Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/286

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248
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

Night after night I remained alone in the great museum for the purpose of studying the habits of those fishes which displayed their most peculiar traits while the world slept. The finale of this enterprise was, it seems to me, in keeping with its remarkable character, and anything less picturesque than that which actually transpired in this connection would have fallen short of poetic justice. It is not too much to say that never before had the scientific world been permitted to view so comprehensive a collection of the varied and almost numberless types of deep sea life.

Neither money nor pains was spared to the end of maintaining an aquarium approximating that of my fondest dreams. Early in the history of this gigantic enterprise I became associated with a member of one of the great animal importing houses, a German, my partner, although I undertook the active management of the institution.

The Aquarium was first opened in October, 1876, the year of the Centennial, and I think I may truthfully say that the former received as frequent mention in the press of the day as did the latter.

My connection with the Aquarium afforded me an opportunity to meet and become ac-