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4 



Modern Magic 



frattiral WttatiM on tbt Jlrt of CDonhtrina. 



BT 

PROFESSOR HOFFMANN. 



WITH y8 ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Populus volt decipi ; dccipiatur. 



SECOND EDITION. 




LONDON AND NEW YORK: 

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS. 

1877. 

dt ■ (r. I$J. 



Lovdov: 

Wmtnonfl ft Botton, Printera, Shoe Lane, E.O. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 



The demand for a second edition of this work affords me an 
opportunity of thanking my numerous correspondents for their 
friendly expressions, and at the same time of noticing the very 
generally expressed desire that I should extend my revelations 
to the specialities of Messrs. Maskelyne and Cooke and M. 
Buatier. This, however, as will be seen on reflection, would 
be extremely unfair towards those gentlemen. A first-class 
stage trick has frequently taken months, or even years, to 
bring to perfection, and while it remains a novelty, has a high 
commercial value. I have purposely limited my disclosures to 
such illusions as have been sufficiently long before the public 
to be fairly regarded as common property. Within this limit 
I have endeavoured to make my explanations as complete as 
possible; but to go beyond it would be to infringe a moral copy- 
right, and to deprive gentlemen to whom Modern Magic is 
especially indebted, of the well-earned fruits of their labour and 
invention. 



LOUIS HOFFMANN. 



London, 

Jan. 25, 1877. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER L 

Introduction. 

page 

Introductory Observations ... x 

Tile Magic Wand 4 

The Magician's Table 5 

The Magician's Dress 8 

MrVfOMm€J*mm ... ••• ... ... ... ... ... ... 9 

f VMfHiR^i ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ^ 

"Loading" Pockets ... 9 

CHAPTER II. 

General Principles of Sleight-of-hand applicable to Card 

Tricks. 

IDC v BTO Sm «•* » #a ••• ••• ••• ••>« •«• »»» mmm 2X 

To "Make the Pass'* 12 

To " Force " a Card ... ... ■«• •«■ ... ... ... ... 21 

To Make a " False Shuffle " 23 

To '* Palm" a Card ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 27 

To " Ruffle " the Cards ... 27 

To " Change " a Card ... .. j 28 

To Get Sight of a Drawn Card 34 

IO olip aVJuUiii ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 35 

To "Draw Back "a Card 36 

To "Turn Over" the Pack 37 

To Spring the Cards from one Hand to the Other ... 37 

To Throw a Card ... ... ... ... •.. ... ... ... ... 38 

10c JDTioge ... ... •«« ••• ... ... ••• ••• ••• 39 



vi CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER III. 

Card Tricks with Ordinary Cards, and not requiring 

Sleight-of-hand. 

page 

Simple Modes of Discoverirg a Given Card 43 

Various Modes of Disclosing a Discovered Card 44 

To Make a Card Vanish from the Pack, and be found in a Person's 

* Ow*B» ••• ••• ••• ... ••• ••• ... •■• ••■ 4^ 

To place the Four Kings in different parts of the Pack, and to bring them 

together by a simple Cut 47 

The Four Kings being placed under the Hand of one Person, and the 
Four Sevens under the Hand of Another, to make them Change 

Places at Command 4ft 

Four Packets of Cards having been formed face downwards on the Table, 

to discover the Total Value of the Undermost Cards 49 

To Name all the Cards of the Pack in Succession 50 

The Cards being Cut, to tell whether the Number Cut is Odd or Even ... 51 
The Whist Trick. To deal yourself all the Trumps {set ahafagt 119) ... 51 
To allow a Person to think of a Card, and to make that Card appear at 

such Number in the Pack as another Person shall Name ... 5* 

The Cards revealed by the Looking-glass 55 

To Guess Four Cards thought of by Different Persons 53 

The Pairs Re-paired 54 

The Magic Triplets ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 55 

Another Mode of Discovering a Card thought of 55. 

To Guess, by the aid of a Passage of Poetry or Prose, such one of 
Sixteen Cards as, in your Absence, has been Touched or Selected 
by the Company ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 5* 

To Detect, without Confederacy, which of Four Cards has been Turned 

Round in your Absence ST 

To Arrange Twelve Cards in Rows in such a manner that they will Count 

Four in every Direction ... ... ... ... ... ... 5^ 

To Place the Aces and Court Cards in Four Rows, in such a manner that 
neither Horizontally nor Perpendicularly shall there be in either 

Row two Cards alike, either in Suit or Value 58- 

The Congress of Court Cards 59, 



CHAPTER IV. 

Tricks involving Sleight-of-hand, or the Use of Specially 

Prepared Cards. 

The " Long Card ... ... ... ... ••• ••• ••• ••• go* 

BistauU or Tapering Cards 6o 



CONTENTS. vii 



PAGE 

Tricks Performed by the Aid of a Long Card, or bistanii Pack— 

A Card having been Chosen and Returned, and the Pack Shuffled, 
to produce the Chosen Card instantly in various ways ... 6a 

To Cut at the Chosen Card ... ... 6a 

To Let an the Cards fall, save the One Chosen 6a 

To Pick out the Card, the Pack being placed in a Person's Pocket 6a 
To Fling the Pack in the Air, and Catch the Chosen Card ... 63 

To Change a Card drawn hap-bazard to the Chosen Card 63 

To Divide the Pack into several Packets on the Table, allowing the 
Company to stop you at any Moment, and to cause the Top 
Card of the Heap last made to Change into the Chosen 

vIlU •••' ••• ••• ... ... ••• ... ... ... "5 

To Teach the Company a Trick which they Learn without Difficulty ; 
then to allow them to Succeed or cause them to Fail at your 

* JSHSUJC ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... *•• OO 

To Distinguish the Court Cards by Touch 69 

To Name any Number of Cards in Succession without Seeing Them ... 70 
To Make Four Cards change from Eights to Twos, from Black to Red, 

CW»» *•• ••• ••• ••• ••» s «» ••• ••» ••• m 

A Card having been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack Shuffled, to 

make it Appear at such Number as the Company choose ... 73 

The same Trick with several Cards, and by a Different Method 75 

The "Tlmse Card • Trick 76 

To Nail a Chosen Card to the Wall ... 77 

The Inseparable Sevens 77 

The Inseparable Aces 79 

Having placed the Four Aces in different positions in the Pack, to make 
the two Black change places with the two Red ones, and finally 

to bring all Four together in the Middle of the Pack 80 

A Card having been thought of, to make such Card Vanish from the 

Pack, and be Discovered wherever the Performer pleases ... 83 
To cause a Number of Cards to Multiply invisibly in a Person's keeping 84 
The Pack being divided into two Portions, placed in the keeping of two 
different Persons, to make Three Cards pass invisibly from the 

One to the Other 86 

To allow several Persons each to draw a Card, and the Pack having been 
Shuffled, to make another Card drawn haphazard change suc- 
cessively into each of those first chosen 87 

To make Four Aces change to Four Kings, and Four Kings to Four 

«MJC» ... ... ... ... ... ... ... , t# ,. # 

Having made Four Packets of Cards with an Ace at the bottom of each, 
to bring all Four Aces into whichever Packet the Company may 



*> 



To Change the Four Aces, held tightly by a Person, into Four Indifferent 

Card* 



9t 
93 



viii CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

The Shower of Aoes ... ... ... 97 

Several Persons having each drawn Two Cards, which have been Re- 
turned and Shuffled, to make each Couple appear in Succ es s i o n , 

one at the top and the other at the bottom of the Pack 99 

To make Two Cards, each firmly held by a different Persons change 

places ••■ ••• •>. ••• •■• ••• ... ... ••• xo* 

To change Four Cards, drawn haphazard, and placed on the Table, into 
Cards of the same Value as a Single Card subsequently chosen 

by one of the Spectators 103 

Two Heaps of Cards, unequal in Number, being placed upon the Table, 
to predict beforehand which of the two the Company will 

CDOQ5C ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ••• *Oj 

A Row of Cards being placed -Face Downwards on the Table, to Indi- 
cate, by turning up one of them, how many of such Cards have 
♦ during your absence been transferred from one end of the Row 
to the other ... ... ... ' ... ... ... ... ••• 104 

Several Cards having been freely chosen by the Company, Returned and 
Shuffled, and the Pack placed in a Person's Pocket, to make 
such Person draw out one by one the chosen Cards ... ... 106 

The Cards having been freely Shuffled, and cut into three or four Heaps, 

to name the top Card of each Heap 108 

To allow a Person secretly to think of a Card, and, dividing the Pack 
into three Heaps, to cause the Card thought of to appear in 
whichever Heap the Company may choose 108 

To allow a Person secretly to think of a Card, and, even before such 
Card is named, to select it from the Pack, and place it singly 
upon the Table... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... xio 

A Card having been secretly thought of by one of the Audience, to 
place two Indifferent Cards upon the Table, and to change 
such one of them as the Audience may select into the Card 
thought of ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... xzx 

A Card having been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack shuffled, to 
divide the Pack into several Heaps on the Table, and to cause 
the Drawn Card to appear in such Heap as the Company may 

vUuOK ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... XXa} 

To change a Drawn Card into the Portraits of several of the Company in 

succession ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... xi£ 

A Card having been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack shuffled, to 
place on the Table six Rows of six Cards each, and to discover 
the chosen Card by a throw of the Dice 116 

A Card having been withdrawn and replaced, to call it from the Pack, 

and to make it come to you of its own accord 117 

Mode of Preparing specially adhesive Wax for Conjuring Purposes 118 

The Whist Trick. (Improved Method.) To deal yourself all the Trumps, 

the three other Players holding the usual mixed Hands 119 



CONTENTS. » 



CHAPTER V. 

Caad Tbicxs Requiring Special Apparatus. 

paob 

The Magic Sword. A Cud being dmwn and replaced, and the Pack 

flung in the Air, to catch the chosen Card on the point of the 

OWQiQ ••• ••• «•• ••• ■•• ••• «•• ••• •«• X8IX 

The Rising; Cards. — Several Cards having been drawn, returned, and 

shuffled, to make them rise spontaneously from the Pack ... 125 

The J umping Cards.— Two or three Cards having been drawn, returned, 

and shuffled, to make them jump out of the Pack 130 

To make a Card stand upright by itself on the Table 13a 

" Changing " Card-boxes, and Tricks performed with them 134 

The Mechanical Card-box 137 

The -Card and Bird Box" 138 

The Card Tripod ... 139 

The " Torn Card " . ... 139 

Mechanical Changing Cards 143 



CHAPTER VI. 

Principles op Sleight-op-hand more especially Applicable to 

Coin Tucks. 

X~ Hawing s>> ... ... ... ... . . ... _ ... ... ... I^O 

**^^^» ... ••« ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... *47 

\rfOangcs ... **• ••• ••• ... ... ••« ••• ... m. *57 



CHAPTER VII. 
Tricks with Coin without Apparatus. 

A Florin being spun upon the Table, to tell blindfold whether it tails 

head or tail upwards ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 159 

Odd or Even, or the Mysterious Addition 160 

To change a Florin into a Penny, back again, and then to pass the same 

invisibly into the Pocket of the Owner 161 . 

To make a marked Florin and Penny, wrapped in separate Handkerchiefs, « 

change places at Command 163 

To make two marked Coins, wrapped in separate Handkerchiefs, come 

together in one of them ... ... ... ••• ... ... 104 

To pull Four Florins or Half-crowns through a Handkerchief i64 

To pass a marked Florin (or Half-crown) into the Centre of two Oranges 

in succession ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 170 

The Flying Money.— To make a Coin pass invisibly from the one Hand 

to the other, and finally through the Table 173 



CONTENTS. 



To rub One Sixpence into Three 

The Multiplication of Money 

To Make a Marked Sixpence vanish from a Handkerchief, and be found 

in the Centre of an Apple or Orange previously examined 
The Travelling Counters ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 

The Wandering Sixpence 



PAGE 

175 
176 

178 
180 
z8x 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Tricks with Coin requiring Special Apparatus. 

The Heads and Tails Trick 

The Magic Cover and Vanishing Halfpence 

The Animated Coin, which answers Questions, etc 

Appliances for Vanishing Money— 

The Vanishing Halfpenny Box 

x ne Kaiue cox ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 

The Pepper-box ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 

The Brass Money-box 

The Brass Box, known as the " Plug-box " 

The Handkerchief for Vanishing Money 

The Demon Handkerchief ••• ... ••• ••• ••• 

The Davenport Cabinet 

Appliances for Re-producing Vanished Money — 

The Nest of Boxes ... ... ... ... ... ... 

The Ball of Berlin Wool 

The Glass Goblet and Cover 

The Glass without Cover 

The Miraculous Casket 

The Half-Crown or Florin Wand 

The Shower of Money ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 

The Vanishing Plate, or Salver 

The "Changing ' Plate ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 

The Tray of Proteus 



x8a 
183 
x85 

187 

189 
190 

191 
Z02 

x$* 
195 
I9S 

197 
198 
199 



a©3 



208 

3ZO 
3ZX 



CHAPTER IX. 
Tricks with Watches. 

To indicate on the Dial of a Watch the Hour secretly thou ght of by any 

of the Company ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 213 

To Bend a Borrowed Watch Backwards and Forwards 914 

The Watch-mortar and the Magic Pistol 915 

The " Snuff-box Vase M 9X7 

The "Watch Box" 919 

The " Watch Target " 

The Mesmerised Watch. (To Make any Watch a Repeater) 



CONTENTS. xi 



CHAPTER X. 
Tricks with Rings. 

PAGE 

The Flying Ring ••• ••• ... ... ••* ••• ••* ••• ••• 995 

To Pass a Ring from the one Hand to either Finger of the other Hand... 927 

To Pass a Ring through a Pocket-handkerchief aa8 

To Pass a Ring through the Table aa8 

To Pass a Ring invisibly upon the Middle of a Wooden Wand, the Ends 

being held by two of the Spectators 930 

The Magic Ball and Rings «3X 

To Pass a Borrowed Ring into an Egg 933 

The Magic Rose ... ... ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• 934 



CHAPTER XI. 

Tricks with Handkerchiefs. 

Introductory Remarks ... ... ... ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• 23" 

The Handkerchief that cannot be lied in a Knot 937 

The Handkerchief that will not Bum 937 

The Vanishing Knots 238 

To Ex c han ge a borrowed Handkerchief for a Substitute 940 

The Locked and Corded Box, and the Washerwoman's Bottle 94Z 

Tne Reversible Canister ..• ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 945 

The Burning Globe ... ... 946 

The Transformed Handkerchief 946 

The Handkerchief cut up, burnt, and finally found in a Candle 949 

Tne Shower of Sweets ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 95s 

The Feathers from an Empty Handkerchief 954 

The Flying Plume 956 

The Magic Laundry 958 

The Egg and the Handkerchief 960 

The " Hand-Box," for Vanishing a Handkerchief ... 963 



CHAPTER XII. 
Tricks with Dominoes and Dice. 

To Arrange a Row of Dominoes face downwards on the Table, and on 
returning to the Room to turn up a Domino whose points shall 
indicate how many hare been moved in your absence 965 

To Allow any Person in your absence to arrange the Dominoes in a Row, 
face downwards, and on your return to name blindfold, or with- 
out entering the Room, the end numbers of the Row 967 



xii CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

To Change, invisibly, the Numbers shown on either Pace of a Pair of 

mJWA* ••• ••• ••• ••• ••» ••• ••• ••« mmm MTjQ 

To Name, without seeing them, the Points of a Pair of Dice 269 

CHAPTER XIII. 

The Cups and Balls. 

Introductory Remarks ... ••• ... ... ••• — . ... ... 371 

Principles of Sleight-of-hand applicable to Ball Tricks— 

To Palm the Ball ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 373 

To Reproduce the Palmed Ball at the End of the Fingers 274 

To Secretly Introduce the Palmed Ball under the Cup 275 

To Simulate the Action of Placing a Ball under a Cup 276 

To Produce a Ball from the Wand ' ... 276 

To Return a Ball into the Wand 277 

To Pass one Cup through Another 277 

Burlesque Address to the Spectators 278 

Pass I. Having Placed a Ball under each Cup, to draw it out again 

without Lifting the Cup 279 

Pass II. To make a Ball Travel invisibly from Cup to Cup 281 

Pass III. Having placed a Ball under each of the end Cups, to make 

them pass successively under the Middle Cup ... 282 

Pass IV. Having placed two Balls under the Middle Cup, to make 

them pass under the two Outer Ones 283 

Pass V. To pass three Balls in succession under One Cup 283 

Pass VI. To place three Balls one after the other upon the top of one of 
the Cups, and to make them fall through the Cup on to the 

JL ft D1C ••• ••• •• • •• ••• ••• ••• ••• »•• 3oa 

Pass VII. To pass three Balls in succession upwards through the Table 

into one of the Cups 285 

Pass VIII. To pass two Balls in succession from one Cup to another 

without touching them 286 

Pass IX. To make three Balls in succession pass under the Middle 

^Up ... ••• ••• » ••• *** *** *** *** .*• 2B0 

PassX. The " Multiplication" Pass 287 

Pass XI. To Transform the Small Balls to Larger Ones 288 

Pass XIL To again Transform the Balls to still Larger Ones 289 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Ball Tricks requiring Special Apparatus. 

Further principles of Sleight-of-hand applicable to Ball Tricks— 

To Palm a large Ball 993 

To Vanish a Large Ball with the aid of the Table 294 



CONTENTS. xiii 



PAGE 

xne Ooii dox •■■ ... ... ... ... ... ... aM ... £95 

The Red-and-BIack-Ball Vases 296 

Morison's PQl-box 998 

The Ball which changes to a Rose 300 

The Obedient Ball *. 301 

CHAPTER XV. 

Hat Tricks. 

The Cannon-balls in the Hat 304 

Multiplying Balls 307 

The "Hundred Goblets" from a Hat 308 

A Dozen B a b ies from a Hat ... ... •*• ... ... ... ... 309 

The Magic Reticules ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 309 

The Drums from the Hat ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 310 

The Birdcages from the Hat ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 3" 

The Cake (or Pudding) in the Hat ... ~ 31a 

The Welsh Rabbit 3x3 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Miscellaneous Tucks. 

The Cut String Restored ... ... ... ... ••• ... ... 317 

My Grandmother's Necklace 390 

The " Bonus Genius," or Vanishing Doll 321 

The Dancing Sailor 323 

The Bottle Imps ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 324 

The Vanishing Gloves 325 

X DC J~4£i> J^og •" ... ... >•• «•« ... ... ••• ... 3^^ 

To Produce Eggs from a Person's Mouth 329 

The Pillars of Solomon, and the Magic Bradawl 330 

The Magic Coffers ... 333 

The Bran and Orange Trick 335 

The Rice and Orange Trick 337 

The Magic Whistle M 341 

The Magic Mill ... 34a 

Pieces of Apparatus of General Utility — 

The Drawer-Box ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 343 

The Dissecting Drawer-Box 346 

The Changing Card-Drawer 347 

Changing Caddies 348 

The Cover, to pick up and replace any Article 355 

The Changing Cover ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 356 

The Changing Ladle ... ... ... ... •.. 358 

The Magic Vase and Caddy A5X 



xiv CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

The Cone, or Skittle ••• *•• ... 360 

The Cone and Bouquet 364 

The Flying Glass of Water 367 

The Bowls of Water and Bowls of Fire produced from a Shawl 371 

The Bowl of Ink changed to clear Water, with Gold Fish swimming in it 37a 

The Inexhaustible Bottle 373 

The Bottle and Ribbons 376 

The New Pyramids of Egypt, or Wine and Water Trick 377 

The Mysterious Funnel 379 

T he Box of Bran transformed to a Bottle of Wine 380 

The Bran Bottle 382 

The Bran Glass 383 

To Fire Borrowed Rings from a Pistol, and make them Pass into a 
Goblet filled with Bran and covered with a Handkerchief the 

Bran disappearing, and being found elsewhere 384 

The Domino-Box (sometimes called the Glove-Box) 386 

The Coffee Trick ... 388 

The Inexhaustible Box 391 

The Japanese Inexhaustible Boxes 393 

The Feast of Lanterns 395 

The Butterfly Trick ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 397 

The Wizard s Omelet ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 398 

The Rose in the Glass Vase 400 

The Chinese Rings ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 401 

The Charmed Bullet ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 4°9 

The Birth of Flowers ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 4" 

The Mysterious Salver 4x6 

The Vanishing Die 419 

The Die Dissolving in a Pocket Handkerchief 420 

The Die and Orange ... ... ... ..• ... ... ... ••• 4 a 3 

The Vanishing Canary Bird and Cage ... 4*4 

The Crystal Balls... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 4p& 

The Flags of all Nations .. 43 a 

The Umbrella Trick 433 

The "Passe-Passe "Trick 435 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Stage Tricks. 

The Tables in use in Stage Tricks - 437 

The " Plain " Trap ... ... ... ... ••• ••• ••■ ••• 437 

The "Wrist " or "Pressure "Trap 43* 

The "Rabbit" or "Dove" Trap 44* 

" Changing " Traps ... ••• ••• ..• ..'. ••• ••• ••• 44* 



CONTENTS. xv 



PACE 

The •• Money M Trap ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 445 

"Pistons" (for working mechanical apparatus) 447 

Bellows 1 antes ... ... ••• ... ... ... ... ... 449 

The Rabbit Trick ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 45a 

& ut ruiy Ouu ••• ... ... «*• ... ... ... ... ... 45*t 

Toe Card Bouquet ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 457 

The Demon s Head ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 458 

The Magic Picture Frame ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 463 

The Flying Watches and the Broken Plate 465 

The Magic Picture and the Chosen Cards 467 

The Magic Portfolio ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 468 

The Glove Column ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 469 

The Vani thing Pocket-handkerchief, found in a Candle 470 

JTne spninx ... ... •«• ... ••• ... ... ... ... 47' 

The Ca b in et of Proteus ••• ••• ... ... ... ... ... ... 475 

The Indian Basket Trick 477 

Electrical Tricks ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 480 

The Light and Heavy Chest 489 

Spirit-Rapping ••• ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 485 

ine Magic ucu ... ... ... ... ... ... •*• ... 430 

The Crystal Cash Box 487 

The Magic Drum... 49a 

The ASrial Suspension ••• ... ... 495 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Concluding Observations. 

Hints as to Working up 'Hicks 50a 

Arrangement of Programme ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 505 

Stage Arrangements ... ... •■■ ••• ••• ••■ ... ... 508 

Parting Counsels ... ••• ••• •■• ••• ••■ ••• ••• ... 5*0 




WILL SHORTLY APPEAR: 

THE SECRETS OF CONJURING AND MAGIC. 

[Les Secrets de la Prestidigitation et de la Magie^\ 

BY 

ROBERT-HOUDIN, 
Translated and Edited, with Original Notes, 

BY 

PROFESSOR HOFFMANN, 

Author 0/ " Modern Magic." 



MODERN MAGIC. 



CHAPTER I. 



^ 




Introduction. 

^ ONSIDERING the great antiquity and the un- 
fading popularity of the magic art, it seems at 
first sight a matter of wonder that its literature 
should be so extremely scanty. In England, in 
particular, is this the case. Until within the last 
few years it would have been difficult to name a 
single book worth reading upon this subject, the 
whole literature of the art consisting of single * 
chapters in books written for the amusement of 
youth (which were chiefly remarkable for the 
unanimity with which each copied, without acknowledgment, from its 
predecessors), and handbooks sold at the entertainments of various 
public performers, who took care not to reveal therein any trick 
which they deemed worthy of performance by themselves. Upon 
a little consideration, however, the scarcity of treatises on "White 
Magic" is easily accounted for. The more important secrets of the 
art have been known but to few, and those few have jealously 
guarded them, knowing that the more closely they concealed the clue 
to their mysteries, the more would those mysteries be valued. Indeed, 
the more noted conjurors of fifty years ago strove to keep the secret 
of their best tricks not only from the outside world, but from their 
confreres* At the present day the secrets of the art are not so well 

i 



MODERN MAGIC. 



kept ; and there is hardly a trick performed upon the stage which the 
amateur may not, at a sufficient expenditure of shillings or guineas, 
procure at the conjuring depots. There being, therefore, no longer 
the same strict secresy, the literature of magic has improved a little, 
though it still leaves much to be desired. The general ambition of 
compilers seems to be to produce books containing nominally some 
fabulous number of tricks. In order to do this, they occupy two- 
thirds of their space with chemical and arithmetical recreations, and, 
as a necessary result, the portion devoted to conjuring tricks, pro- 
perly so called, is treated so briefly and scantily as to be practically 
useless. 

There is a vast difference between telling how a trick is done and 
teaching how to do it. The existing treatises, with few exceptions, do 
the former only. The intention of the present work is to do the 
latter also ; to teach sleight-of-hand generally, as well as particular 
tricks 5 and to conduct the neophyte from the very A B C of the 
magic art gradually up to those marvels which are exhibited on the 
public stage. The student may rest assured that, if he will diligently 
follow the instructions here given, he will be able in due time, not 
merely to astonish his friends extempore with a borrowed coin or 
pack of cards, but to roll two rabbits into one, compel chosen cards 
to rise spontaneously from the pack, produce lighted lanterns from 
empty hats, and bowls of gold-fish from empty pocket-handkerchiefs ; 
in a word, to execute all those wonders which he has hitherto 
deemed the exclusive property of the public performer. There are, of 
course, different degrees of natural aptitude. " Non cuivis hominum 
contingit adire Corinthum." It is not every one that can be a Robert- 
Houdin or a Buatier, but, given the usual number of fingers and thumbs, 
fair intelligence, and a sufficiency of perseverance, any one who will 
may become at least a tolerable conjuror. Be it remembered, that 
we especially stipulate for perseverance. A wizard is not to be made 
in a day, and he who would attain excellence must be content to pro- 
ceed as he would with music, drawing, or any other accomplishment 
—viz., begin at the beginning, and practise diligently until he attains 
the coveted dexterity. The student need not, however, wait the 
termination of the somewhat formidable course of study we have 
indicated, before he begins to astonish his friends; on the contrary, 



MODERN MAGIC. 



there are numerous tricks requiring very little manual dexteritv, which 
are yet, if neatly performed, brilliant in effect. These simpler tricks, 
for which we shall give full instructions, will supply the beginner, 
even at the outset, with a fair programme, which he may from 
time to time enlarge as he feels able to undertake more elaborate 
illusions. 

The first rule to be borne in mind by the aspirant is this : " Never 
tell your audience beforehand what you are going to do. 9 * If you do so, 
you at once give their vigilance the direction which it is most neces- 
sary to avoid, and increase tenfold the chances of detection. We will 
give an illustration. There is a very good trick (which will be de- 
scribed at length hereafter) in which the performer, after borrowing 
a handkerchief, gives it to some one to hold. When it is returned, it 
proves to be torn into small pieces. It is again handed to the holder, 
who is instructed, in order to restore it, to rub it in a particular 
manner; but when again unfolded, it is found in a long strip. 
These effects are produced by successive adroit substitutions, and 
the whole magic of the trick consists in the concealment of the 
particular moment at which each substitution is effected. Now, if 
you were to announce to the audience beforehand that you were 
about to cause the handkerchief to appear in several pieces, or in a 
long strip, they would at once conjecture that the trick depended 
on an exchange, and their whole vigilance being directed to discover 
the moment of that exchange, you would find it all but impossible 
to perform the trick without detection. If, on the other hand, you 
merely roll up the handkerchief, and ask some one to hold it, the 
audience, not knowing what you are about to do, have no reason 
to suspect that you have handed him a substitute; and when the 
transformation is exhibited, the opportunity of detection will have 
already passed away. 

It follows, as a practical consequence of this first rule, that you should" 
never perform the same trick twice on the same evening. The best trick 
loses half its effect on repetition, but besides this, the audience know 
precisely what is coming, and have all their faculties directed to find 
out at what point you cheated their eyes on the first occasion. It is 
sometimes hard to resist an encore, but a little tact will get you out of 
the difficulty, especially if jou have studied, as every conjuror should 



MODERN MAGIC. 



do, the variation and combination of tricks. There are a score of 
different ways of vanishing a given article, and as many of reproducing 
it ; and either one of the first may be used in conjunction with either 
of the second. Thus, by varying either the beginning or the end, 
you make the trick to some extent a new one. The power of doing 
this readily is very useful, and among other advantages will enable 
you to meet an encore by performing some other trick having some 
element of similarity to that which you have just completed, but ter- 
minating in a different and therefore unexpected manner. 

The student must cultivate from the outset the art of " talking," 
and especially the power of using his eyes and his tongue inde- 
pendently of the movement of his hands. To do this, it will be 
necessary to prepare beforehand not only what he intends to do, but 
what he intends to say, and to rehearse frequently and carefully even 
the simplest trick before attempting it in public. It is surprising how 
many little difficulties are discovered on first attempting to carry into 
effect even the clearest written directions ; and nothing but practice 
will overcome these difficulties. The novice may be encouraged by 
assuming, as he safely may, that the most finished of popular per- 
formers was once as awkward as himself, and were he to attempt 
any unfamiliar feat, would probably be as awkward still. 

Before "proceeding to the practice of the magic art, it will be 
well to give a short description of two or three appliances, which 
are of such constant use that they may be said to form the primary 
stock-in-trade of every conjuror. These are — a short wand, a speci- 
ally adapted table, and certain secret pockets in the magician's dress. 
There are numerous other appliances of very general use, which will 
be explained in due course, but those we have named are so indis- 
pensable that we could hardly complete the description of half-a-dozen 
tricks of any pretension without a reference to one or other of them. 
First in order comes 

THE MAGIC WAND. 

This is a light rod of twelve to fifteen inches in length, and about 
three-quarters of an inch in diameter. It may be of any material, 
and decorated in any manner which the fancy of the owner may die- 



MODERN MAGIC. 5 



tate. To the uninitiated its use may appear a mere affectation, bat 
such is by no means the case. Apart from the prestige derived from 
the traditional properties of the wand, and its use by the wizards of 
all ages, it affords a plausible pretext for many necessary movements, 
which would otherwise appear awkward and unnatural, and would 
thereby arouse the vigilance of the audience at possibly the most 
critical period of the trick. Thus, if the performer desires to hold any* 
thing concealed in his hand, by holding the wand in the same hand 
he is able to keep* it closed without exciting suspicion. If it is neces- 
sary, as frequently happens, to turn his back upon the audience for an 
instant, the momentary turn to the table, in order to take up or lay 
down the wand, affords the required opportunity. We most strongly 
advise the would-be magician to cultivate from the outset the habitual 
use of the wand. Even where its employment is not absolutely neces- 
sary for the purpose of the trick, its use is in strict accordance with 
the character he professes to fill, and the dainty tonch of the wand, 
for the supposed purpose of operating a magical transformation, 
assists materially in leading the audience to believe that such trans- 
formation did actually take place at that particular moment, instead 
of having been (as is really the case) secretly effected at an earlier 
period. 

The next appliance to which we must draw the student's atten- 
tion is 

THE MAGICIAN'S TABLE. 

There are plenty of good minor tricks which may be performed 
anywhere, and with little or no previous preparation, but as soon as 
the student has outgrown these humbler feats, and aspires to amuse 
his friends or the public with a pre-arranged stance, his first necessity 
will be a proper table. ' We do not now refer to the elaborate com- 
bination of traps, pistons, etc., which is used for stage performances. 
This will be duly described in its proper place. The table necessary 
for an average drawing-room exhibition differs from an ordinary table 
in two points only — its height, which should be six or eight inches 
greater than that of an ordinary table— and the addition of a hidden 
f belt or ledge at the back. Its form and dimensions are very much 



MODERN MAGIC. 



a matter of fancy and convenience. For most purposes nothing is 
better than a plain oblong deal table. It should have turned legs of 
some harder wood, stained and polished, and these, if it is desired to 
make the table portable, should be screwed into the four corners, 
so as to be readily taken off and put on again as may be re- 
quired. In length the table may tie three to four feet, and in breadth 
eighteen inches to two feet. Three feet by twenty inches is a very 
convenient size. At the back should be placed, about six inches 
below the level of the top of the table, a projecting shelf, six 
to eight inches in width, and extending nearly- from end to end. This 
shelf, which is technically known as the servante, should be covered 
with thick woollen cloth, in order to deaden the sound of any object 
falling on it. 

Some performers have a rim about half an inch high running 
along the outer edge of this shelf ; while others, in place of the shelf, 
use a wooden tray, fixed in the same position, and one to two inches 
in depth. The manner of fixing the shelf is optional. In some tables 
it is made to slide in and out like, a drawer > in others to fold up on 
hinges against the back of the table, or itself to form the back. This 
latter is the most convenient mode, as the opening made by the flap 
when let down gives access to the interior of the table, which forms 
a convenient receptacle for necessary articles. In this case, the upper 
part of the table is made box fashion -, i.e., is bottomed throughout with 
wood on a level with the hinges of the servante, giving an enclosed 
space under the whole extent of the table. Over the table should be 
thrown an ordinary cloth table-cover, of such a size as to hang down 
about ten or fifteen inches at the front and sides, but not more than 
an inch or so on the side away from the audience. To prevent its 
slipping, the cloth may be fastened on this side with a couple of 
drawing pins. Where traps are used, and the cloth has therefore to 
be cut, the hanging cloth is dispensed with, and the table is covered 
with cloth glued on the top, with a margin round it, after the fashion 
of a card-table, and this may be done, if preferred, even where the 
table is without mechanism. The adoption of this plan allows of the 
introduction of gold mouldings, or other ornamentation, on the front 
and sides. In our own opinion, unless there is some special reason 
to the contrary in the mechanical arrangements of the table, the plain 



MODERN MAGIC. 



hanging cover is preferable, as being least suggestive of apparatus or 
preparation. The precise height of the table is best determined by 
the stature of the performer. The servante, or hidden shelf, should 
be just so high from the ground as to be level with the knuckles of 
the performer as his arm hangs by his side; and the top of the 
table should, as already stated, be about six inches higher than this. 
It will be found that this height will enable the performer 
secretly to take up or lay down any article thereon without stoop- 
ing or bending the arm, either of which movements would sug- 
gest to the spectators that his hand was occupied in some manner 
behind the table. One of the first tasks of the novice should be 
to acquire the power of readily picking up or laying down any article 
on the servante, without making any corresponding movement of the 
body, and especially without looking down at his hands. If the per- 
former is uncertain as to the precise whereabouts of a given article, 
he must ascertain it by a quick glance as he approaches his table, 
and not after he has pieced himself behind it. From this moment 
he must not again look down, as if once the audience suspect that he 
has a secret receptacle behind his table, half the magic of his tricks 
is thenceforth destroyed. 

An oblong box, twelve or fourteen inches in length by three in 
depth, well padded with wadding, and placed on the servante, will be 
found very useful in getting rid of small articles, such as coin, oranges, 
etc., as such articles may be dropped into the box without causing 
any sound, and therefore without attracting attention. 

In default of a table regularly made for the purpose, the amateur 
may with little difficulty adapt an ordinary table for use as a make- 
shift. A common library or kitchen table having a drawer on one 
side, and raised on four bricks or blocks of wood to the requisite 
height will answer the purpose very fairly. The table must be 
covered with a cloth ; and should have the drawer pulled out about 
six inches (the drawer side being, of course, away from the audience) 
to form the servante. A still better extempore conjuring table may be 
manufactured in a few minutes with the aid of a good-sized folding 
bagatelle board. Place the shut-up board on a card or writing 
table (which should be six or eight inches shorter than the board), 
in such manner that there may be left behind it (on the side 



8 MODERN MAGIC. 



which is intended to be farthest from the audience), a strip of 
table six or seven inches in width. This will form the servante. 
Throw an ordinary cloth table-cover over the bagatelle board, letting 
it hang down a foot or eighteen inches in front, and tucking its oppo- 
site edge under the hinder edge of the board, whose weight will 
prevent it slipping. If the cloth is too large, it must be folded 
accordingly before placing it on the table. The table thus extem- 
porized will be of a convenient height, and will answer very fairly for 
the purposes of an ordinary drawing-room performance. 

The conjuror, however, may be called upon to give a sample of 
his art when neither regular nor extemporized table is available ; and 
even where he is sufficiently provided in this respect, he will fre- 
quently have occasion to produce or get rid of a given article without 
retiring behind his table to do so. The wizards of a century ago met 
this necessity by wearing openly in front of them a sort of bag or apron, 
called in the parlance of the French conjurors, agileciere, from its sup- 
posed resemblance to a game-bag. This was used not only to carry 
the cups and balls, and other minor paraphernalia of the art, but for the 
purpose of procuring, exchanging, or getting rid of any small article 
at the pleasure of the performer. In fact, this bag supplied the place 
of the servante, which was not then known. It is hardly necessary to 
observe that the gibeciere has been long since disused, and a performer 
who should now appear in a pocketed apron would run much risk of 
being taken for a hairdresser. Although, however, the gibec&re is not 
now, as of old, worn openly, the conjuror of the present day is pro- 
vided with certain secret substitutes, to explain which it is necessary 
to say a few words as to 



THE MAOICIAN*S DRESS. 



It is not very many years since the orthodox dress of the conjuror 
was a long and flowing robe, embroidered more or less with hieroglyphic 
characters, and giving ample space for the concealment of any reason- 
able sized article — say from a warming-pan downwards. The very 
last specimen of such a garment, to the best of our belief, is, or was, 
worn by the magician attached to the Crystal Palace. We do not 
know whether he is compelled by the regulations of the establishment 



MODERN MAGIC. 



to wear such a robe ; but if so, it ought to be liberally considered in 
his salary. The costume de rigueur of the magician of the present day 
is ordinary "evening dress." The effect of the feats performed is 
greatly heightened by the close fit and comparative scantiness of such 
a costume, which appears to allow no space for secret pockets or other 
place of concealment. In reality, however, the magician is provided 
with two special pockets, known as profondes, placed in the tails of 
his dress-coat. Each is from four to six inches in depth and seven 
in width, and the opening, which is across the inside of the coat-tail, 
slanting slightly downwards from the centre to the side, is, like the 
servante, so placed as to be just level with the knuckles of the per- 
former, as his hand hangs by his side. He can thus, by the mere 
action of dropping either hand to his side, let fall any article instantly 
into the profonde on that side, or take anything from thence in like 
manner. The action is so natural, that it may be used under the very 
eyes of the audience, at very small risk of their observing it ; and if the 
performer at the same moment slightly turns his other side to the spec- 
tators, he may be perfectly secure from detection. Some performers 
have also a couple of pochettes (small pockets) made in the trousers, 
one behind each thigh. These are generally used for purposes of 
production only, the profondes being still employed for getting rid of 
any article, which, indeed, is their primary purpose, for they were 
originally made too deep ('profonde,* whence their name) to get articles 
easily out of them. Many professors, in addition to the pockets above 
mentioned, have also a spacious pocket, opening perpendicularly, in- 
side the breast of the coat, under each arm, for the purpose of what is 
called ** loading,** %je., bringing a rabbit, or other article, into a hat, etc. 
Other pockets may be added, as the fancy or invention of the performer 
may dictate ; but the above are those generally used. 

It will also be found a great convenience to have an elastic band, 
about an inch in width, stitched around the lower edge of the waistcoat 
on the inside. When the waistcoat is in wear, the band makes it 
press tightly round the waist, and any object of moderate size — a card, 
or pack of cards, a handkerchief, etc. — may be slipped under it with- 
out the least risk of falling. Used in conjunction with the pockets 
before described, this elastic waistband affords a means of instan- 
taneously effecting " changes *' of articles too large to be palmed with 



MODERN MAGIC. 



safety ; one hand dropping the genuine article into the prafontU on 
that side, while the other draws the prepared substitute from under 
the waistband, a very slight turn of the body, towards the table or 
otherwise, sufficing to cover the movement. 

With these few preliminary observations, we proceed to the prac- 
tice of the art, commencing with the ever-popular class of illusions 
performed by the aid of playing cards 



MODERN MAGIC. 41 

The virions sleights above described will cost the student some 
time and perseverance before they are fairly mastered, and until they 
are so it is hopeless to attempt any of the more brilliant feats. For 
his amusement in the meantime, we subjoin a few tricks for which 
sleight-of-hand is not necessary, but which, if performed with neat- 
ness and tact, will cause considerable astonishment to the uninitiated. 



u 



_. t-T ■ -— •I.T **1» 





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r:cf 



'U. UJ 



fc. . 'A* 



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MODERN MAGIC. 43 

be shuffled to any extent, but, being acquainted with the card, you 
can find or name it at pleasure. 

The above may be employed as a means of "forcing," where it is 
essential to force a given card, and yon are not sufficiently proficient 
to feel certain of effecting 
that object by the regular 
method. Thus, suppose 
that the card which you 
desire to force is the 
seven of diamonds, you 
place that card at the 
bottom of the pack, and 
proceed as above direct' 
ed. When the audience 
desire you to slop, you 
draw off the upper packet, 
and with it the seven of 

diamonds, which will Fig. aS. 

thereby become the bot- 
tom card of that packet. You request them to note the card, and at 
once hand the pack to be shuffled. This is a very simple and easy 
mode of forcing, but it is very generally known, and it would not, 
therefore, be safe to use It before a large or very acute audience. 

Second Method. — Deal the cards into three packs, face upwards, 
and request a spectator to note a card, and remember in which heap 
it is. When yon have dealt twenty-one cards, throw the rest aside, 
these not being employed in the trick. Ask in which heap the chosen 
card is, and place that heap between the other two, and deal again as 
before. Again ask the question, place the heap indicated in the 
middle, and deal again a third time. Note particularly the fourth or 
middle card of each heap, as one or other of those three cards will be 
the card thought of. Ask, for the last time, in which heap the 
chosen card now is, when you may be certain that it was the card 
which yon noted as being the middle card of that heap. 

This same effect will be produced with any number of cards, so 
long as such number is odd, and a multiple of three. The process 
and result will be the same, save that if fifteen cards are used each 



43 MODERN MAGIC. 



CHAPTER III. 

Card Tricks with Ordinary Cards, and not rbciuirino 

Sleight-of-Hand. 

There is a large class of tricks which may be described as consisting 
of two elements — the discovery of a chosen card by the performer, 
and the revelation of his knowledge in a more or less striking manner. 
We propose to give, in the first place, three or four methods of 
discovering a given card, and then a similar variety of methods of 
concluding the trick. It must be remembered that for our present 
purpose we exclude all tricks for which any special dexterity is 
requisite. There will be little that is absolutely novel in this chapter, 
but it will be for the student to supply the want of freshness in his 
materials by the ingenuity of his combinations. 

Simple Modes of Discovering a given Card. First Method. 
— Hold the pack face downwards in the left hand, having previously 
noticed the bottom card. Secretly draw down this card about three- 
quarters of an inch, and hold the part so drawn down between the 
thumb and fourth finger of the right hand, the palm of the right 
hand being above the cards. (See Fig. 28.) Now, with the tip of 
the first or second finger of the right hand, draw down the cards one 
by one about half an inch (beginning with the top card, and so on), 
inviting your audience to stop you at any card they may choose. When 
they do so, draw down all the cards, as far as you have gone, com- 
pletely away from the remaining cards ; but with them draw down at 
the same time the bottom card. This card, coalescing with the upper 
portion, will be, to the eyes of the spectators, that at which you were 
directed to stop. Holding the cards with their backs towards you, 
request them to observe what the card is. The pack may now 



MODERN MAGIC. 43 

be shuffled to any extent, but, being acquainted with the card, yon 
am find or name it at pleasure. 

The above may be employed as a means of " forcing," where it is 
ess en tia l to force a given card, and you are not sufficiently proficient 
to feci certain of effecting 
that object by the regular 
method. Thus, suppose 
that the card which you 
desire to force is the 
seven of diamonds, you 
place that card at the 
bottom of the pack, and 
proceed as above direct- 
ed. When the audience 
desire you to stop, you 
drawoff the upper packet, 
and with it the seven of 

diamonds, which will Fta. is, 

thereby become the bot- 
tom card of that packet. You request them to note the card, and at 
once hand the pack to be shuffled. This is a very simple and easy 
mode of forcing, but it is very generally known, and it would not, 
therefore, be safe to use it before a large or very acute audience. 

Second Method. — Deal the cards into three packs, face upwards, 
and request a spectator to note a card, and remember in which heap 
it is. When you have dealt twenty-one cards, throw the rest aside, 
those not being employed in the trick. Ask in which heap the chosen 
card is, and place that heap between the other two, and deal again as 
before. Again ask the question, place the heap indicated in the 
-middle, and deal again a third time. Note particularly the fourth or 
middle card of each heap, as one or other of those three cards will be 
the card thought of. Ask, for the last time, in which heap the 
chosen card now is, when you may be certain that it was the card 
which yon noted as being the middle card of that heap. 

This same effect will be produced with any number of cards, so 
long as such number is odd, and a multiple of three. The process 
and result will be the same, save that if fifteen cards are nsed each 




44 MODERN MA GIC. 



heap will consist of five cards, and the third card of each will be the 
middle one; if twenty-seven cards, each heap will consist of nine 
cards, and tint fifth will be the selected one, and so on. 

Third Method. — Take any number of the cards, and deal them 
face upwards upon the table, noting in your own mind the first card 
dealt. Ask any number of persons each to note a card, and to remember 
at what number it falls. When you have dealt all the cards you first 
took in your hand, take them up again, without disturbing their order, 
and turn them face downwards. In order to show that the trick is not 
performed by any arithmetical calculation (you should lay great stress 
upon this, the fact being precisely the reverse), invite the company to 
take any number they choose of the remaining cards (such number 
being unknown to you), and place them either above or below the 
cards you have dealt. Allow the cards to be cut (not shuffled) as 
many times as the audience please. You now, for the first time, ask 
each person what was the number of his card, and, on being informed, 
again deal the cards, turning them face upwards. When the original 
first card appears, count on (silently) from this as number one to the 
number mentioned, at which number the noted card will again appear. 
Should the whole of the cards be dealt out without reaching the re- 
quired number, turn the cards over again, and continue from the top 
of the pack until that number is reached. 

Having indicated how a card may be discovered, we proceed to 
describe various modes of disclosing the card thus ascertained. 

First Method. — Get the card to the top of the pack. Give the 
pack to some person to hold. The cards should be face upwards, so 
that the chosen card will be undermost, with the thumb of the holder 
above and the fingers below the pack. The fingers should extend 
under the pack for about an inch, but the thumb above not more than 
half an inch. Request the person to nip the cards tightly, and as he 
does so give them a smart downward rap with your forefinger, which 
will knock all the cards out of his hand with the exception of the 
lowest card, which will be retained by the greater friction of the 
fingers, and will remain staring him in the face. This is a very old 
and simple finish, but it appears marvellous to those who witness it 
for the first time. 

You may, if you prefer it, hold the cards yourself as above directed. 



MODERN MAGIC. 4S 

and allow another person to strike them downwards. It is well to 
moisten the fingers (not the thumb) slightly, as you thereby increase 
the hold on the chosen card. 

Second Method. — Get the card to the top of the pack, and hold the 
pack lightly between th 
thumb and fingers of the 
right hand, toe thumb 
being on the face, and 
the fingers (which should 
be previously slightly 
moistened) on the back 
of the cards. {See Pig. 
ag.) Give a sharp 

downward jerk of the Fie. 39. 

hand and arm, when, as 

in the last case, all the cards will fall save the top card, which is re- 
tained by the greater friction of the moistened fingers. 

Third Method. — Get the chosen card to the top, and hold the pack 
in the right hand, lengthways and face downwards, about two feet 
above the floor or table. Push the top card a little off the pack side- 
ways, so as to make it project throughout its whole length about an inch 
beyond the rest of the cards. Now let fall the pack, when the resist- 
ance of the air will cause the top card to turn over in its fall, and to 
appear face upwards, all the other cards remaining face downwards. 

Fourth Method. — Place the card in question and seven other in- 
different cards in two rows, face downwards, on the table. Keep in 
your own mind which is the chosen card, but do not let the audience 
see the face of either of the cards. Ask the drawer if he is sure that 
he will know his card again. He will, of course, answer " yes." 
Now ask cither the same or another person to touch four of the tight 
cards upon the table. Necessarily, the four which he touches will 
either include or not include the chosen card. In either case you 
take op (whether be touches them or not) the four which do not 
include the chosen card, remarking, " I will return these to the pack." 
Invite the same person to touch two out of the four which remain. 
Again take up the two (whether touched or not touched) which do 
not include the chosen card, saying, " I return these also to the pack." 



^ 



46 MODERN MAGIC. 



You have now only two cards left on the table, one of which is the 
chosen card. Invite one of the spectators to touch one of these 
cards. As before, whichever he touches, you pick up and return to 
the pack the non-chosen card, remarking, " We have now only one 
card left. You have all seen that I dealt out eight cards on the table, 
and that I have withdrawn seven, you yourselves choosing which I 
should withdraw. Now, sir, be kind enough to name the card you 
drew." The card having been named, you turn over the card left 
on the table, and show that it is the right one. 

This trick is based upon a kind of double entendre, which, though 
apparently obvious, is rarely seen through by the audience if per- 
formed in a quick and lively manner. The secret lies in the per- 
former interpreting the touching of the cards in two different senses, 
as may best suit his purpose. If the chosen card is not among the 
cards touched, he interprets the touching as meaning that the cards 
touched are rejected, and to be returned to the pack. If the card is 
among those touched, he interprets the touching in the opposite 
sense,— namely, that the cards touched are to be retained, and the 
others rejected. If he is lucky in the cards touched, it may happen 
that he is able to interpret the touching in the same sense throughout 
the trick, in which case there will be no clue whatever to the secret ; 
but even in the opposite case, where he is compelled to put aside first 
the cards touched and then the cards not touched, the difference 
generally passes unnoticed by the spectators, or, if noticed, is put 
down as a slip on the part of the performer, rather than as being, as 
it really is, the key to the trick. 

Where the performer is proficient in sleight-of-hand, the above 
may be worked up into a really brilliant trick. Any indifferent card 
being drawn and returned, is brought to the top by the pass, palmed, 
and the pack shuffled. Eight cards are laid out, and the drawn card 
revealed as above. 

Having described these few commencements and terminations, we 
will next proceed to the discussion of some complete tricks. 

To make a Card vanish from the Pack, and bb found 
in a Person's Pocket. — Slightly moisten the back of your left 
hand. Offer the pack to be shuffled. Place it face downwards on 



MODERN MAGIC. 47 

the table, and request one of the company to look at the top card. 

Request him to place the back of his left hand upon the cards, and 

press heavily upon it with his right. In order that he may the better 

comprehend yonr meaning, place your own hands as described 

(tee Fig. 30), and request him to imitate you. When you remove 

yonr left hand, the back being moistened, the card will stick to it. 

Put your hands carelessly behind you, and with the right hand remove 

the card. All will crowd round to see the trick. Pretend to be very 

particular that the person who 

places his hand on the card shall 

do so in precisely the right 

position. This will not only 

give you time, but draw all 

eyes to his bands. Meanwhile, 

watch yonr opportunity and 

slip the card into the tail 

pocket of one or other of the 

spectators. Now announce 

that you are about to order the 

top card, which all have seen, 

and which Mr. A. is holding 

down so exceedingly tight, to 

fly away from the pack and 

into the pocket of Mr. B., 

making the choice apparently 

1. 1. _j r, ■ .- Fro. 30. 

bap-hazard. On examination 

your commands will be found to have been fulfilled. It has a good 
effect, when practicable, to slip the card into the pocket of the same 
person who is pressing upon the pack. 

To place tub Four Kings im different farts of tub 
Pack, and to bring them together by a Simple Cut. — Take 
the four kings (or any other four cards at pleasure), and exhibit them 
fan-wise (jet Fig. 31), but secretly place behind the second one 
(the king of diamonds in the figure) two other court-cards of any 
description, whicb, being thus hidden behind the king, will not be 
visible. The audience" being satisfied that the four cards are really 



48 MODERN MAGIC. 

the four kings, and Done other, fold them together, and place them at 
the top of the pack. Draw attention to the fact that you are about 
to distribute these four kings in different parts of the pack. Take up 
the top card, which, being really a king, you may exhibit without 
apparent intention, and place it at the bottom. Take the nest card, 
which the spectators suppose to be also a king, and place it about 
half way down the pack, and the next, in like manner, a little higher. 
Take the fourth card, which, being actually a king, you may show 
carelessly, and replace it on the top of the pack. You hare now really 
three kings at the top and one at the bottom, though the audience 
imagine that they have seen 
them distributed in different 
parts of the pack, and are pro- 
portionately surprised, when 
the cards are cut, to find that 
all the kings are again to- 
gether. 

It is best to use knaves or 
queens for the two extra cards, 
as being less distinguishable 
from the kings, should a spec- 
tator catch a chance glimpse 
of their faces. 

There are other and better 
modes of bringing together 
four apparently separated cards 
by the aid of sleight-of-hand, 
which will be explained in due 
course ; but we have thought it well to give also this simpler method, 
as it is always an advantage to possess two different modes of per- 
forming the same feat. 

The Four Kings being placed undbr the Hand of one 
Person, and thb Four Sevens undbr the Hand of Another, 
to hake them Change Placbs at Command. — Exhibit, fanwise. 
in one hand the four kings, and in the other the four eights. Behind 
the hindmost of the kings, and so as not to be noticeable by the 



MODERN MAGIC. 49 



audience, secretly place beforehand the four sevens. Hold the four 
eights in the other hand in such manner that the lower of the two 
centre pips of the foremost is concealed by the first and second fingers. 
The same pip on each of the other cards will be concealed by the 
card immediately before it, so that the four cards will to the spec* 
tators appear equally like the sevens. Place the pack face downwards 
on the table. Draw attention to the fact that you hold in one hand 
the four lungs, and in the other the four sevens (really the disguised 
eights). Fold up the supposed sevens, and place them on the pack 
Fold up the kings, and place them on the top of the supposed sevens. 
As the real sevens were behind the last of the kings, they are now on 
the top, with the kings next, though the audience are persuaded that 
the kings are uppermost, and the sevens next following. Deal off, 
slowly and carefully, the four top cards, saying, "I take off these four 
kings," and lay them on the table, requesting one of the spectators to 
place his hand firmly upon them. Do the same with the next four 
cards (which are really the kings). Ask if the persons in charge of 
the cards are quite sure that they are still under their hands, and, upon 
receiving their assurance to that effect, command the cards they hold 
to change places, which they will be found to have done. 

Four Packets of Cards having been Formed face down- 
wards on the Table, to discover the Total Value op the 
Undermost Cards. — This trick must be performed with the piquet 
pack of thirty-two cards. Invite one of the spectators to privately 
select any four cards, and to place them, separately and face down- 
wards, on the table $ then, counting an ace as eleven, a court card 
as ten, and any other card according to the number of its pips, to place 
upon each of these four so many cards as, added to its value thus esti- 
mated, shall make fifteen. (It must be remembered that value is 
only to be taken into consideration as to the original four cards, those 
placed on them counting as one each, whatever they may happen to 
be.) Ton meanwhile retire. When the four heaps are complete, 
advance to the table, and observe how many cards are left over and 
above the four heaps. To this number mentally add thirty-two. 
The total will give you the aggregate value of the four lowest cards, 
calculated as above mentioned. 



SO MODERN MAGIC. 



You should not let your audience perceive that you count the 
remaining cards, or they will readily conjecture that the trick depends 
on some arithmetical principle. You may say, " You will observe 
that I do not look even at one single card :" and, so saying, throw 
down the surplus cards with apparent carelessness upon the table, \ 
when they are sure to fall sufficiently scattered to enable you to count 
them without attracting observation. 

To Name all the Cards in the Pack in Succession. — 

This is an old trick, but a very good one. To perform it, you must 

arrange the cards of a whist pack beforehand, according to a given 

formula, which forms a sort of memoria technica. There are several 

used, but all are similar in effect. The following is one of the 

simplest :— 

" Eight kings threatened to save 
Ninety-five ladies for one sick knave.** 

These words suggest, as you will readily see, eight, king, three, 
ten, two, seven, nine, five, queen, four, ace, six, knave. You must 
also have a determinate order for the suits, which should be red and 
black alternately, say, diamonds, clubs, hearts, spades. Sort the pack 
for convenience into the four suits, and then arrange the cards as 
follows : Take in your left hand, /ace upwards, the eight of diamonds, 
on this place the king of clubs, on this the three of hearts, then the 
ten of spades, then the two of diamonds, and so on, till' the whole of 
the cards are exhausted. This arrangement must be made privately 
beforehand, and you must either make this the first of your series of 
tricks, or (which is better, as it negatives the idea of arrangement) 
have two packs of the same pattern, and secretly exchange the pre- 
pared pack, at a suitable opportunity, for that with which you have 
already been performing. Spread the cards (which may previously 
be cut any number of times), and offer them to a person to draw one. 
While he is looking at the card, glance quickly at the card next above 
that which he has drawn, which we will suppose is the five of dia- 
monds. You will remember that in your memoria technica " five " is 
followed by "ladies " (queen). You know then that the next card, 
the one drawn, was a queen. You know also that clubs follow dia- j 

monds : ergo, the card drawn is the queen of clubs. Name it, and 



i 



MODERN MAGIC. S* 



request the drawer to replace it Ask some one again to cat the 
cards, and repeat the trick in the same form with another person, bat 
this time pass all the cards which were above the card drawn, below 
the remainder of the pack. This is equivalent to cutting the pack at 
that particular card. After naming the card drawn, ask if the com- 
pany would like to know any more. Name the cards next following 
the card already drawn, taking them one by one from the pack and 
laying them face upwards on the table, to show that you have named 
them correctly. After a little practice, it will cost yon but a very 
slight effort of memory to name in succession all the cards in the 
pack. 

Thb Cards being Cut, to tell whether the Number 
Cut is Odd or Even. — This is another trick performed by the aid 
of the prepared pack last described, and has the advantage of being 
little known, even to those who are acquainted with other uses of the 
arranged pack. Notice whether the bottom card for the time being 
is red or black. Place the pack on the table, and invite any person 
to cut, announcing that you will tell by the weight of the cards cut 
whether the number is odd or even. Take the cut cards (£.*., the 
cards which Jwfore the cut were at the top of the pack), and poising 
them carefully in your hand, as though testing their weight, glance 
slily at the bottom card. If it is of the same colour as the bottom 
card of the other or lowest portion, the cards cut are an even number j 
if of a different colour, they are odd. 

The Whist Trick. To deal yourself all the Trumps.— 
The cards being arranged as above mentioned, you may challenge 
any of the company to play a hand at whist with you. The cards are 
cut in the ordinary way (not shuffled). You yourself deal, when, of 
coarse, the turn-up card falls to you. On taking up the cards, it will 
be.fonnd that each person has all the cards of one suit, but your own 
suit being that of the turn-up card, is, of course, trumps ; and having 
the whole thirteen, you must necessarily win every trick. 

The weak point of the feat is, that the cards being regularly 
i sorted into the four suits, the audience can hardly help suspecting 
\ that the pack was pre-arranged beforehand. There is another and 
tetter mode of performing the trick, by which you still hold all the 



5« MODERN MAGIC. 



trumps, but the three remaining players have the ordinary mixed 
hands. This method, however, involves sleight-of-hand, and would 
therefore be out of place in the present chapter. 

To allow a Person to think of a Card, and to make 
that Card appear at such Number in the Pack as Another 
Person shall Name. — Allow the pack to be shuffled and cut as 
freely as the company please. When they are fully satisfied that the 
cards are well mixed, offer the pack to any of the spectators, and 
request him to look over the cards, and think of any one, and to re- 
member the number at which it stands in the pack, reckoning from 
the bottom card upwards. You then remark, " Lad es and gentle- 
men, you will take particular notice that I have not asked a single 
question, and yet I already know the card ; and if anyone will kindly 
indicate the place in the pack at which you desire it to appear, I wilt 
at once cause it to take that position. I must only ask that, by 
arrangement between yourselves, you will make the number at which 
the card is to appear higher than that which it originally held.' 9 We 
will suppose that the audience decide that the card shall appear at 
number 22. Carelessly remark, " It is not even necessary for me to 
see the cards." So saying, hold the pack under the table, and rapidly 
count off twenty-two cards from the bottom of the pack, and place 
them on the top.* You then continue, " Having already placed the 
card thought of in the desired position, I may now, without suspicion, 
ask for the original number of the card, as I shall commence my 
counting with that number.' 9 We will suppose you are told the card 
was originally number 10. You begin to count from the top of the 
pack, calling the first card 10, the next 11, and so on. When you 
come to 22, the number appointed, you say, " If 1 have kept my 
promise, this should be the card you thought of. To avoid the sus- 



* When the number named is more than half the total number of the pack, i.e. t 
more than 16 in a piquet pack, or more than 26 in a whist pack, it is quicker, and has 
precisely the same effect, to count off the difference between that and the total number 
from the top, and place them at the bottom. Thus, in a piquet pack, if the number 
called be 12, you would count off 12 from the bottom, and place them on the top ; but 
if the number called were 24, you would achieve the same object by counting 8 from* 
the top, and passing them to the bottom. 



MODERN MAGIC. 53 



picion of confederacy, will you please say, before I turn it over, what 
your card was." The card being named, you turn it up, and show 
that it is the right one. 

In all tricks which depend on the naming of a card drawn or 
thought of, it adds greatly to the effect to have the card named before 
you turn it up. 

This trick, unlike most, will bear repetition ; but it is well on a 
second performance to vary it a little. Thus you may on the second 
occasion say, when the card has been thought of, " I will choose for 
myself this time ; your card will appear at number 30." It is desir- 
able to name a number very near the total number of the pack (which 
we are now supposing to be a piquet pack), as the difference between 
that and the total number being very small, it is easy to see at a glance 
the number of cards representing such difference, and pass them to 
the bottom of the pack. You take in this instance two cards only, 
that being the difference between 30 and 32, and pass them to the 
bottom, when the card will, as you have announced, be the thirtieth. 

If you are able to make the pass, you will, of course, avail yourself 
of it to transfer the requisite number of cards to the top or bottom of 
the pack. 

The Cards Revealed bt tub Looking-Glass.— This is 
rather a joke than a feat of magic, but it will create some fun, and 
may often be kept up for some time without being discovered. Take 
up your position on one side of the room, facing a good-sized mirror 
or chimney-glass. Make your audience stand or sit facing you, when 
they will, of course, have their backs to the glass. Offer the cards to 
be shuffled and cut. Take the top card and hold it high up, with its 
back to you and its face to the audience. As it will be reflected in 
the mirror opposite ) ou, you will have no difficulty in naming it, or 
any other card in like manner, till your audience either find you out, 
or have had enough of the trick. 

To Guess Four Cards thought of bt Different Persons. 
— Offer the pack to be shuffled. Place it on the table, and taking off 
the four top cards with the right hand, oner them to any person, and 
ask him to notice one of them, shuffle them, and return them to you. 
When they are returned, place them, face downwards, in your left 



$♦ MODERN MAGIC. 



hand. Take the next four cards, and offer them to another person in 
like manner. Proceed in like manner with a third and fourth group 
of four. When all the sixteen cards are returned, deal them out in 
four heaps, face upwards. Ask each person in which heap his card 
now is. That of the first person will be the uppermost of his heap, 
that of the second person second in his heap, and so on. It will 
sometimes occur that two of the cards chosen are in the same heap, 
but the rule will still apply. Should there be three persons only to 
choose, you should give them three cards each ; and deal in three 
heaps. 

Thb Pairs Re-pairkd. — After performing the last trick, yon 
may continue, " As you have not yet found me out, I will repeat the 
experiment, but in a slightly altered form. This time I will invite 
you to think of two cards each, and all present may join if they 
please." After giving the pack to be shuffled, you deal out twenty 
cards, face upwards, but placing them in couples. Invite as many of 
the company as please to note any particular couple they think fit, and 
to remember those two cards. When they have done so, gather up 
the cards, picking them up here and there in any order you please, 
taking care, however, that none of the pairs are separated. You now 
deal them out again, face upwards, in rows of five, according to the 
following formula : Mutusdedit nomen Cocis, which, being interpreted, 
signifies, " Mutus gave a name to the Coci," a people as yet undis- 
covered. On examining the sentence closely, you will observe that it 
consists of ten letters only, m, u, t, s, d, e, i, n, o, c, each twice 
repeated. This gives you the clue to the arrangement of the cards, 
which will be as follows ; 



M 


U 


T 


U 


S 


i 


2 


3 


2 


4 


D 


£ 


D 


I 


T 


5 


6 


5 


7 


3 


N 


O 


M 


£ 


N 


8 


9 


i 


6 


8 


C 


O 


C 


I 


S 


10 


9 


io. 


7 


4 



MODERN MAGIC. 5$ 



You must imagine the four words printed as above upon jour table* 
Too most deal your first card npon the imaginary M in mutus, and 
the second on the imaginary M in women, the two next cards on the 
two imaginary U*s, the two next on the two l"s, and so on. You 
hare now only to ask each person in which row his two cards now 
appear, and you will at once know which they are. Thus, if a person 
says his two cards are now in the second and fourth rows, you will 
know that they must be the two cards representing the two I's, that 
being the only letter common to those two rows. If a person indi- 
cates the first and fourth rows, you will know that his cards are those 
representing the two S's, and so on. 

The Magic Triplets. — This trick is precisely similar in prin- 
ciple to the last, but twentyrfour (instead of twenty) cards are used* 
and they are dealt in triplets, instead of pairs. After the spectators 
hare made their selection, you take up the cards as directed for the 
last trick, taking care to keep the respective triplets together. You 
then deal them in rows of six, the formula in this case being : 



L 


I 


V 


I 


N 


I 


L 


A 


N 


A 


T 


A 


L 


£ 


V 


£ 


T 


£ 


N 


O 


V 


O 


T 


O 



Another Mode op -Discovering a Card Thought op.-*- 
Have the pack well shuffled. Then deal twenty-five cards, in five 
rows of five cards each, face upwards. Invite- a person to think of a 
card, and to tell you in which row it is. Note in your own mind the 
first or left-hand card of that row.. Now pick up the cards in vertical 
rows, i.e., beginning at the last card of the last row, placing that card 
face upwards on the last of the next row, those two on the last of the 
next row, and so on. When you have picked up all the cards in this 
manner, deal them out again in the same way as at first You will 
observe that those cards which at first formed the first cards of each 
row, now themselves form the first row. Ask the person in which 
row his card now is. When he has told you, look to the top row for 
the first card of the original row, when the card thought of will be 
found in a direct line below it. As you have just been told in which 



56 MODERN MAGIC. 

lateral row it is, you will not have the least difficulty in discovering 
it, and by a slight effort of memory you may even allow several 
persons each to think of a card, and name it. A comparison of the 
subjoined tables, showing the original and subsequent order of the 
cards, will explain the principle of the trick. 







First Order* 






I 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


9 


10 


ii 


12 


13 


H 


*5 


16 


*7 


18 


19 


20 


21 


22 


»3 
Second Order, 


H 


*5 


I 


6 


ii 


16 


21 


2 


7 


12 


*7 


22 


3 


8 


'3 


18 


n 


4 


9 


H 


'9 


24 


5 


10 


'5 


20 


*5 



Thus we will suppose you are told that the card thought of is origin- 
ally in the third line. Remember the first or key-card of that line, 
designated in the table as 11. If the card is in the fourth line after 
the second deal, you look to the top line for the key-card, and on 
finding it you have only to observe which card in the fourth row is 
immediately beneath it, to be sure that that card (in this instance 
designated by the number 14) is the card thought of. 

You may perform the trick with either sixteen, twenty-five, thirty- 
six, or forty-nine cards, either of those being a square number, and 
thus making the number of cards in a row equal to the number of 
rows, which is essential to the success of the trick. 

To Guess, by the aid of a Passage of Poetry or Prose, 
such one of Sixteen Cards as, in the Performer's Absence, 
has been Touched or Selected by the Company.— This feat 
is performed by confederacy, the assistance of the confederate being 
open and avowed, but the mode : n which the clue is given constitut- 



MODERN MA G/C. 57 



ing the mystery. You allow the pack to be shuffled, and then deal 
sixteen cards, the first that come to hand, either face upwards or face 
downwards, in four rows on the table. The sole preparation on the 
part of yourself and your confederate is to commit to memory the 
following simple formula— animal, vegetable, mineral, verb, signifying 
respectively one, two, three and four. You retire from the room 
while the card is chosen, your confederate remaining. Upon your 
return your confederate selects and hands for your perusal a passage 
in any book which the audience may select, only taking care that the 
first word in such passage which comes within either of the four cate- 
gories above mentioned, shall be such as to represent the number of 
the row in which the card is, and that the second wotd which comes 
within either of those categories shall represent the number at which 
the card stands in that row. We will suppose, for instance, that the 
passage handed to the performer is that portion of Hamlet's soliloquy 
commencing, " Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt** Here 
the first word which comes within either of the four categories is 
"flesh," which, being cleat ly animal (i), indicates that the chosen 
card is in the first row. The second word coming within either of 
the categories is " melt," which, being a verb (4), indicates that the 
chosen card is the fourth of its row. Had the passage been " To be, 
or not to be, that is the question,'* the two verbs would have indicated 
that the card was the fourth of the fourth row. " How doth the little 
busy bee," etc., would have indicated the first of the fourth row, and 
so on. With a little tact and ingenuity on the part of the operators, 
this may be made an admirable trick, and, unlike most others, will 
bear being repeated, the mystery becoming deeper as passages of 
varying character and different length are employed. 



To Detect, without Confederacy, which of Four Cards 
has been Turned Round in your Absence. — It will be found 
upon examining a pack of cards, that the white margin round the 
court cards almost invariably differs in width at the opposite ends. 
The difference Ltf frequently very trifling, but is still sufficiently notice- 
able when pointed out, and may be made available for a trick which, 
though absurdly simple, has puzzled many. You place four court 
cards of the same rank, say four queens, in a row, face upwards, 



58 MODERN MA GIC. 

taking care that the wider margins of the cards are all one way. You 
then leave the room, and invite the company to turn round length* 
ways daring your absence any one or more of the four cards. On 
your return you can readily distinguish which card has been so 
turned, as the wider margin of such card will now be where the 
narrower margin was originally, and vice versd. 

There is so little chance of the trick being discovered, that you 
may, contrary to the general rule, repeat it if desired. Should you do 
so, it is better not to replace the cards already turned, as this might 
give a clue to the secret, but carefully note in your own mind their 
present position, by remembering which you can discover any card 
turned just as easily as at first. 

To Arrange Twelve Cards in Rows, in such a manner 

THAT THEY WILL COUNT FOUR IN EVERY DIRECTION. — ThlS JS 

rather a puzzle than a conjuring trick, but may sometimes serve as 
an interlude to occupy the minds of your audience while you are pre- 
paring for some other feat. The secret is to place nine of the twelve 
cards in three rows, so as to form a square; then place the remaining 
three cards as follows : the first on the first card of the first row, the 
second on the second card of the second row, and the last on the 
third card of the last row.' 

To Place the Aces and Court Cards in Four Rows, in 

SUCH A IfANNBft THAT NEITHER' HORIZONTALLY. NOR PERPENDICU- 
LARLY SHALL THERE BE IN EITHER Row TWO CARDS ALIKE 

either in Suit or Value.— ?Tbis also is a puzzle, and a very good 
one. The key to it is to begin by placing four cards of like value 
(say four kings) in a diagonal line from corner to corner of the 
intended square, then four other cards of like value (say the four 
aces) to form the opposite diagonal. It must be borne in mind, that 
of whatever suit the two centre kings are, the two aces must be of 
the opposite suits. Thus, if the two centre kings are tbose of diamonds 
and hearts, the two centre aces must be those of clubs and spades ; 
and in adding the two end aces* you must be careful not to place at 
either end of the line an ace of the same suit as the king at the cor- 
responding end of the opposite diagonal. Having got so far, you will 



MODERN MAGIC. 



find it a very easy matter to till in the remaining cards in accordance 
with the conditions of the puzzle. The sixteen cards when complete 
will be as in Fig. 3». 
subject, of coarse, to 
variation according to 
the particular cards 
with which you com- 
mence your task. 



The Congress 
op Coort Cards. 
—Take the kings, 
queens, and knaves 
from the pack, and 
place them face up- 
wards on the table 
in three rows of four 
each, avoiding as 
much as possible the 
appearance of ar- 
rangement, but really 
taking care to place 
them in the following 
order: In the first 
row yon' have only to 
remember not to have 
two of tbe same suit. 






Begin the second row with a card of the same suit with which yon 
ended the first, let the second card be of the same suit as the first 
of the first row, the third of the same suit as the second of the first 
row, and so on. The third row will begin with the suit with which 
the second left off, the second card will be of the same suit as the 
first of the second row, and so on. Now pick up the cards in 
vertical rows, beginning with the last card of the bottom row. The 
cards may now be cut (not shuffled) any number of times, but, if 
dealt in four heaps, the king, queen, and knave of each suit will 
come together. 



6o MODERN MAGIC. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Tricks involving Sleight-of-Hand or the Use op Specially 

Prepared Cards. 

We have already explained the nature and use of the " forcing " pack 
of cards. It may be well, before we go further, to give a short 
account of one or two other species of prepared cards. 

The Long Card. — This is the technical name for a card longer 
or wider, by about the thickness of a sixpence, than the rest of the 
pack. This card will naturally project to that extent beyond the 
general length or width of the other cards, and the performer is thereby 
enabled to cut the pack at that particular card whenever he chooses to 
do so. With the aid of such a card, and a tolerable proficiency in 
" forcing *' and " making the pass/' many excellent tricks can be per- 
formed. Packs with a long card can be obtained at any of the con- 
juring dep6ts. The best plan, however, is to purchase two ordinary 
packs, precisely alike, and to have the edges of one of them shaved 
down by a bookbinder to the requisite extent, when you can insert 
any card of the other pack at pleasure to form your long card, and thus 
avoid the suspicion which would naturally arise from the performance 
of several tricks with the same card. A still greater improvement 
upon the ordinary long-card pack is the liseauU or tapering pack, in 
which, though only one pack is used, any card may in turn become 
the long card. A biscauU pack consists of cards all of which are a 
shade wider (say the thickness of a shilling) at one end than the other. 
{See Fig. S3t in which, however, the actual difference of width is 
exaggerated, in order to make the shape of the card clear to the eye.) 

When two cards shaped as above are placed one upon another, but 
in opposite directions, the effect is as in Fig. 34. If the whole pack is 
at the outset placed with all the cards alike (U., their ends tapering in 



MODERN MAGIC. 



6t 



the same direction \ by reversing any card and returning it to the pack, 
its wide end is made to correspond with the narrow ends of the re- 
maining cards, thereby making it for the time being a " long" card. 
By offering the pack for a person to draw a card, and turning the 
pack round before the card is 
replaced, the position of that 
card will thus be reversed, and 
j on will be able to find it again 
in an instant, however tho- 
rough!/ the cards may be shuf- 
fled. By pre-arranging the 
pack beforehand, with the 



♦ ♦ ♦♦ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 



Fig. 33. 



Fie, 3+ 



narrow ends of ail the red 
cards in one direction, and 

those of the black cards in the other direction, you may, by grasping 
the pack between the finger and thumb at each end {see Fig. 35), 
and, drawing the hands apart, separate the black cards from the red 
at a single stroke, or, by preparing the pack accordingly, yon may 
divide the court cards from the plain cards in like manner. Many 
other recreations may 
be performed with a 
pack of this kind, 
which will be noticed 
in due course. The 
long card and the 
biseauti pack have 
each their special ad- 
vantages and di sad- 
no, 35. vantages. The long 
card is the more reli- 
able, as it can always be distinguished with certainty from the rest of 
the pack ; but it is very generally known, and after having made use 
of it for one trick, it is clear that you cannot immediately venture 
upon another with the same card. It is further comparatively useless 
unless you are proficient in "forcing." The biseaitte pack may be 
used without any knowledge of " forcing," and has the advantage that 
any card may in turn become the key card, but it is treacherous. 



6* MODERN MAGIC. 



The necessary turning of the pack is likely to attract observation, 
any little mistake, such as allowing the card to be replaced in its 
original direction, or a few of the cards getting turned round in 
shuffling, will cause a breakdown. Notwithstanding these disad- 
vantages, both the long card and the biseaute pack will b*» found very- 
useful to the amateur ; but it should be borne in mind that both these 
appliances are in reality only makeshifts or substitutes for sleight-of- 
hand. Professionals of the highest class discard them altogether, and 
rely wholly on the more subtle magic of their own fingers. 

We subjoin a few of the best of the feats which specially depend 
upon the use of a long card or the biseaute pack. 

A Card having been Chosbn and Returned, and the Pack 

SHUFFLED, TO PRODUCE THE CHOSEN CARD INSTANTLY IN VARIOUS 

wats. — Request some person to draw a card, spreading them before 
him for that purpose. If you use a long-card pack you must force 
the long card $ if you are using a biseaute* pack any card may be 
drawn, the pack being reversed before the card is replaced. The card 
being returned, the pack may be shuffled to any extent, but you will 
always be able to cut by feel at the card chosen. 

You may vary the trick by taking the cards upright between the 
second finger and thumb of the right hand, and requesting some one 
to say, " One, two, three ! " at the word " three " drop all the cards 
save the card chosen, which its projecting edge will enable you to 
retain when you relax the pressure upon the other cards. 

Another mode of finishing the trick is to request any one present 
to put the pack (previously well shuffled) in his pocket, when you 
proceed, with his permission, to pick his pocket of the chosen card. 
This is an effective trick, and, if you are proficient in sleight-of-hand, 
may be also pertormed with an unprepared pack of cards. In the 
latter case, when the chosen card is returned to the pack, you make 
the pass to bring it to the top, palm it, and immediately offer the 
cards to be shuffled. (See Fig. 15.) The pack being returned, you 
replace the chosen card on the top, and when the pack is placed in 
the pocket you have only to draw out the top card. The feat of 
cutting at the chosen card may also by similar means be performed 
with an ordinary pack. For this purpose you must follow the direc- 



/ 



MODERN MA GIC 63 



tions last above given up to the time when, the pack having been 
shuffled, yoa replace the palmed card on the top. Then transfer the 
pack to the left hand, and apparently cot with the right We say 
apparently, for though to the eye of the spectator yoa merely cut the 
cards, yon really make the pass by sliding the lower half of the pack 
to the left, the fingers of the left hand at the same moment opening a 
little to lift the upper packet, and so give room for the upward passage 
of the lower packet. The cards remaining after the pass in the left 
hand, which the spectators take to be the bottom half of the pack, 
are in reality the original upper half $ and on the uppermost of such 
cards being turned up, it is found to be the one which was chosen. 

Another good mode of finishing the trick is to fling the pack in 
the air, and catch the chosen card. For this purpose, after forcing 
the long card, and after giving the pack to be shuffled, you cut the 
pack at the long card as before, but without showing it, and place the 
original lower half of the pack on the top. The chosen card will now 
be at the bottom. Take the pack face downwards upon the right 
hand, and quickly transfer it to the left, at the same time palming 
(with the right hand) the bottom card. Spread the cards a little, and 
fling them into the air, clutching at them with the right hand as they 
descend, and at the same moment bring the chosen card to the tips of 
the fingers. The effect to the spectators will be as if you actually 
caught it among the falling cards. 

This feat also may be performed without the aid of a long card, 
and without the necessity of forcing a card. In this case, as in the 
pocket-picking trick, you make the pass as soon as the card is re- 
turned to the pack, in order to bring it to the top, and palm it; then 
offer the pack to be shuffled. When the cards are handed back, place 
the chosen card for a moment on the top of the pack, and endeavour 
to call attention — indirectly, if possible — to the fact that you have no 
card concealed in your hand. Then again palming the card, you may 
either yourself fling up the cards or request som£ other person to do 
so, and terminate the trick as before. 

A still more effective form of this trick, in which the chosen card 
is caught upon the point of a sword, will be found among the card 
tricks performed by the aid of special apparatus. 

The following is a good long-card trick, but demands consider- 



64 MODERN MA G1C. 



able proficiency in sleight-of-hand. You " force" the long card, 
allowing it to be returned to any part of the pack, and the whole to 
be well shuffled. You then say, " You must be by this time pretty 
certain that, even if I knew your card in the first instance, I must 
have quite lost sight of it now. If you do not feel quite certain, 
please shuffle the cards once more." Every one being fully satisfied 
that the card is completely lost in the pack, you continue, " Let me 
assure you that I do not know, any more than yourselves, where- 
abouts in the pack your card is at this moment. You can all see 
that I have no duplicate card concealed in my hands. I will now 
take the top card, whatever it may be, or, if you prefer it, any one 
may draw a card from any part of the pack, and I will at once change 
it to the card originally chosen." The audience will probably prefer 
to draw a card, which, when they have done, you continue, " I pre- 
sume the card you have just drawn is not the one originally chosen. 
Will the gentleman who drew the first card look at it and see if it is 
his card ? " The reply is pretty certain to be in the negative. During 
the discussion you have taken the opportunity to slip the little finger 
of the left hand immediately above the long card (which, it will be 
remembered, was that first drawn), and to make the pass, thereby 
bringing it to the top, and enabling you to palm it You now ask 
the person holding the second card to place it on the top of the pack, 
which you immediately transfer to the right hand, thus bringing the 
palmed card upon it. You then say, " To show you that this trick is 
not performed by sleight-of-hand, or by any manipulation of the cards, 
I will not even touch them, but will place them here on the table in 
sight of all. Will the gentleman who drew the first card please to 
say what his card was?" The card being named, you slowly and 
deliberately turn over the top card, which will be found to be trans- 
formed into that first chosen. The other card is now the next card 
on the top of the pack, and, as somebody may suspect this, and by 
examining the pack gain a partial clue to the trick, it will be well to 
take an early opportunity of removing this card, either by shuffling, or 
by making the pass to bring it to the centre of the pack. 

If you make use of a LiseautS pack, there is, of course, no necessity 
for forcing the card in the first instance. 

You may also reveal a chosen card with very good effect in the 



MODERN MAGIC. 65 



following manner: A card haying been freely drawn, open the pack 
to such manner that it may be placed, when returned, immediately 
under the long card, which, by the way, should in this instance really 
be a uride card, though the term " long card " applies, as already men* 
tioned, to both kinds of card. The pack may be moderately shuffled, 
with very little risk of the two cards being separated, the greater 
width of the long card tending to shelter the card beneath it, and 
making it «rery unlikely that that card will be displaced. If after the 
shuffle the long card does not happen to be tolerably high up in the 
pack, you should cut the cards in such manner as to make it so. 
Holding the cards in a horizontal position, face downwards, above the 
table, the thumb being on one side and the fingers on the other side 
of the pack, you say, " Ladies and gentlemen, I am now about to 
drop the cards, a few at a time, in a numj>er of little heaps upon the 
table, stopping when you tell me to do so. It will be equally open 
to you to stop me when I have made one or two heaps only, or not 
until I have made seven or eight, but, whenever it is, the card at the 
top of the heap last made will be the identical card which was just 
now drawn, and which has since, as you have seen, been thoroughly 
shuffled in the pack." You now drop the cards, four or five at a 
time, on various parts of the table. When the word " stop " is pro- 
nounced you let go all the remaining cards below the long card, 
which, from its greater width, a very slight pressure suffices to retain. 
The card chosen having been next below the long card, is now at the 
top of the last heap. You ask the person who drew to name his 
card, and, touching the back of the top card with your wand, turn it 
over to show that it is the right one. 

If you are tolerably expert in sleight-of-hand you may repeat the 
trick in a yet more striking manner. Proceed as before up to the 
moment when the word " stop " is pronounced. Having let fall as 
before all the cards below the long card, lay down the remainder 
of the pack, and take in the left hand the heap which you last dealt. 
Cover it with the right hand for an instant, and, sliding away the 
hand gently to the right, palm the top card, and immediately take by 
one corner the next card, holding it face downwards until the drawer 
has named his card, which was, we will suppose, the queen of hearts. 
As soon as the card is named, you turn towards the audience the face 

5 



66 MODERN MAGIC. 



of the card you hold, saying, " Here is the card* as before. 9 * Do not 
look at it yourself, but at once replace it on the pack, and, covering 
the pack with the right hand, leave the palmed card upon it. Yon 
are by this time made aware by a murmur, if not by a more decided 
manifestation on the part of the audience, that something is wrong. 
You ask what is the matter, and are told that, so far from showing 
the queen of hearts, the card you produced was a totally different one, 
say, the seven of spades. You pretend to look embarrassed, and ask if 
they are quite sure. " It is very strange," you remark, " I never 
failed in this trick before. Will you allow me to try again ? " Then, 
appearing to recollect yourself, " Oh, of course ! " you exclaim, " I 
forgot to touch the card with the magic wand." You do so. " Will 
some one be kind enough to look at the card now ? '* The card is 
examined, and proves to be, as it ought to have been originally, the 
queen of hearts. 

TO TEACH THB COMPANY A TRICK WHrCH THEY X.EARN WITH- 
OUT Difficulty ; then to allow them to Succeed or to cause 
them to Fail at your Pleasure. — This surprising trick is per- 
formed with the piquet pack of thirty-two cards, from which you must 
beforehand take away, and secretly pocket, one card of each suit, the 
spectators, however, believing that you use the whole thirty-two cards. 

You announce to the company that you will teach them a trick. 
You deal the cards face upwards in rows of four, according to the 
rules set forth in the trick already described under the title of "The 
Congress of Court Cards,** i.e., you place a card of each suit in the 
top row 5 you commence each row with a card of the suit with which 
the row above ended 5 you make the second of each row the same 
suit as the first of the row above, and the third the same suit as the 
second of the row above, and so on. Thus, if your top row be club, 
diamond, heart, spade, your second will be spade, club, diamond, 
heart ; your third, heart, spade, club, diamond ; your fourth, diamond, 
heart, spade, club j your fifth, club, diamond, heart, spade ; your 
sixth, spade, club, diamond, heart ; and your seventh, heart, spade, 
club, diamond. You now gather up the cards as directed in the 
trick already mentioned, i.e., in vertical rows, from the bottom up- 
wards, commencing at the right-hand bottom corner. The pack thus 



MODERN MA GIC. 67 



arranged may be cut any number of times, but, if dealt in four heaps, 
all the cards of each suit will be found to be together. 

So far, the trick is ingenious rather than astonishing, although, 
the arrangement of the cards having reference only to the suits, and 
not to individual cards, the cards do not at first sight appear to be 
specially arranged ; and if you are rapid and apparently careless in 
placing them, the spectators will in all probability believe that they 
are placed bap-hazard. If you can induce this belief, you will greatly 
heighten their surprise at finding the different suits regularly sorted 
after the deal. But the trick is not yet finished. You again place 
the cards as before, remarking that the trick is simplicity itself when 
once the principle is known, and on this occasion you draw special 
attention to the necessary arrangement of the cards. Having com- 
pleted the trick for the second time, you invite some of the audience to 
try their hands, which they do, and of course succeed, there being 
really no difficulty in the matter. When one or two have tried and 
succeeded, they will probably disparage the trick, as being absurdly 
easy. u Pardon me/' you say, " you have succeeded so far, because it 
was my will and pleasure that you should do so. You seem incredu- 
lous, but I am perfectly serious. To prove that I am so, I give you 
warning that the next person who attempts the trick will fail. Come, 
who accepts the challenge ? " Some one is sure to respond, and in 
all probability to offer you a bet that he will succeed. " Sir," you 
reply, u I never bet on certainties, or your money would be already 
lost. I have said that you shall fail, and you cannot, therefore, pos- 
sibly succeed." You have, meanwhile, secretly palmed the four 
cards which you pocketed before beginning the trick, and have 
^watched your opportunity to replace them on the table with the rest 
of the pack. 

Your opponent may now try as much as he pleases, but he cannot 
possibly succeed, the fact being that the process above described pro- 
duces the desired effect with twenty-eight cards, but will not do so 
with thirty-two. The first thought of your audience is sure to be 
that you have abstracted some of the cards in order to make the trick 
fail, but on counting they find the number correct. Not one in a 
hundred will suspect that the reverse is the case, and that when you 
performed the trick the pack was incomplete. 



68 MODERN MAGIC. 



By the time three or four of the company have tried and failed, 
you will probably hare found an opportunity of again pocketing a 
card of each suit) and you may then announce that, having suffici- 
ently proved your power, you will now graciously condescend to re- 
move the prohibition, and allow the next person who tries to succeed. 
This, of course, he will do j and the trick may very well end here, 
with the satisfaction on your part that you have kept your secret, and 
that, even when removed from the sphere of your adverse influence, 
your pupils will fail in performing the trick, making the attempt, as 
they naturally will, with the full piquet pack. But it is just possible 
that a contretemps may arise, for which it will be well to be prepared. 
Some one of the audience, more acute than the generality, may sug- 
gest again counting the cards, to see if all are there when the trick 
succeeds. Even in this case you need not be discomfitted. At once 
offer yourself to count the cards, and, gathering them up for that 
purpose, add to them the four which you removed, which you should 
again have palmed in readiness. Count them deliberately on to the 
table, and, when every one is satisfied that the pack is complete, 
announce that you will once more perform the trick, in order to let 
every one see that you actually use no more and no less than thirty- 
two cards. Place the cards as before, counting aloud as you do so, 
till the whole thirty-two cards are placed. So for you have not varied 
your method of proceeding, but to succeed with the whole thirty- 
two cards you must secretly make a slight variation in the manner of 
picking up. You will remember that the cards were picked up face 
upwards, beginning from the bottom of the right hand row, placing 
the cards of that row on those of the next row, and so on. Now, to 
perform the trick with thirty-two cards, the bottom cards of each row 
must be gathered up all together, and placed on the face of the pack. 
Thus, if the bottom card of the first or left hand row be the knave of 
spades, that of the second row the ten of diamonds, that of the third 
row the ace of hearts, and that of the fourth row the seven of clubs, 
those four cards must be picked up as follows : The knave of spades 
must be placed (face upwards) on the ten of diamonds, the ten of 
diamonds on the ace of hearts, and the ace of hearts on the seven of 
clubs, which will occupy its own place on the face of the cards of the 
last or right-hand row. For convenience of picking up, it will be 



MODERN MAGIC. 6; 



well to place the four rows very near together, slightly converging at 
the bottom, when it will be tolerably easy, by a bold, quick sweep of 
the left band from left to right, to slide the three other cards in due 
order, on to the bottom card of the last row ; while the performer, 
looking not at the cards bat at his audience, diverts their attention by 
any observations which may occur to him. The trick in this form 
requires considerable address, and the performer should not, there- 
fore, venture upon it until, by frequent practice, he can be certain of 
placing the four cards neatly with his left hand, and without looking 
at his hands, which would infallibly draw the eyes of the audience in 
the same direction, and thereby spoil the trick. 

To Distinguish thb Court Cards bt Touch. — This trick 
is performed by means of a preliminary preparation of the court cards, 
to be made as follows : Take each court card separately, edge up- 
wards, and draw a tolerably sharp knife, the blade held sloping back- 
wards at an angle of about 45°, once or twice along the edge from 
left to right. This will be found to turn the edge of the card, so to 
speak, and to leave on each side a minute ridge, not noticeable by the 
eye, bat immediately perceptible, if sought for, to the touch. Prepare 
the opposite edge of the card in the same way, and again mix the 
court cards with the pack, which is now ready for use. 

Offer the prepared pack to be shuffled. When the pack is re- 
tamed to you, you may either hold it above your head, and, showing 
the cards in succession, call " court card " or " plain card," as the 
case may he, or you may oner to deal the cards into two heaps, con- 
sisting of court cards in one heap and plain cards in the other, every 
now and then offering the cards to be again shuffled. You can, cf 
coarse, perform the trick blindfold with equal facility. 

You should endeavour to conceal, as much as possible, the fact 
that you distinguish the court cards by the sense of touch, and rather 
seek to make your audience believe that the trick is performed by 
means of some mathematical principle, or by any other means remote 
from the true explanation. This advice, indeed, applies more or less 
to all tricks. Thus your knowledge of a forced card depends, of 
course, on sleighUof-hand ; but you should by no means let this be 
suspected, bat rather claim credit for some clairvoyant faculty 1 and 



7© MODERN MAGIC. 



vice versd, when you perform a trick depending on a mathematical 
combination, endeavour to lead your audience to believe that it id 
performed by means of some impossible piece of sleight-of-hand. 
Farther, endeavour to vary your modus operandi. If you have just 
performed a trick depending purely on sleight-of-hand, do not let the 
next be of the same character, but rather one based on a mathematical 
principle, or on the use of special apparatus. 

To NAME ANY NUMBER OF CARDS IN SUCCESSION WITHOUT 

Seeing Them. — First Method. — This trick, in its original form, is so 
well known that it is really not worth performing ; but we describe it 
for the sake of completeness, and for the better comprehension of the 
improved method. The performer takes the pack, and secretly 
notices the bottom card. He then announces that he will name all 
the cards of the pack in succession without seeing them. Holding 
the pack behind him for an instant, he turns the top card face out- 
wards on the top of the pack j then holding the pack with the bottom 
card towards the audience, he names that card. From the position in 
which he holds the pack, the top card, which he has turned, is to- 
wards him, and in full view. Again placing his hands behind him, 
he transfers the last named to the bottom, and turns the next, and so 
on in like manner. Even in an audience of half-a-dozen only, it is 
very likely that there will be some one acquainted with this form of 
the trick, who will proclaim aloud his knowledge of "how it is 
done.** We will suppose that you have performed the trick with this 
result. Passing your hands again behind you, but this time merely 
passing the top card to the bottom, without turning any other card, 
you reply that you doubt his pretended knowledge, and name the card 
as before. He will naturally justify his assertion by explaining the 
mode of performing the trick. You reply, " According to your theory, 
there should be an exposed card at each end of the pack. Pray ob- 
serve that there is nothing of the kind in this case " (here you show 
the opposite side of the pack), " but, to give a still more conclusive 
proof, I will for the future keep the whole of the pack behind me, 
and name each card before I bring it forward. Perhaps, to preclude 
any idea of arrangement of the cards, some one will kindly shuffle 
them." When the cards are returned, you give them a slight addi- 



MODERN MAGIC. 



7i 



tkraal shuffle yourself and remarking, u They are pretty well shuffled 
now, I think," continue the trick by the 

Second Method. — Glance, as before, at the bottom card. Place the 
cards behind yon, and name the card you have just seen. Passing 
the right hand behind you, palm the top card, and then taking hold 
of the bottom card (the one yon have just named) face outwards, 
with the two first fingers and thumb of the same hand, bring it for- 
ward and throw it on the table. Pause for a moment before you 
throw it down, as if asking the company to verify the correctness of 
your assertion, and glance secretly at the card which is curled up in 
your palm* Again place your hands behind you, call the name of 
the card yon last palmed, and palm another. You can, of course, 
continue the trick as long as yon please, each time naming the card 
which you palmed at the last call. You should take care to have a 
tolerably wide space between yourself and your audience, in which 
case, with a very little management on your part, there is little fear 
of their discovering the secret of the palmed card. 

Yon should not be in too great a hurry to name the card you have 
just seen, or the audience may suspect that you gained your know- 
ledge in the act of bringing forward the card you last named. To 
negative this idea, you should take care first to bring forward again the 
right hand, manifestly empty, and do your best to simulate thought 
and mental exertion before naming the next card. 




♦♦♦ 



To mark Four Cards chanob from Eights to Twos, from 
Black to Red, etc.— For this trick you require three specially-pre- 
pared cards. The backs should be 
similar to those of the pack which 
you have in ordinary use, the faces 
being as depicted in Fig. 36. They 
may be purchased at any of the 
conjuring depots. 

You place these three cards 
privately at the bottom of the 
pack. You begin by remarking 

that you will show the company a good trick with the four eights and 
the two of diamonds. (If you use a piquet pack, you must provide 



Fig. 36. 



n 



JfODERA MAGIC. 




Fig. 37. 



yourself with a special two of diamonds, of similar pattern to the rest 
of the pack.) You take the pack, and picking out the four genuine 
eights, hand them for examination. While they are being inspected, 

you insert the little finger of your left 
hand between the three bottom cards 
(the prepared cards) and the rest of the 
pack. When the eights are returned, 
you place them with apparent careless- 
ness on the top of the pack (taking 
care, however, to have the eight of clubs 
uppermost), and hand the two of dia- 
monds for examination. While this 
card is being examined, you make the pass to bring the three pre- 
pared cards on the top. The two of diamonds being returned, you 
lay it on the table, and taking off the 
four top cards, which are now the three 
prepared cards and the eight of clubs, 
you spread them fanwise, when they 
will appear to be the four eights, as in 
Fig, 37. The eight of clubs is alone 
completely visible, one half of each of 
the other cards being covered by the 
card next preceding it. The spectators 

naturally take the four cards to be the four ordinary eights which 
they have just examined. Insert the two of diamonds behind the 

eight of clubs, and lay that card in turn 
on the table. Close the cards and again 
spread them, but this time with the 
opposite ends outward, when they will 
appear to be the four twos, as in Fig. 
38. Again take in the eight of clubs 
in place of the two of diamonds, and 
turn round the supposed two of hearts. 
This you may do easily and naturally 
by remarking, a I must now touch something black 5 my coat-sleeve 
will do. I gently pass either card along it, thus, and replace it as 
before. The cards are now all black cards," which they actually 




Fig. 38. 




Fig. 39. 



MODERN MAGIC. 



n 



appear to be. (Set Fig. 39.) Again substitute the two of diamonds 
lor the eight of clubs, touch any red object, and again turn and spread 
out the cards, when they will appear to be all red cards, as in Fig. 40. 
Once more take in the eight of clubs in place of the two of diamonds, 
and replace the four cards on the pack, again making the pass in 
order to bring the three prepared cards to the bottom, and to leave 
the genuine eights on the top. 

There is a more elaborate form of this trick procurable at the 
conjuring depots, in which several groups of cards are used in succes- 
sion, and the changes are proportionately multiplied, various colours 
and patterns being produced in the place of the ordinary figures on 
the cards. In our own opinion, the trick loses rather than gains by 
this greater elaboration, as the more fanciful changes have the dis- 
advantage of showing clearly (which the 
simpler form of the trick does not) that 
die cards used are not ordinary cards \ 
and this being once understood, the 
magic of the trick is destroyed. 

We have had occasion more than 
once to direct you to turn round the 
cards, and it will be well for you to 
know how to do this neatly and without 
exciting suspicion. Hold the four cards fanwise in the left hand, the 
fingers behind and the thumb in front of the cards. Having exhibited 
them, turn their faces towards yourself, and with the thumb and finger 
of the right hand close the fan, and taking them by their upper ends 
lay them face downwards on the table. Their lower ends will now 
be away from you, and when you desire again to exhibit the cards 
(in a transformed condition), you have only to turn them over side- 
ways, and pick them up by the ends which are now directed towards 
you. This little artifice (which is simplicity itself in practice, though 
a little difficult to describe) must be carefully studied, as upon 
neat manipulation in this respect the illusion of the trick mainly 
depends. 




Fig. 40. 



A Card having bbbn Drawn and Returned, and the Pack 

SHUFFLED, TO MAKE IT APPEAR AT SUCH NUMBER AS THE CoM* 



74 MODERN MAGIC. 



pant Choose.* — Invite a person to draw a card. Spread out the pack 
that he may replace it, and slip your little finger above it. Make the 
pass in order to bring the chosen card to the top ; palm it, and offer 
the pack to be shuffled. When the pack is returned to you, replace 
the chosen card on the top, and make the first of the false shuffles 
above described, but commence by sliding off into the right hand the 
two top cards (instead of the top card only), so that the chosen card 
may, after the shuffle, be last but one from the bottom. Take the 
pack face downwards in the left hand, and carelessly move about the 
pack so that the bottom card may be full in view of the audience. 
Inquire at what number the company would like the card to appear ; 
and when they have made their decision, hold the pack face down- 
wards, and with the first and second fingers of the right hand 
draw away the cards from the bottom one by one, throwing each 
on the table face upwards, and counting aloud "one," "two," 
" three," and so on. The first card which you draw is naturally the 
bottom one, and the chosen card, which is second, would in the 
ordinary course come next ; but you u draw back " this card with the 
third finger of the left hand (see page 36) and take the next instead, 
continuing in like manner until you have reached one short of the 
number ac which the card is to appear. You now pause, and say, 
" The next card should be the card you drew. To avoid any mistake, 
will you kindly say beforehand what it was?" at the same time 
placing the card face downwards on the table. When the card is 
named, you request the drawer or some other person to turn it up, 
when it is found to be the right one. 

Another Method. — The card having been drawn and replaced, bring 
it to the top by the pass, palm it, have the pack shuffled, and replace 
it on the top. Invite the audience to choose at what number it shall 
appear. They choose, we will suppose, fifth. ''Very good," you 
reply ; " permit me, in the first place, to show you that it is not there 
already." Deal out the first five cards, face downwards, and show that 
the fifth is not the chosen card. Replace the five cards, in their pre- 
sent order on the pack, when the card will be at the number named. 



• Another form of this trick, in which sleight-of-hand is not needed, has been -given 
at page 5a. 



MODERN MAGIC. 75 



Several Persons having each Drawn and Returned a 
Card, to make each Card appear at such Number in the 
Pack as the Drawer chooses.— Allow three or four persons each 
to draw a card* When all have drawn, make the pass in such manner 
as to bring the two halves of the pack face to face. The pack should 
not, however, be equally divided. The upper portion should only 
consist of about half-a-dozen cards, and therefore in making the pass 
jon should insert the finger only at that number of cards from the 
bottom. Receive back the drawn cards on the top of the pack, 
u raffling " the cards (see page 27), and saying " Pass ! " as each card 
is replaced. You may casually remark, " Your card has vanished ; 
did you see it go ? " When all are returned, you quickly " turn over " 
the pack (see page 37), and, taking off the top card, say, addressing 
yourself to the person who last returned a card, " You see your card 
has vanished, as I told you. At what number in the pack, say from 
the first to the tenth, would you like it to re-appear? '' We will 
suppose the answer to be " the sixth." You deal five cards from the 
end of the pack that is now uppermost, then pretending a momentary 
hesitation, say, " I fancy I dealt two cards for one 5 allow me to count 
them again." This draws the general attention to the cards on the 
table, and gives you the opportunity to again turn over the pack. 
You continue, after counting, " We have five, this makes six ; then 
this should be your card. Will you say what the card was ? " You 
place the card on die table, face downwards, and do not turn it till it 
is named, this giving you the opportunity to again turn over the pack, 
to be ready to repeat the operation with the next card. You must be 
careful to invite the different persons to call for their cards in the 
reverse order to that in which they are replaced in the pack. Thus, 
you first address the person who last returned his card, and then the 
last but one, and so on. You must tax your ingenuity for devices to 
take off the attention of the spectators from the pack at the moment 
when it is necessary to turn it over 5 and as each repetition of the 
process increases the chance of detection, it is well not to allow more 
than three or four cards tQ be drawn. 

If you have reason to fear that the cards left undealt will run 
short, you may always replace any number of those already dealt 
upon the reverse end of the pack to that at which the chosen cards are. 



76 MODERN MAGIC. 



The " Tbrbb Card " Trick.— This well-known trick has long 
been banished from the repertoire of the conjuror, and is now used 
only by the itinerant sharpers who infest race-courses and country 
fairs. We insert the explanation of it in this place as exemplifying 
one form of sleight-of-hand, and also as a useful warning to the 
unwary. 

In its primary form, the trick is only an illustration of the well- 
known fact that the hand can move quicker than the eye can follow. 
It is performed with three cards — a court card and two plain cards. 
The operator holds them, face downwards, one between the second 
finger and thumb of the left hand, and the other two (of which the 
court card is one) one between the first finger and thumb, and the 
other between the second finger and thumb of the right hand, the 
latter being the outermost Bringing the hands quickly together and 
then quickly apart, he drops the three cards in succession, and chal- 
lenges the bystanders to say which is the court card. If the move- 
ment is quickly made, it is almost impossible, even for the keenest 
eye, to decide with certainty whether the upper or lower card falls 
first from the hand, and consequently which of the three cards, as 
they lie, is the court card. This is the whole of the trick, if fairly 
performed, and so far it would be a fair subject for betting, though 
the chances would be much against the person guessing ; but another 
element is introduced by the swindling fraternity, which ensures the 
discomfiture of the unwary speculator. The operator is aided by 
three or four confederates, or " bonnets," whose business it is to start 
the betting, and who, of course, are allowed to win. After this has 
gone on for a little time, and a sufficient ring of spectators has been 
got together, the operator makes use of some plausible pretext to look 
aside from the cards for a moment. While he does so one of the 
confederates, with a wink at the bystanders, slily bends up one corner 
of the court card, ostensibly as a means of recognition. The per- 
former takes up the cards without apparently noticing the trick that 
has been played upon him, but secretly (that corner of the card being 
concealed by the third and fourth fingers of the right hand) straightens 
the bent corner, and at the same moment bends in like manner the 
corresponding corner of the other card in the same hand. He then 
throws down the cards as before. The bent corner is plainly visible, 



MODERN MAGIC. ft 



and the spectators, who do not suspect the change that has just been 
made, are folly persuaded that the card so bent, and no other, is the 
court card. Speculating, as they imagine, on a certainty, they are 
easily induced to bet that they will discover the court card, and they 
naturally name the one with the bent corner. When the card is 
turned, they find, to their dbgust, that they have been duped, and 
that the dishonest advantage which they imagined they had obtained 
over the dealer was in reality a device for their confusion. 

To Nail a Chosen Card to the Wall. — Procure a sharp 
drawing pin, and place it point upwards on the table, mantelpiece, or 
any other place where it will not attract the notice of the spectators, 
and yet be so close to you that you can cover it with your hand with- 
out exciting suspicion. Ask any person to draw a card. When he 
returns it to the pack, make the pass to bring it to the top, palm it, 
and immediately offer the pack to be shuffled. While this is being 
done, place your right hand carelessly over the pin, so as to bring the 
centre of the card as near as possible over it, and then press gently on 
the card, so as to make the point of the pin just penetrate it. 

