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REMARKS ON THE SECOND FABLE,
(A) Muspelf-beim fignifies, the ceding fable; and those great rivabode or residence of Muspel*. ers themselves, in flowing at fo But who is this Muspel? Of this vast distance from the south, whilst we are entirely ignorant. The an- the course of their streams carried cient sages of the north were desi- them ftill farther from it, froze at rous to explain how the world had last in their currents, and swelled been framed, and to advance some into huge heaps of ice, which comthing probable for its being so cold municated a chillness to the nortowards the north, and warm to- thern winds. Between that world wards the south. For this purpose of fire and this of ice, there lay a they placed, towards the south, a grand abyss, which contained nohage mass of fire, which they sup- thing but air ; and here was plaposed had been there for ever, and ced, in process of time, the earth served as a residence to wicked which we inhabit. If we read the Genii. This was the matter of fragnient of Sanchoniathon, prewhich the Sun was made. This served by Eufebius, De Prep. 1. 2. Ether, or Fire, to placed at one C, 10. we shall find there a history extremity of the world, enabled of the formation of the world, vethem also to assign a probable rea- ry much resembling this. son for its final conflagration ; for they were absolutely persuaded, (B) “ By the power of him who that it would at the last day be “ governed.”] Here we have the consumed by fire. And as to the pleasure to observe, that our phinorth, it was continually cold losophers saw the necessity of havthere, because opposite to that ing recourse to the intervention of quarter lay immense mountains of a Deity in forming the world. The ice. But whence came that ice? vivifying breath here mentioned, Nothing could be more easily ac- feems to carry in it a strong affinicounted for; for Hell, which had ty to the “ Breath of Life” which been prepared from the beginning God breathed into the nostrils of of ages, was watered by those the first man; according to the great rivers mentioned in the pre- phrase of Scripture, Gen. chap. ii.
* Literally, Mupel's Home.
ver: 7.-One cannot doubt that world prior to this of ours. One the Celtic and Gothic nations, as may fee in Herbelot, what the well as the Persians, and most of Persians relate concerning the Dithe Orientals, derived many of ves, Nere, Peris, and their king their traditions from Scripture. Eblis. -YMIR having been
formed, as we see, out of the con(c) “Giants of the Frost "] gealed drops, all the Giants des There would be no end of amaf- scended from him are called, upon sing all the ancient traditions which that account, The GIANTS OF some way or other relate to the The Frost. It must be observed, subject of the text. It hath been a that thesc Giants are a species engeneral opinion in the east, that tirely distinct from the men of our God began with creating Genii, race, the Edda having not yet giboth good and bad, of very im- ven any account of their formamense powers: who for a long tion. time before we existed, inhabited a
THE THIRD FABLE.
Of the Cow O Edumla,
ANGLER then defired to know where the
Giant Ymir dwelt, and in what manner he was fed. Har answered, Immediately after this breath from the south had melted the gelid vapours, and resolved them into drops, there was formed out of them a cow named O Edumla. Four rivers of milk flowed from her teats, and thus she nourished Ymir. The cow, in her turn, supported herself by licking the rocks that were covered with salt and hoar-frost. The first day that she licked these rocks, there fprung from her, towards evening, the hairs of a man; the second day, a head ; on the third, an entire man, who was éndowed with beauty, agility, and power. He was called Bure, and was the father of Bore, who married Beyzla, the daughter of the Giant Baldorn. Of that marriage were born three sons, Odin, Vile, and Ve; and 'tis our belief, that this Odin, with his brothers, ruleth both heaven and earth, that Odin is his true name, and that he is the most powerful of all the
endowed the efforts of powerful enemies, There is, however, a 'very im- and be involved in the ruins of the portant remark to be made here. universe : and that then the suA powerful Being had with his preme God, ever existing and plabreath animated the drops out of ced above the reach of all revoluwhich the first Giant was formed tion and change, would arise from This Being, whom the Edda af- his repose, to make a new world fects not to name, was intirely dis- out of the ruins of the old, and betinct from Odin, who had his gin a new period, which should in birth long after the formation of its turn give place to another; and Yinir. One may conjecture, there. fo on through all eternity. The fore, (since we know that the same was the system of the Stoics; Druids never revealed their ny- who, as well as the philosophers of steries, but by degrees, and with the north supposed that the great precaution) that the hidden world, after it had been consumed philosophy of the Celts, meant to by flames, should be renewed ; inculcate that the supreme, eter- and that the inferior Deities should nal, invisible and incorruptible be destroyed at the same time. God, whom they durft not name What confirms all this, is, that this out of fear and reverence, had ap- God, superior to Odin himself, and
REMARKS ON THE THIRD FABLE.
