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Title: Magic - In which are given clear and concise explanations of all - the well-known illusions as well as many new ones.
Author: Stanton, Ellis
Language: English
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In which are given clear and concise explanations of all
the well-known illusions, as well as many new ones


The Penn Publishing Company



CHAP.                                                            PAGE

   I. INTRODUCTION                                                 11


 III. TRICKS WITH COINS                                            33

  IV. TRICKS WITH HANDKERCHIEFS                                    57

   V. TRICKS WITH BALLS                                            93

  VI. HAT TRICKS                                                  114

 VII. ANTI-SPIRITUALISTIC TRICKS                                  127

VIII. AFTER DINNER TRICKS                                         142

  IX. MISCELLANEOUS TRICKS                                        159

   X. STAGE TRICKS                                                209

  XI. SHADOWGRAPHY                                                228


The art of pretended magic dates back to the remotest antiquity. It has
been known under various names, such as White Magic, Conjuring, Natural
Magic, and Prestidigitation. Jannes and Jambres, the magicians of
Pharaoh, contended against Moses and Aaron. In the British Museum there
is an Egyptian papyrus, which contains an account of a magical seance
given by a thaumaturgist named Tchatcha-em-ankh before King Khufu,
B.C., 3766. In this manuscript it is stated of the magician: "He
knoweth how to bind on a head which hath been cut off, and he knoweth
how to make a lion follow him as if led by a rope." The decapitation
trick is thus no new thing, while the experiment with the lion,
unquestionably a hypnotic feat, shows hypnotism to be old.

The temples of Egypt, Greece and Rome were veritable storehouses
of magic and mystery. The pagan priesthood attained a wonderful
proficiency in optical illusions. In the Middle Ages magic was greatly
in vogue. Later on Nostradamus conjured up the vision of the future
king of France for the benefit of the lovely Marie de Medicis. This
illusion was accomplished by the aid of mirrors adroitly secreted
amid hanging draperies. Reginald Scott, in 1584, in Discoverie of
Witchcraft, enumerates the stock feats of the conjurers of his day. The
list includes "swallowing a knife; burning a card and reproducing it
from the pocket of a spectator; passing a coin from one pocket to
another; converting money into counters, or counters into money;
conveying money into the hand of another person; making a coin pass
through a table, or vanish from a handkerchief; tying a knot, and
undoing it 'by the power of words'; taking beads from a string, the
ends of which are held fast by another person; making corn to pass from
one box to another; turning wheat into flour 'by the power of words';
burning a thread and making it whole again; pulling ribbons from the
mouth; thrusting a knife into the head or arm; putting a ring through
the cheek; and cutting off a person's head and restoring it to its
former position."

A number of these feats, in an improved form, survive to this day. In
the early part of the eighteenth century conjuring made considerable
progress. Men of education and address entered the profession, thereby
elevating it from the charlatanry of the strolling mountebank to the
dignity of a theatrical performance. The nobility of Paris flocked to
the opera house to see the great Pinetti perform. Following him came
Torrini, Comte, Bosco, Philippe, and finally the king of conjurers,
Robert-Houdin. In the year 1844, Houdin inaugurated his Fantastic
Evenings at the Palais Royal, Paris, and a new era dawned for magic. He
reformed the art by suppressing the suspiciously-draped tables of his
predecessors, substituting for these "clumsy confederate boxes" light
and elegant tables and little gueridons, undraped. He went still
further in his innovations by adopting the evening dress of everyday
life, instead of the flowing robes of many of the magicians of the old
régime. His tricks were of a different order, sounding the death knell
of double-bottomed boxes, and apparatus which was too evidently
designed for the magical disappearance and reappearance of objects.

Houdin has well earned the title of "The Father of Modern Conjuring,"
and his autobiography makes fascinating reading.

Since Houdin's time, conjuring has made rapid strides. The wide
dissemination of literature on the subject and the consequent exposés
have stimulated magicians to invent new tricks, or improve old ones.
The study of magic in addition to being a fascinating amusement has a
pedagogical value, admitted by all professors of psychology; it
sharpens the mental faculties, especially those of observation and

A comprehensive but concise manual on the subject of up-to-date tricks
will be welcomed by the student.

I take pleasure in introducing to American readers, Professor Ellis
Stanyon's capital manual on sleight-of-hand. Professor Stanyon is one
of the most prolific as well as one of the cleverest living writers, on
the subject of legerdemain. He has done much to popularize the
fascinating art of white magic. His excellent chapter on "After-Dinner
Tricks" is particularly recommended as being within the province of
almost any amateur who possesses a modicum of personal address and a
fair amount of digital dexterity. I have supplemented the work with
chapters on "Shadowgraphy," and "Stage Illusions," also a number of
tricks which have proved "drawing cards" in the hands of American
conjurers, like the late Alexander Herrmann, and living artists like
Kellar, Elliott, Plate, Robinson, Fox, Powell, etc. In the preparation
of the additional matter, I am indebted for many valuable hints to
those dexterous and clever performers, Doctor Elliott, Adrian Plate and
William E. Robinson, who are especially noted as inventive minds in the
realm of pure sleight-of-hand.


Washington, D.C.




There are one or two leading principles to be borne in mind by any one
taking up the study of magic. The first and foremost is, Never tell the
audience what you are going to do before you do it. If you do, the
chances of detection are increased tenfold, as the spectators, knowing
what to expect, will the more readily arrive at the true method of
bringing about the result.

It follows as a natural consequence that you must never perform the
same trick twice in the same evening. It is very unpleasant to have to
refuse an encore; and should you be called upon to repeat a trick study
to vary it as much as possible, and to bring it to a different
conclusion. There will generally be found more ways than one of working
a particular trick. It is an axiom in conjuring that the best trick
loses half its effect on repetition.

Should a hitch occur in the carrying-out of the programme by the
accidental dropping of an article, or from any other cause, above all
things do not get confused, but treat the matter as a good joke, and
meet the difficulty with a smile, making use of some such expression as
the following: "Well, you see I put it down there to show that it would
go. It is perfectly solid and does not stick." By this means, instead
of spoiling the entertainment, you add greatly to the amusement of the

Do not cultivate quick movements, at the same time it will never do to
be painfully slow; but endeavor to present your tricks in an
easy-going, quiet, graceful manner. It is generally understood that
"the quickness of the hand deceives the eye," but this is entirely
erroneous. It is impossible for the hand to move quicker than the eye
can follow, as can be proved by experiment. The deception really lies
in the method of working the trick, and in the ability of the performer
in misdirection, as will be seen from a perusal of the following pages.

A little well-arranged talk as an introductory to an entertainment will
be found to put you on good terms with your audience. A few words,
something like the following, will suffice: "Ladies and Gentlemen, with
your kind attention I shall endeavor to amuse you with a series of
experiments in legerdemain. In doing so I wish it to be distinctly
understood that I shall do my best to deceive you, and upon the extent
to which I am able to do so will depend my success."

At the close of an entertainment a little speech, of which the
following is an example, will be found to prove a good finish: "Ladies
and Gentlemen, in concluding my entertainment I have only to say that,
apart from deceiving you, which was but a secondary consideration, if I
have been able to afford you some slight amusement I feel amply

In concluding these remarks I must enforce upon the novice the
necessity for constant practice, without which the clearest instruction
would be useless. This applies, not only to conjuring, but equally well
to any form of amusement, so the would-be magician may congratulate
himself on the fact that the difficulties to surmount are not in excess
of those of any other form of entertainment.

Before proceeding to describe the various tricks it will be well to
notice one or two appliances of general utility.

THE DRESS.--The usual attire of the modern magician is the conventional
evening dress, but I have known performers of the present day to adopt
various fancy costumes.

Where the ordinary dress coat is used, each tail is provided with a
large pocket, known as a profonde, the mouth of which is on a level
with the knuckles, and slopes slightly to the side. These pockets,
which are usually seven inches square, are lined with buckram, and sewn
on rather full, to keep them constantly open. They are used to contain
"loads" for hat tricks, etc., also to vanish articles, such as watches,
eggs, or balls.

In addition to these pockets, two others, known as pochettes, are used
on the trousers. These are sewn on rather full at the back of the
thigh, on a level with the knuckles, and covered by the tails of the
coat; they are useful to contain rings, coins, or other small articles
required in the course of the performance.

There are also two pockets known as breast pockets, one in each side of
the coat. These should be of a size large enough to contain a dinner
plate, and should be made with the bottom sloping a little toward the
back, to prevent articles placed in them from falling out. The opening
should be in a perpendicular position one and a half inches from the
edge of the coat. These are loaded with rabbits, doves, etc., or any
large or cumbersome article required for magical production.

In the case of fancy costumes the pockets, if required, must be
arranged as the attire permits. If you perform in a dinner jacket, the
ordinary side pockets can be used for producing or vanishing the
articles. The breast pockets, as already described, can be retained.

THE TABLE.--There are a great many tricks which can be performed
without the aid of a special table; in fact, tables of any description
are very secondary articles in the stage settings of conjurers of the
present day. Where they are employed they are usually of the small
round tripod pattern, fancifully made for show, and are used only for
the purpose of an ordinary table.

Tables with traps and other mechanical appliances are almost, if not
entirely, out of date, no performer with any pretensions to originality
making use of them.

A neat little table can be made from a piece of board eighteen inches
in diameter, covered with red baize, and hung with fancy fringe to
taste; the legs taking the form of an ordinary music stand. The
under-side of the table is fitted with a brass plate holding a pin,
about two inches long, to fit the socket of the stand. This forms one
of the most compact tables possible, and is greatly in vogue, as the
stand can be folded up into a small compass, and placed, together with
the top, in a black canvas case for traveling. Two of these tables will
occupy very little more room than one, and they look well in pairs.
They will generally be found to afford sufficient convenience for an
evening's entertainment.

THE SERVANTE.--This is a secret shelf behind the performer's table, on
which are placed articles to be magically produced in various ways. It
is also used to vanish articles as occasion may require.

In the absence of a specially prepared table a servante can be readily
devised by pulling out the drawer at the back of any ordinary table
about six inches, and throwing a cloth over the whole, the cloth being
pushed well into the drawer so as to form a pad to deaden the sound of
any article dropped into it.

If a table with a drawer cannot be obtained, a servante, which will
answer every purpose, can be arranged by throwing a cloth over the
table and pinning it up behind in the form of a bag.

In the case of the small round tripod tables, a small drawer, made from
a cigar box, can be attached to the under side of them, and pulled out
as required. The fringe decorating the edge of the table will conceal
the presence of the drawer; but if the whole of the under side of the
table, drawer included, be painted black, it cannot be detected at a
few paces.

There are various forms of portable servantes for fixing to the back of
a table or chair. A description of one for use on a chair will be
sufficient to give a clear idea of the construction of others, which
can be arranged as required by the ingenuity of the performer. A piece
of one-half inch board, seven inches by five inches, is covered with
green baize, and slightly padded on one side with cotton wool, to
prevent injury to any fragile article that may come in contact with it
in the course of the performance. To this is screwed an iron frame
(Fig. 1) of the same dimensions as the board. The frame, which carries
a network as shown, is screwed to the board in such a way that it will
fold up flush with the same, the whole being, when closed, under one
inch in thickness. The frame carrying the network is prevented from
opening too far by an iron bar screwed to the back of the woodwork, the
sides of the frame being extended under this as shown. The board is
fitted with two brass eyelets for attaching it to the top rail of an
ordinary chair by means of two screw eyes or stout pins. To conceal the
servante throw a fancy cloth over the back of the chair.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--The Servante]

THE WAND.--This is a light rod about fifteen inches long and one-half
inch in diameter, usually of ebony, with ivory tips; a plain rod,
however, will answer the purpose equally well.

The use of the wand is regarded by the uninitiated as a mere
affectation on the part of the performer, but such is far from being
the case. Its uses are legion. In addition to the prestige derived from
the traditional properties of the wand, which has been the mystic
emblem of the magician's power from time immemorial, it is absolutely
necessary for the successful carrying-out of many experiments, as will
be seen in the course of the present work. For instance, having palmed
a coin, say in the right hand, you lower that hand and take up the
wand, which effectually conceals, in a perfectly natural manner, the
presence of the coin. The wand is now passed once or twice over the
left hand, which is supposed to contain the coin, and on opening the
hand the coin will be found to have vanished. It will thus be seen that
the wand is of the utmost importance.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Placing of Tables]

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS.--The arrangement of the stage is now to be
considered by the amateur. If the performance is to be given in a
parlor, a space must be curtained off at one end large enough to
accommodate the magic tables, and allow sufficient room between them
and the audience to enable the conjurer to execute the various
exchanges, etc., necessary to the successful accomplishment of
particular tricks. When called upon to give an entertainment in a
house, where there are two adjoining parlors, separated by
folding-doors, the magician can seat his audience in the front parlor,
and use the back one for the stage, the folding-doors making an
admirable substitute for a curtain. Now as to the placing of the tables
(Fig. 2). It is customary for the large table to occupy the centre of
the room, beneath or just back of the chandeliers, flanked by two small
tripod tables or gueridons. A couple of wax tapers in silver or brass
holders, placed on the centre table, gives a fine effect to the whole.
The amateur must take care that there are no bright lights behind his
tables, or worse still a mirror. Behind the scenes provide a table to
hold the apparatus to be used in the various experiments. In arranging
tricks for the programme very little information should be afforded the
inquisitive spectator as to the real nature of the illusion to be
performed; this caution being in accordance with the conjurer's axiom:
Never tell your audience beforehand what you are about to do. For
example, if you are to exhibit the "rising-cards" call it on your
programme the "Cabalistic Cards," or the "Cards of Cagliostro." This
will give no clue to the trick. And so with other illusions. Robert
Heller, a clever entertainer, described his experiments somewhat as

    1. With a watch.
    2. With thirty pieces of silver.
    3. With a candle.
    4. Mocha.

The late Alexander Herrmann--"Alexander the Great"--was equally
non-communicative. "Thirty minutes with Herrmann," "A bouquet of
mystical novelties," etc., sufficed to describe a dozen or more
brilliant feats of legerdemain. Arrange your magical novelties in
groups, _e.g._: two or three coin tricks, three or four handkerchief
tricks, etc., and not a coin trick, then an illusion with a
handkerchief, followed by another feat with a coin. Lead up to the best
trick in each group with several smaller feats of a more or less
similar nature. This is well illustrated in the "Magical production of
flowers," explained in Chapter IX.

In addition to the programmes intended for distribution among the
spectators, the performer must have a private programme of his own,
stuck up in a conspicuous place behind the scenes. Upon this
stage-programme is a list of the tricks to be performed during the
evening, with the articles used in each trick. This is to prevent
confusion. It is impossible for the performer or his assistant to
always keep in mind the multifarious articles that go with each magical
feat. When you retire behind the scenes after each group of tricks, you
consult the "prompt-programme" to see that you have everything in
readiness for the next series of illusions--for example an egg secreted
under your vest, or a coin in your pocket. On one occasion, I saw the
celebrated Herrmann completely bewildered and nonplussed because he did
not have such a little thing as a pin stuck in the lapel of his coat,
intended for use in the cornucopia and flower trick. This occasioned an
awkward hesitation injurious to the effective performance of the feat.
Herrmann had failed to examine his prompt-programme behind the scenes,
hence his embarrassing situation.

Each trick should have an appropriate verbal accompaniment, technically
known as the "patter," or boniment, written underneath it, which should
in every case be learned off by heart. This, especially to the
beginner, is a necessity, and very few, if any, of the best performers
work otherwise.

Having once become accustomed to a programme, it should never be
changed, in its entirety, for a new one. If it be desired to vary the
mode of procedure, this is best done by the introduction of a new trick
and the removal of an old one. By such means the performer saves
himself a lot of trouble and anxiety, and is just as likely to give
satisfaction from the point of view of an audience. This is the custom
of professional performers, who very rarely alter their programmes; it
also accounts in a large measure for their skill.

It is a weakness with young performers to endeavor to crowd too many
tricks into the time allotted to their part. This is a mistake, and is
bound to lead to disastrous results. Each trick requires its proper
time, which is best found by experiment, and the entertainment should
be arranged accordingly. "A little and good" is better than "a lot and

A word or two as to nervousness may not be out of place. If the
performer can bring himself to imagine, for the time being, at any
rate, that he is the most wonderful individual in creation, his success
is assured; that is, if everything has been rehearsed in private, and
he knows his part thoroughly. A dull, nervous, or morose performer,
however clever he may be, is sure to make the spectators feel
uncomfortable, and thus spoil their enjoyment; therefore always
endeavor to cultivate a cheerful manner, even under difficulties, and
you will find your audience similarly affected. Apart from taking every
advantage for repartee, always avoid being personal, and every possible
opportunity for increasing the effect of a trick, the performer should
be totally oblivious of all his surroundings and think only of himself
and what he is doing. Once this is acquired, nervousness will be
forever dispelled.

Not a little benefit may be derived from attending entertainments given
by other conjurers, and every opportunity of so doing should be taken.
In this way, by listening attentively to the remarks of other auditors,
you will gain many points, not only as to how a trick may be improved,
but also as to what movements in the execution of the same are
unnecessary or awkward, and consequently to be avoided. Under these
circumstances you will be able to realize the full force of Burns's
well-known words, "to see ourselves as others see us."



PALMING.--The first thing the neophyte will have to do will be to learn
palming, _i.e._, the art of holding small objects, such as coins,
balls, nuts, corks, etc., concealed in the hand by a slight contraction
of the palm.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Palming Coin]

Practise first with a coin. A half dollar is the most convenient size,
and is the coin generally preferred by conjurers, as its milled edge
affords a ready grip to the palm. Lay the coin on the right hand as
shown in Fig. 3. Then slightly contract the palm by pressing the ball
of the thumb inward, moving the coin about with the forefinger of the
left hand until you find it is in a favorable position to be gripped by
the fleshy portions of the hand. Continue to practise this until you
can safely turn the hand over without any fear of letting the coin

When you can accomplish this with ease, lay the coin on the tips of the
second and third fingers, steadying it with the thumb as in Fig. 4.
Then moving the thumb aside, to the right, bend the fingers, and pass
the coin up along the side of the thumb into the palm, which should
open to receive it, and where, if you have followed the previous
instructions, you will find no difficulty in retaining it.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Palming Coin]

As soon as you can do this with the hand at rest, practise the same
movement with the right hand in motion toward the left, as if you
really intended to place the coin in that hand. To get this movement
perfect, it is advisable to work in front of a mirror. Take the coin in
the right hand and actually place it in the left several times; then
study to execute the same movement exactly, with the exception that you
retain the coin in the right hand by palming.

When appearing to transfer a coin, or any small object, from the right
hand into the left, the left hand should rise in a natural manner to
receive it. The right hand, in which is the palmed coin, should fall to
the side; and the left hand should be closed as if it actually
contained the coin, and should be followed by the eyes of the
performer. This will have the effect of drawing all eyes in that
direction, and in the meantime the right hand can drop the coin into
the profonde, or otherwise dispose of it as may be necessary for the
purpose of the trick.

Let it be distinctly understood once for all that when you desire to
draw the attention of the audience in a certain direction you must look
fixedly in that direction yourself.

The student who desires to become a finished performer should palm the
various objects, with equal facility, either in the right or in the
left hand.

When you can hold a coin properly, as described, practise with a small
lemon, a watch, or any other objects of similar size. In this case,
however, owing to the greater extent of surface, it will not be found
necessary to press the object into the palm, but simply to close the
fingers round it, in the act of apparently placing it in the left hand.

LE TOURNIQUET.--This pass is generally known by this name, so I will
not depart from its time-honored title. Hold the coin between the
fingers and thumb of the left hand (Fig. 5), and then appear to take it
in the right by passing the thumb under and the fingers over the coin.

Under cover of the right hand the coin is allowed to fall into the
fingers of the left, where by a slight contraction it may be held
between the first and second joints, or it may be allowed to fall into
the palm proper. The right hand must be closed and raised as if it
really contained the coin, and be followed by the eyes of the
performer; the left falling to the side, and if necessary dropping the
coin into the profonde. This pass should be performed equally well from
either hand.

[Illustration: Fig. 5 Le Tourniquet]

THE FINGER PALM.--Lay a coin on the fingers as shown in Fig. 6. Then in
the act of apparently placing it in the left hand, raise the forefinger
slightly, and clip the coin between it and the second finger. The left
hand must now close as if it contained the coin, and be followed by the
eyes of the performer, while the right hand disposes of the coin as may
be necessary.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--The Finger Palm]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--Application of the Finger Palm]

Following is an illustration of the way in which this sleight can be
employed with good effect. Place a candle on the table to your left,
and then execute the pass as above described. The thumb of the right
hand should now close on the edge of the coin nearest to itself and
draw it back a little; and at the same time the candle should be taken
from the candle-stick between the thumb and fingers of the same hand,
(Fig. 7). The left hand, which is supposed to contain the coin, should
now be held over the candle and opened slowly, the effect to the
spectators being that the coin is dissolved into the flame. Both hands
should at this point be shown, back and front, as the coin, owing to
its peculiar position, cannot be seen at a short distance. You now take
the upper part of the candle in the left hand; then lower the right
hand to the opposite end and produce the coin from thence, the effect
being that the money is passed through the candle, from one end to the

TO CHANGE A COIN.--Sometimes, in order to bring about a desired result,
it is necessary to change, or in conjurers' parlance to "ring," a
borrowed and marked coin for a substitute of your own. There are many
ways of effecting this, but having once mastered the various "palms"
the student will readily invent means for himself. The following,
however, is the one generally adopted by conjurers:

Borrow a coin and have it marked. Then take it between the fingers and
thumb of the left hand, as in "Le Tourniquet" (Fig. 5), having
previously secreted the substitute in the palm of the right. Now take
the coin in the right hand, and in doing so drop the substitute into
the palm of the left, which you immediately close, and remark, "You
have all seen me take the coin visibly from the left hand. I will now
make it return invisibly." Saying this, you appear to throw the coin
into the left hand, really palming it, and showing your own, which
every one takes to be the original borrowed one. You now proceed with
the trick in question, disposing of the marked coin as may be



MAGICAL PRODUCTION OF A COIN.--Come forward with a coin palmed in the
right hand. Draw attention to the left hand, showing it back and front
as empty, and, as if in illustration of what you say, give the palm a
smart slap with the right hand, leaving the coin behind, and slightly
contracting the fingers so as to retain it; now show the right hand
empty, pulling up the sleeve with the left hand which masks the
presence of the coin, then close the left, and after one or two passes
over it with the right hand, produce the coin.

A NEW COIN FOLD.--Take a piece of paper four inches by five inches,
place a coin on it and fold the top of the paper down over the coin to
within one inch of the bottom. Then fold the right hand side of the
paper under the coin, treating the left hand side in a similar way. You
must now fold the bottom one inch of paper under the coin and you will,
apparently, have wrapped it securely in the paper; but really it is in
a kind of pocket, and will readily slip out into either hand at

Allow several persons in the audience to feel the coin through the
paper, then take it from the left hand to the right, letting the coin
slip out into the left hand, which picks up a plate from the table. You
now burn the paper in the flame of a candle, and, dropping the ashes on
the plate, the coin is found to have disappeared.

A pretty effect can be obtained if, instead of using a piece of
ordinary paper for the above, you make use of a piece of "flash" paper,
which when placed in the flame of a candle vanishes entirely, leaving
no trace behind.

COIN AND CANDLE.--Repeat the last trick, using "flash" paper for the
same and dispensing with the plate. When about to burn the paper in the
flame of the candle, stand with the left hand, which contains the coin,
holding the right lappet of your coat. After the flash show the hand
empty, then take hold of the right lappet of the coat with the right
hand, and in doing so let the coin drop from the left hand into it. The
left hand immediately takes hold of the left lapel, and both hands pull
the coat open as if to show that the coin is not concealed there. It is
now a simple matter, but very effective, to lower the right hand over
the candle and produce the coin apparently from the flame.

THE INVISIBLE FLIGHT.--Hold the coin between the fingers and thumb of
the left hand, looking at it yourself. From this position appear to
take it in the right hand by passing the thumb under and the fingers
over the coin. The coin is really allowed to drop into the fingers of
the left hand, which contract slightly so as to retain it; the right
hand is closed as if it really contained the coin and is followed by
the eyes of the performer. The palm of the left hand can now be shown
casually, when it will appear empty, the coin being held between the
first and second joints of the fingers, which are slightly curled. The
left hand is now closed and the piece apparently passed from the right
hand into it; the left hand is then slowly opened, disclosing the coin
lying on the palm.

The reader will have noticed that up to this point no duplicate coins
have been used, nor has it been necessary to exchange one coin for
another. This forms what may be termed legitimate sleight of hand, and
is to be recommended; but sometimes for the sake of effect it is really
necessary to use a duplicate coin, and I will now mention one or two

For the following tricks a duplicate coin is prepared with a very small
hook attached to one side about one-quarter inch from its edge. This
coin is placed in the performer's right vest pocket, and is obtained by
means of the following trick.

VANISH FOR DUPLICATE.--Holding the coin you have been using in your
right hand, you appear to place it in the left; instead of doing so,
however, you palm it. Close the left hand as if it contained the coin,
and then say that you will pass it from that hand into your waistcoat
pocket; show the hand empty and then with the same hand take the
duplicate coin from the pocket. The other coin, you will remember,
remains palmed in the right hand.

