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is said to hunt in packs of twenty or thirty, pulling down and tearing a buffalo or bullock with the greatest ease.
We may also refer to the sheep of Syria (c. acmon), and the deeb of Egypt (c. anthus), as being probably distinct species, indigenous to those districts.
While we are thus able to distinguish the original types of several species of dog peculiar to various countries, it is not surprising that we find much more difficulty with those of Europe. The indigenous races must have been scattered, at an early period, over the entire continent, and, as a necessary result, must have soon been considerably modified by interbreeding with each other and with foreign species, brought from distant countries, in the course of Roman conquest, or European enterprise. It appears, therefore, very probable, that several of the original types, from which our present domesticated races have sprung, are now entirely extinct, whilst training, together with other circumstances, acting upon many successive generations, have furnished the existing varieties with qualities which none of the parent stocks possessed.
With these facts before us, we cannot assent to the opinion, that all kinds of dog were originally derived from the wolf. Professor Bell, who is the highest authority in favour of this theory, has urged arguments in support of it, which appear to us inconclusive. He assumes what is, in fact, the matter of dispute; and taking for his premises, that there was only one original progenitor of the dog, that certain varieties now wild were formerly domesticated, (of which he has not the slightest evidence,) and that of these the dingo of Australia has reverted the most completely to the original type, he concludes that as the dingo approaches nearest to the wolf, the case is made out ! The only other points which he relies upon, are the similarity which exists between the osteology of the dog and the wolf, the fact that the two will breed together, producing fertile progeny, and that the period of gestation is the same in both. In reply to this, it is only necessary to say, that dogs and wolves are closely allied species, and, of course, approximate in many important particulars. Even admitting the fact of the fertility of the mixed progeny-which exists, if at all, only in a low degree
-we are by no means prepared to concede that this is a proof of specific identity. On the contrary, we are quite convinced, that a similar result not unfrequently occurs with animals belonging to very closely allied, although perfectly distinct, species. There is, however, a structural difference between the dog and the wolf, which is alone sufficient to demolish the theory; the eye of every known species of dog, in all parts of the world, has a circular pupil, whilst the form or position of that of the wolf is invariably oblique. Mr. Bell meets this fact by an amusing piece of special pleading: although,' he remarks, it is very desirable not to rest too much on the effects of habit on structure; it is not, perhaps, straining the point to attribute the forward direction of the eyes in the dogs to the constant habit, for many successive generations, of looking towards their master, and obeying his voice. Whatever may be thought as to Mr. Bell's 'straining the point,' we can only say that, in our opinion, the straining of the dog's eye, in the manner suggested, is utterly impossible.
The advocates of the lupine origin of the dog appear to overlook the fact, that the geographical distribution of the canine race extends to every climate, whilst the true wolves are restricted to certain parts of the globe. Nor can we imagine how it is possible to account for the great difference between the disposition of the dog and the wolf, on the assumption that they are identical, especially as there is abundant evidence to show that, from the earliest ages, the dog was known and valued as the trusty friend of man, whilst the most ancient notices of the wolf mark it as possessing the same character which the present race manifest. Under what circumstances then, and at what period, were the good qualities of the dog engrafted on the savage untractable temper of the wolf? This great contrast between the mental constitution of the two animals, is, in our opinion, quite as conclusive an evidence of their specific distinction, as even organic differences. Philology affords additional evidence of the same fact, as Colonel H. Smith gives numerous examples to prove that the ancient names of the dog were never confounded with those of the wolf, and expresses his opinion that, “a thorough philological inquiry would most assuredly show, that in no language, and at no period, did man positively confound the wolf, the jackal, or the fox, with a real dog.
Amongst the ancient Egyptians the high sagacity, courage, strength, and docility of the dog, secured for it even religious veneration, and cities and temples were erected in its honour. The god Anubis was represented with the body of a man and the head of the dog; as was also Thoth, or Sothis, another Egyptian deity; and the worship of the canine race gave a peculiar distinction to Hermopolis the Great. At a subsequent period, Cynopolis (the city of the dog) was erected as a signal mark of public respect for this animal. Juvenal wrote :
"Oppida tota canem Anubim venerantur, nemo Dianam.' From Egypt the canine worship was introduced into Rome, according to the testimony of Lucan, who said :
• Nos in templa tuam Romana accepimus Isin,
Semi-canes que deos.'
But, it was not only in temples that the dog received marks of respect and reverence. The Romans often placed a figure of one at the feet of their household gods; and Herodotus tells us that, in his time, amongst the Egyptians, the people of every family in which a dog died, solemnly shaved themselves in accordance with their usual custom of mourning.
Even in our own times, it is said, the dog still receives divine honours from the inhabitants of Japan, whose god Amida, in form similar to the half-dog deities' of Egypt, is represented covered with a royal mantle and seated upon a horse with seven heads. 'Devotees drown themselves with many ceremonies to his honour. Moreover, as a tribute of respect to this strange deity, the different streets of each town, according to Kæmpfer, contribute to the maintenance of a certain number of dogs : they have their lodgings, and persons are especially appointed to take care of them when sick.” (Martin, p. 35.)
Nor were divine honours the only mark of respect paid to these animals in former ages; for if we may credit Pliny and Plutarch, regal authority was entrusted to them, and a certain tribe of Ethiopians bowed their necks before a crowned majesty, whose growl was death, whose bark was forbidding, and whose wagging tail marked for dignity and rewards the royal favourites! The ministers of the state were a number of cunning priests, who doubtless found no difficulty in making the regal commands suit their own interests. Yet, it may be questioned, whether the four footed monarchs did not fulfil their high office quite as worthily as many other dynasties of prouder pretensions.
