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Title: Myers' Grand Hippodrome
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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                          Holborn Restaurant,
                          218, HIGH HOLBORN,

      Attractions of the Chief Parisian Establishments, with the
             quiet and order essential to English Customs.

           _Dinners and Luncheons from Daily Bill of Fare._

                    Every Evening, from 6 to 8.30,
                               3s. 6d.,
     _Including Two Soups, Two Kinds of Fish, Two Entrées, Joints,
   Sweets, Cheese (in variety), Salad, &c., with Ices and Dessert._

        This favourite Dinner is accompanied by a Selection of
                    high-class Instrumental Music.


       *       *       *       *       *

                     Crystal Palace Skating Rink.


    THE RINK, open and covered, has an area of 14,000 square feet,
     the surface is laid with Plimpton’s patent Pitch Pine Floor,
               and the Skates are in perfect condition.

                         ENTRANCE FROM PALACE.

   _By Aquarium Staircase; and from Upper Terrace by Monkey House._

                    Admission           One Shilling.
                    Hire of Skates      Sixpence.
                    Spectators          Sixpence.

                     OPEN DAILY (MAY to OCTOBER),

    From 10 till 1, 2 till close of Palace, excepting on Tuesdays,
    Thursdays, and on all Firework and Fête Days, when the hours
    are 10 till 1, 2 till 6, and 7 till 9.30, with a Band in

    As a fashionable and invigorating exercise, Skating stands
    unrivalled. With Ladies and Children the delightful art of
    Skating is more easily acquired on roller than on ice Skates,
    and the newly-laid patented floor is universally considered a
    superior medium to asphalte or Portland cement. The amusement
    afforded to onlookers rivals any of the numerous attractions of
    the Crystal Palace.

    =N.B.--The New OPEN-AIR RINK, which is in shade after 2
    o’clock, commands a fine view of the unrivalled Gardens and the
    Kentish Hills, and affords, perhaps, the pleasantest lounge
    (combined with the amusement of the Rink) within the precincts
    of the Palace.=

                            CRYSTAL PALACE.

                       Myers’ Grand Hippodrome.

                        ACCOUNT OF THE STABLES

                          HURDLE RACES, ETC.,
            _All other Arrangements at the Crystal Palace_,
                              WITH PLAN.

                   Lion Taming & Elephant Training,
                            DESCRIPTION OF
                      GREAT EQUESTRIAN PANTOMIME,
                        LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD,
                         SCENES IN THE CIRCLE,
            _Parades and Processions of Gorgeous Chariots_.


Myers’ Grand Hippodrome.

At the Crystal Palace.

It is but natural that the greatest Hippodrome of the world
should be quartered at the greatest pleasure-resort of the world,
and the arrangements made at the Crystal Palace for the reception
and performances of Mr. Myers’ Company will fittingly occupy the
first place in this brief account of his establishment, and of the
entertainments which will be offered to the public during his visit
to England. The stables (marked D on plan), whose dimensions are
given elsewhere, occupy the basement at the north end of the building
adjoining the Skating Rink, and will be open to the inspection of
visitors, affording what is really tantamount to a daily show of horses
and ponies of the highest breed, training, and mettle. The arrangements
for ventilation and the preservation of cleanliness are perfect. The
horses each occupy separate stalls; the floor is of concrete, and the
whole is lighted with gas whenever necessary. The elephants and camels
are housed in specially-erected stables (E on plan) at the north end of
the Second Terrace, near the bear-pit; and the lions are caged on the
north lawns, being transported daily with their cages to the various
places of exhibition.

The performances take place in various _locales_--in fact it may safely
be affirmed that no arena in England could be found better adapted
than the Crystal Palace for the display of Mr. Myers’ resources. The
great course of three-quarters of a mile in length (C on plan) has
been formed by connecting the First and Second Terraces, on which will
take place the steeple-chases, hurdle-races, parades of richly-mounted
carriages lavishly plated and decorated, and revivals of classic
sports. This transformation has been effected by the construction of
two inclined planes, 120 yards in length, built of timber, supported
on piles, and overlaid with a thick stratum of earth or tan to form a
suitable roadway.

