Magic Trick: To Vanish a Glass of Sherry

When invited out to a dinner party, one usually leaves one's conjuring tricks at home; but in some instances, where, perhaps, one's fame has gone before, an unexpected call is made for an exhibition of skill. "Come, So-and-so, let us see some tricks," says the host, and "Hear, hear!" say the guests. You are, of course, quite unprepared, and beg to be excused, but in vain. You must acquiesce, or be voted a boor. In an absent manner, you place a glass of sherry to your lips, as though bracing yourself for the fray. The glass is half emptied (be careful about this), when a sudden movement is made as though you threw it up at the ceiling; but nothing is seen to ascend, though the glass, with the wine in it, has disappeared. After a short pause, to allow the general astonishment to take full effect, the missing article is discovered inside the coat of your immediate neighbour, with the wine in it unspilt. This startling effect is thus managed: Open the legs just a few inches, and in the disengaged hand hold a napkin or handkerchief. When the feigned movement of throwing the glass upwards is made, the article itself is left between the legs, and immmediately covered with the napkin. It is, however, of the highest importance that the hand does not dwell an instant in leaving the glass behind, otherwise the movement will be discovered. The action must be swift, clean, and noiseless. To find the glass on the person of your neighbour, take it up, with the napkin with which you have covered it, with one hand, and, bringing yourself quite close to the party to be operated upon, whip it inside his coat with the other. Produce it very slowly from its supposed place of concealment, for extra effect. The success of the trick is greatly enhanced by its total unexpectedness, and the performer must take care not to reveal, by any word or gesture, what he is about to do. He should, however, immediately preceding the vanish, draw attention to himself by addressing the host, or otherwise engaging the conversation, lest he perform the trick and afterwards discover that no one saw it, for it is a trick that will not bear repetition. A tea or coffee cup, small size, can be treated after the same manner.

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