[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
THIS genus is divided into several species. The red Gurnard, the fins and body of which are of a bright red colour, is not unfrequent on the southern shores of England; it is often seen exposed at the fish markets of the maritime towns of Dorset and Devonshire, as well as in Cornwall. It is a good tasted fish, when properly stuffed and baked. The flavour of the flesh is similar to that of the haddock.
The Lucerna is caught in the Mediterranean sea, and is of a very curious shape; her fins about the gills are so large and spread so much like a fan on each side that they appear somewhat like wings. The tail is bifid, and the scales very small. The flesh is esteemed among the Italians, and the Lucerna is often seen at the fish markets of Naples, Venice, and other towns on the sea shores. This fish resembles so much the Father-lasher and the Gurnard, that we did not think necessary to give an engraving of it; our principal object being throughout to render the book more interesting than expensive.
The Pogge is a curious fish in appearance and shape; his fins, the pectoral ones particularly, are long and spread like those of the Lucerna and Gurnard before described.
When any man of sense considers the curious attire which this fish and all of the same species have been surrounded with by nature, how can he withhold his admiration of that unlimited intelligence who, at one word called out all shapes, all forms, and clothed animated matter with them. This astonishing variety puzzles the mind at the same time; as we cannot guess to what end it is directed, – can proud man suppose that it was for the purpose of pleasing his eyes? No, the ultimate object of Nature is concealed from us; and we remain as ignorant of the tendency and purpose of the creature as we are of the intermediate links, in the great chain, between the Creator and the creatures.