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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/83

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the goddess, the wife of Woden, the mother-goddess, as also goddess of tillage. She has been represented as holding a plough drawn by young children, as she gathers to her the spirits of those who die in infancy. To a certain extent she is the goddess of love, and so is equated with Venus, who has given her name to Vendredi.

Plough Monday is a festival of the past. It took place on the first Monday after the Epiphany, when a plough was decorated, and ploughmen were disguised and wore white smocks; there was a piper, and one dressed in fur with a fox's skin drawn over his head. The whole party was led by one Bessy, who went about collecting contributions. Bessy took the place of FrI, and the man in skins represented Woden, who was her husband. So much we may conjecture, but we have no certain evidence to establish this.

Fri or Frija appears however again and again as the White Lady. And here I will mention a circumstance that to my mind seems conclusive.

On 28th April 1795, a young man whose relative lived in this parish was returning home after having been some years in America. He hired a horse in Tavistock and rode to Lew Trenchard. It was a clear moonlight