The conformation of the Greek hippodrome was not unlike that of the
great course formed in the Crystal Palace grounds, the sides being
parallel, and one end semicircular. The site for the hippodrome of old
was also chosen, as a rule, on the side of a hill. The circuit of the
Olympic hippodrome was about 2,500 feet, or a little less than half
a mile; that of the course on the first and second terraces of the
Crystal Palace is 3,760 feet, or half as long again. The width of the
Greek hippodrome was about 400 feet; that of the Crystal Palace also
400 feet. The Circus Maximus of Rome was three stadia, or about 1,800
feet, in length; and about 600 feet across.

If we picture to ourselves the whole frontage of the Crystal Palace,
1,584 feet in length, tier upon tier affording accommodation to
thousands of spectators, and overlooking a combination of natural and
artificial scenery such as is hardly to be matched in England, we may
justly claim that the Coliseum of Rome in all its glory did not afford
a spectacle so picturesque, and with the additional advantage that the
performances at the Crystal Palace will be entirely free from debasing

The equestrian performances, entertainments of Oriental jugglery and
acrobats, feats of lion-taming, by John Cooper, and other exhibitions,
are divided between the great centre transept (A on plan) and the
great waterproof tent (B on plan) erected at the north end, occupying
21,600 square feet, and capable of holding 4,000 persons. An ingenious
plan has been devised by which the centre transept can be at will
transformed into an enormous circus, or revert to its normal use as a
promenade, a theatre, or colossal concert-hall. A ring of 44 feet outer
and 30 feet inner dimensions, has been formed by constructing a sunken
circle about 12 inches below the level of the original floor, which is
rendered capable of removal to just such an extent as will disclose the
ring, the boarding being replaced to form the ordinary promenade, at
such times as the circus performances are not going on. The elephants
and other animals will be brought from their stables in the basement
and park to the centre transept along an inclined plane of about 250
feet in length, and of ample width to allow both human and quadrupedal
performers to pass or repass.

Magnitude of Mr. Myers’ Establishment.

The magnitude of Mr. Myers’ establishment may be, in some degree,
estimated when we state that its performances employ no less than
200 persons--as equestrians, acrobats, clowns, musicians, children,
&c., and 200 performing animals, comprising 132 horses, 18 ponies, 9
elephants, 7 lions, 6 camels, besides monkeys, dogs, and mules. The
estimated value of _matériel_ alone is £150,000, and the daily expenses
are over £250. Another idea of its extent may be gained from a few
facts as to its transport to England, which required a train of no less
than 46 waggons, besides passenger carriages, for the conveyance from
Paris to Boulogne, where it was transferred to the two steam-vessels
_Leo_ and _Rhine_, which were specially detached from the General Steam
Navigation Company’s Continental service, for the voyage to London.
The area of the stabling and harness-rooms at the Crystal Palace is no
less than 27,456 square feet; and the dressing-rooms alone occupy 3,472
square feet. The elephants, horses, and camels require about 10,000
pounds of corn, 8,000 pounds of hay, 8,000 pounds of straw, 2,000
pounds of bran, and 3,000 pounds of potatoes per week; while the lions
consume 400 pounds of beef per week.

Career of Mr. Myers.

Mr. J. W. Myers, the proprietor of the largest Hippodrome in the
world, was born in New York in 1828. Though still in the prime of life,
he is a veteran in his profession, having commenced his public career
at the early age of nine by apprenticing himself as an equestrian to
Aaron Turner and Sons, partners of the celebrated Barnum. _Ex nihilo
nihil fit_, and Mr. Myers thus early recognised the truth of the
proverb by taking care to be provided with the small though substantial
capital of one halfpenny, with which, as the nucleus of fortune,
he fled from his home. He made rapid progress in his calling, and
soon distinguished himself as being the first who ever did a double
somersault over horses. A few years’ experience placed him foremost
among equestrians, and at the age of twenty-one he started a Circus and
Menagerie of his own, with which he travelled over the United States
for seven years. He then sold his property to Mr. John Wilson (whose
establishment was at the time the largest of its kind in America) and
came to England, having, shortly after his arrival, the distinguished
honour of performing before Her Majesty the Queen and the late Prince
Consort, at Windsor Castle.

Mr. Myers was for seventeen months engaged with Messrs. Howes and
Cushing, and at the expiration of that time he again formed a company
of his own, and performed with great success at Birmingham and other
English towns. Leaving England for the Continent he commenced the
career which has culminated in the formation of an establishment of
unprecedented magnitude.

