--- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Fred and Grace Hatton"
<hatton@...> wrote:
> Var það flestra manna sögn og tillaga að
> skipa mönnum
> that wood which is tarred with seal tar. It was said by most people
> advised to unload people
> bátinn svo sem hann tæki upp.

That's right: 'að skipa mönnum bátinn svo sem hann tæki upp' "to
assign as many people to the boat as it would take". The people who
are assigned/placed/arranged with 'skipa' are in the dative, the place
to which they're assigned, the location that they occupy, is accusative.

> En hver þeirra manna vildi fara í
> bátinn sem þar
> But each of those people wished to go into the
> boat as (many) there
> voru, þá mátti hann eigi við öllum taka. Fyrir því tóku þeir þetta
ráð að
> hluta menn í
> were, then he might not take all along.

I think 'hann' = the boat again. I'm a bit puzzled by the syntax of
this. I wonder if there's an 'er' that's been accidentally missed out
before 'hver': "When each of the men who were there wanted to get into
the boat, ([then] it became apparent that) it couldn't hold them all."
The verb-second word order in the 'þá' clause makes me think the
meaning of 'þá' must be "then" rather than "when". Or, on second
thoughts, maybe 'en' has been written for 'er'. According to CV, 'en'
appears "now and then" in place of 'er or 'ef', especially in
Norwegian manuscripts, although this is "a mere peculiarity or false
spelling." The sentence seems to be more of a recap of what's just
been explained, rather than a contrast, so "but" doesn't really sound
right in English here. Granted, 'en' is also used sometimes in Old
Norse where we would use "and", or no conjunction at all, but whether
it would be normal in this context, I don't know. I think it is
supposed to have at least some sense of contrast, "and (on the other

> Bjarni svarar: "Svo verður nú að vera."
> Bjarni answers, "So it is now to be."

"So it now must be." See Zoega 'verða' (7) + 'að' + inf., expresses
necessity or obligation.