THE WRITINGS OF KONERED
Chapter I: My forefathers have written this
book in succession -
1. I will do the same, the more because there
exists no longer in my state a burgh on which events are inscribed as used to be the case. My name is Konered. My fathers
name was Frethorik, my mothers name was Wiliow. After my fathers death I was chosen as his successor. When I was fifty years
old I was chosen for chief reeve.
2. My father has written how the Lindawrda
and Liudgarda were destroyed. Lindahem is still lost, the Lindawrda partially, and the north Liudgarda is still concealed
by the salt sea. The foaming sea washes the ramparts of the burgh. As my father has mentioned, the people, being deprived
of their harbour, went away and built houses inside the ramparts of the burgh; therefore that complete circuit is called Liudwerd.
The navigators say Liuwrd, but that is nonsense.
3. In my youth there was a portion of land
lying outside the rampart all mud and marsh; but Fryas people were neither tired nor exhausted when they had a good object
in view. By digging ditches, and making dams of the mud that came out of the ditches, we recovered a good space of land outside
the rampart, which had the form of a hoof three poles eastwards, three southwards, and three westwards.
4. At present we are engaged in ramming piles
into the ground to make a harbour to protect our rampart. When the work is finished we shall attract navigators. In my youth
it looked very queer, but now there stands a row of houses.
5. Leaks and deficiencies produced by poverty
have been remedied by industry. From this men may learn that Wr-alda, our Alfeder, protects all his creatures, if they preserve
their courage and help each other.
Chapter II: Now I will write about Friso -
1. Friso, who was already powerful by his troops,
was chosen chief reeve of the districts round Staveren. He laughed at our mode of defending our land and our sea fights; therefore
he established a school where the boys might learn to fight in the Krekalandar manner, but I believe that he did it to attach
the young people to himself. I sent my brother there ten years ago, because I thought, now that we have not got any folk-mother,
it behoves me to be doubly watchful, in order that he may not become our master.
2. Gosa has given us no successors. I will
not give any opinion about that; but there are still old suspicious people who think that she and Friso had an understanding
about it. When Gosa died, the people from all parts wished to choose another folk-mother; but Friso, who was busy establishing
a kingdom for himself, did not desire to have any advice or messenger from Texland.
3. When the messengers of the Landsaton came
to him, he said that Gosa had been far-seeing and wiser than all the reeves together, and yet she had been unable to see any
light or way out of this affair; therefor she had not had the courage to choose a successor, and to choose a doubtful one
she thought would be very bad; therefore she wrote in her last will:
4. "It is better to have no folk-mother than
to have one on whom you cannot rely."
5. Friso had seen a great deal. He had been
brought up in the wars, and he had just learned and gathered as much of the tricks and cunning ways of the Golar and the princes
as he required, to lead the other reeves wherever he wished. See here how he went to work about that.
6. Friso had taken here another wife, a daughter
of Wilfrethe, who in his lifetime had been chief reeve of Staveren. By her he had two sons and two daughters. By his wish
Kornelia, his younger daughter, was married to my brother. "Kornelia" is not good Fryas language; her name ought to be written
7. Wemod, his elder daughter, he married to
Kauch. Kauch, who went to school with him, is the son of Wichhirte, the king of the Gertmannar. But "Kauch" is likewise not
good Fryas language, and ought to be "Kap". So they have learned more bad language than good manners.
8. Now I must return to my story.
9. After the great flood of which my father
wrote an account, there came many Juttar and Letne out of the Balda or Kuade Sea. They were driven down the Katsgat in their
boats by the ice as far as the coast of Denamark, and there they remained. There was not a creature to be seen; so they took
possession of the land, and named it after themselves, Juttarland.
10. Afterwards many of the Denamarkar returned
from the higher lands, but they settled more to the south; and when the navigators returned who had not been lost, they all
went together to Seland. By this arrangement the Juttar retained the land to which Wr-alda had conducted them. The Selandar
navigators, who were not satisfied to live upon fish, and who hated the Golar, took to robbing the Phonisiar ships.
11. In the south-west point of Skenland there
lies Lindasburch, called Lindasnose, built by one Apol, as is written in the book. All the people who live on the coasts,
and in the neighbouring districts, had remained true Children of Frya; but by their desire for vengeance upon the Golar, and
the followers of Kaltana, they joined the Selandar. But that connection did not hold together, because the Selandar had adopted
many evil manners and customs of the wicked Magyarar, in opposition to Fryas people.