When the pack is returned, place the palmed card upon the top, 

and thus press home the pin, which will project about a quarter of an 

inch through the back of the card. Request the audience to indicate 

any point upon the woodwork of the apartment at which they would 

like the chosen card to appear $ and when the spot is selected, stand 

at two or three feet distance, and fling the cards, backs foremost, 

heavily against it, doing your best to make them strike as flat as 

possible, when the other cards will fall to the ground, but the selected 

one will remain firmly pinned to the woodwork. Some little practice 

will be necessary before you can make certain of throwing the pack 

so as to strike in the right position. Until you can be quite sure of 

doing this, it is better to be content with merely striking the pack 

against the selected spot. The result is the same, though the effect 

is less surprising than when the cards are actually thrown from the 

The Inseparable Sevens. — Place secretly beforehand three of 
the four eights at the bottom of the pack, the fourth eight, which is 



78 MODERN MAGIC. 



not wanted for the trick, being left in whatever position it may 
happen to occupy. (The suit of this fourth eight must be borne in 
mind, for a reason which will presently appear.) Now select openly 
the four sevens from the pack, and spread them on the table. While 
the company are examining them, privately slip the little finger of the 
left hand immediately above the three eights at the bottom, so as to 
be in readiness to make the pass. Gather up the four sevens, and 
place them on the top of the pack, taking care that the seven of the 
same suit as the fourth eight is uppermost. Make a few remarks as to 
the affectionate disposition of the four sevens, which, however far 
apart they are placed in the pack, will always come together; and 
watch your opportunity to make the pass, so as to bring the three 
eights, originally at the bottom, to the top. If you are sufficiently 
expert, you may make the pass at the very instant that you place the 
four sevens on the top of the pack ; but, unless you are very adroit, it 
is better to bide your time and make it an instant later, when the 
attention of the audience is less attracted to your hands. You then 
continue, " I shall now take these sevens (you can see for yourselves 
that I have not removed them), and place them in different parts of 
the pack." At the words, " You can see for yourselves," etc., you 
take off the four top cards, and show them fan wise. In reality, three 
of them are eights, but the fourth and foremost card being actually a 
seven, and the eighth pip of each of the other cards being concealed 
by the card before it, and the audience having, as they imagine, already 
seen the same cards spread out fairly upon the table, there is nothing 
to suggest a doubt that they are actually the sevens. (You will now 
see the reason why it is necessary to place uppermost the seven of 
the same suit as the absent eight. If you had not done so the seven 
in question would have been of the same suit as one or other of 
the three sham sevens, and the audience, knowing that there could 
not be two sevens of the same suit, would at once see through the 
trick.) Again folding up the four cards, you insert the top one a 
little above the bottom of the pack, the second a little higher, the 
third a little higher still, and the fourth (which is a genuine seven) 
upon the top of the pack. The four sevens, which are apparently so 
well distributed throughout the pack, are really together on the top, 
and you have only to make the pass, or, if you prefer it, simply cut 



MODERN MAGIC. 79 



the cards, to cause them to be found together in the centre of the 
pack. 

Thb Inseparable Aces. — This is really only another form of 
the last trick, though it differs a good deal in effect. You first pick 
out and exhibit on the table the four aces, and request some one to 
replace them on the pack, when you place three other cards secretly 
upon them. This you may either do by bringing three cards from 
the bottom by the pass, or you may, while the company's attention is 
occupied in examining the aces, palm three cards from the top in the 
right hand, and, after the aces are replaced on the top, simply cover 
them with that hand, thereby bringing the three palmed cards upon 
them. You now say, " I am about to distribute these aces in different 
parts of the pack; pray observe that I do so fairly." As you say 
this, you take off and hold up to the audience the four top cards, 
being the three indifferent cards with an ace at the bottom. You 
cannot, of course, exhibit them fanwise, as in the last trick, or the 
deception would be at once detected j but the spectators, seeing an 
ace at the bottom, and having no particular reason for suspecting 
otherwise, naturally believe that the cards you hold are really the four 
aces. Laying the four cards on the table, you distribute them, as in 
the last trick, in different parts of the pack; taking care, however, 
that the last card (which is the genuine ace), is placed among the 
three already at the top. 

You now invite some one to cut. When he has done so, you 
take up the two halves, in their transposed position, in the left hand, 
at the same time slipping the little finger of that band between them. 
The four aces are now, of course, upon the top of the lower packet. 
You then announce, " I am now about to order the four aces, which 
you have seen so well divided, to come together again. Would you 
like them to appear on the top, at the bottom, or in the middle of the 
pack ? I should tell you that I know perfectly well beforehand which 
you will choose, and indeed I have already placed them at that par- 
ticular spot." If the answer is, " In the middle," you have only to 
withdraw the little finger, and invite the company to examine the 
pack to see that they are already so placed. If the answer is, " On 
the top," you make the pass to bring them there. To produce them 



8o MODERN MAGIC. 

at the bottom is rather more difficult, and unless you are pretty con- 
fident as to your neatness of manipulation, it will be well to limit the 
choice to " top " or " middle.** In order to be able to bring the four 
aces to the bottom, you must, in picking up the cards after the cot, 
push forward a little with the left thumb the four top cards of the 
lower packet, and slip the little finger below and the third finger 
above them, so as to be able to make the pass above or below those 
four cards as occasion may require. If you are required to bring those 
four cards to the top, you must withdraw the little finger (thereby 
joining those cards to the upper cards of the lower packet) and make 
the pass with the aid of the third finger instead of the fourth. If, on 
the contrary, you desire to produce the four aces at the bottom, you 
simply withdraw the third finger, thereby leaving the aces at the bottom 
of the upper packet, when the pass will bring them to the bottom of 
the pack. 

We have described the trick as performed with the aces, but the 
effect will, of course, be the same with four kings, four queens, or any 
other four similar cards. 

Having placed tub Pour Acbs in different positions in 
the Pack, to make the two Black change places with the 
two Red ones, and finally to bring all Four together in 
the middle of thb Pack. — This trick may immediately follow 
that last described. Again selecting the four aces (or such other four 
cards as you used for the last trick), and placing them on the table, 
take the two red ones, and opening the pack bookwise in the left 
hand, ostentatiously place them in the middle, at the same time 
secretly slipping your little finger between them. Ask the audience 
to particularly notice which of the aces are placed in the middle, and 
which at top and bottom. Next place one of the black aces on the 
top, and then turning over the pack by extending your left hand, 
place the remaining black ace at the bottom. As you again turn over 
the pack to its former position, make the pass, which the movement 
of the pack in turning over in the hand will be found to facilitate. 
The two halves of the pack having now changed places, the aces 
will, naturally, have changed their positions also, the two black ones 
now being in the middle, and the two red ones at top and bottom j 



MODERN MA GIC. 8 1 



but it would be very indiscreet to allow the audience to know that 
this is already the case. As has been already mentioned, when a 
given change has taken or is about to take place, you should always 
seek to mislead the spectators as to the time of the change, as 
they are thereby the less likely to detect the mode in which it is 
effected. In accordance with this principle, you should endeavour in 
the present case to impress firmly upon the minds of your audience 
that the cards are as they have seen you place them ; and for that 
purpose it is well to ask some one to say over again, fur the general 
satisfaction, in what parts of the pack the four aces are. - 

At this point a contretemps may arise, for which it is well to be 
prepared. The person interrogated may possibly forget the relative 
position of the two colours, and may, therefore, ask to see again how 
the cards are placed $ or some person may have seen or suspected that 
yon have already displaced them, and may make a similar request for 
the purpose of embarrassing you. In order to be prepared for such a 
contingency, it is desirable, after you make the pass as above men- 
tioned, not to allow the two halves of the pack to immediately coalesce, 
but to keep them still separated by the little finger. If you have 
done this, and for any reason it becomes necessary to show the 
cards a second time in their original condition, you have only to again 
make the pass, ip. order to bring them back to the same position 
which they occupied at first, making it a third time in order to effect 
the change. 

We will suppose that the audience are at length fully satisfied 
that the two red aces are in the middle, and the two black ones at the 
opposite ends of the pack. You then say, " Ladies and gentlemen, I 
am about to command these aces to change places. Pray observe by 
what a very simple movement the transposition is effected." Making 
a qnick upward movement with the right hand, you ruffle the 
cards, at the same moment saying, " Pass ! " Turning the faces of 
the card to the audience, you show them that the red aces are now at 
top and bottom, and the black ones in the middle. While exhibiting 
them, take an opportunity to slip the little finger between these latter, 
and in closing the cards (while they are still face upwards), again 
make the pass, and place the pack face downwards on the table. You 
then say, " I have now, as you see, made the aces change places. I 



82 MODERN MAGIC. 



don't know whether you saw how I did it. Perhaps I was a little 
too quick for you. This time I will do it as slowly as you please, or, 
if you prefer it, I will not even touch the cards with my hands, but 
merely place my wand upon the pack, so. Pass ! Will you please 
to examine the pack for yourselves, when you will find that the 
aces have again changed places, and have returned to their original 
positions." This is found to be the case. You continue, " You have 
not found me out yet ? Well, to reward your attention, as this really 
is a very good trick, I will show you how to do it for yourselves.'* 
Pick out the four aces, and hand the two red ones to one person, 
and the two black ones to another person. Then, taking the pack in 
your left hand, and addressing yourself first to the person on your 
right, request him to place the two aces which he holds respectively 
at the top and bottom of the pack. Then, turning to the other 
person, request him to place the two other aces in the middle of 
the pack, which you (apparently) open midway with the right hand 
for the purpose. In reality, instead of merely lifting up, as you 
appear to do, the top half of the pack, you make the pass by sliding 
out the bottom half of the pack to the left. This movement is com- 
pletely lost in your quick half turn to the left as you address the 
second person, which so covers the smaller movement of the cards as 
to make it absolutely imperceptible ; and it is in order to create the 
excuse for this useful half turn, that we have recommended you to 
place the aces in the hands of two different persons, and to begin with 
the person on your right. When the second pair of aces are thus 
replaced in the middle of the pack they are in reality placed between 
the two others, which the audience believe to be still at top and 
bottom. You now band the pack to a person to hold, placing it face 
downwards in his palm, and requesting him to hold it very tightly, 
thus preventing any premature discovery of the top or bottom card. 
You then say, " I have promised to show you how to perform this 
trick. To make it still more striking, we will have this time a little 
variation. Instead of merely changing places, we will make all the 
four aces come together." Then, addressing the person who holds 
the cards, you continue, " The manner of performing this trick is 
simplicity itself, though it looks so surprising. Will you take my 
wand in your right hand ? Hold the cards very tightly, and touch. 



MODERN MA GIC. 83 



the back with this end of the wand. Quite right. Now say ' Pass !' 
It is very simple, you see. Let us see whether you have succeeded. 
Look over the pack for yourself. Yes, there are the aces all together, 
as well as I could have done it myself. You can try it again by your- 
self at your leisure, but please don't tell any one else the secret, or you 
will ruin my business." 

The above delusive offer to show " how it's done " can be equally 
well adapted to many other tricks, and never (ails to create amuse- 
ment* 

A Card having been thought op, to mare such Card 
Vanish prom the Pack, and be Discovered wherever the 
Performer pleases. — This trick should be performed with twenty- 
seven cards only. You deal the cards, face upwards, in three packs, 
requesting one of the company to note a card, and to remember in 
which heap it is. When you have dealt the three heaps, you inquire 
in which heap the chosen card is, and place the other two heaps, face 
upwards as they lie, upon that heap, then turn over the cards, and 
deal again in like manner. You again inquire which heap the chosen 
card is now in, place that heap undermost as before, and deal again 
for the third time, when the card thought of will be the first card 
dealt of one or other of the three heaps. You have, therefore, only 
to bear in mind the first card of each heap to know, when the proper 
heap is pointed out, what the card is. You do not, however, disclose 
your knowledge, but gather up the cards as before, with the designated 
heap undermost ; when the cards are turned over, that heap naturally 
becomes uppermost, and the chosen card, being the first card of that 
heap, is now the top card of the pack. You palm this card, and hand 
the remaining cards to be shuffled. Having now gained not only the 
knowledge, but the actual possession, of the chosen card, you can 
finish the trick in a variety of ways. You may, when the pack is 
returned replace the card on the top, and giving the pack, face up- 
wards, to a person to hold, strike out of his hand all but the chosen 
card (see page 44) ; or you may, if you prefer it, name the chosen 
card, and announce that it will now leave the pack, and fly into a 
person's pocket, or any other place you choose to name, where, it 
being already in your hand, you can very easily find it A very 



84 MODERN MA GIC. 



effective finish is produced by taking haphazard any card from the 
pack, and announcing that to be the chosen card, and on being told 
chat it is the wrong card, apologizing for your mistake, and forthwith 
"changing " it by the fifth method (seepage 32) to the right one. 

Some fun may also be created as follows : — You name, in the 
first instance, a wrong card — say the seven of hearts. On being told 
that that was not the card thought of, you affect surprise, and inquire 
what the card thought of was. You are told, let us say, the king of 
hearts. " Ah/' you remark, " that settles it ; I felt sure you were mis- 
taken. You could not possibly have seen the king of hearts, for you 
have been sitting on that card all the evening. Will you oblige me by 
standing up for a moment," and, on the request being complied with, 
you apparently take the card (which you have already palmed) from off 
the chair on which the person has been sitting. The more shrewd of 
the company may conjecture that you intentionally named a wrong 
card in order to heighten the effect of the trick j but a fair propor- 
tion will always be found to credit your assertion, and will believe 
that the victim had really, by s me glamour on your part, been induced 
to imagine he saw a card which he was actually sitting on. 

This trick is frequently performed with the whole thirty- two cards 
of the piquet pack. The process and result are the same, save that 
the card thought of must be one of the twenty-seven cards first dealt. 
The chances are greatly against one of the last five cards being the 
card thought of, but in such an event the trick would break down, 
as it would in that case require four deals instead of three to bring the 
chosen card to the top of the pack. 

It is a good plan to deal the five surplus cards in a row by them- 
selves, and after each deal, turn up one of them, and gravely study it, 
as if these cards were in some way connected with the trick. 



To cause a Number of Cards to Multiply invisibly in a 
Person's keeping. — Secretly count any number, say a dozen, of the 
top cards, and slip the little finger of the left hand between those cards 
and the rest of the pack. Invite a person to take as many cards as 
he pleases, at the same time putting into his hands all, or nearly all, 
of the separated cards. If he does not take all, you will be able to 
see at a glance, by the number that remains above your little finger, 



MODERN MAGIC. 85 



how many he has actually taken. Pretend to weigh in your hand the 
remaining cards, and say (we assume that you are using a piquet 
pack), " I should say by the weight that I have exactly twenty-two 
cards here, so you must have taken ten. Will you see if I am right ?" 
While he is counting the cards he has taken, count off secretly from 
the pack, and palm in the right hand, four more. When he has 
finished his counting, you say, " Now will you please gather these 
cards together, and place your hand firmly upon them ? *' As you 
say this, you push them towards him with your right hand. This 
enables you to add to them, without attracting notice, the four cards 
in that hand. Continue, " Now how many cards shall I add to those 
in your hand ? You must not be too extravagant, say three or 
four." The person addressed will probably select one or other of the 
numbers named, but you must be prepared for the possibility of his 
naming a smaller number. If he says " Four," you have only to 
ruffle the cards in your hand, or make any other gesture which may 
ostensibly effect the transposition 5 and he will find on examination 
that the cards under his hand are increased by four, according to his 
desire. If he says " Three," you say, " Please give me back one card, 
to show the others the way." This makes the number right. If 
" two " are asked for, you may ask for two cards to show the way ; 
or you may say, " Two, very good ! Shall I send a couple more 
for anybody else ? " when some one or other is pretty sure to accept 
your offer. . If one only is asked for, you must get two or three per- 
sons to take one each, taking care always by one or the other expe- 
dient to make the number correspond with the number you have 
secretly added. While the attention of the company is attracted by 
the counting of the cards, to see if you have performed your under- 
taking, again palm the same number of cards as was last selected 
(suppose three), and, after the cards are counted, gather them up, 
and give them to some other person to hold, adding to them the three 
just palmed ; then taking that number of cards from the top of the 
pack, and again replacing them, say, " I will now send these three 
cards into your hands in the same manner." Ruffle the cards, as 
before, and, upon examination, the number of cards in the person's 
hands will again be found to be increased by three. 



86 MODERN MA GIC. 



The Pack being divided into Two Portions, placed in 
the keeping op two different persons, to make three 
Cards Pass invisibly from the One to the Other. — This 
trick is identical in principle with the one last described, but the mise 
en scene is more elaborate, and several circumstances concur to give it 
a surprising effect. It was a special favourite with the late M. 
Robert- Houdin, and we shall proceed to describe it as nearly as 
possible in the form io which it was presented by him. 

The performer brings forward a pack of cards, still in the official 
envelope. These he hands to a spectator, with a request that he will 
open and count them. He does so, and finds that they have the full 
complement (of thirty-two or fifty- two, as the case may be). He is 
next requested to cut the pack into two portions, pretty nearly equal, 
and to choose one of the packets. Having made his selection, he is 
further asked to count the cards in the packet chosen. The general 
attention being, meanwhile, drawn away from the performer, he has 
ample opportunity to get ready in his right hand, duly palmed, three 
cards of another pack, but of similar pattern to those of the pack in use. 
(These may previously be placed either on the servante or in the per- 
former's right-hand pochette j or he may, if he prefers it, have them 
ready palmed in his right hand when he comes upon the stage to 
commence the trick.) The spectator, having duly counted the chosen 
pack, declares it to consist, say, of seventeen cards. "A capital 
number for the trick," remarks the performer. " Now, sir, will you 
be kind enough to take these seventeen cards in your own hands *' 
(here he pushes them carelessly towards him, and joins the three 
palmed cards to them), " and hold them well up above your head, 
that every one may see them. Thank you. Now, as your packet 
contains seventeen cards, this other " (we are supposing a piquet pack 
to be used) €i should contain fifteen. Let us see whether you have 
counted right." The performer himself audibly counts the remaining 
packet, card by card, on the table ; immediately afterwards taking the 
heap in his left hand, and squaring the cards together, thus obtaining 
the opportunity to separate and palm in his right hand the three top 
cards. He continues, " Fifteen cards here — and — how many did you 
say, sir ? — yes, seventeen, which the gentleman holds, make thirty-two. 
Quite right Now will some one else oblige me by taking charge of 



MODERN MA GIC. 87 



these fifteen cards." He hands the cards with the left hand, and at 
the same moment drops the three palmed cards into the profonde on 
the right side, immediately bringing up the hand, that it may be seen 
empty. " Now, ladies and gentlemen, I will show you a very curious 
phenomenon, all the more astonishing because you will bear me wit- 
ness that, from the time the cards were counted, they have not been 
even one moment in my possession, but have remained in independent 
custody. Will you, sir " (addressing the person wbo holds the second 
packet), "hold up the cards in such a manner that I can touch them 
with my wand. I have but to strike the cards with my wand once, 
twice, thrice, and at each touch a card will fly from the packet which 
yon are now holding, and go to join the seventeen cards in the other 
packet. As this trick is performed by sheer force of will, without 
the aid of apparatus or dexterity, I shall be glad if you will all 
assist me by adding the force of your will to mine, which will 
greatly lighten my labour. At each touch of the wand, then, please, 
all present, mentally to command a card to pass in the manner I have 
mentioned. Are you all ready! Then we will make the experi- 
ment. One, two, three ! Did you see the cards pass ? I saw 
them distinctly, but possibly my eyes are quicker than yours. Will 
each of the gentlemen who hold the cards be good enough to count 
his packet ?" This is done, and it is found that the one holds twenty 
cards, and the other twelve only. 

It is obvious that the two packets now collectively contain dupli- 
cates of three cards, while three others are missing; but it is 
extremely unlikely that any one will suspect this, or seek to verify 
the constitution of the pack. 

to allow several persons each to draw a card, and the 
Pack having been Shuffled, to make another Card drawn 
haphazard change successively into each of those first 
chosen. — Invite a person to draw a card. This first card need not be 
forced, as it is not essential for you to know what card it is, so long 
as you afterward keep it in sight. When the card is returned to the 
pack, insert the little finger under it, and make the pass in order to 
bring it to the bottom. Make the first of the false shuffles (see page 
*3), and leave it at the bottom. Again make the pass to bring r to 



88 MODERN MA GIC. 



the middle of the pack, and force the same card on a second and I 

aga'n on a third person, each time making a false shuffle, and leaving 
the chosen card, which we will call a, ultimately in the hands of the 
last person who drew.* When you have concluded the last shuffle, 
which (the card not now being in the pack) may be a genuine one, 
you offer the pack to some person who has not yet drawn, and allow 
him to draw any card he pleases, which second card we will call /•. 
You open the pack, and ask the persons holding the two cards to 
replace them one on the other; that first chosen, a, being placed 
last — i.e., uppermost. You make the pass to bring them to the top, 
and palm them, and then immediately hand the pack to be shuffled 
by one of the company. This being done, you replace them on the 
top of the pack, and, spreading the cards, and appearing to reflect a 
moment, pick out by the backs as many cards as there have been 
persons who drew (t e., four) including among them the two cards a 
and h. Exhibiting the four cards, you ask each drawer to say, with- 
out naming his card, whether his card is among tbem. The reply is, 
of course, in the affirmative. Each person who drew, seeing his own 
card among those shown, naturally assumes that the remaining cards 
are those of the other drawers j nnd the remainder of the audience, 
finding the drawers satisfied, are fully convinced that the cards shown 
are the four which were drawn. You now replace the cards in dif- 
ferent parts of the pack, placing the two actually drawn in the middle, 
and secretly make the pass to bring them to the top. Then, spreading 
the cards, you invite another person to draw, which you allow him to 
do wherever he chooses. When he has done so, you request him to 
name aloud his card, which we will call c. Holding the card aloft, 
you ask each of the form-r drawers in succession, " Is this your 
can 4 ? " To which each answers, 4t No." After having received this 
answer for the last time, you " change " the card by the first method 
(see page 28) for the top card. You now have the card a (the one 
drawn several times) in your hand, while b has become the top card, 
and c, which you have just exhibited, is at the bottom. You con- 
tinue, before showing a, " You are all agreed that this is not your 



• The different drawers should be persons tolerably far apart, as it is essential that 
they should not discover that they have all drawn the same card. 



MODERN MA GIC 8q 



card 5 you had better not be too sure. I will ask you one by one. 
You, sir/' addressing the first drawer, " are you quite sure this is not 
your card ? *' He is obliged to own that it now is his card. " Pardon 
me," you say, breathing gently on the back of the card, " it may have 
been so a moment ago, but now it is this lady's," exhibiting it to the 
second drawer, who also acknowledges it as her card. To the third 
person you say, " I think you drew a card, did you not ? May I ask 
70a to blow upon the back of this card ! It has changed again, you 
see, for now it is your card." The card having been again recog- 
nized, you continue, "There was no one else, I think," at the same 
moment again making the change by the first method, so that a is 
now at bottom and b in your hand. The person who drew b will, 
no doubt, remind you that you have not yet shown him his card. 
Yon profess to have quite forgotten him, and, feigning to be a little 
embarrassed, ask what his card was. He names it accordingly, upon 
which you ask him to blow upon the card you hold, and, turning it 
over, show that it has now turned into that card. Then again making 
the change, you remark, "Everybody has certainly had his card now/' 
Then, yourself blowing upon the card you hold, which is now an 
indifferent one, you show it, and remark, " You observe that now it 
is nobody's card." 

In this trick, as in every other which mainly depends upon forc- 
ing a given card, there is always the possibility that some person 
may, either by accident or from a malicious desire to embarrass you, 
insist upon drawing some other card. This, however, must not dis- 
courage you. In the first place, when you have once thoroughly 
acquired the knack of forcing, the victim will, nine times out of ten, 
draw the card you desire, even though doing his utmost to exercise, 
as he supposes, an absolutely free choice 5 and the risk may be still 
further diminished by offering the cards to persons whose physiog- 
nomy designates them as likely to be good-naturedly easy in their 
selection. But if such a contretemps should occur in the trick we have 
just described, it is very easily met. You will remember that the first 
card drawn is not forced, but freely chosen. It is well to make the 
most of this fact, and for that purpose, before beginning the trick, to 
offer the cards to be shuffled by several persons in succession, and 
specially to draw the attention of the audience to the fact that you 



90 MODERN MAGIC 



cannot possibly have any card in view. When the card is chosen, 
otter to allow the drawer, if he has the slightest suspicion that you 
know what it is, to return it, and take another. He may or may not 
accept the offer, but your evident indifference as to the card chosen 
will make the audience the less likely to suspect yon afterwards of 
desiring to put forward any particular card. If, notwithstanding, a 
wrong card is drawn the second time, leave it in the hand of the 
drawer, and at once offer the cards to another person, and again 
endeavour to force the proper card, a, and let the wrong card take 
the place of b in the foregoing description. In the very unlikely 
event of a second wrong card being drawn, leave that also for the 
moment in the hands of the drawer, and let that card take the place 
of c in the finish of the trick. 

To make Four Aces chanob to Four Kings, and Four 
Kings to Four Aces. — This very effective trick is performed by 
the aid of four cards, which are so prepared as to appear aces on the 
one side and kings on the other. To make them, take four ordinary 
aces and four ordinary kings, and peel off half the thickness of each 
card. This may be easily done by splitting one corner of the card 
with a sharp penknife, when the remainder can be pulled apart with- 
out difficulty. The cards being thus reduced in thickness, paste back 
to back the king and ace of each suit, placing them in a press or 
under a heavy weight, that they may dry perfectly smooth and flat. 
Better still, entrust the process to some person who is accustomed to 
mounting photographs, when, at a trifling cost, you will have your 
double-faced card* thoroughly well made. 

Place these four cards beforehand in different parts of the pack, 
the "ace " side downwards, i.e , in the same direction as the faces of 
the other cards. Place the genuine aces face downwards on the top 
of the pack, which being thus disposed, you are ready to begin the 
trick. 

Take the pack in your hand, face uppermost. Remark, " For 
this trick I want the aces and kings," and pick out, one by one, the 
real kings and the sham aces. Lay these cards on the table, the 
kings face upwards, and the prepared cards with the "ace" side 
uppermost. Draw the attention of the audience to these cards, and 



MODERN MAGIC. 91 



meanwhile make the pass so as to bring the two halves of the pack 
face to face, when the four genuine aces will (unknown to the audi- 
ence) be at the lower end of the pack. Place the four kings ostenta- 
tiously upon the opposite end of the pack,. i.e., that which is for the 
time being uppermost. 

You now borrow a hat. Placing the pack for a moment on the 
table, and taking the four false aces in one hand and the hat in the 
other, place the aces on the table, and cover them with the hat, 
at the same moment turning them over. Then taking the pack in 
jour band, once more show the kings, and replacing them, say, " I 
shall now order these four kings to pass under the hat, and tbe 
four aces to return to the pack. I have only to touch the cards with 
my wand, and say, 'Pass/ and the change is accomplished." As 
you touch the cards with the wand, turn over the pack (see page 
37), the bringing together of the hands and the gentle tap with the 
wand effectually covering the slight movement of the hand. If you 
do not use the wand, a semi-circular sweep of the hand which holds 
the cards in the direction of the hat, as you say " Pass," will answer 
the same purpose. 

Having shown that the cards have changed according to com- 
mand, you may, by repeating the process, cause the cards to return to 
their original positions. It is better not to carry the trick further than 
this, or some of the audience may possibly ask to be allowed to 
examine the cards, which would be embarrassing. 

After the trick is over, make the pass to bring the pack right 
again, and then get the double-faced cards out of the way as soon as 
possible. The best way to do this, without exciting suspicion, is to 
take them up in the right hand, and apparently turn them over and 
leave them on the top of the pack, but in reality palm them, and slip 
them into your pocket, or elsewhere out of sight. After having done, 
this, you may safely leave the pack within reach of the audience, who, 
if they examine it, finding none but ordinary cards, will be more than 
ever puzzled as to your modus operandi. 

Having made Four Packets of Cards with an Ace at the 
bottom op bach, to brino all four aces into whichever 
Packet the Company may choose. — Take the four aces, or any 



92 MODERN MA GIC. 



other four cards of equal value, from the pack, and throw them face up- 
wards on the table. While the company's attention is being drawn to 
them, make the pass, as in the last trick, so as to bring the two halves 
of the pack face to face. The company, having satisfied themselves 
that the four cards shown are really the four aces, and are without 
preparation, take them up, and replace them face downwards upon 
the top of the pack, which you hold in the left hand, remarking, " I 
am going to show you a trick with these four aces. I shall first place 
them on the table, and put three indifferent cards on each of them." 
Meanwhile, get the thumb of the left hand in position for the 
" turn over/' and the instant that you have drawn off the top card 
with the right hand, turn over the pack, which the movement of 
the hands in removing the top card will enable you to do without 
attracting notice. This top card is really an ace, and you may there- 
fore show it, as if by accident, while placing it on the table. Lay 
it face downwards, and then place three cards from the end you have 
just brought uppermost (which the audience will believe to be the 
other three aces), in a line with it on the table. Next place three 
more cards, taken from the same end of the pack, upon each of the 
three cards last dealt. When you coine to that first dealt (the genuine 
ace), before dealing the three cards upon it, you must again turn 
over the pack, thereby bringing the three aces on the top. You thus 
have upon the table four packets of four cards each, one packet con- 
sisting of aces only, and the remaining three packets of indifferent 
cards ; but the audience imagine that the aces are divided, and that 
there is one at the foot of each packet. You now ask any one to 
touch two out of the four packets. The two packets which he 
touches may include, or may not include, the one containing the four 
aces. Whichever be the case, take up and put aside the two which 
do not include the packet of aces, and remark, " We will place these 
aside," an observation which will be equally appropriate whether 
those were the two touched or not. Next ask the same or an- 
other person to touch one of the two remaining packets, and in like 
manner add that one which does not contain the aces to the two 
already set aside. Placing these three packets on the table, request 
some one of the company to place his hand upon them, and hold 
them tightly; then, taking the remaining packet yourself, observe, 



MODERN MA GIC. 93 



" You have three aces, and I have only one ; but by virtue of my 
magic power I shall compel those three aces to leave your hand, and 
come to mine, I just touch the back of your hand, so " (touching it 
with the cards you hold), " and say, ' Pass.' The change is already 
accomplished. Here are all four aces. Please to examine your own 
cards, when you will find you have not a single ace left. Let me 
remind you that the audience chose, and not I, which of the four 
packets you should take, and which one I should retain.'* * 

There is another method of performing this trick, which dispenses 
with the necessity of " turning over " the pack. In this case, as you 
place the four aces on the top of the pack, you insert the little finger 
of the left hand under the three uppermost, and make the pass to 
bring these three to the bottom, still, however, keeping the finger 
between them and the rest of the pack. You deal out the four top 
cards (supposed to be the four aces), as above, and three others on 
each of the three non-aces. You next ask some person to draw any 
three cards (taking care not to let him draw one of the three at the 
bottom), and place them at the top of the pack. The moment he 
has done so, you again make the pass, thus bringing the three aces 
upon them. You then say, taking off (without showing) the three 
top cards, " Now I will take these three cards, freely drawn from the 
middle of the pack, and place them here on this last ace." From 
this point the course of the trick is the same as already described. 

To Change the Four Aces, held tightly bt a Person, 
into Four Indifferent Cards. — This is a most brilliant trick, 
and puzzles even adepts in card-conjuring. In combination with 
the '• Shower of Aces," which next follows, it was one of the prin- 
cipal feats of the Elder Conus, and subsequently of the celebrated 
Comte. 

The trick is performed as follows : — You begin by announcing 
that you require the assistance of some gentleman who never believes 
anything that he is told. The audience generally take this as a joke, 

— _ - -■ ■ — ■ - 

* It will be observed that this trick is terminated after the manner described at 
P&ge 45* to which the reader is recommended to refer, as the above description will be 
more dearly intelligible by the aid of the further explanations there given. 



94 MODERN MAGIC. 



but for the purpose of this trick it is really rather an advantage to have 
toe assistance of a person who will take nothing for granted, and will be 
satisfied with nothing short of ocular demonstration of any fact which 
you desire him to concede. Some little fun may be made in the 
selection, but a volunteer having at last been approved of, you request 
him to step forward to your table. Selecting from the pack the four 
aces, you ask him to say aloud what cards those are, at the same time 
holding them up that all may see them. Then laying the aces face 
upwards on the table, you hand him the remainder of the cards, and 
osk him to ascertain and state to the company, whether there is any 
peculiarity about the cards, and whether, in particular, there are any 
other aces in the pack. His reply is in the negative. You then ask 
whether any other person would like to examine the pack. All being 
satisfied, you take the pack, face downwards, in your left hand, and 
picking up the four aces with the right, place them on the top, 
at the same moment slightly ruffling the cards. Then taking 
the aces one by one (without showing them) you place them face 
downwards on the table. Addressing the person assisting you, 
you say, " I place these four aces on the table. You admit that they 
are the four aces." Your victim, not having seen the faces of the 
cards since they were replaced on the pack, and having noticed the 
slight sound produced by your ruffling the cards, will, in all proba- 
bility, say that he does not admit anything of the sort. " Why," you 
reply, " you have only just seen them; but I'll show them to you 
again, if you like." Turning them face upwards, you show that the 
four cards really are the aces, and again replace them on the pack, 
ruffle the cards, and deal out the four aces face downwards as before. 
You again ask your assistant whether he is certain this time that the 
four cards on the table are the aces. He may possibly be still in* 
credulous, but if he professes himself satisfied, you ask him what he 
will bet that these cards are really the aces, and that you have not 
conjured them away already. He will naturally be afraid to bet, and 
you remark, " Ah, I could tell by the expression of your countenance 
that you were not quite satisfied. I'm afraid you are sadly wanting 
in faith, but as I can't perform the trick, for the sake of my own 
reputation, until you are thoroughly convinced, I will show you the 
cards once more." This you do, and again replace them on the pack, 



MODERN MAGIC. o$ 



but before doing so, slip the little finger of the left hand under the 
top card of the pack. Again take off the aces with the finger and 
thumb of the right hand, carrying with them at the same time this 
top card. Then with a careless gesture of the right hand toward the 
audience, so as to show them the face of the undermost card (the one 
jou have just added), you continue, " I really can't imagine what 
makes you so incredulous. Here are the aces " (you replace the five 
cards on the pack) — " I take them one by one, so, and place them on 
the table. Surely there is no possibility of sleight-of-band here. 
Are you all satisfied that these are really the aces now?" The audi- 
ence having noted, as you intended them to do, that the fifth or 
bottom card was not an ace, naturally conclude that other cards have 
been by some means substituted for the aces, and when you ask the 
question for the last time, you are met by a general shout of " No ! " 
Yon say, with an injured expression, " Really, ladies and gentlemen, 
if yon are all such unbelievers, I may as well retire at once. I 
should hope that, at least, you will have the grace to apologize for 
jour unfounded suspicions." Then, turning to the person assisting 
you, you continue, u Sir, as every act of mine appears to be an object 
of suspicion, perhaps you will kindly show the company that those 
are the aces, and replace them yourself on the top of the pack." 

This he does. But during the course of the above little discussion, 
you have taken the opportunity to count off, and palm in your right 
hand, the five top cards of the pack. It is hardly necessary to observe 
that while doing this, you must scrupulously refrain from looking at 
your hands. The mode of counting is to push forward the cards one 
by one with the thumb, and to check them with the third finger, of 
the left hand. A very little practice will enable you to count off any 
namber of cards by feel, in this manner, with the greatest ease. 
When the aces are replaced on the top of the pack, you transfer the 
pack from the left to the right hand, thus bringing the palmed cards 
above them, then placing the whole pack on the table, face down- 
wards, inquire, " Will you be good enough to tell me where the aces 
are now?" The answer is generally very confident, u On the top of 
the pack." Without taking the pack in your hand, you take off, one 
by one, the four top cards, and lay them face downwards on the table, 
as before; then taking up the fifth card and exhibiting it to the com- 



96 MODERN MA GIC. 



pany, observe, " You see there are no more aces left, but if you like 
you can look through the pack." So saying, you take up the cards, 
and run them rapidly over with their faces towards the spectators, 
taking care, however, not to expose either of the five at the top, 
four of which are the genuine aces. Then, addressing your assistant, 
you say, " The company being at last satisfied, perhaps you will be 
good enough to place your hand on those four cards, and hold them 
as tightly as possible." Then, holding the pack in the left hand, you 
take between the first finger and thumb of the right hand the top card 
of the pack, being the only one left of the five you palmed and placed 
over the aces, and say, " Now I am going to take four indifferent cards 
one after the other, and exchange them for the four aces in this 
gentleman's hand. Observe the simplicity of the process. I take the 
card that first comes to hand " (here you show the face of the card 
that you hold, which we will suppose to be the seven of diamonds), 
" I don't return it to the pack, even for a moment, but merely touch 
the hand with it, and it becomes the ace of (say) spades " (which you 
show it to be). At the words " return it to the pack," you move the 
card with what is taken to be merely an indicative gesture, towards 
the pack, and at the same instant " change " it by the third method 
{see page 30) for the top card of the pack, which is one of the aces. 
You now have the seven of diamonds at the top of the pack, with 
the remaining three aces immediately following it. You must not show 
this seven of diamonds a second time, and it is therefore necessary to 
get it out of the way. The neatest way of doing this is as follows : — 
You remark, " To show you that I take the cards just as they come, 
I will give them a shuffle," which you do as indicated for the first of 
the ** false shuffles " (see page 23), subject to the modification fol- 
lowing. Pass into the right hand first the top card (the seven of 
diamonds) alone, and upon this card pass the next three, which are 
the three aces, then the rest of the cards indifferently. When all the 
cards are thus passed into the right hand, shuffle them again anyhow, 
but take care to conclude by bringing the four lowest cards to the top ; 
you will now have the three aces uppermost, and the seven of dia- 
monds in the fourth place. Taking off the top card, and drawing it 
sharply over the hand of the person assisting, you show that it also is 
an ace, and in like manner with the next card, making, if you choose, 



MODERN MAGIC. 97 



a false shuffle between. After the third ace has been shown, make a 
false shuffle, and finally leave at the top the last ace, with one card 
above it This may be effected by bringing np from the bottom in 
concluding the shuffle the two bottom cards, instead of the last (the 
ace) only. Taking the top card between the thumb and first finger 
of the right hand, and showing it with apparent carelessness, so as to 
give the company the opportunity of remarking that it is not an ace, 
you replace it on the pack for an instant, saying, "We have had three 
aces, I think. Which is it that is wanting ? " Here you glance down 
at the aces on the table. " Oh ! the ace of diamonds. Then the 
card that I hold must change to the ace of diamonds.** You have 
meanwhile effected the change* and turning up the card you hold, you 
show that it is the ace of diamonds. 

You may, if you please, use the first instead of the third method 
of making the "change" in performing this trick, but the first 
method demands a higher degree of dexterity to make it equally 
deceptive ; and the movement used in the third method has in this 
instance the advantage of appearing to be the natural accompaniment 
of the words of the performer. 

The Shower of Aces.— This trick forms a very effective 
sequel to that last described, or may with equal facility be made to 
follow many other card tricks. To perform it, the first essential is 
the possession of a pack of cards similar in size and pattern to that 
you have in general use, but consisting of aces only. You can pur- 
chase such a pack at most of the conjuring depots, or you may, with- 
out much difficulty, manufacture one for yourself. If you decide 
upon the latter course, you must first procure thirty or forty blank 
cards backed with the requisite pattern. These you can transform 
into aces in two ways. The first is, to split three or four ordinary 
cards of each suit, and, after peeling off, as thin as possible, the face 
of each, carefully cut out the pips, and paste one in the centre of each 
of your blank cards. This process, however, takes a considerable 
time ; and, when the sham aces are collected in a pack, the extra 
thickness of the paper in the centre of each produces an objectionable 
bulge. The better plan is to procure a stencil-plate representing the 
figures of a club, heart, and diamond, which will enable you to pro- 

7 



98 MODERN MAGIC. 



dace any number of the aces of those suits, using Indian ink for the 
clubs, and vermilion, mixed with a little size, for the hearts and 
diamonds. The ace of spades you must dispense with, hut this b of 
little consequence to the effect of the trick. 

You must have these cards close at hand, in such a position as to 
enable you to add them instantly, and without attracting observation, 
to the pack you have been using* If you use the regular conjuror's 
table, before described, you may place your pack of aces on the 
tenant*. If you do not use such a table, you may place them 
in one of your pochettes. In either case, you will have little 
difficulty in reaching them at the right moment, and placing them on 
the top of the ordinary pack, holding the whole in your left hand, but 
keeping the little finger between. Having done this, you say to the 
person who has been assisting you (in continuation of the trick you 
have just performed), " You appear to be fond of aces, sir. How 
many would you like ? '' He is fully convinced, having previously 
examined the pack, that you have only the ordinary four j but, from a 
desire to put your powers to an extreme test, he may possibly name 
a larger number — say, seven. "Seven!" you reply; "that is 
rather unreasonable, seeing there are only four in the pack. How- 
ever, we will make some more. Do you know how to make aces? 
No l Then I will show you. Like all these things, it's simplicity 
itself, when you once know it. Will you oblige me by blowing upon 
the pack ? " which you hold just under his nose for that purpose. 
He does so, and you deliberately count off and give to him the seven 
top cards, which all prove to be aces. You then say, " Perhaps you 
would like some more. You have only to blow again. Come, how 
many will you have ? " He again blows on the pack, and you give 
him the number desired. While he is examining them, you cover 
the pack for a moment with your right hand, and palm a dosen or so 
of the remaining aces. Then remarking, " You blew a little too 
strongly that time. You blew a lot of aces into your waistcoat,'* 
you thrust your hand into the breast of his waistcoat, and bring out 
three or four of the palmed cards, leaving the remainder inside; 
then pull out two or three more, dropping them on the floor, 
so as to scatter them about and make them appear as numerous as 
possible. You then say, " There seem to be a good many more there 



MODERN MAGIC. o» 



yet. Perhaps you will take them out yourself." While he is doing 
so, you palm in the right hand all the remaining aces. When he 
profoses to have taken out all, yoa say, " Are yon quite sure that yon 
have no more aoes about you ? Yon blew very hard, you know. I 
really think yon must have some more. Will you allow me?" 
Then, standing on his right, yon place your right hand just below his 
eyes, and spring the remaining ace* from it, in die manner indicated 
for springing the card* from hand to band (j«r page 37), the effect 
being exactly as if a shower of cards flew from his nose. 

Sbtrra* Prrsohs slaving bac* prawn Two Cards, which 
havb bs** Returned ajm> SHuwfcsn, to mark rach^ Couplb 
ArrsAR m Succbssiqh, on* at tub to? and thb othbr at thr 
bottqri of thr Pack.-— This capital trick was also a great favourite 
with Comte, who christened it, for reasons best known to himself, by 
the poetical name of " The Ladies' Looking-glass." 

The cards having been freely shuffled, you invite a person to draw 

two cards, allowing him free choice. Opening the pack in the 

middle, yon ask him to place his cards together in the opening. 

You bring them to the top by the pass, make the first of the false 

shuffles, and conclude by leaving them on the top. Offer the cards 

to a second person to draw a couple, bnt in opening the cards for 

him to return them, make the pass, so that they may be placed upon 

the pair already drawn, which are thereby brought to the middle of 

the pack. Again make the pass, so as to bring all four to the top. 

Make another false shuffle, leaving those four on the top, and ofler 

the cards to a third and fourth person, each time repeating the process. 

Make the false shuffle for the last time, so as to leave all the drawn 

cards in a body on the top of the pack, with one indifferent card 

above them. The audience believe that they are thoroughly dispersed, 

and your first care must be to strengthen that impression. If you 

are expert in card-palming, you may palm the nine cards, and 

give the pack to be shuffled by one of the spectators 5 but this is 

cot absolutely necessary, and there is some risk of the company 

noticing the absence of part of the pack. You remark, " You have 

all seen the drawn cards placed in different parts of the pack, 

and the whole have been since thoroughly shuffled. The drawn 



1 



ioo MODERN MAGIC. 

cards are therefore at this moment scattered in different parts of the 
pack. I can assure yon that I do not myself know what the cards 
are 4 " (this is the only item of fact in the whole sentence) ; " bat yet, 
by a very slight, simple movement, I shall make them appear, in 
couples as they were drawn, at top and bottom of the pack." Then, 
showing the bottom card, yon ask, " Is this anybody's card ? n The 
reply is in the negative. Yon next show the top card, and make the 
same inquiry. While yon do so, you slip the little finger under 
the next card, and as yon replace the card you have just shown, 
make the pass, thus bringing both cards to the bottom of the pack. 
Meanwhile, you ask the last person who drew what his cards were. 
When he names them, you " ruffle " the cards, and show him first the 
bottom and then the top card, which will be the two he drew. While 
exhibiting the top card, take the opportunity to slip the little finger of 
the left hand immediately under the card next below it, and as yon 
replace the top one make the pass st that point. You now have the 
third couple placed top and bottom. Make the drawer name them, 
ruffle the cards, and show them as before, again making the pass 
to bring the card just shown at top, with that next following; to 
the bottom of the pack, which will enable you to exhibit the 
second couple in like manner. These directions sound a little 
complicated, but if followed with the cards will be found simple 
•Hough. 

You may, by way of variation, pretend to forget that a fourth 
person drew two cards, and, after making the pass as before, appear 
to be about to proceed to another trick. You will naturally be re- 
minded that So-and-so drew two cards. Apologizing for the over- 
sight, you beg him to say what his cards were. When he does so, 
you say, "To tell you the truth I have quite lost sight of them; but it 
is of no consequence, I can easily find them again.' 9 Then nipping 
the upper end of the cards between the thumb and second finger of 
the right hand, which should be slightly moistened, you make the 
pack swing, pendulum fashion, a few inches backwards and forwards, 
when the whole of the intermediate cards will fall out, leaving 
the top and bottom card alone in your hand. These you hand to 
the drawer, who is compelled to acknowledge them as the cards 
he drew. 



MODERN MA GIC. 101 



To make Two Cards, bach firmly held bt a different 
Person, change places. — For the purpose of this trick 7011 must 
have a duplicate of some one of the cards, say the knave of spades, 
and 70a must arrange your pack beforehand as follows : The bottom 
card must be a knave of spades $ the next to it an indifferent card, say 
the nine of diamonds: and next above that, the second knave of 
spades. You come forward carelessly shuffling the cards (which you 
may do as freely as you please as to all above the three mentioned), 
and finish by placing the undermost knave of spades on the top. 
The bottom card will now be the nine of diamonds, with a knave 
of spades next above it. Holding up the pack in your left hand, 
in such a position as to be ready to " draw back " the bottom card 
(see page 36), you say, " Will you all be kind enough to notice and 
remember the bottom card, which I will place on the table here, so 
as to be in sight of everybody.'* So saying, you drop the pack to the 
horizontal position, and draw out with the middle finger of the right 
hand apparently the bottom card, but really slide back that card, and 
take the one next to it (the knave of spades), which you lay face 
downwards on the table, and ask some one to cover with his hand. 
You then (by the slip or pass) bring the remaining knave of spades 
from the top to the bottom, and shuffle again as before, taking care 
not to displace the two bottom cards. Again ask the company to 
note the bottom card (which is now the knave of spades), and draw 
out, as before, apparently that card, but really the nine of diamonds. 
Place that also face downwards on the table, and request another 
person to cover it with his hand. The company are persuaded 
that the first card thus drawn was the nine of diamonds, and the 
second the knave of spades. You now announce that you will 
compel the two cards to change places, and after touching them with 
your wand, or performing any other mystical ceremony which may 
serve to account for the transformation, you request the person 
holding each to show his card, when they will be found to have 
obeyed your commands. The attention of the audience being natu- 
rally attracted to the two cards on the table, you will have little diffi- 
culty in palming and pocketing the second knave of spades, which is 
still at the bottom of the pack, and which, if discovered, would spoil 
the effect of the trick. 



94 MODERN MAGIC. 



but for the purpose of this trick it is really rather an advantage to have 
toe assistance of a person who will take nothing for granted, and will be 
satisfied with nothing short of ocular demonstration of any fact which 
you desire him to concede. Some little fun may be made in the 
selection, but a volunteer having at last been approved of, you request 
him to step forward to your table. Selecting from the pack the four 
aces, you ask him to say aloud what cards those are, at the same time 
holding them up that all may see them. Then laying the aces face 
upwards on the table, you hand him the remainder of the cards, and 
ask him to ascertain and state to the company, whether there is any 
peculiarity about the cards, and whether, in particular, there are any 
other aces in the pack. His reply is in the negative. You then ask 
whether any other person would like to examine the pack. All being 
satisfied, you take the pack, face downwards, in your left hand, and 
picking up the four aces with the right, place them on the top, 
at the same moment slightly ruffling the cards. Then taking 
the aces one by one (without showing them) you place them face 
downwards on the table. Addressing the person assisting you, 
you say, " I place these four aces on the table. You admit that they 
are the four aces.*' Your victim, not having seen the faces of the 
cards since they were replaced on the pack, and having noticed the 
slight sound produced by your ruffling the cards, will, in all proba- 
bility, say that he does not admit anything of the sort. " Why," you 
reply, "you have only just seen them; but I'll show them to you 
again, if you like." Turning them face upwards, you show that the 
four cards really are the aces, and again replace them on the pack, 
ruffle the cards, and deal out the four aces face downwards as before. 
You again ask your assistant whether he is certain this time that the 
four cards on the table are the aces. He may possibly be still in- 
credulous, but if he professes himself satisfied, you ask him what he 
will bet that these cards are really the aces, and that you have not 
conjured them away already. He will naturally be afraid to bet, and 
you remark, " Ah, I could tell by the expression of your countenance 
that you were not quite satisfied. I'm afraid you are sadly wanting 
in faith, but as I can't perform the trick, for the sake of my own 
reputation, until you are thoroughly convinced, I will show you the 
cards once more." This you do, and again replace them on the pack, 



MODERN MAGIC. QS 



but before doing so, slip the little finger of the left hand under the 
top card of the pack. Again take off the aces with the finger and 
thumb of the right hand, carrying with them at the same time this 
top card. Then with a careless gesture of the right hand toward the 
audience, so as to show them the face of the undermost card (the one 
you have just added), you continue, " I really can't imagine what 
makes you so incredulous. Here are the aces " (you replace the five 
cards on the pack) — " I take them one by one, so, and place them on 
the table. Surely there is no possibility of sleight-of-hand here. 
Are you all satisfied that these are really the aces now ? " The audi- 
ence having noted, as you intended them to do, that the fifth or 
bottom card was not an ace, naturally conclude that other cards have 
been by some means substituted for the aces, and when you ask the 
question for the last time, you are met by a general shout of " No ! " 
You say, with an injured expression, " Really, ladies and gentlemen, 
if you are all such unbelievers, I may as well retire at once. I 
should hope that, at least, you will have the grace to apologize for 
your unfounded suspicions." Then, turning to the person assisting 
you, you continue, " Sir, as every act of mine appears to be an object 
of suspicion, perhaps you will kindly show the company that those 
are the aces, and replace them yourself on the top of the pack." 

This he does. But during the course of the above little discussion, 
you have taken the opportunity to count off, and palm in your right 
hand, the five top cards of the pack. It is hardly necessary to observe 
that while doing this, you must scrupulously refrain from looking at 
your hands. The mode of counting is to push forward the cards one 
by one with the thumb, and to check them with the third finger, of 
the left hand. A very little practice will enable you to count off any 
number of cards by feel, in this manner, with the greatest ease. 
When the aces are replaced on the top of the pack, you transfer the 
pack from the left to the right hand, thus bringing the palmed cards 
above them, then placing the whole pack on the table, face down- 
wards, inquire, " Will you be good enough to tell me where the aces 
are now?" The answer is generally very confident, " On the top of 
the pack." Without taking the pack in your hand, you take off, one 
by one, the four top cards, and lay them face downwards on the table, 
as before j then taking up the fifth card and exhibiting it to the com- 



96 MODERN MA GIC. 



pany, observe, " You see there are no more aces left, but if you like 
you can look through the pack." So saying, you take up the cards, 
and run them rapidly over with their faces towards the spectators, 
taking care, however, not to expose either of the five at the top, 
four of which are the genuine aces. Then, addressing your assistant, 
you say, " The company being at last satisfied, perhaps you will be 
good enough to place your hand on those four cards, and hold them 
as tightly as possible." Then, holding the pack in the left hand, you 
take between the first finger and thumb of the right hand the top card 
of the pack, being the only one left of the five you palmed and placed 
over the aces, and say, " Now I am going to take four indifferent cards 
one after the other, and exchange them for the four aces in this 
gentleman's hand. Observe the simplicity of the process. I take the 
card that first comes to hand " (here you show the face of the card 
that you hold, which we will suppose to be the seven of diamonds), 
" I don't return it to the pack, even for a moment, but merely touch 
the hand with it, and it becomes the ace of (say) spades " (which you 
show it to be). At the words " return it to the pack," you move the 
card with what is taken to be merely an indicative gesture, towards 
the pack, and at the same instant " change " it by the third method 
{see page 30) for the top card of the pack, which is one of the aces. 

You now have the seven of diamonds at the top of the pack, with 
the remaining three aces immediately following it. You must not show 
this seven of diamonds a second time, and it is therefore necessary to 
get it out of the way. The neatest way of doing this is as follows : — 
You remark, " To show you that I take the cards just as they come, 
I will give them a shuffle," which you do as indicated for the first of 
the " false shuffles " (see page 23), subject to the modification fol- 
lowing. Pass into the right hand first the top card (the seven of 
diamonds) alone, and upon this card pass the next three, which are 
the three aces, then the rest of the cards indifferently. When all the 
cards are thus passed into the right hand, shuffle them again anyhow, 
but take care to conclude by bringing the four lowest cards to the top ; 
you will now have the three aces uppermost, and the seven of dia- 
monds in the fourth place. Taking off the top card, and drawing it 
sharply over the hand of the person assisting, you show that it also is 
an ace, and in like manner with the next card, making, if you choose, 



MODERN MAGIC. 97 



a false shuffle between. After the third ace has been shown, make a 
false shuffle, and finally leave at the top the last ace, with one card 
above it. This may be effected by bringing np from the bottom in 
concluding the shuffle the two bottom cards, instead of the last (the 
ace) only. Taking the top card between the thumb and first finger 
of the right hand, and showing it with apparent carelessness, so as to 
give the company the opportunity of remarking that it is not an ace, 
you replace it on the pack for an instant, saying, "We have had three 
aces, I think. Which is it that is wanting ? " Here yon glance down 
at the aces on the table. " Oh ! the ace of diamonds. Then the 
card that I hold must change to the ace of diamonds.'* You have 
meanwhile effected the change, and turning up the card you hold, you 
show that it is the ace of diamonds. 

You may, if you please, use the first instead of the third method 
of making the "change" in performing this trick, but the first 
method demands a higher degree of dexterity to make it equally 
deceptive j and the movement used in the third method has in this 
instance the advantage of appearing to be the natural accompaniment 
of the words of the performer. 

Thb Showbr of Aces.— This trick forms a very effective 
sequel to that last described, or may with equal facility be made to 
follow many other card tricks. To perform it, the first essential is 
the possession of a pack of cards similar in size and pattern to that 
you have in general use, but consisting of aces only. You can pur- 
chase such a pack at most of the conjuring depots, or you may, with- 
out much difficulty, manufacture one for yourself. If you decide 
upon the latter course, you must first procure thirty or forty blank 
cards backed with the requisite pattern. These you can transform 
into aces in two ways. The first is, to split three or four ordinary 
cards of each suit, and, after peeling off, as thin as possible, the face 
of each, carefully cut out the pips, and paste one in the centre of each 
of your blank cards. This process, however, takes a considerable 
time j and, when the sham aces are collected in a pack, the extra 
thickness of the paper in the centre of each produces an objectionable 
bulge. The better plan is to procure a stencil-plate representing the 
figures of a club, heart, and diamond, which will enable you to pro- 

7 



too MODERN MAGIC. 



cards are therefore at this moment scattered in different parts of the 
pack. I can assure yon that I do not myself know what the cards 
are 4 " (this is the only item of fact in the whole sentence) 5 " bat yet, 
by a very slight, simple movement, I shall make them appear, in 
couples as they were drawn, at top and bottom of the pack." Then, 
showing the bottom card, you ask, u Is this anybody's card ? " The 
reply is in the negative. You next show the top card, and make the 
same inquiry. While you do so, you slip the little finger under 
the next card, and as you replace the card you have just shown, 
make the pass, thus bringing both cards to the bottom of the pack. 
Meanwhile, you ask the last person who drew what his cards were. 
When he names them, you " ruffle " the cards, and show him first the 
bottom and then the top card, which will be the two he drew. While 
exhibiting the top card, take the opportunity to slip the little finger of 
the left hand immediately under the card next below it, and as you 
replace the top one make tbe pass at that point. You now have the 
third couple placed top and bottom. Make the drawer name them, 
ruffle the cards, and show them as before, again making the pass 
to bring the card just shown at top, with that next following, to 
the bottom of the pack, which will enable you to exhibit the 
second couple in like manner. These directions sound a little 
complicated, but if followed with the cards will be found simple 
epough. 

You may, by way of variation, pretend to forget that a fourth 
person drew two cards, and, after making the pass as before, appear 
to be about to proceed to another trick. You will naturally be re- 
minded that So-and-so drew two cards. Apologizing for the over- 
sight, you beg him to say what his cards were. When he does so, 
you say, " To tell you the truth I have quite lost sight of them ; but it 
is of no consequence, I can easily find them again.*' Then nipping 
the upper end of the cards between the thumb and second finger of 
the right hand, which should be slightly moistened, you make the 
pack swing, pendulum fashion, a few inches backwards and forwards, 
when the whole of the intermediate cards will fall out, leaving 
the top and bottom card alone in your hand. These you hand to 
the drawer, who is compelled to acknowledge them as the cards 
he drew. 



MODERN MA GIC. 101 



To make Two Cards, bach firmly held bt a differbnt 
Person, change places. — For the purpose of this trick you must 
have a duplicate of some one of the cards, say the knave of spades, 
and you must arrange your pack beforehand as follows : The bottom 
card must be a knave of spades ; the next to it an indifferent card, say 
the nine of diamonds: and next above that, the second knave of 
spades. You come forward carelessly shuffling the cards (which you 
may do as freely as you please as to all above the three mentioned), 
and finish by placing the undermost knave of spades on the top. 
The bottom card will now be the nine of diamonds, with a knave 
of spades next above it. Holding up the pack in your left hand, 
in such a position as to be ready to " draw back " the bottom card 
(see page $6), you say, " Will you all be kind enough to notice and 
remember the bottom card, which I will place on the table here, so 
as to be in sight of everybody." So saying, you drop the pack to the 
horizontal position, and draw out with the middle finger of the right 
hand apparently the bottom card, but really slide back that card, and 
take the one next to it (the knave of spades), which you lay face 
downwards on the table, and ask some one to cover with his hand. 
You then (by the slip or pass) bring the remaining knave of spades 
from the top to the bottom, and shuffle again as before, taking care 
not to displace the two bottom cards. Again ask the company to 
note the bottom card (which is now the knave of spades), and draw 
oat, as before, apparently that card, but really the nine of diamonds. 
Place that also face downwards on the table, and request another 
person to cover it with his hand* The company are persuaded 
that the first card thus drawn was the nine of diamonds, and the 
second the knave of spades. You now announce that you will 
compel the two cards to change places, and after touching them with 
jour wand, or performing any other mystical ceremony which may 
serve to account for the transformation, you request the person 
holding each to show his card, when they will be found to have 
obeyed your commands. The attention of the audience being natu- 
rally attracted to the two cards on the table, you will have little diffi- 
culty in palming and pocketing the second knave of spades, which is 
still at the bottom of the pack, and which, if discovered, would spoil 
the effect of the trick. 



106 MODERN MA GIC. 



You are not necessarily re^tricte d to fifteen cards, but may increase 
the number up to twenty if you please, making up the complement 
by increasing the number of ihe indifferent cards at the right hand of 
the original row. 

The trick may be equally well performed with dominoes, or with 
numbered pieces of paper, as with playing cards. 

Several Cards having been freely chosen by the Com- 
pany, Returned and Shuffled, and the Pack placed in a 
Person's Pocket, to make such Person draw out one by one 
the chosen Cards.— This trick is an especial favourite of the well- 
known Herrmann, in whose hands it never fails to produce a brilliant 
effect. The performer hands the pack to one of the company, who 
is requested to shuffle it well, and then to invite any four persons each 
to draw a card. This having been r^ne, the pack is returned to the 
performer, who then requests the same person to collect the chosen 
cards face downwards on his open palm. The cards so collected are 
placed in the middle of the pack, which is then handed to the 
person who collected them, with a request that he will shuffle them 
thoroughly. After he has done so, the pack is placed by the per- 
former in the volunteer assistant's breast pocket The performer now 
asks one of the four persons who drew to name his card. He next 
requests the person assisting him to touch the end of his wand, and 
then as quickly as possible (that the mystic influence may not have 
time to evaporate) to put his hand in his pocket, and draw out the 
card named. He takes out one card accordingly, which proves to be 
the very one called for. A second and third card are named and 
drawn in the same manner, to the astonishment of all, and not least 
of the innocent assistant. The fourth and last card, which is, say, the 
ten of spades, he is requested to look for in the pack, but it proves to 
be missing, and the performer thereupon offers to show him how to 
make a ten of spades. To do so, he requests him' to blow into his 
pocket, where the missing card is immediately found. But he has, 
unfortunately, blown too strongly, and has made not only a ten of 
spades, but a host of other cards, which the performer pulls out in 
quantities, not only from his pocket, but from tbe inside of his 
waistcoat — ultimately producing a final shower from his nose. 



MODERN MA GIC. IC7 



This trick, which appears marvellous in execution, is really very 
simple, and depends for its effect, not so much on any extraordinary 
degree of dexterity, za on the manner and address of the performer. 
Wben the four card* are replaced in the middle of the pack, the per- 
former makes the pass to bring them to the top, and palms them. 
He then hands the pack to be shuffled. When it is returned, he 
replaces tbem on the top, and, placing the person assisting him on his 
left hand, and facing the audience, places the pack in the left breast 
pocket of such person, taking care to place the top of the pack (on 
which are the chosen cards) outwards. In asking the names of the 
drawn cards, he puts the question first to the person who last replaced 
his card (and whose card is therefore on the top), and so on. He is 
particular in impressing upon the person assisting him that he must 
draw out the card as quickly as possible, thus giving him no time to 
select a card, but compelling him, so to speak, to take that which 
is reaiiest to his hand, which will always be the outermost, or 
top card. 

Should he notwithstanding, by accident or finesse, draw out a card 
from the middle of the pack, the performer at once says, " Oh, you 
were not half quick enough ! You must pull out the card as quick 
as thought, or the magic influence will go off. Allow me ! " then 
pulling out the outer card himself, he shows that it is the right one. 
Wben three cards have been thus produced, he himself plunges his 
hand into the pocket, and takes out the whole pack, with the excep- 
tion of the then top card, which is the fourth of the cards drawn ; 
then, pretending to recollect himself, he says, " Stay j we had four 
cards drawn. Will you say what your card was, madam ? " We 
have supposed that it was the ten of spades. He hands the pack to 
the person assisting him, saying, " Will you find the ten of spades, 
and return it to the lady ? " Being in his pocket, of course it cannot 
be found in the pack, and on blowing into the pocket it is naturally 
discovered there. The performer meanwhile has palmed about a 
third of the pack, which he introduces into the pocket at the same 
moment that he places his hand therein to take out the supposed 
superfluous cards. From this stage to the close the trick is merely a 
repc titiun of that already given under the title of the " Shower of 
Acts" {see page 97), to which the reader is referred. 



io8 MODERN MAGIC. 



The Cards bating been freely shuffled, and cut into 

THREE OR FOUR HEAPS, TO NAME THE TOP CARD OF BACH HEAP. 

Note the bottom card of the pack, which we will suppose to be the 
nine of diamonds. Shuffle the cards, so as to bring this card to the 
top, and palm it. Then remark, " But perhaps you would rather 
shuffle for yourselves/' and hand the pack to some one of the com- 
pany for that purpose. When the pack is returned, replace the card 
on the top, and continue, placing the pack on the table, " You observe 
that I do not meddle with the cards in any way. Now will some 
one be good enough to cut them into two, three, or four parts, when 
I will at once name the top card of each." To do this you must take 
especial notice where the upper part of the pack is placed, as yon 
know that the top card of this particular heap is the nine of diamonds. 
Placing your finger gravely, not on this, but on one of the other heaps, 
you say, appearing to reflect, " This is the nine of diamonds." We 
will suppose that it is in reality the queen of spades. You take it in 
your hand without allowing the audience to see it, and, noticing what 
it is, at once touch the top card of another heap, saying, " And this is 
the queen of spades." Glancing in like manner at this card, which 
is, say, the seven of clubs, you touch another card, and say, " This is 
the seven of clubs." We will suppose that this third card is really 
the ace of hearts. You conclude, taking up the card you have all 
along known (the real nine of diamonds), " And this last is the ace 
of hearts/ 9 Then, throwing all four on the table, show that yon 
have named them correctly. 

This trick should be performed with considerable quickness and 
vivacity, so as not to give the audience much time for thought as yon 
name the cards. It is further necessary that the spectators be well in 
front of you, and so placed that they cannot see the faces of the cards 
as you pick them up. 

To allow a Person secretly to think of a Card, and, 
dividing the Pack into three heaps, to cause the Card 
thought of to appear in whichever heap the Company may 
choose. — Hand the pack to the company, with a request that they 
will well shuffle it. When it is returned, cut the pack into three 
heaps on the table, and invite some one to secretly think of a card. 



MODERN MAGIC. 109 



When he has done so, say boldly, " The card 7011 have thought of is 
in this heap/' touching one of them — say the middle one. " Will 
yon be kind enough to name it ? " The person names, say, the queen 
of spades. You continue, ** Your card, as I have already told you, is 
in this centre heap. To satisfy you that it is so, and that I do not now 
place it there by means of any sleight-of-hand, I will, in the first place, 
show you that it is not in either of the other heaps." Gathering 
together the two heaps in question, and turning them face upwards, 
jou come forward to the audience, rapidly spreading and running 
oyer the cards the while in order to ascertain whether the queen of 
spades is among them. If it is not, the trick has so far succeeded 
without any trouble on your part ; and, after showing that the card 
is not among those you hold, you bring forward the remaining packet, 
and show that you were correct in your assertion. You then say, 
"I do not generally repeat a trick, but on this occasion, as you may 
possibly imagine that my success was a mere result of accident, I 
will perform the trick once more, and, if you please, you shall your- 
selves name beforehand the packet in which the card thought of shall 
appear." The packet having been chosen, you join the other two in 
your left hand, and invite some one to think of a card. When he has 
done so, you come forward, as before, to show that it is not among 
the cards you hold. Luck may again favour you ; but if not, and 
you see the card chosen among those you hold in your hand, you 
quickly draw it, by a rapid movement of the second finger of the 
right hand, behind the rest of the pack, and, continuing your examin- 
ation, show the company, to all appearance, that the card is not 
there. Having done this, you again turn the pack over (when the 
card thought of will be on the top), and, covering the pack for a 
moment with the right hand, palm that card. Then, picking up with 
the same hand the heap remaining on the table, you place the palmed 
card on the top, and, transferring the cards to the left hand, you say, 
u You are welcome to watch me as closely as you please. You 
will find that I shall cut these cards at the precise card you thought 
of/* To all appearance you merely cut the cards, but really at the 
same moment make the pass (by lifting away the lower instead of 
the upper half of the 'packet). The upper part of the packet, 
with the card on the top, remains in the left hand. You request 



no MODERN MAGIC. 



some one to look at the top card, which is {bond to bo the card 
thought of. 

Should die card in the first instance prove to be among the 
aw-designated cards, you will proceed as last directed \ but do not in 
this case repeat the trick. 

TO ALLOW A PBRSOK 8BCRBTLY TO THINK OF A CARD, iffi, 
BYBJf BEFORS SUCH CARD IS VAMBZ>,TO SBLBOT IT FROM THB PaQR, 
AND PLAQB IT SINOLT UPON THB TABL«.-~Tht8 trick 18 On tile Same 

principle, and performed in a great measure by the same means, as 
that last described. Yon invite a person to think of a card (without 
naming it). When he has done so, yon offer the pack to another 
person to shuffle, and finally to a third person to out Then, selecting 
any one card from the pack, yon walk to your table, and, without 
showing what it is, place k face downwards on the table, retaining 
the rest of the pack in your left hand. Then, addressing the person 
who was requested to think of a card, you say, "The card which I 
have just placed on the table is the one you thought of. Will you be 
good enough to name it ? " We will suppose that the card thought 
of was the ace of spades. You say, as in the last trick, " Allow me 
to show you, in the first place, that the ace of spades is no longer in 
the pack." Coming forward to the audience, and rapidly running 
over the cards, you catch sight of the ace of spades, and slip it behind 
the rest. Having shown that it is, apparently, not in the pack, yon 
turn the cards over (when the ace will, of course, be on the top), and 
palm it. Leaving the pack with the audience, you advance to your 
table, and pick up the card on the table with the same hand 
in which the ace of spades is slready palmed. Draw away the card 
towards the back of the table, and, as it reaches the edge, drop it 
on the servant*, and produce the ace of spades as being the card just 
picked up. The trick requires a little practice, but, if well executed, 
the illusion is perfect. 

The above directions are framed upon the assumption that yon 
are performing with a proper conjuror's table, which, as already 
stated, has a servante, or hidden shelf, at the back for the reception 
of objects which the performer may require to pick up or lay down 
without the knowledge of his audience. The trick may, however. 



MODERN MAGIC. 1 1 1 



be performed without the aid of such a table, bat will, in such case, 
require some little variation. 

If 70a are using an ordinary table, the most effective mode of 
finishing the trick is as follows : — Walk boldly to the table, and pick 
up with the right hand (in which the card actually thought of. is 
palmed) the card lying on the table, and, without looking at it your- 
self, hold it towards your audience, remarking, " Here it is, yon see, 
the ace of spades." The card being, in truth, a totally different one 
(say the seven of diamonds), the audience naturally imagine that the 
trick has broken down, and a derisive murmur apprises you of the 
bet Yon there u pon glance at the card, and affect some little sur- 
prise and embarrassment on finding that it is a wrong one. How- 
ever, after a moment's pause, yon say, taking the card face downwards 
between the thumb and second finger of the left hand, "Well, I 
Rally don't know how the mistake could have occurred. However, I 
cm easily correct it." Change the card by the fifth method (see 
page 3*), and, after a little byplay to heighten the effect of the trans 
formation, again show the card, which this. time proves to be the 
right one. The audience will readily conclude that the supposed mis. 
take was really a feint, designed to heighten the effect of the trick. 

A Card suvihg bee* Secretly Thought op by one of thb 
Aubxbhcb, to place two Inditpbrect Cards upon thb table, 

ABB TO ChAHGB SUCH OKB OP THEM AS THB AUDIENCE MAT 

select into thb Card thouoht op. — Arrange your pack before- 
hand in such manner that among the fifteen or sixteen undermost 
cards there may be only one court card, and note at what number 
horn the bottom this card is. Advance to the company, offering the 
cards face downwards in the ordinary way, and requesting some 
person to draw a card. Then, as if upon a second thought, say, 
before he has time to draw, "Or, if you prefer it, you need not 
even touch the cards, but merely think of one as I spread them 
before you.*' So saying, spread the cards one by one, with their faces 
to the company, beginning at the bottom. The single court card 
being conspicuous among so many plain cards, and there being no- 
thing apparently to create a suspicion of design about the arrange- 
ment it is ten to one that the person will note that particular card, 



i ts MODERN MAGIC. 



which we will suppose to be the knave of hearts. When yon have 
run over twelve or fourteen cards in this way, ask, still moving on 
the cards, " Have yon thought of a card? *' On receiving an answer 
in the affirmative, you make the pass two cards below the court card 
(which you know by the number at which it stands), and forthwith 
make a false shuffle, leaving the last three cards undisturbed, so that 
the court card remains third from the bottom. Turning to the audi- 
ence, you remark, " I will now take the two bottom cards, whatever 
they may happen to be, and lay them on the table." Then, holding 
up the pack in the left hand, with the bottom card towards the 
audience, you inquire, "That is not your card, sir, I suppose ? nor 
that?" each time lowering the cards in order to draw away with the 
moistened finger of the right hand, and place face downwards on the 
table, the card just shown. The second time, however, you do not 
really draw the card you have shown, but draw back that card 
and take the one next to it — vis., the knave of hearts. You then, 
standing behind your table and facing the audience, again repeat the 
question, "You are quite sure, sir, that neither of these two cards is 
the card you thought of ? Which of them would you like me to 
transform into your card, the right or the left ? v * Whichever the 
answer is, it may be taken in two ways, and you interpret it as may 
best suit your purpose. Thus, if you have placed the knave of hearts 
on your own right, and the choice falls on the right-hand card, you 
interpret it to mean the one on your own right hand. If, on the con- 
trary, the person chooses the card on the left, you interpret him to 
mean the card on his left, and therefore on your right 3 so that in 
either case you make the choice fall on the knave of hearts.* Taking 
up the other card, and holding it, without apparent design, so that the 
audience can see what it is, you return it to the pack. Then say 
boldly, "This card upon the table will forthwith change to the card 
you thought of. Will you be good enough to name it?" If he 
names the knave of hearts, you have nothing to do but to turn up, or 
request some other person to turn up, the card on the table, and show 
that it is the right one. 



* The reader should specially note this expedient, as it ia of *^ftflnt me la 

i{nrin<r. 



conjuring* 



MODERN MAGIC. 1 13 



It is, however, quite possible that the person, by accident or 
design, may have thought, not of the knave of hearts, but of some 
other card, say the nine of diamonds. Even in this case you need 
not be at a loss, although the card on the table is a wrong one. 
When the card is named, you say, " The nine of diamonds. Quite 
right ! Let me show you, in the first place, that it is not here in the 
pack." Advancing to the audience, and at the same time running 
over the cards, as in the last trick, you draw the nine of diamonds 
behind the other cards, and show that, apparently, it is not among 
them. On turning the pack over it will be at the top. Taking the 
pack in the left hand, and, returning to your table, pick up (with the 
right hand) the knave of hearts, and without looking at it yourself, 
say, " Here it is, you see, the nine of diamonds." Then, with a careless 
gesture, and making a half turn to the right or left to cover the move- 
ment, "change" the card by the third method (see page 30), taking 
care not to show the card after the change. The audience will 
naturally exclaim that the card you have just shown them is not the 
nine of diamonds. You affect great surprise, and ask, " Indeed, what 
card was it then?" They reply, "The knave of hearts."' "The 
knave of hearts ; surely not ! * 9 you exclaim, again showing the card in 
your hand, which is now found to be the nine of diamonds. " In- 
deed/ 9 yon continue, "you could not possibly have seen the knave of 
hearts, for that gentleman in the front row has had it in his pocket 
all the evening. 9 ' The knave of hearts was, in truth, left after the 
change on the top of the pack. As you advance to the audience, you 
palm it, and are thereby enabled to find it without difficulty in the 
pocket of a spectator, or in any other place which you may choose to 
designate. 

It will be observed that the mode here indicated of changing a 
wrong card into a right one differs from that described in the last 
trick. Either method will be equally available, but it will be well to 
practise both, as it is a great desideratum to be able to vary the 
denouement of a trick. 

The course of action above directed in the event of an unexpected 

card being thought of, may be made available as a means of escape 

from a break-down in many other cases. Thus, for instance, if you 

are using a biseauU pack, and a chosen card has been replaced with- 

8 



1 14 MODERN MAGIC. 



out the pack having been previously reversed, or if you have from any 
other cause accidentally lost the means of discovering a card drawn, 
you may still bring the trick to an effective termination as follows :— 
Give the pack to some one to shuffle, and then, drawing a card 
haphazard, and placing it face downwards on the table, announce 
boldly that the card drawn is now upon the table. Ask the person 
to name his card, show apparently that it is not in the pack, and 
finish the trick in one or other of the modes above described. 

A Card having been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack 
shuffled, to divide the pack, into several heaps on the 
Table, and to cause the Drawn Card to appear in such 
heap as the Company mat Choose.— Invite a person to draw a 
card. When it is returned, make the pass to bring it to the top. 
Make a false shuffle, and leave it still at the top. If any of the audi- 
ence requests to be allowed to shtune, palm the card, and hand him 
the pack. When it is returned, again place the card on the top. 

Taking the cards in the nght hand, face downwards, drop them, in 
packets of four or five cards each, on the table, noting particularly 
where you place the last packet (on the top of which is the chosen' 
card). Ask the audience in which of the heaps they would like the ' 
chosen card to appear, and when they have made their choice, pick 
up all the other packets and place them in the left hand, placing the 
packet on which is the chosen card at the top. Divide the chosen 
packet into two, and bid the audience again choose between these, 
placing the cards of the non-chosen packet below the pack in the left 
hand. If the packet still remaining will admit of it, divide it into 
two again, but endeavour so to arrange matters that the packet ulti- 
mately chosen shall consist of two cards only, concealing however 
from the audience the precise number of cards in the packet. When 
you have reached this stage of the trick, palm the drawn card, u hich 
we will suppose to have been the ace of diamonds, and picking up 
with the same hand the chosen packet, secretly place that card on the 
top. Place the three cards face downwards side by side, the ace of 
diamonds in the middle, and ask the audience which of the thive they 
desire to become the card originally drawn. If they choose the middle 
card, the trick is already done, and after asking tbe person to name 



MODERN MAGIC. 1 15 



his card, and showing that neither of the two outside ones is the card 
in question, yon turn up the aee of diamonds. 

If the choice falls on either of the outside cards, gather together 
aU three, without showing them (the ace still being in the middle) 
and ask some one to blow on them. Then deal them out again in 
apparently the same order as before, but really deal the second 
for the first, so as to bring that card into the place of the card indi- 
cated. Then, after showing the two other cards as above directed, 
finally turn up the ace of diamonds, and show thai it is the card 
originally chosen. 

To CHANGS A. DRAWN CARD INTO THE PORTRAITS OF SBTRRAL 

of thb Company in succession. — For the purpose of this trick you 
will require a forcing pack of similar pattern to your ordinary pack, 
but consisting throughout of a single card, say the seven of clubs. 
You. must also have half-a-dozen or' more sevens of clubs of 
the same pattern, on the faces of which you must either draw or 
paste small caricature portraits, after the manner of Twelfth Night 
characters j which should be of such a kind as to excite laughter 
without causing offence. You arrange your pack beforehand as 
follows : — On the top place a fancy portrait, say of a young lady ; 
then a seven of clubs,, then a fancy portrait of a gentleman, then a 
seven of clubs; another fancy portrait of a lady, another seven of 
dubs, and so on ; so that the first eight or ten cards of the pack shall 
consist of alternate portraits and sevens of clubs (the top card of all 
being a lady's portrait), and the rest of the pack of sevens of clubs only. 
Secretly exchange the prepared pack for that which you have been 
using. Invite a young lady to draw, taking care to offer that part of 
the pack which consists of sevens of clubs only, so that the card she 
draws will, of necessity, be a seven of clubs. You then say, when 
she has looked at the card, " Will you now be kind enough to return 
that card to the pack, when I will paint your portrait on it." You 
open the cards book wise, about the middle of the pack, for her to 
return the card, and when she has done so, request her to breathe 
on it. As she does so, you "slip'* (see page 35) the top card of 
the pack on to that which she has just replaced, and on examining 
that card (which she takes to be the one she has just seen) she is 



1 16 MODERN MAGIC. 



surprised to find that it is still a seven of clubs, but adorned with a 
more or less flattering likeness of herself. You continue, after the 
portrait has been handed round and replaced, " I would willingly give 
you this portrait to take home, but, unfortunately, being only a 
magical picture, the likeness fades very quickly. Will you oblige me 
by breathing on it once more, when you will find that the likeness will 
vanish, and the card will again be as it was at first." On her doing 
so, you again slip the top card (which is now an ordinary seven), on 
to the portrait, and on again examining, the lady is compelled to admit 
that the card is again as she first drew it. You then offer to paint on 
the same card a gentleman's likeness, and proceed as before, each 
time after taking a likeness changing it back again to an ordinary 
seven, which adds greatly to the effect of the trick. 

You may, if you please, use allegorical instead of caricature por- 
traits ; e.g., for a young lady, a rosebud j for a conceited young man, 
a poppy or dandelion, or a donkey's head. It is hardly necessary to 
observe that nothing short of very close intimacy would excuse the 
use of any portrait of a disparaging or satirical nature. 

A Card having bbbn drawn and returned, and the Pack 

SHUFFLED, TO PLACE ON THE TABLE SIX ROWS OF SIX CARDS BACH, 
AND TO DISCOVER THB CHOSBN CARD BY A THROW OF THB DlCB. — 

The effect of this surprising trick is as follows : — You invite a person 
to draw a card, allowing him the utmost freedom of selection. You 
allow the drawer to replace his card in any part of the pack he pleases, 
and you thoroughly shuffle the cards, finally inviting him to " cut" 
Then dealing out six rows of six cards each, face downwards on the 
table, you offer the drawer a dice-box and a pair of dice, and after he 
has thrown any number of times to satisfy himself that the dice are 
fair and unprepared, you invite him to throw each singly, the first to 
ascertain the row in which his card is, and the second to discover at 
what number it stands in the row. He throws, say, " six " first, and 
" three " afterwards, and on examination the card he drew proves to 
be the third card of the sixth row. 

The whole mystery consists in the use of a forcing pack, all the 
cards of which are alike, and which must not consist of a less num- 
ber than thirty-six cards. The dice are perfectly fair, but as each card 



MODERN MAGIC. . 117 



of each row is the same, it is a matter of perfect indifference what 
numbers are thrown. It is advisable to gather up all the other cards, 
and to request the person to name his card, before allowing the one 
designated by the dice to be turned op. This will draw the attention 
of the company to the card on the table, and will give you the 
opportunity to re-exchange the cards- you have used for an ordinary 
paak (from which, by the way, the card answering to the forced card 
should have been withdrawn). This pack you may carelessly 
leave on the table; so that in the event of suspicion attaching to 
the cards, it will be at once negatived by an examination of the 
pack. 

The trick may be varied by using a teetotum, numbered from one 
to six, instead of the dice ; or you may, if you prefer it, make the 
trick an illustration of second sight, by pretending to mesmerize some 
person in the company, and ordering him to write down beforehand, 
while under the supposed mesmeric influence, the row and number at 
which the drawn card shall be found. The mode of conducting the 
trick will be in either case the same. 

A Card having bbbn withdrawn and rbplacbd, to call it 
from the Pack, and to make it comb to you of its own 
accord. — This is a very simple trick, but, if neatly executed, will 
create a good deal of wonderment. It is performed as follows : — 
You must procure beforehand a long hair from a lady's head. One 
end of this must be fastened by means of a bent pin, or in any other 
way you find most convenient, to the front of your waistcoat, which 
should be a dark one. At the other end of the hair fix a little round 
ball (about half the size of a pepper-corn) of bees'- wax. Press this 
little ball lightly against the lowest button of your waistcoat, to which 
it will adhere. You will thus always be able to find it at a moment's 
notice, without groping or looking down for it, which would be likely 
to draw the eyes of the spectator in the same direction. 

Request the audience to examine the cards, that they may be sure 
that there is no preparation about them, and as a further proof get 
two or three persons to shuffle them in succession. When the cards 
are returned to you, invite some person to draw one, and, while he is 
examining it, drop your right hand carelessly to your waistband, and 



j 18 MODERN MAGIC. 



remove the little ball of wax to the tip of your right thumb, to which 
it will adhere without interfering with the movements of the hand. 
When the card is returned, make the pass to bring it to the top of 
the pack, and press the little ball of wax upon the back of the card, 
as near the edge as possible. Then shuffle the cards. The shuffle may 
be a genuine one, but you must take care to keep the lower edge of 
the chosen card half an inch or so below the remaining cards, that 
the little ball of wax may not be disturbed. The chosen card will, 
after the shuffle, be in the middle of the pack, but attached to your 
waistcoat by the hair. Spread the cards face upwards on the table 
(by which means the wax, being on the back of the card, will be out 
of sight), taking care not to detach the hair. You then address your 
audience to the following or some similar effect : — " In the old style 
of conjuring, I should merely have picked out your card, and handed 
it to you j and there was a time when people would have thought 
that a very good trick, but nowadays we should regard that as a 
very lame conclusion. I can assure you that I have not the smallest 
idea what your card was. How do you suppose I intend to find 
out ? '' Various guesses are hazarded, but you shake your head 
at each. " No," you continue, " my process is much simpler than any 
you have suggested. I shall merely order the card you chose to walk 
out of the pack, and come to me." Pronounce any magic formula 
you like, at the same time beckoning to the cards, and gradually with- 
drawing yourself away from the table, when the card must needs 
follow you. As it reaches the edge of the table, receive it in the left 
hand, and then take it in the right, drawing off with the first finger 
and thumb of the left hand the wax at the back. Ask the person 
who drew whether that was his card, and again hand the card and 
the rest of the pack for examination. This little trick, though 
simple, will require a good deal of practice to enable you to perform 
it neatly, but the effect produced by it will well repay your trouble. 

It may be well to mention, once for all, as bees'-wax is an 
article of frequent use in magical operations, that if, as sometimes 
happens, the pure wax is found too hard, or not sufficiently adhesive, 
the addition of a small quantity (say an eighth part) of Venice tur- 
pentine, mixed with it in a melted condition, will make it all that can 
be desired. 



MODERN MAGIC. 119 



Ths Whist Trick.* Improved Method. To deal tour- 
self all the Trumps, tbb three other Platers holding the 
usual, mixed Hands. — Having decided which suit (suppose dia- 
monds) is to be the trump suit, arrange the pack in such manner 
that every fourth card shall be of that suit, the intervening cards 
being taken haphazard. When about to perform the trick, secretly 
exchange the pack you have hitherto been using for the prepared 
pack. Make the bridge (see page 39), and then a false shuffle by the 
third method (see page 24). Invite some one to cut, and make, the 
pass at the bridge, thus restoring the cards to their original condition. 
Deal in the usual manner, when you will be found to hold all the 
tramps, the remaining suits being distributed in the ordinary way 
among the other three players. 

Where in this or any other trick it is found necessary to change 
one pack for another, the following will be found the neatest way 
of effecting that object. Have the prepared pack in the pochette on 
the left side. Hold the ordinary pack in the right hand, and in mov- 
ing from the audience to your table, drop the left hand to the pochette, 
seize the prepared pack, bring the hands together, and make the 
pass with the two packs, when they will have changed hands. Drop 
the left hand, and get rid of the ordinary pack into the profonde, 
the prepared pack being left in the right hand. Any little clumsi- 
ness in making the pass is of small consequence, the hands being 
covered by the body. If, however, you find it impossible to make 
the pass with so large a bulk of cards, the prepared pack may be 
placed under the waistband, held in position by a strap of half-inch- 
wide elastic, stitched to the inside of the vest $ the right hand in this 
case, at the moment of the turn to the table, transferring the ordinary 
pack to the left, and immediately drawing down the prepared pack, 
while the left hand, as in the former case, drops the ordinary pack 
into the profonde. 

* For an inferior form of this trick, in which sleight-of-hand is not employed, see 
pages*- 



120 MODERN MAGIC. 



CHAPTER V. 
Card Tricks Requiring Special Apparatus. 

Wi propose to describe in this chapter such card tricks as require the 
aid of some mechanical appliance or apparatus, but are still appro- 
priate for a drawing-room performance. There are some few tricks 
performed with cards (such as the Fairy Star, the Demon's Head, 
and the like) which necessitate the use of a mechanical table, or other 
apparatus of an elaborate and costly character. These will not be 
here noticed, but will be given, at the close of the work, in the por- 
tion devoted to Stage Tricks. 

We may here anticipate a not unlikely question on the part of the 
student — viz., "How can I best obtain the necessary apparatus?' 
In some instances, an amateur with a mechanical turn may be able 
to manufacture his appliances for himself; and where this is the 
case, we would by no means discourage his doing so, as he will 
thereby derive a double amusement from his study of the magic art. 
But where the student has not the ability or inclination to do this, we 
should strongly advise him not to attempt to have his apparatus made 
to order by persons unaccustomed to this class of work, but to go 
direct to one or other of the regular depots. Magical apparatus requires 
so much precision in its details, and so much attention to apparent 
trifles, that the first attempt of any workman, however skilful, is 
almost sure to be a failure ; and by the time the defects are rectified, 
the purchaser will find that he has paid more for a clumsy makeshift 
than he would have done for a thoroughly good article had he gone 
to the right quarter. Experience will quickly prove that inferior 
apparatus is dear at any price. The principal London dealers are as 
follows : — 



MODERN MAGIC. 121 



Bland, 478, New Oxford Street 

Cremer, a 10, Regent Street 

De Vere, 183, Strand. 

Hamley, 23 1, High Holborn. 

Hiam and Lane, 5, Eagle Street, City Road. 

Millikin and Lawley, 168, Strand. 

Novra, 95, Regent Street. 

Redmond, 360, Albany Road, CamberwelL 

All the above issue printed price-lists, which they will forward to 
any quarter on application ; and though the prices quoted (as perhaps 
is naturally to be expected in a quasi-monopoly) are occasionally rather 
high, the professor or skilled amateur will rarely — we speak from per- 
sonal experience of several of the dealers named — have occasion to 
complain of other than liberal treatment. Among minor dealers we 
may specially mention Professor Hellis, of 13, Silver Street, Ken- 
sington (already alluded to in connection with some clever card 
sleights), at whose hands any purchaser may be sure of receiving 
uniform courtesy, good value, and sound practical instruction. 

The novice must be warned against imagining that, when he has 
got into the region of apparatus, the necessity for personal address 
and dexterity will be diminished. On the contrary, there is hardly a 
trick among those we are about to describe which does not demand 
more or less practical knowledge of sleight-of-hand. We shall 
assume, in the following pages, that the reader has carefully followed 
and studied the directions already given, in which case he will find 
little difficulty in this portion of the work. 

The Magic Sword. A Card being drawn and replaced, 
and the Pack flung in the Air, to catch the chosen Card 
om the point op the Sword. — We have already described a trick 
somewhat similar in effect, in which, the pack being flung in the air, 
the chosen card is caught in the hand of the performer. The trick in 
this form makes a very good prelude to the still more surprising one 
which we are about to describe. 

It will be remembered, that, in the trick above mentioned, an 
ordinary pack is used, and the spectator is allowed to draw whatever 
card he pleases. The card, when returned, is brought to the top by 



i» MODERN MAGIC. 

the pass, and palmed; and, though supposed to be caught amid the 
falling shower, in reality never leaves the band of the performer. 
The audience may possibly have a suspicion of this, and you may 
hear a faint murmur to the effect that " he had the card in his hand ! " 
and so on. When this occurs, it serves as a very natural introduction 
to the trick with the 
sword. You say, "Ah! 
you fancy I had the 
card in my hand? I 
will repeat the trick, is 
order to show you that 
yon are mistaken. Will 
some one be kind 
enough to draw ano- 
ther card i Thank you. 
Don't return the card 
to me, but put it back 
in the pack yourself. 
Now be kind enough 
to shuffle thoroughly. 
You cannot say I have 
the card in my hand 
this time, at all events. 
Excuse me one instant, 
while I fetch my magic 
sword." You go be- 
hind your screen, and 
return, holding in yonr 
hand a drawn sword. 
Yon place yourself in 
fencing attitude, and, 
addressing the person 
who holds the cards, say, " I am going to give you the words, one ! two! 
three ! At the word ' three ! ' will you please throw the cards in the 
air, so as to fall lightly on the point of my sword, when I will pick 
out with the point the identical card you drew. Spread the cards a 
little in a fan shape before you throw them, so that I may get a fair 



MODERN MAGIC. 123 



sight of them. Are you ready ? One, two, three ! *' At the word 
three, the cards are thrown, the performer makes a lunge among 
them, and a card is instantly seen fluttering on the point of the sword, 
and, on examination, is fonnd to be the very card which was drawn. 

The secret of this surprising feat lies mainly in the sword. This 
is an ordinary small-sword (see Fig. 41), with a three-sided rapier 
blade, but altered in a particular way for the purpose of the trick. 
The tip of the blade (see Fig. 42) is cut off at about a third of an 
inch distance from the extreme point, and across the concave side of 
this tip, and also across the corresponding part of the shortened blade, 
are soldered minute cross-pieces of brass, each bent outwards in the 
middle, so as to form, with the concavity of the blade, a kind of eye 
just large enough to admit freely a piece of thin black elastic cord, 
the other end of which is passed through a similar small hole in the 
guard of the hilt. The elastic thus lies along the hollow side of the 
Wade, passing through the two " eyes* 9 already mentioned, and is kept 
in position by a knot at each end. The tension of the elastic holds 
the moveable tip in its natural position at the end of the blade. It 
may, however, be drawn away from it in any direction as far as the 
elastic will permit, but, when released, immediately flics back to its 
old position. On the same side of the hilt — viz., the side farthest 
away from the palm of the hand when grasping the sword (see 
Pig* 43) — is Axed a fiat, oblong piece of tin, painted black, with its 
longer edges folded over about half ah inch on each side, in such 
manner as to form a receptacle for a card. 

Unless you are tolerably expert in forcing, you will also require 
some forcing cards of the same pattern as the ordinary pack you 
have in use. These, however, need not be a full pack, a dozen cards 
alike being amply sufficient for your purpose. You commence your 
preparations by taking one of the cards of the forcing pack, cut a 
small slit in its centre with a penknife, and thrust completely through 
it the moveable tip of the sword (taking care not to enlarge the hole 
more than absolutely necessary), and place the sword thus prepared 
out of sight of the audience, but so as to be easily got at when you 
want it Have your forcing cards in your pocket, or somewhere where 
you can lay your hand on them without attracting observation, and 
your ordinary pack on the table. You may begin by remarking, " Let 



124 MODERN MAGIC. 



me ask 70a to take particular notice that I perform this trick with 
whatever card you choose, not influencing your choice in any waj. 
To show you that I don't compel you to take any particular card, I 
will just take a handful of cards from the top of the pack " (as you 
say this you place your forcing cards, which you have previously 
palmed, for an instant on the top of the ordinary pack, immediately 
taking them off again, as if they had formed part of it, and were the 
handful of cards you referred to, and offer them to some one to draw). 
" Take whichever you please — first card, last card, middle card, it is 
precisely the same to me. Observe that I don't attempt to press upon 
you any particular card, but hold the cards perfectly motionless while 
you make your choice." As soon as a card is drawn, without waiting 
for it to be replaced, return to your table, holding the remaining 
forcing cards in your left hand. Pick up the pack with your right 
hand. Place it on the cards in your left hand, at the same moment 
making the pass to bring these cards to the top. Palm these (with 
the right hand), and, dropping them into your profonde, or elsewhere 
out of sight, advance with the pack to the person who drew, and 
request him to replace his card, and shuffle thoroughly. While 
he does so, you retire to fetch your sword, as before mentioned. 
Before returning to the audience, you prepare it as follows : — Taking 
it in your right hand in the ordinary manner, you draw down with 
the other hand the pierced card, and slide the card endways into the 
receptacle on the hilt. The elastic, which is now stretched to double 
its ordinary length, will pull at the card pretty tightly 5 but you retain 
it in position by pressing on the face of the card with the second and 
third fingers of the hand that grasps the hilt. Having done this, you 
return to the audience, taking care so to stand that the back of the 
hand that holds the sword shall be towards them. When the cards 
are flung in the air, as already described, you make a lunge among 
them, and at the same moment relax the pressure of the fingers on 
the pierced card. The elastic, being thus released, flies rapidly back 
to its original position, and carries the moveable tip, and with it the 
card, to the end of the blade, by which the card appears to be trans- 
fixed, as in Fig. 41. The movement of the sword in the lunge, coupled 
with that of the falling cards, completely covers the rapid flight of 
the pierced card from hilt to point. To get the card off 1 the sword^ 



MODERN MAGIC. 125 



pall it down the blade, and tear it roughly off. When yon have taken 
off the card, drop the point of the sword, and hand the card at once 
to the drawer for examination. This serves to divert attention, not 
only from the sword itself, but also from the cards scattered on the 
ground, among which the one actually drawn still remains. 

This trick is sometimes performed with three cards instead of one. 
The working of the trick is the same, save that you use a forcing pack 
consisting of three cards repeated, and that in preparing the sword 
the two first cards which are threaded on the elastic are perforated 
with holes of such a size, as to allow them, when released, to slide 
partially down the blade, the first nearly to the hilt, and the second 
about half way. 

Thb Rising Cards (La HouletteJ. — Several Cards having 

BIBN DRAWN, RETURNED, AND SHUFFLED, TO MAKE THEM RISE 

spontaneously prom thb Pack. — This is one of the best of card 
tricks. The performer advances, pack in hand, to the company. He 
invites three persons each to draw a card. The cards having been 
drawn, they are replaced in different parts of the pack, which is 
thoroughly shuffled. The performer then places the pack in a tin box 
or case, just large enough to hold it in an upright position. This 
case is generally in the form of a lyre, open in front and at the top, 
and supported on a shaft or pillar, twelve or fifteen inches high (see 
Fig. 44). He then asks each person in succession to call for his card, 
which is forthwith seen to rise slowly from the pack, without any 
visible assistance, the performer standing quite apart. 

The ingenuity of different professors has added little embellish- 
ments of a humorous character. For instance, the performer may 
remark, addressing one of the persons who drew, "I will not 
even ask the name of your card, sir. You have only to say, ' I 
command the card I drew to appear,' and you will be obeyed." He 
does so, but no effect is produced; the cards remain obstinately 
motionless. The command is repeated, but with the same result. 
The performer feigns' embarrassment, and says, " I must really apolo- 
gize for the disobedience of the cards. I cannot tell how it is ; they 
never behaved in this way before. I am afraid I must ask you to 
name the card, after all, when I will try my own authority .*' The 



126 MODERN MAGIC. 



card proves to have been a queen, say the queen of spades* "Oh/* 
the performer says, " that quite explains it. Queens are not accus- 
tomed to be ordered about in such a peremptory manner. If we try 
again in becoming language, I dare say we shall be more successful 
Let us try the experiment. Say, * Will your Majesty oblige the com- 
pany by appearing ? " Thus propitiated, the card rises instandy. 
Occasionally a knave is one of the cards drawn, and, when summoned, 
scandalizes the performer by appearing feet foremost. He is appro- 
priately rebuked, and thrust down again by the professor, upon which 
he immediately reappears in a proper attitude. Sometimes a card, 
after coming up half way, begins to retire again, but at the command 
of the performer starts afresh, and rises completely out of the pack. 

These apparently surprising effects are produced by very simple 
means. In the first place, the cards which rise from the pick are not 
those actually drawn, but duplicates of them, arranged beforehand. 
The performer ensures the corresponding cards being drawn by using 
a forcing pack, made up of repetitions of the three cards in ques- 
tion, which we will suppose to be the queen of spades, the ten of 
hearts, and the seven of diamonds, with some other single card at the 
bottom. The tin case, in the original form of the trick, has two 
compartments — the one to the front being large enough to hold a 
complete pack, but the hinder one adapted to contain six or eight 
cards only. In this hinder compartment are placed six cards, three of 
them being those which are intended to rise, and the other three 
indifferent cards. A black silk thread is fastened to the upper edge 
of the partition between the two compartments, and is thence brought 
under the foremost card (which is, say, the queen of spades), over the 
next (an indifferent card), under the third (the ten of hearts), over 
the fourth (an indifferent card), under the fifth (the seven of dia- 
monds), over the sixth (an indifferent card), finally passing out 
through a minute hole at the bottom of the hinder compartment If 
the thread be pulled, the three cards named will rise in succession, 
beginning with the hindmost — viz., the seven of diamonds. The 
three indifferent cards are put in as partitions, or fulcrums, for the 
thread to run over. If these partitions were omitted, the three 
chosen cards would rise all together. 

The thread may be drawn in various ways. Sometimes this is 



MODERN MAGIC. 127 

done by the performer himself, standing behind or beside the table. 
Another plan is to hare the thread attached to a small cylindrical 
weight within the pillar, which is made hollow, and filled with sand. 
The weight rests on ths sand until the operator desires the cards to 

rise, when, by moving a trigger at the 

foot of the pillar, he opens a valve, 
which allows the sand to trickle slowly 
down into a cavity at the base ; and the 
weight, being thus deprived of its sup- 
port, gradually sinks down, and pulls 
the thread. (The pillar in this case is 
made about two feet high, as the weight 
most necessarily travel sis times the 
length of a card.) Others, again, draw 
the thread by means of a clockwork 
arrangement in the table, or in the pillar 
itself, answering the same purpose as 
the sand and weights. The arrange- 
ment which we ourselves prefer, where 
practicable, is to have the thread drawn 
by an assistant, who may either be 
placed behind a screen, or may even 
stand in full view of the audience, so 
long as he is at some little distance from 
the table. The silk thread is quite 
invisible, if only yon have a tolerably 
dark background. The only portion as 
to which yon need feel any anxiety is 
that immediately connected with the 
cards. To conceal this it is well, if yon 
use a special table, to have a small hole 
bored in the top, through which the 
thread may pass. The card-stand being 
placed immediately in front of the hole, F, °- **• 

the thread will pass perpendicularly downward for the first portion 
of its length, and will thus be concealed behind the pillar. In default 
of a hole, a ring of bent wire attached to the table will answer the 



ia8 MODERN MAGIC. 



same purpose. The great advantage of having the thread palled by 
a living person instead of a mechanical power is, that you can take 
jour own time in the performance of the trick ; whereas, if you use 
a weight or clockwork, there is always a danger of a card beginning 
to rise before you have called for it, or possibly not rising at all — 
either contingency being rather embarrassing. 

In the latest and best form of the trick, the second compartment 
of the case is dispensed with, and the apparatus may be handed round 
for examination both before and after it is used. In this case three 
cards are forced and returned as already mentioned; but the per- 
former, as he reaches his table, adroitly exchanges the forcing pack 
for another already prepared, and placed on the servante if a regular 
conjuring- table is used, or, if not, concealed behind some object on 
the table. This pack is prepared as follows : — The last six cards are 
arranged with the thread travelling in and out between them, just 
as the six cards in the hinder compartment were in the older form of 
the trick. A knot is made in the silk thread, which is hitched into a 
notch an eighth of an inch deep, made in the lower edge of the sixth 
card. The knot prevents the thread from slipping, but does not 
interfere with its being instantaneously detached when, the trick 
being over, you hand the whole apparatus, cards and all, to be ex- 
amined. 

Some performers use no stand or pillar for the card-case, but fix 
it by a short plug projecting for that purpose on its under side, 
in a decanter of water on the table. Some, again, in order to exclude 
all apparent possibility of mechanical aid, fasten it on the top of a 
common broomstick, fixed in the floor of the stage, and broken over 
the performer's knee at the conclusion of the trick. To our own 
taste, the trick is best performed without any special card-case what- 
ever, the pack being placed in an ordinary glass goblet with upright 
sides, first handed round to the audience for inspection. It is here 
absolutely self-evident that the glass can give no mechanical assist- 
ance | and as the audience know nothing of the exchange of the 
packs, the immediate rising of the cards at the word of command 
appears little short of miraculous. 

It only remains to explain the modus operandi of the little varia- 
tions before alluded to. The offended dignity of the queen, declin- 



MODERN MAGIC. 129 



rag to appear when summoned in too cavalier a manner, is accounted, 
for by the fact that the performer or his assistant refrains from pull- 
ing the thread until the offender has adopted a more respectful tone. 
The phenomenon of the knave first appearing feet foremost, and 
then invisibly turning himself right end uppermost, is produced by 
the use of two knaves, the first (i.e., hindmost) being placed upside 
down, and the second (with an indifferent card between) in its proper 
position. When the performer pushes the first knave down again, 
with a request that it will rise in a more becoming attitude, he 
thrusts it down, not as he appears to do, in the same place which it 
originally occupied, but among the loose cards forming the front 
portion of the pack, thus getting it out of the way, and allowing 
the thread to act on the second knave. It is hardly necessary to 
observe that, for producing this particular effect, the cards must be of 
the old-fashioned single-headed pattern. The alternate ascent and 
descent of a given card is produced by using a card at whose lower 
edge, between the back and front of the card, is inserted a slip of 
lead-foil. The card, so weighted, sinks down of itself as soon as 
the pull of the thread is relaxed, and may be thus made to rise 
and fall alternately, as often as the operator chooses, and finally, by a 
quick, sharp jerk, to jump right out of the pack. 

Another very telling incident is the transformation of an eight to 
a seven, or a seven to a six. A seven of spades, say, has been one of 
the drawn cards, but when it is summoned an eight of spades appears. 
The performer apologizes for the mistake, and, giving the card a touch 
of his wand, shows it instantly transformed to a seven. This is 
effected by sticking (with a little bees'-wax) a loose spade pip in the 
appropriate position on an ordinary seven of spades. The performer 
takes out the supposed eight with one hand, and thence transfers it to 
the other. In so doing he draws off, with the hand which first held 
the card, the loose pip, and, holding the card face downwards, touches 
it with the wand, and shows that it has apparently changed to the 
card drawn. 

There is a mode of performing the trick of the rising cards en- 
tirely without apparatus, and without the necessity of forcing par- 
ticular cards. The performer in this case invites a person to draw a 
card, and when it is returned makes the pass to bring it to the top of 

9 



130 MODERN MAGIC. 

the pack. He then makes a false shuffle, leaving it on the top, and 
offers the pack to a second person to draw. When he has done so, 
Hud before he replaces the card, the performer makes the pass to bring 
the card first drawn to the middle, so that the 
second card is placed upon it, and then again i' 
makes the pass to bring both together to the 
top. The process may be repeated with a third 
card. The three cards are thus left at the top of 
the pack, that last drawn being the outermost. 
The performer now asks each person, beginning 
with the last who drew, to name his card, and, 
holding the pack upright in his right hand, the 
thumb on one side, and the third and fourth 
fingers on the other, with the face of the pack to 
the audience (see Fig. 45), he causes the cards 
to rise one by one by pushing them up from the 
back by an alternate movement of the first and 
second fingers (which should previously be 
slightly moistened). If the face of the cards is 
F10. 45. ne ld fairly to the spectators, it will be impossible 

for them to discover that the cards do not rise 
from the middle of the pack. 

We have been more prolix than we could have desired in the 
description of this trick, but minute details are the very soul of con- 
juring. The experience of Horace, " Brew esse talon, obscurusjio" 
applies with peculiar force to the magic art ; and if we occasionally 
irritate the reader of quick apprehension by too great minuteness, he 
must remember that we have, as far as we can, to anticipate every 
possible question, and that a single point left unexplained may render 
useless an otherwise careful description. 

Tub Jumping Cards. — Two or three Cards haviho bees 

DRAWN, RETURNED, AND SHUFFLED, TO MAKE THEM JUMP OUT OF 

the Pack. — This trick is somewhat similar in working to that of the 
rising cards as performed in the hand, which we have just described. 
The course of the two tricks is precisely the same up to the point 
when, the two or three cards having betn drawn and returned, you 



MODERN MAGIC. 



13" 



have got tbem all to the top of the pack. Here, however, the resem- 
blance ceases. In the present case you drop the whole pack into an 
open-mouthed box, made for that purpose, and announce that, although 
the chosen cards have been replaced in different parts of the pack, and 
the whole have since been thoroughly shuffled, you have only to blow 
upon them in order to separate them visibly from the rest of the pack. 
Yon blow upon the box accordingly, when the chosen cards in- 
stantly fly out of the pack, rising to a height of three or four feet, and 
fall on the table. 

