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the Sarmatians, and they accordingly abandoned their ancient habitations, leaving behind them aothing more than some old persons, and some children. The whole horde reached the Palus Meotis, near the mouth of the river Tanaïs, by the road which Mithradates had pointed out to Mimer, and which the latter had traversed on his return. . Arrived at this spot, Odin dispatched Mimer to bear the news to Mithradates; and, while he waited for the re-appearance of this wise and faithful messenger, the Scythian chief amused his fol. lowers with the hope of their effecting the conquest of Rome. But, alas! the sight of a solitary vessel coming back to him, seemed to compel him to relinquish that cherished hope. Mimer was on board of that vessel, and he brought the too certain intelligence of the entire defeat of the Pontic monarch. Again vanquished by Pompey, and betrayed by his son Pharnaces, the Scythian envoy had found Mithradates without resources, without bope, and under the necessity of putting an end to his existence. He had been so early accustomed to poisons, and to the antidotes against their baneful effects, that he now tried in vain to avail himself of the most deadly drugs: they could not procure for him that death which he sought. Mimer came, and the monareh implored his assistance to shorteu a life which was become odious to him, since he had lost all hopes of triumphing over the Romans. Such a resolution was, of course, regarded with as little, dread as admiration by a barbarian philosopher. Mimer approved of it, and willingly promised his aid. " Take my sword,” said Mithradates to him, “and when thou hast planged it into my bosom; embark in the same vessel which brought thee hither, return to the shores of the Tanaïs, and put this falehion into the band of Odin. If he should not use it himself, to punish the ambition of the Románs, let him transmit it to his posterity. The prophetic spirit which inspires dying heroes, tells me that soon, conqueror of all the regions of the north, Odin will establish there a vast empire; and that the warriors who will issue from it, under the conduct of the sons of Odin, are destined to reduce all Europe beneath their sway. I see too, in the distance, even the realms of
the east subjugated! The glory of Odin will have no limits! Strike!"
Mimer obeyed, and then bore to Odin the bloody sword and the predictions of Mithradates. The first feeling of the Scythian hero was vexation at the sinister pews which was brought him; the second waș, to turn to advantage the last words whicb had been a tered by the enemy of the Romans. He harangued his warriors, and impressed them strongly with the magnificent omens which were to be drawn from the narrative of their compatriot. The result was a ge. neral resolution to march to the north, and to peuetrate into those icy regions, which an order, looked upon by them as divine, prescribed to them to subdue in the first place, that they might subsequently extend their reign over more delightful lands."
Odin therefore marched from the banks of the Tanaïs to those of the Borysthenes, and, ascending this latter river to its source, reached the country of the Troglodytes, and soon after entered that of the Estes and Gothones, who dwelt on the coast of the Suevic, ROW the Baltic sea. It was not without efforts, which would have seemed impossible to any other than Odin, and the strong, brave, avd ferocious nation which he commanded, that they accomplished this long and painful journey across realms uncultivated, and fre.. quently uninhabited; and where, from time to time, they met only with some bands of savages, still less disciplined than the Scythians of Oilin. In subjugating these hordes, the Scythian chief artfully contrived that their destruction should be rendered useful to his own nation, and should contribute to increase its strength. After having attacked these savages, and made among thein, in the combat, that slayghter which is authorized by the unjust laws of war, he assembled the prisoners of both sexes, and of all ages; and, making from these wretched slaves a cruel choice of the oldest and weakest men and women, he gave to his people a splendid banquet, which was preceded by the horrible sacrifice of the unfortunate beings who had been selected as yictims. He caused their blood to be shed, and pretended to draw conjectures as to the future, from the manner in which they expired under
nto their society the newly wed berished in battle, or
the steel of the beautiful and cruel Freya, who, acting as high priestess, plunged the sacred knife into their bosoms with her own hand. She then delivered oracles in the name of a severe and terrible deity, whom she described as a lover of carnage, and the giver of victory. This deity, who was not represented by any image, and of whom the idea could afford pleasure only to a nation as ignorant as ferocious, was declared, at the close of these barbarous sacrifices, to have become propitious. Then Odin, speaking in its name, announced that it extended mercy to the remains of the vanquished tribe, and consented that the young men, the young women, and the children, should be adopted by the victorious nation. He obliged them to take an oath to have no other chief than himself, and to consider as their brothers only the Scythians who had come with him from the shores of the Caspian, and those people whom the Scythians had already adopted. The ancient Scythian families now received
quished, and thus supplied the loss of those who had by the fatigues of the journey. The handsomest of the females were then given as wives, to those who had the most distinguished themselves in the recent battles. They were the recompence of valour. In the feast which followed this ceremony, Odin ordered the guests to be plentifully furnished with hydromel, that enchanting and invigorating liquor, of which lié may be said to have been the inventor. While traversing the Sarmatian forests he found, in the hollows of the oaks, the wild honey which the bees had gathered. His warriors at first preserved it, to use as a refreshment on their journey, and to render more palatable the acorns, chesnuts, roots, herbs and fruits, which were their common food! But, perceiving that in these frozen climates this sort of nourishment did not give strength enough to endure violent fatigue, nor inspire that lively and noisy gaiety which raises the sinking spirits, Odin hit upon the plan of fermenting the honey, and producing from it a strong and delicious drink, which combined in itself the properties of beer and of wine. The Scythians not only became accustomed to this sort of liquor, but even acquired an
extreme fondness of it. The intoxication which it oCcasioned was the cause that their feasts often ended in quarrels, and were stained with blood. Then Odin hastened to the scene, awed both sides by his august and terrible appearance, restored order, and made his warriors feel that it was against enemies alone that they ought to display their courage; on which courage, however, he bestowed the meed of praise.
