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charms to produce the surprising effects noticed by Warton might more or less be procured at every wizard's cell. The magic of romance with the sublime solemnity of its necromantic machinery” was obviously a matter of only traditional belief. A few vain pretenders to superior intelligence in the art, could alone have professed to accomplish its marvelsø, or some equally silly boasters to have witnessed them; and having sprung from the busy workings of the fancy in decorating the tamer elements of the popular faith, could have no other existence than in its own fictitious memorials. On this account it is of necessity wanting in all those poems which, like the early Icelandic songs, make the slightest pretensions to historical worth; and can only abound in such productions as either treat of subjects professedly mythological, or are the manifest creation of the writer's invention. An injudicious comparison of these very opposite kinds of composition, has clearly led to the erroneous opinion offered by Warton; and it will be sufficient to remark, that the legitimate spell of “grammarye
” is to be found in the Odyssey, the Edda, and the popular tale, as well as in those romances which suggested the use of it to Tasso. If more frequently resorted to in later compositions than in the earlier fictions, we must rather attribute this circumstance to the spirit of the times in which they were written, than to any want of faith in the auditors of a ruder age: the extravagant events of Beowulf's life might make
81 Among these may be reckoned the dated August 20, 1507. The venerable mysterious personage, who in the six- Abbot, after noticing several of his idle teenth century availed himself of a boasts, proceeds: In ultima quoque widely circulated tradition to excite the hujus anni quadragesima venit Stauropublic attention, and to invest himself nesum (Creutznach), et simili stultitia with the title Faustus junior : Sic enim gloriosus de se pollicebatur ingentia, titulum sibi convenientem formavit dicens se in Alchemia omnium qui magister Georgius Sabellicus Faustus fuerint unquam esse perfectisimum, et junior, fons necromanticorum, astrolo- scire atque posse quicquid homines optagus, magus secundus, chiromanticus, verint. Sec Görres Volks-bücher, p. 242. agromanticus, pyromanticus, et in hydra 82 See the Odyss. xiii. 190. Thor's arte secundus.
Mr. Görres has given adventures at Utgarda, Dæmesaga, 41. this passage froin a letter of Trithemius, and Chaucer's Frankelein's Tale.
many a bold romancer blush for the poverty of his imagination.
In referring to those various objects of inanimate nature whose marvellous attributes are usually classed among the chief attractions of romance, it will be equally unnecessary to enter largely into the question of their origin, as the recent labours of abler antiquaries have clearly proved that we are not indebted to the middle age for their first appearance in popular poetry. For every purpose of the present inquiry, it will be sufficient to enumerate a few of the most important points of coincidence between the fictions of the ancient and modern world; and, in noticing some of the disguises under which a common idea has been made to pass from one narrative to another, to evince the fondness of popular taste for a constant recurrence of its favourite types. MM. Grimm have already shown that the fatal garment of Dejaniran--and which by Euripides has been connected with a later fable,-still lives in the German tale of Faithful John; and that no image is more common, or assumes a greater variety of forms, in the current fictions of their native country, than the insidious present sent by Vulcan to his mother Juno 4.
Another favourite symbol, and entering deeply into the decorations of romance, is the talisman of virtue, by which the frailties of either sex were exposed to public detection; and which Mr. Dunlop, with his accustomed accuracy, has referred to the trial at the Stygian fountain, and traced through the Greek romances of the Empire to the romances of chivalry and the pages of Ariosto. In the prose romance of Tristram, whence the poet of Ferrara most probably borrowed it, the ordeal consists in quaffing the beverage of a drinking-horn,
* See the preface and notes to the Review, No. xxxvii. Kinder- und Haus-Märchen of MM. 64 Kinder- und Haus-Märchen, vol.üi. Griinm; and a valuable essay on the 19 and 149. same subject contained in the Quarterly
which no sooner approaches the culprit's lips, than the contents are wasted over his person. In Perceforest and in Amadis, a garland and rose, which “bloom on the head of her who is faithful, and fade upon the brow of the inconstant,” are the proofs of the appellant's purity: and in the ballad published by Dr. Percy, of the Boy and the Mantle, where the same test is introduced, the minstrel poet has adhered to the traditions of Wales, which attribute a similar power to the mantle, the knife, and the goblet of Tegau Euroron, the chaste and lovely bride of Caradoc with the strong arms. From hence it
From hence it may have been transferred to the girdle of Florimel, in the Fairy Queen; while Albertus Magnus, in affirming that “a magnet placed beneath the pillow of an incontinent woman will infallibly eject her from her bed,” has preserved to us the vulgar, and perhaps the earliest, belief on the subject. The glass of Agrippa, which, till our own times, played a distinguished part in the history of the gallant Surry, has been recently made familiar to the reader's acquaintance by the German story of Snowdrops? But this, in all probability, has only descended to us from a mirror preserved near the temple of Ceres at Patras; or one less artificially constructed, though more miraculously gifted, a well near the oracle of Apollo Thurxis, in Lycia”. The zone of Hippolyte®, which gave a supernatural vigour to
85 Jones's Bardic Museum, p. 60; from supply, would greatly increase our obwhence all the subsequent notices of ligation to them. British marvel have been taken.
