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cruel death, if he did not contrive fome way or other to prevent the workman from accomplishing his undertaking, and obtaining the promised reward. Immediately they laid hands on Loke; who in his fright, promised upon oath to do whatever they defired, let it cost him what it would. That very night, while the architect was employing his horse, as usual, to convey stones to the place, there suddenly leaped forth a mare from the neighbouring forest, which allured the horse with her neighings. That animal no sooner saw her, but giving way to his ardour, he broke his bridle, and began to run after the mare.
This obliged the workman also to run after his horse, and thus, between one and the other, the whole night was lost, so that the progress of the work must have been delayed till next morning. Then the architect perceiving that he had no other means to finish his undertaking, resumed his own proper shape and dimensions; and the Gods now clearly perceiving that it was really a Giant with whom they had made their contract, paid no longer any regard to their oath *, but
* The Gothic Deities seem to be guided by no very nice principles of Morality, any more than those of the Greeks and Romans. It is needless to observe what a dreadful effect, such an example as the above, must have on the conduct of their blind votaries. T.
Calling the God Thor, he immediately ran to them, and paid the workman his salary by å blow of his mace, which shattered his head to pieces, and sent him headlong into hell. Shortly after Loke came and reported, that the architect's horse had been got a foal with eight feet. This is the horse named SLEIPNER, which excels all the horses that ever were possessed by Gods or men *
In Goranson's Latin Version, the reader will find some lines that are here omitted,
ANGLER says to Har, You have
told me of a vessel called Skidbladner, that was the best of all ships. Without doubt, replies Har, it is the best, and most artfully constructed of any; but the ship Nagelfara is of larger size. They were Dwarfs who built Skidbladner, and made a present of it to Frey. It is so large, that all the Gods compleatly armed may fit in it at their ease. As soon as ever its fails are unfurled, a favourable gale arises, and carries it of itself to whatever place it is destined. And when the Gods have no mind to fail, they can take it into pieces so small, that being folded upon one another, the whole will go into a pocket. This is
well-contrived vessel, replied Gangler, and there must doubtless have been
a great deal of art and magic employed in bringing it to perfection.
indeed a very
THE TWENTY-THIRD FABLE.
Of the God Thor.
ANGLER proceeds, _and says,
Did it never happen to Thor in his expeditions to be overcome, either by enchantment or downright force ? Har replied to him, Few can take upon them to affirm that ever any such accident befel this God; nay, had he in reality been worsted in any rencounter, it would not be allowable to make mention of it, fince all the world ought to believe, that nothing can resist his power. I have put a question then, fays Gangler, to which none of you can give any answer *. Then Jafnhar took up the discourse, and said ; True indeed, there are some such rumours current among us; but they are hardly credible: yet there is one
* The reader will remember that Gangler would have considered himself as victor in this contest, if he had proposed any question they could not have anfwered.' Vide page 3, 4, &c,
prefent who can impart them to you; and you ought the rather to believe him, in that having never yet told you a lie, he will not now begin to deceive
with false ftories. Come then, says Gangler interrupting him, I await your explication ; but if you do not give satisfactory answers to the questions I have proposed, be assured I shall look upon you as vanquished. Here then, says Har, begins the history you defire me to relate :
One day the God Thor set out with Loke, in his own chariot, drawn by two He-Goats; but night coming on, they were obliged to put up at a peasant's cottage. The God Thor immediately flew his two He-Goats, and having skinned them, ordered them to be dressed for supper. When this was done, he sat down to table, and invited the peasant and his children to partake with him. The son of his host was named Thialfe, the daughter Raska. Thor bade them throw all the bonés into the skins of the goats, which he held extended near the table; but
young Thialfe, to come at the marrow, broke with his knife one of the shank bones of the goats. Having passed the night in this place, Thor arose early in the morning, and dressing himself, reared the handle of his mace; which he had no sooner done, than the