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(A) Mufpelf-heim fignifies, the abode or refidence of MUSPEL *. But who is this Mufpel? Of this we are entirely ignorant. The ancient fages of the north were defirous to explain how the world had been framed, and to advance fome thing probable for its being fo cold towards the north, and warm towards the fouth. For this purpose they placed, towards the south, a huge mass of fire, which they fupposed had been there for ever, and ferved as a refidence to wicked Genii. This was the matter of which the Sun was made. This Ether, or Fire, fo placed at one extremity of the world, enabled them alfo to affign a probable reafon for its final conflagration; for they were abfolutely perfuaded, that it would at the last day be confumed by fire. And as to the north, it was continually cold there, because oppofite to that quarter lay immenfe mountains of ice. But whence came that ice? Nothing could be more easily accounted for; for Hell, which had been prepared from the beginning of ages, was watered by those great rivers mentioned in the pre

ceding fable; and those great riv ers themselves, in flowing at fo vaft diftance from the fouth, whilst the course of their ftreams carried them ftill farther from it, froze at last in their currents, and fwelled into huge heaps of ice, which communicated a chillness to the northern winds. Between that world of fire and this of ice, there lay a grand abyss, which contained nothing but air; and here was placed, in procefs of time, the earth which we inhabit. If we read the fragment of Sanchoniathon, preferved by Eufebius, De Prep. 1. 2. c. 10. we shall find there a history of the formation of the world, very much resembling this.

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Literally, Mufpel's Home.


ver. 7.-One cannot doubt that the Celtic and Gothic nations, as well as the Perfians, and most of the Orientals, derived many of their traditions from Scripture.

(c) "Giants of the Froft"] There would be no end of amaffing all the ancient traditions which fome way or other relate to the fubject of the text. It hath been a general opinion in the east, that God began with creating Genii, both good and bad, of very immenfe powers: who for a long time before we existed, inhabited a

world prior to this of ours. One may fee in Herbelot, what the Perfians relate concerning the Dives, Nere, Peris, and their king Eblis.- -YMIR having been formed, as we fee, out of the congealed drops, all the Giants de fcended from him are called, upon that account, THE GIANTS OF THE FROST. It must be observed, that these Giants are a fpecies entirely diftinct from the men of our race, the EDDA having not yet given any account of THEIR formation.



Of the Cow OEdumla.

ANGLER then defired to know where the Giant Ymir dwelt, and in what manner he was fed. Har answered, Immediately after this breath from the fouth had melted the gelid vapours, and refolved them into drops, there was formed out of them a cow named OEdumla. Four rivers of milk flowed from her teats, and thus fhe nourished Ymir. The cow, in her turn, fupported herfelf by licking the rocks that were covered with falt and hoar-froft. The first day that she licked these rocks, there sprung from. her, towards evening, the hairs of a man; the fecond day, a head; on the third, an entire man, who was


endowed with beauty, agility, and power. He was called Bure, and was the father of Bore, who married Beyzla, the daughter of the Giant Baldorn. Of that marriage were born three fons, Odin, Vile, and Ve; and 'tis our belief, that this ODIN, with his brothers, ruleth both heaven and earth, that ODIN is his true name, and that he is the most powerful of all the Gods (4).


In all likelihood this fable is only an allegory; but whatever right my privilege of commentator may give me to explain it, I fhall decline the attempt.

There is, however, a very important remark to be made here. A powerful Being had with his breath animated the drops out of which the first Giant was formed This Being, whom the EDDA affects not to name, was intirely diftinct from Odin, who had his birth long after the formation of Ymir. One may conjecture, therefore, (fince we know that the Druids never revealed their myfteries, but by degrees, and with great precaution) that the hidden philosophy of the Celts, meant to inculcate that the fupreme, eternal, invifible and incorruptible God, whom they durft not name out of fear and reverence, had ap

pointed inferior divinities for the government of the world and that it was thofe divinities who, at the laft day, were to yield to the efforts of powerful enemies, and be involved in the ruins of the univerfe: and that then the fupreme God, ever existing and placed above the reach of all revolution and change, would arise from his repofe, to make a new world out of the ruins of the old, and begin a new period, which should in its turn give place to another; and fo on through all eternity. The fame was the fyftem of the Stoics; who, as well as the philofophers of the north *, supposed that the world, after it had been confumed by flames, should be renewed; and that the inferior Deities should be deftroyed at the fame time. What confirms all this, is, that this God, fuperior to Odin himself, and