Mimer, who had acquired at Byzantium the radiments of a more rational and humane philosophy, could not refrain from blaming the barbarous policy of Odin. When they were walking together, at a distance from the crowd, Mimer exclaimed, “Of what unworthy means do you dare avail yourself! For a society of men, you invent inhuman gods! Not satisfied with inciting them to murder in the field of battle, you accustom them to see murder committed in cold blood! And by whose hands? By those of the queen, your wife! You teach them to look upon the most sensual pleasures as the fittest recompence which can be given to valour and to virtue! You even go so far as to lead astray their reason by the most brutal intoxication! It seems as if you called all the vices, nay, all the crimes to your aid, to found a society, from which you expect the most glorious exploits.”
“ Listen to me, Mimer,” replied Odin. “I neither ought to, nor will I, explain to any body but yourself the motives of my conduct. What would have become of the handful of barbarians whom I have led from the further parts of Scythia, had I acted otherwise than I have done? They would all have languished and died in the forests through which we have passed, or would have fallen under the formidable maces of the people whom we have subdued. I was compelled to make them respect an unknown being. I depicted that being creative and beneficent to them, terrible and inexorable to their enemies, that I might unite them closely with their brethren in arms, and encourage them to conquer those with whom they were obliged to contend. I sacrificed the aged people of the tribes which I have overcome, and I thus lost only the useless part of the pations which I wished to incorporate with my own countrymen. By sacrificing them, I also deprived the rising generation of my enemies of the fruit of the experience and wisdom of their elders; and I made them lose the very trace of glory, and of the exploits of their ancestors.
My beloved Freya is at the head of the new religion which I compel my followers to adopt. The dignity with wbich she is invested, of priestess and prophetess, induces my subjects to respect her sex, and establishes in their minds a prejudice by which their ferocity will one day be softened. It is necessary that they should he accustomed to honour the sex, that they may the hetter feel the bliss of being loved by it. My descendants, my dear Mimer, will some time or other prove what great effects may arise from this feeling. Lastly, if I now and then plunge my warriors in intoxication, their bodies are only rendered the more robust by it. In this rigid climate it is a means of giving fresh animation to a languishing existence. And, besides, is it possible to govern men without leading them from one intoxication to another?"
The wise Mimer was unconvinced by these reasons. The prince and he retained each bis own opinion.Meanwhile Odin and his numerous army, (for during its progress it had exceedingly increased) arrived on the shore of a tolerably tranquil sea, and bear a gulph of no great width, on the other side of which they perceived a fertile country. Odin soon learned that it was inhabited by a people called Scanians; that, a little further, dispersed in different islands, dwelt the Danes; and that the latter were separated only by an easily passable arm of the sea from the Cimbrians, the Jutes, the Angles, and the Saxons.
The design of conquering all these nations was immediately formed by Odin; but as its execution would be attended by new difficulties, it was necessary for him to use new means to induce the Scythians to undertake it. Already, in the vast forests that bordered on the Baltic sea, the chief had caused to be cut down an immense number of oaks, pines, and birch trees, which were hollowed out into canoes, or made into rafts, for the purpose of conveying his whole army into Scania, when a general murmur was raised around him.
TO BE RESUMED,