Magic Trick: Drawing Room Magic

This derives its chief beauty from the fact that it is almost entirely dependent on pure sleight of hand, a fact which audiences are never slow to appreciate. The most familiar objects are dealt with, and are made to vanish and re-appear in unexpected places, as though they really were disembodied and reinstated. The amateur will find, after a few years' experience, that the impromptu performances he may, from time to time, be called upon to give in the drawing-rooms of his acquaintances, will be much more satisfactory to both himself and his audiences than the more pretentious affairs given upon stages, which call for a great deal of management, apart from ability, to render them successes. When once the performer has attained the credit of being better than the ordinary ruck, it will become incumbent upon him to keep up the level of skill by means of practice, as wonder must follow wonder in ever-increasing proportion.

Coins, from being so readily procurable, and from their adaptability, are deservedly favourite media, and with them I shall first deal. For all general purposes, a well-conditioned florin will be found the best coin for the beginner; although, of course, he must, in time, be able to manipulate slippery half-crowns and pennies with equal ease. Florins, as a rule, are more readily procurable in these days, but few half-crowns being coined in comparison with them. But as the conjuror must be provided against all emergencies, I shall give directions for the best method of treatment for each coin. The means adopted for the temporary concealment of a coin in the hand is known as Palming, and I shall commence Drawing-room Magic with a description of the various methods.

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