Chapter XI: From Minno's writings -
1. If any one should be so wicked as to commit
robbery, murder, arson, rape, or any other crime, upon a neighbouring state, and our people wish to inflict punishment, the
culprit shall be put to death in the presence of the offended, in order that no war may arise, and the innocent suffer for
2. If the offended will spare his life and
forego their revenge, it may be permitted. If the culprit should be a king, reeve, or other state official, we must make good
his fault, but he must be punished.
3. If he bears on his shield the honourable
name of his forefathers, his kinsmen shall no longer wear it, in order that every man may look after the conduct of his relatives.
Chapter XII: Laws for the navigators; navigator
is the title of those who make foreign voyages -
1. All Frya's sons have equal rights, and every
stalwart youth may offer himself as a navigator to the alderman, who may not refuse him as long as there is any vacancy.
2. The navigators may choose their own masters.
3. The traders must be chosen and named by
the community to which they belong, and the navigators have no voice in their election.
4. If during a voyage it is found that the
sea-king is bad or incompetent, another may be put in his place, and on the return home he may make his complaint to the alderman.
5. If the fleet returns with profits, the navigators
may divide one-third among themselves in the following manner: The sea-king twelve portions, the admiral seven, the boatswains
each two portions, the captains three, and the rest of the crew each one portion; the youngest apprentices each one-third
of a portion, the middle apprentices half a portion each, and the eldest apprentices two-thirds of a portion each.
6. If any have been disabled, they must be
maintained at the public expense, and honoured in the same way as the warriors.
7. If any have died on the voyage, their nearest
relatives inherit their portion.
8. Their widows and orphans must be maintained
at the public expense; and if they were killed in a sea fight, their sons may bear the names of their fathers on their shields.
9. If an apprentice is lost, his heirs shall
receive a whole portion.
10. If he was betrothed, his bride may claim
seven portions in order to erect a monument to her bridegroom, but then she must remain a widow all her life.
11. If the community is fitting out a fleet,
the purveyors must provide the best provisions for the voyage, and for the women and children.
12. If a navigator is worn out and poor, and
has no house or land, it must be given him. If he does not wish for a house, his friends may take him home; and the community
must bear the expense, unless his friends decline to receive it.
Chapter XIII: Useful extracts from the writings
left by Minno -
1. Minno was an ancient sea-king. He was a
seer and a wizard, and he gave laws to the Kretar. He was born at Lindawrda, and after all his wanderings he had the happiness
to die at Lindahem.
2. If our neighbours have a piece of land or
water which it would be advantageous for us to possess, it is proper that we should offer to buy it. If they refuse to sell
it, we must let them keep it. This is Frya's Tex, and it would be unjust to act contrary to it.
3. If any of our neighbours quarrel and fight
about any matter except land, and they request us to arbitrate, our best course will be to decline; but if they insist upon
it, it must be done honourably and justly.
4. If any one comes and says, "I am at war,
you must help me."
5. Or another comes and says, "My son is an
infant and incompetent, and I am old, so I wish you to be his guardian, and take charge of my property until he is of age."
6. It is proper to refuse in order that we
may not come into disputes about matters foreign to our free customs.
7. Whenever a foreign trader comes to the open
markets at Wyringga and Almanland, if he cheats, he must immediately be fined, and it must be published by the femmes throughout
the whole land.
8. If he should come back, no one must deal
with him. He must return as he came.
9. Whenever traders are chosen to go to trading
stations, or to sail with the fleets, they must be well known and of good reputation with the femmes.
10. If, however, a bad man should by chance
be chosen and should try to cheat, the others are bound to remove him. If he should have committed a cheat, it must be made
good, and the culprit must be banished from the land in order that our name may be everywhere held in honour.
11. If we should be ill-treated in a foreign
market, whether distant or near, we must immediately attack them; for though we desire to be at peace, we must not let our
neighbours underrate us or think that we are afraid.
12. In my youth I often grumbled at the strictness
of the laws, but afterwards I learned to thank Frya for her Tex and our forefathers for the laws which they established upon
it. Wr-alda or Alfeder has given me many years, and I have travelled over many lands and seas, and after all that I have seen,
I am convinced that we alone are chosen by Alfeder to have laws.
