The Hog belongs to the order Mammalia, the genus Sus scrofa, and the species Pachydermata, or thick-skinned; and its generic characters are, a small head, with long flexible snout truncated; 42 teeth, divided into 4 upper incisors, converging, 6 lower incisors, projecting, 2 upper and 2 lower canine, or tusks,--the former short, the latter projecting, formidable, and sharp, and 14 molars in each jaw; cloven feet furnished with 4 toes, and tail, small, short, and twisted; while, in some varieties, this appendage is altogether wanting.

From the number and position of the teeth, physiologists are enabled to define the nature and functions of the animal; and from those of the Sus, or hog, it is evident that he is as much a grinder as a biter, or can live as well on vegetable as on animal food; though a mixture of both is plainly indicated as the character of food most conducive to the integrity and health of its physical system.

Thus the pig tribe, though not a ruminating mammal, as might be inferred from the number of its molar teeth, is yet a link between the herbivorous and the carnivorous tribes, and is consequently what is known as an omnivorous quadruped; or, in other words, capable of converting any kind of aliment into nutriment.

Though the hoof in the hog is, as a general rule, cloven, there are several remarkable exceptions, as in the species native to Norway, Illyria, Sardinia, and formerly to the Berkshire variety of the British domesticated pig, in which the hoof is entire and uncleft.

Whatever difference in its physical nature, climate and soil may produce in this animal, his functional characteristics are the same in whatever part of the world he may be found; and whether in the trackless forests of South America, the coral isles of Polynesia, the jungles of India, or the spicy brakes of Sumatra, he is everywhere known for his gluttony, laziness, and indifference to the character and quality of his food. And though he occasionally shows an epicure's relish for a succulent plant or a luscious carrot, which he will discuss with all his salivary organs keenly excited, he will, the next moment, turn with equal gusto to some carrion offal that might excite the forbearance of the unscrupulous cormorant. It is this coarse and repulsive mode of feeding that has, in every country and language, obtained for him the opprobrium of being "an unclean animal."

In the Mosaical law, the pig is condemned as an unclean beast, and consequently interdicted to the Israelites, as unfit for human food. "And the swine, though he divideth the hoof and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud. He is unclean to you."--Lev. xi. 7. Strict, however, as the law was respecting the cud-chewing and hoof-divided animals, the Jews, with their usual perversity and violation of the divine commands, seem afterwards to have ignored the prohibition; for, unless they ate pork, it is difficult to conceive for what purpose they kept troves of swine, as from the circumstance recorded in Matthew xviii. 32, when Jesus was in Galilee, and the devils, cast out of the two men, were permitted to enter the herd of swine that were feeding on the hills in the neighbourhood of the Sea of Tiberias, it is very evident they did. There is only one interpretation by which we can account for a prohibition that debarred the Jews from so many foods which we regard as nutritious luxuries, that, being fat and the texture more hard of digestion than other meats, they were likely, in a hot dry climate, where vigorous exercise could seldom be taken, to produce disease, and especially cutaneous affections; indeed, in this light, as a code of sanitary ethics, the book of Leviticus is the most admirable system of moral government ever conceived for man's benefit.

Setting his coarse feeding and slovenly habits out of the question, there is no domestic animal so profitable or so useful to man as the much-maligned pig, or any that yields him a more varied or more luxurious repast. The prolific powers of the pig are extraordinary, even under the restraint of domestication; but when left to run wild in favourable situations, as in the islands of the South Pacific, the result, in a few years, from two animals put on shore and left undisturbed, is truly surprising; for they breed so fast, and have such numerous litters, that unless killed off in vast numbers both for the use of the inhabitants and as fresh provisions for ships' crews, they would degenerate into vermin. In this country the pig has usually two litters, or farrows, in a year, the breeding seasons being April and October; and the period the female goes with her young is about four months,--16 weeks or 122 days. The number produced at each litter depends upon the character of the breed; 12 being the average number in the small variety, and 10 in the large; in the mixed breeds, however, the average is between 10 and 15, and in some instances has reached as many as 20. But however few, or however many, young pigs there may be to the farrow, there is always one who is the dwarf of the family circle, a poor, little, shrivelled, half-starved anatomy, with a small melancholy voice, a staggering gait, a woe-begone countenance, and a thread of a tail, whose existence the complacent mother ignores, his plethoric brothers and sisters repudiate, and for whose emaciated jaws there is never a spare or supplemental teat, till one of the favoured gormandizers, overtaken by momentary oblivion, drops the lacteal fountain, and gives the little squeaking straggler the chance of a momentary mouthful. This miserable little object, which may be seen bringing up the rear of every litter, is called the Tony pig, or the Anthony; so named, it is presumed, from being the one always assigned to the Church, when tithe was taken in kind; and as St. Anthony was the patron of husbandry, his name was given in a sort of bitter derision to the starveling that constituted his dues; for whether there are ten or fifteen farrows to the litter, the Anthony is always the last of the family to come into the world.

From the grossness of his feeding, the large amount of aliment he consumes, his gluttonous way of eating it, from his slothful habits, laziness, and indulgence in sleep, the pig is particularly liable to disease, and especially indigestion, heartburn, and affections of the skin.

