Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/185

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grudge sending human victims after him. Their view rather is: ‘Why should we send slaves to the man in the other world, when we ourselves shall want them to provide for our comfort hereafter?’

The custom among the Scandinavians and others of the Aryan race of drinking out of skulls of their enemies is but another instance of disregard of the human frame, a purposeful exhibition of contempt for the skull.

The earliest instance is in the Eddaic lay of Viglund or Veluni, the same as the English Wayland the Smith. That the story was familiar to our Anglo-Saxon forefathers we know, because Alfred the Great refers to it. It was also well known in Germany.

Viglund was a smith who lived by the side of a lake in the realms of Niduth, King of Sweden. Hearing of his great skill, Niduth and his men visit the hut whilst the smith is absent, and find a number of gold rings strung together. They take one. On Viglund’s return he finds that one is missing; nevertheless he goes to sleep, but on waking he is surrounded and taken prisoner. The queen, mistrusting the man, has him hamstrung. The king sets him on an island in a lake, and bids him make gold and silver ornaments for him and fashion steel weapons. Niduth