Magic Trick: To Cause a Stick or Poker to Stand on End

For this feat the performer must be provided with 2ft. or so of fine black cotton or silk, with a black pin at each end, securely tied on. The pins may be either bent or silk, straight, and must be fixed in the trousers at the calf, one in each leg, which will enable the operator to walk about without any fear of the thread getting him into trouble. The performer first takes a stick or poker (if a poker, it should be a light one), and, after having had it examined, proceeds to mesmerise it, as he will call it. This mesmerism should be conducted with the greatest seriousness imaginable. When the magnetic influence has been properly aroused by rubbing, &c., the performer should sit down and open his legs, so causing the cotton or silk to become stretched. He then takes the stick or poker, and stands it upon the floor in front of him. On being left to itself, it, of course, falls to the ground, but' after three or four failures, the performer brings it against the thread, and then, making several mesmeric passes with the hands, relinquishes all hold. The stick or poker will, of course, be supported by the thread, but during the whole time it is so sustained the hands must be waved over and around it, as though exercising some influence over it. Do not prolong this trick more than can possibly be avoided, but get out of sight and remove the pins and thread with all despatch. (See also The Dancing Sailor.)

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