13. Lyda's people can neither make laws nor
obey them, they are too stupid and uncivilised. Many are like Finda. They are clever enough, but they are too rapacious, haughty,
false, immoral, and bloodthirsty.
14. The toad blows himself out, but he can
only crawl. The frog cries, "Work! Work!" but he can do nothing but hop and make himself ridiculous. The raven cries, "Spare!
Spare!" but he steals and wastes everything that he gets into his beak.
15. Finda's people are just like these. They
say a great deal about making good laws, and every one wishes to make regulations against misconduct, but does not wish to
submit to them himself. Whoever is the most crafty crows over the others, and tries to make them submit to him, till another
comes who drives him off his perch.
16. The word "Ewa" is too sacred for common
use, therefore men have learned to say, "Evin".
17. "Ewa" means that sentiment which is implanted
in the breast of every man in order that he may know what is right and what is wrong, and by which he is able to judge his
own deeds and those of others; that is, if he has been well and properly brought up. "Ewa" has also another meaning; that
is, tranquil, smooth, like water that is not stirred by a breath of wind. If the water is disturbed it becomes troubled, uneven,
but it always has a tendency to return to its tranquil condition.
18. That is its nature, just as the inclination
towards justice and freedom exists in Frya's Children. We derive this disposition from the spirit of Wr-alda, our provider,
which speaks strongly in Frya's Children, and will eternally remain so. "Ewa" is another symbol of Wr-alda, who remains always
just and unchangeable.
19. "Ewa", eternal and unalterable, the sign
of wisdom and rectitude, must be sought after by all pious people, and must be possessed by all judges. If, therefore, it
is desired to make laws and regulations which shall be permanent, they must be equal for all men. The judges must pronounce
their decisions according to these laws.
20. If any crime is committed respecting which
no law has been made, a general assembly of the people shall be called, where judgment shall be pronounced in accordance with
the inspiration of Wr-alda's spirit. If we act thus, our judgment will never fail to be right.
21. If instead of doing right, men will commit
wrong, there will arise quarrels and differences among people and states. Thence arise civil wars, and everything is thrown
into confusion and destroyed; and O foolish people - while you are injuring each other the spiteful Finda's people with their
false priests come and attack your ports, ravish your daughters, corrupt your morals, and at last throw the bonds of slavery
over the neck of every Child of Frya.
Chapter XIV: From Minno's writings -
1. When Nyhellenia, whose real name was Minerva,
was well established, and the Krekalandar loved her as well as our own people did, there came some princes and priests to
her burgh and asked Minerva where her possessions lay.
2. Nyhellenia answered, "I carry my possessions
in my own bosom. What I have inherited is the love of wisdom, justice, and freedom. If I lose these I shall become as the
least of your slaves; now I give advice for nothing, but then I should sell it."
3. The gentlemen went away laughing, and saying,
"Your humble servants, wise Hellenia."
4. But they missed their object, for the people
took up this name as a name of honour. When they saw that their shot had missed they began to calumniate her, and to say that
she had bewitched the people; but our people and the good Krekalandar understood at once that it was calumny.
5. She was once asked, "If you are not a witch,
what is the use of the eggs that you always carry with you?"
6. Minerva answered, "These eggs are the symbols
of Frya's counsels, in which our future and that of the whole human race lies concealed. Time will hatch them, and we must
watch that no harm happens to them."
7. The priests said, "Well answered; but what
is the use of the dog on your right hand?"
8. Hellenia replied, "Does not the shepherd
have a sheep-dog to keep his flock together? What the dog is to the shepherd I am in Frya's service. I must watch over Frya's
9. The priests said, "We understand that very
well; but tell us what means the owl that always sits upon your head, is that light-shunning animal a sign of your clear vision?"
10. Hellenia answered, "No; he reminds me that
there are people on Irtha who, like him, have their homes in temples and holes, who go about in the twilight, not, like him,
to deliver us from mice and other plagues, but to invent tricks to steal away the knowledge of other people, in order to take
advantage of them, to make slaves of them, and to suck their blood in imitation of vampires."
