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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/75

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In Brittany are monoliths about which women dance in a state of nudity, and rub themselves against them in hopes of thereby becoming mothers. Near Dinan is the stone of St Samson. Girls slide down it, as it is on an incline, and if they can reach the bottom without a hitch, they believe that they will be happy mothers when married.

Some of these stones are pitted with artificially cut hollows. The stones are washed, to produce rain, are anointed, and the cup-marks filled with butter and honey. Most in France are now surmounted with crucifixes, or have a niche cut in their faces into which an image of the Virgin is inserted. One in Brittany, at Tregastel, has carved on it and painted a crucifix and the instruments of the passion. Such are all the deities that we can safely say were culted by the prehistoric race that lies below the peoples that successively overlaid them, of which any trace remains in modern folklore.

We come next to Aryan folklore, and to that in which there is Some reminiscence of the gods our ancestors once worshipped. It is remarkable that two common names for the devil should enshrine those of ancient deities, one Celtic and the other Teutonic or Norse.

These are "The Deuce" and "Old Nick".