The Mecca of Mr. Myers’ long pilgrimage was, of course, Paris; and
a Paris journal gives a characteristic account of the interview in
which the _entrepreneur_ acquired possession of the Magasins Réunis,
which he has transformed into the vast establishment which has been the
sensation of the capital of the world of pleasure during the last six
months. The Paris _Figaro_ states that on a certain day in last autumn
the proprietor of the Magasins Réunis, Baron E----, was visited by a
stranger who expressed his desire to hire the structure, till then a
drug in the market. Baron E---- was startled for a moment, but, soon
recovering his self-possession, replied that he was willing to let,
but only on a twenty years’ lease. “Be it so,” answered the applicant.
The owner believed himself the sport of a dream, and could only feebly
articulate “75,000 francs (£3,000) a year.” “I’ll give you 75,000
francs a year,” answered the visitor, “and here’s a year’s rent in
advance.” The bargain was struck, and the applicant announced himself
as Mr. J. W. Myers, the proprietor of a peripatetic hippodrome. Mr.
Myers set himself with all possible speed to adapt his new acquisition
to his purposes, and the great range of warehouses at the Château d’Eau
was in a very few weeks transformed, at an outlay of not less than a
million of francs, into a place of entertainment which has been one
of the wonders of Paris since December 19, 1875, when it was first
opened to the public. The great circus into which the central court
was converted accommodates an audience of more than 8,000 persons, and
the establishment is described by _La France_ as a complete world in
itself. In fact, the Paris press is singularly unanimous in pronouncing
it to be not only the greatest hippodrome which has ever visited
Paris, but (what is perhaps synonymous) the greatest in the world,
unparalleled in grandeur and magnificence.

For the Hippodrome of Mr. Myers has attained its present unequalled
proportions by gradual and steady growth. There is an eclecticism
even in Circus business, and Mr. Myers has excelled the doings of his
predecessors and contemporaries, not merely by employing nine elephants
where they used to employ _one_ performer and three or four “dummies”;
by doubling the usual number of the band, of the horses, and other
component parts of such an establishment: but he has taken care that
his horses shall be the best bred; that his elephants shall be the most
highly trained; that his equestrians shall be the most finished and
daring; that his clowns shall be the most amusing; that his acrobats
shall be the most graceful that have ever been seen in public. If the
patronage of the great ones of the earth be a test of merit, Mr. Myers
may claim to possess that merit in a supereminent degree. The Emperor
William of Germany, the Empress Augusta, the Emperor Francis Joseph and
the Empress of Austria, King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, King Alfonso
of Spain, the King and Queen of the Belgians, the King and Queen of
the Netherlands, the King and Queen of Saxony, the Queen of Greece,
the Khedive of Egypt, the President of Switzerland, the late Emperor
Napoleon III., the Empress Eugenie, the ex-Queen Isabella of Spain, the
King and Queen of Hanover, and the unfortunate Abdul Aziz of Turkey,
have all, at various times and places, honoured Mr. Myers with their
presence at his performances. Lyons, Bordeaux, Toulon, Dijon, Nimes,
St. Étienne, Nice, Grenoble, Avignon, Toulouse, and all the great towns
in France; Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfort, Breslau, Dresden, Königsberg,
Leipsic, Cologne, Mayence, Vienna, Nuremberg, Munich, Bremen, Dantzic,
Stettin, Regensburg, Strasburg, Metz, in Germany; Rome, Turin, Milan,
Florence, Genoa, Verona, Venice, Padua, in Italy; Amsterdam, Rotterdam,
the Hague, Utrecht, in Holland; Brussels, and other towns in Belgium;
Berne, Aarau, Schaffhausen, Zurich, Lausanne, Geneva, Zug, Basle, St.
Gallen, in Switzerland, have all been visited by Mr. Myers; and the
press of these places has been unanimous in its laudatory notices of
his establishment and its performances.

Animal Performances in Ancient Times.

