Grettir The Strong
Part 5 out of 5
parts. Tborsteinn's kinsmen took over the half which was to go
to the children, and brought them up with their father's
relations. They became in time men of the utmost valour, and
a large posterity in the Vik is sprung from them. Thorsteinn and
Spes divided their share, giving some to the church for the good
of their souls and keeping some for themselves. So they set off
for Rome, bearing the good wishes of many with them.
THE END OF THORSTEINN AND SPES
They travelled then the whole way to Rome, and appeared before
him who was appointed to hear confessions. They related truly
all that had happened, all the cunning tricks wherewith they had
achieved their union. They submitted with humility to the
penances laid upon them, and by reason of their having
voluntarily turned their hearts to desire absolution from their
sins, without any pressure from the elders of the church, their
penance was lightened so far as it was possible, and they were
gently admonished to arrange their lives with wisdom for the
well-being of their souls, and, after receiving absolution in
full, to live henceforward in purity. They were declared to have
acted wisely and well.
Then the lady Spes said: "Now, I think it has gone well; and now
we have not suffered only misfortune together. It may be that
foolish men will follow the example of our former lives. Let us
now end in such way that we may be an example to the good. We
will come to an agreement with some men skilled in building to
erect for each of us a stone retreat, thus may we atone for all
the offences which we have committed against God."
So Thorsteinn advanced money to stone-masons and such other
persons as might be needed, that they might not be without the
means of subsistence. When these works were completed and all
matters were settled, a fitting time was chosen for them to part
company with each other, each to live alone, in order more surely
to partake of the eternal life in another world. They remained
each in their own retreat, living as long as it pleased God to
spare them, and thus ending their lives.
Most men consider Thorsteinn Dromund and Spes to have been most
fortunate in escaping from the difficulties which they had fallen
into. None of their children or posterity are mentioned as
having come to Iceland.
THE TESTIMONY OF STURLA THE LAWMAN
Sturla the Lawman has declared that no outlaw was ever so
distinguished as Grettir the Strong. For this he assigns three
reasons. First, that he was the cleverest, inasmuch as he was
the longest time an outlaw of any man without ever being
captured, so long as he was sound in health. Secondly, that he
was the strongest man in the land of his age, and better able
than any other to deal with spectres and goblins. Thirdly, that
his death was avenged in Constantinople, a thing which had never
happened to any other Icelander.
Further, he says that Thorsteinn Dromund was a man who had great
luck in the latter part of his life.
Here endeth the story of Grettir the son of Asmund.
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