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Cauls, even in the time of Cæsar, have represented what was unwho politively affirms this of known by the image of something them; and that the Germans did they were well acquainted with, the same, we have the testimony This is doubtless the true origin of Tacitus. The same modes of of fable. We perceive, at firit speech occur in the Salique-law, fight, that it cannot be men, who and in the constitutions of Charle- dispense rain and fine weather, maigne. (Vid. Keyll. Antiq. p. who launch the lightning, &c. 197.) The sentences pronounced There was therefore a necessity in the Tribunals of France not long for inagining there were beings ago, often ordered the parties of much superior powers, to pro! comparoir dedans 14 nuits) “ 10 ap- duce these wonderful operations; pear
within 14 nights;" and as but none at all for assigning to the Day was thought to bring the them forms different from those of Night along with it, they after- men and other animals. These wards expressed themselves (dans solutions at once satisfied the cu15 jours) “ within 15 days,” a piosity and the imagination; they manner of spcaking no less familiar were easy to be comprehended; to the Goths and' Celts, than to they interested the heart a thouthe Romans. The English even
and must therefore at this day, fay fenight for seven- fucceed, and become lasting. In night, or seven nights, that is, a fact, they have every where preweek; and fortnight, (i. e. fcur- yailed throughout the world. And teen nights) for two weeks, or those who have so far opened their fourteen days In the ancient eyes, as to see into the falsity of histories of the north, frequent these explications, have not been mention is made of « Chil- able to renounce them without “ dren of two or three nights,” regret, and can still amuse themand " of two winters and two selves with what they believe no “ nights."
longer. We shall find in this My
thology more than one proof, that (c) “ He illuminates the air, the people of the north have &c.”] We have here a specimen yielded, no less than others, to this of the natural philosophy of the natural propenfit;'; and shall be first
ages. In attempting to ex- forced to agree with M. de Fonplain things, the causes of which tenelle, that although a lively and are obscure, men of all countries burning Sun may inspire some pahave gone in the same track; and tions with a greater warmth of
imagination, and may give to up the Moon."] Here we have their spirits that conco&ion, if I the cause of Eclipses; and it is upmay so say, which compleats their on this very ancient opinion, that relish and digestion of fables; yet the general practice is founded, of all men have talents of this kind, making noises at that time, to independent of physical causes. fright away the monster, who
would otherwise devour the two (D) “ The female Sunna, or the great luminaries. Threatened as Sun.”] The word for Sun is still they so often were with being of the feminine gender in the Ger- swallowed up, could they hope alman tongue, and that for the Moor ways to escape the danger? The in the masculine. This obtained ancient Scandinavians, who formerly in almost all the dialects never lost sight of the future ruin of the Gothic language The Ede of this universe, did not flatter DA here gives an explication after themselves so far. The monster the ancient manner, of all the cea was to prevail at the last day; as lestial appearances.
The poets we shall see in the sequel. I say were willing to give a reason for nothing here as to the idea of the all the various phases of the other monster's sucking out the Moon, for the freshness of the substances of men who die away Morning, for the course of the insensibly. If it were worth while, Sun, &c. I shall leave some other one might find till traces of this commentator, more conversant in notion among the popular prejuastronomy than myself, to exa- dices of our own times. It is of mine whether the spots in the more consequence to remark here, Moon bear any resemblance to the great obligations we owe to the image which the Edda gives the progress of science, and in parof them in this Chapter. ticular to the study of nature, for
our present security and exemption (E) “ Sometimes he swallows from such groundless terrors
| Les Celtos. Orig.
THE SEVENTH FABLE.
Of the Way that leads to Heaven.
ANGLER asks; Which way do they go from
earth to heaven? Har answered, with a smile of derision, That is a senseless 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 surely seen it; but, perhaps, you call it the RAINBOW. It is of three colours, is extremely folid, and conitructed with more art than any work in the world. But although it be so very strong, it will nevertheless be broke in pieces, when the fons of Muspell, those mischievous Genii, after having traversed the great Rivers of Hell, shall pass over this Bridge on horfeback. Then, says 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. Bifrost 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 Universal Father do, after he had built Afgard? Har anfwered, He in the beginning established Governors (B); and ordered them to decide whatever differences should arise among men, and to regulate the government of the
celestial * Glal-heim, is literally in English GLAD-IOME. T.
) celestial city. The assembly of these judges was held in the plain called Ida, which is in the middle of the divine abode. Their first work was to build a Hall, wherein are Twelve Seats for themselves (c), besides the throne which is occupied by the Universal Fa. ther. This Hall is the largest and most magnificent in the world. One sees nothing there but gold, either within or without. Its name is Gladbeim *, or the Mansion of Joy. They also ereded another Hall, for the use of the Goddesses. It is a molt delightful and delicate structure: they call it Vinglod, or the ManSon of Love and Friendship. Lastly, they built a house, wherein they placed furnaces, hammers, an anvil, and all the other instruments of a forge ; then they worked in metal, stone, and wood; and compof. ed so large a quantity of the metal called Gold, that they made all their moveables, and even the very harness of their horses of pure Gold: hence that age was named the Golden Age (D). This was that age
which lasted till the arrival of those women, who came from the country of the Giants, and corrupted it. Then the Gods feating themselves upon their thrones, dif. tributed justice, and took under consideration the af, fairs of the DwarFS; a species of beings bred in the dust of the earth ; just as worms are in a dead-carcase, It was indeed in the body of the Giant YMIR, that they were engendered, and first began to move and live. At first they were only worms; but by order of the Gods, they at length partook of both human shape and reason; nevertheless, they always dwell in subterraneous caverns, and among the rocks (E).
Here follows some verses of the Voluspa, accompanied with a long list of the principal Dwarfs. Some of which are said to dwell in the rocks, and others in the duft, &c.
REMARKS ON THE SEVENTH FABLE,
(1) “When those Genii of Fire veil of fone allegory; as by a bat“ sally forth to war.”] It is very tle between good and evil Genii. remarkable that this menace should The EDDA employs all these three fo often occur. But the « Gothic means at the same time : such deep • and' Celtic nations were in ge- root had this doctrine taken in the neral persuaded, that nature was minds of the poets, the theologians in continual danger; and that its of the north. secret and public enemies, after having for a long time undermin- (B). “ He established govered and shaken it, would at last “ nors.”] The legislators of the bring on the great day of its ge- Scythians represented God hinineral ruin. This melancholy idea felf, as author of the Laws which must, I think, have had its rise they gave to their fellow citizens. from some of those disorders, to Neither ought we to esteem this which our world is often exposed; pretence of theirs as altogether aat which times one would almost political impofture. When men believe that the powers who go- had brought themselves to look vern it, were engaged in war with upon their Gods as the protectors each other. And although this of Justice and integrity; the Laws, idea must have prevailed more ex- which gave a public sanction to tensively, and been more easily those virtues, being regarded as impressed in those climates where the expression of the divine will, the seasons, subject to sudden and might naturally enough be called violent revolutions, often present the Work of the Gods. This mannature under a languishing, or ner of speaking, though misunderconvulsed appearance: yet it is 'stood afterwards, would be fuffiwell known that there is scarcely ciently authorized by that respect any people, but what have had and gratitude, which so great a expectations of the end of the benefit would inspire. It is well world; and have accordingly re- known that among all nations, the presented it some way or other; administration of justice was at either as effected by a deluge, or a first an office of the priest-hood. conflagration : or, lastly, under the The • Teutonic and Celtic tribes