“Lords of Geatsland and earls of Hygelac,” he shouted, as the minstrel finished the song, am the son of Ecgtheow and of Hygelac’s sister, and in olden times this Hrothgar was a war-brother of my father. Therefore I claim kinship to him, and I will go to the land of the Danes and serve their king. I will slay this Grendel!”
Then among the lords of Geatsland there rose a murmur of wonder at Beowulf’s daring, but their wonder was touched with mockery that the Sluggard should dream of combat with such a fiend as Grendel. And they knew not whether to laugh or to shout with approval when they saw this youth, who had but lately come to manhood, standing before them, his eyes flashing fire, both hands up-flung.
There was great confusion in the hall of Hygelac, and the earls called to one another, and dogs barked. But Hygd the queen stood up amid the turmoil, and holding a jeweled cup in her two hands because of its weight, stepped down to where Beowulf was, and offered him the cup, and smiled at him in affection and pride.
Once again Hygelac commanded silence among the guests in the drinking-hall, and turning to Beowulf said in a loud voice:
“The time has come, O Beowulf, for you to prove your worth. The gods have gifted you with the strength of thirty men, and this strength you should use to the advantage of your fellows. Our neighbor Hrothgar is in sore need. Go forth, then, from Geatsland to the land of the Danes, and do mortal combat with this Grendel-fiend to the glory of Geatsland and the satisfaction of your new manhood.
“But I charge you, Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, earl of the Geats, and my own nephew, return not to these halls if you should fail in your attempt. Again I say to you, you have great strength. Go you, Beowulf, and use it nobly!”
Thus spoke Hygelac the king, and great was the shout of approval that went up from all the lords of Geatsland as they crowded round the brave young Beowulf. For here was a Beowulf they had never known before, and they greeted him for the first time as one of themselves, and not as a sullen boy whose strength had been so great that he had been made to seem a fool for it.
Then Beowulf drank from the jeweled goblet of Hygd, called the Wise and Fair, and he fell on his knees before his uncle Hygelac and received the king’s embrace.
From “The Story of Beowulf”
“Lords of Geatsland and earls of Hygelac,” he shouted…. “I will go to the land of the Danes and serve their king. I will slay this Grendel!”