Magic Trick: Le Gant de Paris

For this trick, which will bring the performer's utmost skill into play, the following articles will be required: An orange, a lemon, and a walnut, all embowelled. The walnut contains a small kid glove, the lemon contains the walnut, and the orange the lemon. Besides these, the performer has a whole orange, lemon, and walnut, which he can either bring forward, or, for preference, find in persons' hair or on their noses. He has, also, concealed separately under the vest, a tiny glove, not more than three inches in length, and another quite ten inches long. These will be best manufactured at home under personal supervision, and they should be well made. The three fruits, produced or discovered, are placed in various positions on the table, or tables, care being taken that the lemon is situated conveniently near a trap. Opportunity must be taken for exchanging the orange for the prepared one. There are many ways for doing this. One, which is as good as any, is to give the perfect orange to the stage attendant, telling him to place it upon the table, and then at once engage the audience with something else. In going towards the table, the attendant effects the exchange. Other methods, such as having the prepared orange on the shelf, and exchanging it with the other whilst calling attention to the lemon—carrying it in the breast pocket, and exchanging it when the back is turned to the audience—will readily suggest themselves. It is impossible to set down any hard-and-fast rule for such minutiœ as these. Sometimes the disposition of the stage, or of the audience, will necessitate the adoption of a method that would, under other circumstances, be impossible of introduction. The small glove is now brought down and kept concealed in the palm, and a kid glove, of the same colour as the one inside the prepared walnut shells, borrowed. Express your intention of making it pass inside the walnut, and observe that it is a little too large. Saying that you will make it a little smaller, proceed to rub it in the hand, and eventually exchange it for the tiny glove, which produce, and give to a gentleman to fit upon the hand. Of course, it will be too small, and you will inquire what size glove the gentleman wears. You affect to misunderstand him, and clap on ten sizes more. Thus, if eight and a half is said, you exclaim, "Eighteen and a half! That's a very large size, sir. But perhaps you think I can't make one so big. I will show you." It is sure to be explained that eight and a half, and not eighteen and a half, was the size mentioned, but you affect not to hear the correction, and proceed to rub up the small glove, having previously got down the large one. Make a great fuss of stretching, and finally produce the large glove, allowing the small one to drop inside it. The original borrowed glove in the meantime vest, if you have not done so already. Now proceed to the table, and, rolling up the large glove, with the little one inside it, tightly, pass it down a trap, and affect to rub it away into the walnut. Take up the walnut and vanish it by sleight of hand, pretending to pass it into the lemon, which get rid of, along with the nut, down a trap, and finally cut open the orange. Take out the lemon and cut that open, and produce the walnut. Ask one of the audience, on that side of the auditorium which is opposite to where the owner of the borrowed glove is seated, to open the walnut, at the same time getting down the borrowed glove from the vest. Take the glove from the walnut in one hand, and, pretending to place it in the other, whilst advancing towards the person from whom it was borrowed, effect an exchange. This must be done with all possible neatness and skill, or, at the last moment, the trick will fail. Supposing that you take the glove from the walnut with the left hand, the right should contain the borrowed glove. The left hand then makes a rapid movement towards the right, as if placing the glove in it. The glove in the left hand is in reality concealed, and the one in the right hand revealed. Half an hour's practice will make a wonderful difference in the execution of this pass, which will often have to be used, sometimes in cases of great emergency. On cutting open prepared oranges, lemons, &c., always be careful to throw the skins behind you, or elsewhere away from the view of the audience, who are not likely to be deeply impressed in favour of your skill after a close examination of the remains of the prepared articles. If the triple combination of orange, lemon, and walnut is at first too difficult, try the dual one of lemon and walnut only. It is still very effective, and there is far less to think about. If the performer is limited as to traps, the large glove can be fired at the walnut from the pistol tube. The variation is quite unimportant.

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