To counteract the consequence of a violation of the physical laws, a powerful monitor in the brain of the pig teaches him to seek for relief and medicine. To open the pores of his skin, blocked up with mud, and excite perspiration, he resorts to a tree, a stump, or his trough--anything rough and angular, and using it as a curry-comb to his body, obtains the luxury of a scratch and the benefit of cuticular evaporation; he next proceeds with his long supple snout to grub up antiscorbutic roots, cooling salads of mallow and dandelion, and, greatest treat of all, he stumbles on a piece of chalk or a mouthful of delicious cinder, which, he knows by instinct, is the most sovereign remedy in the world for that hot, unpleasant sensation he has had all the morning at his stomach.

It is a remarkable fact that, though every one who keeps a pig knows how prone he is to disease, how that disease injures the quality of the meat, and how eagerly he pounces on a bit of coal or cinder, or any coarse dry substance that will adulterate the rich food on which he lives, and by affording soda to his system, correct the vitiated fluids of his body,--yet very few have the judgment to act on what they see, and by supplying the pig with a few shovelfuls of cinders in his sty, save the necessity of his rooting for what is so needful to his health. Instead of this, however, and without supplying the animal with what its instinct craves for, his nostril is bored with a red-hot iron, and a ring clinched in his nose to prevent rooting for what he feels to be absolutely necessary for his health; and ignoring the fact that, in a domestic state at least, the pig lives on the richest of all food,--scraps of cooked animal substances, boiled vegetables, bread, and other items, given in that concentrated essence of aliment for a quadruped called wash, and that he eats to repletion, takes no exercise, and finally sleeps all the twenty-four hours he is not eating, and then, when the animal at last seeks for those medicinal aids which would obviate the evil of such a forcing diet, his keeper, instead of meeting his animal instinct by human reason, and giving him what he seeks, has the inhumanity to torture him by a ring, that, keeping up a perpetual "raw" in the pig's snout, prevents his digging for those corrective drugs which would remove the evils of his artificial existence.

Though subject to so many diseases, no domestic animal is more easily kept in health, cleanliness, and comfort, and this without the necessity of "ringing," or any excessive desire of the hog to roam, break through his sty, or plough up his pound. Whatever the kind of food may be on which the pig is being fed or fattened, a teaspoonful or more of salt should always be given in his mess of food, and a little heap of well-burnt cinders, with occasional bits of chalk, should always be kept by the side of his trough, as well as a vessel of clean water: his pound, or the front part of his sty, should be totally free from straw, the brick flooring being every day swept out and sprinkled with a layer of sand. His lair, or sleeping apartment, should be well sheltered by roof and sides from cold, wet, and all changes of weather, and the bed made up of a good supply of clean straw, sufficiently deep to enable the pig to burrow his unprotected body beneath it. All the refuse of the garden, in the shape of roots, leaves, and stalks, should be placed in a corner of his pound or feeding-chamber, for the delectation of his leisure moments; and once a week, on the family washing-day, a pail of warm soap-suds should be taken into his sty, and, by means of a scrubbing-brush and soap, his back, shoulders, and flanks should be well cleaned, a pail of clean warm water being thrown over his body at the conclusion, before he is allowed to retreat to his clean straw to dry himself. By this means, the excessive nutrition of his aliment will be corrected, a more perfect digestion insured, and, by opening the pores of the skin, a more vigorous state of health acquired than could have been obtained under any other system.

We have already said that no other animal yields man so many kinds and varieties of luxurious food as is supplied to him by the flesh of the hog differently prepared; for almost every part of the animal, either fresh, salted, or dried, is used for food; and even those viscera not so employed are of the utmost utility in a domestic point of view.

Though destitute of the hide, horns, and hoofs, constituting the offal of most domestic animals, the pig is not behind the other mammalia in its usefulness to man. Its skin, especially that of the boar, from its extreme closeness of texture, when tanned, is employed for the seats of saddles, to cover powder, shot, and drinking-flasks; and the hair, according to its colour, flexibility, and stubbornness, is manufactured into tooth, nail, and hairbrushes,--others into hat, clothes, and shoe-brushes; while the longer and finer qualities are made into long and short brooms and painters' brushes; and a still more rigid description, under the name of "bristles," are used by the shoemaker as needles for the passage of his wax-end. Besides so many benefits and useful services conferred on man by this valuable animal, his fat, in a commercial sense, is quite as important as his flesh, and brings a price equal to the best joints in the carcase. This fat is rendered, or melted out of the caul, or membrane in which it is contained, by boiling water, and, while liquid, run into prepared bladders, when, under the name of lard, it becomes an article of extensive trade and value.

Of the numerous varieties of the domesticated hog, the following list of breeds may be accepted as the best, presenting severally all those qualities aimed at in the rearing of domestic stock, as affecting both the breeder and the consumer. Native--Berkshire, Essex, York, and Cumberland; Foreign--the Chinese. Before, however, proceeding with the consideration of the different orders, in the series we have placed them, it will be necessary to make a few remarks relative to the pig generally. In the first place, the Black Pig is regarded by breeders as the best and most eligible animal, not only from the fineness and delicacy of the skin, but because it is less affected by the heat in summer, and far less subject to cuticular disease than either the white or brindled hog, but more particularly from its kindlier nature and greater aptitude to fatten.

