6 OCTOBER 1860, Page 4


The Prince of Wales, after laying the foundation stone of a monument to the gallant Brock, and staying some days to contemplate the falls of Niagara, embarked for Detroit, where he arrived on the 20th of Septem- ber—

" When the steamer reached American waters, Mayor Bahl, on behalf of the city of Detroit, welcomed Baron Renfrew to the United States. Ar- ranged in the river and covering a space of nearly a mile in length was a large fleet of river and lake vessels, beautifully rigged with variegated lamps, and decorated with banners and emblems inscribed with words of greeting. As the royal steamer passed through the fleet, each vessel sent forth a perfect shower of rockets and fireworks, and the warehouses fronting the river were sple ndidly illuminated. Fireworks were also let off from the docks, and the whole river was one complete flame of light, making one of the grandest dis- plays ever witnessed. The royal party landed at the foot of Woodward Avenue, wherein, and in the adjoining streets, 30,000 people were as- sembled. An escort for the royal party, composed of the firemen of the city, bearing torches, and most of the city military, was intended, but the crowd was so great it was found impossible for the procession to form. After some delay, and the greatest confusion, the Prince was taken away in a close car- riage, and driven to the Russell House unrecognized. His suite followed,

escorted by firemen On the 21st, the Prince started for Chicago. Just before 10 o'clock a. in. he made his appearance, with two of his suite, also Mayor Bahl, the whole party intending to dice a drive through the city before proceeding to the cars. A magnificent open barouche, drawn by four splendid white horses, had been provided. The party seated them- selves in the barouche, when the immense crowd gathered around and blocked up the avenues so thickly as to make it neat to impossible for his Royal Highness to proceed. Cheer after cheer was given for the Prince, and the wildest enthusiasm prevailed. The carriage was followed by im- mense crowds on foot, many hanging to the wheels, while streets and side walks on the route were literally blocked with people, who intercepted the royal party at every turn. After driving through a few of the principal streets, the royal party proceeded to the depot, and took their departure for Chicago, amid the firing of a royal salute and other hearty demonstrations."

It was understood that "Baron Renfrew" would be received at the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, with no ostentatious display. The students will have an opportunity of paying their respects personally to the royal visitor in one of the halls belonging to the university. The other demonstration will be exclusively of a private character. Great preparations were being made in Boston to welcome the Prince in that city. The programme includes a grand ball at the Academy of Music and a banquet at the Revere House.

The Prince at Niagara.—" There are three notable ways of seeing the Falls which are always shown to such visitors as have the courage to attempt them. The first is under the hollow cliff on the Canadian side, where a winding staircase in a wooden tower, leaning against the face of the rock, leads down to the level of the water. From this point, out of reach of the fall of waters, though dreadfully accessible to their spray, a scrambling narrow ridge of loose stone leads down. Clad in a waterproof suit like the dress of a diver, you venture out upon this path. You need all your coolness and vigilance here, as the clouds of water keep eddying out from the cataract on your left almost dense enough to drown a man, and quite dbick enough to blind him. One false step, and all the world could not prolong your life a single instant. As you advance upon the path and dimly see the little stony track before you, the stoutest heart beats quicker. High over head a cave-like mass of WA granite projects in a rough .arch for more than fifty feet, and beneath this a vista opens up which might pass for the entrance to the pit of Acheron. Yet a little further and the spray meets you iu a suffocating mass, till, half drowned with the water and stunned with the roar, you gasp for breath as the cold strikes a chill through your frame, and drives you to seek a moment's shelter with your face close pressed against the wet rocks ere you dare it farther. A minute or two for breath and you press on again, shielding your eyes from the water and looking down cautiously upon the smooth slippy path, now and then turning sharp round to avoid the whirlpools of spray which dash and eddy up in fierce clouds as though they meant to tear you from the cliff. At the end of the path you pause, and during the brief intervals between the drowning showers, you try to survey the scene. You are some forty or fifty yards under the edge of the great Horseshoe Falls, and in the thick and misty twilight can see the huge curtain of water falling from the cliff 200