The secret of the trick, apart from the sleight-of-hand necessary 
to bring the chosen cards together at the top of the pack, lies in the 
box. It U in general ap- 
pearance something like 
a miniature pedestal for a 
statue, but hollow, and 
open at the top, the cavity 
being rather more than 
large enough to hold a 
pack of cards. (SetFig 4^.) 
Itis divided longitudinally 
into two compartments, 

the foremost being large FlG ' * 6, 

enough to hold a whole 
pack, the hindmost to 
bold only three or four 
cards, the partition be- 
tween the two coming 
about half way up the 
box. The bottom of the 
larger compartment is 
Wei with the top of the 
plinth, but the smaller is 
open to the whole depth, save that across it 
half an inch in width. Fig. 47 represents a se 




Fro. 47- 



FfC. 48. 



a steel spring about 
on of the apparatus, 
A being the upper part, of which a is the larger or front compart- 
ment, and b the smaller compartment at the back. B is the plinth. 
A is so constructed as to slide forwards on, or rather in, 6, to the 



132 MODERN MAGIC. 



extent of about an eighth of an inch, bat is prevented doing so, in 
the normal condition of the apparatus, by the spring c, which is 
screwed to the bottom of A, its free end pressing against the side of 
the plinth. If, however, the spring be pressed down from above, so 
as to be below the level of the shoulder d (for which purpose a thin 
slip of wood is supplied with the apparatus), and A be at the same 
time pushed towards d, it will slide forward to the position indicated 
in Fig. 48, and the spring c will be held down beneath the shoulder <f. 
This is the condition in which the apparatus is first exhibited to the 
audience. After turning it over, to show that there are no cards 
already concealed in it, the performer places in it the pack, first, 
however, slipping his little finger between the chosen cards (which 
are on the top) and the rest of the pack, so as to enable him to 
drop the chosen cards into the smaller compartment at the back, 
where they rest upon the bent spring. (See Fig. 48.) Standing behind 
the box, and placing his hands around the plinth, as if to hold it 
steady, the fingers of each hand being in front, and the thumb behind, 
he blows smartly upon the box, at the same moment pushing A for- 
ward with the thumbs to the position which it occupies in Fig. 47* 
The spring c, being drawn back with it beyond the shoulder d, is 
released, and instantly flies up to its old position, shooting out of the 
box the cards resting upon it. 

This trick is sometimes, like that of the rising cards, worked 
with a forcing pack, duplicates of the forced cards being placed before- 
hand in the hinder compartment. This method, however, is very 
inferior to that above described, and would hardly be adopted by 
any performer who had acquired a competent mastery of sleight-of- 
hand. 

To make a Card stand upright by itselp on the Table. — 
This is a little trick of hardly sufficient importance to be performed 
by itself 5 but as an incident introduced in the course of some more 
pretentious illusion, produces a very good effect. A great deal of 
the sparkle of a conjuring entertainment depends upon the performer's 
readiness in what may be called " by-play," consisting of a number of 
minor tricks not supposed to form part of the settled programme, but 
merely introduced incidentally, and used, as it were, as a garnish to 



MODERN MA G1C. 133 



the more important feats. Thus, when a coin, an egg, or other 
small article, is required for the purpose of a trick, the performer may 
fetch it openly from behind the scenes, or have it handed to him by 
bis servant; but this is a commonplace proceeding. The higher 
class of performers prefer in such cases to produce the article from 
the hair, whiskers, or pocket of one of the audience j and in like 
manner, when the article has served its purpose, to make it vanish 
by some magical process, rather than by the prosaic methods of 
every-day~4ife. These little incidents serve to keep the audience on 
the qui vive, and they farther assist materially in keeping up the 
continuity of an entertainment. In a thoroughly good performance 
the audience should have no time to think, but should be led direct 
from one surprise to the contemplation of another. 

The trick we are about to describe is of the class above alluded 
to. In the course of one or other of your card tricks, you have or 
make occasion to ask some person to go and place a given card on 
the table, or to examine a card already placed there. He does so, and 
is about to return to his place j but you check him. " No, sir, that 
won't do. I want everybody to see what card it is. Will you be 
good enough to stand it up on end, with its face to the company, so 
that everybody can see it." He looks foolish, and finally says that he 
can't do it. " Not do it ? " you reply. " My dear sir, it's the simplest 
thing in the world. Allow me! " and taking the card from him, you 
place it upright on the table, and leave it standing without any visible 
support. Taking it up again, you hand it round, to show that there is 
no preparation about it, and on receiving it back, again stand it up- 
right, but with the other end upwards ; or, if challenged, allow the 
audience themselves to choose a card, which you cause to stand alone 
with equal facility. 

The secret lies in the use of a very small and simple piece of 
apparatus, being, in fact, merely a strip of tin or sheet brass, an inch 
and a half in length, and five-eighths of an inch in width, bent at a 
shade less than a right angle — say 85 ; its shorter arm being one- 
third of its length. On the outer surface of the long arm is spread a 
thin layer of bees'-wax (made more adhesive by the addition of a small 
portion of Venice turpentine), and to the inner surface of the shorter 
arm is soldered a small piece of lead, about an eighth of an inch 



1 3 4 MODERN MA CIC. 

thick. When you desire to perform the trick, yon have this little 
appliance concealed in your right hand, the longer arm between the 
first and second fingers, and the shorter arm pointing towards the 
little finger. Picking up the card with the left hand, you transfer it 
to the right, taking bold 
of it in such manner that 
the fingers shall be be- 
hind and the thumb in 
front of the card. As 
you place the card on the 
table (which, by the way, 
must be covered with a 
cloth), you press against 
it (see Fig. +9) the waxed 
side of the slip of tin, 
which will slightly ad- 
here to it, and thus form 
a prop or foot, the little 
lump of lead acting as 
a counterpoise to the 
weight of the card. You 
F10. 49. pick it up with the same 

hand, and as you trans- 
fer it to the other, you will find no difficulty in removing and secret- 
ing between the fingers the little prop. 

If the wax is properly amalgamated, it should leave no mark on 
the card. 

Changing Card-boxes, and Tricks performed with them. 
— The changing card-box in its simplest form is a small flat box in 
walnut or mahogany. (See Fig. 49.) Its outside measurement is 
four inches by three, and not quite an inch deep. Inside it is just 
large enough to admit an ordinary- si zed playing card. The upper 
and lower portions of the box, which are connected by hinges, are 
exactly alike in depth, and each is polished externally, so that the box, 
which, when open, lies flat like a book, may be closed either way up - r 
and either portion will, according as it is placed, become box or lid 



MODERN MAGIC. 135 



in turn. Thus, by using a card which, unknown to the audience, has 
two faces — e.g., is an ace of hearts on the one side, and an ace of 
spades on the other— and placing such card in one side of the open 
box, you have only to close the box with that side uppermost, or to 
turn over the box as you place it on the table, to transform the card 
just shown into a different one. There is nothing in the appearance 
of the box itself to indicate that it has been turned, so to speak, 
wrong side up, and a very little practice will enable you to turn it 
over, as yon place it on the table, without attracting observation. 

There is a further appliance in connection with the box in ques- 
tion, which, however, may be used with or without it, as may best 
suit the trick in hand. This is a loose slab, a, of the same wood of 
which the interior of the box is 
made, of the thickness of card- 
board, and of such a size as to fit 
closely, though not tightly, in 
either half of the box. When so 
placed, it has the appearance of 
the inside top or bottom of the 
box. When the box is closed in 
such manner that the part in which 
this slab is placed is uppermost, 
the slab falls into the lower por- 
tion, thus forming a false bottom 
on whichever side happens to 
be undermost. If a card (say • Fig. 50. 

the ace of hearts) be secretly 

placed in either side of the box, and this slab placed on it, the box 
will appear empty. If now another card (say the knave of spades) 
be openly placed in either side, and the box closed in such manner 
that the portion containing the false bottom is undermost, no change 
will take place ; but if, either in closing the box or subsequently, it 
is so placed that the side containing the false bottom becomes upper- 
most, the false bottom will at once drop into the opposite division, 
and on re-opening the box the ace of hearts will be revealed, and the 
knave of spades will in its turn be concealed. The effect to the spec- 
tators is as if the knave of spades had changed into the ace of hearts. 



136 MODERN MAGIC. 



These card-boxes are frequently worked in pairs, as follows : — 
The boxes are prepared by placing a different card secretly in each, 
say an ace of hearts in the one, and a knave of spades in the other. 
The performer brings them forward to the company, each hanging 
wide open, and held by one corner only, with the first and second 
finger inside, and the thumb outside the box, taking care, however, to 
hold each by the side containing the false bottom, which is thus kept 
in position by the pressure of the fingers. So held, the boxes appear 
absolutely empty. Having drawn attention to the entire absence of 
any preparation, the performer lays them open upon the table, and, 
taking up a pack of cards, requests two of the company each to draw 
one. They, of course, imagine that they are making a free choice, 
but in reality he forces (either by sleight-of-hand, or by means of a 
forcing pack) the ace of hearts and the knave of spades. Again 
bringing forward the two boxes, he requests each person to place his 
card in one of them, taking care so to arrange that the person who 
has drawn the ace of hearts shall place it in the box already contain- 
ing the concealed knave of spades, and vice versd. Closing each box 
with the portion containing the false bottom uppermost, he now 
announces that at his command the cards will change places, which, 
on re-opening the boxes, they appear to have done. By again turn- 
ing over the boxes, they may be made to return to their original 
quarters. 

Numerous other good tricks may be performed with the aid of 
these boxes, which should form part of the collection of every con- 
juror. By placing a given card beforehand beneath the false bottoms 
and forcing a like card, you may allow the card drawn to be torn into 
twenty pieces, and yet, by placing the fragments in the box, or firing 
them at it from a pistol, restore the card instantly, as at first. In 
like manner, you may cause a given card to be found in the appa- 
rently empty box, or may cause a card openly placed therein to vanish 
altogether. The changing-box is also sometimes employed by those 
who are not proficient in sleight-of-hand, as a substitute for forcing, 
in the following manner : — The performer requests some person to 
draw a card, and, without looking at it, to place it face downwards in 
the box for supposed safe keeping. The box is presently opened by 
the same or some other person, who is requested to note what the 



MODERN MAGIC. 



*37 



card is. He does so, believing the card to be that which was drawn, 
and which he had just before seen placed in the box ; whereas the 
card he now examines is, in reality, one concealed beforehand in the 
box 07 the performer to suit his purpose, the card actually drawn 
being now hidden by the false bottom. 

Thb Mechanical Card-box. — This also is a piece of apparatus 
for changing a chosen card to another. It is somewhat the same in 
principle as the card-boxes last described, but differs from them a 
good deal in detail. It is an oblong wooden box, in external measure- 
ment about four and a half inches by three and a half, and four inches 
high. Internally, the measurement is so arranged that, putting the 
lid out of the question, the front of the box is of exactly equal 
area with the bottom. 
Against this front (see 
Fig. 51) lies a slab of 
tin or zinc, working on 
a cloth hinge along its 
lover edge, thus ren- 
dering it capable of 
either lying flat on 
the bottom of the 
box (which it exactly 
covers), or of being 
folded up against the 
front, the upper edge 
of which projects slightly inwards, so as to aid in concealing it. 
This flap, like the whole inside of the box, is painted black. On one 
point of its upper surface is a little stud, which, when the flap is 
raised, fits into a hole prepared for it in the lock, across which passes 
the hinder end or tail of the bolt. The box is prepared for use as 
follows : — The key is turned, as if locking the box (which, however, 
is held open), thus pushing forward the bolt of the lock, and the flap 
is lifted up against the front, the stud passing into the little hole 
before-mentioned. The key is then again turned as if unlocking the 
box, when the tail of the boh catches the stud, and secures the flap. 
The box will in this condition bear any amount of examination, but 




Fio. 5a. 



1 38 MODERN MA GIC. 



as soon as it is closed, and the key turned to lock it, the tail of the 
bolt, being again shot forward, no longer retains the stud, and tbe 
flap falls. When in actual use, a card (say the ace of spades) is 
placed upon the flap, and folded up with it against the front of tbe 
box. The card to be changed (suppose the nine of diamonds) is in 
due course openly placed in the box, which is then handed to some 
one with a request that he will himself lock it, that there may be no 
possibility of deception. The trick proceeds, and when the box is 
again opened, the card placed therein is found transformed to the 
ace of spades. 

Some card-boxes are so made, that the flap, instead of falling 
actually upon the bottom of the box, falls parallel to it, but at a dis- 
tance of an inch or so above it, leaving a hollow space beneath capable 
of containing a lady's handkerchief, a canary, or any other small 
article, which, being covered by the falling flap, is thus apparently 
changed into a card. The box in this case is somewhat taller in pro- 
portion than that above described. 

The "Card and Bird" Box. — This is, in form and general 
appearance, similar to that form of the card- box last above described 
(that which has an enclosed space beneath the flap), but its working 
is precisely the converse — i.e., the normal condition of the flap in this 
case is to lie folded against the back of the box, against which it is 
pressed by the action of a spring. It may, however, be folded down 
so as to lie parallel with the bottom, a little catch projecting from the 
inner surface of the front, holding it in that position. (See Fig. 52.) 
The lock is in this case a mere sham, having neither key nor keyhole, 
but a little stud projecting from the lower edge of the lid, and repre- 
senting the "staple" of the lock, presses, when the box is closed, 
upon an upright pin passing through the thickness of tbe wood up the 
front of the box, and thereby withdraws the catch, when the flap flies 
up, concealing the card which has just been placed upon it, and reveal- 
ing the bird or other object which had previously been concealed 
beneath it. 

The same principle is sometimes applied to the " card-box," the 
flap when u set " lying flat on the bottom of the box, leaving no hollow 
space below. 



MODERN MA GIC. 1 39 

The Card Tarpon. — This is a miniature table, standing five or 
six inches high. It has a round top of about the same diameter, sup- 
ported on a tripod foot. It is pro\ ided with an ornamental cover of 
tin or pasteboard, shaped somewhat like the top of a coffee-pot, just 
large enough to fit neatly over the top of the table, and about an 
inch deep. The table has a false top, made of tin, but japanned to 
match the real top, and of such a size as to fit tightly within the 
cover. If the false top be laid upon the true one, -and the cover placed 
over both, the cover will, on being again removed, carry with it the 
false top, and leave exposed the real one, which, however, the audi* 
ence take to be that which they have already seen. 

The reader will already have perceived that the card-tripod is, in 
effect, very similar to, the changing card-box. Like the card-box,* it 
may be used either singly or in pairs, and the tricks performed by its 
aid will be nearly the same. Thus two forced cards drawn by the 
audience may be made to change places from one tripod to another, a 
card drawn and destroyed may be reproduced from its own ashes, or 
a card drawn and placed on the tripod may be made to vanish alto- 
gether, the drawn card being in each case laid upon the false top, that 
to which it is to be apparently transformed having been previously 
placed under the false and upon the true top. A card once changed, 
however, cannot be restored to its original condition, and the card- 
tripod is, therefore, in this respect inferior to the card- box. 

Th£ "Torn Card." — This is a very effective trick. The per- 
former requests some one of the company to draw a card, and, having 
done so, to tear it up into any number of fragments. He does so, and 
hands them to the operator, who returns one corner to him, with a 
request that he will take particular care of it. The performer an- 
nounces that out of the torn fragments he will restore the card anew, 
for which purpose he first burns the fragments on a plate or otherwise, 
carefully preserving the ashes. He then brings forward one of the 
changing card-boxes already described, and, after, showing that it is 
empty, closes it, and places it on the table in view of all present. He 
next takes the ashes of the torn card, and, loading a pistol with them, 
fires at the box. (If he has not a pistol at hand, placing the ashes on 
the box, rubbing them on the lid, or any other act which gets rid of 



i4» MODERN MAGIC. 

them will answer the same purpose.) When the box is opened, the cud 
is f 'und whole as at first, with the exception of one corner, being (osten- 
sibly ) that which was retained by the drawer. Taking this piece in 
bis right band, and holding the card by one corner between the thumb 
and first finger of his left hand (see Pig. 53), the performer makes 1 
motion as if throwing the small piece towards it. The small piece 
instantly vanishes from his hand, and at the same moment tbe card is 
seen to be completely restored, the torn corner being in its proper 
place. Some performers, 
instead of giving the 
drawer the torn coma 
to take charge of in tbe 
first instance, bum os- 
tensibly the whole of the 
pieces, and pretend sur- 
prise on finding thit 
there is a comer miss- 
ing when the card is 
restored. Directly after- 
wards, however, they 
pick up tbe missing frag- 
ment from the flow, 
where they have just 
previously dropped it, 
F,c " S3- F«J. «• an d the trick proceeds 

as already described. 
The reader will, no doubt, already have conjectured that the card 
drawn is a forced one, and that the supposed restored card was con- 
cealed beforehand under the false bottom of tbe card-box. This 
pretended restored card is, in reality, an ingenious though simple 
piece of apparatus, constructed as follows : — A piece of tin is cot to 
the exact size and shape of a card ; out of this, at one of the corners, 
is cut an oblong piece, measuring about one inch by five-eighths. 
This piece is attached by a spring hinge, a a, on one side of it, to the 
larger piece of tin, in such manner that it can be folded back («r 
Fig. 54) flat against it ; the action of tbe Spring, however, bringing it 
back again, when released, to its original position. To this piece of 



MODERN MAGIC. 141 



tin is soldered lengthways a narrow tail-piece, of such a length as to 
extend nearly to the opposite end of the larger piece of tin. This 
tail-piece forms a kind of handle wherewith to bend back the smaller 
piece of tin on its binge, and at the same time acts as a check to 
prevent the action of the spring pressing the smaller piece beyond 
the plane of the larger one. A playing card is split in two in order to 
reduce its thickness, and the face of the card thus reduced is pasted 
on the front of the larger piece of tin. Previously, however, a piece, 
somewhat smaller than the little moveable flap, is torn out of one cor- 
ner, and pasted on the flap in such a manner that, when the latter is 
released, the torn piece will occupy its proper position with respect to 
the remainder of the card, which will thus appear complete. When, 
however, the moveable flap is folded back, and so held by the pressure 
of the forefinger upon the tail-piece, the torn portion of the card will 
be folded back with it, as in Fig. 54. When the mechanical card is 
placed in the box, it should be thus folded back, and kept in position 
by a little bit of thin wire, half an inch long, and bent into a miniature 
staple or clip, which, slipped over the end of the tail-piece and the ad- 
joining edge of tin, will effectually hold the flap back, and yet may be 
got rid of in an instant, when the forefinger is ready to take its place. 
Yon must take care so to place the card in the box as to be face upper- 
most when the box is opened, as the audience must not, of course, 
see the back. When you desire to make the card complete, you have 
only to slip aside the forefinger, and thus release the moveable flap. 

There are torn cards now made entirely of pasteboard, dispensing 
with the tin plate at the back. This is a decided improvement 

As to the disappearance of the loose corner from your hand, yon 
will find little difficulty when yon have learnt the art of coin-palming, 
to be hereafter explained. Assuming that you have at present no 
knowledge on this subject, you may proceed as follows : — Take the bit 
of card between the forefinger and thumb of your right hand, and as 
you make the nv <tion of throwing it towards the mechanical card, push 
it with the ball of the thumb between the first or second joints of the 
first and middle fingers. This releases the thumb, and the inside of 
your band being turned away from your audience, you run little risk 
of discovery, particularly as the same piece, apparently, is now seen 
in its proper place as part of the restored card. 



142 MODERN MAGIC. 



We must not omit to mention that there is a mode of performing 
the "torn card*' trick in which the use of the mechanical card is 
dispensed with. In this case the performer secretly takes an ordinary 
card, say the knave of spades, and tears off one corner, which he care- 
fully preserves. The card thus mutilated he places in a card-box, or 
other similar piece of apparatus. Pack in hand, he advances to the 
company, and " forces " the knave of spades, having, meanwhile, the 
little corner piece of the concealed card hidden between the second 
and third lingers of his right hand. The card having been drawn, 
he requests the drawer to tear it up, and place the pieces on a plate, 
which he hands him for that purpose. Having received the pieces, 
he says carelessly, " You had better keep one piece for the purpose of 
identification f and, so saying, hands him apparently one of the frag- 
ments of the card just torn, but really the, concealed corner piece, 
which he drops from his hand on the plate for that purpose in the very 
act of picking up. The trick then proceeds as already described up 
to the finding of the card partially restored, in which condition it is 
handed to the drawer, and its identity proved by showing that the 
torn edge exactly corresponds with the corner retained. The trick 
may either end here, or, by using a second card-box, card-tripod, or 
the like, the card and corner may be again changed for a complete 
card. 

Mechanical Changing Cards. — These are of two or three 
kinds, but all have the same object — viz., the apparent transformation 
of the card to a different one. In some cases the change is from a 
court card of one suit to the same card of another suit — e.g., a king 
of spades to a king of hearts, involving merely the alteration of the 
pip in the corner. This is effected by having the card made double, 
that portion of the front card on which the pip should be being cut 
out. The hindmost card, which is pasted only round the extreme 
edge to the front one, is a plain white card, but with the appropriate 
pip, say a spade, neatly painted in the proper position, to allow of its 
showing through the opening in the front card, which thus has the 
appearance of an ordinary king of spades. Between the two cards 
h a moveable slip, worked by a pin through a slip in the back, on 
which is painted a heart pip. By moving this slip, the heart is in 



MODERN MAGIC. 



U3 



turn brought opposite the opening, covering the spade pip, so that the 
card now appears to be the king of hearts. The card as above de- 
scribed is of the did single-headed pattern, but the same principle 
may be applied to double-headed cards. In this case both of the 
"pip" portions of the front card are cut away as in Fig. 55, while 
on the upper corre- 
sponding portion of the 
hinder card is painted 
(say) a spade, and on 
the lower a heart, as 
in Fig. 56. The move- 
able slip is of such a 
shape and size as to 
cover the one or the 
other, according as it 



1 


pi 

1 & 


9 '" 







m 





Fig. SS- 



F[G. 57. 



is drawn ap or down; and on the upper part of this (see Fig. 57) is 
painted a heart, and on the lower a spade. When, therefore, the slip 
is poshed up, the heart pip on the slip and the heart pip on the hind- 
most card are shown, so that the card appears to be a king of hearts. 
When, on the other hand, the slip is drawn down, the spade pip of 
the hinder card is revealed, and at the same time the slip covers over 
the heart pip of this latter, and exhibits its own spade pip, giving the 
card the appearance of a king of spades. 

These mechanical cards are used in various ways. Such a card 
may be introduced with good effect in the trick of the "rising cards," 
before described. The king of spades, we will suppose, is one of the 
cards drawn. The changing card is made one of those which rise 
from the pack, but is so arranged as to appear as the king of 
hearts. When the king of spades is called for, this card rises. The 
performer feigns to be taken by surprise, and asks the person who 
drew the card whether he is sure he is not mistaken, and that the 
card he drew was not the king of hearts. The drawer naturally 
maintains the correctness of his own recollection, while the performer 
as stoutly insists that the cards never deceive him, and that if the 
king uf spades had been drawn, the king of spades would infallibly 
have risen when called. At last, as if tired of the dispute, he says, 
" Well, I still maintain you were mistaken ; but as you insist that 



144 MODERN MAGIC. 



your card was the king of spades, why, we will make this into a king 
of spades/* So saying, and holding up the card between his middle 
finger and thumb, he touches its face with his wand, and at the same 
moment with the first finger moves the slide, when the card changes 
to the king of spades. The little dispute as to the supposed mistake, 
which the audience have hitherto believed to be genuine, gives to the 
transformation an impromptu air which is very effective. The per- 
former may go on to say, still holding up the card, " You are quite 
satisfied now, I presume." The drawer assents. " Then if so, as it 
would spoil my pack to have two kings of spades in it, you will allow 
me, before proceeding further, to change the card back again. 
Change ! " Again he touches the card with his wand, and it is seen 
to change back again to the king of hearts. 

Another mode of using the mechanical card is in conjunction 
with the changing card-boxes, above described. In this case the 
changing cards are used in pairs. One of them, arranged as the king 
of spades, is secretly placed in the one box, and the other, arranged 
as the king of hearts, in the other. Two of the spectators are re- 
quested each to draw a card, and two genuine kings of the same 
respective suits are forced upon them. Taking the cards so drawn, 
and showing the card boxes apparently empty, the performer places 
one of the cards in each, taking care to place the king of hearts in 
the box containing the ostensible king of spades, and vice versd. He 
now commands the two cards to change places, and, opening the 
boxes, shows that his commands are obeyed. He then remaiks, 
" Now, I dare say you all think that the trick depends on the boxes. 
To show you that it is not so, I will again order the cards to change; 
and this time 1 will not place them in the boxes, but will merely take 
one in each hand, so. If your eyes are quick enough, you will see 
the cards fly across from the one hand to the other. Observe, the 
k ; ng of spades is in my right hand, and the king of hearts in my 
left. One, two, three — Change ! " (with a stamp and a slight flourish 
of the cards). " Did you see them fly ? Here is the king of hearts 
in my right hand, and the king of spades has passed to my left. I 
will pot them in the boxes once more.*' You put each in the box 
which it before occupied, in doing so again making the change, but 
without closing the boxes. You continue, " Please to notice which 



MODERN MAGIC. 14; 

I pat in each box — the king of hearts in the right hand box, and the 
king of spades in the left hand box. Is that right ? " The audience 
reply in the affirmative. " Excuse me," you say, " I fear yon are 
mistaken. Yon did not notice, perhaps, that the cards had changed 
again." Yon show that this is so, and then close the boxes so as 
to bring the cards originally drawn uppermost. Opening them once 
more, yon show that the cards have again changed, and then remark, 
"I have shown yon that the secret does not lie in the boxes, perhaps 
yon would like to satisfy yourselves that there is no preparation 
abont the cards," which you accordingly hand for examination. 

Another form of changing card is known as a '* flap card." This 
is a card across whose centre is fixed a moveable flap of exactly half 
its size. When the flap is folded one way, 
k covers the upper half, and when it is folded 
the other way the lower half of the card, in 
each case revealing a different surface. (See 
Fig. 38 .) On one of such surfaces is pasted, 
say, a queen of clubs (made thin by peeling 
off the back), and on the other surface, say, 
■ nine of diamonds, prepared in like manner. 
Thus the card will appear, according as the 
nap is folded, alternately a queen of clubs or 
nine of diamonds. An indiarubber spring ' 5 

tends to draw the flap down, so that the normal condition of the card 
is to appear as, say, the nine of diamonds. When exhibited to the 
company, the flap is forced over in the opposite direction, so that the 
card appears to be the queen of clubs. The thumb and finger hold 
the flip down until the right moment, when they relax their pressure, 
and the flap flying up, the card is instantly transformed to the nine 
of diamonds. 



MODERN MAGIC. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Principles of Slbight- op-hand mors xspxuiai.lt afpliculi 
to Coin Tricks. 

Before attempting tricks with coin, it will be necessary for the stu- 
dent to practise certain sleights and passes which more especially 
belong to this particular branch of the magic art, though tbe 
sleight-of-hand used in "coin tricks" is more or less applicable to 
most other small objects. Hie principles which we have given 




Fig. S9- Tia - 6* 

for card tricks will not here be of any direct assistance to the 
Student; but tbe readiness of hand and eye which he will haw 
acquired, if he has diligently put in practice the instructions already 
given, will be of great value to him as a preliminary training, 
and it may safely be predicted that any person who is a first-rate 
performer with cards will find little difficulty in any other branch 
of the art. 



MODERN MAGIC. 147 



The first faculty which the novice must seek to acquire is that of 
" palmiog " — uc, secretly holding an object in the open hand by the 
contraction of the palm. To acquire this power, take a half-crown, 
florin, or penny (these being the roost convenient in point of size), 
and lay it on the palm of the open hand. (See Fig. 59.) Now close 
the hand very slightly, and if you have placed the coin on the right 
spot (which a few trials will quickly indicate), the contraction of the 
palm around its edges will hold it securely (see Fig. 60), and you may 
move the hand and arm in any direction without fear of dropping it. 
Yon should next accustom yourself to use the hand and fingers easily 
and naturally, while still holding the coin as described. A very little 
practice will enable you to do this. You must bear in mind while 
practising always to keep the inside of the palm either downwards 
or towards your own body, as any reverse movement would 
expose the concealed coin. When you are able to hold the coin 
comfortably in the right hand> practise in like manner with the 
left, after which you may substitute for the coin a watch, an egg, 
or a small lemon — all these being articles of frequent use in con- 
juring. 

Being thoroughly master of this first lesson, you may proceed to 
the study of the various " passes." All of the passes have the same 
object — viz., the apparent transfer of an article from one hand to the 
other, though such article really remains in the hand which it has 
apparently just quitted. As the same movement frequently repeated 
would cause suspicion, and possibly detection, it is desirable to 
acquire different ways of effecting this object. For facility of sub- 
sequent reference, we shall denote the different passes described by 
numbers.* 

Pass i. — Take the coin in the right hand, between the second and 



* It should be here mentioned that the term "palming," which we have so far 
wed as meaning simply the act of holding any article, is also employed to signify the 
act ol placing any article m the palm by one or other of the various passes. The con- 
text will readily indicate in which of the two senses the term is used in any given 



It is hardly necessary to remark that the diagrams, save where the letterpress indi- 
cates the contrary, represent the hands of the performer as seen by himself. 



148 MODERN MAGIC. 

third fingers and the thumb {see Fig. 6t), letting it, however, really 
be supported by tbe fingers, and only steadied by the thumb. 
Now move the thumb out of the way, and close the second and 
third fingers, with the coin balanced on them, into the palm. 
{See Fig. 6».) If the coin was placed right in the first instance, yon 



FlQ. St. FIG. 6a. 

will find that this motion pats it precisely in the position above 
described as the proper one for palming ; and on again extending the 
fingers, tbe coin is left palmed, as in Fig. 60. When yon can do 
this easily with the hand at rest, you must practise doing tbe 
same thing with the right hand in motion toward the left, which 
should meet it open, but should close the moment that the finger* 
of the right hand touch its palm, as though upon the coin, which 
you have by this movement feigned to transfer to it. The left hand 
must thenceforward remain closed, as if holding the coin, and the 
right hand hang loosely open, as if empty. 

In the case of an article of larger size than a coin — as, for 
instance, a watch or an egg — you need not take the article with 
the fingers, but may let it simply lie on the palm of the right hand, 
slightly closing that hand as you move it towards the left. Toe 
greater extent of surface in this case will give you plenty of hold, 
without the necessity of pressing the article into the palm. Remem- 
ber that, in any case, the two hands mast work in harmony, as in the 
genuine act of passing an article from the one hand to the other. 
The left hand must therefore rise to meet the right, but should not 
aegin. its journey until the right hand begins its own. Nothing 



MODERN MAGIC. 



"49 



looks more awkward or unnatural than to see the left hand ex- 
tended with open palm, before the right hand has begun to mare 
towards it. 

After the pass is made, a judicious me of the wand will mate- 
rially assist in concealing the 
fact that the object still re- 
mains in the right hand. For | 
this purpose the performer | 

should, before commencing the 
pass, carelessly place the wand 
under either arm, as though 
merely to leave his hands free. 
Immediately that the pass is 
made the right hand should, 
with a sort of back-banded 
movement, which under the 
circumstances is perfectly 
natural, grasp the wand, 
draw it from under the arm, 
and thenceforth retain it till an 
opportunity occurs of dispos- 
ing of the coin as may be 
necessary. The position of 
the lingers in the act of hold- 
ing the wand is such as to 
effectually mask the concealed 
coin, while yet the hand ap- 
pears perfectly easy and natu- 
ral. The same expedient 
may be employed with equal 
advantage in the remaining 
puses. 

Piss a This is somewhat easier than Pass i, and may some- 

times be usefully substituted for it. Take the coin edgeways between 
the first and third fingers of the right hand, the sides of those fingers 
pressing against the edges of the coin, and the middle ringer steady- 
ing it Irom behind. {SeeFig.63.) Carry the right hand towards the 




Fig. 65. 



ISO MODERN MAGIC. 

left, and at the same time more the thumb swiftly over (he face d 
the coin till the top joint just passes its outer edge (see Fig. 64) ; then 
bend the thumb, and the coin will be found to be securely nipped 
between that joint and the junction of the thumb with the hand. 
(See Fig. 65.) As in the last case, the left hand must be closed the 
moment the right hand touches it; and the right must thence- 
forth be held with the thumb bent slightly inwards towards the 
palm, so that the com may be shielded from the view of the 
spectators. This is an especially quick mode of palming, and if 
properly executed the illusion is perfect. It is said to be a specul 
favourite of the elder Frikell. 

Pass 3. — Hold the left hand palm upwards, with the coin in the 
position indicated in Fig. 59. Move the right hand towards the left, 
and let the fingers simulate the motion of picking up the coin, and 
instantly close. At the same moment slightly close the left hand, so 
aa to contract the palm around the coin, as in Fig. 60, and drop the 
hand, letting it bang loosely by yonr side. 

Pass 4. {Le Tourniquel). — This (sometimes known as the 
"French drop") is an easy and yet most effective pass. Hold 
the left hand palm upwards, with the coin as shown in Fig. 66. 
Now move the right hand to- 
wards the left, passing the thnmi* 
of the right hand under, and the 
fingers over the coin, closing 
them just as they pass it. The 
effect is the same to the eye of 
the spectator as if you seized the 
coin with thumb and fingers, 
but, in reality, at the moment 
_ when the coin is covered by the 
fingers of the right hand, you 
Fl0, * let it drop quietly (set Fig. 67) 

into the palm of the left. 
The right hand you should carry upwards and forwards after it 
leaves the left hand, following it with your eyes, and thereby drawing 
away the attention of the audience from the other hand. (See Fig 
68.) Do not be in too great a hurry to drop the left hand, but torn 



MODERN MAGIC. 151 

the palm slightly towards you, with the fingers a little bent, and, 
after a moment's pause, let it fall gently to your side. The hollow 
made by the bent fingers will be 
sufficient to bold the coin. 

This pass is available even for 
1 sixpence or threepenny piece, 
which from their small size, can- 
not readily be palmed by the or- 
dinary means. It is also very 
useful for " ball " conjuring. 

Pass 5. {La Pincette).— This 
is a modification of the pass last 
described. The coin is held as in 
Pig. 69, between the thumb and 
first and second fingers of the F[0 _ £_ 

left hand. Yon then make the 

movement of taking it between the same fingers of the other 
hand, which for that purpose makes a kind of "swoop" down 
upon it, the back of the hand 
being kept towards the specta- 
tors. At the moment when 
the coin is covered by the 
fingers of the right hand, it is 
allowed to slip gently down 
into the palm of the left, and 
the. right is instantly elevated 
as if containing it. 

Pass 6. — This pass is best 
adapted for use with three or 
four coins, as the chink of the 
coins against one another ma- 
terially assists the illusion. 
Having to get rid of, say, four 
pence or florins, you take them 
Fig. 68. j a the right hand, as indicated 

in Pig. 70, viz., well back towards the wrist Move the right hand 
sharply towards the left, with the fingers foremost, so that the finger- 




I5i MODERN MAGIC. 

tips of the right hand may come smartly, at about right ingles, 
against the palm of the left, at the same time slightly bending the 
fingers. The coins, instead of being shot forward (as to the eye and 
ear of the spectators they appear to be) into the left hand, are, in 
reality, retained in the hal- 
low formed by the fingers 
of the right, as in Fig. 
J i. They are turned com- 
pletely over as the hands 
come in contact, producing 
a loud chink. The left 
hand is, of course, closed, 
and the thumb of the right 
is allowed to sink gently 
on the coins, so that when 
the hand falls by your side, 
they may not make a second 
chink, and so betray their 
Fig 6q - ■ j 

presence in the wrong liana. 

Pass 7. (La CouMe). — This pass is best adapted for a coin of large 
diameter, like the French five-franc piece, and is but little used by 
English conjurors. If, however, the student has a very small hand 
(a serious disadvantage in conjuring generally), he may find it cod- 




Fig. 70. Flo. 71. 

venient to use the pass in question with a half-crown or penny. Take 
the coin in the right band between the first and second fingers and 
the thumb, and in the act of apparently transferring it to the left hand, 
gently slide it with the ball of the thumb into the position shown in 



MODERN MAGIC. 1SS 

Fig. 1%, where it is held by the pressure of the first and fourth fingers 

against its opposite edges, the band remaining completely open. 
Pass 8. — The peculiarity of this pass is, that it is made while 

holding the wand in the 

hand, a case in which 

none of the other passes 

are available. Holding the . 

wand and coin in the right 

hand, as indicated in Fig. 

73. yon strike the edge of 

the coin sharply against 

the palm of the left hand, 

and instantly close that 

hand. The effect of the Fl(k 

roofement is to drive back 

the coin (which should be held very lightly) into the position shown 

in Fig. 74, in which, being behind the first three fingers, it is com- 
pletely hidden. You should lose 
no time in relaxing the fingers of 
the right hand, and gently closing 
them around the coin, as their 
straightened position, if continued, 
might arouse suspicion. You 
must, however, be careful that, 
in doing so, you do not allow the 
coin to chink against the wand, 
as the sound would naturally 
draw attention to its whereabouts. 
It must not be imagined that 
all of the passes above given are 
in turn used by every performer. 
Almost every conjuror has his 
favourite pass or passes, either 
" G - 73 " selected from those above de- 

scribed, or invented by himself. Any mode by which a coin can be 

held ia the hand without indicating its presence may be "worked up 

■nto a pass. Thus, some performers will hold a coin by its edges 



>S4 MODERN MAGIC. 

between two of the fingers, or between the thumb end the side ot 
the hand. Others, again, hold the coin flit against the first or second 
joint of the second or third finger, retaining it by slightly bending the 
finger. The novice should experiment till he ascertains which method 
best suits the conformation of 
his own hand. We base speci- 
fied the band to and from 
which each pass is generally 
used; but if the student de- 
sires to attain special excel- 
lence, he should practise until 
he is able to use each from 
left to right, as well as from 
right to left. In performing 
before a company of spectators, 
and standing with the leftside 
towards them, it is well to use 
a pass which apparently trans- 
fers the coin from the right 
Flo. 74. hand to the left, and vice vtni. 

The coin is thus left in the 
fund farthest away from the spectators, and the performer has the 
benefit of the cover of the body in dropping it into the pochette, or 
otherwise disposing of it. 

The student will here, as in card conjuring, find great advan- 
tage in practising before a looking-glass, before which he should, 
in the first place, actually do that which he afterwards pretends to da, 
and carefully notice the positions and motions of his hands in the 
first case, which he should then do his best to simulate, that there 
may be as little difference as possible between the pretence and the 
reality. He should further accustom himself always to fallow with 
his eyes the hand in which the object is supposed to It, this being the 
most certain means of leading the eyes and the miuds of his audience 
in the same direction. When he is able to perform the passes neatly 
with a single florin or penny, he should then practise with coins of 
smaller size, with two coins at once, and afterwards with three or 
four. 



MODERN MAGIC. M5 



A word of caution may here be desirable. These passes must 
by no means be regarded as being themselves tricks, bat only as 
processes to be used in the performance of tricks. If the operator, 
after pretending to pass the com, say, from the right hand to the left, 
and showing that it had vanished from the left hand, were to allow 
his audience to discover that it had all along remained in his right 
hand, they might admire the dexterity with which he had in this 
instance deceived their eyes, but they would henceforth guess half the 
secret of any trick in which palming was employed. If it is neces- 
sary immediately to reproduce the coin, the performer should do so 
by appearing to find it in the hair or whiskers of a spectator, or in 
any other place that may suit his purpose, remembering always to 
indicate beforehand that it has passed to such a place, thereby divert- 
ing the general attention from himself. As the coin is already in his 
hand, he has only to drop it to his finger-tips as the hand reaches 
the place he has named, in order, to all appearance, to take it from 
thence. 

Having given this little piece of advice as to the hand in which 
the coin actually is, we must add a few words more as to the hand in 
which it is not. Whenever you have (apparently) placed any article 
either in the closed hand, or in some piece o! apparatus from which it 
is afterwards to disappear, you should not, as a rule, show that the 
article has departed from the spot where you have apparently placed 
it, without interposing some magical process, however slight, which 
may colourably account for its disappearance. A mere nothing will 
suffice — a touch of the wand, the pronouncing of a magic formula, 
the pressure of a finger ; but in some form or other the ceremony 
should never be omitted. Thus, to take a very simple example, we 
will suppose that by means of Pass i you have apparently placed in 
the left hand a coin, which really remains in the palm of the right. 
If you at once open the left hand, and show that the coin is not 
there, the spectators will naturally jump to the correct explanation, 
viz., that you did not, in reality, put the coin there at all. If, how- 
ever, yon delay opening the left hand for a minute or two, so as to 
let the audience get accustomed to the idea .that the coin is thereip, 
and then, before opening it, touch the hand mysteriously with your 
wand, or even simply, as you slowly open the left hand, rub the ball 



Flo. 75. 



156 MODERN MAGIC. 

of the wrist with the second and third fingers of the hand which 
holds tbe coin (see Fig. 75), you not only give that hand an occupa- 
tion apparently inconsistent with the fact of anything remaining con- 
cealed in it, bnt you suggest to the audience that the gesture in 
question is the cause of the disappearance of the coin. It is surprising 
what an effect even such a trifle as this has in misleading the judg- 
ment of a spectator. 
He knows perfectly 
well, in the abstract, 
that touching tbe 
dosed hand with the 
wand, or rubbing it 
with a finger of tbe 
opposite hand, is Dot 
an adequate cause for 
the disappearance of 
the coin ; but the fact 
being indisputable 
that the coin has disappeared, the mind unconsciously accepts the 
explanation which is thus indirectly offered. Tbe advice here given 
becomes less important where, before the hand is opened, you are able 
to get rid of the object from that in which it originally appeared. 
Here tbe spectator is precluded from imagining that you retained it 
in the hand in which he first saw it, as that hand also is shown to 
be empty, and the absolute disappearance of tbe coin being a self- 
evident fact, you may leave the spectator to account for it in his own 
manner. 

The various passes may be employed not only to cause tbe dis- 
appearance of an article, as above described, but to secretly exchange 
it for a substitute of similar appearance. These exchanges arc of 
continual use in conjuring; indeed, we may almost say that three 
parts of its marvels depend on them. Such an exchange having been 
made, the substitute is left in sight of the audience, while the per- 
former, having thus secretly gained possession of the original, disposes 
of it as may be necessary for the purpose of the trick. We 
proceed to describe various forms of changes, denoting them, as in 
the case of the passes, by numbers. 



MODERN MAGIC. 157 



Change i. — Yoa desire, we will suppose, to exchange — or, in 
conjuror's parlance, to "ring" — a florin, marked by the audience, for 
another. Yon have the latter, which we will call the " substitute/ 9 
ready palmed in jour left hand, of course taking care to keep the 
palm turned away from the audience. Taking the marked florin in 
the right hand, yon palm it in that hand by Pass i, but instead of 
closing the left hand as the fingers of the right touch it, keep that 
hand loosely open, and show lying on its palm the substitute, which 
the audience take to be the original j ust placed there by your right hand. 
Changs a. — This is the same as Change x, save that you use with 
the right hand Pass a instead of Pass 1. 

Change 3. — Here also you use Pass a, but you have the substitute 
palmed in the right hand instead of the left. Taking up the marked 
florin with the same hand, you make with it Pass a, at the same 
instant dropping the substitute from its palm into the left hand. This 
is a very neat and effective change. Some perfornaers are expert 
enough to make this change by means of Pass 1 instead of Pass 2, 
the genuine coin taking the place of the substitute in the palm ; but 
this demands dexterity of a more than average order. 

Change 4. — For this change you must have the substitute palmed 
in the right hand, and take the marked coin between the thumb and 
second finger of the left. Then by Pass 4 appear to take it in the 
right hand, and at the proper moment exhibit the substitute, which 
you have already in that hand. 

Change 5. — Have the substitute palmed in your right hand, and 
bold the marked coin openly on the palm of the left. Pick up the 
genuine coin with the right hand, at the same moment releasing the 
palmed substitute, which will accordingly fall into the left hand, the 
fingers of which should be held slightly hollowed, the better to con- 
ceal it Show the marked coin in the right hand, and say, " You have 
seen me take up this coin visibly, I will make it return invisibly,* 9 
or make some other appropriate observation. Close the left hand, 
make Pass 1 or a with the right band, with a motion towards the left, 
bat without bringing the hands near together. The marked coin 
will, after the pass, bo concealed in your right palm. Immediately 
opening your left hand, you show the substitute, which the audience 
Velieve to be the original which they have just seen. 



158 MODERN MAGIC. 

There are many other changes ; indeed, they ire almost too 
numerous to describe. If 70a are able' to palm and to make the 
various passes neatly, yon will readily invent methods of "ringing" 
for yourself; in the meantime, jon will find that the shore wM 
answer every necessary purpose, so far as coin tricks are concerned. 



MODERN MAGIC. 1 59 



CHAPTER VII. 

Tricks with Coin without Apparatus. 

There is an immense variety of tricks with coin — some with appa. 
ratus, some without ; some demanding a thorough mastery of sleight- 
of-hand \ some so simple as to be within the compass of the merest 
tyro. The only classification which we shall attempt will be to 
divide them into snch as do and snch as do not require special 
apparatus. 

A Florin being spun upon the Table, to tell blindfold 
whether it falls head or tail upwards. — You borrow a 
florin, and spin it, or invite some other person to spin it, on the table 
(which must be without a cloth). You allow it to spin itself out, 
and immediately announce, without seeing it, whether it has fallen 
head or tail upwards. This may be repeated any number of times 
with the same result, though you may be blindfolded, and placed at 
the further end of the apartment. 

The secret lies in the use of a florin of your own, on one face of 
which (say on the " tail *' side) you have cut at the extreme edge a 
little notch, thereby causing a minute point or tooth of metal to pro- 
ject from that side of the coin. If a coin so prepared be spun on the 
table, and should chance to go down with the notched side upwards, 
it will run down like an ordinary coin, with a long continuous 
" whirr," the sound growing fainter and fainter till it finally ceases ; 
hut if it should run down with the notched side downwards, the fric- 
tion of the point against the table will reduce this final whirr to half 
its ordinary length, and the coin will finally go down with a sort of 
"flop." The difference of sound is not sufficiently marked to attract 
the notice of the spectators, but is perfectly distinguishable by an 



160 MODERN MAGIC. 



attentive car. If, therefore, 70a have notched the coin on the " tail " 
side, aod it runs down slowly, you will cry "tail;" if quickly, 
"head." 

If you professedly use a borrowed florin, you must adroitly 
change it for your own, under pretence of showing how to spin it, or 
the like. 

You should not allow your audience to imagine that you ire 
guided by tbe sound of the coin, as, if once they have the due, 
they will easily learn to distinguish the two sounds. They are 
not, however, likely to discover the secret of the notch, and if any 
one professes to have found out the trick, you may, by again 
substituting an unprepared florin, safely challenge him to per- 
form it. 

Odd or Even, or tub Mysterious Addition. — This is a 
trick of almost childish simplicity, depending upon an elementary 
arithmetical principle. We have, however, known it to occasion 
great perplexity, even to more than ordinarily acute persons. 

You take a handful of coins or counters, and invite another person 
to do the same, and to ascertain privately whether the number he has 
taken is odd or even. You request the company to observe that you 
have not asked him a single question, but that you are able, notwith- 
standing, to divine and counteract his most secret intentions, and that 
you will in proof of this, yourself take a number of coins, and add 
them to those he has taken, when, if his number was odd, the total 
shall be even j if his number was even, the total shall be odd. Re- 
questing him to drop the coins he holds into a hat, held on high by 
one of the company, you drop in a certain number on your own 
account. He is now asked whether his number was odd or even ; 
and, the coins being counted, the total number proves to be, as yon 
stated, exactly the reverse. The experiment is tried again and again, 
with different numbers, but the result is the same. 

The secret lies in the simple arithmetical fact, that if you add an 
odd number to an even number the result will be odd ; if you add an 
odd number to an odd number the result will be even. You have 
only to take care, therefore, that the number you yourself add, 
whether large or small, shall always be odd. 



MODERN MAGIC. 161 



TO CHANGE A FLORIN INTO A PENNY, BACK AGAIN, AND THEN 
TO PASS THE SAME INVISIBLY INTO THE POCKET OP THE OWNER. 

— This is a trick of genuine sleight-of-hand, and will test your expert- 
ness in two or three different passes. Having beforehand palmed a 
penny in your right handy you borrow from one of the company a 
florin (or half-crown), requesting the owner to mark it in such 
manner that he may be able to identify it. Make him stand up 
being you, your own right side and hts left being towards the audi- 
ence. Taking the marked florin between the fingers and thumb of 
the right hand (the back of which, from your position, will be to- 
ward the spectators), you ask him whether he is nervous, whether he 
can hold fast, and so on. On receiving satisfactory replies, you state 
that you are about to put him to the test, and request him to hold 
out his right hand, telling him that you are about to count three, and 
that at the word "three 9 * you will drop the florin into his hand, 
which he is to close tightly upon it. You accordingly count, 
'' One ! two ! three ! " each time making a motion as of dropping 
the florin into his hand, and at the word "three " actually do drop it, 
when he closes his hand upon it, as directed ; but you are not satis- 
fied. "That won't do, my dear sir,'* you exclaim ; " you are not half 
quick enough— you allow all the electric fluid to escape. We'll try 
once more, and pray be a little quicker in your movements. Oblige 
me with the coin again. Now, then, are you ready ?— One ! two ! ! 
three ! ! ! n giving the words with great energy. As you say 
"three" you stamp your foot, and apparently again drop the florin, 
bat really drop the penny instead, by Change 3. He is sure this 
time to close his hand very quickly, and, having no reason to the con- 
trary, naturally believes that it is the florin which he holds, your pre- 
vious feint, when you did actually drop the florin, being specially 
designed to lead him to that conclusion. You next request him to 
hold the closed hand high, that all may see it. This draws the 
general attention to him, and away from yourself, and enables you to 
place in your palm the florin, which was left, after the change, in the 
bend of your right thumb. You continue, " You did better that time, 
sir. Now, what will you bet me that I cannot take that two-shilling- 
piece out of your hand without your knowing it ? " Whether he 

admits or defies your power, the course of the trick is the same. 

11 



Ifa MODERN MAGIC. 



V Well," you say at last, "yoa seem so determined that I am almost 
afraid to take the whole of the two-shilling piece away from you, I 
think I must be content with one-and-elevenpence. Allow me to 
touch your, hand with my wand." You do so, and on opening his 
hand he discovers that the two-shilling piece has changed into a 
penny. 

You thank him for his assistance, hand him the penny, and 
dismiss him to his seat. Naturally enough, he objects to accept the 
penny in place of his florin. You preteud at first not to understand 
him, but, as if suddenly enlightened, you exclaim, " Oh, the florin, 
you want the florin ? My dear sir," indicating the penny, " that if 
the florin. At present it is under an electric influence, but you hare 
only to wait till that goes off (it won't take more than three weeks 
or so), when it will resume its former appearance. You don't believe 
me, I see ; but I can easily convince you by discharging the electric 
fluid, when the change will take place at once. Observe ! " You 
take the penny between the thumb and second finger of the left hand 
(after the manner indicated in Fig. 66) 9 and make Change 4, making a 
gentle rubbing movement with the fingers and thumb of the right 
hand before you open that hand and disclose the restored florin, at the 
same time carelessly dropping your left hand to your side, and letting 
fall the penny into your pochette on that side. Bring up the left hand 
again, showing, but without apparent design, that it is empty j and 
still holding the coin in the right hand, make Pass 1, as if you trans- 
ferred it to the left hand. Make a motion with the left hand, as if 
handing the coin, and say to the owner, " Will you be good enough 
to examine the florin, and see that it is the same you marked." He 
naturally holds out his hand for the coin, which he believes to be in 
your left hand, and which you pretend to give him; but it has 
vanished. "Well," you say, "is it the same florin ? M Looking, 
probably, rather foolish, he replies that he has not got it. " Not got 
it ! " you say j " why I have just given it to you. I passed it into 
your pocket. Look for yourself." He forthwith begins to search 
his pockets. " You are trying the wrong one," you say 5 " this is the 
pocket" As if desiring merely to assist his search, you plunge into 
any pocket which he has not yet tried your right hand (in the palm 
of which the coin was left after the pass), and letting the coin drop 



MODERN MAGIC. 163 



to the finger ends, take it oat as if it were already in the pocket, as 
nine-tenths of the audience will believe it to have been. 

To MAKE A MARKED FLORIN AND PeNNT, WRAPPED IV SEPA- 
RATE Handkerchiefs, change places at command.— Borrow a 
florin (or half-crown) and a penny, requesting the owners to mark 
them, that they may be sure of knowing them again. Abo borrow 
two pocket handkerchiefs. 

It may be well to mention, once for all, that it is generally desir- 
able to borrow from the audience, when you can, any indifferent 
article used in a trick (e.g., a hat, a watch, or a handkerchief), as you 
thereby seem to give a guarantee for the absence of preparation. 
Articles so borrowed are taken upon trust, so to speak, and by 
making a secret exchange you may still use 8 prepared substitute, 
which will escape the close scrutiny to which any article confessedly 
provided by yourself would be subjected. 

While the articles above mentioned are being collected from the 
audience, you secretly palm in your left hand a penny of your own. 
Receiving the borrowed coins in your right hand, apparently transfer 
them to the left, but really only transfer the florin, the marked penny 
remaining in your right hand. This may be effected by making 
Pass s with the marked penoy, at the same^ime allowing the marked 
norm to drop from the palm as directed in Change 3. Take the 
earliest opportunity of transferring the marked penny to the palm of 
the right hand, and showing the marked florin and the substitute 
penny (which the spectators take to be the genuine one) on the 
open left hand, place them on your table, begging the audience 
to observe that they do not for one moment leave their sight Then 
picking up with the right hand the florin, on which you may casually 
show the mark, and throwing one of the borrowed handkerchiefs over 
the hand, take hold (through the handkerchief) of apparently the 
florin which you have just shown, but really of the marked penny, 
and transfer the marked florin to the palm. The shape of the coin, 
which the audience take to be the florin, will be distinctly seen 
through the handkerchief, whose folds will fall down around it. Give 
the handkerchief containing the coin to some person, requesting him 
to hold it tightly just below the coin, and well above his head, that 



164 MODERN MAGIC. 



all may see it.* Now take up the substitute penny, and apparently 
wrap it, in like manner, in the second handkerchief, really substitut- 
ing as before the coin concealed in your palm. The substitute penny, 
which remains in your right hand, you must drop into your pochette 
or profonde at the first available opportunity. Give the second hand- 
kerchief to another person to hold. The first handkerchief now, to 
all appearance, contains the florin, and the second the penny. Invite 
the two persons to stand face to face, the hands holding the hand- 
kerchiefs just touching, and after gravely cautioning them to hold 
very tight, etc., etc., give their hands a gentle rap with your wand, 
saying, " Change ! '' Upon examination, the coins are found to hare 
obeyed your commands. 

Managed with neatness and address, this is an admirable drawing- 
room trick ; the previous marking of the coins apparently precluding 
any possibility of using substitutes, and allowing the spectator no 
alternative but to admit that by some mysterious means the identical 
coins have changed places. 

A similar trick may be performed without the use of the hand* 
kerchief. As before, you borrow a marked florin and penny, ex- 
changing the latter for one of your own, and palm the genuine one. 
Taking up the marked florin from the table, you hand it to some one 
to hold, substituting for itms you do so the genuine penny by Change 3, 
as indicated in the trick last described. The florin is thus left in 
your right hand. Palm it, and take up the substitute penny between 
the second finger and thumb of the left hand, and pretend by Pass 4 
to transfer it to the right, which you immediately close. Drop the 
penny into your pochette on the left side, and announce that by your 
magic power you will compel the penny which you hold to change 
places with the florin held by the spectator. When the hands are 
opened, the supposed change is found to be accomplished. 

To MAKE TWO MARKED CoiKS, WRAPPED IN SEPARATE HANDKER- 
CHIEFS, comb together in one of THEM. — Thecoinsand handker- 
chiefs borrowed for the purpose of the last trick will again serve in this 
one. Palm in your right hand a penny of your own, and throw over tk 

• This takes it out of the range of his eyes, and prevents his indulging any desire 
for a premature examination of the contents. 



MODERN MAGIC. 165 

same hand one of the borrowed handkerchiefs. This will effectually 
conceal the substitute peony, which you may now take between the 
finger and thumb. Holding the handkerchief spread out upon the 
open hand, yon take up with the left hand the marked penny and 
place it on the handkerchief, as if to wrap it therein, but at the same 
time with the third finger push a fold of the handkerchief under the 
substitute penny in your right hand. Yon now invert the hand- 
kerchief over your left hand for a minute, allowing the marked penny 
to drop back into that hand, and at the same time twist the fold 
already mentioned around the substitute. The audience see the 
shape of a coin wrapped up in the handkerchief, and naturally believe 
that it is that of the 
marked penny which 
you have apparently 
placed inside it. In 
reality, it is that of your 
own penny, wrapped 
merely in an outside 
fold. You now hand 
the handkerchief to so me 
one to hold, requesting 
him to grasp the coin, 
and hold tightly. 

The marked penny, Fl) _ ^ 

it will be remembered, 

remains in your left hand, and tbe marked florin on the table. As 
yon go to take up the latter, you transfer the penny to your right 
band, and palm it; then pick up the florin, holding it at the tips of 
the fingers. Spread the second handkerchief on the open palm of 
the left hand. Bring the florin down smartly upon it, and by the 
same movement let the penny fall from the palm on to the hand- 
kerchief. The two coins will now be lying (covered by the right 
hand) on the handkerchief, a couple of inches apart. Close the left 
hand on both coins, and turn the hand over, bo that the edges of the 
handkerchief hang down. With the right band grasp the hand- 
kerchief five or six inches below the coins. Take one of these 
through the handkerchief between the finger and thumb of the left 



■66 MODERN MAGIC. 

hand, letting the other fall loose inside the handkerchief, which yon 
then invite some one to hold in like manner, hot in a horizontal posi- 
tion. (See Fig. 76.) This position is adopted in order that the two 
coins may not, by any accidental chink, prematurely disclose the fact 
that both are already in the handkerchief. 

Yon now announce that you are about to make both coins pass 

into one handkerchief. Advancing to the person who holds the first 

handkerchief, yon request him, still maintaining his hold, to remove 

his hand four or five inches below the coin, to give you room to 

operate. First showing that your hand is empty, yon gently rob the 

substitute penny through 

the handkerchief between 

your finger and thumb, 

when, being only wrapped 

within a fold, it quickly 

falls into your hand. No 

one ever thinks of inquiring 

at this point whether it is 

the marked one or not. 

Taking it in the left band, 

in position for Pass 4, yon 

say to the person holding 

the second handkerchief 

" Having extracted thia 

penny from the one hand. 

Pjq kerchief, I will now pass it 

into the other. I won't 

even touch the handkerchief, but will simply take the coin in my 

hand, and say, 'Pass!' Will yon be good enough, at the word 

' pass,' to let go of the coin you are holding, but still keep hold of the 

handkerchief with the other hand." Appearing, by Pass 4, to take 

the penny in the right hand, you open that hand with a quick motion 

towards the handkerchief, saying, " Pass ! " The person holding the 

handkerchief looses his hold, as directed, when the two coins are 

heard to chink together, as though the second coin had just arrived in 

the handkerchief, and on examination they are, of course, found to be 

those marked. 



MODERN MAGIC. 167 

We may here describe another and still neater mode (the inven. 
tion, we believe, of M. Robert- Houdio) of apparently wrapping; a coin 
securely in a handkerchief, though really only covered by on outer 
fold. 

Holding the coin upright between the fingers and thumb of the 
left hand, throw the handkerchief fairly over it. Having shown that 
it is fairly covered, remark, " But perhaps you may fancy I have 
changed the coin. 
Allow me to show 
yon that I hare not." 
With the right hand, 
palm upwards, take 
the coin through the 
handkerchief, (as 

shown in Fig. 77), 
between the first and 
second fingers of that 
hand. For a moment 
let go with the left 
hand (bnt without re- 
moving it from tinder 
the handkerchief). 
Tom over the right 
hand towards your- 
self, and again seize 
the coin with the left 
hand; but this time 

nip the opposite edge F, c ^ 

of the coin to that 

which it first held, and through the double thickness of the hand- 
kerchief. Remove the right hand from the coin, and with it raise 
the outer edge of the handkerchief and show the coin, as in Fig. 78. 
Then let the edges of the handkerchief fall. Apparently the coin is 
underneath, and in the centre of the handkerchief; but in reality it is 
outside, lying in a slight fold on the side away from the spectators. 

The above description sounds intricate, but, if carefully followed 
with the coin and handkerchief will be found perfectly simple in 



168 MODERN MAGIC. 



practice. It is worth while taking some pains to acquire this sleight, 
as it is of great value in coin tricks. 

To Pull Four Florins or Half-crowns through a Hand- 
kerchief.— You begin by borrowing four marked half-crowns, 
florins, or penny-pieces, and a silk or cambric handkerchief. Yoa 
then request the assistance of a very strong man. This gives an 
opportunity for a little fun in the selection. Having at last found a 
volunteer to your liking, you seat him on a chair facing the company. 
Spreading the handkerchief on your left palm, and placing the four 
coins upon it, you close your hand upon them through the hand- 
kerchief, and hand them to him, requesting him to hold them firmly. 
Then, as if suddenly recollecting yourself, you say, " Pardon me, I 
have omitted one little detail which is rather important Oblige me 
with the handkerchief again for one moment, if you please. I ought 
to have shown the company that there are no holes in it." (The last 
sentence should not be pronounced until you have gained possession 
of the handkerchief, as the company might possibly declare them- 
selves satisfied of the fact without examination, which would not 
answer your purpose.) The handkerchief being returned to you, you 
spread it out to show that it is free from holes, coming among the 
audience to do so, and appearing to lay great stress upon the fact. 
Again spreading it over your left hand, you count the coins one by 
one upon it ; then giving a glance round at the company, you say, as 
you quickly return to your platform, " You have all seen that the four 
coins are fairly wrapped in the handkerchief," or make any other 
remark in order to draw the general attention, as a sharp, quick remark 
almost always will, to your face and away from your hands. At the 
same moment you move the left thumb over the face of the coins, 
thereby covering them with a fold of the handkerchief, and seize 
them, through the fold thus made, between the thumb and fingers of 
the right hand, as indicated in Fig. 79, immediately withdrawing the 
left hand. The coins will now be held in the right hand, the hand- 
kerchief hanging down loosely around them. To any one who has 
not watched your movements with more than ordinary vigilance, it 
will appear that the coins are within and under the handkerchief, 
though they are, in reality, wrapped in an external fold. Giving 



MODERN MAGIC. 169 

them a twist round in the handkerchief, yon hand it to the person 
assisting yon, asking him to say whether the money is still there, to 
which he naturally replies in the affirmative. Yon then tell him to 
grasp the handkerchief with both hands three or four inches below 
the coins, and to hold as tightly as he possibly can. Placing your 
wand under your right arm, and taking hold of the coins (through the 
handkerchief) with both hands, the right hand undermost, yon begin 
to pull against him, making a show of pulling with great force, and 
remarking that yon are very glad it is not your handkerchief, that you 
should not hare thought he was 
so strong, etc. Meanwhile, 
and while the company are en- 
Joying the discomfiture of the 
owner of the handkerchief, yon 
not wist the latter, and secretly 
get the money out of the fold 
into your right hand, and palm 
it therein. Give one last pull 
with your left hand, and let go 
smartly, observing that you 
fear you must give it up, and 
own yourself conquered. Take 
jour wand in your right hand ; 
this will make it seem natural 
for yon to keep that hand 
dosed, and will materially aid 
in concealing the fact that the Eta. 79. 

money is therein. Your an- 
tagonist, or the spectators for him, will by this time have discovered 
that the money has vanished ; but yon pretend to be unconscious of 
the fact, and request him to give it back, that you may return it to 
th; owners. He naturally declares that he has not got it. With all 
the seriousness that you can command, you insist that he has it, and 
that he must restore it. On his continued denial yon suggest that 
he should search his pockets, which you tap, one after another, with 
your wand, each giving a metallic sound as if containing money ; bat 
the coins are soil not to be found. At last, after all his pockets have 



I To MODERN MAGIC. 

been tried in vain, yon, as if upon a sudden thought, tap the leg of 
his trousers, the metallic chink still following every tap of the wand 
till yon hare nearly reached his feet, when yon exclaim, "Yes, there 
it is. Will you have the kindness to put your foot on that chair?'' 
He does so, and quickly transferring your wand to the left hand, 
with the fingers of the right you turn up the edge of the trouser, 
giving at the same time a slight shake, when the four coins are seen 
to fall out, to the great surprise of the victim. 

This effect is produced as follows : The coins being in your right 
hand, you introduce them with the second, third, and fourth fingers 
under the edge of the trouser j then, with the first finger and thumb, 
which are left outside, you nip them through the cloth, and hold 
them an instant till you have withdrawn the remaining fingers, when 
with a slight shake you let them fall. 

The metallic chink on tapping the pockets may be produced in 
two ways. One method is to use a hollow metal wand, japanned to 
match the one you ordinarily use, and containing throughout its 
length a loose piece of thick wire, which, striking against the sides of 
the tube, exactly imitates the chink of money. The other mode is to 
use merely the ordinary wand, allowing the end which you hold to 
chink against the money held in the same hand. With a little prac- 
tice the effect is equally deceptive as with the special wand. 

To pass a Marked Florin (or Half-crown) into tub 
Centre of two Oranges in Succession. — For this excellent 
trick a little previous preparation is necessary. A slit, an inch and a 
half deep, and just large enough to admit a florin, is made in each of 
two oranges, and in one of them a florin (which for distinction we 
will call No. i) is placed. These must be put in readiness behind 
the scenes, or so placed as to be out of sight of the audience. 

The performer palms in either hand a second florin (No. a), and 
advancing to his audience, borrows from one of them a florin, first 
marked by the owner. (This last we will call No. 3). He invites 
special attention to the fact that throughout the experiment he is 
about to perform, the coin is never removed from their sight, and he 
accordingly places it (really substituting, by one or other of the changes, 
florin No. a) in full view on his table. He then goes out to fetch an 



MODERN MAGIC. 171 



orange, and takes the opportunity of slipping the marked florin 
(No. 3) into the vacant one. He brings forward this orange publicly, and 
places it on his table at his right hand* (The other orange he has 
meanwhile placed in his secret pocket on the right side, ready for 
palming at a moment's notice.) He then says, "I think, by the 
way, it would be as well to hare two oranges. Can any gentleman 
oblige me with one ? " No one responding, he looks about him, and 
presently stepping up to one of his audience, pretends to take from 
his hair, hat, or handkerchief this second orange (which contains, it 
will be remembered, florin No. 1), and places it on the left hand side 
of the table. He now (standing behind his table) asks into which 
orange, the right or the left, he shall pass the florin. As the right of 
the audience is his left, he is at liberty to interpret the answer in 
whichever way he thinks proper, and he does so in such manner as 
to designate the orange containing the non-marked florin, No. 1. 
Thus, if the audience say "the left," he answers, "On my left? 
Very good ! n If they choose " the right," he says, " On your right ? 
Very good ! " Not one person in a thousand will detect the 
equivoque. 

Taking np florin No. 2 from the table, and holding it in his left 
hand, he pretends by the tourniquet to take it in his right, and thence 
to pass it into the orange, meanwhile dropping it from his left hand 
on to the servant*, or into the prqfonde. Showing his hands empty, 
he cots open the orange, and exhibits the florin (No. 1) therein con- 
tained. Before giving the audience time to examine it for the mark, 
he hears, or pretends to hear, a murmur among them to the effect 
that that was not the orange chosen. " Pardon me," he says, " some 
of you seem to think that I had a special reason for preferring this 
particular orange. I gave you absolute liberty to choose which yon 
liked, and I understood you to say that you chose this one. However, 
in order to satisfy everyone, I will repeat the trick with the other 
orange." Taking up the second orange, he thrusts the knife through 
it, in the slit already made, and gives the knife thus loaded to some 
one to hold. Then, standing at some distance from it, he takes up 
florin No. 1, and, getting rid of it by one or other of the " passes " 
previously described, he makes a motion as of throwing it towards 
the orange. He now requests the person holding the orange himself 



172 MODERN MAGIC. 



to cat it open ; when the genuine florin. No. 3, is found therein, and 
duly identified. 

The finding of the second orange in the possession of the com- 
pany may, if preferred, be omitted, and both oranges be brought for- 
ward openly in the first instance. 

Occasionally a refractory spectator may insist upon the wrong 
orange (i.e., that containing the genuine coin) being cut open first 
As you have offered the audience the choice, you cannot well 
resist this ; but it makes very little difference. In accordance with 
the general desire, you cut open the orange, and show the coin 
(No. 3), drawing particular attention to the mark. Its identity being 
fully established, you offer, for the general satisfaction, to pass the 
same coin into the second orange. Being satisfied that it was the 
genuine coin in the first case, the audience will the more readily 
believe that it is so in the second j but in this case you should cat 
open the second orange yourself, as it will be necessary to again 
substitute the genuine florin before you hand the coin to be exa- 
mined. 

The Flting Money.— To make a Coin pass invisibly from 

THE ONE HAND TO THE OTHER, AND FINALLY THROUGH THE TaBLB. 

—Have ready beforehand a florin or half-crown, with a little wax 
on one side of it, and take an opportunity of secretly sticking it, by 
means of the wax, against the under side of the table (any ordinary 
table) with which you intend to perform the trick. Have also a 
similar coin of your own palmed in your right hand. Borrow • 
marked florin from one of the company, and lay it carelessly upon 
the table, but in so doing exchange it for the one previously palmed. 
You now have the substitute on the table, and the marked coin 
palmed in its place. Turn up your sleeves, to show that they have 
nothing to do with the trick, and make a few introductory remarks 
about the extraordinary power of the mesmeric influence as applied 
to metallic substances ; then, taking up the coin from the table be- 
tween the fingers and thumb of the left hand, which you hold with 
the palm towards the company, so as to show incidentally that it is 
otherwise empty, continue to the following effect : — " Here, ladies 
and gentlemen, is an ordinary coin, a mere inert piece of silver. If 



MODERN MAGIC. 173 



you take it in your hand, there it will remain till you lay it down. 
But let a person 'possessing the mesmeric gift only breathe upon 
it" (you suit the action to the word), "and it is at once endowed 
with bearing, sense, and motion, and will fly from hand to hand at 
the mere word of command, and that so rapidly, that its flight is 
absolutely invisible. See, I take it so " (taking it in the right hand). 
"One, two, three ! Pass ! and it flies back into my left hand again. 
In order to show that there has been no substitution, perhaps the 
owner will kindly verify the mark.' 9 The coin is examined, and 
found to be the same. 

This illusion is produced as follows : — When you breathe upon 
the substitute coin, you naturally turn the left hand palm upwards. 
In the act of taking that coin in the right hand, which you do with 
the hands in the position depicted in Fig. 69, you drop the genuine 
coin, which was previously palmed in the right band, into the left, 
the position of the hand concealing it from the audience. After a 
momentary pause, you close the left hand, and hold it extended about 
level with your eyes. At each of the words, " One, two, three,' 9 you 
make a slight motion of the right hand towards it, and at the word 
"Pass," palm the coin by means of Pass 1, at the same time making 
a half turn of your body to the left, opening the left hand, and point- 
ing with the index finger of the right hand to the coin lying therein. 
While it is being examined for the mark, you drop the substitute, 
which remains palmed in your right hand, into the pochette on that 
side, and bring up your hand empty. 

Having proceeded thus far, borrow a second florin, but without in 
this case suggesting that it should be marked, breathe upon it, and lay 
it with that first used upon the table. Now with your right hand 
take up one of the coins, and by Pass 1 pretend to transfer it to the 
left, really retaining it in the palm of the right hand. Then take up 
the second coin between the fingers and thumb of the right hand, and 
announce that you are about to make the coins, which you now hold 
m each hand, come together. Holding your arms well apart, you 
make a motion with the left hand as if throwing something towards 
the right, at the same moment saying as before, " One, two, three ! 
Pass ! " and making the two coins in the right hand come together 
with an audible chink. You then open the hand, and show that the 



174 MODERN MAGIC. 

left is empty, and that both of the coins are together in the right 
hand. 

You continue, "You all think you know how that was done, I 
dare say. You imagine, no doubt, that the money was merely thrown 
from one hand to the other with extreme rapidity. ' The quickness 
of the hand deceives the eye/ as Shakspeare (or somebody else) says. 
I will therefore show you the same experiment in another form in 
which you will find that no such solution is admissible. I will pas 
the money right through this table, which is, as you see, pretty solid. 
The quickness of the hand would not be of much use in this case. 
I take one of the coins in the left hand, as before.*' 

Here, however, you introduce a feint. Taking up the coin in the 
right hand, you transfer it to the left, but purposely do it with a pre- 
tended awkwardness, and hold the right hand afterwards rather stiffly, 
so as to lead the spectators to believe that you have really retained 
the.coin in the right hand. To do this cleverly will require consider- 
able practice, but it will by no means be labour lost, as feints of this 
kind are of frequent use. 

The spectators, delighted to have, as they imagine, caught you 
tripping, are sure to exclaim that the coin is still in your right 
hand. " Surely, ladies and gentlemen," you say, with an injured air, 
f < you don't think that I would avail myself of such a transparent 
artifice. See for yourselves ! " opening your hands. " I won't ask 
you to apologize, but pray give me a little more credit for the future. 
Come, we will have no mistake about it this time." Take the florin 
between the finger and thumb of the left hand, and, by means of the 
tourniquet or pincette, appear to transfer it to the right Pick up the 
second coin with the left hand, and place that hand under the table, 
holding the closed right hand above it. Say " Pass ! " open the right 
hand, show it empty, and at the same moment chink the two florins 
together in the left hand, and bring them up for inspection. 

Looking around you, you continue, " I am afraid you are only 
half convinced ; some of you look incredulous still* Come, we will 
try the experiment once more, and we will see whether yon can find 
me out this time. As before, I take one coin in each hand." This 
time you actually do so. You again pass your left hand under the 
table, detaching in its passage the third florin, which you had pre* 



MODERN MAGIC. 175 



viously stack to the under side of the table, but taking care that the 
two do not prematurely jingle together. Then, holding the other 
florin with the fingers of the right hand, which should be held palm 
downwards about a foot above the table, make Pass 1 with that hand, 
thus bringing the coin into its palm, and at the same time chink the 
other two coins in the left hand, and bring them up for examination. 
One of them, in this instance, is a substitute, and therefore, in the 
unlikely event of the audience insisting that the trick should be per- 
formed with marked coins, this last act must be omitted. 

With a regular conjuring-table, the trick might be made even 
more surprising, from the facilities which the servante would afford 
for getting rid of and regaining the coin. But even if you habitually 
use such a table, it is better not to avail yourself of it for this pur- 
pose. The trick is, in any shape, too minute for stage performance, 
and in a drawing-room it' is apt to draw special attention to 
the table, which in the case of a trick-table is a little embar- 
rassing. 

To rub One Sixpence into Three. — This is a simple little 
parlour trick, but will sometimes occasion great wonderment. Pro- 
cure three sixpences of the same issue, and privately stick two of 
them (as directed for the florin in the last trick) with wax to the 
onder side of a table, at about half an inch from the edge, and eight 
or ten inches apart* Announce to the company that you are about to 
teach them how to make money. Turn up your sleeves, and take 
the. third sixpence in your right hand, drawing particular attention to 
its date and general appearance, and indirectly to the fact that you 
have do other coin concealed in your hands. Turning back the table- 
cover, rub the sixpence with the ball of the thumb backwards and 
forwards on the edge of the table. In this position your fingers will 
naturally be below the edge. After rubbing for a few seconds, say, 
" It is nearly done, for the sixpence is getting hot ;" and, after rubbing 
a moment or two longer with increased rapidity, draw the hand away 
sharply, carrying away with it one of the concealed sixpences, which 
you exhibit as produced by the friction. Pocketing the waxed six- 
pence, and again showing that you have but one coin in your hands, 
repeat the operation with the remaining sixpence. 



176 MODERN MAGIC 

The Multiplication of Monet.— This is an old and favourite 
trick. It may be performed with shillings, pence, or florins, as may 
best suit your convenience. Whichever yon nse (we will suppose 
florins), yon prepare for the trick by secretly palming in the right 
hand such number (say three) as you intend to magically add. Ad- 
vancing to the audience, you beg tbe loan of ten or a dozen florins 
(the precise number is immaterial), at the same time requesting some 
one of the company to collect them, and bring them to you. He 
collects, we will suppose, twelve. You request him to count them 
openly upon the table, that all may be able to verify their number. 
This being done, youfinvite a second person also to step forward and 
assist. Picking up from the table the same number of coins as yon 
have concealed in your palm, you give them to one of the two per* 
sons (whom we will call A) to hold. Then, taking up the remaining 
coins, you request the second person (whom we will call E) to take 
charge of them. When he holds out his hand to receive them, you 
let fall with them the palmed coins, so that he really receives twelve, 
though he believes that he has only nine. You make him close his 
hand, and hold it high above his head. You then ask A for the coins 
you entrusted to him. On his returning them to you, you take them 
between the second finger and thumb of the left hand, and pretend 
by the tourniquet to transfer them to the right, really getting rid of 
them at the earliest opportunity on the servante, or into one of your 
pochettes. The audience believe that the three coins are in your closed 
right hand. You announce that you are about to pass them invisibly 
into the hand of B, and after the necessary amount of magical ges- 
ture, you open your hand, and show that they have vanished ; and B> 
on examining his stock, finds that the supposed nine have increased 
to twelve. 

It is a very good plan, in performing this trick, for the performer 
himself to collect the coins from the company in a plate, the coins to 
be added being held in the same hand which carries the plate, when, 
the thumb being naturally above and the fingers below, the coins are 
effectually concealed. After the coins have been counted, the per- 
former, taking the plate in the other hand, pours them from it into 
the hand which already holds the concealed coins, thus bringing them 
together easily and naturally. 



MODERN MAGIC. 177 

A farther improvement may be made in the trick by using, in 
place of an ordinary plate, a special plate or salver, generally made of 
tin japanned, but sometimes of crockery or china. The speciality of 
this plate (which is known as the " money plate/' or " multiplying 
salver'*) consists in a flat space running along its bottom, between 
its upper and under surface, just wide enough and deep enough to 
hold concealed a row of coins (florins or shillings, as the case may 
be), and closed at the one end, but open at the other, the opening 
being concealed by the edge of the plate. (See Fig. 80.) You pre- 
pare the plate beforehand by placing in the concealed space three, four. 




Fig. 8a 

«r six coins, and place ft on your table. When you first take it up, 
you take bold of it near the opening, when you may, of course, handle 
it as freely as you please, as, the mouth of the passage being upwards, 
the coins cannot possibly fall out. x Letting the plate hang downwards 
in a perpendicular position, and passing it carelessly from hand to 
hand, the audience cannot help observing that you have nothing con- 
cealed in your hands. Then collect (or count out, if already col- 
lected) the money in the plate, and, after taking away and handing 
to A a number equal to the coins concealed, pour the remainder direct 
from the plate into the hands of B> first, however, so reversing the 
position of the plate (which you may do by merely transferring it from 
the one band to the other) as to turn the opening of the passage away 
from yon. When you now slope the plate to pour the remaining 
coins into his hands, the money in the concealed passage will natu- 
rally pour out with them (see Fig. 80), thus making the required 
addition with hardly a possibility of detcctioh* 

12 



178 MODERN MAGIC. 

« 

It is a good plan to perform the trick first without, and then to 
repeat it with, the aid of the money plate, making a great point in 
the second instance of the fact that yon do not even touch the money, 
and accounting for the use of the plate as designed to preclude all 
possibility of the use of sleight-of-hand, or any other mechanical 
mode of deception. The spectators, having already seen you perform 
the trick without the aid of the plate, are precluded from supposing 
that this latter has any special connection with the secret $ and seeing 
clearly that you have in this instance no coins concealed in your hands, 
naturally conclude that the same was the case on the former occasion. 
Thus the repetition of the trick, instead of assisting them to a solu- 
tion, rather increases the mystery. 

The trick may be varied at pleasure so far as regards the manner 
of the disappearance of the coins which are supposed to be passed 
invisibly into the hands of the person holding the larger number. 
One mode is to ask one of the company to wrap them up in a piece 
of stiff paper, for which you forthwith secretly substitute a piece 
of similar paper, in which a like number of coins have been wrapped, 
but have been removed, the paper, however, retaining the form 
of the coins. Taking this in the left band, you pretend to take 
from it, invisibly, with the finger and thumb of the right hand, 
each coin in succession, and to pass it in the same manner into the 
hand of the person holding the remaining coins, finally tearing the 
paper in half to show that they have really passed away -from it. Or 
you may, if you prefer it, place the coins in question on the ** vanish- 
ing plate," to be hereafter described, whence they mysteriously dis- 
appear as you take them off one by one. This is a very eflfectire 
mode. Or you may place them in the " plug-box," the "Davenport 
cabinet," or any other of the various appliances after-mentioned for 
vanishing money. 

To make a Marked Sixpence vanish prom a Handkerchief, 

AND BE FOUND IN THE CENTRE OF AN APPLE OR ORANGE PREVI- 
OUSLY examined. — Have ready, concealed in either hand, a sixpence 
of your own, with a little wax smeared on one side of it. Roll an- 
other minute portion of wax into a round ball half the size of a 
peppercorn, and press it lightly upon the lowest button of your waist- 



MODERN MAGIC. 179 

coat, so that you may be able to find it instantly when wanted. Yon 
must also hare at hand an ordinary full-sized table-knife and a plate 
of oranges. 

Ton begin by borrowing a sixpence (requesting the owner to mark 
it) and a handkerchief. Yon spread the handkerchief flat on the 
table, witu its sides square with those of the table. Then standing 
behind your table, yon place ostensibly the borrowed sixpence, but 
really yonr own (with the waxed side up), in the centre of the hand- 
kerchief, then fold over the corners, one by one, beginning with one 
of those nearest to yourself, in such manner that each shall overlap 
the sixpence by about an inch, gently pressing each corner as yon 
fold it down. Ask 
someone to come for- 
ward, and ascertain 
by reeling the hand* 
kerchief, that the six- 
pence is really there. 
Then offer the knife 
for inspection, and 
after all are satisfied 
that it is without pre- 
paration, hand the 
plate of oranges to 
be examined in like 

manner, requesting fid. ax. 

the audience to choose 

one for the purpose of the trick. While they do so, your fingers go 
in search of the little ball of wax, and press it against one side of the 
marked sixpence, which still remains in your hand. Press the six- 
pence against one side of the blade of the knife, at about the middle 
cf its length, and lay the knife on the table, the sixpence adhering to 
its under side. Then taking hold of the handkerchief, as represented 
in Fig. Si, and blowing on its centre, draw the hands quickly apart. 
The two corners of the side next to you will thns be brought one 
into each hand, and adhering to one of them (the one which you first 
folded down), will be the substitute sixpence, which will thus appear 
to have vanished. Hand the handkerchief for examination, that it 



180 MODERN MA CIC. 

may be seen that the coin has really disappeared, and meanwhile get 
rid of the substitute into your pocket or elsewhere. Turn op your 
sleeves, and show that your hands are empty. Then take up the 
knife (taking care to keep the side on which the sixpence is away 
from the spectators), and cut open the orange. Cut about half way 
down with the point, and then finish the cut by drawing the 
whole length of the blade through the opening thus made. This will 
detach the sixpence, which will fall between the two halves of the 
orange, as though it had all along been contained therein* Wipe it 
with the handkerchief to remove the juice of the orange from it, and 
at the same time rub off any wax which may still adhere to it, and 
hand it for identification. 

The coin may, if preferred, be found in an egg instead of the 
orange, tbe audience being invited to choose which shall be used. 
This trick is sometimes performed by the aid of a knife made for this 
special purpose, with a small spring lever, after the manner of a flute 
key, soldered against one side of the blade. Tbe coin is held in posi- 
tion by the short arm of the lever, which answers the same purpose 
as the wax in the form of the trick above described. The disadvantage 
of using this, which is known as the "fruit knife," is, that you 
cannot hand the knife for examination, and ihis, to our mind, spoils 
the trick* 

Tbb Travelling Counters. — This is a very similar trick to 
that already described under tbe title of the "Multiplication of 
Money." It is performed with twelve metal counters. The per- 
former begins by counting the twelve counters on the table ; then, 
taking up four of them, he hands them to a spectator to hold, and 
taking the remainder in his own hand, commands them to change 
places. On examination, his commands are found to be obeyed. 
The spectator has eight, while the performer has only four. The 
spectator is now requested to take charge of the eight, when the 
operator commands the four which he himself holds to rejoin them. 
This, also, is found to be accomplished. The operator now hands 
the twelve to a second spectator, requesting him to hold them tightly. 
After a moments interval, he is requested again to count them, bat 
finds that he has grasped them too tightly, for they are now welded 



MODERN MAGIC. 181 



together into a solid mass. The performer again takes them, and by 
merely breathing on them, restores them to their original state. 

The student, with the experience which he has by this time 
gained, will naturally conjecture that the trick is in reality performed 
with sixteen loose counters, and twelve soldered together \ that the 
performer commenced the trick with four counters palmed in hi* 
right band, which he secretly added to the four which he handed to 
the spectator j that, taking up the remaining eight, and apparently 
transferring them from his right hand to his left, he really transferred 
four only, leaving the remainder in the right hand ; and that when he 
again handed the eight counters to the spectator, be added these last 
to them. That in apparently transferring the remaining four from 
hand to hand he palmed them, forthwith dropping them into one of his 
pochettes, and taking from the same place, or from under bis waistband, 
the solid twelve, which he finally handed to the second spectator in 
place of the twelve loose counters j again substituting the loose ones, 
as before, when by breathing on them he professed to restore them to 
their primitive state. 

As the student has so successfully guessed all this, it would be an 
impertinence on our part to further explain the trick. 

The Wandering Sixpence. — Have ready two sixpences, each 
slightly waxed on one side. Borrow a sixpence, and secretly exchange 
it for one of the waxed ones, laying the latter, waxed side uppermost, 
on the table. Let any one draw two cards from any ordinary pack. 
Take them in the left hand, and, transferring them to the right, press 
the second waxed sixpence against the centre of the undermost, to 
which it will adhere. Lay this card (which we will call a) on the 
table, about eighteen inches from the sixpence which is already there, 
and cover that sixpence with the other card, b. Lift both cards a 
little way from the table, to show that the sixpence is under card a, 
and that there is apparently nothing under card b. As you replace 
tbem, press lightly on the centre of card a. You may now make the 
sixpence appear under whichever card you like, remembering that, if 
von wish the sixpence not to adhere, you must bend the card slightly 
upwards in taking it from the table; if otherwise, take it up without 
bending. 



i8a MODERN MAGIC. 



CHAPTER VIII. 
Tricks with Coiit rewiring Special Apparatus. 

The u Heads and Tails " Trick.— This is a pretty little trick, 
of an unpretending nature, but of very good effect, especially if intro- 
duced in a casual and apparently extempore manner. The performer 
borrows, or produces from his own pocket, four penny-pieces. Plac- 
ing them upon the table, be requests some one to make a pile of 
them, all one way, say " tail '* upwards. He next requests the same 
or another person to turn over the pile so made, without disturbing 
the relative position of the coins, and announces with an air of super- 
natural knowledge that they will now all be found " head " upwards. 
This appears so ridiculously obvious, that the audience naturally 
observe (with more or less straightforwardness of expression) that 
"any fool could tell that." " Pardon me," says the performer, " it is 
not quite such a simple matter as you think. I very much doubt 
whether any of you could do as much. I will place the coins again; 
watch me as closely as you please. I will place them as before— 
Tail, tail, tail, tail. Is that fairly done? Now I will turn them 
over." He does so, letting the tips of his fingers rest upon them. 
" What are they now ? " A general chorus replies, " All heads, of 
course ! " But on examination it is found that only three are "heads," 
and one a " tail." Again he arranges them, placing them this time 
alternately — head, tail, head, tail. He turns them over. The natural 
order (beginning from below) would again be head, tail, head, tail ; but 
they are found to be head, tail, tail, tail. Again he places them, tail, 
taH, tail, head. When turned over they should be tail, head, head, 
head, but are found to be tail, head, alternately. 

The secret lies in the use of a prepared penny, consisting of similar 
halves (in the case above described two " tails ") soldered together, so 



MODERN MA GIC 183 



as to be " tail " 00 either side. This the performer palms in his right 
hand. After first going through the operation with the genuine corns, 
as above, he picks them up with his left hand, and apparently trans- 
ferring them to the right, really transfers three of them only. He 
then performs the trick with these and the prepared coin, when the 
apparently miraculous result above described becomes a matter of 
course. 4 

It is best not to repeat the trick too often, and a little practice is 
necessary in order to be able to return the three genuine coins neatly 
to the left hand (in which the fourth borrowed coin must be retained 
throughout the trick), at the same time secretly retaining your own. 
It is a frequent occurrence for one or otheV of the company, imagining 
that the seeming wonder is, in some unexplained way, a result of 
some natural principle, to request to be allowed to try for himself. It 
is obvious that, under such circumstances, it would not do to hand 
him the prepared coin, and hence the necessity for some quick and 
natural method of again getting the four genuine coins together. 

The trick may be brought to an effective conclusion as follows : 
After you have got rid of the double-faced penny, you may continue, 
"Perhaps it is a little too complicated for you with four coins; sup- 
pose we try it with one only, and I won't even turn it over." Placing 
one of the genuine pence on the middle of the right palm, which you 
hold out horizontally before you, you draw special attention to the 
fact that the coin is (say) " tail " upwards. Quickly covering it with 
the other hand, you say, " What is it now ? M " Tail/' is the reply. 
"Wrong again! 9 ' you say, and, lifting up the hand, show that the 
coin has this time vanished altogether. This mysterious disappearance 
is effected as follows : When you apparently cover the coin with the 
left hand, you bring the hands together with a quick lateral motion 
as though sliding the one across the other. This shoots the coin 
from the palm down the opposite sleeve, the motion being so quick 
that the keenest eye cannot detect it. This little sleight is by no 
means difficult, and is well worthy of acquirement, as it may be 
introduced with equal effect in many tricks. 



The Magic Cover and Vanishing Halfpence. — This is a 
very old trick, but is still very popular with a juvenile audience. 



184 MODERN MAGIC. 



The principal apparatus consists of half-a-dozen halfpence, of 
which the centre portion has been cut out, leaving each a mere rim 
of metal. Upon these is placed a complete halfpenny, and the whole 
are connected together by a rivet running through the whole thick- 
ness of the pile. When placed upon the table, with the complete 
coin upwards, they have all the appearance of a pile of ordinary half- 
pence, the slight lateral play allowed by the rivet aiding the illusion. 
A little leather cap (shaped something like a fez, with a little button 
on the top, and of such a size as to fit loosely over the pile of half- 
pence), with an ordinary die, such as backgammon is played with, 
complete the necessary requirements. 

You begin by drawing attention to your magic cap and die, late 
the property of the king of the fairies. In order to exhibit their 
mystic powers, you request the loan of half-a-dozen halfpence (the 
number must, of course, correspond with that of your own pile), and, 
while they are being collected, you take the opportunity to slip the 
little cap over your prepared pile, which should be placed ready to 
hand behind some small object on the table, so as to be unseen by 
the spectators. Pressing the side of the cap, you lift the pile with it, 
and place the whole together in full view, in close proximity to the 
die. The required halfpence having been now collected, you beg all 
to observe that you place the leather cap (which the spectators suppose 
to be empty) fairly over the die. Taking the genuine coins in either 
hand, you pretend, by one or other of the passes, to transfer them to 
the other. Holding the hand which is now supposed to contain the 
coins immediately above the cap, you announce that they will at your 
command pass under the cap, from which the die will disappear to 
make room for them. Saying, " One, two, three ! Pass ! " you 
open your hand, and show that the coins have vanished. If you use 
a regular table, you may place them on the servant^ and show both 
hands empty ; and then, lifting up the cap by the button, you show 
the hollow pile, covering the die, and appearing to be the genuine 
coins. Once more covering the pile with the cap, you announce that 
you will again extract the coins, and replace the die 5 and to make 
the trick still more extraordinary, you will this time pass the coins 
right through the table. Placing the hand which holds the genuine 
coins beneath the tabic, and once more saying, " One, two, three ! 



MODERN MAGIC 1S5 



Pass ! " you chink the coins, and, bringing them up, place them on 
the table. Again picking up the cap, but this time pressing its sides, 
70a lift up the hollow pile with it, and disclose the die. Quickly 
transfer tbe cap, without the pile, to the other hand, and place it oa 
the table, to bear the brunt of examination, while you get rid of the 
prepared coins* 

The trick may be varied in many ways, according to the ingenuity 
of the performer, but it belongs at best to the " juvenile " school of 
conjuring, and we have not thought it worth while to waste space in, 
elaborating it. 

The Animated Coin, which answers Questions, etc. — 
This trick is performed in a variety of different ways, some with 
apparatus, some without. The effect produced is as follows : — The 
performer borrows a coin, and, after making a few mesmeric passes over 
it, drops it into a glass upon the table, where it immediately begins to 
jump about as if alive. The performer then announces that the coin 
thus mesmerized has the power of fortune-telling, naming chosen 
cards, predicting the number that will be thrown by a pair of dice, 
etc The coin answers " Yes * 9 by jumping three times, " No " by 
jumping once— according to the approved spiritualistic code of sig- 
nals. We shall not stay to discuss the questions asked, which are of 
tbe same class as those which are generally put to the Magic Bell or 
Drum, but proceed at once to explain the various modes of producing 
the movement of the coin. 

One plan is for the performer to have a coin of his own, to which) 
is attached a long black silk thread, the other end of which is in the 
hand of an assistant behind the scenes, or elsewhere out of sight of 
tbe audience. This coin is placed on the table in readiness, but con- 
cealed from tbe spectators by some larger object in front of it. When 
tbe performer advances to tbe table with the borrowed coin, he 
secretly picks up the prepared one, and drops the latter into the glass 
as being that which he has borrowed. A short, quick jerk of the 
thread by the assistant will make the coin spring up and fall back 
again, producing the required chink. It is only necessary to be care- 
ful not to jerk the thread so violently as to make the coin fly out of 
the glass. It is desirable, where practicable, to make the thread pass 



1 86 MODERN MAGIC. 

either through a hole in the top of the table, or a ring fixed to its nr- 
face and placed immediately behind the glass. This will keep that 
portion of the thread nearest to the glass perpendicular behind it, ia 
which position it will be completely hidden by the glass, and so be 
invisible. 

Some performers prefer to use the actual coin borrowed. Tbt 
arrangements in this case are the same aa above described, sare tbt 
the silk thread, instead of havicR 
■ substitute, coin attached to it, 
has merely a pellet of was at its 
end. The performer having 
handed round the glass for in- 
spection, and standing in front of 
the table with his left side tamed 
towards the audience, picks np * 
pellet of wax with his right hand 
at the same moment that, holding 
the borrowed coin in his left hand, 
he begs the spectators to take 
especial notice that he really uses 
the borrowed coin, and no other. 
Having said this, he transfers the 
coin, by a perfectly natural move- 
ment, to his right hand, and press- 
ing against it the waxen pellet, 
drops it into the glass. 

The third and last mode of 
p, a g^ performing the trick is by means 

of a special glass, with a hole 
drilled through its foot. This is placed on a suitable pedestal (stt 
Fig. 81), in which works up and down a steel needle, forming the 
upper portion of a kind of loose piston, a. The top of the pedestal 
is covered with green baize, allowing free passage to the needle, 
which when pushed upward strikes the coin from below, with 
much the same effect as the thread pulling it from above. This 
pedestal is only available with one of the mechanical tables which 
will be described in connection with "stage tricks." Such tables 



MODERN MAGIC. 187 



contain, among other contrivances, what are called "pistons," being 
small metal rods, which, by pulling a string, are made to rise verti- 
cally an inch or so above the surface of the table, sinking down again 
as soon as the cord is released. The pedestal is placed immediately 
above one of these, whose movement is in turn communicated to the 
loose piston in the pedestal, and thence to the coin. 

It only remains to be stated how the necessary knowledge for the 
inswers is communicated to the person who controls the movements 
of the piece. With respect to chosen cards, the cards ate either indi- 
cated by the wording of the questions, or are agreed on beforehand, 
the performer taking care to " force *' the right ones. The assistant 
is enabled to predict the throw of the dice by the simple expedient of 
using a small boxwood vase, in which there are two compartments, in 
one of which a pair of dice (apparently the same which have just been 
dropped in haphazard from the top) have been arranged beforehand 
for the purpose of the trick. The ordinary fortune-telling questions, 
-as to " Which young lady will be married first ? " " Which spends 
most time at her looking-glass ? " " Which has most sweethearts ? '* 
and so on, are either answered in accordance with previous arrange- 
ment, or according to the fancy of the moment. Of course, where a 
question of this kind is asked, the performer takes care to follow up 
the question by designating a number of persons in succession, so 
that a mere " Yes *' or '* No " may be a sufficient answer. 



We shall next proceed to describe three or four pieces of apparatus 
designed to cause a piece of money to disappear, and therefore well 
adapted for commencing a coin trick. There are other appliances, 
more particularly adapted for re-producing a coin. Any of these will 
be available for the conclusion ; the particular combination being at 
the option of the performer. 

The Vanishing Halfpenny Box. To make a Halfpenny 

VANISH FROM THE BOX, AND AGAIN RETURN TO IT.— This IS a little 

round box, made of boxwood, about an inch deep, and of such dia- 
meter that its internal measurement exactly admits a halfpenny j in 
other words, that if a halfpenny be placed in it, it exactly covers the 



188 MODERN MAGIC. 



bottom. The top and bottom of the box are lined with some bright- 
coloured paper, and with it is used a halfpenny, one side of which is 
covered with similar paper. If therefore this halfpenny be placed 
in the box with the papered side upwards, the halfpenny is naturally 
taken to be the bottom of the box, which thus appears empty. 

The performer begins by tendering the box for examination, 
keeping the while the prepared halfpenny palmed in his right hand. 
When the box has been sufficiently inspected, he borrows a half- 
penny from the audience, and secretly exchanges it for his own, 
taking care that the spectators only see the unprepared side of the 
latter. He thm announces that this box, apparently so simple, has the 
singular faculty of causing the disappearance of any money entrusted 
to its keeping, as they will perceive when he places in it the halfpenny 
he has just borrowed. He places the halfpenny in it accordingly, 
holding it with the uncovered side towards the audience, but letting 
it so fall that it shall lie in the box with the papered side upwards. 
He now puts the lid on, and shakes the box up and down, to show by 
the rattling of the coin that it is still there. He desires the audience 
to say when they would wish the coin to leave the box, and on receiv- 
ing their commands, touches the lid with his wand, and again shakes 
the box. This time, however, he shakes it laterally, and as in this 
direction the coin exactly fits the box, it has no room to rattle, and is 
therefore silent. He boldly asserts that the coin is gone, and opening 
the box, shows the inside to the spectators, who seeing, as they sup- 
pose, the papered bottom, are constrained to admit that it is empty. 
Once again he closes the box, and touches it with the wand, announc- 
ing that he will compel the coin to return. Shaking the box up and 
down, it is again heard to rattle. Taking off the lid, he turns the 
box upside down, and drops the coin into his hand. This brings 
it out with the papered side undermost, and so hidden. Again hand- 
ing the box to be examined, he exchanges the prepared halfpenny for 
the one which was lent to him, and which he now returns to the 
owner with thanks. 

A variatiou may be introduced by causing the borrowed halfpenny 
to re-appear in some other apparatus, after it has vanished from the 
box in question. The borrowed coin may, if desired, be marked, in 
order to heighten the effect of the trick. 



MODERN MAGIC. 



189 



The Rattlb Box. To make a Coin vanish prom the Box, 

THOUGH STILL HEARD TO RATTLB WITHIN IT. — This IS R Useful 

and ingenious little piece of apparatus. It is an oblong mahogany 
box, with a sliding lid. Its dimensions are about three inches by 
two, and one inch in depth externally j internally, it is only half that 
depth, and the end piece of the lid is of such a depth as to be flush 
with the bottom. Thus, if a coin be placed in the box, and the box 
held in such a position as to slant downwards to the opening, the 
com will of its own weight fall into the hand that holds the box (see 
Fig* 83), thus giving the performer possession of it without the 
knowledge of the audience. 

Between the true and the false bottom of the box is placed a slip 
of sine, which, when the 
box is shaken laterally, 
moves from side to side, 
exactly simulating the sound 
of a coin shaken in the box. 
In its normal condition, 
however, this slip of zinc is 
held fast (and therefore 
kept silent) by the action 
of a spring also placed be- 
tween the two bottoms, but 

is released for the time __ _ 

i- . Tig. 83. 

Being by a pressure on a 

particular part of the outer bottom (the part in contact with the fingers 

in Fig. 83). A casual inspection of the box suggests nothing, save, 

perhaps, that its internal space is somewhat shallow in proportion 

to its external measurement. 

The mode of using it is as follows : The performer invites any 

person to mark a coin, and to place it in the box, which he holds for 

that purpose as represented in the figure ; and the coin is thus no 

sooner placed in the box than it falls into his hand. Transferring 

the box to the other hand, and pressing the spring, he shakes it to 

show by the sound that the coin is still there j then, leaving the 

box on the table, he prepares for the next phase of the trick by 

secretly placing the coin, which the audience believe to be still in 




190 



MODERN MAGIC. 



the box, in any other apparatus in which he desires it to be found, or 
makes such other disposition of it as may be necessary. Having done 
this, and having indicated the direction in which he is about to com- 
mand the coin to pass, he once more shakes the box to show that it is 
still in statu quo. Then, with the mystic word " Pass ! " he opens the 
box, which is found empty, and shows that his commands hare 
been obeyed. 

Thb Pbppbr-box, for vanishing money.«-*This is a small 
tin box, of the pepper-box of flour-dredger shape, standing three 
to four inches high. (See Fig. 84.) The box portion (as distin- 
guished from the lid), is made double, consisting of two tin tubes 
sliding the one within the other, the bottom being soldered to 

the inner one only. By pulling the bot- 
tom downwards, therefore, you draw down 
with it the inner tube, telescope fashion. 
By so doing you bring into view a slit or 
opening at one side of the inner tube, 
level with the bottom, and of such a size 
as to let a coin, say, a two-shilling piece, 
pass through it easily. (See Fig. 85.) 
The lid is also specially prepared It has 
an inner or false top, and between the 
true and raise top a loose bit of tin is in- 
troduced, which rattles when the box is shaken, unless you at the 
same time press a little point of wire projecting from one of the holes 
at the top, and so render it, for the time being, silent. 

The box is first exhibited with the inner tube pushed up into its 
place, and the opening thereby concealed. A marked coin is bor- 
rowed, but either before of after the coin is placed therein, as may 
best suit his purpose, the performer secretly draws out the inner tube 
a quarter of an inch or so, thus allowing the coin to slip through into 
his hand. As he places the box on the table, a very slight pressure 
suffices to force the tube up again into its original position, and close 
the opening. Having made the necessary disposition of the coin, the 
performer takes up the box, and shakes it, to show (apparently) that 
the coin is still there, pressing on the little point above mentioned 




Fio. $4. 



Fig. 85. 



MODERN MAGIC. 



191 




Flo. 86. 



Flo. 87. 



when he desires it to appear that it has departed, and immediately open- 
ing the box to show that it is empty. The pepper-box will not bear 
minute inspection, and is in this particular inferior to the rattle-box. 

The Brass Movby-box, for the same purpose.— This is on a 
similar principle to that of the pepper-box, bat has no rattle move- 
ment, and is not adapted for 
any coin of larger size than a 
shilling. Its shape will be 
best understood from an exa- 
mination of the diagrams. 
(See Figs. 86, 87.) It has no 
moveable lid, bat merely a slit 
in the top, just large enough to 
admit the coin, which, when 
once dropped in, cannot be got 
out again without a knowledge 
of the secret. 

This, like the pepper-box, consists of two tubes one within the 
other j but the inner tube is firmly soldered to the two end pieces, 
a and b, which are solid. The only moveable portion is the outer 
tube c, which is so arranged as to slide upwards (within a) for about 
an eighth of an inch, thereby disclosing the opening of the inner 
tube, and allowing the coin to slip through. Fig. 87 represents the 
box with the slit open, and Fig. 86 with it closed. 

Some little practice is required to use the money-box with dex- 
terity. The performer should hold it tightly by the middle between 
the finger and thumb of his right hand, taking care that the side on 
which the secret opening is shall lie toward the inside of his hand. 
As he drops the coin through the slit, he should press lightly on the 
top with the fingers of the left hand, and at the same time push c 
upwards with the right hand. The coin will now slip through into 
his hand, while a slight downward pressure as he replaces the box on 
the table will again push down c, and make all close as before. If 
the performer prefers to use one hand only, he should press down- 
wards on the top with the first finger, at the same time pressing 
upwards with the second finger and thumb. 



ioi 



MODERN MAGIC 



There are various ways of using this little apparatus. It mar 
either be used as above, as a means of surreptitiously gaining pos- 
session of a coin, to be afterwards produced in some other apparatus, 
or it may be used by itself singly, the coin being made apparently to 
fall through the bottom at the will of the performer. It may also be 
used as a puzzle, its secret being so well concealed that it will bear i 
very minute examination without discovery. 

Tax Brass Box for Monet, known as thb " Phio-box."— 
This is a piece of apparatus so ipgenious in construction, and capable 
of being used in so many different ways, that we should recommend the 
student of magtc to make it one of bis first investments. It is about 
three inches in height, and one and a half in diameter, and is com- 
posed of four separate parts. See Fig. 88, in which a represents the 
outside or body of the box, being 
in reality a mere brass tube open 
at both ends, with a moveable 
bottom, ft, which fits tightly in 
c the end of a, appearing when in 

its place to be a fixture, and to 
form with a one com plete whole ; 
a has no lid, properly so called, 
bnt is closed by inserting in it 
" what appears to be a solid brass 

Pic. 88. P' u 6 or P'ston. This plug, how- 

ever, though in appearance solid, 
also consists of two parts— the plug proper, c, which is really solid, 
and a brass sheath, d, exactly fitting it as to its diameter, bat a quarter 
of an inch longer, thus leaving, when c is placed in d, and pnshrd 
home, a hollow space at the bottom of d capable of containing » 
florin or half-crown. The sheath d is of precisely the same length ts 
a, and is so made as to fit easily upon c, but tightly within a. When 
the plug-box is exhibited to the audience, the bottom, 6, is in its 
proper place, and c, which is shown apart from a, is covered with its 
sheath, d. There being nothing in its appearance to point to any 
other conclusion, the spectators naturally believe that the apparatus 
s of those two parts only. If now the plug be placed within 




MODERN MAGIC. 193 



the box, and pushed home, the moveable bottom, 0, will be pressed 
oat, and fall into the hand of the performer. On again with- 
drawing the plug, the sheath d, which, as already mentioned, fits 
more tightly within a than upon c, is left within a ; the bottom 
of 4, which comes exactly flush with the lower edge of a, now 
appearing to be the bottom of the latter. To the eyes of the audi- 
ence, the box is exactly as they saw it at first, and it may even be 
examined pretty freely, with little risk of its secret being discovered 
by any one. 

