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nevertheless, some add, that Thordarted his made af ter him, and bruised his head in the midst of the waves: But one may assert with more certainty, that he lives still in the waters *. Then Thor struck the Giant a blow with his fist, nigh the ear; and throwing his head into the sea, waded afterwards on foot to land.
Weisee plainly in the above fable, the origin of those vulgar opihiens entertained in the north, and which Pontoppidan has recorded, concerning the Craken, and that monstrous Serpent, described in his History of NORWAY.
THE TWENTY-EIGHTH FABLE.
Of Balder the Good.
victory of THOR'S. The dream which BALDER had one night, 'replies Har, was something still more remarkable. This God thought that his life was in extreme danger: wherefore, telling his dream to the other Gods, they agreed to conjure away all the dant gers with which Balder was threatened. Then FRIGGA exacted an oath of Fire, Water, Iron and other metals, as also of Stones, Earth, Trees, Animals, Birds, Diseases, Poison and Worms, that none of them would do any hurt to Balder (A). This done, 'the Gods, together with Balder himself, fell to diverting themselves in their grand assembly, and Balder stood as a mark at which they threw, some of them darts, and some stones, while others struck at him with a sword.
But vhatever they could do, none of them could hurt him; hich was considered as a great honour to Balder. In e meantime, LOKE, moved with envy, changed his pe into that of a strange old woman, and went to palace of Frigga. That Goddess seeing her, asked he knew what the Gods were at present employed ut in their assembly? The pretended old woman vered, That the Gods were throwing darts and es at Balder, without being able to hurt him. Yes, Frigga, and no sort of arms, whether made of metal or wood, can prove mortal to him: for I have exacted an oath from them all. What, said the wo. man, have all substances then sworn to do the same honours to Balder? There is only one little shrub, replied Frigga, which grows on the western side of Valhall, and its name is Mistiltein (the Misse!toe); of this I took no oath, because it appeared to me too young and feeble. As soon as Loke heard this, he vanished; and resuming his natural shape, went to pluck up the shrub by the roots, and then repaired to the assembly of the Gods. There he found HODER standing apart by himself, without partaking of the sport, because he was blind. Loke came to him, and asked him, Why he did not also throw something at Balder, as well as the rest ? Because I am blind, replied the other, and have nothing to throw with. Come, then, says Loke, do like the rest, shew honour to Balder, by tossing this little trifle at him; and I will direct your arm towards the place where he stands. Then Hoder took the Misseltoe (B), and Loke guiding his hand, he darted it at Balder; who, pierced through and through, fell down devoid of life : and surely never was seen,
کد ا رة ا
either among Gods or men, a crime more shocking and atrocious than this. Balder being dead, the Gods were all silent and spiritless: not daring to avenge his death, out of respect to the sacred place in which it happened. They were all therefore plunged in the deepest mourning, and especially ODIN, who was more sensible than all the rest of the loss they had suffered. * After their sorrow was a little appeased, they carried the body of Balder down towards the sea, where stood the vessel of that God, which passed for the largest in the world. But when the Gods wanted "to' lanch it into the water,
What follows, is different in the Latin version of Goranson.
in order to make a funeral pile for Balder *, they could never make it stir: wherefore they caused to come from the country of the Giants, a certain Sorceress, who was mounted on a wolf, having twisted serpents by way of a bridle. As soon as she alighted, Odin caused four Giants to come, purely to hold her steed fast, and secure it: which appeared to him so dreadful, that he would first 'see whether they were able to overthrow it to the ground: for, says he, if you are not able to overthrow it to the earth, I shall never be secure that you have strength to hold it fast. Then the Sorceress bending herself over the prow of the vessel, set it afloat with one single effort; which was so violent, that the fire sparkled from the keel as it was dragging to the water, and the earth trembled. Thor, enraged at the sight of this woman, took his mace, and was going to dash her head to pieces, had not the Gods appeased him by their intercessions. The body of BALDER being then put on board the vessel, they set fire to his funeral pile ; and NANNA, his wife, who had died of grief, was burnt along with him." There were also at this ceremony, besides all, the Gods and Goddesses, a great number of Giants. Odin laid upon the pile a ring of gold, to which he afterwards gave the property of producing, every ninth night, eight rings of equal weight. Balder's horse was also consumed in the same flames with the body of his mastert.
The sense of Goranson's version is,.“ In order to carry the body 56 of Balder, together with his funeral pile.” ...
+ For an account of the funerals of the ancient Scandinavians, and of the piles on which the wise, slave, and horse were burned along with the owner, see Vol. I. p. 288, &c.- In the first part of this work, our author promised to give proofs of whatever he had advanced conVOL. II.
REMARKS ON THE TWENTY-EIGHTH FABLE.
(1) " That none of them would“ Gods,” (a name which is also “ do any hurt to Balder.") It is given her in the Edda in more well known, to such as have dipt places than one) speaks in like into the ancient romances, that manner of the power she had to there were formerly Necroman- protect her votaries in the midst cers and Sorceresses, who could of darts thrown by their enemies. so thoroughly enchant lances and Matrem deứm venerantur (Æstyi): swords, that they could do no Insigne superstitionis, formas oprohurt. This ridiculous opinion is rum gestant. Id pro armis omniumnot entirely eradicated out of the que tutelå, securum Dea cultorem minds of the common people eve- etiam inter bostes præstat, C. 45. ry where, to this day. Our ancient northern historians are full (B) “ Then Hoder took the of allusions to feats of this kind. “ Misseltoe."] If the ScandinaSaxo, lib. 6. assures us, that a cer- vians had been a different nation tain champion, named Wisin, was from the Germans, the Germans able to charm his enemies swords from the Ĝauls, and the Gauls with a single look. There were from the Britons, whence could acertain Runic characters which rise this striking conformity which produced this effect; but in gene- is found between them, even in ral they were the Fairies and God- those arbitrary opinion's to which desses who excelled in this fine art. caprice alone could have given Frigga herself was particularly rise ? I lay particular stress upon distinguished for it. We see in this remark, as what justifies me the text, that she could charm and in calling the Edda a system of inchant whatever she pleased. Ta. Celtic MYTHOLOGY ; and I res citus, who describes her under the call it on occasion of this passage. title of the “ Mother of the We see here, that the Scandina
cerning the manners and customs of the ancient Danes; and whoever examines with attention the original pieces contained in this second volume, cannot but acknowledge he has kept his word.