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"this fage Giant was faved and preferved on board "his bark (B)." Gangler demands, What then became of the fons of Bore, whom you look upon as Gods? Har replied: To relate this is no trivial matter. They dragged the body of Ymir into the middle of the abyss, and of it formed the earth. The water and the fea were composed of his blood; the mountains of his bones; the rocks of his teeth; and of his hollow bones, mingled with the blood that ran from his wounds, they made the vaft ocean; in the midst of which they infixed the earth (c). Then having formed the heavens of his fcull, they made them rest on all fides upon the earth they divided them into four quarters, and placed a dwarf at each corner to fuftain it. Thefe dwarfs are called EAST, WEST, SOUTH, and NORTH. After this they went and seized upon fires in Mufpelfheim, (that flaming world in the south,) and placed them in the abyss, in the upper and lower parts of the fky, to enlighten the earth. Every fire had its affigned refidence. Hence the days were distinguished, and the years reduced to calculation. For this reafon it is faid in the poem of VoLUSPA, "Formerly the fun knew not its palace, the


moon was ignorant of its powers, and the stars "knew not the ftations they were to occupy (D).” Thefe, cried out Gangler, were grand performances indeed! moft ftupendous undertakings! Har goes on, and fays, The earth is round, and about it is placed the deep fea; the fhores of which were given for a dwelling to the Giants. But her up, in a place equally diftant on all fides. n the fea, the Gods built upon earth a fortres against the Giants (E), the circumference of which furrounds the world. The materials they employed for this work, were the eyebrows of Ymir; and they called the place Midgard, or the Middle Manfion. They afterwards toffed his brains into the air, and they became the clouds: for VOL. II.



"Of the

thus it is defcribed in the following verses. "flesh of Ymir was formed the earth; of his fweat, "the feas; of his bones, the mountains; of his hair, "the herbs of the field; and of his head, the hea

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vens but the merciful Gods built of his eye-brows "the city of Midgard, for the children of men; and "of his brains were formed the noxious clouds."?

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Gods threw the body of the Giant. This monftrous fiction probably at first contained some important doctrine but as at prefent little regard is paid to profound and learned conjectures, I fhall not give myself the trouble to fathom the meaning of so strange an allegory. Whatever was couched under it, it hath been a fruitful fource of poetic figures and expreffions; of which the ancient SCALD'S inceffantly availed them felves. Poets have in all ages been fond of appearing to speak the language of the Gods, by using these forts of phrafes; as by this means they could conceal their own want of invention, and poverty of genius.

Of all the ancient Theogonies, I find only that of the Chaldees,. which has any resemblance to this of the EDDA. Berofus, cited by Syncellus, informs us that that people, one of the most ancient in the world, believed that in the beginning there was only Water and Darkness; that this Water and Darkness contained in them divers monstrous animals, different in 'form and fize, which were all represented in the temple of Bel; that a female, named Omorca, was the mistress of the Univerfe; that the God Bel put to death all the monsters, destroyed Omorca herfelf, and dividing her in two,

formed of the one half of her the Earth, and of the other the Hea vens: to which another tradition adds, that men were formed out of her head; whence Berofus concludes, that this occafioned man to be endowed with intellectual powers. I do not pretend to aver, that the Chaldeans and northern nations borrowed all these chimæras of each other, although this is not impoffible. These ancient nations had as yet but a few ideas, and their imaginations, however fruitful, being confined within narrow limits, could not at first give their inventions that prodigious variety, which was displayed in succeeding ages.

(D) «The stars knew not, &c."] The matter of the fun and ftars exifted long before the formation of those bodies: this matter was the Æther, the Luminous World. One cannot but remark in this Fable, the remains of the Mofaic doctrine; according to which the creation of a luminous fubftance, in like manner, preceded that of the fun and moon. And what indicates one common origin of both accounts, is what Mofes adds in the fame place. And God said, "Let there be lights in the firma"ment of heaven, to divide the "day from the night; and let "them be for figns of seasons, and

" of

of days and of years, &c.". Gen. c. i. ver. 14.

(E) "A fortrefs against the "Giants, &c."] The Perfian mythology abounds with circumftances analogous to this. There are always Giants, or mischievous Genii, who with ill to men, and hurt them whenever it is in their powcr. The Heroes have no employment fo dear and fo glorious as that of making war upon those

Genii. At this very day they are fuppofed to be banished among the rocks of Caucafus, or Imaus, ever fince Tahmuras, fur-named Divbend (he who subdued the Dives) vanquished and put them to flight. Mahometism has not been fo fevere as Chriftianity, in eradicating these ancient fuperftitions, and therefore the inhabitants of Perfia are still very much infatuated with them.



Of the formation of Afke and Emla.

HESE were indeed important labours, faid Gangler; but whence came the men, who at prefent inhabit the world? Har anfwered, The fons of Bore, as they were walking one day upon the fhore, found two pieces of wood floating on the waves. They took them, and made a man of the one, and a woman of the other (A). The first gave them life and foul; the fecond reason and motion; the third, hearing, fight, fpeech, garments, and a name. They called the man Afke, and the woman Emla. From these two, are defcended the human race; to whom the Gods have affigned a habitation near MIDGard. Then the fons of Bore built, in the middle of the world, the fortrefs of ASGARD; where dwell the


Gods, and their families (B). There it is, that fo many wonderful works are wrought on theearth, and in the air. Har added, And there it is that the palace of Odin is fituated, called Lidskialf, or the Terror of the Nations. When ODIN is there feated on his lofty throne, he thence difcovers every country, he fees all the actions of men, and comprehends whatever he beholds. This wife is FRIGGA, the daughter of Fiorgun. The iffue of that marriage is what we call the family of the ASES, that is, of the Gods; a race intirely divine, and which hath built the ancienASGARD. Wherefore Odin is juftly called the UNIVERSAL FATHER; for he is the parent of Gods, and men; and all things have been produced by his pow


The Earth is his daughter and wife (c). On her hath he begotten Afa-Thor (or the God THOR) his firft-born. Strength and Valour are the attendants on this God, and therefore he triumphs over every thing that hath life.


(A) "They made a man, &c."] We are come at last to the crea tion of our species. The circumstances of this fable, fhew that it was invented among a people addicted to navigation, and settled in a country furrounded with seas and lakes. Bartholin conjectures, that the philofophers of the north, in making men spring from the fea, intended to fortify the Scandinavians against the fear, that annihilation was the consequence of being

drowned; and to make them regard the fea, as their proper and' natural element. We shall fee, by the fequel, that the great aim of these warlike Theologians was to inspire courage, and to remove all pretences and grounds for fear. Afke, in the Gothic language, fignifies an ASH-TREE, and Emla, an ELM. I fhall leave to others to find out the reason why the preference hath been given to these two trees; and what relation there


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