The love for spectacles in which animals take part is inherent in
human nature, and directed the current of popular amusements at a
very early period of the world’s history. There is a natural pleasure
in witnessing performances which illustrate the sovereignty which
man’s intellect enables him to obtain over the largest and fiercest
of the brutes. Some of the most beautiful of the classic myths are
based on this dominion of man over the animal creation. The Centaurs
were but early trainers and riders of horses, the vulgar imagination
amalgamating the horse and its rider into one strange creature whose
beneficent deeds rendered him worthy of deification. The chariot race
is described by Homer as the most important item in the series of
funeral games in honour of Patroclus. Chariot-racing was introduced
at the 25th Olympiad (about B.C. 680), and racing by single horses in
the 33rd Olympiad (about B.C. 648). Elephants were first introduced in
the Roman circus in the year B.C. 251, when Lucius Metellus exhibited
them as part of the spoil of his victory over the Carthaginians. Lions
and panthers were first exhibited in B.C. 186 by M. Fulvius, after the
Ætolian war. After this date wild beasts became a regular feature of
the Roman entertainments. Scaurus, in B.C. 58, exhibited a hippopotamus
and five crocodiles. Julius Cæsar introduced giraffes into Italy for
the first time in B.C. 45; Augustus, a rhinoceros in B.C. 29. But these
animals were used mainly for the _venatio_, or exhibition in which they
fought against each other, or against man--the contrast between the old
Circensian games and the modern performances being all in favour of our
own times as regards humanity.

The Performing Elephants.

Elephants have, from a very early period in the history of circus
entertainments, played a leading part in the performances. They were,
in fact, the first animals (except, of course, horses) introduced into
the ancient amphitheatre, Lucius Metellus having (as stated above)
paraded them as part of the spoils of the Carthaginian war. In the
time of Pompey’s rule at Rome there was an attempt on the part of the
elephants to break down the barriers which separated them from the
public, an act of insubordination which led Cæsar to alter the form
of the circus. We hear of elephants as rope-walkers in the time of
Galba and Nero, and, in the reign of the latter emperor, an elephant
mounted an arch and thence walked on a rope with a man on his back.
Pliny, in his “Natural History,” has an account of an exhibition given
by Germanicus, in which elephants walked the tight-rope, fought with
javelins, and executed the Pyrrhic dance; and Seneca, Suetonius, Dion
Cassius, and Œlian bear testimony to their talents and high training.
Pliny says that the elephant is able to walk up the rope backwards,
and down it head foremost. Elephants are peculiarly susceptible to
the influence of music, and the Romans took full advantage of this
susceptibility. They were trained to march into the amphitheatre to
the rhythm of musical instruments; and we have in Arrian an account
of an elephant who, with cymbals fastened to his knees and trunk,
beat time to which his comrades danced. They also took part in mimic
representations of a banquet, reclining at which, in suitable costume
of ladies and gentlemen of the period, they behaved very much like
those they represented, eating and drinking with due decorum. Elephant
performances have been a feature of modern hippodromes, but it was
reserved for Mr. Myers’ coadjutor, John Cooper, to rediscover the
lost art of elephant training and performing, as understood by the
ancients. Music has played an important part in the education of Mr.
Myers’ _troupe_ of elephants. They waltz with pachydermatous grace, and
in perfect time; they execute complete ballets with an accuracy and
confident knowledge of their respective _rôles_, which many a human
performer might envy. They perform dramatic scenes with a perfect
appreciation of the situation. An anecdote or two will illustrate their
intelligence. It is recorded that, while performing in a certain town,
the _troupe_ had each evening, while on the road from the stables to
the place of representation, to pass in front of the tap of a brewery.
One day, as they were _en route_, one of the drinkers held out his
glass of beer to an elephant. The elephant gracefully accepted the
compliment, took with the utmost delicacy the glass from the hand of
the donor, poured the contents down its throat, and politely returned
the empty vessel to its owner. The bystanders were so amused, that in
an instant a crowd of glasses was tendered to the crowd of trunks,
and the same ceremony was performed by all the elephants present.
The proprietor of the establishment, in an excess of generosity,
brought out a barrel of beer, which was soon emptied by the combined
efforts of the trunks, and the _troupe_ went on its way rejoicing to
its duties. But the next evening the elephants, to the surprise of
their keepers, unanimously refused the ordinary beverage which was
provided before starting to their tasks. They were not pressed, and
the _cortége_ took its way to the theatre; but, on arriving in front
of the brewery, the elephants, to the consternation of their guides,
refused to budge a step until the performance of the preceding day
had been repeated. The brewer, with less satisfaction than on the
preceding evening, provided a second barrel of beer, and begged the
superintendent of the procession to take another road for the future.
But he had reckoned without his host. In spite of all the efforts of
the keepers, at the same hour the next evening an array of trunks was
again extended in front of the brewery, and a third barrel went the
way of its predecessors. In despair the brewer related his sad case
to Mr. Myers, who indemnified him, ordered a barrel of beer to be
delivered at each passage of the _troupe_, and, it is said, has ever
since, when travelling, taken care that his elephants shall avoid all
streets in which stands temptation in the shape of a brewery. Another
story is told of one of the sagacious animals whose keeper, returning
fatigued at night, fell asleep on a truss of straw, and was uplifted by
the trunk of his faithful four-footed valet, and placed in a manger;
the elephant not contenting himself with this delicate attention,
but proceeding to take off the boots of the sleeper, and cover him
carefully with two or three trusses of straw!