• feet above you like a sheet of rough ground glass, and shooting into streams

and columns, as it falls lower and lower down on to the pointed rocks before you, which steam and seeth and send the great mass hissing off as though they were red hot. It is a tremendous and an awful sight, neither beautiful nor picturesque, but without its equal in the wide world for grand and -solemn majesty and power. Yet truly speaking its terrors sink away to nothing in comparison with the view disclosed as you turn and look straight ahead beneath the Falls. Some yards before you, though only dimly seen, stands a tall solitary strip of rock—thin, sharp, and even as the edge of a knife, and round the base of which no human foot has ever trodden. Let those who visit Niagara, and dare this utmost passage, press close to its edge, and wait for a chance to look beyond. ]Vow and then with a hoarse roar, heard even above the din of waters, the clouds of spray are hurled up- wards like a steam explosion, and you can see dimly into the green darkness beyond, almost beneath, where the great Fall comes over like a deluge, and where for one brief instant as the misty curtain lifts, you half descry where something like a cavern yawns, blacker and gloomier than all. It is only for an instant that such glimpses may be had and one may wait a chance for hours ere it will please Niagara to afford even such a scanty gaze into the .mysteries which these dreadful waters have hidden from all eternity.

" Another way of seeing them close is to go up in the little steamer the 'Maid of the Mist to the foot of the cataract itself, and the third is to master the details of the American Falls by creeping behind them to visit the Cave of the Winds. The Prince has done all these feats even to the last, which necessitates rather a long immersion in spray and water, and requires cour- age of no ordinary kind to undertake it at all. " His first view of the cataracts was on Friday night last, when he saw them as no man had ever seen them before, and as they will probably never be seen again—he saw the falls of Niagara illuminated. At the first idea, it seems about as feasible to light up the Atlantic as these great outpourings of Lake Erie, and Mr. Blackwell, when he started the idea, was looked on as well meaning and all that, but chimerical, to use the Mildest term. Mr. Blackwell, however, persevered, and had some 200 Bengal lights made. of the largest size which it was possible to manufacture. About twenty of these were placed in a row under the cliffs, beneath Clifton House, and facing the American Fall ; twenty more were placed under Table Rock, and twenty more behind the sheet of water itself, the entrance to which from the Canadian side I have already described. At ten o'clock at night, they were all lit, and their effect was something grand, magical, and brilliant be- yond all power of words to pourtray. In an instant, the whole masa of water, glowing as if incandescent in the intense light, seemed turned to molten silver. From behind the Fall the light shone with such vivid bril- liancy that the waters immediately before it looked like a sheet of crystal glass, a cascade of diamonds, every head and stream in which leapt and sparkled and spread the glare over the whole scene, like a river of lighted phosphorus. The boiling rapids underneath dimly reflected back the vivid gleamas from a mirror, lighting up the trees and rocks and all the wild torn chasm through which the rapids pour, and showing out the old gray ruins o Table Rock like a huge dilapidated tour. The smoke, too, rose in thick dense masses, spreading upwards over the cataracts in a luminous cloud that it seemed as if the Niagara was in a blaze from base to summit. But all the grandeur and beauty seemed as nothing to the effect produced when the lights were changed from white to red. Niagara seemed turned to blood in colour, but so bright, so lurid in its deep effulgence, that a river of seething,

roaring, hellish fire, seemed to have taken the place in an instant of these cold, stern, eternal Falls. None could look upon this scene, the huge, fiery,

blood-red mass, dark-looking and clotted in the centre, without a feeling of awe. You could not speak, so sublime were its terrors, nor move your gaze from the blazing caldron underneath the Falls, where the river seemed in its frothy red foam like boiling blood. " His Royal Highness walked quietly out on Table Rock and saw the whole of this grand scene to the beat advantage, and afterwards walked quietly round past the Clifton to his own house, .quite unknown to the crowd. Jenkins will, of course, favour the American world with fresh and thrilling anecdotes of the Prince on this occasion. All that I know of

his Royal Highness is that he lives very privately ; that, like all gentlemen of education and refinement, he has been greatly impressed by these tre- mendous cataracts, and passes each day in viewing them from fresh points of interest.

