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The Juggler's Oracle online

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Produced by Charlie Howard and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was
produced from images generously made available by the
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Transcriber’s Notes: Italicized text is indicated by _underscores_. Other
notes will be found at the end of this eBook.


Legerdemain Laid Open:






_By Optical Illusion, Chymical Changes, and
Magical Cards, &c._

Illustrated by upwards of Forty Wood Engravings.






Description of the Operator 1


1. To deliver Four Aces, and to convert them into Knaves 2

2. Method of making the Pass 3

3. The Card of Divination 4

Another Way 5

4. The Four Confederate Cards 5

5. The Fifteen Thousand Livres 5

6. The Magic Ring 7

7. The Card in the Mirror 8

8. The Marvellous Vase 9

9. The Nerve Trick 10

10. To make the Constable catch the Knave 11

11. To change a Card into a King or Queen 11

12. To tell a Person what Card he took Notice of 12

13. To tell what Card is at the Bottom, when the Pack is shuffled 12

14. Another Way, not having seen the Cards 12

15. To tell, without Confederacy, what Card one thinks of 13

16. To make a Card jump out of the Pack, and run on the Table 13

17. To tell a Card, and to convey the Same into a Nut or
Cherry-Stone 13

18. To let Twenty Gentlemen draw Twenty Cards, and to make
one Card every Man’s Card 13

19. To transform the Four Kings into Aces, and afterwards to
render them all Blank Cards 13

20. To name all the Cards in the Pack, and yet never see them 15

21. To show any one what Card he takes Notice of 15

22. To tell the Number of Spots on the Bottom Cards, laid
down in several Heaps 16

23. To make any two Cards come together which may be named 17

24. Card nailed to the Wall by a Pistol-shot 17

25. To tell what Card one thinks of 19

26. Another Way 19

27. To make a Card jump out of an Egg 20

28. The Little Sportsman 20


29. To pass the Balls through the Cups 22

30. A still more Extraordinary Mode of Playing at Cups and
Balls 26


31. To convey Money from one Hand to the other 28

32. To convert Money into Counters, and the Reverse 28

33. To put a Sixpence into each Hand, and, with Words, bring
them together 29

34. To put a Sixpence into a Stranger’s Hand, and another into
your own, and to convey both into the Stranger’s Hand
with Words 29

35. To show the same Feat otherwise 29

36. To throw a Piece of Money away, and find it again 30

37. To make a Sixpence leap out of a Pot or to run along a
Table 30

38. To make a Sixpence sink through a Table, and to vanish out
of a Handkerchief 30

39. To know if a Coin be a Head or Woman, and the Party to
stand in another Room 31

40. To command Seven Halfpence through the Table 31

41. To command a Sixpence out of a Box 32

42. To blow a Sixpence out of another Man’s Hand 32

43. To make a Ring shift from one Hand to another, and to make
it go on whatever Finger is required, while Somebody
holds both Arms 33

