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men would long since have forgotten that so foolish an opinion had ever existed, if foreign mariners, who were not disabused ļike them, did not often come to buy their wind of them, and pay them money for being the objects of their ridicule.
The Missionaries and first Bishops, were early in their endeavours to root out this pernicious weed from the soil where they wished to plant the Gospel. They attacked the Pagan religion with all forts of weapons. As they were often so credulous as to believe the false miracles of Paganism, they were weak enough to oppose them with others, that were no whit better, except in the purity of the intention. In an old Icelandic Chronicle *, we meet with a bishop laying a storm with Holy-water, and some other ceremonies. But to proceed on with the discourse of Odin :
“ When I fee, says he, Magicians tra« velling through the air, I disconcert " them by a single look, and force them « to abandon their enterprize.” He had before spoken of these aerial travellers.
* If I see a man dead, and hanging " aloft on a tree, I engrave Runic charac
• K. Oloff Trygguafon Saga, c. 33.
ters so wonderful, that the man imme.
diately descends and converses with 56 me.”
By the operation of these Characters, and at other times by Verses, Odin had frequently raised the dead. There is a very ancient Ode preserved to us by Bartholin *, wherein this Deity causes a Prophetess, whom he wanted to consult, to rise from her tomb. The beginning of this Ode may serve to give us an idea what kind of Magic Poetry it was, which the northern t’ nations were heretofore poffefsed of.
« O DIN, the sovereign of men arises : he saddles his horse SLEIPNER; be mounts, and is conveyed to the subterraneous abode of Hela (i. e. Death.)
“ The Dog who guards the gates of Death meets him. His breast and his jaws are stained with blood; be opens bis voracious mouth to bite; and barks a long time at the father of Magic.
* Lib. III. cap. 2. p. 632. The original in Bartholin consists of Fourteen Stanzas, of which M. Mallet has here produced only five. In the following Version, the Latin of Bartholin has been consulted.
T. + Tous les Peuples Celtes. Fr. Orig.
« Odin pursues his way; bis horse causes the infernal caverns to resound and tremble: at length be reaches the deep abode of DEATH, and stops near to the eastern gate, where stands the tomb of the Prophetess.
“ He fings to her verses adapted to call up the dead. He looks towards the north; he engraves Runic characters on her tomb; be utters mysterious words; be demands an anSwer : until the Prophetess is constrained to arise, and thus utters the words of the dead.
" WHO is this unknown that dares dif“ turb my repose, and drag me from my
grave, wherein. I have lien dead so long, “ all covered with snow, and moistened with “ the rains, &c."
The other prodigies, which Odin in the Runic Chapter boasts he has the power of performing, are not of less importance.
“ * IF I will that a man should neither « fall in battle, nor perish by the sword, I
sprinkle him over with water at the instant 66 of his birth.” We
We may here recollect what I have said in the former Volume concerning the baptism of the people of the north, while they were yet Pagans t. • Barthol. p. 348.
+ Pag. 335.
“ If I will, I can explain the nature of « all the different species of Men, of Genii, " and of Gods. None but the wise cani o know all their differences.
« * If I aspire to the love and the fa
vour of the chalteft virgin, I can bend " the mind of the snowy-armed maiden, • and make her yield wholly to my de66 fires.
6. I know a secret, which I will never “ lose; it is to render myself always be“ loved by my mistress.
« But I know one which I will never “ impart to any female, except my own “ filter, or to her whom I hold in my
Whatever is known only to one's o self, is always of very great value.”
After this, the Author concludes with exclamations on the beauty of the things he has been describing.
“ NOW, says he, have I fung in my “ august abode, my sublime verses; which “ are both necessary to the sons of men,
and useless to the sons of men. Blessed