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not only a new source had been opened to the sublime, in describing the rites of sacrifice, the horrors of incantation, the solemn evocations of infernal beings, and the like dreadful superstitions, but probably many stronger and more characteristical evidences would have appeared, of his knowledge of the imagery of the Scandinavian poets.
Nor must we forget, that the Scandinavians had conquered many countries bordering upon France in the fourth centurya. Hence the Franks must have been in some measure used to their language, well acquainted with their manners, and conversant in their poetry. Charlemagne is said to have delighted in repeating the most antient and barbarous odes, which celebrated the battles of antient kings. But we are not informed whether these were Scandinavian, Celtic, or Teutonic poems.
That is, pro
See also the elegant critical Disserta- queror of Varus, “is yet sung among TION of the very judicious Dr. Blair, the barbarous nations. vol, ii. p. 379.
bably among the original Germans. a Hickes. Thes, i. part
Annal. ii. And Mor. Germ. ii. 3. • Eginhart. cap. viii. n. 34. Bartholin. Joannes Aventinus, a Bavarian, who i. c. 10. p. 154. Diodorus Siculus says, wrote about the year 1520, has a curious that the Gauls, who were Celts, deliver- passage, “A great number of verses in ed the spoils won in battle, yet reeking praise of the virtues of Attila, are still with blood, to their attendants: these extant among us, patrio sermone more were carried in triumph, while an epini- majorum perscripta.” Annal. Boior. cial song was chanted, Talavíťortis et L. i. p. 130. edit. 1627. He immeödortis ipvor irovíxlv. Lib. 5. p. 352. diately adds, “Nam et adhuc vulgo See also p.308. “The Celts, says Ælian, CANITUR, et est popularibus nostris, etI hear, are the most enterprising of si LITERARUM RUDIBUS, notissimus." men: they make those warriors who die Again, speaking of Alexander the Great, bravely in fight the subject of songs, râv he says, “ Boios eidem bellum indixissé Aquíto.” Var. Hist. Lib. xxii. c. 23. ANTIQUIS CANITUR CARMINIBUS." ibid. Posidonius gives us a specimen of the Lib. i. p. 25. Concerning king Brenmanner of a Celtic bard. He reports, nus, says the same historian, “ Carmina that Luernius, a Celtic chief, was ac vernaculo sermone facta legi in bibliocustomed, out of a desire of popularity, thecis.” ibid. Lib. i. p. 16. and p. 26. to gather crouds of his people together, And again, of Ingeram, Adalogerion, and to throw them gold and silver from and others of their ancient heroes, “ In-his chariot. Once he was attended at a gerami et Adalogerionis nomina fresumptuous banquet by one of their bards, quentissime in fastis referuntur; ipsos, who received in reward for his song a more majorum, antiquis proavi celebrapurse of gold. On this the bard re runt carminibus, quæ in bibliothecis exnewed his song, adding, to express his tant. Subsequuntur, quos patrio sermone patron's excessive generosity, this hyper- adhuc canimus, Laertes atque Ulysses.' bolical panegyric, “ The earth over ibid. Lib. i. p. 15. The same historian which his chariot-wheels pass, instantly also relates, that his countrymen had a brings forth gold and precious gifts to poetical history called the Book of HEenrich mankind.” Athen. vi. 184. ROXs, containing the atchievements of
Tacitus says, that Arminius, the con the German warriors. ibid. Lib. i. p. 18.