TO PASS A COIN THROUGH THE BODY.--In continuation of the preceding
trick you place the left hand (holding the hooked coin) behind the body
and attach the coin to the back between the shoulders, remarking:--"I
shall next undertake a very difficult experiment, which consists in
passing the coin right through my body, commencing from behind, up into
my left hand" (as you say this you extend the hand closed). Some one is
almost sure to remark that the coin may be in the hand already, to
which you reply:--"Pardon me, no, I would not deceive you by so mean an
expedient. See, the left hand is perfectly empty. If you prefer it I
will use the other hand, which is also quite empty." You should have
been holding the right hand, in which is the palmed coin, well extended
and open, with the back toward the audience. The right hand will in
nine cases out of ten be chosen, but should you be called upon to use
the left you will have recourse to the method employed in the "Magical
Production of Coin" at the head of this chapter, to get the coin into
the left hand. Should the right hand be chosen, you may, with some
caution, remark:--"Well, it's just as well to have the right one, but
still I left it to you."

All that remains for you to do now is to make believe, in the most
dramatic manner possible, that the coin is travelling up the body,
along the arm, and into the chosen hand, whence you let it fall on to a
table or chair. Should the coin fall on the ground, you will be careful
not to expose the one on your back when picking it up.

SWALLOWING ILLUSIONS.--Having secured the coin again, appear to place
it in the mouth, palming it, and producing it from the bottom of the
vest. Repeat this pass, and remark:--"This time, by way of variation,
we will stop the coin when it gets half way down and give it a sharp
push" (strike your chest rather violently with both hands), "which will
have the effect of sending it right through the body again." You now
turn round and show the coin sticking on your back.

COIN AND LEMONS.--Still keeping the coin palmed from the last trick,
remove the one from your back and hold it between the forefinger and
thumb of the left hand, from which you take it as in the "Invisible
Flight." This time, however, you do actually take it with the right
hand, and at the same time let fall from the right hand the coin
concealed therein. The left hand now contains a coin, but will be
thought to be empty. This movement is employed here to satisfy the
spectators that you are working with one coin only, you having, without
apparent design, shown both hands empty, with the exception of the
piece you are using.

You now lay the hooked coin down on the table and go behind the scenes
for three lemons and a knife, which have been placed there in readiness
on a plate. One of the lemons has a slit cut in it, into which you
insert the coin you have carried off. Coming forward with the lemons on
the plate, you force the choice of the one with the coin in the
following manner:--"Ladies and Gentlemen, I have here three lemons. I
only require one for the purpose of my trick and I will ask you to
decide which it shall be. Which of the three do you prefer, the right
or the left, or the one behind?" (The one behind is the prepared one.)
If the one behind is chosen take it and proceed. If the right or the
left is chosen throw it to the person making the selection, with the
remark, "Thank you, I hope you will find it sweet." You will now have
two left and you continue:--"I have now only two lemons. Which one
shall I take, the right or the left?" If the prepared one is chosen
take it and proceed with the trick. If the other one is chosen take it
with the remark:--"Very good, then I will use the one that remains for
the purpose of the trick."

You now force the knife into the lemon, inserting it in the slit
already made, and give it to some one to hold high in the air. Now pick
up the coin from the table and vanish it by one or other of the means
already described (a good method is given in the next trick), and then
have the fruit cut open and the coin disclosed.

The above form of ambiguous questioning can be used in any trick where
it is essential that a particular article be chosen.

You can avoid going behind the scenes by adopting the following ruse:
Go to the wing, and extending your hand, in which is the coin, behind
it, call out loudly to your assistant--"Bring me those lemons, please."
In drawing attention to the fruit it is perfectly natural for you to
extend your hand behind the wing and thus dispose of the coin.

THE POCKET VANISH.--Take a coin in the right hand and make believe to
place it in the left, really palming it. The left hand is closed as if
it contained the coin and held away from the body. The right hand pulls
back the sleeve slightly as if to show that the coin has not been
vanished in that direction. This movement brings the right hand over
the outside breast pocket of the coat, into which the coin is allowed
to fall unperceived. The coin is now vanished from the left hand in the
orthodox manner and both hands are shown empty.

Should you desire to regain possession of the coin, have the outside
pocket made communicating with an inside one on the same side of the
coat; when, having shown the right hand unmistakably empty, you produce
the coin thence, in a magical manner.

The preceding list of coin tricks has been arranged in combination, the
one to follow the other in a natural manner, for an entertainment, as
actually presented to an audience. I cannot, however, leave the subject
of coin tricks without making mention of several other very deceptive
experiments, which will doubtless be new to the majority of my readers.

SPECTATORS.--Prepare a matchbox as follows:--Push open the sliding
portion about one inch. Then fix between the top of the slide and the
back end of the box a coin, the greater part of which is overhanging
the box, the whole being out of sight of the casual observer. Arranged
thus, give the box to some one to hold with instructions that when you
count three the box is to be closed smartly. This will have the effect
of jerking the coin into the box.

You now take a duplicate coin and vanish it by means of the "Pocket
Vanish," or any other convenient method, counting "One! two! three!"
when, acting according to your instructions, the person will close the
box, and the coin will be heard to fall inside.

COIN, WINE-GLASS, AND PAPER CONE.--This very pretty and amusing table
trick consists in causing a coin placed under a wine-glass, the whole
being covered with a paper cone, to disappear and return as often as

The following arrangements are necessary:--Take a wine-glass, and,
having placed a little gum all round its edge, turn it over on a sheet
of white paper, and when dry cut away the paper close to the glass.
Obtain a Japanese tray and on it lay a large sheet of paper similar to
that covering the mouth of the glass, and stand the glass, mouth
downward, on it. Make a paper cone to fit over the glass and you are
ready to present the illusion.

Borrow a penny and lay it on the large sheet of paper by the side of
the wine-glass; cover the glass with the paper cone, and place the
whole over the coin. Command the penny to disappear, and on removing
the cone it will seem to have done so, as the paper over the mouth of
the glass, being the same color as that on the tray, effectually
conceals the coin. To cause it to reappear you replace the cone and
carry away the glass under it. This can be repeated as often as

To make the experiment more effective, use colored paper, which shows
up against the coin more than white.

COINS, HAT, AND PLATE.--In this experiment a number of borrowed and
marked coins are passed invisibly into a hat covered with a plate.

Obtain a small metal box large enough to contain half a dozen coins of
the kind you intend to use. This box should be enamelled white and have
an opening in one side large enough for the coins to pass through. A
common pill-box would answer the purpose, but a metal one is
preferable. Place a little wax on the top of the box and leave it, with
the plate, on a table at the rear of the stage. Borrow a silk hat,
which leave on your table. Then obtain the loan of six marked coins,
which you change for six of your own, as you go back to the stage. Drop
the latter coins into a tumbler, or lay them in some other conspicuous
position on the table, and go to the rear of the stage for the plate.
Introduce the marked coins into the box, and attach it by means of the
wax to the under side of the plate. Come forward, and having shown the
hat to be quite empty, place the plate over it, being careful to note
the position of the hole in the side of the box.

You now take the coins from the glass and appear to place them in the
left hand, really palming them in the right, which forthwith drops them
into a little box containing sawdust placed on the servante. The coins
are retained in the right hand by a slight contraction of the fingers,
as in "The Invisible Flight." They should be held in the hand at the
base of the thumb and jerked into position in the act of apparently
passing them from one hand to the other. The pass called "Le
Tourniquet" is a better one for a number of coins. The noise of the
coins as they fall into the hand is quite natural, as it would be
almost impossible to actually take them in silence. Now pick up the hat
with the right hand, holding it at arm's length; vanish the money from
the left hand in the usual way, at the same time tilting the hat
slightly in the right direction, when the coins will be heard to fall

WOOL.--For this very surprising trick you will require to make the
following preparations:--Procure a tumbler having a slit cut flush
with, and parallel to, the bottom, which should be flat. The opening
should be just large enough to allow a half dollar dropped into the
tumbler to slip through into your hand. (See Fig. 8.)

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--Prepared Tumbler]

Obtain a small metal box large enough to take the coin easily, also a
flat tin tube about three inches long and just wide enough for the half
dollar to slide through it. Place one end of this tube inside the box
and close the lid on it, keeping it in position by passing an elastic
band over the box. You now wrap the box in paper and wind a quantity of
wool round it until you get a large ball with the end of the tube
projecting about one inch. Place the ball thus prepared on a table at
the rear of the stage and you are ready to perform.

Show the tumbler, and draw attention to the fact that it is an ordinary
one by filling it with water from a jug, which can be done by placing
the forefinger round the slit. Return the water to the jug and borrow a
half dollar, which has been marked by the owner, allowing him to
actually drop it into the glass. Cover the tumbler with a handkerchief,
shaking it continually to prove that the coin is still there, and then
place it down on your table, securing the coin through the slit as you
do so. Going to the back of the stage for the ball of wool, you insert
the coin into the tube and withdraw the latter, when the action of the
elastic band closes the box. Bring the ball forward in a large glass
basin and have the wool unwound, disclosing the box; on this being
opened the marked coin will be found within.

tea-plate near the rear edge of your table, and a sheet of "flash"
paper, large enough to cover the plate, in front of it. You must also
have another plate on the servante and you are then ready to commence.

After performing any trick in which a number of coins have been used,
throw them on the plate, carelessly dropping several on the table. Take
up the plate in one hand and the piece of paper in the other, and
holding the plate just behind the table, and over that on the servante,
apparently sweep the loose coins on to the plate you are holding,
really letting all fall on the hidden one, under cover of the paper,
which you immediately place over the plate in your hand.

Every one will now suppose the money to be on the plate which, with
studied carelessness, you bring forward just over the flame of a candle
burning on the table. The paper ignites and disappears in a sheet of
flame, and the plate is found empty.

PROGRAMME AND COIN.--The effect of this experiment, which is an
improvement on the old "programme and ring" trick, as no stage
assistant is required, is as follows:--The performer borrows a marked
half dollar from a stranger in the audience, immediately handing it to
a gentleman to examine the mark, date, and other items. While this is
being done the performer obtains the loan of a programme, which he
tears in half, laying one half on his table. The gentleman is now
requested to place the coin in the half of the programme held by the
performer, who wraps it up and gives it to him to hold. He now goes to
his table for a piece of sealing-wax, which he passes several times
over the packet held by the gentleman, when immediately it is found
transformed into a packet of three envelopes, made from the programme,
all gummed and sealed one inside the other, with the marked half dollar
in the smallest one. As the gentleman cannot see how it is done the
performer repeats the trick for his benefit with the other half of the
programme, but the result is the same. This time, however, the
gentleman is requested to take the last envelope to the owner of the
money, that he may open it and satisfy himself that it actually
contains his own coin.

The six envelopes are now rolled up and given to the gentleman to hand
to the lady, to keep as a souvenir of the entertainment, but before he
has proceeded far the performer tells him he has dropped one of them
(he has not really done so), and, failing to find it, he very naturally
begins to count those in his hand, when he discovers to his
astonishment that he holds the programme restored.

_Explanation._--After the performer has borrowed the half dollar, in
the act of handing it to the gentleman for examination, he adroitly
changes it for one of his own bearing the mark of a cross, which mark
is of course taken for that of the owner of the coin. The performer now
asks for the loan of a programme, and while one is being procured he
drops the actual borrowed coin into the smallest of the three envelopes
which are placed one inside the other in the right profonde. To
facilitate the introduction of the coin a tin tube, with a rather wide
mouth, just large enough for the coin to pass through, is placed in the
smallest envelope. After the coin has been introduced this tube is
withdrawn, left in the pocket, and the envelopes closed.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--Packet of Three Envelopes]

The flaps of the envelopes are sealed with wax beforehand and prepared
with the best gum arabic, which is allowed to dry hard. They are
moistened with the tongue just as you are about to commence the trick,
and if cut as in Fig. 9, can be closed all together while in the
pocket. This packet is laid on the table under cover of the half of the
programme used in the second stage of the trick.

To commence the trick the performer palms a similar packet of envelopes
containing another half dollar marked in exactly the same way as the
one he handed to the gentleman, and, it is hardly necessary to remark,
being of the same appearance, and bearing the same date. When rolling
up the programme the performer retains it and hands the gentleman the
packet of envelopes; and when going to his table for the wax leaves the
half of the programme and the half dollar thereon. By the time the
first coin is taken from the envelopes the packet containing the actual
borrowed coin will be dry and ready for use.

The remaining portion of the trick will now be understood. When the
performer goes for the other half of the programme he takes the packet
of envelopes with it and substitutes it as before, and the trick
proceeds as described. When collecting the six envelopes for the final
effect the performer palms a duplicate programme which has been lying
on his table behind some object, and substitutes this as before when
handing the gentleman the envelopes to take to the lady.

FILTRATED COIN.--Borrow a half dollar from one of the company, wrap it
up in a handkerchief, and request some one to hold it over a glass of
water on the table. Hey, presto! The coin is dropped into the glass and
heard to jingle. When the handkerchief is removed the half dollar has
disappeared, having been apparently dissolved in the water. Placing
your hand under the table you produce the coin, which you declare has
passed through the glass and table-top. This exceedingly effective
trick is accomplished by means of a glass disk of the same diameter as
a half dollar. The modus operandi is as follows: Borrow a half dollar
and while holding it in your hand throw a handkerchief over it. Under
cover of the handkerchief exchange the coin for the glass disk which
you have concealed in your palm. Now get some one to hold the disk by
its edges through the handkerchief, directly over the glass of water.
Pronounce your magical phrase, and command your volunteer assistant to
drop the half dollar (disk) into the glass. The disk will be
precipitated into the glass with a jingle that exactly simulates the
falling of a genuine coin, and will adhere to the bottom of the glass,
where it will not be seen. You may even pour out the water, but the
disk, thanks to the power of suction, will remain in the same position,
firmly attached to the drinking glass, which of course must have a flat
bottom. A ginger-ale or beer glass of small diameter comes in handy for
this capital trick. After sufficient palaver, the genuine half-dollar
may be reproduced from under the table or from the pocket of the
volunteer assistant.

THE PENETRATING COIN.--This coin trick may be performed anywhere, and
requires no special preparation. A borrowed Derby hat is placed upon
the mouth of a tumbler, (Fig. 10). Three half dollars are now borrowed
and tossed into the hat, whereupon one of the coins is seen to
penetrate the crown of the hat, and drop visibly and audibly into the
tumbler beneath. It is thus explained. In the act of placing the hat on
the glass, secretly and without jingling, slip a coin of your own
between the rim of the glass and the hat. The weight of the latter will
retain the coin in position, which of course is on the side of the hat
farthest from the spectators. The dropping of the borrowed coins in the
hat will disturb the balance of the secret half-dollar, causing it to
fall into the tumbler. It is hardly necessary to remind the student
that the fourth coin must be gotten rid of unbeknown to the audience,
otherwise the effect of the experiment will be destroyed. In putting
the hat in position two hands may be used. This will greatly facilitate
the placing of the coin on the rim of the tumbler. You should lay
stress on the fact that it is necessary to get the hat evenly on the
glass. As simple as this trick seems in explanation, it is nevertheless
wonderfully illusive, and can be recommended to the amateur as worthy
of his repertoire, especially for the parlor, or club room.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.--Penetrating Coin]

An excellent coin trick, to be used in conjunction with the preceding
illusion, is the following: The performer shows a coin and forthwith
proceeds to pass it into the hat by way of the crown. That there may be
no doubt as to the actual passing of the coin it is left sticking half
way through the hat; a final push and it is heard to fall inside. The
coin used is a trick one constructed as follows: A groove is first
turned round its extreme edge deep enough to conceal a small
india-rubber band. It is next cut in half across its diameter. A hole
is drilled in the centre of one half in which is inserted a needle
point. In the other half a slot is cut to admit the needle. The two
halves are now placed together and kept in position by passing the band
round the groove afore mentioned. (See Fig. 11.) This coin has a
distinct advantage over the older form in which the one half only was
used, in so far that it may at the outset be shown as an ordinary coin.
When giving the final push it is, of course, withdrawn and palmed.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--Trick Coin]

COIN IN THE BOTTLE.--With a coin grooved and prepared as above and cut
into three pieces, but minus the needle point, the amateur can perform
the deceptive trick of the half-dollar in the bottle. You first borrow
a half dollar from a spectator, and secretly exchange it for your
"folding-coin." Exhibit the bottle, which should be of clear glass,
preferably, and demonstrate the impossibility of passing a coin into
its neck. Then grasp the mouth of the bottle in the manner depicted in
Fig. 12, the coin being concealed from the spectators by your fingers.
Bend the coin and insert it in the neck of the bottle, after which give
the mouth of the bottle a violent blow with the palm of the hand. The
coin will enter the bottle, and expand as soon as it passes the neck.
You may now pass the bottle for inspection, without any one being able
to discover the secret of the trick. A clever amateur with the aid of a
very fine metal saw and a file can manufacture the folding coin for

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--Coin in Bottle]



PEREGRINATIONS OF A HANDKERCHIEF.--For the following series of
experiments you will require three fifteen inch silk handkerchiefs (the
best material for making these is fine quality sarcenet), an ordinary
small sliding match-box, a candle in a candlestick, and a conjuring
wand; also a false finger and a conjuring pistol, hereafter described.

You prepare for the series of tricks by rolling up one of the
handkerchiefs very small and pushing it into the back of the match-box,
which you open about one inch for the purpose; another is rolled up and
placed behind the collar on the left hand side of the neck; and the
last is loaded into the false finger and placed in the right hand
trousers pocket. You are now ready to commence.

HANDKERCHIEF AND CANDLE.--"Ladies and Gentlemen, the following
experiment was suggested to me at the age of twelve while studying
chemistry. I then learned that all matter was indestructible. Proof of
this, as you are well aware, is afforded with an ordinary candle. You
may light the candle at one end and let it burn to the other, but you
do not destroy the matter of which it is composed. What really takes
place is the formation of new substances, as hydrogen, carbon, water,
etc., which any of the text-books on chemistry will explain. I will,
however, give you one striking illustration:"--

Pick up the match-box and light the candle; then close the box, pushing
the handkerchief into the right hand, and throw the box down on the
table. Take the candle from the candle-stick and place it in the right
hand, which masks the presence of the handkerchief. You now appear to
take something from the flame of the candle with the left hand, which
you close as if it really contained an article. Open the hand slowly,
looking surprised to find you have failed, and remark:--"Well--really I
cannot understand this. I am generally successful with this trick. Oh!
I know what is the matter. You see, I am using the left hand; if you do
things left-handed they cannot possibly be right. I will try the right
hand." Saying this, you place the candle in the left hand and
immediately produce the handkerchief from the flame with the right,
closing the hand as before. It now only remains for you to open the
hand and develop the silk slowly.

wand under your left arm. Take the handkerchief and roll it up small,
using both hands. Affect to place the handkerchief in the left hand,
really palming it in the right, and take your wand from under the arm
in the same hand. Vanish the handkerchief from the left hand, and take
the one from your collar, immediately placing it in the right hand to
mask the presence of the one already there, and lay the wand down on
the table.

assistance of a young gentleman from the audience, and ask him to let
you have the loan of the outside breast pocket of his coat. Much fun is
generally caused by his removing his own pocket handkerchief and sundry
other curious articles. Place both handkerchiefs, which have all the
time remained in the right hand, in his pocket (you, of course, are
supposed to be using one only), and stand as far away as the limits of
the stage will allow, and say:--"Now, sir, do you think it possible for
me to remove the handkerchief from your pocket without coming a step
nearer to you than I am at present." He will probably look confused,
and hardly know whether to say Yes or No. Whatever he may say is all
the same to you, and you remark:--"My dear sir, do not look like that;
your face is calculated to upset me altogether. I scarcely know what I
am doing. What I really intended to do was to pass the handkerchief
from my hands into your pocket." You now take the handkerchief from his
pocket, where, unknown to the spectators and probably the gentleman
himself, one still remains. You will now vanish the handkerchief as in
the last trick, and let the gentleman take the one from his pocket,
which will seem to be the same. Take the handkerchief from him, place
it in the right hand, which again conceals the one in the palm, and lay
the wand down on the table.

this trick you will have to make use of what is known as a conjuring
pistol, which, being in constant use in magical surprises, I will
describe. It consists of an ordinary pistol fitted with a conical tin
tube eight inches long. The mouth of this tube is about two inches in
diameter and is supplied with a tin cup one and one-half inches deep,
having its outer edge turned over all round so as to afford a ready
grip to the palm. The conical tube is fitted with an inner tube to keep
it firm on the barrel of the pistol. (See Fig. 13.)

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--Conjuring Pistol]

Taking up the pistol, you place the two handkerchiefs, which look like
one, in the cup; push them well down and remark:--"I shall now fire
direct at the gentleman's head, and after the shot the handkerchief
will be found firmly embedded in his hair, and will, not unlikely, be
seen protruding from each of his ears. It just depends on the force of
the shot, you know, and I need hardly say I loaded the pistol myself,
and am totally ignorant of fire-arms. Are you ready, sir? then
good-bye!" Place the "muzzle" of the pistol in the left hand while you
shake hands with the gentleman. In taking the pistol back into the
right hand to fire it, you leave the cup behind in the left hand, and
at the instant you pull the trigger, you drop it into your pocket on
the left side. When discharging the pistol you will, of course, stand
with your right side to the audience.

You now ask the gentleman to take the handkerchief from his hair,
telling him it is just behind his left ear (of course it is not really
there); and while he is trying to find it you stand with your hands in
your trousers pockets, telling him to make haste, you cannot wait all
the evening, etc. When he has tried some time and failed to find it you
take your hands from your pockets, having got the false finger into
position between the second and third fingers. Showing the hands back
and front (the addition of an extra finger will not be noticed), you
pass them several times over the head of the gentleman, then lowering
the hands on to his head you detach the finger and draw out the
handkerchief. The false finger is laid down on the table under cover of
the handkerchief.

The finger is made of thin spun brass painted flesh color; it is quite
hollow from tip to root, and is shaped for fitting between the second
and third fingers, (Fig. 14). It can be used in many tricks with
handkerchiefs, and is really an indispensable accessory.

This concludes the series alluded to in the beginning of this chapter.
I will now describe a number of handkerchief tricks complete in

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--False Finger]

THE HANDKERCHIEF CABINET.--This very useful piece of apparatus should
be in the repertoire of every amateur magician, as it is available for
producing, changing, or vanishing a handkerchief. Its secret lies in
the fact that it contains two drawers, bottom to bottom, the lower one
being hidden by a sliding panel. When standing on the table the top
drawer only is visible, and the cabinet looks the picture of innocence,
but if turned over and stood on its opposite end, the sliding panel
falls, exposing the hidden drawer, and hiding that which for the time
being is at the bottom, (Fig. 15). The cabinet is about two inches
square by four inches high.

If required for production you proceed as follows:--Having placed a
silk handkerchief in the concealed drawer, introduce the cabinet, take
out the empty drawer, and give it for examination. Replace the drawer,
secretly turn over the cabinet, and place it on your table. You now go
through any form of incantation you please, open the drawer and take
out the handkerchief.

If you desire to vanish a handkerchief you will have it placed in the
drawer by one of the spectators, and while going to the table turn over
the box. When the drawer is opened the handkerchief will have

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--Handkerchief Cabinet]

Should you wish to change one handkerchief for another you will
beforehand conceal say a red handkerchief in the cabinet; then taking a
white one, have it deposited in the upper drawer, turn over the cabinet
as before, pull out the now uppermost drawer, and produce the red

From the foregoing description it will be obvious that the cabinet is
capable of being used in conjunction with many tricks.

THE HANDKERCHIEF VANISHER.--One of the best appliances for causing the
disappearance of a handkerchief may be made from a small celluloid ball
as follows:--Obtain a ball one and three-fourth inches in diameter,
which will take three small silk handkerchiefs if desired, and cut a
one inch hole in any part of its surface. On the side of the ball
opposite the opening fix a loop of flesh-colored thread, long enough to
pass easily over the thumb, and to suspend the ball on the back of the
hand so that it does not hang too low.

When required for use the ball is taken up secretly under cover of the
handkerchief, and the thumb of the left hand is passed through the
loop. Then, while appearing to roll up the handkerchief, it is worked
through the opening into the ball, which is instantly pushed over to
the back of the left hand under cover of the right. The palms of the
hands are now shown empty, when the handkerchief will seem to have
vanished entirely. When using the vanisher you will, of course, stand
with your right side to the audience.

It is well to be provided with two or three of these accessories, in
different sizes.

MAGICAL PRODUCTION OF HANDKERCHIEFS.--The performer comes on the stage
showing both hands empty, back and front. He then pulls up both sleeves
and immediately produces a white silk handkerchief, about eighteen
inches square, which he passes for examination. Then by simply shaking
the handkerchief he obtains from it about half a dozen other colored
ones about fifteen inches square. The colored handkerchiefs are then
caused to vanish by simply rolling them up in the hands, being
immediately afterwards reproduced, all tied together by the corners,
from the white one.

The necessary preparations for the trick are as follows:--A slit one
half inch long is made in the seam of the trousers at the right knee,
and two of the colored handkerchiefs, each having a minute piece of
blackened cork tied to one corner, are pushed into this slit, the corks
being left protruding to enable the performer to instantly draw them
out. Two handkerchiefs of different colors are placed in the pochette
on the left side. A fifth handkerchief, also prepared with a piece of
cork, is placed in the front of the vest, the cork protruding through
the watch-chain hole. It may seem impossible, but the silk may be drawn
through this hole very rapidly, and quite easily, as will be found by
experiment. A sixth handkerchief is contained in the false finger
(previously described), which should be placed in the right hand
trousers pocket.

As the handkerchiefs are produced they are thrown over the back of a
chair fitted with a network servante (Fig. 1, page 18), behind the top
rail of which are suspended two vanishers of the kind already
described; also the ball of six duplicate handkerchiefs all tied
together by the corners.

