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APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XXIII
HELGI AND SIGRUN
KING Hogni fell in battle by the hand of King Helgi. All King Hogni's sons perished in the battle except one, called Dagr. Helgi, like the Cid in Corneille, or Alboin, King of the Lombards, married Sigrun, the daughter of the King whom he had slain. Dagr was compelled to swear peace with Helgi, but, afterwards, sacrificed to Odin for revenge. Odin lent him his own spear, with which he killed Helgi. He then went to find the sister whom he had made a widow.
Sister, loath am I to show
Playmate of my childhood's years,
Perjured traitor, thou shalt mourn,
Sister, thou art mad to heap
Half the world would I bestow,
Fair as may my dwelling be,
Those whom peoples fear and love,
Maid watching near Helgi's grave
Twilight of the Gods, whose gloom
Dead men ride and come to me,
To the monarch whom we mourn?
Maiden, neither is thy sight
Forth, Sigrun! if yet again
Thou wouldst see thy warrior slain;
Come is Helgi with his train;
Now as fain am I to meet thee,
To pangs that life and death outlive.
Thee, to thee alone, 'tis due
That I bathe in deadly dew.
Cruel are the tears thou weepest
Every night before thou sleepest;
Every drop thy eyelids shed
Dry them, and my pangs are still.
Sweet the cup that I shall drain;
Though my breast be scarred with wounds,
What though I be with the dead,
Beauty watches o'er my bed.
Here I spread thy couch for thee,
Having seen the things I see,
I have watched the live-long day,
Lady, thou art desperate grown,
Sigrun was short-lived through grief and sorrow.
Translated from the Icelandic by R. L. 1866.
ROBERT LOWE AND THE INDIAN CIVIL SERVICE-AN EPISODE
AFTER the general election of 1874, which proved so disastrous to the Liberal party, Robert Lowe continued to sit for the University of London for six more years, as one of the leaders of the Liberal Opposition. Some of the scenes in which he bore a part during those six closing years will be glanced at in the next chapter; but it has been thought advisable to detach from the record the following narrative of his championship of the Indian Civil servants in 1875. For the facts on which this narrative is based I am indebted to Mr. Cotterell Tupp, formerly of the Bengal Civil Service, and afterwards Accountant-General of Madras, who has also been kind enough to lend me a collection of Lord Sherbrooke's letters on the subject.
From the beginning of his official career as Joint-Secretary of the Board of Control, Robert Lowe had been a foremost advocate of the selection of public servants by open competitive examination; and, as already related, it was mainly through his instrumentality that Sir Charles Wood's India Act of 1853 contained a provision by which appointments to the Indian Civil Service were thrown open to competition for all Britishborn subjects. With regard to the general question of Civil Service reform, there were other public men, notably Sir Stafford Northcote, who were equally keen upon slaying the See vol. ii. pp. 62, 78.