The great quality first sought for in a hog is a capacious stomach, and next, a healthy power of digestion; for the greater the quantity he can eat, and the more rapidly he can digest what he has eaten, the more quickly will he fatten; and the faster he can be made to increase in flesh, without a material increase of bone, the better is the breed considered, and the more valuable the animal. In the usual order of nature, the development of flesh and enlargement of bone proceed together; but here the object is to outstrip the growth of the bones by the quicker development of their fleshy covering.

The chief points sought for in the choice of a hog are breadth of chest, depth of carcase, width of loin, chine, and ribs, compactness of form, docility, cheerfulness, and general beauty of appearance. The head in a well-bred hog must not be too long, the forehead narrow and convex, cheeks full, snout fine, mouth small, eyes small and quick, ears short, thin, and sharp, pendulous, and pointing forwards; neck full and broad, particularly on the top, where it should join very broad shoulders; the ribs, loin, and haunch should be in a uniform line, and the tail well set, neither too high nor too low; at the same time the back is to be straight or slightly curved, the chest deep, broad, and prominent, the legs short and thick; the belly, when well fattened, should nearly touch the ground, the hair be long, thin, fine, and having few bristles, and whatever the colour, uniform, either white, black, or blue; but not spotted, speckled, brindled, or sandy. Such are the features and requisites that, among breeders and judges, constitute the beau ideal of a perfect pig.

The Berkshire pig is the best known and most esteemed of all our English domestic breeds, and so highly is it regarded, that even the varieties of the stock are in as great estimation as the parent breed itself. The characteristics of the Berkshire hog are that it has a tawny colour, spotted with black, large ears hanging over the eyes, a thick, close, and well-made body, legs short and small in the bone; feeds up to a great weight, fattens quickly, and is good either for pork or bacon. The New or Improved Berkshire possesses all the above qualities, but is infinitely more prone to fatten, while the objectionable colour has been entirely done away with, being now either all white or completely black.

Next to the former, the Essex takes place in public estimation, always competing, and often successfully, with the Berkshire. The peculiar characters of the Essex breed are that it is tip-eared, has a long sharp head, is roach-backed, with a long flat body, standing high on the legs; is rather bare of hair, is a quick feeder, has an enormous capacity of stomach and belly, and an appetite to match its receiving capability. Its colour is white, or else black and white, and it has a restless habit and an unquiet disposition. The present valuable stock has sprung from a cross between the common native animal and either the White Chinese or Black Neapolitan breeds.

The Yorkshire, called also the Old Lincolnshire, was at one time the largest stock of the pig family in England, and perhaps, at that time, the worst. It was long-legged, weak in the loins, with coarse white curly hair, and flabby flesh. Now, however, it has undergone as great a change as any breed in the kingdom, and by judicious crossing has become the most valuable we possess, being a very well-formed pig throughout, with a good head, a pleasant docile countenance, with moderate-sized drooping ears, a broad back, slightly curved, large chine and loins, with deep sides, full chest, and well covered with long thickly-set white hairs. Besides these qualities of form, he is a quick grower, feeds fast, and will easily make from 20 to 25 stone before completing his first year. The quality of the meat is also uncommonly good, the fat and lean being laid on in almost equal proportions. So capable is this species of development, both in flesh and stature, that examples of the Yorkshire breed have been exhibited weighing as much as a Scotch ox.

Though almost every country in England can boast some local variety or other of this useful animal, obtained from the native stock by crossing with some of the foreign kinds, Cumberland and the north-west parts of the kingdom have been celebrated for a small breed of white pigs, with a thick, compact, and well-made body, short in the legs, the head and back well formed, ears slouching and a little downwards, and on the whole, a hardy, profitable animal, and one well disposed to fatten.

There is no variety of this useful animal that presents such peculiar features as the species known to us as the Chinese pig; and as it is the general belief that to this animal and the Neapolitan hog we are indebted for that remarkable improvement which has taken place in the breeds of the English pig, it is necessary to be minute in the description of this, in all respects, singular animal. The Chinese, in the first place, consists of many varieties, and presents as many forms of body as differences of colour; the best kind, however, has a beautiful white skin of singular thinness and delicacy; the hair too is perfectly white, and thinly set over the body, with here and there a few bristles. He has a broad snout, short head, eyes bright and fiery, very small fine pink ears, wide cheeks, high chine, with a neck of such immense thickness, that when the animal is fat it looks like an elongated carcase,--a mass of fat, without shape or form, like a feather pillow. The belly is dependent, and almost trailing on the ground, the legs very short, and the tail so small as to be little more than a rudiment. It has a ravenous appetite, and will eat anything that the wonderful assimilating powers of its stomach can digest; and to that capability, there seems no limit in the whole range of animal or vegetable nature. The consequence of this perfect and singularly rapid digestion is an unprecedented proneness to obesity, a process of fattening that, once commenced, goes on with such rapid development, that, in a short time, it loses all form, depositing such an amount of fat, that it in fact ceases to have any refuse part or offal, and, beyond the hair on its back and the callous extremity of the snout, the whole carcase is eatable.

