The book of lost tales p.., p.33
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       The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, p.33

           J. R. R. Tolkien

  Then did he unloose the necklace, and he gazed in wonder at it—and beheld the Silmaril, even the jewel he won from Angband and gained undying glory by his deed; and he said: “Never have mine eyes beheld thee O Lamp of Faëry burn one half so fair as now thou dost, set in gold and gems and the magic of the Dwarves” and that necklace he caused to be washed of its stains, and he cast it not away, knowing nought of its power, but bore it with him back into the woods of Hithlum.

  But the waters of Aros flowed on for ever above the drowned hoard of Glorund, and so do still, for in after days Dwarves came from Nogrod and sought for it, and for the body of Naugladur; but a flood arose from the mountains and therein the seekers perished; and so great now is the gloom and dread of that Stony Ford that none seek the treasure that it guards nor dare ever to cross the magic stream at that enchanted place.

  But in the vales of Hithlum was there gladness at the homecoming of the Elves, and great was the joy of Tinúviel to see her lord once more returning amidst his companies, but little did it ease her grief for the death of Tinwelint that Naugladur was slain and many Dwarves beside. Then did Beren seek to comfort her, and taking her in his arms he set the glorious Nauglafring about her neck, and all were blinded by the greatness of her beauty; and Beren said: “Behold the Lamp of Fëanor that thou and I did win from Hell,” and Tinúviel smiled, remembering the first days of their love and those days of travail in the wild.

  Now is it to be said that Beren sent for Ufedhin and well rewarded him for his words of true guidance whereof the Dwarves had been overcome, and he bid him dwell in….among his folk, and Ufedhin was little loth; yet on a time, no great space thereafter, did that thing betide which he least desired. For came there a sound of very sorrowful singing in the woods, and behold, it was Gwendelin wandering distraught, and her feet bore her to the midmost of a glade where sat Beren and Tinúviel; and at that hour it was new morning, but at the sound all nigh ceased their speaking and were very still. Then did Beren gaze in awe upon Gwendelin, but Tinúviel cried suddenly in sorrow mixed with joy: “O mother Gwendelin, whither do thy feet bear thee, for methought thee dead” but the greeting of those twain upon the greensward was very sweet. And Ufedhin fled from among the Elves, for he could not endure to look upon the eyes of Gwendelin, and madness took him, and none may say what was his unhappy weird thereafter; and little but a tortured heart got he from the Gold of Glorund.

  Now hearing the cries of Ufedhin Gwendelin looked in wonder after him, and stayed her tender words; and memory came back into her eyes so that she cried as in amaze beholding the Necklace of the Dwarves that hung about the white throat of Tinúviel. Then wrathfully she asked of Beren what it might portend, and wherefore he suffered the accursed thing to touch Tinúviel; and told Beren17 all that tale such as Huan had told him, in deed or guess, and of the pursuit and fighting at the ford he told also, saying at the end: “Nor indeed do I see who, now that Lord Tinwelint is fared to Valinor, should so fittingly wear that jewel of the Gods as Tinúviel.” But Gwendelin told of the dragon’s ban upon the gold and the [?staining] of blood in the king’s halls, “and yet another and more potent curse, whose arising I know not, is woven therewith,” said she, “nor methinks was the labour of the Dwarves free from spells of the most enduring malice.” But Beren laughed, saying that the glory of the Silmaril and its holiness might overcome all such evils, even as it burnt the [?foul] flesh of Karkaras. “Nor,” said he, “have I seen ever my Tinúviel so fair as now she is, clasped in the loveliness of this thing of gold” but Gwendelin said: “Yet the Silmaril abode in the Crown of Melko, and that is the work of baleful smiths indeed.”

