« PreviousContinue »
proper to invoke him in duels, or single combats. FORSETE is the name of the twelfth God: he is the son of Balder. He hath a palace in heaven, named Glitner. All who refer to him the decision of their controversies, return from his tribunal mutually satisfied. It is the most excellent tribunal that is found among Gods or Men, according to these verses. 66 Glitner is the " name of a palace, which is upheld by
pillars of gold, and covered with a roof " of silver. There it is that Forsete re“ fides the greatest part of his time, who « reconciles and appeases all sorts of 56 rels.”
REMARKS ON THE FIFTEENTH FABLE.
I have no remark to of them were unknown offer upon this fable, but he other Gothic and' what every reader may
Celtic nations, and are make as well as
my- only to be considered as felf. Most of the divi companions of the great nities, mentioned here, northern conqueror, who are only known to us by were deified in subsequent the EDDA, Perhaps some ages.
THE SIXTEENTH FABLE.
O ME reckon Loke in the number
of the Gods; others call him, “The “ calumniator of the Gods,” " The arti66 ficer of fraud,” “ The disgrace of Gods s and Men.” His name is Loke. He is the son of the Giant Farbautes and of Laufoya. His two brothers are Bileipter and Helblinde, or Blind Death. As to his body, Loke is handsome and very well made ; but his foul is evil, light, and inconstant. He surpasses all · beings' in that science which is called Cunning and Perfidy. Many a time hath he exposed the Gods to very great perils (A), and hath often extricated them again by his artifices. His wife is called Siguna. He hath had by her Nare, and fome other children. By the Giantess Angerbode, or Messenger of all, he hath likewife had three children. One is the wolf Fenris, the second is the great Serpent of Midgard, and the third is Hela, or Death.
The Gods were not ignorant, that thofa children were breeding up in the country of the Giants; they were apprized by many oracles, of all the evils they must suffer from them ; their being sprung from such a mother was but a bad presage; and from such à Sire was still worse. Wherefore the Universal Father dispatched ' certain of? the Gods to bring those children to him. When they were come, he threw the Serpent down into the bottom of the ocean. But there the monster waxed fo large, that he wound himself around the whole globe of the earth ; and that so intirely, that at pleasure he can with his mouth lay hold of the end of his tail. Hela was precipitated into Niflheiin, or hell; there she had the government of nine worlds given her, into which the distributes those who are sent her; that is, all who die through sickness or old age (B). Here she possesses vast apartments, strongly built, and fenced with large grates. Her hall is Grief; FAMINE is her table; HUNGER, her knife; DELAY, her valet; SLACKNESS, her maid; PRECIPICE, her gate; FAINTNESS, her porch; SICKNESS and PAIN, her bed; and her tent *, CURSING and Howling. The one half of her body is blue; the other half covered with skin, and of the colour * Or perhaps, her curtains, &c.
of human flesh. She hath a dreadful terrifying look, and by this alone it were easy to know her.
REMARKS ON THE SIXTEENTH FABLE.
(A) “ He hath expor was to' sustain at the last " ed the Gods to very day, led them insensibly “ great perils.”] I should to imagine that there was be inclined to call Loke, a power who was at enthe Momus of the nor mity with Gods and Men, thern Deities ; did not and who wrought all the the tricks he plays them evils which desolate the often exceed the bounds universe. This was the of raillery. Besides, the occupation of Arimanes monsters he hath engen
among the Persians, and dered, and who are along of Loke among the Scanwith their father, in the dinavians. Loke produces latter ages, to make rude the great serpent, which in.. assaults upon the Gods, tirely encircles the world, plainly indicates a system This serpent, by some little different from that of the characteristics of it of the Evil Principle. in this fame Mythology, Notwithstanding what seems to have been inhath been advanced by tended as an emblem of some learned men, this corruption or fin. He. opinion was not unknown also gives birth to Hela, either to the Persians, or Death, that queen of · Goths,' or Celtes : per the infernal regions, of haps indeed we ought whom the EDDA gives us thus far only to agree
here so remarkable a porwith them, that it did trait : And lastly, to the not belong to the ancient wolf Fenris, that monster religion of either of who is to encounter the these people. But the Gods, and destroy the hazardous and labouring world. How could the condition in which they Evil Principle have been believed all nature to be, more strongly characteand the aflaults which it rized ?
(B) “ All
«All who' die hands, is not an eternal " through fickness or old Hell, but only an interage.”] Cimbri & Cel
mediate abode, or, if you tiberi in acie exultabant, will, a Prison, whence tanquam gloriosè & feliciter those who are confined, vitâ excesuri. Lamenta will come forth at the bantur in morbo, quasi tur last day, to be judged piter & miferabiliter peri-" upon other principles; and turi. Val. Max. c. 6. to be condemned or abi6 The Cimbri and Cel folved for more real vir« tiberi leaped with joy tues and vices. To this ço in marching to battle, intermediate Hell was op
as being to quit this posed an Elysium of the is life in a manner equal fame duration ; viz. Val
ly happy and glorious; balla, or Valhall, of which 66 but bewailed themselves we shall prefently have " when confined by dif ample mention. One sees
tempers, alarmed at with surprize, in atten" the thought of dying a tively reading this My
thameful and miserable thology, that the whole « death.” Here we have is better connected and a proof, that this doctrine the parts more depenof the EDDA was that dant on one another, than also' of all the Celtic in
other work of the nations; and here we see same kind, that hath come what an impression it made to our knowledge. The upon their minds. I could inferior Gods, created aaccumulate ancient long with this world, and thorities still further in united to it by their naconfirmation of it, but ture, and the conformity refer the reader to the
of their destiny, had every ceding volume. (See Vol. thing to fear at the last 1. p. 206, &c.) Let us ob day from the enemies of serve, however, that the nature. In order there. infernal region here de fore to be the better able fcribed, where a punish to resist them, they called ment, rather disagreeable home to them all the than cruel, is reserved for warriors, who had given those who have died with proof of their valour by out their arms in their thedding their blood in