Page images
PDF
EPUB

the Edda. As for Gylte, in the north, given in the
Snorro informs us in the former volume, (chap. II,
beginning of his larger III, &c.) for his more
Chronicle; that this readily understanding this
prince, who governed and the following chap-
Sweden before the arrival ters.
of Odin and his Asiatics,
was obliged to yield to the (A) • He resolved to
supernatural power, which go to Asgard."] Odin
those intruders employed and his companions came
against him, and to resign from ASGARD: A word
his kingdom up to them. which fignifies the “a.
This gave rise to the sup 66 bode of Lords or Gods."
position that Gylfe was Some words are difficult
willing to make trial him to be understood, becaufe
self of the skill and sağa- we cannot discover any
city of these new-comers, meaning in them. Here
by proposing to them a va on the contrary, the dif-
riety of captious questions. ficulty lies in the variety
In the history of ancient or multiplicity of fignifi-
Scandinavia, as well as cations. The word As,
that of all the eastern « in the ancient languages
countries, we often fee Ċ of Europe *' generally
these contests or trials of fignified Lord or God, but
skill between kings and in the EDDA, and other
princes, in which the vic Icelandic writings, it fig-
tory is always assigned to nifies also Afiatics; and
him who could give an we know not in which of
answer to every question, these senfes the name is
and assign a caufe (true given to Odin and his
or false) for every pheno, companions. Eccard, in
menon. This was called his treatise De Origine
Science or Wisdom; words Germanorum, pag. 41. pre-
originally fynonimous in tends that this word was
all languages, but at pre-

used in the last sent fo casily distinguished. sense, and that the arrival It will be neceffary here, of Odin from Afia was a to refer the reader to the

meer fiction, founded on account of Odin's arrival the resemblance of sounds; * Fr. Dans toutes les Branches de la langue Celtique,

of

[ocr errors]

never

[ocr errors]

or that he certainly came

celebrated ancient SCALD, from Vandalia, at present who compofed a long Pomerania. I refer the poem, containing the hireader to the work itself, story of more than thirty for the reasons on which princes of Norway. We this conjecture is founded; see in the text SNORRO's which would deserve the

care to quote almost alpreference for its fimpli- ways his authorities for city, if a uniform and whatever he relates: This ancient tradition did not will appear throughout place the original country

his work. He has perof the Scandinavians in sued the same method in the neighbourhood of the his great Chronicle, where Tanais, See Vol. I. c. we find every fact conIV, &c.

firmed by a fragment of

fome old historical poem. (B) “ By their inchant This shows, at the same «ments.”] It should be

time, both the great eruremembered that the au.

dition of this historian, thor of the EDDA was a and the amazing quantity Christian: On this ac of such kind of verses that count he is unwilling to fubfifted in his time. In allow Odin the honour of like manner among the having performed real mi

Gauls, their ancient poems racles. It was believed, were so numerous, that indeed, in our author's the young people found time, that it was impoffi- fufficient employment for ble to do supernatural

several years in commits things, but that yet there ting them to memory: was an art of persuading others that they saw them (0) Three thrones done. The fame opinion

$6 and on each fat ftill prevails among many

nan.”] In the MS. of our contemporaries, copy of the EDDA pres [This note is only in the first served at Upsal, there is edit. of the orig.]

a representation or draw

ing (very rudely done, as (c) " Diodolfe thus may be supposed) of these “ describes it.”] Dio three thrones, and of the dolfe, or Thiodolfe, was a three persons fisting on

them,

a

1

B 3

[ocr errors]

6

them. They have crowns He found therefore at A
on their heads; and Gan- gard, only his vicegerents,
-gler is drawn in a fuppli- that ruled in his absence.
ant posture before them The names that are given

• These figures bear so them, perhaps allude to
great a resemblance to

their rank and employ-
ď the Roman Catholic ments. Upon this sup-

pictures of the Trinity, position, there will be no-
6 that we are not to won thing in the relation but
(der if some have ima what is natural and easy.

gined them to be an al But I must here repeat it,
lufion to that doctrine; that we must expect to
particularly such as sup- see, throughout this My-

pose it was already thology, ODIN the con-
6 known to Plato, and queror of the north, eve-
6 some other of the an ry

where confounded with cient Pagans.' T. Odin the supreme Deity :

Whose name was usurped
(2) " He who sits on by the other, at the fame
& the highest throne."] time that he came to efta-
Is it Odin, or someone blish his worship in Scan-
of his court that fills this dinavia. JUPITER, the
throne? This it is not king of Crete, and the so-
easy to decide. It appears vereign lord of Heaven
I to me, however, that and Earth ; ZOROASTER,

throughout this whole the founder of the worship
preamble, the Odin here of the Magi, and the God
(poke of, is only the to whom that worship was
prince, the conqueror of addressed ; ZAMOLXIS,
the north, and not ODIN the high-priest of the
the father and ruler of the Thracians, and the su-
Gods $. Gangler had preme God of that peo-
betaken himself to Odin's ple, have not been more
court, while that prince constantly confounded,
was subduing Sweden. “than these two ODINS.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* The reader may find it engraven on a copper-plate in Bartholini Causa contempta à Danis mortis, &c. pag. 473. 4to,

T. Ś The reader will remember the distinction made in pag. 60, 88, 89, &c of the preceding volume.

1. THE

THE FIRST FABLE.

Questions of Gangler.

G

ANGLER thus began his discourse.

Who is the supreme or first of the Gods ? Har answers: We call him here ALFADER, or the universal father ; but in the ancient Asgard, he hath twelve names

Gangler asks; Who * is this God? What is his power ? and what hath he done to display his glory (B)? Har replies; He lives for ever ; he governs all his kingdom ; and directs the great things as well as the small. Jafnhar adds: He hath formed the heaven, the earth, and the air. Thridi proceeds, He hath done more; he hath made man, and given him a spirit or soul, which shall live, even after the body shall have mouldered away.

And then all the just shall dwell with him in a place

* Goranfon translates this, Ubi est hic deus ? HUAR ES SA GUD? Where is this God? Which is doubtless the true meaning. T. B 4

named

H

[ocr errors]

named Gimle (or Vingolf, the palace of friendlhip:) But wicked men shall go to HELA, or death, and from thence to Niflheim, or the abode of the wicked, which is below in the ninth world. Gangler then asked, how this God was employed before he made the heaven and the earth Har replied, He was then with the Giants (c). But, says Gangler, With what did he begin? or what was the beginning of things? Hear, replied Har, what is said in the poem of the VOLUSPA. " At the

beginning of time, when nothing was

yet formed, neither Thore, nor fea, noč « foundations beneath ; the earth was no " where to be found below, nor the hea« ven above : All was one vast abyss (D), “ without plant or verdure." Jafnhar added, Many winters before the earth ' was made, Nifheim (E) or Hell was formed, and in the middle of it is a fountain named Hvergelmer. From this fountain run the following rivers, Anguilh, the Enemy of Joy, the Abode of Death, Perdition, the Gulph, the Tempest, the Whirlwind, the Bellowing and Howling, the Abyss. That which is called the Roaring runs near the grates of the Abode of Death.

[ocr errors]

RE

« PreviousContinue »