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Title: Physical Amusements and Diverting Experiments - Composed and Performed in Different Capitals of Europe, and in London
Author: Pinetti, Giuseppe
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The Table of Contents follows the body of the text.

Additional Transcriber’s Notes are at the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

PHYSICAL AMUSEMENTS AND DIVERTING EXPERIMENTS.

[Illustration]



PHYSICAL AMUSEMENTS AND DIVERTING EXPERIMENTS.


  COMPOSED AND PERFORMED IN DIFFERENT CAPITALS OF EUROPE, AND IN LONDON.

  BY SIGNOR GIUSEPPE PINETTI, DE WILDALLE,

  KNIGHT OF THE GERMAN ORDER OF MERIT OF ST. PHILIP, PROFESSOR OF
  MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, PENSIONED BY THE COURT OF
  PRUSSIA, PATRONIZED BY ALL THE ROYAL FAMILY OF FRANCE, AGGREGATE OF
  THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND BELLES LETTRES OF BORDEAUX, &C.

  [Illustration]

  LONDON: PRINTED IN THE YEAR M DCC LXXXIV.



PREFACE.


The honour of performing several physical amusements before their
Britannic Majesties and the Royal Family, was an event that flattered
my ambition in the highest degree. To obtain their suffrages, and those
of that part of this enlightened nation, before which I have repeated
the same experiments and amusements at the Theatre Royal, Hay-Market,
was the summit of my wishes. Having obtained these two desirable
ends, I blessed the moments I had devoted to the study of natural
philosophy and mathematics; to them I am indebted for these inestimable
advantages.

Some invidious hints insinuated relative to the means I practised for
performing these several experiments came to trouble the happiness
I enjoyed. The opportunities I had of demonstrating publicly the
simplicity and fairness of the execution of my experiments, which had
appeared complicated to such a degree as to require a confederate, have
put me in the happy way of destroying those unfavourable impressions,
and of undeceiving those persons who honoured me with their presence;
their repeated applauses have been a very flattering testimony of their
approbation of my endeavours to amuse the public.

Several persons of the first rank having signified their wishes that
I would publish some few easy means of amusing a company, whether in
town or in the country; I could not refuse to comply with their desire:
this is the motive of this little publication. Being near my departure
for France, I shall trace hastily a few experiments, which will be as
simple as they are entertaining, and easy to be performed. If amongst
them there should be found, by chance, some that are known, or even
printed, I hope it will not be taken amiss, nor I shall be looked upon
as a plagiary. Unacquainted with this town, I cannot be informed of
all that exists in print: besides, as in this age the study of natural
philosophy is so universal, it cannot be in the least astonishing if
some of the experiments resulting from that science were already
known. Therefore I claim by anticipation the indulgence of those who
read this work. My only wish is to be so happy as to unite in this
book the clearness and precision necessary to enable my readers to
perform what is contained in each chapter. My project on my return to
this metropolis, is to endeavour to obtain again the suffrages of the
nation, by performing some new experiments. To reveal on this occasion
those which I have performed till now, would be hurtful to my fortune:
besides, most of them require a great deal of mechanism and great
preparations. Others depend on much dexterity and subtilty; which are
out of my power to give, and out of a possibility to be communicated in
writing.

If this feeble Essay, which I have the honour of presenting to the
public, is favourably received, I promise on my return, and after I
have merited their favour, to publish the means I have used to execute
all I have performed.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

PHYSICAL AMUSEMENTS AND DIVERTING EXPERIMENTS.



CHAP. I.


  _Curious Method of restoring to Life, in two Minutes, a Fly that has
  been drowned even twenty-four Hours._

This wonderful experiment, like many others, is produced by a very
simple cause. Take a fly, put it in a glass or cup full of water; cover
it so as to deprive the fly of air; when you perceive it to be quite
motionless, you may take it out and put it on a place exposed to the
sun, and cover it with salt: in two minutes it will revive and fly
away.



CHAP. II.


  _To make a Colour that will appear or disappear by Means of the Air._

Take a smelling-bottle; put in it some alkali volatile, in which you
have dissolved some copper filings: this will produce a blue colour.
Present then the smelling-bottle to one of the company, desiring him to
stop it; and, to their great astonishment, the colour will disappear
as soon as the smelling-bottle is stopped: you will make it easily
re-appear by taking off the cork, which will be not less surprising.



CHAP. III.


  _A Method of drawing a deformed Figure, which will appear well
  proportioned from a certain Point of View._

Draw any thing you may fancy on a thin white pasteboard; then prick
it; afterwards put the same on an horizontal surface, which we will
suppose to be another pasteboard. Put a lighted candle behind that
drawing, and draw on the horizontal surface the lines given by the
light: this will give a deformed design. This being done, take away the
drawing that was pricked and the candle; then place your eye where the
light was, and you will see your drawing assume a regular form.



CHAP. IV.


  _To change the Colour of a Rose._

Nothing more is wanting to change the colour of a rose, whether it is
on its stalk or not, but to burn some sulphur under it; which will make
it turn white, and it will not regain its primitive colour in less than
two hours.



CHAP. V.


  _To render hideous the Faces of all the Company._

Dissolve some salt and saffron in some spirits of wine; dip a little
tow in it and set fire to it. At this light, those who are of a fair
complexion will appear green, and the red of the lips and cheeks turn
to a deep olive colour.



CHAP. VI.


  _Method of Engraving in Relief on the Shell of a new-laid Egg._

Chuse an egg that has a thick shell; wash it well in fresh water; then
dry it very carefully with a linen cloth; this being done, put some
tallow or fat in a silver spoon; then hold it on the fire; when the fat
is melted and very hot, it will serve instead of ink for drawing with
a new pen whatever you like. This being finished, you are to take the
egg by the two ends between two fingers, and then lay it gently in a
tumbler filled with good white wine vinegar; wherein, after remaining
for three hours and an half, the acid of the vinegar will have eaten
enough of the thickness of the shell; and as it cannot have the same
effect on those places that are covered with the fat, all the drawing
will have preserved its thickness, and will form the relief that is
wanted, the operation sought for.

