A Circus Act

Published in The Ohio Democrat, December 4, 1874, Page 1. The same article, likely from a newswire source, was also published in The Indiana Progress, December 10, 1874, Page 3.

An interesting incident has just occurred in Bucharest, and has created a profound sensation in the theatrical circles in that place. It seems that the proprietors of the Suhr Oirens, anxious to provide amusement for the public, lately published an announcement that a challenge given by Jules Rigal, a wrestler attached to the circus, had been accepted by a gentleman, who wishing to preserve a strict incognita, would appear before the public in a week. The amateur athletic, who, it was stated, was a person occupying a high social position, was rumored to be none other than Prince Stourdja, a Moldavian nobleman, who has the reputation of possessing Herculean strength. On the evening when “the great unknown” made his first appearance in the circus the stalls were filled with eager spectators long before the commencement of the performance. Rigal and his masked opponent, having made their bow to the audience, at once commenced to struggle, which was, however, of short duration, for the distinguished unknown in a few minutes, amid frantic applause, floored his professional antagonist. So great was the spectacle that the manager announced to the admiring audience that the nobleman wrestler had condescended to appear again before them on the following evening when the performance was accordingly repeated, and was continued for several successive nights, until one evening an indiscreet member of the troupe unfortunately divulged the fact that the masked wrestler was not a distinguished nobleman, but only one of the clowns attached to the circus. This led to a disturbance – the “great unknown” narrowly escaped being torn to pieces by his late admirers, the manager and his troupe had to fly for their lives, and the circus building would probably have been dismantled and destroyed but for the exertions of the police, who with great difficulty succeeded in repressing what promoted to be a serious riot. 


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