11. Another time they came with a whole troop
of people, when the plague was in the country, and said, "We are all making offerings to the gods that they may take away
the plague. Will you not help to turn away their anger, or have you yourself brought the plague into the land with all your
12. Minerva said, "No; I know no gods that
do evil, therefore I cannot ask them to do better. I only know of one good spirit, that is Wr-alda's; and as he is good he
never does evil."
13. The priests asked, "Where, then, does evil
come from? All the evil comes from you, and from the stupidity of the people who let themselves be deceived by you. If, then,
your god is so exceedingly good, why does he not turn away the bad?"
14. Hellenia answered, "Frya has placed us
here, and the carrier, that is, time, must do the rest. For all calamities there is counsel and remedy to be found, but Wr-alda
wills that we should search it out ourselves, in order that we may become strong and wise. If we will not do that, he leaves
us to our own devices, in order that we may experience the results of wise or foolish conduct."
15. Then a prince said, "I should think it
best to submit."
16. Hellenia answered, "Very possibly; for
then men would be like sheep, and you and the priests would take care of them, shearing them and leading them to the shambles.
That is what our god does not desire, he desires that we should help one another, but that all should be free and wise. That
is also our desire, and therefore our people choose their princes, reeves, elders, leaders, and masters from among the wisest
of the good men, in order that every man shall do his best to be wise and good. Thus doing, we learn ourselves and teach the
people that being wise and acting wisely can alone lead to holiness."
17. The priests said, "That seems very good
judgment; but if you mean that the plague is caused by our stupidity, then Nyhellenia will perhaps be so good as to bestow
upon us a little of that new light of which she is so proud."
18. Hellenia said, "Yes, but ravens and other
birds of prey feed only on dead carrion, whereas the plague feeds not only on carrion but on bad laws and customs and wicked
passions. If you wish the plague to depart from you and not return, you must put away your bad passions and become pure within
19. The priests said, "We admit that the advice
is good, but how shall we induce all the people under our rule to agree to it?"
20. Then Hellenia stood up and said, "The sparrows
follow the sower, and the people their good princes, therefore it becomes you to begin by rendering yourselves pure, so that
you may look within and without, and not be ashamed of your own conduct. Now, instead of purifying the people, you have invented
foul festivals, in which they have so long revelled that they wallow like swine in the mire to atone for your evil passions."
21. The people began to mock and to jeer, so
that she did not dare to pursue the subject; and one would have thought that they would have called all the people together
to drive us out of the land; but no, in place of abusing her they went all about from Heinde Krekaland to the Alpa, proclaiming
that it had pleased the great god to send his clever daughter Minerva, surnamed Nyhellenia, over the sea in a cloud to give
people good counsel, and that all who listened to her should become rich and happy, and in the end governors of all the kingdoms
22. They erected statues to her on all their
altars, they announced and sold to the simple people advice that she had never given, and related miracles that she had never
performed. They cunningly made themselves masters of our laws and customs, and by craft and subtlety were able to explain
and spread them around.
23. They appointed femmes under their own care,
who were apparently under the protection of Fasta, our first folk-mother, to watch over the holy lamp; but that lamp they
lit themselves, and instead of imbuing the femmes with wisdom, and then sending them to watch the sick and educate the young,
they made them stupid and ignorant, and never allowed them to come out. They were employed as advisors, but the advice which
seemed to come from them was but the repetition of the behests of the priests.
24. When Nyhellenia died, we wished to choose
another burgh-femme, and some of us wished to go to Texland to look for her; but the priests, who were all-powerful among
their own people, would not permit it, and accused us before the people of being unholy.
Chapter XV: From Minno's writings -
1. When I came away from Athenia with my followers,
we arrived at an island named by my crew Kreta, because of the cries that the inhabitants raised on our arrival. When they
really saw that we did not come to make war, they were quiet, so that at last I was able to buy a harbour in exchange for
a boat and some silver implements, and a piece of land.
2. When we had been settled there a short time,
and they discovered that we had no slaves, they were very much astonished; and when I explained to them that we had laws which
made everybody equal, they wished to have the same; but they had hardly established them before the whole land was in confusion.