When judiciously fed on vegetable diet, and this obese tendency checked, the flesh of the Chinese pig is extremely delicate and delicious; but when left to gorge almost exclusively on animal food, it becomes oily, coarse, and unpleasant. Perhaps there is no other instance in nature where the effect of rapid and perfect digestion is so well shown as in this animal, which thrives on _everything_, and turns to the benefit of its physical economy, food of the most _opposite nature_, and of the most unwholesome and _offensive_ character. When fully fattened, the thin cuticle, that is one of its characteristics, cracks, from the adipose distension beneath, exposing the fatty mass, which discharges a liquid oil from the adjacent tissues. The great fault in this breed is the remarkably small quantity of lean laid down, to the immense proportion of fat. Some idea of the growth of this species may be inferred from the fact of their attaining to 18 stone before two years, and when further advanced, as much as 40 stone. In its pure state, except for roasters, the Chinese pig is too disproportionate for the English market; but when crossed with some of our lean stock, the breed becomes almost invaluable.

There are two points to be taken into consideration by all breeders of pigs--to what ultimate use is the flesh to be put; for, if meant to be eaten fresh, or simply salted, the small breed of pigs is host suited for the purpose; if for hams or bacon, the large variety of the animal is necessary. Pigs are usually weaned between six and eight weeks after birth, after which they are fed on soft food, such as mashed potatoes in skimmed or butter-milk. The general period at which the small hogs are killed for the market is from 12 to 16 weeks; from 4 to 5 mouths, they are called store pigs, and are turned out to graze till the animal has acquired its full stature. As soon as this point has been reached, the pig should be forced to maturity as quickly as possible; he should therefore be taken from the fields and farm-yard, and shut up on boiled potatoes, buttermilk, and peas-meal, after a time to be followed by grains, oil-cake, wash, barley, and Indian meal; supplying his sty at the same time with plenty of water, cinders, and a quantity of salt in every mess of food presented to him.

The Universality of the Hog: A singular circumstance in the domestic history of the hog, is the extent of its distribution over the surface of the earth; being found even in insulated places, where the inhabitants are semi-barbarous, and where the wild species is entirely unknown. The South-Sea islands, for example, were found on their discovery to be well stocked with a small black hog; and the traditionary belief of the people was that these animals were coeval with the origin of themselves. Yet they possessed no knowledge of the wild boar, or any other animal of the hog kind, from which the domestic breed might be supposed to be derived. In these islands the hog is the principal quadruped, and the fruit of the bread-tree is its principal food, although it is also fed with yams, eddoes, and other vegetables. This nutritious diet, which it has in great abundance, is, according to Foster, the reason of its flesh being so delicious, so full of juice, and so rich in fat, which is not less delicate to the taste than the finest butter.

The Wild and Domestic Hog: The domestic hog is the descendant of a race long since banished from this island; and it is remarkable, that while the tamed animal has been and is kept under surveillance, the wild type whence this race sprung, has maintained itself in its ancient freedom, the fierce denizen of the forest, and one of the renowned beasts of the chase. Whatever doubt may exist as to the true origin of the dog, the horse, the ox, and others, or as to whether their original race is yet extant or not, these doubts do not apply to the domestic hog. Its wild source still exists, and is universally recognized: like the wolf, however, it has been expelled from our island; but, like that animal, it still roams through the vast wooded tracts of Europe and Asia.

Antiquity of the Hog: The hog has survived changes which have swept multitudes of pachydermatous animals from the surface of our earth. It still presents the same characteristics, both physical and moral, which the earliest writers, whether sacred or profane, have faithfully delineated. Although the domestic has been more or less modified by long culture, yet the wild species remains unaltered, insomuch that the fossil relics may be identified with the bones of their existing descendants.

By what nation and in what period the hog was reclaimed, is involved in the deepest obscurity. So far back as we have any records of history, we find notices of this animal, and of its flesh being used as the food of man. By some nations, however, its flesh was denounced as unclean, and therefore prohibited to be used, whilst by others it was esteemed as a great delicacy. By the Mosaic law it was forbidden to be eaten by the Jews, and the Mahometans hold it in utter abhorrence. Dr. Kitto, however, says that there does not appear to be any reason in the law of Moses why the hog should be held in such peculiar abomination. There seems nothing to have prevented the Jews, if they had been so inclined, to rear pigs for sale, or for the use of the land. In the Talmud there are some indications that this was actually done; and it was, probably, for such purposes that the herds of swine mentioned in the New Testament were kept, although it is usual to consider that they were kept by the foreign settlers in the land. Indeed, the story which accounts for the peculiar aversion of the Hebrews to the hog, assumes that it did not originate until about 130 years before Christ, and that, previously, some Jews were in the habit of rearing hogs for the purposes indicated.