About the beginning of the tenth century, France was invaded by the Normans, or NORTHERN-MEN, an army of adSee also ibid. Lib. vii. p. 432. Lib. i. See Bona, Rer. Liturg. ii. c. 4. Vos
And many other passages to this sius, Theolog. Gentil. i. c. 2. 3. Matth. purpose. [The reader who is desirous of Brouerius de Niedek, De Populor. vet. further information on this copious sub- et rerent. Adorationibus, p. 31. And, ject, may consult Mr. von der Hagen's among the antient Norvegians, Erlingus republication of the “Helden-buch," or Scacchius, before he attacked earl Sihis “ Grundriss zur Geschichte der gund, commanded his army to pronounce Deutschen Poesie."-EDIT.] Suffridus this formulary alond, and to strike their Petrus cites some old Frisian rhymes, shields. See Dolmerus ad HIRD-SKRAAN, De Orig. Frisior. l. iii. c. 2. Compare sive Jus Aulicum antiq. Norvegic. p. 51. Robertson's Hist. Charles V. vol. i. p. 413. edit. Hafn. 1673. Engelhusius, p. 235. edit. 1772. From Trithemius a in describing a battle with the Huns in German abbot and historian, who wrote the year 934, relates, that the christians about 1490, we learn, that among the at the onset cried Kyrie eleison, but on antient Franks and Germans, it was an the other side, diabolica vox hiu, biu, hiu, exercise in the education of youth, for auditur. Chronic. p. 1073, in tom. ii. them to learn to repeat and to sing Scriptor. Bruns. Leibnit. Compare verses of the atchievements of their he Bed. Hist. Eccles. Anglican. lib. ii. roes. Compend. Anna). L. i. p. 11. c. 20. And Schilterus, ubi supr. p. 17. cdit. Francof. 1601. Probably these And Sarbiev. Od. 1. 24. The Greek were the poems which Charlemagne is church appears to have had a set of misaid to have committed to memory. litary hymns, probably for the use of the
The most antient Theotisc or Teutonic soldiers, either in battle or in the camp. ode I know, is an Epinicion published In a Catalogue of the manuscripts of the by Schilter, in the second volume of his library of Berne, there is “ Sylloge TacTHESAURUS ANTIQUITATUM TEUTONI- ticorum Leonis Imperatoris cui operi CARU!, written in the year 883. He en finem imponunt Hymni MILITARES quititles it ΕΠΙΝΙΚΙΟΝ rhytlimo Teutonico bus iste titulus, Ακολεθία ψαλλομένα επί Ludovico regi acclamatum cum North- κατευωδώσει και συμμαχία στράτε,” &c. mannos anno DccccxxxIII vicisset. It is in Catal. Cod. &c. p. 600. See Meursius's rhyme, and in the four-lined stanza. It edit. of Leo's Tactics, c. xii. p. 155. was transcribed by Mabillon from a Lugd. Bat. 1612. 4to. But to return manuscript in the monastery of Saint to the main subject of this tedious note. Amand in Holland. I will give a spc. Wagenseil, in a letter to Cuperus, mencimen from Schilter's Latin interpreta- tions a treatise written by one Ernest tion, but not on account of the merit of Casimir Wassenback, I suppose a Gerthe poetry. “ The king seized his shield man, with this title, “ De Bardis ac Barand lance, galloping hastily. He truly ditu, sive antiquis Carminibus ac Cantiwished to revenge himself on his adver- lenis veterum Germanorum Dissertatio, saries. Nor was there a long delay: he cui junctus est de S. Annone Coloniensi found the Normans. He said, thanks archiepiscopo vetustissimus omnium bc to God, at seeing what he desired. Germanorum rhythmus et monumenThe king rushed on boldly, he first be
See Polen. Supplem, Thesaur. gun the customary song (rather, the holy Gronov. et Græv. tom. iv. p. 24. I do song, lioth frono] Kyrie eleison, in which not think it was ever published. See they all joined. The song was sung, the Joach. Swabius, de Semnotheis veterum batile begun. The blood appeared in Germanorum philosophis. p. 8. And the cheeks of the impatient Franks. Sect. i. infr. p. 8. Pelloutier, sur la Every soldier took his revenge, but none Lang. Celt. part. i. tom. i. ch. xii. p. 20. like Louis. Impetuous, bold,” &c. As (Mr. Warton in this note refers to Vosto the military chorus Kyrie chison, it sius; but that author does not speak of the appears to have been used by the chris- Kyrie elcison as a war-cry, but merely tian emperors before an engagement. as a common invocation to the Deity
venturers from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. And although the conquerors, especially when their success does not solely depend on superiority of numbers, usually assume the manners of the conquered, yet these strangers must have still further familiarised in France many of their northern fictions.
