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   Magic Trick: Sleights




Often, in the description of a trick, the learner is told that a handkerchief, coin, egg, orange, or other article has to be made to disappear or appear by sleight of hand. In the descriptions here given, my own methods naturally appear in preponderance over those of others; but it is a mistake for conjurors to confine themselves arbitrarily to any such, whosesoever they be, or whatever their nature. The peculiar means for magically vanishing or producing an article which has seemed to me to be most convenient under the conditions governing the particular trick under notice, I have always laid the most stress upon; but it is very likely that, were half a dozen experts to write upon the same tricks, they would each vary more or less in the precise means by which the same results were arrived at. This is only as it should be, the success of a conjuror, like that of an actor, depending, in a very great measure, upon his originality or individuality. The reader will notice that I frequently describe a trick, and then give one or more alternative ways of doing it, the last-named being usually methods I have seen adopted with success by other conjurors. In order to save endless repetition, I give here a few sleights which the learner should be incessantly practising, just as he would the pass or the palm. Some of the feats actually form small tricks in themselves, but are only introduced by the performer as suddenly inspired interpolations in the course of a trick, of which they may, as a fact, really form part. For the disappearance of a coin or coins, the various palms provide; the method described in connection with the cups and balls (page 55) suffices for the evanishment of marbles, nuts, and articles of that size; whilst the palming of cards has been specially treated. The other sleights which I have found most necessary are as follows:

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