Page images

other very fine cities to be seen there. In one of them, called Alfheim (A), dwell the luminous Genii, but the black Genii live under the earth, and differ from the others ftill more in their actions than in their appearance.

The luminous Genii are more splendid than the Sun; but the black Genii are darker than pitch. In these parts there is a city, called Breidablik, which is not inferior to any other in beauty; and another named Glitner, the walls, columns and inside of which are gold, and the roof of silver *. There also is to be seen the city Haminborg, or the Celestial Mount, situated upon the frontiers, at the place where the bridge of the Gods touches heaven. The great city of Valascialf, which belongs to Odin, is all built of pure silver. There is the royal Throne, called Lidscialf, or the Terror of the Nations. When the Universal Father is feated upon it, he can view the whole earth. On the utmost limit of heaven, towards the fouth, is the most beautiful city of all : it is called Giml.. It is more brilliant and shining than the Sun itself, and will sublift even after the destruction of heaven and earth. Men of real goodness and integrity shall abide there for everlasting ages. The poem VOLUSPA speaks thụs of it; “ I know that “ there is a place brighter than the Sun, and intirely

covered with gold, in the city of Gimle : there the « virtuous are to reside ; there they shall live happy “ throughout all ages (B).” Then Gangler demands, What will preserve that city when the black flame comes to consume heaven and earth ? Har replied, We have been told, that there is towards the south, another heaven more elevated than this, called the Clear Blue; and above that a third heaven, ftill more


* The Edda of Goranson says Afgulli, of Gold.


elevated, called the Boundless. In this last we think the city of Gimle must be seated, but it is at present inhabited only by the luminous Genii.


(A) ú in a city named Alf- fables of Incubuses and Subcubuses; heim.”] Alfheim fignifies in Go- and that general opinion that thic, the abode of the Genii, that there were Genii or Sylphs of is, of the Fairies of the male sex. both sexes, who did not disdain We may observe, that they are of the embraces of mortals. With different characters, Good and one single fiction, so fruitful as Bad; for there is no probability, this, they might have run through that any one good quality could the whole world of nature, and be ascribed to creatures blacker not have left a single phænomethan pitch. It is needless to ob- non unaccounted for. To do this serve, that all the Gothic and there was only occasion for Good Celtic nations have had thefe Ge- and Bad Genii, as we have seen nii. The romances of Chivalry above. With regard to the Bad, are full of allufions to this ima- they were particularly dreaded at ginary system. The same opini- the hour of noon; and in some ons prevailed among the Persians. places they still make it a point In many places of High Germany, of duty to keep company at that the people have fill a notion, that hour with women in childbed, these Genii come by night, and for fear the Demon of Noon lay themselves on those they find fhould attack them, if left alone. fleeping on their backs; and thus This superstition hath prevailed produce that kind of suffocation no less in France, than elsewhere; which we call the Night Mare. though it came from the east. St. (See Keysler, Antiq. Sept. p. 500.) Bafil recommends us to pray to In the fame manner they account

God sometime before noon, to aed for those luxurious and im- vert this danger, The Celtes modest allusions, fo common in with the same view, offered fadreams; hence are derived the crifices. One says pleasantly, the


true Demon of noon is hunger, German, Gentil. fac. Exercit. V. when one has nothing to satisfy p. 221. it *. If one looks back upon fo many chimerical terrors, and so (B) “ Live happy throughout many painful and absurd obser. “ all ages.”] We Thall see this vances, from which we are at this subject treated in a more extensive day delivered; who but must ap- manner in another place of the plaud the progress of literature Edda, for which (to avoid repetiand the sciences ? See, upon this tions) I shall reserve many remarks subject, a dissertation of the learn. I have to make on this important ed Mr Schultze, in his Exerc. ad passage.

* Vid Keysler. Antiq. Sept. p. 500.-The fame author gives a very curious passage from an ancient SCALD, concerning the Elrs. See 501, 502


of the Gods to be believed in.


