This was a School of Art, and not an arena for pugilistic brutes; and the audience was in the main composed of sculptors, painters, and the lovers of those kindred arts. The little ladies, too, who had puzzled me so much, were doubtless, also students of the same professions; and I fancied I could detect two or three of them as members of that industrious division which one may always find copying the great pictures of Tuilleries and Louvre.
The Herald and Torch Light – December 25, 1867
No visitor to Paris has failed to notice enormous placards, with a mammoth engraving of two muscular wrestlers engaged in a desperate trial of strength and skill. They are advertisements of the “Arena Athletique,” in the Rue Pelletier, where the trials of strength and skill indicated in the big placards take place every night in the week. Very few foreigners, however, seem to have taken the trouble to visit the “Arena Athletique,” and very few probably of the Parisians themselves know what goes on there. Mr. George Wilkes of The Spirit of the Times was nevertheless induced to pay it a visit, principally, it would appear, for want of something better to do, and was agreeably surprised at what he saw. Instead of a dingy ring, lighted with fetid “dips,” and crowded with “roughs” and rowdies, he found himself in “a…
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