From this general circulation in these and other countries, and from that popularity which it is natural to suppose they must have acquired, the scaldic inventions might have taken deep root in Europe. At least they seem to have prepared the way for the more easy admission of the Arabian fabling about the ninth century, by which they were, however, in great measure, superseded. The Arabian fictions were of a more splendid nature, and better adapted to the increasing civility of the times. Less horrible and gross, they had a novelty, a variety, and a magnificence, which carried with them the charm of fascination. Yet it is probable, that many of the scaldic imaginations might have been blended with the Arabian. In the mean time, there is great reason to believe, that the Gothic scalds enriched their vein of fabling from this new and fruitful source of fiction, opened by the Arabians in Spain, and afterwards propagated by the crusades. It was in many respects cogenial with their ownd: and the northern bards, who visited
among the christians. -Douce. ]—[But tween the poetry of the Scandinavians, Warton is perfectly correct as to ihe fact, the Teutonics, and the Celts. As most though he may have misquoted his au of the Celtic and Teutonic nations were thority: “ Kyrie eleison cantantes more early converted to christianity, it is hard fidelium militum properantiuin ad bel- to find any of their native songs. But lum, saliendo ingressi sunt Rhenum."- I must except the poems of Ossian, Mirac. S. Verenæ, tom. i. Sept. p. 170. which are noble and genuine remains of col. 2. Carpentier in voce.- Bede re- the Celtic poetry. cords a similar practice. “ Tunc subito Of the long continuance of the Celtic Germanos signifer universos admonet et superstitions in the popular belief, see prædicat, ut voci suæ uno clamore re. what is said in the most elegant and juspondeant securisque hostibus qui se in- dicious piece of criticism which the presperatos adesse confiderent ALLELUIA ter- sent age has produced, Mrs. Montague's tio repetitum Sacerdotes exclamabant. Essay on SHAKESPEARE. p. 145. edit. Sequitur una vox omnium et elatum cla- 1772. morem repercusso aere montium conclu d Besides the general wildness of the sa multiplicant" &c. Beda, Lib. i. Eccl. imagery in both, among other particular Hist. Anglic. cap. xx. But see Schil. circumstances of coincidence which ter's notes to this Epinicion, v.94; where might be mentioned here, the practice of other authorities are cited.-Eprr.) giving names to swords, which we find
We must be careful to distinguish be- in the scaldic poems, occurs also among
the countries where these new fancies were spreading, must have been naturally struck with such wonders, and were certainly fond of picking up fresh embellishments, and new strokes of the marvellous, for augmenting and improving their stock of poetry. The earliest scald now on record is not before the year 750. From which time the scalds flourished in the northern countries, till below the year 1157€. The celebrated ode of Regner Lodbrog was composed about the end of the ninth century.
