Page images
PDF
EPUB

• THE FOURTEENTH FABLE.

Of the God Tyr.

H

AR answered, There is the God

Tyr, who is the most bold and intrepid of all the Gods. 'Tis he who dispenses victories in war; and therefore warriors do well to pay their addresses to him, It hath become proverbial to say, of a man who surpasses others in valour, that he is as BRAVE AS. Tyr. Let me give you a proof of his intrepidity. The Gods one day would fain have persuaded the wolf Fenris, their enemy, to permit himself to be chained up; but he, fearing left they should never afterwards unloose him, persisted in his refusal, till Tyr put his hand, by way of pledge, into the mouth of this monster. The Gods not judging it proper to redeem the pledge by unchaining the wolf, he bit off the God's hand, severing it at that part, which has been ever since called · Ufithr, or' THE WOLF'S JOINT. From that time

this God hath had but one hand. His fés
markable prudence has given occasion to
this form of expression, such a one is “ fa-
" gacious as Tyr:” but it is believed, that
he does not love to see men live in peace.

There is another God, named BRAGE;
who is celebrated for his wisdom, eloquence
and majestic air. He is not only eminently
Skilled in poetry, but the art itself is called
from his name Brager, and the most diftin-
guished poets receive their names from him.
His wife is called Iduna. She keeps in a
box certain apples, which the Gods taste
of, whenever they feel old age approach-
ing; for these apples have the virtue of re-
storing youth to all who eat them : it is
by this means that the Gods will subfist till
the darkness of the last times. Hereupon
Gangler cried out, Certainly the Gods have
committed a great treasure to the guardian-
fhip and good faith of Iduna. Har smiling,
says to him, And hence it happened, that
they once rán the greatest risk in the world
as I shall have occasion to tell

you,

when you have learnt the names of the other Gods.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

REMARKS ON THE FQURTEENTH FABLE:

Tyr was some inferior I do not believe that mens divinity, who presided tion is made of him any particularly over battles. where else, except in the

EDDA

to

EDDA and other Icelan a fubaltern, and inferior dic monuments. And divinity to the God ODIN, "yet it is certain that this whom he describes under God hath been adored by the name of Mercury. all the northern nations; As to the God BRAGE, fince in all the different we know nothing more dialects of this people, of him than what we learn the name of the third day from the EDDA; and yet of the week, which the the Gauls had likewise a Romans consecrated God of eloquence, named Mars (Dies Martis) hath by the Romans Herculus been formed from the ' Ogmius; but whether he name of Tyr. This day was the same with Brage is called Tyrsdag in Danish

does not appear.

The and Swedish : and in ithe apples of Iduna are a veother dialects by a fome ry agreeable fiction. In what fofter modulation, this part of the story we Thisdag, Disag, Tusdag, again discover the favouTUESDAY. (See Vol. I. rite fyftem of the Celtes, pag: 99.) Tacitus, here, respecting the insensible as almost every where else, and continual decay of perfectly agrees with our nature, and of the Gods, monuments. He renders who were' united to it, the name Tyr, by that and depended upon it." of Mars, and makes him

VOL. II.

G

THE

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

T

DALL.

HERE is another very sacred and powerful Deity, who is called Heim

He is the son of nine Virgins, who are fifters. He is likewise called the « God with the Golden Teeth," because his teeth are of that metal. He dwells at the end of the bridge Bifrost, or the RainBOW, in a castle, called the Celestial « Fort.” He is the sentinel or watchman of the Gods. The post assigned him is to abide at the entry into heaven, to prevent the Giants from forcing their way over the bridge. He sleeps less than a bird and sees by night, as well as by day, more than a hundred leagues around him. So acute is his ear, that he hears the grass growa ing on the earth, and the wool on the sheep's back; nor doth the smallest sound escape him. Besides all this, he hath a trumpet, which is heard through all the

worlds.

1

í

worlds. This God is celebrated in the fold lowing verses : “ The CELESTIAL Fort is is the castle where Heimdall resideth, to that facred guardian of heaven, who “ drinketh divine hydromel in the secure to and tranquil palaces of the Gods.”

Among the Gods we reckon also HoDER, who is blind, but extremely strong. Both Gods and Men would be very glad if they never had occasion to pronounce his name *; yet Gods and Men will long preferve the remembrance of the deeds performed by his hands. The ninth God is the silent VIDAR, who wears very thick shoes, but of so wonderful a contexture, that by means of them he can walk in air, and tread upon water.

He is almost as strong as the God Thor himself; and in all critical conjunctures, affords the Gods great confolation. The tenth God, VILE, or VALI, is one of the fons of ODIN and RINDA. He is bold in war, and an excel. lent archer. The eleventh is ULLER, the offspring of Sifia, and son-in-law of Thor. He is so quick in Thooting his arrows, and so nimble in the use of his skates, that nobody can stand before him. He is also very handsome in his person, and pofleffes every quality of a hero; wherefore it is very * This, I presume, alludes to FABLE XXVIII.

proper

G 2

« PreviousContinue »