44. To transfer a Counter into a Silver Groat 34

45. To make a Silver Twopence be plain in the Palm of your
Hand, and be passed from thence wherever you like 35

46. To convey a Sixpence out of the Hand of one that holds it
fast 35

47. To convey a Shilling from one Hand into another, holding
your Hands apart 36

48. To transform any small Thing into any other Form, by folding
of Paper 36

49. Another Trick of the same Nature 36

50. A Watch recovered after being beaten to Pieces in a Mortar 37


51. The Egg-Box 38

52. The Penetrative Guinea 39

53. The Chest which opens at Command 40

54. The Melting-Box 41

55. Trick upon the Globe-Box 42

56. Trick with the Funnel 44

57. The Magical Bell and Bushel 44

58. Out of an Empty Bag to bring upwards of an Hundred
Eggs; and, afterwards, a living Fowl 45

59. Bonus Genius; or, Hiccius Doctius 46

60. To make a Knife leap out of a Pot 47

61. To turn a Box of Bird-seed into a living Bird 47


62. To produce a Carmine Red Flame 48

63. An Orange-coloured Flame 48

64. To make Balloons with Soap and Water that catch Fire and
detonate 48

65. A Brilliant Blue Flame 49

66. An Emerald Green Flame 49

67. Loud Detonations, like the Discharge of Artillery 49

68. A Well of Fire 50

69. To make a Room seem all on Fire 50

70. To walk on a Hot Iron Bar, without Danger of Burning 50

71. To eat Fire, and blow it up in your Mouth with a Pair of
Bellows 50

72. To Light a Candle by a Glass of Water 52

73. Fulminating Powder 52

74. To set Fire to a Combustible Body by the Reflection of Two
Concave Mirrors 52

75. To give the Faces of the Company the Appearance of Death 53

76. To dispose two Little Figures, so that one shall light a
Candle, and the other put it out 53

77. To construct a Lantern which will enable a Person to read
by Night, at a great Distance 53


78. To cut a Lace asunder in the Middle, and to make it Whole
again 54

79. To burn a Thread and make it Whole again with the Ashes 54

80. To pull many Yards of Ribbon out of the Mouth 55

81. To cut a Piece of Tape into Four Parts, and make it Whole
again with Words 55

82. To unloose a Knot upon a Handkerchief, by Words 57

83. To draw a Cord through the Nose 58

84. To take Three Button-Moulds off a String 59


85. The Multiplying Mirror 60

86. The Magic-Lantern 61

87. The Phantascope 61

88. The Enchanted Mirrors 63

89. The Wonderful Phantoms 64

90. The Real Apparition 65

91. To draw a Deformed Figure, which will appear well proportioned
from a certain Point of View 67


92. To change the Colour of a Rose 67

93. To turn Water into Wine 67

94. Arbor Dianæ; or, the Silver Tree 68

95. The Lead Tree 68

96. The Tree of Mars 68

97. To form a Metallic Tree, in the Shape of a Fir 69

98. To make a Gold or Silver Tree, to serve as a Chimney
Ornament 69

99. Sympathetic or Secret Inks 70

100. Preparation of Green Sympathetic Ink 70

101. Blue Sympathetic Ink 70

102. Yellow Sympathetic Ink 71

103. Purple Sympathetic Ink 71

104. Rose-coloured Sympathetic Ink 71

105. Application of the Secret Inks 71

106. A Drawing which alternately represents Winter and Summer
Scenes 71

107. Demonstration of the various Strata of Earth which cover
the Globe 72

108. To freeze Water in the Midst of Summer, without the
Application of Ice 72


109. To swallow a long Pudding made of Tin 73

110. An artificial Spider 74

111. To pass a Ring through your Cheek 74

112. To cut a Hole in a Cloak, Scarf, or Handkerchief, and by
Words to make it Whole again 75

113. The Dancing Egg 75

114. To make three Figures Dance in a Glass 76

115. To shoot a Swallow, and to bring him to Life again 77

116. Singular Trick with a Fowl 77

117. To put a Lock upon a Man’s Mouth 77

118. To thrust a Bodkin into the Forehead, without Hurt 79

119. To thrust a Bodkin through your Tongue 79

120. To appear to cut your Arm off, without any Hurt or Danger 80

121. Tricks with a Cat 80

122. To make a Calf’s Head bellow, when served up to Table 81

123. To make a Ball rise above the Water 81

124. Mode of sealing Letters, whereby the Impression cannot be
taken 81

125. The Enchanted Egg 82

126. To cut a Man’s Head off, and to put the Head into a Platter,
a Yard from the Body 82

127. To cause Beer to be wrung out of the Handle of a Knife 83

128. To cut a Glass by Heat 84




Is an art whereby a person seems to work wonderful, incredible, and
almost impossible feats. There is no supernatural or infernal agency
in the case; for every trick is performed by nimbleness, agility, and

_The Operator._

The Operator, or Conjurer, should be a person of bold and undaunted
resolution, so as to set a good face upon the matter, in case of the
occurrence of any mistake whereby a discovery of the nature of the
trick in hand may take place by one of the spectators.

He ought to have a great variety of strange terms and high-sounding
words at command, so as to grace his actions, amaze the beholders, and
draw their attention from the more minute operations.