By this means one may draw on an egg a coat of arms, a mosaic piece,
medallion, or any other design whatever.



CHAP. VII.


  _How to shoot a Swallow flying, with a Gun loaded with Powder, as
  usual; and after, to find Means to bring it to life again._

Load your gun with the usual charge of powder, but instead of shot put
half a charge of quicksilver; prime and shoot: if your piece bears
ever so little near the bird, as it is not necessary to touch it, the
swallow will find itself stunned and benumbed to such a degree, as to
fall to the ground in a fit. As it will regain its senses in a few
minutes, you may make use of the time by saying, that you are going to
bring it to life again; this will astonish greatly the company; the
ladies will no doubt interest themselves in favour of the bird, and
intercede for its liberty: sympathizing with their feelings for the
little prisoner, may be the means of some of them sympathizing with
yours.



CHAP. VIII.


  _To make a Calve’s Head bellow as if alive, when dressed and served
  up._

This is effected by a simple and innocent stratagem; it consists in
what follows: take a frog that is alive, and put it at the farther end
of the calve’s head, under the tongue, which you will let fall over
it; taking care not to put the frog there till the calve’s head is
going to be served up.

The heat of the tongue will make the frog croak; which sound, coming
from the hollow part of the head, will imitate the bellowing of a calf
as if it were alive.



CHAP. IX.


  _A puzzling Question to be proposed for Solution._

Set down three sums on paper; and say to the company, ladies and
gentlemen, there are three sums, very different from each other, and
very disproportionate; yet I wish to divide them among three persons,
so that they may have an equal sum each, and yet without altering any
thing in either of the sums. This will appear very difficult, yet
nothing so simple and easy; one single addition will suffice to prove
to you that the amount of each sum will be the same, and that the
shares will not enrich much the respective persons: here is the proof:


EXAMPLE.

  5134122
    61254
     7218


OPERATION.

Cast up the first of these sums in the following manner, and say, 5 and
1 make 6; 3 more, 9; 4 more, 13; 1 more, 14; 2 more, 16; and 2 more,
18: set down――18.

Make the addition of the second sum in the same manner as you have done
the first, and you will find the same sum of――18.

Then proceed for the third as in the two preceding, and the product
will be also――18.

Here then is my division made, and each person will have only 18, as I
have proved by the foregoing example.

By this we see, that nothing more is required than to be attentive in
setting the sums, to make the numbers so that each sum may amount only
to 18.

You may make the same question on whatever sum you please, only
observing, as above, that the amount of the numbers you set may not
exceed the sum you desire to belong to each person that is to have a
share.



CHAP. X.


  _How to dispose two little Figures, so that one shall light a Candle,
  and the other put it out._

Take two little figures of wood or clay, or any other materials you
please, only taking care that there is a little hole at the mouth of
each. Put in the mouth of one a few grains of bruised gunpowder, and a
little bit of phosphorus in the mouth of the other; taking care that
these preparations are made before hand.

Then take a lighted wax candle and present it to the mouth of the
figure with the gunpowder, which taking fire will put the candle out:
then present your candle, having the snuff still hot, to the other
figure; it will light again immediately, by means of the phosphorus.

You may propose the same effect to be produced by two figures drawn
on a wall with a pencil or coal, by applying, with a little starch or
water, a few grains of bruised gunpowder to the mouth of one, and a bit
of phosphorus to the mouth of the other.



CHAP. XI.


_A curious Secret to make a Card pass from one Hand into the other._

Take two deuces, the one of spades, the other of hearts; then put on
that of spades the marks of hearts, and on that of hearts, those of
spades; which you will do easily, by splitting a card of each colour,
which you are to cut out with dexterity, in order that the mark may be
very neat: then rub lightly on the back of the spades and hearts that
you have cut, a little soap, or very white pomatum; then put the mark
of hearts on the ace of spades, and the mark of spades on the ace of
hearts; taking care to cover them quite hermetically, and to make all
your preparations before you begin your experiments.

Divide your pack of cards in two parcels, and under each parcel you
must put one of your two aces thus prepared; afterwards, take with your
right hand the parcel under which is the ace of hearts, and with your
left that where the ace of spades.

You will then shew to the company that the ace of hearts is on the
right hand, and the ace of spades on the left; when every body is
convinced of it, you are to say, ladies and gentlemen, I am going to
command the ace of hearts, which is in my right hand, to pass to my
left, and the ace of spades to take its place; you may even propose to
have both your arms tied, to prevent their joining and communicating.

All the secret consists only in making a movement and stamping of your
foot, when you give your command: during this movement and stamping
of your foot, you must slip with dexterity your little finger on each
of the marks, in order to rub off and make the marks of spades and
hearts, that were sticking on the two cards by the means explained
before, fall, without any body perceiving it; then you will shew to the
company that the cards have obeyed your command, by passing from the
left to the right, and from the right to the left, without your hands
communicating.

This trick, done with dexterity and subtilty, will appear very
singular, although it is very simple.



CHAP. XII.


_To change a Card which is in the Hand of a Person, recommending him to
cover it well._

Cut out a three of spades very neatly; then, the card being cut
through, take an ace of diamonds, which you are to place under your
three of spades that was cast out, taking care that your ace of
diamonds is perfectly covered by the spades, which is found in the
middle of the three that is cut out: and then you must pour lightly on
that card some jet powder,[1] which will easily stick on the places
rubbed with pomatum, and by that means will form a three of spades on
the card that was before an ace of diamonds. Take in your hand an ace
of diamonds, behind which you must put a three of spades, turned the
contrary way.