The plug-box may be used in a variety of different ways— to 
vanish, reproduce, or exchange. For the first purpose, the coin to be 
got rid of is dropped into a. When the plug is inserted, and pressed 
home, the coin falls, with 0, into the hand of the performer j and on 
the plug being again withdrawn, nothing is seen but the interior of d, 
which is of course empty. Where it is desired to use the box for 
the purpose of reproducing a coin, such coin is placed beforehand 
within d. The box is first shown empty, but has only to be closed 
and re-opened, and the coin is found within it. For exchanges, the 
substitute is placed in d, and the genuine coin in a. This latter falls 
oat with the bottom, and the substitute is in due course discovered. 
A half-crown may thus be changed to a penny, or a sovereign to a 
shilling. 

But the chief use of the plug-box is as an auxiliary in those 
more important tricks in which the coin, apparently remaining up 
to the last moment in the spectator's own possession, is sud- 
denly made to appear in some quarter to which (if it had really so 
remained) it' could not possibly have been transported by natural 
means. The performer in this case places a similar coin beforehand 
in <L Dropping, or allowing the owner to drop, the marked coin 
into a, he closes the box, which he shakes to prove that the coin 
is really there. Giving the box to some one to hold, he is then 
enabled, without exciting the smallest suspicion, to retire, and 
make what disposition be pleases of the marked coin, which he 
has thus got into his own possession. When he has completed his 
arrangements, he again takes the box, and, opening it, takes out 
the substitute, which the audience naturally believe to be the 
genuine coin $ and getting rid of this by sleight-of-hand or otherwise, 

i3 



194 MODERN MA G/C 

passes the coin (at that very moment, so far as the audience 
can judge) to the place where it is ^ultimately destined to be 
found. 

A favourite mode of using the plug-box is as foHows: — A coin 
(say a florin) is wrapped in a small piece of paper, after which the 
coin is taken out and the paper again folded in such a manner as to 
retain the impression of the coin, and so to look, as far as possible, as 
if still containing it. The paper thus folded is placed beforehand in d, 
and the performer, borrowing a florin, requests the owner to wrap it 
carefully in a piece of paper, which he hands him for the purpose, 
and which is similar in size and general appearance to the folded 
piece. The florin, thus wrapped up, is placed in a, and the box 
closed, the performer thus gaining possession of paper and coin. 
The box is then handed to the owner of the money, who is asked to 
open it and see for himself that his money is still there. Seeing the 
folded paper, which he takes to be the same in which his money was 
wrapped, he answers in the affirmative. The box is again closed, the 
coin, meanwhile, being disposed of according to the pleasure of the 
operator — the owner finding on a closer examination that his money 
has departed from the box, though the paper in which it was wrapped 
(as he imagines) still remains. 

Tub Handkerchief for Vanishing Monet.— This is another 
appliance for vanishing a coin. It is an ordinary handkerchief of silk 
or cotton, in one corner of which, in a little pocket, is sewn a coin, 
say a florin or a penny, or any substitute which, felt through the sob- 
stance of the handkerchief, shall appear to be such a coin. The mode 
of using it is very simple. Holding the handkerchief by the corner in 
which is the coin, and letting it hang loosely down, the performer 
borrows a similar coin, and, after carelessly shaking out the handker- 
chief, to show that all is fair, he places, to all appearance, the bor- 
rowed coin in the centre (underneath), and gives the handkerchief to 
some one to hold. In reality, he has only wrapped up the corner 
containing the substitute coin, and retains the genuine one for his 
own purposes. When it is desirable to make it appear that the coin 
has left the handkerchief, he simply takes it from the person holding 
it, and gives it a shake, at the same moment rapidly running the edges 



MODERN MAGIC. 195 



of the handkerchief through his hands, till the comer containing the 
coin comes into one or the other of them. 

Tbb Demon Handkerchief (he MoucktAr du Diable).— This is 
a recent improvement on the above, and possesses a much wider 
range of utility, inasmuch as it really does cause the disappearance 
of any article placed under it, and is available to vanish not only 
coin, but a card, an egg, a watch, or any other article of moderate size. 
It consists of two handkerchiefs, of the same pattern, stitched to- 
gether all round the edges, and with a slit of about four inches in 
length cut in the middle of one of them. The whole space between 
the two handkerchiefs thus forms a kind of pocket, of which the 
slit above mentioned is the only opening. In shaking or otherwise 
manipulating the handkerchief, the performer takes care always to 
keep the side with the slit away from the spectators, to 'whom the 
handkerchief appears to be merely the ordinary article of everyday 
use. When he desires by its means to cause the disappearance of 
anything, he carelessly throws the handkerchief over the article, at 
the same time secretly passing the latter through the slit in the under 
side, and hands it thus covered to some one to hold. Then, taking 
the handkerchief by one corner, be requests him to let go, when the 
object is retained in the space between the two handkerchiefs, appeal- 
ing to have vanished into empty air. 

This, like the plug-box, is an appliance which no conjuror should 
be without. It may be purchased ready-made at any of the dep6ts 
for magical apparatus, or may be of home-manufacture, which in this 
case (contrary to the general rule) is not unlikely to produce the 
better article. 

The Davenport Cabinet.— This little cabinet must by no 
means be confounded with the wardrobe in which the notorious 
Brothers performed their mystic evolutions. The cabinet now in 
question is but four inches high and two and a half square, and 
consists of two parts, an outer case, or body, covered at the top, 
bat otherwise open throughout, and a drawer, occupying the upper 
portion of its interior space. (See Fig. 89.) When the drawer is 
removed, the case, which has no bottom, may be examined through- 







196 MODERN MAGIC. 

out, and will be found to be perfectly plain and unsophisticated ; save 
that a keen examiner might observe a little brass pin, a quarter of an 
inch long, projecting from the back of the cabinet on the inside, just 
on a level with the bottom of the drawer when replaced in its proper 
position. The drawer 
may also be examined, 
and will be found to 
be perfectly plain, 
with the bottom 
(which is so thin is 
to preclude any sus- 
picion of a con- 
cealed space), covered 
within and without 
Fio. Bo. Fie. 90. Fio. 91. with black cloth. On 

turning the drawer 
round, and examining the back, a minute hole may be discovered, 
corresponding in situation with the brass pin already mentioned. If 
a pin be thrust into this hole, the purpose of the two is immediately 
manifest ; for the pressure of the pin releases a tiny catch, and allows 
the bottom of the drawer, which is in reality ooly supported by this 
catch at the back and a cloth hinge in the front, to drop into the 
position indicated in Fig. 90. This is precisely what takes place 
when the drawer, being restored to its proper position in the cabinet, 
is duly closed. Tbe pressure of the brass pin at the back releases the 
catch, and the bottom of the drawer falls as just described, and allows 
any article which may have been placed therein to drop into the hand 
of the person holding the cabinet. (See Fig. 91.) The act of pull- 
ing out the drawer again presses the bottom up to its proper place, 
where it is secured by the catch until once more released by the 
pressure of the pin. The strong point of this ingenious little appa- 
ratus is that it is absolutely self-acting, and its secret can only be 
detected by examining the cabinet from below at the moment when 
the drawer is pushed home; and this it is easy to prevent by tbe 
simple expedient of handing each portion separately for inspection. 

The performer begins by handing first the cabinet and then the 
drawer for examination. Then, placing the cabinet on tbe paint of 



MODERN MA GIC. 197 



his hand, he invites any one of the audience to deposit any small 
article, a coin, a ring, a watch, etc., in the drawer, and to replace the 
drawer in the cabinet. As soon as the drawer is closed, the article 
drops through into his hand. Taking hold of the cabinet with the 
other hand (lifting it by the top only, and with the very tips of his 
fingers, so as to preclude all apparent possibility of deception), he 
places it on the table or elsewhere, in full view. Having thus gained 
possession of the borrowed article, he concludes the trick by repro- 
ducing it in any manner he thinks proper. 

We have thus far discussed pieces of apparatus more especially 
designed to cause the disappearance of a coin, and thus adapted for 
use in the first stage of a trick. We shall next consider such as are 
intended to reproduce, under more or less surprising circumstances, 
the coin thus got rid of, such reproduction forming the second stage, 
or denouement. 

The Nest of Boxes. — This consists of a number, generally 
six, but sometimes more, of circular wooden boxes, one within the 
other, the largest or outer box having much the appearance, but 
being nearly double the size, of an ordinary tooth-powder box, and the 
smallest being just large enough to contain a shilling. The series is 
so accurately made, that by arranging the boxes in due order one within 
the other, and the lids in like manner, you may, by simply putting on 
all the lids together, close all the boxes at once, though they can only 
be opened one by one. 

These are placed, the boxes together and the lids together, any- 
where so as to be just out of sight of the audience. If on your table, 
they may be hidden by any more bulky article. Having secretly 
obtained possession, by either of the means before described, of a coin 
which is ostensibly deposited in some other piece of apparatus, e.g., 
the Davenport Cabinet, you seize your opportunity to drop it into the 
innermost box, and to put on the united lids. You then bring for- 
ward the nest of boxes (which the spectators naturally take to be 
one box only), and announce that the shilling will at your command 
pass from the place in which it has been deposited into the box 
which you hold in your hand, and which you forthwith deliver to one 



198 MODERN MAGIC. 



of the audience for safe keeping. Touching both 'articles with the 
mystic wand, yon invite inspection of the first to show that the money 
has departed, and then of the box, wherein it is to be found. The 
holder opens the box, and finds another, and then another, and in the 
innermost of all the marked coin. Seeing how long the several boxes 
have taken to open, the spectators naturally infer that they must take 
as long to close, and (apart from the other mysteries of the trick), ire 
utterly at a loss to imagine how, with the mere moment of time at 
your command, you could have managed to insert the coin, and dose 
so many boxes. 

If you desire to use the nest for a coin larger than a shilling, yon 
can make it available for that purpose by removing beforehand the 
smallest box. Nests of square boxes, with hinged lids and self- 
closing locks, are made, both in wood and in tin, on the same prin- 
ciple. These are designed for larger articles, and greatly vary in sue 
and price. 

Thb Ball of Berlin Wool.— An easy and effective mode of 
terminating a money trick is to pass the marked coin into the centre 
of a large ball of Berlin wool or worsted, the whole of which has to 
be unwound before the coin can be reached. The modus operandi, 
though perplexing to the uninitiated, is absurdly simple when 
the secret is revealed. The only apparatus n eces sa ry over and 
above the wool (of which you must have enough for a good-sized 
ball), is a flat tin tube, three to four inches in length, and just large 
enough to allow a florin or shilling (whichever you intend to use for 
the trick) to slip through it easily. You prepare for the trick by 
winding the wool on one end of the tube, in such manner that when 
the whole is wound in a ball, an inch or so of the tube may project 
from it. This you place in your pocket, or anywhere out of sight of 
the audience. You commence the trick by requesting some one to 
mark a coin, which you forthwith exchange, by one or other of the 
means already described, for a substitute of your own, and leave the 
latter in the possession or in view of the spectators, while you retire 
to fetch your ball of wool, or simply take it from your pocket. Be- 
fore producing it, you drop the genuine coin down the tube into the 
centre of the ball, and withdraw the tube, giving the ball a squeeze to 



MODERN MAGIC. 199 



remove all trace of an opening. Ton then bring it forward, and 
place it in a glass goblet or tumbler, which you hand to a spectator to 
hold. Taking the substitute coin, yon announce that you will make 
it pass invisibly into the very centre of the ball of wool, which yon 
accordingly pretend to do, getting rid of it by means of one or other 
of the Passes described in Chapter VI. You then request a second 
spectator to take the loose end of the wool, and to unwind the ball, 
which, when he has done, the coin falls out into the goblet 

The only drawback to the trick is the tediousness of the pro- 
cess of unwinding. To obviate this, some performers use a wheel 
made for the purpose, which materially shortens the length of the 
operation. 

The Glass Goblbt and Cover. — This apparatus consists of an 
ordinary glass goblet, of rather large size, with a japanned tin cover, 
in shape not unlike the lid of a coffee-pot, but of sufficient height to 
contain, in an upright position, a couple of florins or half-crowns. 
These are placed side by side in a flat tube, just large enough to admit 
them, fixed in a slightly sloping position in the upper part of the 
cover, and divided in two by a tin partition. Across the lower end 
of this tube is a tin slide, which, in its normal condition, is kept 
closed by the action of a spring, but is drawn back whenever a knob 
on the top of the cover is pressed down. If a slight pressure be 
applied, one coin only is released ; but if the knob be still further 
pressed down, the second also falls. The mechanism of the cover 
is concealed by a flat plate or lining, also of tin, soldered just 
within it, with an oblong opening just large enough to admit of the 
passage of the coins. The inside of the cover is japanned black, the 
outside according to the taste of the maker. 

Yon take care not to bring on the goblet and cover until you 
have, by substitution, gained possession of the two marked coins 
which you have borrowed for the purpose of the trick. Retiring to 
fetch the glass and cover, you prepare the latter by inserting the 
marked coins. This you do by holding the cover upside down, press- 
ing the knob (thus drawing back the spring slide), and dropping the 
coins into their receptacle. On removing the pressure on the knob, 
the slide returns to its normal position. You then bring forward the 



200 MODERN MAGIC. 



goblet and cover, and place them on the table. Holding the goblet 
upside down, to show that it is empty, you place the cover over it, 
ostensibly to prevent anything being secretly passed into it, and, for 
still greater security, throw a handkerchief, borrowed for that purpose, 
over the whole. You now announce that, notwithstanding the diffi- 
culties which you have voluntarily placed in the way, you will pass 
the two marked coins through the handkerchief, and through the 
metal cover into the glass. Taking in your right band one of the 
substitutes, which have all along remained in sight, and which the 
audience take to be the genuine coins, you pretend by Pass i to trans- 
fer it to your left, and pressing gently on the knob with the last-men- 
tioned hand, cause one of the marked coins to drop from the cover, 
at the same moment opening the hand to show that the coin has left 
it. The audience hear, though they do not see, the fall of the coin. 
With the second coin it is well to introduce an element of variety, and 
you may therefore offer to dispense with the handkerchief, that all 
may see as well as hear the coin arrive. As a further variation, yon 
may use your wand as the conducting medium. Taking the substn 
tute coin in the left hand, you apparently, by Pass 4, transfer it to 
your right Then taking the wand in the left hand, you hold it per- 
pendicularly, with its lower end resting upon the knob of the cover. 
Holding it with the thumb and second ringer of the right band, 
one on each side of it, you draw them smartly downwards, at the 
same time pressing with the wand on the knob, when the second coin 
will be seen and heard to fall into the glass. Taking off the cover, 
and leaving it on the table, you bring forward the glass, and allow the 
owners to take out and identify the coins. 

It is a great addition to have a second cover, similar in appearance 
to the first, but hollow throughout, and without any mechanism. Yon 
are thus enabled to hand both goblet and cover for examination before 
performing the trick. As you return to your table, your back being 
towards the spectators, you have ample opportunity for substituting 
the mechanical cover, the plain one being dropped either into one of 
your pTofondes, or on to the servante of your table. 

The Glass without Cover, for Monet. — This is of tum- 
bler shape, without foot, and of green or other dark-coloured glass, 



MODERN MAGIC. 201 



so that it is semi-opaque. la this instance no cover is used, and the 
borrowed coins are not seen, but merely heard, to drop into the glass, 
where they are found in due course. 

The secret of the glass lies in a false bottom of tin, working on a 
hinge, and held down by a catch worked by a pin through the bottom 
of the glass* and flying up with a spring when released. The per- 
former, having gained possession of three or four borrowed coins by 
either of the means before mentioned, retires to fetch the glass, and 
takes the opportunity to place the coins beneath the false bottom. He 
thtn comes forward, glass in hand. He does not offer the glass for 
examination, but turns it upside down, and rattles his wand inside it, 
showing, ostensibly, that it is empty. Having done this, he places it 
on his table, as near the back of the stage as possible, at the same 
time moving the catch, and so releasing the false bottom, which natu* 
rally flies up, and uncovers the concealed coins. Standing at a con- 
siderable distance from the glass, he takes one by one the substitutes, 
which to the eyes of the audience represent the genuine coins, and 
gets rid of them by one or other of the various passes, saying as each 
one apparently vanishes from his hand, " One, two, three — Pass ! " 
At the same moment the sound of a falling coin is heard, pro- 
ceeding apparently from the glass, but really from behind the scenes, 
or any other available spot out of sight, where an assistant, placed as 
near to the glass as circumstances will admit, drops another coin into 
another glass. If the position of the assistant, with reference to the 
audience, is pretty nearly in a straight line with the glass which they 
see, the illusion will be perfect. When all the coins are supposed to 
have passed in this manner, the performer, advancing to the glass, 
pours out, either upon a tray or upon his open palm, the borrowed 
coins, and leaving the glass upon the table, comes forward, and 
requests the owners to identify them. 

We have thus far described eight different contrivances for 
vanishing money, and (including the '• plug- box," which may be used 
in both ways) five for reproducing it It is obvious that either of the 
first may be used in combination with either of the second, producing 
tome fifty different effects. By the use of sleight-of-hand in place 
of apparatus at either stage of the trick, still more numerous varia- 



3oa MODERN MAGIC 

tions may be produced, and these may be still farther multiplied bj 
the use of other appliances to be hereafter described, which, thoaga 
of less general utility, may be occasionally introduced with excellent 
effect. The apparatus which we shall next describe is one which is 
very frequently used in combination with that last mentioned. It is 
known as 

Tub Miraculous Casket. — This is a neat leather- or velvet- 
covered box, about three inches by two, and two and a half high, 
When opened, it is seen to be filled with a velvet cushion or stuffing, 
after the manner of a ring-case, with four slits, each just large 
enough to admit a half-crown or florin. (See Fig. 91.) By an 
ingenious mechanical arrangement in the interior, which it would 
take too much space to describe at length, each time the box ts closed 
one of the coins is made to drop down into the lower part, and on the 
box being reopened is found to have vanished. 

The casket may be used in many tricks with good effect Id 
combination with the magic glass, last above described, it is employed 
as follows: — The four coins which 
have been substituted for the genuine 
ones are placed, in sight of all, in the 
magic casket, which is then closed, 
and handed to one of the audience to 
bold. The performer then states that 
he is about to order the four coins 
now in the casket to pass one by one 
into the glass upon the table. "One!" 
he exclaims. A coin is heard to fall 
into the glass. The person who holds 
Fie. 92. the casket is requested to open it; 

three coins only are left. It is again 
closed, and the performer says, " Two ! " Again the chink of the 
falling coin is heard, and another coin is found to have disappeared 
from the casket. The operation is repeated till all have vanished, and 
the operator pours forth from the glass four coins, which, on examina- 
tion, are found to be the same which were originally borrowed, and 
which the audience believe that they saw placed in the casket. 



MODERN MAGIC. 



103 



The casket may also be used with capital effect in conjunction 
with 




Fig. 95. 



The Half-crown (or Florin) Wand.— This is a wand, appa- 
rently of ebony, bnt really of brass, japanned black* It is about 
twelve inches in length, and fire-eighths of an inch in diameter. 
On one side of it, and so placed 
as to be just under the ball of the 
thumb when the wand is held in 
the hand, is a little stud, which 
mores backwards and forwards 
lor a short distance (about an inch 
and a quarter), like the sliding 
nng of a pencil-case. When this 
stud is pressed forward, a half- 
crown or florin, as the case may 
be, appears on the opposite end of 
the wand (see Fig. g$) t retiring 
within it when the stud is again 
drawn back. The half-crown is 
a genuine one, but is cut into 

three portions, as indicated in Fig. 94, which represents a transverse 
section of it at right angles to the actual cuts. Each of the three 
segments is attached to a piece of watch-spring, and from the direc- 
tion of the cuts it is obvious that, when these pieces of watch-spring 
are pressed together (as they naturally are when drawn back into the 
wand), c will be drawn behind, and a in front of b. (See Fig. 95.) 

The wand is used as follows : — The performer palms in his left 
hand as many half-crowns as he intends to produce. Then, taking 
the wand in the right hand, and lightly touching with it the spot 
whence he desires to (apparently) produce a half-crown, he pushes 
forward the stud, and the split coin appears on the opposite end of 
the wand. He now draws the upper part of the wand through the 
left hand, at the same moment pressing back the stud, and causing 
the split coin to retire within the wand, immediately handing for 
examination with the left hand one of the half-crowns already 
placed there, and which by this gesture he appears to have just taken 



Fig. 93. 



204 MODERN MAGIC. 

from the top of the wand. This is again repeated, and another half- 
crown exhibited, till the stock in the left hand is exhausted. 

It is desirable, on each occasion of pressing forward or withdraw- 
ing the stud, to place the opposite end of the wand in such a situa- 
tion as to be a little shielded from the eyes of the spectators, so that 
they may not see the actual apoearance or disappearance of the coin. 
A very slight " cover " will be sufficient. The end of the wand may 
be placed within a person's open mouth (and withdrawn with the 
half-crown thereon), within a pocket, or tbe like. Where no such 
cover is available, a quick semi-circular sweep should be made with 
the wand as the coin is protruded or withdrawn. 

With the aid of this wand the passage of the four half-crowns from 
the casket to the glass, just described, becomes still more effective. 
The four substitute half-crowns having been placed in the casket, 
and the latter closed, the performer announces that he will withdraw 
them visibly, one by one, and will then invisibly pass them into the 
glass. Further, to prove that the trick is not performed by any 
mechanical or physical means, he will not even take the casket in his 
hand, but will withdraw the coins one by one witb his wand, and 
thence pass them direct into the glass. Touching the casket with 
the wand, he presses the stud, and shows the half-crown on the end. 
Apparently taking off the coin with his left hand, as before described 
(the hand, however, being in this case empty), he makes the motion 
of throwing the coin from the hand to the glass, saying, "Pass!" 
The sound of a falling coin is heard (as already explained), and he 
shows that his hand is empty, the same process being repeated as to 
the remaining coins. 

The wand may also be effectively introduced in the trick of the 
Shower of Money, which next follows. After having caoght in 
the ordinary manner Such number of coins as he thinks fit, the per- 
former perceives, or pretends to perceive, that the audience suspect 
that the coins are in some manner concealed in his right hand. To 
show that this is not tbe case, he offers to catch a few coins on the top 
of his wand instead of in his hand, and finishes the trick by pro- 
ducing two or three on the wand accordingly. Wherever you can, as 
in this instance, produce tbe same result by two wholly different 
methods the effect on the audience is most bewildeiing. Their con* 



MODERN MAGIC. 205 



jectures as to the explanation of the first method being inadmissible as 
to the second, and vice versd, the more they puzzle over the matter, 
the further are they likely to be from a correct solution* 

The Showbr of Monet. — The magical phenomenon known 
wider this name surpasses the philosopher's stone, in the pursuit of 
which so many of the wise men of old expended their lives and for- 
tunes. The alchemist's secret aimed only at producing the raw 
material, but the magician's quick eye and ready hand gather from 
space money ready coined. Unfortunately, the experiment is subject 
to the same drawback as the more ancient process — viz., that each 
twenty shillings produced cost precisely twenty shillings, leaving hardly 
sufficient profit to make this form of money-making remunerative 
as a commercial undertaking. 

The effect of the trick is as follows : — The performer borrows a 
hat, which he holds in his left hand. Turning up his sleeves, he 
announces that he requires a certain number, say ten, of florins or half- 
crowns. The spectators put their hands in their pockets with the 
idea of contributing to the supposed loan ; but the professor, antici- 
pating their intention, says, " No, thank you ; I won't trouble you 
this time. There seems to be a good deal of money about to- 
night j I think 1 will help myself. See, here is a half-crown hanging 
to the gaselier. Here is another climbing up the wall. Here is 
another just settling on this lady's hair. Excuse me, sir, but you have 
a half-crown in your whiskers. Permit me, madam j you have just 
placed your foot on another," and so on. At each supposed new 
discovery the performer takes with his right hand, from some place 
where there clearly was nothing an instant before, a half-crown, 
which he drops into the hat held in his left hand, finally turning over 
the hat, and pouring the coins from it, to show that there has been 
u no deception." 

The explanation is very simple, the trick being merely a practical 
application of the art of " palming," though its effect depends on the 
manner and address of the operator even more than on his skill in 
sleight-of-hand. The performer provides himself beforehand with 
ten half crowns. Of these he palms two in his right hand, and the 
remainder in his left. When he takes the hat, he holds it in the 



206 MODERN MAGIC. 

left hand, with the fingers inside and the thumb outside, in which 
position it is comparatively easy to drop the coins one by one from 
the hand into the hat. When he pretends to see the first half-crown 
floating in the air, he lets one of the coins in his right hand drop to 
his finger-tips, and, making a clutch at the air, produces it as if just 
caught. This first coin he really does drop into the hat, taking care 
that all shall see clearly that he does so. He then goes through a 
similar process with the second ; but when the time comes to drop it 
into the hat, he merely pretends to do so, palming the coin quickly 
in the right hand, and at the same moment letting fall into the hat 
one of the coins concealed in his left hand. The audience, hearing the 
sound, naturally believe it to be occasioned by the fall of the cob 
they have just seen. The process is repeated until the coins m the 
left hand are exhausted. Once more the performer appears to dutch 
a coin from space, and showing for the last time that which has all 
along been in his right hand, tosses it into the air, and catches it 
visibly in the hat. Pouring out the coins on a tray, or into the lap of 
one of the company, he requests that they may be counted, when they 
are found to correspond with the number which he has apparently 
collected from the surrounding atmosphere. 

Some performers, by way of bringing the trick to a smart con- 
clusion, after they have dropped in all the coins, remark, "The hat 
begins to get heavy," or make some similar observation, at the same 
time dipping the right hand into the hat, as if to gauge the quantity 
obtained ; and, giving the money a shake, bring up the hand with 
four or five of the coins clipped breadthwise against the lowest joints 
of the second and third fingers. Then pretend to catch in quick sue* 
cession that number of coins, each time sliding one of the coins with 
the thumb to the finger-tips, and tossing it into the hat. 

It is by no means uncommon to see a performer, after having 
apparently dropped two or three coins into the hat in the ordinary 
way, pretend to pass in one or more through the side or crown. This 
produces a momentary effect, but it is an effect purchased at the cost 
of enabling an acute spectator to infer, with logical certainty, that the 
coin seen in the right hand was not the same that was, the moment 
afterwards, heard to chink within the hat \ and this furnishes a dis- 
tinct clue to the secret of the trick. 



MODERN MAGIC. aoy 

It is obvious that, in the above form of the trick (which so far 
should be classed among " tricks without apparatus "), the performer 
cannot show the inside of his hands ; and it is not ancommon to find 
an acute observer (particularly where the performer is guilty of the 
indiscretion we have just noted) so far hit upon the true explanation, 
as to express audibly a conjecture that the money which the per- 
former catches is really the same coin over and over again. There 
is, however, a mechanical appliance known as the " money-slide," 
which is designed to meet this difficulty, and to enable the performer 
nil to catch the coin, though he has but a moment before shown that 
his hand is empty. 

The money-slide is a flat tin tube, about eight inches in length, 
eq inch and a quarter in width, and of just such depth as to allow a 
half-crown or florin (whichever coin may be used) to slip through it 
feeely, edgeways. It is open at the top, but is closed at the lower end 
br a lever, acting like the lever of a shot-pouch. (Set Fig. 96, which 
shows the external appearance of the tube, and 
Fig. 97, which represents, on a somewhat 
larger scale, a section of its essential portion.) 
The normal position of the lever (which works 
oo a pivot, a) is as shown in Fig. 97, being 
maintained in that position by a small spring. 
Under such circumstances, the passage of the 
tabe is barred by the pin d (which works 
through a small hole in the face of the tube) ; 
but if ar, the longer arm of the lever, be 
pressed down, the pin d is withdrawn, but the 
ettre&ifi lower end of the tube is for the mo- 
ment barred by the bent end of ac. The 
pressure being withdrawn, the lever returns to 
its former condition. When required for use, 
four or five half-crowns are dropped into the Figs. 96, 97. 

lube from the upper end, and the tube is fas- 
tened, by a hook affixed to it for that purpose, inside the waistcoat of 
the performer, so that its lower end hangs just above the waistband, 
the lever side of the tube being next the body. If the tube be lightly 
pnaaod through the waistcoat, the longer arm of the lever is thereby 



208 MODERN MAGIC. 

pressed down. The pin d is lifted, and the row of half-crowns slide 
down to the bottom of the tube, where, however, they are arrested by 
the bent end of ac. As soon as the pressure is removed, the lever 
returns to its position. The mouth of the tube is left open, and the 
first of tbe half-crowns drops out, and would be followed by the 
others, but the pin, d, which at tbe same moment returns to its posi- 
tion across the tube, stops their further progress. Thus each time the 
lever is pressed and again released, one half-crown, and one only, 
drops out at the mouth of the tube. 

The use of this appliance in the trick we have just described will 
be obvious. The performer, having turned up his sleeves to prove 
that they have no part in the matter, shows that his right hand is 
absolutely empty. Continuing his observations, his hand rests for a 
moment with a careless gesture against his waistcoat, the ball of 
the wrist being above and the fingers below the waistband. A 
momentary pressure causes a half-crown to fall into his hand. This 
he palms, and in due course proceeds to catch, as already described. 

As the capacity of the slide is limited, and the same gestures 
frequently repeated would be likely to excite suspicion, it is best to 
begin the trick in the ordinary manner, and after having produced 
three or four coins in this' way, to overhear, or pretend to overhear, a 
suggestion that the coin is all the while in your hand. Ostentatiously 
throwing the coin with which you have so far worked, into the hat, 
you draw special attention (not in words, but by gesture) to your 
empty hand (the left hand is never suspected), and then have recourse 
to the slide. You throw the coin thus obtained into the hat, and 
again show your hand empty. You produce another coin from the 
slide, and make this serve you for tbe next two or three catches, and 
so on, as circumstances may dictate. 

The money magically caught as above may be used for the trick 
of the Multiplication of Money, described at page 176, the two 
forming a natural and effective sequence. 

The Vanishing Plate, or Salver.— This is a most useful 
and ingenious piece of apparatus. In appearance it is an ordinary 
japanned tin tray, of about ten inches in diameter 5 but it has the 
faculty of causing money placed upon it to disappear in a most sur- 



MODERN MAGIC. aoa 

prising manner. A number of coins, collected from the company, are 
placed upon the salver. The performer, standing bat a few feet from 
the spectators, openly takes them off one by one, but each, as his 
fingers grasp it, vanishes utterly. His sleeves (which in conjuring 
come in for a vast amount of undeserved suspicion) may be rigor- 
ously examined ; but even though, as a concession to popular pre- 
judice, he should bare his arm to the shoulder, the result would still 
be the same. 

A closer inspection of the salver (which the performer takes good 
care not to permit) would reveal the fact, that though apparently con- 
sisting, like any other, of only one thickness of metal, it is in reality 
made double, allowing sufficient space between its upper and under 
surface for the concealment of any number of coins laid singly. The 
centre portion of the upper surface, though apparently of a piece with 
[he rest, is in reality moveable, though pressed upwards and kept in 
its place by the action of four small springs. When the performer 
apparently picks up a coin (which he takes care shall be on this 
centre portion), he presses smartly upon it, at the same moment draw- 
ing it sharply towards 

the outer rim. The -~™ 

moveable portion of 
the salver yielding to 
the pressure, the 
effect is as shown in 
the figure (Fig. 98). 
and the coin is shot 
nnder the outer rim, 
between the upper 
and under surface of 

the salver, the move- fio, 93. 

able portion rising 

again to its place as soon as the momentary pressure is removed. 
The tray is japanned in such manner that the circular lines of the 
pattern correspond with the outline of the moveable portion, aud will 
bear any amount of mere ocular inspection, so long as it is not per- 
mitted to be handled. 

The vanishing salver may be introduced with good effect in many 



9io MODERN MAGIC. 



tricks, as, for instance, that of the* Multiplication of Money, above 
referred to, the coins to be magically added being placed upon the 
salver, whence they are taken off one by one, and commanded to 
pass into the hands of the person who holds the money. It may also 
be advantageously used in conjunction with the glass described at 
page aoi, each coin, as it vanishes from the salver, being heard to drop 
into the glass. 

The " Changing *' Plate. — The student has already been made 
acquainted with various methods of exchanging a marked coin, etc., 
for a substitute. There are still one or two appliances for this pur- 
pose remaining to be described, all taking the form of metal plates or 
trays, but greatly varying in their construction. 

The first, which we only mention for the sake of completeness, as 
it is now superseded by later and better inventions, consists of a small 
circular tin tray, with a round hole or well in the centre, of about an 
inoh and a half in diameter and a quarter of an inch in depth. The 
lines of the pattern are so arranged as to make this cavity as little 
noticeable as possible. The well is moveable, forming, in fact, a 
portion of a sliding piece below the tray, in which sliding piece two 
.such wells are excavated, the one or the other in turn corresponding to 
the opening in the tray, according as the sliding piece is pushed back- 
wards or forwards. When the tray is required for use, the substitute 
coin is placed beforehand in one of the two wells, which is then 
pushed out of sight, and the other brought below the opening. The 
borrowed coin is received on the plate, and allowed to drop into the 
empty well. As soon as this is done, the operator, with his fore- 
finger, which is naturally beneath the plate, draws back the slide, ami 
brings the other coin in sight, while the genuine one drops into his 
hand. The construction of the plate, though simple enough in itself, 
is a little difficult to explain ; but as we only allude to it in order to 
counsel the student to avoid it, any obscurity in our description is 
of little importance. 

The instrument now used for the same purpose is known as the 
French changing-plate, and may be described as a combination of the 
vanishing salver (page 209) and the multiplying money-plate (page 
j 77). It is round, and has beneath it a flat tube similar to that of 



MODERN MAGIC. 211 



the multiplying plate j and it is in this tube that the substitute coins 
are placed. The upper surface of the plate is similar in appearance 
to that of the vanishing plate 5 but in this case the centre portion is 
divided across the middle, and one half only is moveable, sinking 
downwards to the depth of a quarter of an inch all along the dividing 
line, whenever pressure is applied to a particular portion of the under 
surface of the plate. The coins to be changed are received by the 
operator on this moveable portion, and immediately handed to some 
person to hold, the performer sloping the plate, and (apparently) 
pouring the coins into the hands or hat held out to receive them. In 
reality, in the act of sloping the plate, he depresses the moveable 
portion of the surface, and, as a natural consequence, the coins, in- 
stead of sliding, as they appear to do, right off the plate, slip between 
the upper and under surface, while the substitutes fall from the tube 
below into the hands of the person who is to take charge of them. The 
whole movement is so rapid, and the fall of the substituted coins 
coincides so exactly with the disappearance of the genuine ones, that 
the eye is completely deceived. The tray, having apparently served 
its purpose, is carried off by the magician or his servant, with ample 
opportunity to make any necessary disposition of the genuine coins. 
A still later improvement is that which is known as 

The Tray of Proteus. — The tray to which the inventors 
(Messrs. Hiam & Lane) have given the above high-sounding title, is 
the latest, and not the least ingenious, of the series of magical trays. 

The tray in question will not only change, but add, sub- 
tract, or vanish coins, under the very eyes of the spectators. In 
form it is an oblong octagon, measuring eight inches by six, and 
standing about three-quarters of an inch high. (See Fig. 99.) It is 
divided across the centre, and one half of the centre portion is move- 
able in the same manner as in the case of the tray last described, save 
that in this instance the depth between the upper and under surface 
of the tray being greater, this moveable portion is depressible to a 
proportionately greater depth. The opposite or fixed side of the tray 
is divided horizontally (see Fig. 100, representing a longitudinal sec- 
tion) into two levels or platforms, a and b, the lower, b t having a 
raised edge. Where the tray is to be used for the purpose of "chang- 



Sis MODERN MAGIC. 

tog," the coins to be substituted are placed iu a row on the uppr 
platform, a. The genuine coins are placed by the performer, holding 
the tray as indicated in Fig. 99, on the moveable flap, c. Slightly 
lowering the opposite end of the tray, he presses the button d, thus 
■sloping the flap c, and the coins naturally slide into b. Still keeping 
4he flap open, he now tilts up the opposite end of the tray. The 
genuine coins cannot return, by reason of the raised edge of b; bnl 
4he substitute coins in their turn slide out upon c, which is thro 
allowed to return to its original position. The necessary movement, 
though comparatively tedious in description, is in skilful hands so 
rapid in execution that, where coins of the same kind are substituted 
— e.g., half-crowns 
for ha If -crow 11s- -the 
most acute spectator 
cannot detect that 
any change has taken 
place. A most start- 
ling effect is produced 
by substituting coins 
of a different kind, as 
pence for half-crowns, 
the coins appearing to 
be transformed by 1 
mere shake into a 
different metal. The 
■change involving a double process — via., the disappearance of certain 
coins and the appearance of others— it is obvious that the tray will be 
equally available for either process singly. Thus coins placed upon 
the tray may be made to instantly vanish, or, by reversing the pro- 
cess, coins may be made to appear where there was nothing a moment 
previously. In like manner, a given number of coins may be in- 
creased to a larger, or decreased (in this case really changed) to 1 
smaller number. 

This tray has not, like that last described, any additional flat tube 
■beneath the tray, but one end of a and is closed by a little slide, 
hidden beneath the edge of the tray, to allow of the money therein 
Aeing extracted when necessary. 



MODERN MAGIC. ar* 



CHAPTER IX. 
Tricks with Watches. 

to indicate on the dlal of a watch the hour secretly 
thought of by any of thb Company. — The performer, taking a 
watch in the one hand, and a pencil in the other, proposes to give a 
specimen of his powers of divination. For this purpose he requests* 
any one present to write down, or, if preferred, merely to think of, 
any hour he pleases. This having been done, the performer, without 
asking any questions, proceeds to tap with the pencil different hours 
on the dial of the watch, requesting the person who has thought of 
the hour to mentally count the taps, beginning from the number of the 
hour he thought of. (Thus, if the hour he thought of were u nine," 
be must count the first tap as " ten," the second as " eleven,'* and so- 
on.) When, according to this mode of counting, he reaches the 
number " twenty,** he is to say " Stop/' when the pencil of the per- 
former will be found resting precisely upon that hour of the dial 
which he thought of. 

This capital little trick depends upon a simple arithmetical prin- 
ciple ; but the secret is so well disguised that it is very rarely dis- 
covered. All that the performer has to do is to count in his own- 
mind the taps he gives, calling the first " one," the second " two," 
and so on. The first seven taps may be given upon any figures e£ 
the dial indifferently ; indeed, they might equally well be given on 
the back of the watch, or anywhere else, without prejudice to the 
ultimate result But the eighth tap must be given invariably on the 
figure "twelve" of the dial, and thenceforward the pencil must 
travel through the figures seriatim, but in reverse order, " eleven/*' 
u ten," u nine," and so on. By following this process it will be.- 



«4 MODERN MAGIC. 



found that at the tap which, counting from the number the spectator 
thought of, will make twenty, the pencil will have travelled back to 
that very number. A few illustrations will make this clear. Let us 
suppose, for instance, that the hour the spectator thought o! was 
twelve. In this case he will count the first tap of the pencil as thir- 
teen, the second as fourteen, and so on. The eighth tap in this case 
will complete the twenty, and the reader will remember that, accord- 
ing to the directions we have given, he is at the eighth tap always to 
let his pencil fall on the number twelve ; so that when the spectator, 
having mentally reached the number twenty, cries, " Stop,'* the pen* 
cil will be pointing to that number. Suppose, again, the number 
thought of was a eleven." Here the first tap will be counted as 
"twelve," and the ninth (at which, according to the rule, the pencil 
will be resting on eleven) will make the twenty. Taking again the 
smallest number that can be thought of, " one," here the first tap 
will be counted by the spectator as " two," and the eighth," at which 
the pencil reaches twelve, will count as "nine." Henceforth the 
pencil will travel regularly backward round the dial, and at the nine- 
teenth tap (completing the twenty, as counted by the spectator) will 
have just reached the figure " one." 

The arithmetical reason for this curious result, though simple 
enough in itself, is somewhat difficult to explain on paper, and 
we shall therefore leave it as an exercise for the ingenuity of oar 
readers. 

To Bend a Borrowed Watch Backwards and Forwards. 
•—This little deception is hardly to be called a conjnring trick, bat it 
may be introduced with good effect in the course of any trick for 
which a watch has been borrowed. Looking intently at the watch, 
as though you noticed something peculiar about it, you remark to the 
owner, " This is a very curious watch, sir 3 it is quite soft." Then 
taking it (as shown in Fig. 101), with the dial in wards towards your 
own body, and holding it between two fingers of each hand on the 
back, and the thumb of each hand on the face, you bend the hands 
outwards, at the same time bringing the points of the fingers nearer 
together, immediately bringing them back to their former position. 
The motion may be repeated any number of times. By a curious 



MODERN MAGIC. . 215 

optical illusion, which we are cot able to explain, bat which we 
assume to be produced in some way by the varying shadow of the 
fingers on the pol- 
ished surface of the 
metal, the watch ap- 
pears, to a spectator 
at a little distance, 
to be bent nearly 
double by each out- 
ward movement of 
the hands. The il- 
lusion is so perfect, ^ t0I . 
that great amuse- 
ment is occasionally produced by the consternation of the owner, 
who fancies that irreparable injury is being done to his favourite 
" Bennett." If, however, his faith in your supernatural powers is so 
great as to resist this ordeal, you may test it even more severely by 
means of 

Tbb Watch-mortar and the Maoic Pistol. — The watch- 
mortar is an apparatus in the form of an ordinary mortar, with a 
pestle to match. Suggesting to the owner of the borrowed time- 
keeper that it wants regulating, you offer to undertake that duty for 
aim. He probably declines, but yon take no notice of his remon- 
strances, and, placing his watch in the mortar, bring down the pestle 
with a heavy thump upon it. A smash, as of broken glass, is heard, 
and, after sufficient pounding, you empty the fragments of the watch 
into your hand, to the horror of the owner. You offer to return the 
fragments, but he naturally objects to receive them, and insists that 
yon restore the watch in the same condition as when it was handed 
to jou. After a little discussion, you agree to do so, premising that 
you can only effect the object through the agency of fire. Fetching 
* loaf of bread, you place it on the table in view of the company. 
Then wrapping the fragments of the watch in paper, you place them 
in a pistol, and, aiming at the loaf, request the owner of the watch to 
give the signal to fire. The word is given, "One, two, three — Bang!" 
Stepping np to the loaf, you bring it forward to the spectators, and 



ai6 MODERN MAGIC. 

tearing it asunder, exhibit in its very centre the borrowed watch, 
completely restored, and bright as when it first left the maker's 
hands. 

The seeming mystery is easily explained. The mortar bas a 
moveable bottom, which allows the watch at the performer's pleasure 
to fall through into his hand. There is a hollow space in the thick end 
of the pestle, closed by a round piece of wood lightly screwed in, which, 
fitting tightly in the bottom part of the mortar, is easily unscrewed 
by the performer, or rather unscrews itself, as he apparently grinds 
away at the ill-fated chronometer. In the cavity are placed before- 
hand the fragments of a watch, which, thus released, fall into the 
mortar, and are poured out by the performer into his hand, in order 
to show that there has been " no deception." When the performer 
goes to fetch the loaf, he has already obtained possession of the 
watch, which, after giving it a rub upon his coat-sleeve or a bit of 
leather to increase its brightness, he pushes into a slit already made 
in the side of the loaf. When the loaf is torn asunder (which the 
performer takes care to do from the side opposite to that in which 
the opening has been made), the watch is naturally found imbedded 
therein. 

If a regular conjuring-table is used, the loaf may be placed in 
readiness on the servante. The performer in this case, having got 
possession of the watch, and holding it secretly palmed, borrows a 
hat. Walking carelessly behind his table, he asks, as if in doubt, 
"Who lent me this hat?" holding it up with one hand, that the 
spectators may see that it is empty. While all eyes are thus drawn 
to the hat, he with the other hand forces the watch into the loaf, and 
then, in bringing the hat down on the table, introduces the loaf into 
it, after the manner of the well-known " cannon-ball " trick, to be 
described hereafter. The hat is then placed on the table as if empty, 
and the pistol fired at the hat. This little addition heightens the 
effect of the trick, but demands somewhat greater address on the part 
of the performer. 

The pistol employed, being of constant use in magical perform- 
ances, will demand a special explanation. It consists of two parts, 
viz., an ordinary pocket-pistol, and a conical tin funnel, measuring 
about five inches across its widest diameter, and tapering down to a 



MODERN MAGIC. 217 



tube of such a size as to fit easily over the barrel of the pistol. 
This tube is continued inside the cone, and affords a free passage for 
the charge, which consists of powder only. Any object which 
is apparently to be fired from the pistol is pressed down be 
tween the outside of this tube and the inside of the tin cone, where 
it remains wholly unaffected by the explosion. The outside of the 
cone is japanned accorning to taste, the tube and the rest of the 
interior being always black. 

There are numerous other ways of finishing the trick, with or 
without the use of the pistol. The watch-mortar has discharged 
its duty when it has apparently reduced the borrowed watch to 
fragments, and has placed it in reality in the hands of the per- 
former. The sequel of the trick, with which the mortar has nothing 
to do, will depend on the ingenuity of the performer and his command 
of other apparatus. 

There is another form of watch- mortar, which is frequently used, 
though to our own taste it is very inferior to that above described. 
It consists of a cylindrical tin box or case, about four inches high 
and three in diameter, open at the top, standing on a broad fiat foot. 
Within this fits loosely another similar cylinder, of about an inch less 
in depth. The upper edge of this latter is turned over all round, 
jiving the two the appearance of being both of a piece. The whole 
is closed by an ornamental cardboard cover, also cylindrical. If this 
cover be lifted lightly — i.e., without pressure— it will come off alone; 
but if its sides are pressed, they will clip the turned -over edge of the 
upper or moveable compartment, and lift this with it. In this form 
of the trick the borrowed watch is placed in a little bag, and the two 
together deposited in the upper compartment. In the mortar proper 
— ie., the space between the two compartments— is placed before- 
hand a similar little bag, containing the broken fragments of a watch. 
The cover being under some pretext put on, the upper compartment 
is lifted off with it, and the pounding consequently falls on the pre- 
pared fragments. 

The Snuff-box Vase .1— This is an apparatus of frequent use in 
Watch Tricks, and it may be also made available with many 
other articles. It is made of various sizes, from five to eight inches 



318 MODERN MAGIC. 

in height, and of the shape shown in Fig. 103. It consists of three 
parts, the cover a, the vise proper c, and a moveable portion t, 
the latter being made with double sides, so that it fits at once in 
and upon c. If a is raised without pressing its sides, it comes off 
alone; but if its sides are pressed in removing it, it lifts off i 
with it. In this compartment b is placed a small round box of tin 
or cardboard (from which the vase derives its name), and another 
box, exactly similar in appearance, is placed underneath I, inside the 
vase proper e. Whether, therefore, the cover is removed with oc 
without I, the audience see apparently the same box within. The 
only circumstance that could possibly excite suspicion would be tbe 
greater depth of c as compared with b ; and this is obviated by mak- 
ing tbe bottom of c moveable, resting on a spiral spring passing 
through the foot of the apparatus. When £ is in 
the vase, the bottom of c sinks down to nuke 
way for it, but again rises by the pressure of tbe 
spring as soon as b is removed. To the eye of 
tbe spectator, therefore, the interior of tbe vase 
appears always of the same depth. 

Some vases are made with a " clip " action 
in the lid, so that by slightly turning round the 
knob on the top three projecting teeth of meal 
are made to tighten upon b, and thus attach it 
to a, a reverse movement of the knob again re- 
leasing it. In this form of the apparatus the 
cover may be lifted by the knob only, without 
the necessity of pressing on the sides — a very 
decided improvement. 

The snuff-box vase may be used to cause 
the appearance, disappearance, or transforma- 
tion of any article small enough to be con- 
Fro ioa toined in one of the boxes within. Thus, in the 
case of the last trick, the performer, having 
secretly obtained possession of the borrowed watch, may, instead of 
using the loaf, conclude the trick with good effect as follows:— 
Retiring for an instant in order to fetch the vase, he places the watch 
in the small box contained in c. Returning, he removes the corer 




MODERN MAGIC. 819 



only, thus exposing the interior of b, and requests one of the audience 
to examine and replace the small box therein contained. The box is 
seen by all to be empty, and, being replaced, the vase is again covered. 
The operator now fires at the vase. Having done so, he again brings 
it forward, bat this time removes b along with the cover. The other 
box, which the audience take to be the same, is now exposed, and, 
on being examined, is found to contain the restored watch. 

If yon do not happen to possess the watch-mortar or the magic 
pistol, you may make the trick equally effective without them, by 
ostog in their place the " Demon Handkerchief/' described at page 
195. Having borrowed the watch, you place a substitute (which you 
most hare ready palmed) under the handkerchief, and give it to 
some one to hold. Then fetching the snuff-box vase (and concealing 
the watch in c), you exhibit and replace the empty box in b, as above, 
and place the vase on the table. Taking a comer of the handker- 
chief, you request the person holding it to drop it when you count 
"three." Then saying, "One, two, three. Pass!" you wave the 
handkerchief, which appears to be empty, and advancing to the table 
and uncovering the vase, show that the watch is now in the box. 

It is obvious that the snuff-box vase may equally well be used to 
produce the opposite effect — i*^ after having openly placed a watch 
or other article in either of the boxes, you may, by exposing in turn 
the other box, cause it to apparently, disappear, or in like manner 
make it apparently change to any article previously placed in the 
second box. 

Thb Watch Box. — This is an oblong mahogany box— -size, four 
inches by three, and two and a half deep. To the eye of the uniniti- 
ated, it is a simple wooden box, with lock and key, and padded within 
at (op and bottom. In reality, however, one of its sides is moveable, 
working on a pivot. {See Figs. 103, 104.) In its normal position, 
the side in question is held fast by a catch projecting from the cor- 
responding edge of the bottom of the box. To release it, pressure in 
two places is required — a pressure on the bottom of the box so as to 
lift the catch, and a simultaneous pressure on the upper part of the 
moveable side of .the box, thus forcing the lower part outwards, and 
allowing the watch or other article placed in the box, to fell into the 



230 MODERN MAGIC. 

hand of the performer. For this purpose the box is held as shown in 
Fig- io3- 

The manner of using the box is as follows : A borrowed witch it 
placed in it, the owner being requested, in order to ensure its safe 
Fm. I03 . keeping, himself to 

lock it up and keep 
the key. The per- 
former places the box 
on his table, in foil 
view, but avails him- 
self of the moment 
during which his back 
is turned to the audi- 
ence to extract the 
watch, as shown in 
Fig. 103, and to again 
close the secret open- 
ing. Having thus 
gained possession of 
the watch, he can 
conclude the trick by 
la *" causing it to re-tp- 

pear in the snuff-box vase, or in any other way that he thinks 
proper. 

There is an improved watch-box, the invention of the late M. 
Robert- Houdin, which contains, concealed in the lid, a mechanical 
arrangement producing a ticking sound, which may be set in motion 
and again stopped at the pleasure of the performer. By using this 
box, the watch may be heard apparently ticking inside until the very 
moment when it is commanded by the operator to pass to some other 
apparatus. 

The Watch Target. — This is in appearance an ordinary-looking 
round target, of about twelve inches in diameter, and supported on an 
upright pillar. It is painted in concentric circles, and on the bull's- 
eye is fixed a little hook. Its use is as follows: A watch having 
been borrowed, and smashed to pieces or made to disappear altogether. 



MODERN MA GIC. 221 

as before explained, the performer brings forward the target, which is 
either held by the assistant or placed upon the magician's table. 
Producing the magic pistol, the performer proceeds to load it (visibly 
or invisibly* according to the circumstances of the trick) with the 
borrowed watch or the fragments thereof. Then* taking careful aim* 
he fires at the target, when the borrowed watch is seen to alight on 
the little hook already mentioned, whence it is removed and handed 
to the owner. 

A closer inspection of the target, which is sometimes of wood, but 
more often of tin, japanned, would disclose the fact that the bull's-eye 
is moveable, revolving perpendicularly on its own axis. It is coloured 
alike on both sides, and each side is provided with such a hook as 
already mentioned, so that whichever side of the bull's-eye is for the 
time being level with the face of the target, no difference is percep- 
tible to the spectator. There is a little projecting pin, or stop, 
at one point of the diameter of the bull's-eye, which prevents its 
making more than a half revolution, and a little spiral spring, attached 
to one of the two pivots on which it moves, compels it to turn, 
when at liberty, always in one particular direction until stopped by 
the pin, so that its normal condition is to have one particular side, 
which we will call, for greater clearness, side a, always turned 
towards the face of the target. The bull's-eye may, however, be 
turned round, so that the opposite side, £, is towards the face of the 
target, and there is a little catch which retains it as so turned 5 but 
the instant the catch is withdrawn, the action of the spring makes it 
fly round again to its old position. The catch is released by means 
of a stiff wire passing through the pillar on which the target rests, 
and terminating in a round disc of metal in the foot. The mode of 
connection between the wire and the catch varies according to the 
fancy of the maker 5 but, whatever this may be, the catch is invariably 
released by an upward pressure of the disc from below. If the target 
is held in the hand of the assistant, this is effected by the direct pres- 
sure of the fingers j but in stage performances, where the target is 
placed on a table, this, as indeed almost every other mechanical piece, 
is set in motion by the upward movement of a wire rod (known as a 
piston), made, by the pulling of a string, to rise through the upper 
surface of the table. 



222 MODERN MAGIC. 

When the target is required for use, the bull's-eye is twisted 
round, so that the side a is turned towards the back, and in this posi- 
tion ft is fixed by the catch. The borrowed watch is then hooked on 
the same side of the bull's-eye. The assistant, in bringing forward 
the target, takes care to keep the face turned towards the spectators, 
so that the watch, being behind, is unseen. At the moment of firing 
the pistol the disc is pressed upwards, and the catch being thus with- 
drawn, the bull's-eye instantly spins round, and the side a, on which 
is the watch, takes the place of side b on the face of the target. The 
movement is so instantaneous that the quickest eye cannot follow it, 
and the explosion of the pistol at the same moment aids still farther 
to baffle the vigilance of the spectators, to whom it appears as if the 
borrowed watch had really passed from the pistol to the face of the 
target. 

This forms an effective conclusion to the Watch-Mortar Trick, 
the fragments (supposed to be those of the borrowed watch) being 
placed in the pistol, and remaining there. Where the watch-box, 
above described, is used, you merely go through the motion of taking 
the watch out, invisibly, through the top of the box, and in like 
manner placing it in the pistol. 

The Mesmerised Watch. To Make any Watch a Re- 
peater. — This is a trick which may be incidentally introduced with 
advantage in the course of any illusion in which a borrowed watch is 
employed. The performer, addressing the owner, asks carelessly, u Is 
this watch a repeater ? " The answer is in the negative, and the per- 
former resumes, " Would you like it to become a repeater ? I ha?e 
only to mesmerise it a little." So saying, he makes pretended mes- 
meric passes over the watch, every now and then holding it to his 
ear. At last he says, " I think it will do now. Let us try." Taking 
the chain between his finger and thumb, he lets the watch hang down 
at full length in front of him. " Come, watch, oblige me by telling 
us the hour that last struck. (We will suppose that the time is 
twenty minutes to nine.) To the astonishment of all, the watch 
chimes eight successive strokes, with a clear bell-like tone. " Nov 
the last quarter.*' The watch chimes " two " and stops. " You we. 
sir, that under the mesmeric influence your watch becomes a capital 



MODERN MAGIC. 32$ 



repeater. Let as test its intelligence still further. Here is a pack* 
of cards ; will yon oblige me by drawing one. Now, watch, tell me 
what card this gentleman has taken ; and answer in the proper 
spiritualistic fashion, by three strokes for ' yes,' and one for ' no/ 
Do yon know the card ? " The watch chimes thrice. " Very good. 
Is it a club ? " The watch chimes once. " Is it a spade : " The 
watch again strikes once. " Is it a heart ? " The watch chimes 
three times. "The card is a heart, is it? Now, will yon tell as 
what heart ? " The watch chimes seven, and stops. " The watch 
declares that yonr card was the seven of hearts, sir. Is that so ? " 
The card is tamed, and shown to have been correctly named. 
Another card (say the queen o£ hearts) is now drawn. The watch 
names the suit as before, bat when ordered to name the particular 
card, remains silent, and the performer therefore puts farther ques- 
tions. " Is the card a plain card > " Answer, " No." " It is a 
court card, is it? Well, is it the knave? " Answer, " No.'' "Is it 
the qneen ? " "Yes." Other questions may ia like manner be put, 
'•g-, as to the number thrown by a pah- of dice. The watch is at any 
moment handed for inspection, and if any suggestion of special 
mechanism be made, a second watch is borrowed, and mesmerised 
with the like result. 

The secret lies in the use of an ingenious little piece of appa- 
ratus, which is placed in the waistcoat pocket of the performer, and 
horn which the sound proceeds. This apparatus, which is repre- 
sented in Fig. 105, consists of a short brass 
cylinder (about an inch and a quarter in 
depth, and two inches in diameter), contain- 
ing a small clock-bell, with the necessary 
striking mechanism, which is wound up 
beforehand with a key, after the manner of 
a watch. This mechanism is set in motion 
hy pressure on the button a, the hammer con- 
tinuing to strike as long as the pressure is Flo I0S 
continued, but ceasing as soon as the pres- 
sure is removed. The cylinder, which is perforated all round, in 
order to give free passage to the sound, is placed upright in the left 
pocket of the performer's waistcoat, which should be just so tight 




824 MODERN MAGIC. 

around the ribs that the mere expansion of the chest shall cause the 
necessary pressure against the button a, the pressure ceasing when 
the chest is again contracted. (The placing of a playing-card in the 
pocket for a to rest against will be found to facilitate the arrange- 
ment.) This is the whole of the secret. Id working the trick the 
performer has only to take care to bold the watch in a tolerably 
Straight line between the pocket and the audience, when, the line in 
which the sound travels being the same as if it actually came from 
the watch, it will be almost impossible to detect the deception. 

Some performers, instead of placing the apparatus in the pocket, 
as above described, hold it in the right hand (the wand being held ir. 
the same hand) and cause it to strike by the pressure of the fingers. 
This is in one sense less effective, inasmuch as you cannot show the 
hands empty, but it is a very much more easy and certain method, so 
far as the striking is concerned. 

The striking apparatus is generally made to give from fifty to 
sixty strokes. The performer must be careful not to prolong the 
trick until the whole are expended, or tbe unexpected silence of tbe 
watch may place him iu an embarrassing position. 

It is hardly necessary to remark that the drawn cards are forced. 
Where the watch is made to disclose the numbers thrown by a pair 
of dice, the dice are either loaded, and thus bound to indicate certain 
given numbers, or a box is used in which a pair of previouslj- 
arranged dice take the place, to the eyes of the audience, of the pair 
just thrown. 



MODERN MAGIC. 225 



CHAPTER X. 
Tricks with Rings. 

Thb Flying Ring. — The majority of ring tricks depend upon the 
substitution at some period of the trick of a dummy ring for a bor- 
rowed one, which must be so nearly alike as not to be distinguish- 
able by the eye of the spectator. This desideratum is secured by 
using wedding-rings, which, being always made plain, are all suf- 
ficiently alike for this purpose. You may account for your preference 
of wedding-rings by remarking that they are found to be imbued 
with a mesmeric virtue which renders them peculiarly suitable for 
magical experiments ; or give any other reason, however absurd, so 
long as it is sufficiently remote from the true one. As, however, 
many ladies have a sort of superstitious objection to remove their 
wedding-rings, even for a temporary purpose, it will be well to 
provide yourself with an extra one of your own, so as to meet a 
possible failure in borrowing. 

There is a little appliance, exceedingly simple in its character, 
which may be used with advantage in many ring tricks. It consists 
of a plain gold or gilt ring, attached to a short piece of white or grey 
sewing-silk. This again is attached to a piece of cord elastic, fas- 
tened to the inside of the coat sleeve of the performer, in such manner 
that, when the arm is allowed to hang down, the ring falls about a 
couple of inches short of the edge of the cuff. Some, in place of the 
elastic, use a watch barrel, attached in like manner \ but the cheaper 
apparatus, if properly arranged, is equally effective. It is obvious 
that if a ring so prepared be taken in the fingers of the hand to 
whose sleeve it is attached, it will, on being released, instantly fly up 
the sleeve. This renders it a useful auxiliary in any trick in which 

"5 






226 MODERN MAGIC. 

the sudden disappearance of such a ring is an element, and a little 
ingenuity will discover numerous modes of making it so available. 

One of the simplest modes of using it is as follows : Producing a 
small piece of paper, to which you direct particular attention, you 
state that a wedding-ring wrapped up therein cannot be again extracted 
without your permission. A wedding-ring is borrowed in order to 
test your assertion, and you meanwhile get in readiness the flying 
ring, which is attached, we will suppose, to your left sleeve. Receiv- 
ing the borrowed ring in your right hand, you apparently transfer it 
to the other hand (really palming it between the second and third 
fingers, and at the same moment exhibiting your own ring), and im- 
mediately afterwards drop the borrowed ring into the pochette on 
that side. You must take care so to stand that the back of your 
left hand may be towards the spectators, that the thread, lying along 
the inside of your hand, may not be seen. Spreading the paper on 
the table, and placing the ring upon it, you fold the paper over it, 
beginning with the side away from you, and pressing it so as to show 
the shape of the ring through it. As you fold down a second angle 
of the paper you release the ring, which forthwith flies up your sleeve. 
You continue to fold the paper, and repeating your assertion that no 
one can take the ring out without your permission, hand it to a spec- 
tator, in order that he may make the attempt. On opening the papet 
he finds that you were very safe in asserting that he could not take 
the ring out of it, inasmuch as the ring is no longer in it. 

Having gained possession of the borrowed ring, you may repro- 
duce it in a variety of different ways, according to your own fancy 
and invention. For instance, you may, retiring for a moment, bring 
forward the "snufF-box vase" described at page 217, meanwhile 
wrapping the ring in a piece of paper similar to that you have already 
used, and placing it in one of the boxes contained in the vase. 
Bringing the vase forward to the audience, you open it in such 
manner as to exhibit the other box, in which, after it has been duly 
examined, you request one of the audience to place the empty paper. 
Closing the vase, and placing it on the table, you fire your pistol at it, 
or merely touch it with your wand, and order the ring to return to 
the paper. You now open the vase at the compartment containing 
the first box. Drawing particular attention to the fact that you have 



MODERN MAGIC. 227 



not even touched the box, you again offer it for inspection. The 
folded paper, which the audience take to be the same, is duly found 
therein, and, on being opened, is shown to contain the borrowed 
ring. 

A similar effect, on a smaller scale, may be produced by privately 
placing the paper containing the ring in the inner compartment 
of the "plug-box " (described at page 192), and requesting one of the 
audience to place the original folded paper in the outer compart- 
ment* 

To Pass a Rino from the one Hand to eithbr Finger 
op thb other Hand. — This is a very old and simple trick, but it 
has puzzled many, and comes in appropriately in this place, as afford- 
ing another ill a strati on of the use of the " flying ring." The only 
additional preparation consists of a little hook, such as is used to 
fasten ladies* dresses, sewn to the trouser of the performer just level 
with the fingers of his right hand when hanging by his side, but a 
little behind the thigh, so as to be covered by the coat-tail. Borrow- 
ing a wedding-ring, the performer receives it in his right hand, im- 
mediately transferring it in appearance (as in the last trick) to his 
left hand. Showing in place of it the flying ring, which is already in 
his left hand, he drops the right hand to his side, and slips the bor- 
rowed ring on the little hook. Then remarking, " You all see this 
ring, which I have just borrowed. I will make it invisibly pass to 
my right hand, and on to whichever finger of that hand you may 
please to select.*' Here he waves his right hand with an indi- 
cative gesture, thus indirectly showing that he has nothing therein, 
and again lets the hand fall carelessly by his side. As soon as the 
finger is chosen, he slips the borrowed ring upon the end of that par- 
ticular finger, immediately closing the hand so as to conceal it, and 
holds out the hand at arm's length in front of him. Then saying, 
"One, two, three ! Pass ! " he releases the flying ring, and, opening 
both hands, shows that the left is empty, and that the borrowed ring 
has passed to the selected finger of the right hand. 

The hook may, if preferred, be dispensed with, the ring being 
simply dropped into the pochette on the right side, and again taken 
from thence when required. 



228 MODERN MAGIC. 

To Pass a Ring through a Pocket-handkerchief. — This 
is but a juvenile trick, but we insert it for the sake of completeness. 
It is performed by the aid of a piece of wire, sharpened to a point at 
each end, and bent into the form of a ring. The performer, having 
this palmed in his right hand, borrows a wedding-ring and a hand- 
kerchief (silk for preference). Holding the borrowed ring between 
the fingers of his right hand, he throws the handkerchief over it, and 
immediately seizes with the left hand, through the handkerchief, 
apparently the borrowed ring, but really the sham ring, which he 
adroitly substitutes. He now requests one of the spectators to take 
hold of the ring in like manner, taking care to make him hold it in 
such a way that he may not be able to feel the opening between the 
points, which would betray the secret. The ring being thus held, 
and the handkerchief hanging down around it, a second spectator is 
requested, for greater security, to tie a piece of tape or string tightly 
round the handkerchief an inch or two below the ring. The per- 
former then takes the handkerchief into his own hand, and, throwing 
the loose part of the handkerchief over his right hand, so as to con- 
ceal his mode of operation, slightly straightens the sham ring, and 
works one of the points through the handkerchief, so getting it oat, 
and rubbing the handkerchief with his finger and thumb in order to 
obliterate the hole made by the wire in its passage. He now palms 
the sham ring, and produces the real one, which has all along re 
mained in his right hand, requesting the person who tied the knot to 
ascertain for himself that it has not been tampered with. 

To Pass a Ring through the Table. — This also is a juvenile 
trick, but a very good one. The necessary apparatus consists of an 
ordinary glass tumbler, and a handkerchief to the middle of which is 
attached, by means of a piece of sewing-silk about four inches in 
length, a substitute ring of your own. Borrowing a ring from one of 
the company, you announce that it will at your command pass 
through the table ; but as the process, being magical, is necessarily 
invisible, you must first cover it over. Holding the handkerchief by 
two of the corners, you carelessly shake it out (taking care to keep 
the side on which is the suspended ring towards yourself)* *&& 
wrapping in it appaiently the borrowed, but really the suspended 



MODERN MAGIC. 229 



ring, you hand it to one of the company, requesting him to grasp the 
ring through the handkerchief, and to hold it securely. 

A word of caution may here be given, which will be found more 
or less applicable to all magical performances. Have the room in 
which you perform as brilliantly lighted as you please, but take care 
so to arrange the lights, or so to place yourself, that all the lights 
may be in front of you, and none behind you. The trick we are 
now describing affords a practical illustration of the necessity for 
this. If you have any light behind you, the handkerchief, as yon 
shake it to show that it is not prepared, will appear semi-trans- 
parent, and the spectators will be able to see the suspended 
ring dangling behind it. For a similar reason, you should always 
endeavour to have a dark background for your performances, as any 
thread, or the like, which you may have occasion to secretly use will 
then be invisible at a short distance, while against a light background 
—e^. t a muslin curtain or white wall-paper — it would be instantly 
noticeable. 

But to return to our trick : we left one of the spectators tightly 
holding the suspended ring, covered by the folds of the handkerchief. 
Your next step is to request the audience to choose at what particular 
spot in the table the ring shall pass through it. When they have 
made the selection, you place the tumbler upon the spot chosen, and 
request the person having charge of the ring to hold his hand immedi- 
ately over the glass, around which you drape the folds of the hand- 
kerchief. " Now/' you say, " will you be kind enough, sir, to drop 
the ring in the glass." He lets go, and the ring falls with an audible 
"ting" into the glass. t€ Are you all satisfied," you ask, "that the 
ring is now in the glass ? " The reply will generally be in the affirm- 
ative; but, if any one is sceptical, you invite him to shake the glass, 
still covered by the handkerchief, when the ring is heard to rattle 
within it 

Your next step is to borrow a hat, which you take in the hand 
which still retains the genuine ring, holding it in such manner that 
the tips of the fingers are just inside the hat, the ring being concealed 
beneath them. In this condition you can freely exhibit the inside of 
the hat, which is seen to be. perfectly empty. You now place the 
bat under the table, mouth upwards, relaxing as you do so the 



230 MODERN MAGIC. 

pressure of the fingers, and allowing the coin to slide gently down 
into the crown. Leaving the hat under the table, which should 
be so placed that the spectators cannot, as they stand or sit, see 
quite into the crown, you take hold of the extreme edge of the 
handkerchief, and saying, " One, two, three ! Pass ! " jerk it away, 
and request some one to pick up the hat, and return the borrowed 
ring to the owner. 

We have givln the trick in its simplest form, but it is obvious 
that it is capable of any amount of variation as regards the circum- 
stances under which the vanished ring is again found. The " plug* 
box " (page 19a) or the " nest of boxes " (page 197) may be here 
made available, the performer placing the ring where it is to be 
afterwards found, during his momentary absence in search of the 
necessary apparatus. 

To Pass a Ring invisibly upon the Middle of a Wooobv 
Wand, the Ends being held by two of the Spectators. — In 
this trick, the handkerchief prepared (with the ring attached) for the 
purpose of the last illusion may be again employed, though some use 
for the present purpose a handkerchief with a ring stitched in one 
corner. In our own opinion, the suspended ring is preferable, and 
we shall describe the trick accordingly. The only other requisite will 
be the magic wand, or any short stick or rod of such diameter that a 
finger-ring may slip easily upon it. Having borrowed a ring, you 
proceed to wrap it (in reality the substitute) in the handkerchief, and 
hand it to some one to hold. The borrowed ring, of course, remains 
in your hand. Picking up with your other hand your wand, you 
transfer it to the hand containing the ring. Taking hold of it by the 
extreme end, you pass the ring over it, which a very little practice 
will enable you to do without the smallest difficulty. You then say, 
" I am about to order the ring which Mr. So-and-so is holding, to 
leave the handkerchief, and pass on to this wand. For greater 
security, I will ask two of the gentlemen present to hold the ends. 
Will some one volunteer for the purpose ? " Two candidates having 
come forward, you place yourself facing the person who is holding 
the ring in the handkerchief, at the same time sliding your hand with 
the ring to the centre of the wand, and holding the latter in a hori- 



MODERN MAGIC 231 

zontal position across your body. You now invite the two volunteers 
each to take hold of one end, pretending to be very particular that the 
wand should be perfectly horizontal, this giving you an excuse for 
keeping your hand upon it, sliding it backwards and forwards, and 
raising now one end, now the other, till the level is such as to satisfy 
your correct eye. When at last you are satisfied, you ask the person 
in charge of the ring to step forward, so as to bring it immediately 
above the wand, over which you immediately spread the pocket- 
handkerchief letting the edges fall on either side of the wand. As 
soon as the wand is covered, you can of course remove your hand. 
Then, taking hold of one corner of the handkerchief, you request 
the holder of the ring to let go at the word " Three/' and saying, 
u One, two, three — Pass ! " draw away the handkerchief sharply, 
which, brushing against the genuine ring, will set it revolving rapidly, 
as though it had just passed on to the wand. 

Some professors introduce the " flying ring " in the performance 
of this trick, thus dispensing altogether with the handkerchief. The 
slight variations in working thereby rendered necessary will readily 
suggest themselves without further explanation. 

The Magic Ball and Rings. — This is a recent improvement 
on the trick last described. The performer borrows three rings, which 
in this instance, as the trick does not depend upon a substitution, may 
be of any pattern. They should not, however, be too large, for which 
reason ladies* rings are preferable. These he places, or requests the 
owners to place, in the rr Davenport cabinet " (see page 195), the " watch- 
box" (see page 219), or any other apparatus which will enable him 
secretly to get possession of them. He then brings in and hands for 
inspection an ebony ball, an inch and a half to two inches in diameter 
(through which is bored a hole of three-eighths of an inch in diameter), 
and a brass rod about two feet in length, with a knob at each end, 
and of such a thickness as to pass freely through the ball. Both are 
closely scrutinized, and admitted to be fair and solid. In sight of all 
he unscrews one of the knobs, and places the ball upon the rod, 
throwing a handkerchief over it, and requesting two of the audience 
to hold the ends. Passing his hand under the handkerchief, he orders 
the ball to drop into his hand, when his command is instantly obeyed. 



23« 



MODERN MAGIC. 



He next orders the rings to pass from the cabinet, and to take the 
place of the ball on the brass rod. On removing the handkerchief, 
the rings are seen on the rod, and the cabinet, on examination, is found 
empty. 

The secret consists in the use of two balls, one of which (that 
handed round for inspection) has no speciality. The other is divided 
into two parts, the section being vertically through the bore. (Set 
Fig. 1 06.) These two parts fit closely together, and being (as is 

also the solid ball) 
carved in concentric 
circles parallel to the 
opening, the division 
is not readily notice- 
able. The two halves, 
a and b, are hollowed 
out to contain the 
rings, each having 
three slots or mor- 




Fig. 106. 



tices cut at right angles to the direction of the hole through the 
When the performer retires to fetch the* ball and rod, he places the 
borrowed rings in these slots. When the two halves of the ball are 
brought together, the rings will encircle the hole through the centre, 
and the rod, when passed through the ball, will pass through the 
rings also. The performer places the trick ball, thus prepared, under 
his waistband, or in one of his pochettes, and, returning, hands for 
inspection the brass rod and the solid ball. While these are being 
examined, he palms the trick ball, and in passing over the rod appa- 
rently the ball which has just been examined, adroitly substitutes that 
which contains the rings. After having thrown the handkerchief 
over the rod, he passes under it his hand, still containing the solid 
ball. It is an easy matter to pull asunder the hollow ball, and this 
in turn is palmed, and the solid ball passed to the end of the fingers, 
before the performer, again uncovering his hand, which he brings out 
palm downward, carelessly throws down the solid ball, as being that 
which he has just taken off the rod. This is the only part of the 
trick which requires any special dexterity, and any difficulty which 
may be at first found will quickly disappear with a little practice. 



MODERN MA GIC. 233 



When the ball comes apart, the rings are, of course, left on the 
rod. 

A farther improvement may be made in the trick by using a 
sword with a rapier blade in place of the brass rod. The trick is not 
only more effective in appearance, as the sword appears to cut through 
the ball, but the tapering shape of the blade makes the trick much 
easier to perform, as you have only to draw the ball down towards 
the hilt, when the swell of the blade will force the two halves of the 
ball apart, leaving them naturally in your hand. It is best in this 
case simultaneously to let the solid ball drop from your palm to the 
floor. This draws all eyes downwards, and gives you ample oppor- 
tunity to drop the halves of the trick ball into your secret pocket. 
In this form of the trick you, of course, hold the sword yourself in 
the ordinary manner, and you may, if you prefer it, dispense with 
the handkerchief, using your hand only to mask the operation, at 
once stepping forward, as the ball drops to the ground, and saying, 
Will the owners be kind enough to identify their rings ? " 



u 



To Pass a Borrowed Ring into an Egg. — This is an effec- 
tive conclusion to a ring trick. The necessary apparatus consists of 
two wooden egg-cups, inside one of which, at the bottom, is cut a 
mortice or slot just large enough to receive one-half the circumference 
cf a lady's ring, and to hold it in an upright position. The second 
egg-cup has no speciality, being, in fact, merely a dummy, designed 
to be handed to the audience for inspection. An ordinary button* 
hook, or a piece of wire bent into the shape of a button-hook, com- 
pletes the preparations. 

We will assume that the performer has, in the course of one or 
other of the tricks already described, secretly obtained possession of 
a borrowed ring, which the audience believe still to remain in some 
place or apparatus in which they have seen it deposited. The ope- 
rator, retiring for an instant, returns with a plate of eggs in one hand, 
and the dummy egg-cup in the other. The special egg-cup, with the 
ring already in the mortice, is meanwhile placed either under his 
waistband, or in one or other of his pochettes, so as to be in- 
stantly get-at-able when required. Placing the eggs on the table, he 
hands round the egg-cup for inspection, that all may observe that 



234 MODERN MAGIC. 

it is wholly without preparation, and in turning to place the egg-cup 
on the table, he substitutes for it the one which contains the ring, 
but which the audience naturally believe to be that which they have 
just examined. 

Bringing forward the plate of eggs, the performer requests die 
company to choose whichever they please. While they are making 
their selection, he carefully turns back his sleeves, showing indirectly 
that his hands are empty. Taking the chosen egg with the tips of 
his fingers, and showing it on all sides, to prove that there is no pre- 
paration about it, he says, " Now, ladies and gentlemen, you have 
seen me place the ring which this lady has kindly lent me in 'so- 
and-so ' '* (according to the place where it is supposed to be). " You 
have selected, of your own free choice, this particular egg among 
half-a-dozen others. I am about to command the ring to leave the 
place where it now is, and to pass into the very centre of this egg. 
If you think the egg is prepared in any way, it is open to you even 
now to choose another. You are all satisfied that the egg has not 
been tampered with ? Well, then, just observe still that I have 
nothing in my hands. I have merely to say, * One, two, three ! 
Pass ! * The ring is now in the egg." At the word, " Pass," the 
performer taps one end of the egg with his wand, just hard enough 
to crack it slightly. " Dear me," he says ; " I did not intend to hit 
quite so hard ; but it is of no consequence/' Stepping to the table, 
he places the egg, with the cracked end downwards, in the prepared 
egg-cup, using just sufficient pressure to force the egg well down 
upon the ring, the projecting portion of which is thereby forced into 
the egg. The egg being already cracked, a very slight pressure is 
sufficient. Bringing forward the egg in the cup, the hook already 
mentioned, and a table-napkin, he taps the top of the egg smartly with 
his wand, so as to crack it, and. offering the hook to the owner of the 
ring, requests her to see whether her property is not in the egg. The 
ring is immediately fished out, and being wiped upon the napkin, is 
recognized as that which was borrowed. The apparatus in which it 
was originally placed is, on being examined, found empty. 

The Magic Rose. — This little apparatus affords the means for a 
graceful termination of a ring trick. A ring having been made to 



MODERN MAGIC. 235 

disappear in any of the modes before described, the operator, retiring 
for a moment, returns with a rose-bud in his hand. Advancing to 
the owner of the ring, he requests her to breathe on the flower. As 
she does so, the bud is seen slowly to open, and in the centre of the 
new-blown flower is found the missing article. 

The idea of the flower, warmed into bloom under a fair lady's 
breath, is so poetical that it seems quite a pity to be obliged to con- 
fess that the rose is an artificial one, made chiefly of tin, and that its 
petals, normally held open by the action of a spring, are, when the 
flower is first brought on, kept closed by a sliding ring or collar upon 
the stalk, again re-opening as this collar is drawn back by the 
magician's fingers. 




236 MODERN MAGIC. 



CHAPTER XL 

Tricks with Handkerchiefs. 

We have already discussed a good many tricks in which handker- 
chiefs are employed in one way or another. The present chapter will 
be devoted to those feats in which the handkerchief forms the sole or 
principal object of the illusion. Where practicable, the handkerchief 
used should always be a borrowed one (so as to exclude the idea of 
preparation) ; and in borrowing it will occasionally be necessary 
to use a little tact in order to make certain of getting the right 
article for your purpose, without admitting, by asking specially 
for any particular kind of handkerchief, the limited extent of your 
powers. Thus, whenever the trick depends upon the substitution 
of a handkerchief of your own, it is necessary that the borrowed 
handkerchief should be of a plain white, so as not to have too 
marked an individuality, and of a small size, so as to be easily 
palmed or otherwise concealed. These desiderata you may secure, 
without disclosing that they are desiderata, by asking if a lady will 
oblige you with a handkerchief, ladies' handkerchiefs being invari- 
ably white, and of small size. If a lace handkerchief (which 
would be inconveniently distinguishable from your substitute) is 
offered, you may pretend to fear the risk of injuring the lace, and on 
that account to prefer a less valuable article. In "knot" tricks, 
on the contrary, you should, if possible, use a silk handkerchief, 
which, from its softer nature, will be found more tractable than 
cambric. 

We will begin by describing a couple of little " flourishes," which 
may be incidentally introduced in the performance of more ambitious 
tricks, and which will sometimes be found useful in occupying the 
attention of the audience for a moment or two while some neces- 



MODERN MAGIC. 



*37 



sary arrangement is being made behind the scenes for the purpose of 
the principal illusion. The first we will call— 

The Handkerchief that cannot be Tied in a Knot.— 
The performer, having borrowed a handkerchief, pulls it this way and 
that, as if to ascertain its fitness for the purpose of the trick. Finally 
twisting the handkerchief into a sort of loose rope, he throws the 
two ends one over the other, as in the ordinary mode of tying, and 
polls smartly ; but instead of a knot appearing, as would naturally 
be expected, in the 
middle of the hand- 
kerchief, it is pulled 
oat quite straight. 
"This is a very curi- 
ous handkerchief/' he 
remarks 3 " I can't 
make a knot in it." 
The process is again 
and again repeated, 
but always with the 
same result. 

The secret is as 
follows : — The per- 
former, before pulling 
the knot tight, slips 
his left thumb, as 

shown in Fig. 107, beneath such portion of the " tie " as is a con- 
tinuation of the end held in the same hand. The necessary arrange- 
ment of the hands and handkerchief, though difficult to explain in 
writing, will be found quite clear upon a careful examination of the 
figure. 

The Handkerchief that will not Burn. — This may be 
used either separately or in conjunction with the foregoing. The 
performer, taking the handkerchief, asks if it will burn. The owner 
naturally answers that she has no doubt it will. " Suppose we try/ 9 
says the performer ; and taking the handkerchief by two of its cor- 




Fig. 107. 



238 * MODERN MAGIC. 



ners, he draws it three or four times obliquely upwards across the 
flame of a lighted candle, without its receiving the slightest injury. 

There is really no mystery whatever about this, although, to those 
who have never tried it, it appears very surprising, and the spectators 
are generally persuaded that you have somehow substituted another 
handkerchief, made incombustible by chemical means. The per- 
former has only to take care not to allow the handkerchief to rest 
motionless while in contact with the flame. In the act of drawing 
the handkerchief over the candle, the contact of any given part with 
the flame is so momentary, that it is barely warmed in its passage. 
You must, however, take care not to attempt this trick with a hand- 
kerchief which has been scented, as any remains of spirit about it 
would cause it to ignite instantly, and place you in a rather awkward 
position. 

Where a substitute handkerchief has to be burnt in the course of 
a trick, it is by no means a bad plan to exhibit with the substitute 
(which the audience take to be the original) this phenomenon of sup- 
posed incombustibility, and appearing to grow careless from repeated 
success, at last to allow the handkerchief to catch fire. If you can 
by such means induce the audience to believe, for the time being, 
that the burning was an accident, you will the more astonish them by 
the subsequent restoration. 

The Vanishing Knots. — For this trick you must use a silk 
handkerchief. Twisting it rope-fashion, and grasping it by the middle 
with both hands, you request one of the spectators to tie the two ends 
together. He does so, but you tell him that he has not tied them 
half tight enough, and you yourself pull them still tighter. A second 
and a third knot are made in the same way, the handkerchief being 
drawn tighter by yourself after each knot is made. Finally, taking 
the handkerchief, and covering the knots with the loose part, you 
hand it to some one to hold. Breathing on it, you request him to 
shake out the handkerchief, when all the knots are found to have 
disappeared. 

When the performer apparently tightens the knot, he in reality 
only strains one end of the handkerchief, grasping it above and below 
the knot. This pulls that end of the handkerchief out of its twisted 



MODERN MAGIC. 139 



condition in the knot into a straight line, round which the other end 
of the handkerchief remains twisted ; in other words, converts the 
knot into a slip-knot. After each successive knot he still straightens 
this same end of the handkerchief. This end, being thus made 
straight, would naturally be left longer than the other which is 
twisted round and round it This tendency the performer counter- 
acts by drawing it partially back through the slip-knot at each pre- 
tended tightening. When he finally covers over the knots, which he 
does with the left hand, he holds the straightened portion of the 
handkerchief, immediately behind the knots, between the first finger 
and thumb of the right hand, and therewith, in the act of covering 
over the knots, draws this straightened portion completely out of the 
slip-knot. 

Some performers (among whom we may mention Herrmann) 
make this feat still more effective by borrowing half-a-dozen hand- 
kerchiefs, and allowing them all to be tied end to end by the spec- 
tators. After each knot the professor pretends to examine it, asking, 
"What kind of a knot do you call this, sir ' " and meanwhile pulls 
it into the required condition. The joined handkerchiefs are then 
placed one upon the other on a chair or in a hat, and are immediately 
afterwards showli to be separate. 

The student must be on his guard against one particular kind of 
knot, which cannot be pulled into the condition above-named. We 
allude to the very common mode of tying, in which the two ends to 
be tied are placed side by side, and tied simultaneously in a single 
knot The employment of this kind of knot may generally be avoided 
by holding the two ends to be tied at a tolerably wide angle, so that they 
cannot very well be drawn parallel. If, however, a spectator appears 
determined to tie this particular knot, it is better to allow him to do 
so, and then remark, " As the knots are tied by yourselves, ladies and 
gentlemen, you can have little doubt that they are all fair. However, 
for the greater satisfaction of all present, I will ask some gentleman 
to be good enough to untie one of them, which will give a fair criterion 
of the time it would take, in a natural way, to get rid of the re- 
mainder." So saying, you hand the knot in question to be untied, 
and in subsequently giving the ends to be again joined, select a more 
accommodating person to tie them. 



240 MODERN MAGIC. 

As the tricks which follow mainly depend upon the substitution 
of a second handkerchief, we shall in the first place describe two or 
three modes of effecting the necessary exchange, with and without 
the aid of apparatus. 

To Exchange a borrowed Handkerchief for a Substi- 
tute. — Have the substitute handkerchief tucked under your waist- 
coat, at the left side, so as to be out of sight, but within easy reach of 
your hand. Receive the borrowed handkerchief in your right hand, 
and as you ' left wheel ' to your table to place it thereon, tuck it under 
your ^waistband on the right side, and at the same moment pull oat 
with the other hand the substitute, and throw the latter on the table. 
The substitute handkerchief (which the audience take to be the real 
one) being thus left in full view, you may, withoat exciting any sus- 
picion, retire with the genuine one, and dispose of it as may be neces- 
sary for the purpose of your trick. 

You may, however, sometimes desire merely to gain possession of 
a borrowed handkerchief, or to place it within reach of your assistant, 
without yourself leaving the apartment. In this case the substitute 
may be placed as before, but on your right side. Receiving the bor- 
rowed handkerchief in your right hand, you hold it loosely hanging 
down between the second and third, or third and fourth ringers. 
This" leaves the thumb and first ringer free, and with these you quickly 
pull down, as you turn to go to your table, the substitute. You thus 
have both handkerchiefs held openly in the same hand; but both 
being of like appearance, the audience take them to be one only. 
Passing behind your table, you let fall the borrowed handkerchief upon 
the servante, and throw the substitute upon the table. 

A very audacious and generally successful mode of effecting the 
change is as follows : Taking the handkerchief, and pressing it into a 
moderately small compass, the performer says, " Now I am going to 
make this handkerchief disappear. There are plenty of ways of 
doing it. I'll show you one or two. This is Professor De Jones s 
method. He just turns round, so, to put the handkerchief on the 
table" (performer turns accordingly), "but meanwhile the hand- 
kerchief is gone. Ah, you were too sharp for me ! You saw me 
poke it up my sleeve ? Quite right, here it is. I see Professor De 



MODERN MAGIC. 241 

Jones's method wouldn't have any chance with you. This is Pro- 
fessor De Smith's method.' 9 He turns as before. "The hand- 
kerchief is gone again. Not far, though, for here it is " (turning 
back breast of coat and showing handkerchief)- " Professor De Robin- 
son does it like this." (He turns away for an instant, and tucks 
handkerchief under waistband.) "Here it is, you see, under the 
waistcoat." (Pulls it out again.) " Now, you may very well imagine 
that, if I had intended to have used any of these methods myself, I 
shouldn't have explained them. You will find that my plan is quite 
a different one. When I want to get rid of a handkerchief, I just 
take it to the candle, and set it on fire, so " (holds handkerchief over 
candle, and sets light to it) ; or, " I place it in such and such a piece 
of apparatus," etc., etc. 

On the first two occasions of showing where the'handkerchief is 
placed, the performer really does exhibit the genuine article ; but at 
the third pretended feint, though he really does tuck it under his 
waistband, he pulls out again, not the same handkerchief, but a sub- 
stitute, placed there beforehand. The action is so natural, and so 
much in harmony with his previous acts, that not one in a hundred 
will suspect that he has thereby really changed the handkerchief. 

The mode of exchange last described, ingenious as it is, has one 
serious drawback — viz., that it gives the audience a clue which it is 
better that they should not have, and suggests suspicions and con- 
jectures which, but for such a clue, they would never have thought 
of. To an acute mind, even such a slight hint as this will suggest 
enough to destroy half the effect of any subsequent trick in which a 
similar process of disappearance or exchange is employed, and even in 
the case of less intelligent spectators it will tend to diminish the 
prestige of the performer, by showing by what shallow artifices an 
illusion may be produced. 

There are two or three pieces of apparatus for effecting the ex- 
change of a handkerchief by mechanical means. A very good one is 
that known as "The Washerwoman's Bottle," in conjunction with 
which we will take the opportunity of describing the very effective 
trick known as 

The Lockbd and Corded Box. — The "Washerwoman's 

16 



343 MODERN MAGIC. 

Bottle" is a simple and inexpensive piece of apparatus, of frequent 
use in handkerchief tricks. In appearance it is an ordinary Mack 
bottle, save that it has a rather shorter neck and wider month than the 
generality of such vessels. In reality it is made of tin, japanned 
black, and is divided by a vertical partition, commencing just below 
the month, into two compartments. One of these has a bottom, bat 
the other has none, forming, in bet, a mere passage through the bottle. 
In the bottomed compartment is placed beforehand a piece of cambric, 
or dummy handkerchief, also about a glassful of port wine, or some 
other liquor of similar colour. 

The performer borrows a lady's handkerchief. Pretending tint 
he is obliged to fetch some other article for .the purpose of the trick, 
he says, as if struck by a sudden thought, " But I mustn't run away 
with the handkerchief, or you might fancy that I had tampered with 
it in some way. Where shall I put it ? Ah ! the very thing. Here's 
a bottle belonging to my washerwoman, which she left behind her 
the last time she came. It's sure to be clean, for she is a most par- 
ticular old lady. We often hear of a lady carrying a bottle in her 
handkerchief , why not a handkerchief in a bottle? First, madam, 
please see that I have not exchanged the handkerchief. Right, is 
it } Well, then, here goes for the bottle." Standing behind his 
table, in full view of the spectators, he stuffs the borrowed hand- 
kerchief into the bottle, ramming it down with his wand. In so 
doing, he grasps the bottle with his left hand around its base, which 
he rests on the edge of the table nearest to himself, in such manner 
that about half the bottom projects over the edge. When he places 
the handkerchief in the bottle, he places it in the open compartment, 
and pushes it with his wand right through the bottle into his left 
hand, if he desires to obtain personal possession of it, or lets it fall on 
the servante, if it is to be carried off by his assistant. We will assume, 
for our present purpose, that he simply pushes it into his left 
hand, whence it is easy to get rid of it into the pochette on the same 
side. He now places the bottle in the centre of the table, but in 
doing so hears, or pretends to hear, a sound of liquid therein. "1 
hope the bottle was empty," he remarks, "I never thought about that." 
He shakes the bottle, and the liquid therein is distinctly audible. 
" Good gracious ! " he exclaims, u I'm afraid J have ruined the hand- 



MODERN MAGIC. 3*3 



kerchief." He now poors the liquid into a glass, and then, putting 
his fingers inside the bottle, he pulls out the prepared piece of cambric* 
which, of course, is wet and stained* Leaving it hanging from the 
neck of the bottle, he advances to the owner, and expresses his regret 
at the accident; but the audience, who begin to suspect that the pre- 
tended mistake is really a part of the trick, insist that the hand- 
kerchief shall be restored in its original condition. The performer 
feigns embarrassment, but at last says, " Well, ladies and gentlemen, 
I cannot dispute the justice of your observations. The handkerchief 
certainly ought to be returned clean as at first, and as my washer- 
woman has been the cause of the mischief, she is the proper person 
to repair it. Will you excuse my stopping the entertainment for an 
hour or two, while I go to fetch her ? You object to the delay ? 
Well, then, I will bring her here by spiritualistic means, a ia Mrs. 
Gappy. Pardon me one moment." He retires, and returns with 
a square box and the magic pistol. Placing the box on the table, and 
making a few mysterious passes over it with his wand, he says, in 
his deepest tones, " Spirit of Mrs. Tubbs, I command you to pass 
into this box, there to remain until you have repaired the damage 
which your carelessness has caused." Then taking the saturated 
cambric from the bottle, he crams it into the pistol, and, retiring to 
the farthest portion of the stage, fires at the box. Laying do wn the 
pistol, and taking up the box, he advances to the owner of the hand* 
kerchief, and, offering her the key, begs her to unlock it. She does 
so, expecting to find her handkerchief, . but finds instead a second 
box. This, and four or fi\e others in succession, are opened, and in 
the innermost is found the handkerchief, folded and ironed, as if 
newly returned' from the wash. 

With the reader's present knowledge, it would be almost super- 
fluous to tell him that the operator avails himself of his momentary 
absence to damp and fold the handkerchief, and to press it with a 
cold iron. (If a hot one can be obtained, so much the better, but 
there is no absolute necessity for it.) Having done this, he places it 
in the square nest of boxes (see page 197), and closing them returns 
to the audience. The magic pistol has already been described (page 
ai 6). Where an assistant is employed, the performer merely pushes 
the handkerchief through the bottle on to the servante, as already 



244 MODERN MAGIC. 



mentioned, and the assistant, passing behind the table on some pretext 
or other, carries it off, and places it in the nest of boxes, while the 
audience are occupied by the pretended discovery of wine in the bottle. 
The trick in this form appears even more surprising, inasmuch as the 
performer does not leave the stage at all, and the box is brought in 
and placed on the table by a person who, to all appearance, has never 
had the handkerchief, even for a moment, in his possession. 

In order still further to heighten the effect of the trick, the hand- 
kerchief is sometimes caused to reappear in the innermost of a nest 
of boxes which has throughout the entertainment been hung up in 
full view of the audience, and the outermost of which is carefully 
corded and sealed. The performer in this case, after firing at the 
supposed box (for the audience are, of course, ignorant that there are 
more than one), directs his assistant to take it down from its elevated 
position, and to place it on the table. Cutting the cords, and opening 
the box, he produces from it another, corded like the first. From 
this second box, he produces another smaller box, of an ornamental 
character (the square nest of boxes above mentioned). This he 
hands to the owner of the handkerchief, with a request that she will 
open it, and the result is as already described. 

The trick in this form is one of the very best exhibited on the stage, 
and yet, as indeed are most of the best feats, it is performed by the 
simplest possible means. The outer box is an ordinary deal box, bond 
fide sealed and corded, but the second, though equally genuine in appear- 
ance, has no bottom, and the cord, though apparently quite complete, 
does not cross beneath the box, which is, in fact, nothing more than 
a wooden shell, or cover, with a lid to it. When the performer takes 
out this second box and places it on the table, he tilts it forward for 
a moment, and in that moment slips the nest of boxes (which is 
placed in readiness on the servante), underneath it, immediately after- 
wards raising the lid, and taking out the nest, as if it had all along 
been contained therein. 

It only remains to explain the mode by which the nest of boxes, 
with the handkerchief therein, is placed upon the servante. Some 
performers employ the rather too transparent expedient of making 
the assistant bring in, then and there, a small round table, 
behind which, on a servante of its own, is placed the closed nest of 



i 



MODERN MAGIC. 245 



boxes. A better plan, where the size of the nest permits, is to have 
it placed open, before the performance commences, on the servante of 
the centre table. It is then an easy matter for the performer or his 
assistant (as the case may be) to slip in the folded handkerchief, and 
close the boxes, the remainder of the trick proceeding as already 
described. 

Some performers nse for the purpose of this trick a special 
mechanical table, which, by means of a lifting apparatus, itself intro- 
duces the nest of boxes through a trap into the bottomless box, with- 
out the necessity of tilting the latter. 

The Reversible Canister. — This is another piece of apparatus 
more particularly designed for changing a handkerchief, though equally 
available for many other exchanges. In appearance it is an ordinary 
cylindrical canister, closed with a cap, and similar in shape to those in 
which tea is kept, but of smaller size, being only five to six inches in 
height. In reality, however, that which appears to be the body of the 
canister is a mere tube, within which slides up and down an inner can- 
ister, which is made double-headed, i*., like two 
shallow canisters placed bottom to bottom. (See L J 

Fig. 108.) The pattern of the outer tube is alike 1 1 

at top and bottom, so that whether the combined / \ 

canister is as shown in the figure, with compart- | cL 

meot a uppermost, or turned upside down, with I 
compartment b pushed into view, the appearance I 
to the eye of the spectator is the same. The I 
canister is prepared by placing beforehand in one L ? 

or other of the compartments, say b, a piece of I ^w S 

cambric, as much like a lady's handkerchief as I I 1 
possible. Compartment a is then pushed up- i ■ -i— 
wards, as shown in the figure. Borrowing a Fig. 108. 

handkerchief, the performer requests the owner 
to place it for safe keeping in the canister, which he brings forward 
for that purpose. As he turns to replace it on the table, he takes 
advantage of the moment during which his back is towards the spec- 
tators to push down a (thus pushing out b at the opposite end of the 
tube), and at the same time to turn over the canister, which, when 



2*6 MODERN MAGIC. 



placed on the table, will still look as shown hi' the figure, but wiH 
hare, in reality, b uppermost. Presently taking out the pr ep are d 
cambric, which the spectators take to be the handkerchief, he barns 
or otherwise- disposes of it, to be subsequently reproduced by the 
simple process of again reversing the canister. 

This is a simple and inexpensive piece of apparatus, but it wiH 
not bear-examination, and the process of reversing is a little awkward. 
For these reasons it is rarely employed by professional performers, 
who for the same porpose more generally nse^what is known as 

The Burning Globb. — This is a hollow brass globe of four to 
six inches ra diameter, mounted on a foot of about the same height, 
and surmounted by a cap or lid, so that it forms, in fact, a spherical 
canister. A raised band, also of brass, passes horizontally round the 
globe; and this, which is apparently a mere, ornament, is really 
designed to conceal the fact that the globe is divided into two sepa- 
rate hemispheres, revolving one upon the other- 'Within this external 
globe is an inner one, divided into two compartments, each having 
a separate opening, and so contrived, that each' of these openings in 
turn is made to correspond with the opening of the external globe, 
according as the upper hemisphere of the latter is moved round from 
right to left, or vice vend. The globe 4s, like the canister, prcp aie d 
by placing a substitute handkerchief, or piece- of cambric, in 
other of the inner compartments, and then bringing, the other 
partment into correspondence with the external opening*. A bo rrowed 
handkerchief being openly placed in the empty compartment, the 
performer, by merely giving a half turn to the foot of the apparatus, 
brings the compartment containing the substitute uppermost, the 
action being so little noticeable that it may be used with impunity 
before the very eyes of the audience. 

The Transformed Handkerchief.— This is one of Herrmann's 
favourite tricks, and affords a very good example of his style of work- 
ing. The performer comes forward, requesting the loan of a lady's 
handkerchief. While it is being procured, he produces from the hair or 
whiskers of one of the spectators a lemon, which he carelessly 
thrusts under somebody's nose in order to prove its genuineness* 



MODERN MAGIC. 247 



(This lemon, which, of course, was palmed, is a prepared one, from 
which the pulp has been scooped out, and which contains a substitute 
handkerchief, so cannot be handed for examination.) Turning 
for an instant towards the stage, he tosses the lemon to his assis- 
tant, who catches it, and places it on the table. The momentary 
torn from the audience enables him to get from under his waist- 
band, and to palm, a little bundle of pieces of cambric, each 
about four inches square. Taking the borrowed handkerchief, he 
rolls it into a ball between his hands, and hands it (apparently) to 
some one to hold, in reality substituting the torn pieces of cambric. 
He then turns, and takes a few paces towards his table, meanwhile 
tacking the handkerchief under his waistcoat, and taking therefrom 
in place of it a strip of cambric, about four or five feet long and four 
inches wide, rolled up into a small compass. This he palms. Sud- 
denly turning back, he exclaims, " My dear sir, what are you doing with 
that handkerchief ) 1 never told you to do that! 19 The innocent 
holder looks op in astonishment, but the performer continues, "Will 
you have the kindness to open the handkerchief ? " He does so, and 
finds it in pieces. After a little chaff about making him pay for the 
damage, the performer says, " Well, I suppose I must show you how 
to restore it." Here he again takes the pieces, and folds them to* 
gether, saying, " See, you must take them as I do, and rub them very 
gently with the left hand." Substituting the prepared slip, he hands 
it to him 1 but, when he begins to rub, exclaims again, ** Dear me, 
dear me 1 what are you doing now ? I told you the left hand. You 
are making matters worse than ever." The handkerchief is now 
found in a long strip. The performer endeavours to induce the owner 
to accept it in this shape, which he assures her is the newest style ; 
but she naturally objects, and begs that it may be restored to its 
original condition. For that purpose, the performer, rolling the slip 
into a ball, places it in his magic pistol (see page aij), and rams it 
down with his wand. Appearing to reflect for a moment, he says, 
44 Where shall I fire it ? Ah ! suppose I aim at that lemon on the 
table ?" " Bang ! " goes the pistol, and the performer, taking a knife, 
cats the lemon all round (flinging the rind carelessly on the stage), 
and produces the substitute handkerchief (professedly the original). 
He comes forward to the audience with it, and, after thanking 



aat MODERN MAGIC. 



the owner, mikes a gesture of returning it ; but, as if struck by a 
sodden thought, checks himself, and says, "I'm afraid it smells 
rather strong of me lemon. Will joa allow me to scent it for you ? 
I have some capital Ivan de Cologne here,* 9 Going back to his table, 
he places the handkerchief on a plate, and poors scent on it, turning 
as he does so to the owner, and saying, " Please tell me when yen 
dunk there is enough." While bis back is turned, the attendant, who 
has been standing by holding a lighted candle, with a mischievous 
wink at the company, tilts the candle, and sets the handkerchief on 
fire. The performer apologises for his assistants stupidity, bat 
appeals to the co mpan y to bear witness that it was no fault of his, 
and bringing fmwaid the plate, with the handkerchief still blazing, 
offers it to the owner. She, of coarse, declines to take it, and the 
performer, remarking, ** Yon don't like it in this condition ; well, then, 
suppose I put k in paper far yon," places the plate on the floor, telling 
the assistant to pot k on the table, and runs off to get the paper. 
The attendant tries to lift off me plate, bat finds that it burns his 
fingers. However, after several attempts, getting the plate a little 
nearer to the table at each, he manages to place it on the table. This 
little by-play amoses the audience, and gives the performer the few 
moments which he requires for his preparations behind the scenes. 
Coming forward with a sheet of dean white paper, he wraps therein 
the still biasing handkerchief, crashing it together so as to extinguish 
the flames. He offers the packet so made to the lady, who, beliering 
that it contains nothing but ashes, declines to receive it, when the 
professor, tearing the paper apart, pulls out the handkerchief perfectly 
restored, while the burnt fragments have vanished. 

The effect last mentioned is produced by the use of a double paper, 
pasted together round three of its sides, and thus forming a kind of 
bag in the centre. In this bag the performer, during his momentary 
absence from the stage, places the genuine handkerchief, folded so as 
to occupy as little space as possible. The handkerchief, therefore, 
lies between the two thicknesses of the paper, and when the rolled 
up packet is torn open from outside, may be removed without dis- 
turbing the burnt fragments, which still remain inside the paper. 

Where it is necessary, as for the purpose of this trick, to introduce 
some article into a lemon, the necessary preparation should be made 



MODERN MAGIC. 249 



as follows : — A lemon with a thick hard rind should be selected, and 
a plug-shaped piece, about an inch and a half in diameter, should be 
scooped with a sharp knife out of one end. The pulp may now be 
removed, leaving the rind a mere shell, while the piece originally cut 
out will form a kind of stopper, which may be secured in its place by 
thrusting a hair-pin or piece of wire through the fruit and plug 
from side to side, and nipping off the ends flush with the outer sur- 
face. When the performer exhibits the lemon, he takes care to have. 
the cot end inwards towards his palm; so that the circular mark 
b concealed by the fingers, and when he desires to produce the hand- 
kerchief he cuts the opposite end. 

The Handkerchief cut up, burnt, and finally found in 
a Candle. — We have already described one or two modes in which 
a handkerchief,, after being apparently cut up, or burnt, may be re- 
produced in its original condition* This is another and very effective 
form of the same trick. 

Having borrowed a white handkerchief, you exchange it, by one 
or other of the means already described, for a substitute of similar 
appearance, and place the latter on the table. You then remember 
that, as you are about to burn the handkerchief, you will want a 
candle. You call to your attendant, but he, previously instructed, 
does not answer, and after a momentary pause you determine to 
fetch it yourself. You have, however, no sooner left the stage, than 
you meet the defaulter, and angrily remarking, in a stage whisper, so 
that the audience may hear, that he is never at hand when you want 
him, or making some similar observation, you order him to bring a 
lighted candle. Your absence is only momentary, but it has enabled 
you to throw him the real handkerchief, which he forthwith rolls up, 
and places inside a candle made hollow for the purpose ; which he 
then places in a candlestick, lights, and brings on the stage. You 
have meanwhile taken up the substitute handkerchief, and advanced 
to the audience, getting ready the while in your palm a small piece of 
cambric, about six inches in diameter. Taking the handkerchief by 
the centre, in the same hand, you pull out between the first finger 
and thumb a portion of the piece of cambric, which is naturally 
taken to be a part of the handkerchief. Handing to one of the spec- 



250 MODERN MAGIC. 



triors a pair of scissors, 700 request him to cat off a small portion of 
the handkerchief. He cats off a piece of the cambric. Holding this 
piece in the one hand, and taking the remainder; with the substitute 
handkerchief hanging down below it, in the other, you offer to teach 
the company your patent method of mending handkerchiefs^ requiring 
neither thimble, needle, nor thread. Applying the cut edges to the 
candle, yon set them on fire, rubbing them together. Finally, blov- 
ing oat the flame, and throwing the handkerchief over the hand that 
holds the pieces, you palm them, and immediately afterwards show 
die handkerchief (i.e., the substitute) completely restored. 

