Page:Grimm Goblins (1876).djvu/28

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xadi EXTRACTS.

did not escape the Scaadimti^aii fioaldf. Aceordinglj wt End thMe flobjectt «DOiig> their Sagas. '< Saoan af Erik Eikolavjos Sappb." — ** The HUtory ^fJSiriCy ion of Ejmg Hiac, King Arthur g ch£^ WruUerJ* {Hutorioal RhymiUKd Kiug Arthur, cob- tatoing hit League wttb Charlemagoe). '^Saaan af Iykitt." — ^^Th$ Histofy af imensty King Arthur's principal Champion, containing his baltles with the Gianta. " SAaAji AF Karlahaqmuse of Bofpum Han&" — ^^ The MuUry of CkaHemagnt^ af kis ChampionM and Captains, containing all his actions in several parts. 1st, of hui birth and coronation, and the combat A Oa,rv«tu8 King of Babylon, with Oddegir, the Dane ; 2nd, of Aglandns King of Africa, and of his aon Jatmond, and their wars iu Spain with Charlemagne ; 3rd, of Boland, and his combat with Villaline King of 8|iBin ; 4th, ol Ottenrs conversion to Ohristiaaity, and his marriage with Gharlem«gae*s daughter ; 6th, of Hugh King of Omstantinople. and the meiDorable e^oits of hie champions ; 6th, of the wars of JFerraente King of Spain ; 7th, of Charlemagne's addevements in Bonoevalles, and of hisdeaih." In another of the Sagas, Jar], a magician of Saxland, exhibits his feats of neeremancy before Charlemagne. We learn from Olaus Magnus that Itoland*s magical horn, of which Archbishop Turpin rehites such wonders, and among others, that it might be heard a distance of twenty niles, was frequently celebrated in the songs of the Icelandic bards ; it is not likely that these pieces, to say no more, were not composed until the Scandinavian tribes bad been converted to Ciiristiantty, that is, as I have before observed, about the close jof Uie IQ'Ji century, theae barbarians had an infinite and a national contempt for the Chnstians, whose religion inculcated a spirit of peace, gentleness, and civility — ^oalities so dissimilar to those of their own ferocious and warlike disposition, and which they naturally interpreted to be the marks of cowardice and pusillanimiiy ; it lias, however, been urged that as the irruption oi the Normans into France, under their leader Bollo,did^not take plaoe till towards the begioningof the 10th century, «t which period the Scaldic art was arrived to the highest perfection in J^illo's native country ; we can easily trace the descent of the French and English romanoes «f chivalry from the Northern Sagas. It is supposed tliat JEloUo carried with liiat many Scalds from the North, who transmitted their sjcill to their children and successors, and that these, adopting the religious opinions and language of the new country, anbatituted the heroes of Christendom instead of those of their Pagan ancestoi's, and begiui to celebrate the feats of Charlemagne, Boland, and Oliver, whose true liistory they set off and embellished with the Scaldic figments of Dwarfs, Giants, Dragons, and Encliantments ; there is, howevei-, some reason to believe that these fictions were current among the French long before ; and if tl>e principles advanced on the former part of this dissertation be true, the fables adhering to Charlemagne's real history must be referred to another source. ,

Let ine add, that the enehautments of Runic poetry are very different from those in our Rmaooes of Ohivalrjr — the former chiefly deal in spells and charms, such as would preserve from poison, blunt the wea{>ous of an enemy, procure victory, allay a tempest, cure bodily diseases, or call the dead from their tombs, in uttering a form of mystegouB words or inscribing Runic characters. The magicians of romance are chiefiy employed in forming and conducting a train of deceptions : there is an air af Barbaric horror in the incantations of the Scaldic fablers. The msgicians of romance ot ten present visions of pleasure and delight, and, although not without these alarming terrors, sometimes lead us through flowery forestK, aud raise up palaces glittering with gold and precious stones. The Kouie magic is more like that of Canidiii ia Horace,* the romantic resembles that of Armida in Tasso. The operations of the one are freyuentl^ but mere tricks in comparison qf that suUimo solemnity of necrojpjtntic machinery which the ot/iers so aufuUy display.