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you did not perceive. I have used the same illusions in the contests you have had with the people of my court. In the first, LOKE, like Hunger itself, devoured all that was set before him: but his opponent, LOGE, was nothing else but a wandering Fire, which instantly consumed, not only the meat, but the bones, and very trough itself. HUGO, with whom THIALFE disputed the prize of swiftness, was no other than Thought, or Spirit; and it was impossible for Thialfe to keep pace with that. When you attempted to empty the Horn, you performed, upon my word, a deed so marvellous, that I should never have believed it, if I had not seen it myself; for one end of the Horn reached to the sea, a circumstance you did not observe: but the first time you go to the sea-side, you will see how much it is diminished. You performed no less a miracle in lifting the Cat; and to tell you the truth, when we saw that one of her paws had quitted the earth, we were all extremely surprized and terrified; for what you took for a cat, was in reality the great Serpent of Midgard, which encompasses the earth; and he was then scarce long enough to touch the earth with his head and tail; so high had your hand raised him up towards heaven. As to your wrestling with an old woman, it is very astonishing that she could only bring you down upon one of your knees; for it was DEATH you wrestled with, who first or last will bring every one low. But now, as we are going to part, let me tell you, that it will be equally for your advantage and mine, that you never come near me again; for should you do so, I shall again defend myself by other illusions and enchantments, so that you will never prevail against me.-As he uttered these words, Thor in a rage laid hold of his mace, and would have lanched it at the king, but he suddenly disappeared; and when the God would have returned to the city to destroy it, VOL. II.
he found nothing all around him but vast plains covered with verdure. Continuing therefore his course, he returned, without ever stopping, to his palace.
REMARKS ON THE TWENTY-THIRD AND FOLLOWING FABLES.
I cannot think the imperfect re semblance which is found between these two stories deserves much attention. I am of opinion, that we shall be more likely to succeed, if we look for the origin of this fa
throughout Persia and the neigh bouring countries; whence, as the ancient Chronicles inform us, O+ DIN and his companions originally came, There first arose the doctrine of a Good and Evil Principle, whose conflicts we here see described after an allegorical manner.
I was unwilling to suppress the fables we have been reading, how ever trifling they may appear at first sight; partly that I might give the original compleat, and partly because Lthought them not altogether. useless, as they wouldable in the religion formerly spread contribute still farther to lay open the turn of mind and genius of the ancient inhabitants of Europe. We have seen above, that, THOR was regarded as a Divinity favourable to mankind, being their protector against the attacks of Giants and evil Geni. I is pretty remarkable, that this same God should here be liable to illusions, spares and trials; and that it should be the Evil Principle that persecutes him. Ut-garda Loke, signifies " the "LOKE, or Demon from without." "But may not all this fable have been invented in imitation of the labours of Hercules?" The analogy is so small in general between the mythology of the Greeks, and that of the northern nations, that
It appears probable to me, that this doctrine, which was carried into the north by the Asiatics, who established themselves there, hath had many puerile circums stances added to it, in successively passing through the mouths of the Poets, the sole depositaries of the opinions of those times. In reali ty, we find, in every one of those additions, somewhat that strongly marks
will not be able perfectly to triumph over him till the last day; when, recoiling back nine paces, he strikes him dead with his thunder, and destroys him for ever.
There are few methods of interpretation more equivocal, more subject to abuse, and more discredited, lited, than that which hath recourse to allegory. But the turn of genius which seems to have dictated all this Mythology, and the significant words it affects to employ, seem to prescribe this method to us on this occasion. Besides, we are to remember, that the whole of it hath been trans
self. In the next fable, he pre-mitted to us by Poets, and that serves and continues, as indeed those Poets, in their manner, have throughout all this Mythology, been partly Oriental, and partly the character and functions which Celtic. We have therefore abunwere at first ascribed to him. He dant reason to be convinced that enters into conflict with the great we ought not to interpret anySerpent, a monster descended from thing here in a simple or literal that Evil Principle, who is at en mity with Gods and men: but he
THE TWENTY-SEVENTH FABLE.
Of the Voyage undertaken by Thor, to go to fish for
FIND by your account, says Gangler, that the power of this King, you have been mentioning, must be very great; and there cannot be a stronger proof of it, than his having courtiers so skilful and dexterous in all respects. But, tell me, did THOR never revenge this affront? Tis well known, says Har, (though nobody has talked of it) that Thor had resolved to attack the great Serpent, if an opportunity offered: with this view, he set out from ASGARD a second time, under the form of a young boy, in order to go to the Giant EYMER.When he was got there, he besought the Giant, to permit him to go aboard his bark along with him, when he went a fishing. The Giant answered, that a little puny stripling like him could be of no use to him; but would be ready to die of cold when they should reach the high seas, whither he usu ally went. Thor assured him that he feared nothing: and asked him what bait he intended to fish with. Eymer bade him to look out for something. Thor
* I here give this name as it is in the Icelandic: M. Mallet writes it HYMER. The reader must not confound this name with that of the Giant YMI, or YMIR, mentioned in the second fable, &c. T.
went up to a herd of cattle which belonged to the Giant, and seizing one of the oxen, tore off his head with his owit hands; then returning to the bark where Eymer) was, they sate down together. Thor placed himself in the middle of the bark, and plied both his oars at once: Eymer, who rowed also at the prow, saw with surprize how swiftly Thor drove the boat forward; and told him, that by the land-marks on the coasts he discovered that they were come to the most proper place to angle for fiat fish. But Thor assured him that they had better go a good way farther accordingly, they continued to row on, till at length Eymer told him if they did not stop, they would be in danger from the great Serpent of Midgard. Notwithstanding this, Thor persisted in rowing further; and, spite of the Giant, was a great while before he would lay down his oars. Then taking out a fishing-line extremely strong, he fixed to it the ox's head, unwound it, and cast it into the sea. The bait reached the bottom; the Serpent greedily devoured the head, and the hook stuck fast in his palate. Immediately, the pain made him move with such violence, that Thor was obliged to hold fast with both his hands by the pegs which bear against the oars: but the strong effort he was obliged to make with his whole body, caused his feet to force their way through the boat, and they went down to the bottom of the sea; whilst with his hands he violently drew up the Serpent to the side of the vessel. It is impossible to express the dreadful looks that the God darted at the Serpent, whilst the monster, raising his head, spouted out venom upon him. In the meantime, the Giant Eymer, seeing with affright the water enter his bark on all sides, cut with his knife the string of the fishing-line, just as Thor was going to strike the Serpent with his mace. Upon this, the monster fell down again to the bottom of the sea: nevertheless,