One of the most interesting of Mr. Myers’ exhibitions, is the bathing
and swimming of the elephants, which takes place in the lakes of the
Crystal Palace. The sight is a most amusing one; in fact, one day’s
casual bathe of the elephants in the Rhine, when Mr. Myers was at
Cologne, so excited the curiosity of the townspeople, that a guarantee
of some thousands of thalers was raised to ensure its repetition on
successive days. The great beasts play hide-and-seek with each other,
and, with their keepers, they turn somersaults in the water; they are
as uncontrollable and spontaneous in their mirth as a pack of boys
turned loose into a playground after school hours with _carte blanche_
to amuse themselves. Indeed the only drawback to their being allowed
to enter the water is the difficulty of getting them back for their
more serious duties. Pursuit with boats is attendant with the risk
of the sudden elevation of the vessel and its occupants some ten or
twenty feet into the air; and even when one is captured and seemingly
brought to a sense of its duties, the temptation to rejoin its sporting
comrades is too strong for it, and if unwatched for an instant, it
takes the opportunity of plunging in again. Nothing but the firm though
mild rule of John Cooper then avails to bring them up to the time and
place for their other performances.

John Cooper and Lion Taming.

With the lions of Mr. Myers’ Hippodrome the name of John Cooper is
inseparably associated. This foremost animal trainer in the world, was
born at Birmingham in 1838, and entered upon his present career under
the auspices of George Batty (brother of the Batty of hippodromatic
fame of 1851), who was then travelling on the Continent with his
circus and menagerie. Cooper commenced lion-taming at the early age
of twelve, and has followed the profession of trainer of wild animals
without cessation till the present time. He remained with George Batty
about fifteen years, and at the expiration of that time bought some
lions, and started on his own account. In 1866-67 he met Mr. Myers,
who ultimately bought Cooper’s lions, and engaged the services of
their owner at a salary unprecedented in the profession. The secret of
Cooper’s success is his love of animals, allied with a temperament in
which fear is no element, and a calm sense of superiority which is felt
by his brute servants no less than by himself.

Some remarkable instances of his immediate ascendency over the
fiercest animals are on record. When Lucas, the lion-tamer, was killed
by his own lions, he left a wife and child with no other resource
than the ownership of the fierce brutes. M. Arnauld, manager of the
hippodrome where the tragedy took place, gave a benefit performance
for the widow, and Cooper volunteered to enter the cage of the lions,
whom he had never before seen, and who had never before seen him, and
to perform with them, a task which he accomplished to the astonishment
of all beholders. Victor Emmanuel of Italy--one who, like Cooper, never
quailed before danger--found a kindred spirit in the lion-tamer, and
has honoured him with special marks of approbation; one of his presents
being two splendid lions, which form part of the _troupe_ with which
Cooper performs. Four camels and an elephant are also gifts of the
soldier-king. John Cooper has trained, while with Mr. Myers, 42 lions,
16 elephants, 25 camels, besides monkeys, bears, hyænas, and other
animals. It is a popular fallacy that trainers of such animals begin
their task while their pupils are in infancy. Cooper does not commence
with lions till they are five years old; only in one case, that of the
King of Italy’s lions, did he begin at four-and-a-half years. Whatever
and however fierce the animals presented, he enters their cage without
hesitation and without emotion, at the first interview. In the presence
of his ferocious _protégés_ a remarkable change takes place in the
demeanour of Cooper, and it is difficult to realise that the quiet,
mild, and gentle individual with whom one has been recently conversing
is the same person with the stern, energetic, and commanding figure,
with the bright and penetrating eyes, before which quail the fiercest
of the beasts, and whose iron will renders them compliant with his
every nod and beck.

