with the wounds
of a veteran. He lay concealed in the house of a Bonder
peasant, remote in deep forests, till his wounds were
healed. Chanting by the way, he went on into Sweden,


thence into Russia, and, after wild adventures in the
East, joined, with the bold troop he had collected
round him, that famous bodyguard of the Greek
emperors called the Vaeringers, of which he became the

Jealousies between himself and the Greek General
of the imperial forces ended in Harald's retirement with
his Vaeringers into the Saracen land of Africa. Eighty
castles stormed and taken, vast plunder in gold and
jewels, and nobler meed in the song of the scald and
the praise of the brave attested the prowess of the
great Scandinavian. New laurels awaited him in Sicily.
Rough foretype of the coming crusader, he passed on
to Jerusalem. He bathed in Jordan, and knelt at the
Holy Cross. Returning to Constantinople, the desire
for his northern home seized him. There he heard that
Magnus, the illegitimate son of St. Olaf, had become King
of Norway. He sailed home to the North, and after
such feats as became a sea king of old received half of
Norway from Magnus, on whose death the whole of the
kingdom passed to his sway.

This was the King to whom came Tostig the Earl,
with the offer of England's crown. This was the man
to whom our English Harald offered seven feet of land
for a grave, " or as much more as his stature exceeding
that of other men might require." Harald Haardrada
died at Stamford Bridge. In his death died the last
hope of the Vikings, and the bones of the invaders
whitened the field of battle for many years afterwards.

The efforts of his grandson Magnus, nicknamed
Barefoot, were directed towards the amalgamation of
the Norwegian settlements on the islands off the coast
of Scotland and others into one kingdom. Magnus
fell during a descent upon Ireland. A few years after-


wards his son Sigurd set off on a crusade to the Holy
Land, where in 1110 he took the strong town of

It was during the reigns of the peaceful kings Olaf
Kyree and Ejstein Magnusson that Bergen was founded
as a centre for trade with England.

After Sigurd's death in 1130 came a period of a hundred
and ten years, that was occupied with fights amongst
the descendants of Magnus Barefoofs sons, fostered and
encouraged at one time by the aristocracy, at another
by the clergy, more especially Archbishop Eystein, who
had so much to do in the building of the cathedral : it
was a question of Church against Crown.

In 1164 Magnus Erlingsson, who was then a child, had
been crowned by the Archbishop, after his father, the
chieftain Erling Skakke, had promised on his behalf
that the kingdom should be subject to St. Olaf, and
that after the King's death the crown should be given
as an offering to that saint. At the same time a change
was made in the public law of the kingdom, which would
have given the Bishop the power to nominate the future
King. After Ey stein's death his successor continued
the struggle, but King Sverre compelled him to leave
the country. The King in return was put under the
Pope's ban. Dm'ing the struggle King Sverre died, and
it was his grandson, Haakon Haakonsson, who became
King in 1217, and crushed the faction raised by the

Then again Norway throve and flourished for another
eighty years, during Haakon's reign and that of his son
Magnus Lagaboter (the Law Mender) and his sons
Eirik and Haakon. To the latter the French King
Louis IX. offered the supreme command in a crusade.
Iceland and Greenland also became subject to his


dominion. He died during the winter in the Orkneys,
when the Scottish King attacked the Hebrides in

Haakon v. succeeded him in 1299, and at his death
the male descendants of Harald Harfagre became
extinct. The daughter of Haakon Magnusson married a
Swedish duke, Erik, and her son Magnus Smek was elected
King of Sweden as well as Norway in 1319. Denmark
was joined to the two kingdoms in 1395 by the election
of Erik.

Troublous times then came to the North. The Ger-
mans practically ruled the commerce of the country,
and in other matters also had the game in their
own hands. Fresh misfortunes in the shape of plague
and death overtook them in 1349, 1360, and 1371.
From 1397 to 1450 Norway played a subordinate
part, while yet continuing to be an independent

King Christian iii., after the coup (Tetat in 1536,
promised much, but did little. One thing, however,
which he did remains good to this day. This was
the Norwegian naval defence, which was organised by
royal command and kept up. In 1628, supported by the
old regulations regarding the military defence of the
country, there was further established a national standing

Under Christian iv. Norway was once more aroused to
an independent existence by the rapidly growing prosperity
of trade; but in 1658, by the cession of the district of
Trondhjem owing to the unhappy wars waged with Sweden,
when several of the best districts had to be relinquished,
her condition was almost total dissolution.

The Norwegian laws of Christian v. improved the
situation. Two wars — the Gyldenlone War, 1675-1679,


and the great Northern War, 1709-1720 — in which the
young and intrepid naval hero, Peter Wessel, who was
raised to the nobihty under the name of Tordenskjold,
won great renown, shed a lustre over army and

After 1720 its prosperity grew continually. New towns
sprang up and the population increased. An armed
neutrality was concluded with Sweden and Russia, and
under its protection trade and navigation attained a
hitherto unknown level. Then came a brief war with
England, and the battle of Copenhagen was fought. The
British captured the Dano-Norwegian fleet and plundered
the dockyards, and it was English action which drove the
Crown Prince into the arms of Napoleon. No grudge
seems to be felt about it now. The Norwegian greets
one as a friend, and his handshake is as cordial as though
we had never been foes.