The trick is worked as follows:--The white handkerchief is rolled up
into a small compass and tied with a piece of silk just strong enough
to hold it. It is then placed in the hollow of the arm at the elbow,
the arm being bent slightly so as to retain it in that position. When
pulling back the sleeves the performer secretly obtains possession of
the handkerchief, breaks the thread, and develops it slowly.

Having had the handkerchief examined, and while holding it by two
corners, spread it over the knee as if drawing attention to the fact
that it is empty. Then, in the act of raising it, shaking it the whole
of the time, pull the two colored ones through the seams, and while
developing these take the two from the pochette on the left side. Place
the white handkerchief in the left hand to conceal the colored ones,
and throw the other two over the back of the chair. Now produce the two
in the left hand in a similar manner, and throw them over the chair
with the two already there. Then take the white handkerchief by two
corners, and while turning it round to show both sides, seize the piece
of cork at the buttonhole of the vest, and produce the fifth
handkerchief, throwing both over the back of the chair.

For the production of the last handkerchief a little patter is
desirable. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I dare say you will wonder where I
get these handkerchiefs. The other evening I overheard two gentlemen
conversing in the boxes. One said to the other, 'Don't you see where he
gets those handkerchiefs? They came down his sleeve.' The other said,
'Oh! no, they don't. He takes them from his pockets, for I saw him.'"
Saying this you thrust the hands into the pockets by way of
illustration, and fix the finger in position. Then withdraw the hands,
placing the palms together, and continue:--"Now, I wish to prove to you
that both of these gentlemen were wrong. If the handkerchief comes down
the sleeve you will be sure to see it. If it comes from the pocket you
will also see it. My hands are perfectly empty" (show hands). "Now
watch closely and see if you can detect me." You now bring the hands
together, reverse the finger, and shake out the handkerchief; and when
laying it with the others on the chair, drop the finger into the

To cause the disappearance of the handkerchiefs proceed as
follows:--Take up three of the colored ones, at the same time secretly
obtaining one of the vanishers, and, with an up and down motion of the
hands work them into the ball. Then pass the ball to the back of the
hand, and show the palms empty.

When taking up the other three handkerchiefs drop the vanisher into the
servante, secure the other one, and proceed as before. Then take up the
white handkerchief, again disposing of the vanisher into the servante,
and securing the ball of six tied together. Finally wave the white
handkerchief up and down, and gradually work out the colored ones, one
after another.

COLOR-CHANGING HANDKERCHIEFS.--The effect of this trick, which is one
of the best in the whole category of sleight of hand feats, is as
follows:--Three white handkerchiefs are pushed into a paper tube, and
as they come out at the opposite end they are seen to be dyed
respectively red, yellow, and green. The paper is then unrolled and
torn in half, when the white handkerchiefs are found to have vanished

[Illustration: Fig. 16.--Handkerchief Fitted with Brass Tube]

To perform the trick you must be provided with a piece of drawing-paper
ten inches by eight inches (a leaf from a plain drawing-book will
answer the purpose admirably), three very fine white silk handkerchiefs
fifteen inches square, and three colored ones of the same size and
texture. The last of the colored handkerchiefs to appear at the end of
the tube is prepared as follows:--Take a piece of one and one quarter
inches brass tubing, three inches long, and insert it in the middle of
one side of the handkerchief (Fig. 16), by covering it with a piece of
silk of the same color. This piece of silk is extended beyond the tube,
as shown, to form a kind of pocket.

To prepare for the trick push the body of the handkerchief into the
brass tube at the end A, and the other two colored ones on the top of
it. The piece of paper is laid on the table with the tube of
handkerchiefs under its rear edge. The three white handkerchiefs are
then laid across the paper.

To perform the trick stand on the left of your table and take up the
paper with the right hand, the left hand keeping the white
handkerchiefs in front of the tube of colored ones. Draw attention to
the fact that the paper is unprepared, then lay it on the table in such
a manner that it again conceals the tube, and take up the white
handkerchiefs. Show the handkerchiefs, remarking that they are of the
ordinary description, and then lay them on the table. Pick up the
paper, and with it the colored handkerchiefs, which are held behind it
with the thumb of the right hand.

You now form the paper into a tube round the colored handkerchiefs and
hold it in the left hand. Pick up the white handkerchiefs one at a
time, place them in the left hand with the tube, and remark:--"I will
now pass the white handkerchiefs through the cylinder, first, however,
showing you that it is perfectly empty." As you say this you take the
handkerchiefs in the right hand, and as if to illustrate what you say,
place them near the mouth of the tube. This gives you the opportunity
of dropping the colored handkerchiefs into the white ones. The cylinder
is now shown empty, and the white handkerchiefs are pushed into one end
of it; care being taken to introduce the colored ones first, and to
keep them out of sight of the audience. You now grasp the brass tube
tightly through the paper and press the white handkerchiefs into it.
This, of course, pushes out the colored handkerchiefs, which appear at
the other end of the cylinder, the white ones being concealed in the
body of the last colored one.

When performing the trick it is necessary to be careful to insert the
right end of the brass tube into the paper cylinder, otherwise the
experiment would not be successful.

The following is the method of presenting the above trick, with
appropriate "patter":

"For the purpose of my next experiment I shall make use of this
square-looking piece of paper, in which you can see there is nothing
concealed, not even a trap-door. Well, if there was anything concealed
from your view, you would be sure to see it." Laying the paper down and
taking up the handkerchiefs, you continue, "In addition to the paper, I
propose to make use of these three pieces of silk, or silk in pieces,
commonly known as art white squares. I am afraid, however, some people
would prefer to call them subdued white; possibly dirty white, if it
were not for the liberty of the thing, but I know they call them art
white in the stores, because I suppose they find they sell better."

Laying the handkerchiefs down, you take up the paper with the tube
behind it, and, prior to forming the cylinder, remark:--"This
experiment was suggested to me while in England traveling on the
underground railway. I always travel by that line when possible, being
fond of scenery. One day I had occasion to take a return single from
Portland Road to King's Cross; and while passing through those tunnels
I noticed that my linen changed color considerably, which suggested to
me this illustration. With the piece of paper I will form a kind of
tube or tunnel to represent for the time being one of those cavities on
the underground railway."

Make the tube and continue:--"There it is, as free from deception as I
am. I will now take the handkerchiefs" (take up the handkerchiefs from
the table) "and pass them through the cylinder" (drop the colored
handkerchiefs into the white ones and show the tube empty), "first,
however, showing you that it is perfectly empty. Then, having satisfied
you that there are no trains on the line, I will pass the handkerchiefs
through the tunnel."

As the colored handkerchiefs appear at the opposite end of the tube,
remark:--"I may say that I have been getting my living for some
considerable time by conjuring. You will now notice that I am beginning
to dye by it."

this contrivance is very simple, and it is absolutely instantaneous in
its action, the quickest eye being unable, even at close quarters, to
detect the flight of the handkerchief.

It consists of two straps, one for each arm, which are buckled on just
above the elbows. One of the straps carries what is known to mechanics
as a "lazy" pulley, working freely in all directions, and provided with
a shield, so that the cord cannot possibly leave the wheel; and the
other carries a metal "D" loop. A cord is tied to the "D" loop, passed
over the back, round the pulley on the left arm, back again and down
the right sleeve; the end of the cord being furnished with a loop to
receive a handkerchief. The apparatus must be attached to the arms
underneath the shirt, and when in such a position that the arms may be
moved about freely, the loop should be in the centre of the back, as
shown in Fig. 17.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.--Mechanical "Pull" for Vanishing
Handkerchief--(a) Leather Strap; (b) Brass Plate; (c) Pivot; (d) Brass
Hinge; (e) Pulley in Shield; (L) Left Arm; (R) Right Arm]

To enable the artist to obtain possession of this loop, a black thread
is passed through it, doubled and carried down the right sleeve, the
two ends hanging out of the cuff so as to be readily found by the
fingers. Having found the thread, the performer pulls it down until the
loop appears, which is forthwith passed round the thumb, the thread
being broken and allowed to fall on the floor. The act of pulling the
cord to secure the loop will pull the elbows close to the sides, where
they must be kept until the handkerchief is to disappear.

Having placed the handkerchief through the loop, which should be of
catgut, being semi-transparent, push it into the glass tube as
described in the next trick, and place the hands one over each end. To
cause the handkerchief to disappear all that is necessary is to move
the elbows away from the sides while making a quick up and down motion
with the glass cylinder, slightly lifting the base of the right hand
from the edge of the glass to allow the silk to pass up the sleeve. In
moving the elbows away from the sides a pull of from three feet to four
feet is put on the cord, the handkerchief flying up the sleeve and
finally occupying a position in the centre of the performer's back.

THE FLYING HANDKERCHIEF.--This is a very surprising trick, and a
favorite with the most noted prestidigitateurs. It depends chiefly for
its effect on the "Mechanical Pull." (Fig. 17.) For its execution you
must be provided with six small silk handkerchiefs (two red, two
yellow, and two green), also two glass cylinders of the kind used for

The idea of the trick is to cause a red silk handkerchief placed in the
centre of one of the glass tubes, the ends being covered with the
hands, to disappear, and be found between a yellow and a green
handkerchief previously tied together, rolled up into the shape of a
ball, and placed in the other cylinder. It is accomplished thus:

Three of the handkerchiefs, one of each color, are tied together by the
corners, the red being in the centre. They are then rolled up into the
shape of a ball so that the red one cannot be seen, and thus prepared,
are laid on the table behind the other red handkerchief.

The performer now takes the two remaining handkerchiefs, one yellow and
one green, and ties them together, rolling them up to look as near like
the duplicate ball as possible. Holding this ball in the right hand, he
takes up the red handkerchief, and with it the ball of three. He then
takes the red handkerchief in his right hand, passing the ball into the
left, and forthwith pushing it into the glass cylinder on the table.
Under cover of the red handkerchief, however, the balls are exchanged
and that of three is actually placed in the tube.

While going for the other cylinder, which should be on a table at the
rear of the stage, the performer has ample time to dispose of the ball
of two, and to get down the "pull." When introducing the cylinder
remark:--"You see, Ladies and Gentlemen, that the tubes are of the most
ordinary description and perfectly free from preparation; in fact, you
can see right through them. I hope you will not be able to see through
me quite so easily." The red handkerchief is then inserted in the
cylinder, being previously passed through the loop, whence it is caused
to vanish as described. The handkerchiefs are then taken from the tube
on the table, unrolled and shaken out; when, by some unaccountable
means, the red one will appear to have tied itself between the other

really an indispensable piece of apparatus and should be in the
repertoire of every wizard. It consists of a piece of one and one-half
inches of brass tubing four inches long, with two caps of the same
metal to close the ends. A handkerchief is inserted in the tube and the
caps are immediately placed on; but notwithstanding this, the
handkerchief disappears, or can be changed to another of a different

[Illustration: Fig. 18.--Brass Tube for Handkerchief Tricks]

The apparatus really consists of four pieces, the tube and the two
caps, with the addition of a cup, one and one-half inches deep, made to
fit easily into either end of the tube, and provided with a flange as
in the magic pistol already described, to enable the performer to palm
it off, (See Fig. 18). This cup is not provided with a bottom, but is
fitted with a piece of three-quarter inch tape fixed at each side, in
the centre of the tube, in such a manner that a loop hangs down flush
with, and forming a bottom common to, either end of the cup (as at A).

The method employed in changing say a white handkerchief for a red one
being explained, the other uses of the tube will be apparent. Load a
red handkerchief into the cup at the end A, and place it under your
vest, or in the right-hand trousers pocket. Give the tube and caps for
examination, and while they are out of your hands, get possession of
the cup and palm it in your right hand. Take back the tube with the
left hand, pass it into the right, and over the cup; and fit the cap to
the opposite end. Turn over the tube, and with the right hand
apparently place the white handkerchief into it (the handkerchief
really goes into the cup and pushes the red one into the tube,
reversing the tape). Now place the right hand over the cup, reverse the
tube, and remark:--"As the cap has been on this end the whole of the
time, it has not been possible for the handkerchief to escape in that
direction. We will now place a cap on the opposite end of the tube and
we have the handkerchief secure." Saying this, reverse the tube,
palming off the cup while doing so; and while holding the tube in the
same hand, to hide the palm, fit on the cap. Give the tube to some one
to hold and drop the cup into the profonde, or otherwise dispose of it
at the earliest opportunity. On removing the caps the handkerchief will
be found to have changed color.

At this point a good combination trick can be worked by the use of two
duplicate handkerchiefs as follows:--Have a duplicate red handkerchief
hanging over a chair, on the back of which is suspended a network
servante. Another duplicate white handkerchief should be in readiness
in the back of a match-box for producing from the flame of a candle as
previously described.

When handing the gentleman the tube which is supposed to contain the
white handkerchief, you take up the red one from the back of the chair,
and at the same time dispose of the palmed cup by dropping it into the
servante. The red handkerchief is now vanished by sleight of hand, or
can be fired from the magic pistol, and eventually found in the brass

To account for the disappearance of the white handkerchief you may
remark:--"Oh, I dare say the white handkerchief has jumped out of the
tube to make room for the red one. It has probably found its way into
the candle on the table." To conclude the trick you light the candle
and produce the handkerchief from the flame.

The tube can be used in many ways in combination with other tricks, but
I must leave these to the ingenuity of the performer.

To my friend, Adrian Plate, a wonderfully clever manipulator of cards
and handkerchiefs, I am indebted for the following new handkerchief
tricks, invented and performed by him, and for the first time

DISAPPEARING HANDKERCHIEF.--Obtain a small red silk handkerchief, also
a loose piece of silk of the same color about one and one-half inches
square. Keep this piece at the corner of the handkerchief with thumb
and first finger. Rub the handkerchief between both hands until you
have succeeded in getting it into small compass, taking care that the
small piece is at the top. Retain the handkerchief in the right hand
and with left hand pull up the right sleeve. Now with right hand pull
up the left sleeve, but leave the handkerchief in the bend of the left
arm, where it will be hidden by the folds of the sleeve, taking care,
however, that the small piece of red silk protrudes from closed right
hand, deluding the spectators into the belief that the handkerchief is
still in your hand,--for do they not see the corner of it? Now rub the
hands together and roll the piece into a small pellet, and palm it
between the bend of the thumb and first finger. Slap your hands
together, and show both sides. This is a most effective illusion, and
will deceive even the conjurers.

[Illustration: Fig. 19.--For Vanishing Handkerchief]

Another clever disappearing trick with a handkerchief is the
following:--Take a piece of flesh-colored thread, and place it about
the right hand, in the manner depicted in the illustration, (Fig. 19).
The dotted lines represent the thread on the outside of the hand. With
this simple device, a silk handkerchief can be apparently placed in the
left hand, when in reality it is stuck between the loop in the right
hand. The right hand can be freely moved. Vanish a handkerchief in
above manner from the left hand, and by grabbing in the air with your
right hand you reproduce the handkerchief.

[Illustration: Fig. 20.--Handkerchief Clamp]

[Illustration: Fig. 21.--Handkerchief Trick]

HANDKERCHIEF FROM TISSUE PAPER.--Take a small bit of soft copper wire,
covered with cotton (_e.g._, a piece of insulated telegraph wire), and
construct a clamp about the size shown in the diagram, (Fig. 20). A
small red silk handkerchief about ten inches square is folded as
compactly as possible and placed between the clamps. By pressing the
wire the handkerchief is kept securely fastened. Place the fake on your
table, the handkerchief pointing toward yourself, (Fig. 21). Now take a
piece of white tissue paper, four and one-half by seven inches, and lay
it over the handkerchief. This arrangement of course is effected before
the performance begins. With your left hand pick up the tissue paper,
and with the latter the fake containing the handkerchief. Now take the
paper in your right hand, which under cover of paper secures the clasp
(part A of fake) between the first and second fingers. The handkerchief
is now on the inside of the right hand, while the hand is perfectly
free in its movements. Exhibit both sides of the paper and smooth it
out. All you have to do now is to crumble the sheet of paper, work out
the handkerchief from the fake and insert the ball of paper into wire
clamp. Then show the handkerchief to the audience, and drop the fake
into your pochette.

[Illustration: Fig. 22.--Handkerchief Trick]

[Illustration: Fig. 23.--Handkerchief Trick]

must provide yourself with two glass cylinders closed at one end. They
may be procured from conjuring depots, or constructed out of lamp
chimneys, by cementing glass disks at the ends of the chimneys.
However, the student will find it more satisfactory to purchase these
cylinders from some reliable dealer in magical apparatus. Preferably
they should have rounded bottoms, as depicted in the illustration. The
effect of the trick is as follows:--On your table are two cylinders. In
front of each lies a handkerchief, one yellow, the other red. Now pick
up the left-hand handkerchief (yellow) and place it in the right-hand
cylinder, and the right-hand handkerchief (red) in the left-hand
cylinder, (Fig. 22). Lay the cylinders once more on the table, and make
a little speech about the rapidity with which articles sometimes change
places, under the influence of atmospheric electricity. Pick up the
cylinders, one in each hand, and move the hands quickly apart. In the
same moment the handkerchiefs change places like a flash of lightning.
The secret of this very clever illusion will become apparent on
consulting the diagram, (Fig. 23). The cylinders have little holes in
the bottoms. A strong silk thread is run through them and looped about
the handkerchiefs. A few trials will have to decide the proper length
of this thread. The explanation of this feat is simplicity itself, but
the effect is very bewildering upon an audience. It is one of Plate's
cleverest tricks and is performed by him with artistic finish.

"Handkerchief burned and restored." It was a favorite with the late
Alexander Herrmann, who performed it in the most artistic and graceful
manner. It is a trick of pure sleight of hand, and requires no
apparatus or elaborate preparation, for which reason it is to be highly
commended to those who delight in digital experiments. Says Edwin
Sachs, the eminent English authority on legerdemain:--"If I wanted to
test a conjurer's ability, I should give him this trick to perform."
And yet it is made up of the simplest elements. By attention to the
rudiments of palming, etc., it becomes easy of execution.

You commence operations by requesting the loan of a lady's
handkerchief. Take care to borrow one that is devoid of lace, or
special ornamentation--in other words a plain, white one. You come down
among the audience and extract a lemon from the hair or whiskers of
some gentleman, or better still from a lady's muff. Casually exhibit
the lemon, holding it beneath the nose of one of the spectators,
remarking:--"It is a genuine lemon, as you perceive." Borrow the
handkerchief, then wheeling about toss the lemon to your assistant on
the platform. Now request some gentleman to stand up and rub the
handkerchief between his hands. Advance toward the stage, but suddenly
wheeling about, look at your volunteer assistant, with well simulated
alarm on your face.

"My dear sir," you remark, "what are you doing to that handkerchief?
You are rubbing it the wrong way. Kindly examine it." Much to his
surprise, he finds it in small pieces. You then take the pieces,
expostulating vehemently all the while with the gentleman, for having
spoiled your trick, likewise the lady's handkerchief. The more comedy
you inject into this little scene, the better. Finally you remark, "I
will show you, sir, how to restore the handkerchief." Pass the pieces
back to him, with the request that he rub them gently from "North to
South"; whichever way he performs the absurd movement, you cry: "Here,
here! Stop that! I said from North to South, and you are rubbing from
East to West. Let us see what you have done now." He shows the results
of his handiwork, but instead of the pieces there is now one long strip
of linen. Take this from him, and observe, with a melancholy air: "It
is no use trying. I see that you will never make a magician. Kindly
take your seat, sir, and study the points of the compass, before you
again presume to enter the magic circle."

Offer the strip to the owner of the handkerchief, saying that it is no
fault of yours that it has been ruined. She will naturally refuse to
accept it. Then remark: "Very well, the only thing I can do is to buy
you a new one, next bargain-counter day, but in the meantime let us see
what we can do with this mutilated mouchoir." Return to the stage, pick
up the lemon, which has been placed on the table by your assistant, and
announce that you will shoot the strip of linen into the lemon. Load it
into your funnel-pistol and fire at the lemon. Then cut open the fruit
and take out the dummy handkerchief. Start towards the lady as if to
return it, but stop suddenly and remark, "This handkerchief smells
rather strong of lemon. Shall I perfume it for you, madam?"

Without waiting for an answer place the handkerchief on a plate and
pour perfume over it, but accidentally put on too much. Pick it up, and
show it wet. Say you will dry it a little before returning it. Light a
candle, and while holding the handkerchief over the flame it ignites.
Drop it on the plate and offer it to the owner. Of course she will
refuse to accept it. Smother the fire and again offer the burned
remnants to the lady, making all sorts of excuses for the accident. As
she again rejects your offer, say that you will put the ashes in a
paper for her. Lay the plate on the stage, and go to your table for a
piece of newspaper. In the meantime your assistant creates a small
diversion by endeavoring to pick up the hot plate and place it on the
table. Several times he burns (or pretends to burn) his fingers,
dropping the plate, but finally succeeds. By this time you have come
forward with the piece of newspaper. Roll up the ashes in the paper,
and remark, "Here, madam, is what is left of your handkerchief. I
present it to you as a small souvenir of the entertainment. What, you
won't receive it?" Tear open the paper and take out the handkerchief
fully restored. Present it to the lady with your best compliments, and
you will be greeted with applause.

The following is the secret of this ingenious trick:

Take a lemon and prepare it by cutting a plug-shaped piece out of one
end. Now dig out all the pulp. Stuff an old handkerchief or piece of
square linen into the lemon, after which replace the plug and secure it
with pins. Palm the lemon in your right hand, holding the lapel of your
coat the better to conceal the fruit as you come down among the
audience. Under the waistband of your vest, on the left side, you have
secreted a bundle of about a dozen pieces of white muslin--say, three
inches square--and on the right side a strip of about three inches wide
and a yard long. On your table have a double piece of newspaper, about
a foot square, pasted together on three sides, so that it forms a sort
of bag, but appears like a single thickness. Also have on the table two
plates, a magic pistol, a perfume bottle filled with alcohol, a candle
and a candle-stick. After producing the lemon from the gentleman's
whiskers, take the lady's handkerchief in the left hand. As you turn
toward the stage to throw the lemon tuck the handkerchief under your
vest in the middle and pull out the pieces and long strip from under
the vest. Give the pieces to the gentleman who is to assist you, but
retain the slip. A judicious use of the wand will enable you to better
conceal the palmed linen, and to effect the several changes in an
indetectible manner. While explaining to the gentleman how to restore
the handkerchief, substitute the pieces for the long strip and give him
that to hold. Get rid of the pieces in your profonde. All is now plain
sailing until you arrive at the incident of the newspaper. While your
assistant is working with the supposedly hot plate, you will have ample
opportunity for stuffing the original handkerchief into the paper bag,
smoothing it out as flat as you can. Wrap up the ashes, and finally
tear open the paper through the outer thickness. The ashes will be
concealed by the inner cover. Crumple up the paper and throw it
carelessly on the stage.

Some performers go behind the scenes to obtain the paper, and effect
the concealment of the original handkerchief, but this is unnecessary,
besides it detracts from the effect of the experiment. The diversion
created by your assistant with the hot plate will afford you ample
opportunity to get the handkerchief into the paper.



BALLS.--For the series of tricks hereafter described, you will require
two solid billiard balls, and a case to contain one of the balls,
consisting of two hemispheres of thin spun brass hinged together. When
closed this case will represent a solid ball, but when open and held in
the hand with the thumb over the hinge, will appear as two balls. The
balls, together with the case, should be enameled red. When about to
present the trick, come forward with the case containing a solid ball
in the left breast pocket, and the other solid ball under the left

CREATION.--Pull up the right sleeve and then the left one, which gives
you the opportunity of taking the ball in the right hand unperceived.
You now execute what is known as the "Change-over Palm" to show both
hands empty, and then produce the ball from the back of the right hand.
This palm is made as follows: Having gotten the ball into the right
hand draw attention to the left with the fingers of the right, showing
it back and front. When doing this you will be standing with your right
side toward the audience. Now make a sharp half turn to the right and
show the right hand in the same manner. This you will be able to do, as
when making the turn the palms of the hands very naturally pass over
each other, and the ball is transferred from the palm of the right hand
to that of the left.

The ball is now found on the back of the right hand.

[Illustration: Fig. 24.--Revolving Ball]

MANIPULATION.--The amount of manipulation possible with a single ball
is considerable, and limited only by the dexterity of the performer.
The principles of sleight of hand as described in Chapter II. will,
with few exceptions, be found equally adaptable to this branch of the
mystic art. For the benefit, however, of those of my readers who have
not hitherto made sleight of hand a study, I append a few examples.

1. Having obtained the ball from the back of the right hand, place it
between the two forefingers, (Fig. 24). Then twist the fingers round
and round, which will cause the ball to revolve with them. This
produces a very pleasing and puzzling effect, and is to all appearance
a feat of dexterity. It requires, however, very little practice.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.--Ball in Position on Right Hand]

2. Close the right hand and place the ball on the top, (Fig. 25). From
this position appear to take it in the left hand, really allowing it to
sink down into the palm of the right, where it is retained. Vanish the
ball from the left hand in the usual manner, and produce it from the
left elbow.

3. Roll the ball between the palms of the hands as if you were trying
to make it smaller. When the left hand is underneath, seem to close it
over the ball, really palming it in the right hand. The left hand is
now brought down rather smartly on the back of the head, and the ball
produced from the mouth.

4. Place the ball between the teeth and, apparently, give it a smart
rap with the right hand as if to force it into the mouth. The ball,
however, is palmed in the right hand, and immediately taken from the
back of the head. When producing the ball, pass it up the back and over
the top of the head, and let it fall into the left hand.

5. Appear to take the ball from the left hand, as in "Le Tourniquet"
with a coin. Then apparently pass it through the left knee, producing
it from underneath.

6. Throw the ball several times from one hand to the other, and
finally, when appearing to throw it into the right hand, palm it in the
left. Vanish the ball; place the left hand to the nose; and let the
ball fall into the right hand. To all appearances it actually comes
from the nose.

