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dorsal fins are waved with azure, fading towards the extremities into a shade of the softest green. The same rocks harbour a still more splendid species, called by the Brasilians, Acara Pinina. This beautiful creature is invested in a coat of mail, formed apparently of gold and silver scales, and varied with black lines crossing it from one extremity to the other. The same elegant mode of decoration is also discoverable in the Moon-fish. St. Pierre frequently amused himself on the rocks of the island of Ascension, with observing the brilliant effect produced by this interesting species, while sporting in the tumultuous waves that broke against them. They bear the rounded and somewhat sloping form, as well as the soft silvery tint of the planet to which the natives of the country dedicate them ; while their construction and tone of colour, frequently enable them to elude the vigilance of the fisherman, in every possible way. The under surface of their orbicular bodies is, moreover, so streaked with black crossed lozenge-shaped stripes, as to give them the appearance of being covered with netting.
The shores of the same island are also rich with a variety of beautiful fishes : among these the Murena, a species of Lamprey, or Ell of the rocks, which appears as if speckled with gold flowers, the Paroquet, Roach, Zebra, and Gilt-head, are some of the most conspicuous.
Each creek and bay With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals Of fish, that with their fins and shining scales, Glide under the green wave, in sculls that oft Bank the mid sea ; or, sporting with quick glance, Show to the sun their way'd coats dropt with gold. --Milton.
We may also adduce, as a familiar instance of the most splendid investiture, and of an investiture evidently of no real importance to the welfare of the animal,--the Gold and Silver fish of the Chinese. Some are tinted with the finest blue, others with brown, others with bright silver ; others again, appear as if enchased in burnished gold. The most conspicuous of this extraordinary genus, are taken from a small lake in the province of Che Kyang :
Where oft amid the yielding tide,
The genii of the stream;
Betrays a golden gleam.-Gray. These graceful creatures are frequently preserved in porcelain vessels of exquisite workmanship, and constitute a favourite appendage in the apartments of the rich. To the ladies of the country, especially, the beauty of their colours, their agile leaps out of the water, and restless motions in it, serve to beguile the tedium of a monotonous existence.
The rivers of Africa are also filled with a beautiful variety of fishes. One, noticed by Belzoni, as found
in the Red Sea, is of a bright silvery blue; the head, tail, and fins, of a scarlet colour.
This elegant species appears to have been highly estimated by the ancient Egyptians. It is seen in their hieroglyphics, and on the walls of the apartments which constitute the superb mausoleum of king Psammis.
The Minow-cyprine, a common inhabitant of our gravelly streams, is nearly as splendid as its more distinguished relative; the lateral line is of a gold colour, set off with deep Olive, the sides and under surface varying in different individuals, in some of a rich crimson, in some of a cerulean hue, in others completely white.
Nor is the common Trout less deserving of a brief description. This graceful little fish enlivens the most solitary streamlets with its agile motions, and elegance of form and colour. The upper surface is beautifully decorated with small narrow scales, varied with dark spots; the under with a golden hue, relieved by those of a deep red, elegantly spangled on a blueish ground. Almost every stream and rivulet in Great Britain, is the resort of this interesting species. They delight in streamlets shaded with high trees, in sparkling brooks that abound with water-cresses, while on either side impending rocks ascend to the height of several hundred feet, turreted with rugged crags, and covered with fern and foxglove, and overhanging branches of oak and hazel beautifully feathering to the water's edge. Such is Cressbrook, one of the most imposing scenes in Derbyshire: and here, while looking along the brink of its clear and lovely streamlet, I have often observed the exquisite appearance of the Trout, as they lay quietly on the water, till, alarmed by the rustling of the trees, or even by the shadow of a cloud, they have suddenly darted beneath with astonishing rapidity, and yet so lightly as scarcely to agitate the surface.
The whole creation is a perpetual feast to the mind of a good man. It seems as if innumerable smiles were impressed on the face of nature, that the heart may gladden in beholding them; the tongue be constrained to acknowledge that God is love.
In order to protect a considerable number of the ocean tribes from the prying eyes of their marine enemies, perhaps, even to assist them in seizing on their prey, we observe that the Creator has assigned them a style of colour exactly according with the sands, or sea-weeds, among which they harbour.
That such is the fact, I should think no one who has been in the habit of observing the watery nations, can venture to deny.
Who that has seen the Crested Blenny of our own rocky shores, clothed in a suit of olive green, spotted with pale blue, or its relative the Smooth Blenny, with fins of two thick rays, separated like the claws of a bird for the purpose of enabling it to creep with vibrations in a dense medium, destitute of an external concha, because unnecessary, but furnished internally with hard and calcareous substances, placed in a fluid, and provided with so large a number of nerves, as to render the sense of hearing remarkably quick. The organ of smelling, a beautiful arrangement of ligaments, laminæ, nerves and glands, so attached to a wonderful apparatus, situated on the lower part of the snout, as to render even the undulations of the water sufficient to warn the animal of any approaching danger. Senses of taste and feeling, imperfect, if not altogether wanting, because unnecessary to such creatures as select their food, by those of seeing, and of smelling. The body covered with scales of minute and exquisite workmanship, varying in different species, according to local situation, or the character of their marine enemies. The construction of each, adjusted with the nicest precision, to the ocean sites they are designed to occupy. Colours varying from the tints of aurora, or those of the rainbow, to the brown, mottled, and sober coating of such as hide among sea-weeds or gravel.
One question may possibly have arisen in your mind during the perusal of these observations, why such circuitous arrangements ? why the ministry of so many means ? could not the Deity have at once effected what he has brought about by such exquisite contrivances ?-Undoubtedly he could ; but this was