12. Afterwards, everybody went stealing on
his own account; but when it suited them they held all together. At last the Selandar began to be in want of good ships. Their
shipbuilders had died, and their forests as well as their land had been washed out to sea. Now there arrived unexpectedly
three ships, which anchored off the ramparts of our burgh. By the disruption of our land they had lost themselves, and had
13. The merchant who was with them wished to
buy new ships from us, and for that purpose had brought all kinds of valuables, which they had stolen from the Kaltanarland
and Phonisiar ships. As we had no ships, I gave them active horses and four armed couriers to Friso; because at Staveren,
along the Alderga, the best ships of war were built of hard oak which never rots.
14. While these sea rovers remained with us,
some of the Juttar had gone to Texland, and thence to Friso. The Selandar had stolen many of their strongest boys to row their
ships, and many of their finest daughters to have children by. The great Juttar could not prevent it, as they were not properly
armed. When they had related all their misfortunes, and a good deal of conversation had taken place, Friso asked them at last
if they had no good harbours in their country.
15. They answered, "Oh, yes; a beautiful one,
created by Wr-alda. It is like a bottle, the neck narrow, but in the belly a thousand large boats may lie; but we have no
burgh and no defences to keep out the pirate ships."
16. Friso said, "Then you should make them."
17. The Juttar said, "That is very good advice;
but we have no workmen and no building materials; we are all fishermen and trawlers. The others are drowned or fled to the
18. While they were talking in this way, my
messengers arrived at the court with the Selandar gentlemen. Here you must observe how Friso understood deceiving everybody,
to the satisfaction of both parties, and to the accomplishment of his own ends. To the Selandar he promised that they should
have yearly fifty ships of a fixed size for a fixed price, fitted with iron chains and crossbows, and full rigging as is necessary
and useful for men-of-war, but that they should leave in peace the Juttar and all the people of Fryas race.
19. But he wished to do more; he wanted to
engage all our sea rovers to go with him upon his fighting expedition. When the Selandar had gone, he loaded forty old ships
with weapons for wall defences, wood, bricks, carpenters, masons, and smiths, in order to build burghs. Witto, or Witte, his
son, he sent to superintend.
20. I have never been well informed of what
happened; but this much is clear to me, that on each side of the harbour a strong burgh has been built, and garrisoned by
people brought by Friso out of Saxanamark. Witto courted Siuchthirte and married her. Wilhem, her father, was chief alderman
of the Juttar - that is, chief reeve or officer. Wilhem died shortly afterwards, and Witto was chosen in his place.
Chapter III: What Friso did further -
1. Of his first wife he still had two brothers-in-law,
who were very daring. Hetto - that is, "Heat" - the youngest, he sent as messenger to Kattaburch, which lies far in the Saxanamark.
Friso gave him to take seven horses, besides his own, laden with precious things stolen by the sea-rovers. With each horse
there were two young sea-rovers and two young horsemen, clad in rich garments, and with money in their purses.
2. In the same way as he sent Hetto to Kattaburch,
he sent Bruno that is, "Brown" - the other brother-in-law, to Mannagardawrda. Mannagardawrda was written Mannagardaforda in
the earlier part of this book, but that is wrong. All the riches that they took with them were given away, according to circumstances,
to princes, princesses, and chosen young girls.
3. When his young men went to the tavern to
dance with the young people there, they ordered baskets of spice, gingerbread, and tuns of the best beer. After these messengers
he let his young people constantly go over to the Saxanamark, always with money in their purses and presents to give away,
and they spent money carelessly in the taverns.
4. When the Saxmannar youths looked with envy
at this they smiled, and said:
5. "If you dare go and fight the common enemy
you would be able to give much richer presents to your brides, and live much more princely."
6. Both the brothers-in-law of Friso had married
daughters of the chief princes, and afterwards the Saxman youths and girls came in whole troops to the Flymar.
7. The burgh-femmes and elder-femmes who still
remembered their greatness did not hold with Frisos object, and therefore they said no good of him; but Friso, more cunning
than they, let them chatter, but the younger femmes he led to his side with golden fingers. They said everywhere:
8. "For a long time we have had no folk-mother,
but that comes from being fit to take care of ourselves. At present it suits us best to have a king to win back our lands
that we have lost through the imprudence of our folk-mothers."
9. Further they said, "Every Child of Frya
has permission to let his voice be heard before the choice of a prince is decided; but if it comes to that, that you choose
a king, then also we will have our say. From all that we can see, Wr-alda has appointed Friso for it, for he has brought him
here in a wonderful way. Friso knows the tricks of the Golar, whose language he speaks; he can therefore watch against their
craftiness. Then there is something else to keep the eye upon. What reeve could be chosen as king without the others being
jealous of him?"