The mode of procedure so far is pretty well known, and it is 
highly probable that one or more of the audience will be acquainted 
with it. Accordingly, you may safely expect to perceive in some 
quarter or other, knowing glances, or confidential communications as 
to ,c how it's done." Noticing, or pretending to notice this, you say, 
* Ah, I see there is a gentleman there who thinks he has found me 
out. You fancy, no doubt, sir, that I have performed this trick in 
the old fashion, by cutting a piece of cambric which does not form 
part of the handkerchief. Why, my dear sir, the trick in that form 
is as old as— your grandmother. But it is my own fault; I quite 
forgot to show you that the handkerchief was really cut. It is my 
rule never to perform the same trick twice over, but I feel so hurt it 
your unkind suspicion that I must break my rule for once, and this 
time you shall cut the handkerchief yourself." You offer him the 
scissors, and holding up the handkerchief (which the audience natur- 
ally believe to be the genuine one) by the middle, you allow him to 
cut a piece fairly out of it, immediately afterwards spreading it out, 
and showing that a large hole is made in the centre. Again, you hold 
the edges to the candle, but this time, as if by accident, you let the 
flames fairly catch hold of the handkerchief, which you are compelled 
to drop upon a plate or tray, and to let it burn itself out. For a 
moment, you feign to be embarrassed, and the audience are half in- 
clined to believe that you have made a mistake, and your trick has 
failed; but you quickly recover your confidence, and remark, "This 
is not precisely what I intended, ladies and gentlemen. I am afraid 
I have made a little mistake, but fortunately it is easily remedied. 
The fact is, I forgot to pronounce the magic word at the right 



MODERN MAGIC. 251 



moment, and the handkerchief has in consequence stopped short at 
the first stage of transmigration. To make it pass into the second 
stage, that of renewed existence, I must again employ the agency of 
fize. See, I place the ashes in my magic pistol, and ram them down 
with the mystic wand. Now what shall I aim at ? Ah ! the candle 
on the table ! A capital mark, and as it has been before yon through- 
out 4he trick, you know that it cannot have undergone any prepara- 
tion." (You fire, aiming at the candle.) "Did you see it pass? 
No,- It has done so, nevertheless $ but I must have put in a little too 
much powder, for it has gone right into the candle." (You bring the 
candle forward.) u Will some one oblige me by seeing if it is really 
in the candle*" The candle is broken in half, and the handkerchief 
is found embedded therein. 

■ 

The candle used for the purpose of the above trick is sometimes a 
genuine wax or composite candle, but more often a mere pasteboard 
tube, previously cut half asunder in the middle (so as to break with- 
out difficulty)* and then covered with glazed white paper, in imitation 
of a. candle, a genuine candle-end being inserted at the top. If a 
candle of this latter description is used, the performer must himself 
break it, as a spectator doing so would at once discover that it was 
a prepared article. 

Before quitting the subject of handkerchiefs burnt and restored, 
we may mention a little appliance called the " handkerchief table," 
which is designed for this purpose. It is precisely the same in make 
and operation as the table or tripod, described at page 139, for burning 
and restoring a card, but a little larger. To those acquainted with 
the card. tripod, the use and effect of the handkerchief table will be 

sufficiently obvious, without any special explanation* 

« 

The Shower op Swbbts. — This is a trick which is sure to be 
well received by a juvenile audience. The performer comes forward 
with an ordinary plate or salver, which he hands for examination, and 
then places on the table. He next borrows a handkerchief. Laying 
it fiat over the plate, he lifts it up by nipping the middle with his 
finger and thumb, letting the four corners hang down. He then 
strokes down the handkerchief with the other hand, under the pre- 
tence of mesmerising it, when a shower of burnt almonds, chocolate 



252 MODERN MAGIC. 



creams, acidulated drops, etc., pours down upon the plate. Again he 
strokes the handkerchief, and again the shower pours down ; and the 
plate, being by this time full, is handed round to the company to 
prove that in the quality of the sweets, at any rate, there is "no 
deception." 

The secret lies in the use of a small bag, of cambric or fine 
calico, shaped like an inverted letter V. The edges are turned in at 
the mouth, and through each hem is passed a straight piece of watch- 
spring or whalebone, one a little longer than the other. The natural 
tendency of these is to lie side by side, keeping the mouth of the bag 
closed; but if pressure be simultaneously applied to both ends of 
the springs, the longer one assumes the shape of a semicircle, thereby 
opening the bag. Through the opposite end of the bag is passed a 
pointed wire hook. The bag is beforehand filled with nuts or bon- 
bons, and hung by the hook to the edge of the table on the side away 
from the spectators. Though the bag is mouth downwards, the action 
of the spring keeps it closed, and nothing can fall out When the 
operator, standing behind the table, dnrvs the handkerchief over the 
plate, he allows a portion of the hinder edge to hang over the edge 
of the table nearest to himself. When he picks up the handkerchief, 
which he does with his finger and thumb, he takes hold, through the 
handkerchief, of the upper part of the bag. The bag is thus lifted 
up within the handkerchief, but is concealed by the folds of the latter 
hanging down around it. The movement of the hand in stroking 
down the handkerchief presses the springs, and the bag opens, again 
closing as soon as the pressure is relaxed. When all the contents 
have fallen, the performer drops the handkerchief, bag and all, on the 
table, while he advances to the audience with the results of the trick, 
and, on again picking up the handkerchief, lets fall the empty bag 
upon the servante, or slips it into his pocket. 

It will be observed that, in the form of the trick above described, 
the use of both hands is necessary — one to hold the handkerchief, 
while the other, stroking it down, presses the springs, and causes the 
bag to open. There is an improved form of the bag, used, and, we 
believe, invented by Robert-Houdin, which enables the performer, 
holding the handkerchief at arm's length, to perform the trick by 
mere word of command, without using the left hand at all. The 



MODERN MAGIC. 



m 




bog is in this case of the form shown in Fig. 109. No springs are 

used, but the bag, when filled, is closed by folding down the flap, and 

hooking the little ring over the hook, the bag thereby assuming {he 

appearance shown in Fig. 

no. It is picked up 

within the handkerchief 

as described in the case 

of the spring bag j but 

when it is desired to 

produce the sweets, a 

slight inclination of the 

hook to the left (effected 

by a barely perceptible 

movement of the thumb 

and finger) causes the 

ring to slip off and the 

flap to fall down, as in 

Fig- 109, releasing the 

whole contents of the 

bag. 

The trick may be still further improved by having two similar 
bags stitched back to back, each with its own ring and hook. In 
this case an inclination to the left releases one hook, and an inclina- 
tion to the right the other. The two bags may be filled with bonbons 
of different colours or descriptions, or the one may be filled with 
bonbons and the other with grey peas. In this case you may intro- 
duce the trick by some observations upon the singular effects of the 
human breath, and how greatly such effects vary in different persons. 
A handkerchief is borrowed, and a lady and gentleman are requested 
each to hold a plate. The lady is requested to breathe on the hand- 
kerchief, and a shower of bonbons falls on her plate. The gentle- 
man breathes in his turn, and retires, amid derisive applause, with a 
plate of peas. 

While upon the subject of the mysterious production of sweets, 
we may incidentally mention another piece of apparatus designed for 
this purpose. This is a wand, made to correspond in general appear- 
ance with that habitually used by the performer. Internally, it is a 



Fig. 109. 



Fig. no. 



3<4 MODERN MAGIC. 

hollow tube, with a stiff wire running throughout its whole length. 

One end of this wire is fixed to a moveable cap, which covers the 

upper end of the wand, white the other terminates in a sort of little 
wooden plug, which closes the opening at the other 
"" end. A spiral spring within the upper end of the 
wand tends to force the cap upwards, and so to keep 
the opposite end dosed ; but if pressure be applied to 
the cap, the plug is forced outwards, and the tohe 
thereby opened. See Fig, 1 1 1, in which a represents 
the wand in its normal condition (i.e., closed), while 
b represents it with the cap pressed downwards, and 
the opposite end consequently open. 

To prepare the wand for use, the cap is pressed and 
the valve opened. The wand is then filled with very 
minute sweetmeats, of the description known amaog 
juveniles as "hundreds and thousands;" after which 
the pressure on the cap is removed, and the ptng 
allowed to retire into its place. The wand, trios pre- 
pared, is at the proper moment brought forward in 
place of the ordinary wand, which in its present con- 
dition it exactly resembles. The performer then de- 
clares his intention of passing a shower of sweets 
Fig. in. into the pocket of a spectator, and, having first shown ■ 
it empty, touches the inside with the wand, at the 

same moment pressing the cap, when the sweets within escape into 

the pocket 

The Fkathbks prom am Empty Handkerchief. — This b ■ 
very simple illusion, but has nevertheless been a favourite with many 
noted prcsticUgitaleuTs. Its effect is as follows : — The performer 
comes forward with a large handkerchief, or small shawl, which he 
shakes about in all directions, to show that it is empty. Throwing it 
over the left hand, he with the other grasps it by the middle, and 
removing the hand over which it was thrown, lets it hang perpen- 
dicularly down. To all appearance it is still empty ; but on being 
shaken it is seen to contain some solid object. With a twist of the 
wrist, the performer turns the handkerchief add its contents upwards- 



MODERN MAGIC *$$ 



The handkerchief naturally falls down over the coat-sleeve, leafing 
exposed a handsome military plame. The performer grasps, with the 
left hand, the stem of this plame and the centre of the handkerchief, 
immediately drawing away the right arm from beneath it. Again 
the handkerchief on being waved about is seen to contain something, 
which being held upright, the handkerchief falls down as before, 
and a second plume is revealed. The operation is again and again 
repeated with a Kke result, till fifteen or twenty plumes have been 
produced ; the handkerchief being'at any moment handed for examU 
nation. 

Hie explanation lies in the fact that the phimes, which may be 
com pre s se d into a very small compass, are laid beforehand along the 
arms of the p e rf o rm er, who puts on his coat over them. The stems 
of the plumes are nearest to the hands. When die handkerchief is 
thrown over either hand, the other hand catches hold through it of 
the stem of one of the feathers. This hand now remains stationary, 
while the other arm is drawn from under the handkerchief. The fact 
that the plumes come out of the sleeves is thus much less patent than 
if the opposite hand made the motion and drew the feather out. The 
plumes on being drawn out expand considerably ; so much so, indeed, 
that it is hard to believe that the quantity with which the stage is 
strewn could possibly have been concealed about the person of the 
performer. 

Some peifoun er s have in addition a bundle of plumes fastened 
together by a thread, and laid along the inside of the trousers and 
waistcoat, in such manner that the stems are just within the breast of 
the latter. After having exhausted his sleeves, the operator, holding 
the handkerchief (by two of its corners) across his chest, to show 
that it is quite empty, catches hold, with the second and third fingers, 
of the stem of the bundle within the waistcoat, and moving the 
handkerchief with a quick sidelong motion from left to right, or vice 
versi, draws out the feathers behind it, and immediately breaking the 
thread, shakes them out in a shower on the stage. 

There is another form of the same trick, in which the 
handkerchief plays only a secondary part, but, from its near rela- 
tion to that last described, we insert it in this place. It is generally 
called 



256 



MODERN MAGIC. 



The Flying Plumb. — For this trick 70a require two plumes, is 
nearly as possible alike in appearance. To the stem of each should 
be attached a loop of string or ribbon, two or three inches in length. 
Yon must also have a japanned tin tube, of about twenty inches 
long, and three in diameter. On either end is fitted a cap, of about 
two inches in depth. One of these caps is perfectly plain, but within 
the other is an inner cap, made after the fashion of the middle com- 
partment of the snuff-box vase (see page 217). The relative tight- 
ness of the inner and outer caps is such that, if in removing the outer 
one with the finger and thumb some slight degree of lateral pressure 
is exerted, it nips the inner cap, which comes off with it ; but if the 
outer cap is removed without pressure, the inner cap remains on the 
tube, forming a false top to it. Within this inner cap, which is 
internally about an inch and a half deep, is glued a short end of a 
third plume, similar in colour and appearance to the two others. The 

interior of the tube is 
divided into two parts 
by a longitudinal divi- 
sion, also of tin, running 
diagonally nearly from 
end to end. The tube 
is thus divided into two 
wedge-shaped compart- 
ments, the cap at one 
end giving access to the 
one, and the cap at the 
other end to the other; 
each being large enough to contain a plume. (See Fig. 112, represent- 
ing a section of the entire tube, and Fig. 1 13, giving a slightly enlarged 
view of the ends.) The tube is prepared beforehand by filling the 
compartment which is closed by the double cap with bonbons of 
various kinds ; the other compartment being left empty. One of the 
plumes is concealed in the left sleeve of the performer, as in the last 
trick. 

These preparations having been duly made beforehand, you come 
forward with a small shawl, or large handkerchief, the tube, and the 
second plume. Laying the tube and plume upon the table, you 




Fig. iia. 




Fig. 113. 



MODERN MAGIC. 257 



request the audience to satisfy themselves that the shawl contains 
nothing. You then ask some one to step forward and take care 
of the shawl, which you meanwhile carelessly throw over your left 
hand, immediately after taking hold of its centre with your right, as 
before described, and drawing the left arm away. It is needless to 
remark, to those who have followed the explanation of the last trick, 
that the hidden plume is thereby brought under the shawl, though, 
being held by the loop of ribbon, there is nothing to betray its pre- 
sence. You hand the shawl in this condition to the person who has 
volunteered to hold it, requesting him to keep it at arm's length, still 
hanging down. Next taking up the tube, you open it at the plain or 
unprepared end, and holding it mouth downwards, show that it is 
(apparently) empty j then ostentatiously place the plume therein, and 
put the cap on. 

In returning to your table you* take the opportunity to reverse the 
tube, and to lay it down in such a manner that the opposite end (i.e., 
that with the false top) may be turned towards the audience. Some 
performers do this by letting the tube fall, as if by accident, but this 
is, in our opinion, a clumsy and inartistic proceeding. By gesticulat- 
ing a little with the tube, in announcing what you are about to do, 
so that the audience may, little by little, become less certain as 
to which end you have just opened, and by carelessly transfer- 
ring the tube from the one hand to the other just as you lay it on 
the table, you may make the change with scarcely a chance of detec- 
tion, even by the keenest observer. You then say, " I shall now, 
ladies and gentlemen, make the plume which you have just seen me 
place in this tube travel into the shawl which that gentleman is hold- 
ing, while the tube will be completely filled with objects of interest 
for the juvenile spectators." Here you may possibly hear, or if 
not, you pretend to hear, a murmur to the effect that the feather has 
already left the tube. " Pardon me," you say, " the plume has not 
yet left the tube, neither will it do so until I give the command," and 
so saying, you take off the cap, leaving on the false top. The audi- 
ence see the little bit of feather within, which they naturally take to 
be the end of the genuine plume. Again you replace the cap j and after 
going through some appropriate magical ceremony, again remove it, 
but this time carrying off the false top with it. (It should have been 

17 



253 MODERN MA GIC. 

mentioned that the tube is japanned in such manner that the eye 
cannot detect any difference whether the false top is on or off.) 
Placing the cap^ with the false top within it, on the table, you come 
forward and pour the sweets from the tube, while the shawl is on 
examination found to contain the plume. 

Some performers, for the purpose of this trick, use a tube with a 
false top, as above described, but open from end to end, without the 
diagonal partition above mentioned. Before placing the plume in the 
tube, which they do standing behind the table, they secretly remove 
the cap at the lower end, and allow the plume to fall through on the 
servante, where it remains. In this case, there is no production of 
sweets, but the plume having been produced from the shawl, the 
performer removes both caps, and hands the empty tube for 
examination. 

The Magic Laundry. — There is very little brilliancy, either of 
invention or of manipulation, in this trick, but it is nevertheless 
generally very well received. 

The performer requests the loan of half-a-dozen handkerchiefs, 
taking care to accept white handkerchiefs only. These he collects m 
a wooden box, having somewhat the appearance of a good-sized tea 
caddy. Having got the required number, he places the box upon his 
table, and invites the attention of the audience to an ordinary tin or 
wooden pail. This he fills with water, and placing it in front of the j 
stag*, takes the handkerchiefs out of the box, and drops them in, 
stirring them about with his wand ; and making as much fun as he 
can by his pretended anxiety that they shall be thoroughly washed. 
Having kept this up as long as the audience appear to be amused 
thereby, he wrings out the handkerchiefs one by one, and throws 
them into a little shallow metal tub or pan (japanned, and about four 
inches in depth), which his assistant at this moment brings forward 
for that purpose, together with a cover after the manner of a sauce- 
pan-lid, and a pistol, both of which he places carelessly on the table. 
Having plaeed the handkerchiefs in this little tub, the performer 
announces that having washed them, he will now proceed to dry 
them, for which purpose he pours over them a little spirits of wme» 
to which he sets fire. After letting them blaze for a moment or f*o 



I 



MODERN MAGIC. 259 



he claps on the cover. " Your handkerchiefs are now dried, ladies 
and gentlemen/ 9 he says, " but I have still to fold and iron them. It 
does not take very long, as you will see." Taking up the pistol, he 
fires at the tub, and immediately removing the cover, comes for- 
ward to the audience, and requests them to identify their hand- 
kerchiefs, which are seen neatly folded, and apparently just washed 
and ironed, within it. 

The intelligent reader will have already guessed that the trick 
depends upon a substitution of handkerchiefs. The box in which 
the genuine handkerchiefs are received has within it a moveable flap, 
between which and the back of the box the substitutes are placed. 
When the required number has been collected, this flap is let fall, 
releasing the substitute handkerchiefs, and at the same time cover- 
ing the genuine ones. The substitutes having been dropped into 
the pail of water, the assistant carries off the box, and behind the 
scenes damps and folds tbe borrowed handkerchiefs, pressing them 
flat with a hot iron, if available ; if not, with a cold one. The tub or 
pan which is used for the conclusion of the trick bas an inner lining 
of such a size as to fit tightly within it, but about an inch less in 
depth. The lid again fits within this after the manner of a saucepan 
lid, but not quite so tightly as the lining itself fits within the outer 
pan. The folded handkerchiefs are placed within this lining, and the 
lid placed on, or rather in it — the two together as brought forward 
having the appearance of a lid only. When the performer claps the 
lid an the pan, the lining is thereby introduced, but when he again 
removes it, the lining is left in, exposing the folded handkerchiefs, 
while the substitutes remain concealed between the true and false 
bottoms of the pan. 

The performer, of necessity, accepts white handkerchiefs only, as 
a coloured one would betray the secret, from the absence of its 
"double" among the substitutes. Some performers, in order to 
obviate the suspicion which might be suggested by an evident prefer- 
ence of white handkerchiefs, arrange that a coloured one, of which 
they possess a duplicate, shall be offered by a confederate among the 
audience. This certainly heightens the effect of the trick, as it seems 
to negative the idea of substitution, and though in general we depre- 
cate, as belonging to a low class of art, the employment of con- 



253 MODERN MA GIC. 

mentioned that the tube is japanned in such manner that the eje 
cannot detect any difference whether the false top is on or off.) 
Placing the cap, with the false top within it, on the table, you come 
forward and pour the sweets from the tube, while the shawl is on 
examination found to contain the plume. 

Some performers, for the purpose of this trick, use a tube with a 
false top, as above described, but open from end to end, without the 
diagonal partition above mentioned. Before placing the plume in the 
tube, which they do standing behind the table, they secretly remove 
the cap at the lower end, and allow the plume to fall through on the 
servante, where it remains. In this case, there is no production of 
sweets, but the plume having been produced from the shawl, the 
performer removes both caps, and hands the empty tube for 
examination. 

The Magic Laundry. — There is very little brilliancy, either of 
invention or of manipulation, in this trick, but it is nevertheless 
generally very well received. 

The performer requests the loan of half-a-dozen handkerchiefs, 
taking care to accept white handkerchiefs only. These he collects in 
a wooden box, having somewhat the appearance of a good-sized tea 
caddy. Having got the required number, he places the box upon his 
table, and invites the attention of the audience to an ordinary tin or 
wooden pail. This he fills with water, and placing it in front of the 
stage, takes the handkerchiefs out of the box, and drops them in, 
stirring them about with his wand ; and making as much fun as he 
can by his pretended anxiety that they shall be thoroughly washed. 
Having kept this up as long as the audience appear to be amused 
thereby, he wrings out the handkerchiefs one by one, and throws 
them into a little shallow metal tub or pan (japanned, and about four 
inches in depth), which bis assistant at this moment brings forward 
for that purpose, together with a cover after the manner of a sauce- 
pan-lid, and a pistol, both of which he places carelessly on the table. 
Having placed the handkerchiefs in this little tub, the performer 
announces that having washed them, he will now proceed to dry 
them, for which purpose he pours over them a little spirits of wine, 
to which he sets fire. After letting them blaze for a moment or two 



MODERN MAGIC. 259 



he claps an the cover. " Your handkerchiefs are now dried, ladies 
and gentlemen/ 9 he says, " but I have still to fold and iron them. It 
does not take very long, as you will see." Taking up the pistol, he 
fires at the tub, and immediately removing the cover, comes for- 
ward to the audience, and requests them to identify their hand- 
kerchiefs, which are seen neatly folded, and apparently just washed 
and ironed, within it. 

The intelligent reader will have already guessed that the trick 
depends upon a substitution of handkerchiefs. The box in which 
the genuine handkerchiefs are received has within it a moveable flap, 
between which and the back of the box the substitutes are placed. 
When the required number has been collected, this flap is let fall, 
releasing the substitute handkerchiefs, and at the same time cover- 
ing the genuine ones. The substitutes having been dropped into 
the pail of water, the assistant carries off the box, and behind the 
scenes damps and folds the borrowed handkerchiefs, pressing them 
flat with a hot iron, if available ; if not, with a cold one. The tub or 
pan which is used for the conclusion of the trick has an inner lining 
of such a size as to fit tightly within it, but about an inch less in 
depth. The lid again fits within this after the manner of a saucepan 
lid, but not quite so tightly as the lining itself fits within the outer 
pan. The folded handkerchiefs are placed within this lining, and the 
lid placed on, or rather in it — the two together as brought forward 
having the appearance of a lid only. When the performer claps the 
lid on the pan, the lining is thereby introduced, but when he again 
removes it, the lining is left in, exposing the folded handkerchiefs, 
while the substitutes remain concealed between the true and false 
bottoms of the pan. 

The performer, of necessity, accepts white handkerchiefs only, as 
a coloured one would betray the secret, from the absence of its 
''double" among the substitutes. Some performers, in order to 
obviate the suspicion which might be suggested by an evident prefer- 
ence of white handkerchiefs, arrange that a coloured one, of which 
they possess a duplicate, shall be offered by a confederate among the 
audience. This certainly heightens the effect of the trick, as it seems 
to negative the idea of substitution, and though in general we depre- 
cate, as belonging to a low class of art, the employment of con- 



a6o MODERN MAGIC. 



federates, this is just the case in which the use of such an expedient 
may for once be deemed admissible. 

Thb Ego and the Handkerchief. — For this capital feat, 
which is generally identified with the name of Colonel Stodare, the 
following are the requirements : — A glass goblet, two small hand- 
kerchiefs (generally of plain crimson silk, and about sixteen inches 
square), a larger silk handkerchief— to which is attached, by a silk 
thread of about four inches in length, a blown egg-shell — and a hollow 
metal egg made of zinc, enamelled white, with an oval opening on 
one side of it measuring about an inch and a half by one inch, or a 
little more. 

The performer comes forward, having in his right hand the goblet 
and one of the red silk handkerchiefs. The larger silk handkerchief 
is thrown with apparent carelessness over the other hand, and upon 
it rests the blown egg 9 so placed that the thread may be out of 
sight, while beneath the egg, concealed in a fold of the handkerchief, 
lies the second red handkerchief, rolled up into as small a compass as 
possible. The metal egg is, meanwhile, placed in the left-hand 
secret pocket of the performer, who introduces the trick as follows: 
" I have here, ladies and gentlemen, a drinking-glass, a couple of 
silk handkerchiefs, and an egg, all, as you will perceive, of the 
most ordinary description." He passes quickly in front of the audi- 
ence, as though tendering the articles for examination (taking care, 
however, to keep his right arm advanced towards the spectators, so 
that the glass and small silk handkerchief may bear the brunt of in- 
spection), and finally places the glass and small handkerchief on a 
table or chair in full view. " Pray observe," he continues, " that not 
one of the articles is removed from your sight, even for one moment. 
Now, please follow me closely. I will place the egg in the glass, and 
cover it over with this handkerchief." This he does by one move- 
ment, for as the egg is already lying on the handkerchief, a mere 
turn of the wrist places the egg in the glass, and at the same time 
lets fall the handkerchief over it ; and at the same time the smaller 
handkerchief, which was concealed in the larger, is released, and falls 
into the glass with the egg. " You have all seen me place the egg in 
the glass " (at the same time shaking the glass, to show by the sound 



MODERN MAGIC. 261 

that the egg is still there), " which I will not again touch. I shall 
now take this small handkerchief" (the one which has remained on 
the table), "and standing as far as possible away, I shall com- 
mand the handkerchief to dissolve and pass into the glass, and 
the egg which is now in tbe glass to come into my hands." So 
saying, be holds up the handkerchief, in such manner as to show in- 
directly that he has nothing else in his hands. Taking a few steps, 
as though merely to get further from the glass, and holding the hand- 
kerchief hanging down between the finger and thumb of the right 
band, he drops the other band to his side, and secretly takes from his 
pocket the hollow egg, which 
he palms, keeping the opening 
outwards. He then, standing 
with his left side towards the 
spectators, joins his open 
hands, as in Fig. 114, the 
handkerchief hanging down 
between them. Requesting 
the audience to watch him 
narrowly, that they may be 
quite sure that there is no de- 
ception, he begins to wave his 
joined hands slowly up andS 
down, the second and third 
fingers of the right hand P(G _ II4 

(which, it will be remembered, 

is away from the audience) meanwhile gradually working the hand- 
kerchief into the hollow of the egg. He every now and t'len pauses, 
to show that the handkerchief is gradually diminishing, an J at last, 
when it is wholly worked into the egg, opens his hands, and shows 
the egg lying in his palm, taking care, of course, that the opening is 
undermost. To all appearance, the handkerchief has changed into an 
egg. " Here is the egg," he remarks ; " let us see if the hand- 
kerchief also has obeyed my bidding." So saying, he lays the egg, 
still with the opening downwards, upon the table, and taking hold 
with the finger and thumb of the handkerchief which covers the 
glass, lifts it daintily up, carrying with it, concealed in its folds, the 



MODERN MAGIC. 257 



request the audience to satisfy themselves that the shawl contains 
nothing. You then ask some one to step forward and take care 
of the shawl, which you meanwhile carelessly throw over your left 
hand, immediately after taking hold of its centre with your right, as 
before described, and drawing the left arm away. It is needless to 
remark, to those who have followed the explanation of the last trick, 
that the hidden plume is thereby brought under the shawl, though, 
being held by the loop of ribbon, there is nothing to betray its pre- 
sence. You hand the shawl in this condition to the person who has 
volunteered to hold it, requesting him to keep it at arm's length, still 
hanging down. Next taking up the tube, you open it at the plain or 
unprepared end, and holding it mouth downwards, show that it is 
(apparently) empty 5 then ostentatiously place the plume therein, and 
put the cap on. 

In returning to your table you* take the opportunity to reverse the 
tube, and to lay it down in such a manner that the opposite end (i.e., 
that with the false top) mny be turned towards the audience. Some 
performers do this by letting the tube fall, as if by accident, but this 
is, in our opinion, a clumsy and inartistic proceeding. By gesticulat- 
ing a little with the tube, in announcing what you are about to do, 
so that the audience may, little by little, become less certain as 
to which end you have just opened, and by carelessly transfer- 
ring the tube from the one hand to the other just as you lay it on 
the table, you may make the change with scarcely a chance of detec- 
tion, even by the keenest observer. You then say, " I shall now, 
ladies and gentlemen, make the plume which you have just seen me 
place in this tube travel into the shawl which that gentleman is hold- 
ing, while the tube will be completely filled with objects of interest 
for the juvenile spectators." Here you may possibly hear, or if 
not, you pretend to hear, a murmur to the effect that the feather has 
already left the tube. " Pardon me," you say, " the plume has not 
yet left the tube, neither will it do so until I give the command," and 
so saying, you take off the cap, leaving on the false top. The audi- 
ence see the little bit of feather within, which they naturally take to 
be the end of the genuine plume. Again you replace the cap ; and after 
going through some appropriate magical ceremony, again remove it, 
but this time carrying off the false top with it. (It should have been 

17 



256 



MODERN MAGIC. 




Thb Flying Plumb. — For this trick you require two plumes, as 
nearly as possible alike in appearance. To the stem of each should 
be attached a loop of string or ribbon, two or three inches in length. 
You must also have a japanned tin tube, of about twenty inches 
long, and three in diameter. On either end is fitted a cap, of about 
two inches in depth. One of these caps is perfectly plain, but within 
the other is an inner cap, made after the fashion of the middle com- 
partment of the snuff-box vase (see page 217). The relative tight- 
ness of the inner and outer caps is such that, if in removing the outer 
one with the finger and thumb some slight degree of lateral pressure 
is exerted, it nips the inner cap, which comes off with it \ but if the 
outer cap is removed without pressure, the inner cap remains on the 
tube, forming a false top to it. Within this inner cap, which is 
internally about an inch and a half deep, is glued a short end of a 
third plume, similar in colour and appearance to the two others. The 

interior of the tube is 
divided into two parts 
by a longitudinal divi- 
sion, also of tin, running 
diagonally nearly from 
end to end. The tube 
is thus divided into two 
wedge-shaped compart- 
ments, the cap at one 
end giving access to the 
one, and the cap at the 
other end to the other; 
each being large enough to contain a plume. (See Fig. 112, represent- 
ing a section of the entire tube, and Fig. 113, giving a slightly enlarged 
view of the ends.) The tube is prepared beforehand by filling the 
compartment which is closed by the double cap with bonbons of 
various kinds $ the other compartment being left empty. One of the 
plumes is concealed in the left sleeve of the performer, as in the last 
trick. 

These preparations having been duly made beforehand, you come 
forward with a small shawl, or large handkerchief, the tube, and the 
second plume. Laying the tube and plume upon the table, yon 



Fig. na. 




Fig. 113. 



MODERN MAGIC. 257 



request the audience to satisfy themselves that the shawl contains 
nothing. Yon then ask some one to step forward and take care 
of the shawl, which 70a meanwhile carelessly throw over your left 
hand, immediately after taking hold of its centre with your right, as 
before described, and drawing the left arm away. It is needless to 
remark, to those who have followed the explanation of the last trick, 
that the hidden plume is thereby brought under the shawl, though, 
being held by the loop of ribbon, there is nothing to betray its pre- 
sence. You hand the shawl in this condition to the person who has 
volunteered to hold it, requesting him to keep it at arm's length, still 
hanging down. Next taking up the tube, you open it at the plain or 
unprepared end, and holding it mouth downwards, show that it is 
(apparently) empty 3 then ostentatiously place the plume therein, and 
put the cap on. 

In returning to your table you take the opportunity to reverse the 
tube, and to lay it down in such a manner that the opposite end (i.e., 
that with the false top) mny be turned towards the audience. Some 
performers do this by letting the tube fall, as if by accident, but this 
is, in our opinion, a clumsy and inartistic proceeding. By gesticulat- 
ing a little with the tube, in announcing what you are about to do, 
so that the audience may, little by little, become less certain as 
to which end you have just opened, and by carelessly transfer- 
ring the tube from the one hand to the other just as you lay it on 
the table, you may make the change with scarcely a chance of detec- 
tion, even by the keenest observer. You then say, " I shall now, 
ladies and gentlemen, make the plume which you have just seen me 
place in this tube travel into the shawl which that gentleman is hold- 
ing, while the tube will be completely filled with objects of interest 
for the juvenile spectators." Here you may possibly hear, or if 
not, you pretend to hear, a murmur to the effect that the feather has 
already left the tube. M Pardon me," you say, " the plume has not 
yet left the tube, neither will it do so until I give the command," and 
so saying, you take off the cap, leaving on the false top. The audi- 
ence see the little bit of feather within, which they naturally take to 
be the end of the genuine plume. Again you replace the cap ; and after 
going through some appropriate magical ceremony, again remove it, 
but this time carrying off the false top with it. (It should have been 

17 



258 MODERN MA GIC. 

mentioned that the tube is japanned in such manner that the eye 
cannot detect any difference whether the false top is on or off.) 
Placing the cap, with the false top within it, on the table, you come 
forward and pour the sweets from the tube, while the shawl is oo 
examination found to contain the plume. 

Some performers, for the purpose of this trick, use a tube with a 
false top, as above described, but open from end to end, without the 
diagonal partition above mentioned. Before placing the plume in the 
tube, which they do standing behind the table, they secretly remove 
the cap at the lower end, and allow the plume to fall through on the 
servante, where it remains. In this case, there is no production of 
sweets, but the plume having been produced from the shawl, the 
performer removes both caps, and hands the empty tube for 
examination. 

The Magic Laundry. — There is very little brilliancy, either of 
invention or of manipulation, in this trick, but it is nevertheless 
generally very well received. 

The performer requests the loan of half-a-dozen handkerchiefs, 
taking care to accept white handkerchiefs only. These he collects in 
a wooden box, having somewhat the appearance of a good-sized tea 
caddy. Having got the required number, he places the box upon his 
table, and invites the attention of the audience to an ordinary tin or 
wooden pail. This he fills with water, and placing it in front of the 
stag^, takes the handkerchiefs out of the box, and drops them in, 
stirring them about with his wand ; and making as much fun as he 
can by his pretended anxiety that they shall be thoroughly washed. 
Having kept this up as long as the audience appear to be amused 
thereby, he wrings out the handkerchiefs one by one, and throws 
them into a little shallow metal tub or pan (japanned, and about four 
inches in depth), which his assistant at this moment brings forward 
for that purpose, together with a cover after the manner of a sauce- 
pan-lid, and a pistol, both of which he places carelessly on the table. 
Having plaeed the handkerchiefs in this little tub, the performer 
announces that having washed them, he will now proceed to dry 
them, for which purpose he pours over them a little* spirits of wine, 
to which he sets fire. After letting them blaze for a moment or two 



MODERN MAGIC. 259 



he daps an the cover. " Your handkerchiefs are now dried, ladies 
and gentlemen," he says, " but I have still to fold and iron them. It 
does not take very long, as you will see." Taking up the pistol, he 
fires at the tub, and immediately removing the cover, comes for- 
ward to the audience, and requests them to identify their hand- 
kerchiefs, which are seen neatly folded, and apparently just washed 
and ironed, within it. 

The intelligent reader will have already guessed that the trick 
depends upon a substitution of handkerchiefs. The box in which 
the genuine handkerchiefs are received has within it a moveable flap, 
between which and the back of the box the substitutes are placed. 
When the required number has been collected, this flap is let fall, 
releasing the substitute handkerchiefs, and at the same time cover- 
ing the genuine ones. The substitutes having been dropped into 
the pail of water, the assistant carries off the box, and behind the 
scenes damps and folds the borrowed handkerchiefs, pressing them 
flat with a hot iron, if available ; if not, with a cold one. The tub or 
pan which is used for the conclusion of the trick has an inner lining 
of such a size as to fit tightly within it, but about an inch less in 
depth. The lid again fits within this after the manner of a saucepan 
lid, but not quite so tightly as the lining itself fits within the outer 
pan. The folded handkerchiefs are placed within this lining, and the 
lid placed on, or rather in it — the two together as brought forward 
having the appearance of a lid only. When the performer claps the 
lid on the pan, the lining is thereby introduced, but when he again 
removes it, the lining is left in, exposing the folded handkerchiefs, 
while the substitutes remain concealed between the true and false 
bottoms of the pan. 

The performer, of necessity, accepts white handkerchiefs only, as 
a coloured one would betray the secret, from the absence of its 
"double** among the substitutes. Some performers, in order to 
obviate the suspicion which might be suggested by an evident prefer- 
ence of white handkerchiefs, arrange that a coloured one, of which 
they possess a duplicate, shall be offered by a confederate among the 
audience. This certainly heightens the effect of the trick, as it seems 
to negative the idea of substitution, and though in general we depre- 
cate, as belonging to a low class of art, the employment of con- 



256 



MODERN MAGIC. 




The Flying Plume. — For this trick you require two plumes, as 
nearly as possible alike in appearance. To the stem of each should 
be attached a loop of string or ribbon, two or three inches in length. 
Yon must also have a japanned tin tube, of about twenty indies 
long, and three in diameter. On either end is fitted a cap, of about 
two inches in depth. One of these caps is perfectly plain, but within 
the other is an inner cap, made after the fashion of the middle com- 
partment of the snuff-box vase (see page 217). The relative tight- 
ness of the inner and outer caps is such that, if in removing the outer 
one with the finger and thumb some slight degree of lateral pressure 
is exerted, it nips the inner cap, which comes off 1 with it ; but if the 
outer cap is removed without pressure, the inner cap remains on the 
tube, forming a false top to it. Within this inner cap, which is 
internally about an inch and a half deep, is glued a short end of a 
third plume, similar in colour and appearance to the two others. The 

interior of the tube is 
divided into two parts 
by a longitudinal divi- 
sion, also of tin, running 
diagonally nearly from 
end to end. The tube 
is thus divided into two 
wedge-shaped compart- 
ments, the cap at one 
end giving access to the 
one, and the cap at the 
other end to the other; 
each being large enough to contain a plume. (See Fig. 112, represent- 
ing a section of the entire tube, and Fig. 113, giving a slightly enlarged 
view of the ends.) The tube is prepared beforehand by filling the 
compartment which is closed by the double cap with bonbons of 
various kinds ; the other compartment being left empty. One of the 
plumes is concealed in the left sleeve of the performer, as in the last 
trick. 

These preparations having been duly made beforehand, you come 
forward with a small shawl, or large handkerchief, the tube, and the 
second plume. Laying the tube and plume upon the table, you 



Fig. xia. 




Fig. X13. 



MODERN MAGIC. 257 



request the audience to satisfy themselves that the shawl contains 
nothiog. You then ask some one to step forward and take care 
of the shawl, which you meanwhile carelessly throw over your left 
hand, immediately after taking hold of its centre with your right, as 
before described, and drawing the left arm away. It is needless to 
remark, to those who have followed the explanation of the last trick, 
that the hidden plume is thereby brought under the shawl, though, 
being held by the loop of ribbon, there is nothing to betray its pre- 
sence. You hand the shawl in this condition to the person who has 
volunteered to hold it, requesting him to keep it at arm's length, still 
hanging down. Next taking up the tube, you open it at the plain or 
unprepared end, and holding it mouth downwards, show that it is 
(apparently) empty ; then ostentatiously place the plume therein, and 
put the cap on. 

In returning to your table youtake the opportunity to reverse the 
tube, and to lay it down in such a manner that the opposite end (i.e., 
that with the false top) may be turned towards the audience. Some 
performers do this by letting the tube fall, as if by accident, but this 
is, in our opinion, a clumsy and inartistic proceeding. By gesticulat- 
ing a little with the tube, in announcing what you are about to do, 
so that the audience may, little by little, become less certain as 
to which end you have just opened, and by carelessly transfer- 
ring the tube from the one hand to the other just as you lay it on 
the table, you may make the change with scarcely a chance of detec- 
tion, even by the keenest observer. You then say, " I shall now, 
ladies and gentlemen, make the plume which you have just seen me 
place in this tube travel into the shawl which that gentleman is hold- 
ing, while the tube will be completely filled with objects of interest 
for the juvenile spectators." Here you may possibly hear, or if 
not, you pretend to hear, a murmur to the effect that the feather has 
already left the tube. " Pardon me," you say, " the plume has not 
yet left the tube, neither will it do so until I give the command," and 
so saying, you take off the cap, leaving on the false top. The audi- 
ence see the little bit of feather within, which they naturally take to 
be the end of the genuine plume. Again you replace the cap j and after 
going through some appropriate magical ceremony, again remove it, 
but this time carrying off the false top with it. (It should have been 

17 



258 MODERN MA GIC. 

mentioned that the tube is japanned in such manner that the eje 
cannot detect any difference whether the false top is on or off.) 
Placing the cap, with the false top within it, on the table, you come 
forward and pour the sweets from the tube, while the shawl is on 
examination found to contain the plume. 

Some performers, for the purpose of this trick, use a tube with a 
false top, as above described, but open from end to end, without the 
diagonal partition above mentioned. Before placing the plume in the 
tube, which they do standing behind the table, they secretly remove 
the cap at the lower end, and allow the plume to fall through on the 
servante, where it remains. In this case, there is no production of 
sweets, but the plume having been produced from the shawl, the 
performer removes both caps, and hands the empty tube for 
examination. 

Thb Magic Laundry. — There is very little brilliancy, either of 
invention or of manipulation, in this trick, but it is nevertheless 
generally very well received. 

The performer requests the loan of half-a-dozen handkerchiefs, 
taking care to accept white handkerchiefs only. These he collects in 
a wooden box, having somewhat the appearance of a good-sized tea 
caddy. Having got the required number, he places the box upon his 
table, and invites the attention of the audience to an ordinary tin or 
wooden pail. This he fills with water, and placing it in front of the 
stag^, takes the handkerchiefs out of the box, and drops them in, 
stirring them about with his wand $ and making as much fun as he 
can by his pretended anxiety that they shall be thoroughly washed. 
Having kept this up as long as the audience appear to be amused 
thereby, he wrings out the handkerchiefs one by one, and throws 
them into a little shallow metal tub or pan (japanned, and about four 
inches in depth), which his assistant at this moment brings forward 
for that purpose, together with a cover after the manner of a sauce- 
pan-lid, and a pistol, both of which he places carelessly on the table. 
Having placed the handkerchiefs in this little tab, the performer 
announces that having washed them, he will now proceed to dry 
them, for which purpose he pours over them a little' spirits of wine, 
to which he sets fire. After letting them blaze for a moment or two 



MODERN MAGIC. 259 



he claps on the cover. " Your handkerchiefs are now dried, ladies 
and gentlemen," he says, " but I have still to fold and iron them. It 
does not take very long, as you will see." Taking up the pistol, he 
fires at the tub, and immediately removing the cover, comes for- 
ward to the audience, and requests them to identify their rjand- 
kerchiefs, which are seen neatly folded, and apparently just washed 
and ironed, within it. 

The intelligent reader will have already guessed that the trick 
depends upon a substitution of handkerchiefs. The box in which 
the genuine handkerchiefs are received has within it a moveable flap, 
between which and the back of the box the substitutes are placed. 
When the required number has been collected, this flap is let fall, 
releasing the substitute handkerchiefs, and at the same time cover- 
ing the genuine ones. The substitutes having been dropped into 
the pail of water, the assistant carries off the box, and behind the 
scenes damps and folds the borrowed handkerchiefs, pressing them 

flat with a hot iron, if available ; if not, with a cold one. The tub or 

• 

pan which is used for the conclusion of the trick has an inner lining 
of such a size as to fit tightly within it, but about an inch less in 
depth. The lid again fits within this after the manner of a saucepan 
lid, but not quite so tightly as the lining itself fits within the outer 
pan. The folded handkerchiefs are placed within this lining, and the 
lid placed on, or rather in it — the two together as brought forward 
having the appearance of a lid only. When the performer claps the 
lid on the pan, the lining is thereby introduced, but when he again 
removes it, the lining is left in, exposing the folded handkerchiefs, 
while the substitutes remain concealed between the true and false 
bottoms of the pan. 

The performer, of necessity, accepts white handkerchiefs only, as 
a coloured one would betray the secret, from the absence of its 
"double" among the substitutes. Some performers, in order to 
obviate the suspicion which might be suggested by an evident prefer- 
ence of white handkerchiefs, arrange that a coloured one, of which 
they possess a duplicate, shall be offered by a confederate among the 
audience. This certainly heightens the effect of the trick, as it seems 
to negative the idea of substitution, and though in general we depre- 
cate, as belonging to a low class of art, the employment of con- 



260 MODERN MAGIC. 



federates, this is just the case in which the use of such an expedient 
may for once be deemed admissible. 

The Ego and the Handkerchief. — For this capital feat, 
which is generally identified with the name of Colonel Stodare, the 
following are the requirements : — A glass goblet, two small hand- 
kerchiefs (generally of plain crimson silk, and about sixteen inches 
square), a larger silk handkerchief— to which is attached, by a silk 
thread of about four inches in length, a blown egg-shell — and a hollow 
metal egg made of zinc, enamelled white, with an oval opening on 
one side of it measuring about an inch and a half by one inch, or a 
little more. 

The performer comes forward, having in his right hand the goblet 
and one of the red silk handkerchiefs. The larger silk handkerchief 
is thrown with apparent carelessness over the other hand, and upon 
it rests the blown egg 3 so placed that the thread may be out of 
sight, while beneath the egg, concealed in a fold of the handkerchief, 
lies the second red handkerchief, rolled up into as small a compass as 
possible. The metal egg is, meanwhile, placed in the left-hand 
secret pocket of the performer, who introduces the trick as follows : 
" I have here, ladies and gentlemen, a drinking-glass, a couple of 
silk handkerchiefs, and an egg, all, as you will perceive, of the 
most ordinary description." He passes quickly in front of the audi- 
ence, as though tendering the articles for examination (taking care, 
however, to keep his right arm advanced towards the spectators, so 
that the glass and small silk handkerchief may bear the brunt of in« 
spection), and finally places the glass and small handkerchief on a 
table or chair in full view. " Pray observe," he continues, " that not 
one of the articles is removed from your sight, even for one moment. 
Now, please follow me closely. I will place the egg in the glass, and 
cover it over with this handkerchief." This he does by one move- 
ment, for as the egg is already lying on the handkerchief, a mere 
turn of the wrist places the egg in the glass, and at the same time 
lets fall the handkerchief over it ; and at the same time the smaller 
handkerchief, which was concealed in the larger, is released, and falls 
into the glass with the egg. " You have all seen me place the egg in 
the glass " (at the same time shaking the glass, to show by the sound 



MODERN MAGIC. 261 

that the egg is still there), " which I will not again touch. I shall 
now take this small handkerchief " (the one which has remained on 
the table), "and standing as Ear as possible away, I shall com- 
mand the handkerchief to dissolve and pass into the glass, and 
the egg which is now in the glass to come into my hands." So 
sating, be holds up the handkerchief, in such manner as to show in- 
directly that he has nothing else in his hands. Taking a few steps, 
as though merely to get further from the glass, and holding the hand- 
kerchief hanging down between the finger and thumb of the right 
hand, he drops the other hand to his side, and secretly takes from his 
pocket the hollow egg, which 
he palms, keeping the opening 
outwards. He then, standing 
with his left side towards the 
spectators, joins his open 
hands, as in Fig. 114, the 
handkerchief hanging down 
between them. Requesting 
the audience to watch him 
narrowly, that they may be 
quite sore that there is no de- 
ception, he begins to wave his 
joined hands slowly up and- 
down, the second and third 
fingers of the right hand £,<. t „ 

(which, it win be remembered, 

is away from the audience) meanwhile gradually working the hand- 
kerchief into the hollow of the egg. He every now and fien pauses, 
to show that the handkerchief is gradually diminishing, and at last, 
when it is wholly worked into the egg, opens his hands, and shows 
the egg lying in his palm, taking care, of course, that the opening is 
undermost. To all appearance, the handkerchief has changed into an 
egg. " Here is the egg," he remarks ; " let us see if the hand- 
kerchief also has obeyed my bidding." So saying, he lays the egg, 
still with the opening downwards, upon the table, and taking hold 
with the finger and thumb of the handkerchief which covers the 
glass, lifts it daintily up, carrying with it, concealed in its folds, the 



262 MODERN MAGIC. 

egg-shell attached thereto, and leaving the duplicate red handkerchief 
lying in the glass. 

It may sometimes, though not very often, occur that one or other 
of the spectators, suspecting some peculiarity about the egg, may ask 
to be permitted to examine it. This, of course, you cannot permit, 
while to refuse would destroy half the prestige of the illusion. For- 
tunately, there is a way out of the difficulty which absolutely enhances 
the effect of the trick. " You would like to see the egg*' you reply ; 
" by all means. It is a special feature of my entertainment that all 
articles used therein will bear the strictest examination. Here is the 
egg. During these few words, you have taken up the sham egg with 
the fingers of your right hand, taking care, of course, to keep the 
opening away from the audience, and have thence apparently trans- 
ferred it to your left, with which hand you offer it to the too carious 
spectator. It is hardly necessary to remark, that in the apparent 
transfer of the egg to the left hand, you have really palmed it in your 
right ; and as you extend the left hand to the spectator, you quietly 
drop it from the right into the pochette on that side. The in- 
quirer holds out his hand to receive it. " Pray examine it closely," 
you say, opening your empty hand over his own. " What ! you have 
not got it ? Ah, that is your fault ; you were not quick enough. I 
always find that this experiment makes the egg excessively volatile." 
This unexpected denouement never fails to raise a laugh against the 
individual who has sought to embarrass you, while the impromptu 
disappearance of the egg will be regarded by many as the most 
marvellous portion of the trick. The same expedient will be equally 
available to prevent the examination, at an awkward moment, of 
other small articles. 

There is another method, in which the trick is performed with 
handkerchiefs borrowed from the audience. In this case, two metal 
eggs, like that above described, are used, the blown egg being dis- 
pensed with. The performer commences the trick by borrowing two 
handkerchiefs, a lady's handkerchief, and a larger one, preferably of 
silk. These he places on his table, secretly exchanging the smaller 
one for a substitute of his own, and retires for a moment to fetch a 
glass. He takes advantage of his momentary absence to insert the 
handkerchief of which he has gained possession into one of the hollow 



MODERN MAGIC. 263 

eggs, and returns with this egg lying (the opening downwards) 00 his 
left palm, the other hand holding the glass, while the second hol- 
low egg Is concealed in his left pochette. Coming forward to the 
audience, he picks up, in passing, the larger handkerchief from the 
table, and handing the glass, as forming the principal portion of the 
apparatus, for examination, throws the handkerchief over the hand 
which holds the egg, showing by its outline beneath the silk that it 
has not been removed, and meanwhile drawing out with the finger 
and thumb of the concealed hand the handkerchief hidden therein ; 
which is thus ready to be placed in the glass along with the egg, 
under cover of the larger handkerchief. The rest of the trick pro- 
ceeds as already described, save that in this instance, the egg not being 
attached to- the outer handkerchief, it is necessary to clip it with the 
fingers through the handkerchief when the latter is removed. To do 
this easily and effectually, it is well, in placing the egg in the glass, 
to place it with the opening upwards, the edges of the opening giving 
a readier hold than the unbroken surface of the opposite side. 

The Hand Box, for Vanishing a Handkerchief. — While 
discussing the subject of handkerchief tricks, we must not omit to 
mention the "hand box," a 
clever little contrivance for 
causing the disappearance of > 
handkerchief. It consists of a 
little tin box, of the size and 
shape of the heel of a gentle- 
man's boot, closed on all sides, 
save that which answers to 
the front portion of the heel, 

which is left open. (See Fig. Fig. 115. 

115.) To one of its sides is 

riveted or soldered a steel spring, about an inch in length. The free 
end of this spring forms with the side of the box a sort of clip, by 
means of which the box can be attached (as shown in the Figure) to 
the fleshy part of the hand, the opening being towards the fingers. 
Being within the hand, it is of course unseen by the audience. The 
manner of its use is much the same as that of the hollow egg 



264 MODERN MAGIC. 

described in the last trick, save that the hand box is never exhibited. 
As soon as the handkerchief is fairly worked in, the left hand is 
closed, as if containing it ; the effect being to the audience as if the 
handkerchief was merely rolled np and placed in the left hand. On 
opening the hand, the handkerchief is found to hare disappeared, the 
performer having meanwhile plenty of opportunity to drop the con- 
cealed handkerchief, box and all, into the pochette on his right-hand 
side. 

The hand box may be made available in a variety of ways, as 
follows: The performer having borrowed a handkerchief, secretly 
changes it for a substitute, which he leaves in full view on the table. 
Having made what disposition he pleases of the original, he returns, 
meanwhile placing the hand box in position, and causing by its 
means the disappearance of the substitute, orders the borrowed article 
to be found in such place as be may think proper. 



MODERN MA GIC. 265 



CHAPTER XII. 
Tricks with Dominoes and Dice. 

to arrange a row op dominoes face downwards on the 
Table, and on returning to the Room to turn up a Domino 
who sb points shall indicate how many have been moved in 
tour absence. — This is a capital drawing-room feat. You place a 
row of twenty dominoes face downwards upon the table, avoiding as 
far as possible the appearance of any special arrangement, but never- 
theless taking care that the points of the first domino (commencing 
from the left) shall amount to twelve, the points of the second to 
eleven, and so on, each decreasing by one point till you reach the 
thirteenth, which will be the double-blank. The points of the 
remaining seven are a matter of indifference. You now propose to 
give the company a specimen of your powers of clairvoyance, and for 
that purpose leave the room, first requesting the company to remove 
during your absence any number of dominoes (not exceeding twelve) 
from the right to the left hand of the row, in other respects retaining 
their order. On your return you advance to the table, and address 
the company to the following effect : " Ladies and gentlemen, as I 
have already told you, I have the privilege of possessing the clair- 
voyant faculty, and I am about to give you a specimen of my powers. 
Now it would seem at first sight sufficiently surprising that I should 
be able merely to tell you the number of dominoes which have been 
moved in my absence, but that might be easily effected by con- 
federacy, or many other very simple expedients. I propose to 
do much more than this, and to show you not only that I know 
the number that you have just displaced, but that I can read the 
dominoes before you as readily in their present position as though 



266 MODERN MAGIC. 



they were lying face upwards. For instance, this domino " (touching 
one of the row with your finger or wand) " represents the number 
which have been moved in my absence. Will some one please to 
say what that number was ? " The answer is, we will suppose, 
" Seven." " Seven," you repeat, turning over the domino you have 
touched. '• You see that I was right. Would you like me to name 
some more ? They are all equally easy. This, let me see — yes, this 
is a two ; this is a nine j this is a double-six 5 this is a double-blank ;" 
turning over each domino to show that you have named it right 

This feat, which appears perfectly miraculous to the uninitiated, 
is performed by the simplest possible means. All that you have to 
do is to count secretly the row of dominoes as far as the thirteenth 
from the left-hand end, or (which is the same thing) the eighth from 
the right hand end, the points of which will invariably be the same as 
the number moved from the right to the left of the row. You do 
not know, until .the domino is turned up, what that number actually 
was, but you must by no means let the audience suspect this. You 
must boldly assume to know the number, and from that knowledge, 
aided by some clairvoyant faculty, to have selected a domino whose 
points shall represent that number. Thus, having selected the proper 
domino, you call upon the audience to state the number moved, after 
which the turning up of the selected domino is regarded by the audi- 
ence merely as a proof that you were correct in the previous know- 
ledge for which they, without the smallest foundation, give you 
credit. After this domino has been turned up, it is easy, knowing 
the original order of the thirteen of which it forms one, to name two 
or three on either side of it. In most instances you will only know 
the total figure of a given domino, as two or three different combina- 
tion of points will give the same total. (Thus a total of seven may 
be represented by either six and one, five and two, or four and three.) 
But there are two or three dominoes of which, if you know the total, 
you know the points also. Thus a total "twelve " must be always 
" double-six," a "blank" always "double-blank," a ."one "always 
" blank one." By naming one or two of these, as if nap-hazard, yon 
will prevent the audience suspecting, as they otherwise might, that 
your knowledge is limited to the total of each domino. 

It is obvious that this is a trick which cannot be repeated, as the 



MODERN MAGIC. 267 



necessary rearrangement of the dominoes would at once attract atten- 
tion. You may, however, volunteer to repeat it in a still more sur- 
prising form, really performing in its place the trick next following, 
one of the best, though also one of the simplest, in the whole range 
of the magic art. 

To ALLOW ANT PERSON IN TOUR ABSENCE TO ARRANGE THE 

Dominoes in a Row, face downwards, and on tour return 
to name blindfold, or without bntbrino the room, the 
end numbers of thb Row. — You invite the audience to select any 
one of their number to arrange the whole of the dominoes face down- 
wards upon the table. This he may do in any manner he pleases, 
the only restriction being that he is to arrange them after the fashion 
of the game of dominoes — viz., so that a six shall be coupled with a 
six, and a four with a four, and so on. While he does this, you leave 
the room, and, on being recalled, you at once pronounce, either blind- 
fold, or (if the audience prefer it) without even entering the room, 
that the extreme end numbers of the row are six and five, five and 
two, etc., as the case may be. 

This seeming marvel depends upon a very simple principle. It 
will be found by experiment that a complete set of dominoes, 
arranged in a row according to domino rules (i.e., like numbers to- 
gether), will invariably have the same number at each end. T hus 
if the final number at one end of the row be five, that at the opposite 
end will be five also, and so on $ so that the twenty-eight dominoes, 
arranged as above, form numerically an endless chain, or circle. If 
this circle be broken by the removal of any domino, the numbers 
on either side of the gap thus made will be the same as those of 
the missing domino. Thus, if you take away a " five-three," the 
chain thus broken will terminate at one end with a fivet and at 
the other with a three. This is the whole secret of the trick : the 
performer secretly abstracts one dbmino, say the "five-three;*' this 
renders it a matter of certainty that the row to be formed with the 
remaining dominoes will terminate with a five at the one end and a 
three at the other, and so on with any other domino of two unequal 
numbers. 

The domino abstracted must not be a "double," or the trick 



270 MODERN MAGIC. 

we cannot forbear to notice it. Yon ask the person who threw the 
dice to choose which of them he likes, multiply its points by two, 
add five to the product, multiply the sum so obtained by five, and add 
the points of the remaining die. On his telling you the result, yoa 
mentally subtract twenty-five from it, when the remainder will be a 
number of two figures, each representing the points of one of the 
dice. 

Thus, suppose the throws to be five, two. Five multiplied by 
two are ten ; add five, fifteen, which, multiplied by five, is seventy- 
five, to which two (the points of the remaining die) being added, the 
total is seventy-seven. If from this you mentally deduct twenty-five, 
the remainder is fifty-two, giving the points of the two dice — five and 
two. But, you will say, suppose the person who threw had reversed 
the arithmetical process, and had taken the points of the second die 
(two) as his* multiplicand, the result must have been different Let 
us try the experiment. Twice two are four, five added make nine, 
which, multiplied by five, is forty-five, and five (the points of the 
other die) being added to it, bring the total up to fifty. From this 
subtract twenty-five as before. The remainder, twenty-five, again 
gives the points of the two dice, but in the reverse order ; and the 
same result will follow, whatever the throws may be* 




MODERN MAGIC. 269 

the side which has hitherto been concealed by the ball of the thumb, 
while the side previously in sight is in tarn hidden by the middle 
finger. A reverse movement, of coarse, replaces the dice in their 
original position. The action of bringing the hands together, for 
the supposed purpose of rubbing the dice with the opposite fore- 
finger, completely covers the smaller movement of the thumb and 
finger. 

After having exhibited the trick in this form once or twice, you 
may vary your mode of operation. For this purpose take the dice 
(still retaining their relative position) horizontally between the thumb 
and second finger, in the manner depicted in Fig. 117, showing 
"three-one" on their upper face; the corresponding "three-one/* or 
rather "one-three," being now covered by the forefinger. As the 
points on the opposite faces 
of a die invariably to* 
gether amount to seven, it 
is obvious that the points on 
the under side will now be 
u four-six," while the points 
next to the ball of the thumb 
will be "six-four." You 
show, alternately raising and Fig. 1x7. 

lowering the hand, that the 

points above are " three-one," and those below " six-four." Again 
going through the motion of rubbing the dice with the opposite fore- 
finger you slightly raise the thumb and depress the middle finger, 
which will bring the u six-four " uppermost, and the M three-one " 
or " one-three " undermost. This may be repeated any number of 
times ; or you may, by moving the thumb and finger accordingly, 
produce either " three-one " or €i six-four " apparently both above and 
below the dice. 

The trick may, of course, be varied as regards the particular 
points, but the dice must, in any case, be so placed as to have similar 
points on two adjoining faces. 

To Name, without seeing them, the Points op a Pair of 
Dice. — This is a mere arithmetical recreation, but it is so good that 




268 MODERN MA CTC. 

will fail. A little consideration will show why this is the e 
The removal of a double from the endless chain we hare n 
produces no break in the chain, as the numbers on each side of the 
gap, being alike, will coalesce ; and a row formed with the remaining 
dominoes under such conditions may be made to terminate in any 
number, such number being, however, alike at either end. A domino 
of two different numbers, on the other hand, being removed, " forces," 
so to speak, the series made with the remainder to terminate with 
those particular numbers. 

To Chanob, invisibly, the Numbers shown on either 
Face of a Pair op Dice. — Take a pair of ordinary dice, and so 
place them between the first finger and thumb of the right hand («r 
Fig. 1 16), that the uppermost shall show the " one,' 1 and the lower- 
most the " three " point, while the " one " point of the latter and the 
"three" point of the former are at right angles to those first named, 
and concealed by the ball of the thumb. (The enlargement at a iu 
the figure shows clearly the proper position.) Ask some one to name 
aloud the points which are 
in sight, and to state par- 
ticularly, for the informa- 
tion of the company, which 
point is uppermost. This 
having been satisfactorily 
ascertained, yon announce 
that you are able, by simply 
passing a finger over the 
Fio. 116. faces of the dice, to make 

the points change places. 
So saying, gently rub the exposed faces of the dice with the fore- 
finger of the left hand, and, on again removing the finger, the points 
are found to have changed places, the " three " being now uppermost, 
and the "one" undermost. This effect is produced by a slight 
movement of the thumb and finger of the right hand in the act of 
bringing the hands together, the thumb being moved slightly for- 
ward, and the finger slightly back. This causes the two dice to 
make a quarter-turn vertically on their own axis, bringing into view 



MODERN MAGIC. 269 

the side which has hitherto been concealed by the ball of the thumb, 
while the side previously in sight is in turn hidden by the middle 
finger. A reverse movement, of course, replaces the dice in their 
original position. The action of bringing the hands together, for 
the supposed purpose of rubbing the dice with the opposite fore- 
finger, completely covers the smaller movement of the thumb and 
finger. 

After having exhibited the trick in this form once or twice, you 
may vary your mode of operation. For this purpose take the dice 
(still retaining their relative position) horizontally between the thumb 
and second finger, in the manner depicted in Fig. 117, showing 
" three-one" on their upper face; the corresponding "three-one," or 
rather " one-three," being now covered by the forefinger. As the 
points on the opposite faces 
of a die invariably to- 
gether amount to seven, it 
is obvious that the points on 
the under side will now be 
"four-six," while the points 
next to the ball of the thumb 
will be "six-four." You 
show, alternately raising and Fig. 2x7. 

lowering the hand, that the 

points above are " three-one/' and those below " six-four." Again 
going through the motion of rubbing the dice with the opposite fore- 
fager, you slightly raise the thumb and depress the middle finger, 
which will bring the " six-four " uppermost, and the " three-one " 
or "one- three" undermost. This may be repeated any number of 
times ; or you may, by moving the thumb and finger accordingly, 
produce either " three-one " or " six-four " apparently both above and 
below the dice. 

The trick may, of course, be varied as regards the particular 
points, but the dice must, in any case, be so placed as to have similar 
points on two adjoining faces. 

To Name, without seeing them, the Points of a Pair of 
Dice. — This is a mere arithmetical recreation, but it is so good that 




270 MODERN MAGIC. 

— — ^^.^.^•••■•^-^■.^^■^■^■^■i^™.^^™ ^»_^_ — _^^^^_^„ — __^^____ — _^__^^__ „ ^^^_^__^^^^^^^_^_^ — ^^^_^^^ 

we cannot forbear to notice it. You ask the person who threw the 
dice to choose which of them he likes, multiply its points by two, 
add five to the product, multiply the sum so obtained by five, and add 
the points of the remaining die. On his telling you the result, yoa 
mentally subtract twenty-five from it, when the remainder will be a 
number of two figures, each representing the points of one of the 
dice. 

Thus, suppose the throws to be five, two. Five multiplied by 
two are ten ; add five, fifteen, which, multiplied by five, is seventy- 
five, to which two (the points of the remaining die) being added, the 
total is seventy-seven. If from this you mentally deduct twenty-five, 
the remainder is fifty-two, giving the points of the two dice— five and 
two. But, you will say, suppose the person who threw had reversed 
the arithmetical process, and had taken the points of the second die 
(two) as his multiplicand, the result must have been different. Let 
us try the experiment. Twice two are four, five added make nine, 
which, multiplied by five, is forty-five, and five (the points of the 
other die) being added to it, bring the total up to fifty. From this 
subtract twenty-five as before. The remainder, twenty-five, again 
gives the points of the two dice, but in the reverse order; and the 
same result will follow, whatever the throws may be. 




MODERN MAGIC. 271 



CHAPTER XIII. 
The Cups and Balls. 

Thb subject of the present chapter may be said to be the groundwork 
of all legerdemain, being, we believe, the very earliest form in which 
sleight-of-hand was exhibited. At the present day it is not very often 
seen, save in the bastard form known as " thimble-rig," and used as a 
means of fleecing the unwary upon race-courses and at country fairs. 
It is, however, well worthy the attention of the student of modern 
magic, not only as affording an excellent course of training in digital 
dexterity, but as being, in the hands of an adept, most striking in 
effect, It is by no means uncommon to find spectators who have 
received more elaborate feats with comparative indifference, become 
interested, and even enthusiastic, over a brilliant manipulation of the 
caps and balls. 

The prestige of the illusion is heightened by the simplicity of the 
appliances used, consisting merely of three tin cups about three 
inches high, each in the form of a truncated cone, with a rim or 
shoulder round the base (see Fig. 11 8), the ordinary wand, four 
little cork balls, three-quarters of an inch or a little less in diameter, 
and blackened in the flame of a candle, three larger balls of about an 
inch and a quarter in diameter, and four more of such a size as to 
just All the goblet. These last are generally stuffed with hair, and 
covered with cloth. The number of balls may vary according to the 
particular " passes " which the performer desires to exhibit, but the 
above will be found sufficient for most purposes. The performers of 
the olden time were accustomed to use the gibeciere, or apron with 
pockets, already mentioned, and to perform at a table having no spe- 
ciality, save that it was a little higher than those in ordinary use 5 but 



37a MODERN MAGIC. 

at the present day the gibeciere is entirely discarded, the strvnnie of 
the table answering the same purpose. The arrangement of the table 
and apparatus is shown in Fig. 118. 

The whole art of cup-and-ball conjuring resolves itself into two 
elements— (1), the exhibition of a ball under a cup where a moment 
previously there was nothing ; and (a) the disappearance of a hall 
from beneath a cup under which the audience have just seen it (01 
believe that they have seen it) placed. The routine is as follows:— 



A cup is lifted, to show that there is nothing beneath it, and again 
replaced, mouth downwards, on the table. A ball is taken in the 
right hand, transferred to the left, and thence ordered to pass under 
the cup. The hand is opened, the ball has vanished, and, on the cap 
being lifted, is found beneath it. Again, the ball, first exhibited in the 
right hand, is thence openly transferred, either directly under the cup, 
or first to the left hand, and thence to the cup. All having seen it 
placed beneath the cup, it is now commanded to depart, and on again 
lifting the cup, it is found to have vanished. It will hardly be 
believed, until proved by experiment, of what numerous and surpris- 
ing combinations these simple elements are capable. 

The sleight-of-hand requisite for the cups and balls is technically 
divisible into four different acts or movements, viz. — 1. To "palm" 
the ball. a. To reproduce the palmed ball at the end of the fingers. 
3. To secretly introduce the palmed ball under the cap. 4. To 
simulate the action of placing the ball under the cup. The modes 
of effecting these objects will be discussed in due order. 



MODERN MAGIC 173 

j. To Palm the Ball. First Method.— -We dm the generic 
term "palm" for the sake of convenience, though in this first 
method, which is that most 
generally used, the ball is really 
concealed between the second 
and third fingers, and not in 
the palm. Take the ball be 
tween the first finger and 
thumb of the right hand j 
slightly bend the fingers (see 

Fig. 119), and at the same Fra. 119. 

moment roll the ball with the 

thumb across the first and second fingers, till it rests between the 
second and third fingers (see Fig. no), which should slightly separate 
to receive it, again clos- 
ing as soon as it is safely 
lodged. The ball wilt 
now be as shown in Fig. 
isi, and it will be found 
that the hand can be 
opened or closed with 
Fhj. w perfect freedom, and, 

indeed, be used in any 
manner, without being in the least hampered by its presence. The 
student should practise palming the ball in this manner both in the 
act of (apparently) trans- 
ferring the ball to the left 
hand, and in that of (appa- 
rently) placing it under a 
cop lifted by the left hand 
for that purpose. 

Second Method.— The 
second method is to ac- 
tually " palm " the ball, in 

the same manner as a coin. Fw - ,91- 

For this purpose the ball is, as before, taken between the first finger 
and thumb of the right hand, but is thence made by the thumb to- 

tS 



874 MODERN MAGIC. 

roll between the tips of the third and fourth fingers, which imme- 
diately close into the palm, and, again opening, tears the ball behind 
them. With a little practice, two balls in succession may be palmed 
in this way, and then a third 
by the first method. 

tJiird Metkad.— The third 
{ method is that which was 

' adopted by the celebrated Bot- 

co, a most accomplished per- 
former with the cup and bails. 
Being accustomed to use balls 
Fro, us. of a larger sise than those 

above described, and there- 
fore too bulky to palm by the first method, he used to hold them 
by means of a slight contraction of the little finger. (See Fig. ih.) 
The necessary movement of the fingers to place the ball in position 
is nearly the same as by the first method. 

a. To Reproduce the Palmed Ball at the End of the 
Fingers. — The mode of doing this will vary according to the method 
by which the ball is 
palmed. If accord' 
ing to the first or 
third method, the ball 
is simply rolled back 
to the finger-tips with 
the ball of the thumb, 
exactly reversing the 

process by which it , 

was palmed. But if fig. 193. 

the ball was palmed 

by the second method, it is, for the time being, not get-at-able by the 
hall of the thumb. In this case the first step is to close the third 
and fourth fingers upon the ball (see Fig. 123), and therewith 
roll it to the position shown in Fig. im, when the thumb is enabled 
to reach it, and to roll it to the finger-tips in the manner just de- 
scribed. 



MODERN MAGIC. 375 

3. To Secretly Introduce the Palmed Ball under, the 
Cor. — This is alwiys done to the act of raising the cup (with the 
right hhnd), for the ostensible purpose of showing that there is 
nothing underneath it. The chief thing to he attended to is the 
position of the right hand (in which we are supposing a ball to be 
palmed by one or other of the methods above mentioned) in raising 
the cup. This should be done with the hand spread almost flat upon 
the table, and grasping the cop. as low down as possible, between the 
thumb and the lowest joint of the forefinger. In the act of raising 
the cop, the fingers naturally assume the position shown in Fig. 134, 
whereby the ball is brought 
b close proximity to, and 
slightly under, the edge of 
the cup. If the ball be 
palmed by the first method, 
all that is necessary in order 
to release it is a slight back- 
ward movement of the se- 
cond, and a forward move- 
ment of the third finger, Flo. ia+, 
made just before the cup 

again touches the table. This will be found to drop the ball imme- 
diately under the cup. If the ball be palmed by the third method, 
its introduction under the cup is a still easier matter, as by the act of 
raising the cup it is brought directly underneath it, and is released by 
the mere act of straightening the third and fourth fingers. If the 
ball is palmed by the second method, it becomes necessary, before 
taking hold of the cup, to close the third and fourth fingers slightly 
{ree Fig. 113), and bring the ball to the position shown in Fig. 132. 
Prom this point the operation is the same as if the ball had been 
originally palmed by the third method. 

It is sometimes necessary to introduce a ball between two cups. 
It will be remembered that each cup is made with a cylindrical rim 
or shoulder. The purpose of this shoulder is that, when two cups 
arc placed one upon the other (see Fig. iaj), there may be a' space 
between them sufficient to receive a ball or balls. To further facili- 
tate the introduction of the ball, the top of each cup is made, not 



276 MODERN MAGIC. 




flat, but concave. When it is desired to introduce a ball between two 
cups, that object is effected as follows :— Having the ball ready 

palmed in the right hand, the performer takes up a 
cup in the same hand, and with it covers the second 
cup, at the same moment introducing the ball be- 
neath it in the ordinary manner, but with the addition 
of a little upward jerk, rather difficult to describe, bat 
easily acquired with a little practice. The ball is 
Fig. ias7 thereby thrown to the top of the uppermost cap, 
and, in again falling, is received by the concave top 
of the lowermost cup. 

4. To SlMULATB THB ACTION OF PLACING A BALL UNDER A 

Cup. — This may be done in two ways. The first is to raise the cop 
with the left hand, apparently placing the ball underneath it with the 
right, but really palming it, Care must be taken that the edge of 
the cup shall touch the table at the very moment that the fingers of 
the right hand are removed. The second and more common method 
is to apparently transfer the ball to the left hand, palming it in the 
transit, and then bringing the closed left hand close to the cup on 
the table, raise the cup with the other hand, and immediately replace 
it with a sort of scraping movement across the fingers of the now 
opening left hand. 

When the student has thoroughly mastered the various operations 
above described, he will have little to learn save the combination of 
the various Passes, a matter of memory only. There are, however, 
one or two subordinate sleights with which he should make himself 
acquainted before proceeding publicly to exhibit his dexterity. 

To Produce a Ball from thb Wand. — The wand is supposed 
to be the reservoir whence the magician produces his store of balls, 
and into which they vanish when no longer needed. The mode of 
production is as follows :— The performer, holding the wand in his 
left hand, and drawing attention to it by some remark as to its mys- 
terious power of production and absorption, secretly takes with his 
right hand, from the servante or elsewhere, a ball, which he imme- 
diately palms (preferably by the first method). Daintily holding the 



MODERN MAGIC. -77 

wand by either end with the left hand, in such manner as to show 
that the hand is otherwise empty, he slides the thumb and fingers 
of the right hand (the back 
of which is naturally towards 
the audience) lightly to the 
opposite end, at the same mo- 
ment rolling the ball with the 
thumb to the ends of the 
fingers, as already described. 
[Stt Pig. i »6.) The ball thus 
comes in sight just as the hand 
leaves the wand, the effect to 
the eyes of the spectators being 
that the ball is, by some mys- 
terious process, squeezed out 
of the wand. 

To Return a Ball into 
the Wand. — This is the con* -^ Ia6i 

Terse of the process last de- 
scribed. Taking the wand in the left hand, as before, and the ball 
between the thumb and second joint of the forefinger of the oppo- 
site hand, the performer lays the end of the wand across the tips of 
the fingers, and draws the hand gently downwards along it, at the 
same time palming the ball by the first method. 

To Pass onr Cup through another. — This is an effective 
sleight, and by no means difficult of acquirement Taking one of the 
cups, month upwards, in the left hand, and holding another in a 
similar position in the right hand, about a foot above it, the performer 
drops the right hand cup smartly into that in the left hand (which 
latter should be held very lightly). If this is neatly done, the lower 
cup will be knocked out of the hand by the concussion, while the 
upper one will be caught and held in its place ; the effect to the eye 
of the spectator being as if the upper cup had passed through the 
other. The lower cup may either be allowed to fall on the ground or 
table, or may be caught by the right hand in its fall. 



278 MODERN MAGIC. 

The successive appearances and disappearances of the balls under- 
neath the cups are known by the name of " Passes ;" the particular 
combination of snch passes being governed by the taste and invention 
of the performer. The series most generally in use is derived from a 
work dating from the last century, the Ricriations Mathetnatiqm et 
Physiques of Guyot; and Guyot, we believe, borrowed it from a 
German source. The series given below, which will be found very 
effective, is derived mainly from that of Guyot, as improved by 
Ponsin, a later and very ingenious writer on the art of presti- 
digitation. 

The cups and balls require, even more than conjuring generallj, 
a running accompaniment of talk. Each Pass should have its own 
" bomment" or u patter/' carefully prepared and frequently rehearsed. 
It would be impossible to give, within any reasonable limits, appro- 
priate patter for each of the Passes. This each performer most 
arrange for himself, so as to suit the style and character in which he 
performs j as it is obvious that the low comedy style of a mounte- 
bank at a country fair would be utterly unsuitable in an aristocratic 
drawing-room, and vice versd. We shall, however, give a specimen 
or two in the course of the various Passes. The burlesque introduc- 
tion next following is a paraphrase of a similar address quoted bj 
Robert-Houdin : — 

Introductory Address.—" Ladies and Gentlemen, — In an age so 
enlightened as our own, it is really surprising to see how many 
popular fallacies spring up from day to day, and are accepted by the 
public mind as unchangeable laws of nature. 

" Among these fallacies there is one which I propose at once to 
point out to you, and which I flatter myself I shall very easily dispose 
of. Many people have asserted, and, among others, the celebrated 
Erasmus of Rotterdam, that a material object can only be in one 
place at one time. Now I maintain, on the contrary, that any object 
may be in several places at* the same moment, and that it is equally 
possible that it may be nowhere at all. 

" I must beg you to observe, in the first place, that I have nothing 
in my hands— except my fingers; and that between my fingers mere 
is nothing save a few atoms of the mysterious fluid which we call the 
atmosphere, and through which our jolly old Earth spins so merrily 



MODERN MAGIC. 279 



along. Bat we must leave the common-place regions of astronomy, 
and return to the mysteries of hermetic science. 

"I have before me, as you will have noticed, three little caps or 
goblets. The metal of which these are composed is an amalgam of 
costly minerals, unknown even to the most profound philosophers. ' 
This mysterious composition, which resembles silver in its solidity, 
its colour, and the clearness of its ring, has over silver this great 
advantage, that it will at pleasure become impalpable as air, so 
that solid bodies pass through these goblets as easily as they would 
through empty space. I will give you a curious illustration of this 
by making one goblet pass through another." (This the performer 
does in the manner already described, and after a moment's pause, 
continues, taking up his wand in his left hand, and secretly palming a 
ball in his right) "This little wand, you are possibly aware, ladies 
and gentlemen, goes by the name of Jacob's Rod. Why it is so 
called I really don't know; I only know that this simple-looking 
wand bas the faculty of producing various articles at pleasure. For 
instance, I require for the purpose of my experiment a little ball. 
My wand at once supplies me." (He produces a ball from the wand, 
and lays it on the table.) 

With this or some similar introduction, the performer proceeds to 
exhibit 

Pass I. Having Placed a Baxl under bach Cup, to draw 
it out again without Lifting THB Cuf.— Having produced a 
ball from the wand as last described, and having laid it on the table, 
the operator continues,-— k Allow me to show you once more that all 
the cups are empty " (he raises them one by one, and replaces them), 
"and that I have nothing in either of my hands. I take this little 
ball " (he picks it up with the right hand, and apparently transfers it to 
the left, really palming it in the right), " and place it under one of 
the cups." Here he raises the cup with the right hand, and simu- 
lates the action of placing the ball under it with the left. " I draw 
another ball from my wand " (this is really the same ball, which 
remained palmed in the right hand), " and place it in like manner 
under the second cup." He goes through the motion of transferring 
it to the left hand and thence to the cup, as before, but this time 



2to MODERN MAGIC. 



actually does what on the former occasion he only pretended to do, 
and leaves the ball under the middle cup. " I produce another ball " 
—(he half draws the wand through his fingers, but checks himself 
half-way). "I think I heard some one assert that I hare a ball 
already in my hand. Pray satisfy yourselves " (showing the palms of 
his bands, the fingers carelessly apart) " that such is not the case. 
A lady suggested just now, by the way — it was only said in a whisper, 
but I heard it— that I didn't really put the balls under the cup. It 
was rather sharp on the part of the lady, but you see she was wrong. 
Here are the balls." * So saying, the performer lifts up the middle 
cup with his left hand, and picking up the ball with his right, holds 
it up that all may see, immediately replacing it under the same cup. 
The last movement is simulated only, the ball being in reality palmed 
in the supposed act of placing it under the cup. " We have now a 
ball under each of these two cups. We only want one more, and— 
here it is " — apparently producing a third ball (really the same again) 
from the wand. " We will place it under this last cup." He actually 
does so. "Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have three cups and 
three balls, one under each cup. So far, I admit that I have not 
shown you anything very surprising, but now comes the puzzle, to 
•take the balls from under the cups. Perhaps some of you sharp 
gentlemen will say there isn't much difficulty in that Lift the cap, 
and pick up the ball ! " He suits the action to the word, lifting op 
the third goblet with the left hand, and picking up the ball with the 
right " A very good solution, but it doesn't happen to be the right 
one. The problem is to draw out the balls without lifting the caps." 
Here he replaces the cup, apparently placing the ball beneath it, bat 
really palming it, as already described in the case of the middle cap, 
and then returns to the first or furthest cup $ touching the top of the 



* The reader will understand that nobody has in fact made any such observation, 
but the overhearing of an imaginary objection is often of great use, as enabling the 
performer to do some necessary act, which be could not well have done without such 
pretext. Thus in this instance, the performer wants a plausible excuse— first, for 
altering his apparent intention of immediately producing a second ball from the wand; 
and, secondly, for lifting the middle cup, and so regaining possession of the ball. A 
conjuror thus addressing an imaginary objector is said in French "parler&bt**' 
'tonadt," but the phrase has no precise equivalent among English performers. 



MODERN MAGIC. 281 



goblet, he lets the palmed ball drop to his finger tips, and immediately 
exhibits it, saying — " This is the way / take the balls out of the cups. 
The ball being no longer needed, I return it into the wand.*' This 
be does as described at page 277, immediately afterwards, if desired, 
handing the wand for examination. " In like manner I draw out the 
second ball" (he repeats the same process with the middle goblet), 
"and pass that also into my wand. I need not even handle the 
goblets. See, I merely touch this third goblet with my wand, and 
the ball instantly appears on the top." The company, of course, 
cannot see any ball on the end of the wand, but a ball is nevertheless 
taken thence by the process already described, of letting the palmed 
ball drop to the tips of the fingers, as they come in contact with the 
wand. " I pass this also into my wand. Stay, though, on second 
thoughts, I shall want a ball for my next experiment, so I will leave 
it here on the table." 

We have given a somewhat elaborate description of this first Pass, 
in oider to give the reader some idea of the various feints and artifices 
employed in relation to the cups and balls. It would be impossible, 
from considerations of space, to do this as to each of the Passes, and 
the reader must therefore remember that the descriptions following 
give merely the essential outlines, which must be worked up to 
dramatic effectiveness by the ingenuity of the individual performer. 
Where practicable, we shall allow the few words put into the mouth 
of the performer to indicate the actions accompanying them, only 
giving special " stage directions " in cases where the performer does 
not suit the action to the words. For the sake of distinctness, 
we shall indicate the goblets (reckoning from the left hand of the 
performer) as A, B, and C. (See Fig. 118.) 

Pass II. To make a Ball Travel invisibly from Cup to 
Cup. — " Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you watch very closely, you 
will be able to see the ball travel from one cup to another. I take 
the ball " (transfers it apparently to left hand) " and place it under 
this cap (C). You all see that there is nothing under this one " (B). 
In raising B with the right hand he introduces under it the palmed 
ball. " I shall now command the ball which I have just placed 
under the first cup (C) to travel under this one (B). Attention ! 



28s MODERN MAGIC. 

and 70a will see it pass." He makes a motion of the wand from the 
one cup to the other. " There it goes ! This cup (C), as you see, 
is empty, and under this one (B) is the ball. I will replace it under 
this same cup" (B). He in reality palms it. "There is nothing 
under this cup" (A). He secretly introduces the ball under A. 
" Now observe again. Pass ! Did you see it ? No ? well, I don't 
much wonder at it, for I can't always see it myself. Here it is, how- 
ever " (lifts A), u and this cup (B) is empty." He replaces the caps 
on the table, and lays the ball beside them. 

Pass III. Having placed a Ball under bach of the end 
Cups, to makb them pass successively under the Middle 
Cup. — Before commencing this Pass, the performer, while placing 
the goblets in line, or otherwise engaging the attention of the audience 
with his left hand, takes from the servante with his right, and palms, 
a second ball. He continues, " For my next experiment, ladies and 
gentlemen, I shall require two balls. I need hardly remark that I 
could instantly supply myself from the wand -, but there is a carious 
faculty about the balls themselves 5 they have a constant tendency to 
increase and multiply. For instance, without having recourse to the 
wand, I can instantly make this one ball into two " (he takes up the 
ball on the table in his left hand, taking care so to hold it that all 
may see that there is nothing else in his hand), " and the most curious 
part of the matter is, that though mathematicians insist that the 
whole is always greater than its part, in this case each of the parts 
will be found precisely equal to the whole." As he speaks, he takes 
the ball from the left hand with the fingers of the right, at the same 
time dropping the palmed ball into the left hand, and now taking 
care to so hold his right hand as to show that it contains the one ball 
only. He then again replaces this ball in the palm of the left hand, 
where it lies side by side with the second ball. Rubbing the left 
palm with the second and third fingers of the right, with a circular 
motion, he gradually lifts the fingers, and shows the single ball 
apparently transformed into two, both of which he places on the 
table. • 

" You will observe that there is nothing under this cup (C). I 
will place under it this ball " (he really palms it) 3 "neither is there 



MODERN MAGIC. 283 

anything under either of these two caps " (B and A). He lifts the 
caps one with each hand, and secretly introduces the palmed ball 
under B. " I take this second ball, and place it under this cup " (A). 
He really palms it. " We now have a ball under each of these two 
caps" (A and C). "I draw the ball out of this one" (C). He 
touches the top of the cup, and produces the ball last palmed at his 
finger-tips. " I order it to pass under this middle cup " (B). He 
apparently transfers it to the left hand, really palming it, and then 
makes a motion with the left hand, as if passing it into B. " It has 
passed, you see ! " He raises B with his right hand, showing the 
ball under it, and in replacing it secretly introduces the second palmed 
ball. " Now I order the ball in this cup (A) to pass in like manner." 
He waves his wand from A to B, and then lifts B. " Here it is, and 
these two outer cups " (turning them over with the wand) " are per- 
fectly empty." 

Pass IV. Having placed two Balls under the Middle 

CUP, TO MAKE THEM PASS UNDER THE TWO OUTER ONES. "You 

have just seen these two balls pass under the middle cup $ now, by 
way of variety, we will make them pass out of it. I will take the two 
balls, and place them under the middle cup." He really so places one 
only, palming the other. " You observe that there is nothing either 
under this (A), nor under this (C)." Here he secretly introduces 
the palmed ball beneath C. " Now I order one of the balls under the 
middle cup to pass under one of the outer cups. Let us see if it has 
done so " (lifts middle cup with left hand). " Yes, here is only one 
left" He takes it up and shows it with right hand, then makes the 
gesture of replacing, but really palms it. " Let us see where it has 
gone to " (lifts A with right hand, and in replacing it secretly intro- 
duces the palmed ball under it). " It is not under this one. Then 
h must be under this." He lifts C. " Yes, here it is. Now I com- 
mand the other ball in like manner to leave the middle cup, and pass 
under the other (A). Pass ! Here it is, you see, and this one (B) is 
entirely empty." 

Pass V. To pass three Balls in succession under one 
Cup. — " So far, ladies and gentlemen, what I have shown you has 



284 MODERN MAGIC. 



been mere chad's play.' 9 He drops the right hand carelessly to the 
servante, and picks up two more balls, one of which he holds between 
the fingers, and the other in the palm. "The real difficulty only 
begins when we begin to work with three balls. Now which of 
these two balls H (taking np the two balls from the table) "is the 
largest ? This one, I fancy, has the advantage, so I will pinch a little 
piece off to make a third ball." He goes through the motion of 
pinching the ball with the fingers of both hands, at the same moment 
letting fall the ball in the palm to the tips of the fingers of the 
right hand. "Yes, this will do. It isn't quite round, but that is 
easily rectified.' 1 He rolls it between the fingers. "That is better. 
Now watch me closely, ladies and gentlemen." He places the balls 
upon the table, with the exception of the fourth, which remains con- 
cealed between the fingers. " You see that there is nothing under 
either of the cups." He raises all three, and introduces the fourth 
ball under the middle one (B). He then picks up one of the balls on 
the table, and apparently transfers it to his left hand, really palming 
it. "I command this ball to pass into the middle cup. It has 
passed, you .see " (raising the cup with the right hand, and in replac- 
ing it, introducing the ball now palmed). The operation is repeated 
in like manner, until three balls have been shown under the cap, the 
fourth finally remaining palmed in the right hand. 

Pass VI. To Place three Balls one after the other 

UPON THE TOP OP ONE OP THE CUPS, AND TO MAKE THEM FALL 

through the Cup on to thb Tablb. — At the conclusion of the 
last Pass the performer had brought three balls under the centre cop 
B, a fourth remaining concealed in his hand. In lifting B to exhibit 
the three balls, and in replacing it beside them, he takes the oppor- 
tunity of introducing beneath it this fourth ball. He next takes one 
of the three balls thus exposed, and placing it on the top of thb same 
goblet (B), covering it with a second goblet (A). Making any appro- 
priate gesture he pleases, he commands the ball to fall through the 
lower goblet on to the table. He then overturns (without separating) 
the two goblets, their months being towards the spectators, when the 
ball which he had secretly introduced will be discovered, and will 
appear to be that which the spectators have just seen placed on the top 



MODERN MAGIC. 285 



of the goblet (and which really still remains between the two goblets), 
and picks up the two goblets together, month upwards, with the left 
hand, and with the right hand takes ont that which is now upper- 
most (B). He turns both the goblets down upon the table, placing 
A over the ball which he has just shown. If this is neatly done, the 
other ball, which has remained in A, will not be discovered, but will 
as it falls be covered by A, which will now have beneath it two balls. 
The performer now places one of the remaining balls on the top of 
A, covering it with either of the other goblets, and again goes through 
the same process till he has shown first two, and then three balls 
under the cup, the fourth remaining, at the close of the Pass, between 
the two cups last used. 

Pass VI L To pass three Balls in succession upwards 

THROUGH THE TABLE INTO ONE OF THE CuPS. — You COUCludedthe 

last Pass (we will suppose the reader to represent for the time being 
the performer) by lifting two cups together to show three balls be- 
neath the undermost. Holding two cups in the left hand, you turn 
them over, mouth upwards. Taking with the right hand that which 
is now uppermost, you place it on the table in the ordinary position, 
still retaining the other, in which, unknown to the spectators, a fourth 
ball still remains. You continue, " Ladies and gentlemen, you may 
possibly imagine that there is some trick or sleight-of-hand in what I 
have shown you, but I am now about to perform an experiment in 
which that solution is clearly inadmissible. I propose to pass these 
three balls, one after the other, through the solid table into this empty 
goblet. Pray watch me carefully. I take away one of the balls " 
(you take in the right hand one of the three on the table), " and hold 
it beneath the table, thus. My left hand, as you will observe, is per- 
fectly empty. I have only to say, ' Pass ! ' " (You palm the ball in 
the right hand, at the same time giving a gentle tap with one finger 
against the under surface of the table, and immediately bring up the 
hand, taking care, of course, to keep its outer side towards the specta- 
tors ; then gently shake the cup which you hold in the left hand, and 
torn the ball out upon the table.) " Here it is, you see. Now I will 
put it back in the cup" (you pick up the ball with the right hand, and 
drop it into the cup, secretly letting fall with it the palmed ball), 



286 MODERN MAGIC. 

" and take another ball." You repeat the process, and show two balls 
in the cup ; then again (each time dropping in the palmed ball), and 
show three, retaining the fourth ball, still palmed, in your right hand. 

Pass VIII. To Pass two Balls in succession from oxs 
Cup to another without touching them. — You again place 
the three cups in a row on the table, secretly introducing tinder the 
right hand cup (C) the ball which remained in yonr right hand at the 
close of the last Pass, and then openly place the three other .balls on 
the tops of the three cups. You then proceed, " I will take this ball" 
(that which is on B), " and place it under this same cup *' (B). Yon 
really palm it. " I take this other ball " (that which is upon A), 
"and place it under this cup " (A). You secretly introduce with it 
the ball which you have just palmed. " I take this last " (that upon 
C), " and place it under this goblet (A) j or, stay, I will pass it in- 
visibly to this one " (C) — really palming it " It has passed, yon 
see.'' You lift C, and show the ball which is already there; and in 
again covering the ball with the cup, you secretly introduce that 
which yon last palmed. You now have in reality two balls under 
each of the end cups, and none under the centre one ; but the spec- 
tators are persuaded that there is one ball cinder each cup. "We 
now have one ball under each cup. Now I shall command the ball 
that is under the centre cop to pass into either of the end ones at 
your pleasure. Which shall it be? " Whichever is chosen, suppose 
C, you raise and show the two balls under it. You then ostensiblj 
replace the two balls under C, but really replace the one only, palm- 
ing the other. You then raise the middle cup (B), to show that it is 
empty, and, in replacing rt, introduce the ball you have just palmed 
under it. " Now I shall next order one of the two balls you have 
just seen under this cup (C) to go and join the one which is already 
under this other (A). Pass ! Here it is, yon observe." You raise 
A to show that there are two balls under it. You also raise C to 
show that it now only contains one ball! and leave all three balls 
exposed on the table. 

Pass IX. To make three Balls in Succession pass uiroi* 
the Middle Cup. — At the conclusion of die last Pass, three balls 



MODERN MA GIC. 287 



were left in view, while a fourth, unknown to the audience, was 
hidden under the middle cap. Yott proceed, picking np a ball with 
the right hand, " I take this bad, and place it under this cup" (C) ; 
On reality palming it). " I now order it to pass under the middle cup. 
Presto! Here it is, you see." You raise the middle cup to shew- 
that the ball has obeyed your command, and, in again covering the 
boll, secretly introduce with it that which you hare just palmed. " I 
take this one " (you pick up another), M and place it under this cup " 
(A)— here you palm it as before—" and order it also to pass under 
the middle cup." You raise the middle cup, and show that there are 
now two balls under it, and, in again covering them, introduce the 
ball which you last palmed* " I take this last ball, and place it under 
this cup" (C)— palming it — * whence I shall command it to again 
depart, and join its companions under the middle cop. This time 
it shall make the journey visibly.' 9 You take your wand in the 
left hand, and with it touch the cup C. " Here it is, you see, on the 
end of my wand. You don't see it? Why, surely it is visible 
enough. Look." You pretend to produce the palmed ball from the 
wand, and exhibit it to the company. " You can all see it now.*' You 
lay down the wand, and go through the motion of transferring the 
ball to the left hand, really palming it in its passage. " Now, then, 
pray watch me closely, and you will see it pass under the cup. One, 
two, three 1 " You make the gesture of throwing it through the 
middle cup, and open the hand to show it empty, immediately turn- 
iog over the goblets to show that there are three balls under the 
middle and none under the outer ones* 

PassX. The "Multiplication" Pass.— For the purpose of 
this Pass it is necessary to borrow a hat, which you hold in the left 
hand. You then place the three balls in a row upon the table, and 
cover each with one of the cups. It will be remembered that a fourth 
ball remains palmed in your right hand. You now lift up the right 
hand goblet (C), and place it on the table close beside the ball which 
it lately covered, and as you do so, secretly introduce beneath it the 
palmed ball. You pick up with the right hand the ball which you 
have thus uncovered, and go through the motion of dropping it into 
the hat, really palming it in the moment during which die hand is 



288 MODERN MAGIC. 

concealed inside the hat, and at the same moment simulating, by a 
gentle tap against the inside, the sound which the ball would make 
if actually dropped into the hat. Yon next lift B in like manner, 
introducing the ball just palmed beneath it, and go through the 
motion of placing the second ball, which is thereby left exposed, 
in the hat* Yon do the same with the third cup, then return to the 
first (which the spectators believe to be now empty, and from which 
they are astonished to see you produce another ball), continuing 
till you have raised each cup in succession eight or ten times, and, on 
each occasion of lifting a cup to uncover a ball, introducing beneath 
it the ball which you had just previously palmed. To the eyes of the 
spectators, who believe that the balls are really dropped into the hat, 
the effect will be exactly as if new balls, by some mysterious pro- 
cess of reproduction, came under the cups at each time of raising 
them. When you think your audience are sufficiently astonished, yon 
remark, " 1 think we have about enough now ; the hat is getting rather 
heavy. Will someone hold a handkerchief to receive the balls?'' 
When the handkerchief is spread out, you carefully turn over the hat, 
and the general astonishment will be intensified at discovering that it 
contains nothing. 

There is, of course, a ball left under each of the cups, and a 
fourth palmed in your right hand. This latter will not again be 
wanted, and you should therefore, while attention is drawn to the hat, 
drop it upon the servante, or into one of your pochettes. 

Pass XL To Transform the Small Balls to Larger 
Ones. — While the attention of the spectators is still occupied by the 
unexpected denouement of the last Pass, you should prepare for this 
one by secretly taking with your right hand from the servant*, and 
palming (by either the second or third method, the first being only 
available for the small balls) one of the larger balls. You then 
address the spectators to the following effect : — " Ladies and gentle- 
men, you see that I have little difficulty in increasing the number of 
the balls to an unlimited extent I will now repeat the experiment 
in another form, and show you that it is equally easy to make them 
increase in size. You will observe that, notwithstanding the number 
of balls which I have just produced from the cups, there are still 



MODERN MAGIC. 289 



plenty more to come." Here you raise C, and show that there is a 
ball still under it. You replace it on the table at a few inches* dis- 
tance, and as you do so, secretly introduce under it the larger ball 
which you have just palmed. Taking up the small ball in your right 
hand, you say, " To make the experiment still more surprising, I will 
pass the ball upwards through the table into tbe cup." So saying, 
you place the right hand under the table, dropping as you do so the 
little ball which you hold on the servante, and taking in its place 
another of the larger balls. " Pass ! " you exclaim, at the same time 
giving a gentle rap on the under surface of the table. You bring 
the hand up again as if empty. You do not touch the first cup, but 
repeat the operation with the second, B, and again with A $ on each 
occasion of passing the hand under the table exchanging a small ball 
for a larger one, and immediately afterwards introducing the latter under 
the cup next in order. The last time, however, you merely drop the 
small ball on the servante, without bringing up any other in exchange. 
You now have, unknown to the audience, one of the larger, or 
medium-sized balls under each of the cups 5 and if you were about 
to end with this Pass, you would merely lift the cups and show the 
bails, thus apparently increased in size, underneath. We will assume, 
however, that you propose to exhibit the Pass next following (one of 
the most effective), in which case the necessary preparation must be 
made in the act of raising the cups $ and we shall therefore proceed 
at once, while the balls still remain covered, to describe 

Pass XII. To again Transform the Balls to still Larger 
Ones. — The last Pass having reached the stage we have just 
described, i*., a large ball being under each cup, but not yet ex- 
hibited to the audience, you secretly take in your left hand from the 
servante one of the still larger balls. These balls should be soft 
and elastic, and of such a size that, if pressed lightly into the cup, 
they shall require a slight tap of the cup on the table to dislodge 
them. 

Having taken the ball in the left hand, you hold it at the ends of 
the fingers behind the table, as near the top as possible consistently 
with its being out of sight of the spectators. Then saying, " Now, 
ladies and gentlemen, I must ask for your very closest attention/ 1 

19 



290 MODERN MAGIC. 

you raise C with the right hand, and with the same movement lower 
it for a moment behind the table, and over the ball in the left hand, 
which remains in the cup of its own accord. All eyes go instinc- 
tively to the ball on the table, whose increased size is a new 
phenomenon, and not one in a hundred will, in this first moment 
of surprise, think of watching the cup, which is naturally supposed 
to have, for the moment, concluded its share of the trick. You re- 
place the cup on the table lightly, so as not to loosen the ball, mean- 
while getting ready another ball in the left hand, and repeat the 
operation with B. With A you make a slight variation in your mode 
of procedure. Taking a third ball in your left hand, you hold it as 
before, but, as if through carelessness or clumsiness, allow it to be 
seen for a moment above the edge of the table. When you raise the 
third cup, you move it behind the table as before, and make a feint 
of introducing the ball which the spectators have just seen, but really 
let it drop on the servante, and replace the cup empty. A murmur 
from the audience will quickly apprise you that they have, as they 
imagine, found you out. Looking as innocent as you can, you inquire 
what is tbe matter, and are informed that you were seen to introduce 
a ball into the cup. " I beg your pardon," you reply, lifting op, 
however, not A, which you have just replaced, but C, which is 
the farthest remote from it. There is really a ball in this cup, 
but having been pressed in, and fitting tightly, it does not fall. 
The audience, seeing you raise the wrong cup, are more and more 
confirmed in their suspicion. " Not that one, the other," they ex- 
claim. You next raise B, the ball in which also does not fall, for 
the reason already stated. " No, no," the audience shout, "the other 
cup, the end one." " You are really very obstinate, gentlemen," yoa 
reply, " but pray satisfy yourselves," turning over A as you speak, 
and showing the inside, which is manifestly empty, and your critics 
rapidly subside. Meanwhile, you drop your left hand to the ser* 
vante, and secretly take from it two similar balls. Then, addressing the 
audience, you say, " Surely, gentlemen, you don't imagine that, if I 
wanted to place a ball under a cup, I should set about it after such a 
clumsy fashion as this ! " As you say this, you place your left hand 
in your left pocket, as if taking a ball from thence (as it obviously 
would not do to give the audience cause to suspect the existence of a 



MODERN MA GIC. 291 



secret receptacle behind the table), and bring out again the two balls, 
bat allow one only to be seen, keeping the other concealed in the 
palm. Bringing the cap over the hand, you squeeze in both balls as 
far as you can, when the innermost will remain, but the outermost, 
not having sufficient space, will drop out again on the table. The 
andience, not knowing that there are two balls, believe the cup, which 
you now replace on the table, to be empty. You continue, " No, 
gentlemen j when I pass a ball under a cup, you may be sure that I don't 
let anybody see me do so." As you speak, you take the ball on the 
table in your right hand, and make the movement of transferring it to 
jour left, really palming it by the second method, and holding the left 
hand closed and high, as if containing it, and keeping your eyes fixed 
thereon, you carelessly drop your right hand till the finger-tips, rest 
on the table, when you are able to let fall the ball upon the sew ante. 
You continue, " I will now pass this ball under either of the caps 
which you like to name. Indeed, I will do more ; I will cause this 
ball invisibly to multiply itself into three, one of which shall pass 
under each of the cups* First, however, let me show you that there 
is nothing under the cups at present." You raise each in turn — 
u Nothing here, nothing here, and nothing here! 1 * The balls still 
adhere to the sides of the cups, which, therefore, appear to be empty, 
bat you replace each with a slight rap on the table, and thereby loosen 
the ball within it. " Now, then ! " You bring the two hands to-* 
gether, and gently rub them over each cup in turn 5 finally parting 
them and showing that both are empty, and then lifting the cups, 
show the three large balls underneath. 

Some performers, in lifting each cup with the right hand, intro- 
duce a fresh ball, held in the left hand, as already explained. The 
effect is the same as in the " Multiplication '' Pass, already described, 
with this difference, that on each occasion of uncovering a ball, the 
ball remains on the table, which thus becomes gradually covered with 
an ever-increasing number of balls. Some, again, conclude by appa- 
rently producing from the cups objects much larger than they could 
naturally contain, e.g., large apples, Spanish onions, etc. This is 
effected in the same manner as the introduction of the large balls 
just described, save that in this case the object, which cannot really 
go into the cup, is merely held against its mouth with the third finger 



292 MODERN MAGIC. 

of the right hand, and dropped with a slight shrike, as if there was a 
difficulty in getting it out. 

There are many other cup-and-ball Passes, but the series above 
given will be found as effective as any. If any reader desires to 
follow the subject further, we would refer him to the Recreations 
Malhematiques et Physiques of Guyot, already quoted, or another 
old work, tinder the same title, by Ozanam, in which this branch of 
prestidigitation is treated at considerable length. 



MODERN MAGIC. 293 



CHAPTER XIV. 
Ball Tricks Requiring Special Apparatus. 

Before proceeding to the description of the tricks which form the 
subject of this Chapter, it may be well to mention one or two 
principles of sleight-of-hand, not yet noticed, which have a special 
application to ball tricks, and are also useful with regard to oranges, 
apples, eggs, etc. The Pass called the tourniquet, or " French drop/' 
described already in relation to coin, will be found equally applicable 
to balls up to a couple of inches in diameter, but is not available for 
objects of larger size. Balls of larger diameter are best palmed by 
one or other of the methods following. 

'First Method. — Taking the ball in either hand, the performer 
tosses the ball from palm to palm (at a few inches' distance) four or 
five times, finally making the motion of tossing it from the right hand 
to the left, but really retaining it in the right by a slight contraction 
of the palm, and at the same time closing and elevating the left 
hand, and following it with the eyes, as though it contained the ball. 
It is obvious that a ball of the size now under consideration (say of 
two to three inches in diameter) would not admit of the hand con- 
taining it being perfectly closed j and this must be borne in mind in 
the position of the left hand, the fingers of which must not be tightly 
closed, as they would if apparently containing a coin or other very 
small article, but merely curved inward, the palm, of course, being 
turned toward the performer's own body, so as not to disclose the 
secret of its emptiness. Where the hand of the performer is small, 
or the ball is of such a size as not to be readily retained in the right 
hand by the contraction of the palm, the thumb may be used to 
assist in supporting it. 



294 MODERN MA GIC. 

Second Method. — Taking the ball 'between his open hands, the 
performer rolls it round and round between his palms, as though it 
were a lump of clay which he was moulding into a spherical form; 
and In so doing gradually turns his hands till the back of his right 
hand is undermost, when, with an inward movement of that hand 
towards himself, he palms the ball therein, at the same time closing 
and elevating the left hand, as described for the last method. 

To Vanish a Large Ball with the aid of the Table.— 
First Method. Standing behind his table, the ball being some six or 
eight inches from its hinder edge, the performer places both hands 
round it, apparently picking it up and bringing it forward between 
his two hands, from which, however, the ball is, on examination, 
found to have vanished. Its disappearance is effected as follows :— 
At the moment when the performer encircles the ball with his 
hands, he gives, with the little finger of the hand which is inner' 
most— and therefore unseen by the audience — a quick jerk to the 
ball, which is thereby made to roll towards the hinder edge of the 
table, and drop upon the servante, on which there should be a padded 
box or basket to receive it. The action is wholly concealed from the 
spectators by the hands, which, with the exception of the finger 
which does the work, should remain motionless. 

Second Method. — Standing behind his table, as in the last case, the 
performer tosses up the ball, and catches it again three or four times, 
keeping the hands low, so as to be near the edge of the table. The 
hands naturally sink in the act of catching the ball j and after having 
caught it once or twice, the performer, as he lowers them, drops it on 
the serOante, immediately raising them again with the action of 
throwing up the ball, taking care to follow it with the eyes in its 
imaginary flight. If this is done neatly, the eyes of the spectators 
will instinctively travel in the same direction, and the effect to them 
will be as if the ball vanished at the highest point of its upward 
flight, instead of disappearing, as it really does, at the moment of 
reaching the hands in its fall. This method may also be employed 
for objects other than of spherical shape. 

Third Method. — The performer, standing behind his table as 
before, and placing the ball thereon, covers it with the right hand* 



MODERN MAGIC. *95 



and rolls it round and round in circles, each time bringing it nearer 
and nearer to the hinder edge of the table, till it finally rolls over, and 
drops upon the servante. He continues the motion of the hand for 
two or three turns, as though the ball was still under it, gradually 
working back towards the centre of tbe table, the effect to the ' 
spectator being as if the ball melted away under the operator's 
fingers. 

