International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about International Weekly Miscellany.

“The Kanasz is a swineherd, whose occupation, everywhere unpoetical and dirty, is doubly troublesome and dirty in Hungary.  Large droves of pigs migrate annually into the latter country from Serbia, where they still live in a half-wild state.  In Hungary they fatten in the extensive oak-forests, and are sent to market in the large towns, even to Vienna, and still further....

“It is a true enjoyment to live in these shady forests.  The oak attains a finer and more luxuriant growth on the Hungarian soil than in any part of Germany.  The hogs find food in profusion, and commonly stuff themselves to such a degree that they lose all desire for roving about:  so that dog, master, and ass, lead a comparatively easy life, and are left to the quiet enjoyment of nature.  But the lot of the Kanasz is a pitiable one when, at the close of summer, he has to drive his swine to market.  From Debreczin, nay even from the Serbian frontier, he has to make a journey on foot more toilsome than was ever undertaken by the most adventurous traveler, pacing slowly over the interminable heaths in rain, storm, or under a burning sun, behind his pigs, which drive into his face hot clouds of dust.  Every now and then a hog has stuffed itself so full as to be unable to stir from the spot; and there it lies on the road without moving, whilst the whole caravan is obliged to wait for half a day or longer, until the glutted animal can get on his legs again; and when at length this feat is accomplished, frequently his neighbor begins the same trick.  There is truly not a more toilsome business in the wide world than that of a Kanasz....  The fokos is a hatchet, with a long handle, which the Kanasz hurls with great dexterity.  Whenever he desires to pick out and slaughter one of his hogs, either for his own use or for sale, the attempt would be attended with danger, in the half-savage state of these animals, without such a weapon.  The fokos here assists him; which he flings with such force and precision, that the sharp iron strikes exactly into the center of the frontal bone of the animal he has marked out; the victim sinks on the earth without uttering a sound, and the drove quietly proceeds on its way.  That he can strike down a man with equal precision at eighty to a hundred paces, is proved by the gallows at the entrance of the forest—­the three-legged monument of his dexterity.  During recent events, too, the surgeons of the Austrian army will readily furnish the Kanasz and Csikos with certificates of their ability and skill.”

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International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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