Page:Sea and River-side Rambles in Victoria.djvu/102

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83

CHAPTER X.


"Each rock pool has its treasure, every tide
 Strews on the yellow sand, from Ocean's lap
 Weeds than our flowers more fair."


Graceful as are the Wild Flowers which we have culled to adorn these pages, how much more from their elegant forms, varied structure and surpassingly bright colors, are the plants of the Ocean to be admired; the more we gaze on them, the greater is our regret that they have received so little attention and consideration at the hands of scientific men, until of late years when such writers as Harvey and Landsborough have opened out the way to a proper investigation of them. "So endless are they" (remarks the former author in the introduction to his Nereis Australis) " in these favoured latitudes, and yet so imperfectly explored, that in no country equally accessible can the Marine Botanist find a field to work upon which will yield him better fruit, or furnish to the science which he cultivates more important and interesting results. Here Nature appears in new and sportive forms, in aspect startingly dissimilar from what we of the old world are conversant with, but connected by the delicate web of affinity in a manner often little expected by the common observer, and only discernible by those who delight to trace in the endless variety of natural forms, the unity of design which characterises the whole." And if our learned friend had reason so to write, when he published the