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then, fays Har, begins the history you defire me to relate :

One day the God THOR fet out with LOKE, in his own chariot, drawn by two He-Goats; but night coming on, they were obliged to put up at a peasant's cottage. The God Thor immediately flew his two He-Goats, and having fkinned them, ordered them to be dreffed for fupper. When this was done, he fat down to table, and invited the peasant and his children to partake with him. The fon of his hoft was named Thialfe, the daughter Rafka. Thor bade them throw all the bones into the fkins of the goats, which he held extended near the table; but young Thialfe, to come at the marrow, broke with his knife one of the fhank-bones of the goats. Having paffed the night in this place, Thor arofe early in the morning, and dreffing himfelf, reared the handle of his mace; which he had no fooner done, than the two goats reaffumed their wonted form, only that one of them now halted upon one of his hind legs. The God feeing this, immediately judged that the peasant, or one of his family, had handled the bones of this goat too roughly. Enraged at their folly, he knit his eye-brows, rolled his eyes, and feizing his mace, grafped it with fuch force, that the very joints of his fingers were white again. The peasant trembling, was afraid of being ftruck down by one of his looks; he therefore, with his children, made joint fuit for pardon, offering whatever they poffeffed in recom-pence of any damage that had been done. Thor at laft fuffered himself to be appeased, and was content to carry away with him Thialfe and Rafka. Leaving then his He-Goats in that place, he fet out on his road for the country of the Giant; and coming to the margin of the sea, fwam acrofs it, accompanied by Thialfe, Rafka, and Loke. The first of these was an excellent runner, and carried Thor's wallet or bag.

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When they had made fome advance, they found themselves in a vast plain, through which they marched all day, till they were reduced to great want of provifions. When night approached, they fearched on all fides for a place to fleep in, and at aft, in the dark, found the houfe of a certain Giant; the gate of which was fo large, that it took up one whole fide of the manfion. Here they paffed the night; but about the middle of it were alarmed by an earthquake, which violently hook the whole fabrick. Thor, rifing up, called upon his companions to feek along with him fome place of fafety. On the right they met with an adjoining chamber, into which they entered; but Thor remained at the entry, and wh lft the others, terrified with fear, crept to the fartheft corner of their retreat, he armed himself with his mace, to be in readiness to defend himself at all events. Meanwhile they heard a terrible noife: and when the morning was come, Thor went out, and obferved near him a man of enormous bulk, who fnored pretty loud. Thor found that this wa the noife which had fo disturbed him. He immediately girded on his Belt of Prowess, which hath the virtue of increafing ftrength:: but the Giant awaking; Thor affrighted, durft not lance his mace, but contented himself with asking his My name is Skrymner, replied the other; as for you, I need not enquire whether you are the God Thor pray, tell me, have not you picked up my Glove? Then ftretching forth his hand to take it up, Thor perceived that the house wherein they had paffed the night, was that very Glove; and the chamber, was only one of its fingers. Hereupon Skrymner asked, whether they might not join companies; and Thor confenting, the Giant opened his cloak-bag, and took out fomething to eat. Thor and his companions having done the fame, Skrymner would put both their wallets together, and laying them on his

name.

fhoulder,

fhoulder, began to march at a great rate. At night, when the others were come up, the Giant went to repofe himself under an oak, fhowing Thor where he intended to lie, and bidding him help himself to victuals out of the wallet. Meanwhile he fell to fnore ftrongly. But what is very incredible, when Thor came to open the wallet, he could not untie one fingle knot. Vexed at this, he feized his mace, and lanched it at the Giant's head. He awaking, afks, What leaf had fallen upon his head, or what other trifle it could be? Thor pretended to go to fleep under another oak; but obferving about midnight that Skrymner fnored again, he took his mace and drove it into the hinder part of his head. The Giant awaking, demands of Thor, Whether fome fmall grain of duft had not fallen upon his head, and why he did not go to fleep? Thor anfwered, he was going; but prefently after, refolving to have a third blow at his ene my, he collects all his force, and lanches his mace with so much violence against the Giant's cheek, that it forced its way into it up to the handle. Skrymner awaking, flightly raises his hand to his cheek, faying, Are there any birds perched upon this tree? 1 thought one of their feathers had fallen upon me. Then he added, What keeps you awake, Thor? I fancy it is now time for us to get up, and drefs ourfelves. You are now not very far from the city of Utgard. I have heard you whifper to one another, that I was of a very tall ftature; but you will fee many there much larger than myself. Wherefore I advise you, when you come thither, not to take upon you too much; for in that place they will not bear with it from fuch little men as you*. Nay, I even VOL. I. believe,

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* To conceive the force of this raillery, the reader muft remember that THOR is represented of gigantic size, and as the sloutest and strongest of the Gods. The HEREULES of the northern nations. T

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believe, that your best way is to turn back again; but if you perfift in your refolution, take the road that leads eastward; for as for me, mine lies to the north. Hereupon he threw his wallet over his fhoulder, and entered a foreft. I never could hear that the God Thor wished him a good journey; but proceeding on his way along with his companions, he perceived, about noon, a city fituated in the middle of a vaft plain. This city was fo lofty, that one could not look up to the top of it, without throwing one's head quite back upon the fhoulders. The gate-way was closed with a grate, which Thor never could have opened; but he and his compan ons crept through the bars. Entering in, they faw a large palace, and men of prodigious ftature. Then addreffing themfelves to the king, who was named Urgarda-Loke, they faluted him with great refpect. The king having at laft difcerned them, broke out into such a burst of laughter, as difcompofed every feature of his face. It would take up too much time, fays he, to ask you concerning the long journey you have performed; yet if I do not mistake, that little man whom I fee there fhould be Thor: perhaps indeed he is larger than he appears to me to be; but in order to judge of this, added he, addreffing his difcourfe to Thor, let me fee a fpecimen of thofe arts by which you are diftinguished, you and your companions; for no body is permitted to remain here, unless he understand fome art, and excel in it all other men LOKE then faid, That his art confifted in eating more than any other man in the world, and that he would challenge any one at that kind of combat. It must indeed be owned, replied the king, that you are not wanting in dexteri ty, if you are able to perform what you promife. At the fame time he ordered one of his courtiers who was fitting on a fide-bench, and whofe name was Loge (i. e. Flame), to come forward, and try his kill with

Loke

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Loke in the art they were speaking of. Then he caufed a great tub or trough full of provifions to be placed on the bar, and the two champions at each end of it: who immediately fell to devour the victuals with fo much eagerness, that they prefently met in the middle of the trough, and were obliged to defift. But Loke had only eat the flesh of his portion; whereas the other had devoured both flesh and bones.

All the company therefore adjudged that Loke was vanquished.

THE

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