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of Balder; she answered in verses to this effect, “ Thok will weep with dry eyes the funeral of Balder: « Let all things living or dead weep if they will: But « let Hela keep her prey.” It was conjectured, that this cursed witch must have been LOKE himself, who never ceased to do evil to the other Gods. He was the cause that Balder was slain ; he was also the cause that he could not be restored to life.
REMARK ON THE TWENTY-NINTH FABLE.
Balder, not having the good sonify Death, and to give her fortune to be slain in battle, was the name of Hell, or Hela. Thus, obliged to go, like all those that when they would say that a condied of diseases, to the abode of tagion rages in any place, they DEATH. Saxo Grammaticus re- say, that Hela walks there, or Helates the same adventure, with la is come there; and that a man some different circumstances, (L. hath made up the matter with III. p. 43.) Which seems to prove Hela, when he is relicved from a that there had passed among the distemper which was judged to be deified Asiatics, some event, out mortal. From the same word is of which the poets had composed derived the present name for the the Fable we have been reading. Infernal Region in all the lanLore and Hela play their part guages of Germany and the here very well. It is a custom, north *. Vide Arnkiel in Cimnot yet laid aside among the peo- bria, c. 9. § 2. p; 55. Keysl. Anple of the Duchy of Sleswick, if tiq. p. 180. we will believe Arnkiel, to per
* In all the other Teutonic dialects, as well as in our English, the name for it is Hell, or some word derived from the same root. And indeed Goranson has generally rendered the name Hela, throughout this Edda, not, as our French author does, by the word Mort, or Death, but by Infernum, Hell.
THE THIRTIETH FABLE.
The Flight of Loke.
T length the Gods being exasperated against
LOKE, he was obliged to fly and hide himself in the mountains : there he built him a house open on four sides, whence he could see every thing that passed throughout the world. Often in the day time, he concealed himself, in the shape of a salmon, within the waters of a river, where he employed himself in foreseeing and preventing whatever stratagems the Gods might employ' to catch' him there. One day, as he was in his house, he took thread, or twine, and made nets of it, like those which fishermen have since invented. In the mean time, Odin having discovered, from the height of his all-commanding throne, the place whither Loke had retired, repaired thither with the other Gods. But Loke being aware of their approach, threw his net with all speed into the fire, and ran to conceal himself in the river. As soon as the Gods got there, Kuaser, who was the most distinguished among them all for his quickness and penetration, traced out, in the hot embers, the vestiges and remains of the net which had been burnt, and by that means found out Loke's invention. Having made all the other Gods remark the same thing, they set themselves to weave a net after the model which they saw imprinted in the ashes. This net, when finished, they threw into the water of the river in which Loke had hid himself. Thor held one end of the net, and all VOL. II. P
the Gods together laid hold of the other, thus jointly drawing it along the stream. Nevertheless, Loke concealing himself between two stones, the net passed over him without taking him; and the Gods only perceived that some living thing had touched the meshes. They cast it in a second time, after having tied so great a weight to it, that it every where raked the bottom of the stream. But Loke saved himself by suddenly mounting up to the top of the water, and then plunging in again, in a place where the river formed a cataract. The Gods betook themselves afresh towards that place, and divided into two bands; Thor walking in the water followed the net, which they dragged thus to the very margin of the sea. Then Loke perceived the danger that threatened him, whether he saved himself in the sea; or whether he got back over the net. However, he chose the latter, and leaped with all his might over the net: but Thor running after him, caught him in his hand; but for alt this, being extremely slippery, he had doubtless escaped, had not Thor held him fast by the tail; and this is the reason why Salmons have had their tails ever since so fine and thin,
THE THE THIRTY-FIRST FABLE.
The Punishment of Loké.
OKE being thus taken, they dragged him without
mercy into a cavern. The Gods also seized his children, Vali and Nari: the first being changed by the Gods into a savage beast, tore his brother in pieces and devoured him. The Gods made of his intestines cords for Loke, tying him down to three sharp stones; one of which pressed his shoulder, the other his loins, and the third his hams. These cords were afterwards changed into chains of iron. Besides this, Skada suspended over his head a serpent, whose venom falls upon his face, drop by drop. At the same time, his wife, Siguna, sits by his side, and receives the drops as they fall, into a bason, which she empties as often as it is filled. But while this is doing, the venom falls upon Loke, which makes him howl with horror, and twist his body about with such violence, that all the earth is shaken with it; and this produces whát mén call Earthquakes. There will Loke remain in irons till the last day of the darkness of the Gods.
Loke having at length tired the fables of Pro eus, Typbon out the patience of the Gods, they and Enceladus, are derived from seize and punish him. This idea, the same original : whether one is at the bottom, hath prevailed a- to look for this in the History of mong almost all the ancient na Holy Writ, misunderstood and tions; but they have each of them disfigured, or in other forgotten embellished it after their own events, or only in the ancient cusmanner. One cannot doubt but tom of concealing all instructions our Scandinavians brought with under the veil of allegory; a custhem from Asia this belief, which tom common in all nations while appears to have been very widely their reason is in its infancy, but established there from the earliest peculiarly proper to those of the antiquity. In the book of the east. As all the diligence of the pretended prophecy of Enoch, we learned cannot supply the want of find many particulars very much necessary monuments, I shall not resembling these of the Edda. venture to do more than just bareThe rebel angels causing intes- ly to point out the principal santly a thousand disorders, God grounds of their conjectures: to commanded the Arch-Angel, Ra- enumerate them all, to weigh PHAEL, to bind hand and foot one their respective merits, and to apof the principal among them, ply each of them to this fable of named Azael, and cast him into the EDDA, would be 2, cask as la. an obscure place in a desert, there borious as disagreeable and useto keep him bound upon sharp less; and for which very few of pointed stones to the last day. One my readers would think themmay also safely conjecture, that selves obliged to me.