7. Stand with the left side to the audience, and throw the ball into
the air several times. At the third time palm it in the left hand; the
effect being that the ball is vanished into thin air. Now perform the
"Change-over Palm," described above, and find the ball at the back of
the right knee.

8. Apparently transfer the ball from the right hand to the left, really
palming it. Place the palm of the right hand (containing the ball) on
the right breast, and thence extend it over in the direction of the
left sleeve. In the act of doing this, the ball leaves the palm and is
held between the forearm and the body; the hand, turned palm toward the
audience, then pulls up the sleeve. You then blow on the left hand to
vanish the ball, and show the hand empty.

To regain possession of the ball, all that is necessary is to reverse
the motion of the arm, when the ball will find its way into the palm of
the hand, and can be produced as fancy suggests.

If the ball is not produced, the above forms an excellent final vanish
to any billiard-ball trick.

If used as a vanish, after having regained possession of the ball, you
stand with the hands one on each lappet of the coat, bow, and retire.

This pass, which I have found practical in every way, was given to me
by Mr. George Newman, a very clever amateur conjurer.

The following explanations will to some extent be given in the
"vernacular," it being assumed that the student has become familiar
with the various passes.

MULTIPLICATION.--You must now obtain possession of the trick ball,
which can be done by means of the following ruse. Appear to place the
ball in the left hand, vanish, and take it from the left breast pocket.
In doing so you take out the trick ball, leaving the solid one behind.

For two balls.--Take the trick ball in the left hand, and, waving the
hand up and down, open the shell, placing the thumb over the joint,
when you will appear to have two balls in the left hand. To show these
as two solid balls, one in each hand, take the ball out of the case,
which forthwith close. This can easily be done under cover of the right
hand. Draw attention to the ball in the left hand, and remark, "One,
and this one" (ball in right hand) "make two." As you say this you
appear to place the ball in the left hand, really opening the case to
represent two balls, and palming the solid one in the right hand.

For three balls.--Produce the ball you have palmed from behind the left
knee, and really place it with the two others (case open) in the left
hand. Wave the left hand up and down, and under cover of the movement
allow the solid ball to slip into the case. Then produce the ball
previously left in the breast pocket, and you will seem to have passed
a ball up your sleeve.

For four balls.--Draw attention to the two balls now in the left hand
(case open, with a solid ball in one half) and remark, "Two, and this
one" (ball in right hand) "make three." Saying which, you apparently
place the ball in the left hand, really palming it as before, and
dropping the ball out of the case under the cover of the right hand.
You now find the palmed ball at the left elbow, and really place it
with the other three in the left hand. You will now appear to hold four
solid balls.

ANNIHILATION.--Appear to take a ball in the right hand, really allowing
one to fall into the case. Vanish this ball in the act of throwing it
to the audience. You now actually take another solid ball in the right
hand and exclaim, "I will vanish this one into thin air. Watch me."
Actually throw the ball into the air several times, and while doing
this lower the left hand, and drop the solid ball out of the case into
the profonde, making a movement that the audience cannot fail to
notice. Thinking they have caught you, some one is sure to remark, "I
saw him put one in his pocket that time." To which you will reply, "Oh,
no, I did not put any in my pocket. I would not deceive you in such a
manner. Two and one" (the one in the right hand) "make three." You now
really place the ball in the left hand.

Again appear to take a ball in the right hand, letting it fall into the
case as before. Then vanish it in the act of apparently throwing it
into the air. Wave the left hand up and down, and under cover of the
movement close the case, which will dispose of the third ball.

Finally, make believe to take this last ball in the right hand,
standing with your right side to the spectators. Instead of doing this,
however, the case is opened, under cover of the right hand, and the
solid ball extracted. The right hand is then closed over the ball so
that it cannot be seen, and the left hand quietly places the case in
the profonde. It is well to again let this movement be suspected. Then,
looking at the right hand, remark: "I have now only to dispose of this
last ball." At this point some one is almost sure to say, "Oh! but I
saw you put it in your pocket." You will then cause considerable
amusement to the spectators, and bring derision on the party with the
voice, by showing the ball in the right hand.

To cause the disappearance of the last ball make use of the pass
described under Example 8 (p. 97).

BILLIARD BALLS AND BASINS.--For the purpose of this trick you will
require two small basins and two tea plates. The plates are to act as
covers for the basins. In addition to these paraphernalia you will
require two india-rubber balls to match in size and color the ordinary
billiard balls.

The effect of the illusion is as follows:--The two basins are shown
empty, and each is covered with a plate. In the course of the preceding
billiard-ball trick, or a portion of the same, two balls are vanished,
afterward appearing in the basins.

To prepare for the trick, place one of the basins, containing one of
the balls, on the table, and cover it with one of the plates. On the
top of this plate place the other basin, containing the second ball,
covering the same with the remaining plate.

When about to present the illusion, you take the top plate in the left
hand, and the basin in the right, fingers inside and thumb out. This
enables you to grasp the ball, and conceal it in the fingers, while
holding the basin so that the inside can be inspected. Place the basin
on the floor, retaining the ball in the fingers, and immediately take
the plate in the right hand, which again conceals the ball. Show the
left hand empty, also both sides of the plate. Then pass the plate back
into the left hand, taking the ball with it, and show both sides of the
right hand. Cover the basin with the plate and in doing so secretly
introduce the ball.

You must now go through the same movements with the other plate, ball,
and basin, and the trick is practically finished. All that remains for
you to do now is to vanish two balls and find them in the basins.

The india-rubber balls are essential for silence when dropped into the
basin. Ordinary wooden balls would rattle and thus betray their

COLOR-CHANGING BILLIARD BALLS.--There is a very old trick similar to
what I am about to describe, known as the "Chameleon Balls." In this
form of the trick the ball is caused to change by palming on, or off,
as occasion may require, half shells of different colors. I will now
explain a method of producing a result analogous to the old trick, but
brought about by entirely different means.

The necessary accessories are a red, a black, and a white billiard
ball, all solid. Place the white ball in the profonde, and the black
one in the pochette, on the left side. Having arrived at the point in
Annihilation (p. 100) where all the balls have been disposed of with
the exception of the last solid one, you throw this in the air as if to
vanish it in that direction. While all eyes follow the ball in its
upward flight you lower the left hand and take the white ball from the
profonde, palming it. In doing this you would of course stand with the
right side to the audience.

THE CHANGE TO WHITE.--Make a half turn to the right and take the red
ball in the fingers of the left hand, in which you have the white ball
palmed. Then show the right hand back and front. Now take the visible
red ball in the fingers of the right hand, and, at the same instant,
make the "Change-over Palm." This brings your right side again to the
auditorium and enables you to show the left hand empty.

To execute the change you place the red ball in the fingers of the left
hand, and then stroke it with the palm of the right; palming the red
ball and leaving in place of it the white one. Again make the
"Change-over Palm" showing the hands empty, with the exception of the
white ball.

THE CHANGE TO BLACK.--You take the ball in the right hand, and turning
to the left bring it down rather smartly on the table, to prove its
solidity. This gives you the opportunity of dropping the red ball into
the profonde and taking the black one from the pochette.

To change the white ball to black you will proceed as in the previous
change, disposing of the palmed white ball at the earliest opportunity,
or it can be produced with good effect from the bottom of the trousers.
Then lay both balls down on the table.

To appreciate and thoroughly understand the effect of the above, it is
necessary to actually practice the various movements with the balls in
front of a mirror.

THE DIMINISHING BILLIARD BALLS.--The trick under notice has for its
effect the apparent diminution of an ordinary billiard ball, first to
half its original size, secondly to one-quarter its original size, and
finally to a very small ball, with which several amusing passes are
made, and which afterward disappears entirely.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.--Trick Balls]

In this case a trick ball is used of a size equal to half that of the
ordinary one, and hollowed out so as to contain a solid ball of a
diameter equal to half that of itself, (Fig. 26). The hollow ball must
be so constructed that the small one pinches slightly into it, but can
be instantly released by simply passing the ball of the thumb over it.
A duplicate of this small ball should be placed in the right hand
waistcoat pocket for use in the latter part of the trick.

The trick ball is placed in the left pochette, whence it is obtained
and used according to the instructions given in the "Color-changing
Balls." To produce the smallest size, hold the trick ball in the left
hand, having previously loosened the small one, and in the act of
stroking it with the right hand, palm off the hollow ball, and dispose
of it as soon as possible.

With the small ball you now execute the pass as described under Example
4 on p. 96. Then actually place the ball in the mouth, pretend to
swallow it, and produce the one from the vest pocket, which will appear
to be the same.

You now seem to place the ball in the left hand, really palming it;
then bring the left hand down with apparent force on the top of the
head, showing the ball between the teeth. Here raise the right hand as
if to take the ball from the mouth, but really push it back and show
the palmed one. Then repeat the same pass, but this time actually let
the ball fall from the mouth into the left hand, the right disposing of
the palmed ball into the profonde.

I have seen a series of passes, including the above, performed with two
eggs in place of the small balls, but unless the performer be endowed
with a colossal cavity between the upper and lower jaws, I should not
advise him to attempt this.

THE HANDKERCHIEF BALL.--This forms a very good introduction to a
billiard ball trick, all that is required being a ball of the usual
size, hollowed out so as to take a handkerchief, with an opening one
inch in diameter on the surface. This ball is suspended behind the top
rail of a chair by means of a pin.

After performing any trick in which a handkerchief has been employed,
carelessly throw it over the back of the chair while you roll up your
sleeves. If you do not care to roll up the sleeves, perform any small
trick before proceeding with the present one, otherwise it might be too
palpable that the handkerchief was thrown over the chair for a purpose.
Then take up the handkerchief (secretly securing the ball) and
gradually work it into the ball, being careful to keep the ball out of
sight as much as possible until the handkerchief has totally
disappeared. Finally throw the ball into the air, which can safely be
done providing it and the handkerchief are both of the same color,
which would not admit of the hole being observed.

At this point, should you desire to proceed with a billiard ball trick,
you can do so by changing the hollow ball for a solid one in the same
manner that you changed the solid ball for the trick one in the
"Multiplying Billiard Balls."

THE DISSOLVING BILLIARD BALL.--This forms an excellent conclusion to a
billiard ball trick. A glass tumbler three parts filled with water is
given to a gentleman to hold. A ball is then covered with a
handkerchief and given to the gentleman with a request that he will
hold it over the glass and at the word "three" will allow it to fall
into the water. This is done, and upon the handkerchief being removed
from the tumbler, nothing remains but the fluid, which is perfectly
transparent, the ball having apparently been dissolved therein.

The secret of this lies in the fact that the performer is provided with
a half shell of clear glass. This shell is secretly slipped over the
ball in the act of covering it with the handkerchief, and when handing
it to the gentleman the solid ball is palmed away by the performer. The
gentleman is not at all likely to discover that he holds only a half
ball, as, being hampered with the glass of water, he is effectually
prevented from making an examination.

It is well to be provided with a tumbler the bottom of which is shaped
somewhat to fit the form of the shell, and ornamented slightly, but
this latter feature is not absolutely necessary.

FANCY SLEIGHT WITH A SMALL BALL.--A small ball is generally used for
this pass, but it is applicable to any object that can be conveniently
placed in the mouth. In effect it is as follows: A ball, for instance,
is rubbed into the left elbow and passed thence up into the hand. The
hand is then brought down rather smartly on the back of the head, the
ball being immediately afterward taken from the mouth.

The sleight is thus executed: The performer takes the ball in his right
hand and commences to rub it into his left elbow. At this point he
apparently meets with an accident, dropping the ball on the floor. The
dropping of the ball, however, apart from being an accident, is
absolutely essential to the success of the illusion. After having
picked up the ball and while still in a stooping position with his back
toward the spectators, the performer quickly throws it into his mouth,
immediately facing round and drawing attention to the right hand the
fingers of which must seem to close round the object. The rubbing at
the elbow is again commenced and the right hand eventually shown empty.
The performer then makes a sign indicative that the ball has passed up
into the left hand, which is then brought down with apparent force on
the back of the head. The ball in the mouth is then revealed, when it
will appear to have actually traveled to that position.

This sleight can very well be introduced at the close of the
Diminishing Billiard Balls.

I am indebted to Mr. Ross Conyears, an exceedingly dexterous magician,
for the above.

ROUGE ET NOIR.--This pretty trick consists of causing two balls, one
red and one black, wrapped in pieces of paper and placed in borrowed
hats, to change places at command. The diameter of the balls should be
four and one-half inches.

The solution of the problem lies in the construction of the papers with
which the balls are covered. They are arranged thus: Take two pieces of
newspaper and paste them together all round the edges, having
previously inserted between them a layer of red glazed paper of the
same shade as the ball. The other one is prepared in exactly the same
way, but contains a layer of black glazed paper to represent the black

The two balls are now wrapped in the papers, care being taken to cover
the red ball with the paper containing the black layer, and vice versa.
After this has been done the performer feigns a slip, mixing up the
packages, and thereby confusing the audience as to the relative
positions of the balls. As if to satisfy them on this point he tears a
small hole in the outer covering of one of the parcels, exposing say
the layer of black paper. The parcel is then placed in the hat on the
supposition that it contains the black ball.

The other package is now treated in the same manner, after which the
supposed transposition of the balls will be easily understood.

BALL, HANDKERCHIEF, AND TUMBLER.--This is a very good combination
trick, and as such will serve as an example for the arrangement of
others. A billiard ball is placed in a small tumbler, which is in turn
wrapped in a piece of newspaper and deposited in a borrowed hat. The
performer then takes a small silk handkerchief and rolls it up in his
hands, when it is seen to have become transformed into a billiard ball.
The glass is then taken from the hat, and, on the paper being removed,
is found to contain the handkerchief. The ball, handkerchief, and
tumbler, together with the piece of paper, are then caused to vanish,
one at a time, from the hands of the performer, who immediately
afterward produces them from the hat.

The modus operandi is as follows:--A duplicate tumbler containing a
handkerchief, and wrapped in paper, must be secretly introduced into
the hat prior to the commencement of the trick. (See Hat Tricks.) The
tumbler containing the ball and wrapped in paper is then placed in the
hat. The performer now takes up a duplicate handkerchief, and under
cover of the same the hollow ball already described. The handkerchief
is worked into the ball, which is shown in due course, and laid on the
table, opening downward. The duplicate tumbler is then removed from the
hat, and found to contain the handkerchief. These articles, including
the piece of paper, are then laid on the table by the side of the ball.

The performer now goes to the hat, and, under pretense of moving it
further away, turns it over, thus proving, in conjurer's logic, that it
is empty. This can easily be done by taking the hat fingers inside and
thumb out, the fingers being inserted in the top of the tumbler. The
performer then returns to the table and proceeds to dispose of the
articles thereon.

The piece of paper rolled up, and the ball, are caused to vanish by any
of the means already explained. To cause the disappearance of the glass
you must be provided with a handkerchief, silk by preference,
consisting of two handkerchiefs sewn together round the edges, in the
centre of which is fixed a disk of cardboard of the same size as the
top of the tumbler. The tumbler being covered with this handkerchief,
the performer, as if to satisfy the spectators that it is still there,
strikes it several times on the back of a chair, and under cover of the
movement allows the glass to fall into the network servante. The
handkerchief, however, owing to the presence of the disk, still appears
to contain the glass, the ultimate disposal of which will now be
readily understood.

In conclusion, the performer takes the handkerchief lying on the table
and vanishes it by palming in the ordinary way; the right hand being
immediately dived into the hat and the handkerchief produced. The other
articles should be removed one at a time, not forgetting to crumple the
paper into a ball before taking it out.



The uses to which that piece of headgear, the much abused silk hat,
lends itself in "l'art magique" are almost innumerable. The chief,
however, and the one immediately under consideration, is the production
therefrom of a host of heterogeneous articles, of which the following
list will give an idea:

_Fifty yards of sash ribbon, eight inches wide._--The ribbon should be
folded over and over, in large pleats, so that it can be readily taken
from the hat.

_Two dozen fancy cardboard boxes, three and three-fourth inches by two
and one-half inches by two and one-half inches._--These are made to
fold flat, the size of the parcel when ready for introduction being
five inches by three and three-fourth inches by one and one-half

_Two hundred flowers, known as spring flowers._--Each flower when
closed is very little thicker than brown paper, but immediately on
being released expands to the size of a full-brown tulip. One hundred
of these flowers, when closed, can easily be hidden in the hand.

_A string of sausages._--These, it is hardly necessary to remark, are
imitation, being made in silk of the required color.

_A bundle of wood._--This is made hollow, consisting of a cardboard
case with pieces of wood glued on the outside and on one end, the other
being left open. It is usually filled with baby linen, together with a
feeding-bottle containing milk.

_One hundred yards of narrow, colored ribbon._--This is made in coils,
machine rolled, similar to that used for telegraph purposes. A coil of
this ribbon can very well be placed in the bottom of the sham bundle of
wood. When producing the coil it should be unrolled from the centre.

_Four pound weight of playing cards._--These make a tremendous show
when strewn about the stage. A good plan, also, is to have a number
joined together in a long string by means of cotton.

_A cannon ball._--This is usually made in zinc, five inches in
diameter, hollow, and provided with a sliding lid. It can be filled
with various soft goods, such as handkerchiefs, ribbons, etc., also
sweets and bonbons for distribution.

_A solid wooden cannon ball._--This should have a three-quarter inch
hole, two inches deep, bored in it toward the centre, for facility in
introducing it into the hat.

_A barber's pole, about thirty feet long and four inches to five inches
thick at the base._--This is made with stout colored paper, and pulls
out from the centre. If the pole be constructed of red, white, and blue
paper the performer, when introducing the trick, may announce that he
is about to erect the American Colors at the North Pole.

[Illustration: Fig. 27.--Bowl of Gold Fish]

_A bowl of gold fish._--This really consists of two bowls, one within
the other. The space between the two contains the water and fish, which
are inserted through a hole in the bottom of the outer bowl, the latter
being afterward corked. The inside bowl is filled with bonbons, etc.
(Fig. 27). The fish used are imitation, being made from pieces of
carrot cut to shape.

_A large cage containing a live canary._--The cage, which is telescopic
in action, the upper part sliding down into the lower, is nearly twice
the height of the hat, and when once taken out cannot be put back. This
is owing to the fact that the seed boxes, which in their normal
position are on the inside, revolve on spring pivots, as the cage is
withdrawn, thus making it impossible to return it to the hat until they
are replaced.

_Twenty pint tumblers, ruby and green._--These are made in celluloid
and fit one in the other. They are all of the same size, but being very
thin occupy very little more space than a single one.

_Six champagne bottles._--These are not quite so substantial as they
look, being merely half-bottles in thin metal, japanned black, and
decorated with labels taken from the genuine article. A bottle with a
horizontal division in the centre, the upper part containing wine, and
the lower part a tumbler, is generally introduced with the shells.

_A small rabbit._

_A Chinese doll._--Obtain a doll's head, five inches in diameter, from
any Oriental store, and drape it with a silk skirt. If a hole be cut in
the top of the head it can be utilized in the same manner as the cannon

_A skull which rises spontaneously from the hat._--This is a model in
papier-maché, and being hollow, is very serviceable. It is caused to
rise from the hat by means of a black thread, which is carried through
a staple in the flies immediately over the performer's table, thence
through another staple behind the wings, and down to the assistant.

It is not my intention to give directions for making these goods, as
they can be bought at a very small cost from any of the dealers in
magical apparatus. I have found by experience that this is the best
course to pursue. Amateur work is, as a rule, very commendable, but
scarcely so as regards conjuring, clumsy and ill-made apparatus being
absolutely useless, and consequently dear at any price. Apart from this
I have another, and what I believe to be a more important object in
view, viz., that of giving instruction in the actual working of the

It will be at once obvious to the reader that the chief element in the
magical production of articles from a borrowed hat, is the manner in
which they are secretly introduced, as, should this be detected, the
trick would fail ignominiously. The main secret lies in the combination
of the looks and gestures of the performer to misdirect the audience.
The articles for the most part are introduced under cover of natural
movements, quickness being of little or no avail.

I will now describe one or two methods employed to effect this

LOADING.--Under this heading I shall endeavor to give the working of a
hat trick as actually presented to an audience, using for the purpose
articles selected from the preceding list. The following preparations
must be made:--

A small rabbit is placed in the right hand profonde, and a billiard
ball and a small dinner plate are laid on the table.

[Illustration: Fig. 28.--Double Wire Loop]

A packet of one hundred spring flowers, secured by a band of tissue
paper, must be in the hands of the assistant at the right wing; and
another similar packet must be placed in the profonde on the left side.

The sash ribbon, folded as instructed, is tied round the fancy boxes
together with the string of sausages, with black tape. The parcel is
suspended behind the back of a chair by means of a pin and a double
loop of florist's wire (Fig. 28), the tape being passed through the
small loop, which is then hung on the pin. This leaves the large loop,
the use of which will be noted in due course, sticking up over the back
of the chair, where, however, it is quite invisible at a few paces.

The twenty pint tumblers are wrapped up in a piece of colored
sash-ribbon and tied round with tape to which is attached a loop of
wire. Thus prepared they are placed in the capacious breast pocket on
the left side, the loop projecting so that the thumb of the right hand
can be passed through it and the package withdrawn.

The bundle of wood, containing the coil of ribbon, baby linen, and
feeding bottle, must be in readiness on the servante at the back of a
second chair.

The skull, cannon ball, or globe of gold fish, whichever the performer
intends to use, is located on the servante at the back of the table.

The next thing to do is to obtain the loan of a hat, and having done
so, it is well to perform a preliminary experiment with the same. A
very good one is that known as

THE MAGNETIZED HAT.--The performer places his hand, perfectly empty, on
the crown of the hat, which forthwith adheres to the palm, and in this
position it can be moved about and turned over in any direction. The
finger tips are then used in place of the palm with the same result.
Finally, a silk handkerchief is thrown over the hat, and the palm of
the hand placed thereon, but the effect is still the same.

[Illustration: Fig. 29.--Apparatus for Magnetized Hat]

This seeming impossibility is accomplished with the aid of the little
piece of apparatus illustrated in Fig. 29. It consists of a brass plate
fitted with two bent pins as shown, the whole being painted black. The
pins should be situated so that by placing the two middle fingers
between them the hat can be raised. The working of the trick will now
be readily understood. The clip must be pressed into the crown of the
hat while returning with it to the stage, the pin on the left of the
figure being inserted first. The clip is removed, with the
handkerchief, in the final stage of the trick.

The ball and plate are now given for examination, and while all
attention is riveted on these two articles, ample opportunity will be
found to introduce the rabbit unobserved, which should be done while
amongst the audience. The hat is then covered with the plate, in which
condition it is carried back to the stage, and placed on the table.

The performer now takes the ball, and vanishes it by palming; appearing
to pass it through the plate into the hat. The plate is then removed,
and the ball taken from the hat with the right hand, followed
immediately by the rabbit.

The hat is now taken in the left hand, and the rabbit handed to the
assistant at the wings with the right. The assistant takes the rabbit,
and at the same time, under cover of the wing, gives the performer the
packet of flowers; the hat being immediately placed in the right hand
to conceal their presence.

While drawing attention to the outside of the hat, the tissue paper is
broken with the fingers, and the flowers are released. They are then
shaken out slowly on to a large sheet of black alpaca, which should be
spread over the stage to receive them. While this is being done, the
package is obtained from the profonde, the hat being changed over into
the left hand, and the second load thus introduced.

When the flowers have all been shaken from the hat, take it in the
right hand, fingers inside and thumb out, and approach the chair (this
should be on your right) on which is the bundle of ribbons, etc. Take
the top of the chair in the hand holding the hat, and in doing so, push
the forefinger through the loop of wire. Now move the chair away a few
paces, and when removing the hand from the back bring away the load,
which will fall into the hat unobserved. Leave the hat on the chair,
and take up the alpaca containing the flowers, putting it on one side.

Up to this point, no one will suspect that the hat contains anything,
as what you have done has been but natural in the preparation of the
stage for the next trick.

The boxes are now taken from the hat and placed on the table, followed
by the sausages. When removing the latter, some amusement may be caused
by referring to them as "an indefinable, condimental amalgamation of
membranaceous disintegrations."

The ribbon is next pulled from the hat in long lengths with the right
hand, and when the hand contains a large quantity, the thumb is slipped
through the wire loop attached to the tumblers in the breast pocket.
These are introduced when inserting the hand to take out the next
length of ribbon. The introduction of the tumblers cannot be detected,
owing to the presence of the ribbon in which they are wrapped. When the
whole of the ribbon has been extracted, it is thrown over the back of
the chair, behind which is the bundle of wood.

The tumblers are now taken from the hat, and placed on the table.

The performer then takes up the ribbon from the chair, and makes an
effort to return it to the hat, thereby drawing attention to its great
bulk, and remarking, "Now, how do you suppose I am going to get home
with this? Why, I shall require at least two cabs."

It is needless to say that under cover of the ribbon the bundle of wood
is introduced into the hat. The baby linen, feeding bottle, and coil,
are now produced, and finally the wood itself. It is usual when taking
the ribbon from the hat to spin it out on the wand.

Holding the hat by the brim, fingers inside and thumb out, the
performer lowers it for an instant to the rear edge of the table, and
by inserting the middle finger of the hand into the hole in the cannon
ball scoops it up into the hat, which is forthwith raised and placed
crown downward on the table.

This movement should be executed with the left hand while the right
lays the bundle of wood down on the table, and, if necessary, makes
room for the next production.

The fish bowl, or skull, would of course be worked in a similar manner.