*Fr. Les Celies,


of whom the vulgar among this people had scarce any idea, is reprefented in the Icelandic poems as making a fecond appearance, after the death of all the Gods, in order to distribute juftice, and establish a new order of things. See the Icelandic odes, cited in the antiquities of Bartholin, l. 2. c. 14.


(A) "The most powerful of all "the Gods."] 'Tis not undeferving of notice, that all the ancient nations of Europe describe their origin with the fame circumftanTacitus fays, that the Germans, in their verses, celebrated a God born of the earth, named Tuifton (that is, the fon of Tis, or Tuis, the fupreme God.) This Tuifton had a fon named Mannus, whofe three fons were the original ancestors of the three principal nations of Germany. The Scythians, according to Herodotus, lib. 4. c. 6. & 10. faid that Targytaus (i. e. the Good Taus) the founder of their nation, had three fons, Leipoxain, Anpoxain, and Kolaxain. A tradition received by the Romans,

imported (according to Appian, Illyr. Lib.) that the Cyclop POLYPHEME had by Galatea three fons, named Giltus, Illyrius, and Gallus. SATURN, the father of Jupiter Neptune, and Pluto, might very well come from the fame fource; as well as the three fons, whom Hefiod makes to fpring from the marriage of HEAVEN and EARTH, Coltus, Briareus, and Gyges. A tradition fo ancient and fo general, must have certainly had its foundation in fome real fact, though I pretend not to decide with Cluverius, that this fact is what the Scripture tells us of NOAH and his fons; yet one cannot deny, that there is fomething very probable in this; unless the reader is inclined to give the preference to the fons of GOMER, Afkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. Gen. x. 3

If I were not already too prolix, I might find here the traces of another tradition, not lefs ancient, very far fpread over the east, and in fome degree confirmed by the 6th chapter of Genefis† I mean thofe two different races, the one good,

* Fr. Tous les Peuples Celtes. The common verfions of the paffage referred to by our author, run as follows: "The fons of God faw the daughters of men, that "they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. "There were GIANTS on the earth in those days; namely, a ter that "the fons of God came in unto the daughters of Men, and they bare children to them: the fame became mighty men; which were of


good, the other evil, whom love at laft united. But I leave the pleasure of making this research, to those who are fond of difquifitions of this kind. Let me only invite them to read, upon this fub

ject, the pretended prophecy of E noch, cited in Syncellus, p. 11, & feq. and Lactantius's Origin of Errors. They will find there many furprizing conformities with the above doctrines of the EDDA.

Gen. vi. 2, 4.

--It is however but

"old, men of renown, &c." justice to the facred writer, to obferve, that it is only from a mifinterpretation of the original words, that the wild traditions mentioned by our author could have any countenance from the above paffage: For, by "the fons of God," the best commentators understand the virtuous race of Seth; and by "the daughters of men," the vicious offspring of Cain and the fruits of this marriage were Nephilim, (not GIANTS, but) Men of Violence, from Nepcl, ruit, irruit, &c.


How the fons of Bore made Heaven and Earth,


TAS there, proceeded Gangler, any kind of equality, or any degree of good understanding between those two different races? Har answers him; Far from it: the fons of Bore (A) flew the Giant Ymir, and there ran fo much blood from his wounds, that all the families of the Giants of the Froft were drowned in it, except one fingle Giant, who faved himfelf, with all his household. He is called Bergelmer. He efcaped by happening to be aboard his baik; and by him was preferved the race of the Giants of the Froft. This is confirmed by the following verfes. "Many winters before the earth was fashi "oned, was Bergelmer born; and well I know that

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