Page images

Goddesses are called Valkyries; Odin sends them into the fields of battle, to make choice of those who are to be slain, and to bestow the victory. GUDUR, Rosta, and the youngest of the - Destinies or Fairies * who preside over Time, viz. SKULDA (or the Future) go forth every day on horseback to chuse the dead, and regulate what carnage shall ensue. IORD, or the Earth, the mother of Thor; and RINDA, the mother of Vale, ought also to be ranked among the Goddesses.

[ocr errors]

* Illandic, Norn en yngsla, ii e. Nornàrum natu Minima. Goranson,



(A) 6 The principal ¢ is Frigga.”] I have already remarked that FRIGGA was the Earth, the fpoufe of ODIN, and mother of the inferiour Divinities ;

and that Thor was her first-born. She, with these two other Gods, made that sacred Triad, who were served and attended with so much respect in the famous Temple of Upfal. Frigga, or Frea, there represented as re

pofing upon cushions between Odin and Thor; and by various emblems, was denoted to be the Goddess of Plenty, Fruitfulness and Pleasure. The fixth day of the week is Frea's day in all the riorthern languages,

(sc. FRIDAY +.) She being the mother of the whole human race, the people regarded one another as brethren, and lived in ftrict unity and concord, during the short time that

[ocr errors]


of See Vol. I. pag. 95.

her festivals lasted. Non cy. But no people had bella ineunt, said Tacitus, ever a stronger confidence respecting those seasons, in the women's skill in non arma fumunt, claufum medicine, than our Celtic onne ferrum; pax & quies and Gothic' ancestors. tum tantum amata. But “ Persuaded, says Tacias soon as these were over, tus,

that there was they made themselves a “ something divine in mends for this forced state " that sex,” they subof quiet, and the God of mitted, when fick, to war was only served with their opinion and decision the more activity during with that implicit confia, the rest of the year. I dence, which is due to have nothing to remark supernatural knowledge. concerning the other God Indeed all the science of desses, who are only known medicine that was emto us by the EDDA, and ployed in those times, was who, for the most part,

little else but magic apseem to have sprung from plied to the cure of difthe brains of the northern cafes. The evils and the SCALDS.

remedies were most com

monly nothing else but (B) 66 Eyra performs lots, possessions, conjura" the function of Physi- tions and enchantments. u cian to the Gods."] And the mountaineers in Tacitus informs us that

many parts of Europe, the Germans had no other know of no other at this physicians but their wo day. The superstition of men. They followed the shepherds and such like armies to stanch and fuck people, in this respect, is the wounds of their hus

well known. The prebands. In like manner, judices of these poor peoall the histories and ro ple, are only reliques of mances of the north al

what all heads were once ways represent the fe full of. After this, remales, and often princes- gret who will, the loss of ses, charged with this ancient times !

The same thing may be observed of almoit (c) “She hath a horse, all nations in their infan

" which runs


over the

66 air.”]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

© air.”] The travels of « travelling, are transGoddesses and Fairics “ ported from place to through the air, are very “ place through the air, common in all the poems

os &c.

A council held and fables of the ancient at Rouen, and cited in inhabitants of the north, Burchard, contains a proand most of the nations in hibition of the same naEurope have thought in ture. ( Conc. Rotom. this respect along with L. I. c. 94. fect. 44.) In them. When in process some places the people are of time Christianity be still of opinion, even in came prevalent, what had our own days, that witches been formerly looked up. are carried to their inferon as a precious gift and nal Sabbaths through the signal mark of divine fa midst of the air, on horsevour, was now regarded back, or at least riding as the effect only of dia o astride certain animals.' bolic arts. The affem- (Vid. Keysler.

(Vid. Keyfler. Antiq. blies of ecclesiastics made Sept. p. 88, 89.) There are very severe prohibitions, few of our popular superand denounced their ana ftitions, but what may be' themas against all those traced up to some opinion, who should travel through which was consecrated by the air in the night-time. the ancient religion of the In the ancient law of Goths and Celts. Nor Norway, called “ Gu

need we always except lathings Lagen,” c. I. those, which seem in fome we find this regulation respects to hold a confor« Let the king and the mity to doctrines or prac

bishop, with all pofli- tices, which the Christian " ble care, make inquiry religion alone could have after those who exercise taught us.

One name Pagan superstitions ; substituted for another, 16 who make use of ma and an outside varnish of “ gic arts; who adore devotion cannot so dira « the Genii of particu- guise their original, but " lar places, or of tombs, that it is easily discovered “ or rivers; and who by by a skilful eye. a diabolic manner of


H 3

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

HERE was

a man named Gimer,
one of the race of the Giants of
the mountains; who had had by his wife
Orboda, a daughter named Gerde, the most
beautiful of her fex. One day FREY
having ascended the throne of the Univer-
sal Father, in order to take a view of the
whole world from thence; perceived to-
wards the north a magnificent palace in the
middle of a city, and a woman come out
of it, whose hair was so bright, that it
gave lastre to the air and the waters. At
that fight Frey, in just punishment of his
audacity in mounting that facred throne,
was struck with sudden sadness, insomuch

his return home, he could nei-
ther speak, nor sleep, nor drink; nor did
any body dare so much as to inquire into
the cause. However, NIORD ordered Skir-
ner, the confident of Frey, to come to
him, and charged him to demand of his



[ocr errors]

master what sworn enemy he had, that
thus he renounced all converse with man-
kind. Skirner promised to do this, and
going to Frey, asked him boldly why he
was To sad and silent. Frey answered, That
he had seen a young woman so beautiful
and finely shaped, that if he could not pof-
sess her, he should not long survive it; and
that this was what rendered him so thought-
ful. “ Go therefore, adds he, obtain her
“ for me in marriage, if you bring her to
me, you
shall have in recompence

what“ ever you desire." Skirner undertook to do this if Frey would make him a present of his Sword, which was so good, that it would of itself strow a field with carnage, whenever the owner ordered it. Frey, impatient of delay, immediately made him a present of the sword; and Skirner setting out, obtained the young woman of her relations, who promised that she should follow him within nine nights after his departure, and that the nuptials should be solemnized in a place called Barey. Skirner having reported to Frey the success of his embassy; that God, full of impatience, pronounced these verses, “ One night is very long; two nights are “ still longer; How then shall I pass the “ third ? Many a time hath a whole a month appeared to me, shorter than the



“ half

« PreviousContinue »