                 *       *       *       *       *

From the foregoing it will be seen that with a little expenditure of
ingenuity and trouble a hat trick can be carried on to an almost
indefinite period. It should not, however, in any case exceed fifteen
minutes. I have taken the preceding list simply as an illustration of
the way in which the various movements are combined to appear natural
and thus avoid detection, also as a basis on which the student may
arrange a hat trick of his own. Any articles can, of course, be
substituted for those given, or the list may be supplemented by others,
or cut down as occasion may require. An amount of sang froid and
boldness, only acquired from years of actual practice, is necessary to
execute a good hat trick faultlessly; but this should not disconcert
the reader, as it is only in accordance with what must be expected in
the acquisition of an art.

purpose you must be provided with a black linen bag, oval in shape, and
large enough to contain the required number of eggs. To one end of this
bag is sewn an ordinary tie clip, the other end being cut off and
provided with a piece of elastic so that eggs placed therein cannot
come out unless pressure be applied with the hand. The bag is loaded
into the hat by one or other of the methods described, and attached to
the lining of the same by means of the clip. Under these circumstances
the production of the eggs from the inverted hat will be an easy
matter. The eggs used should be blown ones.

The bag should be allowed to remain in the hat after the last egg has
been taken from it, and removed later under cover of some other



THE CLIMBING RING.--The performer having obtained the loan of a lady's
ring, passes it over the end of his wand, which he then holds in a
perpendicular position. The ring now commences to climb up the wand
very slowly, stopping or descending at command; finally it jumps right
off the wand and is caught by the performer, who immediately hands it
back to the lady.

This pretty experiment depends entirely upon a black silk thread, about
twice the length of the wand, to which it is fixed at the uppermost
end. The means by which the thread is attached may vary, but a good
plan is to make a very small knot in the end of the thread, which is
then passed through a fine slit cut in the end of the wand, the knot
making all secure. The thread is then passed down the side of the wand,
in which position it will not be noticed. The ring is now dropped over
the wand, and consequently over the thread, by the manipulation of
which it may be caused to rise or fall, or, in response to a sharp tug,
to jump right off the wand. The wand is usually held in the left hand,
while the right, in which is the end of the thread, holds the lapel of
the coat, when all that is necessary to obtain the desired result is to
move the left hand to or from the body as required.

THE MYSTERIOUS NAME.--This is a capital trick, and one that can be
introduced at any time. The performer borrows a visiting card from any
stranger in the company, and, holding it between the thumb and the
second finger of the hand, he waves it about very slowly, at the same
time asking some one to call out the name of any celebrity. This having
been done the card is almost immediately handed back to the owner, who
finds the selected name written thereon.

This ingenious trick is accomplished with the aid of a small accessory
in the shape of a thimble, to the end of which is attached a small
piece of pencil about a quarter of an inch in length. This thimble
having been placed on the forefinger of the hand, it will be found, by
experiment, that the name may very easily be written on the back of a
card held as instructed.

Prior to, and immediately after the trick, the thimble may be palmed as
instructed elsewhere.

A NEW POSTAL TRICK.--This is very useful, as it can be employed in
conjunction with any trick where a word, message, total of sum, etc.,
is to be produced in a magical manner. An ordinary postcard is handed
to a spectator with a request that he will tear a small piece from one
corner, and having done so, hand both portions back to the performer.
The corner is laid on the table and the card torn up into small pieces
which are then placed in the magic pistol (see p. 61), and fired at a
borrowed hat. The card is afterward produced from the hat covered with
writing, and fully restored with the exception of the corner, which on
being fitted to the card is found to correspond in every way.

The trick is accomplished with the aid of a second card prepared with
the necessary writing, and from which a corner has been removed. This
card is secretly introduced into the hat when returning with it to the
stage. The performer, having palmed the portion missing from the card
in the hat, makes an exchange when laying the corner on the table. The
plain card is then torn into fragments, and together with its corner is
placed in the pistol, which is then fired at the hat. It is well to
place a piece of paper in the mouth of the cone to receive the torn
pieces of card, as by this means the danger of dropping any on the
floor is obviated.

An additional effect may be obtained by having previously placed in the
body of the pistol a piece of paper containing a powder for producing
colored fire, when, after having disposed of the cup containing the
torn card, you appear to overhear a remark to the effect that you have
put something in your pocket, to which you reply, "No, I certainly did
not put anything in my pocket. See, here is the paper containing the
card" (really the package of colored fire). The package of powder is
then laid on a plate and fired, after which the card is removed from
the hat.

NEW SLATE TRICKS.--Under this heading will be noticed several methods,
all of recent invention, for performing the well-known slate trick.

FIRST METHOD.--Two ordinary school slates are given into the hands of a
spectator, who, after making a careful examination, ties them together
with stout cord, in which condition they are placed in the cabinet.
Writing is immediately heard, and when it ceases the slates are at once
handed out to the performer, who on separating them finds the required

The secret lies in the fact that the medium is provided with two small
wooden wedges; also an umbrella rib, to which at one end is fitted a
minute piece of pencil. All he has to do, therefore, is to force the
wedges between the slates on one side until sufficient space is
provided for the insertion of the rib, when the writing of the message
will be found an easy matter.

SECOND METHOD.--In this case the two slates, after examination, may be
actually screwed together with iron bolts, but in spite of this
precaution writing is obtained as before.

Under these circumstances the performer is provided with a piece of
prepared chalk--not the conventional commodity as sold by every
chemist, but prepared by coating a piece of steel, about the size of a
pea, with chalk paste, which is then allowed to dry. The piece of chalk
is placed between the two slates, which are then bolted together and
put into the cabinet; when, under the influence of a powerful horseshoe
magnet passed over the outside of one slate as required, the prepared
chalk will produce the spirit writing.

THIRD METHOD (ONE SLATE ONLY).--After examination the slate is held by
the performer above his head, when almost immediately writing is heard;
and on the slate being turned round it is found to contain the desired

The slate, a small one for preference, is provided with a loose
vulcanite flap covering one side, and concealing the writing which is
already there. The performer hands the slate round for examination
(keeping the flap in position by means of the fingers), and asks a
spectator to initial it in one corner to satisfy himself that it is not
exchanged. This having been done, and while returning to the stage, the
performer removes the flap under cover of his body and places it in the
vest, or in the large pocket in the breast of the coat. He then holds
the slate above his head, fingers in front and thumbs behind. The sound
of writing is produced by scratching with one thumb on the back of the
slate, and when this has been continued long enough the message is

FOURTH METHOD (ONE SLATE ONLY).--In this instance the slate, which is
an ordinary one, is shown to be clean on both sides, in which condition
it is given to a spectator to hold. The performer then takes a pistol
and, at a few paces, fires direct at the slate, on which, immediately
after the report, the message is discovered.

To produce this startling effect all that is necessary is to write the
message on the slate with glycerine just before commencing the trick,
and to load the pistol with a small charge of powder, on the top of
which is placed a quantity of powdered chalk.

THE SPIRIT HANDKERCHIEF.--The effect of this trick, which is
exceptionally good, is as follows:--Several knots having been tied in a
large silk handkerchief borrowed from a member of the audience, it is
thrown on the floor of the stage when it immediately begins to act as
if it were a live snake, twisting and twirling about in every
conceivable form. The performer passes his wand over, under, and all
round the handkerchief, thus proving to the satisfaction of the most
astute that there are no connections.

It is hardly necessary to say, however, that in spite of such
convincing proof to the contrary, connection is actually made with the
handkerchief, and it is done in the following manner:--A fine black
silk thread is stretched across the stage from one wing to the other,
the ends being in the hands of two assistants. Having obtained the loan
of the handkerchief, the performer, standing behind the thread, takes
it diagonally by two corners and twists it up rope fashion. He then
ties three knots in it, one a little below the centre, one a little
above the centre, and the third at one end. While this is being done
the assistants raise the thread round which the last knot, forming the
head of the snake, is actually tied; but owing to the thread being
invisible this will pass unobserved.

Having made the last knot the performer drops the handkerchief on the
floor, when its emulation of a live snake will depend entirely on the
adroit manner in which the assistants manipulate the thread. Finally,
it should be made to jump into the hand of the performer, who should at
once hand it, with the knots still tied, to the owner. This is managed
by the assistant at one end dropping the thread and the other one
pulling it clear of the handkerchief.

THE MYSTERIOUS COMMUNICATION.--This trick, which is a very good one, is
performed by a method very little known. The effect is as follows:--Any
person writes on a piece of paper any word or series of words to form a
short sentence, and having done so, folds the paper and puts it in his
pocket. At this stage the performer introduces a reel of telephonic
wire, the end of which, containing a loop, is handed to the writer,
with a request that he will place the loop over the ball of the left
thumb. This having been done, the performer places the reel against his
forehead, and, after a few seconds' thought, writes the message, or an
answer thereto, on the blackboard.

To obtain this result, all that is necessary is to be provided with a
piece of paper smeared over on one side with white wax, or common
washing soap; also a slab of plate glass by way of writing board. The
paper is placed on the glass, waxed side downward, in which condition
the assistant takes it to a gentleman in the audience. When writing on
the paper a very faint impression, invisible to any one who does not
actually look for it, is obtained on the glass. In the act of taking
the glass back from his assistant the performer obtains the desired
cue. The use of the wire is optional, but, of course, it adds much to
the effect of the trick.

THE GREAT DICTIONARY TRICK (NEW METHOD).--This is an improvement on the
old trick under this name, as any dictionary may be used, whereas
formerly the trick depended entirely upon a dictionary composed of one
page repeated throughout. The effect is as follows:

The performer hands a sealed envelope to a spectator, asking him to
take care of it, and not break the seal until requested. A dictionary
is then given for examination, after which a lady inserts in it, at any
page, a playing card. A counter bearing a number, say twenty-seven, is
taken from a bag containing fifty, all numbered differently; the
dictionary is opened at the page containing the card, and due note is
taken of the twenty-seventh word indicated by the counter, and which
is, we will suppose, "Magic." The gentleman is next requested to open
the envelope, and on doing so finds to his astonishment that it
contains a card on which is written "Magic, n, sorcery; enchantment,"
in exact accordance with the word chosen, apparently by chance, from
the dictionary.

The seeming mystery is easily explained. Obtain a new twenty-five cent
pocket dictionary, and, having opened it somewhere about the middle,
bend the covers right back until they touch each other. Any new book
used thus will ever afterward, unless otherwise maltreated, open
readily at the same page. After the dictionary has been examined the
performer allows it to fall open at this page, into which he secretly
introduces a playing card previously palmed in his right hand. The book
is then closed.

The performer, still holding the book, gives a card, identical in every
respect with the other one, to a lady, with a request that she will
insert it between the leaves in any position and push it right into the
book. The performer, of course, takes care that the two cards do not
clash. In this condition the dictionary is laid on the table.

A small bag, preferably of silk, is next introduced, from which the
performer takes a handful of counters numbered from one to fifty and
gives them for examination, after which they are returned to the bag.
Any person is now allowed to place his hand in the bag and remove one
counter, but it is needless to say, however careful he may be, the
number chosen will be twenty-seven, which is accounted for by the fact
that the bag is provided with a division through its entire length,
forming two pockets, one of which contains the counters numbered one to
fifty, and the other, fifty counters all bearing the same number, _i.
e._, twenty-seven.

The dictionary is now opened by the performer at his own page, which
every one will take to be the one chosen by the lady; some one is asked
to note the twenty-seventh word on that page as indicated by the
counter, the trick being brought to a conclusion as already described.

The performer can always ensure the left-hand page of the opening being
read, by holding the book, with the card, in such a position that the
twenty-seventh word on the right-hand page cannot be seen. Care must
also be taken not to expose the duplicate card.

By way of variation the chosen word may be produced with the
sympathetic ink, or it may be revealed by the method employed in "A New
Postal Trick."

For the above trick, in the form described, I am indebted to Mr.
Maurice Victor, a most skilful exponent of sleight of hand.

LONG-DISTANCE SECOND SIGHT.--Two performers, usually a lady and a
gentleman, are required for this séance. The gentleman introduces the
lady, who is then escorted by a committee, chosen from the audience, to
a room in a different part of the house, in which she is secured under
lock and key. Several of the committee then guard the room, while the
others return to the concert-hall and give the performer the following
particulars:--Time shown by any watch (not necessarily the proper
time); initials of any person in the room; any number of four figures;
any word of four or five letters; number of cigarettes in any case, and
kind of case; amount of money in any purse, and kind of purse. After
this has been done a member of the committee takes pen, ink, and paper
to the lady, who immediately writes down the time, initials, number,
etc.; these, on examination, are found to be correct, although she has
never left the room, neither has the performer left the stage, and no
connection of any description exists between them.

This inexplicable performance is thus accomplished: The performer is
provided with a small writing pad, three and one-half inches by two
inches, consisting of a piece of cardboard, on which are held, by means
of two elastic bands, several cigarette papers. This pad, together with
a small piece of soft lead pencil, is placed in the right-hand trousers
pocket. As the various items are called out, the performer stands with
his right hand in the pocket, a perfectly natural attitude, and appears
to be thinking deeply; but he is really writing down the particulars,
one under the other, on the cigarette paper, which, with a little
practice, can be done quite legibly. He then tears off the paper and
rolls it into a small ball between the fingers.

A piece of plain paper is now obtained from any member of the audience,
in order to prove that a prepared piece is not used, and together with
a fountain pen, supplied by the performer, is taken, by one of the
committee, to the lady. While the paper is being obtained the performer
has ample time to remove the cap from the pen, and, before placing it
on the opposite end of the pen in the place provided for it, he inserts
in it the small ball of paper, which is thus secretly carried to the
lady. On receipt of the pen and paper the lady requests to be left
alone for a few seconds, as otherwise she will not be able to obtain
the aid of "the spirits," and in the absence of the committeeman she
takes a hairpin, and with it extracts the ball of paper from the pen,
reads, and writes out the required information.

It is necessary that the order in which the various items are called
out should be known alike to the performer and medium, as otherwise the
"time" might be mistaken for the "number," and other errors might
occur. A number of letters to indicate the various kinds of purses and
cigarette cases, as "L" for leather, "S" for silver, etc., should also
be agreed on between the two parties.

It will be obvious that the above trick is subject to much variation
according to the taste of the performer, and may be elaborated if
desired. A throw of dice; a person's age; or the name of a selected
card (write "8 D" for eight of diamonds, etc.) may be substituted for
any of the items given above.



In introducing to my readers a series of simple, but effective, tricks
in magic, I would state that it has been my life study to popularize
the art of sleight of hand, simply because, at the outset, I was
impressed with the idea that, while having no desire to emulate the
skilled professional magician, certain very novel and entertaining
tricks were within the reach of all persons possessed with the least
desire to amuse their friends.

Every one is not musical; every one cannot sing or recite; but every
one can, with but little practice, learn to perform the following
tricks, and thus put themselves in a position to brighten what might
otherwise prove to be a dull evening.

THE CHINESE CROSS.--The only properties required for this excellent
little trick are six stout straws of the kind used for lemonade, and
the small metal accessory shown at A in Fig. 30. The straws are
fashioned into the form of a cross as shown in the figure, which is
about half the actual size. It will be observed that pins are passed
longitudinally, through the three straws at each extremity of the
structure; this is done with a view to keeping it perfectly flat,
otherwise the binding where the two pieces intersect would not be
effectual. The piece of metal is next pushed into the centre straw at
the foot of the cross in such a manner that it will not readily fall
out, and so as to be entirely covered with the exception of the sharp
needle point. The cross is laid on the palm of the left hand; the right
hand makes a few passes over it, when it is suddenly seen to stand
erect, and to rise or fall at command.

[Illustration: Fig. 30.--Chinese Cross]

The method of working is as follows:--The cross is laid on the hand in
such a manner that its foot, carrying the metal fake, point upward,
comes in contact with the base of the middle finger; the point is now
inserted in the hard flesh at the base of the said finger, when it will
be found that to cause the cross to lie flat on the hand the fingers
must be bent at an angle of about sixty degrees to the palm. If the
hand be now straightened out very slowly the cross will rise gradually
until it assumes a perpendicular position--or ninety degrees. By a
slight movement of the fingers, practically imperceptible, and if
noticed at all raising no suspicion, the cross is caused to rise and
fall as often as desired.

In view of the possibility of the cross being "snatched" by a person
overanxious to discover the secret, care should be taken to see that
the metal fake is attached to the hand more firmly than to the centre
straw. Perhaps the better way would be to work the trick with the fake
attached to the hand from the commencement, then the cross may be given
for examination at any time.

THE FLOATING METAL DISC.--Here a metal disc about the size of a quarter
is caused to sink or swim at command in water contained, for
convenience, in a shallow glass tray.

The secret in this case depends upon duplicity; in reality there are
two discs, the one an exact duplicate of the other in appearance, but
considerably lighter in weight. Aluminium and zinc are alike in
appearance and afford the necessary disparity in weight.

The zinc disc is given for examination, and a member of the audience is
requested to float it on the water; he, of course, fails. On receiving
back the zinc disc the performer "rings" it for that in aluminium and
proceeds to surprise the company. I have arranged a special sleight of
hand change for the trick as follows:--You carry a handkerchief in the
left breast pocket and the aluminium disc palmed in the left hand. On
receiving back the zinc disc in the right hand, you forthwith seem to
place it in the left hand, really palming it and showing its prototype.
The right hand now takes the handkerchief from the pocket and proceeds
to dry what seems to be the wet zinc disc. This latter action gives an
excuse for the transfer of the disc from one hand to the other, while
the handkerchief effectually conceals the "palm."

The disc is now floated. The handkerchief and the zinc disc are now
transferred in a careless manner to the left hand, which forthwith
returns the handkerchief (handkerchief only) to the pocket.

The performer is now in a position, at the conclusion of the floating,
to repeat the exchange above, dry the disc, and once more hand it for

It is not absolutely necessary to give the metal for examination a
second time, in which case the duplicate may, after the first "change,"
be disposed of entirely under cover of returning the handkerchief to
the pocket.

When apparently wiping the disc dry be careful that it is never once
completely hidden from view, or an exchange may be suspected.

THE BALANCED COINS.--No particular dexterity is necessary to perform
the trick I am about to describe, although considerable care must be
exercised for its successful execution. The performer, having obtained
the loan of three pennies, lays them in a row on the palm of the left
hand, in which position they may be inspected by all present. He then,
with the thumb and second finger of right hand, grasps the edges of the
outermost coins and raises all into a perpendicular position.

The trick is performed with the actual borrowed coins; the secret
depends upon the introduction of a little accessory in the shape of a
thin strip of wood one-quarter of an inch wide, and in length about
one-sixteenth of an inch longer than the combined diameter of the three
coins. At the commencement this strip of wood is held concealed in the
left hand, being held between the base of the thumb and the first joint
of the middle finger. The performer receives the coins in the right
hand, then transfers them to the left hand, secretly placing them in
the required position: the coins effectually hide the strip of wood and
all may be examined. Now by grasping the coins, together with the strip
of wood, (as explained above) no difficulty will be found in securing
the desired effect. In conclusion the coins are again laid carefully in
the left hand, then tossed with apparent carelessness into the right
hand and forthwith handed to the owner.

The strip of wood is of course "palmed" in the left hand (as described
above) in the act of tossing the coins into the right hand.

MUTILATED CIGARETTE PAPER.--A pretty little trick of an impromptu
nature, in which a cigarette paper having been torn into a number of
pieces, the pieces being rolled up into a little ball, is afterwards
found completely restored.

FIRST METHOD.--The performer is smoking a cigarette; this is an
indispensable condition of the trick. By the side of the cigarette, on
the right, concealed between the lips, is a little paper ball made from
a duplicate whole paper. When presenting the trick, as when smoking in
the ordinary way, the cigarette is occasionally taken between the
forefinger and thumb of the right hand; experiment will also show that
the little paper ball may be removed and replaced, quite secretly, by
holding it between the finger and thumb of same hand. (See Fig. 31.)

Thus prepared, the performer hands packet of papers to a gentleman,
with a request that he will take one, mutilate it, and roll up the
fragments into the form of a little ball. While this is being done the
performer casually shows both hands empty, occasionally removing the
cigarette from his mouth, and finally securing duplicate ball. Now,
under the pretense of showing the gentleman the proper way to roll the
paper, he takes it between the finger and thumb of the left hand, and
having rolled it about a little, passes it over to right hand, where,
under cover of the manipulations, it is passed to the rear, the
duplicate whole paper taking its place. (See Fig. 32.) The performer
now returns the paper (the whole one) to the gentleman with the right
hand, and forthwith, with the same hand, takes cigarette from mouth,
thus concealing duplicate ball between fingers (see Fig. 31) without
exciting suspicion. Finally the torn pieces are placed in the mouth
when returning cigarette, and kept there until an opportunity arrives
for removing them in secret.

[Illustration: Fig. 31.--Cigarette Trick]

SECOND METHOD.--This is no less interesting than the method described
above. In this case the packet of cigarette papers is prepared
beforehand by rolling up one into a little ball, and fixing it on the
underside, near the edge at one end, of the second in order from the

Thus prepared, the performer removes the packet from his pocket, and
tearing off top paper, hands same to a gentleman with a request that he
will tear it into small pieces. Says the performer, "I will take one
and show you what I mean; tear it as I do." Saying this, he removes
second paper, and with it the duplicate ball. While tearing the paper
the little ball is kept concealed between the forefinger and thumb, by
no means a difficult matter, and occasionally passed from one hand to
the other that the hands may be shown empty alternately. When the
tearing is complete, the performer screws up paper with the remark,
"Now roll the pieces into a little ball like this--thank you, that will
do nicely." While giving these instructions he passes his torn paper to
the rear, where it is completely concealed by being pressed tightly
between first joint of finger and thumb; the duplicate ball being
presented at the extreme tips of same fingers. (See Fig. 32.)

[Illustration: Fig. 32.--Cigarette Trick]

Continuing, the performer remarks, "Now please take this little ball
and give me yours." This is done, care being taken not to expose
secreted ball. Performer now accuses gentleman of retaining one of his
pieces; this of course leads to an examination, whereupon the gentleman
and all present are surprised to find the paper completely restored.
Finally the performer unfolds the pieces of gentleman's paper, with
which he also mingles his own, with the remark, "You evidently don't
quite understand the trick, sir."

METHOD).--The performer gives pack of cards to be shuffled, and when
returned places them behind his back and calls out the name of a card.
He brings the card forward and throws it on the table, and continues in
this manner to name every card in the pack.

The secret is exceedingly simple. A second pack of cards, prearranged
in a given order, is substituted, as hereafter explained, for the pack
shuffled by the audience. All the performer has to do then to make the
trick a success is to acquire a thorough knowledge of the order of the
cards in the prepared pack. The order of the fifty-two cards can be
learned in five minutes by the aid of the following mnemonic:

_Five Kings wanted (one ten), six Knaves. For (four) twenty-three (two
three) ladies (queen) or eighty-nine (eight nine) slaves (seven)._

The above gives the order of the values of the cards only; the suits
must, of course, follow in regular sequence, say: Diamonds, clubs,
hearts, spades. Example: On the table, face upward, place the five of
diamonds, on this the king of clubs, on this the ace of hearts, on this
the ten of spades, on this again the six of diamonds; and so on
throughout the pack. Thus arranged, the pack may be cut to any extent
without disturbing the order of the cards.

The exchange of packs is carried out under cover of a natural movement,
as follows:--Performer receives the shuffled pack in the left hand and
forthwith places it behind his back, resting the hand on the hip. The
right hand is now placed to the rear, ostensibly for the sole purpose
of removing the handkerchief from the left tail pocket, with which the
performer is subsequently blindfolded; the right hand, however, first
relieves the left hand of the shuffled pack and carefully lowers it
into the pocket containing the handkerchief and prepared pack; these
two latter are then removed together, the cards being placed in the
left hand and the handkerchief brought to the front. Performer now
requests some member of the audience to blindfold him in order to
preclude the possibility of his obtaining assistance from mirrors or
other reflecting surfaces. As he makes the request he turns round,
thereby casually drawing attention to the cards still in the left hand,
and which all present will readily believe to be those shuffled.

The solution will now be clear, but various little additions will,
doubtless, suggest themselves in the working of the trick. For
instance, the performer may undertake to pick out any card called
for, which, with a little practice, will be seen to be easy of
accomplishment. If the card asked for is out he will state the fact.

In making this reference I would state that the above doggerel rhyme
has been arranged, quite recently, by myself. It will be seen that it
gives a totally different order of the cards, a much-needed variation,
from the now hackneyed rhyme which for ages has appeared in all works
on card conjuring.

[Illustration: Fig. 33.--Balancing Knives]

BALANCING FEATS.--Take three dessert knives and arrange them in
triangular fashion upon three tumblers. Upon the triangular space
formed by the intersection of the knife blades, deposit a water bottle,
and upon the mouth of the bottle an apple, (Fig. 33). It seems quite an
impossible feat, but it is readily accomplished.

[Illustration: Fig. 34.--Balancing Forks]

Another curious experiment in equilibrium is the following: Take a
couple of forks and arrange them with their prongs one set over the
other, and stick a silver dollar between the middle prongs, thus
uniting the two forks. This accomplished, place the coin flat on the
rim of a tumbler, pushing it outward until the two circumferences touch
externally. The coin with appendent forks will remain balanced much to
the surprise of the company, (Fig. 34). You may follow this up by
pouring the water steadily from the glass into a second glass, without
disturbing the money or the forks, which remain in equilibrio. The
above clever feats may properly be performed at the dinner-table after
dessert has been brought on.

WALNUT SHELLS AND PEA.--This is an excellent table trick, and can be
performed at close quarters without much fear of detection. The only
articles required for the execution of the trick are three half walnut
shells and a pea. The three shells are laid in a row on the table, the
pea being placed under the centre one, from which position it
disappears and is ultimately found under either of the end ones at the
will of the performer. The table used must be covered with a cloth of
some kind.