Fourth Method. — This is generally employed to apparently pass 
one object into another — say a small ball into a large one. The per- 
former, standing a little behind his table, with his right side slightly 
tamed to the spectators, takes in his right hand the small ball, 
and in his left the large one. The latter he holds about shoulder 
high, keeping his eyes fixed upon it, and remarking, " I shall now 
pass this small ball into this large one," he draws back and lowers 
the right arm, as though to give it impetus, as one naturally does in 
the act of throwing. This brings the right hand just over the padded 
box or basket on the servante, and allows him to drop the small ball # 
therein. Without any pause, he brings the right hand smartly up to 
the left, describing a tolerably wide arc in its transit, and then, sepa- 
rating his hands, shows that the smaller ball has vanished, having 
apparently passed into the large one. This sleight is not confined to 
objects of spherical form, but may be used with any article of con- 
venient size. 

With this introduction, we shall now proceed to describe a few 
of the most popular " ball tricks." 

The Ball Box. — The leading idea of most of the tricks which 
we are about to describe is the magical appearance or disappearance 
of a ball. So far, they resemble the cup- and- ball tricks described in 
the last Chapter, but with this difference, that, in the case of the' 
present series, tbe main effect is produced by mechanical means, any 
sleight-of-hand employed being rather an accessory than the leading 
feature. The oldest and simplest of the mechanical appliances for 
this purpose is that known as the " ball-box," consisting of a box 
two to six inches in height, of the shape shown in Fig. 127, and 
containing a ball which just fills it. The box consists of three por- 
tions — the lower portion, or box proper a, the lid c, and an interme- 



296 MODERN MAGIC. 

diate portion b, being a hollow hemisphere coloured externally in imi- 
tation of the ball, and so fitted with reference to the box and lid, that 
it may be either lifted off with the lid, leaving the box apparently 
empty, or may be left upon the box when the lid is removed, the 
effect to the eye being as if the ball had returned to the box. The 
ball-box is generally of turned boxwood, and is scored with concen- 
tric circles, which serve to disguise its double opening. Simply 
stated, its effect is as follows : — The solid ball is first shown in the 

box, and then openly taken from it, and the 
box covered with the lid. The ball is then got 
rid of in one or other of the modes before de- 
scribed, and a pretence is made of passing it in- 
visibly into the box. The lid is removed without 
the intermediate portion b, and the ball appears 
to have returned to the box. Again the lid is 
replaced, and again removed j but this time b is 
removed with it, and the box again appears 
empty. The trick in this form is to be found in 
every toy-shop, and is so well known as to pro- 
Fio. 127. duce scarcely any illusion, but its transparency 

may be considerably diminished by previously 
palming (in the right hand) the moveable shell b, the convex side 
being inwards, and then handing round the remaining portion's and 
the solid ball for inspection. When they are returned, the performer 
apparently places the ball in the box, but really makes a secret 
exchange, and places b in the box instead. Upon again removing the 
lid, and with it b, the ball has disappeared 3 and as the audience have, 
as they believe, inspected the whole apparatus, the mode of its dis- 
appearance is not quite so obvious as in the first case. At best, how- 
ever, the ball-box, in this its pristine form, is a clumsy and inartistic 
contrivance, and has long been relegated to the juvenile and country- 
fair school of conjuring. There is, however, an improved apparatus 
for producing a similar effect, which is generally worked in couples, 
under the name of 

The Red-and-Black-Ball Vases. — The receptacle for the ball 
is in this case made in the form of a neat vase, and without any 




MODERN MAGIC. 



397 




of those tell-tale grooves which disfigure the older ball-box. {Set 
Fig. hS.) Like its prototype, it is in three parts, which we will 
distinguish as before by the letters a, l, and c. The portion 6, 
however, in this case goes completely within the lid c, within which 
it fits just tightly enough to be lifted off with it When, however, 
the performer desires to leave h upon a, he 
presses down, in the act of lifting off the 
cover, a moveable button or stud at the top. 
This poshes oat the shell b from the caver, 
and, when the latter is lifted, leaves it upon a. 
When used in pairs, the ball-vases axe usually 
made with one red and one black ball, the 
shells I of each vase being also one black and 
one red. The balls are first offered for exa- 
mination, after which the red ball is placed 
in the vase containing the black shell, and the 
black ball in that which contains the red 
shell. The vases are then covered, and on 
the covers being again removed, leaving the 
hollow shells upon the vases, the red ball 
being covered by the black shell, and the 
black ball by the red shell, the effect to the FlG . „ s , 

spectator is as if the two balls had changed 

places. By leaving alternately the one or the other shell over its 
respective vase, the ball in the opposite vase being left uncovered, 
the vases may be made to appear as if both containing red balls or 
both black balls, the genuine balls being finally again exhibited as 
at first. 

There is yet another form of ball-box, also frequently worked in 
pairs, and designed to simulate the apparent passage of a ball from 
the one box to the other. The vase in this case consists of two parts 
only, the vase proper a, and the cover b, but the latter is of such a 
height as to completely contain the ball, and of such a size internally, 
that, if the ball be jerked np into the cover, it will not again fall, 
unless a slight shake be used to displace it. (See Fig. 129.) Each 
vase has its own ball, and the mode of use is as follows 1 — One of 
the vases is prepared beforehand by jerking up the ball into the cover, 



298 



MODERN MAGIC. 




which may then be removed, showing the vase apparently empty ; or 

both may be first shown, empty, and the ball then introduced secretly 

under the cover, after the manner of the 
cups and balls. The remaining vase and ball 
are offered for inspection, and when they are 
returned, the ball is placed within and covered 
over, after which the closed vase is placed 
upon the table ; but in the act of doing this 
the performer gives the apparatus a slight up- 
ward jerk, thereby causing the ball therein 
to rise into the cover, where it remains. The 
second vase is once more shown empty j but 
in replacing it on the table, the performer pots 
it down sharply, thereby causing the ball to 
drop from the cover into the cup. He now 
orders the ball, which the company have seen 
placed in the first vase, to pass invisibly into 
the second 5 and on again opening the two, 
this transposition will appear to have taken 
place, and by a repetition of the process the 

ball may be made to travel backwards and forwards from one vase to 

the other. 




Fig. 129. 



Morison's Pill-box. — In this trick (called by French conjurors 
La Pilule du Dial I e) the device of the u shell " is carried still further. 
The box in this case is spherical, standing upon a thin stem (see Fig. 
130), and each part (box proper and lid) contains a half shell, the 
edge of one having a rebate or shoulder, so as to fit into the other, 
the two conjoined having the appearance of a solid ball. The 
genuine ball is of such a size as just to fill the hollow shells 
when thus joined. The lower shell fits loosely in the box, the 
upper one a little more tightly, so as not to fall out unless 
pressed down by the button on the top of the lid, which not only 
loosens it from the lid, but presses it into union with the lower 
shell. 

The mode of using the apparatus is as follows : — It is first brought 
forward with the one half shell in the box, and the other in the lid, 



MODERN MAGIC. 



*99 



the true ball, which is of the same colour as the shell (generally 
black) being placed within the lower shell. The ball is ostentatiously 
removed, and the box closed. The ball is then either placed in some 
piece of apparatus adapted to cause its disappearance, or is made to 
vanish by sleight-of-hand in one or other of the modes already de- 
scribed. The ball is now ordered to return to the box, which, for 
greater certainty, is once more shown empty. The performer again 
closes it, pressing as he does so the button on the top of the lid, thus 
compelling the two half shells to coalesce ; and on again re-opening 
the box, the ball has, to all appearance, returned as commanded. 
The ball-box now under consideration has this 
great advantage over the single-shell vases, that 
the sham ball can be completely removed from 
the box, and shown on all sides, thus (apparently) 
negativing the possibility of its being a shell 
only. 

The trick may be also worked very effectively 
by using a genuine ball of a different colour to the 
shell, with the addition of a duplicate of each. 
Thus, if the shell be black, you must be provided 
with a solid ball of the same colour, and two red 
halls. One of the latter, as also the solid black 
ball, should be of such a size as to go inside the 
shell, the remaining red ball being of the same size 
as the shell in its complete condition. The half 
shells being in their place in the box, the performer 
brings it forward, together with the smaller red and 
black ball, keeping the remaining red ball concealed in his palm. 
Borrowing a handkerchief, he wraps (apparently) the black ball 
therein, and gives it to some one to hold (really substituting the 
palmed red ball, and getting rid of the black ball as soon as he can 
into one of his secret pockets). He then places the remaining red 
ball in the box, and having covered it over, commands the black ball 
in the handkerchief to change places with the red one in the box. 
Upon examination, the change has apparently taken place, the red 
hall in the box being now enclosed within the hollow shell, and thus 
having all the appearance of the solid black ball. 




Fig. 130. 



3«> MODERN MAGIC. 

The Ball which chances to a Rose. — This is little 
more than an enlarged edition of the apparatus just described, the 
ball in M orison's pill-box being generally of about an inch and i 
half in diameter, while in the present case the ball is nearly double 
that size. (See Fig. 131.) The only other difference is the addition 
of a short pin, about a sixteenth of an inch in length, projecting from 
the bottom of the cup, and fitting into a corresponding hole in the 
lower shell. The addition of this pin enables the performer, after 
having pressed the stud at top, and thus caused the ball to appear in 
the previously empty box, to again cause its disappearance. This is 
effected by opening the box with a slight lateral pressure, when the 
pin acts as a stop or check to hold back the lower shell ; and the shells 
which are in this instance made to fit rather more loosely together, an 
thus forced to separate again, the lower being left in the cup and the 
upper in the lid, as before. 

This apparatus is generally used with a solid black ball and 1 
couple of artificial rose-buds, as nearly alike as possible. The 
apparatus is brought forward empty, and 
with the solid ball and one of the rose- 
buds, is handed to the audience for in- 
spection. The two half shells, joined 
together so as to form a hollow ball, 
with the second rose-bud within, ire 
placed ready to hand in one of the 
pochettes of the performer. The audi- 
ence having duly examined the ap- 
paratus, the performer returns to his 
table, secretly exchanging as he does so 
the solid for the hollow ball. This 
latter he places openly in the cup, taking 
fig. 131. care that the hole in the lower shell 

duly corresponds with the pin at bottom, 
and puts on the cover. He now announces that the ball which 
he has just placed tn the cup will at command fly away, and that 
the rose-bud which he holds shall take its place. The disappearance 
of the visible rose-bud is effected in any way that the invention 
or the appliances at command of the performer may suggest ; and 



MODERN MAGIC. 301 



on the box being opened, so as to part the two shells, the ball has 
apparently disappeared, and the rose has taken its place. By again 
closing tbe box, and this time pressing the stud on the top, the flower 
may again be made to vanish, and the ball to reappear in its original 
position. 

The popular trick of the " flower in the button-hole/' which will 
be described under the head of Miscellaneous Tricks, may be used 
in conjunction with this apparatus, the ball being found in the 
place of the flower, while the latter is made to appear in the button- 
hole. 

A similar apparatus to the above is sometimes made in metal, and 
of a size sufficient to enclose a cannon-ball, which being made to 
disappear, its place is supplied by a variety of articles which have 
been otherwise disposed of at an earlier period* 

Tub Obedient Ball. — This trick is of Japanese origin, and 
from that circumstance is sometimes known as the Japanese Ball. 
It is performed with a large black wooden ball, about five inches in 
diameter, with a hole bored through it from side to side. A piece of 
stout rope, four or Ave feet in length, with a knot at one end, com- 
pletes the apparatus. The performer commences by passing the rope 
through the ball, and hands both for examination. The ball is found 
to run loosely upon the rope, and both are manifestly quite free from 
mechanism or preparation. The articles being returned, the performer 
places his foot upon the knotted end of the rope, and taking the 
other end in his right hand, holds it in a perpendicular position. 
The ball is raised as far as the length of the- rope will admit, and, on 
being again released, immediately runs down again, as would natu- 
rally be expected. The performer now announces that, in obedience 
to his will, the laws of gravity will be in this particular instance 
suspended. Accordingly, on his again raising the ball to any portion 
of the rope, it remains stationary at that height until released by his 
command, when it instantly runs down. Other persons are invited 
to come forward, and to place the ball at any height they please, the 
ball again remaining stationary until released by the word of the 
operator, when it slowly descends, stopping, however, in its course, 
and remaining fixed whenever commanded by the performer to do so 



MODERN MAGIC. 



The secret lies in the fact that the hole in the ball is not made 
straight from end to end, but curved, with an angle or break to the 
middle. (See Fig. 133.) So long as the rope is slack, it mas through 
easily enough, but as soon as it is drawn taut, and thus forced into a 
Straight' line, it is clipped by the opposite angles a, b, and c, creating 
an amount of friction which would support a much greater weight 
than that of the ball. The performer has, therefore, only to draw 
the rope taut when he desires the ball to remain stationary, and to 
slacken when he de sir e s 
it to run down. 

There is another form 
of the Obedient Ball, 
designed for drawing- 
room use. The ball in 
this case is about two 
and a half inches in 
diameter, and tbe bore 
is straight, but tapering 
from a quarter of an 
inch at the one opening 
to about half an inch at 
the other. The coed 
used is a thin piece of 
whipcord, and the ball 
therefore runs qnite 
loosely upon it. There 
is, however, in this case 
an additional element in 
the apparatus, consist- 
ing of a little black wooden plug, about an inch in length, and 
tapering so as to fit midway in the bore of the ball. (See Fig. 133, 
in which a represents a nearly full-sized view of the plug in question.) 
The plug is bored after the manner of the large ball, the hole 
being of such a size as to just allow the cord to run through it. This 
plug is secretly threaded upon the cord before commencing the trick ; 
the cord, which in this case has a tassel instead of a knot at one end, 
being passed through it from the larger end. This plug is kept con- 




Fig. 133. 



Fio. 133. 



MODERN MAGIC. 303 

ceded hi the hand of the performer, the string being allowed to 
dangle down on each side of it. The ball is handed round for exa- 
mination, and, when returned, the cord is passed through it from the 
side which has the larger opening. The ball is then allowed to drop 
quickly to the fall extent of the cord. As it runs down, it encounters 
the plug, which is thereby placed in position within the ball, and both 
ran down together until stopped by the tassel. From this point the 
working of the trick is the same as with the larger ball. 



MODERN MAGIC 




zviixn hat jf Tsr-ctis 



CHAPTER XV. 

Hat Tmccs. 

c^^lbe ducted to those tW-i-^t;^ 
^prt Borrowed hats have been «edm 

^S^Tabeady described, but the part pM 
" of an incidental and subordinate character. 
^ d« tat is the principal article ^P 1 *^ 
ITt-cks are different modi6cauons of the sime 
rr ^ oction be a borrowed and *!■»* 
«.v« aac jc nnca Crocks, in siae and number much «» » 
a -sac jq» ias cucld n the natural way contain. One of the 

IN, Cvxn.x^lis « tb. HAT.-The earliest and «■!** 
x vo* ^ v*^ trick ^ limited to the production of a solid wooden g » 
*ac*.d ^ =eseo;>:e a cacnen-halL The introduction of the ball 
;V id« ^*dfected « tx-ilows: — The ball, which has a hole of a 
;*v tK^K?^ in iepth bv one in diameter bored in it towards its cen \, 
cv i^'accd on t!*e s*r-tun* of the performer's table in such manner 
.VV*e a6v^^va»etitioned shall slant upwards and outwards,*' 
*»*V ^ *bou* ^*\ To keep the ball steady, and to P^ 1 * \ 
'ss^i£ erf, some perforxners haw a slight circular hollow scoop* 
u t-v* M-t\*c* o* the servant** itself. A more convenient p^ 
V*oo. i* to use an uuiia^ubber ring (such as is given to ^ 
*x<.v»&\ XhU may be placed on any part of the servant * 
^i-tv^ * o*p.tal res* w bed for the ball. A bit of half-incb J*» 
%** yw *i*i* joiu*d so as to form a ring, will answer the safl* 



MODERN MAGIC. 305 

Wbea the performer desires to introduce the bill into the hit, 

which we will suppose to hare 

been borrowed for the purpose of 

some previous trick just completed, 

be takes the hat with his thumb out- 
tide and his ringers inside the brim, 

Kid holds it up with its mouth to*- > 

wards the spectators, so as to show 

indirectly that it is empty (see Fig. 

>54)- Carelessly lowering his hand, 

be brings the bat month downwards 

on the table, and, drawing it towards 

him, slips the second finger into the 

hole in the ball (are Fig. 135), when 

the mere action of crooking the 

finger brings the ball into the hat. 

He then, still holding the ball sup* 

parted by the finger, walks away F,a ,34> 

from the table towards the owner of the hat, with the apparent in- 
tention of returning it. 
Just before reaching 
him, however, he pre- 
tends to notice that it if 
somewhat heavy, and. 
looking into it, says, 
" Dear me, sir, there 
is something rather 
peculiar about this hat. 
Are you aware that 
there is something in 
it } " The owner natu- 
rally professes ignorance 
of the fact; and the 
performer, after keeping 
the audience in sus- 



F10.135. 



pease for a moment or 



tiro, turns the bat over, and lets the ball fall out upon the stage. 



304 MODERN MA GIC. 



CHAPTER XV, 

Hat Tricks. 

The present Chapter will be devoted to those tricks in which a hat 
plays a special or prominent part. Borrowed hats have been used in 
the course of many of the tricks already described, but the part played 
by the hat has been of an incidental and subordinate character. In 
the tricks next following the hat is the principal article employed. 

The majority of hat tricks are different modi 6 cations of the same 
broad idea, viz., the production from a borrowed and apparently 
empty hat of various articles, in size and number much exceeding 
what any hat could in the natural way contain. One of the best is 
that of 

The Cannon-balls in the Hat. — The earliest and simplest 
form of this trick is limited to the production of a solid wooden globe, 
blacked to resemble a cannon-ball. The introduction of the ball into 
the hat is effected as follows : — The ball, which has a hole of about 
two inches in depth by one in diameter bored in it towards its centre, 
is placed on the servante of the performer's table in such manner that 
the hole above-mentioned shall slant upwards and outwards, at an 
angle of about 45 °. To keep the ball steady, and to prevent its 
rolling off, some performers have a slight circular hollow scooped 
in the surface of the servante itself. A more convenient plan, 
however, is to use an india-rubber ring (such as is given to infants 
teething). This may be placed on any part of the servante, and 
makes a capital rest or bed for the ball. A bit of half-inch rope, 
with the ends joined so as to form a ring, will answer the same 
purpose. 



MODERN MAGIC. 305 

When the performer desires to introduce the ball into the bat, 

which we will suppose to have 

been borrowed for the purpose of 

some previous trick just completed, 

be takes the hat with his thumb out- 
side and his fingers inside the brim, 

and holds it up with its mouth to-- ' 

wards the spectators, so as to show 

indirectly that it 13 empty (see Fig. 

134). Carelessly lowering his hand, 

be brings the hat mouth downwards 

on the table, and, drawing it towards 

him, slips the second finger into the 

hole in the ball (me fig. 135), when 

the mere action of crooking the 

finger brings the ball into the hat. 

He then, still holding the ball sup- 
ported by the finger, walks away Flc ' ,3 + 

from the table towards the owner of the hat, with the apparent in- 
tention of returning it. 
Just before reaching 
him, however, he pre- 
tends to notice that it if 
somewhat heavy, and. 
; looking into it, says, 
J " Dear me, sir, there 
is something rather 
peculiar about this hat. 
Are you aware that 
there is something in 
it ? " The owner natu- 
rally professes ignorance 
of the fact; and the 
performer, after keeping 
the audience in sus- 
I3S " pense for a moment or 

two, turns the hat oyer, and lets the ball fall out upon the stage. 



306 MODERN MAGIC. 

The performer may in some degree heighten the effect of the 

trick by making it appear that the ball is wedged very tightly in the 

hat, as the difficulty of introducing it becomes thereby presumably the 

greater. This is managed by holding the hat with both hands, as 

shown in Fig. 136, when 

the extended finger-tips 

will prevent the ball 

from falling as long as 

may be desired, however 

much the hat may be 

shaken. 

The trick, as above 
described, is of verj 
short duration. In order 
to lengthen, and at the 
same time to diversify it, 
a second ball is some- 
times employed, of siini- 
Fic , 3f , 1" appearance, but of 



This second ball (see Figs. 137, 138, the latter representing a section 
of the ball) ts a strongly made hollow sphere of tin or zinc, with a 
circular opening of about three and a half inches across, closed by a 
sort of sliding door, a, also circular, working on two curved arms, 
b I, which move on two 
pivots, c c, at opposite sides 
of the ball on the inside. 
In this door is a hole an c 
inch in diameter, answer- 
ing the same purpose as 
the hole bored in the solid 
ball. Pios. 137, 138. 

The ball is filled before- 
hand with bonbons, small toys, or any other articles suitable for pro- 
duction. Thus " loaded," it is placed upon the servante, and intro- 
duced into the hat as above described. The performer goes through 
the ceremony of pretending to discover something in the hat, bnt does 



MODERN MAGIC. 307 

not, as in the last case, at once produce the ball. Slipping back the 
sliding door, he brings out, one by one, the articles contained in the 
hall, not hurriedly, but with deliberation, as he thereby produces the 
effect of greater quantity. Having emptied the ball, he again closes 
the circular slide, remarking that the hat is now quite empty. As a 
proof that it is so, he turns the hat mouth downwards as above 
directed, preventing the ball from falling with the tips of his fingers. 
Again he moves towards the owner, as if to return the hat, and again 
pretends to find something in it. This time, however, he does not 
allow the ball to fall on the ground, as, being hollow, it will not bear 
rough usage, but lifts it out with his left hand, taking care that the 
"door" side shall be downwards, next his palm. Observing that 
be will have the ball packed 
up for the owner of the hat 
to take home with him, he 
returns to his table, and places 
it thereon. As the ball was 
in his left hand, the right is 
still holding the hat, and this 
gives him the opportunity to Fig. 139. 

introduce the second (i.e., the 

solid) cannon-ball, which should be placed in readiness at the opposite 
corner of the sermmle. This also is produced in due course, and, being 
manifestly solid, naturally leads the audience to infer that the other 

What are known as "multiplying balls" are frequently used in 
conjunction with the cannon-balls- These are cloth-covered balls of 
about two and a half inches in diameter. In appearance they are 
solid, but in reality are mere outer coverings of cloth, kept distended 
by spiral skeletons of wire (see Fig. 139), and may be pressed 
quite flat, in which condition .they occupy an exceedingly small 
space, though they immediately regain their shape on being re- 
leased. A large number of these may be packed in the hollow 
cannon-ball, and when taken out, produce a pile extending far 
above the mouth of the hat, the cannon-ball lying hidden beneath. 

The hollow ball may also be filled with soft feathers, of which 




308 MODERN MAGIC. 

what will seem an incredible quantity when spread out may be com- 
pressed into a very small space. Feathers are, however, objectionable 
in a drawing-room, from the difficulty of collecting them from the 
carpet* 

Thb "Hundred Goblets" prom a Hat. — The goblets csed 
for this purpose are of polished tin, about four inches in depth, and 
made without ornament or projection of any kind. Being all of the 
same size, and slightly tapering, a large number of them may be fitted 
one within the other, and yet occupy little more space than a single 
one. The goblets thus packed are placed in a bag of black alpaca, 
just large enough to receive them, and concealed on the servante, or in 
one of the profondes of the performer. When it is desired to introduce 
them into the hat, they are grasped in either hand, the back of the 
hand being turned towards the audience, and thus covering them. 
The hand is now carelessly placed in the hat, as though to take some- 
thing out. Once introduced, the goblets are produced one by one, and 
placed mouth downward on the table, their number giving an appear- 
ance of bulk which seems to exclude the possibility of their having 
been all contained within so small a space. Two or three parcels of 
goblets may be introduced successively, and brought out one by one, 
with little difficulty. 

We may here mention a little expedient which will be found of 
great assistance where the performer desires to introduce into a hat a 
bundle of goblets (or any similar article) from either of his secret 
pockets. We will suppose that the article in question is in the right- 
hand profonde. Taking the empty hat in the opposite hand (the left), 
he stoops a little, and holding it down near the floor, with its month 
toward the company, gently moves it round and round in circles, 
gazing at it intently, as though anticipating some important result. 
This draws all eyes to the hat, and enables him to drop his right hand 
to the profonde, and bring out, under cover of the hand and wrist, the 
article to be introduced. Continuing the motion, he gradually brings 
the mouth of the hat Upwards, so that the company can no longer 
see into it, and suddenly plunges his right hand into it, as though 
merely to take out the article or articles which he, in fact, thereby 
introduces. This may be repeated from the profonde on the opposite 



MODERN MAGIC. 



side ; and thus two successive packets of articles may be produced 
without even going near the table. 

A Dozer Babies from a Hat. — Among the various objects 
available for production, may be enumerated 
dolls, of which a dozen, each eight or nine inches 
in height, may be produced from a borrowed hat. 
The dolls for this purpose are of coloured muslin, 
stretched over a framework or skeleton of spiral 
wire, after the fashion of the multiplying balls ( see 
Fig. 140), and may be compressed vertically to a 
thickness of about three -quarters of an inch. A 
dozen of them may be packed within the hollow 
cannon-ball, described above, resuming their 
shape as soon as they are released. 







The Maoic Reticules. — This is one of the 
most modem hat tricks. The reticules, which 
are of cardboard covered with leather, are, when expanded, as shown 
id Fig. 141. They are, however, constructed so as to fold into a very 
small compass, in manner following. 
The ends, a a, are only attached to 
I the reticule at their lower edges 
j (which form a kind of leather hinge), 
and may be folded inwards flat upon 
the bottom of the reticule, (See 
Fig. 14a.) The ends of the ribbon 
b, which forms the slingor handle of 
the reticule, run freely through two 
holes c c in the upper side of tbe 
reticule, and are attached to the ends 
a a at the points d d. The ends being 
folded down, as in Fig. 143, the reti- 
cule becomes a hollow oblong, open 
from end to end, as in Fig. 143. The 
angles, being made of soft leather, are flexible, and by pressing the 
sides in the direction indicated by the dotted lines (see Fig. 143), the 



Fig. 141. 



3"> 



MODERN MAGIC. 



reticule is brought into the condition shown in Fig. 144, and, 011 
being again folded, into that shown in Fig. 145, in which condition 

it is little larger than a 
end /I view pocket-book. Half-a-dozen 

reticules thus folded, and 
packed in a bag of black 
alpaca, or held together by 
an india-rubber ring, form a 
small and compact parcel, 
and are easily introduced 
into the hat The performer 
having got them out of the bag, has only to unfold each, so as to bring 
it into the condition shown in Fig. 144, when the mere act of lifting 




Fig. 142. 



Fig. 143. 





Fig. 144. 



Fig. 145. 



the reticule out of the bag by the ribbon b raises the sides and ends, 
and restores it to the shape shown in Fig. 141. 

The Drums from the Hat. — In this trick the performer gene- 
rally begins by producing from the hat a number of the multiplying 
balls described at page 307. He next produces a miniature drum, 
prettily ornamented, then another, then a third and a fourth, each being 
a shade larger than its predecessor, and the last of such a size as 
barely to be containable within the hat. 

With the reader's present knowledge, he will readily conjecture 
that the drums are so constructed as to fit one within the other, the 
multiplying balls being packed within the smallest of the four. One 
end of each drum is loose, and falls inwards upon the opposite end, 
upon which it lies flat, thus giving space for the introduction of 
another drum, a size smaller. Across the loose end, and parallel to 
it, is fixed a wire, forming a handle whereby the performer may lift 



MODERN MA GIC. JI I 

the drum oat of the hat, the act of doing so raising the end into its 
proper position, and a wire rim round the inside of each drum pre- 
venting the loose end being drawn out altogether. Each drum is 
taken out with the loose end upwards ; but the performer, in placing 
it on the table, turns it over, thus bringing the solid end up. In 
default of this precaution, the loose end would fall back again to 
its old position, and so betray the secret The drums are usually 
made oral, rather than round, as they are thus better suited to the 
shape of a hat. 

The Birdcages prom trb Hat.— Not content with cannon- 
balls, drums, and ladies' reticules, the public of the present day 
requires that birdcages and living birds should be produced from an 
empty bat. 

The birdcages used vary in their construction. Some are 
made to fit one within the other, after the fashion of the drums 



Fig. 146. Fio. 147. 

just described, save that the birdcages, unlike the drums, are lifted 
oat by the solid and not the loose ends, which fall down of their own 
accord. Those in most general use, however, are of the shape 
shown in fig. 146, and are alike in size, measuring about six inches 
in height, by five in breadth and depth. The bottom is made to 
slide upwards on the upright wires which form the sides. When 
it is desired to prepare the cage for use, a canary is first placed there- 



3» MODERN MAGIC. 

in, and the bottom is then poshed up as far as it will go (see Fig. I4?)> 
the sides, which work on hinges 
at aaaa, being folded one by 
one upon the bottom, the cage 
finally assuming the shape shown 
in Fig. 148. It is in this condition 
that the cages, generally three in 
number, are introduced into the 
— hat, either from the servanle at 

p K3 _ I4 g_ from inside the vest of the per- 

former 1 and in the act of lining 
out (which is done by the wire loop at top), the sides and bottom 
falling down, the cage again becomes as in Fig. 146. 

The Cam (or Pudding) ih thb Hat. — This is an old and 
favourite hat trick. The necessary apparatus consists of two parts- 
first, a round tin pan a (tee Fig. 149), four inches in depth, and 
tapering from fire inches at its greatest to four and a half inches it its 
smallest diameter. It is open at each end, but is 
divided into two parts by a horizontal partition at 
about two- thirds of itsdepth. Second, a larger tin 
t, japanned to taste, five and a half inches in depth, » 

and so shaped as to fit somewhat tightly over the 
smaller tin. In the larger end of the latter is 
placed a hot cake or pudding, and in this condi- 
tion it is placed on the servante of the table, pro- 
jecting a little over the edge. The performer 
borrows a hat, and in passing behind his table, 
tips cake and tin together into it. The chances £ 

are that the tin will fall small end upwards, 
(the opposite eud being the heaviest) ; but 
if not, the performer turns the tin, so as to 
bring it into that position. Placing the hat y ta _ , 4?i 

mouth upwards upon the table, he anoounces 
his intention of making a cake in it; for which purpose he takes 
one by one, and mixes in the tin b, a quantity of flour, raisins, 
eggs, sugar, and the other ingredients for a cake, adding water enough 



MODERN MAGIC. V3 



to make the mixture into a thick batter. This he poors into the hat, 
holding the tin with both hands, at first high above it, bat gradually 
bringing it lower and lower, till at last, as if draining the last drop of 
the mixture, he lowers the month of the tin right into the hat, and 
brings it well down over the smaller tin. On being again raised, it brings 
away within it the smaller tin and its liquid contents, the cake being 
left in the hat. He next proceeds to bake the cake, by moving the 
hat backwards and forwards at a short distance over the flame of a 
candle, and, after a sufficient interval, exhibits the result, which is cut 
op and handed round to the company for their approval. 

As the batter round the sides of b is apt to cause a to stick pretty 
tightly into it, a folding ring is generally fixed inside a, in order to 
facilitate its removal after the close of the trick. 

The Welsh Rabbit. — This is a trick of a comic character, and 
in the hands of a spirited performer is sure to be received with 
applause, particularly by the younger members of the audience. Its 
effect is as follows :— The performer brings in in one hand a sauce- 
pan, fancifully decorated, and in the other a plate, with bread, 
cheese, pepper, etc With these ingredients he proposes to make a 
Welsh Rabbit, and to give the audience, without extra charge, a lesson 
in cookery. Chopping the bread and cheese together in a burlesque 
fashion, and seasoning with pepper and salt to a degree which no 
palate short of a salamander's could possibly stand, he shovels all into 
the saucepan, and claps the lid on. For a moment he is at a loss for 
a tire, but this difficulty is quickly conquered. Borrowing a gentle- 
man's hat, and a lady's pocket-handkerchief, he requests permission 
to use them for the purpose of the experiment. This is readily 
accorded, but the respective owners look on with consternation when 
the performer proceeds to set fire to tbe handkerchief, and, dropping 
it still blazing into the hat, to cook the Welsh Rabbit by moving the 
saucepan to and fro over tbe flames. Having done this for a minute 
or two, he extinguishes the flames by lowering the saucepan for a 
moment into the hat. Then again removing it, and taking off the 
lid, he brings it forward to the company, and exhibits, not the expected 
Welsh Rabbit, or " rare-bit," but a genuine live rabbit, every vestige of 
the cheese and other ingredients having disappeared. 



314 



MODERN MAGIC. 



The secret of this ingenious trick lies mainly in the construction 
of the saucepan, which consists of four parts, designated in the 
diagram (Fig. i jo) by the letters a, b, c, and d; a is the lid, which has 
no speciality, save that the rim round it is rather deeper than usual; 
b is a shallow tray or lining, of the same depth as the lid, fitting 
easily within the top of the saucepan ; a, on the contrary, fits tightly 
within b ; c is the body of the saucepan, and has no speciality ; d is 
an outer sheet or covering, loosely fitting the lower part of the sauce- 
pan, and, like it, is japanned plain black, the upper part and lid being 
generally of an ornamental pattern. (For our own part, we much 

prefer either plain black or 
polished tin throughout, as 
savouring less of mechan- 
ism or preparation.) The 
presence or absence of d 
does not alter the general 
appearance of the saucepan, 
and cannot, therefore, be 
detected by the eye. It 
should be mentioned that 
d is so made, that between 
its bottom and the bottom 
of the saucepan is a space 
of about half an inch in 
depth, and in this space, 
before the apparatus is 
brought forward, is placed a Substitute handkerchief, sprinkled with 
a few drops of spirits of wine or eau de Cologne, to render it more 
inflammable $ within the saucepan is placed a small live rabbit, after 
which b is put in its place, and pressed down. 

The performer is now ready to begin the trick. He brings for- 
ward the saucepan, holding it as in Fig. 151, in which position the 
pressure of the first and second fingers on d prevents ft fall- 
ing off, as, being loose, it would otherwise do. Placing it on the 
table, he mixes the bread, cheese, etc., on the plate, and then pours all 
into the saucepan, where, of course, they fall into b. As b is com- 
patatweVy shallow, it is well to place the saucepan in some tolerahlj 




Fig. 15a 



MODERN MAGIC. 315 

elevated situation, 50 that the audience may not be able to see 
iato it, or they may perceive that the bread, etc, do not fall to the 
bottom. The lid is next placed on the saucepan. The hat and 
handkerchief are borrowed, the latter, which is to serve as fuel, being 
dropped into the bat. 
The performer, as if be- 
thinking himself of a 
possible difficulty, care- 
lessly remarks, " We 
mustn't have the stove 
too small for the sauce- 
pan}" and so saying;, 
lifts the latter, as shown 
in Fig. 151, and lowers 
it for a moment into the 
bat, as though testing 
their relative sizes. In 
that moment, however, 

he relates the pressure of FIG. 151. 

his ringers on d, and so 

leaves it within the hat, placing the saucepan on the table beside it. 
When he again takes out the (supposed) handkerchief, and sets light 
to it, it is, of course, the substitute that is actually burnt, the 
genuine handkerchief meanwhile remaining hidden beneath d in 
the crown. The effect of the flames rising from the hat, in which 
the audience cannot suppose any preparation, is very startling, and 
yet, unless the substitute handkerchief is unusually large, or the 
spirit has been applied with a too liberal hand, there is no real danger 
of injuring the hat. The performer moves about the saucepan above 
the blaze at such a distance as not to inconvenience the animal 
within, and, after a moment or two, brings the saucepan sharply down 
into the hat, for the ostensible purpose of extinguishing the flames, 
but in again lifting it out he brings with it d, and places all together 
on the table. Nothing is now left in the hat but the borrowed hand- 
kerchief, which may be restored in any manner which the performer's 
fancy may suggest. When the lid of the saucepan is removed, as it 
fits more tightly within 6 than the latter fits within the saucepan, it 



316 MODERN MAGIC. 

naturally carries b with it, thus causing the disappearance of the bread, 
cheese, etc., and revealing in its place the live rabbit. 

Some fun may be created by selecting beforehand an assistant 
from the juvenile portion of the audience, and dressing him up with 
a pocket-handkerchief round his head, and another by way of apron, 
to act as assistant cook. 

A guinea-pig or small kitten may be substituted for the rabbit, 
the performer accounting for the wrong animal being produced bj 
supposing that he must have made some mistake in mining the 
ingredients. 



MODERN MAGIC. 317 



CHAPTER XVL 

Miscellaneous Tricks. 

Uvdsr this head we propose to describe such tricks as do not come 
within other of the preceding categories. We shall make no attempt 
at classifying them, save that we shall, as far as practicable, describe 
the best known and simplest feats first, and thence proceed to the 
more complicated. Stage tricks, i.e., tricks adapted to the stage 
only, will be treated in the Chapter next following. We will begin 
with 

The Cut String Restored.— This is a trick of such venerable 
antiquity, that we should not have ventured to allude to it, were it 
not that the mode of working which we are about to describe, though 
old in principle, is new in detail, and much superior in neatness to 
the generally known methods. 

After having offered the string, which should be about four 
feet in length, for examination, the performer takes the ends (point- 
ing upwards) between the first and second finger and thumb of the 
left hand, and the first finger and thumb of the right hand, letting 
the remainder of the string hang down in a loop between them. Now 
bringing the right hand close to the left, he draws that portion of the 
string which is held in the right hand towards himself between the 
first and second fingers of the left hand (thus crossing at right angles 
that end of the cord which is held in the left hand), continuing to 
pull until half the length of the string has passed the left hand, and 
at the same time slipping the third finger of the left hand between 
the two parts of the string, which will thus be as shown in Fig. 152, 
iu which, for convenience of reference, the three lines in which the 



3 i8 



MODERN MAGIC. 



string now hangs arc marked a, b, and c, and one-half of the string 
is shown black, and the other half white, though of coarse there 
would be no such difference of colour in the original.* The 
first finger and thumb of 
the right hand, still re. 
taining the end which 
they already hold, seine 
the portion £ at the point 
marked with that letter, 
the third finger of the 
left hand at the same 
time drawing back the 
portion a towards the 
palm of the hand. The 
string will thus be 
brought into the position 
Fro. Isa . shown in Figs. 153 and 

154, (in the latter of 
which, for the sake of clearness, the thumbs are made transparent}, 
the part now held horizontally between the two hands, which appears 
to be the middle of the string, really being only the immediate con- 
tinuation of the end 
held in the left hand. 
The whole operation 
of arranging the string 
in proper position, 
though tedious to de- 
scribe, does not take 
half a second in prac- 




The performer next 
requests some person 
to cut the string, thus 
arranged, in half, and this being (apparently) done, he transfers the 



F10. 153. 



MODERN MAGIC 



319 



string altogether to the right hand, keeping the point of junction of 
the crossed pieces hidden between the finger and thumb. (See Fig. 
155.) He now gives either end to some one to hold, and, placing his 
open left hand near to the end thus held, winds the string rapidly round 
it, sliding off as he loes so the short piece, which, as soon as it is 
clear of the longer portion, he presses with his thumb between the 
second and third fingers of the same hand. On again unwinding the 
string from the left band, it is found apparently whole as at first. 

The principle of the trick being very generally known, you 
will frequently find some one of the audience proclaim his acquaint- 
ance with it, and declare that you have merely cut a short piece off 
the end of the string. " Pardon me," you reply, " my dear sir $ 
that method of performing the trick has long since been exploded. 






Fig. 154. 



Fio. 155. 



Fig. 156. 



I will at once show you that I do not make use of any such 
shabby expedient. Of course, if a piece was, as you suggest, 
cat off the end, the string would be that much shorter after 
the operation. Will some one be kind enough to measure it?" 
While this is being done, you secretly double in a loop the little 
piece which was cut off on the former occasion, and which has 
still remained in your right hand. When the string is returned 
to you, you double it in half, and allow it to hang down between 
the first finger and thumb of the right hand, drawing up imme- 
diately above it the little loop you have just formed. (See Fig. 
1 56.) You now ask some one again to cut the string, which he 
apparently does, in reality merely dividing the little loop. You go 
through any magical gesticulations you please, and ultimately again 
conceal the cut ends between the fingers, and produce the string 



320 MODERN MAGIC. 



once more restored. On being measured, it is found to hare lost 
nothing of its length. 

The trick in this second form being performed by wholly different 
means, the repetition will puzzle even those who knew, or believed 
they knew, the modus operandi in the first case. 

Mt Grandmother s Nbcklacb. — The trick which bears this 
title is also a very old one, but is little known in the improved form 
we are about to describe. In its older shape it is performed with 
three perforated wooden balls or beads, threaded on a couple of tapes, 
whose ends are held securely by two of the spectators. The problem 
is to detach the beads without breaking the tapes, and this is effected 
as follows : — The tapes, which should be from four to six feet in 
length, are beforehand doubled in the middle, and slightly joined at 
the bend of each with fine cotton or silk of the same colour. The 
tapes are thus really middle to middle, though to a casual observer 
they appear to be merely laid side by side. The performer comes 
forward with the tapes, thus prepared, thrown over his left arm (tak- 
ing care that the point of junction shall be on the side towards his 
body, and therefore concealed), and with the beads in his hands. 
These latter, which are mere wooden baJIs, from one to two inches 
in diameter, perforated so as to freely admit the tapes, he hands for 
examination. When they are returned, he threads them one after 
another upon the tapes, holding the latter in a loop, so that the balls 
may sink down to the middle, and so cover the point of junction. 

He next requests two of 
the company to come 
forward and hold the 
tapes, and hands two 
ends to the one and two 
FlG l57 to the other. Each per- 

son believes that he holds 
one end of each tape, though, in reality, each has both ends of the 
same tape. The performer now takes from each one of the ends 
which he holds, and crossing the tapes in the manner shown in Fig* 
157, gives to each the end which the other previously held. Hold* 
ing a hat below the balls, he requests each person to pull smartly at the 




MODERN MAGIC. 321 



wotd " three. 9 * The word of command is given, " One, two, Three ! f * 
and the thread breaking, the balls fall into the hat, though the ends 
of the tapes still remain in the hands of the holders. 

The improvement to which we have alluded consists in the use of 
at balls, three red and three black. The red balls having been first 
threaded on the tapes, and the two ends having been crossed and 
returned to the holders in manner already described, the black balls 
are in turn threaded on the tapes at either end, and the performer, 
holding the hat beneath, and addressing one of the persons who 
bold the tapes, says, " Which will you have, sir, the red balls or the 
black?'* Whichever the answer, the result is the same, for the 
red balls only can come off the tapes, the black remaining still upon 
them ; but in either case the performer is able to satisfy the choice 
which has been made. If the red balls have been chosen, he says on 
their falling, " You chose the red, I think. You see that your com- 
mands are at once obeyed. v If, on the other hand, the black are 
chosen, the performer says, "You prefer the black? Then / will 
take the red/* which he does accordingly. The audience, having 
heard the choice freely offered, and not being aware of the subterfuge 
by which the implied undertaking is fulfilled, naturally believe that the 
performer was able to take off or leave on the tape whichever group of 
balls he pleased. 

The " Bonus Genius," or Vanishing Doll. — While upon the 
subject of old-fashioned tricks, we may briefly notice that known 
under the name of the Bonus Genius, which has puzzled many 
generations of our forefathers, and, though now rarely exhibited 
by professional performers, is still a great favourite with juvenile 
audiences. The Bonus Genius is a little wooden figure of a man, 
four to six inches in height, and more or less grotesque in colour and 
design. A little cloak, made small above and full below, like the 
skirt of a doll's dress, and with no opening save where the head of 
the figure passes through, completes the apparatus. There are, how- 
ever; two points about the doll and his cloak which are unknown to 
the spectators. First, the head of the doll is moveable, a wooden peg 
forming the neck, and fitting, somewhat tightly, into a corresponding 
hole in the body ; secondly, there is stitched on the inside of the 

21 



322 MODERN MAGIC. 

cloak, just below the opening for the neck, a little pocket, of the 
description known among tailors as a " patch " pocket, and of sock a 
size as to contain the head easily. The performer, holding op the 
figure, and introducing it to the company as his flying messenger, 
warranted to outstrip the electric telegraph, covers it with the cloak, 
so that nothing but the head is seen. Grasping the figure under the 
cloak with his right hand, the performer holds a burlesque conversa- 
tion with him, finally entrusting him with a message to be imme- 
diately delivered to the President of the United States, the Shah, or 
any other individual at a distance. The figure does not move. 
" Well, sir, are you not going ? " asks the performer. The figure 
shakes his head from side to side, an effect easily produced by turning 
the body backwards and forwards under the cloak. " You won't, eh ? 
Why not, I should like to know ? Oh ! I see what you mean. 
I haven't given you your travelling expenses." As he says the last 
words, he grasps the figure and cloak from the outside round the 
neck with the left hand, and draws away the right from beneath tot 
cloak, secretly carrying with it the body, and putting his hand in 
his pocket, as though in search of money. He leaves the body of 
the figure in his pocket, and brings out the hand again empty, but in 
the position of holding a coin between the finger and thumb. 
u There, sir," he says, "there is a shilling for you/* making the 
gesture of giving it " You don't see the coin, ladies and gentle- 
men ; but the fact is, what I have just given him is fairy money ; the 
weight of the ordinary coinage would interfere with the rapidity of 
his flight. Now, sir, make haste; you have nothing to wait for 
now." 

The performer has, meanwhile, again put the right hand under 
the cloak, and with two fingers holds the little pocket open for the 
reception of the head. As he says the last words, he gives the 
head a sharp downward rap with the fingers of the left hand, and lets 
it fall into the little pocket, the effect being as if the figure had sud- 
denly vanished. The performer shakes the cloak, and turns it inside 
out to show that it is empty, taking care always to grasp it by that 
part which contains the head, when all other portions of the cloak 
may be shown freely ; and as the audience are not aware that the 
figure is divisible, and supposing it to be indivisible, it would be 



MODERN MAGIC. 323 

clearly much too large to be concealed in the closed hand, there is 
nothing to lead them to guess the secret. If it is desired to make 
the doll reappear, the head is poshed up again through the opening 
of the cloak, the hand beneath supporting it by the peg which forms 
the neck, and it may thus be made to vanish and return any number 
of times. 

With tolerable skill in " palming," the little pocket may be dis- 
pensed with, the head being simply held in the hand. ' This mode of 
working is, in our own opinion, to be preferred, as the cloak may then 
be handed for examination without giving even the in6nitesimal clue 
which the pocket might suggest. Some performers, to still further 
hoodwink the spectators, make use of two figures — the first, which is 
handed round for inspection, being solid, and being afterwards secretly 
changed for its counterpart with the moveable head. Others again 
use only one figure, which is solid throughout, but are provided with 
a separate head (whose existence is, of course, not suspected by the 
spectators), and having handed round the solid figure for examination, 
conceal this, and work the trick with the head only. 

The Dancing Sailor. — The Dancing Sailor is a figure cut out 
of cardboard, eight or nine inches in height, and with its arms and 
legs cut out separately, and attached to the trunk with thread in such 
a manner as to hang perfectly free. The mode of exhibiting it is as 
follows : — The performer, taking a seat facing the company, with his 
legs slightly apart, places the figure on the ground between them. 
As might be expected, it falls flat and lifeless, but after a few mes- 
meric passes it is induced to stand upright, though without visible 
support, and on a lively piece of music being played, dances to it, 
keeping time, and ceasing as soon as the music ceases. 

The secret lies in the fact that, from leg to leg of the performer, 
at about the height of the figure from the ground, is fixed (generally 
by means of a couple of bent pins), a fine black silk thread, of eighteen 
or twenty inches in length. This allows him to move about without 
any hindrance* On each side of the head of the figure is a little 
slanting cut, tending in a perpendicular direction, and about half an 
inch in length. The divided portions of the card-board are bent back 
a little, thus farming two "hooks," so to speak, at the sides of the 



3H MODERN MAGIC. 

bead. When the performer takes his seat as before mentioned, tbt 
separation of his legs draws the silk comparatively taut, though, against 
a moderately dark background, it re- 
mains wholly invisible. When he first 
places the figure on the ground, he does 
so simply, and the figure naturally falls. 
He makes a few sham mesmeric passfs 
over it, but still it falls. At the third 
or fourth attempt, however, he places 
_ _ it so that the little hooks already men- 

tioned just catch the thread («e Fig. 
158, showing the arrangement of the head), and the figure is thus 
kept upright. When the music commences, the smallest motion, or 
pretence of keeping time with the feet, is enough to start the sailor 
in a vigorous hornpipe. 

The Bottle Imps. — These are miniature black bottles, about 
two inches in height, with rounded bottoms, and so weighted that, 
like "tumbler" dolls, they rise of their own accord to the perpen- 
dicular, and will not rest in any other position. The proprietor, bon-- 
ever, has a charm by which he is able to conquer their obstinate 
uprightness. For him, and for him only, they will consent to be laid 
down, and even to stand at an angle of 45°, though they again rebel 
if any other person attempts to make them do the same. 

The little bottles are made of papier machi, or some other my 
light material, varnished black, the bottom of each being a half bullet, 
spherical side downwards. The centre of gravity is therefore at the 
bottom of the bottle, which is thus compelled always to stand up- 
right. The performer, however, is provided with one or two littk 
pieces of iron wire, of such a size and length as just to slip easily into 
the bottle. One of these being held concealed between thefingeraad 
thumb, it is a very easy matter, in picking up the bottle, to slip it 
in, and this slight additional weight neutralizing the effect of the 
half bullet at the foot, causes the bottle to lie still in any position. 
Having shown that the bottle is obedient to the word of comnund, 
the performer again picks it up with the neck between the firstind 
second fingers and thumb, carelessly turning it bottom upwards, and 



MODERN MAGIC. 3*5 



thus allowing the bit of wire to slip out again into the palm of his 
hand, when he is able to again tender the bottle for experiment. 
Partaking of the nature" of a puzzle as well as a conjuring trick, this 
little toy has amused thousands, and if neatly manipulated, may be 
repeatedly exhibited, even before the same spectators, with little fear 
of detection. 

The Vanishing Gloves.— This is a capital trick with which to 
commence an entertainment ; when coming, as it should do, unan- 
nounced, and before the performance proper has commenced, it has 
an air of improvisation which greatly enhances its effect, and at once 
awakens the attention of the audience. 

The performer comes forward in full evening dress. While saying 
a few words by way of introduction to his entertainment, he begins 
to take off his gloves, commencing with that on his right hand. As 
soon as it is fairly off, he takes it in the right hand, waves the hand 
with a careless gesture, and the glove is gone. He begins to take off 
the other, walking as he does so behind his table, whereon his wand 
is laid. The left hand glove being removed, is rolled up into a ball, 
and transferred from the right hand to the left, which is immediately 
closed. The right hand picks up the wand, and with it touches the 
left, which being slowly opened, the second glove is found to have 
also disappeared. 

The disappearance of the first glove is effected by means of a 
piece of cord elastic, attached to the back of the waistcoat, and thence 
passing down the sleeve. This should be of such a length as to 
allow the glove to be drawn down and put on the hand, and yet to 
pull it smartly up the sleeve and out of sight when released. It is 
desirable to have a hem round the wrist of the glove, and to pass 
the elastic through this like the cord of a bag, as it thereby draws 
the wrist portion of the glove together, and causes it to offer less 
hindrance to its passage up the sleeve. Upon taking off the glove, 
the performer retains it in his hand, and lets it go when he pleases. 
He must, however, take care to straighten his arm before letting it 
slip, as otherwise the elastic will remain comparatively slack, and the 
glove will, instead of disappearing with a flash, dangle ignominiously 
from the coat-cuff. 



326 MODERN MAGIC. 

The left hand glove is got rid of by palming. The performer, 
standing behind his table as already mentioned, rolling the glove be- 
tween his hands, and quickly twisting the fingers inside, so as to bring 
it into more manageable form, pretends to place it in his left hand, 
but really palms it in his right. He now lowers the right hand to 
pick up his wand, and as the hand reaches the table, drops the 
glove on the servante. He now touches the left hand with the wand, 
in due course opening the hand and showing that the glove has 
departed. 

Some performers vanish both gloves by means of elastic, one up 
the right sleeve, the other up the left, but in doing so they offend 
against one of the cardinal precepts of the art, viz., never to perform 
the same trick twice in succession by the same means. The audience 
having seen the manner of the first disappearance, are all on the alert, 
and are not unlikely on the second occasion to guess the means 
employed. If, on the other hand, the performer adopts the plan indi- 
cated above, the two modes of producing the effect being different, 
each renders it more difficult to discover the secret of the other. 

Tbe Egg-Bag. — TLis is a very old-fashioned trick, but, if per- 
formed with address, is by no means ineffective. It was exhibited in 
a modified form by the Japanese jugglers who visited London a few 
years ago. We shall first describe it in the simple form adopted by 
them, and shall then proceed to explain the older and more elaborate 
version. 

The Japanese egg-bag is about eight inches in depth and six in 
breadth, and made of alpaca, tammy, or some similar opaque 
material. Its only peculiarity is that one of its sides is double, the 
stuff being folded down inwards from the mouth of the bag to about 
two-thirds of its depth, and stitched at the sides, but left open at its 
lower edge. The effect of this arrangement is to make a sort of 
pocket, mouth downwards, inside the bag. If any small article, such 
as an egg, be placed within the bag, and the bag be turned upside 
down, the article will not fall out, but will fall into the pocket, 
which, in the reversed position of the bag, will be mouth up- 
wards. This will enable you to conceal the presence of any article 
in the bag, as you may turn it upside down, and even inside out, 



MODERN MAGIC. 317 



without any fear of the article falling 5 and so long as you take care 
to keep the " pocket " side of the bag towards yourself, the spectators 
hare not the least reason for suspecting that the bag is otherwise than 
empty. The uses to which this little bag may be put are various* 
Amongst others, it is available either to produce or cause the dis- ' 
appearance of an egg, and may thus, in combination with other 
apparatus, be made useful for many tricks. We shall content our- 
selves with describing one only of the modes of using it. 

The performer comes forward, having in his hand the bag, in 
which is beforehand placed a small egg. He turns the bag upside 
down and inside out, thus proving, to all appearance, that it is per- 
fectly empty. Holding the bag for a moment with his teeth, he pulls 
back his coat cuffs, to prove that he has nothing concealed in that 
quarter, taking care as he does so to show clearly that his hands are 
empty. Taking the bag in his left hand, and imitating (if he can) 
the clucking of a hen, he dips his right hand into it, and produces an 
egg (or rather the egg). This he places in his mouth, letting all see 
that he does so, then making a gesture of swallowing, he again dips 
his hand in the bag, and produces a second egg, of which he disposes 
in the same way, repeating the operation until a dozen or more have 
been apparently produced and swallowed. With the reader's present 
knowledge, it is hardly necessary to suggest to him that the egg, 
though fairly placed in the mouth, is, under cover of the hand, in- 
stantly pushed out again with the tongue, and palmed, rendering it a 
very simple matter to produce (apparently) another egg from the bag. 
Although so absurdly simple, the trick is effective, and if neatly per- 
formed, produces a complete illusion. 

The bag which is more generally known as the "egg-bag " is a much 
larger affair, measuring eighteen to twenty inches in width, by four- 
teen or fifteen in depth. In its most approved form, one side of the 
bag is made double, the double side being stitched all round, save for 
about four inches at one corner of the bottom of the bag. The little 
opening thus left affords therefore the sole access to the space between 
the double sides. Between these double sides, and immediately below 
their upper edge, is stitched a broad band, with a row of a dozen 
or more little pockets, each capable of holding an egg, end up- 
wards. Each pocket covers about two-thirds of the egg, which is 



3*8 MODERN MAGIC. 



prevented from falling out spontaneously by a little piece of elastic 
round the edge of the pocket, though it will slip out and fall into the 
space between the double sides on the slightest pressure being applied 
to it. 

The bag is prepared for use by placing an egg in each of the little 
pockets we have mentioned. The eggs used are either blown shells 
or imitation eggs of wood or tin, with one real one for the performer 
to break as a specimen, and so lead the audience to the belief that 
all are equally genuine. The bag being brought forward is turned 
upside down — of course nothing falling from it. The performer 
then, thrusting his arms down to the bottom, and seizing the bag by 
the corners inside, turns it inside out, taking care, however, to keep 
the double side towards himself. Having thus conclusively proved 
its emptiness, he again brings back the bag to its normal condition, 
and in the act of doing so, squeezes with his finger and thumb 
(through the stuff) the genuine egg out of its pocket. It falls into 
the space between the double sides, and by gently sloping the bag 
downwards in the direction of the opening at the corner, he brings 
the egg into the outer bag, whence he produces it, and breaks H to 
show its genuineness, as already mentioned. Again he turns the bag 
inside out, shaking and twisting it, and again produces an egg from 
it as before, repeating the operation until the supply of eggs is ex- 
hausted. Sometimes he varies his proceedings by trampling «or 
jumping on the bag, which he lays for that purpose on the floor, with 
its lower edge towards the audience. The eggs are thus on the side 
remote from the spectators, and in trampling on the bag it is very 
easy for the performer to avoid the particular line in which he knows 
them to be. 

It was formerly the fashion, after bringing out a number of eggs 
as above described, to finish by producing the hen which is supposed 
to have laid them. This was done by an adroit exchange of the tag 
just used for another containing a hen, hung in readiness behind a 
chair, or some other convenient cover. This latter bag having no 
double side, or other preparation, might safely be abandoned to the 
inspection of the most curious spectator. Where it is not intended 
to produce the bird, it will still be well to have the second bag, so as 
to be able to make an exchange, and to hand the bag for inspection. 



MODERN MAGIC. 3*9 



It is a great improvement to the egg-bag to have the lower portion, 
saj the last three inches of its depth, made of network, so that the 
spectators can at once see each egg as it falls to the bottom of the 
bag. It is hardly necessary to observe that in this case the inner 
lining of the doable side mast terminate where the network com- 



To Produce Eggs from a Person's Mouth. — While upon 
the subject of eggs, we may notice this, though it has always appeared 
to as a rather disagreeable trick. It is rarely exhibited as a separate 
feat, but generally as a prelude to some other illusion, for the perform- 
ance of which three or four eggs are necessary. 

The performer, requiring eggs, sends his assistant to fetch a plate. 
On his return, he places him, holding the plate with both hands in 
front of him, facing the company. The performer standing beside 
him, and gently patting him on the head, an egg is seen to appear 
between his lips. This is taken from him, and placed on the 
plate. The performer, passing behind him, now stands on his 
other side, and again patting his head, another egg is produced in like 
manner. This is repeated until the requisite number of eggs is pro- 
cured, the assistant, as each fresh one is produced, simulating increas- 
ing difficulty, as though the eggs were forced up from the stomach 
by a powerful muscular effort. 

This effect is produced as follows : We will suppose that five eggs 
are to be produced. One is placed beforehand in the mouth of the 
assistant, and four more are placed in the pochettes, or tucked 
under the waistband of the performer, two on each side. Having 
placed his assistant in position, the performer secretly takes one of 
these latter into his right hand, and palms it* Patting the assistant 
on the head with his left hand, he waits until the egg appears between 
the teeth, and immediately on its appearance, raises his right hand as 
if to receive it, thus bringing up the palmed egg opposite the mouth, 
while the egg that is already in the mouth slips back, under cover of 
the hand, out of sight. The palmed egg is laid on the plate, and the 
performer, in the act of passing behind his assistant, palms a second egg 
in his left hand. The same pantomime is again gone through, save that 
in this case the right hand pats the head, and the left hand is held to 



33Q MODERN MAGIC. 

the month to receive the egg. After four eggs have been produced in 
this manner, the fifth, which has been all along in the month, is pro- 
duced apparently in like manner, but the performer takes care thai io 
this instance it shall be seen beyond a doubt that the egg really does 
come from the mouth ; which being manifestly the case in this in- 
stance, the audience are pretty sure to jump to the conclusion that all 
were produced in an equally bon&fide manner. 

The Pillars or Solomon, and ths Magic Bradawl.— 
There is a very old-fashioned apparatus, sometimes called the Pillars 
of Solomon, for apparently uniting a piece of cut string. It consists 
of two slips of wood, each about four inches in length by five-eighths 
of an inch square, laid 
side by side. At about 
an inch from one end of 
each, a transverse hole 
is bored, and through 
this, passing through 
both slips, a string is 
passed, and may be 
drawn backwards and 
Flo. ij» Fig. .6a forwards from side to 

side. (Set Kg. ijo.) 
The apparatus having been shown in this condition, the performer 
passes a knife between the two slips, thus apparently dividing the 
string} but the string is notwithstanding still drawn backward and 
forwards through the holes, as sound as ever. 

The secret lies in the fact that the string does not, in realitr, 
go straight through the two slips of wood from side to side. A 
glance at Pig. 160 will enlighten the reader as to its real course, la- 
stead of passing straight through froma tod, as it appears to do when 
the two pillars are laid side by side (which is the condition in which 
they are first exhibited to the spectators), it passes down the length 
of the first pillar from a to b, out at b, and into the second pillar at c, 
whence it passes upwards, and emerges at d. The passing of the 
knife between the two points a and d does not therefore affect the 
string in the least. 




MODERN MAGIC. 



33* 



It is obvious that in this form of the apparatus the two pillars, 
being joined by the cords at the points b c, cannot be completely 
separated, and the fact of their always being kept close together at the 
lower end is quite sufficient to betray to an acute observer the prin- 
ciple of the trick. There is, however, an improved form of the same 
apparatus, in which, after the apparent cutting of the cord, the two 
pillars are held wide apart, one in each hand of the performer, and 
yet, when they are again placed side by side, the string runs back- 
wards and forwards merrily as ever. The pillars are, in this instance, 
of the form shown in Fig. 161. They are about six inches in length, 
of light and elegant shape, having at each end a ball or knob of about 
an inch and a quarter in diameter, flattened on one face to allow of 
the pillars being laid closely side by side. The cord, as in the former 
case, passes down the 
first pillar from a to 
£,but instead of pass- 
ing out at b, it is 
rolled round a little 
pulley working in the 
lower knob of that 
pillar. (See Fig. 162, 
which gives a sec- 
tional view of the 
lower portion of each 
pillar.) A similar 
cord is passed down from d in the second pillar to c, and is there 
rolled round a second pulley, but in the opposite direction to that of 
the first cord 3 so that, if both pulleys move in the same direction, 
the cord on the one will be wound, and the cord on the other un- 
bound. Each pulley is of one piece with its axis, the axis of the 
one terminating in a little square tenon or nut, and that of the other 
m a corresponding mortice or hollow, so that when the two pillars 
are placed side by side, their axes fit the one into the other, and which- 
ever of the two pulleys is set in motion, the like movement is com- 
municated to the other. The effect of this is as follows : If the 
cord at a be pulled, it unwinds that portion of the cord which is 
wound on the pulley at b, and by the same movement winds up 






Fig. 161. 



Fig. 162. 



33* MODERN MAGIC. 

the cord on the other pulley; and vice versd. We have omitted 
to mention that there is glued into a little hole on the flat side of each 
of the upper knobs, exactly opposite the points a and b, a very 
minute piece, say an eighth of an inch in length, of similar cord ; 
these greatly heightening the appearance of reality upon the apparent 
cutting of the cord. 

The pillars are brought forward side by side, the nut of the one 
pulley fitting strictly into the hollow of the other. The performer 
shows, by drawing the cord backwards and forwards, that it fairly 
traverses the two pillars from side to side. Taking a knife, he passes 
it between the two pillars, and to all appearance cuts the cord, imme- 
diately taking the pillars one in each hand, and showing the cut ends 
(really the short bits on the inside) to prove that it is fairly cut 
through. Again bringing the pillars together, taking care that the 
mortice and the nut correspond as before, he commands the cord 
to be restored, and again pulls it backwards and forwards as at 
first. 

Some little fun may be created by placing the upper knobs of the 
pillars pincer-fashion, one on each side of a person's nose, the cord 
being thus apparently made to run right through the nose. An air of 
greater probability may be given to this curious effect by first piercing 
the nose with the magic bradawl. This is in appearance an ordinary 
bradawl, but the blade is so arranged as to recede into the handle on 
the slightest pressure, again reappearing (being, in fact, forced for- 
ward by a spiral spring in the handle) as soon as the pressure is 
removed. A duplicate bradawl of ordinary make is first handed 
round for examination, and the trick bradawl being adroitly substi- 
tuted, the performer proceeds therewith to bore a hole through the 
nose of any juvenile volunteer who will submit to the operation. 
Holding a piece of cork on one side of the nose, he apparently throsts 
the awl through the nose, the sinking of the blade into the handle 
exactly simulating the effect of a genuine perforation. (Some per- 
formers make use of a sponge moistened with some liquid resembling 
blood, which by a little pressure is made to trickle down from the 
imaginary wound ; but this is a piece of realism which we think is 
better omitted.) The nose being thus apparently pierced, the 
imagination of the spectators is in a measure prepared to accept the 



MODERN MAGIC. 333 

phenomenon of the restored cord running through it as already 
described. 

The Magic Coffers. — These are round tin boxes, japanned to 
taste, and made generally about five inches in depth by three in dia- 
meter, though they are sometimes larger. {Set Fig. 163.) The only 
speciality about them is a moveable portion a, which may either be 
removed with the lid or left upon the boi, according as the lid is 
lifted with or without lateral pressure. This moveable portion is 
bottomed with a grating of parallel wires, an eighth of an inch apart. 
The coffers ate generally worked in pairs, the effect produced by them 
being the apparent transmission of the contents of the one to the 
other, aud vice vend. They may be worked with various articles. 
For our present purpose we will suppose that the performer desires to 
change white haricot beans to coffee-berries, both of which suit 
the apparatus very well. He beforehand fills the one coffer with 
beans, and the moveable compartment belonging to it with coffee- 
berries, doing exactly the reverse as to the 
second coffer. The coffers are now brought 
forward, and the performer, removing the 
lids (with the moveable compartments), allows 
the spectators to satisfy themselves that 
each coffer is full to the bottom, and that 
the contents are nothing more or less than 
what they appear to be. This being estab- 
lished, he returns to his table, and again puts 
the lids on the coffers, taking care that that 
which contains the beans shall be placed on 
the coffer containing the coffee-berries, and 
iia vend. He now requests two of the 
younger spectators to step forward, and assist fig. 163. 

him with the trick. A couple of volunteers 

having been procured, they are made to salute the audience, and are 
then seated upon chairs at each side of the stage, each being entrusted 
with one of the coffers, which, that all may see, they are requested to 
hold with both hands above their heads. The performer, standing 
between them, says, " Now, young gentlemen, I must caution you to 



334 MODERN MAOFC. 

hold tight, or the electrical forces which are rapidly generating in 
these magic coffers will carry them clean away, and possibly you 
along with them. Now, first please tell me, just to start fair, which 
coffer is it that you have got, sir, the one with the beans, or the one 
with the coffee-berries ? " The chances are ten to one against the 
extempore assistants remembering which was which, and the majority 
of the audience will be equally uncertain. The professor pretends 
surprise and disappointment. " Ladies and gentlemen, you cannot 
possibly appreciate the beauty of these philosophical experiments 
unless you follow them carefully from the commencement. I will 
open the coffers once more." So saying, he opens first the one coffer 
and then the other, taking care, however, to lift the lids only, so that 
the one which really contains the coffee-berries shows the lajer of 
beans, and that which contains the beans the layer of coffee-berries. 
In each case he takes up a handful, and lets them flow back from his 
hand into the coffer, the better to impress upon the audionce the con- 
tents of each, finally placing a bean in the hands of the youth who 
holds the supposed coffer of beans, and a berry in the hands of the 
holder of the supposed coffee-berries. Again closing the lids, he 
requests the person holding the bean to throw it into the closed coffer 
held by the other. The juvenile, looking foolish, replies that it can't 
be done ; and a similar reply is received from the youth holding the 
other coffer. The performer, addressing the company, asks some one 
else to make the attempt, but equally without success. He continues, 
" Gentlemen, among this large and brilliant audience not one person 
can be found who will undertake to throw this little bean into one of 
those coffers. Imagine, then, the difficulty of passing the whole of 
the beans which this coffer contains into the other, not dropping even 
one on the way, and at the same moment transferring the whole of 
the berries in this coffer into that which, a moment before, was fall 
to the brim with the beans. But it must be done. Young gentlemen, 
will you be kind enough to repeat with me, One, two, three ! At the 
word •' three," by the way, you had better close your eyes, or they 
might possibly be injured by the shower of beans and berries. Are yon 
ready, Mr. Beans ? Are you ready, Mr. Berries ? Now, then, One! 
two ! three ! ! / Did you feel them pass ? I hope they did not hart 
you. Now let us once more open the coffers. I have kept my 



MODERN MAGIC. 335 



word, you see — Mr. Beans has the coffee-berries, and Mr/ Berries 
has the beans. Will you please step forward, and show the company 
that the coffers are, as at first, full to the very bottom."- The lids, 
containing the moveable compartments, he meanwhile places care- 
lessly upon his table. 

Some performers make the change more than once, and it is 
obvious that the contents of the coffers may be made to apparently 
change places any number of times. If this is done, however, the 
secret of the false tops is apt to be suspected ; whereas, in the 
method above described, the audience have, as they believe, proved the 
coffers full to the bottom, both before and after the trick ; and this 
greatly increases the difficulty of accounting for the transposition. 

The object of having the false tops bottomed with open wire work, 
instead of with tin, is to be prepared for the expression of a suspicion 
on the part of the audience as to the existence of a false top. In 
soch case the performer, borrowing a penknife, passes it well down 
through the upper layer of beans, etc., and through the wirework, 
thus proving (apparently) that the coffer is open to the bottom. In 
the trick as above described, however, the expression of such a sus- 
picion is a very remote contingency. 

The trick is sometimes performed with sweetmeats in one or both of 
the coffers, and in this form has an added charm for a juvenile audience, 
who complete the trick by swallowing that portion of the apparatus. 

The Bran and Orange Trick. — This trick is performed with 
a single coffer, in appearance very similar to those used in the last 
trick, but slightly different in construction. The false top is, in this 
case, bottomed with plain tin. The bottom of the coffer is moveable, 
being soldered to a circular rim or shoulder of tin about a quarter of 
an inch in depth, over which the coffer fits pretty tightly, though the 
projecting edge of the bottom enables the performer to remove it 
without difficulty. The performer must also be provided with an 
ordinary oblong wooden box. Its precise dimensions are unimpor- 
tant, save that it should be a good deal larger than the cofrer, but 
about an inch or so less in height. This box is filled with bran, as 
also is the false top of the coffer. A couple of oranges, as much 
alike as possible, must also be provided. One only of these is pro- 



336 MODERN MAGIC. 



duced to the audience, the other being beforehand placed on the 
servante of the table. 

The performer begins by placing upon the table the coffer and the 
box of bran. Removing the lid (with the false top), he brings for- 
ward the coffer, and shows that it is perfectly empty. In returning to 
his table, he loosens (though without removing) the moveable bottom, 
and replaces the coffer on the table. He next brings forward the box 
of bran, showing that there is no preparation about it, and in replac- 
ing it on the table, places it in front of the coffer, which, however, 
being the taller, remains visible behind it. He next introduces the 
orange, either palming it (from one of his pochettes), and magically pro- 
ducing it from some person's nose or whiskers, or by the more pro- 
saic method of having it brought in by his assistant. He now returns 
to his table, and, standing behind it, proceeds to fill the coffer with 
bran. This he does by placing the coffer upright in the box, holding 
it with one hand and ostentatiously pouring in bran with the other until 
it is full. In placing the coffer in the box, however, he takes it up 
quite without the bottom, so that he is, in reality, only filling an open 
tube. Meanwhile, he secretly picks up, with his disengaged hand, 
the second orange from the servante, and places it upon the bottom, 
which remains behind the box. Having filled the coffer, and remark- 
ing, " Pray observe that it is quite full," he (before removing it from 
the box) covers it with the lid, and then lifting it out, again places it 
behind the box in such manner as to go neatly over the bottom and 
the orange upon it. (Of course, in the act of lifting the coffer, all the 
contents run back again into the box.) Having now got the second 
orange within the coffer, and having, by a gentle pressure, again 
settled the bottom in its place, the performer places the coffer on a 
second table or a chair close in front of the audience. He then says, 
u I am about to order the bran with which this coffer is filled " (here 
he raises the lid without the false top, and the coffer therefore appears 
full of bran) " to pass back again into the box from which it was 
taken, and this orange " (here he passes behind his table, and holding 
up the orange, replaces it six or eight inches from the hinder edge) 
" to pass into the coffer in place of it Now, first for the bran. One, 
two; three ! Pass ! Did you see it fly from the coffer into the box ? 
You didn't ? Well, at any rate, you shall see the orange pass. I 



MODERN MAGIC. 357 



take it up so " (here he places his two hands round it, and rolls it on 
to the servante in manner described at page 294, coming forward 
with the hands together, as though still containing it, and holding 
them over the coffer at a few inches* distance), "and squeeze it 
smaller and smaller, in this manner, till it becomes small enough to 
pass right into the coffer, as you see." Here he separates his hands, 
showing them empty, and immediately taking off the cover with the 
false top, rolls out the orange, and shows that the cofier is otherwise 
empty. 

The trick as above described is susceptible of a good many varia- 
tions. If the performer uses a trap-table, the orange may be made to 
pass through a trap instead of being rolled off at the back of the 
table, though the latter method, if neatly executed, can hardly be 
surpassed in illusive effect. A more substantial improvement may be 
made by causing the bran, instead of simply disappearing as above 
mentioned, to reappear in some other quarter* There are many pieces 
of apparatus which may be used for this purpose, perhaps as good as 
any being the improved sweet-bag (see page 248). This should be 
previously filled with bran, and hooked to the back of the table. The 
performer in this case borrows a handkerchief, which he carelessly 
spreads on the table, and a gentleman's hat, which he places mouth 
upwards beside it. Instead of announcing that the bran will return 
from the coffer to the box from whence it was taken, he states that it 
will, at command, pass into the handkerchief which he holds, and 
which as he speaks he picks up, with the bag beneath it, holding it, 
without apparent intention, just above the hat. At the word 
" Pass! " he slightly turns his wrist, thereby releasing the flap of the 
bag, and a shower of bran is instantly seen to pour down into the 
hat. This little addition greatly enhances the effect of the trick. 

The Ricb and Orange Trick. — In this feat rice and an orange 
are made to change places, but by wholly different means from those 
last above described. 

The apparatus in this case consists of three japanned tin cones, 
about ten inches in height by five at the base, and each having a brass 
knob at the top — and an ornamental vase of tin or zinc, standing 
about the same height as the cones, and having a simple metal cover, 

22 



33* 



MODERN MAGIC. 




Fig. x&f. 



or top. Of the cones (all of which are open at the bottom), two are 

hollow throughout, but the third has a flap or moveable partition half. 

way down, inclosing the upper half of the internal space. This flap 

works on a hinge, and is kept shut by a little 

catch, which is withdrawn by pressure on a little 

button outside the cone, when the flap drops 

down, and lets fall whatever has been placed in 

the enclosed space. (See Fig. 164.) The cone 

is prepared for the trick by filling this space with 

rice, and closing the flap ; and the three cones 

are then placed in a row on the performer's table, 

the prepared one being in the middle. The 

vase (see Fig. 165) is constructed as follows : — 

Its depth inside is less by about an inch than its 

depth outside, leaving, therefore, between its true 

and false bottoms, an empty space, a. A circular hole is cut in the 

inner or false bottom, but this hole, in the normal condition of the 

vase, is kept closed by a circular disc of metal, b, exactly fitting it 

This disc is soldered upon an upright wire rod, passing through 

the foot of the apparatus, and terminating is 
another disc, c, somewhat smaller in size. Round 
this rod is a spiral spring, whose action tends to 
press it down, and thereby to keep the disc or 
valve normally closed, though it rises, and 
thereby opens the valve (as shown by the dotted 
lines in the figure), whenever upward pressure 
is applied to c. The face of the upper disc, 
b, is slightly concave, corresponding with the 
rest of the interior of the vase. The vase is 
prepared for the trick by placing an orange in it, 
and in this condition it is brought forward and 
placed on the table by the performer or his assis- 
tant. A small paper bag full of rice is brought 
in at the same time, and completes the prepara- 
tions. 
With this introduction, we proceed to describe the trick as worked 

by Herrman. 




Fig. 165. 



MODERN MAGIC 339 



The performer begins by borrowing two hats, and places them 
one on the other, the months together, on a chair or table. He then 
(by palming) produces an orange from the hair or whiskers of a 
spectator, and places this on another table. He next brings forward 
and exhibits the vase, filling it as he advances with rice from the 
paper bag, and thus concealing the orange which is already placed 
therein. He calls attention to the genuineness of the rice and the 
simplicity of the cover, and finally putting on the latter, places the 
vase on the ground, or elsewhere, in view of the audience. He pre- 
tends a momentary hesitation as to where to place it, and in the slight 
interval during which he is making up his mind he presses up the 
button within the foot. This opens the valve, allowing the rice to 
escape into the space a, and leaving the orange again uncovered. 
The audience is, of course, unaware that such a change has taken 
place. 

Leaving the vase for the moment, he requests the audience to 
choose one or other of the three cones on the table. The choice 
almost always falls on the middle one (which, it will be remembered, 
contains the concealed rice). This he places on the top of the upper 
hat He next asks the audience to select one or other of the re- 
maining cones, and places this over the orange upon the table, 
showing by rattling his wand within it that it is hollow through- 
out, and, if desired, handing round the remaining one for inspec- 
tion. 

At this point we hasten to anticipate an objection which will pro- 
bably occur to the reader. We have said that the audience, when 
called upon to choose one of the three cones, almost always select 
the middle one, and we have proceeded on the assumption that they 
do so. " But suppose," says the acute leader, " that they don't choose 
the middle one, but select one of the end ones 5 the trick is spoilt, as 
neither of the others will produce the rice." By no means, O acute 
reader ! If we had requested the audience to choose which of the cones 
should be placed upon the hat, there might have been a little difficulty, 
no doubt ; but we did nothing of the kind. We merely asked them to 
choose one of the cones. If their first choice falls on one of the end 
ones, we hand it round for examination, and finally place it over the 
orange. Then, standing behind the table, we ask the audience to make 



340 MODERN MAGIC. 



their choice between the two remaining cones, right or left Which- 
ever is chosen, we are safe j for as we have already had occasion to 
explain in connection with the trick of the half-crown in the orange 
(see page 171), the right of the audience is our left, and vice versi, so 
that by taking their reply in the sense which suits our purpose we 
are certain to be right. We therefore, in any case, take the cone 
containing the rice as being the one designated, and place this on the 
hat, sending round the other for inspection. As the audience have, 
to all appearance, been allowed perfect freedom of choice, and have 
actually examined two out of the three cones, they are very unlikely 
to suspect any preparation about the remaining one. 

The trick is now all but complete. Once more the performer raises 
the cone placed on the hat, to show that there is nothing underneath 
it ; and as he replaces it presses the button, thereby letting the flap fall, 
and the rice pour out upon the hat, though it remains still concealed 
by the cone. He next lifts up the cone under which is the orange, 
and holding the latter up, replaces it, but in again covering it with 
the cone, makes a feint of removing and slipping it into his pocket. 
Then noticing, or pretending to notice, a murmur on the part of the 
•company, he says, " Oh, you think I took away the orange, but I 
assure you I did not" The company being still incredulous, he again 
lifts the cone and shows the orange. " Here it is, you see, but as 70a 
are so suspicious, I won't use the cover at all, but leave the orange 
here in full view on the table." He again lays the orange on the 
table, but this time on what is called a " wrist trap." Leaving it for 
the moment, he advances to the vase, and holding his hands together 
cup-fashion over it, but without touching it, he says, "I take out the 
rice, so, and pass it under this cover " (walking towards the cone on 
the hat, and making a motion of passing something into it). "Let 
us see whether it has passed." He raises the cover, and the rice is 
seen. " Perhaps you think, as you did not see it, that I did not 
actually pass the rice from the vase to the cover. At any rate, jou 
will not be able to say the same about the orange. I take it op» 
before your eyes, so ! " He places his hands round it on the table, 
and at the same moment presses the lever of the trap, which opens, 
and lets it fall through into the table, closing again instantly. Keep- 
ing his hands together, as though containing the orange, he advance i 



MODERN MAGIC. 341 



to the vase, and holding his hands over it, says, " Here is the orange, 
which has not left your sight even for a single moment. I gently 
press it, so" (bringing the hands closer and closer together) "and 
make it smaller and smaller, till it is reduced to an invisible powder, 
in which state it passes into the vase." He separates his hands, and 
shows them empty, and then opening the vase, rolls oat the orange, 
and shows the vase empty, all the rice having disappeared. 

The mechanism of the Wrist Trap will be explained in the next 
Chapter. If the performer does not possess a trap table, he can cause 
the orange to disappear in the manner referred to at page 337. 

The Magic Whistle. — The student will not have proceeded far 
in his magical experience before he meets with an often-recurring 
nuisance, in the person of some individual, old or young, who knows, 
or pretends to know, the secret of all his tricks, and whose greatest 
delight it is, by some malapropos question or suggestion, to cause the 
performer embarrassment. The magic whistle 
is specially designed to punish, and, if possible, 
to silence, an individual of this kind. It is of 
turned boxwood, and of the shape shown in 
Fig. 166, and yields a shrill and piercing note. 
The performer, bringing it forward and blow- FlG l66 

ing through it, announces that this little 
whistle, so simple in appearance, has the singular faculty of obeying 
his will, and of sounding or Dot sounding at his command alone. 
The loquacious gentleman is pretty sure to question the fact, or is on 
some pretence selected to make trial of its truth. The performer 
places him directly facing the audience, and after himself once more 
sounding the whistle, hands it to him in order to try his skill. He 
blows vigorously, but in vain $ not a sound can he produce, but his 
mouth and lips gradually become obscured with a white or black dust. 
He finally retires to his seat amid the laughter of the audience, and 
generally much less disposed to make himself prominent during the 
remainder of the evening. 

The secret lies in the fact that there are two whistles — one is a 
perfectly ordinary instrument, but the other, though similar in appear- 
ance, does not sound, but is perforated round the inner side of the 




34a MODERN MAGIC. 

head (ire the Figure) with a Dumber of small holes. The bead 
unscrews, and is beforehand filled with finely powdered chalk or 
charcoal, which, when the whistle is blown, is forced through the 
holes, and settles round the mouth of the victim. 

With the present knowledge of the reader, the necessary exchange 
of the two whistles will not be regarded as offering any difficulty. 

There is a larger appliance for the same purpose in the shape of a 
flageolet. Another apparatus of like effect, though differing a little 
in detail, is called 

Thb Magic Mill. — This is a little Mill of the form shown in 
Fig. 167, and fire or six inches in height. It is made of zinc or tin, 
and consists of two portions — the upper part A, and the base B (rn 
Fig. 168)1 the former sliding over the latter (as shown by the dotted 
lines in Fig. 167). and fitting easily upon it. A is hollow through- 
out j a and £ £ are hollow tubes open at each end, a third little tube t 
springing at right angles from a. The base, B, is a hollow chamber, 
closed on all sides save at the openings d and e t. This chamber is 
beforehand fitted with powdered chalk or charcoal ; after which A is 
placed in position over it. If, under these circumstances, any per- 
son blows smartly 
through the tube o, 
the effect will vary 
^ according to the posi- 



l 



tion of B within A 



If B be so turned 
that the three holes if 
and t e correspond 
with the tubes a and 
b b, the breath enter- 
ing at d will force out 
the contents of 6 
through the tubes 1 1, 
lie. 167. Fro. .68. and powder the lips 

of the person blowing, 
as in the case of the magic whistle. But if, on the contrary, B be 
turned ever so little to the right or left, the three openings in B no 



MODERN MAGIC. 343 

longer corresponding with the tubes, the latter will be closed, and the 
breath having no other outlet, will be forced upwards through the 
upright tube c, thereby setting the little vane/in rapid motion. The 
latter is the condition in which the apparatus is brought forward by 
the performer. Blowing through a, he sets the mill in motion, and 
invites others to do likewise, iu which, of course, they succeed with- 
out difficulty; but when the turn of the intended victim arrives, the 
performer gives A a slight twist round, in such manner as to bring 
the openings of B in correspondence with the three tubes, with the 
result already explained. We have omitted to mention that there is 
on the under surface of B a little raised point, corresponding in posi- 
tion with the opening d, so that the performer is able to tell instantly 
by feel whether B is oris not in the required position. 

As a matter of convenience, we shall, before proceeding further 
with the explanation of individual tricks, describe two or three pieces 
of apparatus of general utility, to one or other of which we shall have 
frequent occasion to subsequently refer. 

The Drawer-Box. — This is a piece of apparatus of very frequent 
use in the magic art. fn appearance it is an ordinary drawer, with 



Fig. 169. Fig. 170. 

an outer box or case of walnut or mahogany (see Fig. 169), and is 
made of various dimensions, according to the size of the articles with 
which it is intended to be used, and which may range from a pack of 
cards to a live rabbit. Its use is to produce or to cause the disappear- 
ance of a given article ; the drawer having the faculty of appearing 
full or empty at pleasure. 



3U MODERN MAGIC. 

The first step towards the comprehension of the apparatus will be 
to completely take oat the drawer, which, however, even when re- 
moved, does not at first sight indicate any speciality. On a closer ex- 
amination, it will be found that the drawer is in reality double (sa Fig. 
170), consisting of two parts, a and t, the latter sliding backwards rod 
forwards freely within the former, which Is, in fact, a mere case or 
shell, open at one end. If any object, suppose an orange, be placed 
in b, and a and t together be placed in the outer case, it is obviocu 
that, upon drawing out a, b will come with it, and the orange will be 
seen ; but if £ be held back, a will be drawn out alone, and the 
apparatus will be apparently empty. For the means of retaining a it 
pleasure, it will be necessary to examine the outer case, which will be 
found to have a groove or mortice cut in its under surface (set Fig. 
171), along which lies a spring or tongue of wood, fixed by a screw 
at one end, the other, 
or free end, being 
provided with a catch 
or stud c, which, opon 
pressure, is forced 
through an opening 
in the bottom oE die 
outer case, and made 
to sink into a little 
j. hole or notch in the 

bottom of b, being 
again withdrawn by the action of the spring as soon as the pressure is 
removed. The bottom of the outer case is covered with velvet, 
ostensibly as a finish, but really to conceal the wooden tongue. When 
it is desired to draw out a without b, the apparatus is held as shown 
in Fig. 171, and a gentle pressure applied by the finger through the 
velvet upon the free end of the wooden tongue, thus forcing the 
catch upwards, and keeping b back. If a be drawn out without tli* 
pressure, b will come with it. The upper edge of a is turned over all 
round, so that a casual observer is not likely to detect any difference 
in the thickness of the sides of the drawer, whether it is drawn cut 
with or without its inner casing. 

Some drawer-boxes have a different arrangement for holding back 



MODERN MA GIC. 345 

the inner drawer, consisting of a little wire bolt lying loosely in a 
cylindrical cavity in the binder end of h, corresponding with a similar 
cavity in the side of the outer case. As long as the drawer-box is 
kept in its normal position, this pin offers no obstacle to the with- 
drawal of h with a ; but if the box be turned over on the side in 
which is the bolt/ the 
latter drops partially into 
the hole in the outer 
case, thus bolting b to 
it, until, by again turn- 
ing over the apparatus, 
the bolt is made to drop 

back again into its ori- FfG „,. 1?3 . 

ginal position. The ar- 
rangement is rather difficult to explain in writing, but will become 
quite clear npon an examination of Figs. 172 and 173, both repre- 
senting a section of the hinder end of the drawer-box, the one in its 
upright and the one in its turned-over position. The necessary 
turning over of the box is plausibly accounted for by the performer's 
desire that the audience shall, 
for greater fairness, have a full 
view of the top of the appa- 
ratus. 

There is an ingenious ad. 
dition sometimes found in 
drawer-boxes of French make, 
whereby b may be at pleasure 
bolted to a, and the two may 
thus be handed for examina- 
tion, with little chance of their 
F«. , n F,c ,,5. ^^ ^ ^^ The 

bolting and unbolting is effected by a slight movement up or down of 
the knob in front, thereby raising or depressing a kind of hook of 
bent tin, working in the thickness of the front of a. Fig. 174 shows 
this hook in its raised or unhooked, and Fig. 175 in its depressed or 
hooked condition. 

The drawer-box, as above described, is available to produce or dis- 



34.6 MODERN MAGIC. 

appear, but not to change articles. With a slight modification, how- 
ever, it may be made available for changing also. The inner drawer 
b is in this case made only half the depth of a, or even less; and thus, 
when closed, there is left between the bottom of b and that of a i 
considerable space, so that a and h may in this case each be made to 
hold a given object, and an apparent transformation be effected. 
Thus, for instance, b may be filled with bran, and any small article, 
such as a borrowed pocket-handkerchief, be placed in a. The drawer 
is first pulled out with b, and shown filled to the brim with bran ; 
but on being closed and again opened (without I), the bran is 
apparently transformed into the handkerchief. 

Another modification of the drawer-box is known as 

The Dissecting Drawer-Box. — This is, in general appearance, 

not unlike the ordinary drawer-box already described, but with this 

difference, that the 

outer case has a raised 

top, somewhat of a 

sarcophagus shape. 

{Sm Kg. 176). The 

drawer is partially 

drawn out to show 

that it is empty, is 

again closed, and on 

Fie 176. being once more 

drawn out, proves to 

be full to the brim with flowers. These having been distributed, the 

performer, to prove the perfect emptiness of the apparatus, not only 

takes the drawer completely out, but takes the outer case (which is 

constructed accordingly, the sides, top, and bottom being hinged 

to the back) apart, as shown in Fig. 177. Notwithstanding this, 

upon again reconstructing the case, and replacing and reopening the 

drawer, it' is once more found filled with flowers. 

The reader, being acquainted with the ordinary drawer-box, will 
have no difficulty in accounting for the first harvest of flowers, but 
the second may possibly puzzle him a little. The secret lies in the 
top of the outer case, which, as we have already mentioned, is slightly 



MODERN MAGIC. 347 

pyramidal in form, allowing 1 considerable space between its inner 
and outer surface, and in this space is packed the second supply of 
flowers. This apace 
is closed on its under 
side by a flat wooden 
slab a, of the same 
area as the inside of 
the drawer, held in 
position by a thin 
wooden slip or bead 
at either end. The 
hindmost of these 
beads, 6, is so ar- 
ranged as to yield to 
pressure, and, when 
the drawer is pushed 

slightly in, gives way Fro . ,„, 

just enough to release 

the slab before mentioned, which thereupon falls flat upon the 
bottom of the drawer, and upon it the hitherto concealed flowers, 
which, spreading as they fall, completely fill the drawer. 

The Changing Card-Drawer. — This is a smaller variety of 
the drawer-box, designed specially for use in card tricks. The inner 
drawer is just large enough to contain a pack of cards, which may 
tons be produced or vanished by its means. Between the bottoms 
of the true and false or outer drawer, is a space of about an eighth of 
an inch. This makes the apparatus available not only to produce or 
vanish as above mentioned, but to transform one card into another. 
The card to be changed is for this purpose placed in the outer drawer, 
which, when closed, carries it under the bottom of the inner drawer, 
and in this latter is placed the card for which it is to be changed, or 
via versd. 

There is an improved form of the card-drawer, with a double 
change, effected on the principle of the dissecting drawer-box. This 
is just as above described, with the addition that when thetwodraweis 
«e pressed smartly home, the action releases a thin slab of wood 



348 MODERN MAGIC. 



forming apparently part of the inner surface of the case, and exactly 
equal in area to the bottom of the inner drawer, into which it falls. 
When required for use, a card is placed above this slab, which, falling 
when required, covers the card already in the box, and exhibits instead 
that which had been concealed above it, as in the case of the changing 
card-boxes, described in the chapter devoted to card tricks. The 
uses of such an apparatus will be obvious ; but we will describe! by 
way of illustration, one very good trick which may be performed 
with it. 

The apparatus is prepared beforehand by placing a given card 
(say the knave of spades) above the moveable slab, and another (say 
the eight of diamonds) in the outer drawer. The performer invites 
two persons to each draw a card, and " forces " upon them the 
knave of spades and eight of diamonds. The cards being replaced 
in the pack, he, if he has used an ordinary pack, brings them to the 
top by the " pass/* and palms them, or if he has used a forcing pack, 
exchanges that pack for an ordinary one from which those two cards 
have been removed. Leaving the pack on the table, he exhibits the 
card-drawer, taking out both drawers together, and showing, appa- 
rently, that case and drawer are absolutely empty. Closing the drawer, 
he announces that he will make the drawn cards leave the pack, and 
pass into the drawer. One of the cards (the eight of diamonds) is 
named, and pulling out this time the outer drawer only, he shows 
that it contains that card, which is taken out, and handed to the per- 
son who drew it. Again the drawer is closed, being this time poshed 
sharply home. The second card, the knave, being now named, the 
drawer is again opened, and this card shown ; the drawer being again 
taken wholly out, and the drawer and case turned in all directions for 
inspection, as before, the operator only taking care to hold the drawer 
with one ringer inside, that the moveable slab may not, by falling oat, 
betray its presence. 

Changing Caddies. — These are of various kinds. We wiD 
begin with the simplest, thence proceeding to the more complicated. 
The conjuror's caddy, in its most elementary form, is an oblong box, 
about six inches in length by five in height and four in width. (See 
Fig. 178.) One-half of its interior, which is divided into two com- 



MODERN MAGIC. 349 

partments by a transverse bar across the top, is occupied by a drawer, 
or moveable compartment, so arranged as to slide freely backwards 
and forwards from end to end, according as the caddy is allowed to 
slope in tbe one direction or the other. (5« Figs. 179 and 180.) 
Each compartment has its own 
lid, the caddy sometimes, but 
not always, having an outer lid 
in addition. 

We will suppose that it is 
desired to produce any article 
from the caddy, first shown 
empty. Tbe article in ques- 
tion (say an egg, bard-boiled 
for safety) is beforehand placed 
in the moveable compartment, 
which we will suppose to occu- 
py for the time being the space 

under lid a, as shown in Fig. Fig. 178. 

I/O. The performer takes off 

tbe opposite lid b, and shows the space beneath empty. Before re- 
moving the second lid, he slopes the caddy in the opposite direction, 
so as to bring tbe moveable compartment under lid b (tee Pig. 1B0), 
and thus is enabled to show the space under a also empty. He then 



proceeds with the trick, and at the right moment produces the article 
from the caddy. 

It is obvious that the caddy above described Is only available for 
appearances and disappearances, and not for transformations. To 



3SO MODERN MAGIC. 

obviate this defect, the majority of caddies are now made with thne 
compartments (see Fig. 181), with a sliding drawer occupying two of 
them. The caddy in this form may be used to " change " objects in 
manner following: — 
The sliding drawer 
being as shown in 
Fig. 181, the article 
to be ultimately pro- 
duced (say an orange) 
is placed in *. The 
three compartments 
are now shown empty, 
beginning with e, and 
allowing the sliding 
Flrr l8l _ - drawer to assume the 

position shown in 
Fig. 182, before in turn uncovering a and b. The article to be 
changed (say a watch) is now placed openly in compartment b. The 
performer closes the lid, and, after a moment's interval, reopens it. 
but in that interval slopes the caddy so as to again bring the sliding 
drawer into the posi- 
tion shown in Fig. 
181, when the orange 
is again brought un- 
der b, and, on re- 
moving the lid, is dis- 
closed. To show that 
the watch has really 
disappeared, the caddy 
may again be shown 
(apparently) empty, 

in the same manner p^ G _ lgj- 

as at first. 

There are a good many varieties of caddies made. One is known 
as the " skeleton " caddy, from the fact that the bottom, is made to 
take out, so that the company can look through all three camprt- 
tnents. The sliding drawer in this case is bottomless, and is » 



MODERN MAGIC. 351 

arranged as only to slide when the performer releases it by pressing 
upon a particular spot in the ornamental moulding round the bottom 
of the caddy. This pressure withdraws a little pin, which normally 
rests in a little hole in the side of the sliding drawer, and thus renders 
it for the time being a fixture. In some caddies, again, the sliding 
drawer does not run up and down by its own weight, bat is moved 
backwards and forwards from below by means of a projecting 
pin passing through a slit in the bottom of the caddy. The 
caddy in this case does not require to be inclined one way or the 
other, and is on this account preferred by many to the other 
nuke. 

The trick next described will introduce to the reader a changing 
caddy of another and special construction. 

Thi Magic Vase and Caddt. (To make peas change places 
with a handkerchief.) — For this trick two special pieces of apparatus 
ire necessary. The first is a tin vase, of the shape shown in Fig. 183, 
and generally of about ten inches in height It consists of three 
parts, the vase proper 

a, the cover b, and , 

a moveable compart- 
ment or well, e, * 
which is constructed 

upon a principle which ft 

we have had frequent 
occasion to notice, the 
cylindrical portion of 
a passing between the 
inner and outer wall 
of this moveable com- 
partment. It is co- 
loured exactly similar Fla l8 
to that portion of a 

which it covers, which therefore looks exactly the same to the ordinary 
spectator, whether c be in its place or removed. The internal depth, 
however, of c is little more than half as deep as that of the actual vase, 
a. The cover exactly fits over c, and by means of a little appliance 



35* MODERN MAGIC. 

called a " bayonet-catch," will either lift c with it when removed, or 
release c and leave it upon a. 

As this " bayonet-catch " is of constant use in magical apparatus, 
it will be desirable to describe it somewhat- minutely. A rectangular 
cut or slit {tee the enlarged view in Fig. 184) b made in the lower 
edge of the cover b. Its perpendicular arm 
is about a quarter of an inch in length, and 
its width about an eighth of an inch. A 
small pin or stud, about an eighth of an inch 
in length, projects perpendicularty from the 
Fig. 184. lower edge of e> at such a height that when 

b is placed over c, the upper or horizontal 
arm of the slit shall be just level with it. If the upright arm of the 
slit be brought immediately over this pin, the latter will, as the cover 
sinks down, travel upward along the opening as far as the junction 
with the transverse portion of the slit. If the cover be now again 
lifted, the pin will, of course, offer no obstruction to its removal ; but 
if the cover be first 
slightly turned to the 
right, the pin will be- 
come engaged in the 
transverse portion of the 
slit, and upon then lift- 
ing the cover, it will 
carry with it the pin, 
and all connected with 
it. When it is desired 
to lift off the cover 
alone, it will only be 

necessary to turn the Fic _ , s . 

cover a little to the left, 

thus bringing the pin again over the upright portion of the slit 
The second piece of apparatus is a caddy (Fig. 185), in appeat- 
ance not unlike an ordinary tea caddy, with three equal-sized com- 
partments, each having its own lid. Upon close inspection it will be 
discovered that the internal depth of these compartments is somewhit 
shallow in comparison with the external measurement of the caddr* 



MODERN MAGIC. 353 

loving a space about an inch deep between the inner and outer 
bottoms. A sliding drawer, working from end to end of the caddy, 
as already explained, occupies the space of 
two compartments. Supposing this for 
the moment removed, it would be found 
that the external caddy, in the space occu- 
pied by the two end compartments, a and 
c, lias a false bottom covering the hollow 
space we have already mentioned, but that 
the space occupied by the middle compart- Fig. 1B6. 

ment b has none. Of the two moveable 

compartments, which together constitute the sliding tray already 
mentioned {see Fig. 186), the one d has a bottom, the other c has not. 
When the sliding drawer is in its proper position in the caddy, 
and is poshed as far as it will go towards the one or the other end, 
the result is as follows : — If it is pushed to the right, the bottomless 
compartment e occupies the space at that end, under lid c, while the 
opening in the false bottom of the caddy is, for the time being, closed by 
the bottom of d, which now occupies the middle space. If the sliding 
tray is poshed to the opposite end (i.e., to the left), d will occupy the 
space a at that end, while the bottomless compartment t, being over the 
opening, gives access to the space beneath. 

The caddy is prepared for the purpose of the trick by placing in 
the space between the true and false bottoms a white handkerchief, 
and the sliding tray is then pushed to the right, so as to bring com- 
partment d to the middle, and thus close the opening. The vase 
is prepared by filling both divisions with peas. The two pieces of 
apparatus having been placed on the table by the assistant, the per- 
former opens the caddy, and taking off the lids of the three divisions, 
and holding it with his fingers inside the right hand end (thereby 
preventing any possibility of the tray shifting), brings it forward 
1 to the audience, and passing rapidly in front of them, begs to intro- 
duce to their notice an old tea caddy, in which he has accidentally 
discovered some carious magical properties. In the present condition 
of the caddy all three compartments appear exactly alike, and of equal 
depth ; and the interior being of a dead black, the spectators are not 
likely to notice that they are somewhat shallow. Again closing the 

*3 



344 MODERN MAGIC. 

The first step towards the comprehension of the apparatus will be 
to completely take out the drawer, which, however, even when re- 
moved, docs not at first sight indicate any speciality. On a closer ex- 
amination, it will be found that the drawer is in reality double (set Pig. 
170), consisting of two parts, a and b, the latter sliding backwards and 
forwards freely within the former, which is, in fact, a mere case or 
shell, open at one end. If any object, suppose an orange, be placed 
in I, and a and b together be placed in the outer case, it is obvious 
that, upon drawing out a, b will come with it, and the orange will be 
seen ; but if b be held back, a will be drawn out alone, and the 
apparatus will be apparently empty. For the means of retaining a A 
pleasure, it will be necessary to examine the outer case, which will be 
found to have a groove or mortice cut in its under surface («*■ Fig. 
171), along which lies a spring or tongue of wood, fixed by a screw 
at one end, the other, 
or free end, being 
provided with a catch 
or stud c, which, upon 
pressure, is forced 
through an opening 
in the bottom of the 
outer case, and nude 
to sink into a little 
- hole or notch in the 

bottom of b, beiog 
again withdrawn by the action of the spring as soon as the pressure is 
removed. The bottom of the outer case is covered with velvet, 
ostensibly as a finish, but really to conceal the wooden tongue. When 
it is desired to draw out a without b, the apparatus is held as shown 
in Fig. 171, and a gentle pressure applied by the finger through the 
velvet upon the free end of the wooden tongue, thus forcing the 
catch upwards, and keeping b back. If a be drawn out without tbtc 
pressure, b will come with it. The upper edge of a is turned over ill 
round, so that a casual observer is not likely to detect any difference 
in the thickness of the sides of the drawer, whether it is drawn oat 
with or without its inner casing. 

Some drawer-boxes have a different arrangement for holding back 



MODERN MACK. 355 

ire obeyed. Here is the handkerchief. But where are the peas ? 
Probably, as the handkerchief has taken the place of the peas, the 
peas bare taken the place of the handkerchief. Let as see." He 
uncovers the rase, lifting this time with the cover the moveable com* 
partmeut containing the real handkerchief. " Yes, here are the peas, 
right enough," ^hating the vase, and taking them up by handfuls to 
show them. He continues, " Now I dare say this seems very sur- 
prising to yon, but in truth it is comparatively simple. The real 
difficulty begins when you try to make the handkerchief and the peas 
travel back again to their original situation. This part of the experi- 
ment is so difficult, that I always feel a little nervous over it, but I 
must make the attempt." Pushing the substitute handkerchief 
openly down to the position it originally occupied, he takes the oppor- 
tunity, in carrying the caddy back to the table, to slide back the tray 
as at first, and, after a little more talk, shows that the peas have 
returned to the caddy, and lifting the cover alone from the vase, pro- 
duces therefrom the genuine handkerchief. 

Thb Covsr, to prcK up ant Article. — This (called in French 
"ramasse-loul"') is a brass cover of six to ten inches in height, and of the 
shape shown in Fig. 187. Within it works backwards and forwards on a 
spring hinge, a kind of scoop, pressing, 
when at rest, against the side of the cover, 
as in Fig. 188, but moving into the posi- 
tion shown in Fig. 189 whenever pres- 
sure is applied to the button a, again re- 
turning to its original position when 
such pressure is removed. The manner 
of using it is as follows : — The perform- 
er, we will suppose, desires to cause the 
disappearance of an orange, in order that 
it (or a counterpart) may be subse- 
quently produced in some other quarter. 

Placing the orange upon the table, he j tGm ^ 

places the cover over it, pressing, as he 

does so, the button a, so as to draw back the scoop. As his band 

quits the cover, the pressure being removed, the return of the spring 



346 MODERN MAGIC. 

appear, but not to change articles. With a slight modification, how- 
ever, it may be made available for changing also. The inner draws 
b is in this case made only half the depth of a, or even less ; and thus, 
when closed, there is left between the bottom of b and that of a a 
considerable space, so that a and b may in this case each be made to 
hold a given object, and an apparent transformation be effected. 
Thus, for instance, b may be filled with bran, and any small article, 
such as a borrowed pocket-handkerchief, be placed in a. The drawer 
is first pulled out with b, and shown filled to the brim with bran ; 
but on being closed and again opened (without £), the bran is 
apparently transformed into the handkerchief. 

Another modification of the drawer-box is known as 

The Dissecting Drawer-Box. — This is, in general appearance, 

not unlike the ordinary drawer-box already described, but with this 

difference, that the 

outer case has a raised 

top, somewhat of a 

sarcophagus shape. 

(S«Fig. 176). The 

drawer is parti ally 

drawn out to show 

that it is empty, is 

again closed, and on 

Fig. 176. being once more 

drawn out, proves to 

be full to the brim with flowers. These having been distributed, the 

performer, to prove the perfect emptiness of the apparatus, not onlj 

takes the drawer completely out, but takes the outer case (which is 

constructed accordingly, the sides, top, and bottom being hinged 

to the back) apart, as shown in Fig. 177. Notwithstanding this, 

upon again reconstructing the case, and replacing and reopening the 

drawer, it is once more found filled with flowers. 

The reader, being acquainted with the ordinary drawer-box, wiH 
have no difficulty in accounting for the first harvest of flowers, hot 
the second may possibly puzzle him a little. The secret lies in the 
top of the outer case, which, as we have already mentioned, is slightly 



MODERN MAGIC. 357 

fore, this knob halfway round to the right or left, the performer is 
enabled to close whichever of the compartments happens for the time 
being to be open, at the same time opening that which was previously 
shut. There is a little point or stop on the upper aide of the semi- 
circular plate, which meeting resistance from the vertical partition, 
prevents the plate making more than the necessary half-turn either way. 
The apparatus is prepared by placing the article representing the 
result of the supposed transformation (say an apple) in either com- 
partment, and turning the knob so as to close that compartment, and 
open the other. The article to be changed (say an orange) is placed 
upon the table, and the performer places the cover upon it, taking 
care that the open compartment for the time being shall come fairly 
over it. He then gives a half turn to the knob, thereby closing the 
compartment which has hitherto been open, and securing the orange 
within it, and at the same time releasing the apple, into which, on the 



Fro. 190. Fro. 191. 

cover being again raised, the orange appears to be transformed. In 
this case, as in the last, it is well to have a plain counterpart cover to 
hand round for inspection if necessary. 

