Thus the modern Hindu, though using civilized means for lighting his household fires, retains the savage " fire-drill " for obtaining fire by friction of wood when what he considers pure or sacred fire has to be produced for sacrificial purposes; while in Europe into modern times the same primitive process has been kept up in producing the sacred and magical " need-fire," which was lighted to deliver cattle from a murrain.
In 1865 the rinderpest, or steppe murrain, originating amongst the vast herds of the Russian steppes, had spread westward over Europe, until it was brought to London by foreign cattle.
This change is due to the decline of horseand cattle-rearing in the llanos, partly in consequence of political disturbances and partly of a murrain which broke out in 1843 among horses, mules and asses.
They breed horses, cattle and sheep, but suffer heavy losses from murrain.
Those intended for storing should be dug up as soon as they are fairly ripe, unless they are attacked by the disease, in which case they must be taken up as soon as the murrain is observed; or if they are then sufficiently developed to be worth preserving, but not fully ripe, the haulms or shaws should be pulled out, to prevent the fungus passing down them into the tubers; this may be done without disturbing the tubers, which can be dug afterwards.