He ought likewise to use such gestures of body as may help to draw off
the attention of the spectators from a strict scrutiny of his actions.

In showing feats and juggling with cards, the principal point consists
in the shuffling them nimbly, and always keeping one card either at
the bottom or in some known place of the pack, four or five cards from
it; hereby you will seem to work wonders, for it will be easy for you
to see one card, which, though you be perceived to do it, will not be
suspected, if you shuffle them well afterwards; and this caution I must
give you, that, in reserving the bottom card, you must always, whilst
you shuffle, keep it a little before or a little behind all the cards
lying underneath it, bestowing it either a little beyond its fellows
before, right over the fore-finger, or else behind the rest, so as the
little finger of the left hand may meet with it, which is the easier,
readier, and better way. In the beginning of your shuffling, shuffle
as thick as you can, and, in the end, throw upon the pack the nether
card, with so many more, at the least, as you would have preserved for
any purpose, a little before or a little behind the rest, provided
always that your fore-finger (if the pack lie behind) creep up to meet
with the bottom card; and, when you feel it, you may then hold it until
you have shuffled over the cards again, still leaving your _kept card_
below. Being perfect herein, you may do almost what you like with cards
by this means: what pack soever you use, though it consist of eight,
twelve, or twenty cards, you may keep them still together unsevered,
next to the card, and yet shuffle them often, to satisfy the admiring
beholders. As for example, and for brevity sake, to show divers feats
under one: -

_To deliver Four Aces, and to convert them into Knaves._

Make a pack of these eight cards, viz. four knaves and four aces;
and, although the eight cards must be immediately together, yet must
each knave and ace be evenly set together, and the same eight cards
must lie also in the lowest place of the pack; then shuffle them so
always, at the second shuffling; so that, at the end of shuffling the
said pack, one ace may lie undermost, or so as you may know where it
goeth and lieth always: I say, let your aforesaid pack, with three or
four cards more, lie inseparable together, immediately upon and with
that ace. Then using some speech or other device, and putting your
hands, with the cards, to the edge of the table, to hide the action,
let out, privately, a piece of the second card, which is one of the
knaves, holding forth the pack in both your hands, and showing to the
standers-by the nether card, which is the ace, or kept card, covering
also the head or piece of the knave, which is the next card, and, with
your fore-finger, draw out the same knave, laying it down on the table;
then shuffle them again, keeping your pack whole, and so have your two
aces lying together at the bottom. And, to reform that disordered card,
and also to grace and countenance that action, take off the uppermost
card of the bunch, and thrust it into the midst of the cards, and
then take away the nethermost card, which is one of your said aces,
and bestow it likewise; then you may begin as before, showing another
ace, and instead thereof lay down another knave, and so forth, until,
instead of four aces, you have laid down four knaves; the spectators,
all this while, thinking that four aces lie on the table, are greatly
amused, and will wonder at the transformation. You must be well
practised in shuffling the pack, lest you overshoot yourself.


_Method of making the Pass._

This art consists in bringing a certain number of cards from the bottom
of the pack to the top. I shall explain the method of doing it, before
proceeding further, as many of the following recreations depend on the
dexterous performance of this manœuvre. Hold the pack of cards in your
right hand, so that the palm of your hand may be under the cards. Place
the thumb of that hand on one side of the pack, the first, second, and
third fingers on the other side, and your little finger between those
cards that are to be brought to the top, and the rest of the pack. Then
place your left hand over the cards, in such a manner that the thumb
may be at C, and the fingers at B, according to the following figures: -


+ - - - - - - - -+ + - - -+
| Bottom. | | Top |
| 2 | | |
| Thumb | | |
| 3 | | |
| | | |
| 4 | | |
| Little finger | | |
+ - - - - - - - -+ + - - -+

The hands and the two parts of the cards being thus disposed, you draw
off the lower cards, confined by the little finger and the other parts
of the right hand, and place them, with an imperceptible motion, on
the top of the pack. It is necessary, before you attempt any of the
recreations that depend on making the pass, that you can perform it so
dexterously that the eye cannot distinguish the motion of your hand;
otherwise, instead of deceiving others, you will expose yourself. It
is also proper that the cards make no noise, as that will occasion
suspicion. This dexterity is not to be attained without some practice.
It is sometimes usual to prepare a pack of cards, by inserting one or
more that are a small matter longer or wider than the rest; and that
preparation will be necessary in some of the following recreations.