We have before alluded to Cooper’s fondness for animals. One
incident is worth recording, as illustrating both that trait and his
dauntless intrepidity. While the lions were one day engaged in their
performances, springing over the head of their master, bounding from
one side of the cage to the other, a favourite lioness failed to clear
the movable barrier which the trainer uses to separate the animals
when necessary, or, as in the present instance, as a kind of hurdle
over which they are to leap in traversing the cage. The impulse of
the spring forced apart the iron bars of the barrier, and the head
and fore-part of the poor lioness were fixed as in a vice, at the
height of some feet from the floor of the cage. The situation was
somewhat critical, as Cooper had around him the other lions, which
were evidently excited by the fix of their companion; but, nothing
daunted, he attempted to release the prisoner by manual force. She
was, however, too firmly fixed; and Cooper called for a mallet, a
lever, and other tools, with which, unheeding his ferocious and excited
attendants--against whom he for the time had no defence--he separated
or broke the bars, and released the lioness from her painful position.

Mr. Myers relates an account of a desperate fight between a Senegal and
Nubian lion, which, in the absence of Cooper, he and his people vainly
tried to stop by red-hot iron bars, by throwing several pounds of snuff
into their eyes, and other unsuccessful means. The fight resulted in
the death of the larger lion before Cooper could arrive to separate
the furious beasts; but, on his arrival, he at once entered the cage,
severely chastised the victor, and attaching ropes to the body of the
dead lion, dragged it out of the cage without molestation.

Mr. Myers’ experience of a quarter of a century with lions tells
him that, contrary to popular belief, lions born in captivity are
less intelligent and much more fierce and nimble than those born in a
state of liberty. The victor in the above-related fight was born in
captivity. But whether born in the great forests of the tropics or the
narrow cages of the travelling menagerie, all fierce animals are alike
cowed by the magnetic power of John Cooper, and Mr. Myers’ longstanding
challenge of £100,000 to be awarded to any lion-tamer in the world who
will perform the same feats as John Cooper is still unaccepted.

Equestrian Scenes.

With such an unrivalled stud as that of Mr. Myers, and with such a
company of equestrians, it is, of course, inevitable that the scenes of
the circle will be on a commensurate scale. Mr. Myers has enlisted the
services of almost all the best-known riders, and his horses fulfil all
the requirements of the circle, both for high breed, for docility, and
for training. There is not a more accomplished and graceful horsewoman
in the world than Mrs. Myers; and her performance on her thoroughbred
steed “Cromwell” will form one of the most pleasing features of
the exhibition. Madame Nyegaard’s feats, performed while riding a
barebacked steed, are also unique; while the Madigans are unsurpassed
in those daring gymnastic feats which would almost lead one to the
belief that the rider was born and brought up on horseback, that he
lives, takes his meals, and sleeps on horseback, and that a visit to
_terra firma_ is an abnormal occurrence which occasionally breaks the
monotony of his ordinary life.

James Madigan’s double somersaults, performed while the horse is at
full speed, and Charles Madigan’s riding of four trained horses at
once, are feats which have excited the admiration of all the towns
on the Continent which Mr. Myers’ Hippodrome has visited. Special
attention must also be drawn to the quadrille of eight thoroughbreds
ridden by four ladies and four gentlemen, all accomplished performers,
who guide their intelligent steeds with the utmost grace and dexterity
through the most intricate figures of the dance.

Amongst the most notable of Mr. Myers’ horses are the thoroughbred
“Cromwell,” mentioned above; the horse “Mexican,” presented to Mr.
Myers by the ill-fated Emperor Maximilian; and the seven coal-black
horses from the Imperial stables of Trakhene, in Prussia.

Parades and Processions, Sports, &c.

One of the features of the performances in the Roman Circus Maximus was
the grand procession which preceded the sports, and in which all who
were about to exhibit took part. These will be reproduced during the
stay of Mr. Myers’ establishment at the Crystal Palace; the chariots,
constructed on the classic model, gorgeously decorated and lavishly
plated, and drawn by horses of the highest breed and mettle, being
daily paraded on the great course constructed on the First and Second
Terraces, as before described. There also will take place from time to
time the hurdle-races, steeple-chases, and other entertainments, in
which the great resources of Mr. Myers will be utilised. The classical
character of this portion of the entertainment will be maintained
by the decorations, which have been entrusted to Mr. Fenton, and in
which, amongst other items, the fasces and ova, which formed important
features in a Roman circus, will be reproduced.