Fossil Remains Of The Hog: In British strata, the oldest fossil remains of the hog which Professor Owen states that he has examined, were from fissures in the red crag (probably miocene) of Newbourne, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. "They were associated with teeth of an extinct _felis_ about the size of a leopard, with those of a bear, and with remains of a large cervus. These mammalian remains were found with the ordinary fossils of the red crag: they had undergone the same process of trituration, and were impregnated with the same colouring matter as the associated bones and teeth of fishes acknowledged to be derived from the regular strata of the red crag. These mammaliferous beds have been proved by Mr. Lyell to be older than the fluvio-marine, or Norwich crag, in which remains of the mastodon, rhinoceros, and horse have been discovered; and still older than the fresh-water pleistocene deposits, from which the remains of the mammoth, rhinoceros, &c. are obtained in such abundance. I have met," says the professor, in addition, "with some satisfactory instances of the association of fossil remains of a species of hog with those of the mammoth, in the newer pliocene freshwater formations of England."

The number of pigs in Great Britain is supposed to exceed 20 millions; and, considering the third of the number as worth L2 apiece, and the remaining two-thirds as of the relative value of _10s_. each, would give a marketable estimate of over L20,000,000 for this animal alone.

The Saxon Swineherd: The men employed in herding swine during the Anglo-Saxon period of our history were, in general, thralls or born slaves of the soil, who were assisted by powerful dogs, capable even of singly contending with the wolf until his master came with his spear to the rescue. In the "Ivanhoe" of Sir Walter Scott, we have an admirable picture, in the character of Gurth, an Anglo-Saxon swineherd, as we also have of his master, a large landed proprietor, a great portion of whose wealth consisted of swine, and whose rude but plentiful board was liberally supplied with the flesh.

Swineherds of Antiquity: From the prejudice against the hog among the ancients, those who tended them formed an isolated class, and were esteemed as the outcasts of society. However much the flesh of the animal was esteemed by the Greeks and Romans, yet the swineherd is not mentioned by either the classic writers or the poets who, in ancient Greece and Rome, painted rural life. We have no descriptions of gods or heroes descending to the occupation of keeping swine. The swineherd is never introduced into the idyls of Theocritus, nor has Virgil admitted him into his eclogues. The Eumaeus of Homer is the only exception that we have of a swineherd meeting with favour in the eyes of a poet of antiquity. This may be accounted for, on the supposition that the prejudices of the Egyptians relative to this class of men, extended to both Greece and Italy, and imparted a bias to popular opinion.

The Hog in England: From time immemorial, in England, this animal has been esteemed as of the highest importance. In the Anglo-Saxon period, vast herds of swine were tended by men, who watched over their safety, and who collected them under shelter at night. At that time, the flesh of the animal was the staple article of consumption in every family, and a large portion of the wealth of the rich freemen of the country consisted of these animals. Hence it was common to make bequests of swine, with lands for their support; and to these were attached rights and privileges in connection with their feeding, and the extent of woodland to be occupied by a given number was granted in accordance with established rules. This is proved by an ancient Saxon grant, quoted by Sharon Turner, in his "History of the Anglo-Saxons," where the right of pasturage is conveyed in a deed by the following words:--"I give food for seventy swine in that woody allotment which the countrymen call Wolferdinlegh."

How Pigs were Formerly Pastured and Fed: Though unquestionably far greater numbers of swine are now kept in England than formerly, every peasant having one or more of that useful animal, in feudal times immense droves of pigs were kept by the franklings and barons; in those days the swine-herds being a regular part of the domestic service of every feudal household, their duty consisted in daily driving the herd of swine from the castle-yard, or outlying farm, to the nearest woods, chase, or forest, where the frankling or vavasour had, either by right or grant, what was called free warren, or the liberty to feed his hogs off the acorns, beech, and chestnuts that lay in such abundance on the earth, and far exceeded the power of the royal or privileged game to consume. Indeed, it was the license granted the nobles of free warren, especially for their swine, that kept up the iniquitous forest laws to so late a date, and covered so large a portion of the land with such immense tracts of wood and brake, to the injury of agriculture and the misery of the people. Some idea of the extent to which swine were grazed in the feudal times, may be formed by observing the number of pigs still fed in Epping Forest, the Forest of Dean, and the New Forest, in Hampshire, where, for several months of the year, the beech-nuts and acorns yield them so plentiful a diet. In Germany, where the chestnut is so largely cultivated, the amount of food shed every autumn is enormous; and consequently the pig, both wild and domestic, has, for a considerable portion of the year, an unfailing supply of admirable nourishment. Impressed with the value of this fruit for the food of pigs, the Prince Consort has, with great judgment, of late encouraged the collection of chestnuts in Windsor Park, and by giving a small reward to old people and children for every bushel collected, has not only found an occupation for many of the unemployed poor, but, by providing a gratuitous food for their pig, encouraged a feeling of providence and economy.

Austrian Method of Herding Pigs: In the Austrian empire there are great numbers of wild swine, while, among the wandering tribes peopling the interior of Hungary, and spreading over the vast steppes of that country, droves of swine form a great portion of the wealth of the people, who chiefly live on a coarse bread and wind-dried bacon.