The Person who has in his hand the three of spades that is prepared,
will shew the card to all the company; you will shew in your turn the
ace of diamonds that you have in yours, and then tell that person to
lay his card downwards on the carpet that covers the table; make him
lay his hand on the card, and ask him whether he is very certain that
it is a three of spades he has under his hand. On his affirmative, you
may rally him on it, and tell him, at the same time that you push his
hand which is over the card, that he is mistaken, and that it is an ace
of diamonds he holds. The movement you will cause him to make while
you push his hand, under which the card is, will make the jet powder,
that formed the three of spades over the ace of diamonds, remain on the
carpet, and he will be extremely astonished to find really an ace of
diamonds, whilst you, who make the trick, by turning your hand where
the three of spades and the ace of diamonds are, back to back, will
shew, the three of spades, and make the company believe that you have
conveyed it from the person who held the same without his perceiving it.

This trick must be done dexterously and quickly, in order that the
little deception be not discovered. Practice is the greatest master.

FOOTNOTE:

[1] _Method of preparing jet powder._

Pound in a copper mortar your jet, which must have been bruised a
little with a hammer; when it is well pounded, it must be sifted
through a sieve, and also through a piece of muslin. Keep that powder,
which cannot be too fine, in a little box, to use it when occasion may
require: take a pinch of it either with your fingers or with a piece
of paper; then scatter it on the card, and it will stick only in those
places that have been touched by the roll of pomatum, and may be taken
off very easily by the rubbing against the carpet, when you will push
the hand of the person who covers the card, without the card being
soiled in the least by it.



CHAP. XIII.


  _How to guess a Card that has been thought of by any body, by writing
  before hand on a Paper or Card a Number, which will certainly be that
  of the Card that has been thought of._

All the preparation of this trick consists in a mathematical
combination; here follows the method of operating in order to succeed.

Take a pack of piquet cards, present them to one of the company,
desiring him to shuffle them well, and to get them shuffled by whoever
he pleases: then make several persons cut them. After which you will
propose to one of the company to take the pack, and think of a card,
and remember it, as likewise of the number of its order in the pack, by
counting one, two, three, four, &c. till he comes inclusively to the
card thought of by him. Then offer to go in another room while he is
doing what you required, or to be blind-folded, assuring the company
that you will declare before-hand, if required, the number of the order
in which the card is that has been thought of.


EXAMPLE.

In the supposition that the person who thinks of the card will stop at
number 13, and that thirteenth card is the queen of hearts.

Supposing again that the number you have marked or designed before-hand
is number 24; you will return in the room in case you had left it;
or desire the handkerchief, to be taken off, if you have been
blind-folded; and, without asking any question of the person who has
thought of the card, ask only for the pack, and apply it to your
nose as if to smell it; then passing it behind your back, or under
the table, you must take, beginning from the bottom of the pack,
twenty-three cards, that is to say, one less than the number you had
designed before hand; then place those twenty-three cards on the top
of the remainder; you must take particular care not to put one more or
less, for that would prevent your success. This being done, you are to
return the pack to the person who has thought of the card, recommending
him to reckon the cards from the top of the pack, beginning by the
number of the card he thought of. His card being the thirteenth, he
will be obliged to count fourteen, and you are to flop him when he
comes to twenty three, telling him that the number you have designed is
twenty-four, and that consequently the twenty-fourth card which he is
going to take up will be the queen of hearts, and it will be exactly
the case.



CHAP. XIV.


  _A mathematical Combination for guessing, in a whole pack composed
  of fifty-two Cards, how many Points will make the Cards under each
  Parcel, which Parcels are to be made by one of the Company, observing
  to him that each Parcel he makes is to compose the Number of
  Thirteen, to begin from the Point of the first Card which he takes to
  form each Parcel._


EXAMPLE.

The pack having been shuffled by one or more persons, make it be cut by
as many persons as you think proper.

Then desire one of the company to form the parcels of cards, all which
must contain thirteen each, beginning by the first card he takes up.

  Suppose that this first card is a nine, the
  next will be called ten, and so on till
  thirteen; consequently this first parcel
  will be composed of five cards               5

  If the next card should be an ace, the ace
  counting only one, the next parcel will
  therefore be composed of thirteen cards     13

  Suppose the next card is a court card, or
  a ten, they being of the same value, this
  parcel will contain, in order to make up
  thirteen, four cards                         4

  If the following should be a five, then the
  fourth parcel will contain nine cards        9

  Should the next parcel be a seven, the
  fifth parcel will be composed of seven
  cards                                        7

  A court card being the first of this
  parcel, it will be composed of four cards    4

  If the seventh begins by an eight, it will
  be composed of six cards                     6

  In that case the eighth cannot be made,
  except it begins by a ten, or a court card,
  since there remains only four cards to
  employ the whole number of the cards, which
  is fifty two                                 4
                                             ―――
                                 Sum total    52
                                             ―――

In the supposition then that this eighth parcel begins by a ten, or
court card, which is the same, there would remain no cards, and you
would have eight parcels.

If it began by any other card, not adapted to make out thirteen, there
would remain four cards, which must be spread on the table, without
discovering them.

In order to find out the number of points contained under each of the
parcels, whether they be to the amount of eight, or only seven, and
four cards remaining, you must make use of the following method:

Without touching the cards, separate in your mind four parcels; then
multiply silently by 14 the remaining parcels, whether they are four or
only three.

In the first case you are to say in your mind, 4 times 14 are 56, then
add to this number one point for each of the parcels that you have
separated in your mind, which will make 60. Then make the eight parcels
be turned up, and count the number of points contained in each of the
cards that are under, you will then find 60, observing that the aces
count only for one point, and the court cards for 10.

If there should be only 7 parcels, you will have 4 cards remaining; you
will however separate 4 in your mind; then you are to multiply the 3
remaining parcels by 14; and say to yourself, 3 times 14 is 42, and 4
for the 4 parcels that you separated, make 46; to which you must add 4
more for the 4 cards that will remain, which will make 50. On turning
up the 7 parcels you will necessarily find 50.

If by chance each parcel should begin by an ace, which is possible,
you could then make only 4 parcels, and as it must be the 4 aces, that
would be found under, you would only have 4 points.

