An old hero tale from the Norse sagas. No boy can read the adventures of these heroes without feeling a quickened interest in the early days of our race. Translated with Eiríkr Magnússon
w, the story of Spes and Thorstein Dromund (of which more anon) must be considered; yet whoever added it to the tale did so with some skill considering its incongruous and superfluous nature, for he takes care that Grettir shall not be forgotten amidst all the plots and success of the lovers; and, whether it be accidental or not, there is to our minds something touching in the contrast between the rude life and tragic end of the hero, and the long, drawn out, worldly good hap and quiet hopes for another life which fall to the lot of his happier brother.
As to the authorship of our story, it has no doubt gone through the stages which mark the growth of the Sagas in general, that is, it was for long handed about from mouth to mouth until it took a definite shape in men's minds; and after it had held that position for a certain time, and had received all the necessary polish for an enjoyable saga, was committed to writing as it flowed ready made from the tongue of the people. Its style, in common with that of