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j BLONDIN'S APPEARANCE. j
Tais world-renowned performer gave big first ex- I hibition on Saturday afternoon in the canvas enolo-1 sore (the largest m tho world), ereeted for the I purpose in the Domain, near St. Mary's Cathedral. We have already deBoribod this gigantic structura
during the courso of its erodion, aa well as tho hompen i realm, of which the hero of Niagara is king. The preparations for tho entertainment were complete in every particular. The seats for the scated portion of tho audience were arranged so as to give the occupants a fair sight of the performance, and the promenade afforded an excellent view. The arrangements for tho admission of the publie woro also excellent; and the vost throng, some 8000 in number, was got in without inconvenience or crushing, owing to tho faoility with which tiokets could be purohosed, and tho smartness with which they wero taken. Tho German Band played a
choice selection of airs in the manner that renders ' them one of the institutions of the city, without which no pablie gathering is complete. Punctual to tho second-4 o'olock-Blondín, dressed in a full suit of chain armour, oamo from his dressing tent, bowed rapidly in acknowledgment of the burst of eheors that greeted him, and in an instant was drawn ~ up to the giddy stngo at the southern- ' end of tho rope, now GU feet in height. In appea^o-nce, thia daring man is apparently between 40 and 60 years of ago. His featuru aro regular and pleasing', and his complexion fair. Ko wears no whiskers, but evidently cultivates, with somo oarè, a light moustache and beard. His frame, it can easily be seen when ho appears in tight-fitting gar- ments, is compact and well made and firmly knit together, the musolcs being- unusually prominent. In his countenance, determination and, strange as it may seem, eaution seem to Btruggle for mastery. Any one who watches him closely will not fear for his safety, for he goes on fully prepared not to'miss his footing. The care with which ho has superintended personally the fixing of every rope upon whloh his safety depends
shows that he leaves nothing to chance. At four
o'clock, as wo have said, the Chevalier mounted the lofty platform, and armed with his balancing pole -an iron instrument some 30 f oet long and weighing about 40 lbs-advanced to tho rope. There was no pre- liminary chalking of the feet or hesitation to impress upon the spectators tho4aot that ho was about to do something wonderful. Blondín doesn't sot about his feats with tho air of a young lady at last consent- ing to sing. Ho was on tho rope in a second, and with a firm step marched over to the musio of the band. 'Tho descent of his rope in this instance- is not great, and the sag cannot be moro than three feet ; but as ho passed along a feeling of awe pnsscBsod tho crowd ?which was, however, dispelled when the steadiness, regularity, and confidence of tho man brought their inevitable reassurance and proved him a master of his art, , Clutching the ropo, as it were, with the hollow of his feet, Blondín pnssod over, slowly at first ; but'on returning, ho quiokened his paco, and went at tho double. Then the ehoers burst out OB ho reached-the " orow's nest" and bowed, preparatory to charging his dresB to that of an acrobat.-Such hearty applauso, and certainly from so great a numbor, was never heard Wore in this city.
On Iiis reappearance as an acrobat, Blondín again took tho rope with jaunty confidence and danced along io tho middle, where he stood upon his head amidst breathless suspense. This was his first " fooling" on the rope, and it mndo ono's blood turn cold as the saying has it; bur he soon proceeded to further extremities. He turned what is called a summersault, but is really known in *he profession as ft " pull baok. The effeot of a man " tumbling" upon a rope fifty feet high can bo imagined-certainly no ono can convey au idea \>i tho feeling of the speotatars. This act terminated with some gracof ul posturing. Then came tho most awful of nfl tho feats-i. c., tho blindfolded act. A handkerchief was first tied round Blondin's oyes, and thon hts head and shoulders were enveloped in a snot.
On tho platform ho reached out and around in a help- less hopoloss manner almost sickening, and at Inst foll and was caught as'if by accident by tho edge of it. Then when ho started ho kicked his footagainst one of the guy-bands and stumbled, and many half-suppressed , shrieks were heard. - Ho dispelled fear, however, by
tripping along airily, walking and running backwards and " polking along in tho most graceful and careless
manner. ' ' -
All through his performance the acting and display of humour wore,. by no meanB, tho" least interesting and noticoablo portions* of tho entertainment. The ?tove act, whioh is not by any moans wonderful when compared with the othors, affords a oapital chance for tho display of genuine fun, which would create hearty j laughter if exhibited on the ground, but is irresistibly
.oomic coming from a mon fifty feet in the air.