The uses to which the changing cover may be pot are very 
numerous. The following is an instance of a rather original applica- 
tion of it, which produces a capital effect. We will suppose that the 
performer has executed a trick in which he has availed himself of the 
assistance of some juvenile member of the audience, and that an apple 
has been one of the " properties " of the trick. The trick being con- 
cluded, the professor asks his temporary assistant whether he would 



34S MODERN MAGIC. 



forming apparently part of the inner surface of the case, and exactly 
equal in area to the bottom of the inner drawer, into which it falls. 
When required for use, a card is placed above this slab, which, falling 
when required, covers the card already in the box, and exhibits instead 
that which had been concealed above it, as in the case of the changing 
card-boxes, described in the chapter devoted to card tricks. The 
uses of such an apparatus will be obvious ; but we will describe, by 
way of illustration, one very good trick which may be performed 
with it. 

The apparatus is prepared beforehand by placing a given card 
(say the knave of spades) above the moveable slab, and another (saj 
the eight of diamonds) in the outer drawer. The performer invites 
two persons to each draw a card, and " forces " upon them the 
knave of spades and eight of diamonds. The cards being replaced 
in the pack, he, if he has used an ordinary pack, brings them to the 
top by the " pass," and palms them, or if he has used a forcing pack, 
exchanges that pack for an ordinary one from which those two cards 
have been removed. Leaving the pack on the table, he exhibits the 
card-drawer, taking out both drawers together, and showing, appa- 
rently, that case and drawer are absolutely empty. Closing the drawer, 
he announces that he will make the drawn cards leave the pack, and 
pass into the drawer. One of the cards (the eight of diamonds) is 
named, and pulling out this time the outer drawer only, he shows 
that it contains that card, which is taken out, and handed to the per- 
son who drew it. Again the drawer is closed, being this time pushed 
sharply home. The second card, the knave, being now named, the 
drawer is again opened, and this card shown ; the drawer being again 
taken wholly out, and the drawer and case turned in all directions foi 
inspection, as before, the operator only taking care to hold the drawer 
with one finger inside, that the moveable slab may not, by falling out, 
betray its presence. 

Changing Caddies. — These are of various kinds. We wiB 
begin with the simplest, thence proceeding to the more complicated. 
The conjuror's caddy, in its most elementary form, is an oblong box, 
about six inches in length by five in height and four in width. (See 
Fig. 178.) One-half of its interior, which is divided into two com- 



MODERN MAGIC. 



3S9 



Fig. 193)9 being retained in that position by the effect of a spiral 
spring in the handle, which draws the wire back. If, however, pres- 
sure be applied to the knob or cap at the end of the handle, the 
wire is forced downwards, thereby bringing the moveable leaf a 
against the outer side of the bowl, as shown in Fig. 194. 

There are various modes in which the changing ladle may be made 
useful. For example, it may be used to burn and restore a card. 
For this purpose, the ladle is prepared by placing in it beforehand any 
indifferent card of similar pattern to the pack in use, and is in this 
condition placed on the performer's table, in such manner that the 
spectators may not observe that there is already a card in it. The 
performer then comes forward and hands to one of the company a 
pack of cards, with a request that he will select any one he pleases. 
While he is making his selection, the performer or his assistant places 
on the table and sets 
fire to some spirits of 
wine on a bowl or 
plate. A card having 
been chosen, the per- 
former requests the 
drawer to return it to 
him, and, in order to 
exclude the possibility 
of any exchange or 
sleight-of-hand, vol- 
unteers to receive it at 
arm's length in the 
ladle, which he brings 
forward for that purpose, holding it by the extreme end of the handle, 
and pressing with his palm the knob at the top, thereby bringing 
the moveable leaf into the position shown in Fig. 194, with the card 
already in it pressed flat against the outer side of the bowl, and thus 
completely hidden. The chosen card being placed in the ladle, the 
performer, in returning to his table, relaxes the pressure of his palm, 
thereby bringing the moveable leaf back into the position of Fig. 
i93> releasing the dummy card, and concealing that chosen against 
the inner side of the bowL He then drops apparently the chosen, but 




Figs. 19a, 193, 194. 



3JO MODERN MAGIC. 

obviate this defect, the majority of caddies are now made with thm 
compartments {see Fig. 1S1), with a sliding drawer occupying two of 
them. The caddy in this form may be used to " change " objects in 
manner following.— 
The sliding drawer 
being as shown in 
Fig. 181, the article 
to be ultimately pro- 
duced (say an orange) 
is placed in b. The 
three compartments 
are now shown empty, 
beginning with c, md 
allowing the sliding 



Fig. 1B1. 



' drawer to a 



position shown in 
Fig. 183, before in turn uncovering a and b. The article to be 
changed (say a watch) is now placed openly in compartment t. The 
performer closes the lid, and, after a moment's interval, reopens it, 
but in that interval slopes the caddy so as to again bring the sliding 
drawer into the posi- 
tion shown in Fig. 
181, when the orange 
is again brought un- 
der b, and, on re- 
moving the lid, is dis- 
closed. To show that 
the watch has really 
disappeared, the caddy 
may again be shown 
(apparently) empty, 

in the same manner p, l8a 

as at first 

There are a good many varieties of caddies made. One is known 
as the " skeleton " caddy, from the fan that the bottom is made to 
take out, so that the company can look through all three compart- 
ments. The sliding drawer in this case is bottomless, and is » 



MODERN MAGIC. 361 

encc are allowed to examine at pleasure. When it is returned to him, 
be saysj "Yon are now quite satisfied that there is no preparation 
about this tube, which is, in fact, simply a cover for this block of 
wood." As if merely suiting the action to the word, he covers the 
block with the tube, immediately removing it again, and carelessly 
laying the cover on the table. Io removing it, however, he grasps 
it with a gentle pressure, and 
so takes off with it the hollow 
shell (see Fig. 196), of whose ex- 
istence the audience have no sus- 
picion. He continues, " Perhaps 
you would also like to examine 
the block, which yon will find to 
be a plain, solid piece of wood, 
without mechanism or prepara- 
tion of any kind." The block 
having been duly examined, the 
supposed empty cover is placed 

upright upon the table ; and the f, g . 196. 

solid block having been disposed 

of by any means in the performer's power, is ordered to pass invisibly 
ander the cover, which being raised, the hollow shell is seen, appear- 
ing to the eye of the audience to be the block itself, and tohave found 
its way there in obedience to the performer's command. 

The above is the working of the "cone" in its simplest and 
barest form ; but no skilled performer would dream of presenting the 
illusion in such a common-place way. To make the trick effective, 
it should be so arranged as to make the cone apparently change 
places with some other article. There are many combinations which 
might be suggested, but we shall content ourselves with describing 
one or two of those in most general use. The smaller sized cones 
may be worked in conjunction with a goblet and ball (the same as 
those used for the Cups and Balls), in manner following : — Having 
tendered for inspection the cone and cover as already described, and 
placed them on the table, the performer offers the goblet and ball in 
like manner for inspection. When they are returned, he places them 
also upon the table, a little distance apart, and meanwhile palms a 



362 MODERN MAGIC. 



second ball, which should be in readiness either on the servante, or 
in one of his pochettes. He now places the paper cover (which, it 
will be remembered, contains the hollow shell) over the first ball on the 
table. " Pray observe," he remarks, " that I have fairly covered over the 
ball '' (here he raises and replaces the cover, pressing so as to lift the 
shell with it, and showing that the ball is still there). " The goblet, 
as you have seen, is perfectly empty." (Here he raises the goblet, 
and, in replacing it, introduces the second ball under it, as described 
in the chapter devoted to the Cups and Balls.) " I shall now order 
the ball to pass from the cover under the goblet." He waves his 
wand from the one to the other. "Presto! Prestissimo! Pass!" 
(He raises the goblet, and shows that the ball has (apparently) passed 
under it) The first ball still remaining under the paper tube, he cannot 
at present raise it, so proceeds rapidly to the next stage of the trick, 
that the omission may not be noticed. " So far," he remarks, " the 
trick is mere child's play. The real difficulty is to pass the cone 
under the cover in place of the ball. However, I will make the 
attempt." So saying, he picks up the cone with his right hand, and 
apparently transfers it to his left, really palming it, and immediately 
afterwards dropping his right hand to his side, and getting rid of the 
cone into the profonde. Then, taking two or three steps away 
from the table, still holding the left hand as if containing the cone, 
and looking towards the cover, he says, "One, two, three, Pass! n 
with a motion of the hand as if throwing something ; immediately 
showing the hands empty, and lifting up the cover (but this time by 
the top, so as not to exert any pressure against its sides), and show- 
ing the hollow shell, which now conceals the ball, and is taken by 
the spectators to be the genuine cone. "We have succeeded pretty 
well so far, ladies and gentlemen," he remarks 5 " it remains to be 
seen whether I shall be equally successful In bringing back the cone 
and ball to their original positions. I dare say you would all like to 
know how the trick is done, and therefore this time 1 will vary the 
mode of operation, and make the transposition visibly." (Here he 
drops his right hand to the profonde, and secretly palms the solid cone.) 
" First the cone " (he passes his right hand, keeping the back towards 
the audience, upwards along the cover, and, as it reaches the top, 
brings the cone into view). " Pray once more assure yourselves thst 



MODERN MAGIC. 363 

it Is fair and solid. Now for the ball." He picks up the ball with 
the left hand, and holding it between the finger and thumb, apparently 
transfers it, by the pass called the tourniquet (see page 150), to the 
right, forthwith getting rid of it into the profonde on the left side. 
"Pray observe that it does not leave your sight even for a moment. 99 
Then holding his hand high above the paper cover, he makes a 
"crumbling" movement with it, immediately showing it empty, and 
lifting the cover with a slight pressure, so as to carry the shell with 
it, shows the ball beneath. The attention of the spectators being 
naturally attracted to the ball, it is an easy matter to let the hollow 
shell slip oat of the paper cover upon the servante, and again to hand 
the cover for examination. 

Some performers, instead of using the goblet, work the small cone 
with the " ball-box " (see page 296). 

It is obvious that the directions above given will apply only where 
the cone is of a size so small as to be readily palmed, in which case 
it is hardly conspicuous enough to be used before a large audience. 
Where a cone of larger dimensions is employed, it is necessary to vary 
the mode of operation. We shall therefore proceed to describe the trick 
in its stage form, as worked by Herrmann and other public performers. 

The cone in this case is about seven inches high, and is worked in 
conjunction with a "drawer-box" of such a size as to contain it 
easily. Having handed round for inspection the cover and cone, as 
already described, the performer suddenly remembers that be requires 
an orange, which he forthwith produces from his wand. (It is hardly 
necessary to observe that the orange is beforehand placed in readi- 
ness in one of the pochettes, and is produced from the wand in the 
manner described for producing a ball. See page 276). Laying down 
the orange on the table, he next exhibits the drawer-box, taking the 
drawer completely out, and, after showing it on all sides, replacing 
it. He then covers the orange on the table with the paper cover 
(containing the hollow shell), and places the solid cone in the drawer- 
box, which being of the kind described at page 345, he turns upon its 
side, with its top toward the audience. He meanwhile palms in his 
right hand, from his pocket or the servante, a second orange. He 
now announces that he is about to take the orange back again, which 
he does by passing his wand up the side of the cover, and immediately 



3*4 MODERN MAGIC. 

producing therefrom the second orange. He places this upon another 

table at a little distance, and covers it with a borrowed hat, making 

as he does so a feint of removing it, and slipping it into his tail pocket 

He hears, or pretends to hear, some one remark that he took away 

the orange, and answers accordingly. " Oh ! yon think I took away the 

orange. Allow me to assure you that I did nothing of the kind/' 

(He lifts up the hat, and shows the orange in its place.) " I will 

cover it again ; or, still better, to prove that I do not take it away, I 

won't cover it at all, but leave it here in full view on the table." 

He replaces it on the table, but this time places it on what is called a 

" wrist-trap," in readiness for a subsequent disappearance. " Having 

taken the orange from under the cover,'' he continues, " I have now 

to make the solid block vanish from the drawer, and take its place j 

but I shall do it this time invisibly. See, I have only to wave my 

wand from the one to the other, and the thing is done. The drawer 

is empty" (pulling out the false drawer only), "and here is the 

block " (he lifts the paper cover, and shows the hollow shell). " Now 

I come to the most difficult part of the trick, which is to bring both 

articles back to their original position. First, I will take the block of 

wood.' 9 He covers the shell with the paper tube, and makes a move* 

ment of his wand from the cover to the drawer. " Pass ! Let us see 

whether it has obeyed." He this time pulls the drawer completely 

out, and lets the block fall heavily on the stage. "Now for the 

orange." He places both hands round it, as if picking it up between 

them, and presses as he does so the spring of the trap, which opening, 

lets the orange fall through into the table. Bringing the hands, still 

together, immediately above the paper cover, he rubs them together 

as if compressing the orange, finally separating them and showing 

them empty, and immediately afterwards lifting the cover with the 

hollow shell, and showing the first orange beneath it. 

It will be observed that the trick above described is, in some of 
its parts, very similar to that described at page 337. The mechanism 
of the wrist-trap will be found explained in the next chapter. In the 
meantime the student may produce the same effect without using a 
trap at all, by means of the sleight described at page 194. 

The Cone and Bouquet. — This is another form of the cone 



MODERN MAGIC. 365 

trick, involving the use of rather more elaborate apparatus. The 

cone in this case is about five inches in height by three at the base, 

and tapers vciy slightly. It may be either of boxwood, as in the 
trick last described, or the block may be of 
any hard wood, and the hollow shell of tin to 
fit, each blacked and polished, so as to look 
exactly alike. It is used in conjunction with 
a paper cover as before, and two little bunches 
of flowers, exactly alike, and of such a size as 
to be just covered by the hollow shell. Each 
of these little bouquets is mode upon a tin 
framework, consisting of a wire arch springing 
from a flat saucer-like base. (See Fig. 197.) 
Fie. 107 A pedestal and cover complete the apparatus. 

The pedestal a (see Fig. 198) is cylindrical ; 

aiid about six inches in height, by four across the top. Its upper 

surface consists of a circular plate of tin, working up and down 

piston-wise in the pedestal. This isforced upwards byaspiral spring, 

but yields to pressure, 

sinking vertically to a 

depth of four or five 

inches when necessary. 

The upper edge of the 

pedestal is slightly turned 

in all round, so that the 

top may not be pressed 

out altogether by the 

force of the spring. An 

outer casing of tin, b, fits 

over a, just so tightly as 

to resist the upward pres- 
sure of the spring when 

forced down by any ob- I ' 

ject between the pedestal ri0 _ isa 

and this casing. The 

cover, c, is about double the height of a, and by means of a bayonet catch 

(m page 35*) may be lifted off either with or without b at pleasure. 



366 MODERN MAGIC. 

The pedestal is prepared for use by removing b, and placing 
one of the little bouquets on the top of a ; then again patting on 
h, and forcing it down into its place, when the condition of the 
apparatus will be as shown (in section) in Fig. 190. The wire arch 
prevents the flowers being crushed out of shape by the pressure of 
the spring. The pedestal and cover 
are now brought forward and placed 
on the table ; also the cone (with the 
shell on), the paper tube to cover 
it, and the remaining bunch of 
flowers. The paper tube is first ex- 
hibited, placed over the cone, and 
removed with the hollow cone with- 
in it, as in the last trick. The solid 
cone is then offered for examination, 
and having been duly inspected, is ^T 

placed upon the pedestal. The per- 
former makes a movement as if about to place over it the cover 
c, but checks himself in the act, and shows that this cover is empty 
and hollow throughout. He then 
puts on the cover, and reverting to 
the bunch of flowers on the table, 
covers it with the paper tube. He 
next announces that in obedience to 
his command, the block and the 
bunch of flowers will change pUres. 
He raises the paper tube, holding it 
by the top, and thus leaves behind 
the hollow shell, covering and con- 
cealing the bunch of flowers. He 
next takes off the cover of the pe- 
destal, first, ho w ever , taming die 
bayonet catch, so as to lift off with 
Fig. ana the cover the casing b. The solid 

cone is carried off between the casing 
and the cover {see Fig. 300), while the action of the Spring, the rasing 
being removed, brings the concealed bunch of flowers to the top <& 



MODERN MAGIC 367 

the pedestal, in the position lately occupied by the cone. Having 
shown that the cone and the flowers have changed places, the per- 
former next undertakes to bring them back to their original 
situation, which, by reversing the process, he does without 
difficulty. 

The pedestal above described is a very useful piece of apparatus, 
being available either to produce, change, or vanish any article of 
appropriate size. A very effective trick may be performed therewith 
by causing an empty tumbler to appear full, or vice versd. In this 
case, however, it should by no means be admitted that an exchange 
takes place, as the supposed filling of an empty glass with water by 
covering it with an evidently unsophisticated cover, is rather the 
more surprising phenomenon. 

The Flying Glass op Water. — This capital trick was, we 
believe, first introduced to the public by Colonel Stodare, to whom 
the profession is indebted for many first-class illu- 
sions. The necessary apparatus consists of a 
couple of ordinary glass tumblers, exactly alike, 
• with an india-rubber cover just fitting the mouth 
of one of them, and a coloured handkerchief of 
silk or cotton made double (i.e., consisting of two 
similar handkerchiefs sewn together at the edges), Flo 

with a wire ring (of the size of the rim of one of 
the tumblers, or a fraction larger) stitched loosely between them, 
in such manner that when the handkerchief is spread out the ring 
shall be in the middle. 

The performer, beforehand, nearly fills one of the tumblers with 
water, and then puts on the india-rubber cover, which, fitting closely 
all round the edge, effectually prevents the water escaping (see Fig. 
201). The glass, thus prepared, he places in the profonde on his 
right side. He men brings forward the other glass and a decanter of 
water, and the prepared handkerchief, and in full view of the audi- 
ence fills the glass with water up to the same height as he has already 
filled the one in his pocket, and hands round glass and water for 
inspection. When they are returned, he places the glass upon the 
table, a few inches from its hinder edge, and standing behind it, 




368 MODERN MAGIC 

covers it with the handkerchief, first spreading out and showing both 
sides of the latter, proving, to all appearance, that there is do pre- 
paration about it In placing the handkerchief over the glass, be 
draws it across in such manner as to bring the hidden ring as exactly 
as possible over the top of the glass. Then placing the left hand 
over the handkerchief, as shown in Fig. 201, he raises, apparently, 
the glass within the handkerchief, bnt really the empty handkerchief 
only, which is kept distended by the ring, and, at the same time, under 
cover of the handkerchief, gently lowers 
the glass of water with the other hand 
on to the servante. This is by no means 
difficult, as the pretended carefulness 
of the operator not to spill the water 
allows him to make the upward move- 
ment of the left hand as deliberate as 
he pleases. All that is really necessary 
is to take care to follow with his eya the 
movement of the left hand, which will 
infallibly draw the eyes and the minds 
of the audience in the same direction. 
Having raised the supposed tumbler to 
a height of about two feet from the 
table, the performer brings it forward 
to the audience, and requests that some 
gentleman with a steady hand will favour 
him with his assistance. A volunteer 
having been found, and having given 
Fro. aca. satisfactory replies as to the steadiness 

of his nerves, and the strength of his 
constitution generally, is requested to place his hand under the 
handkerchief and take the glass. As he proceeds to obey, the per- 
former lets go of the handkerchief with the left hand, still retaining 
one comer with the right, and lets the right arm with the handker- 
chief drop to his side. Pretending to believe that the gentleman has 
taken the glass, and not to notice its disappearance, he turns carelessly 
aside, and brings forward a small table or chair, saying, " Put it here, 
please." Looking, generally, somewhat foolish, the victim repliet 



MODERN MAGIC. 369 



that he has not got it. If the performer is a good actor, he may here 
make some fan by pretending to believe that the victim has concealed 
the glass, and pressing him to return it. At last he says, " Well, if 
yon won't give it to me, I mast find it for myself," and he proceeds 
to tap with his wand the sleeves and pockets of the unfortunate indi- 
vidual, but without success, till, on touching him between the 
shoulders, he pretends to tell by the sound that the glass is there. 
"Yes, here it is/' he remarks. " I am sorry to be obliged to ask you 
to turn yonr back on the company, but to show them that there is no 
deception on my part, I am compelled to do so. Will you please 
turn round for one minute." On his doing so, the performer, again 
shaking out the handkerchief, and showing both sides of it to prove 
it empty, spreads it over the back of the victim. Again he taps with 
his wand, which, striking the ring through the handkerchief, causes 
an unmistakeable hard sound to be heard ; and then grasping the ring 
as before through the handkerchief, he deliberately raises it up in a 
horizontal position, the effect being as if the glass had again returned 
to the handkerchief. He then says, " I don't think I will trouble this 
gentleman again 5 he is too much of a conjuror himself ;" then turn- 
ing rapidly to the audience, he says, " Catch, ladies and gentlemen," 
and "flicks" the handkerchief quickly towards the spectators, who duck 
their heads in expectation of a shower. " Pardon me, ladies, I fear 
I alarmed you ; but you need not have been afraid 5 I never miss my 
aim. That gentleman has the glass" (designating anyone he pleases). 
" May I trouble you to step forward one moment, sir ? " On the 
person indicated doing so, the performer places him facing the audi- 
ence, and under cover of his body takes the second glass out of the 
piofonde, and throws the handkerchief over it, remarking, "Yes, 
ladies and gentlemen, here it is, in this gentleman's tail pocket." 
Then taking hold of the glass with the left hand beneath the hand- 
kerchief, he clips with the first finger and thumb, through the hand- 
kerchief, the edge of the india-rubber cover, and thus drawing off the 
cover inside the handkerchief, hands round the glass and water for 
inspection. 

Two improvements have recently been made in this trick, which, 
though trifles in themselves, greatly heighten the effect Upon a 
performance of the trick as already described, it is not uncommon to 

24 



37<> MODERN MAGIC. 

find some person, more acute than (be average, guess that there is a 
ring in the handkerchief. The first of the improvements we have 
mentioned is designed to make the ring no longer a fixture, and yet to 
insure bringing it into the right position when necessary. This is 
effected by stitching the 
two handkerchiefs to- 
gether, not only round 
the edge, as already ex- 
plained, but also as shown 
by the dotted line in Fig. 
203. This confines the 
ring to the triangular en- 
closure, a e d, within 
which, however, it is al- 
lowed to move freely, net 
being attached to the 
handkerchief in any way. 
If the handkerchief is 
held by the two comers 
F10. aoa. ° ^ ( wn ' cn should be dis- 

tinguished by a mark of 
coloured silk or worsted, so as to be readily identified by the per- 
former) the ring will take its proper place in the middle, as shown in 
the figure. If, on the other hand, the handkerchief beheld by either the 
corners a b or c d, the ring will forthwith run into the angle adt or 
da e, as the case may be, and the handkerchief, if grasped a little 
below this particular corner, may be twisted or pulled through the 
hands ropewise, proving, with apparent conclusiveness, that there is 
no ring or shape concealed in it. 

The second improvement is to have ready on ,the servante a small 
piece of sponge, recently dipped in water. This is picked tip by the 
right hand of the performer as he places the genuine glass on the 
servante. When he has moved away from his table, at the moment 
of requesting his volunteer assistant to take the glass, he places the 
right hand for a moment under cover of the handkerchief, and 
squeezes the sponge, the water that immediately pours from it being, 
apparently, accidentally spilt, and so negativing any possible donbt 



MODERN MAGIC. 371 

on the part of the spectators that the glass is really in the handker- 
chief. With these two additions the trick is one of the most effec- 
tive that can possibly be performed, whether in a drawing-room or on 
the public stage. 

The Bowls op Water and Bowls of Firs frojh/cbd prom 
a Shawl.*— After the explanation of the last trick, the reader will 
form a tolerably good guess at the means of performing this, which 
has puzzled thousands, and is still one of the most popular feats 
in the repertoire of the conjuror. 

The performer comes forward with a shawl in his hand, which he 
spreads out and exhibits on both sides, to show (as is really the fact) 
that there is no preparation about it. The spectators being satisfied 
on this point, and the orchestra playing the " Ghost Melody" or other 
appropriate accompaniment, he swings the shawl about in time to the 
music, finally throwing it over his left shoulder and arm, the arm 
being held square before him. The arm now gradually sinks down, 
and the form of some solid object is seen defined beneath the 
shawl, which, being removed, reveals a glass bowl brimming with 
water, and with gold fish swimming about in it. This is repeated a 
second and a third time, the performer sometimes discarding the 
shawl, and borrowing a pocket-handkerchief among the audience for 
the production of the last bowl. 

The bowls used are saucer-shaped, measuring six to eight inches 
in diameter, and one and a half to two inches in depth. Each is 
closed by an india-rubber cover, after the manner of the tumbler in 
the last trick. Thus secured, they are concealed about the person of 
the performer. The precise mode of concealment varies a little. 
Where three bowls are to be produced, one is generally carried beneath 
the coat-tails, in a sort of bag qpen at the sides, suspended from the 
waist, and the other two in pockets, opening perpendicularly, inside 
the breast of the coat or waistcoat, one on each side. 

Sometimes, by way of variation, bowls of fire are produced. -The 
bowls are in this case of thin brass.' They have no covers, but the 
inflammable material (tow moistened with spirits of wine) is kept in 
position by wires crossing the bowl at about half its depth, and is 
ignited by a wax matcb> struck against the inside of the bowl under 



372 MODERN MAGIC. 



coyer of the shawl and immediately dropped into the bowl, when the 
contents instantly burst into a blaze. Some bowls hare a mechanical 
arrangement for igniting the tow, but we ourselves much prefer the 
ample bowls above described. 

It was originally the practice to throw the shawl over a small 
round table, immediately removing it, and exhibiting the bowl upon 
the table. Modern performers discard the table, and produce the 
bowls in the midst of the audience. 

The Bowl op Ink changed to clear Water, with Gold 
Fish Swimming in it.— The performer brings forward a goblet- 
shaped glass vase, six or eight inches in height, nearly full of 
ink. To prove that the ink is genuine, he dips a playing-card into 
it, and brings it up with the lower half stained a deep black. 
Next, taking a ladle, he ladles out a portion of the liquid, and pours 
it on a plate, which is handed round for inspection. He next borrows 
a handkerchief from one of the audience, and covering the vase with 
it, announces that, by the exercise of his magic power, he will trans- 
form the ink in the vase to water. On removing the handkerchief, 
this transformation is found to be accomplished, while a couple of 
gold fish, placidly swimming about in the bowl, sufficiently prove 
that the trick is not performed, as might be imagined, by means of 
some chemical reagent. 

The explanation, though by no means obvious, is very ample. 
The liquid in the vase is plain water; but a bottomless black silk 
lining, fitting the vase, and kept in shape by a wire ring round its 
upper edge, gives it the appearance of ink to a spectator at a little 
distance. In removing the handkerchief, the performer clips with it 
the wire ring, bringing away the lining within the handkerchief, and 
revealing the clear water in the glass. 

But the reader will naturally inquire, " How, then, are the black- 
ened card and the genuine ink ladled out on the plate accounted 

for?" 

The blackened card, though apparently an ordinary one, has the 
same figure, say a knave of diamonds, on both its sides ; but the 
lower half of the one side is beforehand stained with ink. The 
performer dips it in with the unsoiled side toward the audience; but 




MODERN MAGIC. 373 

giving it a half-torn as he removes it, thereby brings the blackened 

side in front. The ink poured on the plate is accounted for with 

equal simplicity. The ladle (see Fig. 304) is of tin, having a hollow 

handle of the same 

metal, with a minute 

hole opening therefrom 

into the bowl. There 

is a similar small hole 

near to the top of the 

handle. The bowl is Fig. 304- 

beforehand filled with 

ink, which is thence allowed to run into the handle ; after which 

the upper hole is stopped with a little pellet of wax, or a small 

piece of paper is pasted over it. By reason of a well-known natural 

law, the liquid will not run out of the lower hole until the upper one 

15 opened. As the performer dips the, ladle apparently into the ink 

in the bowl, he scrapes off with his nail the wax or paper with 

which the upper hole is stopped, and the ink immediately runs into 

the bowl, whence it is poured upon the plate. 

The Inexhaustible Bottle.— The same natural principle which 
prevents the ink from flowing into the bowl of the ladle until the 
upper hole is opened, is the 
basis of this old but still 
popular trick. The inex- 
haustible bottle, though in 
appearance an ordinary glass 
bottle, is in reality of tin, 
japanned black. Internally 
it is divided into three, four, 
or five separate compart- 
ments, ranged round a cen- 
tral space, and each tapering 
Fig. aos. to 8 narrow-mouthed tube, 

which terminates about an 
inch within the neck of the bottle. A small pinhole is drilled 
through the outer surface of the bottle into each compartment, the 



374 MODERN MAGIC. 



holes being so placed that when the bottle is grasped by the hand m 
the ordinary way (see Fig. aoj), each hole may be covered by one or 
other of the fingers or thumb. The central space is left empty, but 
the surrounding compartments are filled, by means of a found with 
a very tapering nozzle, with the wines or liquids expected to be most 
in demand, or to which it is intended to limit the spectators 9 choice. 
A tray full of glasses, made specially of very thick glass, so as to 
contain in reality much less than they appear to do, completes the 
apparatus. 

The performer comes forward with the magic bottle, followed by 
an attendant bearing the tray of glasses. He commences by openly 
pouring water into the bottle, and out again, so as indirectly to 
raise the inference that the bottle must be perfectly empty. The 
water, in truth, really passes into the centre space only, and thence 
mns out again as soon as the bottle is tilted. The fingers, mean- 
while, are tightly pressed on the different holes, and thus excluding 
the air, effectually prevent any premature flow of wine from the 
various compartments. The performer, still holding the bottle 
mouth downwards, says, " You observe, ladies and gentlemen, that 
the bottle is now perfectly empty, and yet, by my magic art, I 
shall compel it to refill itself for your benefit.'* He then, addressing 
various individuals, asks each whether he prefers port, sherry, gin, 
etc., and when the answer is given, has only to raise the finger 
stopping the air-hole of that particular compartment to cause the 
liquid named to flow from the bottle, stopping as soon as the finger 
is again pressed on the hole. It is a good plan, in order to prevent 
confusion, to place the liquors in the bottle in alphabetical order, 
commencing from the hole stopped by the thumb. Some performers 
increase the variety of the liquors produced, by placing beforehand 
in certain of the glasses a few drops of various flavouring essences. 
By this means a compartment filled with plain spirits of wine may he 
made to do duty for brandy, whiskey, etc., at pleasure, according to 
the glass into which the liquid is poured. 

The trick is sometimes elaborated by the performer, by way of 
conclusion, apparently breaking the bottle, and producing therefrom 
a borrowed handkerchief or other article which has been made to dis- 
appear in some previous trick. This is effected by means of an 



MODERA MAGIC. 



375 




additional speciality in the construction of the bottle. The compart- 
ments containing the liquids in this case terminate a conple of inches 
above the bottom of the bottle, and the part below 
this, which has a wavy edge, like fractured glass, is 
made to slip on and off. (See Fig. 106.) The per- 
former, having produced the wines, pretends to crack 
the bottle all round b> rapping it with his wand, and, 
having apparently cracked it, pulls the bottom off, 
and exhibits the handkerchief, which was before- 
hand placed in readiness therein. The two parts of 
the bottle joining with great nicety, there is little 
fear that the pretended crack will prematurely attract 
attention. 

Where the trick is performed before a very large 
audience, a single bottle would not contain sufficient 
liquor to answer all the demands upon it. In this 
case it is necessary to change the bottle, sometimes 
more than once in the course of the tiick. This is 
most frequently done under cover of a chair or 
table ; but where the trick is performed on the stage, a more elaborate 
expedient is sometimes employed. The bottle used has in this case 
an outer shell or casing of tin, open at the bottom, the actual recep- 
tacle for the liquids being within this. When the bottle is exhausted, 
the performer with apparent carelessness places it upon a small table, 
standing against the side scene, pending the arrival of more glasses, or 
under any other convenient pretext. The bottle is, in truth, placed 
immediately over a small round trap, the performer being guided as 
to its proper position by a couple of small pins projecting upwards 
from the surface of the table, against which pins he pushes the bottle. 
Hie moment it is so placed, the assistant behind the scenes, who has 
his eye to a hole in the partition, and his arm extended within the 
table, opens the trap, pulls down the empty interior of the bottle, and 
instantly replaces it with a full one, which he holds in readiness, and 
at the moment when the performer again grasps the bottle to con- 
tinue the trick (and thereby furnishes die necessary resistance), 
pushes it sharply up into its place. 



Fig. 206. 



376 



MODERN MAGIC. 



The Bottle and Ribbons. — This is another favourite bottle 
trick. The bottle is in this case also of tin, with an enclosed space 
round the sides to contain wine, commencing about an inch and i 
half from the lower end, and terminating just within the mouth. 
(See Fig. 307.) The bottle has no 
bottom, and there is thus a passage, in 
the shape of an inverted funnel, extend- 
ing through its whole length. A cylin- 
drical base or stopper (see Fig. 308) just 
fits into the space at the bottorn.of the 
bottle, and on this are fixed six or eight 
small reels or bobbins. On each of 
these is wound a yard or so of ribbon, 
each of a different colour. An upright 
wire rod springs from the centre of this 
base, terminating jnst within the neck 
1 of the bottle in a little flat piece of metal, 
jj perforated with as many boles as there 
^t^zuP^ are ribbons ; and one end of each of the 
Fio. aoj. Fie. ao3. ribbons is brought up through one of 

these holes, and a little knot made 
upon it to prevent its slipping back again. 

The ribbons being in position, and the space in the bottle duly 
filled with wine, the performer brings it forward, and, after pouring out 
a glass or two, asks some lady present which is her favourite colour, 
ahd on receiving an answer, gently taps the bottle with his wand, and 
immediately draws out with the tip of his forefinger from the neck, 
and presents to her, a ribbon of the desired colour. More wine is 
produced, alternately with fresh ribbons, until all are exhausted. 

The above is the drawing-room form of the trick. Upon the 
stage, it is slightly varied. The same kind of bottle is used, but the 
internal provision of reels and ribbons is removed, so that the bottle 
remains a simple tin bottle, open at the bottom, with the funnel- 
shaped passage already mentioned extending through its entire length. 
The performer, having poured out a glass or two of wine, places the 
bottle on a stool or table, through the pillar of which is a bole or pas- 
sage communicating with a corresponding hole in the stage. Beneath 



MODERN MAGIC. 377 



this is stationed the performer's assistant, who is provided with a 
large number of various coloured ribbons, and a thin rod of three 
or four feet in length, with a small point or blunt pin at the top. 
The performer takes care always to repeat in an audible voice the 
name of the colour called for. This is a signal to the assistant to 
hitch one end of the ribbon in question on the top of the rod, and 
hold it in readiness beneath the stage. He does not, however, push 
it ap through the bottle until warned by the sound of the tap of the 
wand on the bottle that the performer is ready to receive it. The 
performer, on his part, takes care, before tapping the bottle, to place 
his thumb upon the mouth, so as to prevent the rod passing too 
far. Sometimes a combination of colours is asked for, as, for in- 
stance, the tricolour, or any other national group of colours. 

After having produced a reasonable number of ribbons, an effective 
finish may be made as follows : — A last colour or combination of 
colours having been demanded, the performer does not draw the 
ribbons, as hitherto, completely out of the bottle, but leaves them 
banging down loosely on each side of it. He now announces that, at 
the word of command, the ribbons shall, of their own accord, return 
into the bottle. The assistant takes his iue accordingly, and at the 
third tap of the wand draws the ribbons smartly down again ; their 
instantaneous disappearance within the bottle being exceedingly 
effective. 

The New Pyramids of Egypt, or the Wine and Water 
Trick. — This trick may be very well worked in conjunction with 
either of the bottle tricks already described, and we therefore notice it 
io this place. Its effect is as follows : — The performer pours out a 
glass of wine and a glass of water, finally transferring both to a small 
decanter. Placing the decanter on a small round stand, and the 
empty glasses on similar stands on either side of it, he covers each 
with a pyramidal cover, and announces that at his command the mixed 
wine and water will again separate, and pass into the empty glasses, 
the spectators being allowed to choose into which of the glasses each 
element shall pass. The choice having been made, he fastens a tape 
or ribbon to the centre pyramid, and thence to each of the side ones, 
giving the audience to understand that, by a mysterious kind of 



378 MODERN MAGIC. 

capillary attraction, the wine and water will travel along this ribbon 
to their respective destinations. A few moments having elapsed, the 
ribbons are untied and the covers removed. The decanter is found 
to be empty, and the wine and water to have respectively returned to 
the glasses designated by the audience. 

The glasses used have no speciality, but the decanter has a small 

hole in its under side. This is plugged with a pellet of wax, which, 

however, is instantly immoveable at pleasure. Of the three stands, two 

(those on which the glasses stand) have no preparation, being mere 

raised shapes of tin. The third is similar in appearance, but is, in 

fact, a hollow box, with three or four little holes drilled id its upper 

side, for a purpose 

that will presently 

appear. Of the three 

covers, the centre one 

is hollow throughout, 

but the other two hare 

each its upper portion 

occupied by a hollow 

chamber or reservoir, 

divided in two by a 

vertical partition, and 

tapering down to 






tube with i 



small opening. Each 
of these compartments has an air-hole at the top. (See Fig. 309.) 

These two covers are beforehand prepared for the trick by filling 
the two compartments of each, one with wine and the other with 
water. The air-holes are stopped with pellets of wax, but for the 
sake of distinction the "wine" compartment of each is plugged with 
red wax, and the " water " compartment with white wax. Any other 
distinguishing mark is, of course, equally good. So long as the air- 
holes are thus stopped, there is do fear of the liquid running out 
The performer, having filled the glasses as already described, roiiw 
the contents in the decanter, and in placing the latter on the stand, 
removes the wax plug from the bottom, thus allowing the wine to 
run out, and to percolate through the above-mentioned holes into the 



MODERN MAGIC. 



379 



stand, where it remains. He next places the empty glasses on their 
respective stands, and places the covers over them. He then asks 
the audience into which of the glasses they desire that the wine 
shall travel, and into which the water. When they have made their 
decision, he has only to remove the red pellet from the cover which 
is over the glass into which the wine is to pass, and the white pellet 
from the opposite cover. The tying of the tape from cover to cover 
is merely designed to give time for the liquids to reach their respective 
destinations, and is, indeed, altogether dispensed with by many per- 
formers. The air-holes may be stopped by means of tinfoil pasted 
over them, instead of the wax, if preferred. The foil is instantly 
removeable by scraping with the nail. 

The Mysterious Funnel. — This is a little appliance on the 
same principle, which may be incidentally introduced with good 
effect in the course of a wine trick. It is a tin funnel, made double 
throughout, with a space of half-an-inch or so between its inner and 
outer sides. It is, in fact, a funnel within a funnel, joined at the 
upper edges. {See Fig. 210.) It has an air- 
hole, c, generally on the under side of the 
handle. When required for use, the hidden 
space is filled with wine. The simplest way 
of doing this is to stop the spout of the funnel 
with the finger, and then to fill it with wine, 
which, seeking its own level, will gradually 
rise to the same height in the outer space as 
it stands at inside the funnel. This must, of 
course, be done with the air-hole open. When 
the space is filled, the air-hole is stopped, and 
the wine remaining inside the funnel allowed 
to run out. The funnel will now appear perfectly empty, and may 
be used as a funnel in the ordinary way. 

The mode of using the funnel is somewhat after the following 

manner, subject, of course, to variation, according to the taste and 

# • 

invention of the performer : — 

A juvenile is invited to take a glass of wine, the produce of either 
of the preceding tricks. When he has imbibed it, the performer 




Fig. 210. 



380 MODERN MAGIC. 



asks a second juvenile whether he would like a glass also. The reply 
is pretty sure to be in the affirmative, but the performer pretends to 
find, when about to oblige him, that his store is exhausted. He 
begins to apologize for the supposed disappointment, but as if sud- 
denly bethinking himself, says, " However, you shan't be disappointed. 
If I can't supply you in the natural way, I must do so in a super- 
natural way. Suppose we take back the wine this young gentleman 
has just drunk. I don't suppose it will be any the worse. Let me see, 
where is my magic funnel. Oh, here it is. Let us make sore first 
that it is quite clean.*' He pours water through it, and then holds it 
up to the light in such a manner that the audience can see right through, 
thus indirectly showing them that it is empty. " Now, sir " (address- 
ing the youngster who has drunk the glass of wine), " I am going to 
take back that glass of wine. Be kind enough to bend your elbow, 
and hold it over the mouth of the funnel, so. And you, sir'* 
(addressing the expectant), "perhaps you will be kind enough to 
take this young gentleman's other arm, and work it gently up and 
down. In fact, we are going to transform him into a pump. Now, 
sir." The performer holds the glass under the funnel, and as soon as 
the pretended pumping begins, opens the air-hole, when the wine 
runs into the glass, and is handed to the second young gentleman as 
a reward for his exertions. 

Acted with spirit, this little interlude is sure of an uproarious 
reception from the juvenile portion of the audience, particularly if the 
operator possesses the magic bradawl described at page 332, and makes 
use of it to bore a small hole in the victim's elbow before beginning 
to pump the wine from it. 

The Box of Bran transformed to a Bottle of Wine.— 
While upon the subject of wine tricks, we may mention this, which 
is by no means the least surprising of the illusions to which "the 
bottle " gives birth. The necessary apparatus consists of four pieces. 
First, a plain cylindrical tin box A (see Fig. 211), japanned to taste, 
and about six inches high by three in diameter. Secondly, B, a 
similar box, so far as external appearance is concerned, but materially 
different in its internal construction. This latter is bottomless, bat 
has a horizontal tin partition at about three-quarters of an inch from 



MODERN MAGIC. 381 • 

the top. These two boxes have bat one lid, which fits either indif- 
ferently. The third article is a cylindrical pasteboard cover (Fig. 
an), closed at the top, and of such 
a size as to fit loosely over B, bat an 
inch or two taller. The fourth item is 
a bottle, made of tin, japanned black, 
and of somewhat peculiar construc- 
tion. (See Fig. 313.) As a measure 

of capacity, it terminates just below £ B 

the shoulder, the remainder, or body 
of the bottle, being, in fact, merely a 
tube closed at the bottom, in which 
this upper portion works. A spiral 
Spring within the body presses the fie. 311. 

neck portion upward into its proper 

position ; but if pressure be applied, the neck portion will sink down- 
ward into the body, as shown in Fig. 214, io which condition it just 
fits into B. A small point projects from the lower part of the bottle, 
and corresponds with a bayonet catch at the bottom of B, which is in 
fact designed as a case or cover for the bottle. 

For the performance of the trick the operator will require, in addi- 
tion to the apparatus above mentioned, an 
oblong deal box, half full of bran. (Rice is 
sometimes used, but is not so good.) Any 
box will answer the purpose, so long as it is 
not less than fifteen inches or so in length, 
and nine in breadth and depth. In preparing 
for the trick, the first step is to fill the bottle, 
or the "tillable" portion thereof, with wine 
or some other liquid. The bottle is then 
corked ; B is placed over it and pressed down, 
and the bayonet-catch fastened. In this con- 
dition, bat without a lid, B is placed in the 
fig. ais. deal box, and buried in the bran. The box 

of bran being now brought forward and placed 
on the table, the performer is ready to begin the trick. He first 
draws attention to A, which be bands round for inspection, as also 



■ 383 MODERN MAGIC. 

the pasteboard cover. When they are returned, he brings forward 
the box of bran, moving his hand backwards and forwards in it, and 
distributing a few handf uls to show its genuineness. 
Replacing the bos on the table, 
he proceeds to fill A with bran. 
This he does by dipping A com- 
pletely in the box, and scooping 
up the necessary quantity. As if 
to show all fair, he pours the bran 
out again into the box, and then 
makes a second dip to refill it. 
This time, however, he makes an 
exchange, and instead of bringing fic. 314. 

Fig. 213, U P A > brings U P B, filling as he 

does so the shallow space at the top of the 
latter, which thus appears to be full to the brim. Placing it on the 
table, and putting the lid on, he places the pasteboard cover over it, 
and, addressing the company, volunteers to teach them how to extract 
wine from bran, and wine bottles from tin boxes. After a moment's 
pause, and the orthodox touch with the wand, he removes the cover, 
giving it at the same time a slight twist, thus releasing the catch, and 
removing B within the cover. The spring within the bottle now 
meeting no resistance, presses the neck portion upwards into its 
proper position, with all the appearance of a genuine bottle; and as 
it, in its present condition, is considerably taller than B, it can hardly 
be suspected that it was a moment ago concealed in the latter, par- 
ticularly as the performer immediately proceeds to give a further 
proof of its genuineness by pouring a glass of wine from it. 

In connection with the above trick we may describe another useful 
piece of apparatus, known as 

The Bran Bottle. — This is a bottle, which, being covered oter 
for an instant, vanishes, leaving in its place a heap of bran. The 
bottle is, like that last described, of tin, with a false bottom or par- 
tition, about an inch below the shoulder, so that it holds about a 
glassful of wine. The place of the ordinary bottom is supplied by a 
disc of tin, with a raised shoulder round it, fitting loosely within the 



MODERN MAGIC. 383 



bottle, so as to drop out by its own weight, unless kept in place by 
some external pressure. The cover is a mere cylinder of pasteboard, 
dosed at the top. The bottle is prepared for use by filling the lower 
portion with bran, and putting the bottom in place (where it is re- 
tained by the pressure of the fingers), then filling the upper part with 
wine. The performer first pours wine from the bottle, and then places 
it on a plate, ostensibly to show that ' it does not pass through any 
opening in the table, but really for a reason which will presently 
appear. He now places the cover over the bottle, and on again lifting 
it presses the sides slightly, and so lifts the bottle with it. The loose 
bottom, having no longer anything to hold it, remains on the plate, 
concealed by the bran which pours from the bottle, and into which 
the bottle is apparently transformed. Meanwhile, all eyes being 
drawn to the heap of bran, the performer lowers his hand, containing 
the cover, for an instant behind the table, and relaxing the pressure 
of his fingers, lets the bottle slip out on the servant e, immediately 
coming forward with the cover, and carelessly showing that it is 
empty. 

In combination with the Bran Bottle, the trick last above described 
is greatly heightened in effect, the bottle appearing under the cover 
which has just been placed over the tin box — the bran from the latter 
being found under the cover which a moment previously concealed 
the bottle, and the tin box being found to have passed into the large 
box of bran. The Bran Bottle may also be worked with great effect 
in combination with the trick of the " Bran and Orange, 19 described 
at page 33$. 

The Bran Glass. — This is an ingenious and very useful piece of 
apparatus. It is made in all sizes, from that of an ordinary wine- 
glass to a goblet large enough to hold a rabbit. Its effect is as fol- 
lows : — The glass is brought forward apparently filled with bran to 
the brim. The performer proves its genuineness by taking up a 
handful of it, and scattering it over the stage. A brass cover is now 
placed over the glass, and instantly removed, when every particle of 
bran is found to have disappeared, and in place of it is found some 
article which had been conjured away at some earlier period of the 
trick. The explanation is very simple. The. glass is shaped as 



384 MODERN MAGIC. 

shown in Fig. »IJ, with straight sides, tapering outwards. The 

supposed bran is really a hollow shape of tin, a, dosed at the top, 

bat open at the bottom, with bran 

gummed all over it, and a handful 

of loose bran spread on the top. 

At each side of its upper edge is 

a little wire point, just overpassing 

the edge of the glass. The cover 

(see Fig. ai(5), which isof aocha 

size as to cover the glass as far as 

the upper part of its stem, has no 

speciality about it, save a shallow 

fu, BI . groove running round its upper 

edge on the inside, as shown by 

the dotted line. When the cover is placed on the glass, and pressed 

smartly down, the two points already mentioned are forced into this 

groove, which thus grips the tin shape, and when again removed, lifts 

it out of the glass, leaving behind whatever article may have been 

beforehand placed within. 

Where the bran glass is of large size, the metal cover is indis- 
pensable j but for glasses not exceeding the ordinary tumbler size, it 
is preferable to cover the glass with a borrowed 
handkerchief only, the hollow shape being in 
this case made, not of tin, bat of thin cardboard. 
The two points are dispensed with, but in place 
of them there should be a piece of thread, in 
length about double the diameter of the glass, 
fastened from side to side of the shape. This, 
hanging down on the side of the glass which is Fw ^ 

toward the performer, is caught hold of through 
the handkerchief, and thus handkerchief and shape are lifted to- 
gether. 

The Bran Glass may be made available in a variety of ways ; tbe 
trick next following will afford ■ good practical illustration of its 
use. 

To Fiu Borrowed Kings from a Pistol, and makr thi* 



MODERN MAGIC. 



3«S 





Fig. 217. 



Pass into a Goblet filled with Bran and covered with a 
Handkerchief, the Bran Disappearing, and being found 
elsewhere. — The glass used in this instance is of ordinary tumbler 
size. It is not brought forward as above, with the bran shape already 
in place, but empty, and may therefore be freely offered for inspec- 
tion. With it is brought forward a wooden box, of any size and 
shape, filled with bran, and in this, ready to hand, is concealed the 
bran shape. We have already had occasion to describe the magic 
pistol, or rather pistol tube j but the tube used in this instance (see 
Fig. 217) has an additional peculiarity. It is of comparatively small 
size, being about two 
inches wide at the 
mouth. Within this 
mouth fits easily a tin 
cup, a, about an inch 
and three quarters in 
depth, and having its 

edge turned over outwards all round, so as to afford a ready grip to the 
palm when it may be necessary to remove it. The pistol is before- 
hand loaded with powder, and the cup above described is placed in 
the mouth of the tube. 

The performer begins by asking the loan of three rings, to be fired 
from his magic pistol. To preclude the possibility of their being 
exchanged, he requests the owners to drop them into the pistol 
themselves. First, however, by way of wad, he takes a small piece 
of white paper, and presses its centre portion into the mouth of the 
pistol tube, its edges projecting all round, and forming a sort of cup 
to receive the rings. Three rings having been offered, and dropped 
into the pistol, the performer closes over the edges of the paper, and 
presses them down with his wand, the effect being as if the rings 
were fairly rammed down into the pistol, though they really remain in 
the cup, just within the mouth. He now hands the pistol to one of 
the spectators, requesting him to hold it muzzle upwards above his 
head. In handing it to him, he places for a moment his own right 
hand over the mouth of the tube, his palm being fiat upon it, and in 
again removing the hand lifts out and palms the cup (which the pro- 
jecting edge enables him to do with perfect ease). He has thus 



386 MODERN MAGIC. 



obtained possession of the rings. (As the holder of the pistol has 
been instructed to hold it above his head, he is not very likely to look 
into it ; but lest he should do so, and discover that the rings are 
already removed, it is well to place in the tube beforehand a piece of 
crumpled white paper, to represent that which contained the rings.) 

The performer now hands round the glass for examination, and 
subsequently draws attention to the box of bran. While doing this 
he has little difficulty in getting the rings out of the cup and paper 
into his right hand. He then, holding the glass in his left hand, dips 
it into the box, and fills it with bran, which he forthwith pours slowly 
back again to prove its genuineness. Meanwhile, his right hand is 
engaged in fishing up the bran shape among the bran, placing it 
mouth upwards in the box, and dropping the rings into it. When he 
again dips the glass into the box, he slips it mouth downwards over 
the shape, immediately turning it into the natural position, and bringing 
it up, to all appearance, full of bran As the rings were in the shape, 
they are, of course, now in the glass. He brushes the loose bran off 
the top, and then covers the glass with a borrowed handkerchief, 
taking particular notice on which side hangs the loop of thread. The 
person holding the pistol is now requested to take good aim, and fire 
at the glass. He does so, and the performer, lifting the handkerchief 
with the shape within it, lets the latter drop on the servante, and 
advancing with the glass, requests the owners to identify their rings. 

The trick may either end here, upon the supposition that the bran 
has been blown away altogether by the explosion, or the bran may be 
shown to have passed to some other place. There are numerous 
methods of effecting this latter transposition For instance, the pea 
vase (seepage 351 ), first shown empty, may be used, or the bran may be 
made to fall out of a second borrowed handkerchief, by means of the 
bag shown at page 248, or may be found in the apparatus next described. 

The "Domino-Box" (sometimes called the "Glove-Box"). 
— This is a little oblong box of walnut or rosewood, measuring about 
four inches in length by two inches in width, and an inch and a 
quarter in depth. It has a sliding lid, drawing out in the ordinary 
manner, but the whole box has a tightly-fitting inner lining, which 
may be pulled out, drawer fashion, with the lid. (See Fig. a 18.) It 



MODERN MAGIC 



3«7 




is used as follows : — Any small article, say a glove or a lady's hand- 
kerchief, is secretly placed inside this inner lining. The performer 
exhibits the box to the company, and to show that it is empty, turns 
it over towards them, and draws 
the lid nearly ont, drawing out 
with it at the same time the inner 
lining or drawer also. (See Fig. 
219.) From the position of the 
box, the drawer is, at a very short 
distance, completely hidden by the FlG 2l8 

lid. The box is, of course, seen 

to be perfectly empty. The performer now closes it, and turning its 
right side upwards, places it on the table. He then proceeds with 
the next stage of the trick, and at the right moment again opens the 

box, or invites some 
one else to do so. 
This time the lid alone 
is drawn out, and the 
hidden article is found 
in the box. 

There is another 
speciality about the Domino-box, which renders it available to cause 
the disappearance of a coin placed in it ; though, as in the case of the 
rt Rattle-box," described in the chapter devoted to coin tricks, the 
coin is heard to rattle within it till the very 
moment of its disappearance. This is effected 
as follows: — Between the bottom of the 
drawer and that of the box proper is a very 
small space, just large enough to allow a 
shilling to lie between the true and false bot- 
tom. On the under side of the drawer, how- 
ever (see Fig. 220, showing the under side of the drawer portion), are 
glued two thin slips of wood, gradually approaching each other, and 
thereby narrowing this space to a width of about half an inch. If 
when the lid is withdrawn with the drawer, as already explained, a 
shilling or sovereign is dropped into the box, and the box again closed, 
the coin will have plenty of room to rattle about as long as it remains 




Fig. 219. 




Fig. 220. 



388 



MODERN MAGIC. 



at the end a, but if shaken down with a sharp jerk in the direction 
of the end b, it will become caught in the narrower portion of the 
opening, and will thenceforth be silent, unless it may suit the purpose 
of the performer to release it again, which he can do by a sharp 
downward jerk in the direction of a. Of course, as the coin is below 
the false bottom, it will appear to have vanished when the box is 
opened in the ordinary way. 

The Domino-box is sometimes used to change a sovereign to its 
equivalent in silver, the "change" being beforehand wrapped in 
paper, and concealed in the drawer. It is sometimes also caused to 
fill itself with bonbons, in place of a coin deposited in it 

These boxes are usually made in pairs, alike in appearance, bat 
the one is a simple box without any speciality, and may therefore 
be handed round for examination, the mechanical box being adroitly 
substituted at the right moment. The fact that two boxes are used 
is, of course, carefully concealed. 



The Coffee Trick. (Coffee Berries changed to Hot 
Coffee, White Beans to Sugar, and Bran to Hot Milk). — 
The pieces of apparatus used in this trick are of brass or japanned 

tin, and are three in number, two 
being tall cylindrical vases, stand- 
ing eighteen to twenty inches in 
height, the third a goblet-shaped 
vase, of about half that height 
The latter is made upon the prin- 
ciple of the " bran glass," above 
described, consisting of three por- 
tions (see Fig. 221), the goblet a, 
the cover c, and a shallow tray b, 
which fits into the goblet, and which, if the cover is pressed down 
smartly, and again removed, is lifted off with it. It differs, however, 
from the u bran shape " in the fact that 6 is open at top instead of at 
bottom, and is only about one-fifth the depth of the goblet, leaving 
therefore considerable space below it. This portion of the appa- 
ratus is prepared for use by placing in the goblet a quantity of hot 
milk, putting b in position above it, and finally filling b with loose bran. 




Fig. aai. 



MODERN MAGIC. 389 

The construction of the other two vases will be quickly under- 
stood upon an inspection of Figs, aaa, «3- * is <he vase, and c 
the cover fitting loose- 
ly over it, but between 
these two is a well, b, 

made double, so as to 6 

fit at once into and 
outside of a, after a 
mode of construction 
which we have more 
than once had occasion 
to notice. There is a 
bayonet-catch at the 
lower edge of c, cor- 
responding with a pin 

or stnd at the lower ^ 

edgeof b, so that c may 

be lifted off either with or without b. There is a similar catch at the 
lower edge of b, corresponding with a stud at the bottom of a, but cut 
in the opposite direction to the other catch, so that the action of unlock- 
ing a from b locks b to 
c, and vice versd. 

The vase a requires 
a special description. A 
shallow saucer of tin, d, 
just fits the interior of 
the vase, working up 
and down therein piston- 
fashion, but prevented 
from coming out alto- 
gether by the fact that the 
upper edgeof a is slightly 
turned inwards all round. 
Below d is a spiral spring, 
F '°- "3- whose action tends to 

force d to the top of the vase, as shown in Fig. aaa. From the 
centre of d, however, there extends downwards through the spiral 



39© MODERN MAGIC. 



spring a piece of stiff wire e, with a crook, /, at the end. The foot 
of the vase is hollow throughout. If the saucer d is forced down by 
pressure from within, this wire, as soon as it reaches the position 
shown in Fig. 223, will hook itself within the foot of the vase, and 
so keep down d, until the crook is again released, when the whole 
will instantly return to the condition shown in Fig. 222. The bottom 
of the foot is open, so that the fingers can without difficulty find and 
release the crook when necessary. 

The vases are prepared by pressing down d in each as shown by 
the dotted lines in Fig. 223, and filling the well of the one with hot 
coffee, and that of the other with loaf-sugar. Their respective covers 
are then placed over them. The attention of the audience is first 
directed to a couple of wooden boxes, each about half as long again 
as the vases, and ten or twelve inches in depth, one of which is filled 
with coffee-berries, and the other with white haricot beans. The 
performer now uncovers the vase which contains the coffee, first 
turning the bayonet-catch so as to lift off the well b with the cover, 
and shows, by holding the vase upside down and rattling his wand 
within it, that it is perfectly empty. He now fills it with coffee- 
berries, laying it down in the box to do so, and holding it by the foot 
with one hand while he shovels the berries into it with the other. 
Having completely filled it with the berries, he holds it aloft, and, 
to show that there is " no deception," tilts it, and lets them run 
back again into the box. Again he dips it into the box, but, as he 
does so, releases the crook (which the fingers of the hand holding the 
vase are just in position to do), and thus lets d fly up to the top of 
the vase. Again he brings up the vase, apparently full as before, but 
really having only a mere layer of berries, of the depth of d, at the 
top. He now puts on the cover, the well in which again forces d 
and the superposed layer of coffee-berries down to make way for it, 
and causes the crook again to catch beneath the hollow of the foot. 
The same operation is now gone through with the vase whose well 
contains the sugar, and the box of white beans. The performer 
lastly takes from the third vase a handful of bran, which he scatters to 
show its genuineness, and then places the cover over it. The trick is 
now really completed. On removing the respective covers (taking 
care, of course, first to turn the bayonet-catches in the right direction), 



MODERN MAGIC. 391 

the wells are released from the covers and locked to the rases, which 
are thus found fall respectively of hot coffee and sugar, and, on re- 
moving the cover of the third vase, the bran is lifted off with it, and 
the milk is revealed. 

Some coffee vases, and more particularly those of French make, 
dispense with the bayonet-catch, replacing it br a peculiar arrange- 
ment inside the top of the cover. The upper edge of the well is 
slightly turned in all round, and the turning of the knob at the top of 
the cover causes three flat bolts or catches to shoot out circularly from 
the edges of a hollow disc, 
soldered to the top of the 
cover inside, and insert 
themselves under this pro- 
jecting edge. (Ste Figs. 224, 
225.) The mechanical ar- 
rangement by which this is 
effected is almost impos- m.r 

sible to explain in writing, Fl(s ^ Fia MJ 

though it becomes readily 

intelligible upon an actual inspection of the apparatus, and will be 
understood without much difficulty after a slight study of the above 
diagrams, the arrow in each case indicating the direction in which the 
knob must be turned, in order to bring the bolts into the condition 
shown in the opposite diagram. 

Thb Inexhaustible Box. — The inexhaustible box is, to all out- 
ward appearance, a plain wooden box, of walnut, mahogany, or rose- 
wood, in length from twelve to twenty inches, and in depth and width 
from nine to fifteen inches. Whatever its dimensions, its width and 
depth, exclusive of the lid, must be alike. To prove that it is with- 
out preparation within, the performer turns it over on the table 
towards the spectators, and, lifting the lid, shows that it is perfectly 
empty. Again he closes it, and, turning it right side upwards, opens 
it onoe more, and instantly proceeds to take from it a variety of 
different articles. At any moment the box is again turned over 
towards the audience, and shown to be empty ; but it is no sooner re- 
placed, than the performer recommences taking from it toys, bonbons. 



MODERN MAGIC. 



etc., the supply being many times larger than could possibly be con- 
tained at one time in the bos. 

The bottom a h of the box (see Fig. a 26) is moveable, working 011 
a lunge b extending along its front. When the box is turned over to 
the front, this bottom piece does not turn over with it, but remains 
flat upon the table as before. A piece of wood b e, of exactly similar 
size and shape, is glued to a £ at right angles. When the box stands 
right side upwards, this piece lies flat against the front of the box, 
whose upper edge is made with a slight " return," so as to conceal it. 
When the box is turned over to the front, this piece, like the bottom, 
retains Its position, while 
any object which had 
previously been placed in 
the box remains undis- 
turbed, but hidden by this 
latter piece. (See Figs. 
2:6,217.) It is, of course, 
& necessary that such object 
should be of such a size- 
as not to overpass the arc 
which the edge of the box 
describes in its change of 
position, and the length 
from b to c must be ea> 
Flc ^ actly the same as that 

from a to b. 
The mode of using the box will require little explanation. Any 
number of objects, not overpassing the limits we have mentioned, 
may be placed in the box, which, being then turned over, can be 
shown apparently empty. The box being replaced in its normal 
position, the articles are again within it, and can be produced at plea- 
sure. The effect of "inexhaustibility" is produced as follows:— 
Each time that the performer turns over the box to show that it is 
empty, he takes from the servante, or from his pockets, and places 
upon a b, a fresh supply of articles, to be produced as soon as the box 
is again right side upwards. 

It should be mentioned that the hinge at b is made to act freely, 



MODERN MAGIC. 393 

so that the bottom may by itg own weight retain its position when 
the box is turned over, and not turn over with the box. Some bones 
are made with a catch or pin at some part of a, so as to prevent a h 
falling prematurely while the box is being placed on the table, or 
while the performer carries round the box, and shows that, inside and 
out, h is without preparation. This, however, the performer may 
safely do, even without the 
use of any catch or fasten- 
ing, by taking care to grasp 
the box, when carrying it, 
by its front edge, with his 
fingers inside it. The fin- 
gers will thus press b c 
closely against the front 
of the box, and will there- 
by effectually prevent a b 
from shifting its position. 
The box is, of course, in 
the case supposed, really 
empty. The performer has 
therefore to make an oppor- 
tunity for introducing what a 
may be needful into it; this Fla ™* 
hemaydobyremarkingashe 

replaces it on his table, " You are by this time, ladies and gentlemen, 
tolerably well satisfied that there is nothing in this box ; but for the 
greater satisfaction of those who may not have been able to see the 
interior as I carried it round, I will once more show you that it is 
absolutely empty." So saying, he turns it over, and once more 
shows the interior, at the same time placing on a b whatever article 
he designs to produce. 

The Japanese Inexhaustible Boxes. — This is a form of the 
same apparatus, in which an additional element of mystery is pro- 
duced by the use of a box within a box. The inner box is an ordinary 
inexhaustible box, as last described, but made with a flat wooden lid, 
instead of the hollow or " box " lid used in the older form of the trick. 



39* MODERN MAGIC. 

The outer box just fits over the inner, and is, in fact, a mere cover for 
it, being an ordinary wooden box, save that it has no front. The 
two are brought on one within the other. The performer begins bj 
taking the smaller box (which is ready filled with the objects to be 
produced) completely out of the larger, and shows that the latter is 
absolutely empty. He then places the two boxes together, as shown 
in Fig. aa8, turning over the smaller box to show its interior, 
as already described. 
After this has been 
done, the smaller boi 
is tilted back to its 
normal position with- 
in tbe larger, the lid 
of the latter being 
slightly lifted to allow 
it to pass, and then 
both lids being open- 
ed together, the pro- 
duction of tbe con- 
tents commences. Tbe 
function of the larger 
box is, in fact, merely 
Fio. aa3. to act as a screen to 

the hinder part of tbe 
smaller, when turned over towards the audience. The only advantage 
of the Japanese over the ordinary box is that it may be worked on 
any table, and with spectators on all sides, but this advantage is 
counterbalanced by the -drawback that nothing can be produced save 
what was originally in the box, neither can the smaller box be carried 
round, and shown empty. This, however, may be met by beginning 
the trick with the two boxes together, and then, after having brought 
to light the whole of the original contents, offering (for the pretended 
purpose of heightening the effect) to continue the trick without the 
aid of the outer box. The inner box may thenceforth be replenished 
from behind in the same way as the ordinary Inexhaustible Box. 

The Inexhaustible Box is frequently made the vehicle for those 
distributions of bonbons, toys, etc., which to the juvenile mind form 



MODERN MAGIC. 



395 



by no means the least attractive feature of a magical performance. It 
is also available for the production of flowers, multiplying balls 
(see page 307), goblets, bird-cages, and the miscellaneous assortment 
of articles generally associated with " hat " tricks. One of the most 
effective modes of using it is in connection with the very pretty trick 
next following. 




v/jfim >'■ 









Fig. 229. 




Fig. ajo. 



Thb Feast op Lanterns. — The performer, having exhibited 
the box empty, as already described, turns it over again, and instantly 

produces from it a paper lantern of many colours, 
with a lighted candle in it. This he hands to his 
assistant or one of the company to 
hang up at some convenient part of 
the stage or room, and returning to 
the box produces another, and yet 
another, till ten or twelve, or even a 
larger number, have been produced, 
the box being every now and then turned over to 
prove it empty. The effect of a number of lanterns 
thus mysteriously produced from an empty box, and 
hung about the stage in all directions, is most bril- 
liant. As the candles do not burn very long, and there may be some 
risk of the lanterns catching fire, it is well to make this trick thejinale 
of the entertainment, and to allow the curtain to fall before the illumi- 
nation has had time to lose its effect. 

A great part of the effect of the trick lies in the very consider- 
able bulk of the lanterns, three or four of which would appa- 
rently be more than sufficient to fill a box from which a dozen or 
so are produced. This arises from the construction of the lantern* 
themselves, which are of the kind used for Christmas-trees and 
illuminations, and when open offer a considerable cylindrical surface 
(see Fig. 229), though when closed they are little more than flat discs 
(see Fig. 230). They are placed in the box in the condition shown 
in the last-mentioned figure ; but when lifted out by the wire at top, 
at once expand, concertina-fashion, and assume the shape shown in 
Fig. 229. They are lighted in sundry ways, one method being as 
follows : — Each lantern contains about three-quarters of an inch of 






39^ MODERN MAGIC. 

candle, from which the wick has been removed, and a wax match 
inserted in its stead. Against the front of the box, or rather 
against the wooden flap b c (see Fig. 227), is glued a tablet d of sand- 
paper upon which to strike the match, and a gentle rub against this 
instantly lights the candle, when the lantern is immediately lifted oat, 
as already explained. There is, however, an improvement whereby 
the lanterns are not only made to occupy much less space, but may be 
lighted simultaneously. In this case the little cylinder which forms 
the socket for the candle, and which should be about half an inch in 
diameter, instead of occupying the middle of the space at the bottom 
of the lantern, is placed at one side of such space. One of the Ian* 
terns, viz., that which is to be undermost when they are grouped 
together, has no further preparation j but the second, by the side of 
its own socket, has a round hole in the bottom, just large enough 
to give room for the socket of the first. The next, or third lantern, 
has two holes, allowing the passage of the sockets of the first and 
second. The fourth has three holes, the fifth four, the sixth five, the 
seventh six, and the eighth seven, so that when the lanterns are placed 
one upon another in proper order, the sockets of the lower lanterns 
come up in a circle through the holes in the bottom of the uppermost 
one. The tops and bottoms are made of tin, which is not only safe 
from catching fire, but occupies very little space. In this case the 
original wicks of the candles are retained, but are slightly moistened 
with turpentine to render them instantly inflammable, and are lighted 
by a lucifer or wax match struck in the ordinary way, the merest 
touch sufficing to ignite them. They may then be lifted out in rapid 
succession with great effect. A group of six or eight lanterns thus 
prepared may be produced from a borrowed hat, being previously con- 
cealed in the breast or tail-pocket of the performer, and " loaded " 
into the hat at any convenient opportunity. It is desirable in this 
case to have a friction tablet glued upon the top of the uppermost 
lantern to strike the match upon, as the hat lining is hardly adapted 
for that purpose. 

The lanterns above described are the most generally used, and are 
by much the easiest to manipulate. There is, however, a spherical 
lantern also obtainable at the toy-shops, which has a decidedly prettier 
effect. This form of lantern is, when shut up, as shown in Fig. 231. 




MODERN MA GIC 397 

To develop it, the wires a and b are each made to describe a semi- 
circle, as shown by the dotted line, bringing the whole into the 
condition shown in fig. »3», in which condition it is maintained by 
slipping the loop of a under b. The best plan for lighting in this case 
is to hare a separate 
small piece of candle, 
prepared with a match 
wick, as above-men- 
tioned, placed in readi- 
ness on the servante, 
and a small pin or 
sharp nail projecting 
upwards from the bot- 
tom of the box to act 
as a candlestick. The Fro. 331. Fig. 332. 

candles in the lantern 

wQl in this case need no special preparation. The performer first 
lights the prepared candle by robbing it against the tablet, and then 
presses it down upon the upright pin we have mentioned. The other 
candles are in turn lighted from this, each lantern being put into 
shape before being lifted out of the box, which must in this case be 
of tolerable size, in order to admit of their ready development. 

The Buttbrflt Trick. — This is a trick of Japanese origin, 
which became very popular two or three years since. In effect it is 
as follows : — The performer brings forward an ordinary fan, and a 
couple of bits of tissue-paper, each torn into a fanciful likeness of a 
butterfly. Taking these upon his hand, he gently fans them, the 
motion of the air speedily causing them to rise above his head. Still 
gently fanning them, he causes them to hover, now high, now low, 
now fluttering along the wall, now descending into a gentleman's 
hat, whence they presently emerge to again flutter hither and thither 
at his pleasure. 

The point that most strikes an attentive observer is the fact that, 
whether they fly high or low, the butterflies always keep together. 
Sometimes they may be a couple of feet apart, sometimes only a few 
inches, bat they never exceed the above limit; and the spectator 



39« MODERN MAGIC. 



naturally concludes that an extraordinary degree of dexterity must be 
necessary to enable the performer to keep them from diverging more 
widely. Here, however, in truth lies the secret of the trick, which is, 
that the so-called butterflies are connected by a piece of very fine 
silk a couple of feet in length, which, when the butterflies are in 
motion, is absolutely invisible to the spectators. The remainder of 
the trick is a matter of practice, though it is less difficult than would 
be imagined by any one who had never attempted it. 

Some performers have the silk thread attached to one of the bat* 
tons of the coat. This arrangement will be found greatly to facilitate 
the working of the trick. 

The paper for the butterflies is better torn than cut, and should be 
as nearly as possible of the shape of a St. George's cross, and about 
two inches square. 

The Wizard's Omelet. (Borrowed Rings and Live Doves 
produced from an Omblbt.) — This is a trick which always pro- 
duces a great sensation, whether performed upon the stage or in the 
drawing-room. Its effect is as follows : The performer produces 
either naturally or magically (e.g., from the egg-bag, or from the 
mouth of his assistant, as described at page 329) three eggs, which 
he hands round for examination. His assistant next borrows from 
the audience three ladies' rings, receiving them, in order to prove that 
he does not tamper with them in any way, on the performer's wand 
instead of in his hands. The wand, with the rings still upon it, is 
laid upon the table. The assistant next brings in an omelet pan, and 
places it, with its lid beside it, on the table. The performer breaks 
the eggs into it, dropping in shells and all — then pours some spirits 
over it, to which he sets fire, and while it is still blazing drops the 
rings from the wand into it. He brings it forward to show that the 
rings are really in the flames ; and on returning to his table, claps 
the cover on the pan, and fires a pistol (any ordinary pistol) over it 
Without a moment's interval, he again removes the cover. All traces 
of the omelet and egg-shells have vanished, but in their place are 
found three live doves, each with a ribbon round its neck, to which is 
attached one of the borrowed rings. 

The explanation of this surprising result is simplicity itself. The 



MODERN MAGIC, 



399 



reader, with his present knowledge, will readily conjecture that, as to 
the rings, m subsitution is effected j bnt he may not so easily guess the 
manner of such substitution. It will be remembered that the rings 
were collected by the assistant on the performer's wand. This 
arrangement, which is ostensibly adopted to prevent, in reality facili- 
tates an exchange. The assistant makes his collection with three 
dummy rings placed beforehand on the lower end of the wand, and 
concealed by the hand in which he holds it ; whicb, we will suppose, 
is the right hand. In returning to the stage, he takes hold with the 
left hand of the opposite end of the wand, and allows the bor- 
rowed rings to run down into that hand, at the same moment 
releasing the dummy 
riDgs from the right 
hand, and allowing 
them to run upon the 
middle of the wand 
in place of the others. 
He now has the bor- 
rowed rings in his 
left hand, and (laying 
die wand with the 
substitutes on the 
table) carries them off 
with him to prepare 
for the denouement of 
the trick. 

The only other 
matter which will re- j^ 

quire explanation is 

the construction of the omelet pan. This is a shallow pan of brass or 
tin, about ten inches in diameter, by two and a half in depth. Within 
this is an inner pan, also of brass or tin, fitting tightly within it, but 
about half an inch less in depth. The lid is made with a very deep 
rim or shoulder all round, and just fits within the lining, though less 
tightly than the latter fits within the pan. {See Fig. 333, in which a 
represents the pan, b the lining, and c the lid.) The assistant, as 
toon as he gets behind the scenes, loops the borrowed rings to the 




400 MODERN MAGIC. 

ribbons, which are already tied round the necks of the three doves, 
and places the latter in b, immediately putting on c (the two together 
having the appearance of a simple cover), and brings forward the pin 
and cover. The performer now makes his omelet, and drops the 
substitute rings into it In bringing forward the pan to show that 
the rings are really there, he takes care to avoid the owners of them, 
who would alone be likely to detect the substitution. When he claps 
on the cover, the trick is really done, the firing of the pistol bring 
merely for effect. When the cover is again removed, the lining 
remains in the pan, concealing the omelet beneath it, and revealing 
the doves, with the rings attached to their necks. 

The Rosk in thb Glass Vasb. — The ingenious piece of appa- 
ratus which we are about to describe was, we believe, the invention 
of Robert- Houdin. It consists 
of a glass vase, on a foot, and with 
a glass lid, standing altogether 
eight to ten inches in height 
This is placed on a square box- 
like plinth or pedestal, of wood 
covered with morocco, and measur- 
ing about eight inches square by 
six in height. The lid is placed 
upon the vase, which, being trans- 
parent, is clearly seen to be empty- 
A borrowed handkerchief is for a 
moment thrown over the whole, 
and again removed, when a hand- 
some rose (natural or artificial) is 
seen to have mysteriously found 
its way into the vase; whence it 
is removed, and banded to the 
Flc> a ^_ company for inspection. 

The secret of this mysterious 
appearance is twofold, lying partly in the vase and partly in the 
pedestal. The vase, which at a little distance appears as simple and 
commonplace as any in a confectioner's window, has a segment cut 



MODERN MAGIC. 401 



off one side, leaving an opening of about five inches in height by three 
and a half in width. (See Fig. 234.) This opening is kept turned 
away from the audience. The pedestal, like the vase, is closed on 
every side except the side remote from the spectators, which is open. 
A curved wire arm, with a " clip " at the end to receive the stalk 
of the rose, works up and down, describing a quarter of a circle, in 
this open space. A spring hinge, on which this arm works, impels 
it to assume the position shown in the figure, thus lifting the rose 
through the opening into the vase. The apparatus is set by forcing 
down the arm with the rose into the position indicated by the dotted 
lines, in which position it is retained by a little catch, until the per- 
former, in the act of covering the vase with the handkerchief, presses a 
stud at the upper side of the pedestal. This withdraws the catch, and 
allows the rose to rise into the vase. Of course, the performer in 
taking out the flower does so from the top, and with proper precautions 
not to disclose the existence of the opening at the back of the vase. 

The ingenuity of the reader will probably suggest to him com- 
binations to make the trick more effective. To those who have not 
such ready invention, we may remark that the trick may be very 
effectively combined with that of the ball that changes to a rose, and 
vice versd (see page 300), or a duplicate rose may be placed in the 
mouchoir du (Liable (described at page 195), and thence ordered to pass 
to the vase. 

The Chinese Rings. — These are rings of brass or steel, in dia- 
meter from five to nine inches, and in thickness varying from a 
quarter to three-eighths of an inch. The effect 
of the trick to the spectator is as follows: — 
The rings are given for examination, and found 
to be solid and separate j but at the will of the 
operator they are linked together in chains of 
two, three, or more, becoming connected and 
disconnected in a moment, and being continu- 
ally offered for examination. Finally, after the ^ ^ 
riogs have become involved in an apparently in- 
extricable mass, a slight shake suffices to disentangle them, and to 
cause them to fall singly upon the stage. 

26 




402 



MODERN MAGIC. 




The sets of rings sold at the conjuring depots vary in number, 
ranging from six to twelve. The set of eight, which is perhaps the 
most usual number, consists of one " key " ring, two single rings, a 

set of two linked to- 
gether, and a set of 
three linked together. 
The "key" ring(«f 
Fig. 235), m which 
lies the secret of the 
trick, is simply a ring 
with a cut or opening, 
a, in it. For use 
upon a public stage, 

Fig. 236. ^ here the P^ " * 

is at a considerable 

distance from his audience, there may be a gap of an eighth of an inch 
between the ends, but for drawing-room use, they should just touch 
each other. Some rings are made 
to "clip" like an -ear-ring, and 
some have the opening cut dia- 
gonally instead of square, but the 
simple square cut is, in our own 
opinion, the best. 

We shall, in the first place, 
describe the trick as performed 
with the set of eight rings above 
mentioned, afterwards noticing 
the more elaborate performance 
with twelve. We must premise, 
however, that the manipulation of 
the rings admits of almost infinite 
variation, and that the practice of 
performers differs greatly as to 
the mode of working them. 

The performer comes forward holding the eight rings in his left 
hand, arranged as follows. First (t.e., innermost), comes the set of 
three j then the " key " ring (the opening uppermost in the hand), 




Frc. 237. 



MODERN MAGTC. 



403 




then the set of two ; and, lastly, the two single rings. Taking the 

first of these, he hands it to a spectator for examination ; passing it 

when returned to another person, 

and carelessly handing a second ring 

to be examined in like manner. 

This should be done without any 

appearance of haste, and with an air 

of being perfectly indifferent as to 

how many of the rings are ex- 
amined. The two " singles " having 

been duly inspected, the performer 

request sone of the spectators to take 

them both in his right hand, at the 

same time taking in his own right 

hand the next two rings, which, it 

will be remembered, are the set of 

two, though the audience naturally 

believe them to be, like the first, separate. " Now, sir," the professor 
continues, "will you be good 
enough to link one of the rings 
which you hold into the other.'' 
The person addressed looks more 
or less foolish, and finally " gives 
it upi" " You can't J " says the 
performer, in pretended surprise. 
" My dear sir, nothing is easier. 
You have only to do as I do. 
See ! " Laying down the rest 
of the rings, he holds the two 
as in Fig. 336, and makes a 
gentle rubbing motion with the 
thumb upon the rings, and then 
lets fall one of them, which 
naturally drops to the position 
shown in Fig. 337. He now 

hands these two rings for examination. The spectators seek for some 

joint or opening, but none is found ; and meanwhile the performer 



4Q* 



MODERN MAGIC. 



transfers the next ring (the " key ") to his right hand, keeping the 
opening under the thumb. He now takes back with the left hand 
the two single rings, immediately transferring one of them to the 
right hand, and with the ball of the thumb presses it through the 
opening in the key ring, into which it falls, with exactly the same 
effect as the apparent joining of the two linked rings a moment 
before. Again he separates and again joins the two rings. The 
second single ring is now made to pass through in like manner, 
making the combination shown in Fig. 238. The performer remarks, 

"We now have three joined to- 
gether* Here are three more, as yon 
see (shaking those in the left hand), 
all solid and separate, and yet at my 
will they will join like the others." 
Making a rubbing motion with the 
thumb as before, he drops two of the 
three, one by one, from the hand, 
when they will appear as a chain of 
three. These he hands for examina- 
tion, taking back the set of two, and 
linking them one after the other 
into the key ring, to which now four 
rings are attached. Again taking 
back the set of three, he links these 
also one by one into the key ring, 
which thus has seven rings inserted 
in it. (See Fig. 239.) Using both 
hands, but always keeping the open- 
ing of the key ring under one or the other thumb, he now takes off 
these seven rings, commencing with the two single ones, and again 
offering them for examination j then taking off the set of two. Last 
of all, he unlinks the set of three, and then, holding them at length in 
his left hand, joins the upper one to the key ring, thus making a 
chain of four, of which the key ring is the uppermost. He next takes 
the lowermost ring of the four, and links that into the keyring, 
bringing the four rings into a diamond shape, as shown in Fig. *4°- 
Again unlinking the lower ring, he takes up the set of two, and coo- 




Fig. 24a 



MODERN MAGIC. 



405 



nects them with the key ring, holding them up above it, thus making 
a chain of six, the key ring being third from the top. (See Fig. 241.) 
Taking the upper ring between his teeth, he links the two single rings 
into the key ring on either side, making the figure of a cross, as 
shown in Fig. 242. As the hands are now occupied in holding the 
single rings forming the arms of the 
cross, he can no longer keep the 
opening of the key ring concealed by 
the thumb, but it is extremely un- 
likely that among so many rings, so 
slight a mark in one of them will 
attract notice. Regaining possession 
of the key ring, he links all one by 
one into it, so as again to bring them 
into the condition depicted in Fig. 
339. Then, holding the key ring 
with both hands, and with the open- 
ing downwards, about a couple of 
feet from the floor (see Fig. 243), he 
shakes the rings violently, at the 
same time gently straining open the 
key ring, when the seven rings will 
all in succession drop through the 
slit, and scatter themselves about the- 
floor, the general impression being 
that they all fall separate, though the 
grouped sets, of course, remain still 
united. 

It is not an uncommon thing to 
see a performer commit the gaucherie 
of handing all the rings, save only 

the key ring, to be examined in the first instance 5 the key ring being 
hidden under the breast or under the tail of the coat, and being added 
to the set in returning to the table. The spectators are thus needlessly 
made acquainted with the fact that certain of the rings are already 
linked together, and this once admitted, the trick loses nine-tenths of 
its effect. 




Fig. 941, 



406 



MODERN MAGIC. 



The set of twelve rings is less frequently seen, and is rather more 
complicated to manage, though in good hands it is capable of much 
more brilliant effects than the smaller number. The set consists of 
five single rings, a group of two, a group of three, and two key rings. 
These are held in the hands of the performer in the following order. 
First (i.e., innermost) a key ring, then the group of three, then the 

second key ring, then 
the group of two, and 
lastly the five single 
rings. The latter are 
distributed for exami- 
nation. While they 
are still in the posses- 
sion of the audience, 
the performer requests 
one of the spectators 
to link two of them 
together, and himself 
taking in his right 
hand the group of 
two, pretends to link 
the latter, as already 
described, and hands 
them for examination. 
The performer mean- 
while takes in his 
right hand one of the 
key rings, and collects 
the single rings in his 
left. As soon as the 
group of two are handed back, he links one of them to the key ring 
in his right hand, thus forming a chain of three, with the key* ring 
uppermost. Next Hnking the lowest ring into the key ring, he forms 
Fig. 238, which, by holding the two lower rings apart, assumes the 
shape of a triangle. Again disengaging the lower ring, passing one 
of the single rings from the left hand to the right, and laying down 
on the table all the rings remaining in that hand (the group of three 




Fig. 242. 




MODERN MAGIC. AM 

uppermost) he joins the single ring to the key ring, thus making a 
chain of four, of which the key ring is second from the top. These 
be lays, still linked, upon the table, and takes up from the heap 
already lying there the three uppermost (which, it will be remem- 
bered, are the group of three), and holding them for a moment ■ 
together in the hand, lets them fall one by one to form a second 
chain of three. Taking 
the nest ring of the heap 
(the second key ring) in 
his disengaged hand, he 
steps forward, and requests 
some one to take hold of 
either of the three rings, 
and to pull against him, in 
order to prove their solidity. 
This ascertained, he passes 
the upper ring of the three 
into the hand which already 
holds the key ring, and links 
it into the key riog, thus 
forming a second chain of 
four, of which in this case 
the key is the uppermost. 
Linking the lowermost into 
the key ring, he shows the 
rings as in Fig. 340. Once 

more unlinking the lower F|( . 

ring, so that the four again 
appear as a single chain, he proceeds (apparently) to link all the 
twelve together. This is effected as follows ; — 

Taking two of the single rings, the performer links them into the 
key, ring of the chain which he holds. He next links one of these same 
single rings into the key ring of the other chain, thus linking the two 
chains together at a distance of one ring from the end of the chain. 
He thus has ten rings joined. He now takes the two chains one in 
each hand by the ends remotest from the point of juncture, immedi- 
ately after picking up and holding (one in each hand) the two remaining 



3 



404 



MODERN MAGIC. 



transfers the next ring (the " key ") to his right hand, keeping the 
opening under the thumb. He now takes back with the left hand 
the two single rings, immediately transferring one of them to the 
right hand, and with the ball of the thumb presses it through the 
opening in the key ring, into which it falls, with exactly the same 
effect as the apparent joining of the two linked rings a moment 
before. Again he separates and again joins the two rings. The 
second single ring is now made to pass through in like manner, 
making the combination shown in Fig. 238. The performer remarks, 

"We now have three joined to- 
gether* Here are three more, as yon 
see (shaking those in the left hand), 
all solid and separate, and yet at my 
will they will join like the others.'* 
Making a rubbing motion with the 
thumb as before, he drops two of the 
three, one by one, from the hand, 
when they will appear as a chain of 
three. These he hands for examina- 
tion, taking back the set of two, and 
linking them one after the other 
into the key ring, to which now four 
rings are attached. Again taking 
back the set of three, he links these 
also one by one into the key ring, 
which thus has seven rings inserted 
in it. (See Fig. 239.) Using both 
hands, but always keeping the open- 
ing of the key ring under one or the other thumb, he now takes off 
these seven rings, commencing with the two single ones, and again 
offering them for examination ; then taking off the set of two. Last 
of all, he unlinks the set of three, and then, holding them at length in 
his left hand, joins the upper one to the key ring, thus making a 
chain of four, of which the key ring is the uppermost. He next takes 
the lowermost ring of the four, and links that into the keyring, 
bringing the four rings into a diamond shape, as shown in Fig. H c - 
Again unlinking the lower ring, he takes up the set of two, and coo 




Fig. 24a 



MODERN MAGIC. 



405 



nects them with the key ring, holding them up above it, thus making 
a chain of six, the key ring being third from the top. (See Fig. 241.) 
Taking the upper ring between his teeth, he links the two single rings 
into the key ring on either side, making the figure of a cross, as 
shown in Fig. 24a. As the hands are now occupied in holding the 
single rings forming the arms of the 
cross, he can no longer keep the 
opening of the key ring concealed by 
the thumb, but it is extremely un- 
likely that among so many rings, so 
slight a mark in one of them will 
attract notice. Regaining possession 
of the key ring, he links all one by 
one into it, so as again to bring them 
into the condition depicted in Fig. 
239. Then, holding the key ring 
with both hands, and with the open- 
ing downwards, about a couple of 
feet from the floor (see Fig. 243), he 
shakes the rings violently, at the 
same time gently straining open the 
key ring, when the seven rings will 
all in succession drop through the 
slit, and scatter themselves about the 
floor, the general impression being 
that they all fall separate, though the 
grouped sets, of course, remain still 
united. 

It is not an uncommon thing to 
see a performer commit the gaucherie 
of handing all the rings, save only 

the key ring, to be examined in the first instance $ the key ring being 
hidden under the breast or under the tail of the coat, and being added 
to the set in returning to the table. The spectators are thus needlessly 
made acquainted with the fact that certain of the rings are already 
linked together, and this once admitted, the trick loses nine-tenths of 
its effect 




Fig. 241. 



406 



MODERN MAGIC. 



The set of twelve rings is less frequently seen, and is rather more 
complicated to manage, though in good hands it is capable of moch 
more brilliant effects than the smaller number. The set consists of 
five single rings, a group of two, a group of three, and two key rings. 
These are held in the hands of the performer in the following order. 
First (i.e., innermost) a key ring, then the group of three, then the 

second key ring, then 
the group of two, and 
lastly the five single 
rings. The latter are 
distributed for exami- 
nation. While they 
are still in the posses- 
sion of the audience, 
the performer requests 
one of the spectators 
to link two of them 
together, and himself 
taking in his right 
hand the group of 
two, pretends to link 
the latter, as already 
described, and hands 
them for examination. 
The performer mean- 
while takes in his 
right hand one of the 
key rings, and collects 
the single rings in his 
left. As soon as the 
group of two are handed back, he links one of them to the key ring 
in his right hand, thus forming a chain of three, with the keyring 
uppermost. Next linking the lowest ring into the key ring, he forms 
Fig. 238, which, by holding the two lower rings apart, assumes the 
shape of a triangle. Again disengaging the lower ring, passing one 
of the single rings from the left hand to the right, and laying down 
on the table all the rings remaining in that hand (the group of three 




Fig. 243. 



MODERN MAGIC. 




uppermost) he joins the single ring to the key ring, thus making a 
chain of four, of which the key ring is second from the top. These 
he lays, still linked, upon the table, and takes up from the heap 
already lying there the three uppermost (which, it will be remem- 
bered, are the group of three), and holding them for a moment 
together in the hand, lets them fall one by one to form a second 
chain of three. Taking 
tlje next ring of the heap 
(the second key ring) in 
his disengaged hand, he 
steps forward, and requests 
some one to take hold of 
either of the three rings, 
and to pull against him, in 
order to prove their solidity. 
This ascertained, he passes 
the upper ring of the three 
into the hand which already 
holds the key ring, and links 
it into the key ring, thus 
forming a second chain of 
four, of which in this case 
the key is the uppermost. 
Linking the lowermost into 
the key ring, he shows the 
rings as in Fig. 140. Once 
more unlinking the lower 
ring, so that the four again 
appear as a single chain, he proceeds (apparently) to link all the 
twelve together. This is effected as follows 1 — 

Taking two of the single rings, the performer links them into the 
key. ring of the chain which he holds. He next links one of these same 
single rings into the key ring of the other chain, thus linking the two 
chains together at a distance of one ring from the end of the chain. 
He thus has ten rings joined. He now takes the two chains one in 
each hand by the ends remotest from the point of juncture, immedi- 
ately after picking up and holding (one in each hand) the two remaining 



3 



Fig. B13. 



4o8 



MODERN MAGIC. 



single rings. These, of coarse, he does not and cannot link with the 
rings adjoining them, but the audience seeing that all the rest are 
linked together, readily believe that these also form part of the chain. 
The precise arrangement of the rings will be readily understood from 
an inspection of Fig. 244.* 

The feat may either end here, the rings, still linked, being gathered 
together and carried off by the assistant, or the performer may link all 

one by one into either 
of the key rings, and 
then shake them out 
and scatter them on 
the floor in the man- 
ner already described 
as to the eight rings. 
The performance may 
be elaborated to any 
extent, the two key 
rings giving a won- 
derful facility of com- 
bination, but what- 
ever be the passes 
adopted they should 
not be too numerous, 
as the trick, however 
skilfully worked, consists only of repetitions of the same primary ele- 
ments, and the interest of the spectators will quickly diminish. 

The performer should, in manipulating the rings, study neatness 
and lightness, rather than rapidity. The effect should be as though 
the rings melted into and out of one another, and the smallest appear- 
ance of force or exertion should be avoided. It has a very good effect 
in disengaging the rings one from another, to hold them together for 
a moment or two after they are actually disconnected, and then hold- 
ing them parallel to each other, to draw them very slowly apart 




Fig. 344. 



• The numbers 1, a, 3, in the centre of the various rings in Figs. 240 — 244, indicate 
whether the ring in question is a " single " or forms part of the group of two or of three 
as the case may bo. 



MODERN MA GIC. 409 



The precise moment of their separation is thus left uncertain, the 
illusion being thereby materially heightened. A single ring may in 
this way be drawn along a chain of three or four, the effect being as 
if the disengaged ring passed through the whole length of the chain. 

The Charmed Bullet. — As a rule, people object to being shot 
at, and the least nervous person might fairly demur at facing the 
muzzle of a loaded pistol at six paces' distance ; but the magician is 
superior to such weakness, and will face a bullet with as little com- 
punction as he would stop a ball at cricket. Neither must it be 
imagined that there is any " deception," at any rate in the quality of 
the articles employed. The pistol is a real pistol, the powder is 
genuine powder, and the bullet — an ordinary leaden bullet — is chosen 
and marked by one of the audience, fairly placed in the pistol, and 
fairly rammed home. The pistol is fired with deliberate aim by a dis- 
interested spectator j but no 
sooner has the smoke cleared 
away than the performer is 
seen standing unharmed, 
with the marked bullet 
caught between his teeth. 

So much for the effect 1 „.„ _„ 

Fig. 245. 

of the trick; now for the 

explanation. The pistol (see Fig. 245) is, as already stated, an ordinary 
weapon, and the only speciality of the bullets is that they are a size or 
two smaller than the bore of the pistol. The ramrod, b, is a plain 
cylinder of wood or metal, tapering very slightly at each end. 
The secret lies in the use of a little metal tube a, about two inches in 
length, open at one end, but closed at the other. This tube, which is 
of such a size as to fit loosely within the barrel of the pistol, but 
tightly upon either end of the ramrod, is placed in the right-hand 
pochette of the performer, and a small bag of bullets in the pochette 
on the other side. 

The performer comes forward with the pistol in one hand and the 
ramrod in the other, and having a small charge of gunpowder, screwed 
up in a bit of soft paper, concealed between the second and third 
fingers of his right hand. He hands the pistol and ramrod for in- 




4io MODERN MA G/C. 



spection. While they are under examination, he asks, " Can any lady 
or gentleman oblige me with a little gunpowder ? " Nobody answers, 
and he continues, addressing some mild elderly gentleman, " Perhaps 
you can accommodate me, sir ? " The elderly gentleman naturally 
replies that he is not in the habit of carrying gunpowder about with 
him. " Excuse me," says the performer, " but I fancy you hare t 
small packet of powder under your coat-collar. Permit me ! " and 
drawing his hand gently down beneath the collar, he produces the 
little packet. This he hands to the person who is holding the pistol, 
with a request that he will load it While he puts in the powder, 
the performer drops his left hand to the pochette, and palms the 
little bag of bullets, which he forthwith produces from a gentle- 
man's hat, or a lady's muff.* From among the bullets he re- 
quests the person who put in the powder to select and mark one. 
While this is done, he himself takes the pistol in his left hand, holding 
it muzzle upwards, and in the act of transferring it with apparent 
carelessness to the other hand, secretly drops into it the little tube, 
the open end upwards. The spectator having chosen and marked the 
bullet, is requested, for greater certainty, to place it in the pistol him- 
self. A very minute portion of paper is added by way of wad, and 
the performer then takes the pistol, and rams it down. The bullet, 
of course, has fallen into the little tube, and as the ramrod fits tightly 
within the latter, it naturally, when withdrawn, brings out tube and 
ball with it. The tube and ramrod are made to match (generally 
black, but sometimes of brass or silver-plated) ; and therefore the 
tube, when on the rod, even if exposed, would not be likely to attract 
attention. The performer, however, prevents the possibility of its 
doing so, by holding the rod by that end, thereby concealing the tube 
with his hand. He now hands the pistol to a spectator, requesting 
him, for fear of accidents, to hold it muzzle upwards until the word 
to fire is given. The performer now takes up his position at tbe 



* A muff, being open at each end, is an excellent thing whence to produce »t 
small article— *.£:, a borrowed watch, a ball, etc. For this purpose the perfbnn-r 
should take hold of one end of the muff with the hand in which is palmed tbe irbcfe 
in question, which is immediately allowed to slide gently through the muft and * 
stopped by the other hand. If this is neatly done, the keenest eye cannot detect the 
deception. 



MODERN MAGIC. 411 



farthest part of the stage, and during his short journey gains posses- 
sion of the bullet. This is effected by sharply drawing away the 
ramrod with the left hand, thereby leaving the tube open id the right, 
and allowing the ball to roll out into the palm. The tube, having 
served its purpose, is got rid of into the profonde, and the ball is either 
slipped into the mouth or retained in the hand, according to the mode 
in which it is intended to be produced. 

Some performers use several small bullets. In our own opinion, 
a single ball of tolerable size is not only more manageable, but more 
effective. The mode of producing the bullet also varies. Some, in- 
stead of producing it in the mouth, hold up a china plate by way of 
target, the bullet being held under the two first fingers against the 
front of the plate. When the pistol is fired, the plate is turned hori- 
zontally, and the bullet released from the fingers. This plan is some- 
times to be preferred, inasmuch as it creates an excuse for leaving the 
stage for a moment to fetch the plate, an opportunity which is valu- 
able in the event, which sometimes happens, of the ball, from an 
excess of wadding or any other cause, not dropping readily from the 
tube into the hand. To meet this possible difficulty, some tubes 
have (to use an Irishism) a small hole through the closed end, so that 
the performer, on leaving the stage, can, by pushing a piece of wire 
through the hole, instantly force out the bullet. 

The Birth op Flowers. — There are two or three different 
tricks which go by this name. Of one of them we may dispose in a 
very few words. It is purely a mechanical trick, having neither 
ingenuity of construction nor dexterity of manipulation to recom- 
mend it. The apparatus consists of a cover a (see Fig. 246), a 
base c, and an intermediate portion b, connected with a by means 
of a bayonet-catch 5 c is beforehand partially filled with earth, and in 
b, the top of which is perforated with small holes, is inserted a natu- 
ral or artificial plant, or bouquet of flowers. The cover a is placed 
over b 9 and the apparatus is ready. The performer, drawing attention 
to c, pretends to sow some magic seed therein. He then places a 
over it, and pretending to warm it with his hands, commands the 
seeds to germinate. Releasing the bayonet-catch, he removes the 
cover, and shows the flowers apparently just springing from the earth 



4i* MODERN MAGIC. 

in c. In some of the smaller sizes of this apparatus the bayonet- 
catch is dispensed with, the mere pressure of the fingers on the sides 
of a being sufficient to lift off b with it. 

The trick which we are about to describe under the same title is 
one of a composite nature, and one which, proceeding from mine] 
to marvel, produces in good hands a great effect. It is divided into 
three portions — first, the production of a single flower, then of a 
handsome bouquet, and 
lastly, of a large basket 
of flowers. The per- 
former comes forward 
with his wand in one 
hand, and in the other 
a little box, in reality 
c quite empty, but con- 

taining, as he asserts, 
magic seeds, capable of 
producing on the instant 
the choicest flowers. "1 
will first show you, la- 
dies and gentlemen, their 
effect in the simplest 
form. In the hurry of coming here this evening, I omitted to pro- 
vide a flower for my button-hole. You will see how easily, by the 
aid of the magic seed, I can supply the deficiency. What shall it 
be? Clematis, rose, geranium? Suppose we say a rose. I take a 
single seed from my box— ah, here is a rose-seed— and place it in 
my button-hole." (He applies the supposed seed to the button-hole.) 
" I breathe on it to supply the necessary warmth. I wave my wand— 
Once! twice! thrice! The seed bas blossomed, you see, into • 
handsome rose." 

The explanation of this pretty little trick is exceedingly simple. 
The preliminary preparation is made as follows : — Through the centre 
of an artificial rose, without stalk, a short piece (about ten inches) of 
thin black elastic is passed, and secured by a knot on the inside of the 
flower. The other end is passed through the button-hole (from the 
outside), and thence through an eyelet-hole made for the purpose in 



MODERN MAGIC. 4>3 

the breast of tile coat, immediately under the buttonhole. The 
extreme end is looped over a button sewn on the waistcoat 
about the region of the waistband. The tension of the elastic 
naturally draws the flower close against the button-hole, while yet 
allowing it, when necessary, to be drawn away from it to a distance 
of several inches. The performer, before coming forward to perform 
the trick, draws the rose away from the button-hole, and places it 
under the left armpit, whence, so long as the arm is kept close to 
the side, it cannot escape. When he waves his wand, with the 
words, "Once, twice, thrice!" he makes the first motion facing 
to the right, the second fronting the audience, and the third facing 
slightly to the left, at the same time striking the button-hole with the 
wand, and throwing np the left arm, when the flower, released, 
instantly springs to the button-hole, the slight turn to the left com- 
pletely covering the manner of its appearance. 

Bat the trick is not yet over. " Yon see, ladies and gentlemen, 
that I am not dependent on Covent Garden for a rose for my button- 
hole ; but you will naturally say, ' Ah ! the magic seed may be all 
very well for a single flower, but what if you wanted a complete 
bouquet?' I hasten to show yon that this is equally within my 
power. Will some one oblige me with the loan of a hat by way of 
hothouse ? Thank yon. Here, you 
observe, is an ordinary drink ing- 
glass " (this has, meanwhile, been 
placed on the table by the assistant), 
"in which I will drop, haphazard, a 
pinch of the magic seed." This he 
does with the left hand, the right 
being occupied with the hat, and FlG 

then, with the glass in the left hand 

and the hat in the right, comes forward to the audience, requesting a 
lady spectator to breathe upon the glass, which he immediately after- 
wards covers with the hat. He now requests the same or another 
spectator to count ten, to allow the mesmeric influence time to ope- 
rate, and then, removing the hat, shows a handsome bouquet (natural 
or artificial) in the glass. Returning the hat, and handing the glass 
and flowers for inspection, he borrows a silk pocket-handkerchief, or. 



414 MODEKN MAC1C. 

in default of procuring one from the audience, uses one of his own, 
Drought forward by the assistant. Drawing it ropewise through his 
hands to show that it is empty, he spreads it before him, holding it 
by two of its corners. Having exhibited one side of it, he spreads 
the other, when the shape of something solid is seen to define itself 
beneath it, and the handkerchief being removed, a large round basket 
of flowers (see Fig. 247), ten or more inches in diameter by two deep, 
is revealed. 

The reader, with bis present knowledge, will probably have 
already conjectured the mode in which the bouquet is brought into 
the glass. It is beforehand placed at the left hand corner of the 
servante, the stem slanting upwards at an angle of about 45°. When 
the performer, standing at the left hand side of the table, drops the 
imaginary seed into the glass with his left hand, his right, holding the 
hat, drops for a moment to the level of the table, and clips between 
the second and third fingers the stem of the bouquet, when, by 
simply bending the fingers, the bouquet is brought into the hat after 
the manner of the cannon-ball. (See page 305.) When the hat 
is placed over the glass, the bouquet is naturally brought into the 
latter. 

We may here mention that there are bouquets of a special and 
rather ingenious construction, enabling the performer, in the act of 
producing the bouquet from a hat in the above or any similar trick, 
to cause it suddenly to expand to three or four times its original size. 
The bouquet is in this case made of artificial flowers, stitched on a 
framework forming a kind of miniature parasol, with a very short 
handle. The bouquet, when introduced into the hat, has a slightly 
conical shape, but the performer in withdrawing it puts up the para- 
sol, so to speak, thereby spreading it to twelve or fourteen inches' 
diameter. 

The production of the basket of flowers from the handkerchief is 
produced by wholly different means, and will require a somewhat 
minute explanation. In the first place, the flowers are secured to the 
sides of the baskets by silk or wires, so that they cannot fall out, in 
whatever position the basket is placed. To the basket are attached 
two black silk threads. The one (which we will call a) is about 
eighteen inches in length, and is attached to a button on the per* 



MODERN MAGIC. 415 

former's waistband, immediately above the front of the left thigh. 

Obviously, therefore, the basket, if fas- 
tened by this thread alone, would hang 

down loosely in front of the performer's 

left knee. The second thread (which 

we will call b, and which is attached 

to the edge of the basket at a few 

inches' distance from the first) is only 

three or four inches in length, and 

serves to suspend the basket behind the 

back of the performer (concealed by his 

coat) until the proper moment for its 

appearance. For this purpose it has a 

small loop or ring at the loose end, and 

this is attached by means of a strong 

short needle, after the manner shown 

in Figs. 248 and 249 (the latter repre- 
senting a slightly enlarged view of the 

attachment), to the waistband of the 

performer. The needle carries a third 

thread c, which, passing through the cloth of the trousers, is brought 

round and attached to the centre button of the waistband, being con- 
cealed by the edge of the 
__JJ waistcoat. The modus 
~'e ^ operandi will now be easi- 
, i ly understood. The bas- 
il j ket is in the first instance 
■|'j suspended by the thread 
£ 1 b. The performer, while 
Pi spreading the handker- 
'%■ : chief before him, osten- 
P '■ sibly to show that it is 
fi ( empty, crooks the little 
fc; finger under the edge of 

_ his waistcoat, and pulls c, 

Fie. 349. -ci 

thereby withdrawing the 

needle, and detaching b. The basket, being no longer held back by b> 



4 i6 MODERN MAGIC. 

falls, but is compelled by a to swing round in front of the performer, 
who, while lifting it, still covered by the handkerchief, breaks a, and 
thus altogether releases it. The object of passing the needle through 
the cloth of the trousers is that it may not fall forward and be seen 
when c is pulled. 

The contrivance last above described is the invention of Robert- 
Houdin, slightly simplified, however, inasmuch as he employed, 
in place of the needle, a little wire bolt working on a metal plate 
attached to the back of the waistcoat ; but the principle in either case 
is precisely the same. 

The Mtsterioos Salver. — This is a tin tray (see Kg. ajo), 

ornamentally japanned, and of about twelve inches in diameter. 

There is a space of about three quarters of an inch between the upper 

and under surfaces of the tray, at one side of which, under cover of 

the curled rim, is an opening of about three inches in width. Within 

this opening, so placed 

as to be within easy 

reach of the fingers of 

any person holding the 

tray, are two wire 

hooks, marked a and 

£ in the figure. On 

gently pulling hook a, 

I a little hammer c rises 

up at right angles to 

the surface of the tray, 

again falling back by 

the action of a spring 

Fro. 350. as soon as the pull is 

relaxed. On pulling 

b, 3 similar movement is communicated to a sort of ladle d, sunk in 

the surface of the tray, and rising up in a direction parallel to that of 

the little hammer already mentioned. This ladle has a fiat tin cover, 

hinged very loosely upon its outer edge (so as to open of its own 

accord when the ladle passes the perpendicular position), and japanned 

in such manner as to represent one of a circle of medallions forming 



MODERN MAGIC. 417 



part of the pattern of the tray, and therefore little likely to attract 
attention. If any small article be beforehand placed in the ladle, and 
b be pulled, the article will naturally be flung oat upon the surface of 
the tray. In practice, however, the salver is always used in conjunc- 
tion with a little glass tumbler, about three inches in height, which, 
being placed upon the medallion opposite to that which forms the 
cover of the ladle, the contents of the latter fall into the glass instead 
of upon the tray. 

