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adulteress was obliged to hang herself, which the sense cannot touch, but or was stabbed by the knives of her which “reverence alone can feel ; * companions. The wives of the Cim- and when, later on, the legends define brians, when they could not obtain and alter this vague divination of nat. from Marius assurance of their chas- ural powers, one idea remains at the ity, slew themselves with their own bottom of this chaos of giant-dreams, hands. They thought there was some- namely, that the world is a warfare, thing sacred in a woman; they mar- and heroism the highest good. ried but one, and kept faith with her. In the beginning, say the old Ice. In fifteen centuries the idea of mar. landic legends,* there were two worlds, riage is unchanged amongst them. Nifheim the frozen, and Muspell the The wife, on entering her husband's burning. From the falling snow-flakes home, is aware that she gives herself was born the giant Ymir. There altogether, * “ that she will have but was in times of old, where Ymir dwelt, one body, one life with him; that she nor sand nor sea, nor gelid waves; will have no thought, no desire beyond: earth existed not, nor heaven above, that she will be the companion of his 'twas a chaotic chasm, and grass noperils and labors; that she will suffer where.” There was but Ymir, the and dare as much as he, both in peace horrible frozen Ocean, with his chil. and war.

And he, like her, knows dren, sprung from his feet and his arm: that he gives himself. Having chosen pits; then their shapeless progeny, his chief, he forgets himself in him, as. Terrors of the abyss, barren Moun. signs to him his own glory, serves him tains, Whirlwinds of the North, and to the death. “He is infamous as long other malevolent beings, enemies of as he lives, who returns from the field of the sun and of life; then the cow And. battle without his chief.” It was on humbla, born also of melting snow, this voluntary subordination that feu- brings to light, whilst licking the hoar. dal society was based. Man in this race, frost from the rocks, a man Bur, whose can accept a superior, can be capable grandsons kill the giant Ymir. “From of devotion and respect./// Throw his flesh the earth was formed, and back upon himself by the 'gloom and from his bones the hills, the heaven severity of his climate, he has dis- from the skull of that ice-cold giant, covered moral beauty, while others and from his blood the sea; but of his discover sensuous beauty. This kind brains the heavy clouds are all crea. of naked brute, who lies all day by his ted.” Then arose war between the fireside, sluggish and dirty, always eat monsters of winter and the luminous ing and drinking, † whose rusty facul- fertile gods, Odin the founder, Baldur ties cannot follow the clear and fine the mild and benevolent, Thor the outlines of happily created poetic summer-thunder, who purifies the air, forms, catches a glimpse of the sub- and nourishes the earth with showers. lime in his troubled dreams. He does Long fought the gods against the not see it, but simply feels it; his re- frozen Jötuns, against the dark bestial ligion is already within, as it will be in powers, the Wolf Fenrir, the great the sixteenth century, when he will Serpent, whom they drown in the sea, cast off the sensuous worship im- the treacherous Loki, whom they bind ported from Rome, and hallow the to the rocks, beneath a viper whose faith of the heart. & His gods are not venom drops continually on his face enclosed in wallz ; he has no idols. Long will the heroes, who by a bloudy Whar he designates by divine names, is something invisible and grand, which lud, quod sola reverentia vident." Later va, Aloals through nature, and is conceived of Bremen, Historia Ecclesiastica). Wuotan

at Upsala for instance, they had images (Adam beyond nature, ll a mysterious infinity (Odin) signifies etymologically the All-Power

ful, him who penetrates ard circulates through • Tacitus, xix. viii. xvi. Kemble, i. 232. every thing (Grimm, Mythol.). | Tacitus, xiv.

* Sæmundar Edda, Snorra Edda, ed. 1“In omni domo, nudi et sordidi. Plus, Copenhagen, three vols. passim. Mr. Berg per otium transigunt, dediti somno, ciboque ; mann has translated several of these poems totos dies juxta focum atque ignem agunt." into French, which Mr. Taine quotes. The Grimm, 53, Preface. Tacitus, x.

translator has generally made use if the editio Deorum nominibus appellant secretum il- of Mr. Thorpe, London, 1866.