The secret lies in the pea, which is fashioned from a piece of
india-rubber, but unless closely inspected cannot be distinguished from
the ordinary everyday article. When presenting the trick the pea is
actually placed under the middle shell. The shells are then, each in
turn, commencing from the one on the left, pushed up the table about
three inches. When moving the middle one the pea, owing to its nature
and the concavity of the shell, will be found to work its way out, when
it is instantly seized with the thumb and middle finger. This, however,
cannot be suspected, as the hand retains a perfectly natural position.
The third shell is then moved into a line with the other two.

The pea can now be caused to appear under either of the shells at
pleasure, all that is necessary being to leave it on the table
immediately behind the shell in the act of raising the same.

In effect this trick is identical with that known as "Thimble Rigging,"
which it is therefore needless to describe, but the secret is much
prettier and calculated to deceive more thoroughly.

THE RESTORED CUT.--This is a very interesting little trick, and is
especially suitable for an after-dinner surprise. The performer takes a
needle containing about a yard of thread, and passes it through an
apple. The cord is then pulled backward and forward, after which the
apple is cut in half with a table knife; both portions are shown, the
cord having to all intents and purposes been severed. The two portions
are then united and the cord is pulled backward and forward as before.

The performer prepares for the trick by passing the needle in at the
side of the apple and bringing it out at the end opposite the stalk, in
which condition it is laid on the table.

When about to present the trick the performer takes up both articles,
which if held properly will appear to be separate, and announces that
he is about to pass the thread through the apple. He apparently does
so, but really inserts the needle at the point where it came out,
passing it to the opposite side. The thread is now pulled backward and
forward, when it will appear to actually traverse the centre of the

The apple is then cut in half, at right angles to the cord, which under
the circumstances will remain uninjured. The parts are now handed round
for inspection, care being taken to keep them together at the bottom,
after which they are replaced and the cord shown to be intact. At the
conclusion of the trick the thread should be withdrawn from the fruit
and given for examination; this also prevents the discovery of the
secret by any inquisitive spectator.

THE GARTER TRICK.--This is a very old trick, and from its title will be
recognized at once as common to the sharps who frequent race-courses.
It is not, however, generally known, and as it forms a good table trick
a description of it may not be out of place. It is usually performed
with a piece of stiff half-inch tape; an ordinary inch tape measure
will answer the purpose admirably. The tape is folded in half and
coiled round and round on the table until it is almost impossible to
tell for certain which is the loop proper, _i.e._, the point at which
the tape was doubled. (See Fig. 35.) The bystander is then requested to
place the point of his penknife in the loop, but however careful he may
be in his selection he will fail, as the performer is able to pull the
tape clear of the knife in all cases. The secret lies in the fact that
the tape is not folded exactly in half, one end being left shorter than
the other by about three inches. When uncoiling the tape, if the knife
be actually placed in the loop, and both ends are pulled from the point
A, it will not come away; but if the short end be passed round to the
left and both ends pulled from the point B, it will be found to come
clear of the knife. All the performer has to do, therefore, is to watch
and see if the knife is really placed in the loop or otherwise, and to
act accordingly. The short end is carried round under cover of the
fingers while twisting the tape.

[Illustration: Fig. 35.--Garter Trick]

Fig. 35 is arranged for clearness, but in actual practice the tape
would receive many more twists, which would also be of a more intricate



FLASH PAPER.--Having had occasion several times during the course of
the present work to make use of "flash paper," I will now describe the
manner in which it is prepared. It is not, however, practical to
manufacture it at home, as it can be obtained in large quantities at a
very small cost.

A mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids, one part of the former to two
of the latter, is made, and allowed to stand for twelve hours before
using. The experiment should be made in the open air. Ordinary tissue
paper is then immersed in the fluid for a few seconds, after which it
is taken out and washed well in clear water, until all trace of the
acid has been removed. This can be ascertained by the use of blue
litmus paper, which when dipped into the water will betray the presence
of the acid by turning red. The paper should then be dried in a warm
atmosphere, but not near a fire, and it is ready for use.

Flash handkerchiefs are prepared in a similar manner. For this purpose
take a piece of fine cambric, wash it well in hot water to remove all
grease and other impurities, and then treat it in the same way as the

A NEW FIRE FLASH.--This forms a very good opening trick. The performer
steps on the stage and, in what appears to be a careless manner, picks
up a piece of paper from the floor, rolls it up in his hands, and
throws it in the air, where it disappears in a flame, leaving no trace

To produce this effect you must obtain some very fine glass tubing
about the thickness of a darning needle, and having broken off several
pieces about an inch long, fill them with sulphuric acid. This can be
done with the aid of a long piece of india-rubber tubing, the acid
being drawn into the glass by suction. The ends of the tube are then
sealed hermetically in the flame of a spirit lamp. You must next
prepare a powder composed of equal parts of chlorate of potass and
powdered lump sugar. Wrap a very small quantity of this powder--about
as much as will lie on a penny--together with one of the acid tubes in
a piece of flash paper, and all is ready.

When rolling up the paper in the hands the tube is broken; the acid
escapes and fires the powder, which in turn sets fire to the paper and
produces the desired result.

CAUTION.--To prevent accidents never prepare the papers or even mix the
powder, until actually required for use.

CONJURER'S AMMUNITION.--The magic pistol described on p. 61 is usually
loaded with a small charge of powder. This is excellent for stage
purposes, but hardly suitable for the drawing-room, where some
objection might be taken to the employment of powder, even in a small
quantity. The pistol, however, need not be discarded, as it can still
be used in a manner that will in no way detract from the charm of the
trick. Load the pistol with a piece of flash paper, place a percussion
cap on the nipple, and pull the trigger. The paper will take fire and
be thrown from the pistol, vanishing in a sheet of flame at the
opposite end of the room.

Again, the pistol need not be loaded at all, but just as you are about
to fire you appear to understand that the ladies object, and
remark--"Oh! I see the ladies object to the report--well in that case I
will use the pistol as an air-gun." Saying this, you remove the conical
tube and blow through it to cause the supposed transmission.

SMOKE FROM TWO EMPTY PIPES.--Two empty and clean clay pipes are passed
round for examination and proved ostensibly to be unprepared. The bowls
are then placed one over the other, when the performer, by simply
inserting one of the stems in his mouth, commences to blow clouds of
smoke from the pipes.

The solution of the mystery is as follows:--A few drops of hydrochloric
acid (spirits of salts) are placed in one of the pipes, while the other
is similarly treated with ammonia. The union of the two chemicals
produces a thick vapor, which has all the appearance of smoke produced
from tobacco.

A good combination trick may be formed by preparing a glass tumbler and
the bottom of a tea plate, as above described; the plate is then placed
over the tumbler, the whole being covered with a handkerchief. The
smoke so mysteriously produced from the pipes may now be caused,
apparently by some occult means, to find its way into the closed

FIRE-EATING TRICK.--This, although a very startling trick, is quite
harmless, and can be performed by any one. Small balls of fire are
placed in the mouth and, apparently, swallowed, being immediately
afterward produced from the ears, or any part of the body that fancy
may suggest.

The balls are small pieces of camphor cut to shape, and are lighted in
the flame of a candle. They should be tossed from one hand to the
other, and finally into the mouth, which should forthwith be closed.
This, of course, extinguishes the balls, which should be secretly
removed at the earliest opportunity.

The reproduction of the balls of fire is managed with the aid of the
acid tubes mentioned on p. 160, which, together with a small quantity
of the powder, should be wrapped up in flash paper, and deposited about
the person as required. The best effect, however, is obtained by
producing them from behind the ears; it is also a very convenient
method, as the tubes are not so likely to be prematurely fractured.

EXPLODING SOAP-BUBBLES.--This is a novelty, and will be found to
produce a very good effect. The bubbles are blown in the usual way with
an ordinary clay pipe, the only preparation necessary being that the
bowl of the pipe must be filled with cotton-wool soaked in gasolene.
Bubbles blown with a pipe thus prepared will be found to explode in a
flame when approached with a light.

THE TUBE AND BALL.--This is a very ingenious trick, and well worth the
attention of the most fastidious performer. It can be used in several

The apparatus consists of a piece of one and one-half inch brass tubing
about seven inches long, with a cap of the same metal fitting loosely
over one end; also two billiard balls about the size of the diameter of
the tube. The audience, however, are not supposed to know of the
existence of more than one ball. (See Fig. 35.) The tube and cap,
together with the ball, are given for examination, attention being
drawn to the fact that the ball will readily pass through the tube.
After examination the tube is stood on one end on the table and covered
with the cap. The operator then takes the ball and vanishes it by means
of sleight of hand, when, on the tube being raised, it has to all
appearance been passed underneath.

[Illustration: Fig. 36.-Tube and Ball]

The secret lies in the fact that there is a very small dent in the side
of the tube at the centre; also that one of the balls--that given for
examination--is slightly smaller than the other. The small ball runs
freely through the tube, but the large one will not pass the centre on
account of the indentation.

On receiving back the tube the performer secretly drops the large ball
into it, which, owing to the force of the fall, is pinched in the
centre and will not fall out. In this condition the tube can be turned
about in all directions and will still appear empty. When placing it on
the table the performer is careful to bring it down rather smartly on
the end at which the ball was introduced, when, owing to the
concussion, the ball is released and falls on the table.

The tube can be used to cause the disappearance of a ball in the
following manner:--Place the ball on a tea plate and cover it with the
tube, which in turn cover with a second plate. By reversing the
position of the structure the ball falls into the tube, where it is
retained in the manner described, and after a little more twisting and
turning, to add to the general confusion, the plates are removed and
the ball is proved to have disappeared.

The ball can of course be reproduced if desired; or if two tubes are
used it may be, apparently, passed from one to the other. In this case,
however, it is suggested that round discs of wood be used in place of
the plates, as the latter would be likely to get fractured in the act
of bringing the tube down with sufficient force to dislodge the ball.

THE UBIQUITOUS THIMBLE.--This is one of the prettiest sleight of hand
tricks in existence, and requires very little practice. For the purpose
of the trick, in its entirety, the performer must be provided with two
thimbles exactly alike; but very many surprising passes can be made
with one thimble only. The idea of the trick proper is to cause a
thimble placed on the forefinger of the right hand to disappear and be
found on the corresponding finger of the left hand, without the hands
approaching each other. It is usual, however, in the first place, to
execute a number of passes with one thimble only, as by this means the
audience will be the less likely to suspect the introduction of the
second one. The main thing necessary is to acquire the knack of holding
a thimble in the fleshy portion of the hand at the root of the thumb,
in which position it can be placed, or removed at pleasure, by simply
bending the forefinger. (See Figs. 37 and 38.) This sleight must be
executed with equal facility with both hands.

[Illustration: Fig. 37.--Thimble Trick]

When about to present the trick the performer comes forward with a
thimble on the forefinger of the right hand, the second one being in
the left-hand trousers pocket. He now appears to place the thimble in
the left hand, but really, when the right hand is in motion toward the
left, it is palmed as described. The left hand is then brought down
with some force on the head and the thimble produced from the mouth on
the forefinger of the right hand. This can be done with perfect ease,
as, so long as the hand is kept in motion during the recovery of the
thimble, there is no fear of the movement being detected.

[Illustration: Fig. 38.--Thimble at Root of Thumb]

The thimble is then apparently placed in the mouth, really being palmed
as before, and afterward produced from the bottom of the vest. While
doing this the performer stands with the left hand in the trousers
pocket and palms the second thimble. Both hands are now held palms away
from the spectators, and kept in continual motion. Under cover of this
the right-hand thimble is palmed, and that in the left hand produced,
when it will appear to have been passed from one hand to the other.
This can be repeated as often as desired.

Finally the second thimble should be secretly disposed of, and the
trick brought to a conclusion with a pass performed with the one only.

An additional effect may be obtained by the use of two thimbles, one
fitting over the other. These should be made in thin metal so as to be,
in point of size, as near alike as possible. The two thimbles, which
appear as one only, are placed on the forefinger of the right hand, and
covered with a small paper cone, with the remark, "You see the cone
just fits the thimble; I will now show you a rather extraordinary
experiment with the same." The cone is then removed, with slight
pressure at the base, and placed on the table on the supposition that
it is empty, but it really contains the uppermost thimble. The one left
on the finger is then vanished, under cover of a throwing movement
toward the cone, which is then removed by the apex and the thimble

While all attention is drawn to the table the duplicate thimble is
dropped into the profonde.

THE MYSTERIOUS TAMBOURINE.--It is generally understood that, should the
silk hat go out of fashion, conjurers would be at a loss for a suitable
article wherewith to work the numerous "production" tricks. Should such
a calamity ever befall the profession the mysterious tambourine will,
to some extent, come to the rescue.

The apparatus consists of two nickel-plated brass rings, eight inches
in diameter and one inch deep; the one fitting easily over the other.
(See Fig. 39.) The tambourine is constructed by placing a sheet of
paper between the two rings, and pressing the upper one down over the
lower, the edges of the paper being afterward trimmed round with
scissors. Thus prepared it is shown back and front.

[Illustration: Fig. 39.--Tambourine Trick]

The prestidigitateur then makes a small hole in the centre of the paper
with his wand, and immediately commences to twist out yard after yard
of colored paper ribbon, sufficient being obtained to fill a large
clothes basket. If the performer desires to add to the effect of the
trick the production of the ribbon may be preceded by that of a number
of handkerchiefs, also a quantity of spring flowers and other articles
of a like nature. Finally a rabbit or a large bird cage containing a
live bird may be produced from the pile of ribbon.

The explanation is very simple. The tambourine is put together at the
rear edge of the table, and when taking it up prior to trimming the
edges, the coil, which was on the servante or suspended at the back of
the table, is brought away under cover of the paper and pressed into
the ring. The back of the colored coil should be rubbed over with chalk
to match the white paper used in the construction of the tambourine,
which can then be shown back and front, but will still appear empty.

The flowers should be done up in three packets of twenty each and laid
on the coil, being covered with the handkerchiefs, which should be
folded up neatly. The packet is then tied together with thin cotton,
which can easily be broken when required.

The rabbit is in readiness in the profonde on the right side, and is
introduced into the ribbon when picking it up from the floor.

The cage, which should be a folding one, is suspended behind the back
of a chair, over which the ribbon would be thrown while performing a
simple trick with one of the handkerchiefs. In the act of taking the
ribbon from the chair opportunity would be found for introducing the
cage unobserved.

THE BRAN AND DOVE PLATES.--The trick about to be described, in its
primary form, consists of changing a quantity of bran or flour into a
live dove. It can, however, like the tambourine, be made available for
the production of various articles, and is especially suitable for the
magical distribution of bonbons, sweets, etc.

The performer comes forward with an ordinary soup plate filled to
overflowing with bran, a portion of which is scattered over the stage
to prove its genuineness. The bran is then covered with a second plate,
which on being removed reveals a live dove, the bran having entirely

The explanation is as follows:--One of the plates is fitted with a tin
lining, enamelled white on the inside to represent the china. (See Fig.
40.) The supposed bran is really this tin lining turned upside down
with bran gummed all over it; a handful of loose bran being thrown on
the top. It is hardly necessary to say that the dove is already in the
plate concealed by the bran shape.

The false heap of bran is now covered with the second plate, and while
talking the performer, in a careless way, turns the plates over several
times, finally placing them on the table in such a manner that the one
that was formerly uppermost shall now be at the bottom. All he has to
do now is to remove the uppermost plate and take out the dove. The
inside of the bottom plate should now be shown, when it will appear
perfectly empty.

[Illustration: Fig. 40.--Trick Plate]

In place of the dove the plate may be loaded with sweets and small
toys, for distribution; or with a list of articles similar to those
produced from the tambourine. If a coil of ribbon be used it should be
a colored one, with one side rubbed over with chalk so that the inside
of the plate may be shown prior to its production.

By using two pairs of these plates, and being provided with two doves
exactly alike, the bran in one may be made to, apparently, change
places with the dove in the other.

THE WANDERING STOUT.--The feat bearing this title consists of causing a
glass of stout to pass through the crown of a borrowed hat. Having
obtained the loan of two hats, the performer places them on the table
mouth to mouth, and stands the glass of stout on the crown of the
uppermost one, covering it with a paper cylinder of the same height as
itself. On removing the cylinder it is shown to be perfectly empty, the
glass being immediately taken from the lower hat.

For the performance of the trick the operator must be provided with a
glass three and one-fourth inches high by two and one-half inches in
diameter at the mouth, tapering very slightly toward the bottom. The
kind known as picnic glasses will be found the most suitable. In
addition to the glass and the paper cylinder a piece of glass tubing of
the same height as the tumbler, and large enough to pass easily over
the same, will also be required. This piece of tubing must be blackened
on the inside to within one inch of the top, and finished with a little
white paint to represent froth, when, thus prepared, it will readily
pass for a glass containing stout.

The paper cylinder, containing the sham glass, being on the table, the
performer comes forward with a bottle of stout and fills the tumbler.
He then takes up the cylinder and passes his wand right through it, as
if to prove that it has not undergone any preparation, after which he
places it over the glass of stout. He then puts the glass, still
covered with the cylinder, into one of the hats, with the remark "I
will now cause the tumbler to pass from one hat to the other," then, as
if struck with a sudden thought, changes his mind, saying, "No, perhaps
it would be more effective if I place the hats one over the other, and
pass the glass through the crown of the uppermost one." Saying this he,
apparently, takes the tumbler, still under cover of the cylinder, from
the hat, and places it in the required position. Really, however, the
stout was left behind, the cylinder and counterfeit glass alone being

Now, in order to satisfy the spectators that the stout is actually on
the crown of the hat, the performer lifts the cylinder and exposes the
sham glass, which every one believes to be the genuine article. The
cover is then replaced and the tumbler commanded to pass into the lower
hat, after which it is again raised, together with the counterfeit, and
the wand passed through it as before. The hats are then separated and
the glass is produced from the lower one.

A CRYSTAL WATER MYSTERY.--Chemical tricks, as a rule, do not meet with
much favor at the hands of professional conjurers. The reason is pretty
clear, as, in the majority of cases, the modus operandi is too
palpable. The one here described, however, owing to the number of
changes produced, is an exceptionally good one, and is to be found in
the repertoire of the leading performers of the day.

[Illustration: Fig. 41.--Water Trick]

Four empty glass tumblers, together with a glass jug full of water, are
arranged on a tray as shown in Fig. 41.

Water poured from the jug into--

    No. 1, is seen to be clear.

    No. 2, changes to stout.

    No. 3, is seen to be clear.

    No. 4, again changes to stout.

    Nos. 1 and 2 mixed equal stout.

    Nos. 3 and 4 mixed equal water.

    Nos. 1 and 2 put back into the jug give all stout.

    Nos. 3 and 4 put back into the jug give all water, as at first.

The explanation, although by no means obvious, is very simple. Glass
No. 1 is perfectly clean. No. 2 contains a small portion of pyrogallic
acid, about the size of a pea. No. 3 is prepared with half a
teaspoonful of sulphuric acid. No. 4 contains the same quantity of
pyrogallic acid as No. 2. The jug contains clear water, into which a
teaspoonful of sulphate of iron is dropped just before the trick is
commenced. The iron should not be placed in the water until actually
required for use, as the solution changes rapidly to a yellow color, in
which condition it would not very well pass for water. For the same
reason the jug should be removed immediately after the trick.

Some performers prefer to use the following chemicals in place of those
enumerated above. I will give them in the same order, and then the
magician may choose for himself. Glass No. 1, as before, is quite
clean; No. 2 contains a few drops of muriated tincture of iron; No. 3,
a teaspoonful of a saturated solution of oxalic acid; and No. 4 is
prepared in the same manner as No. 2. A teaspoonful of tannic acid
should be added to the water in the jug prior to the commencement of
the experiment.

I myself always use the sulphuric acid, as I believe it produces the
best result, but in the case of a spill it is very dangerous, and on
this account the latter method is to be preferred. The changes, in
either case, are quite instantaneous, hence the trick produces a most
extraordinary effect.

THE WIZARD'S BREAKFAST.--The magical production of steaming hot coffee
has always been a favorite trick with the juveniles, especially when
the beverage is handed round for their consumption, and various pieces
of apparatus have been designed for effecting this purpose. The most
up-to-date method, however, is the one hereafter described:

Two boxes, without lids, sizes about twelve inches by eight inches by
eight inches, usually fitting one within the other for convenience in
traveling, and containing respectively cuttings of blue and white
paper, are introduced to the audience. Two pint goblets, in metal, are
then filled, one with blue and the other with white paper from the
boxes, after which they are covered with small silk handkerchiefs. On
removing the handkerchiefs the blue and the white papers are found to
have been transformed respectively into hot coffee and hot milk. The
performer then pours a portion of each fluid into a breakfast cup, and
makes a motion as if throwing the whole over the audience, when nothing
falls but a shower of blue and white paper cuttings, every vestige of
the coffee and milk having disappeared.

[Illustration: Fig. 42.--Trick Tumbler]

There are in reality four goblets employed in the trick, two of which,
containing the fluids, are concealed in the boxes unknown to the
spectators. These two are provided with shallow trays fitting loosely
within them at the top, each tray being filled with paper of the
required color. (See Fig. 42.)

When presenting the trick the performer comes forward with the box
containing the white paper, and throwing a handful in the air, calls
out, "Out in the cold," which remark is perfectly justifiable, as the
paper gives a faithful representation of falling snow. Placing this box
on the table, and taking up that containing the blue paper, he scatters
a handful over the stage with the remark, "This is the same as the
white, only the wind blue it." He now takes one of the goblets from the
table and appears to fill it with white paper, but really, while in the
box, an exchange is made for the one containing the milk, which, owing
to the presence of the shallow tray, will appear to be full of paper.
This is then covered with a handkerchief, after which the second goblet
is treated in like manner.

The shallow trays have each a piece of wire projecting from their upper
edge to enable the performer to remove them under cover of the
handkerchiefs. The handkerchiefs are thrown in a careless manner over
the sides of the boxes, into which, if sufficient paper has been
provided, the trays may be allowed to fall.

[Illustration: Fig. 43.--Cup and Saucer]

The cup and saucer will next require our attention. These are of metal
in imitation of the genuine article, the saucer being made double, with
a small hole in the centre of its upper side, for a purpose that will
presently appear. The cup is provided with a perpendicular division
nearly in the centre, a small hole being drilled in the bottom of that
side next to the handle. (See Fig. 43.)

The front and larger side is filled with a mixture of blue and white
paper cuttings, and thus prepared, together with the saucer, it is
placed on the table. When pouring the coffee and milk into the cup the
performer takes care that it goes into the space provided with the
small hole, through which it immediately runs into the body of the

It is usual to bring the trick to a conclusion by apparently throwing
the fluid over the audience as already described, but should the
performer be provided with a number of small cups and a tray, that
portion of the beverage not used may be handed round as refreshments.

THE HYDROSTATIC TUBE.--This is a trick of comparatively recent
invention. It requires very careful handling, and the performer must be
possessed of almost superhuman nerve to present it successfully to a
critical audience. It produces, however, a most extraordinary effect,
and on this account is to be recommended.

A piece of paper is placed at the bottom of a glass tube or chimney
used for gas, which is then filled with water, while the top of the
tube is covered with a second piece of paper. The right hand is then
placed on the top paper and the position of the tube reversed. The
papers are then, each in turn, removed, but the water does not fall
from the cylinder; on the contrary, it remains suspended without
visible means of support. The papers are now replaced, and the top one
is pierced with a hatpin, when, on the pin being withdrawn, the water
at once falls into a basin placed ready to receive it under the tube.

This surprising result is due entirely to a well-known natural law,
viz., the pressure of the atmosphere, and is nothing more nor less than
a modification of the old schoolboy trick of keeping a glass of water
inverted by means of a sheet of paper. The new arrangement will,
however, require special explanation.

Each end of the cylinder is fitted with a glass cap, grooved to fit
into and over it at the same time; this is necessary to avoid slipping.
The ends of the tube, also the edges of the caps, must be ground, so
that the point of juncture shall be air-tight. One of the caps has a
small hole drilled through the centre. (See Fig. 44.)

When about to present the trick the two glass caps are laid on the
bottoms of two upturned tumblers, where they are quite invisible. The
performer then draws attention to two square pieces of paper, which he
dips into the water contained in the bowl, afterward laying them down
on the glass tumblers, and over the glass discs. He next shows the
tube, passing his wand through it to prove that it has not undergone
any preparation. Then taking one of the papers, and at the same time
secretly securing one of the discs (not the one with the hole in it),
he places it at the bottom of the tube, which is forthwith stood on the
palm of the left hand. The tube is then filled with water and covered
with the remaining piece of paper and glass cap.

[Illustration: Fig. 44.--Hydrostatic Tube]

The position of the tube is then reversed, after which it is taken by
the centre and both papers are removed. The water will not run out from
the small hole in the bottom cap owing to the fact that no air can get
in at the top. The glass caps being absolutely invisible, the water
will now appear to be suspended in the tube without any natural means
of support.

The papers are again placed on the ends of the tube, where, being wet,
they readily adhere. The hands are now placed one on each end and the
tube is reversed; this is necessary to bring the cap with the hole in
it to the top. The top paper is then pierced with the hatpin, which,
passing through the hole in the cap, gives the impression that there
cannot be anything but the paper covering the ends of the tube. When
the pin is withdrawn the air rushes into the tube, and, as a natural
consequence, the paper and disc fall from the bottom, liberating the
water. The bowl should be half full of water when the cap falls, to
avoid fracture of the glass. The cap is then brought away from the top
of the tube under cover of the piece of paper, and both are dropped
into the bowl, when the tube can be once more given for examination.