10. All such nonsense the young femmes talked;
but the elder-femmes, though few in number, tapped their advice out of another cask. They said always and to every one:
11. "Friso does like the spiders. At night
he spreads his webs in all directions, and in the day he catches in them all his unsuspecting friends. Friso says he cannot
suffer any priests or foreign princes, but we say that he cannot suffer anybody but himself; therefore he will not allow the
burgh of Stavia to be rebuilt; therefore he will not have the folk-mother again. Today Friso is your counsellor, tomorrow
he will be your king, in order to have full power over you."
12. Among the people there now existed two
parties. The old and the poor wished to have the folk-mother again, but the young and the warlike wished for a father and
a king. The first called themselves "Mothers Sons", the others, "Fathers Sons", but the Mothers Sons did not count for much;
because there were many ships to build, there was a good time for all kinds of workmen. Moreover, the sea-rovers brought all
sorts of treasures, with which the femmes were pleased, the girls were pleased, and their relations and friends.
13. When Friso had been nearly forty years
at Staveren he died. Owing to him many of the states had been joined together again, but that we were the better for it I
am not prepared to certify. Of all the reeves that preceded him there was none so renowned as Friso; for, as I said before,
the young femmes spoke in his praise, while the elder-femmes did all in their power to make him hateful to everybody. Although
the old women could not prevent his meddling, they made so much fuss that he died without becoming king.
Chapter IV: Now I will write about his son
1. Friso, who had learned our history from
The Book of Adelas Followers, had done everything in his power to win their friendship. His eldest son, whom he had by his
wife Swethirte, he named Adel; and although he strove with all his might to prevent the building or restoring of any burghs,
he sent Adel to the burgh of Texland in order to make himself better acquainted with our laws, language, and customs.
2. When Adel was twenty years old Friso brought
him into his own school, and when he had fully educated him he sent him to travel through all the states. Adel was an amiable
young man, and in his travels he made many friends, so the people called him Atharik - that is, "Rich in Friends" - which
was very useful to him afterwards, for when his father died he took his place without a question of any other reeve being
3. While Adel was studying at Texland there
was a lovely femme at the burgh. She came from Saxanamark, from the state of Suobaland, therefore she was called at Texland
Suobene, although her name was Ifkia. Adel fell in love with her, and she with him, but his father wished him to wait a little.
Adel did as he wished; but as soon as he was dead, sent messengers to Bertholda, her father, to ask her in marriage.
4. Bertholda was a prince of high-principled
feelings. He had sent his daughter to Texland in the hope that she might be chosen burgh-femme in her country, but when he
knew of their mutual affection he bestowed his blessings upon them. Ifkia was a clever Child of Frya. As far as I have been
able to learn, she always toiled and worked to bring the Fryas people back under the same laws and customs.
5. To bring the people to her side, she travelled
with her husband through all Saxanamark, and also to Gertmannia - as the Gertmannar had named the country which they had obtained
by means of Gosa. Thence they went to Denamark, and from Denamark by sea to Texland. From Texland they went to Westflyland,
and so along the coast to Walhallagara; thence they followed the Suder Hrenum, till, with great apprehension, they arrived
beyond the Rene at the Marsatar of whom our Apollonia has written.
6. When they had stayed there a little time,
they returned to the lowlands. When they had been some time descending towards the lowlands, and had reached about the old
burgh of Aken, four of their servants were suddenly murdered and stripped. They had loitered a little behind. My brother,
who was always on the alert, had forbidden them to do so, but they did not listen to him.
7. The murderers that had committed this crime
were Twisklandar, who had at that time audaciously crossed the Rene to murder and to steal. The Twisklandar are banished and
fugitive Children of Frya, but their wives they have stolen from the Tartarar. The Tartarar are a brown tribe of Findas people,
who are thus named because they make war on everybody. They are all horsemen and robbers. This is what makes the Twisklandar
8. The Twisklandar who had done the wicked
deed called themselves Fryar or Frankar. There were among them, my brother said, red, brown, and white men. The red and brown
made their hair white with lime-water but as their faces remained brown, they were only the more ugly.
9. In the same way as Apollonia, they visited
Lydasburch and the Alderga. Afterwards they made a tour of all the neighbourhood of Staveren. They behaved with so much amiability,
that everywhere the people wished to install Adel as king. Three months later, Adel sent messengers to all the friends that
he had made, requesting them to send to him their representatives in the Minna Month [...]
