Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

thiefiait, who, fortified he was to entertain such
in his castle, was stron a conceit.
ger than the laws and
magiftrates: and lastly, (c) “ The evil Fai-
that ancient impreffion, " ries.”] Here we have
not even yet worn entire a compleat theory of Fai-
ly out, with which their ryism. In this passage
religion had inspired them of the EDDA we have
in favour of trees; these' the bud and germ (as it
are probably the causes were) of what the anci-
of the fingular custom ent romances * and po-
here alluded to in the pular superstitions have

so widely branched, and

applied to such a variety
(B) « Do you, .or do of things. All the Celtic

you not, understand " and Gothic' tribes have
's this?"] To this I can had a great yeneration for
only answer in the nega the Fairies, or Destinies;
tive. This whole de- and not without reason,
fcription is most certainly fince every man's fate or
allegorical. We meer in fortune was in their hands.
it indeed with some glim- The romances inform us,
mering rays of light, but that there were two kinds
they are so transient and of them, thę Good and
so broken, that one may Bad; but they distinguish
fairly own, the whole is them no farther. The
unintelligible. One of three principal, accord-
the translators of the ED-

ing to the Edda, are the
DA will have Minis to be PRESENT, the Past, and

I am no more the FUTURE; a circumwarranted by reason to ftance which is wanting oppose him in this, than in the Greek fable of the

Minos ;

[ocr errors]

The rrmances in which the FAIRIES and DESTINIES are used as
fyn nymous, are not thore of Gothic origin, but rather the Oriental
taies and fables. The FAIRIES of our own northern ance.tors, are pro.
perly what are called throughout this work the DWARFS: whereas our
author applies the word Fees (FAIRIES) in nearly the same sense as the
Latin Nympha and Parce ; and perhaps this may be the sense in which
ir is generally used by his countrymen. The Nornæ, however, of the
Edda, seem to be evidently the same with the Weird Sisers, so tamous in
Gothic History and Romance. See Bartholin. Causa Contempt. Mort.
. 630. Juni Etymol. Ang. (Verb. WIRDI.).


[ocr errors]


Parce, and which is in


fitting itself not badly imagined. there. Sax. I. 6. This 'The Romans, who en superstition, so general larged their heaven, and throughout Europe, hath increased the number of prevailed almost as long their Gods, in proportion as that relating to witches as they extended their and sorcerers. We see, empire; having adopted in the process or trial of these northern *) divi the famous

MAID OF nities, confecrated to them ORLEANS, that she was divers monuments, some accused of going often to of which have been re a certain oak in a solitary covered. These monu

place, to consult the ments agree very

well Fairies (Fr. Fees.) with the EDDA S. They These Fairies were, I bealmost always present to lieve, as to their origin, view three females : the deified prophetesses. The oracles these pronounced Celtic and Teutonic had rendered them fa women had a peculiar tamous. They were espe- lent for improving all sorts cially resorted to at the of fuperftition; and turnbirth of a child.

ing every thing into ny places there were ca. omens. Those who had verns, where the people most distinguished themfancied they might enjoy felves in this art, were the pleasure of their pre

duified, and became God. sence, and hear them defles after their decease; Speak. Some places in and as they had predicted France retain still the the fate of men on earth, name of the FAIRIES were believ d ftill to do OVEN, the FAIRIES it in heaven. WELL, &c. Saxo, the

This error is very ann Grammarian, speaks of cient, In the time of 2 chapel, where king Vespasian, there was, acFridleif went to consult cording to Tacitus, a fethem about the fate of male named Vellede, half his son Olaus, and he a Prophetess, and half a adds, that he saw three Fairy, who, from the tap

In ma

[merged small][ocr errors]

& Vid, Keyn. Ant. p. 33. 270. 396.44€.


of a tower where she liv

vantage over that which ed recluse, exercised far was directed to men. The and near, a power equal religious respect which to that of kings. Latè was here paid to the Faiimperitabat are the words ries or Destinies, is of all of the hiftorian. The the doctrines of the anmoft illuftrious warriors cient religion *, that undertook nothing with which hath longest preout her advice, and al vailed. These fabulous ways

consecrated to her a divinities have survived part of the booty. V. all the Gods and Genii, Tacit. Hift. 1. 4.& 5. In both of the Celts and Rogeneral, one may observe, mans, and though at last that the worship paid to banished every where else, women, hath always had have found a kind of asy: here in Europe great ad lum in our romances,

[ocr errors]

Fr. La Religion Celtique.

** To the instances given by our Author (in Note A) of the Gothic nation's assembling under Trees, may be added the following in our own coun

try, viz.

The Wapentake of SKIRE-Ake in the West-riding of Yorkshire, is thought to have taken its name from a remarkable Oak, to which the inhabitants repaired upon public occasions, as at a general Convention of the District, &c. See Thoresby's Ducat. Leod. p. 84. 150:-_So Berkshire is thought to have been denominated from BEROKE, a bare, or disbarked Oak, to which, upon particular emergencies, the inhabitants were wont in ancient times to resort and consult about public matters. Camd. Brit. (by Gibfon, i Ed. p. 137:) The Translator of this Book knows a Manor in Shropshire, where the Manor -Court is held to this day under a very aged Ash-tree : there the Steward calls over the Copy-holders, and fornis a Jury; and then adjourns the Court to a neighbouring inn, for the dispatch of business. T.


Of the Cities which are in Heaven.


ANGLER says to Har, You tell

me very wonderful things; but what are the other holy cities to be seen in heaven? Har replies, There are many other very fine cities to be seen there. In one of them, called Alfheim (A), dwell the luminous Genii, but the black Genii live under the earth, and differ from the others still more in their actions than in their appearance. The luminous Genii are more fplendid than the Syn; but the black Genii are darker than pitch. In these parts there is also a city called Breidablik, which is not inferior to any other in beauty ; and another named Glitner, the walls, columns and inside of which are gold, and the roof of silver * There also is to be seen the city Himinborg, or the Celestial Mount, fituated

upon the frontiers, at the place

* The Edda of Goranson says Afgulli, of gold. T. 4



[merged small][ocr errors]

where the bridge of the Gods touches hea

The great city of Valascialf, which belongs to Odin, is all built of pure filver. There is the royal Throne, called Lidscialf, or the Terror of the Nations. When the Universal Father is seated upon it, he can view the whole earth. On the utmost li. mit of heaven, towards the south, is the most beautiful city of all : it is called Gimle. It is more brilliant and shining than the Sun itself, and will subfist even after the destruction of heaven and earth. Men of real goodness and integrity shall abide there for everlasting ages. The poem

VOLUSPA speaks thus of it; “ I know that there is

a place brighter than the Sun, and in

tirely covered with gold, in the city of ** Gimie: there the virtuous are to reside; " there they shall live happy throughout « all ages (B).” Then Gangler demands, What will preserve that city when the black flame comes to consume heaven and earth ? Har replied, We have been told, that there is towards the fouth, another heaven, more elevated than this, called the Clear Blue; and above that, a third hea. ven, still more elevated, called the Boundless. In this last we think the city of Gimle must be seated, but it is at present inhabited only by the luminous Genii.

« PreviousContinue »