ANGLER goes on, and asks, Who are the

Gods, whom men ought to acknowledge ? Har, answers, There are twelve Gods, whom you ought to serve. Jafner adds, Nor are the Goddesses less facred. Thridi proceeds, The first and most an. cient of the Gods is ODIN. He governs all things. And although the Gods are powerful, yet they all serve him, as children do their father (A). His fpoufe Frigga foresees the destinies of men, but she never reveals what is to come,as appears from that conversation in verse which Odin one day held with Loke. “ Senseless Loke, why wilt thou pry into the fates ?

“ Frigga


Frigga alone knoweth what is to come, but she

discloseth it to any person.” Odin is called the Universal Father, because he is the Father of all the Gods. He is also called the Father of Battles, because he adopts for his children all those who are flain with their swords in their hands. He afligns them for their place of residence, the palaces of Valhall and Vingolf, and bestows upon them the title of Heroes (B). He has a great many other names, as Hanga-Gud, &c. [here forty-fix names are enumerated.]

A great many names indeed! fays Gangler: fare. ly that man must be very learned who knows them all distinctly, and can tell upon what occasions they were given. Har replies, It requires, no doubt, a tolerable memory, to recollect readily all these names. But I will intimate to you however, in a few words, what principally contributed to confer them upon him : it was the great variety of languages (B): for each people being desirous to adore him, and address their vows to him, they have been obliged to tranflate his name each into his own language. Some of his other names have been owing to adventures, which have happened to him in his travels, and which are related in the ancient histories. Nor can you ever pass for a man of learning, if you are not able to give an account of all these wonderful adventures.


(1) “ As children do their fa- press than this passage, with re" ther.”] I am obliged to return gard to the supremacy of ONE again to Odin. There is nothing God. The name of As, or Lord, in all Pagan antiquity more ex- is again ascribed to him in this place. The Gauls, in like man- at the same time be called the Fa, ner, called him also Æs, or with a ther of Combats, without mani. Latin termination Efus : for fe- feft contradiction; for the EDDA veral manuscript copies of Lucan, establishes this to be the fact too who speak of this God, give the strongly to be disputed.


disputed. Besides, word Ejus, without the asperate *. contradicions do not always hinI have said elsewhere, that Sueto- der an opinion from being receivnius positively asserts the same ed. Various modifications and thing of the Etruscans. The Ro. distinctions are found out to clear man authors have often called up the difficulty. But there was him the Mars of the Celtic peo- no great need of any here; for ple; because, as the Edda clearly the · Goths and Celtes regarded shows here, he was the same with war as a very facred occupation. the God of War. Wherefore, It furnished, according to them, (although the learned Abté Ba. opportunities for displaying counier has maintained the contrary) rage; and of fulfilling the views this Ejus, whose name occurs in of providence; which was to place the monuments of the cathedral us here as in a field of battle; of Paris, is, at one and the same and only to grant its favours as time, the Supreme God, and, to he peculiar rewards cf furtitude 1peak with the Edna, the Father and valour. of Baitles; as P. Pearon had advanced. (See La Mythol. & les (B) “ It was the great variety Fables expliq. T. II. p. 650, &c. “ of languages.”] This reasoning Ed. Quarto.) Mons. Pelloutier, in upon the names of Odin, may my opinion, hath proved, beyond contain something of truth in it. all doubt, that the Supreme God The text recounts a great number of the Celts. Efus, Teut or Oiling of these names, which I have supwas the God of War. (See Hist. presled, out of regard to thote des Celtes, T. II. c. 7.) It is to no ears which are not accustomed to purpose to object, that the Father Gothic sounds. 'Tis certain that of the Gods and Men could not almost all the nanies ascribed to


* Vid. Kcynl. Antiq. p. 139, &c. 187.--The pafface referred to in Lucan, is this:

Et quibus immitis placatur forguine caso
Tentatus ; horrenfque feris altaribus HIFSUS.

Pharjal. L. I.


« PreviousContinue »