THE HYDROSTATIC TUMBLER.--This trick, which is similar in principle to
that immediately preceding it, is preferred by some as being less
cumbersome; it is also easier to work and consequently entails less
anxiety on the part of the performer. The effect, however, although
pretty, is not quite so startling.

The necessary apparatus consists of a glass tumbler with a small hole
drilled in the side one inch from the bottom, the mouth of which must
be fitted with a glass cap in the same manner as the tube in the
preceding trick. (See Fig. 45.)

[Illustration: Fig. 45.--Hydrostatic Tumbler]

The performer having drawn attention to the tumbler, also a small piece
of paper, dips the latter into a bowl of water, and lays it down over
the glass cap. The tumbler, held with the thumb covering the small
hole, is then filled with water from the bowl, and covered with the
piece of paper under which, unknown to the audience, is the glass disc.
The glass is then inverted and the paper withdrawn, the water remaining
suspended without visible means of support. The tumbler can now be
turned about in any direction, without the least fear of the water
escaping, so long as the thumb is kept over the small hole in its side.
It can also be stood on the table, the hand being removed entirely; the
water cannot escape through the small hole owing to the presence of the

The tumbler is once more raised and inverted, when the performer
undertakes to cause the water to fall at any given number counted by
the audience. This last effect, which adds considerably to the trick,
is brought about by very simple means; all the performer has to do is
to remove the thumb covering the small hole, when the air rushes in and
causes the disc to fall. The bowl, as before, should be half full of
water, to provide a cushion for the falling disc, which under these
circumstances will not be injured, nor its presence detected.

PAPER CONE, WATCH, RABBIT, AND BOXES.--The effect of this excellent
stage trick is as follows: A watch is borrowed and dropped into a
conical paper bag held by one of the spectators. The performer then
loads the magic pistol with a small silk handkerchief; this he fires in
the direction of the bag, after which the bag is opened and found to
contain the handkerchief, the watch having disappeared. Attention is
next drawn to a box, which has been hanging over the head of the
performer from the commencement of the entertainment, and which on
being opened is found to consist of a nest of six boxes, the smallest
of which contains a rabbit with the borrowed watch tied round its neck.

The main secret of the trick lies in the paper bag, which is really
double, consisting of two pieces of paper gummed together round the
edges, the corner of one piece being removed, as in Fig. 46.

[Illustration: Fig. 46--Paper Cone]

At the commencement of the trick a small silk handkerchief is hidden
between the two pieces of paper. When making the bag it must be so
arranged that the corner at which is the opening is at the top. Under
cover of the point of the bag the handkerchief is removed from its
place of concealment and dropped into the bag proper, the double side
being immediately pulled over to the opposite side of the bag to again
conceal the handkerchief. If the bag is well made, and this side well
creased over, a casual glance into its interior will reveal nothing
suspicious. In this condition the bag is given to a spectator to hold,
and he is then requested to drop the watch into it, which he does, as
he thinks, into the bag proper, but really the watch falls into the
position previously occupied by the handkerchief. The top of the bag is
then folded over.

The performer now loads a duplicate handkerchief into the pistol, and,
having disposed of it in the usual way, fires in the direction of the
bag. He then unfolds the bag and shakes out the handkerchief, being
careful to hold the watch so that it does not fall at the same time. He
then crumples up the paper in his hands, and in the act of doing so
tears out the watch, which is forthwith palmed, the paper being thrown

The box, which should be suspended with two cords over pulleys, is then
lowered; and when taking it in his hands to place it on the table the
performer is able to secretly attach the watch to a swivel hook which
is hanging on the side most remote from the audience. This swivel hook
is attached to the ribbon round the rabbit's neck, the arrangement
being as follows:--The ribbon is tied round the rabbit, which is then
placed in the smallest box, the ribbon being allowed to hang outside
the box when the lid is closed. The box is then placed in the next
larger one, the ribbon still being allowed to hang outside. This is
continued until the ribbon is left hanging on the outside of the last

The solution will now be clear. As the boxes are removed one after the
other the watch is suspended behind that last exposed; and when the
rabbit is taken out it will be impossible to tell that the watch was
not actually removed from the same box.

THE MAGICAL PRODUCTION OF FLOWERS.--Whenever possible, it is always
best to lead up to an elaborate trick with a succession of smaller
illusions of the same nature. This is well illustrated in the
"Marvelous production of Flowers," which in good hands is a most
pleasing and mysterious experiment. Flower tricks always take well,
especially with the feminine part of the audience, and ambitious
amateurs should strive to have at least one good illusion of this
character on their programmes. The magician comes forward, with the
announcement, "Ladies and gentlemen, I notice that in my hurry I have
neglected to provide myself with the customary buttonhole bouquet, but,
fortunately, I have here a quantity of magic seed capable of producing
a rose garden if required." Show a small box, which is supposed to
contain the seed, while in reality it is empty. "You see I have only to
place a single seed here in my buttonhole and after breathing on it a
moment, to supply the necessary heat, I touch it with my wand and
instantly we have a beautiful rose. Now, if some gentleman will kindly
loan me a silk hat for a moment, I will show you a method by which
bouquets may be produced while you wait. I only have to place the hat
over this glass goblet, which, you see, is quite free from deception,
and here we have a handsome bouquet." Remove the hat and find the
goblet still empty. "How is this? Ah, I remember now, I neglected to
put any of the magic seed in the goblet. I will just put in a pinch of
various kinds and try again." Place hat over the glass again and
instantly raise it, and discover a large bouquet. "You perceive the
seed acts instantaneously."

While saying this brush the hat carefully and walk down as if to return
it, still holding the box of seed. Once among your audience you
exclaim, "What is that? You don't believe me? Why, see here; by just
putting a pinch of the seed into this hat and breathing on it, thus, I
will produce bouquets for all present." Show hat nearly full of small
bouquets and distribute them. Then return hat saying: "I thank you,
sir, for the use of your hat, which seems particularly fitted for
raising flowers."

Now for the explanation:--To prepare for producing a flower in the
buttonhole, take a piece of black elastic cord about a foot in length
and put one end of it through the centre of an artificial rose, from
which the stem has been removed, knotting the end to keep it from
slipping through. Pass the other end through the buttonhole, also
through a small hole made in the coat just behind the buttonhole, and
then down and fasten to the suspender button on the back of your
trousers. Draw the flower away from the buttonhole and conceal it under
the left armpit, and as you touch the spot with the wand raise the left
arm slightly, freeing the flower, which will instantly fly to the

[Illustration: Fig. 47.-Production of Flowers]

After borrowing the hat place it over the glass, as above, and after
removing let the brim rest on the table a second while looking at the
glass. During this brief time slip your finger into the little
cardboard tube which serves as a handle to the bouquet, which lies on
the shelf at the back of your table and just beneath the hat. By
closing the fingers the bouquet is brought into the hat. (See fig. 47).
This takes only a fraction of a second, and as all are looking for the
bouquet in the glass the movement is entirely invisible. As soon as the
hat is "loaded" raise it quite a distance above the table and hold it
there while you pretend to put the seed in the glass. As soon as the
bouquet is shown in the glass, let the hat rest on the table as before,
and introduce the small bouquets, which are tied together with a weak
thread and are provided with a tube like the large bouquet. When you
appear to put the seed in the hat, break the thread and shake up the
bouquets loosely, and they will nearly fill the hat. Of course you must
keep your eyes fixed on the goblet while loading the hat, and never
allow yourself to glance toward the left hand which holds the hat, as
that would give your audience a hint that something was going on in
that quarter.

[Illustration: Fig. 48.--Production of Rose-Bushes]

We now come to the production of rose-bushes from flower-pots which
contain nothing but a small quantity of white sand. It is Kellar's most
famous illusion. Two small tables, draped within a foot or more above
the floor, are seen on the conjurer's stage. On each table is a
miniature stand on which are flower-pots, (Fig. 48). After the pots
have been examined by the spectators, the performer places them on the
stands, and plants seeds in them. A pasteboard cone, open at both ends,
is exhibited, and placed for a second over flower-pot No. 1. When it is
removed a green sprig is seen, which the magician declares has just
sprouted. He then places the cone over flower-pot No. 2. Removing it a
full grown rose-bush appears, covered with buds and roses in full
bloom. A second rose-bush is then produced from flower-pot No. 1. The
roses are culled and presented to the ladies in the audience. The
following is an explanation of the trick:

[Illustration: Fig. 49.-Table for Flower Trick]

The tables are open at the back, the drapery not extending completely
around them. Attached to the leg of each table is a small shelf, which
is of course concealed by the drapery, (Fig. 49). The bushes are
stumps, to the branches of which are tied the roses. Each bush has as a
base a circular piece of lead, which fits into the flower-pot. The
bushes are suspended inside of the cones, (Fig. 49 A) which are placed
on the secret shelves above described. The performer covers the first
pot with the cone in his hand, and drops from his palm the green sprig
which sticks into the sand. As attention is being called to the sprout,
the magician drops the empty cone, just shown, down behind the table
over the prepared cone and rose-bush and brings them up under cover.
The loaded cone fits closely into the empty one, but as an additional
security is held in place by the fingers of the performer. He goes to
the second table and places the cone over the flower-pot. The rose-bush
is allowed to drop into the pot, the thread which fastens it having
been detached. The bush is now shown. As soon as the cone is removed
the hand naturally and carelessly drops behind with it over the next
prepared cone on the shelf, and the performer produces a rose-bush from
the first flower-pot. He now has three cones, one inside of the other.
To facilitate the picking up of the cones in succession the back part
of each table top is cut out in crescent shape.

[Illustration: Fig. 50.--Magic Incubation]

MAGIC INCUBATION.--To produce a quantity of eggs from an empty
handkerchief is a favorite experiment with magicians. It is a
modification of the old egg-bag trick, but far more effective and but
little known. The materials used are easily procured:--a blown egg, to
which is attached a piece of thread, and a silk handkerchief. Fasten
the egg to the handkerchief by means of the thread, as shown in Fig.
50. Spread out the handkerchief, when exhibiting the trick, and show
that both sides are free from preparation. To do this you must keep the
egg concealed in your right hand, and at the moment let it fall in the
position depicted in the illustration, (Fig. 50). The thread will hold
it in the centre of the handkerchief. But remember to keep the
handkerchief waving slightly, otherwise the impact of the falling egg
against it might betray the secret of the trick. It is hardly necessary
to say that the "egg-side" of the handkerchief is turned toward
yourself. Explain to the audience that you are going to magically
produce an egg. Take the right hand corner of the handkerchief in your
mouth and hold the left corner with your left hand. Now place the
forefinger of the right hand against the upper part of the
handkerchief, the side facing yourself, and fold the handkerchief over,
grasping the two upper corners with your left hand. Next hold the lower
corners with your right hand and bring the handkerchief to a horizontal
position. Tilt one end of it over a hat and an egg will be seen to
fall, (Fig. 51). Shake out the handkerchief and repeat the above
described operation of producing eggs until the hat is apparently full,
after which you may turn it over and show it empty. This trick neatly
executed never fails to elicit well deserved applause from the
audience. Perhaps a better way to conclude the trick would be to show
that the hat really contained a number of eggs, which of course must be
loaded into it prior to commencing the trick. The best way to do this
is to have the eggs in a black silk bag which you conceal inside your
vest. After having borrowed the hat and while your back is turned to
the spectators during your journey to the stage, slip the bag full of
eggs into the hat. Then begin your handkerchief feat. It is a weak
point, in my opinion, to show the hat empty, after having apparently
placed so many eggs into it. Some acute spectator is apt to jump to the
conclusion that there was but one egg used during the experiment.

[Illustration: Fig. 51.--Incubation Trick]

THE WIZARD'S OMELET.--The recipes for making a magical omelet are
numerous and varied. Some magicians produce the eggs from the mouth of
a negro assistant following the example of Alexander Herrmann, and make
the omelet in a borrowed hat. I once saw a clown in a French circus
produce an omelet in a small frying-pan, without using eggs at all--or
more properly speaking, without the apparent use of eggs. He stirred
his wand about in the pan, holding the latter over a spirit lamp, and
presently turned out into a dish an excellent omelet, smoking hot and
very palatable. He cut up the omelet and passed it around among the
audience. Those who partook of it pronounced it to be delicious and
worthy of the chef of the Hotel Grand. This is the way the trick is
accomplished: There is no preparation about the frying-pan; that is all
fair and square, as well as round. It may be examined by the spectators
ad libitum. Not so the magic wand, which is hollow and filled with the
contents of several eggs. One end of the wand has an opening which is
stopped up with a piece of butter. When the pan is heated the butter
melts and the beaten-up eggs run out of the wand and are speedily
metamorphosed into an omelet. The stirring of the pan with the wand,
supposed to be a part of the conjurer's performance, is really
necessary to the trick. The wand is usually made of tin. It must be an
exact imitation of the wooden wand used during the course of the

excellent little trick and one very suitable as an introduction to a
complete "production" trick, where objects of ever-increasing size, in
a compressed condition, are produced under cover of similar objects, of
a smaller size, but displayed to the best advantage. The performer
having shown both hands unmistakably empty, commences to pull yard
after yard of real colored silk ribbon from the extreme tips of the

The secret depends upon the little accessory illustrated in Fig. 52.
This is a shield made to fit the second finger of the right hand,
provided with a lid to keep the four coils in position, also with a
corresponding number of slots on the front through which the ribbon may
be withdrawn. Each piece of ribbon should be about two yards long and
of a width to readily pass the slot. Ribbon drawn from the apparatus
when in position, see Fig. 53, will seem to come from the finger-tips.

[Illustration: Fig. 52.--The Accessory]

After a quantity of ribbon has been produced in this manner, the
magician may very well bring out a larger supply from his vest under
cover of gathering up the mass of material. An excellent winding up of
the trick would be the production of a dove from breast pocket.

[Illustration: Fig. 53.--Production of Ribbon]

JAPANESE BIRD VANISH.--The old Mouchoir du Diable, or Devil's
Handkerchief, for vanishing small objects will be known to the majority
of my readers: at the best it was but a clumsy expedient for producing
a magical disappearance, and on that account was very little, if ever

The New Devil's Handkerchief, as used by Japanese conjurers to cause
the disappearance of a bird, will, on the contrary, I feel sure, be
found of practical utility to the magical fraternity. In practice it is
merely held by the four corners, ostensibly in the most careless manner
possible, and any object as an egg, ball, orange, bird, etc., dropped
into the bag thus formed instantly disappears, the handkerchief being
immediately shaken out and both sides shown.

[Illustration: Fig. 54.--Bag for Vanishing]

This seeming prodigy is thus explained.--Two handkerchiefs, preferably
of soft silk and rather large (neck handkerchiefs for instance), are
sewn together all round their edges, with the exception of a portion at
one corner as shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 54. The handkerchiefs
are also sewn together from the said corner to the centre as further
indicated by the dotted lines in the figure. A bag is thus formed into
which the object is actually dropped. The introduction of the object
into the bag is facilitated by the insertion of a couple of whalebone
strips in the silk at the mouth of the bag. These strips keep the mouth
of the bag closed until pressure be applied at their ends, when the bag
will open, receive the object, and, on the pressure being removed, will
close again, keeping all secure.

NEW FIRE TRICK.--The writer is indebted to Mr. Martinka for this novel
experiment. A thin glass tube, in the end of which is secured a small
piece of metallic potassium, is pasted between two pieces of tissue
paper. So prepared the paper is shown from both sides, being apparently
a plain piece of white paper. This is rolled into a cylinder, not
unlike an exaggerated cigarette. The performer opens his mouth to show
that nothing is concealed there, and then proceeds to blow through the
paper tube, when the far end bursts into a flame of more or less

_Explanation._--While pretending to blow through the paper cylinder,
the performer brings some saliva into the glass tube. When blown
through the tube, the saliva comes in contact with the potassium, which
ignites and sets fire to the paper. To produce a larger flame and
sparks, a small piece of gun cotton, sprinkled with powdered aluminum
can be placed near the end of the tube. The potassium metal has to be
kept in a bottle and covered with kerosene. Whenever required for the
trick a piece is cut off with a knife. Care must be taken not to make
the mistake of putting the wrong end of the tube in the mouth. When the
paper bursts into flame it is crumpled into a ball and dropped on a
plate. The thin glass tube is crushed into small bits by the above
operation, and is not seen by the audience.

THE RING ON THE WAND.--A very pretty and graceful parlor trick is the
ring on the wand. Suspend a plain gold ring to the centre of a
handkerchief by means of a short piece of silk thread. Come forward
with the handkerchief in your pocket, and borrow a ring as much like
your own as possible. Pretend to wrap up this ring in your
handkerchief, but substitute for it the fake ring. Give the
handkerchief with ring in it to some one to hold and ask him if he
still feels the ring contained therein. He will reply in the
affirmative. You now get your wand from a table. While doing this take
the opportunity to slip the borrowed ring which you have in your hand
over one end of the wand, keeping it concealed. Approaching the
individual who holds the handkerchief request him to place it over the
middle of your wand which you hold horizontally by its centre, having
slid your hand (with the concealed ring) along its smooth surface. Now
request two spectators to hold either end of the wand tightly. Explain
that you will cause the ring in the handkerchief to appear upon the
wand, despite the fact that the latter is firmly held by two persons.
Remove your hand from the wand and take hold of the handkerchief. With
a hey presto, give the handkerchief a quick jerk and shake it out. The
borrowed ring on the wand will spin around in lively fashion, as if it
had really left the handkerchief and by some magical means appeared
upon the wand. Your handkerchief with the fake ring attached must be
pocketed as speedily as possible. It might be well to borrow a plain
white handkerchief from some one in the audience and exchange it for
your prepared handkerchief.

[Illustration: Fig. 55.--Silk Handkerchief]

[Illustration: Fig. 56.--Fake on Finger]

DISAPPEARING GLASS OF WATER.--This clever illusion is a favorite with
many performers, and is particularly adapted to drawing-room
entertainments. It was invented by Colonel Stodare, originator of the
famous "Sphinx" trick. Since Stodare's time many improvements have been
made in it, one idea, emanating from the fertile brain of Dr. Elliott.
Stitch two silk handkerchiefs, preferably of a dark color, together in
the manner shown in the diagram (Fig. 55), having first inserted in the
triangular space between them a disc of thin tin, of the same diameter
as the mouth of the glass used. Now to the middle of the under surface
of the tin fake solder a little band of tin just large enough to snugly
fit over the tip of the second or index finger of your left hand, (Fig.
56). This constitutes Elliott's improvement. Exhibit the handkerchief
to the spectators, calling attention to the fact that it contains
nothing. Twist it rope fashion, and pull it through your left hand,
thereby demonstrating that nothing could possibly be concealed in it.
This you are enabled to accomplish by grasping the tin fake and
retaining it in the right hand. Finally shake out the handkerchief,
releasing the disc, which will now fall to the centre of the
handkerchief and be kept in position by the triangular stitching. At
the rear end of your table you have a glass filled with water. Spread
the handkerchief over the glass, bringing the tin shape over the mouth
of the same. Lift up the fake, and under cover of the handkerchief
lower the glass upon the shelf behind the table. The handkerchief,
distended by the tin disc, will present the appearance of having the
glass of water under it. Now step forward as though holding the glass
of water. Place the left hand beneath the handkerchief, and quickly
insert the index finger into the little band soldered beneath the disc,
the right hand bearing down at the time to facilitate matters. To an
audience it will seem that you hold the glass of water on the palm of
your left hand, presenting a very illusory appearance indeed, (Fig.
57). To vanish the glass completely all you have to do is to catch one
corner of the handkerchief with your right hand, give it a sudden flick
in the air, which releases the hold of the finger of the left hand,
when lo and behold! the glass of water has melted away. To reproduce
it, take a duplicate glass of water from your coat-tail pocket. "But!"
says the dubious reader. Ah, we are coming to that! There is no danger
of spilling the water, for the mouth of your glass is tightly closed
with a rubber cover. All you have to do is to remove the cover before
exhibiting the glass.

[Illustration: Fig. 57.--Handkerchief in Position]

ANTI-GRAVITY WAND.--The use of the wand has been sufficiently explained
to the student. In calling attention to the fact of its being endowed
with peculiar properties, similar to the magic wand of Bulwer's "Coming
Race," the conjurer might execute a few tricks with it as a prologue to
his programme. The "Anti-gravity wand," invented by that clever
magician, Dr. Elliott, would prove useful in the above instance, (Fig.
58). It consists of a piece of brass tubing made to correspond with the
performer's ordinary wand but with square ends. In one end of this
tubing is inserted a cylindrical lead weight made to fit nicely. At
each end of the weight is glued a piece of felt, so as to prevent noise
while the fake is working. With this trick wand you can apparently defy
the law of gravity. It is divided internally into three compartments,
two small ones at either end, and a larger one in the centre, by means
of the partitions, which do not, however, extend completely across the
wand. A quantity of quicksilver is inserted in the wand and the ends
sealed up. In the normal condition, this will remain in the central
space, but if the wand is tilted either way, the mercury will flow into
the little pocket at the lower end. Should this end be laid upon the
table, the weight of the fluid metal would more than counterbalance the
remaining portion of the wand, and it would therefore be suspended
apparently in space. By reversing the wand, the other end would perform
a like phenomenon.

[Illustration: Fig. 58.--Anti-Gravity Wand]



This is a chapter devoted to stage illusions, dependent mainly for
their effects upon ingenious mechanical appliances, and not to skilful
manipulation of the performer. Most conjuring exhibitions conclude with
some large illusion. They add zest to the entertainment. One of our
leading conjurers, Kellar, makes a specialty of them. He presents them
with fine scenic effects.

AËRIAL SUSPENSION.--The trick of the aërial suspension, presented by
Herrmann under the name of the "Slave Girl's Dream," has been, and
still remains a great favorite with many conjurers. In this experiment
a lady floats in the air with no apparent support but that afforded by
a pole upon which her right arm rests. While suspended in this fashion
she is draped in various pleasing costumes, finally awakening from her
pretended mesmeric trance under the passes of the magician, and bowing
herself off the stage. The explanation is as follows:--The lady's body
is encased in a strong framework of finely tempered steel, into a
socket of which the pole enters and is rigidly fixed.

[Illustration: Fig. 59.--The Harness]

Figure 59 very correctly represents the harness worn by the lady in
performing this trick and the manner in which it is attached to the
rigid pole. This frame is composed of the finest steel, and when belted
and strapped on the body makes it perfectly rigid, so far as any side
motion is concerned. At A is a hinge, which is operated by ratchet and
pawl, and this bears nearly the whole strain of the lady's weight,
which, in a horizontal position, is about 1,500 pounds, or about ten
times the actual weight. At the centre of the curved steel bar is a
plain hinge. This is intended to allow the lady to use her right thigh
and knee in walking on and off the stage.

[Illustration: Fig. 60.--Harness Adjusted]

Figure 60 shows the position of harness and poles after being adjusted,
the drapery being dispensed with in order to show the working of the
trick. The upright pole on which rests the lady's right hand is a
substantial affair, and is securely fitted into a hole in the platform.
On the top there is a hole, into which fits a stout slot in the short
bar, as shown in Fig. 59. This short bar is concealed by a sort of
flap, which appears to be a portion of the lady's costume, tacked on at
the shoulder. The pole at her left has nothing to do with the trick,
and is only introduced to distract the attention of the audience. The
left-hand pole and stool are removed, and the beautiful slave girl is
suspended, as shown in Fig. 61, the whole strain coming on the pole and
the steel work of the harness.

[Illustration: Fig. 61.--Girl Suspended]

The performer now lifts the lady into a horizontal position (Fig. 61),
where she is maintained by a check which drops into one of the teeth of
the ratchet at A. While in this aërial sleep she is adorned in various
costumes. Finally she is placed in the first position, and awakes from
her supposed mesmeric slumber. Herrmann improved this apparatus by
causing the lady to assume the horizontal position without his
intervention. This was accomplished by machinery beneath the stage, a
sort of windlass affair worked by a stage assistant. The well-known
Fakir of Ooloo still further improved this trick by knocking both poles
away. Says Arprey Vere on this subject: "What, then, will you ask,
becomes of all the machinery? The two poles were seemingly taken away.
The poles used consisted of brass bars. The calcium light beamed upon
the figure of the sleeping lady, while the rest of the stage was
comparatively dark. Thus, when the conjurer apparently took away the
only support the figure had, the audience did not and could not
perceive that he really took away the brass case of the secured pole,
leaving another, the actual pole on which the framework was fixed, and
which was of the same color as the drapery of the stage. It was for the
purpose of deceiving the eyes of the audience that the pole was encased
in a brass shell in the first instance. He refixed the case before the
stage was relit, and the lady woke up from her sham mesmeric trance."

[Illustration: Fig. 62.--Girl in Horizontal Position]

NEW VANISHING PERFORMER ILLUSION.--The writer is indebted to Mr.
William E. Robinson, for many years assistant to the late Alexander
Herrmann, for this simple but remarkably effective illusion called by
him the "Vanishing Performer." The effect of the trick is as follows:
The performer standing upon a stool, placed in front of a screen, holds
up a shawl in front of himself. Hey presto! a pistol is fired, the
shawl is dropped, and the magician is seen to have melted away into
thin air, as it were. Presently he comes running down the centre aisle
of the theatre.

The principal requisite in the arrangement of this trick is a large
screen, which should be decorated in panels on each fold, and be a
threefold one. In the centre fold the panel must be hinged, so as to
open, and made to fit nicely the better to conceal its existence from
the audience. This panel must be about twelve inches above the base of
the screen, and if possible have spring hinges. This screen should be
preferably of a dark color.

