[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS a most cruel beast, about as big as a mastiff-dog, and resembling a cat; to which species several authors have referred him, as well as the preceding ones. His teeth are so sharp, that he can bite wood asunder with them; and he fights with his claws, which are possessed of very great sharpness and strength. The colour of the upper part of his body is that of whitish oak, the lower part of an ash-colour, all over sprinkled with black spots, which are larger, and in form of annulets, round his tail. This species inhabits Barbary, Persia, Hyrcania, and China; is used for the chase of antelopes and hares, and is as much under command as a setting-dog; returns at the call, and jumps up behind his master, being carried on the crupper on horseback. This animal, and the two preceding ones, were anciently consecrated to Bacchus, to whose triumphal car they use to be harnessed, in allusion to the effect of wine upon the mind of man, whom intoxication often renders ferocious. The beauty of his skin has made it valuable among furriers.