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Gauls, even in the time of Cæfar, who politively affirms this of them; and that the Germans did the fame, we have the teftimony of Tacitus. The fame modes of speech occur in the Salique-law, and in the constitutions of Charlemaigne. (Vid. Keyfl. Antiq. p. 197.) The fentences pronounced in the Tribunals of France not long ago, often ordered the parties (comparoir dedans 14 nuits)" to ap"C pear within 14 nights;" and as the DAY was thought to bring the NIGHT along with it, they afterwards expreffed themselves (dans 15 jours) "within 15 days," a manner of speaking no lefs familiar to the Goths and' Celts, than to the Romans. The English even at this day, fay fenight for fevennight, or feven nights, that is, a week; and fortnight, (i. e. fourteen nights) for two weeks, or fourteen days In the ancient hiftories of the north, frequent mention is made of "Chil"dren of two or three nights," and " of two winters and two nights."

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(c) "He illuminates the air, &c."] We have here a specimen of the natural philosophy of the first ages. In attempting to explain things, the causes of which are obscure, men of all countries

have gone in the fame track; and

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have reprefented what was unknown by the image of fomething they were well acquainted with. This is doubtlefs the true origin of fable. We perceive, at firft fight, that it cannot be men, who difpenfe rain and fine weather, who launch the lightning, &c. There was therefore a neceffity for inagining there were beings of much fuperior powers, to produce these wonderful operations; but none at all for affigning to them forms different from those of men and other animals. Thefe folutions at once fatisfied the curiofity and the imagination; they were eafy to be comprehended; they intercfted the heart a thoufand ways; and must therefore fucceed, and become lafting. In fact, they have every where preyailed throughout the world. And those who have fo far opened their eyes, as to fee into the falfity of thefe explications, have not been able to renounce them without regret, and can still amufe themfelves with what they believe no longer. We shall find in this Mythology more than one proof, that the people of the north have yielded, no less than others, to this natural propensity; and shall be forced to agree with M. de Fontenelle, that although a lively and burning Sun may infpire fome nations with a greater warmth of imagination,


imagination, and may give to their fpirits that concoction, if I may fo fay, which compleats their relish and digeftion of fables; yet all men have talents of this kind, independent of physical causes.

(D) "The female Sunna, or the
SUN."] The word for Sun is still
of the feminine gender in the Ger-
man tongue, and that for the Moon
in the masculine. This obtained
formerly in almost all the dialects
of the Gothic language The ED-
DA here gives an explication after
the ancient manner, of all the ce-
leftial appearances.
The poets
were willing to give a reason for
all the various phases of the
Moon, for the freshness of the
Morning, for the course of the
Sun, &c. I fhall leave fome other
commentator, more converfant in
aftronomy than myself, to exa-
mine whether the fpots in the
Moon bear any resemblance to
the image which the Edda gives
of them in this Chapter.

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(E) "Sometimes he swallows


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ancient Scandinavians,' who never loft fight of the future ruin of this univerfe, did not flatter themfelves fo far. The monster was to prevail at the last day; as we fhall fee in the fequel. I fay nothing here as to the idea of the other monster's fucking out the fubftances of men who die away infenfibly. If it were worth while, one might find ftill traces of this notion among the popular prejudices of our own times. It is of more confequence to remark here, the great obligations we owe to the progress of science, and in particular to the study of nature, for our present security and exemption from such groundless terrors.

Les Celtes. Orig.



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Of the Way that leads to Heaven.

ANGLER asks; Which way do they go from

earth to heaven? Har answered, with a smile of derifion, That is a fenfelefs question; have you never been told, that the Gods have erected a Bridge, which extends from earth to heaven, and that the name of it is Bifrost? You have furely feen it; but, perhaps, you call it the RAINBOW. It is of three colours, is extremely folid, and conftructed with more art than any work in the world. But although it be fo very strong, it will nevertheless be broke in pieces, when the fons of Mufpell, thofe mifchievous Genii, after having traverfed the great Rivers of Hell, fhall pafs over this Bridge on horfeback. Then, fays Gangler, It appears to me that the Gods have not executed their work truly and faithfully, in erecting a Bridge fo liable to be broken down, fince it is in their power to perform whatever they please. The Gods, replied Har, are not to be blamed on that account. Bifroft is of itself a good bridge; but there is nothing in nature that can hope to make refiftance, when those Genii of Fire fally forth to war (A).