  Then said Tinúviel that she desired not things of worth or precious stones but the elfin gladness of the forest, and to pleasure Gwendelin she cast it from her neck; but Beren was little pleased and he would not suffer it to be flung away, but warded it in his………18

  Thereafter did Gwendelin abide a while in the woods among them and was healed; and in the end she fared wistfully back to the land of Lórien and came never again into the tales of the dwellers of Earth; but upon Beren and Tinúviel fell swiftly that doom of mortality that Mandos had spoken when he sped them from his halls—and in this perhaps did the curse of Mîm have [?potency] in that it came more soon upon them; nor this time did those twain fare the road together, but when yet was the child of those twain, Dior19 the Fair, a little one, did Tinúviel slowly fade, even as the Elves of later days have done throughout the world, and she vanished in the woods, and none have seen her dancing ever there again. But Beren searched all the lands of Hithlum and of Artanor ranging after her; and never has any of the Elves had more loneliness than his, or ever he too faded from life, and Dior his son was left ruler of the brown Elves and the green, and Lord of the Nauglafring.

  Mayhap what all Elves say is true, that those twain hunt now in the forest of Oromë in Valinor, and Tinúviel dances on the green swards of Nessa and of Vána daughters of the Gods for ever more; yet great was the grief of the Elves when the Guilwarthon went from among them, and being leaderless and lessened of magic their numbers minished; and many fared away to Gondolin, the rumour of whose growing power and glory ran in secret whispers among all the Elves.

  Still did Dior when come to manhood rule a numerous folk, and he loved the woods even as Beren had done; and songs name him mostly Ausir the Wealthy for his possession of that wondrous gem set in the Necklace of the Dwarves. Now the tales of Beren and Tinúviel grew dim in his heart, and he took to wearing it about his neck and to love its loveliness most dearly; and the fame of that jewel spread like fire through all the regions of the North, and the Elves said one to another: “A Silmaril of Fëanor burns in the woods of Hisilómë.”

  Now fare the long days of Elfinesse unto that time when Tuor dwelt in Gondolin; and children then had Dior the Elf,20 Auredhir and Elwing, and Auredhir was most like to his forefather Beren, and all loved him, yet none so dearly as did Dior; but Elwing the fairy have all poesies named as beautiful as Tinúviel if that indeed may be, yet hard is it to say seeing the great loveliness of the elfin folk of yore. Now those were days of happiness in the vales of Hithlum, for there was peace with Melko and the Dwarves who had but one thought as they plotted against Gondolin, and Angband was full of labour; yet is it to tell that bitterness entered into the hearts of the seven sons of Fëanor, remembering their oath. Now Maidros, whom Melko maimed, was their leader; and he called to his brethren Maglor and Dinithel, and to Damrod, and to Celegorm, to Cranthor and to Curufin the Crafty, and he said to them how it was now known to him that a Silmaril of those their father Fëanor had made was now the pride and glory of Dior of the southern vales, “and Elwing his daughter bears it whitherso she goes—but do you not forget,” said he, “that we swore to have no peace with Melko nor any of his folk, nor with any other of Earth-dwellers that held the Silmarils of Fëanor from us. For what,” said Maidros, “do we suffer exile and wandering and rule over a scant and forgotten folk, if others gather to their hoard the heirlooms that are ours?”

  Thus was it that they sent Curufin the Crafty to Dior, and told him of their oath, and bid him give that fair jewel back unto those whose right it was; but Dior gazing on the loveliness of Elwing would not do so, and he said that he could not endure that the Nauglafring, fairest of earthly craft, be so despoiled. “Then,” said Curufin, “must the Nauglafring unbroken be given to the sons of Fëanor,” and Dior waxed wroth, bidding him be gone, nor dare to claim what his sire Beren the Onehanded won with his hand from the [?jaws] of Melko—“other twain are there in the selfsame place,” said he, “an your hearts be bold enow.”

