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which may be seen and consulted, sufficient to reward their researches. The remainder is probably less interesting; and this may perhaps have been the cause of its being consigned to oblivion.

THE first of these pieces is that which I have so often quoted under the title of VOLUSPA; a word which signifies the Oracle, or the Prophecy of Vola. It is well known, that there were among the Celtic nations women who foretold future events, uttered oracles, and maintained a strict commerce with the Divinity. Tacitus makes frequent mention of one of them, named Velleda, who was in high repute among the Bructeri, a people of Germany, and who was afterwards carried to Rome. There was one in Italy, whose name had a still nearer affinity to this of Vola, viz. that Sibyl whom Horace (Epod. V.) calls Ariminensis Folia. VOLA, or FOLIA, might perhaps be a general name for all the women of this kind. - As these names are evidently connected with the idea of FOLLY or madness, they would at least be due to those enthusiastic ravings and mad contortions with which such women delivered their 'pretended oracles. The word Fol bore the same meaning in the ancient Gothic, as it does in French, English, and in almost all the languages of the north; in all which it signifies either a Fool or a Madman *

This Poem, attributed to the Sibyl of the north, contains, within the compass of two or three hundred lines, that whole system of Mythology, which we


* Fool, (antiq. Fol) Stultus, tie, nuge, quid vanum, fatuum fabudelirus, fatuus, rationis expers. losum, &c. Inde verbum Folare, Gallıcè Fol. Islandicè Fol, ferox, Ineptias, aut stultas et inanes fabulas iracundus, fatuus, insipiens. Folska, recitare, nugas venditare. Hickes, Stultitia. Ang. Folly: Gall. Fo- in Junii Etymolog. a Liye Edit. lie. Hinc forsan Ital. Fola, Inep.


Such were,

have seen disclosed in the EDDA; but this laconic bre-
vity, and the obsoleteness of the language in which it
is written, make it very difficult to be understood.
This, however, does not prevent us from observing
frequent instances of grandeur and sublimity, and ma-
ny images extremely fine: then the general teror of
the work, the want of connection, and the confusion
of the stylé, excite the idea of a very remote antiquity;
no less than the matter and subject itself.
doubtless, the real Sibylline verses so long preserved at
Rome, and so ill counterfeited afterwards. The Poem
of the VOLUSPA is perhaps the only monument now
remaining, capable of giving us a true idea of them.

I need not here quote any passages from this Poem ; the text of the ÉDDA is (as we have seen) quite full of them, and I have given pretty long extracts from it in my Remarks. It is sufficient briefly to observe, that the Prophetess, having imposed silence on all intellectual beings, declares, that she is going to reveal the decrees of the Father of Nature, the actions and operations of the Gods, which no person ever knew before herself. She then begins with a description of the chaos; and proceeds to the formation of the world, and of that of its various species of inhabitants, Giants, Men, and Dwarfs. She then explains the employments of the Fairies or Destinies; the functions of the Gods, their most remarkable adventures, their quarrels with Loke, and the vengeance that ensued. At last, she concludes with a long description of the final state of the universe, its dissolution and conflagration : the battle of the inferior Deities and the Evil Beings: the renovation of the world: the happy lot of the good, and the punishment of the wicked.


THAT Poem is followed by another no less de-
serving of regard. It made part of the EDDA of SOE-
MUND; and, in point of antiquitý, does not yield to


the VOLUSPA : this is called HAVAMAAL, or “ The Sublime Discourse of Odin ;” and is attributed to that God himself, who is supposed to have given these precepts of wisdom to mankind. This piece is the only one of the kind now in the world. We have, directly from the ancient'* Scythians themselves, no other monument on the subject of their morality: whatever we know from any other quarter on this article, being imperfect, corrupted, and uncertain. Thus this moral system of Odin's may, in some measure, supply the loss of the maxims which Zamolxis, Dicenæus, and Anacharsis gave to their Scythian countrymen ; maxims which those sages pretended to have derived from heaven, and which were frequently the envy of the Greek Philosophers.

The HAVAMAAL, or Sublime Discourse, is comprised in about one hundred and twenty stanzas. There are very few which are not good and sensible ; but as some of them contain only common truths, and others allusions which it would be tedious and difficult to explain, I shall give only the following extracts, assuring the Reader anew, that he will find them translated with the most:scrupulous exactness.

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66 4 ONSIDER and examine well all your doors,

before you venture to stir abroad : for be is “ exposed to continual danger, whose enemies lie in « ambush, concealed in his court.


* Des Celtes & des Scythes. Fr. ficiently explicit, been determined

+ lå translating the following by the latter ; from which I have maxims from the French, I occa- also supplied a few omissions. But sionally consulted a MS copy of not being able to procure the oriResenius's Latin Version; and ginal, I have, in all other inhave, in some few passages, where stances, chosen to follow M. Malthe French seemed not to be suf. let's Translation, though it differs


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“To the guest, who enters your dwelling with fro

zen knees, give the warmth of your fire: he who ** hath travelled over the mountains, hath need of « food and well-dried garments.

• Offer water to him who sits down at your table ; " for he hath occasion to cleanse his hands: and en* tertain him honourably and kindly, if you would o win from him friendly words and a grateful return.

« He who travelleth hath need of wisdom. One may do at home whatsoever one but he who

will; s'is ignorant of good manners, will only draw con

tempt upon himself, when he comes to sit down “ with men well instructed,

* He who goes to a feast, where he is not expect" ed, either speaks with a lowly voice, or is silent: " he listens with his ears, and is attentive with his 66

eyes: by this he acquires knowledge and wisdom.

« Happy he who draws upon himself the applause s and benevolence of men: for whatever depends up

on the will of others, is hazardous and uncertain.

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" A man can carry with him no better provision for « his journey, than the strength of Understanding. « In a foreign country, this will be of more use to “ him than treasures, and will introduce him to the «s table of strangers.

“ There is nothing more useless to the sons of the
than to drink too much ALE: the more the

c drunkard

extremely from that of Resenius; tion. See the Introduction to this as presuming that M. Mallet had Volume.

T. good authority for every devia

« drunkard swallows, the less is his wisdom, till he “ loses his reason. The bird of oblivion sings before “ those who inebriate themselves, and steals away “ their souls.

« A coward thinks he shall live for ever, if he can « but keep out of the reach of arms: but though he u should escape every weapon, old age, that spares “none, will give him no quarter.

“ The gluttonous man, if he is not upon his guard, “ eats bis own death: and the gluttony of a fool u makes the wise man laugh.

« The flocks know when to return to the fold, and " to quit the pasture : but the worthless and slothful $know not how to restrain their gluttony.

« The lewd and dissolute man maşes a mock of « every thing: not considering how much he himself « is the object of derision. No one ought to laugh at " another, until he is free from faults himself.

“ A man void of sense ponders all night long, and “ his mind wanders without ceasing : but when he is weary at the point of day, he is nothing wiser than “ he was over-night,

“ He thinks he is profoundly knowing ; being in“ deed most superficial and shallow. But he knows

not how to sing an answer, when men pose him “ with a difficult question *

« Many

* Alluding to che Ænigmas and Riddles which it was usual to propose as a trial of wit. See many of them in the Hervarer Saga. Both the riddle and answer, I believe, were usually sung in the manner of a Little catch.


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