10. [...] his wife, he said, who had been a
femme at Texland, had received a copy of it. In Texland many writings are still found which are not copied in The Book of
Adelas Followers. One of these writings had been placed by Gosa with her last will, which was to be opened by the most senior
elder-femme, Albethe, as soon as Friso was dead.
Chapter V: Here is the writing with Gosas advice
1. When Wr-alda gave children to the mothers
of mankind, he gave one language to every tongue and to all lips. This gift Wr-alda had bestowed upon men in order that by
its means they might make known to each other what must be avoided and what must be followed to find true life, and to hold
that life to all eternity.
2. Wr-alda is wise and good, and all foreseeing.
As he knew that happiness and holiness would flee from Irtha when wickedness could overcome virtue, he has attached to the
language an equitable property. This property consists in this, that men can neither lie nor use deceitful words without stammering
or blushing, by which means the innately bad are easily known.
3. As thus our language opens the way to happiness
and blessedness, and thus helps to guard against evil inclinations, it is rightly named the language of the gods, and all
those by whom it is held in honour derive honour from it. But what has happened? As soon as among our half brothers and sisters
deceivers arose, who gave themselves out as servants of the good, it soon became otherwise.
4. The deceitful priests and the malignant
princes, who always clung together, wished to live according to their own inclinations, without regard to the laws of right.
In their wickedness they went so far as to invent other languages, so that they might speak secretly in anybodys presence
of their wicked and unworthy affairs without betraying themselves by stammering, and without showing a blush upon their countenances.
5. But what has that produced? Just as the
seed of good herbs which has been sown by good men in the open day springs up from the ground, so time brings to light the
evil seed which has been sown by wicked men in secret and in darkness.
6. The wanton girls and effeminate youths who
consorted with the immoral priests and princes, taught the new language to their companions, and thus spread it among the
people till the language of the gods was clean forgotten.
7. Would you know what came of all this? How
that stammering and blushing no longer betrayed their evil doings - virtue passed away, wisdom and liberty followed; unity
was lost, and quarrelling took its place; love flew away, and unchastity and envy met round their tables; and where previously
justice reigned, now it is the sword. All are slaves - the subjects of their masters, envy, bad passions and covetousness.
8. If they had only invented one language things
might possibly have still gone on well; but they invented as many languages as there are states, so that one people can no
more understand another people than a cow a dog, or a wolf a sheep. The navigators can bear witness to this. From all this
it results that all the slave people look upon each other as strangers; and that as a punishment of their inconsiderateness
and presumption, they must quarrel and fight till they are all destroyed.
Chapter VI: Here is my counsel -
1. If you wish that you alone should inherit
the World, you must never allow any language but the language of the gods to pass your lips, and take care that your own language
remains free from outlandish sounds. If you wish that some of Lydas children and some of Findas children remain, you must
do the same.
2. The language of the Ast Skenlandar has been
perverted by the vile Magyarar, and the language of the followers of Kaltana has been spoiled by the dirty Golar. Now, we
have been weak enough to admit among us the returned followers of Hellenia, but I anxiously fear that they will reward our
weakness by debasing our pure language.
3. Many things have happened to us, but among
all the burghs that have been disturbed and destroyed in the bad time, Irtha has preserved Fryasburch uninjured; and I may
remark that Fryas language, or the language of the gods, has always remained here untainted.
4. Here in Texland, therefore, schools should
be established; and from all the states that have kept to the old customs the young people should be sent here, and afterwards
those whose education is complete can help those who remain at home.
5. If foreigners come to buy ironwares from
you, and want to talk and bargain, they must come back to the language of the gods. If they learn the language of the gods,
then the words, "To Be Free", and, "To Have Justice", will come to them, and glimmer and glitter in their brains to a perfect
light, and that flame will destroy all bad princes and hypocritical dirty priests.
6. The native and foreign messengers were pleased
with that writing, but no schools came from it. Then Adel established schools himself. Every year Adel and Ifkia went to inspect
the schools. If they found a friendly feeling existing between the natives and foreigners, they were extremely pleased.
7. If there were any who had sworn friendship
together, they assembled the people, and with great ceremony let them inscribe their names in a book which was called The
Book of Friendship, and afterwards a festival was held. All these customs were kept up in order to bring together the separate
branches of Fryas race; but the femmes who were opposed to Adel and Ifkia said that they did it for no other reason than to
make a name for themselves, and to bring all the other states under their subjection.
8. Among my fathers papers I found a letter
from Liudgert the Gertman. Omitting some passages which only concern my father, I proceed to relate the rest.