3. The priests and princes declared that we
had excited their subjects to rebellion, and the people appealed to us for aid and protection. When the princes saw that they
were about to lose their kingdom, they gave freedom to their people, and came to me to establish a code of laws. The people,
however, got no freedom, and the princes remained masters, acting according to their own pleasure.
4. When this storm had passed, they began to
sow divisions among us. They told my people that I had invoked their assistance to make myself permanent king. Once I found
poison in my food. So when a ship from Flyland sailed past, I quietly took my departure.
5. Leaving alone, then, my own adventures,
I will conclude this history by saying that we must not have anything to do with Finda's people, wherever it may be, because
they are full of false tricks, fully as much to be feared as their sweet wine with deadly poison.
6. Here ends Minno's writings.
Chapter XVI: These are the three principles
on which the following laws are established -
1. Everybody knows that he requires the necessaries
of life, and if he cannot obtain them he does not know how to preserve his life.
2. All men have a natural desire to marry,
and if it is not satisfied they are not aware what evil may spring from it.
3. Every man knows that he wishes to live free
and undisturbed, and that others wish the same thing.
Chapter XVII: To secure this, these laws and
regulations are made -
1. The people of Finda have also their rules
and regulations, but these are not made according to what is just - only for the advantage of priests and princes - therefore
their states are full of disputes and murder. If any Child of Frya falls into a state of destitution, his case must be brought
before the reeve by the femmes, because a high-minded Child of Frya cannot bear to do that himself.
2. If any man becomes poor because he will
not work, he must be sent out of the land, because the cowardly and lazy are troublesome and ill-disposed, therefore they
ought to be got rid of.
3. Every young man ought to seek a bride and
to be married at five-and-twenty.
4. If a young man is not married at five-and-twenty,
he must be driven from his home, and the younger men must avoid him. If then he will not marry, he must be declared dead,
and leave the country, so that he may not give offence.
5. If a man is impotent, he must openly declare
that no one has anything to fear from him, then he may come or go where he likes.
6. If after that he commits any carnal act,
then he must flee away; if he does not, he may be given over to the vengeance of those whom he has offended, and no one may
7. Any one who commits a theft shall restore
it three-fold. For a second offence he shall be sent to the tin mines. The person robbed may forgive him if he pleases, but
for a third offence no one shall protect him.
Chapter XVIII: These rules are made for angry
1. If a man in a passion or out of illwill
breaks another's limb or puts out an eye or a tooth, he must pay whatever the injured man demands. If he cannot pay, he must
suffer the same injury as he has done to the other. If he refuses this, he must appeal to the burgh-femme in order to be sent
to work in the silver or tin mines until he has expiated his crime under the general law.
2. If a man is so wicked as to kill a Child
of Frya, he must forfeit his own life; but if the burgh-femme can send him to the tin mines for his life before he is taken,
she may do so.
3. If the prisoner can prove by proper witnesses
that the death was accidental, he may go free; but if it happens a second time, he must go to the tin mines, in order to avoid
any unseemly hatred or vengeance.
Chapter XIX: These are the rules concerning
1. If any man sets fire to another's house,
he is no Child of Frya, he is a bastard. If he is caught in the act, he must be thrown into the fire; and wherever he may
flee, he shall never be secure from the avenging justice.
2. No true Child of Frya shall speak ill of
the faults of his neighbours. If any man injures himself, but does no harm to others, he must be his own judge; but if he
becomes so bad that he is dangerous to others, they must bring it before the reeve. But if instead of going to the reeve a
man accuses another behind his back, he must be put on the pillory in the market-place, and then sent out of the land, but
not to the tin mines, because even there a backbiter is to be feared.
3. If any man should prove a traitor and show
our enemies the paths leading to our places of refuge, or creep into them by night, he must be the offspring of Finda; he
must be burnt. The navigators must take his mother and all his relations to a desolate island, and there scatter his ashes,
in order that no poisonous herbs may spring from them. The femmes must curse his name in all the states, in order that no
child may be called by his name, and that his ancestors may repudiate him.