When the magician steps on the stool he out-stretches his arms and
hooks the shawl on a fine thread, which is placed across the stage at
the right height. He leaves the shawl suspended so that the ends hang
over, giving the appearance of the performer's fingers being under
them. Under this cover he quickly steps off the stool and goes through
the panel in the screen at the back. As the shawl does not reach to the
ground, the performer's legs and shoes would be seen by the audience.
To obviate this a piece of stuff the same color as the screen is used
as a kind of carpet on which the affair takes place, and when this
reaches to about twelve inches from the screen, the edge is turned up
about twelve inches. The conjurer in getting off the stool steps down
behind this carpet. A pistol is fired, and the performer, or his
assistant, pulls the end of the thread, which thus breaks and causes
the shawl to drop, as if first let go from the hands. The shawl should
be about six feet square. It should rest about nine inches from the
stage when hung up. Practice to let as few seconds as possible elapse
between the moment of suspending the shawl and dropping it. The
reappearance of the performer is easily accounted for.

THE BLUE ROOM.--One of the cleverest illusions performed with the aid
of mirrors is that known as the "Blue Room," which has been exhibited
in this country by Kellar. It is the joint invention of Prof. John
Henry Pepper, of Ghost illusion fame, and James J. Walker, both of
England. It was patented in the United States by the inventors. The
object of the apparatus is to render an actor, or some inanimate thing,
such as a chair, table, suit of armor, etc., visible or invisible at
will. "It is also designed," says the specification in the patent
office, "to substitute for an object in sight of the audience the image
of another similar object hidden from direct vision without the
audience being aware that any such substitution has been made. For this
purpose employ a large mirror--either an ordinary mirror or for some
purposes, by preference, a large plate of plate-glass--which is
transparent at one end, and more and more densely silvered in passing
from this toward the other end. Mount this mirror or plate so that it
can, at pleasure, be placed diagonally across the stage or platform. As
it advances the glass obscures the view of the actor or object in front
of which it passes, and substitutes the reflection of an object in
front of the glass, but suitably concealed from the direct view of the

[Illustration: Fig. 63.--Graduated Mirror]

[Illustration: Fig. 64.--Diagram for Blue Room]

"When the two objects or sets of objects thus successively presented to
the view are properly placed and sufficiently alike, the audience will
be unaware that any change has been made. In some cases, in place of a
single sheet of glass, two or more sheets may be employed.

"In the drawings, Fig. 63 represents a plan view, and Fig. 64 an
elevation, of a portion of the mirror, designed to show its graduated

"_a_ is a stage. It may be in a lecture-room or theater. _b b_ are the
seats for the audience in front of the stage. _c c_ is a small
room--eight or ten feet square and eight high will often be
sufficiently large; but it may be of any size. It may advantageously be
raised and approached by two or three steps from the stage _a_.

"_d_ is a vertical mirror, passing diagonally across the chamber _c_
and dividing it into two parts, which are exact counterparts the one of
the other. The mirror _d_ is so mounted that it can be rapidly and
noiselessly moved diagonally across the chamber in the path represented
by the dotted line _d1_, and be withdrawn whenever desired. This can
conveniently be done by running it in guides and upon rollers to and
from a position where it is hidden by a screen, _e_, which limits the
view of the audience in this direction.

"In consequence of the exact correspondence of the two parts of the
chamber _c_, that in front and that behind the mirror, the audience
will observe no change in appearance when the mirror is passed across.

"The front of the chamber is partially closed at _cx_ by a shield or
short partition-wall, either permanently or whenever required. This is
done in order to hide from direct view any object which may be at or
about the position _c1_.

"The illusions may be performed in various ways--as, for example, an
object may, in the sight of the audience, be passed from the stage to
the position _c2_, near the rear short wall or counterpart shield
_f_, diagonally opposite to and corresponding with the front corner
shield _cx_, and there be changed for some other. This is done by
providing beforehand a dummy at _c´_, closely resembling the object at
_c2_. Then when the object is in its place, the mirror is passed
across without causing any apparent change. The object, when hidden, is
changed for another object externally resembling the first, the mirror
is withdrawn, and the audience may then be shown in any convenient way
that the object now before them differs from that which their eyesight
would lead them to suppose it to be.

"We prefer, in many cases, not to use an ordinary mirror, _d_, but one
of graduated opacity. This may be produced by removing the silvering
from the glass in lines; or, if the glass be silvered by chemical
deposition, causing the silver to be deposited upon it in lines,
somewhat as represented by Fig. 63. Near one side of the glass the
lines are made fine and open, and progressively in passing toward the
other side they become bolder and closer until a completely-silvered
surface is reached. Other means for obtaining a graduated opacity and
reflecting power may be resorted to.

"By passing such a graduated mirror between the object at _c2_ and
the audience, the object may be made to fade from the sight, or
gradually to resolve itself into another form."

Hopkins in his fine work on "Magic, stage illusions, etc.," thus
describes one of the many effects which can be produced by the Blue
Room apparatus. The curtain rises, showing "the stage set as an
artist's studio. Through the centre of the rear drop scene is seen a
small chamber in which is a suit of armor standing upright. The floor
of this apartment is raised above the level of the stage and is
approached by a short flight of steps. When the curtain is raised a
servant makes his appearance and begins to dust and clean the
apartments. He finally comes to the suit of armor, taking it apart,
cleans and dusts it, and finally reunites it. No sooner is the suit of
armor perfectly articulated than the soulless mailed figure deals the
servant a blow. The domestic, with a cry of fear, drops his duster,
flies down the steps into the large room, the suit of armor pursuing
him, wrestling with him, and kicking him all over the stage. When the
suit of armor considers that it has punished the servant sufficiently,
it returns to its original position in the small chamber, just as the
master of the house enters, brought there by the noise and cries of the
servant, from whom he demands an explanation of the commotion. Upon
being told, he derides the servant's fear, and, to prove that he was
mistaken, takes the suit of armor apart, throwing it piece by piece
upon the floor."

[Illustration: Fig. 65.--Diagram of Blue Room]

It is needless, perhaps, to explain that the suit of armor which
becomes endowed with life has a man inside of it. When the curtain
rises a suit of armor is seen in the Blue Room, at H, (Fig. 65). At I
is a second suit of armor, concealed behind the proscenium. It is the
duplicate of the visible one. When the mirror G is shoved diagonally
across the room, the armor at H becomes invisible, but the mirror
reflects the armor concealed at I, making it appear to the spectators
that the suit at H is still in position. An actor dressed in armor now
enters behind the mirror, removes the suit of armor at H, and assumes
its place. When the mirror is again withdrawn, the armor at H becomes
endowed with life. Again the mirror is shoved across the apartment, and
the actor replaces the original suit of armor at H. It is this latter
suit which the master of the house takes to pieces and casts upon the
floor, in order to quiet the fears of the servant. This most ingenious
apparatus is capable of many novel effects. Those who have witnessed
Prof. Kellar's performances will bear witness to the statement. When
the illusion was first produced in England, a sketch was written for it
by the famous Burnand, editor of "Punch." It was entitled "Curried
Prawns." A plethoric old gentleman who had been indulging in a midnight
dish of curried prawns goes to bed, and is visited by a soul-terrifying
nightmare. Mephistopheles suddenly appears to him, and introduces him
to the mysteries of the nether world.

[Illustration: Fig. 66.--Levitation Act]

[Illustration: Fig. 67.--Top View of Apparatus]

[Illustration: Fig. 68.--Side View of Apparatus]

LEVITATION.--The performer places a board on the tops of two chairs. A
lady is laid on the board, and pretended mesmeric passes made over her
by the magician. The chairs are now removed one after the other, and
the lady is seen floating in the air (Fig. 66). The performer then
walks completely around her. In order to show still more conclusively
that she is not supported by any arrangement of wires, etc., he passes
a large solid iron hoop, previously given for inspection to the
spectators, over her; beginning at her head. This seeming miracle,
vaunted as a Hindoo mystery, is accomplished in the following manner:
The board, A, A (Fig. 67), upon which the lady reclines, is about three
feet distant from the back scene. This background is provided with a
slit through which an assistant pushes three iron rods (_c_, _d_, _e_),
beneath the board. Another important part of the apparatus is a small
car, to which the rods are attached, the construction of which is
explained in Fig. 67 and Fig. 68, which gives a side view of the car.
Nos. 1 and 2 are the wheels on which the car is propelled. The iron
bars, of which only one is shown in the diagram, run in front over a
roller, 3, and at the back between two rollers, 4 and 5, so that the
assistant can easily push the bars under the board, c, which holds the
lady. The extreme ends of the bars, at the back, are counterbalanced in
order to equalize the weight. To enable the performer to go behind the
floating lady, also to pass the hoop about her, the assistant pulls
away the iron bar at one end. As soon as the performer and the hoop
have cleared the first bar, it is pushed back into place again, and the
next bar withdrawn, allowing free passage to the third bar, which is
also withdrawn, after the centre bar has been pushed back. The arms of
the lady overhanging the board and her dress conceal effectually the
iron bars from view of the audience.

THE SARATOGA TRUNK MYSTERY.--A lady is put into a bag and locked in a
trunk, on top of which a gentleman takes a seat. Two assistants hold a
cloth in front of the trunk for a few seconds. On taking away the cloth
the lady is seen sitting on the trunk while inside of it, after
unlocking the same, is found the gentleman tied in the bag.

The actors in this illusion have to work with extreme quickness.

The bag in which the lady is tied has at the bottom a false seam, made
of wide stitches, so that when one end of the thread is pulled the
whole comes out easily leaving the bottom of bag open.

[Illustration: Fig. 69.--Section of Trunk]

[Illustration: Fig. 70.--Frame of Trunk]

In this way the lady escapes from the bag without injuring the ties in
any way. The lid of the trunk is prepared so that one section of it
opens inward (Fig. 69 h). The frame (Fig. 70) is solid, whereas the
strip F which runs across the top can be pushed sideways. To open the
trunk the strip F is pushed aside, which releases a concealed mechanism
that keeps the false panel shut. The gentleman opens the panel, in the
manner above described, whereupon the lady gets out of the trunk. She
assists the gentleman to get into the bag, and closing the panel, takes
her seat on the top of the trunk.



The idea of projecting silhouettes with the hands on a wall or
illuminated screen is an old one, but it has been brought to great
perfection by the celebrated French conjurer and juggler, M. Félician
Trewey, and his English confrères, David Devant, Ellis Stanyon, and
Hilliar. Notable among the American exhibitors of shadowgraphy is
Clivette, the "Man in Black," whose clever fingers have added many new
and amusing figures to the already long list. The above named artists
enact little pantomimic scenes, such as a fisherman in a boat, going
through the usual evolutions of a disciple of Izaak Walton; a policeman
making love to a servant girl; a concierge quarreling with a belated
lodger; a lover serenading his sweetheart, etc.

These shadows are best made on a screen, which is illuminated by "a
single lamp inclosed in a projecting apparatus throwing very divergent
rays. The lens must consequently be of very short focus. The electric
light or oxyhydrogen lamp necessary in a theatre may be replaced at the
amateur's house by a lamp, or better, by a wax candle." Various little
accessories such as pieces of cardboard, fashioned to represent
head-gear and the like, are used in the formation of many of the more
elaborate figures. The use of such material is depicted in the
illustrations. Makers of magical apparatus manufacture these
accessories, but the clever amateur can cut them out from sheets of
cardboard without going to the expense of purchasing them.

A cheap and easy way of manufacturing a silhouette of a friend is to
have him pose in front of a sheet of paper hung against a wall which is
illuminated by a candle. All you have to do is to outline with a pencil
the shadow cast by his face, and afterward fill in the white space with
black paint or crayon. The famous Levater constructed an ingenious
device for making silhouettes. It is thus described in his work on
physiognomy: "The shadow is projected upon a fine paper, well oiled and
dried, and placed behind a piece of plate-glass supported in a frame
secured to the back of the chair. Behind this glass the artist stands,
and holding the frame with one hand, draws with the other." A candle
furnished the necessary light.

During the French Revolution, it was a dangerous thing to possess a
likeness of the martyred King Louis XVI. The scions of the nobility,
resident in Paris in disguise, living, as it were, in the shadow of the
guillotine, carefully hid all souvenirs of the king and royal family,
until better days should dawn. To be found in possession of a portrait
of the ill-fated Louis meant denunciation and death. Finally a clever
wood carver of royalist persuasion succeeded in fashioning a cane which
would throw a silhouette upon a wall--a likeness of Louis XVI. He drove
a great trade among the aristocrats, who carried these walking sticks
about with impunity, flourishing them under the very noses of the
revolutionists. Nobody could possibly suspect a cane. Chessmen were
also made on similar principles. When the tables were turned and Louis
XVIII came to his own again, it was a dangerous thing to indulge in
Napoleonic relics. A carver in wood, possibly an old soldier of the
Imperial Guard, constructed a silhouette cane for the suppressed

The illustrating of books and magazines with silhouette pictures has
recently come into vogue. It is especially popular in Paris, where the
famous caricaturist Caran d'Ache, has done much to elevate the art.
After working at silhouettes for some time, he conceived the clever
idea of cutting figures out in zinc and casting them upon an
illuminated screen; fashioning them in sections so that they could be
made to work by means of cords operated by assistants. His first
exhibition was given at the Chat Noir, a café much frequented by
artists and literary men. Finally a special representation was gotten
up at the Theatre d'Application, and crowds flocked to see the
silhouettes. M. d'Ache is very successful in representing military
scenes. He projects upon the screen the battles and triumphal marches
of the Emperor Napoleon.

[Illustration: PARROT]

[Illustration: TWO FOXES FIGHTING]

[Illustration: VULTURE]

[Illustration: COUNTRYMAN]

[Illustration: PIGEON]

[Illustration: RHINOCEROS]

[Illustration: BULL]

[Illustration: FOX EATING RABBIT]

[Illustration: SQUIRREL]

[Illustration: BUTCHER]

[Illustration: JOCKEY]

[Illustration: MEPHISTOPHELES]

[Illustration: GRIMACER]

[Illustration: CLOWN]

[Illustration: GOAT]

[Illustration: SHEEP]

[Illustration: TIGER]

[Illustration: BEAR]

[Illustration: ELEPHANT]

[Illustration: RABBITS]

[Illustration: PREACHER]

[Illustration: FISHERMAN]

[Illustration: SNUFF TAKER]

[Illustration: BULL DOG]

[Illustration: SPIDER]

[Illustration: DANCING GIRL]

[Illustration: RABBIT (2 METHODS)]

[Illustration: GRIMACER]

[Illustration: THE SWAN]


Some books are designed for entertainment, others for information. ¶
This series combines both features. The information is not only
complete and reliable, it is compact and readable. In this busy,
bustling age it is required that the information which books contain
shall be ready to hand and be presented in the clearest and briefest
manner possible. ¶ These volumes are replete with valuable information,
compact in form and unequalled in point of merit and cheapness. They
are the latest as well as the best books on the subjects of which they
treat. No one who wishes to have a fund of general information or who
has the desire for self-improvement can afford to be without them. ¶
They are 6 × 4-1/2 inches in size, well printed on good paper,
handsomely bound in green cloth, with a heavy paper wrapper to match.

Cloth, each 50 cents


923 Arch Street, Philadelphia


By Agnes H. Morton

There is no passport to good society like good manners. ¶ Even though
one possess wealth and intelligence, his success in life may be marred
by ignorance of social customs. ¶ A perusal of this book will prevent
such blunders. It is a book for everybody, for the social leaders as
well as for those less ambitious. ¶ The subject is presented in a
bright and interesting manner, and represents the latest vogue.


By Agnes H. Morton

Why do most persons dislike to write letters? Is it not because they
cannot say the right thing in the right place? This admirable book not
only shows by numerous examples just what kind of letters to write, but
by directions and suggestions enables the reader to become an
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business and social letters, including invitations, acceptances,
letters of sympathy, congratulations, and love letters.


By Agnes H. Morton

A clever compilation of pithy quotations, selected from a great variety
of sources, and alphabetically arranged according to the sentiment. ¶
In addition to all the popular quotations in current use, it contains
many rare bits of prose and verse not generally found in similar
collections. ¶ One important feature of the book is found in the
characteristic lines from well known authors, in which the familiar
sayings are credited to their original sources.


By Frederic W. Unger

Even death has its humorous side. ¶ There are said to be "sermons in
stones," but when they are tombstones mere is many a smile mixed with
the moral. ¶ Usually churchyard humor is all the more delightful
because it is unconscious, but there are times when it is intentional
and none the less amusing. ¶ Of epitaphs, old and new, this book
contains the best. It is full of quaint bits of obituary fancy, with a
touch of the gruesome here and there for a relish.


By John H. Bechtel

The genius, wit, and spirit of a nation are discovered in its proverbs,
and the condensed wisdom of all ages and all nations is embodied in
them. ¶ A good proverb that fits the case is often a convincing
argument. ¶ This volume contains a representative collection of
proverbs, old and new, and the indexes, topical and alphabetical,
enable one to End readily just what he requires.


By John H. Bechtel

Can you name the coldest place in the United States or tell what year
had 445 days? Do you know how soon the coal fields of the world are
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What should you do first if you got a cinder in your eye, or your
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thousands of just such interesting and useful questions.


By John H. Bechtel

Most of us dislike to look up a mythological subject because of the
time required. ¶ This book remedies that difficulty because in it can
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convenient, condensed, and the information is presented in such an
interesting manner that when once read it will always be remembered. ¶
A distinctive feature of the book is the pronunciation of the proper
names, something found in few other works.


By John H. Bechtel

Who does not make them? The best of us do. ¶ Why not avoid them? Any
one inspired with the spirit of self-improvement may readily do so. ¶
No necessity for studying rules of grammar or rhetoric when this book
may be had. It teaches both without the study of either. ¶ It is a
counsellor, a critic, a companion, and a guide, and is written in a
most entertaining and chatty style.


By John H. Bechtel

What is more disagreeable than a faulty pronunciation? No other defect
so clearly shows a lack of culture. ¶ This book contains over 5,000
words on which most of us are apt to trip. ¶ They are here pronounced
in the clearest and simplest manner, and according to the best
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By John H. Bechtel

A new word is a new tool. ¶ This book will not only enlarge your
vocabulary, but will show you how to express the exact shade of meaning
you have in mind, and will cultivate a more precise habit of thought
and speech. ¶ It will be found invaluable to busy journalists,
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than to the boys and girls under their care.


By George Hapgood, Esq.

Pretty much everybody in these latter days, is now and again called
upon "to say a few words in public." ¶ Unfortunately, however, but few
of us are gifted with the power of ready and graceful speech. ¶ This is
a book of carefully planned model speeches to aid those who, without
some slight help, must remain silent. ¶ There is a preliminary chapter
of general advice to speakers.


By John Harrison

The dinner itself may be ever so good, and yet prove a failure if there
is no mirth to enliven the company. ¶ Nothing adds so much zest to an
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By William Pittenger

Most men dread being called upon to respond to a toast or to make an
address. ¶ What would you not give for the ability to be rid of this
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novice, but to the experienced speaker, who will gather from it many


By William Pittenger

There is no greater ability than the power of skillful and forcible
debate, and no accomplishment more readily acquired if the person is
properly directed. ¶ In this little volume are directions for
organizing and conducting debating societies and practical suggestions
for all who desire to discuss questions in public. ¶ There is also a
list of over 200 questions for debate, with arguments both affirmative
and negative.


By Paul Allardyce

Few persons can punctuate properly; to avoid mistakes many do not
punctuate at all. ¶ A perusal of this book will remove all difficulties
and make all points clear. ¶ The rules are plainly stated and freely
illustrated, thus furnishing a most useful volume. ¶ The author is
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what he has to say is practical, concise, and comprehensive.


By Henry Ward Beecher

Few men ever enjoyed a wider experience or achieved a higher reputation
in public speaking than Mr. Beecher. ¶ What he had to say on this
subject was born of experience, and his own inimitable style was at
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unique and masterly treatise on the fundamental principles of true


By J. P. Mahaffy

Some people are accused of talking too much. But no one is ever taken
to task for talking too well. ¶ Of all the accomplishments of modern
society, that of being an agreeable conversationalist holds first
place. Nothing is more delightful or valuable. To suggest what to say,
just how and when to say it, is the general aim of this work, and it
succeeds most admirably in its purpose.


By Ernest Legouvé

The ability to read aloud well, whether at the fireside or on the
public platform, is a fine art. ¶ The directions and suggestions
contained in this work of standard authority will go far toward the
attainment of this charming accomplishment. ¶ The work is especially
recommended to teachers and others interested in the instruction of
public school pupils.


By Charles H. Olin

Socialism is "in the air." ¶ References to the subject are constantly
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interesting manner a complete idea of the economic doctrines taught by
the best socialists.


By Charles H. Olin

What is news, how is it obtained, how handled, and how can one become a
Journalist? ¶ These questions are all answered in this book, and
detailed instructions are given for obtaining a position and writing up
all kinds of "assignments." ¶ It shows what to avoid and what to
cultivate, and contains chapters on book reviewing, dramatic criticism
and proofreading.


By Charles H. Olin

Although always a delightful form of entertainment, Ventriloquism is to
most of us more or less of a mystery. ¶ It need be so no longer. ¶ This
book exposes the secrets of the art completely, and shows how almost
anyone may learn to "throw the voice" both near and far. ¶ Directions
for the construction of automatons are given as well as good dialogue
for their successful operation. ¶ Fully illustrated.


By Dean Rivers

Conundrums sharpen our wits and lead us to think quickly. ¶ They are
also a source of infinite amusement and pleasure, whiling away tedious
hours and putting everyone in good humor. ¶ This book contains an
excellent collection of over a thousand of the latest, brightest, and
most up-to-date conundrums, to which are added many Biblical, poetical,
and French conundrums.


By Ellis Stanyon

There is no more delightful form of entertainment than that afforded by
the performances of a magician. ¶ Mysterious as these performances
appear, they may be very readily learned if carefully explained. ¶ This
book embraces full and detailed descriptions of all the well known
tricks with coins, handkerchiefs, hats, flowers, and cards, together
with a number of novelties not previously produced or explained. ¶
Fully illustrated.


By Edward H. Eldridge, A.M.

There is no more popular or interesting form of entertainment than
hypnotic exhibitions, and everyone would like to know how to hypnotize.
¶ By following the simple and concise instructions contained in this
complete manual anyone may, with a little practice, readily learn how
to exercise this unique and strange power.


By Cavendish

Twenty-third Edition

"According to Cavendish" is now almost as familiar an expression as
"according to Hoyle." ¶ No whist player, whether a novice or an expert,
can afford to be without the aid and support of Cavendish. No household
in which the game is played is complete without a copy of this book. ¶
This edition contains all of the matter found in the English
publication and at one-fourth the cost.


By Helen E. Hollister

"What shall we do to amuse ourselves and our friends?" is a question
frequently propounded on rainy days and long winter evenings. ¶ This
volume most happily answers this question, as it contains a splendid
collection of all kinds of games for amusement, entertainment, and
instruction. ¶ The games are adapted to both old and young, and all
classes will find them both profitable and interesting.

ASTRONOMY: The Sun and His Family

By Julia MacNair Wright

Can you tell what causes day and night, seasons and years, tides and
eclipses? Why is the sky blue and Mars red? What are meteors and
shooting stars? ¶ These and a thousand other questions are answered in
a most fascinating way in this highly interesting volume. Few books
contain as much valuable material so pleasantly packed in so small a
space. ¶ Illustrated.

BOTANY: The Story of Plant Life

By Julia MacNair Wright

The scientific study of Botany made as interesting as a fairy tale. ¶
It is better reading than such tales, because of the profit. ¶ Each
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month are in evidence. Not only is the subject treated with accuracy,
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treatment of plants and flowers. ¶ Illustrated.

FLOWERS: How to Grow Them

By Eben E. Rexford

Every woman loves flowers, but few succeed in growing them. With the
help so clearly given in this book no one need fail. ¶ It treats mainly
of indoor flowers and plants--those for window gardening; all about
their selection, care, soil, air, light, warmth, etc. ¶ The chapter on
table decoration alone is worth the price of the book. ¶ While the
subject of flowers is quite thoroughly covered, the style used is
plain, simple, and free from all technicalities.


By Marguerite Wilson

A complete instructor, beginning with the first positions and steps and
leading up to the square and round dances. ¶ It contains a full list of
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figure, the etiquette of the dances, and 100 figures for the german. ¶
It is unusually well illustrated by a large number of original
drawings. ¶ Without doubt the best book on the subject.


By M. M. Macgregor

If you wish to obtain a horoscope of your entire life, or if you would
like to know in what business or profession you will best succeed, what
friends you should make, whom you should marry, the kind of a person to
choose for a business partner, or the time of the month in which to
begin an enterprise, you will find these and hundreds of other vital
questions solved in this book by the science of Astrology.


By Leila Lomax

How can we judge whether a man may be trusted to handle money for us? ¶
How can a woman analyze a man who would marry her? ¶ Partly by words,
partly by voice, partly by reputation, but more than all by looks--the
shape of the head, the set of the jaw, the line of the mouth, the
glance of the eye. ¶ Physiognomy as explained in this book shows
clearly how to read character with every point explained by
illustrations and photographs.

GRAPHOLOGY: How to Read Character from Handwriting

By Clifford Howard

Do you know that every time you write five or six lines you furnish a
complete record of your character? Anyone who understands Graphology
can tell by simply examining your handwriting just what sort of a
person you are. ¶ There is no method of character reading that is
more interesting, more trustworthy, and more valuable than that of
Graphology, and it is the aim of this volume to enable anyone to become
a master of this most fascinating art.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Magic - In which are given clear and concise explanations of all - the well-known illusions as well as many new ones." ***

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