In German Switzerland, the Tyrol, and other mountainous districts of continental Europe, though the inhabitants, almost everywhere, as in England, keep one or more pigs, they are at little or no trouble in feeding them, one or more men being employed by one or several villages as swine-herds; who, at a certain hour, every morning, call for the pig or pigs, and driving them to their feeding-grounds on the mountain-side and in the wood, take custody of the herd till, on the approach of night, they are collected into a compact body and driven home for a night's repose in their several sties.

The amount of intelligence and docility displayed by the pigs in these mountain regions, is much more considerable than that usually allowed to this animal, and the manner in which these immense herds of swine are collected, and again distributed, without an accident or mistake, is a sight both curious and interesting; for it is all done without the assistance of a dog, or the aid even of the human voice, and solely by the crack of the long-lashed and heavily-loaded whip, which the swine-herd carries, and cracks much after the fashion of the French postilion; and which, though he frequently cracks, waking a hundred sharp echoes from the woods and rocks, he seldom has to use correctionally; the animal soon acquiring a thorough knowledge of the meaning of each crack; and once having felt its leaded thong, a lasting remembrance of its power. At early dawn, the swine-herd takes his stand at the outskirts of the first village, and begins flourishing through the misty air his immensely long lash, keeping a sort of rude time with the crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack of his whip. The nearest pigs, hearing the well-remembered sound, rouse from their straw, and rush from their sties into the road, followed by all their litters. As soon as a sufficient number are collected, the drove is set in motion, receiving, right and left, as they advance, fresh numbers; whole communities, or solitary individuals, streaming in from all quarters, and taking their place, without distinction, in the general herd; and, as if conscious where their breakfast lay, without wasting a moment on idle investigation, all eagerly push on to the mountains. In this manner village after village is collected, till the drove not unfrequently consists of several thousands. The feeding-ground has, of course, often to be changed, and the drove have sometimes to be driven many miles, and to a considerable height up the mountain, before the whip gives the signal for the dispersion of the body and the order to feed, when the herdsman proceeds to form himself a shelter, and look after his own comfort for the rest of the day. As soon as twilight sets in, the whip is again heard echoing the signal for muster; and in the same order in which they were collected, the swine are driven back, each group tailing off to its respective sty, as the herd approaches the villages, till the last grunter, having found his home, the drover seeks his cottage and repose.

The Learned Pig: That the pig is capable of education, is a fact long known to the world; and though, like the ass, naturally stubborn and obstinate, that he is equally amenable with other animals to caresses and kindness, has been shown from very remote time; the best modern evidence of his docility, however, is the instance of the learned pig, first exhibited about a century since, but which has been continued down to our own time by repeated instances of an animal who will put together all the letters or figures that compose the day, month, hour, and date of the exhibition, besides many other unquestioned evidences of memory. The instance already given of breaking a sow into a pointer, till she became more stanch even than the dog itself, though surprising, is far less wonderful than that evidence of education where so generally obtuse an animal may be taught not only to spell, but couple figures and give dates correctly.

How To Silence A Pig. Anecdote Of Charles V: When the emperor Charles V. was one day walking in the neighbourhood of Vienna, full of pious considerations, engendered by the thoughts of the Dominican cloister he was about to visit, he was much annoyed by the noise of a pig, which a country youth was carrying a little way before him. At length, irritated by the unmitigated noise, "Have you not learned how to quiet a pig" demanded the imperial traveller, tartly. "Noa," replied the ingenuous peasant, ignorant of the quality of his interrogator;--"noa; and I should very much like to know how to do it," changing the position of his burthen, and giving his load a surreptitious pinch of the ear, which immediately altered the tone and volume of his complaining.
"Why, take the pig by the tail," said the emperor, "and you will see how quiet he will become."
Struck by the novelty of the suggestion, the countryman at once dangled his noisy companion by the tail, and soon discovered that, under the partial congestion caused by its inverted position, the pig had indeed become silent; when, looking with admiration on his august adviser, he exclaimed,--
"Ah, you must have learned the trade much longer than I, for you understand it a great deal better."

Importance of the Boar's Head, Scottish Feuds, &c.: The boar's head, in ancient times, formed the most important dish on the table, and was invariably the first placed on the board upon Christmas-day, being preceded by a body of servitors, a flourish of trumpets, and other marks of distinction and reverence, and carried into the hall by the individual of next rank to the lord of the feast. At some of our colleges and inns of court, the serving of the boar's head on a silver platter on Christmas-day is a custom still followed; and till very lately, a bore's head was competed for at Christmas time by the young men of a rural parish in Essex. Indeed, so highly was the grizzly boar's head regarded in former times, that it passed into a cognizance of some of the noblest families in the realm: thus it was not only the crest of the Nevills and Warwicks, with their collateral houses, but it was the cognizance of Richard III., that--
"Wretched, bloody, and usurping boar, That spoil'd your summer fields and fruitful vines, Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough In your embowell'd bosoms,"--
and whose nature it was supposed to typify; and was universally used as a sign to taverns. The Boar's Head in Eastcheap, which, till within the last twenty-five years still stood in all its primitive quaintness, though removed to make way for the London-bridge approaches, will live vividly in the mind of every reader of Shakspeare, as the resort of the prince of Wales, Poins, and his companions, and the residence of Falstaff and his coney-catching knaves, Bardolph, Pistol, and Nym; and whose sign was a boar's head, carved in stone over the door, and a smaller one in wood on each side of the doorway.