But, fays Gangler, What did the Univerfal Father do, after he had built Afgard? Har anfwered, He in the beginning established Governors (B); and ordered them to decide whatever differences fhould arife among men, and to regulate the government of the



or the

celeftial city. The affembly of these judges was held in the plain called Ida, which is in the middle of the divine abode. Their firft work was to build a Hall, wherein are Twelve Seats for themselves (c), befides the throne which is occupied by the Universal Father. This Hall is the largest and most magnificent in the world. One fees nothing there but gold, either within or without. Its name is Gladheim Manfion of Joy. They alfo erected another Hall, for the ufe of the Goddeffes. It is a most delightful and delicate ftructure: they call it Vinglod, or the Manfion of Love and Friendship. Lastly, they built a houfe, wherein they placed furnaces, hammers, an anvil, and all the other inftruments of a forge; then they worked in metal, ftone, and wood; and compofed fo large a quantity of the metal called Gold, that they made all their moveables, and even the very harnefs of their horfes of pure Gold: hence that age was named the Golden Age (D), This was that age which lafted till the arrival of thofe women, who came from the country of the Giants, and corrupted it. Then the Gods feating themselves upon their thrones, diftributed juftice, and took under confideration the affairs of the DWARFS; a fpecies of beings bred in the duft of the earth; juft as worms are in a dead-carcase. It was indeed in the body of the Giant YMIR, that they were engendered, and firft began to move and live. At first they were only worms; but by order of the Gods, they at length partook of both human fhape and reafon; neverthelefs, they always dwell in fubterraneous caverns, and among the rocks (E).

Here follows fome verfes of the Volufpa, accompanied with a long lift of the principal Dwarfs. Some of which are faid to dwell in the rocks, and others in the duft, 3c.

*Glad-heim, is literally in English GLAD-HOME, T.



(^) "When those Genii of Fire "fally forth to war."] It is very remarkable that this menace fhould fo often occur. But the Gothic ' and' Celtic nations were in general perfuaded, that nature was in continual danger; and that its fecret and public enemies, after having for a long time undermined and fhaken it, would at last bring on the great day of its general ruin. This melancholy idea muft, I think, have had its rife from fome of thofe diforders, to which our world is often expofed; at which times one would almoft believe that the powers who govern it, were engaged in war with each other. And although this idea must have prevailed more extenfively, and been more easily impreffed in those climates where the seasons, fubject to sudden and violent revolutions, often prefent nature under a languifhing, or convulfed appearance: yet it is well known that there is fcarcely any people, but what have had expectations of the end of the world; and have accordingly reprefented it some way or other; either as effected by a deluge, or a conflagration: or, laftly, under the

veil of fome allegory ; as by a battle between good and evil Genii. The EDDA employs all these three means at the fame time: fuch deep root had this doctrine taken in the minds of the poets, the theologians of the north.

(B) "He established gover"nors."] The legiflators of the Scythians represented God hinifelf, as author of the Laws which they gave to their fellow citizens. Neither ought we to esteem this pretence of theirs as altogether apolitical impofture. When men had brought themselves to look upon their Gods as the protectors of Juftice and integrity; the Laws, which gave a public fanction to thofe virtues, being regarded as the expreffion of the divine will, might naturally enough be called the Work of the Gods. This manner of speaking, though misunderfood afterwards, would be fufficiently authorized by that respect and gratitude, which fo great ́a benefit would infpire. It is well known that among all nations, the administration of justice was at first an office of the priest-hood. The Teutonic and' Celtic tribes


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