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CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS. 1

Christtnastide of 1859'has oome opon us with quite the average severity, both of weather and festivity., The day itself Christmas Day-was one of those glorious days that male liie Australian air and sky incomparable for their brightness and parity, but the day before and the day after gare us a taste of quite another qualify., On Satur day we had a preliminary puff of the usual quility of north wiuda at (his season, and on Monday we were treated to a more vigorous

one of the same kind. But neither hot wind nor anything else could possibly hold bode our determined pleasure seekers. As soon aa the morning of Boxing Day had oome, the whole place was alive with pedestrians, eques trians, riders in cars, coaches, carts, gigs, drays, and what other vehicles could be pressed into service for the accommodation of the pic-nio parties that had made up their tnindB and packed up their hampers for a little bit of country hfe somewhere. Some went to Burrumbeet, some to Warrenheip, to Lai Lai some, and some to Buuinyong, and others disported themselves with equal

relish, we presume, at the many wrestling ; grounds, where all sorts of improbable jollifi- j cations were promised for the delight of those !

who liked to come and look through the dust i at them. To say that many "took their pleasure sadly as is (not) their wont,'* would be only paying a fitting tribute to the power of an out-an-out quartzose norwfster to throw

a cloud (of dust) over the fairest hopes of holiday-keepers. Bat to 6ay that, in spite of a very hot wind, the general mass of the people seemed to get a good deal of fun out of the day is only recognising on the other hand the unconquerable determination of the "British* er" to enjoy himself at Christmas with weather fair or foul. Thus much by way of preface, Bnd now somewhat to details.

CHBIBTIUS EYE.

Christmas eve in Ballarat filled oar thorough fares with crowd upon crowd of people shopping for the morrow's dinner, or for '. boxes" to give in memory of the season. The Main road broke oat early in the day into a profusion of beauty spots in the shape of boughs, nosegays, and temptingly arraoged masses of fruits, home or exotic. The fruiterers, butchers, and poulterers, and some of the hotelkeepers, decorated their fronts with ever greens, till in some places the Main road sag gested " feasts of tabernacles1' or country dancing parties under *' green bushes." Tur keys,'ducks, and fowls were seen and heard everywhere, either huddled in cages for selec tion or in transitu, with the spit or the oven in the prospective of the purchaser, if not of the happily unconscious bird. Other crowds mixed with the shopping crowds, and elbowed their way to the theatres or rendezvous for " making up" the sports or pic-nics of the Monday, and thus the eve wore away, and, we are glad to add, without a fire.

CHRISTMAS BAT.

The Sunday was one of the days which poets call " the bridal of the eatth and sky" gloriously bright, cloudlessly pure, and inef fably serene. If such a description be not superlative enough we will give a stronger, and say it was a sunny yet perfect contrast to a biiokfielder. Beyond that the force of me teorography (to coin a word as other dealers in wind do) could no farther go. On this day, to the credit of the people of Ballarat be it recorded, the Sabbath was kept a thorough it was not the link between the preparation for aud the enjoyment of the annual festivi ties. To one ignorant of the season and the day, Ballarat would have afforded on Sunday no means of guessing at what had been or was going to be. All was as quiet and or derly as our ordinary and well-kept Sabbaths are. Two of our religious bodies held special services, namely the United Presbyterian Church in Armstrong street and the Welsh Church at the corner of Lydinrd and Arm strong streets, when collections were made in aid of the funds of the respective churches. The first celebration was an anniversary, and the Becond was the formal opening of the Welsh Church recently erected on the Welsh reserve. Soirees were also a part of the cele. brations in question, that at the Welsh Chapel taking place on Monday, and that of the United Presbyterian Church on Tuesday (this day.)

BOXING DAY.

The day was disagreeably hot and dusty, but, as we have intimated, I lie lovers of plea sure did not give up their fond pursuit on that trifling account, as the subjoined list of sports and fetes and entertainments will con* clusively demonstrate: Nearly all the plaaes of business were closed, and thus helped to give a thoroughly holiday appearance to the

town.

WBESTLEtfff.

The Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Durham Wrestling 8ociety held their annual tryst at the Copenhagen Ground, near the Tannery Hotel, this year, where also the Caledonian Gathering will take place next Monday and Tuesday. The ground oom prises ati area of about three acres in a circu lar form, round the whole of which a series of seats is being erecfed under the aiupices of the Caledonian Society, whose grand stand is already erected at the north side of the grounds. On Boxing Say some two or three thousand people assembled for the first day's sport provided by the north of England Wrestling Society, all the other places ap pointed for similar games that day in Ballarat being for the most part denuded of patronage by the superior attractions afforded by the feats of the " Northerns" in their fine Btyle of wrestling. The place is at an easy distance from the town, and the programme being various,

the excellent attendance was not a matter of surpriae, the bill of fare comprising wrestling, racing and rifle shooting. We cannot praise the master of the ceremonies, (if such a functionary indeed was there,) for the order of the arrangement, as the greatest disorder for the most part prevailed throughout. This is a matter of regret, for really the fine old game of athletics practised by the men of the northern counties of England deserves better handling. Why should not a proper arrangement be made for the accommodation of the clerks, or scorers, or entry keepers, or whatever name those officers bear, and why with them should not the representatives of

the Press be also accommodated with an un

interrupted view of the proceedings. The gentlemen whom we send to report go there to tell the general public how the several athletes disport themselves, and to spread abroad for the many who are not present,

; bat who like to read of the feats of skill and

strength performed by others, something like intelligible descriptions of the games. But how can this be done, when the names of the combatants are not duly made known, and when ail view of the arena is pertinaciously shut out by the crowd whom there is no efficient arrangement made to keep from the ring. We claim for the wrest lers themselves better treatment, for they deserve to be encouraged by the maintenance of order and a due publicity of the manner of the victory as well as the victory itself; and we claim for the public who go, and who do not go too, some better provision than was made yesterday for a sight of the games. It is entirely a mistake not to attend to the6e thing?, for if it were < nee known that there would be a clear stage kept for the wrestlers, more visitors would go, and if it were known that thorough order would be maintained and ample opportunity for criticism and description would be given to the representatives of the Press, there would be more competitors, and a wider interest would from year to year be felt in those annual gatherings of the gym nasts. We Itave dwelt more et length on this matter because it is of importance to those who wish to see these sports properly encouraged and conducted, and because, owing to the disorder which prevailed, we are able to give hardly any thing more than a bare statement of results. So far as order in the police Bense of the word goes, it could not have been better. All was good humor and peace while we were there, and the few constables on duty had a sinecure so far ae we observed. This, however, is, we rejoice to say, a general fea ture in our festive gatherings* and will long continue to be 60 we will hope. If, however, there be any truth in our strictures above, .we trait the Wrestling and Gtadsoua

Socjafegfyill both lay them for future use and igo^ tlFs proceed Tta&ifp gife a «3ciiBl ^ tiie ^posrt£ at

Hie first sport that came off was the Rifle Shooting, for which there were twenty-two 1 entries. The target was attached to a bay stack, and the dirt&Qce jras lOO yardfi. The bull's eye was not bit, bat the {nazes were won of coarse withontthat, the firstshot being within three distances of the eye. The prizes were as follows:

1st prize. Silver cup, value £12. 2nd do ...Double-barrel gun. 3rd do powder flask.

Matthews... 1 " Logan 2

3 100 XABDB, PUX HAOB. 1st prize £3 0 2nd prize 1 10

For this race the following competitors entered: Messrs W. Todd, S. Foster, M'Kis sock, A. Darius, M'Oraa, Walker, and lln ton. The race wag a smart affair, and ended with

M'Ejssock 1 Linton 2

The wrestling was then commenced, the following being the programme of weights and prizes:

11 STOSS WEIGHTS.

1st prize £15 0

2nd do 7 10 3rd do 3 0 4th do 2 0 4th to 8th do 1 10 8th to 16th do 0 15

There was some first-rate wrestling, and soma combatants of splendid form and de velopment came into the arena, although we missed Patterson, Youngbusband.Busher,and one or two others known to fame here as

prinoes in this species of athletic sport:

Some of these we were informed were absent from Ballarat, and thus unable to enter the lists. As we hare already stated, we are unable to describe the wrestling, through ignorance of the names at the moment when, for the purposes of description, it was neces sary to know who were the competitors. We are unable to give the results of the day's sport, as the thunder storm broke over the grounds just as the tliird and final tussle was about to begin, and the entries were lost or mislaid in the confusion consequent on the

storm.

