Magic Trick: Magician's Costume

The conjuror's dress will command a great deal of consideration, the disposition and capacity of the pockets being of considerable importance. I will first take the coat, which will, of course, be a dress one. The whole of the inside of each breast of this should be one huge pocket, the opening of which is perpendicular instead of horizontal, and about two inches from the edges, so as to just escape observation. This enables large objects to be concealed, and yet easily got at. The tail pockets are not used in performing, so can be either entirely absent or else made in the usual way. One tail, however, should have a large pocket about five inches deep at the bottom, and right across its width. This pocket should be made very loose so as to be always open to a slight extent, for it will often have articles dropped into it at all sorts of odd times. Some conjurors have copper wire in the edge to keep it open when required.

The vest is extremely important. It should be split right up the back and then re-joined by three bands of broad elastic. This is to enable one to put large articles in the breast without causing any unusual wrinkles or bulging. For vesting purposes, some have a strip of thin leather, about two inches broad, sewn round the bottom, inside, but I do not find this sufficiently safe. I usually have some fine elastic run in the hem by means of a bodkin. It should be tight enough to hold an egg (a heavy, slippery thing, and awkward when dropped) securely; but it must not pull the vest out of shape. The only extra pockets required in the trousers are one at each hip, covered by the tails of the coat. They should be about three inches long by one and a half in depth, and constructed so as to be always partly open. They are very handy for receiving such articles as coins, little balls, rings, pocket-knives, &c., which it is desirable that the audience should not see. Little pockets, of a similar nature, are sometimes used behind the lappel of the coat; but those in the trousers are far superior, as they are got at by the perfectly natural action of dropping the arm. The inside turn-up of the sleeve of the coat I have also seen similarly employed, but have not noticed any particular advantage to be derived therefrom.

Starting now with his prepared tables and mysterious suit, and armed with a fair amount of manipulative skill, the learner ought to be able to bid defiance to the world, and to boldly attempt anything within his particular scope or province that he has seen anyone else do.

Before commencing, always say a few words, to the effect that you are there to conjure, and not to make speeches; so you will not detain the audience with a history of conjuring from the year 1, but proceed to show them what can be done in the present year. In family circles, more talking should be done than in public places, where an impressive style should be cultivated.

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