« PreviousContinue »
about it is placed the deep sea ; the shores of which were given for a dwelling to the Giants. But higher up, in a place equally distant on all sides from the fea, the Gods built upon earth a fortress against the Giants (e), the circumference of which furrounds the world. The materials they employed for this work, were the eyebrows of Ymir; and they called the place Midgard, or the Middle Mansion. They afterwards toffed his brains into the air, and they became the clouds : for thus it is described in the following verses.
" Of " the flesh of Ymir was formed the earth " of his sweat, the seas; of his bones, the “ mountains; of his hair, the herbs of " the field; and of his head, the heavens: « but the merciful Gods built of his eye• brows the city of Midgard, for the chil« dren of men; and of his brains were " formed the noxious clouds.":
I beg leave here, once trary, and form other di. for all, to observe, that vifions when they appearmy divisions do not al ed more commodious. ways agree with those of the EDDA of Refenius, (A) "The sons of or those of the EDDA of co Bore” are the Gods, Upfal. For as they dif and particularly . ODIN ; fer in the several manu
to his brothers, fcripts, I thought I might Vile and Ve, they are te gård them all as arti- scarcely mentioned elle
where. The ancient were formed by the rivers priests of the north ** of hell. Between these affirmed themselves to was a void space, called be descended of the fa the ABYSS. This is the mily of Bore; and in this, place into which the Gods they might the more ea threw the body of the fily obtain credit, because Giant. This monstrous among the Celts, as a fi&tion probably at first mong the Jews, the priest- contained some important hood descended from fa doctrine : but as at prether to son.
sent little regard is paid
to profound and learned (B) “ This .. Giant conjectures, I shall not
was saved . . on board give myself the trouble to . “his bark.”] We dis fathom the meaning of çover here evident traces so strange an allegory. of the history of the de Whatever was couched luge. That all the na under it, it hath been a tions of Asia, and even fruitful source of poetic those of America, had figures and expressions ; of preserved some remem which the ancient SCALDS brance of it, was gene- incessantly availed themrally known : but that felves. Poets have in all the same prevailed among ages been fond of appearour northern ancestors, ing to speak the language the Goths and Celts, of the Gods, by ufing has never I believe been these forts of phrases ; as remarked before.
by this means they could
conceal their own want (c) “ They infixed the
of invention, and poverty « earth."] The reader of genius. will remember that no Of all the ancient Thething existed as yet, but ogonies, I find only that the Flaming World to of the Chaldees, which wards the fouth, wherein has any resemblance to resided evil Genii; and this of the EDDA. Bethose masses of Ice to rosus, cited by Syncellus, wards the north, which informs us that that peo
Fr. Des Celtes,
ple, one of the most an
tions that prodigious vacient in the world, be- riety, which was display. lieved that in the begin
ed in succeeding ages. ning there was only Water and Darkness; that (D) “ The stars knew this Water and Darkness
not, &c.”] The matcontained in them divers ter of the sun and stars monstrous animals, dif existed long before the ferent in form and size, formation of those bodies : which were all represent this matter was the Æther, ed in the temple of Bel; the Luminous World. that a female,, named One cannot but remark Omorca, was the mistress in this Fable, the remains of the Universe; that the of the Mosaic doctrine; God Bel put to death all according to which the the monsters, destroyed creation of a luminous Omorca herself, and divid- substance, in like maning her in two, formed ner, preceeded that of of the one half of her the the sun and moon. And Earth, and of the other what indicates one comthe Heayens : to which
mon origin of both acanother tradition adds, counts, is what Moses that men were formed
adds in the same place. out of her head; whence " And God said, Let Berosus' concludes, that " there be lights in the this occasioned man to be 5 firmament of heaven, endowed with intellectual " to divide the day from powers. I do not pre
56 the night;
and let tend to aver, that the 5 them be for signs of Chaldeans and northern " feasons, and of days nations borrowed all these
“6 and of
&c." chimæras of each other,
i. ver. 14, although this is not impoflible.
These ancient (2). A fortress against 'nations had as yet but a çf the Giants, &c.”] The few ideas, and their ima Persian mythology ginations, however fruit bounds with circumstanful, being confined within ces analogous to this. narrow limits, could not There are always Giants, at first give their inven or mischievous Genii, who
with ill to men, and hurt ras, fur-named Divbend them whenever it is in (he who subdued the their power. The He
The He- Dives) vanquished and roes have no employment put them to Aight. Maso dear and so glorious as hometism has not been so that of making war upon fevere as Christianity, in those Genii. At this ve eradicating these ancient ry day they are supposed superstitions, and thereto be banished among the fore the inhabitants of rocks of Caucafus, or 1 Perfia are still very much maus, ever since Tahma
infatuated with them,
THE FIFTH FABLE,
Of the formation of Afke and Emla.
HESE were indeed important la
bours, said Gangler ; but whence came the men, who at present inhabit the world? Har answered, The sons of Bore, as they were walking one day upon the fhore, found two pieces of wood floating on the waves. They took them, and made a man of the one, and a woman of the other (A). The first gave them life and soul; the second reason and motion; the third, hearing, sight, speech, garments, and a name. They called the man Aske, and the woman Emlą. From these two, are descended the human race; to whom the Gods have assigned a habitation near MIDGARD. Then the fons of Bore built, in the middle of the world, the fortress of ASGARD; where dwell the Gods, and their families (B). There it is, that so many wonderful works are wrought on the earth, 7