If it happened also, that three parcels began each by an ace, it would
then take up 39 cards; it is probable that in such a case there would
be only four parcels in all, and a few cards remaining: you must then
content yourself with counting as many points as parcels; to which
you will add one point for each of the remaining cards, and this will
amount infallibly to the just number of the points of the cards under
the four parcels.



CHAP. XV.


  _To guess the Thoughts of any Person, assuring him, that you will
  write before-hand on a piece of Paper the Amount of the Parcel of
  Cards he shall happen to chuse out of the two placed on the Table._

Take some cards, divide them into two parcels, taking care that in
one there are only two or three sevens, and in the other seven court
cards; call for a pen and ink, and write on a bit of paper the sevens;
then turn the bit of paper down, that what you have written may not be
seen; then tell the person to make his choice. Let him chuse whatever
he pleases, your number will be good, since if he should chuse the
greatest parcel, you may shew him your paper on which is written the
sevens; then desire him to count the number of cards contained in the
parcel he has chosen, and he will find it to be seven, as you had
guessed. This will appear astonishing to him and to the company: but
they will easily recover from their surprise when, on raising the other
parcel, you will shew that it contains only sevens, and consequently
whatever parcel he had chosen, your number, which you had set down was
good, since one parcel contained seven cards, and the other nothing but
sevens.

This trick must not be done twice before the same company, for then it
would become tiresome.

But generally whenever you do a trick before a company, you must never
begin it again before the same.



CHAP. XVI.


  _A curious and agreeable Wager, which you are sure of winning._

Address some person in the company, and say, Madam, or Sir, have you
a watch, a ring, an etwee, or any other trinket? Begin by examining
what has been given you, in order to form an idea of its value, since
you are to lay your bet considerably under the intrinsic value of the
trinket, to avoid being duped.

Suppose what has been offered to you is a watch, you are to propose a
guinea as a wager against it; saying to the lady or gentleman, I lay a
guinea that you do not say three times, my watch: when it is put on the
table, and your wager is accepted, ask the person, presenting him his
watch, what is that? he will not fail to answer, it is my watch.

Present him afterwards another object, making him the same question:
suppose the object you present to be a pen, a piece of paper, or any
other thing. If the person names the object you present, he has lost;
if, on the contrary, he is on his guard, and answers, my watch, you
must then say, Sir, I see very well I have lost; for if you say once
more, my watch, you must certainly win; but if I lose, what will you
give me? the person, being always on his guard, will answer again, my
watch: then, appealing to his own words, you will take the watch and
leave him the stake.



CHAP. XVII.


  _A trick with cards; uniting the double Advantage of being very easy
  and infallible, it being on a little numerical Combination._

Desire some person in the company to chuse, at his will, three cards
out of a piquet pack, observing to him, that the ace is to be counted
for 11 points, the court cards 10, and the other cards according to the
points they mark.

When he has made his choice, desire him to lay on the table his three
cards separately, and to put upon each parcel as many cards as wanting
to make up 15 points; that is to say, if the first card should be a
nine, there must be added six cards over; if the second a ten, five
cards; and if the third a knave, five cards likewise; this will make
nineteen cards employed; consequently there will remain thirteen, which
you are to ask for; and pretending to examine them, you must count them
in order to be certain of the number that is left; then in your mind
add sixteen to the remaining number, and you will have twenty-nine,
number of the points that the three chosen cards under the parcels
contain.



CHAP. XVIII.


  _Sympathetic Inks._

These kinds of inks are very curious, and may serve for a great number
of physical recreations, very surprising to such as are not acquainted
with the manner of preparing them.

One kind, very easy, is made by taking an ounce of common aqua fortis,
which you are to mix with three ounces of common water; you will use
this mixture to write on paper that is strong and very stiff: this
writing becomes totally invisible in drying; and in order to make it
reappear, you need only wet the paper; and when it dries the writing
disappears again. This effect may be repeated two or three times.

This process is the easiest to be done, as the necessary ingredients
are almost always at hand.

Many other things furnish the means of making sympathetic ink, such as
cobalt, bismuth, lime, &c. &c. but they require chemical and difficult
preparations to be efficient.

The easiest to be obtained are mentioned before; as the mixture of aqua
fortis and common water; and those that may be formed by dissolutions
of salt and acids, such as lemon or onion juice: in order to render
them visible, you need only approach them to the fire: the cold air
produces on them the contrary effect.



CHAP. XIX.


  _To make an addition before the Figures are set, by knowing only how
  many Figures are in each Row; as likewise how many Rows compose the
  whole; and then adding yourself some Figures equal to those that had
  been set._

Suppose the person had set five rows of figures, each row containing
five figures.

Say in your mind, as you are making the addition beforehand, 9 times 5
make 45; set down 5 and carry 4: repeat the same thing for each of the
five figures, as if they all counted 9; therefore for the second, say
again, 9 times 5 make 45, and 4 carried over make 49; set down 9 and
carry 4: in the same manner for the third, say 9 times 5 are 45, and
4 carried over are 49; set down 9 and carry 4: for the fourth do the
same; and set down 9 and carry 4: for the fifth repeat the same, by
setting down 9 and carrying 4.

Thus your addition being made before-hand will produce the sum of
499995: then shew this addition to every body in the company; and beg
some one to do you the favour of laying on a paper 5 rows of numbers,
containing five figures in each row.


EXAMPLE.

Suppose the numbers set for you are the following:

  29971
  14563
  76382
  37797
  80130

You ask leave to add a like quantity of numbers; in doing this, you
take care that each of the figures you set down make 9 with each of the
figures that have been given for you.

   70028
   85436
   23617
   62202
   19869
  ――――――
  499995
  ――――――

The first figure being 2, you must set 7; the second being 9, (which
completes the number wanted) you must set a cypher (0); the third being
the same, operate as before; the fourth being 7, set down 2; the fifth
being 1, set down 8.

The second row beginning by 1, your first figure will be 8; the second
number being 4, set down 5; the third being 5, put down 4; the fourth
being 6, you must set down 3; the fifth being 3, set down 6.