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death deserve to be placed "in the heart; tut Regin, brother of Fafnir halls of Odin, and there wage a com- drinks blood from the wound, and falls Dat every day," assist the gods in their asleep. Sigurd, who was roasting the mighty war. A day will, however, heart, raises his finger thoughtlessly to arrive when gods and men will be his lips. Forthwith he understands cunquered. Then

the language of the birds. The eagles

scream above him in the branches. 6trembles Yggdrasil's ash yet standing; zroans the ancient tree, and the Jötun Loki They warn him to mistrust Regin. is loosed. The shadows groan on the ways of Sigurd cuts off the latter's head, eats Hel,* until the fire of Surt has consumed the of Fafnir's heart, drinks his blood and rise, the mundane snake is coiled in jötun- ders their courage and poetry, graw.

Hrym steers from the east, the waters his brother's. Amongst all these mur

The worm beats the water, and the zagle screams; the pale of beak tears carcases; Sigurd has subdued Brynhild, the un (the ship) Naglfar is loosed. Surt from the tamed maiden, by passing through the South comes with flickering

flame; shines from Aaming fire ; they share one couch for his sword the Val-god's sun. The stony hills are dashed together, the giantesses totter, men three nights, his naked sword betwixt tread the path of Hel, and heaven is cloven. them. “Nor the damsel did he kiss, The sun darkens, earth in ocean sinks, fall tronı heaven the bright stars, fre's breath as- lift her. He the blooming maid to

nor did the Hunnish king to his arm sails the all-nourishing tree, towering fire plays against heaven itself." +

Giuki's son delivered,” because

cording to his oath, he must ena her The gods perish, devoured one by one to her betrothed Gunnar. She, setting by the monsters; and the coinstial her love upon him, “Alone she sat legend, sad and grand now liso the without, at eve of day, began aloud life of man, bears witness ti the with herself to speak : Sigurd must hearts of warriors and heroes.

be mine ; I must die, or that blooming There is no fear of pain, no care for youth clasp in my arms.

But seeing life; they count it as dross when the him :narried, she brings about his idea has seized upon them. Tne death. “ Laughed then Brynhild, trembling of the nerves, the repugnance Budli's daughter, once only. from her of animal instinct which starts back | whole gaul, when in her bed she lisbefore wounds and death, are all lost tened to the loud lament of Giuki's in an irresistible determination. See | davgrier.” She put on her golden how in their epic f the sublime springs i casi pierced herself with the sword's up amid the horrible, like a bright poir: und as a last request said : purple flower amid a pool of blood. Sigurd has plunged his sword into the “i in che n'ain ve raised a pile so spacious, dragon Fafnir, and at that very mo

that to Suke room may be ; let them burn ment they looked on one another; and the Hun grd) on the one side of nie, on the

other side my household slaves, with coilars Fafnir asks, as he dies, “Who art splendid, two at our heads, and two hawks ; thou ? and who is thy father? and what let also lie between us both the keen-edged thy kin, that thou wert so hardy as to sword, as wher we both one couch ascended; bear weapons against me ?" A

also five female thralls, eight male slaves of

gentle birth fostered with me. hardy heart urged me on thereto, and a strong hand and this sharp sword. All were burnt together ; yet Gudrun

Seldom hath hardy eld a faint- the widow continued motionless by the heart youth.” After this triumphant corpse, and could not weep.

The eagle i cry S qurd cuts oui the worm's wives of the jarls came to console her,

and each of them told her own sorrows, * Hel, the goddess of death, born of Loki all the calamities of great devastations a :d Angrboda.-TR.

Thörpe, The Edda of Sæmund, The Vala's and the old life of barbarism. Prophery, str. 48-56, p. 9 et passim.

