Open main menu

Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/125

This page needs to be proofread.
122
A BOOK OF FOLK-LORE

so was the sea – it was the sea, not Neptune; the earth was earth and no more. The sun, the moon, the stars made their revolutions, but received no worship; they were disregarded by the autocthones. And id we have amongst us so manny reminiscences of the religion, such as it was – superstition rather – of the prehistoric Ivernian race, it is because we have in our midst the descendants of that race, with their intelligence but very slightly raised above that of their primeval ancestors.

CHAPTER VI

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

A few years ago I was planning a dolmen (in English usually, but incorrectly, called a cromlech) near Brives, in the department of Corrèze, when the local antiquary, M. Philibert Lalande, informed me that it had been excavated, and on that occasion a curious fact had been revealed. It contained half a skeleton. The upper half had been incinerated and was enclosed in a pot; but from the waist downward there had been carnal interment; above the feet were bronze anklets that had stained the bones green. Clearly