_The Card of Divination._

Have a pack in which there is a longer card than the rest; open the
pack at that part where the long card is, and present the pack to a
person in such a manner that he will naturally draw that card. He is
then to put it into any part of the pack, and shuffle the cards. You
take the pack and offer the same card in like manner to a second or
third person; observing, however, that they do not stand near enough
to observe the card each other draws. You then draw several cards
yourself, among which is the long card; and ask each of the parties if
his card be among those cards, and he will naturally say yes, as they
have all drawn the same card. You then shuffle all the cards together,
and, cutting them at the long card, you hold it before the first
person, so that the others may not see it, and tell him that is his
card. You then put it again in the pack, and, shuffling them a second
time, you cut again at the same card, and hold it in like manner to the
second person; and so of the rest.

If the first person should not draw the long card, each of the parties
must draw different cards; when, cutting the pack at the long card, you
put those they have drawn over it, and, seeming to shuffle the cards
indiscriminately, you cut them again at the long card, and show one
of them his card. You then shuffle and cut again, in the same manner,
and show another person his card, and so on; remembering that the card
drawn by the last person is the first next the long card; and so of the

_Another Way._

This recreation may be performed without the long card, in the
following manner: let a person draw any card whatever, and replace it
in the pack; you then make the pass, and bring that card to the top of
the pack, and shuffle them without losing sight of that card. You then
offer that card to a second person, that he may draw it, and put it
in the middle of the pack. You make the pass, and shuffle the cards a
second time, in the same manner, and offer the card to a third person;
and so again to a fourth or fifth.

_The Four Confederate Cards._

You let a person draw any four cards from the pack, and tell him
to think of one of them. When he returns you the four cards, you
dexterously place two of them under the pack, and two on the top. Under
those at the bottom you place four cards of any sort, and then, taking
eight or ten from the bottom cards, you spread them on the table, and
ask the person if the card he fixed on be among them. If he say no, you
are sure it is one of the two cards on the top. You then pass those
two cards to the bottom, and, drawing off the lowest of them, you ask
if that is not his card. If he again say no, you take that card up,
and bid him draw his card from the bottom of the pack. If the person
says his card is among those you first drew from the bottom, you must
dexterously take up the four cards that you put under them, and,
placing those on the top, let the other two be the bottom cards of the
pack, which you are to draw in the manner before described.

_The Fifteen Thousand Livres._

You must be prepared with two cards like the following: -


and with a common ace and five of diamonds. The five of diamonds, and
the two prepared cards, are to be disposed thus: -


and, holding them in your hand, you say, - “A certain Frenchman left
fifteen thousand livres, which are represented by these three cards, to
his three sons; the two youngest agreed to leave their 5000, each of
them, in the hands of the elder, that he might improve it.” While you
are telling this story, you lay the five on the table, and put the ace
in its place, and at the same time artfully change the position of the
other two cards, that the three cards may appear as in the following
figure: -


You then resume your discourse. “The eldest brother, instead of
improving the money, lost it all by gaming, except three thousand
livres, as you here see.” You then lay the ace on the table, and,
taking up the five, continue your story. “The eldest, sorry for having
lost the money, went to the East Indies with these 3000, and brought
back 15,000.” You then show the cards in the same position as at
first. To render this deception agreeable, it must be performed with
dexterity, and should not be repeated, but the cards immediately put in
the pocket; and you should have five common cards in your pocket, ready
to show, if any one should desire to see them. Another recreation of
this sort may be performed with fives and threes, as follows: -


_The Magic Ring._

Make a ring large enough to go on the second or third finger, in which
let there be set a large transparent stone, to the bottom of which must
be fixed a small piece of black silk, that may be either drawn aside or

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Online LibraryHerman BoazThe Juggler's Oracle → online text (page 1 of 7)