In 1814 the Powers compelled Denmark to cede Norway
to Sweden. At that time the Norwegian Diet elected
as King of Norway the Danish Prince who was acting
as Viceroy, and voted a Constitution. Bernadotte, Crown
Prince of Sweden, invaded Norway, and war thus began ;
but as the Great Powers were all against Norway, the
Danish Prince resigned the throne, and the Diet accepted
the arrangement made by the Powers, but induced the
King of Sweden to accept its Constitution. The two
countries from that time each had its own Constitution
and Government, but a common sovereign had control
in matters of war and diplomacy.

Bernadotte, when he succeeded to the throne, found
himself in constant conflict with the Norwegian Diet,
a conflict in which the Diet in the long run was successful.

He dissolved the Storthing or Diet, which was held by
the Norwegians to be an unconstitutional act, and opposed


the abolition of the nobility, which the Storthing voted
three times at intervals of three years, the method laid
down by the Constitution for legislation, in despite of the
royal veto.

In 18G9 the session of the Storthing was made annual,
and in 1872, on the accession of King Oscar ii., a constitu-
tional conflict began which was in due time to become
national rather than constitutional. The substance of
the dispute was over the responsibility of the Ministers
to the Storthing. The Bill by which they were admitted
to its sessions was passed the three necessary times, but
in each case vetoed by the King. The Storthing then
impeached the Ministers for advising the King to refuse
his sanction to an amendment of the Constitution which
had duly become law. The Ministers were found guilty
and dismissed, and at length the King invited the leader
of the majority in the Storthing to form a Ministry.
This was in 1884. It established in Norway the constitu-
tional principle and practice which prevailed in Great

Seven years later began the nationalist movement
for the creation of a Norwegian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and the appointment of Norwegian Consuls. How
the dispute on these matters developed until it led to the
separation of the two countries and the independence
of Norway is fresh in every one's recollection.

After the agreement for the separation of the two
countries had been confirmed the proposal to offer the
Norwegian Crown to Prince Charles of Denmark was
submitted to a popular vote, with the result that on
Friday, 17th November, 259,563 votes were recorded in
favour of the proposal, and only 69,264 against it. So
on Saturday the Storthing met, and by a unanimous vote
elected Prince Charles,


King Haakon is the constitutional King of the most
democratic country in Europe. Its population of two
and a quarter millions is about the same number as that
of the kingdom of Greece, and is mainly composed of
peasants owning their own land — merchants, traders,
workmen, and sailors. Though the country is not rich
it is prosperous, its annual expenditure being only about
five millions sterling.

The Norwegians have in proportion to population the
most highly developed mercantile marine in the world,
and in actual tonnage the fourth, it being surpassed only
by those of Great Britain, the United States, and Germany.
The people are well educated, having compulsory ele-
mentary education to the age of fourteen. Their country's
history is that of enterprise and manliness from the time
of the earliest records. To be the freely chosen king of
such a people is an honour of which any prince in the
world might be proud.

Doctor Nansen has been appointed the first Nor-
wegian Minister to the Court of St, James's. Doctor
Nansen has played a prominent part in the affairs of
Norway since he returned from his trip " Farthest North."
His views on recent events are indicated in a letter which
he wrote last April : " Norway's course is clear ahead ;
we value an intimate and sincere friendship, and a strong
union with the Swedish people, but we value even more
highly our independence and our sovereignty as it is
assured us by our Constitution and by the Treaty of Union."

In 1814 a fundamental law was passed in which military
service was declared to be universal and personal. After
the union with Sweden, however, a great reduction was
made in the army, and most of the fortifications were
vacated. The present complete organisation only goes
back to the Conscription Act of 1885,


Every able-bodied Norwegian, except he be a member
of the clergy or a pilot, is liable to service, and may be
employed in any position for which he is best suited.
Seamen and fishermen serve in the Navy, artisans as far
as possible in their own departments, students in medicine
serve in field hospitals, and the countrymen used to
horses go into the cavalry. Men are enrolled when they
are twenty-two, and they are on the army list for sixteen
years. First there is six years in the line, the first year
of which the infantry recruit does forty-eight days'* drill
and twenty-four days' battalion exercise. In the following
years this is continued, so that the total training lasts
nearly five months spread over four years. The cavalry
man serves nearly seven months and the engineer six,
spread over five years. Then comes the second term of
six years in the landwern, with much fewer drills ; and
last, there is a term of four years in the landstorm. These
three classes are called opbuds ; they are all of equal
strength, having the same number of battalions, squadrons,
etc. According to the fundamental law, the line only
can be employed outside the country. The training
is not carried on in the barrack square, but in camps of
exercise spread over the different districts in summer
time. The annual number of recruits to the army is
about 11,000, and Norway is able to raise by mobilisation :
the line army about 26,000 men for service abroad ; the
militia army of more than 25,000 ; and last, the landstorm
25,000 ; coast artillery, 4500. So that altogether there
are about 80,000 men ready to defend their own