4. War had come to an end, but famine came
in its place. There were three men who each stole a sack of corn from different owners, but they were all caught.
5. The first owner brought his thief to the
judge, and the femmes said everywhere that he had done right.
6. The second owner took the corn away from
his thief and let him go in peace. The femmes said he had done well.
7. The third owner went to the thief's house,
and when he saw what misery was there, he went and brought a waggon-load of necessaries to relieve their distress. Frya's
femmes came around him and wrote his deed in the eternal book, and wiped out all his guilt. This was reported to the folk-mother,
and she had it made known over the whole land.
Chapter XX: What is written hereunder is inscribed
on the walls of Waraburch -
1. What appears at the top is the signs of
the yule - that is, the first symbol of Wr-alda: the Origin and the Beginning; from which time is derived. This is the carrier,
which must always go round with the yule. According to this model Frya formed the set hand which she used to write her Tex.
When Fasta was folk-mother she made a running hand out of it.
2. The wit-king, that is, sea-king Godfreiath
the Elder, made separate numbers for the set hand and for the running hand. It is therefore not too much that we celebrate
it once a year. We may be eternally thankful to Wr-alda that he allowed his spirit to exercise such an influence over our
3. In her time Finda also invented a mode of
writing, but that was so high-flown and full of flourishes that her descendants have soon lost the meaning of it.
4. Afterwards they learned our writing - that
is, the Finnar, the Thyriar, and the Krekalandar - but they did not know that it was taken from the yule, and must therefore
always be written round like the sun.
5. Furthermore, they wished that their writing
should be illegible by other people, because they always had matters to conceal. In doing this they acted very unwisely, because
their children could only with great difficulty read the writings of their predecessors, whereas our most ancient writings
are as easy to read as those that were written yesterday.
6. Here is a specimen of the set hand and of
the running hand, as well as of the figures, in both:
Chapter XXI: This stands inscribed upon all
1. Before the bad time came our land was the
most beautiful in the World. The sun rose higher, and there was seldom frost. The trees and shrubs produced various fruits,
which are now lost. In the fields we had not only barley, oats, and rye, but wheat which shone like gold, and which could
be baked in the sun's rays. The years were not counted, for one was as happy as another.
2. On one side we were bounded by Wr-alda's
Sea, on which no one but us might or could sail; on the other side we were hedged in by the broad Twiskland, through which
Finda's people dared not come on account of the thick forests and the wild beasts.
3. Eastward our boundary went to the extremity
of the Aster Sea, and westwards to the Middel Sea; so that besides the small rivers we had twelve large rivers given us by
Wr-alda to keep our land moist, and to show our seafaring men the way to his sea.
4. The banks of these rivers were at one time
entirely inhabited by our people, as well as the banks of the Rene from one end to the other.
5. Opposite Denamark and Juttarland we had
colonies and a burgh-femme. Thence we obtained copper and silver, as well as tar and pitch, and some other necessaries.
6. Opposite to us we had Brittania, formerly
Westland, with her tin mines.
7. Brittania was the land of the exiles, who
with the help of their burgh-femme had gone away to save their lives; but in order that they might not come back they were
tattooed with a "B" on the forehead, the banished with a red dye, the other criminals with blue.
8. Moreover, our navigators and merchants had
many factories among the Heinde Krekalandar and in Lydia. In Lydia the people are black.
9. As our country was so great and extensive,
we had many different names. Those who were settled to the east of Denamark were called Juttar, because often they did nothing
else than look for amber on the shore. Those who lived in the islands were called Letne, because they lived an isolated life.
10. All those who lived between Denamark and
the Sandfal, now the Skelda, were called Stiurar, Sekampar, and Angelarar. The Angelarar were men who fished in the sea, and
were so named because they used lines and hooks instead of nets.
11. From there to Heinde Krekaland the inhabitants
were called Kadhemar, because they never went to sea but remained ashore.
12. Those who were settled in the higher marches
bounded by Twiskland were called Saxmannar, because they were always armed against the wild beasts and the savage Britne.
13. Besides these we had the names Landsaton,
Marsatar, and Holt- or Wodsatar.