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under a very heavy hammer is soon beaten out; but every blow unsettles on either side, as much of the crystals of the steel as it has compressed beneath it:—and I believe, that four times as much labour should be bestowed in hammering the slightly heated bar, as at present it receives at Jullalpoor.
But the imperfection of the furnace tends wholly to that of the blade. For as it is impossible to give the same degree of heat to all parts of the weapon at the same time; one portion becomes harder and more brittle than the other : and the blade is more liable to fracture than if the whole were equally brittle. The equal distribution of heat throughout the blade is perhaps attainable only by immersion in molten metals; a method practised, I believe, by Savigni, the celebrated cutler.
Should you deem this worthy of publication in the Society's Journal, I believe it will be the only existing record of the process of making the simple damask sword blade.
On a new form of the Hog kind or Suidae, by B. H. Hodgson, Esq.
Pachydermata. Suidae, Genus Porcula, mihi. Generic character—Teeth #. :}. §:}=40. Canines small, straight, severely cutting, but not ordinarily exserted from the lips. Fourth toe on all the feet, small and unequal. Tail very short but distinct. Type Porcula Salvania,” mihi. Pigmy Hog of the saul forest. Sáno Banel and Chota Sávar of the Natives. Habitat, Saul forest. Sp. Ch. Pigmy Hog of a black brown colour, slightly and irregularly shaded with sordid amber. Iris Hazel; nude skin, dirty flesh colour. Hoofs, glossy brown—length from snout to vent 18 to 20 inches. Height 8 to 10 inches. Weight 7 to 10, rarely 12 lbs. Precision and comprehensiveness certainly belong to technical descriptions; and the above few words, though they may prove distasteful
* Muraz II, of or belonging to the Saul forest.
to the general, will be largely suggestive to the instructed reader, and at the same time convey to the latter more information than he would obtain from five times the space occupied with popular description merely. A description of the popular kind I will supply presently ; but in the meanwhile I must proceed distinctly to state the grounds upon which I suppose the Pigmy Hog to represent a new form among the animals of its kind. My books are few for reference, and my materials scanty for examination; but, having made the best use in my power of both, I shall not hesitate to tender to the Society the results of my investigation of a new and most rare species in that shape which appears to me most calculated to stimulate further research, reserving for a future report any additional information I may myself obtain in correction or confirmation of my present views; for I am entirely of the opinion of the late able institutor of our journal, viz. that it is designed as a prompt record of current facts and suggestions, to be stated as made, and to be corrected with recurring opportunity.
Mr. Gray, in his recent and excellent catalogue of the immense stores of the British museum states that there are five genera of the Porcine family, or Sus, Dicotyles, Babirussa, Choiropotamus and Phacochaerus. Of these I regret that I have no means of satisfactory reference for Choiropotamus. But it and Phacochaerus are exotic forms not easily mistaken, and I apprehend cannot comprehend our present subject; nor can Babirussa, though an insular Indian type; for its characteristics are well known. There remain only Sus and Dicotyles, or the Hogs proper and the Pecary hogs; and, that our animal belongs to neither of these, but is an interesting intermediate link between them, will I think be at once apparent from my generic definition, or from that and what I shall now add thereto relative to the organization and habits of the Pigmy Hog. My materials for description consist of a male of the species, young but sufficiently grown to indicate its fixed characters, and fresh but deprived of its entrails. I have had its skull extracted and have compared carefully its general form and its cranium with those of the tame and of the wild hog and of their young, and I have studied all these under the guidance of Cuvier and his commentators as well as of the general zoology of Shaw.” As the result of these
* Régne animal, Vol. III. pp. 330, 334 and 401,414; General Zoology II. 458, 470, and Régne animal, V. pp. 287, 290.
