Category: Love Letters
Gold is called by the poets the meal of Frothi, and the origin of the
term is found in this story.

Odin had a son named Skioldr who settled and reigned in the land which
is now called Denmark, but was then called Gotland. Skioldr had a son
named Frithleif, who reigned after him. Frithleif's son was called
Frothi, and succeeded him on the throne. At the time that the Emperor
Augustus made peace over the whole world, Christ was born, but as Frothi
was the most powerful of all the monarchs of the north, that peace,
wherever the Danish language was spoken, was imputed to him, and the
Northmen called it Frothi's peace.

At that time no man hurt another, even if he found the murderer of his
father or brother, loose or bound. Theft and robbery were then unknown,
insomuch that a gold armlet lay for a long time untouched in

Frothi chanced to go on a friendly visit to a certain king in Sweden,
named Fiolnir, and there purchased two female slaves, called Fenia and
Menia, equally distinguished for their stature and strength. In those
days there were found in Denmark two quern-stones of such a size, that
no one was able to move them, and these mill-stones were endued with
such virtue, that the quern in grinding produced whatever the grinder
wished for. The quern was called Grotti. He who presented this quern to
Frothi was called Hengikioptr (hanging-chops). King Frothi caused these
slaves to be brought to the quern, and ordered them to grind gold,
peace, and prosperity for Frothi. The king allowed them no longer rest
or sleep than while the cuckoo was silent or a verse could be recited.
Then they are said to have sung the lay called Grotta-Savngr, and before
they ended their song to have ground a hostile army against Frothi,
insomuch, that a certain sea-king, called Mysingr, arriving the same
night, slew Frothi, taking great spoil. And so ended Frothi's peace.

Mysingr took with him the quern, Grotti, with Fenia and Menia, and
ordered them to grind salt. About midnight they asked Mysingr whether he
had salt enough. On his ordering them to go on grinding, they went on a
little longer till the ship sank under the weight of the salt. A
whirlpool was produced, where the waves are sucked up by the mill-eye,
and the waters of the sea have been salt ever since.

Category: Love Letters
The hill-people are excessively frightened during thunder. When,
therefore, they see bad weather coming on, they lose no time in getting
to the shelter of their hills. This terror is also the cause of their
not being able to endure the beating of a drum. They take it to be the
rolling of thunder. It is, therefore, a good recipe for banishing them
to beat a drum every day in the neighbourhood of their hills, for they
immediately pack up, and depart to some quieter residence.

A farmer lived once in great friendship and concord with a hill-man,
whose hill was in his lands. One time when his wife was about to have a
child, it gave him great perplexity to think that he could not well
avoid inviting the hill-man to the christening, which might, not
improbably, bring him into ill repute with the priest and the other
people of the village. He was going about pondering deeply, but in vain,
how he might get out of this dilemma, when it came into his head to ask
the advice of the boy that kept his pigs, who had a great head-piece,
and had often helped him before. The pig-boy instantly undertook to
arrange the matter with the hill-man in such a manner that he should not
only stay away without being offended, but, moreover, give a good
christening present.

Accordingly, when it was night, he took a sack on his shoulder, went to
the hill-man's hill, knocked, and was admitted. He delivered his
message, gave his master's compliments, and requested the honour of his
company at the christening. The hill-man thanked him, and said--

"I think it is but right I should give you a christening present."

With these words he opened his money-chests, bidding the boy hold up his
sack while he poured money into it.

"Is there enough now?" said he, when he had put a good quantity into it.

"Many give more, few give less," replied the boy.

The hill-man once more fell to filling the sack, and again asked--

"Is there enough now?"

The boy lifted the sack a little off the ground to see if he was able to
carry any more, and then answered--

"It is about what most people give."

Upon this the hill-man emptied the whole chest into the bag, and once
more asked--

"Is there enough now?"

The guardian of the pigs now saw that there was as much in the sack as
he would be able to carry, so he answered--

"No one gives more, most people give less."

"Come now," said the hill-man, "let us hear who else is to be at the

"Ah," said the boy, "we are to have a great many strangers and great
people. First and foremost, we are to have three priests and a bishop."

"Hem!" muttered the hill-man; "however, those gentlemen usually look
only after the eating and drinking; they will never take any notice of
me. Well, who else?"

"Then we have asked St. Peter and St. Paul."

"Hem! hem! However, there will be a bye-place for me behind the stove.
Well, and what then?"

"Then Our Lady herself is coming."

"Hem! hem! hem! However, guests of such high rank come late and go away
early. But tell me, my lad, what sort of music is it you are to have?"

"Music," said the boy, "why, we are to have drums."

"Drums!" repeated the troll, quite terrified. "No, no! Thank you. I
shall stay at home in that case. Give my best respects to your master,
and I thank him for the invitation, but I cannot come. I did but once go
out to take a little walk, and some people began to beat a drum. I
hurried home, and was but just got to my door when they flung the
drum-stick after me, and broke one of my shins. I have been lame of that
leg ever since, and I shall take good care in future to avoid that sort
of music."

So saying he helped the boy to put the sack on his back, once more
charging him to present his best respects to his master.

Cat Tales
The house of Katholm (Cat-isle) near Grenaac, in Jutland, got its name
from the following circumstance.

There was a man in Jutland who had made a good deal of money by improper
means. When he died he left his property equally among his three sons.
The youngest, when he got his share, thought to himself--

"What comes with sin goes with sorrow," and he resolved to submit his
money to the water-ordeal, thinking that the ill-got money would sink to
the bottom, and what was honestly acquired swim on the top. He
accordingly cast all his money into the water, and only one solitary
farthing swam. With this he bought a cat, and he went to sea and visited
foreign parts. At length he chanced to come to a place where the people
were sadly plagued by an enormous number of rats and mice, and as his
cat had had kittens by this time, he acquired great wealth by selling
them. So he came home to Jutland, and built himself a house, which he
called Katholm.

There was one time a poor sailor out of Ribe, who came to a foreign
island whose inhabitants were grievously plagued with mice. By good
luck he had a cat of his own on board, and the people of the island gave
him so much gold for it that he went home as fast as he could to fetch
more cats, and by this traffic he in a short time grew so rich that he
had no need of any more. Some time after, when he was on his deathbed,
he bequeathed a large sum of money for the building of Ribe Cathedral,
and a proof of this is still to be seen in a carving over the east door
of the church, representing a cat and four mice. The door is called
Cat-head Door (Kathoved Dor).


This website is powered by Spruz