Magic Trick: Divination of Thought

This is an ambitious and daring experiment. Hold the cards upright, and fanwise, before one of the audience (a lady for choice), and run them rapidly from right to left, or vice versa, in such a manner that only a very small portion of each card, one excepted, is visible. The bottom, or front, card is carefully concealed by the hand, so that it cannot be seen. The cards are run so rapidly across that it is impossible to recognise any of them by the very small portions of them exhibited by you; but one you allow to be very much exposed, and on that one you place a finger, and continue pushing the rest over in a rapid manner. Whilst thus running the cards across, you ask the lady to kindly think of any one of the cards she sees. As you take good care to show only one card, you may rest assured that that is the one thought of, although it is advisable, on being told that a card has been thought of, to inquire if it were actually seen in the pack. Keeping the finger on the card, turn the pack over, and then make the pass. The card can then be produced after any method the performer pleases, but he should first ask the name of the card (at which he has taken a glance), as there is considerable uncertainty about forcing a card upon a person's notice in this manner. In the event of the chooser naming a card other than that manipulated by the performer, he must at once look through the pack for it, and first palming it, boldly declare that it is not in the pack, which he will give to be inspected. The card named can then be produced from someone's pocket, &c. The method of passing the cards fanwise from side to side, so as to expose the face of one card only, should be practised in front of a looking-glass until the learner is perfect. Perfection is the only degree in which it is allowed to exhibit conjuring tricks, especially those with cards.

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