observations and references it appears to me that the Pigmy Hog of the Saul forest is almost equally allied to the true Hogs and to the Peccaries, agreeing with the former in the absence of any peculiar external organs, such as the gular flaps of Larvatus and the pelvic sac of Torquatus and Labiatus; also in the number and form of its incisor teeth, and in having a perfect tail and four overt toes to each foot, but differing from the true Hogs and agreeing with the Peccaries in the number of its molar teeth, in the style of the laniaries, and in the diminished elongation of the jaws; and showing yet further inclination towards the same form (Dicotyles) by the extreme smallness of the tail as well as by the tendency of the fourth toe to disappearance. The presence of a tail and of a fourth toe, with the limited number of molars and the straightness of the unexserted laniaries, are the positive characters of our proposed type; which, how like soever to the ordinary Hog, differs therefrom materially in structure and not less in manners and habitat; for, whereas the Hog abounds all over India, the Pigmy Hog is exclusively confined to the deep recesses of primeval forest, and hence (I believe) has entirely escaped all notice by Europeans up to the present hour; and, whereas, again, the grown males of the common Hog invariably dwell apart, those of the Pigmy Hog abide constantly with the herd, and are its habitual and resolute defenders against harm. I obtained my single specimen recently in the Tarai of Sikim; but I know that the species dwells also in the Tarai of Nepaul : nor have I any doubt it inhabits as far north-west and south-east, as the saul forest extends, though such are its rarity and secludedness, that knowing of its existence and anxious to procure it as I have been for 15 years past, I have only just succeeded. Even the aborigines whose home is the forest, seldom see and still seldomer obtain it, much as they covet it for its delicious flesh, and eagerly as they search for it on that account; and an old Mech who brought me mine, informs me that in 50 years' abode in the Sál-bári or Saul forest, though a hunter every season, he never got but 3 or 4 of these much desiderated animals to eat, partly owing to their scarcity and partly to the speed with which the females and young disperse, and to the extraordinary vigour and activity with which the males defend themselves whilst their families are retreating. That so tiny an animal should effectually resist men must seen almost incredible, and yet I am credibly assured that even when the annual clearance of the undergrowth of the forest by fire occasionally reveals the Pigmy Hogs, and the herd is thus assailed at advantage, the males with the help of rough and unopen ground really do resist with wonderful energy and frequent success, charging and cutting the naked legs of their human or other attackers, with a speed that baffles the eyesight and a spirit which their straight sharp laniaries renders really perplexing if not dangerous. The herds are not large, consisting of 5 or 6, to 15 or 20, and the grown males, as I have said, constantly remain with and defend the females and young, perhaps pairing off for a short period in the season of love, of which there are said to be two in the year, and the litter to consist usually of but 3 or 4 young ones. Their food is chiefly roots and bulbs, but they also eat eggs, young birds, insects, and reptiles, having a good deal of the omnivorous propensity proper to the whole family (Suidae). The Pigmy Hog is about the size of a large Hare, and extremely resembles both in form and size a young pig of the ordinary wild kind of about a month old, except in its dark and unstriped pelage. The likeness of the limbs and members to those of the common Hog is so close that every purpose of general description of the Pigmy Hog is served by pointing to that resemblance, desiring only that heed should be taken by the observer of the shorter jaws, and eye consequently placed midway between the snout and ear; of the much shorter tail, nude, straight, and not extending so far as the bristles of the rump; and, lastly, of the smallness of the inner hind toe. The ears also are quite nude, and the abdominal surface of the neck as well as the insides of the limbs and the belly, are nearly so; but the upper and lateral external parts are covered thickly with bristles, even longer and more abundant than those of the wild or tame Hog, save upon the ridge of the neck where the common Hog has always more or less of, and generally a conspicuous, mane, but the Pigmy Hog, little or none. The hairs of the Pigmy Hog are from two inches to two and a quarter long, harsh, simple, or with the tips ordinarily bifidal; and those of the fac and outsides of the limbs shorter only than elsewhere. The dimensions have already been stated summarily and will be set down in detail below. The colour of the animal is a black brown, or brown black, shaded vaguely with dirty amber, or rusty red—a result of