The salver is generally used somewhat after the following 
fashion : — A little round brass box, say an inch and a half in dia- 
meter and an inch deep, is handed to the audience, with a request 
that they will place any small article (such as a coin, a ring, a watch- 
key) in it. All necessary precautions are taken to prevent the per- 
former knowing what the articles in question are, and the box is, for 
still greater security on this point, wrapped by the performer in a 
handkerchief, and handed to one of the audience to hold. The 
reader, with his present knowledge of the little faith that is to be put 
in the acts of magicians, however apparently straightforward, will 
readily conjecture that at this point there is a substitution. The 
performer, apparently wrapping up x the box which has just been 
handed to him, really substitutes another of similar appearance, sewn 
in one corner of the handkerchief. This latter, which contains two 
or three metal buttons, or other objects adapted to cause a rattling 
when shaken, is so arranged that when the lid is pushed home a 
piece of cork within is pressed down upon the buttons, and they 
are made silent $ but if the lid be raised ever so little, and the box 
shaken, they rattle. This latter is the condition in which the box is 
wrapped in the handkerchief. 

The per fo rmer, leaving the dummy box, wrapped up as above, 
with the spectator, letires for a moment in order to fetch the salver. 
This gives him the opportunity to take the articles out of the box, 
to note what they are (we will suppose a ring, a florin, and a locket), 
and place them in the "ladle" of the salver. The empty box he 
places in one of his pochettes. He now brings forward the glass 
and salver, together with a paper lamp-shade (similar to those 
placed over the lights of a billiard table), wherewith to cover the 
salver while the supposed flight of the objects takes place. He first 

27 



41 8 MODERN MAGIC. 



shows that there is nothing in his hands, on the salver, or in the glass, 
and then places the latter in its proper position, and covers the whole 
with the paper shade. His assistant holds the salver, using both 
hands, with his right in such a position as to have control of the 
hooks a and b. The performer requests the person 'holding the box 
to shake it, in order to show that the articles are still there. He then 
addresses the company to the following effect :— * u Ladies and gentle- 
men, allow me to remind yon of the position of affairs. Some 
articles, unknown to me, have been placed by yourselves in a box. 
That box has not been in my possession, even for a moment, but has 
remained ever since in the hands of the gentleman who is now hold- 
ing it. Here, as yon see, is a little glass" (he raises the shade with 
the left hand), " perfectly empty. I shall now, by virtue of my 
magic power, order the articles in the box, whatever they may be, 
to leave the box, and fall into this little glass, and I will tell yon by 
the sound of each as it falls what the article is. Let us try the 
experiment. First article, pass ! " The assistant pulls a, and the 
little hammer c forthwith strikes the glass, simulating to some extent 
the sound of a small article falling therein. " That, by the sound, 
should be a coin, I should say a florin. Hold tight, sir, please. Second 
article, pass ! " Again the assistant causes the hammer to strike the 
glass. "That, ladies and gentlemen, is a ring. You must bold 
tighter yet, sir, if you mean to defy my power. Third article, pass ! " 
This time the assistant pulls b, causing the ladle d to rise, and to 
shoot out the three articles together into the glass. " That, I should 
say, was a lady's locket Fourth article, pass ! " (This is a mere 
blind, and elicits no response.) u Ladies and gentlemen, there were 
three articles placed in the box, a ring, a florin, and a locket, and 
you will find that they have now all passed into the glass." (He 
removes the shade, and shows that they have done so.) M May I 
trouble you once more to shake the box ? " The repeated injunctions 
to hold tighter have naturally caused the holder to press the lid home, 
and the box is therefore silent, corroborating the assertion that tbe 
articles have departed. "Now, ladies and gentlemen, having 
conjured away the contents, I shall now proceed to conjure away tbe 
box 5 but this time, by way of variety, I will do it visibly. Atten- 
tion ! " He takes one corner of the handkerchief with his right hand. 



MODERN MAGIC. 419 



"Now, sir, when I say 'Three/ will 70a please drop the handker- 
chief. One, two, three ! " The performer shakes the handkerchief 
and pulls it rapidly through his hands till the corner containing the 
box comes into the left hand, the box having apparently vanished. 
"The box has gone, you see, but where ? that is the question. Par- 
don me, sir, you have it in your pocket, I think," addressing some 
elderly gentleman of innocent aspect. With the handkerchief still 
dangling from his left hand, the performer thrusts the other hand 
into the waistcoat or breast pocket of the individual in question, and 
produces from thence the missing box, which he has a moment 
previously palmed from the pochette. 

The weak point of the trick, as above performed, is the sound of 
the hammer on the glass, which is but a poor imitation of that of 
coins, or the like, falling into it In some trays the hammer is alto- 
gether dispensed with, the performer himself holding the tray, and 
the necessary sound being produced by the assistant actually dropping 
a coin into a glass behind the scenes, as near the standing place of 
the performer as possible. This latter plan is much to be pre- 
ferred. 

A further improvement consists in the use, in place of the 
salver, of a small round table, or gueridon, made on the same prin- 
ciple (without the hammer), and worked by pulling a string from 
behind the scenes. With a little dexterity, the articles may be intro- 
duced into the " ladle," while in the act of placing the glass upon the 
table, or of moving the latter to the front of the stage, though it is 
more usual to do this behind the scenes, and then to bring the table 
forward, as described in the case of the salver. 

The trick may be varied by borrowing four half-crowns or florins, 
•duly marked, which, being exchanged, and their substitutes placed in 
the half-crown casket (see page 202), are thence made to pass one by 
one into the glass. 

The Vanishing Die. — The effect of this trick, in its simplest 
shape, is merely to make a die, some three inches square, pass through 
the crown of a hat, and be found inside. The trick in this form is 
but a poor and transparent affair, but it is sometimes useful as afford- 
ing a pretext for borrowing a hat which you design to make use of 



42o MODERN MAGIC. 



for some other purpose j and it furnishes the germ of two or three 
really effective illusions. The apparatus consists of three por- 
tions — a solid wooden die, generally painted black with white spots, a 
tin counterpart thereof, — fitting loosely over it, and exactly similar in 
appearance, but with one side open, — and an ornamental cover of thin 
pasteboard (sometimes this also is of tin), fitting in like manner over 
the hollow die. The trick is worked very much after the manner of 
the '-cone,* 1 recently described. The performer comes forward, 
having the solid die in the one hand, and the cover, with the tin 
counterpart within it, in the other. Placing these on the table, 
he borrows two hats, which he likewise places on the table, mouth 
upwards. " Ladles and gentlemen," he commences, " I have here a 
block of wood " (he lets it fall on the floor, the sound sufficiently 
indicating its solidity, and again picks it up), "and a cover of simple 
pasteboard." He places the cover over it, as if merely suiting the 
action to the word, and in again removing it, leaves the tin die over 
the solid one. " If any one would like to examine it, he is perfectly 
welcome to do so. I have here also two hats, borrowed haphazard 
from the audience, and, as you can all see, perfectly empty, and not 
prepared in any way. " Now I propose to make this solid die " (he 
tosses it carelessly into one of the hats, and again apparently takes it 
out, but really takes out the hollow shell only) " pass right through the 
crown of one of these hats, and fall into the other." He places the 
hats one upon the other, mouth to mouth, and the tin shell, with the 
opening downwards, upon the uppermost. " Here is the die, which 
I cover, thus. Now, at my command it shall pass do wnwa rds 
through the hat. One, two, three ! Pass ! See, the cover is empty'* 
(taking it up with gentle pressure, so as to lift the shell with it, and 
placing both on the end of his wand, proving, apparently, that the 
cover is empty), " and here, in the lower hat, is the die. Let us try 
the experiment again. I will replace the die in the lower hat One, 
two, three ! Pass ! " He lifts the cover, without pressure, leaving the 
hollow die on the upper hat " It has obeyed, you see. Once more. 
One, two, three ! Pass ! " Again the cover is empty, and again the 
die hat passed into the lower hat 



Turn Die Dissolving in a Pockkt Handkerchief. — The tri 



MODERN MAGIC. 431 

I has two drawbacks — first, that it is very generally 
known! and, second, that the principle is rather too obvious, the secret 
being very easily guessed, even by persona not endowed with special 
sagacity. There is, however, an improved form of the same trick, in 
which an additional element is introduced, whereby these dis- 
advantages are, to a great extent, removed. 

The apparatus used is the same as in the last case, with the 
addition of a coloured 
handkerchief, prepar- 
ed as follows: Five 
square pieces of stout 
pasteboard, each a 
shade larger than 
one side of the 
solid die, are joined 
together with hinges 
of tape or cloth, in 
the form shown by 
the dotted lines in 
Fig- 3J 1. The cen- 
tre piece, a, is at- 
tached to the middle 
of the handkerchief, 

the others being al- p,^ a$L _ 

lowed to hang loose 

upon their respective hinges. A second handkerchief of similar 
pattern is then laid upon the first, and the edges of the two are stitched 
together all round. 

The performer having exhibited the solid die and cover, as already 
explained, and having removed the latter (with the hollow die within 
it), places it upon the table. Spreading the prepared handkerchief 
beside it, be places the solid die upon the centre of the handkerchief, 
and gathering up the four comers of the latter, lifts it, bag-fashion, 
■with his left hand, the four loose flaps of pasteboard naturally folding 
themselves up wound the die. He now takes it with his right hand, 
clipping the solid die within the pasteboard, and turns the whole over 
as in Fig. 252, thus bringing the die uppermost, with the folds of the 



433 ' MODERN MAGIC 

handkerchief hanging down around it. He next takes in the left 
hand a borrowed hat, holding it np for a moment, to show that it ts 
empty. Then, taming it month upwards, he remarks, " I will place 
the die here in the hat." Suiting the action to the word, he lowers 
his hand into the hat, bat, as if suddenly bethinking himself, he says, 
" No ! I won't use the hat at all. Perhaps some one will kindly 
hold the die." In withdrawing his hand, however, he relaxes the 
pressure of his fingers, thereby leaving the solid die in the hat, though 
as the folded pasteboard retains its cubical shape, the handkerchief still 
appears to contain the die. Grasp- 
ing it immediately below the 
folded shape, he gives the hand- 
kerchief in charge to one of the 
spectators, who is directed to hold 
it in like manner. The hat be 
places carelessly upon the table. 
. He now once more lifts the cover 
with the hollow die, rattling his 
wand within it to show that it is 
empty. Again replacing it, he 
commands the die to pass from 
the handkerchief under the cover. 
The person holding the hand- 
kerchief Is asked if he felt h de- 
part, but he naturally maintains 
that it is still in the handkerchief. 
Fig, 351. "You are mistaken," says the 

professor; "what you see is merely 
the ghost of the die still clinging to the handkerchief. Allow me!," 
and taking one comer he requests the owner to drop the handkerchief, 
which he then shakes out, exhibiting both sides to show that the die 
has vanished. He then lifts the cover, and shows the hollow die, 
which the spectators take to be the genuine one, and concludes the 
trick by finally commanding the die thus shown to pass into the hat ; 
which, on being turned over, is found to contain the solid die, wbafe 
the hollow die is again raised with the cover, and the latter shown 
apparently empty. 



MODERN MAGIC. 4*3 



The Dib and Oramob. — The die in this instance is about three 
and a half inches square. It has the usual ornamental tin or paste- 
board cover, but there is an additional item of apparatus employed, 
a square wooden box, with hinged lid, and of such a size as just to 
contain the die. The effect of the trick is as follows : — The die is 
brought forward in the box, the performer holding the square cover in 
his other hand. The die being then taken out of the box, and placed 
on the table, the box is shown empty, and the cover placed over the 
die. The performer, having mysteriously procured an orange from 
the hair or whiskers of a spectator, drops it into the box, which is 
then closed. He now asks the spectators, in order to impress the 
bets on their memory, where they suppose the two articles to be. They 
naturally answer that they are where they have just seen them placed ; 
or, if they venture to question this, the performer raises the cover and 
opens the box, and shows that die and orange both remain in statu 
quo. He now commands the two articles to change places. Lifting 
the cover, the die is found to have disappeared, the orange having 
taken its place, and, on opening the box, it is seen to contain the die, 
which is taken out, and exhibited on all sides to the company. The 
die and orange, being again covered over, at command change places 
as often as the company please. 

The reader will doubtless have conjectured that there are in reality 
two dice and two oranges. The box when first brought forward con- 
tains in reality two hollow dice, one within the other. The smaller 
and innermost (the one which is afterwards taken out and placed 
under the cover) is placed in the box with its open side towards the 
hinges^ and contains an orange. The performer takes it out, taking 
care, of course, that the orange does not fall out, and places it (open 
side downwards) upon the table. The cover is now placed over 
it, and, if lifted with pressure, lifts the hollow die with it, and reveals 
the orange ; but if lifted by the button on top, so that the sides are 
not pressed, it leaves the die covering the orange. 

We now return to the box. This contains a second hollow die, 
so placed that the open side is upwards, and the box therefore appears 
to be empty. The lid, however, contains a sixth side, exactly fitting 
the open space, and thus making the die complete. This moveable 
side is alternately made to form a lining to the lid or to form part of 



434 MODERN MAGIC. 

the die, according as ■ little button on die lid is moved in one or 
another direction. Both the true lid and this moveable portion of it 
are lined with looking-glass, so as to show no difference of appearance, 
whether the box is exhibited empty or as containing the die- When 
the sixth side is made to form part of the die, the latter may be com- 
pletely removed from the box, and shown on all its sides without 
betraying the secret, the orange for the time being remaining enclosed 
within it. 

It is a good plan to have a solid die matching those used in the 
trick, to be, if necessary, substituted and handed round for inspection. 
If the performer uses a trap-table, it has a very good effect to con* 
elude the trick by causing the orange under the cover to fall through 
the trap, and then, lifting the cover and hollow die together, to show 
by rattling the wand within, that both die and orange have altogether 
vanished. 

Te-i Vanishing Canary Bird and Cage. — This is another 
favourite die trick. The performer exhibits a canary bird in a little 
oblong brass cage, measuring 
six inches by four. He next 
exhibits a die three inches 
square, showing all sides to 
prove that it is solid. This he 
places upon a tray, which is 
held by the assistant, and 
covers it with a fancy cover 
as already described. He now 
throws a handkerchief over the 
cage. Bringing it forward thus 
p, a covered to the company, he 

orders the cage to vanish, the 
die to pass into a borrowed bat, and the bird to appear upon the tray 
in place of the die. No sooner said than done ; he waves the hand- 
kerchief, which is seen to be empty, and on raising the cover the bird 
is found under it; while, on turning over the hat, out falls the die. 

The disappearance of the cage, which is of the form shown in 
Fig- 253, will be readily understood by any reader who has followed 



MODERN MAGIC. 425 

the description of the "firing glass of voter" described at paga 
367. The handkerchief used is double, and contains in its centre, 
stitched between the two surfaces, an 
oblong wire frame, in size and shape 
exactly corresponding with the top of 
the cage. When the performer throws 
the handkerchief over the cage on the 
table, he takes care to bring this wire 
shape immediately over the cage. When 
he apparently lifts the cage under toe 
handkerchief, which he does standing Pig. 954. 

behind his table, he really lifts the hand- 
kerchief only, distended by the hidden wire, and with the other band 
he gently lowers 
Die cage out of sight 
opon the scrvante. 

So much for the 
disappearance of the 
cage ; but it yet re- 
Fiu. 355. mains to be explain- 

ed how the bird 
comes to be found under the cover in place of the die. This is 
effected as follows : — There are two dice, the one solid, the other of 
hollow tin, and having 
one side wanting, bnt 
capable of being clos- 
ed at pleasure by 
means of a sliding lid, 
also of tin, which sup- 
plies the missing side, 
and is painted accord- 
ingly. The outer 
edge of this lid is 

folded over outwards y lfl _ aj6b 

in a semi circular form. 

■(See Fig. 154). The tray used (see Fig. 955) is of tin, japanned, and 
of ordinary appearance, but has a square piece of tin, of the same size 



426 MODERN MA GIC. 

as one of the sides of the die, soldered upon, its centre at about 
sixteenth of an inch above the surface. Three of its sides are soldered 
to the tray, the fourth being left open* The centre of the tray is 
ornamentally japanned, in such manner as to conceal this special 
arrangement. 

A duplicate bird is beforehand placed in the hollow die, which is 
then closed, and placed either upon the servante or in one of the 
secret pockets of the performer, who, having borrowed a hat, secretly 
slips tbe hollow die into it, and places it on the table mouth upwards. 
He now brings forward and offers for inspection the solid die, the 
cover, and the birdcage, placing the latter when returned upon his 
table, rather towards the hinder edge. "The die," he carelessly 
remarks, " I will place in this hat " (suiting the action to the word) ; 
"or, better still, I will place it upon this tray, so that you may 
be able to keep sight of it throughout the trick." So saying, he 
again takes out apparently the same, but really the hollow die, and 
places it on the tray with the moveable side downwards, in such 
manner as to hook the turned-over portion of that side into the open 
edge of the corresponding square upon the tray, and places the cover 
over it. Handing the tray to his assistant, he proceeds to cause the 
disappearance of the birdcage from the handkerchief, as already 
described This done, he advances to the tray, and lifts tbe cover 
with the hollow die within it, first, however, sliding away cover and 
die together towards the opposite end of the tray (see Fig. aj6), and 
thereby leaving behind upon the centre of the tray the moveable slide, 
the interior of which is japanned so as to correspond with the centre 
pattern of the tray, and thus does not attract any attention. 

The solid die, having remained in the hat, may readily be produced 
when required. 

The Decanter and the Crystal Balls. — The routine of this 
trick, as practised by different performers, varies a good deal. We 
propose to describe it in two forms, the first being as nearly as pos- 
sible that which was adopted by Robert-Houdin. 

First Method.— The apparatus in this case consists of four gbss 
balls (two of plain glass an inch and a half in diameter, one of ruby- 
coloured glass of the same size, and one of plain glass, three-quartos 



MODERN MAGIC. 4*7 



of an inch in diameter) and a decanter of clear glass, with a hollow or 

" kick " underneath it just large enough to admit one of the larger 

balls. The decanter is two-thirds filled with port or claret, and is 

brought forward with the red ball beneath it, in the hollow we have 

mentioned, and is placed on the performer's table. The remaining 

balls are disposed as follows : the two large balls in the performer's 

left pochette, and the small one in the pochette on the other side. 

Thus provided, the performer comes forward, wand in hand. Taking 

the wand carelessly in his right hand, he says, " Ladles and gentle* 

men, I have already given yon some proofs of the singular powers of 

this wand, but I do not know whether I have drawn your attention 

to erne remarkable faculty which it possesses, viz., that if I strike 

anything with it, at the same time mentally calling for any object, 

that object is instantly produced from the article touched. Let us 

put it to the test" (He pulls back his coat-sleeves, showing indirectly, 

by a careless gesture, that his hands are empty.) " For the purpose 

of the trick I am about to show you, I require a crystal ball. Now, 

observe, I give but one gentle touch, not here upon the table " (he 

raps the table with his wand), M where you might suspect some 

mechanism or preparation, but here in my empty hand, and instantly, 

yon see, a ball appears at my bidding." As he touches the table with 

the wand, thereby drawing the eyes of the spectators in that direction, 

he carelessly drops his left hand to his side, and takes from the 

pochette and palms one of the plain glass balls, which as soon as the 

wand reaches his hand he produces at the finger-tips. " The ball, as 

yon see, ladies and gentlemen, is of solid crystal, without crack or 

flaw " (he takes it in the right hand, tosses it up, and catches it again). 

"The hardest steel would fail to chip it, and yet, by my magic power, 

I am able instantly to divide it into two equal portions, each round 

and true as the original." At the moment of tossing the ball in the 

air, all eyes are naturally attracted to it, and the performer has ample 

opportunity to again drop the left hand to his side, and palm the 

second ball. Keeping this in the palm of the left hand, he transfers 

the first ball to the finger-tips of the same hand. Drawing the 

wand across it, he allows it to drop into the palm, and to strike against 

the ball already there. Rubbing his palms together, as if to mould 

the divided ball into shape, he shows the two balls, professedly the 



438 MODERN MAGIC. 



divided portions of the first Taking one in each hand, he continues, 
" I undertook to make the divided portions exactly equal, but I have 
not succeeded so well as usual. It seems to me that this one ts rather 
the larger, what say you, ladies and gentlemen ? " He places the two 
balls on the table, side by side, as if for comparison, and carelessly 
dropping the right hand to his side, palms between the second and 
third fingers (see page 273), the small ball. " Yes, this one is cer- 
tainly the larger, but I can easily rectify the mistake by pinching a 
little piece off." Taking the ball in the left hand, he pretends to 
pinch off a portion from it with the right, at the same time letting the 
little ball fall to the finger-tips of the latter. He replaces the Urge 
ball on the table, rolling the little ball between the fingers, as though 
to give it roundness. " No, that one is still the biggest, I haven't 
taken quite enough yet I must take a little more j or, better still, I 
will add this little piece to the smaller one." Taking the supposed 
smaller ball in the left hand, he pretends to squeeze the little one into 
it, presently letting the latter fall behind it into the palm of the left 
hand, and replacing the two larger balls side by side on the table, 
dropping the little ball at the first opportunity into the pochette. 
He continues, "I think they are now about right. The reason 
why I have been so particular about it is that I am about to pass 
one of these balls into the other, which I could not have done un- 
less they had been of exactly the same size. Now which of them 
shall I pass into the other ? It is for you to decide." He has mean- 
while moved so as to be behind his table, standing sideways, with his 
right side to the table. Whichever ball the company decides is to be 
passed into the other, he takes in his right hand, immediately after, 
wards taking the other in the left hand, which he holds aloft, follow- 
ing it with his eyes. Stretching back the right arm, as though to 
give an impetus to the ball, he drops it into a padded box, or basket, 
placed upon the servante to receive it, immediately afterwards bringing 
the right hand with a semicircular sweep upon the left, and rolling 
the ball the latter contains between the palms, as though to press the 
one ball into the other ; and presently showing that the hands now 
contain one ball only. 

The same effect may be produced without the aid of the table, as 
follows : — Taking both the balls in his right hand, as in Fig. 257, 



MODERN MAGIC. 439 

the performer covers them with the left hand, retaining as he does so 

ball a with the thumb, but allowing ball £ to roll down the left sleeve, 

which, with a little practice, will 

be found by no means difficult. 

He now rubs the palms together, 

as if nibbing the one ball into the 

other, and then separating them 

shows that the two balls have 

become transformed into one 

only. This he exhibits in the 

right hand, and while the eyes ot 

the company are attracted to the no. 157. 

ball, lowers the left arm, allowing 

the ball to ran down the sleeve into the hand, whence it is immediately 

dropped into the pochette on that side. 

The next step is the supposed colouring of the ball. The per- 
former continues, " Ladies and gentlemen, having proved to yon my 
perfect control over the ball in respect of size, I propose to show yon 
that I have equal mastery over it in respect of colour. This I shall 
do by passing it into this bottle of wine, which being red, the ball 
will became red also. Had the bottle contained a blue liquid, yon 
would have found the ball become blue, and so on. The ball " (he 
takes it in his left hand, and apparently transfers it to his right by the 
tourniquet, keeping the right hand closed as if containing it, and 
dropping it from the left into the pochette on that side) " is consider- 
ably larger than the neck of the bottle. This, in a natural way, would 
be rather a difficulty, but to a magician it will give very little trouble. I 
have only to squeeze the ball a little " (he lifts the bottle with the left 
hand, at the same time slipping the little finger underneath it, to pre- 
vent the red ball beneath it falling, and holding the right hand an inch 
or two above it, works the hand as if compressing the ball), "and it 
gradually becomes smaller and smaller, till it melts completely into 
the bottle." He opens the right hand, and shows it empty, imme- 
diately afterwards shaking the bottle, and allowing the ball beneath to 
rattle slightly. " The ball is now in the bottle, as yon see ; the next 
step is to get it out, and it is rather difficult to do this without at the 
same time allowing the wine to escape. However, we will try, I 



«o MODERN MAGIC. 

have no doubt that by a strong effort of will I shall be able to manage 
it" He now takes the bottle between his hands holding it so that 
the two little fingers are beneath, and after a little shaking, allows die 
ball to drop, as if through the bottle. This may be varied by holding 
the bottle with the left hand only, and striking the month with the 
palm of the other, allowing the ball to drop at the third stroke, pro- 
fessedly expelled by the compression of the air. 

Second Method. — The balls used in this instance are five in Dum- 
ber, two large, one of each colour ; two small, one of each colour, 
and one (a trifle larger than these latter), of which one half is red, 
and one half white. The decanter is replaced by an ordinary wine 
bottle (see Fig. aj8), prepared as follows: — A tin tnbe, a, three 
inches in length, closed at the bottom, bnt open 

[I at the top, is made to tit within the neck (just 
' so tightly, that it cannot fall ont of its own 
accord), its upper edge being turned oyer all 
round, and japanned black, so that when placed 
in the bottle it may be indistinguishable from 
the actual neck. The cavity at the bottom of 
the bottle is filled with a resinous cement, in 
such manner as only to leave room for one of 
the larger balls. The tube is beforehand filled 
with port or claret, and placed in the neck. 
The bottle itself, which, if not naturally opaqoe, 
must be rendered so by an interior coating 
of black japan, should be nearly filled with 
water. Thus prepared, it is brought forward 
Fl0 asS , and placed on the table. The balls are dis- 

posed as follows : the two white ones in the 
left pochette of the performer, the two red ones and the parti-coloured 
ball in the pochette on the other side. 

Coming forward to the audience, the performer produces the large 
white ball, either as described in the first form of the trick, or from 
his wand in manner described at page 376. While showing it in his 
left hand, he drops the right hand to his side, and palms the large red 
ball. Laying the white ball on bis table, he remarks, " I have here ■ 
bottle of wine. We will begin by testing its genuineness." He life 



MODERN MAGIC. 431 



the bottle by the neck with the left hand, immediately transferring it 
to the right (which grasps it round the bottom), and introduces be- 
neath it the red ball, which is thenceforth kept in position by the little 
finger. Taking in the other hand a wine-glass (which should be of 
such a size as just to contain the contents of the tube), he fills it with 
wine, and hands it to one of the company. In returning to his table, 
he secretly withdraws the tube. (This is easily done by grasping the 
bottle round the neck with the left hand, and gently drawing it down- 
wards with the right, the turned over portion of the tube being 
clipped by the finger and thumb of the left hand, in which it naturally 
remains.) As the performer passes behind the table, he gets rid of 
the tube by dropping it on the servanie. In placing the bottle on the 
table, he is of course careful not to expose the red ball underneath it 
Taking the white ball in his left hand, he proposes to turn it red, and 
for that purpose to pass it into the bottle. Pretending to transfer it 
to the right hand by the tourniquet, he drops it from, the left hand into 
the padded tray on the servants, and then apparently passes it into 
the bottle, as above. The routine of getting it out of the bottle 
again is the same as above described in relation to the first 
method. 

We may, however, here note a variation in practice. Some per- 
formers, instead of introducing the red ball under the bottle at the 
outset of the trick, as above described, make no attempt to bring it 
under the bottle until after the white ball is supposed to have been 
passed into the wine, when the performer, raising the bottle with 
the left hand, transfers it to the right, and brings the ball under 
it, retaining it there with the little finger until he thinks fit to allow it 
to drop, pretending to squeeze the bottom of the bottle as if to force 
it out. 

After having produced the red ball, the performer remarks, " Per- 
haps, ladies and gentlemen, you imagine that I have not really passed 
the ball through the bottle, and that the effect is, in reality, produced 
by the. substitution of a different coloured ball. Let me assure you 
that so truly is the wine in the bottle, and nothing else, the cause of 
the change of colour, that you will find on examination that every 
particle of colour has left the wine, its whole virtue having been 
absorbed by the ball. Supposing for a moment that I could have 



433 MODERN MAGIC. 

exchanged the ball, you will hardly imagine that I coold exchange 
the liquid in the bottle, which has been proved to be good old 
wine. Will the same gentleman who tried it before be good enough 
to taste it now? * Taking another glass, he fills it from the bottle, 
which is now found to contain nothing but water. 

The performer, meanwhile, has again palmed the white ball, which 
he next produces, as being a new one, from his wand. Comparing the 
red and the white together, he pretends to discover that the red is the 
largest, and therefore pinches from it a small portion (the small red 
ball). He now discovers that he has taken too much, and that the 
red ball is now the smaller. He therefore pinches a second piece 
(the small white ball) from the white one, and finally rolls the two 
little balls thus obtained into one, producing the parti-coloured hall. 
The mode of producing these last effects will present no difficulty to 
any one who has attentively studied the description of the first form 
of the trick. 

The Flags of all Nations.— This is, in good hands, a very 
pretty and effective trick, but requires considerable neatness of manipu- 
lation. Its effect is as follows : — The performer comes forward with 
a couple of miniature silk flags, measuring, say, three inches by two. 
Taking one in each hand, he brings the hands together, and begins to 
wave them backwards and forwards, when the flags are seen to mul- 
tiply, the two being suddenly transformed into a dozen, quickly 
increasing to a still larger number. Not only do the flags increase in 
number, but in size also, until perhaps a couple of hundred hare 
been produced, ranging in dimensions from one or two inches 
square to a foot or even larger, and of six or eight different 
colours. 

This seeming marvel rests on a very slight foundation. The flags 
to be produced are of coloured tissue-paper, with flagstaff* made of 
wire, or ot the " bass " of which scrubbing-brooms are made, so as 
to occupy very little space. These are rolled up together in little 
parcels, like with like, according to size. Thus arranged, they are 
placed, the smaller ones in the sleeve of the p e rf o r mer, and die larger 
ones about his person, with the ends just inside the breast of his waist* 
coat. While waving the first two flags backwards and forwards, ha 



MODERN MA GIC. 433 



gets one of the parcels from the sleeve into his hands, immediately 
unrolling and developing it, when the two flags appear to have multi- 
plied into fifty. Under cover of these, he draws down from the 
sleeve another parcel, which he develops in like manner, and after the 
sleeves are exhausted has recourse to the fresh store within the waist- 
coat. He all along takes care to retain in his hands a large and wide- 
spread bundle of the flags, which, being kept moving backwards and 
forwards, materially aids in covering the mode of production of the 
remainder. 

The Umbrella Trick. — The performer comes forward with an 
umbrella, which may be either the common-place article of every- day 
life, or a brilliant fancy production, akin to Joseph's coat of many 
colours. This he hands for inspection, and meanwhile borrows a 
lady's handkerchief. The latter, for safe keeping, he places in an 
empty vase, which is left in full view of the company. The umbrella, 
duly examined, he places in a case, which may be either the ordinary 
glazed oilskin case, or a special apparatus prepared for the purpose. 
Whichever it be, the result is the same. On again uncovering the 
vase, the handkerchief has vanished, and in its place is found the silk 
covering of the umbrella. On removing the umbrella from its case, 
it is found to have lost its covering ; but the handkerchief, torn in 
several pieces, is found fastened to its naked ribs, one piece to each. 
These are removed. Again the vase is covered, and the umbrella 
restored to the case. The torn fragments of the handkerchief are 
burnt, and their ashes invisibly passed into the vase ; and on a new 
examination the two articles are found uninjured as at first. 

With reference to the transformation of the handkerchief in the 
vase, it will be only necessary to state that the vase employed is either 
the burning globe (see page 246), or the "pea vase " described at page 
351. In either case a duplicate umbrella cover is placed in the second 
compartment, and thus the vase may be shown to contain either 
the handkerchief or the umbrella cover at pleasure. 

With regard to the umbrella, the reader will readily conjecture 
that an exchange is effected, but the mode of effecting it varies. If 
the ordinary glazed case is used, the umbrella is exchanged bodily for 
another, similarly encased, placed beforehand on the servante. This, 

23 



43« MODERN MAGIC. 

however, requires some little dexterity, as an umbrella, from its length, 
is on awkward article to exchange ; and this has led to the employ- 
ment of cases specially constructed to effect the change. That most fre- 
quently used is an upright pillar of zinc or tin, oval in form, and open 
at the top, and so constructed as to stand upright without support 
(see Fig. 359). It is divided vertically into two compartments, in one 
of which is placed beforehand the second umbrella. Of course no 
one can be permitted to examine or even look into 
™ the case, which is a serious drawback 

to the effect of the trick. There is, 
however, another form of case some- 
times employed, which is a trifle less 
objectionable. This is a wooden 
tube, about three feet long, and three 
and a half inches square. (See Fig. 
260.) Like the case already de- 
scribed, it is closed at the bottom 
and open at the top, and divided 
vertically into two compartments, a 
and b. One or other of these, how- 
ever, is always closed by the flap c, 
which by virtue of a spring is nor- 
mally compelled to take the position 
shown in the figure, thus closing 
compartment b. When required for 
use, the second umbrella is placed 
in compartment a, and the flap c 
drawn back (as shown by the dotted ,^^_ 

FIG. 355. lioe ) w M to cl0SC "• in Wnich P 08 *" Fro. afe 

tion it is held by a little catch. The 
performer hands the genuine umbrella for inspection to one of the 
spectators, with a request that he will himself place it in the case. 
As soon as he has done so, the performer by a movement of his fore- 
finger draws back the catch, and releases c, which flying back to the 
opposite position, shuts in the genuine umbrella, and reveals the sub- 
stitute. When this apparatus is employed, the supposed restoration of 
the umbrella is omitted. 



MODERN MAGIC. 435 



Same performers dispense with the use of the vase, and vanish 
and reproduce the borrowed handkerchief by sleight-of-hand, after 
one or other of the modes described in relation to handkerchief 
tricks. 

Thb " Passe-Passe " Trick.— The trick which is specially 
designated by this name (which would appear to be equally appli- 
cable to about three parts of the tricks we have described) is as fol- 
lows :— 

The performer brings forward a bottle and a small tumbler, which 
he places side by side upon the table. Producing a couple of tin or 
pasteboard covers, ornamentally japanned, of a size to just go over 
the bottle, he places one of them over the bottle, and another over the 
glass. He now commands the two articles to change places, and on 
again removing the covers the glass and bottle are found to be tran- 
posed. Again he covers them, and again the change takes plaee ; 
and this he repeats as often as he pleases, occasionally pouring out 
wine or other liquor, to show that the bottle is a genuine one, and not 
a mere make-believe. 

The reader will already have anticipated that there are in reality 
two bottles and two glasses. The bottles are of tin, japanned to 
resemble the ordinary black bottle, but with the bottom only about 
a couple of inches below the neck, leaving an open space beneath for 
the reception of the glass. Each bottle has near the bottom, at the 
side which is kept away from the audience, an oval opening 01 finger- 
hole, measuring about an inch and a half by one inch. When it is 
desired to lift the glass with the bottle, the middle finger is made to 
press on the glass through this opening, thereby lifting both together 
with perfect safety. The outer cover just fits easily over the bottles, 
and if lifted lightly leaves the bottle on the table, but if grasped with 
some little pressure, carries the bottle with it. 

The mode of working the trick will now be readily understood. 
The bottle which is brought forward has a second glass concealed within 
it, kept in position, while the bottle is brought in, by the pressure of 
the finger. The cover which is placed over this bottle is empty. 
The other cover, which is placed over the glass, contains the second 
bottle, which, being hollow below, enables the performer to rattle his 



43* MODERN MAGIC. 

wand within it, and thus (apparently) to prove the cover empty. 
Having covered the glass and bottle, he raises the cover of the first 
very lightly, leaving the glass concealed bj the second bottle, bat lifts 
the other with pressure, so carrying the bottle with it, and revealing 
the glass which has hitherto been concealed within it By reversing 
the process, the bottle and glass are again made to appear, each under 
its original cover. Where it is desired to pour wine from either 
bottle, the performer takes care, in lifting it, to press the glass through 
the finger-hole, and thus lifts both together. For obvious reasons the 
glass into which the wine is poured should be a third glass, and not 
either of the two which play the principal part in the trick. 



MODERN MAGIC. 437 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Stage Tricks. 

The present Chapter will be devoted to such tricks as by reason of 
the cumbroosness or costliness of the apparatus required for them, 
are, as a rule, exhibited only upon the public stage. The stage per- 
former may, if he pleases, avail himself of the aid of mechanical tables, 
electrical appliances, etc., which enable him to execute a class of 
tricks which are beyond the scope of an ordinary drawing-room per- 
formance, though the wealthy amateur will find no difficulty in 
converting his own drawing-room into a quasi-stage, and qualifying it 
for the presentation of the most elaborate illusions. 

The leading items of apparatus in stage magic are mechanical 
tables. These are of various kinds, many being specially designed to 
assist in the performance of some one particular trick. Putting aside 
these, which will be separately noticed, stage tables may be broadly 
divided into three classes — trap tables, piston tables, and electrical 
tables. In practice, these classes are somewhat intermingled, for it is 
rather the rule than the exception for a stage table to be fitted with 
both traps and pistons, while either or both of these may be found in 
conjunction with electrical appliances. 

Trap tables are such as are provided with one or more " traps," 
their object being, at the will of the operator, to cause the disappear- 
ance of a given article into the interior of the table, or sometimes to 
produce or apparently change an article. The traps most generally 
used may be described as follows : — 

1. The Plain Trap. — This consists of a thin plate of metal, 
generally zinc, screwed down flush with the top of the table. In this, 
which we will call the surface plate, is cut a hole, generally circular, 
and from two to four inches in diameter, closed by a flap or door, 



438 MODERN MAGIC. 

which by the action of a spring hinge is pressed up level with the 
rest of the trap, though it instantly yields to pressure from above, 
again rising as soon as such pressure is removed. Figs. 361 and 
»6a represent the trap as seen detached from the table. Fig. 161 
exhibiting its under side, a is the circular flap, l h the spring hinge, 
c a little bolt by means of which the trap 
may be fastened at pleasure, and which is 
worked by a pin projecting upwards 
through a slot in the surface plate, and 
through the cloth which covers the table ; 
d is :i small flat piece of metal, screwed to 
the under side of the flap a, and acting as 
a "stop " to prevent the flap being forced 
by the action of the spring above the 
Fig. b6i. ' eve ' °f tne surface-plate. The "mount- 

ings " of the trap are generally brass, and 
attached to the zinc by screws. A brass eyelet, t, is sometimes 
soldered to the centre of the under side of the flap. To mis is 
attached a cord, which may hang down ready to the performer's 
hand at the back of the table, or may be carried down a groove in 
one of the hinder legs, and either terminate in a pedal (to be pressed 
by the foot of the performer), or be continued behind the scenes 
within reach of the hand of the assistant. 
The mode of working the trap is as 
follows; — Any small article, being 
placed on it, is covered over (either with 
an ornamental cover or with a simple 
handkerchief). The cord being gently 
pulled by either of the means above 
mentioned, the trap opens, and the 
article falls into the body of the table. Fio. 36a. 

As soon as the pull is relaxed, the flap 

again rises and closes the opening. Where a cord is not used, the 
performer gets rid of the article by direct pressure on the trap, or the 
article upon it, with the one hand, while with the other he veils the 
opening in the table. 

a. The " Wrist " or " Pressure " Trap. — With this form of trap the 




. MODERN MAGIC. 439 

use of a cord is unnecessary, the trap being worked from the surface of 
the table, by pressure upon a particular spot. The manner of its con- 



struction will become clear upon an inspection of Figs. 3,63, 364. 
Fig. 363 represents the under side of the trap ; a is the flap, working 



upon a spring hinge b b, as, already explained in the case of the plain 
trap ; c c is an oblong piece of metal, cut out of and lying flush with 
the surface-plate, and working upon an ordinary hinge at d. When 



440 MODERN MAGIC. 

e is pressed down, the crosspiece t, which is soldered to it, presses 
down the lever f, and this in turn acting upon the shorter lever g, which 
is fixed at right angles to 
the rod upon which the flap 
a is hinged, causes the latter 
to open. 

The mode of using the 
wrist trap is as follows s— 
The performer has occasion, 
we will suppose, to cause 
the disappearance of an 
orange, as for instance, in 
the "Bran and Orange" 
trick, described at page 335. 
Placing the orange upon the 
FlG aS6t flap a, he places both hands 

round it as though to pick 
it op between them. {Ste Fig. 265.) In this position the under 
side of the hand furthest from the audience (we Fig. a66, showing the 
right hand removed), is just over c, and pressing gently upon it, causes 
the flap to open, and the orange to fall through ; the position of the 
hands completely veil- 
ing the operation. The 
operator now leaves the 
table, still holding his 
hands as though having 
the orange between 
them, and after a due 
interval, brings them 
closer and closer toge- 
ther, at last showing Fie. 367. 
that it has vanished. 

The wrist trap is generally worked by the performer standing at 
the side of the table, and the traps are therefore made right-banded 
and left-handed, according to the end at which they are intended to 
be placed, the rule being that c must be so placed with reference to a, 
as to be when in use under the band furthest from the spectators. 




MODERN MAGIC. 441 

Fig. a6? illustrates this difference of make, to suit the one or the 
other end of the table. 

3. The "Ra&bti" or "Dove" Trap. — This, as its name indicates, is 
a trap for causing the disappearance of a rabbit or pigeon. The opening 
is in this case oval, measuring about eight inches by six, and closed 
by a double flap, divided down the middle (tee Fig. 268, representing 
the under side of the trap.) It has no string.the animal being simply 
poshed down through the trap under cover either of a second rabbit, 
or of a piece of paper in which the victim is supposed to be wrapped. 
As the rabbit trap requires considerable space, and, moreover, involves 
the necessity of some sort of an inclosure within the table to prevent 
an unexpected reappear, 
ance of the animal, it is 
a convenient plan to de- 
vote to it a small special 
table. This should be 
circular ; about thirty- 
two inches in height, 
and sixteen to eighteen 
in diameter. The upper 
part of the table must 
form a circular wooden 
box, about eight inches 

in depth, with an open- FjG ^ 

ing behind to get out the 

rabbit. The table may, like the principal table, have a servant e behind 
it, which will greatly increase its utility. The depth of the upper part 
may be concealed by a hanging fringe ; the general appearance of the 
table (seen from the back) being as shown in Pig. 269. A table of 
this class makes a very pretty side table, and may be balanced on the 
opposite side of the stage by another of similar appearance, but 
designed for some different purpose. 

The interior of the table should be well padded with wadding or 
hay, that the animal may not be hurt by its sudden descent. 

Each of the traps above-mentioned should be so made as to be 
capable of being secured, when necessary, by a bolt, or there would 
be considerable risk of a trap giving way unexpectedly under any 



443 MODERN MAGIC. 

article carelessly placed on it. The mode of bolting, however, varies 
considerably. Some traps are fastened by little bolts on the under 
side, which, being only get-at-able from the inside of the table, most 
be bolted or unbolted for good before the curtain rises, occasioning 
considerable embarrassment in the case of a slip of the memory. 
Others again are secured by means of long bolts, or wire rods extending 
across the under surface of the top of the table, each terminating in a 
hook at the back, within reach of the performer's hand. A third, and, 
we think, the best, plan is to have the bolt (as shown in Figs. aOi and 
26a, and therein marked c) worked back- 
wards and forwards by means of a little 
pin projecting upwards through the sur- 
face plate and the cloth of the table. By 
the adoption of this plan the performer is 
enabled to draw back the bolt with the 
finger-tip in the very act of placing the 
article upon the trap. It will readily sug- 
gest itself to the reader that some provision 
roust be made within the table for making 
the various articles drop noiselessly through 
the traps. The best plan of effecting this 
is to use what is called a " railway." This 
is a wooden frame just large enough to lie 
within the table, with a piece of black 
serge or alpaca stretched all over its under 
side. This is so placed within the table. 
Fie. 369. as to slope gently down to the level of the 

servant?, with a fall of three or four inches. 
Any article dropped through a trap will not only fall noiselessly upon 
the surface of the stretched alpaca, but will immediately roll down 
the incline towards the tenants, so that it is instantly get-at-able, 
should the performer hare occasion to reproduce the same article at 1 
later stage of the trick. 

4. " Changing " Traps. — The traps which we hare hitherto dis- 
cussed have only had the faculty of causing the disappearance of 1 
given article. Those which we are about to describe will not only do 
this, but will, moreover, produce an article on the surface of the table 



MODERN MAGIC. 443 

where a moment previously there was nothing, or will replace a given 
object by another. 

The trap for this purpose is a somewhat complicated arrangement, 
of the appearance shown in Figs. 270 and 271. The surface-plate, 
a a a a, is oblong, 
measuring about 

twelve inches by six, 
with a circular open 
ing l h in the centre. 
Below it are fixed 
vertically two brass 
cylinders c and d, 

which are so arranged F[c ^ 

as to work backwards 

and forwards on a kind of railway ef a f, in the direction of the 

length of the surface-plate, jnstso far in either direction as to bring e or 

d in turn immediately 

under b. The two 

cylinders are soldered 

together, so that the 

one cannot move 

without the other. 

If, therefore, the 

cylinders are drawn 

back to the utmost by 

Fie. 371. means of one of the 

bent iron rods or 

handles g k, the cylinder e will be below the opening I, as in Fig. 

373. If, on the contrary, they be pushed forward, d will in turn be 

below the opening, as in Fig. 373. Each cylinder contains a brass 

piston, faced with zinc on its upper surface, and moved up and down 

by a lever attached at right angles to one or other of the iron handles g k 

already mentioned, and working through a vertical slot in the side of 

the cylinder. A piece of clock-spring, attached to the iron handle at 

the point of junction, gives the piston a gentle upward tendency, which 

is so regulated, that if either of the cylinders be brought under the 

opening b, the piston belonging to that cylinder is made to rise into 



MODERN MAGIC. 



the opening, its upper surface resting just flush with that of a a a a. 
The piston of the forward cylinder e is made to work very easily 
within it, so as to rise spontaneously by the action of the spring; but 
that of the hinder cylinder, d, for a reason which will presently appear, 







Fig. 173. 



works a lit le more stiffly, so as to require a little assistance from the 
lever to make it rise into its proper position. The action of the 
handles # h is outwards, in the direction of the arrows in Fig. 374, 
the movement of either handle in the direction so indicated drawing 
down the piston to which it belongs. 

The handles further serve, as already mentioned, to move the cylin- 
ders backwards and forwards as may be required. It should, how- 
ever be noted that no backward or forward movement can take place 
so long as either of the pistons 
stops the opening I ; but as 
soon as the piston is, by turn- 
ing the proper handle, de- 
pressed ever so little below the 
level of the surface-plate, it a" 
longer forms any obstacle to 
the movement. The trap is 
fixed in the table in such man- 
ner that the handles g A shall 
be just within the opening at 
the back of the table (set Fig. 
274), and thus be within easy 
reach of the performer's hands 
when standing behind it. We will suppose, for the sake of illus- 
tration, that the performer desires to change an empty tumbler (of 



nc 174- 



MODERN MAGIC. 445 



small size) to a full one. The trap is beforehand prepared by bring- 
ing the foremost cylinder c under the opening b. The full glass is 
then placed on the top of the piston, which is then lowered gently 
downwards by means of the proper handle, the glass sinking into the 
cylinder. The cylinders are now pushed forward, so that d in turn 
comes under b, the piston being then moved up into its proper place, 
and so closing the openiug. This is, of course, arranged before the 
curtain rises. 

When the performer desires to perform the trick, he places the 
empty glass upon b, and conceals it with a cover of any kind. 
Standing carelessly behind the table, and keeping the attention of the 
audience occupied by any observations he may deem most appro- 
priate for that purpose, he takes hold with his right hand of the 
handle h, and turns it outward, thereby lowering the empty glass into 
d. As soon as he feels that it will sink no further, he shifts his hand 
to the handle a, and therewith draws the cylinders back so as to bring 
c under b, and then, by turning g, gently raises the full glass of water 
up through b to the surface of the table. The reader will now per- 
ceive the reason why, as already mentioned, the piston in d is made a 
little tight, so as to require the assistance of the handle to raise it into 
its position. It is necessary that this piston, when once depressed 
with the object to be changed, shall remain down while the hand is 
shifted from handle h to handle g. If it were not made to work 
somewhat stiffly, the moment the handle h was released the piston 
would instantly fly up again with the object upon it, thus neutralizing 
what had been already done. The cylinder c, which is to produce the 
substitute object, is not brought under b until the hand of the per- 
former is already on the handle belonging to it, and can thereby check 
its upward ascent as may be necessary. 

It is obvious that the changing trap will be equally available to 
produce an object under an empty cover. The object to be produced 
will be placed in c as above, the piston in d going down empty, and 
that in c rising with the object upon it. 

The above are the traps in most frequent use, but there are 
others designed for special purposes. Thus there is a trap for causing 
the disappearance of six or eight half-crowns (as, for instance, in the 
well-known trick of the " crystal cash-box/' which will be described 



446 MODERN MAGIC. 

in the course of the present chapter). Of coarse the coins could be 
made to disappear through an ordinary trap, but they would cause a sug- 
gestive "chink" in their fall. The trap to which we are now referring 
{see Figs. 375 and 376) is designed to prevent this tell-tale sound, and 
to cause the half-crowns to disappear in perfect silence. The open- 
ing in the surface plate is an inch and three quarters in diameter, and 
is closed by a circular piston 
of brass or zinc, a, working up 
and down in a small brass 
cylinder b, and so arranged 
as to drop by its own weight 
to the bottom of the cylin- 
der, save when kept rjp by a 
little lever catch at the side 
p^ of the cylinder. A short pin 

d attached to this catch pro- 
jects upwards through a slot in the surface plate, and stands up very 
slightly above the cloth of the table. The disc a being raised level 
with the surface plate, and secured by means of the catch, six oreight 
half-crowns or florins are placed on a. The performer, in making 
the motion of picking up the coins (with one hand), with the tip 
of the third finger pulls the 
pin d towards him. This 
withdraws the catch, and 
a instantly drops down to 
the bottom of the cylinder, 
carrying the coins with it. 
As soon as a reaches its low- 
est point, it draws down the 
pin t, thereby releasing a simi- 
lar disc f, which, working p,,. ^ 
laterally on a spring pivot at 

the edge of the opening, describes a semicircle, and assumes the 
position previously occupied by a, a portion of one side of the cylin- 
der, at the top, being cut away to allow of its passage. Fig. 375 
shows the trap in its first, and Fig. 376 in its second condition, the 
latter being, for greater clearness, drawn in section. The apparatus is 



MODERN MAGIC. 



447 



rather complicated, and it is almost hopeless to endeavour to render it 
clearly intelligible by description only. In the absence of this special 
trap, the same object may be nearly as well effected with an ordinary 
trap by using half-crowns (be it remembered that it is always substi- 
tute coins which are made to disappear in this manner) which have 
been beeswaxed on both sides. A very slight pressure will cause a* 
number of coins thus prepared to adhere together, and form for the 
time being a solid mass, which will fall through the trap without 
causing any "clink." 

We next come to — 

Pistons. — These are appliances for working pieces of mechanical 
apparatus — as, for example, the Watch Target, the Card Star, the 
Demon's Head, etc., etc. A piston (see Figs. 277, 278) consists of a 
brass tube a, about five inches in length by five-eighths of an inch in 





Fig. 277. 



Fig. 278. 



diameter, with a collar at one end pierced with screw-holes for affix- 
ing it to the under surface of the table. Within this tube works a 
wire rod, b, three-sixteenths of an inch thick, and terminating in a 
small round disc of brass c, just large enough to work freely up and 
down the tube. A spiral spring, also of brass, keeps the rod down, 



448 



MODERN MAGIC. 




Fig. 279. 



unless when forced upwards by pulling a piece of whipcord, which is 
attached to the disc c, and thence passes up the tube, and over a small 

pulley d, which is soldered to the collar 
already mentioned. When this cord is 
pulled, b is forced to rise, which it does to 
the extent of about two inches above the 
surface of the table (see Fig. 178), again 
sinking under the pressure of the spring, 
as soon as the pull is relaxed. Each piston 
is screwed to the under surface of the top 
of the table, in which a small hole is bored, 
in order to allow of the upward passage of 
the piston rod. Where complicated me- 
chanical pieces have to be worked, three, 
four, or more of these pistons are placed 
side by side. The cords are carried behind 
the scenes, either direct iy from the back of 
the table, or down grooves in the legs, aod 
through holes in the stage to the hiding- 
place of the assistant. Where a single piston only is required, it may 
be made to work in the central pillar of a light gueridon, or fancy 
table, such as shown in Fig. 279, the lightness and simplicity of the 
table, and the thinness of its top, appa- 
rently precluding all possibility of the 
presence of concealed mechanism. The 
cord may be made to pass down the 
centre pillar, so as to be quite invisible 
to the audience. 

The mechanical pieces worked by 
the agency of these pistons vary greatly 
in construction, but they are alike in 
one particular, viz., that they are set in 
motion by one or more vertical rods 
passing up the shaft or column on which 
they stand, and each terminating in a 
flat metal disc, or pedal, which receives the upward pressure of the 
piston. Fig. 280 shows the arrangement of the foot of a mechanical 




Fig. 38a 



MODERN MAGIC. 449 



piece worked by one such rod only. Another specimen will have 
been observed in the case of the pedestal for the animated money. 
(See page 186.) Where three or four pedals are necessary, they are 
generally enclosed in a square wooden base, as in the case of the 
" Demon's Head/' described at page 458. 

Before quitting the subject of the tables used upon the stage, we 
must not omit to say a few words as to what is called the " bellows " 
table, though it is now comparatively little used. It was formerly 
(say forty or fifty years ago) the fashion among conjurors to use 
tables with drapery hanging to within a few inches of the floor. 
The table being, say, two feet seven inches high, this gave room for a 
box-like arrangement, of two feet deep, or thereabouts, within the 
body of the table. In this box, which was open at the back, was 
hidden an assistant, who worked the pistons, managed the traps, 
effected necessary substitutions, etc., etc. Conjuring under such 
circumstances was very easy work. In 1845, however, Robert- 
Houdin gave his first public performance, and one of the earliest of 
his reforms in the magic art was the suppression of the too sugges- 
tive drapery, and the substitution of tables of light and elegant form, 
allowing no possible room for the concealment of an assistant. A 
reaction set in in favour of the new fashion, which has ever since 
maintained its ground. The " bellows '* table combines the apparent 
simplicity of the undraped table with the internal capacity of the old- 
fashioned draped article. There is a trick, formerly very popular as 
the wind-up of an entertainment, which consists of the magical 
disappearance of a youthful assistant, male or female. The subject 
of the trick, generally dressed in a page's costume, is made to 
mount upon a table, and is covered by a wicker cone, which being 
almost instantly removed, he or she has vanished. The table in this 
case is draped to within a few inches of the ground, but to show 
that no hidden receptacle is thereby concealed, the performer 
before commencing the trick lifts up the table-cloth, and shows 
that the top of the table is at most not more than two or three 
inches in thickness. The drapery is then again allowed to fall into 
position, and the trick proceeds. The table used in this trick is a 
bellows table ; i*., it has a double top, or rather two tops, one above 
the other. The upper one is a fixture, with a large wooden trap 

29 



450 



MODERN MAGIC. 



(opening upwards) in it, to allow of the passage of the person to be 
conjured away. The under top is moveable, being in its normal 
condition pressed against the upper one by the action of four 
spiral springs (one in each leg of the table), but sinking down to 
nearly the depth of the cover under the weight of a person stepping 
upon it, and thus affording the requisite hiding-place, in which the 
person remains until the fall of the curtain enables him or her to 
come forth with safety. Cloth is nailed round three sides of the 
upper and lower boards, folding between the two when closed, after 
the manner of the leather of a bellows ; and from this circumstance 
the table derives its name. 

Small round tables (for the disappearance of a rabbit, or the like) 
are sometimes made on the same principle. The following will be 
found a simple and convenient arrangement : — Let the table be of the 
form shown in Fig. 281, and two feet seven inches high. Let the 

uppermost eight inches of the pillar be a 
plain cylinder a a, an inch and a half in 
diameter. Below this the pillar may in- 
crease in size, and may be of an ornamental 
character. Take two circular boards of 
deal or mahogany, each eighteen to twenty 
inches in diameter, and five-eighths of an 
inch thick. In the centre of one of them, 
6, cut a circular hole an inch and three- 
quarters in diameter. This will form the 
under side of the " bellows," the object 
being to allow the board to slide freely op 
and down on a a. The other board, 
which we will call c, is screwed firmly on 
to the pillar, to form the top of the table. 
Next take a strip of black alpaca, ten 
inches in width, and nail its opposite edges 
round b and c, leaving a small space at 
one side to give access to the interior. Tie a piece of cord elastic 
round the centre of the alpaca, tightly enough to exercise a consider- 
able degree of tension. Fix such traps as may be desired in c, and 
glue over it a fancy-patterned cloth, with a fringe or border hanging 




5^ 



Fig. 281. 



MODERN MAGIC. 451 

down nine or ten inches round the sides. The performer, before 
executing any trick with this table, may pointedly draw attention to 
the fact that it contains no drawer or other place of concealment. 
In doing this {see Fig. 38a) he with one hand raises the lower board 
level with the upper (the action of the elastic drawing in the alpaca 
between the two), while with the other hand he raises the fringe, 
and shows, apparently, that the top of the table is but a single 
board. 

The top of every conjuring table should be covered with woollen 
cloth, not only to prevent the clatter which would be occasioned by 
the placing of objects upon the bare wood, 
but to conceal the presence of the traps 
and pistons. The cloth used should, for 
this latter reason, be of two colours, and of a 
tolerably intricate pattern, as the outline of 
the traps will be thereby rendered much less 
perceptible; indeed, if the pattern of the 
cloth be a favourable one for the purpose, the 
traps should be, by gas-light, absolutely in- 
visible. The cloth should be glued over 
the top of the table after the manner of a 
card-table ; the upper surface of the traps 
being first roughed slightly, to make the 
glue adhere to the metal. When the glue 
is thoroughly dry (but not until then) the 
cloth may be cut along the outline of the 
traps with a very sharp penknife, and small 
holes bored to allow of the upward pas- 
sage of the piston rods. As it is necessary 
in placing a mechanical piece upon the _ . 

table, to do so exactly over the pistons, it 

is well to have a couple of wire points projecting upwards a quarter of 
an inch or so from the surface of the table, in such positions that if 
the piece of apparatus rests firmly against these (which the per- 
former can tell instantly by feel) it must necessarily be in proper 
position. 

Where " wrist" traps are used, the cloth need not be cut out round 



452 MODERN MAGIC. 



m 

the little oblong slab marked c in Figs. 263, 264, bat the cloth should 
be without glue over this particular spot, and for half an inch round 
it on either side. The cloth will by this arrangement be found, 
without cutting, to stretch sufficiently over c to allow of the proper 
working of the trap. 

Assuming that our stage appliances are complete, we will pro- 
ceed to— 

Thb Rabbit Trick. — The performer comes forward to the 
audience, and borrows a hat. He asks whether it is empty, and is 
answered that it is 3 but he, notwithstanding, finds something m 
it, which the owner is requested to take out The article in question 
proves to be an egg. No sooner has this been removed, than the 
performer discovers that there is still something in the hat, and 
immediately produces therefrom a live rabbit, quickly followed by a 
second. Not knowing what other use to make of these, he proposes 
to pass one of them into the other. The audience decide which is to 
be the victim, and the performer, placing them side by side on the 
table, proceeds to roll them together, when one is found to have 
vanished, nobody knows when or how ; but the theory is that it has 
been swallowed by the remaining rabbit, to the (imaginary) increased 
fatness of which the performer draws special attention. 

Having thus passed one rabbit into the other, the next step is to 
get it out again. To do this the performer calls for some bran, and 
his assistant immediately brings forward, and places on a table or 
chair, a huge glass goblet, twelve inches or thereabouts in height, 
filled to the brim with that commodity. The performer takes the 
borrowed hat, and (after showing that it is empty) places it mouth 
upwards upon another table, so as to be at some considerable distance 
from the goblet of bran. He then places a brass cover over the 
glass, first, however, taking up and scattering a handful of the bran to 
prove its genuineness. Taking the surviving rabbit, and holding it by 
the ears above the covered goblet, he orders the one swallowed to pass 
from it into the glass, at the same time stroking it down with the 
disengaged band, as though to facilitate the process. He remarks, 
" You must excuse the comparative slowness of the operation, ladies 
and gentlemen, but the fact is, the second rabbit passes downwards 



MODERN MA GIC. 453 



in an impalpable powder, and, if I were not to take sufficient time, 
we might find that a leg or an ear had been omitted in the process, 
and the restored rabbit would be a cripple for life. I think we are 
pretty safe by this time, however. Thank you, Bonny; I need not 
trouble you any more/' So saying, he releases the visible rabbit, and 
on taking off the cover the bran is found to have disappeared, and the 
missing rabbit to have taken its place io the goblet; while on turning 
over the borrowed hat the vanished bran pours from it. 

The reader who has duly followed our descriptions of the appli- 
ances employed in the magic art will have little difficulty in solving 
the riddle of this trick. The performer first comes forward with an 
egg palmed in one hand, and with a small rabbit in an inner breast- 
pocket on each side of his coat (see page 9). The first step is the 
pretended finding of something (it is not stated what) in the hat. 
The owner is requested to take it out, and while all eyes are naturally 
turned to see what the article may prove to be, the performer, with- 
out apparent intention, presses the mouth of the hat with both hands 
to his breast, and tilts one of the rabbits into it. This is next pro- 
duced, and in placing it on the ground at his feet, the performer 
brings the second rabbit in the same manner into the hat When he 
undertakes to pass the one rabbit into the other, be places both upon 
the table which contains the rabbit-trap, and, standing sideways 
to the audience, pushes the hindmost, under cover of the other, 
through the trap. This particular rabbit is not again produced, the 
rabbit in the " bran glass," which has already been explained (see page 
383), being another as much like it as possible. It only remains to 
explain how the bran comes into the borrowed hat. This is effected 
by having a black alpaca bag filled with bran in one of the profondes 
or under the waistcoat of the performer. This bag is introduced into 
the hat after the manner of the goblets (see page 308), and the bran 
having been allowed to run out, the bag is rolled up in the palm, and 
so removed, the bran remaining, to be produced in due course. 

It is obvious that the trick may be varied in many ways. The 
following is an effective modification :— A rabbit having been produced 
by natural or supernatural means, is placed on the principal table 
{close to the hinder edge), and temporarily covered with a borrowed 
hat, while the performer goes in search of a sheet of paper, which 



454 MODERN MAGIC. 



when obtained, he spreads upon a small side table. Lifting the hat 
slightly, he takes out the rabbit, and walking with it to the side table, 
rolls it up in the paper, making a somewhat balky parcel. Coining 
forward with this to the audience, he turns toward the principal 
table, and saying,' " Now, ladies and gentlemen, if yon watch me 
very closely, you will see the rabbit fly out of the paper, -and back to 
the hat." He crushes the paper together between his hands, and 
tearing it, shows it empty, while on lifting the hat the rabbit is again 
found safely ensconced beneath it. 

The ingenious reader will readily guess that duplicate rabbits are 
employed. One of them is placed under the hat, and remains there 
throughout the trick. A second, of similar appearance, is placed in 
a box or basket on the servahle, immediately behind the hat. This 
box has no lid, but is pushed until wanted just within the interior of 
the table, the top of which prevents the rabbit making a premature 
appearance. The performer, slightly raising the hat, as though to 
take the rabbit from under it, lifts up this secoTtd rabbit, which the 
spectators naturally believe to be the same which they have already 
seen, and in apparently wrapping it in paper on the side table, presses 
it, under cover of the paper, through the rabbit trap, and screws op 
the ends of the paper (which should be rather stiff) in such manner 
as to make it appear that the animal is still inside it. The same trick 
may be performed with a pigeon with equally good effect, and con- 
siderably less difficulty. 

The Fairy Star. — This is one of the most telling of stage 
card tricks. The performer, coming forward with a pack of cards, 
allows six to be chosen. His assistant meanwhile brings forward and 
places on a table a handsome gilt " star " on a stand. The performer, 
collecting the chosen cards, places them in his pistol, and fires them 
at the star, when, at the moment of the explosion, they are seen to 
attach themselves one to each of its points, as in Fig. 283. 

The principal point to be explained is the construction of the star. 

Behind each " ray " is a moveable arm, working on a spring hinge at 

about two inches' distance from the point, and carrying a spring dip at 

its outer end wherein to insert a card. (See Fig. 284, representing a back 

view of the apparatus.) A card being placed in each of the clips, the six 



MODERN MA GIC. 4SS 

arms, with the cards attached to them, are folded down one by one be- 
hind the centre of the star, which is just large enough to conceal them. 
Each card, as folded, holds down the one which has preceded it. When 
the last card is folded down, the free end of a moveable button or 
lever at the top of the pillar on which the star rests is so turned as to 



Fig. =83. Fig. 384. 

press upon the arm which holds the card last folded, and thus to keep 
it and the fi»e other cards preceding it in place. This button, how- 
ever, is so arranged as to be instantly withdrawn npon an upward 
movement being communicated to a wire rod which passes up the 
centre of the pillar, and terminates in a flat disc of metal at its foot 
The apparatus, thus prepared, is placed immediately over one of the 



456 MODERN MAGIC. 



pistons of the table. At the moment of firing the 'pistol the cord of 
the piston is pulled. The piston rises, pressing up the disc and wire rod, 
the button is withdrawn, and the arms, being thereby released, revert 
to their natural position, exhibiting a card upon each point of the star. 

There are many little differences of detail between the " stars " of 
rival manufacturers, but the foregoing may be taken to represent the 
general principle of all. Some have the addition of a rose in the 
centre, which opens simultaneously with the appearance of the cards, 
and discloses a watch, borrowed a moment previously from one of 
the spectators. 

The mode of working the trick varies a good deal in the hands of 
different performers. The most legitimate method is to " force " 
cards corresponding to those already folded behind the star, and this 
method has the advantage of allowing the star to be brought in and 
placed upon the table before commencing the trick ; and as it is not 
again touched by the performer or his assistant, the appearance on its 
points of (apparently) the identical cards just chosen seems really 
miraculous. 

To be able, however, to force six cards in succession with ease 
and certainty, demands a more than average degree of dexterity on 
the part of the performer $ and a u forcing pack " (seepage 23) is hardly 
available where more than three, or at most four cards have to be 
forced. Various expedients have been adopted to get over this diffi- 
culty. Some professors simply collect, or allow their assistant to 
collect, the cards which have been drawn, and forthwith secretly 
exchange them for the same number of others. These latter are laid 
upon the table, and subsequently placed in the pistol, while the 
originals are carried off by the assistant behind the scenes, and there 
attached to the star, which is then for the first time brought forward. 
Others, again, use what are called " longs and shorts " — i.e., two packs 
of cards, one of which has had a small portion shaved off its length 
or breadth. The performer offers the uncut pack for the company to 
draw from, letting each person retain his card, and then secretly 
exchanging the pack for the shortened pack, he requests each of the 
drawers (singly) to replace his card, and to shuffle freely. The substi- 
tuted pack being a shade smaller than the returned card, the latter 
becomes a " long " card (see page 60) j and therefore, however well the 



MODERN MAGIC. 4S7 

cards are shuffled, the performer is able, with absolute certainty, to cut 
at that particular card. "Here is your card,'' he remarks, "the knave 
of diamonds." As he names the card, the assistant, behind the 
scenes, takes the cue, and attaches a corresponding card to the star. 
The card named is removed from the pack and laid upon the table, in 
order to be subsequently placed in the pistol, and a second drawn card 
is returned and shuffled with the like result. 

The star may, in the absence of a mechanical table, be placed on 
the band, the disc being pushed up by the fingers. Some stars have 
a moveable stud at the side of the pillar, connected with the rod 
within, to facilitate this mode of working the trick. 

The Card Bouquet. — This is a trick very similar in effect to 
that last described, though differing a little as to the manner of the 
appearance of the cards. Six cards are drawn, and placed in a pistol, 
as in the last case. A vase (appa- 
rently of china, but really of tin, 
japanned), containing a handsome 
bouquet, is placed upon the table, 
and, at the instant of firing, the six 
cards appear ranged in a semicircle 
above the flowers in the bouquet. {See 
Fig. 285.) In this instance, the cards 
are attached to the branches of a sort 
of fan, so constructed as to open of 
its own accord, unless forcibly kept 
closed. The cards having been 
duly placed in position, this fan 

is shut, and pressed downwards 

. ' v . .. Fio. =85. 

through a narrow opening in the 

lower part of the vase, the pressure of whose sides keeps it, for the 

time being, closed. When pressed upwards by the action of a piston, 

the fan rises above the level of the flowers, and at the same time opens 

and exhibits the six cards. 

The vase is sometimes made with a second pedal, to produce a 

second series of six cards. In this case twelve cards are drawn ; six of 

these first appear, and then, at the command of the performer, these 



458 MODERN MAGIC. 

six suddenly change to the other six. This is effected as follows ; — 
The twelve cards are pasted back to back in couples. Each of the 
six arms which hold the cards is so arranged as to be capable of being 
turned half round (after the manner of the centre of the " watch 
target "), in which position it is retained by a catch, flying hack how- 
ever to its old position as soon as 
the catch is released. The six 
arms are each turned round in 
this manner, bringing what are 
naturally the hindmost cards 
in front. The movement of 
the first lever exhibits these 
cards ; that of the second lever 
releases the six catches, when 
the arms instantly fly round 
and reveal the other six cards, 
into which those first exhibited 
appear to have changed. 

The Demon's Head. — 
This is a large and effective 
piece of apparatus, standing 
about twenty -eight inchesfrom 
the table. It consists of a 
grotesque papier machi head, 
representing that of a demon 
or satyr, and painted according 
to taste. It is supported by 
an ornamental brass column, 
about an inch in diameter, 
springing from a velvet-covered 
base, nine inches square and 
four and a half high. (See 
Fie, 986. Fig. 286.) At the will of the 

operator, the bead rolls its eyes 
and opens its mouth, and is sometimes made available in this way to 
answer questions ; the rolling of the eyes being taken to signify*: 



MODERN MAGIC. 



negative, and the open- 
ing of the month an 
affirmative. In addition . 
to these accomplish- 
ments, the demon will 
indicate chosen cards io 
the following manner: 
Five cards having been 
selected, are returned to 
the pack, which, after 
being duly shuffled, is 
placed in the demon's 
month. The performer 
now orders him to pro- 
dace the chosen cards, 
when two of them fly 
from his month, and the 
other two spring up be- 
tween his horns. 

The head owes its 
movements to the action 
of three different sets of 
levers, each terminating 
in a disc or pedal im- 
mediately over a circular 
hole in the under side of 
the base. The apparatus 
is so placed upon the 
table that these openings 
correspond in position 
with the same number 
of pistons. Fig. 287 is 
a general view of the 
internal mechanism, the 
back of the head being 
removed (as in fact it 
may be in the original) 
to give access thereto. 



460 



MODERN MAGIC 




lllllll!ll!llllllllu,i\\\\'.,^lili)IQlflIII'''..illlllllllll(llIl)Mlfl 



Fig. a88 exhibits (as seen from the rear) the action of the left-hand 
group of levers, producing 'the movement of the eyes. When an up- 
ward pressure is applied to the foot of the lever a, it causes the upper 
arm c d of the elbow piece h c d to describe an arc of about a quarter 
of an inch from left to right, thereby communicating a corresponding 
movement to the pair of levers ee, working on the pivots ff; and, as 
a necessary consequence, a reverse movement to the opposite ends 

of such levers, on which 
arc fixed the eyes g g. As 
soon as the upward pressure 
is removed, the spring h, a 
spiral coil of fine brass wire, 
draws back the levers e e, 
and with them the eyes, to 
their original position. To 
produce a continuous roll- 
ing, the pressure of the 
piston is applied and re- 
laxed alternately, the effect 
to the spectator being as if 
the figure looked first to the 
left and then to the right, 
although as already ex- 
plained, the active move- 
ment of the levers is in the 
one direction only, the 
normal position of the eyes 
being in the other direction. 
Fig. 289 shows the action 
of the second or middle 
group of levers, serving 
to produce the opening of the month. The chin of the figure 
consists of a solid block of wood i, working on a pivot j in each 
cheek* and 90 countefweighted that its normal position is as in Fig. 
aSg % thus keeping the mouth closed. When, however, the shaft ft is 
r*i*rd by pressure from below, the lever / rises with it, and propor- 
ti*\ately depresses the opposite end of the block *, thereby opening the 




MODERN MAGIC. 461 

mouth. As soon . as the pressure is removed, the block falls back 
into its original position, and the month closes. 

The third or right-hand set of levers is a little more complex in 
its operation, inasmuch as it has to perform a doable office, the 
expulsion of two 
cards from the 
month, and the 
elevation of two 
others at the top 
of the head. The 
cards to be shot 
from the mouth 
are placed be- 
forehand (from 
the front) in the 
receptacle indicat- 
ed in Fig. 289 by 
the letters m m, 
and a "plan" of 
which is given in 
Fig. 290, and a 
back view in Fig. 
391. m m is a flat 
piece of tin, its 
edges folded over 
so as to form a re- 
ceptacle or plat- 
form just capable 
of holding easily a 
couple of cards ; n 

is a spring, which, F, 0i ^ 

when the cards are 

pat in position, is " set " by being drawn back into the notch of the 
catch 0. When an upward pressure is exerted by the shaft p p on 
the elbow-ptece q q q, the latter pressing against r draws back this 
catch, and releases the spring, which forthwith shoots out the two 
cards from the mouth. The other two cards are inserted in the clip t 



463 MODERN MAGIC. 

(see Fig. 291), consisting of two small pieces of sheet brass soldered 
to the end of the rod I, which works up and down piston-wise in the 
tube » u. Within the tube is a spiral spring which impels t upwards 






^r^ 



level with the top of the 
head, across which a slit or 
opening is made to allow of 
the passage of the cards. 
This portion of the appa- 
ratus is set by placing the 
two cards in the clip, and 
then drawing down the 
piston-rod by the cross-piece 
0, which is riveted thereto, 
and hitching such cross- 
piece under the catch w. 
The upward movement of 

the shaft p, at the same time Fig. 391, 

that it draws back the catch 

0, also draws back the catch w, thereby releasing v, and allowing the 
clip s and the two cards therein to spring upward, and appear at the 
top of the head. 

It is hardly necessary to remark that the cards chosen by the 



MODERN MA GIC. 463 

audience are " forced " cards, of which duplicates have beforehand 
been placed in the head. 

Tub Magic Picture Frame. — The performer, always borrow- 
ing, borrows this time a lady's handkerchief, and any small articles, 
— say a watch and a 
glove. These latter 
he rolls np in the 
handkerchief, and 
places the ball or bun- 
dle thus made upon 
the table. He looks 
about in search of his 
magic pistol, which 
is immediately after- 
wards brought in by 
the assistant. The 
performer places the 
handkerchief, etc., in 
the pistol, the assist- 
ant meanwhile bring- 
ing forward and plac- 
ing on the table a 
handsome picture- 
frame, mounted on a 
stand. It contains 
no picture, the space 
which the picture 
should occupy being 
filled by a board cover- 
ed with black cloth. 
The performer, stand- 
ing at the farthest 
available distance 

from the frame, takes p^ a3a _ 

aim at it, and fires, 
when the borrowed articles are seen instantly to attach themselves to 



464 MODERN MAGIC. 



the black background, whence, being removed, they are handed to 
the owners for identification. 

The picture-frame, which is of the appearance shown in Fig. 29a, 
and stands altogether about two feet high, is backed by a sort of 
wooden box, an inch and a half in depth, and a little smaller than the 
external measurement of the frame. The inside of this box is covered 
with black cloth, and in fact forms the true back of the frame ; and it 
is upon this that the borrowed objects are fastened by means of small 
sharp hooks, the back opening on hinges to facilitate the doing so. 
An ordinary spring roller-blind, also of black cloth, works up and 
down just behind the opening of the frame. We have said an ordinary 
spring blind, but, in truth, the usual check at the side is wanting, and 
the blind therefore, if drawn down, instantly flies up again, unless 
held down from below. The blind terminates at bottom in a 
square lath, five-eighths of an inch in length by three-eighths in 
thickness, with a wire pin, half-an-inch in length, projecting at right 
angles from its hinder side. The ends of this lath, when the blind is 
drawn down, sink into two upright grooves, one at each side of the 
frame, thereby keeping the latter square, and the pin in a horizontal 

position. The catch a 
(an enlarged view of 
which is shown in Figs. 
293, 294) is now hooked 
over the pin, as in Fig. 
293, thus holding the 
blind down. A wire 
rod, attached to this 
Fig. 393. Fig. 294. catch, passes down the 

column on which the 
frame stands, and terminates in the usual disc or pedal at bottom. 
When an upward pressure is applied to this, the catch assumes the 
position shown in Fig. 294, thereby releasing the pin, and allowing 
the blind to fly up. The blind is represented in Fig. 292 in the act 
of flying up, but, in truth, its rise is so rapid as to be practically 
invisible. 

The sudden appearance of the articles in the frame is thus suffici- 
ently accounted for, but it remains to be explained in what manner 





MODERN MAGIC. 465 



they were placed there, as they have (apparently) never been removed 
from the sight of the audience. It will be remembered that the 
smaller articles were rolled up in the handkerchief, which was then 
placed on the table. In troth, what is placed upon the table is a 
substitute handkerchief, similarly rolled up, while the original is 
dropped on the servante, and carried off by the assistant when he 
brings in the pistol. Having thus obtained possession of the articles, 
he quickly places them in the frame, and draws down and fastens the 
blind. This done, he closes the door at the back, and brings forward 
the frame, taking care to place it immediately over one of the pistons 
of the table. As the pistol is fired he pulls the cord, the blind flies 
up, and the articles are revealed. 

The Flying Watches and the Broken Plate. — This is & 
rather more elaborate form of the trick last described. The performer 
collects three or four watches from the company, the assistant, mean- 
while, being sent to fetch a plate. On his return, the watches are laid 
one by one on the plate, and he is ordered to place them on the table. 
In attempting to do so he trips and falls, the watches being scattered 
in all directions, and the plate being smashed to pieces. The per- 
former reprimands the offender for his carelessness, and picking up 
the watches, finds that they are injured in various ways. After a 
momentary hesitation, he hits on a way of repairing the damage. 
Calling for his pistol, he drops the battered watches and the fragments 
of the plate into it, keeping all down with a wad of newspaper. The 
assistant now brings in the picture-frame, as in the last trick, and the 
performer, taking good aim, fires at it. At the instant of firing, the 
plate is seen restored in the centre of the frame, with the borrowed 
watches encircling it The performer advances to remove and return 
them to the owners, but b (or appears to be) thunderstruck at perceiv- 
ing that the restoration is incomplete, a large piece being missing from 
the plate. (See Fig. 295.) After a moment's reflection, he discovers 
the cause of the defect, for, looking about upon the stage, he finds 
and picks up a fragment which he had overlooked when he put the 
rest in the pistol, and which consequently is wanting in the restored 
plate. He apologizes for the oversight, and proceeds to remedy it. 
Standing at the furthest portion of the stage, he makes the motion of 

30 



466 MODERN MAGIC. 

throwing the recovered fragment towards the frame. It is seen to 
vanish from his hand, and the plate at the same moment appears 
whole as at first. The plate is removed, and with the restored 
watches handed to the 
an dieace for examina- 
tion, when the closest 
inspection fails to dis- 
cover any trace of 
fracture. 

The first point to 
be explained is the 
mode in which the 
assistant obtains pos- 
session of the fcor- 
rowed watches, in 
order to place them 
in the frame. The 
watches are collected 
by the performer in a 
changing apparatus 
(say one of the chang- 
ing caddies described 
at page 348, or a 
drawer-box with a 
shallow inner drawer, 
as described at page 
346). Id this is 
placed beforehand a 
li ke number of dummy 
watches, and it is 
these latter which are 
Fig. 095. placed on the plate, 

and meet the pre- 
destined downfall. The apparatus being left apparently empty, no 
suspicion is excited by the fact that the assistant) when sent to fetch 
the pistol or the frame, carries it off as no longer needed. 

The sudden restoration of the piece apparently wanting in the 



MODERN MAGIC. 4*7 



plate, though marvellous to the uninitiated, is really effected by very 
simple means. The restored plate is throughout whole and unbroken, 
but the effect of a piece wanting is produced by covering one portion 
of its outer rim with an angular piece of black velvet or alpaca, similar 
to that which covers the back of the frame. The illusive effect is 
perfect. The frame is provided with two pedals, the first releasing 
the black blind in front of the plate and watches, and the second 
serving to withdraw the angular piece of cloth already mentioned, and 
thus (apparently) effecting the complete restoration of the plate. 
The pretended disappearance of the broken piece from the hand at 
the moment of throwing is effected by taking it first in the left hand, 
and thence apparently transferring it to the right by the tourniquet, so 
that when the right hand is opened in the act of throwing, it is 
naturally found empty. 

Thb Maoic Picture and the Chosen Cards.— We notice 
this trick in this place as having a very close affinity, in effect, to the 
two last described. It is, however, wholly independent of stage 
appliances, and is equally well adapted for the drawing-room as for 
the platform. The performer, taking an ordinary pack of cards, 
allows three to be chosen. These are returned to the pack, and the 
pack shuffled. He then brings forward a small picture in a frame, 
and measuring, say, fourteen inches by twelve. Having exhibited 
both front and back, he entrusts the picture to a spectator to hold, 
and taking the pack of cards, throws them smartly against the glass, 
when in an instant the three chosen cards appear in front of the 
picture, but under the gla,ss. The back of the frame is next taken 
out, and picture, back, frame, and glass are separately handed for 
inspection j but the closest scrutiny of the audience cannot discover 
any mechanism or special arrangement to account for the effect above 
described. 

The reader will already have anticipated that the three cards are 
"forced." The picture is on the principle of the frames last above 
described, with a slight variation. There are, in fact, two pictures 
exactly alike. One of these is pasted upon the wooden back of the 
frame, and upon this are fastened duplicates of the cards to be chosen* 
The second picture is mounted on cloth, and works on a spring 



468 MODERN MAGIC. 

roller artfully concealed in the upper part of the frame, taking, in fact, 
the place of the black blind in the other frames. This is kept down 
by a pin at the lower side of the frame, and is so arranged as to be 
released by the smallest pressure against the glass. The pack of 
cards, smartly thrown, supplies this pressure. The foremost picture 
flies up, and reveals apparently the same, but really a similar picture, 
with the chosen cards between it and the glass* 

The Maoic Portfolio.— The performer comes forward with a 
large portfolio, such as is used to contain engravings, and barely an 
inch in thickness. This he places sideways to the audience, upon a 
stand or trestle, thereby raising it to a convenient height, and at the 
same time negativing the possibility of its having any communication 
with the floor of the stage. Standing behind it, he proceeds to take 
from it a number of large engravings, then a couple of lady's bonnets 
of the latest fashion, and showing no sign of creasing or compression. 
These are followed by a large bird-cage, containing a number of living 
birds ; and finally by three brass stew-pans, one containing haricot 
beans ; a second, water ; and a third, fire. Other articles are some- 
times produced, but the above are those most generally used. 

This really surprising trick is performed by the simplest possible 
means. The bonnets and the bird-cage are made to fold nearly flat, 
on the principle of the reticules and bird-cages described at pages 
309 and 311. In this flattened condition they are placed in the port- 
folio, which being turned sideways to the audience, and the performer 
standing behind it, the side which is towards the spectators naturally 
forms a cover for the operator, and gives him every facility for de- 
veloping the folded articles. The stew-pans, however, cannot be 
made thus compressible, and consequently a different plan is adopted 
in respect of them. These have india-rubber covers, after the manner 
of the bowls of gold-fish, and, like them, are concealed about the 
person of the performer, who, producing them under cover of the port- 
folio, appears to take them out of it The pan for the fire contains a 
little spirits of wine, which the performer, still behind the portfolio, 
ignites with a wax match before producing this particular pan. 

Where it is desired to produce a child, or other specially bufty 
object, the portfolio is for a moment placed on the table, behind 



MODERN MAGIC. 469 



which such object is placed. The object having been introduced 
into the portfolio, the latter is then transferred to the proper stand. 

The Glovb Column. — This is an ornamental column, some- 
times of brass, sometimes of glass, on a massive foot and standing 
about two and a half feet high. It is surmounted by a metal cup, 
about an inch and a half in depth and two inches in diameter. 

The mode of using the column is as follows: — Three or four 
rings are borrowed, also a white kid glove, and the whole are placed 
in the magic pistol. The column is then brought in, and placed 
upon the table. The magician takes aim at it, and fires. At the 
instant of his doing so, the glove, expanded as though containing a 
living hand, appears at the top of the pillar, with one of the borrowed 
rings on each of its fingers. 

The glove and rings, as the reader will probably conjecture,, are 
exchanged at an early period of the trick. There are plenty of ways 
of effecting this exchange. Perhaps, as regards the rings, the expe- 
dient of having them collected on the performer's wand by the assis- 
tant (see page 399) is as good as any. The assistant, having thus 
gained possession of the borrowed articles, arranges them as fol- 
lows: — The glove is placed upon the end of a tube, which runs 
through the whole length of the column, terminating just within the 
cup at top, and is kept in position by an india-rubber ring slipped over 
it, and holding it tight to the tube. One of the borrowed rings is 
now placed over each of the fingers, and the glove thus prepared is 
pressed down into the cup, so as not to show above the rim. The 
column is now placed upon the table in such manner that the lower 
opening of the tube shall correspond with a small hole in the table, 
communicating by means of an india-rubber tube with a hollow ball 
of the same material, filled with air, and so placed as to be within 
reach of the hand or foot of the assistant. At the moment of firing 
a smart pressure is applied to the ball, thus causing a rush of air 
through the tube, and inflating the glove, which instantly springs up 
into a perpendicular position, with the rings upon it. The articles are 
now returned to the owners, and are identified as those which were 
borrowed. 

Some columns have a large hollow black or gilt ball at the top, 



470 MODERN MAGIC. 



Prided vertically into two parts, and so arranged as to fall apart at the 
moment of die inflation of the glove. 

The Vanishing Pocxbt Handkerchief, found in a Candle. 
—This was a favourite trick of Robert-Houdin, by whom, we 
believe, it was invented. The performer borrows a lady's handker- 
chief, drawing particular attention to the fact that he takes the first 
handkerchief which may be offered, and that it is wholly free from 
preparation. Fixing upon some gentleman among the audience, he 
asks him if he thinks he could set fire to the handkerchief. The 
person addressed naturally expresses his belief that he could. The 
performer ve n t ur e s to doubt it, and at once fetches a lighted candle to 
enable him to try the experiment, meanwhile spreading the borrowed 
handkerchief over the top of a small round table, or guSridon, where 
it remains in fall view of the spectators, showing clearly that it is not 
tampered with in any way. Returning with the candle, the performer 
hands it to the gentleman, and requests him to go and set fire to the 
handkerchief. Hardly, however, has he taken the first step to do so, 
when the handkerchief suddenly vanishes, its disappearance being so 
rapid that the spectators cannot even decide in which direction it 
travelled. The performer accuses the gentleman, who is still holding 
the candlestick, of having the handkerchief about him. This he 
naturally denies. The professor insists, and after keeping up the 
dispute as long as the audience are amused by it, offers to prove his 
assertion, and taking the candle from the candlestick, breaks it in 
half, and produces from it the borrowed handkerchief, which is 
immediately identified by the owner. 

This capital trick requires the aid of a special table. The top is 
thin, and without fringe or ornament of any kind, allowing no appa- 
rent space for the concealment of even the smallest article. The 
centre pillar, however, is a hollow tube, and it is into this that the 
handkerchief is made to vanish. The first step in the trick is to 
exchange the handkerchief for a substitute. (See page 340.) This 
substitute is spread over the top of the table. The real handkerchief 
the performer carries with him when he leaves the stage under the 
pretence of fetching the candle, and utilizes his momentary absence 
in placing it inside the candle, which is hollow, and of the description 



MODERN MAGIC. 471 



motioned at page 251. When the gentleman advances to set fire J) 
the handkerchief, the pulling of a string by the assistant causes a <Jp 
to rise up in the centre of the table, and nip the middle of the hand- 
kerchief, which is instantly drawn down within the tube through a 
■small trap at its upper extremity. 

The Sphinx.— Few tricks have of late years caused so great a 
-sensation as this now well-known illusion, which was first introduced 
to the London public by the late Colonel Stodare, in 1865. We can- 
not better preface the explanation of the trick than by quoting a 
portion of the Times notice on the subject, of October 19, 1865 : — 

" Most intricate is the problem proposed by Colonel 

Stodare, when, in addition to his admirable feats of ventriloquism 
and legerdemain, he presents to his patrons a novel illusion called the 
* Sphinx.* Placing upon an uncovered table a chest similar in size to 
the cases commonly occupied by stufted dogs or foxes, he removes 
the side facing the spectators, and reveals a head attired after the 
fashion of an Egyptian Sphinx. To avoid the suspicion of ventrilo- 
quism, he retires to a distance from the figure supposed to be too 
.great for the practice of that art, taking his position on the border- 
line of the stalls and the area, while the chest is on the stage. Thus 
stationed, he calls upon the Sphinx to open its eyes, which it does— > 
to smile, which it does also, though the habitual expression of its 
•countenance is most melancholy, and to make a speech, which it does 
also, this being the miraculous part of the exhibition. Not only 
with perspicuity, but with something like eloquence, does it utter 
some twenty lines of verse ; and while its countenance is animated 
and expressive, the movement of the lips, in which there is nothing 
mechanical, exactly corresponds to the sounds articulated. 

" This is certainly one of the most extraordinary illusions ever 
presented to the public. That the speech is spoken by a human 
voice there is no doubt • but how is a head to be contrived which, 
being detached from anything like a body, confined in a case, which 
it completely fills, and placed on a bare-legged table, will accompany 
a speech, that apparently proceeds from its lips, with a strictly appro- 
priate movement of the mouth, and a play of the countenance that is 
the reverse of mechanical ? Eels, as we all know, can wriggle about 



47* MODERN MAGIC. 



after they have been chopped into half-a-dozen pieces; but a head 
that, like that of the Physician Douban, in the Arabian tales, pursues 
its eloquence after it has been severed from its body, scared/ comes 
within the reach of possibilities; unless, indeed, the old-fashioned 
assertion that ' King Charles walked and talked half-an-hour after his 
head was cat off/ is to be received, not as an illustration of defective 
ppnctnatJon, bat as a positive historical statement 

M Davos might have solved the ' Anthropoglossus,' but Colonel 
Stodare presents as with a Sphinx that is really worthy of an 
CEdipus." 

For the benefit of those who have never seen this illusion pre- 
sented upon the stage, we will describe its effect a little more minutely. 
The Sphinx is always made a separate portion of the entertainment, 
as it is necessary to lower the curtain for a few moments before and 
after its appearance, in order to arrange and remove the necessary 
preparations. The curtain rises, and reveals a round or oval table, 
supported upon three slender legs, and utterly devoid of drapery. 
This stands in a curtained recess of ten or twelve feet square, open 
on the side towards the audience. The performer comes forward 
bearing a cloth-covered box, fifteen to twenty inches square, and 
places it upon the table already mentioned. He then unlocks the 
box, the front of which drops down, so as to give a perfect view of 
the interior, in which is seen a head of Egyptian fashion, and coloured 
in perfect imitation of life. (See Frontispiece.) The performer now 
retires to a position in the very midst of the audience, and raising his 
wand, says in a tone of command, " Sphinx, awake ! " The Sphinx 
slowly opens its eyes, looking first to the front with a strong gaze; 
then, as if gradually gaining consciousness, to the one side and the 
other, the head moving slightly with the eyes. Questions are put by 
the performer to the head, and are answered by it, the play of the 
mouth and features being in perfect harmony with the sounds uttered. 
Finally, in answer to a query of the operator, the Sphinx declaims a 
neatly turned oracle in verse. This concludes the exhibition, and the 
performer closes the box. Should the audience call for an encore, the 
performer addresses them to the following or some similar effect:— 
" Ladies and gentlemen, I am glad that the Sphinx has afforded you 
satisfaction, and I should be only too pleased to be able to indulge the 



MODERN MAGIC. 



473 



desire which you kindly testify of seeing it again. Unfortunately, 
this is not possible. * The charm by which I am enabled, as yon have 
seen, to revivify for a space the ashes of an ancient Egyptian, who 
lived and died some centuries ago, lasts but for fifteen minutes. That 
time has now expired, and the head which has astonished you with its 
mysterious eloquence has again returned to its original dust." As he 
speaks the last words, he again opens the box, and the head is found 
to have disappeared, leaving in its place a handful of ashes. 

This singular illusion depends upon the well-known principle, 
common to optics as to mechanics, that " the angle of reflection is 
equal to the angle of incidence." Thus, if a person standing at the 
point a, in Fig. 296, look into a mirror placed in the position indi- 



cZ. 





F10. 996. 



Fig. 297. 



cated by the line b c, he will see reflected, not himself, but what- 
ever object may be placed at the point d. By an ingenious application 
of this principle a looking-glass may be used to conceal a given object 
behind it, while at the same time an image reflected in the glass may 
be made to represent what would be presumably seen if no glass 
were there, and thus prevent the presence of the mirror from being 
suspected. This is the secret of the Sphinx. The table, as already 
mentioned, has three legs, one in front, and one at each side. Be- 
tween these legs the spectator sees apparently the curtains at the back 
of the recess, but really a reflection of the curtains at the sides. The 
space between the middle leg and that on either side is occupied by 



474 MODERN MAGIC. 



pieces of looking-glass (see Fig. 297, which represents a ground plan 
of the arrangement), extending from a to b, add a to c. The glass 
extends quite down to the floor, which is covered with cloth of the 
same material and colour as the surrounding curtains. The spectators, 
therefore, looking towards the table, see above it the curtains at the 
back, and below it the reflection of the curtains at the sides ; which, 
however, if the relative angles are properly arranged, appears to be 
simply the continuation or lower portion of the curtains at the back. 
The illusion is perfect, and the spectator, from the position assigned 
to him, cannot possibly discover, by the evidence of his senses, that 
he is looking at any other than an ordinary bare-legged table, with the 
background visible in the usual way. 

The rest is a very simple matter. The person who is to repre- 
sent the Sphinx is beforehand placed, duly attired, underneath the 
table. There is a trap in the table through which he can pass his 
head at the proper moment. This trap is a round piece of wood, 
covered to match the surface of the table, and working on a hinge on 
the side nearest to the audience. It has no spring, but is kept closed 
by means of a button on the opposite side, and when released hangs 
down perpendicularly. It must be large enough to allow the passage 
of the somewhat elaborate headpiece of the Sphinx, and would 
therefore leave an open space visible round the neck. This difficulty 
is met by the expedient of having a wooden collar, whose upper sur- 
face is a facsimile in size and pattern of the trap, fastened round the 
neck of the representative of the Sphinx. When he lifts his head up 
through the trap, this collar exactly fills the opening, and thus shows 
no break in the surface of tho table. The box is bottomless, and 
when brought forward by the performer is empty. A little caution 
has to be observed in placing it upon the table, for, if the performer 
were to approach the table from the side, his legs would be reflected 
in the glass, and would thereby betray the secret. He must therefore 
make his appearance from some quarter outside of the curtained 
recess, and advance to a position well in front of, and at some little 
distance from the table, when, by moving in a straight line from the 
audience towards the middle leg a, he prevents this inconvenient 
reflection. The placing the box upon the table, and the unlocking h, 
allow time for the representative of the Sphinx to get his head into 



MODERN MAGIC. 475 

position within it- This done, the box is opened, and the rest depends 
on the dramatic talent of the performer and his assistant The per- 
formance being concluded, the box is again locked, and the head 
withdrawn, a handful of ashes being introduced on the trap in its stead. 

The angle at which the two mirrors should be set cannot be 
determined absolutely, but will vary according to the distance and 
position of the surrounding drapery. 

Some performers use a shawl or a screen of cardboard in place of 
the box, but we doubt whether any method is more effective than that 
above described. 

The ghastly illusion of the so-called "Decapitated Head," which 
drew crowds to the Polytechnic some few years since, was merely 
the " Sphinx " in a less pleasant form. 

Thb Cabisbt op Protbds. — This is another adaptation of the 
principle on which the Sphinx illusion is founded. It is the joint 
invention of Messrs. Pepper 
and Tobin, by whom it was 
patented in 1865. The first 
steps towards a patent for the 
Sphinx were also taken in the 
same year, but the latter in- 
vention never proceeded be- 
yond provisional protection. 
The Cabinet of Proteus is a 
wooden closet, seven to eight 
feet in height by four or five 
feet square, supported on 
short legs, so as to exclude 
the idea of any communica- 
tion with the floor. {See Fig. 
398.) It has folding doors, 
and an upright pillar extends 

from top to bottom of the j-, 0i agS _ 

interior, at about the centre 

of the cabinet At the top of this pillar, in front, is fixed a tamp, so 
that the whole of the interior is brightly illuminated. 



4J6 MODERN MAGIC. 

The cabinet may be used in various ways. One of the most 
Striking is as follows: — The folding doors are opened, disclosing the 
interior perfectly empty. {See Fig. 399.) The exhibitor directs his 
assistant to walk into the cabinet. He does so, and the doors are 
closed. Meanwhile, a couple of gentlemen, selected by the audience, 
are invited to stand behind or beside the cabinet, and see that no one 
obtains ingress or egress by any secret opening. Notwi thstandin g 
these precautions, when the doors are again opened, the assistant is 
found to have vanished, 
and another person, dif- 
ferent in dress, in stature, 
and in complexion, is 
found in his place. This 
person steps forth, makes 
his bow, and retires. 
Again the cabinet, now 
empty, is closed, and after 
an interval of a few mo- 
ments, again opened. 
This time a human skele- 
ton is found to occupy 
the vacant space. This 
ghastly object having 
been removed, and the 
door having been once 
more closed and opened, 
another person, say a 
Fig. 999. lady, appears. This per- 

son having retired, the 
doors are again closed; and when they are again opened, the person 
who first entered is once more found within. A committee from the 
audience are now invited to examine the cabinet within and without, 
but all their scrutiny cannot detect any hidden space, even sufficient 
to conceal a mouse. 

An examination of Fig. 300, representing a ground plan of the 
cabinet, will nuke plain the seeming mystery. A moveable flap o t, 
working on hinges at b, extends from top to bottom of each side, 



MODERN MAGIC. 477 




resting when thrown open against the post c in the middle, and thus 
enclosing a triangular space at the back of the cabinet The outer 
surfaces of these flaps (ue. t the surfaces exposed when they are folded 
back against the sides of the cabinet) are, like the rest of the interior, 
covered with wall paper, of a crimson or other dark colour. The 
opposite sides of the flaps are of looking-glass, and when the flaps 
are folded back against the posts, reflect the surfaces against which 
they previously rested, and which are 
covered with paper of the same pattern 
as the rest. The effect to the eye of the 
spectator is that of a perfectly empty 
chamber, though, as we have seen, there 
is in reality an enclosed triangular space 
behind the post. This is capable of con- 
taining two or three persons, and here it 
is that the persons and things intended to 
appear in succession are concealed. The Fig. 30a 

assistant, entering in sight of the audience, 

changes places, as soon as the door is closed, with one of the other 
persons. This person having retired, and the door being again closed, 
those who are still within place the skeleton in position in front of 
the post, and again retire to their hiding-place. • When all the rest 
have appeared, the person who first entered presses the flaps against 
the sides of the cabinet, against which they are retained by a spring 
lock on each side, and the public may then safely be admitted, as their 
closest inspection cannot possibly discover the secret. 

The Indian Basket Trick.— This is another of the sensational 
feats identified with the name of Colonel Stodare, and is imitated 
from a similar illusion performed by the Indian conjurors. It is not 
a pleasant trick to witness, but, like the "Decapitated Head, 9 * it drew 
immense crowds, its fictitious horror being apparently its chief attrac- 
tion. Its effect, as the trick was originally presented by Stodare, is 
as follows : — A large oblong basket, say five feet by two, and as deep 
as wide, is brought in, and placed on a low stand or bench, so as to 
be raised clear of the stage. The performer comes forward with a 
•drawn sword in his right hand, and leading with the other hand a 



47* MODERN MAGIC. 

young lady, dressed in a closely-fitting robe of black velvet. Re- 
proaching her upon some pretended ground of complaint, he declares 
that she must be punished, and forthwith begins to blindfold her eyes. 
She simulates terror, begging for mercy, and finally escaping from 
him, runs off the stage. He follows her, and instantly reappears, 
dragging her by the wrist. Regardless of her sobs and cries, he com* 
pels her to enter the basket, in which she lies down, and the lid is 
closed. Simulating an access of fury, he thrusts the sword through 
the basket (from the front) in various places. Piercing screams are 
heard from the interior, and the sword when withdrawn is seen to be 
red with blood. The screams gradually subside, and all is stHL A 
thrill of horror runs through the audience, who are half inclined to 
call in the police, and hand over the professor to the nearest magis- 
trate. For a moment there is a pause, and then the performer, calmly 
wiping the bloody sword on a white pocket-handkerchief, says, 
" Ladies and gentlemen, I fear you imagine that I have hurt the lady 
who was the subject of this experiment. Pray disabuse yourselves of 
such an idea. She had disobeyed me, and I therefore determined to 
punish her by giving her a little fright ; but nothing more. The fact 
is, she had left the basket some time before I thrust the sword into it. 
You don't believe me, I see. Allow me to show you, in the first 
place, that the basket is empty.* 9 He turns over the basket accord- 
ingly, and shows that the lady has vanished. " Should you desire 
further proof, the lady will answer for herself." The lady at this 
moment comes forward from a different portion of the room, and 
having made her bow, retires. 

This startling illusion is performed as follows : — To begin with, 
there are two ladies employed, in figure and general appearance as 
nearly alike as possible. Their dress is also exactly similar. The 
little dramatic scene with which the trick commences is designed to 
impress upon the audience the f e atur e s of the lady who first appears. 
When she is blindfolded, she, as already mentioned, runs off thestage. 
The performer runs after her, and apparently bringing her back, really 
brings back in her place the second lady, who is standing in readi- 
m*s> blindfolded in precisely the same way, behind the scenes. As 
th* bandage covers the greater part of her features, there is little fear 
xsf th* spectator* detecting the substitution that has taken place. The 



MODERN MAGIC. 479 

substitute lady now eaters the basket, where she lies, compressing 
herself into as small a compass as possible, along the back. Know- 
ing the position which she occupies, it is not a very difficult 
matter for the operator so to direct the thrusts of the sword as to 
avoid any risk of injuring her. The chief thing to be attended to for 
this purpose is to thrust always in an upward direction. The appear- 
ance of blood on the sword may be produced either by the lady in the 
basket drawing along the blade, as it is withdrawn after each thrust, a 



Fro. 301, 

sponge saturated with some crimson fluid, or by a mechanical arrange- 
ment in the hilt, causing the supposed blood, an pressure, to trickle 
down the blade. 

The only point that remains to be explained is the difficulty which 
will probably already hare suggested itself to the reader, viz., " How 
does the performer manage to show the basket empty at the close of 
the trick?" Simply by having the basket made on the principle of the 



4&> MODERN MAGIC. 



u inexhaustible box/ 9 described at page 391. The performer takes 
care to tilt the basket over to the front before he raises the lid. This 
leaves the lady lying on the true bottom of the basket (tee Fig. 30a), 
while a moveable flap, fixed at right angles to the bottom, and lying 
in its normal position flat against the front of # the basket, for the time 
being represents the bottom to the eyes of the audience. While the 
basket is thus shown apparently empty, the lady who first appeared in 
the trick comes forward, and is immediately recognised by the audi- 
ence ; and as they are fully persuaded that she was the person placed 
in the basket, the inference that she has escaped from it by some 
quasi-supernatural means seems inevitable. 

The above is the form in which the trick was first introduced to 
the London public, but another modus operandi has since been adopted 
by some performers. The low table or bench on which the basket is 
placed is in this case constructed on the principle of the Sphinx-table, 
with looking-glass between the legs, and with a large trap in the top. 
The basket used is not made like the inexhaustible box, but the bottom 
is moveable, and hinged against the front, so as to lift up flat against 
it when required. One lady only is employed. When she is about 
to step into the basket, the bottom is pushed up from below, and she 
thus steps through the basket and the table, and thence passes, through 
a trap-door, beneath the stage. The basket is then closed, and the 
bottom allowed to fall back into its place. As the basket is left in 
this case empty, the performer may thrust into it in any direction at 
pleasure, the screams being uttered by the lady from her safe quarters 
below. At the proper moment the performer lifts the basket bodily 
off the table, and shows it really empty, while the lady, as in the 
former case, reappears in some other quarter. 

Electrical Tricks. — Some of the most mysterious of the stage 
tricks are performed by means of electricity, or, to speak more cor- 
rectly, of electro-magnetism. In describing these, which are nearly 
all attributable to the inventive genius of Robert-Houdin, it may 
be desirable, in the first place, to explain in a few words what electro- 
magnetism is, and how it operates* Every school-boy is acquainted 
with the ordinary steel horse-shoe magnet, and knows that if the 
accompanying small iron bar, or "keeper." is placed within a short 



MODERN MAGIC. 481 

distance from its ends or " poles," it will be sharply attracted to them . 
In the case of the ordinary magnet this attractive force is permanent, 
but in that of the electro-magoet it may be produced or destroyed at 
pleasure. The electro-magnet consists of a short piece of soft iron, 
(either straight, or bent into a horseshoe form), with copper wire 
(covered with silk or cotton) wound round and round it nearly to the 
ends. If a current of electricity from a galvanic battery is made to 
pass through this wire, the iron core becomes powerfully magnetic, 
the attractive force, however, ceasing as soon as the current is inter- 
rupted. 

Almost any kind of battery may be used to produce the necessary 
current, but for magical purposes one of the most convenient is the 
Bichromate Bottle Battery, depicted in 
Fig. 302. This consists of a plate of 
zinc and a plate of carbon (or some- 
times two plates of carbon) immersed 
in an exciting fluid, consisting of two 
ounces and a half of bichromate of 
potash dissolved in a pint of water, with 
the addition of one-third of an ounce of 
sulphuric acid. The bottle is only filled 
to the top of the spherical portion, and 
the zinc is so arranged that it can be 
drawn up into the neck, and so out of Fj( _ 

the solution, when it is desired to sus- 
pend the action of the battery. The wires for conducting the cur- 
rent should be of copper covered with silk or cotton, and one of them 

must be connected with the zinc plate, 

y^S^k and the other with the carbon plate of 

//i[^P«?U tDe battery, which has " binding screws" 

^S6^^jnKlW >J ^2£ affiled for this purpose. For the pur- 

■BMr pose of instantly completing or discou- 

^^^^^ necting the electric circuit, the wires are 

F lc . 303, affixed to the opposite sides of what is 

called a connecting stud {see Fig. 303), 
being a circular disc of wood or porcelain, with a moveable stud or 
button in the centre. On pressing this stud with the finger, the ends 

3' 



*8a MODERN MAGIC. 



of t