Fafnismál Edda. This epic is common to “Then spoke Giaflang, Giuki's sister : 'Lo, the Northern races, as is the Iliad to the up on earth I live most loveless, who of five Greek populations, and is found almost entire mates must see the ending, of daughters twain in Germany in the Nibelungen Lied. The and three sisters, of brethern eight, and abide translator has also used Magnusson and Mor- behind lonely.' Then spake Herborg, Queen ris' poetical version of the Völsunga Saga; ind certain songs of the Elder Edda, London, * Thorpe, The Edda of Sæmund, Third 1870.

lay of Sigurd Fafnicide, str. 62-64. p. 83.

of Hunland: 'Crueller tale have I to tel. of was I wavering while we both lived ; now an my seven scns, down in the Southlands, and I so no longer, as I alone survive.'"* the eight man, my mate, felled in the deathmead. Father and mother, and four brothers It was the last insult of the self-confident on the wide sea the winds and death played with ; the billows beat on the bulwark boards. man, who values neither his own life Aloue must I sing o'er them, alone must 1 nor that of another, so that he can array them, alone must my hands deal with satiate his vengeance. They cast him their departing, and all this was in one sea- | into the serpent's den, and there he son's wearing, and none was left for love or solace. Then was I bound a prey of the battle died, striking his harp with his foot. when that same season wore to its ending; as But the inextinguishable flanie of ven. a tiring may must I bind the shoon of the geance passed from his heart to that luke's high dame, every day at dawning. Of his sister. Corpse after corpse fall From her jealous hate gat I heavy mocking, frael lashes she laid upon me.'"*

on each other; a mighty fury hurls

them open-eyed to death. She killed All was in vain ; no word could draw the children she had by Atli, and one lears from those dry eyes. They were day on his return from the carnage, obliged to lay the bloody corpse be- gave him their hearts to eat, served in fore her, ere her tears would come. honey, and laughed coldly as she told

Then tears flowed through the pillow; him on what he had fed. “Uproar as “the geese withal that were in the was on the benches, portentous the home-field, the fair fowls the may cry of men, noise beneath the costly owned, fell a-screaming.” She would hangings. The children of the Huns have died, like Sigrun, on the corpse wept; all wept save Gudrun, who of him whom alone she had loved, if never wept or for her bear-fierce they had not deprived her of memory brothers, or for her dear sons, young, by's magic potion. Thus affected, simple."'Judge from this heap of cic leparts in order to marry Atli, ruin and carnage to what excess the king of the Huns; and yet she goes will is strung. There were men amongst against her will, with gloomy forebod- them, gerserkirs, who in battle seized ings; for murder begets murder; and with a sort of madness, showed a her brothers, the murderers of Sigurd, sudden and superhuman strength, and having been drawn to Atli's court, ceased to feel their wounds. This is fall in their turn into a snare like that the conception of a hero as engendered which they had themselves laid. Then by this race in its infancy. Is it not Gunnar was bound, and they tried to strangto see them place their happimake him deliver up the treasure. He ness in battle, their beauty in death ? answers with a barbarian's laugh: Is there any people, Hindoo, Persian,

Greek, or Gallic, which has formed so “« Högni's heart in my hand shall lie, cut tragic a conception of life? Is there bloody from the breast of the valiant chief, the any which has peopled its infantine king's son, with a dull-edged knife.'. They the mind with such gloomy dreams? Is heart cut out from Hialli's breast; on a dish, bleeding, laid it, and it to Gunnar bare. Then there any which has so entirely banished said Gunnar, lord of men: 'Here have I the from its dreams the sweetness of en heart of the timid Hialli

, unlike the heart of joyment, and the softness of pleasure ? une bold Högni; for much it trembles as in the aish it lies; it trembles more by half while in Endeavors, tenacious and mournful enhis breast it lay." Högni laughed when to his deavors, an ecstasy of endeavors, such heart they cut the living crest-crasher; no la- was their chosen condition. Carlyle ment uttered he. All bleeding on a dish they said well, that in the sombre obstinacy laid it, and it to Gunnar bare.. Caloy said of an English laborer st.ll survives Gunnar, the warrior Niflung: 'Here have the heart of the bold Högni, unlike the heart the tacit rage of the Scandinaviar. of the timid Hialli; for it little trembles as in warrior. Strife for strife's sake-such the dish it lies: it trembled less while in his is their pleasure. With what sadness, breast it lay. So far shalt thou, Atlil be from the eyes of men as thou wilt from the treasures tradness, destruction, such a disposi. be. In my power alone is all the hidden Niflung's gold, now that Högni lives not. Ever Thorpe, The Edda of Sæmund, Lay oj

Atli, str. 21–27, p. 117.