In all likelihood this fable is on- pointed inferior divinities for the ly an allegory; but whatever right government of the world : and my privilege of commentator may that it was those divinities who, give me to explain it, I shall de- at the last day, were to yield to cline the attempt.
of Fr. Les Celies,
of whom the vulgar among this imported (according to Appian, people had scarce any idea, is re- Illyr. Lib.) that the Cyclop Polrpresented in the Icelandic poems PHEME had by Galatea three sons, as making a second appearance, named Giltus, Illyrius, and Gallus. after the death of all the Gods, in SATURN, the father of Jupiter, order to distribute justice, and e- Neptune, and Pluto, might very stablish a new order of things. See well come from the same source ; the Icelandic odes, cited in the an- as well as the three sons whom tiquities of Bartholin, l. 2. C. 14. Hesiod makes to spring from the
marriage of Heaven and EARTH, (1) “ The most powerful of all Coltus, Briareus, and Gyges. A tra" the Gods."] 'Tis not undeserv- dition so ancient and lo general, ing of notice, that all the ancient must have certainly had its founnations of Europe * describe their dation in some real fact, though I origin with the same circumstan- pretend not to decide with Cluveces. Tacitus says, that the Ger- rius, that this fact is what the mans, in their verses, celebrated a Scripture tells us of Noah and his God born of the earth, named fons; yet one cannot deny, that Tuiston (that is, the son of Tis, or there is something very probable Tuis, the supreme God.) This in this; unless the reader is inTuiston had a son named Mannus, clined to give the preference to the whose three fons were the original sons of Gomer, Askenaz, Riphath, ancestors of the three principal na- and Togarmah. Gen. x. za tions of Germany. The Scythians, If I were not already too proaccording to Herodotus, lib. 4. c. lix, I might find here the traces of 6.& 10. laid that Targytaus (i. e. another tradition, not less ancient, the Good Taus) the founder of very far spread over the east, and their nation, had three sons, Lei. in some degree confirmed by the poxain, Anpoxain, and Kolaxain. A 6th chapter of Genesis † · I mean tradition received by the Romans, those two different races, the one
good, * Fr. Tous les peuples Celtes.
The common versions of the passage referred to by our author, run as follows: “ The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that “ they were fair ; and they took them wives of all which they chose. “ There were Giants on the earth in those days; namely, a ter that “ the fons of God came in unto the daughters of Men, and they bare of children to them : thc fame became mighty men ; which were of
good, the other evil, whom love ject, the pretended prophecy of Lat last united. But I leave the noch, cited in Syncellus, p. 11, & pleasure of making this research, feq. and Lactantius's Origin of to those who are fond of disquisia Errors. They will find there mations of this kind. Let me only in- ny surprizing conformities with vite them to read, upon this sub- the above doctrines of the EDDA.
6 old, men of renown, &c.” Gen. vi. 2, 4.- - It is however but justice to the facred writer, to observe, that it is only from a misinterpretation of the original words, that the wild traditions mentioned by our author could have any countenance from the above passage: For, by “ the sons of God,” the best commentators understand the virtuous race of Seth; and by " the daughters of men,” the vicious offspring of Cain: and the fruits of this marriage were Nepbilim, (not GIANTS, but) Men of Violence, from Nepcl, ruit, irruit, &c.
THE FOURTH FABLE.
How the fons of Bore made Heaven and Earth,
AS there, proceeded Gangler, any kind of e.
quality, or any degree of good understanding between those two different races? Har answers him; Far from it: the sons of Bore (A) flew the Giant Ymir, and there ran so much blood from his wounds, that all the families of the Giants of the Frost were drowned in it, except one single Giant, who saved himself, with all his household. He is called Bergel
de escaped by happening to be aboard his baik; and by him was preserved the race of the Gi. ants of the Froft. This is confirmed by the following verses. Many winters before the earth was fashi" oned, was Bergelmer born; and well I know that