In the midst, however, of regal and divine honours, the dog experienced other and very different treatment. With strange inconsistency, he was sacrificed by the Romans to the deity that bore his form. Dogs also fell victims in honour of Pan, during the lupercal feasts of February; and in Greece, Proserpine, Lucina, Mars, Hecate, with other divinities, were similarly propitiated.
The Israelites, during their captivity in Egypt, must have frequently witnessed divine honours paid to the dog; and it was probably to prevent their adopting idolatrous customs of a similar character that they were taught to regard it as an unclean animal; and, in consequence, no dog was suffered to come within the precincts of the temple. The dislike and contempt with which dogs were regarded by the Jews, is shown by the fact, that they were never used in the chase,* nor kept in the houses, but were suffered to roam, almost wild, through the cities in their search for food. David refers to this in Psa. lix. 6, 14, 15, where he compares violent men to dogs, which ‘go round about the city,''wandering up and down for meat,' and growling if they were not satisfied. The name of an animal so much detested was soon used as a term of reproach ; compare 1 Sam. xvii. 43; xxiv. 14; 2 Sam. ix. 8; 2 Kings, viii. 13, &c. Evidences of a similar feeling are given in the New Testament, see Phil. iii. 2, and Rev. xxii. 15. From the Jewish religion, the Mohammedans derived a similar contempt for the dog, and they, as well as the Hindoos, regard it as an unclean thing whose slightest contact is pollution. Hence it is, that in Egypt where formerly temples were devoted to his worship, cities raised to his honour, where his death was mourned as a calamity, and his sacred mummy preserved for ages,* the poor dog is now avoided in the streets, driven from human habitations, and his name is used as a mark of the greatest abhorrence. The influence of the new dispensation has not removed the Judaical stigma, so that in the mouth of Christian, Mohammedan and Hindoo, the terms 'dog,' 'cur,' 'puppy,' 'dogcheap,''dog of an infidel,' &c., have all a like significancy by no means creditable to the animal, whose qualities, nevertheless, have been of great service to mankind.
* Dr. J. Kitto is of a different opinion ; but his arguments do not appear to us satisfactory: and considering the known feeling of the Jews against the dog, conjoined with the absence of the slightest evidence that it was used by them for hunting, we think we have a right to assume the contrary. * Sir I. G. Wilkinson says that the mummies of dogs still found are mostly of the fox-dog ;' and Mr. Martin states, that he has seen in the British Museum mummies of a small red dog, probably of the same species.
The Greeks and Romans cultivated several kinds of dog, some of which 'were used in chase of the wolf and wild boar, others in pursuit of the stag or roe, others as guardians of the flock, and others as watch-dogs in fortresses and citadels. The Greeks appear to have had greyhounds, and wolf-like hounds with erect ears, and watch dogs, of wolfish aspect, with erect ears also. The citadel of Corinth was guarded externally by an advanced post of fifty dogs, which, on one occasion, during the drunken somnolency of the garrison, had to defend the place against the attack of an enemy. Forty-nine out of the fifty lost their lives after a valiant resistance, and the survivor, whose name was Soter, retreated to the citadel. The soldiers, alarmed by him, roused themselves to action and repelled the enemy. The dog was rewarded by the grateful senate with a silver collar, inscribed, 'Soter, defender and preserver of Corinth. A marble monument was also erected to commemorate the names and glorious achievement of the fifty canine heroes.
Dogs were frequently used in ancient times for purposes of
war, and Herodotus states that the Satrap of Babylon kept so many Indian dogs, that four large towns were exempted from all taxes on the condition of providing for these animals. Wardogs were armed with spiked collars, and sometimes with coats of mail,* and their savage attacks would, no doubt, add considerably to the horrors of barbarian warfare. On more recent occasions, and to the disgrace of our own country, bloodhounds
were set on the tract of fugitives after a lost battle, and were used in the furious wars between England and Scotland, when Wallace fought for freedom, and Bruce for a throne. Henry vill. employed them in France, and Elizabeth in Ireland, where the Earl of Essex had no less than eight hundred of them in his army.' (Martin, p. 192.)
Mr. Martin, describes a mosaic pavement which has been discovered at Pompeii, 'on which is represented a Roman watch-dog, with a spiked collar, and fastened by means of a chain, underneath his feet is written Cave canem, Beware, the dog.' It is remarkably stout and muscular, with a tail somewhat fringed, a large head, long and broad muzzle, and sharp erect ears. The general aspect is wild and savage.' (p. 60.)
In addition to the guardianship of houses, and their services in the chase or in war, the strongest and most ferocious dogs were highly valued for the combats or the amphitheatre. Nor was it only in life that these animals administered to the grati. fication of the polished citizens of Rome and Greece, for they were served up at table, and, according to Pliny, roasted puppies were considered exquisite! A cooked dog was thought worthy of a high place at sumptuous feasts, and at the festivals in honour of the pontiff's consecration.
Amongst various nations a similar taste still prevails,—the Chinese fatten dogs for the table on vegetable diet—with the South Sea Islanders the Poé is a favourite dish,-in Guinea, dog's flesh is in high estimation,—and Mr. Fraser relates, that during the Niger Expedition, a fat and handsome English dog, belonging to one of the officers, was stolen by the natives to gratify the luxurious palate of the King at Coomassie! Our Jewish prejudice against the flesh of this unclean' animal is not a little shocked by these practices. Yet there have been instances of Englishmen who have had sufficient philosophy to conquer the aversion, and assert that they have enjoyed the meal. Foster in his Voyage round the World,' urges that Nature has intended dogs for food by making them so prolific, and Mr. Wilson, in his Essays on the Origin and Natural
* An antique bronze found at Herculaneum, and now in the museum of Naples, represents mailed dogs attacked by soldiers armed with various weapons.'