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sunk in costs of management and favours done to
Ihe high dignitaries of the unequally paid Church.

Has no exemplary person, in power anything
to say, or do, about this?


"DANCING," say learned ballet-masters, "is
distinguished into High Dance, or Funambulism,
consisting of Capers, Gambols, and Low Dance,
which is Terra à Terrâ, or close to the Ground."
Funambulism may therefore claim to be one of
the highest branches of the dance. But art not
unfrequently moves in a circle, reverting, after
a certain time, to some ancient phase of its
previous career.  Such is the case with dancing on
ropes. Rope-dancing, which began with rope-
creeping (funerepus, qui in fune repit) and with
rope-walking, after passing through pas seuls
and pas de deux on single and double tight
ropes, has returned to primitive rope-walking
and rope-running again, it must be confessed,
with additions, if not with embellishments. The
funambulus of Terence, despising minor feats
of grace and agility, is once more a high
funambulus at the Crystal Palace.  The Greek
expression was like the Latin; the ???????????
mentioned by Chrysostom was literally a walker
on a rope of rushes. And now, the Terpsichore
of the straightened cord sends her pupils to
take lessons and gymnastic training of Hercules
and Mercury.  Herr Groddeck, in his day
Professor of Philosophy at Dantzic, in his learned
dissertation, De Funambulis, defines, in Hibernian
vein, a rope-dancer, a person who walks on
a thick rope fastened to two opposite posts.

The ancients, he tells us, undoubtedly had
their rope-dancers as well as we, who exercised
their art in four several ways. The first vaulted
or turned round the rope, like a wheel round its
axis, and there hung by the heels or the neck.
The second flew, or slid from above, downwards,
resting on their stomachs, with their arms and
legs extended; a modification of this feat has
been performed by elephants. The third ran
along a rope stretched in a right line, or up and
down. Lastly, the fourth not only walked on a
rope, but made surprising leaps and turns
thereon; in short, their funambular æsthetics
were those of the rope school now flourishing.

Passing from historical to moral considerations,
Herr Groddeck maintains that the profession
of a rope-dancer is not lawful; that the
professors are infamous and their art of no use
to society; that they expose their bodies to
very great dangers; and that they ought not to
be tolerated in a well-regulated state. Afterwards,
tempering the severity of his sentence,
perhaps also yielding a little to his own private
and particular tastesfor who would write an
erudite essay, "De Funambulis," unless he took
some interest in funambuli and funambulæ?—
he admits that there are sometimes reasons for
patronising persons of precarious lives; that the
people must have their shows; that one of the
secrets of government is to furnish them
therewith, and other pretexts of equal plausibility.

Herr Groddeck did right to withdraw his hard
words, so long as the funambulist risks his own
life only. What a task it is that a man undertakes
or which more frequently is undertaken
for him by his parents and guardianswhen he
sets to work to earn his bread by juggling with
the laws of gravity, his own person being the
object juggled with! Before the rope-walker
can exercise his art, two distinct difficulties have
to be overcome: first, the maintenance of his
equilibrium, and secondly, the faculty of reaching
and remaining at precipitous heights without
feeling fear or turning giddy. But although
these two difficulties, in combination, appear
almost insurmountable to persons unused to
them, they are, nevertheless, frequently
surmounted unconsciously and instinctively by
many animals and many men.

The very act of walking upright, with which
the human species is gifted, is a complicated
and continued process of balancing, effected by
adapting very small supportsthe feetto the
varying position of the centre of gravity of the
whole body. The child has to acquire the art
in his infancy; and the adult loses it, temporarily,
whenever intemperance, congestion of
blood, convulsion, or faintness affects his mental
faculties. Let a statue of a man be fabricated
out of any solid material of the same specific
gravity as the human body, and it will require a
skilful artist to make it stand on its feet unsupported
by a prop and unfastened to its pedestal.
Even when it has been made to stand upright, a
very slight shock above or shaking below will
cause it to fall.

This really wonderful feat of equilibrium is
performed by every living biped, without being
considered anything extraordinary. Quadrupeds,
with their four supports, have a mere nothing
to do in comparison. They stand, like
tables or chairs, of themselves; even in case of
accident to one leg, they would still keep up
and avoid falling, as tripods, so long as their
muscular powers remained unimpaired. Certain
quadrupeds do, however, attain considerable
proficiency in the equilibrist's art. The chamois
will balance itself adroitly on narrow pinnacles
and ledges of rock; the goat the same; and may
also be taught tricks as surprising as human
performances on the slack wire. Mountain sheep
show great steadiness and courage in picking
their way along dangerous paths. Mules enjoy an
undisputed celebrity. All these animals seem
to take a perverse and foolhardy pleasure in
skirting the very brink of the precipice. What
occasional accidents may happen to the chamois
is hard for lowlanders to ascertain, but neither
of the latter species are absolutely perfect in
their training. Poor Madame d'Herlincourt,
only the other day, was pitched over the precipice
of the Gemmi Pass, through the fault of a
very fallible mule, and smashed to bits, literally.
In the basins of waterfalls of any respectable
height, it is not rare to see floating the body of
a sheep or a lamb that has fallen into the upper
stream, and then, carried away by the current, has
been shot over the rock into the caldron below.