" On Saturday, his Royal Highness saw M. Blondin execute his most ter- riffle feat—that of crossing the Rapids on his tight-rope with a man on his back. To leave the study of these eternal cataracts to witness the feats of any rope-dancer, however skilful, is very much like shutting your Prayer Book to go and witness a pantomime. Nevertheless, among the Americans Blondin is a great favourite, many of whom actually carry their admiration

of his feats so far as to say that unless you see Blondiii. walk' you don't see Niagara. Without being too analytical in my search after motives, I

verily believe that at least one-half of the crowds that go to see Blonclin go there in the firm expectation that as he must fall off and be lost some day or other, they may have the good fortune to be there when he does so miss, and witness the whole catastrophe from the best point of view. One thing, however, is certain that if you do go to see Blondin, when he once begins his feats you can no more take your eyes off him, unless you shut them from a very sickness of terror, till he is safe back again on land. The place where his rope is stretched is about a quarter of a mile below the Suspension Bridge, over the lower Rapids, and about two below the Falls. To do Blondin justice, his skill is so great that he would as soon stretch his rope along the edge of the Fulls themselves as not, but at this place there is no point on either side to which he could secure it. All the waters of Niagara, however, could not make his fate more certain and inevitable than it would be if he fell from the place where his rope is now fixed.

" It is stretched between two of the steepest cliffs over the Rapids, about 230 feet from where the waters boil and roar and plunge on in massive waves at the rate of some twenty miles an hour. To see him venture out on this thin cord, and turn summersaults in the centre, standing on his head, or settling down holding by his hands, revolve backwards over the rope like a Catherine wheel, is bad enough for nervous people ; but on Sa- turday, after keeping every one's hair on end for twenty minutes thus, he proposed to carry a man across on his back. The mere physical exertion of carrying a man a distance of half a mile is no slight feat, but when that half mile has to be traversed on a tight rope higher than the Monument, from a sea of boiling rapids underneath, where one false movement, the tremor of a single nerve, a moment's gust of wind, would hurry both to an instant and dreadful death, the attempt is so full of sickening terror that not many can bring themselves to witness it, and those who do remain cold, trembling, and silent, till the dreadful venture is safely passed. Blondin took the matter coolly enough, and, though his Royal Highness was urgent with him not to attempt it, he replied that there was far less danger in the feat than appeared to lookers-on, and that as he had everywhere announced his intention of performing it, before relinquishing his attempts for the moron, he felt bound to go on. He accordingly divested himself of his In- dian chief's head-dress and beadwork coat, and put two strong straps crosswise over his broad muscular shoulders, each strap fitted with a flat iron hook, to rest on his hips, for there his adventurous companion was to rest his legs. Mr. Calcourt was the man to be carried, and this person, in addition to his own coolness and confidence in Blondin, has himself a sufli- dent knowledge of the rope to enable him to stand on it alone whenever Blondin himself wanted rest. All the preparations were soon made. Blondin stood steadily on the rope, and Calcourt, grasping him round the neck, gently and slowly hoisted first one leg into the hook and then the other, and then, allowing his limbs to swing as relaxed as possible, the attempt commenced. Of course, with a rope nearly half-a-mile long, no power can draw it straight. It, therefore, slopes rapidly down at both sides from the edges of the cliffs in which it is secured. This made the attempt look doubly fearful, for it seemed impossible, as Blondin went down the steep incline of cord with slow, cautious, trembling feet, with body carefully thrown back to keep his balance, that he could avoid slipping and being dashed to fragments on the rocks which were far down beneath. At last, however, he passed it softly, and in about five minutes gained the centre of the rope and stopped, while Calcourt gently raising his legs from the hooks, slid off and stood upon the rope, while Blondin rested. Getting up on his back again was an awful business. Twice Calcourt missed raising his legs to the hooks, and Blondin oscillated considerably under the efforts made on his-back. At last, however, his daring companion was seated and the task resumed, and after three more such intervals of rest the other side was safely gained. The whole passage occupied a quarter of an hour. Blondin then performed the equally dan- gerous task of returning along the rope on stilts about three feet high, and this he did quickly and with apparent ease. His Royal Highness then went up, as I have said, to the foot of the Falls in the Maid of the Mist. Let any one imagine three sides of Lincoln's Inn fields, formed of rocks 170 feet high, and a body of water fifty times as great as that of the Thames at Lon- don Bridge, rushing over them each minute, and then they will have some idea of what these falls are when the little steamer gets into the hollow square of water just before she is forced back by the tremendous rush from them down the stream again."—Times Correspondent.