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Chapter XXV, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 1 page 2


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"Six feet of earth," was the courageous reply of Harold, "Or, stay," he added, with a bitter smile: "as Hardrada is a giant, he shall have seven."

This answer broke off all further negotiation, and the signal for battle was given.

The Norwegians received, without giving way, the first shock of the Saxon cavalry; but the second shook their ranks. At this critical juncture, Hardrada, their king, fell from his horse, his neck pierced by an arrow; which his army perceiving, they were about to give way, when his son Olave arrived with fresh troops. Once more the battle raged furiously; but nothing could resist the determined valour of the Saxons, who, led by their king, charged them with terrible impetuosity. Tostig and the principal leaders were slain, and the victory remained with Harold.

The conqueror showed himself no less humane than brave. Instead of putting the young Norwegian, Prince Olave, who had fallen into his power, to death, he gave him his liberty, and suffered him to depart, with twelve vessels, for his native country, where he afterwards reigned in conjunction with his brother Magnus.

William of Malmesbury relates that Harold offended a portion of his army by refusing them their share of the plunder, and that many, in consequence, abandoned his standard. If so, the error was bitterly expiated.

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