The Father part 2

Eight years more rolled by, and then one day a noise was heard outside of the priest’s study, for many men were approaching, and at their head was Thord, who entered first.

The priest looked up and recognized him.

“You come well attended this evening, Thord,” said he.

“I am here to request that the banns may be published for my son; he is about to marry Karen Storliden, daughter of Gudmund, who stands here beside me.”

“Why, that is the richest girl in the parish.”

“ So they say,” replied the peasant, stroking back his hair with one hand.

The priest sat a while as if in deep thought, then entered the names in his book, without making any comments, and the men wrote their signatures underneath. Thord laid three dollars on the table.

“One is all I am to have,” said the priest.

“I know that very well; but he is my only child, I want to do it handsomely.”

The priest took th

The Father part 1

Bjornstjerne Bjornson (1832-1910)

Bjornson was one of the founders of modern Norwegian literature and as dramatist, poet, novelist, moralist and politician he was a leader of his people. His novel, Synnove Solbakken, one of his earliest works, appeared in 1857. Among his numerous and varied later writings his short tales are not the least interesting. The Father is a masterpiece in brief.

The present version was translated by R. B. Anderson and published in the volume The Bridal March, Boston, 1881.

The Father

The man whose story is here to be told was the wealthiest and most influential person in his parish; his name was Thord Overaas. He appeared in the priest’s study one day, tall and earnest.

“I have gotten a son,” said he, “and I wish to present him for baptism.”

“What shall his name be?”

“Finn—after my father.”

“And the sponsors?”

They were mentioned, and prove