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raised by the magi at Temoria (the Tighmora of Ossian), and whoever transgressed this law in any respect was visited for the offence with nothing less than capital punishment." *

A heifer was sacrificed in the needfire in Mull (p. 52), and Grimm cites an example of the same practice in Northamptonshire in the present century "Miss C. and her cousin, walking, saw a fire in a field, and a crowd round it. They said, 'What is the matter?' 'Killing a calf.' 'What for?' To stop the murrain.' They went away as quickly as possible. On speaking to the clergyman, he made inquiries. The people did not like to talk of the affair, but it appeared that when there is a disease among the cows, or the calves are born sickly, they sacrifice (i. e., kill and burn) one for good luck.'"

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Those who have read Mr. Dasent's "Popular Tales from the Norse" are aware that to this day the peasants of Norway still tell of the wondrous mill that ground whatever was demanded of it. The tradition is of great antiquity, but the earliest known version of it is that which Mr. Dasent has repeated as follows, after the author of the Prose Edda.

"Of all beliefs, that in which man has, at all times

* D. M. 580.

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of his history, been most prone to set faith, is that of a golden age of peace and plenty, which had passed away, but which might be expected to return.

Such a period of peace and plenty, such a golden time, the Norseman could tell of in his mythic Frodi's reign, when gold, or Frodi's meal, as it was called, was so plentiful that golden armlets lay untouched from year's end to year's end on the king's highway, and the fields bore crops unsown. In Frodi's house were two maidens of

that old giant race, Fenja and Menja. These daughters of the giant he had bought as slaves, and he made them grind his quern or handmill, Grotti, out of which he used to grind peace and gold. Even in that golden age one sees there were slaves, and Frodi, however bountiful to his thanes and people, was a hard task-master to his giant handmaidens. He kept them to the mill, nor gave them longer rest than the cuckoo's note lasted, or they could sing a song. But that quern was such that it ground anything that the grinder chose, though until then it had ground nothing but gold and peace. So the maidens ground and ground, and one sang their piteous tale in a strain worthy of Eschylus as the other rested-they prayed for rest and pity, but Frodi was deaf. Then they turned in

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giant mood, and ground no longer peace and plenty, but fire and war. Then the quern went fast and furious, and that very night came Mysing the searover, and slew Frodi and all his men, and carried off the quern; and so Frodi's peace ended. The maidens the sea-rover took with him, and when he got on the high seas he bade them grind salt. So they ground; and at midnight they asked if he had not salt enough, but he bade them still grind on. So they ground till the ship was full and sank, Mysing, maids, and mill, and all, and that's why the sea is salt.”

This wonder-working mill stood once in heaven, for Frodi, its owner, was no other than the sun-god Freyr* (Swedish Frö, German Fro), whom Snorri Sturlason and Saxo Grammaticus converted into an earthly monarch, or found already brought down to that condition, just as the great god Odin figures in Snorri's Edda as a mortal king of Sweden.† The flat circular stone of Frodi's quern is the disk of the sun, and its handle, or möndull, is the pramantha with

* Mannhardt, 243.

+ Ibid. 45.

Möndull is an Icelandic word, from the same root as manthami (p. 39), and is defined by Egilsson, in his "Lex. Poët. Antiquæ Ling. Septentrionalis," as "lignum teres, quo mola trusatilis manu circumagitur, mobile, molucrum."

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which Indra or the Asvins used to kindle the extinguished luminary. An ancient popular ditty, which still survives in Germany, tells of a mill that grinds gold, silver, and love. The peasants in various parts of Germany call the Milkyway the Mealway, or the Millway, and say that it turns with the sun, for it first becomes visible at the point where the sun has set. It leads therefore to the heavenly mill, and its colour is that of the meal with which it is strewed.*

* Kuhn, Westf. ii. 86.




THE approach of windy weather is often indicated by a peculiar form of light streaming clouds, which in England are very aptly named grey mares' tails. In Northern Germany a modification of the same appearance is called a weather or wind tree (wetterbaum)—a name wherein we may read the original conception out of which grew the Aryan prototype of the Norseman's heavenly ash, Yggdrasil. Among the many curious notions that met together in the primitive Aryan cosmogony, was that of a prodigious tree overspreading the whole world. The clouds were its foliage; sun, moon, and stars were its fruit; lightning lurked in its branches and mingled with their sap. Hence arose a whole order of myths, which accounted accordingly for the descent to earth of fire, soma, and the soul of man, but which were often blended with those that were based upon

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