The traditions and deeds of savage vengeance recorded in connection with this grim trophy of the chase are numerous in all parts of Europe. But the most remarkable connected with the subject in this country, were two events that occurred in Scotland, about the 11th and 15th centuries.

A border family having been dispossessed of their castle and lands by a more powerful chief, were reduced for many years to great indigence, the expelled owner only living in the hope of wreaking a terrible vengeance, which, agreeably to the motto of his house, he was content to "bide his time" for. The usurper having invited a large number of his kindred to a grand hunt in his new domains, and a feast after in the great hall, returned from the chase, and discovering the feast not spread, vented his wrath in no measured terms on the heads of the tardy servitors. At length a menial approached, followed by a line of servants, and placing the boar's head on the table, the guests rushed forward to begin the meal; when, to their horror, they discovered, not a boar's but a bull's head,--a sign of death. The doors were immediately closed, and the false servants, who were the adherents of the dispossessed chief, threw off their disguise, and falling on the usurper and his friends, butchered them and every soul in the castle belonging to the rival faction.

A tribe of caterans, or mountain robbers, in the Western Highlands, having been greatly persecuted by a powerful chief of the district, waylaid him and his retinue, put them all to the sword, and cutting off the chief's head, repaired to his castle, where they ordered the terrified wife to supply them with food and drink. To appease their savage humour, the lady gave order for their entertainment, and on returning to the hall to see her orders were complied with, discovered, in place of the boar's head that should have graced the board, her husband's bleeding head; the savage caterans, in rude derision, as a substitute for the apple or lemon usually placed between the jaws, having thrust a slice of bread in the dead man's mouth.

The Price of a Sow in Africa: In one of the native states of Africa, a pig one day stole a piece of food from a child as it was in the act of conveying the morsel to its mouth; upon which the robbed child cried so loud that the mother rushed out of her hovel to ascertain the cause; and seeing the purloining pig make off munching his booty, the woman in her heat struck the grunter so smart a blow, that the surly rascal took it into his head to go home very much indisposed, and after a certain time resolved to die,--a resolution that he accordingly put into practice; upon which the owner instituted judicial proceedings before the Star Chamber court of his tribe, against the husband and family of the woman whose rash act had led to such results; and as the pig happened to be a sow, in the very flower of her age, the prospective loss to the owner in unnumbered teems of pigs, with the expenses attending so high a tribunal, swelled the damages and costs to such a sum, that it was found impossible to pay them. And as, in the barbarous justice existing among these rude people, every member of a family is equally liable as the individual who committed the wrong, the father, mother, children, relatives,--an entire community, to the number of thirty-two souls, were sold as slaves, and a fearful sum of human misery perpetrated, to pay the value of a thieving old sow.

Novel Way of Recovering a Stolen Pig: It is a well-known fact, that in Ireland the pig is, in every respect, a domesticated animal, sharing often both the bed and board of the family, and making an outer ring to the domestic circle, as, seated round the pot of potatoes, they partake of the midday meal called dinner. An Irishman upon one occasion having lost an interesting member of his household, in the form of a promising young porker, consulted his priest on the occasion, and having hinted at the person he suspected of purloining the "illegant slip of a pig" he was advised to take no further notice of the matter, but leave the issue to his spiritual adviser. Next Sunday his reverence, after mass, came to the front of the altar-rails, and looking very hard at the supposed culprit, exclaimed, "Who stole Pat Doolan's pig?" To this inquiry there was of course no answer;--the priest did not expect there would be any. The following Sunday the same query was propounded a little stronger--"Who of you was it, I say, who stole poor Pat Doolan's pig?" It now became evident that the culprit was a hardened sinner; so on the third Sunday, instead of repeating the unsatisfactory inquiry, the priest, after, as usual, eyeing the obdurate offender, said, in a tone of pious sorrow, "Mike Regan, Mike Regan, you treat me with contempt!" That night, when the family was all asleep, the latch of the door was noiselessly lifted, and the "illegant slip of a pig" cautiously slipped into the cabin.

The best and most humane mode of killing all large hogs is to strike them down like a bullock, with the pointed end of a poleaxe, on the forehead, which has the effect of killing the animal at once; all the butcher has then to do, is to open the aorta and great arteries, and laying the animal's neck over a trough, let out the blood as quickly as possible. The carcase is then to be scalded, either on a board or by immersion in a tub of very hot water, and all the hair and dirt rapidly scraped off, till the skin is made perfectly white, when it is hung up, opened, and dressed, as it is called, in the usual way. It is then allowed to cool, a sheet being thrown around the carcase, to prevent the air from discolouring the newly-cleaned skin. When meant for bacon, the hair is singed instead of being scalded off.

In the country, where for ordinary consumption the pork killed for sale is usually both larger and fatter than that supplied to the London consumer, it is customary to remove the skin and fat down to the lean, and, salting that, roast what remains of the joint. Pork goes further, and is consequently a more economical food than other meats, simply because the texture is closer, and there is less waste in the cooking, either in roasting or boiling.