The,chair feat is, in ¿ur opinion,Blondin's master >ioce, and it is best described in the simplest^ manner, jhe Chevalier takos a common wooden _ chair on' the rope, sits in it, stands on it, balances it on one leg while sitting in it, and rests himself on tho top rail, and concludes by ooolly stopping over tho baokon'to tho rope. Tho comical and dreadful aro combined in this feat in a very curious mannor. When he is sitting in tho chair, his feet froo from tho rope,- it would appear os if nothing could savo him from des- truction ; yot, his jaunty, unconcerned air allaya tho alarm-in a great measure. Tho-Btoyo aot, though seemingly moro wonderful, is really simpler than tho othor.'' It is. enough to say of it that tho Chevalier does, all tho bills put him down for, and in the most business-like and comical manner. Tho view of him doing this foat in last week's Toten and Country gives a good idea of tho appearance - he presents. After tho stovo was returned to the platform, M. Blondin carriod his secretary, M. Niaud, across. Tho whole of this part of tho performance is incredibly wonder- ful ; but when Blondín bows, apparently forgetful pf tho f aot that ho lias Niaud on ms bock, and sends that intrepid I'ronohmnn over Ids shoulders, it is frightful fora moment-till Niaud smilas his socurity to tho crowd. The backward running feat and tho byoiclo terminated tho performance. Ifour readers who have not seen the latter feat, can picture a man in a Polish dress riding in a common bycicle with a grooved wheel, over a rope stretched fifty foot from tho ground-they can imagine Blondin doing it, but nothing can be written that would describe it. Sitting on tho byclolo, Blondin goes forwards and backwards at pleasure.and stops tho vehicle frequently, keeping it perfectly motionless. At the conclusion, and all during tho performance, which lasted for an hour «nd a, naif, tho Choralicr was loudly cheorod. - Tho arrangements were excellent, thanks to Mr Blondin's agent, Mr. Lyons, and hia secretary,- M. Niaud. < Mr. G. H. Roberta provided refreshments of ' all descriptions in Wo -well-fitted bars.' Tho next performance will bo given this afternoon. ; -
During the whole - of the performance a stiff south wostorly wind was blowing, which, at times, would put any one'walking iii the street off this equilibrium.
( Shortly before 8'o'clock Inst.-night tho inhabit- ants pf tho city ; were startled by. hoaring the dis- cordant danging of tho firo-bolls, and in a very short time from tho first Bounding of, tho alarm crowds of Ícopie were Hooking to the firo-ongino stations, eagor
a leam tho whereabouts of the fi'ro. Td the south- ward à strong rollootios of light could bo seon, and this was ¿tho causa of tho alarm.- With the alacrity' obniaoteristio of them, tho mon of the various brisados soon had their engines ready to start. Two of the Insuranoo Brigade's engines wera despatched along Ooorge and Parramatta streets, througL a dense ¿loud of dust, whioh greatly impeded thoir progross. They wore taken as far ns Camperdown, and as no Aro had been or could thon bo seen, and tho rcfiootion of light already montioned boing no longer visiblo, a stand wns made at tho Annandale toll- bar in order to determino what should noxt bo done. It was dooidod to roturn to Sydney through Forost Lodge, and along thu Olobo-road, and this decision was accordingly aotod upon. On the way back tho Insur- ance Brigade mot tho men of No. 1 station, with their, ongino, at tho junction of Pyrmont Bridge-road and tho Globe Point-road, they haring sot out aoross Pyr- mont. Tho No. 2 Brigade, with their ongino, had gone in tho dirootion of Balmain, first crossing, as tho No. 1 Brigade did, tho Pyrmont Bridgo, but they did not proceed far beforo they m ado up thoir minds to return. Tho mon ut tho Huyiunrkot station, whero tho alarm was first raisod, took thoir ongino as far as Tooth's browory. and-than omni baok, seeing'no causo for pushing on any furthor. That the tho roflootion soon was that of uro thore can bo no doubt; but it must
havo. hoon a considerable distance away, and most - liltoly wau consuming a stable or, somo snob small building. Hud it hoon a bush Uro, it could not have disappeared so, suddonly, owing to tho strong wind that was blowing.
On Saturday last, tlio wager-skiff race, butweon tho veteran rowor Jamos Candlish and W. Lyons, cunio o(T ovar tlio ohampian couran on tho Parramatta River. Cnndllah waa drat to show out, and made a
spurt to tho starting-point, nbroaat of-tho boat-houso, I »novo tho Hydo wharf. Both .-non mooting, thoy »tarted by mutual consont. Lyons soon darted right ! away from his opponent : and bofoio ronohing tho Hydo Wharf, Lyons waa fully threo clear boats' lengths ahead. From this point ho played with Onndlish ; in
fact, wnitod for him to draw up to his (Lyann's) quarter, > ami thou dnnheil away In rapid stylo. From tho start, it w.n evident how tho race would ond, as
Candliah lind nc show whntovor, although : ho pulled tu tho flag-boat lu a pluolcy manner. ¡ Tlio spectators woro few imlood compared to what has ' boon observed on tho river on former ooonslons. At ' thc (lulah of tho raco, a small amount was collootcd for tho losing mau. Thc time ocoupiod in tho raoe was as near as possible 21J mlnutoB. Oandllah had tho southern sida of tho river, and Lyons tho northam aldo. Thoro was llttlo or no betting, 2 to 1 bolug froely odored on Lyons, Tho S.U. G. clght-o&red and four-oarod gljrs aceompaniod the race.