THE BaxiiAbax HANDICAP FOOT BA.CE

440 YARDS.

1st prize £8 I 2nd do 4 ! 3rd do 2 4th do 1

This event came off just after the second round of wrestling. The following entries were made:-Messrs Harvey, Gregory, Mad digan, Lintou, Kingston, Foster, Mount, Todd, Vallance, Clarke, and Houghton. The race was twice round the large arena, and was one of the most in teresting events of the day, for the race was keenly contested and well seen, a better disposal of the crowd being made, and the field of vision being larger. Messrs Mount and one other were the only competitors who started from the " scratch," all the others having starts given them varying from 5 to 15 feet, the winner of the first prize having 5 feet start. Linton took the lead and kept it, closely followed by the other winners, Foster making a last effort when near the goal, and passing Mount, who had kept before him till then. It seemed to us that as the competitors neared the winning flag they lost ground by looking behind them to see how the others ran, instead of looking at the flag, and at it alone. The width of race ground too, was too scanty for the number of entries, as the runners seemed now and thai to have less freedom than they ought to have. The winners came to the flag in the following

order;

Linton 1 Kingston 2 Foster 3 Mount 4

There was an ample supply of refreshments, provided by Mr Tait and Mr Chappie at thctr respective booths but we strongly object to being mulcted in the Copenhagen penalty of one shilling for a bottle of ginger beer, as was the order of the day yesterday. The refresh ment caterers had no stint of patronage, and we again urge the promoters of these annual festiviti 6, that these gatherings are not entirely commercial speculations or ought not to be; and that, therefore, it is unwise to lax the public 100 per cent, more than usual for a drink on a thirsty day. But even as a com mercial speculation, we question much whe ther it would not pay better to sell at the ordinary prices.

The following is the programme for to day :

ALL WEIGHTS.

1st Prize £15 0 0 2nd Do 7 10 0 3rd lio 3 0 0 4th do ....... 3 0 0 4th to 8th do 1 10 0 8th to 16th do 0 15 0

QUOITIKG.

1st prize 5 0 0 2nd do 2 0 0

HUBDLE RACE, 600 YARDS

LSTPRIZE 5 0 0 2ND DO 2 0 0 3RD DO 1 0 O 4th do 0 10 0

TILTING.

l6t prize Gold Mounted Whip 2nd do Silver Mounted Whip

IJifle shooting and quoitiag to commence at

eight o'clock each morning.

CHARLIE NAPIEE THEATBB.

At the Charlie Napier Theatre the stan dards were arranged for a grand wrestling match to come off on Saturday next in the Cornish and Devon style, which was open to the colony. The prizes are as follows:

£ s. d.

First prize 15 0 O Second do 12 0 o THIRD DO 9 0 0 FOURTH DO 6 O 0 FIFTH DO 4 0 0 SIXTH DO 2 0 0 Seventh do I O -O

N.B.-The first two standards to have 10s

each.

Wrestling commences at twelve o'clock.

STAB HOTEL.

A large number of persons collected here, some of whom made several attempts to climb a greasy pole; others inspected the monster alligators, and expressed (her asto nishment at the appearance of these animals. The proceedings passed off very peaceably.

THE HOUSE AND JOCKEY HOTEL.

About 300 persons collected fit the above hotel, which iB situated on the Sebastopol road, to witness the wrestling match which has been for some time announced to come off in the Cornish and Devon style, the only dif ference between both being that the Cornish men wrestle with their shoes off, while the Devon men leave them on. On Saturday two sticklers and an umpire were appointed, and

the champions having been matched, uo less i than 26 standards or competitors were booked

for the contest. The prizes consisted of £5, j £3, and £1 10, the two first standards to re- j ceive 5s each; those who won a first prize j were not allowed to wrestle in the ring, i Several of the matches were well contested. We are unable to give the result of the con

test, owing to the lateness of the hour at' which it was concluded, and the non-fulfil- . ment of a promise to forward particulars on the part of the promoters.

TBSF Horn.

At the above hotel the ground was marked out and every arrangement made for a glori ous days fan, but tbe public came not, and the proceedings were postponed until a future day. A. nee for a new saddle and bridle, a silver mounted riding whip and spurs, besides rifle shooting, jumping in sacks, and other sports were announced to come off and the programme was a most inviting one.

CaicKBT GBOTJKD.