In April 1906 the Norwegian Government decided
to bring in a Bill for the organisation of a new army, and
an estimate amounting to 12,541,000 kroner (i?696,720)
for this purpose. The proposed legislation provided that

< pi

— 2

X. f^
- 3


the troops of the line should be composed of twelve
annual levies of militia and of six annual levies, as compared
with the present four, of all other men from eighteen to
fifty years of age who are capable of bearing arms. In
the new militia the old regimental division will be reintro-
duced, each regiment having three battalions. The troops
of the line will consist of fourteen regiments, and the
cavalry wall be composed of fifteen squadrons. The
mountain artillery will be transferred to Tromso. The
length of service will be unchanged. New gendarmerie
and scouting corps will also be established for service in
peace time. Mr. Dahl, the son of the painter at Balholm,
was doing his course in the army when I met him,
and I am indebted to his kindness for the details here



THE lunch bugle had sounded, all were in their
places, when the word went round that Torghatten
was nearly abreast. One by one we left our seats, with
a little deprecating glance at the steward, who, we well
knew, would stand patiently till our return, and he, poor
fellow, at the same time realising that he would sit down
late to his own dinner. Passengers are selfish people in
the main, but after all there is only one Torghatten, with
an opening 407 feet above the sea, 535 feet long, and
about 40 broad, the daylight visible clear through the
body of the mountain. Pontoppidan, who evidently
wore magnifying glasses when measuring sea serpents,
must have had the same pair on when gazing at
Torghatten, as he states that it is 6000 feet long and
300 feet hiy;h — a slight difference from Baedeker's com-

We waited what seemed a long time before the first
little streak of daylight became visible through the great
hat-shaped rock. " There ! there ! do you see, close to
that light patch." " No, not there — you see that black
streak, well, just by the black streak comes a lighter
patch, well there," " Yes, I see ! " Slowly the aperture
widened till it looked as if a great bullet had passed
straight through, leaving a round hole of daylight.



Beyond this the scenery of the coast is magnificent, great
chains of mountains rise with craggy peaks and snowy sides.

The Seven Sisters still stand in a row petrified with
horror at the fate of their cousin the fair Jutala, her
brother, and her lover the mounted Hestmann. He
has his martial cloak thrown round him, and now marks
the crossing of the Arctic circle. I did not know the
story when we passed, but since then have come across
a sailor's yarn, which may be believed or not as the
reader likes best. "One day a young 'jutal,' or devil-
kin, living in the neighbourhood took a fancy to visit
his Seven Sisters, unluckily for them all ; a distant cousin,
whose home was on an island farther south, was staying
with them at the time.

" As is usual on such occasions, the two young people
fell desperately in love with each other, and, as is also
usual, vowed eternal fidelity. Business of importance
called the giant home. His fair cousin returned also to
attend on a sick brother. With tears and vows and
many protestations they mutually tore themselves
asunder, and the Seven Sisters found the poor lady
swooning on the shore from which her lover had departed.
She went home to her sick brother and nursed him
tenderly, and, finding him in gentle mood, made him her
confidant, and he agreed that she should maiTy the jutal
of her choice. On his recovery his perverse nature re-
gained its wonted sway. He determined that his sister
should wed a dissolute companion of his, whom she

" Now you must know that every jutal family had some
special power or malignant charm by which to battle
with their enemies. The speciality of this family was
petrifaction. The cruel brother exercised that power
on the lover's messengers, and turned them all into rocks.


Now, the devilkin was not aware of this brother''s
existence, the fair giantess having concealed the fact on
account of his extravagant habits. BeHeving thus that
his phghted one was the last of her race, and that she
alone possessed the power of petrifaction, he concluded
she had put the stony insult on him. Mounting his
steed, and shouldering his crossbow, he shot a heavy
bolt at the dwelling of the jutaless. His special power
was an uneiTing aim. Her brother was bathing at the
time, and it being a very wet morning, he wore his sou'-
wester, others say his market hat. The bolt sped through
seventy miles of air, passed through the hat of the
treacherous jutal, and, caiTying away a portion of his
skull, fell at his fair one's feet. She knew the bolt,
and that none but he could have shot it. She saw her
brother sinking beneath the waves, never to rise again.
All that remained of him for her loving eyes to gaze
upon was his perforated hat floating on the waters.
She thought of the perfidy of the lover she believed so
true, and her heart was broken ; but as she died she
exercised her power of petrifaction. Her lover and
the horse he rode, herself, and the floating hat she turned

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