The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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OBSERVATIONS ON FISHES.                            55
Asparagus Soups.—One quart can of asparagus in 1-2 gallon boiling milk, 4 tablespoonfuls corn starch, 1 of butter; nutfneg, pep­per and salt to taste. Heat the asparagus and strain through a coarse sieve, thicken the boiling milk with the corn starch dissolved in a little cold milk, add asparagus, salt, butter, pepper and nutmeg. Let all come to a boil. If the soup is too thick add more milk and serve very hot.
"The great deep" is crowded with inhabitants of various sizes and of vastly different constructions, with modes of life entirely distinct from those which belong to the animals of the land, and with peculiarities of design equally wonderful with those of any works which have come from the hands of the Creator. Experi­ence has taught us these facts. However, the history of these races, more or less, must remain forever in a state of darkness, since it is beyond the power of man to explore the depths in which they live, and since the illimitable expansion of their do­main places them almost entirely out of the reach of human ac­cessibility.
The formation of fishes shows that they are in every respect adapted to the element in which they live, and there is no doubt that the form of the fish originally suggested the shape of the ship. But the velocity of the ship sailing before the wind is by no means to be compared to that of the fish. The largest fishes will with the great­est ease overtake a ship, play around it without any effort, and shoot ahead of it at pleasure. This arises from that flexibility which to compete with mocks the labors of art and enables them to migrate thousands of miles in a season without the slightest indications of fatigue. How wonderful. How adorably simple has the Supreme Being adapted certain means to the attainment of certain ends !
The principal instruments employed by accelerate their motion are their air bladder, fins and tail. By means of the air blad­der they enlarge or diminish their specific gravity. In swimming the fins enable fishes to preserve their upright position, which act like two feet. The tail is an instrument of great muscular force, and largely assists the fish in all its motions, and in some instances acts like the rudder of a ship.
With Rkspect to thk Food of Fishks.—They are mostly car­nivorous and find their food almost universally in their own element. They even devour their own offsprings, seize upon almost everything that comes in their way, and manitcst a particular predeliction for living creatures. They frequently engage in fierce conflict with their