+ 1bid. str. 38, p. 119. * Magnusson and Morris, Story of the Volo This word signifies men who fought withou mugo and Nibelungs, Lamentation of Gud

a breastplate, perhaps in shirts only ; Scottice man, P. Isin.

" Baresarks." -TR.


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tion breaks its bonds, we shall see in budge hence. I mean to die by my Shakespeare and Byron; with what lord's side, near this mar. I have loved vigor and purpose it can limit and em. so much. He kept his word, the word ploy itself when possessed by moral he had given to his chief, to the distrib ideas, we shall see in the case of the utor of gifts, promising him that they Puritans.

should return to the town, safe and

sound to their homes, or that they IV.

would fall both together, in the thick

of the carnage, covered with wounds. They have established themselves in He lies by his master's side, like a England; and however disordered the faithful servant.” Though awkward s ciety which binds them together, it in speech, their old poets find touch. 's founded, as in Germany, on generous ing words when they have to paint sentiment. War is at every door, I am these manly friendships. We cannot aware, but warlike virtues are within without emotion hear them relate hor every house; courage chiefly, then the old “king embraced the best of fidelity. Under the brute there is a his thanes, and put his arms about his free man, and a man of spirit. There neck, how the tears flowed down the is no man amongst them who, at his cheeks of the greyhaired chief. own risk,* will not make alliance, go The valiant man was so dear to him. forth to fight, undertake adventures. He could not stop the flood which There is no group of free men amongst mounted from his breast. In his heart, them, who, in their Witenagemote, is deep in the chords of his soul, he not forever concluding alliances one sighed in secret after the beloved man." with another. Every clan, in its own Few as are the songs which remain to district, forms a league of which all the us, they return to this subject again members, brothers of the sword,” and again. The wanderer in a reverie defend each other, and demand re- dreams about his lord : * It seems venge for the spilling of blood, at the to him in his spirit as if he kisses and price of their own. Every chief in his embraces him, and lays head and hands hall reckons that he has friends, not upon his knees, as oft before in the mercenaries, in the faithful ones who olden time, when he rejoiced in his drink his beer, and who, having re- gifts. Then he wakes-a man with. ceived as marks of his esteem and out friends He sees before him the confidence, bracelets, swords, and desere tracks, the sea-birds dipping in suits of armor, will cast themselves the waves, stretching wide their wings, between him and danger on the day of the frost and the snow, mingled with battle.t Independence and boldness falling hail. Then his heart's wounds rage amongst this young nation with violence and excess ; but these are of press more heavily. Then the exile themselves noble things; and no less oble are the sentiments which serve “In blithe habits full oft we, too, agreed tha: then for discipline,-to wit, affection. nought else should divide us except death alone ate devotion, and respect for plighted been is now our friendship. To endure edmi

at length this is changed, and as if it had novor faith. These appear in their laws, and ties man orders me to dwell in the bowers of break forth in their poetry. Amongst the forest, under the oak-tree in this earth them greatness of heart gives matter wearied out. Dim are the dells, high up are

Cold is this earth-dwelling: I am quite for imagination. Their characters are

the mountains, a bitter city of twigs, with. briar no: selfish and shifty, like those of overgrown, a joyless abode. My friends Homer. They are brave hearts, simple are in the earth; those loved in life, the tomb and strong, faithful to their relatives, holds them. The grave is guarding, while I

Under the oak-tree, to their master in arms, firm and stead. beyond this earth-cave, there I must sit the fast to enemies and friends, abounding long summer day." in courage and ready for sacrifce. "Old as I am,” says one, “I will not Amid their perilous mode of life, and

above alone am going.

the perpetual appea. to arms, there • See the Life of Sweyn, of Hereward etc., Arep up to the time of the Conquest.

