فصل 06

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فصل 06

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CHAPTER SIX

Hrothgar and his men were still by the side of the lake, watching for any sign of Beowulf. Suddenly they saw a huge wave, and the water turned red with blood. Hrothgar’s advisers shook their heads sadly. They thought the hero had surely met his death down there in the depths. They did not expect to see Beowulf come back to them.

The king and his men waited for some time longer, and then they went back to Heorot Hall. Beowulf’s men, however, remained where they were. They had no hope that Beowulf would survive, but they stayed all the same.

At the bottom of the lake Beowulf watched as the sword he had used to kill Grendel’s mother began to melt. It dissolved the same way that the frost dissolves when the sun is warm. Beowulf looked round the monster’s court, and he saw a lot of rich treasure there. He took nothing with him when he left, however, except the monster’s head and the sword hilt.

He swam upwards through the water. The snakes had gone now that the monster was dead, and the water no longer burned. Beowulf swam strongly for the land, pulling his heavy load behind him.

The Geats were full of joy when they saw their hero reach the land. They helped him to take off his armor, and to carry the monster’s head. They put the head on a spear, and they set off for Hrothgar’s Hall.

Beowulf showed the king the monster’s head when he arrived at the Hall. He had won his victory, and spoke to the king:

‘We are happy to bring you this sign of our victory. The battle under the water was a difficult one, and I nearly died down there. I could not have done it without God’s help. Hrunting is a good sword, but it failed me in the battle. Luckily, I found another sword, an old one, and it was with this that I killed the monster. Now you can sleep safely, I promise you. That terrible monster will not disturb you again.’

Beowulf gave the sword hilt to the king as a present. Hrothgar examined it carefully, and then he spoke:

‘A king like me, who has promised to protect truth and to defend tradition, has the right to say that a warrior like Beowulf will achieve great things in his life. You are famous now, Beowulf, everybody knows who you are. And because I am wise, I want to share my wisdom with you.’

Then Hrothgar gave Beowulf this advice:

‘It is wonderful how God allows a man to achieve many things and to become powerful in his own land. But then that man forgets that he has to die one day. He lives for pleasure, and thinks nothing of old age and sickness. He does not worry about his enemies. He sees the whole world obey him, and he becomes proud. He ceases to look around him. Then, one day, a killer comes after him, someone with a bow. The killer strikes at him and the proud man is hit in the heart. Now the demon comes to him, and makes everything bitter. Nothing has meaning for him anymore, and he ignores old customs. His body dies, and the man’s goods are given to someone else who does not take care of them.’

The king looked at Beowulf for a moment, and then he went on:

‘Do not fall into that trap, my friend. Put your trust in eternal things. Do not be proud of your strength, which does not last forever. Remember that you can be destroyed by sickness by the sword, or by old age. Death will come to you one day.’

Everyone was now listening to Hrothgar’s words of wisdom. He went on:

‘I was like that, you see. I ruled for fifty years. I defended my people with my sword. I thought that I had no more enemies. Then Grendel appeared, and he destroyed the land. I thank God I have seen this monster’s head after all my sufferings.’

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