As the third row begins by 7, begin yours by 2; under the 6 lay 3, then
1 under the 8, and 7 under the 2.

For the fourth row, set 6 under the 3, 2 under the first 7, and another
2 under the other 7; a 0 under the 9, and 2 under the 7, which complete
this row.

You are to do the same for the fifth row, putting 1 under the 8, 9
under the 0, 8 under the 1, 6 under the 3, and 9 under the 0.

Then desire some of the company to cast up these ten sums, and it will
be found that the product of the whole addition will form the sum of
499995.

In order to come to this combination, you need only fix the number of
figures that will compose each row, and determine the number of rows;
then to reckon each row for 9, as has been shewn above.

You may likewise present this addition, by saying, that it is the
total amount of ten rows, composed of five figures each; out of which
five rows will be set by the person who chuses to do it; then multiply
secretly as many times 9 as you are to set rows of five figures;
therefore multiply 5 times 9 by 5, which will give you the sum of
499995.

The person having set his numbers, you are to add your five rows,
taking care that every number you set will make 9 with that to which
it corresponds; which being done, you are to ask any one to cast the
whole sum up, and the product will be the same as the sum you set down
before-hand.

If it were requisite to employ other numbers instead of that of 9, you
should, in order to succeed, warn the persons who chuse to set the
figures, to be attentive that their numbers do not exceed that agreed
upon.



CHAP. XX.


  _An artificial Spider, which moves by Electricity._

Take a bit of burnt cork, as big as a pea; give it the shape of a
spider; make its legs with threads of hemp; put a grain of lead in the
cork to give it some weight; then hang this artificial spider by a
bit of grey sewing silk (that is not twisted) between two bodies, the
one electrified and the other not; or between two bodies endowed with
different electricities: it will go and come between these two bodies,
and the movement of the legs will be seen as plain as if it were a
living spider.

This artificial spider, if well made, will astonish those who see it
move so naturally.



CHAP. XXI.


  _To extinguish two Wax Candles, and light two others, distant about
  three Feet, by the firing of a Pistol, loaded with Powder, as usual._

Nothing is more simple than the operation which produces this
supernatural effect.

1st. Get some whole wax candles, and let them be recently snuffed.

2d. You are to put in the middle of the wick of those candles to be
lighted, about the size of a millet grain of phosphorus; to do which,
divide the wick with a pin or a tooth-pick; then place yourself at five
or six feet distance from them, and fire your pistol at the lighted
candles, which will be extinguished by the powder, whilst it will make
the phosphorus take fire, which will light the other two.

You may likewise light a wax candle, on the wick of which phosphorus
has been applied, according to the foregoing method, by means of a
sword well heated in a near room. You need only present the point of
the sword to the wick of the candle, commanding it to light.

N. B. Observe that you are not to touch the phosphorus with your
fingers; but take the point of a knife, or a pair of small pincers. You
must take care also, that the wick of the candle is cold before you
put the phosphorus to it; without this precaution it would take fire
immediately.



CHAP. XXII.


  _To compose a red Colour, imitating the Colour of Blood._

This liquor or fluid furnishes the entertaining means of making known
to a company the person who is most addicted to love.


_Preparation of the Liquor._

Cut in very small chips a piece of Fernambuco wood; put them in a large
glass full of good white wine vinegar; add to it a bit of common white
allum, of the size of a small nut; make the whole simmer over a gentle
fire for half an hour, in a new earthen pot or pipkin; taking care to
stir this composition, in order to prevent it from boiling over while
on the fire.

When it is taken from the fire, let it cool, and strain it through a
piece of linen; then pour it into a bottle of clear glass.

You must make all these preparations before-hand; as these experiments
are only agreeable when performed with quickness.

You will find it necessary to provide yourself with a tube of clear
glass, about fifteen or eighteen inches long, about the thickness of a
wax candle, taking care to have it stopt at one end.

When you present yourself before a company, in order to perform this
experiment, you are to carry the tube in your pocket, and holding the
phial in your hand, you are to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, here is a
phial containing liquid blood; I hope to make you know by it the person
most addicted to love in the company.

“Please to observe that I pour a little of this liquor in this tube.
As you might imagine that this liquor, like that put in thermometers,
may rise by dilating itself when exposed to heat, and consequently the
pressure of the hand will suffice to produce this effect, and it will
condense by rarifying when exposed to cold; I assure you, ladies and
gentlemen, it is not the case; this liquor differs entirely from that
put in thermometers; and you may easily be convinced of it before I
make the experiment I promised you. You may put it near the heat of
a candle, and even that of a fire, without any degree of heat making
it rise in the least; but by a peculiar and sympathetic virtue you
will see it boil, when the tube is touched by a person of an amorous
disposition.”

Then take out of your pocket a little potash, keep it in the interior
part of the hand that holds the tube at the top, as if you wanted to
keep it shut, and as soon as the person you wish to make pass for the
most amorous in the company takes the lowest part of the tube in his
hand, you are to let fall dexterously a little of the potash in it, and
you will see the liquor boil and rise to the top of the tube, to the
great astonishment of the spectators.



CHAP. XXIII.


  _To extinguish a wax Candle at eighty or a hundred Paces distance,
  by firing a Gun loaded with Ball, and to be certain of not missing,
  however unskilful may be the Marksman._

This experiment may be easily tried in the country, and even in town,
in a garden that is rather large: the best marksman may be challenged,
and undoubtedly worsted.

Load a gun with a common charge of powder, and a leaden ball. Your
opponent will do the same on his side; then let him fire first, that
you may see him miss his aim, as it is very difficult at such a
distance to put out a candle.

After having rallied him on his pretended skill, you will fire in your
turn, and will extinguish the candle, to the great astonishment of the
spectators, who saw you load your gun in the common way with powder
and ball, but did not perceive that your ball was pierced through and
through in the form of a cross, as is represented by the figure that
follows:

[Illustration]

The whole magic of this experiment consists in this pierced ball, by
which the elasticity of the air that drives it acquires a divergent
force, by passing through the holes of the ball, and produces this
surprising effect.