* The Wanderer, the Exild's Song, Cadea * Buowull, passime, Death of Byrhtnoth, Exoniensis, published by Thorpe.


exists no sentinient more warm than reason is, that with them love is not friendship, nor any virtue stronger loy- an amusement and a pleasure, but a aity:

promise and a devotion. All is grave, Thus supported by powerful affec- even sombre, in civil relations as well tion and trysted word, society is kept as in conjugal society. As in Germany, wholesome. Marriage is like the state. amid the sadness of à melancholic We find women associating with the temperament and the savagery of a wen, at their feasts, sober and re- barbarous life, the most tragic human spected.* She speaks, and they listen faculties, the deep power of love and rc her; no need for concealing or en- the grand power of will, are the only slaving her, in order to restrain or ones that sway and act. retain her. She is a person, and not This is why the herc, as in Gera thing. The law demands her con- many, is truly heroic. Let as speak sent to marriage, surrounds her with of him at length; we possess one of guarantees, accords her protection. their poems, that of Beowulf

, almost She can inherit, possess, bequeath, ap- entire. Here are the stories, which ptar in courts of justice, in county the thanes, seated on their stools, by assemblies, in the great congress of the light of their torches, listened to the elders. Frequently the name of as they drank the ale of their king; we the queen and of several other ladies can glean thence their manners and is inscribed in the proceedings of the sentiments, as in the Iliad and the Witenagemote. Law and tradition Odyssey those of the Greeks. Beowulf maintain her integrity, as if she were a is a hero, a knight-errant before the man, and side by side with men. Her days of chivalry, as the leaders of the affections captivate her, as if she were German bands were feudal chiefs be. a man, and side by side with men. In fore the institution of feudalism.* He Alfred † there is a portrait of the wife, has “ rowed upon the sea, his naked which for purity and elevation equals sword hard in his hand, amidst the ali that we can devise with our modern fierce waves and coldest of storms, and refinements. * Thy wife now lives for the rage of winter hurtled over the thee-for thee alone. She has enough waves of the deep.” The sea-monsters, of all kind of wealth for this present the niany-colored foes, drew him to life, but she scorns them all for thy the bottom of the sea, and held him sake alone. She has forsaken them fast in their gripe.” But he reached all, because she had not thee with " the wretches with his point and with them. Thy absence makes her think his war-bill.” “The mighty sea-beast that all she possesses is naught. Thus, received the war-rush through his for love of thee, she is wasted away, hands,” and he slew nine Nicors (seaand lies near death for tears and grief." monsters). And noớ behold him, as Already, in the legends of the Edda, he comes across the waves to succor we have seen the maiden Sigrun at the old King Hrothgar, who with his the tomb of Helgi, “ as glad as the vassals sits afflicted in his great meadvoracious hawks of Odin, when they hall, high and curved with pinnacles. of slaughter know, of warm prey,' For “a grim stranger, Grendel, a desiring to sleep still in the arms of mighty haunter of the marshes," had death, and die at last on his grave. entered his hall during the night, seized Nothing here like the love we ind in thirty of the thanes who were asleep, the primitive poetry of France, Prov. and returned in his war-craft with their ince, Spain, and Greece. There is an

carcasses; for twelve years the dread. sixence of gayety, of delight; outside ful ogre, the beastly and greedy crea. of orarriage it is only a ferocious ap: ture, father of Orks and fötuns, de, petite, an outbreak of the instinct of voured men and emptied the best of ibe beast. It appears nowhere with ils charm and its smile; there is no

* Kemble thinks that the origin of this poem love song in this ancient poetry. The is very ancient, perhaps contemporary with the

invasion of the Angles and Saxons, bat that : • Turner, Hist. Angi. Sas. ül. 63.

the version we possess is later than the seventh 1 Alfred borrows his portrait from Boethius, century.- Kemble's Beoorlf, text and translar met almost entirely rewrites it.

uon, 1833. The characters are Dar inh.


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