* See Pausanias, vii. 21. The former * This power is given to the magnet, only exhibited the person and condition in the Orphic poem on Stones, v. 314, of health of the party inquired after ;&c.
the latter displayed whatever was de87 See the German Tales from the sired. Kinder- und Haus-Märchen of MM. Φ Είχε δε Ιππολύτη τον Αριος ζωστήρα, Grimm, p. 133. It is to be hoped that our bonov toŨ agarsóur árarãr. Apollod. the ingenious translators of this collec- Bibl. ii. 5. 9. In Parsee lore the girdle tion will continue their labours. The
was a symbol of power over Ahriman. nature of their plan seems to have ex In the Little Rose-garden, the helt of cluded many of the tales most interest- Thor has descended to king Laurin. ing to an antiquary; but a supplemen- Weber, p. 159. The ring given by the tary volume, containing some of these, lady Similt to her brother Dietlieb, accompanied with that illustration which also ensured victory to him who wore it. the translators appear so well able to Ib. p. 164.
the "thews and limbs” of the wearer, is not to be distinguished from the girdle of the Norwegian Thor; and there can be little doubt, that the brisingamen of Freyia, which graced the person of the same pugnacious deity on his visit to Thrymheim", is the cestus of Venus under another name and form. Without possessing either the ægis-hialmr of the Edda, or the ægis of Minerva, it might be dangerous to assert that these petrifying objects are verbally identical ; since nothing short of their terrific power would be a sufficient protection against the host of Hellenic philologers, whom such a declaration would infallibly call to arms". In obedience, therefore, to the dictates of “ the better part of valour,” it will be most prudent to remark, that they strikingly agree in their appalling attributes, and that the thunderer of Norway was as efficiently armed for combat as his brother of Olympus. This ægis-hialmr is affirmed to have been the crafty workmanship of the dwarfs, the reputed authors of every “cunning instrument” in Northern fiction; and who manufactured for An the Bow-swinger and Orvar Odd those highly-tempered arrows which, like the fabled dart of Procris, never missed their object; and having inflicted a mortal wound, returned to the bowstring which had emitted them”. Another specimen of
$0 See Sæmund's Edda, Thryms. pidly, to be violently agitated; and hence Quida.
aigis, the tempestuous wind, and žig, the Aigis may have meant a breastplate appellation given to the stormy Capella, or helmet made of goat-skin, just as or the star whose rising was productive xuvén meant a skull-cap or helmet made of hurricanes. The ægis-bearing Jupiter of dog-skin; but the fable on which the of Virgil is the cloud-compeller-nimGreek grammarians have accounted for bosque cieret, Æn. viii. 354. For the the application of the term to the armour same reason, and not from his goatish of Jupiter and his daughter, is an idle form, we may be assured the god of fabrication. The qualities of this wea Arcadia, the author of the Panic terror, pon undoubtedly had some connexion was called Ægipan. In Icelandic with its name:
“ægir” means the stormy sea ; and in
eggian' αμφί δαρ' ώμοισιν βάλετ' αιγίδα βυσσανό. Anglo-Saxon we have to
excite, “eg-stream a torrent, “ege" durina, y IIEPI MEN NANTH $OBOX fear, and “egesian " to scare.
sa Compare Muller's Saga-Bibliothek, ΕΣΤΕΦΑΝΩΤΟ.
II. v. 738.
p. 532-41, with Hyginus, ed. Staveren, The verb airsw, from whence this term p. 189. takes its derivation, meant to move ra
their ingenuity is the ship of Freyr, called Skidbladnir, which though sufficiently spacious to contain the whole tribe of the Asæ, with their arms and equipments, was yet so artfully contrived, that it might be folded like a handkerchief and carried about in the pocket®. The sails of this extraordinary vessel were no sooner hoisted than a favourable wind sprang up; an attribute which has descended to another ornament of Icelandic fable, the bark Ellide: but this, like the first, and oftenest sung, of ancient ships, was also gifted with the power of understanding human speech”. Homer, however, has told us, that the fleets of Alcinous combined the advantage of the favouring gale with an intelligence which enabled them to divine the wishes of those they bore, and that they also had the power of reaching their destined port without the assistance of a helmsman or a guide.
So shalt thou instant reach the realm assign'd,
In other fictions common to the ancient and modern world, this idea has been improved on, and applied to a vast variety of objects for conveying the person from place to place. Herodotus, with his characteristic love of the marvellous, (tempered as this passion was by an unrivalled perception of the truth,) found it impossible to pass unnoticed the fable of Abaris and his darts. He has, however, only mentioned the common tradition of his day, that it transported the Hyperborean philosopher wherever he wished, and left to Jamblichus the further particulars of its history. From the Pythago
93 Edda of Snorro, Dæmesaga 37.
p. 459 and 592.
5 Melpom. c. 96.