CHAP. XXIV.


  _To cut a Glass, a Looking-glass, or even a Piece of Crystal, let it
  be ever so thick, without the Help of a Diamond, in the same Shape as
  the Mark of the Drawing made on it with Ink._

This remarkable operation unites utility with amusement. For being in
the country, or in a place where there is no glazier nor glassman to be
had, the following means will answer the purpose without their help.

Take a bit of a walnut-tree, about the thickness of a candle, and cut
one of its ends to a point; put that end in the fire, and let it burn
till it is quite red. While the stick is burning, draw on the glass or
crystal, with ink, the design or outline of the form in which you mean
to cut it out. Then take a file or a bit of glass and scratch a little
the place where you mean to begin your section; then take the wood red
hot from the fire, and lay the point of it about the twentieth part
of an inch, or thickness of a guinea, from the marked place; taking
care to blow always on that point in order to keep it red; follow the
drawing traced on the glass, leaving, as before, about the twentieth
part of an inch interval every time that you present your piece of
wood, which you must take care to blow often.

After having followed exactly the outlines of your drawing, to separate
the two pieces thus cut, you need only pull them up and down, and they
will divide.



CHAP. XXV.


  _To melt a Piece of Steel as if it was Lead, without requiring a very
  great Fire._

Take a piece of steel and put it in a crucible; then throw in a handful
of antimony in powder: as soon as your crucible begins to be red, your
piece of steel will melt like lead.

Pour it afterwards into an earthen vessel, or a wedge-mould, to shew
the company your operation has succeeded as you had promised.


_Another Method of melting Steel, and to see it liquify._

Make a piece of steel quite red in the fire; then holding it with a
pair of pincers or tongs, take in the other hand a stick of brimstone,
and touch the piece of steel with it: immediately after their contact,
you will see the steel melt and drop like a liquid.



CHAP. XXVI.


  _To unite Wax and Water (Things absolutely opposite to each other);
  this Union made in the twentieth Part of a Minute, forms a good
  Pomatum to clean the Skin, and render it soft and white. It is a fine
  Cosmetic._

In order to make this mixture, (useful for many things) put in a glazed
earthen pot quite new, six ounces of spring or river water, to two
ounces of good white virgin wax; add to this a good pinch of salt of
tartar. If you wish to conceal your operation, nothing is easier: make
a little roll or stick of wax, in which you will introduce a pinch
of salt of tartar; put these ingredients on the fire, and when they
begin to heat, be attentive to stir them with a little stick, and you
will see the union take place as soon as the wax melts; you will then
have it at your option to render the pomatum, by the result of this
operation, more or less liquid, by leaving it on the fire more or less
time.



CHAP. XXVII.


  _A curious Method of sealing a Letter, so as not to be opened, by
  variegating the Seal with different coloured Species of Wax._

Suppose you wish to have your seal of four colours, and that the
cartrage of the escutcheon be _yellow_ or _or_, as well as the crown;
the field of the shield or escutcheon, _red_ or _gules_; the seal
itself _green_ or _synople_, and the supporters, if any, _black_ or
_sable_.

Take off then as many different impressions of your seal as you have
kinds of wax to employ, taking care to make them on a very thin paper;
this being done, with a pair of scissars cut out of each impression
each of the objects that are to be variegated; that is to say, begin
by cutting out the shield or escutcheon; and, by wetting it on the
back with the tip of your tongue, place it on your seal over that
part it represents; then do the same for the cartrage of the shield,
as likewise for the supporters; and when all is well ranged, take the
green wax, which is to represent the ground of the seal, and melt it
as you usually do to seal a letter; then placing the seal on it that
has in the mouldings the different objects which are to vary your seal,
each of these objects will be found placed naturally, and will form a
seal of four colours.

If any body should attempt to break open the letter by heating the wax,
the different colours in melting must mix and discover evidently the
infidelity by their confusion.



CHAP. XXVIII.


  _To make fine blue Wax, which is very difficult to be had._

Take an ounce of mountain blue, or blue ashes, an ounce of fine mastic,
the fifth of an ounce of true Venice turpentine; then get a small iron
pot or pan, well cleaned, and made so as to have a little spout or
beak; put the mastic in it first, which is to be melted on the fire,
taking care that it does not burn; then mix the turpentine with it:
this mixture being done, take the pan from the fire and put the blue
ashes in it; then stir it all well with a little stick: take care when
you put in the blue ashes that the other ingredients are not too hot,
as that would make the colour too black: when all is well mixed, and
before it is quite cold, take two pieces of glass, which must be made
wet with water; then pour on one of them this composition, in order to
roll it in sticks under your fingers, which must be wet.

In order to give this wax the necessary polish, pass the sticks over
the flame of spirits of wine, which are to be lighted for this purpose.



CHAP. XXIX.


  _A philosophical Mushroom._

Among the numerous and surprising phenomenons produced by different
chymical proceedings, one of the most curious is certainly that of the
inflammation of essential oils, by the mixture of nitrous acid. It
is certainly astonishing to see a cold liquor take fire on pouring
another cold liquor on it; such are the means by which one may form in
three minutes the mushroom, called the philosophical mushroom.

In order to make this extraordinary and entertaining experiment, you
must provide yourself with a glass, having a large foot, the basis of
this glass is to terminate in a point, as the annexed figure shews.

[Illustration]

Put in the glass an ounce of spirits of nitre, well rarified; then
pour over it an ounce of essential oil of guaiacum. This mixture will
produce a very considerable ferment, attended with smoak, out of
which there will rise, in the space of three minutes, a spungy body,
resembling perfectly a common mushroom.

This spungy substance, formed by the fat and oily particles of the
guaiacum wood, being drawn up by the air, covers itself with a very
thin coat of the matter that composes the oil of guaiacum.



CHAP. XXX.


