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The Oera Linda Book, by Wiliam R. Sandbach, [1876], at

From Minno's Writings.

When Nyhalennia *, whose real name was Min-erva, was well established, and the Krekalanders  loved her as well as our own people did, there came some princes and priests to her citadel and asked Min-erva where her possessions lay. Hellenia answered, I carry my possessions in my own bosom. What I have inherited is the love of wisdom, justice, and freedom. If I lose these I shall become as the least of your slaves; now I give advice for nothing, but then I should sell it. The gentlemen went away laughing and saying, Your humble servants, wise Hellenia. But they missed their object, for the people took up this name as a name of honour. When they saw that

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their shot had missed they began to calumniate her, and to say that she had bewitched the people; but our people and the good Krekalanders understood at once that it was calumny. She was once asked, If you are not a witch, what is the use of the eggs that you always carry with you? Min-erva answered, These eggs are the symbols of Frya's counsels, in which our future and that of the whole human race lies concealed. Time will hatch them, and we must watch that no harm happens to them. The priests said, Well answered; but what is the use of the dog on your right hand? Hellenia replied, Does not the shepherd have a sheep-dog to keep his flock together? What the dog is to the shepherd I am in Frya's service. I must watch over Frya's flocks. We understand that very well, said the priests; but tell us what means the owl that always sits upon your head, is that light-shunning animal a sign of your clear vision? No, answered Hellenia; he reminds me that there are people on earth who, like him, have their homes in churches and holes, who go about in the twilight, not, like him, to deliver us from mice and other plagues, but to invent tricks to steal away the knowledge of other people, in order to take advantage of them, to make slaves of them, and to suck their blood like leeches. Another time they came with a whole troop of people, when the plague was in the country, and said; We are all making offerings to the gods that they may take away the plague. Will you not help to turn away their anger, or have you yourself brought the plague into the land with all your arts? No, said Min-erva; I know no gods that do evil, therefore I cannot ask them to do better. I only know one good spirit, that is Wr-alda's; and as he is good be never does evil. Where, then, does evil come from? asked

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the priests. All the evil comes from you, and from the stupidity of the people who let themselves be deceived by you. If, then, your god is so exceedingly good, why does he not turn away the bad? asked the priests. Hellenia answered: Frya has placed us here, and the carrier, that is, Time, must do the rest. For all calamities there is counsel and remedy to be found, but Wr-alda wills that we should search it out ourselves, in order that we may become strong and wise. If we will not do that, he leaves us to our own devices, in order that we may experience the results of wise or foolish conduct. Then a prince said, I should think it best to submit. Very possibly, answered Hellenia; for then men would be like sheep, and you and the priests would take care of them, shearing them and leading them to the shambles. This is what our god does not desire, he desires that we should help one another, but that all should be free and wise. That is also our desire, and therefore our people choose their princes, counts, councillors, chiefs, and masters among the wisest of the good men, in order that every man shall do his best to be wise and good. Thus doing, we learn ourselves and teach the people that being wise and acting wisely can alone lead to holiness. That seems very good judgment, said the priests; but if you mean that the plague is caused by our stupidity, then Nyhellenia will perhaps be so good as to bestow upon us a little of that new light of which she is so proud. Yes, said Hellenia, but ravens and other birds of prey feed only on dead carrion, whereas the plague feeds not only on carrion but on bad laws and customs and wicked passions. If yon wish the plague to depart from you and not return, you must put away your bad passions and become pure within and without. We admit that the advice is good, said the priests, but how shall we induce all the people under our rule

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to agree to it? Then Hellenia stood up and said: The sparrows follow the sower, and the people their good princes, therefore it becomes you to begin by rendering yourselves pure, so that you may look within and without, and not be ashamed of your own conduct. Now, instead of purifying the people, you have invented foul festivals, in which they have so long revelled that they wallow like swine in the mire to atone for your evil passions. The people began to mock and to jeer, so that she did not dare to pursue the subject; and one would have thought that they would have called all the people together to drive us out of the land; but no, in place of abusing her they went all about from the heathenish Krekaland to the Alps, proclaiming that it had pleased the Almighty God to send his clever daughter Min-erva, surnamed Nyhellenia, over the sea in a cloud to give people good counsel, and that all who listened to her should become rich and happy, and in the end governors of all the kingdoms of the earth. They erected statues to her on all their altars, they announced and sold to the simple people advice that she had never given, and related miracles that she had never performed. They cunningly made themselves masters of our laws and customs, and by craft and subtlety were able to explain and spread them around. They appointed priestesses under their own care, who were apparently under the protection of Festa *, our first Eeremoeder, to watch over the holy lamp; but that lamp they lit themselves, and instead of imbuing the priestesses with wisdom, and then sending them to watch the sick and educate the young, they made them stupid and ignorant, and never allowed them to come out. They were employed

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as advisers, but the advice which seemed to come from them was but the repetition of the behests of the priests. When Nyhellenia died, we wished to choose another mother, and some of us wished to go to Texland to look for her; but the priests, who were all-powerful among their own people, would not permit it, and accused us before the people of being unholy.


49:* Nyhellenia or Nehalennia.

49:† Krekaland, the Krekenland means Magna Grecia as well as Greece.

55:* Fâsta is Vesta, or the Vestal Virgins.

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