Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/68

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



We cannot expect to find reminiscences of the gods and goddesses of the primitive Silurian or Ivernian race that peopled Great Britain and Ireland, or even of the Celtic and Roman divinities, save in a most attenuated form. Even the saints of the Catholic Church who filled the religious horizon in England and Scotland for a thousand years have faded from it. But we will endeavour to discover some traces, and some do remain.

The prehistoric rude-stone building race certainly did have a goddess of Death, and probably one of Generation. In the subterranean excavations made in Le Petit Morin, by the Baron de Baye, the necropolises were guarded by rude figures representing a female cut in the chalk, and also by a representation of a stone hammer. The female figure has also been found cut on limestone in the department of Gard, on dolmens. In Brittany, in the covered alleys, there are numerous figures of stone axes or hammers, and also a curious shield-like representation that may possibly take the place of the female figure found in