  _To make a Ring shift from one Hand to another, and to make it go on
  whatever Finger is required on the other Hand, while somebody holds
  both your Arms, in order to prevent any Communication between them._

Desire some person in the company to lend you a gold ring, recommending
him at the same time to make a mark on it that he may know it again.

Have a gold ring of your own, which you are to fasten by a small
cat-gut string to a watch barrel, which must be sown to the left sleeve
of your coat.

Take in your right hand the ring that will be given to you; then taking
with dexterity near the entrance of your sleeve the other ring fastened
to the watch barrel, draw it to the fingers ends of your left hand,
taking care nobody perceives it: during this operation, hide between
the fingers of your right hand the ring that has been lent to you, and
hang it dexterously on a little hook sewed on purpose on your waistcoat
near your hip, and hid by your coat; you will after that shew your ring
which you hold in your left hand; then ask the company on which finger
of the other hand they wish it to pass. During this interval, and as
soon as the answer has been given, put the before-mentioned finger on
the little hook, in order to slip on it the ring; at the same moment
let go the other ring, by opening your fingers: the spring which is
in the watch barrel, not being confined any longer, will contract,
and make the ring slip under the sleeve, without any body perceiving
it, not even those who hold your arms, as their only attention being
to prevent your hands from communicating, they will let you make
the necessary motions. These motions must be very quick, and always
accompanied by stamping with your foot.

After this operation, shew the assembly that the ring is come on the
other hand: make them remark well that it is the same that had been
lent you, or that the mark is right.

Much quickness and dexterity must be made use of to succeed in this
entertaining trick, that the deception may not be suspected.



CHAP. XXXI.


  _To guess, by smelling, which has been the Number struck out by a
  Person in the Company, in the Product of a Multiplication given him
  to do._

Propose to a person of the company to multiply, by whatever number
he pleases, one of the three sums which you will give him on a piece
of paper; desire him to strike out whatever figure he pleases of the
product of his multiplication, let him change and invert the order of
the remaining figures after the defalcation he has chosen.

While the person is making his calculation and the subsequent
operations, go in another room: when you are told you may return,
desire the person who has done the multiplication, to give you the
remaining product on a piece of paper or card; put it to your nose
as though you would smell it; then you will tell him, to the great
astonishment of the whole Company, what figure he had struck out.

In order to do this operation, first observe, that the figures
composing each of the three sums you propose to be multiplied, do not
exceed the number of 18.


EXAMPLE.

Suppose the three sums proposed to be the following:

  315423   132354
  \ /\ /   \ /\ /
   9  9     9  9
    \ /      \ /
     18       18

       252144
       \ /\ /
        9  9

  Supposing that the sum chosen to be multiplied
  be that of                              132354

  And that the multiplicator be                7
                                          ――――――
      The product will then be            926478
                                          ――――――

Suppose likewise that the figure which has been struck out is the 6,
the remaining ones will form a sum of 92,478.

As you let the person who has done the multiplication set down the
figures in the order he pleases, suppose also that he sets them down
thus, on the piece of paper he gives you,

  79,482.

When you pretend to smell the paper, add together in your mind the
figures presented to you, in order to reduce them to nines; and say in
your mind 7 and 2 make nine; after that 8 and 4 make 12; in 12 there is
9, and three remains towards 9 more; to complete which 6 is wanting,
which is and must be the figure struck out. This calculation must be
made quickly, and while you pass the paper under your nose under the
pretext of smelling it.

There is another manner of proceeding to guess the figure left out, by
letting the person chuse the sum he pleases to be multiplied, but then
you must ask him to shew you the sum he means to have multiplied, and
to let you add one figure at your option.

In that case, by running your eyes over the sum set down, you will
easily see what figure you are obliged to add in order to complete the
number of 9.


EXAMPLE.

In the supposition that the sum set down is the following:

  789,788

Add in your mind thus: 7 and 8 are 15, and 9, 24; and 7, 31; and 8,
39; and 8 more, 47: in 47 there is 5 times 9, as 9 times 5 make 45;
there remains 2, therefore in order to complete 9, 7 are to be added;
consequently the sum to be multiplied will be 7,897,887.

Then give this sum, which has been increased by a 7, to the person who
has presented it to you: and tell him to chuse whatever multiplier he
pleases; then retire while he does the multiplication, recommending
him to strike out the figure he pleases, as usual, and to set down on
a piece of paper the remaining sum, the figure being defalcated, and
the remaining figures ranged as he pleases; and in order to guess the
number that was struck out, you are to proceed as it has been explained
for the first manner of operating, and with the same tricks.



CHAP. XXXII.


  _To make any Pen-knife out of three jump out of a Goblet, agreeable
  to the Option of the Company._

Take a silver goblet, as, on account of its opacity, it will hide the
means you will employ to make the pen-knife jump out at the desire of
the assembly.

This operation consists in a small spring, about an inch broad, by two
inches and a quarter long.

You are to take care to subject or bend this spring before you begin
the trick with a little bit of sugar, which being compressed between
the two ends of the spring, will prevent it from unbending.

Then ask the company, shewing your three pen-knives of different
colours, which of them they chuse to see jump out of the goblet.

Put afterwards your three pen-knives in the goblet, taking care to lay
the end of the handle of the chosen pen-knife in a little round hole
that is in the upper end of the spring, confined by the bit of sugar;
and before you withdraw your hand from the goblet, which must contain
in the bottom some drops of water, take a little of it with the tip of
your finger, and put it dexterously on the sugar, which by melting will
leave the spring at liberty to extend and make the pen-knife jump out.

While the sugar is melting, you may stand far from the goblet, and
command the pen-knife to jump out; and this will be done to the great
astonishment of the spectators. Yet nothing is so simple as the means
to make this experiment succeed, without the least assistance from any
confederate.

N. B. These little springs, fit for use, may be had of Mr. PINETTI,
Hay-Market.



CHAP. XXXIII.


