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then, fays Har, begins the history you desire me to relate :
One day the God Thor set 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 skinned them, ordered them to be dressed for supper. When this was done, he fat down to table, and invited the peasant and his children to partake with him. The son of his host was named Thialfe, the daughter Raska. Thor bade them throw all the bones into the skins 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 shank-bones of the goats. Having passed the night in this place, Thor arole early in the moraing, and dressing himself, reared the handle of his mace ; which he had no sooner done, than the two. goats reaffumed their wonted form, only that one of them now halted upon one of his hind legs. The God seeing 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 seizing his mace, grafped it with fuch force, that the very joints of his fingers were white again. The peasant trembling, was afraid of being struck down by one of his looks; he therefore, with his children, made joint suit for pardon, offering whatever they poffefsed in recompence of any damage that had been done. Thor at laft suffered himself to be appeased, and was content to carry away with him Thialfe and Raska. Leaving then his He-Goats in that place, he set out on his road for the country of the Giant ; and coming to the margin of the sea, swam across it, accompanied by Thialfe, Raska, and Loke. The first of these was an excellent runner, and carried Thor's wallet or bag.
When they had made some 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 searched on all fides for a place to fleep in, and at aft, in the dark, found the house of a certain Giant ; the gate of which was so large, that it took up one whole fide of the manfion. Here they pafred the night; but about the middle of it were alarmed by an earthquake, 'vhich violently thook the whole fabrick. Thor, rifing up, called upon his companions 'to seek along with him some place of safety. On the right they met with an adjoining chamber, into which they entered; but Thor remained at the entry, and wh lst the others, terrified with fear, crept to the farthest corner of their retreat, he armed himself with his mace, to be in readiness to defend himself at all events. Mean while they heard a terrible noise : and when the morning was come, Thor went out, and observed near him a man of enormous bulk, who (nored pretty loud. Thor found that this wa the noise which had so 'difturbed him. He immediately girded on his Belt of Prowess, which hath the virtue of increafing strength: but the Giant awaking ; Thor affrighted, durft not Jance his mace, but contented himself with asking his name. 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 stretching forth his hand to take it up, Thor perceived that the house wherein they had pafled 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 consenting, the Giant opened his cloak-bag, and took out something to eit. Thor and his com. panions having done the fame, Skrymner would put both their wallets together, and laying them on his
shoulder, began to march at a great rate. At night, when the others were come up, the Giar:t went to repose himfelf under an oik, showing Thor where he intended to lie, and bidding him help himself to victuals out of the wallet. Meanwhile he fell to fmore strongly. But what is very incredible, when Thor came to open the wallet, he could not untié one single knot. Vexed at this, he seized his mace, and lanched it at the Giant's head. He awaking, asks, What leaf had fallen upon his head, or what other trifle is could be? Thor pretended to go to sleep under ano. ther oak; but observing about midnight that Skrymper snored again, he took his mace and drove it into the hinder part of his head. · The Giant awaking, demands of Thor, Whether some small grain of duft had not fallen upon his head, and why he did not go to fleep? Thor answered, he was going; but prefently after, resolving to have a third blow at his ei.emy, 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, slightly raises his hand to his cheek, laying, 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 dress our. selves. You are now not very far from the city of Utgard. I have heard you whisper to one another, that I was of a very tall stature ; but you will fee mány 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 such little men as you *. Nay, I even VOL. 11. M
believe, • To conceive the force of this raillery, the reader must remember that Tror is represented of gigantic Gize, and as the foutest and Atrongest of the Gods The HEREULES of the northern parians. T
believe, that your best way is to turn back again; but if you perfist in your resolution, take the road that leads eastward; for as for me, mine lies to the north. Hereupon he threw his wallet oyer his Lhoulder, and entered a forest. I never could hear that the God Thor wilhed him a good journey ; but proceeding on his way along with his companions, he perceived, about noon, a city ftuated in the middle of a vast plain. This city was so lofty, that one could not look up to the top of it, without throwing one's head quite back upon the shoulders. 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 saw a large palace, and men of prodigious ftature. Then addressing them. felves to the king, who was named Ugarda-Loka, they faluted him with great respect. The king having at last discerned them, broke out into such a burst of laughter, as discomposed every feature of his face. It would take up too much time, says he, to ask you concerning the long journey you have performed; yet if I do not mistake, that little man whom I see there should be Thor : perb. ps indeed he is larger than he appears to me to be; but in order to judge of this, added he, addressing his discourse to Thor, let me see a specimen of thole arts by which you are diftin. guisbed, you and your companions; for no body is permitted to remain here, unless he understand some art, and excel in it all other men
LOKE then said, 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 dexterity, if you are able to perform what you promise. At the same time he ordered one of his courtiers who was fitting on a fide-bench, and whose name was Loge (i. e. Flame), to come forward, and try his kill with
Loke in the art they were speaking of. Then he Caused a great tub or trough full of provisions to be placed on the bar, and the two champions at each end of it: who immediately fell to devour the victuals with so much eagerness, tht they presently met in the middle of the trough, and were obliged to desist, 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.