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custom with him to a banquet than that of drinking too much ; the more the drunkard swallows, the less is his wisdom, till he loses his reason. The bird of oblivion sings before those who inebriate themselves, and steals away their souls.
While we live, let us live well ; for be a man ever so rich when he lights his fire, death may perhaps enter his door before it be burned out. Riches pass away like the twinkle of an eye; of all friends they are the most inconstant. Flocks perish, relatives die, friends are not immortal ; thou wilt die thyself, but one thing done is out of the reach of fate; and that is the judgment which is passed upon the dead.
Trust not to the words of the girl ; neither to those a woman utters; for their hearts are made like unto a wheel that turns round and round; levity was put into their bosoms.*
The heart alone knows what passes within the heart; and that which betrays the soul is the soul itself. There is no malady or sickness more severe than not to be content with one's lot. Do not accustom thyself to mocking ; neither laugh at thy guest nor a stranger ; they that remain at home often know not who the stranger is that cometh to their gate.
Where is there to be found a virtuous man without some failing ? or one so wicked as to have no good quality ? Laugh not at the gray-headed declaimer, nor at thy aged grandsire, for there often come forth from the wrinkles of the skin, words full of wisdom.
* The ungallant old Mystagogue! be could have had no heart to speak thus of the ladies! That part of his doctrine we certainly do not endorse.
The High.—Now have sublime strains been sung in halls sublime! Useful are they to the sons of men. Hail to him who hath sung them! Hail to him who hath understood them! May they profit him who hath retained them! Hail to those who hath lent an ear to them!
Now, O wanderer! thou hast heard. Make the best use of what has been imparted to thee. Go!
In the twinkling of an eye, a cloud blacker than midnight enveloped the magnificent palace, with its roof of golden shields. The earth trembled, horrid phantoms glared through the gloom ; the most terrible noises moaned through the air, the red-winged thunder rolled through the shuddering skies, and the storm raved along the pine forest.
When Gylfi opened his eyes, which terror had closed, the entire scene had vanished. City and palace, thrones and warriors, had all disappeared. He stood in an open plain where nothing could be seen but the huge dark rocks, whose brows had been blackened by the tempests of countless years, and the frowning, dismal forest, which was yet writhing in the embrace of the storm.
Although the secret principle and the initiation
were established in Scandinavia by Odin himself, it was not until a subsequent age that particular societies, or brotherhoods, for mutual support, came into being.
We now desire to call the attention of our readers to those particular secret societies, or fraternities, which prevailed among the ancient Scandinavians, for the purpose of explaining their structure, and the influence they exerted on the life of the people.
In the Icelandic Sagas, we find frequent mention made of these confreriés. Men banded together for mutual protection; and the sentiment of honor as well as interest made them faithful to each other in an association so necessary to their welfare in that rude age. There was scarcely a man of any worth who was not a member of one of these societies
; the chief attraction and tie of which were the secret of initiation, and the solemn obligation to support and defend their brethren or companions at the hazard of their own lives. They were governed by constitutions and by-laws.* Each member was required to pay regularly a certain sum of money, to defray the common expenses of the brotherhood, and hence the societies were called Guilds—a word derived from the old Norse verb gjalda—to pay, to contribute to.t. Beneficent as these societies were,
* Vide Mallet : L'Introduction a l'histoire de Dannemarc.
+ These societies were undoubtedly the parent of the modern Guilds or Clubs.
they were not free, of course, from the vices of the times. Conviviality seems at times to have been carried to excess. Some of their statutes, found in a manuscript of the thirteenth century, remind us strongly of the by-laws of the ancient Lodges of the M. U. I. 0. 0. F., and some Masonic Lodges. We have before us a copy of the by-laws of an English Lodge, printed thirty years ago, in which we find the following :
“If any member so far forgets his dignity as a gentleman, as to become intoxicated in the Lodge, he shall pay a fine of one shilling and sixpence."
Not unlike this is the rule that follows, taken from the old Latin manuscript of the Scandinavian Order :
“Si quis pro ebrietate ceciderit in ipsa domo convivii, vel antiquam proporiam curiam intraverit Oram-[a small piece of money]-persolvat.”—“
'Qucumque ebrietatis causa in domo convivii vomitum fecerit, Dimidiam Marcum persolvat,'* &c.
After the introduction of Christianity into the north, these vices were very much restrained, if not wholly removed : the brethren pledging themselves to check intemperance, and labor for the advancement of virtue.
In the latter part of the twelfth century, we find that these associations had become powerful and influential corporate bodies, and that the brethren were bound by solemn oaths to afford cach other mutual aid and protection, and to succor the distressed, wherever found. They performed a most important work in achieving the municipal franchises of the Middle Ages. And although conviviality frequently outstepped the bounds of reason and good order, the statutes of these protective brotherhoods show that the members devoted their attention to the amelioration of the laws for the security of person and property, and the general advancement of the public good.
* Bartholin : Caus. contempt. mort, &c., p. 183.
The chief religious and moral teachings of their ritual were of the Divine powers, and their relations with men ; of immortality, and the means of securing future happiness. Valor was considered the chief of all virtues, and a life of toil and combat the necessary condition of eternal felicity.
But the most remarkable Fraternity of ancient Scandinavia was the celebrated military Order, founded by a Danish chief named Palnatoki, and known by the name of the Society of Jomsburg. The society was founded A. D. 942, and built a stronghold, called Jomsburg, on the south shore of the Baltic, near the mouth of the river Oder. It possessed the entire island of Wollin. The city of Jomsburg, or Julin, as it sometimes was called, grew so rapidly that in the eleventh century, according to Adam of Bremen, it was the most flourishing commercial city in Europe.