  _To pull off any Person’s Shirt, without undressing him, or having
  Occasion for a Confederate._

This trick requires only dexterity; and nevertheless, when I performed
it at the Theatre-Royal in the Hay-Market, every body imagined that the
person whom I had tricked out of his shirt was in a confederacy with me.

The means of performing this trick are the following; only observing
that the cloaths of the person whose shirt is to be pulled off be wide
and easy.

Begin by making him pull off his stock, and unbuttoning his shirt at
the neck and sleeves, afterwards tye a little string in the button-hole
of the left sleeve; then, passing your hand behind his back, pull the
shirt out of his breeches, and slip it over his head; then pulling it
out before in the same manner, you will leave it on his stomach; after
that, go to the right hand, and pull the sleeve down, so as to have it
all out of the arm: the shirt being then all of a heap, as well in the
right sleeve as before the stomach, you are to make use of the little
string fastened to the button-hole of the left sleeve, to get back the
sleeve that must have slipt up, and to pull the whole shirt out that
way.

To hide your way of operating from the person whom you unshirt, and
from the assembly, you may cover his head with a lady’s cloak, holding
a corner of it in your teeth.

In order to be more at your ease, you may mount on a chair, and do
the whole operation under the cloak. Such are the means I used when I
performed publicly this trick.



CONTENTS.


                                                            Page
  PREFACE                                                      5

  CHAP. I. Curious Method of restoring to Life, in two
    Minutes, a Fly that has been drowned even twenty-four
    hours                                                     11

  CHAP. II. To make a Colour that will appear or
    disappear by Means of the Air                             12

  CHAP. III. Method of drawing a deformed Figure, which
    will appear well proportioned from a certain Point of
    View                                                   ibid.

  CHAP. IV. To change the Colour of a Rose                    13

  CHAP. V. To render hideous the Faces of all the Company     14

  CHAP. VI. Method of Engraving in Relief on the Shell of
    a new-laid Egg                                         ibid.

  CHAP. VII. To shoot a Swallow flying, with a Gun loaded
    with Powder, as usual; and after, to find Means to
    bring it to life again                                    15

  CHAP. VIII. To make a Calve’s Head bellow as if alive,
    when dressed and served up                                16

  CHAP. IX. A puzzling Question to be proposed for
    Solution                                                  17

  CHAP. X. To dispose two little Figures, so that one
    shall light a Candle, and the other put it out            19

  CHAP. XI. A curious Secret to make a Card pass from one
    Hand into the other                                       20

  CHAP. XII. To change a Card which is in the Hand of a
    Person, recommending him to cover it well                 23

  CHAP. XIII. To guess a Card that has been thought of by
    any body, by writing before-hand on a Paper or Card a
    Number, which will certainly be that of the Card that
    has been thought of                                       25

  CHAP. XIV. A mathematical Combination for guessing,
    in a whole Pack composed of Fifty-two Cards, how
    many Points will make the Cards under each Parcel,
    which Parcels are to be made by one of the Company,
    observing to him that each Parcel he makes is to
    compose the Number of Thirteen, to begin from the
    Point of the first Card which he takes to form each
    Parcel                                                    28

  CHAP. XV. To guess the Thoughts of any Person, assuring
    him, that you will write before-hand on a Piece of
    Paper the Amount of the Parcel of Cards he shall
    happen to chuse out of the two placed on the Table        32

  CHAP. XVI. A curious and agreeable Wager, which you are
    sure of winning                                           34

  CHAP. XVII. A trick with Cards; uniting the double
    Advantage of being very easy and infallible, it being
    on a little numerical Combination                         35

  CHAP. XVIII. Sympathetic Inks                               36

  CHAP. XIX. To make an Addition before the Figures are
    set, by knowing only how many Figures are in each
    Row; as likewise how many Rows compose the whole; and
    then adding yourself some Figures equal to those that
    had been set                                              38

  CHAP. XX. An artificial Spider, which moves by
    Electricity                                               42

  CHAP. XXI. To extinguish two Wax Candles, and light two
    others, distant about three Feet, by the firing of a
    Pistol, loaded with Powder, as usual                      43

  CHAP. XXII. To compose a red Colour, imitating the
    Colour of Blood                                           44

  CHAP. XXIII. To extinguish a Wax Candle, at eighty or
    a hundred Paces distance, by firing a Gun loaded
    with Ball, and to be certain of not missing, however
    unskilful may be the Marksman                             47

  CHAP. XXIV. To cut a Glass, a Looking-glass, or even a
    Piece of Crystal, let it be ever so thick, without
    the Help of a Diamond, in the same Shape as the Mark
    of the Drawing made on it with Ink                        49

  CHAP. XXV. To melt a Piece of Steel, as if it was lead,
    without requiring a very great Fire                       50

  CHAP. XXVI. To unite Wax and Water, (Things absolutely
    opposite to each other); this Union, made in the
    twentieth Part of a Minute, forms a good Pomatum to
    clean the Skin, and render it soft and white. It is a
    fine Cosmetic                                             52

  CHAP. XXVII. A curious Method of sealing a Letter, so
    as not to be opened, by variegating the Seal with
    different coloured Species of Wax                         53

  CHAP. XXVIII. To make fine blue Wax, which is very
    difficult to be had                                       54

  CHAP. XXIX. A philosophical Mushroom                        55

  CHAP. XXX. To make a Ring shift from one Hand to
    another, and to make it go on whatever Finger is
    required on the other Hand, while somebody holds both
    your Arms, in order to prevent any communication
    between them                                              57

  CHAP. XXXI. To guess by smelling, which has been the
    Number struck out by a Person in the Company, in the
    Product of a Multiplication given him to do               59

  CHAP. XXXII. To make any Pen-knife out of three jump
    out of a Goblet, agreeable to the Option of the
    Company                                                   63

  CHAP. XXXIII. To pull off any Person’s Shirt, without
    undressing him, or having Occasion for a Confederate      64

THE END.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

The single footnote has been moved to the end of its chapter and
relabeled.

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in
the original publication, except that obvious typographical errors have
been corrected.





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operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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