In fresh pork, the leg is the most economical family joint, and the loin the richest.

Comparatively speaking, very little difference exists between the weight of the live and dead pig, and this, simply because there is neither the head nor the hide to be removed. It has been proved that pork loses in cooking 13-1/2, per cent. of its weight. A salted hand weighing 4 lbs. 5 oz. lost in the cooking 11 oz.; after cooking, the meat weighing only 3 lbs. 1 oz., and the bone 9 oz. The original cost was 7-1/2d. a pound; but by this deduction, the cost rose to 9d. per pound with the bone, and 10-1/4d. without it.

The Flesh of Swine in Hot Climates: It is observed by M. Sonini, that the flesh of swine, in hot climates, is considered unwholesome, and therefore may account for its proscription by the legislators and priests of the East. In Egypt, Syria, and even the southern parts of Greece, although both white and delicate, it is so flabby and surcharged with fat, that it disagrees with the strongest stomachs. Abstinence from it in general was, therefore, indispensable to health under the burning suns of Egypt and Arabia. The Egyptians were permitted to eat it only once a year,--on the feast of the moon; and then they sacrificed a number of these animals to that planet. At other seasons, should any one even touch a hog, he was obliged immediately to plunge into the river Nile, as he stood, with his clothes on, in order to purify himself from the supposed contamination he had contracted by the touch.

How Roast Pig was Discovered: Charles Lamb, who, in the early part of this century, delighted the reading public by his quaint prose sketches, written under the title of "Essays of Elia," has, in his own quiet humorous way, devoted one paper to the subject of _Roast Pig_, and more especially to that luxurious and toothsome dainty known as "CRACKLING;" and shows, in a manner peculiarly his own, how crackling first came into the world.

According to this erudite authority, man in the golden age, or at all events the primitive age, eat his pork and bacon raw, as, indeed, he did his beef and mutton; unless, as Hudibras tells us, he was an epicure, when he used to make a saddle of his saddle of mutton, and after spreading it on his horse's back, and riding on it for a few hours till thoroughly warmed, he sat down to the luxury of a dish cooked to a turn. At the epoch of the story, however, a citizen of some Scythian community had the misfortune to have his hut, or that portion of it containing his live stock of pigs, burnt down. In going over the debris on the following day, and picking out all the available salvage, the proprietor touched something unusually or unexpectedly hot, which caused him to shake his hand with great energy, and clap the tips of his suffering fingers to his mouth. The act was simple and natural, but the result was wonderful. He rolled his eyes in ecstatic pleasure, his frame distended, and, conscious of a celestial odour, his nostrils widened, and, while drawing in deep inspirations of the ravishing perfume, he sucked his fingers with a gusto he had never, in his most hungry moments, conceived. Clearing away the rubbish from beneath him, he at last brought to view the carcase of one of his pigs, roasted to death. Stooping down to examine this curious object, and touching its body, a fragment of the burnt skin was detached, which, with a sort of superstitious dread, he at length, and in a spirit of philosophical inquiry, put into his mouth. Ye gods! the felicity he then enjoyed, no pen can chronicle! Then it was that he--the world--first tasted crackling. Like a miser with his gold, the Scythian hid his treasure from the prying eyes of the world, and feasted, in secret, more sumptuously than the gods. When he had eaten up all his pig, the poor man fell into a melancholy; he refused the most tempting steak, though cooked on the horse's back, and turned every half-hour after his own favourite recipe; he fell, in fact, from his appetite, and was reduced to a shadow, till, unable longer to endure the torments of memory he hourly suffered, he rose one night and secretly set fire to his hut, and once more was restored to flesh and manhood. Finding it impossible to live in future without roast-pig, he set fire to his house every time his larder became empty; till at last his neighbours, scandalized by the frequency of these incendiary acts, brought his conduct before the supreme council of the nation. To avert the penalty that awaited him, he brought his judges to the smouldering ruins, and discovering the secret, invited them to eat; which having done, with tears of gratitude, the august synod embraced him, and, with an overflowing feeling of ecstasy, dedicated a statue to the memory of the man who first instituted roast pork.

Choosing Pork: Known by its size, and whether properly fattened by its appearance. Pinch the lean, and if young it will break. If the rind is tough, thick, and cannot easily be impressed by the finger, it is old. A thin rind is a merit in all pork. When fresh, the flesh will be smooth and cool; if clammy, it is tainted. What is called measly pork is very unwholesome; and may be known by the fat being full of kernels, which in good pork is never the case. Pork fed at still-houses does not answer for curing any way, the fat being spongy. Dairy-fed pork is the best.
  • Bacon: If the rind is thin, the fat firm and of a red tinge, the lean tender, of a good colour, and adhering to the bone, you may conclude it good, and not old. If there are yellow streaks in it, it is going, if not already rusty.
  • Brawn (the head): The horny part of young brawn will feel moderately tender, and the flavour will be better; the rind of old will be hard.
  • Ham: Stick a sharp knife under the bone: if it comes out with a pleasant smell, the ham is good; but if the knife is daubed and has a bad scent, do not buy it. Hams short in the hock are best, and long-legged pigs are not to be chosen for any preparation of pork.

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