And that this hypothesis is partly true, may be concluded from the subjects of some of the old Scandic romances, manuscripts of which now remain in the royal library at Stockholm. The titles of a few shall serve for a specimen; which I will make no apology for giving at large. “SAGAN AF HIALMTER oc Olwer. The History of Hialmter king of Sweden, son of a Syrian princess, and of Olver Jarl. Containing their expeditions into Hunland, and Arabia, with their numerous encounters with the Vikings and the giants. Also their leagues the Arabians. In the Hervarar Saga, add, that from one, or both, of these the sword of Suarfulama is called Tirr- sources, king Arthur's sword is named
Hickes. Thes. i. p. 193. The in Geoffrey of Monmouth, Lib. ix. cap. names of swords of many of the old 11. Ron is also the name of his lancé. northern chiefs are given us by Olaus ibid. cap. 4. And Turpin calls CharleWormius, Lit. Run. cap. xix. p. 110. magne's sword Gaudiosa. See Obs. 4to ed. Thus, Herbelot recites a long Spens. i. S. vi. p. 214. By the way, catalogue of the names of the swords of from these correspondencies, an arguthe most famous Arabian and Persic ment might be drawn, to prove the oriwarriors. V. Saif. p. 736. b. Mahomet ental origin of the Goths. And some had nine swords, all which are named. perhaps may think them proofs of the As were also his bows, quivers, cuirasses, doctrine just now suggested in the text, helmets, and lances. His swords were that the scalds borrowed from the Aracalled The Piercing, Ruin, Death, &c. bians. Mod. Univ. Hist. i. p. 253. This is [See a very curious description of common in the romance-writers and Gaileon's sword Duransard in the roAriosto. Mahomet's horses had also mance of “ La plaisante et delectable pompous or heroic appellations. Such Histoire de Gerileon d'Angleterre," as The Swift, The Thunderer, Shaling the Paris 1572. p. 47. A sword of a most carth with his hoof, The Red, &c. As like enormous size is related by Froissart to wise his mules, asses, and camels. Horses have been used by Archibald Douglas. were named in this manner among the See Lib. ii. c. 10.-Douce.) Runic heroes. See Ol. Worm. ut supr. (See also Taylor's Glory of Regality, p. 110. Odin's horse was called SLEIPNER. p. 71.-Epir.) See Edda Island. fab. xxi. I could give e Ol. Worm. Lit. Run. p. 241. other proofs. But we have already wan i Id. Ibid. p. 196. Vid. infr. p. 61. dered too far, in what Spenser calls, this
note o delightfull londe of Faerie. Yet I must
with Alsola, daughter of Ringer king of Arabia, afterwards married to Hervor king of Hunland, &c.—SAGAN AF Siod. The History of Siod, son of Ridgare king of England; who first was made king of England, afterwards of Babylon and Niniveh. Comprehending various occurrences in Saxland, Babylon, Greece, Africa, and especially in Eirices the region of the giants.--SAGAN AF ALEFLECK. The History of Alefleck, a king of England, and of his expeditions into India and Tartary.—SAGAN AF ERIK WIDFORLA. The History of Erie the traveller, who, with his companion Eric, a Danish prince, undertook a wonderful journey to Odin's Hall, or Oden's Aker, near the river Pison in Indiah.” Here we see the circle of the Islandic poetry enlarged; and the names of countries and cities belonging to another quarter of the globe, Arabia, India, Tartary, Syria, Greece, Babylon, and Niniveh, intermixed with those of Hunland, Sweden, and England, and adopted into the northern romantic narratives. Even Charlemagne and Arthur, whose histories, as we have already seen, had been so lavishly decorated by the Arabian fablers, did not escape the Scandinavian scaldsi, Accordingly we find these subjects among their Sagas. “SAGAN AF ERIK EINGLANDS Kappe. . The History of Eric, son of king Hiac, king Arthur's chief wrestler.-HISTORICAL RHYMES of king Arthur, containing his league with Charlemagne.-SAGAN AF IVENT. The History of Ivent, king Arthur's principal champion, containing his battles with the giants k.-SAGAN AF KARLAMAGNUSE
& In the Latin EiRICÆA REGIONE. f. mans are said to have some very antient Erse or Irish land.
narrative songs on our old British heni Wanley, apud Hickes, iji. p. 314. roes, Tristram, Gawain, and the rest of seg.
the knights Von der Tafel-ronde. See It is amazing how early and how uni- Goldast. Not. Vit. Carol, Magn. p. 207. vcrsally this fable was spread. G. de la edit. 1711. Flamma says, that in the year 1939, an They have also, “ BRETOMANNA antient tomb of a king of the Lombards Saga, The History of the Britons, from was broke up in Italy. On his sword was Eneas the Trojan to the emperor Conwritten, “ C'el est l'espée de Meser Tris- stantius." Wanl. ibid. There are many tant, un qui occist l’Amoroyt d'Yrlant." others, perhaps of later date, relating to -. e.
“This is the sword of sir Tris- English history, particularly the history tram, who killed Amoroyt of Ireland.” of William the Bastard and other chrisScrift. Ital. toin, xji. 1028. The Ger- tians, in their expedition into the oly