"Never was there a greater assemblage of difficulties, a more slippery area, more frightful paths, more perfidious leaps, even at the ditch of the Bceuf Couronne, than at the Olympic Circus! If you go there, you will perhaps be fortunate enough to see the reins of some young horsewoman break, before your eyes, and without the price of seats being raised for it. Not a day passes, in which the equilibrium of some of the riders does not fail them; sometimes it is the horse which goes too fast, sometimes they go too fast for the horse; what faithful emblems of the passions! One girl broke her arm, and when she was raised up, smiled upon the petrified crowd; another sprained her leg, and held herself erect upon the other one; the audience thought it was a part of her performance. There are some, who furious at seeing themselves dismounted before the assembly, chase their trembling coursers, and then there is the most incredible, reaction between the rider and the horse; the horse falls on his knees, and asks pardon with his two hands joined! The lady pardons him, and takes pity on him.... It is a horse!"
Male rider dancing atop two horses with a female rider, print, 19th century
Bibliothèque-musée de l'Opéra © BnF