Acrobatic and other Entertainments.

The miscellaneous entertainments given by Mr. Myers are of great
variety; in fact, he is able with perfect ease to change his programme
daily, such are his resources. An attractive item is the performance
of the Japanese _troupe_, brought from Japan expressly for Mr. Myers,
and in which the brothers Moto and Assa exhibit a flexibility which
implies the possession of spines of abnormal elasticity; while Gingero
and Como-Ketchy go through a series of balancing feats which cast into
the shade all contemporary performances of a like nature. Especially
wonderful is the business with the bamboo ladder, up and down which,
while it is supported on the chest of one of the performers, the other
runs with the greatest rapidity, standing on his head on the top,
creeping in and out between the rounds; and which at last, at a given
signal, falls to pieces, leaving only one side-piece, with the acrobat
standing on the top. A band of Bedouin Arabs also appears in those
bounding feats which seem the speciality of the sons of the Desert.
Miss Charlotte Felix’s _troupe_ of performing dogs go through a series
of interesting tricks, which illustrate to what a pitch of perfection
of training these sagacious animals can be brought; and a number of
clowns, headed by the well-known Hulines, add zest to the interludes by
their quaint sayings and grotesque tricks.

The Equestrian Pantomime, Little Red Riding Hood.

The latest addition to the varied attractions of Mr. Myers’
establishment has been a gorgeous spectacular pantomime on the subject
of Little Red Riding Hood (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge), which was
produced in Paris in April last, at a preliminary outlay of 120,000
francs, and which forms one of the most striking features of the
Crystal Palace performances. The charming little story of Perrault has
been ingeniously adapted to the equestrian resources of Mr. Myers’
hippodrome. The pantomime opens with a pretty ballet, in which the
fairy Good Heart and her attendant fays take part. Little Red Riding
Hood next appears, with her basket, and is surprised by the wolf, but
is for the time being saved from danger by the appearance of a host of
little hunters, whose horns terrify the savage beast, and who chase
him on their tiny ponies till they unfortunately lose his track. The
wolf then slays and devours the grandmother, and disguises himself in
her dress to deceive more effectually his intended victim; but she is
saved, of course, by the entrance of the young prince, who captures
the wolf, and encloses him with some trouble in a great cage. A grand
_bal champêtre_ follows, given by the fairy Good Heart in honour of
Little Red Riding Hood. The circus is transformed into a garden, with
copses, alleys, flowers, tended by little gardeners. Little Red Riding
Hood, transformed by the fairy into a princess, appears; guests of all
nations, and all classes of society, arrive, in appropriate dresses.

Distinguished Orientals, comprising the Shah of Persia and Chinese
and Japanese ambassadors, are intermingled with dukes and duchesses,
marquises and marchionesses, of the Western world. Waltzes, quadrilles,
and galops are the order of the day. A skipping-rope dance by Little
Red Riding Hood succeeds, in which time is kept to the music with
wonderful precision and exquisite grace. Now appear the gala chariots,
to convey away the prince and princess. A procession of miniature
chariots, richly gilded, each bearing two footmen, sumptuously dressed
and heavily powdered, are drawn in, each by six Lilliputian horses with
lavishly plated harness, and conducted by little coachmen. The arrival
of the great allegorical chariot, drawn by six magnificent horses, all
arrayed in dazzling silver-plated harness, and bearing the colours of
various nations, forms a suitable finale to a spectacle which consists
of a series of tableaux of more than an hour’s duration, which have
never been surpassed in originality and richness, and which will surely
be more effective in the Crystal Palace than it was in the great court
of the Magasins Réunis.

                                                                W. G.

NOTE.--This little book aims merely at giving a short account of the
rise, progress, and magnitude of Mr. Myers’ Great Hippodrome, and a
brief abstract of the entertainments which will _at various times_ be
offered to the public during his visit. It will be readily understood
from its contents, that his resources are so vast, that it would be
utterly impracticable to use more than a portion on one day, and that
the programme will from time to time be selected from the items of
which the foregoing is but a _résumé_.


       *       *       *       *       *


                            OETZMANN & Co.


                       67, 69, 71, 73, 77 & 79,
                            HAMPSTEAD ROAD,

       *       *       *       *       *




                          SEE NAME ON LABEL.

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