A few persons collected in the above ylaiy of amusement, some of whom indulged in " nobblerising" and climbing a greasy pole, playing cricket and other games, but nothing occoiXfd calling for particular notice.

the j aooMiai' ? B*U>

rea-;

aaBWnHaa^i^m^^^^^^^iilliB Mel

bonme Bcad to j^|iqWr^%ttnfOO to I 250^^!2tei^£^^ P»-:

by a band of jiuno prodeeileil t

Ibia road, Esmond street, -Gohlen Point j toad, nod Lydiard street, to Start street;

from thenoo the prooession moved up Start, street to Doveton street, and thenoe by Usir street and Iiydiard street to Bturt sbwtftna the Main road, and &us to the TempBnaoe' Bill inBaatell ifa»et ©le muster of the Ballarat Society was not bo niimerouB as was expected by some of the inembecBj while one or tiro of tin outsider aocietaee equalled or even irn^wl the numerioal force displayed

fay Ae Ballarat Society; The juveniles of j

the Baid of Hope under Mr Dnnsqy's : auspices, mustered strong, and evidently eyoyed their part in the day's programme. In the evening a tea meeting took place In the Hall, when a numerous company eat down to well spread tables; the hall being decorated with evergreens and the vari colored and multi-mottoed banners that bad been carried in procession. After the tables were cleared the chair was taken by Mr

Baker, the President ol the Society, who briefly adverted to the day's proceedings and

the business of the evening, and then called i on Mr Dunk, who addressed the meeting. The band then performed the National Anthem, afterwhich Mfc Fechell secretary to the Campbell's Creek Society, delivered a long discursive address, impres sing on his hearers the importance of total abstinence, and the claims it had upon the espousal of professing Christians. A tem perance catch was then sung by Mrs and Miss Kelly and Mr Merson, and the Rev. Mr ;

mwuuvj >«u«u IWHIIWPW UID uracuilgi CQUUT 1

cing the duties of temperance, and citing ] divers anecdotes in illustration of the position ] that education and talent without abstinence j from intoxicating drinks were no guarantee ' of a man's safety either socially or morally. Other addresses and songs followed, and the proceedings terminated at an advanced hour, with votes of flutnlrn to the chair and to those under whose management the festival had been so successfully conducted.

CoiBiiE NAPIEK.-On Saturday night the French drama of " Joan of Arc " was played on the boards of the Charlie Napier Theatre. There was a very good house, and we cannot express our admiration of the piece, which was a very tame and spiritless affair. There were no military knights with esquires, no barons from " perfidious Albion," to up hold the honor of that country. Mr Chap man as Beaucais was the only belted knight who appeared ready to break a lance with the victorious Joan. All the world knows the history of the Maid of Orleans; her en

thusiasm and her visions; and though history \ assures us that she was burned by her j

enemies as a sorceress, the author disputes the point, and as she is about to be pinioned to the stake, she is rescued from the English by thepowere of Prance, and the curtain falls. The acting of Mr Ford in the character j of VaUanto was comically droll, and re deemed the piece from bang characterised as

a tail are. Miss Avonia Jones as Joan cf Arc : made the most ot the character, and Mr ]

Fitzgerald as Be Catnral, the father of Joan, evinced a decided predilection for the brogue in all its native fluency. Mr O'Brien as Prince Cftarles was dignified and courtly, and

Miss Jones, in the combat between herself j and La Fontaine, showed that to her other j accomplishments she has added that of the sword exercise. The afterpiece was an Irish farce, entitled "Paddy Carey," which was racy of the soil, and in which Mr Fitzgerald, as the inimitable Paddy, provoked the risi bility of the audience. Irish farce is his forte, and with a shillelah in his band, a knee breeches, frieze coat, and other make ups, he would make an excellent delineator of the peculiar characteristics of the " boys " who hail from the land Of Erin. The per

formance last night at the Charlie Napier ' Theatre consisted of a fairy spectacle entitled " Ondine," which was placed on the stage in a vers creditable manner. The scenery and costumes were admirably got up. Miss

Avonia Jones sustained the character of j Ondine, Mr Fitzgerald that of Sir Sildiirand,

and Mr Chapman impersonated the Fire , Fiend. The piece was a decided improvement on that of Saturday night, and the company generally exhibited more spirit, and were repeatedly applauded. We have not time nor space to notice the performance at much lengt h to-night, but shall refer to it again.

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State Government of Victoria
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