9. Pangab, that is, "Five Rivers", and by which
we travel, is a river of extraordinary beauty, and is called "Five Rivers" because four other streams flow into the sea by
its mouth. Far away to the eastward is another large river, the Helige or Sacred Gongga. Between these two rivers is the land
of the Hindos. Both rivers run from the high mountains to the plains. The mountains in which their sources lie are so high
that they reach the heavens, and therefore these mountains are called Himellaia.
10. Among the Hindos and others out of these
countries there are people who meet together secretly. They believe that they are pure children of Finda, and that Finda was
born in the Himellaia mountains, whence she went with her children to the lowlands. Some of them believe that she, with her
children, floated down upon the foam of the Gongga, and that that is the reason why the river is called the Helige Gongga.
11. But the priests, who came from another
country, traced out these people and had them burnt, so that they do not dare to declare openly their creed. In this country
all the priests are fat and rich. In their temples there are all kinds of monstrous images, many of them gold.
12. To the west of the Pangab are the Yrar,
or "Morose", the Gedrostne, or "Runaways", and the Orjetten, or "Forgotten". These names are given by the priests out of spite,
because they fled from their customs and religion.
13. On their arrival our forefathers likewise
established themselves to the east of the Pangab, but on account of the priests they likewise went to the west.
14. In that way we learned to know the Yrar
and the other people. The Yrar are not savages, but good people, who neither pray to nor tolerate images; neither will they
suffer priests or temples; but as we adhere to the light of Fasta, so they everywhere maintain fire in their houses.
15. Coming still further westward, we arrive
at the Gedrostne. Regarding the Gedrostne: they have been mixed with other people, and speak a variety of languages. These
people are really savage murderers, who always wander about the country on horseback hunting and robbing, and hire themselves
as soldiers to the surrounding princes, at whose command they destroy whatever they can reach.
16. The country between the Pangab and the
Gongga is as flat as Fryasland near the sea, and consists of forests and fields, fertile in every part, but this does not
prevent the people from dying by thousands of hunger. The famines, however, must not be attributed to Wr-alda or Irtha, but
to the princes and priests.
17. The Hindos are timid and submissive before
their princes, like hinds before wolves. Therefore the Yrar and others have called them Hindos, which means "Hinds". But their
timidity is frightfully abused. If strangers come to purchase corn, everything is turned into money, and this is not prevented
by the priests, because they, being more crafty and rapacious than all the princes put together, know very well that all the
money will come into their pockets.
18. Besides what the people suffer from their
princes, they suffer a great deal from poisonous and wild beasts. There are great elephants that sometimes go about in whole
flocks and trample down cornfields and whole villages. There are great black and white cats which are called tigers. They
are as large as calves, and they devour both men and beasts.
19. Besides other creeping animals there are
snakes from the size of a worm to the size of a tree. The largest can swallow a cow, but the smallest are the most deadly.
They conceal themselves among the fruits and flowers, and surprise the people who come to gather them. Any one who is bitten
by them is sure to die, as Irtha has given no antidote to their poison, because the people have so given themselves up to
20. There are, besides, all sorts of lizards,
tortoises, and crocodiles. All these reptiles, like the snakes, vary from the size of a worm to the trunk of a tree. According
to their size and fierceness, they have names which I cannot recollect, but the largest are called alligators, because they
eat as greedily the putrid cattle that float down the stream as they do living animals that they seize.
21. On the west of the Pangab where we come
from, and where I was born, the same fruits and crops grow as on the east side. Formerly there existed also the same crawling
animals, but our forefathers burnt all the underwood, and so diligently hunted all the wild animals, that there are scarcely
22. To the extreme west of the Pangab there
is found rich clay land as well as barren heaths, which seem endless, occasionally varied lovely spots on which they eye rests
enchanted. Among the fruits there are many that I have not found here. Among the various kinds of corn some is as yellow as
gold. There are also golden apples, of which some are as sweet as honey and others as sour as vinegar.
23. In our country there are nuts as large
as a childs head. They contain cheese and milk. When they are old oil is made from them. Of the husks ropes are made, and
of the shells cups and other household utensils are made. I have found in the woods here bramble and holly berries. In my
country we have trees bearing berries, as large as your lime-trees, the berries of which are much sweeter and three times
as large as your gooseberries.
24. When the days are at the longest, and the
sun is in the zenith, a mans body has no shadow. If you sail very far to the south and look to the east at midday, the sun
shines on your left side as it does in other countries on the right side.
25. With this I will finish. It will be easy
for you, by means of what I have written, to distinguish between false accounts and true descriptions.
26. Your Liudgert.