  Then went Curufin unto his brethren, and because of their unbreakable oath and of their [?thirst] for that Silmaril (nor indeed was the spell of Mîm and of the dragon wanting) they planned war upon Dior—and the Eldar cry shame upon them for that deed, the first premeditated war of elfin folk upon elfin folk, whose name otherwise were glorious among the Eldalië for their sufferings. Little
good came thereby to them; for they fell unawares upon Dior, and Dior and Auredhir were slain, yet behold, Evranin the nurse of Elwing, and Gereth a Gnome, took her unwilling in a flight swift and sudden from those lands, and they bore with them the Nauglafring, so that the sons of Fëanor saw it not; but a host of Dior’s folk, coming with all speed yet late unto the fray, fell suddenly on their rear, and there was a great battle, and Maglor was slain with swords, and Mai….21 died of wounds in the wild, and Celegorm was pierced with a hundred arrows, and Cranthor beside him. Yet in the end were the sons of Fëanor masters of the field of slain, and the brown Elves and the green were scattered over all the lands unhappy, for they would not hearken to Maidros the maimed, nor to Curufin and Damrod who had slain their lord; and it is said that even on the day of that battle of the Elves Melko sought against Gondolin, and the fortunes of the Elves came to their uttermost waning.

  Now was naught left of the seed of Beren Ermabwed son of Egnor save Elwing the Lovely, and she wandered in the woods, and of the brown Elves and the green a few gathered to her, and they departed for ever from the glades of Hithlum and got them to the south towards Sirion’s deep waters, and the pleasant lands.

  And thus did all the fates of the fairies weave then to one strand, and that strand is the great tale of Eärendel; and to that tale’s true beginning are we now come.’

  Then said Ailios: ‘And methinks that is tale enow for this time of telling.’


  1 This sentence is a rewriting of the text, which had originally:

  “Nay then, know ye not that this gold belongs to the kindred of the Elves, who won it from the earth long time ago, and no one among Men has claim…”

  The remainder of this scene, ending with the slaughter of Úrin’s band, was rewritten at many points, with the same object as in the passage just cited—to convert Úrin’s band from Men to Elves, as was done also at the end of Eltas’ tale (see p. 118 note 33). Thus original ‘Elves’ was changed to ‘Elves of the wood, woodland Elves’, and original ‘Men’ to ‘folk, outlaws’ and see notes 2, 3, 5.

  2 The original sentence here was:

  Doughty were those Men and great wielders of sword and axe, and still in those unfaded days might mortal weapons wound the bodies of the elfin-folk.

  See note 1.

  3 The original sentence here was: ‘and those Men being wildered with magics’. See note 1.

  4 This sentence, from ‘and yet another sorrow…’, was added to the text later.

  5 ‘those’: the text has ‘the Men’, obviously left unchanged through oversight. See note 1.

  6 ‘in the earth’ is an emendation of the original reading ‘on the earth’.

  7 ‘damasked in strange wise’, i.e. ‘damascened’, ornamentally inlaid with designs in gold and silver. The word ‘damascened’ is used of the sword of Tinwelint made by the Dwarves, on which were seen images of the wolf-hunt (p. 227), and of Glorfindel’s arms (p. 173).

  8 The text has ‘Eltas’, but with ‘Ailios’ written above in pencil. Since Ailios appears as the teller at the beginning of the tale, and not as the result of emendation, ‘Eltas’ here was probably no more than a slip.

  9 ‘save only’ is a later emendation of the original ‘not even’. See p. 256.

  10 It is odd that Gwendelin appears here, not Gwenniel as hitherto in this tale. Since the first part of the tale is in ink over an erased pencil text, the obvious explanation is that the erased text had Gwendelin and that my father changed this to Gwenniel as he went along, overlooking it in this one instance. But the matter is probably more complex—one of those small puzzles with which the texts of the Lost Tales abound—for after the manuscript in ink ceases the form Gwenniel occurs, though once only, and Gwendelin is then used for all the rest of the tale. See Changes made to Names, p. 244.

  11 Here the manuscript in ink ends; see p. 221.

  12 Against this sentence my father wrote a direction that the story was to be that the Nauglafring caught in the bushes and held the king.

  13 A rejected passage in the manuscript here gives an earlier version of the events, according to which it was Gwendelin, not Huan, who brought the news to Beren:

  …and her bitter weeping filled the forest. Now there did Gwendeling [sic] gather to her many of the scattered woodland Elves and of them did she hear how matters had fared even as she had guessed: how the hunting party had been surrounded and o’erwhelmed by the Nauglath while the Indrafangs and Orcs fell suddenly with death and fire upon all the realm of Tinwelint, and not the least host was that of Ufedhin that slew the guardians of the bridge; and it was said that Naugladur had slain Tinwelint when he was borne down by numbers, and folk thought Narthseg a wild Elf had led the foemen hither, and he had been slain in the fighting.

