The Giant

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“This may be done in two ways: first and most difficult, by one boy standing on another’s shoulders, and then putting over both a long loose garment, long enough to reach to the knees of the lower one. This method, however, may be made much more easy by the upper player putting his feet in a kind of stirrup fastened to straps passing over the under one’s shoulder’s, and hanging just down to the hips. Height, of course, is sacrificed, but greater safety is secured; the giant, too, can exhibit thus for a longer time, as the attitude is not so fatiguing. The other and simpler method is to place a huge mask, which should represent a head and neck, on the top of a pole about five feet long, with a cross-piece to represent arms, and then tying a long cloak- it should be made for the purpose: any common material will do- round the neck of the mask and get bodily inside. Now, by raising or depressing the pole, the giant may be made to attain an extra ordinary stature or to shrink down again to ordinary dimensions as well. The lower end of the cloak, about two feet from the bottom, must be fastened to the performer’s waist, so that when the head is depressed the cloak may fall in folds, and not sweep the ground as it otherwise would. There is a very entertaining illusion of this sort exhibited under the name of ‘The Nondescripts.’ Two figures with enormous heads, alternately giants and dwarfs, run about the circus and indulge in the most surprising vagaries, being able apparently to contort themselves in every imaginable direction. Their final coup is to put their heads deliberately through their legs, and make their exit with their eyes thus looking over their own shoulders."— Thomas Sheppard Meek


games, the giant


Thomas Sheppard Meek, The Home Library of Entertainment Instruction and Amusement325


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