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   Magic Trick: Bird-cages




This is a trick which ranks almost as high in public estimation—the only gauge, by-the-bye, by which conjuring tricks can be measured—as the gold-fish trick. The same principal feature—the production of a substantial article, containing living things, from such unsuspected regions as the interior of a hat, or the folds of a handkerchief—is in both, and the audience is, in each instance, in the same dilemma in endeavouring to explain where the article comes from, and how the living creatures get into it. It may sound like exaggeration to assert that two substantial cages, 6in. high, each containing two live canaries or other birds, can be produced from a hat from one "load," but such can be done, nevertheless. The cages are of wire at the top and on the sides, the bottom being solid and heavy. The sides are hinged to the top, under which they fold, when the bottom, which slides up and down the sides, is pushed up. The top being domed, the birds are safe therein, not as comfortable, perhaps, as they might be, but still unhurt. The bottom pushed up and the sides doubled under, the whole is scarcely 2in. in depth; and two cages, placed bottom to bottom, and kept together by means of an elastic band or by a thread, can be got into the hat from the coat breast-pocket in the prescribed manner. To produce them, it is only necessary to raise the upper portion, by means of the ring there affixed, and the bottom will run down into its place, causing the sides to go into their positions. These cages are also produced from handkerchiefs, in which case it is usual to have them of very large dimensions. Herrmann produced one at times which had to be concealed up his back, so large was it. This was produced, without detection, in the very centre of the audience.

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