  Then seeing no hope Gwendelin and her companions fared with the utmost speed out of that land of sorrow, even to the kingdom of i.Guilwarthon in Hisilómë, where reigned Beren and Tinúviel her daughter. Now Beren and Tinúviel lived not in any settled abode, nor had their realm boundaries well-marked, and no other messenger save Gwendelin daughter of the Vali had of a surety found those twain the living-dead so soon.

  It is clear from the manuscript that the return of Mablung and Huan to Artanor and their presence at the hunt (referred to in general terms at the end of the Tale of Tinúviel, p. 41) was added to the tale, and with this new element went the change in Gwendelin’s movements immediately after the disaster. But though the textual history is here extremely hard to interpet, what with erasures and additions on loose pages, I think it is almost certain that this reshaping was done while the original composition of the tale was still in progress.

  14 The first of these lacunae that I have left in the text contains two words, the first possibly ‘believe’ and the second probably ‘best’. In the second lacuna the word might conceivably be ‘pallor’.

  15 This sentence, from ‘and is it not that very water…’, is struck through and bracketed, and in the margin my father scribbled: ‘No [?that] is Narog.’

  16 The illegible word might be ‘brays’: the word ‘clearer’ is an emendation from ‘hoarser’.

  17 ‘and told Beren’: i.e., ‘and Beren told’. The text as first written had ‘Then told Beren…’

  18 The illegible word might just possibly be ‘treasury’, but I do not think that it is.

  19 Dior replaced the name Ausir, which however occurs below as another name for Dior.

  20 ‘Dior the Elf’ is an emendation from ‘Dior then an aged Elf’.

  21 The latter part of this name is quite unclear: it might be read as Maithog, or as Mailweg. See Changes made to Names under Dinithel.

  Changes made to names in

  The Tale of the Nauglafring

  Ilfiniol (p. 221) here so written from the first: see p. 201.

  Gwenniel is used throughout the revised section of the tale except at the last occurrence (p. 228), where the form is Gwendelin; in the pencilled part of the tale at the first occurrence of the queen’s name it is again Gwenniel (p. 230), but thereafter always Gwendelin (see note 10).

  The name of the queen in the Lost Tales is as variable as that of Littleheart. In The Chaining of Melko and The Coming of the Elves she is Tindriel > Wendelin. In the Tale of Tinúviel she is Wendelin > Gwendeling (see p. 50); in the typescript text of Tinúviel Gwenethlin > Melian; in the Tale of Turambar Gwendeling > Gwedheling; in the present tale Gwendelin/Gwenniel (the form Gwendeling occurs in the rejected passage given in note 13); and in the Gnomish dictionary Gwendeling > Gwedhiling.

  Belegost At the first occurrence (p. 230) the manuscript has Ost Belegost, with Ost circled as if for rejection, and Belegost is the reading subsequently.

  (i·)Guilwarthon In the Tale of Tinúviel, p. 41, the form is i.Cuilwarthon. At the occurrence on p. 240 the ending of the name does not look like-on, but as I cannot say what it is I give Guilwarthon in the text.

  Dinithel could also be read as Durithel (p. 241). This name was written in
later in ink over an earlier name in pencil now scarcely legible, though clearly the same as that beginning Mai…which appears for this son of Fëanor subsequently (see note 21).

  Commentary on

  The Tale of the Nauglafring

  In this commentary I shall not compare in detail the Tale of the Nauglafring with the story told in The Silmarillion (Chapter 22, Of the Ruin of Doriath). The stories are profoundly different in essential features—above all, in the reduction of the treasure brought by Húrin from Nargothrond to a single object, the Necklace of the Dwarves, which had long been in existence (though not, of course, containing the Silmaril); while the whole history of the relation between Thingol and the Dwarves is changed. My father never again wrote any part of this story on a remotely comparable scale, and the formation of the published text was here of the utmost difficulty; I hope later to give an account of it.

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