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The Conjurer Unmasked

by Henri Decremps
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The Conjurer Unmasked by Henri Decremps

Being a clear and full explanation of all the surprizing performances exhibited as well in this kingdom as on the continent by the most eminent and dexterous professors of slight of hand: together with the tricks of the divining rod, automaton chess-player, speaking figure, artificial serpents, mechanical birds, automaton flute player, vaulting figure, magical table, perpetual motion, etc.

This is a translation of La Magie Blanche Dévoilée by Henri Decremps which was meant to expose the tricks of Pinetti. The 3rd edition of this translation, on which this digital edition is based, has additions by Thomas Denton and others.

  • PREFACE
  • CHAP. I. The Grand Sultan
  • CHAP II. The Handkerchief marked, cut, torn, and mended
  • CHAP. III. The Artificial Bird, singing at the Desire of the Company
  • CHAP. IV. The Dancing Card
  • CHAP. V. The Card nailed to the Wall by a Pistol Shot
  • CHAP. VI. The Card burned, and afterwards found in a Watch
  • CHAP. VII. A Card made to jump into an Egg
  • CHAP. VIII. How to tell what Card any Man thinketh on, and how to convey the same into a Kernel of a nut or a cherry stone, and the same again into one's pocket; to make him draw the same, or any card you please, and all under one device
  • CHAP IX. A Piece of Money shut up in a Box, which comes out of itself without being touched by any one
  • CHAP. X. The Writing hid in a Snuff Box, from whence it is taken without being touched, and it is found in a Candle
  • CHAP. XI. Three Pen-knives are put into a Silver Goblet, at the Desire of the Spectator one of the three leaps out on the Floor
  • CHAP. XII. The Dancing Egg
  • CHAP. XIII. The Resurrection of the dead Bird
  • CHAP. XIV. To cut Glass, or even a Piece of Crystal, let it be ever so thick, without the Help of a Diamond, in the same Shape as the Mark of the Drawing made on it with Ink
  • CHAP. XV. To make a Calve’s Head bellow as if alive, when dressed and served up
  • CHAP. XVI. To extinguish two Wax Candles, and light two others, distant about three Feet, by the firing of a Pistol, loaded with Powder, as usual
  • CHAP. XVII. To change the colour of a rose, whether it is on its stalk or not
  • CHAP. XVIII. To make a colour that will appear or disappear by means of the air
  • CHAP. XIX. To compose a red Colour imitating the Colour of Blood
  • CHAP. XX. The Golden Head, which leaping and dancing in a Glass, answers different Questions
  • CHAP. XXI. Rings strung on a double Ribbon
  • CHAP. XXII. The Cards named by a Person blindfold
  • CHAP. XXIII. The Sympathetick Lamp
  • CHAP. XXIV. The Little Sportsman
  • CHAP. XXV. A Ball is thrown into a house with three doors, and comes out of any one that the company chuses
  • CHAP. XXVI. THEOPHRASTUS PARACELSUS. A Pigeon killed by the Stab of a Sword given to its Shadow or Image.
  • CHAP. XXVII. The magical nosegay, which shoots forth flowers and fruit at command
  • CHAP. XXVIII. A Ring put into a Pistol, which is after found in the Bill of a Dove in a Box, which had been before examined and sealed
  • CHAP. XXIX. The Chest which opens at command
  • CHAP. XXX. The Watch beat to Pieces in a Mortar
  • CHAP. XXXI. The Magical Tea Caddies
  • CHAP. XXXII. The Wonderful Well
  • CHAP. XXXIII. The Conjurer’s Castle
  • CHAP. XXXIV. The Multiplied Pieces
  • CHAP. XXXV. The Double Transposition
  • CHAP. XXXVI. To render hideous the faces of all the company
  • CHAP. XXXVII. How to guess a Card that has been thought of by any body, by writing beforehand on a Paper or Card a Number, which will certainly be that of the Card that has been thought of
  • CHAP. XXXVIII. Sympathetic Ink
  • CHAP. XXXIX. 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, in order to prevent any Communication
  • CHAP. XL. To pull off a Man’s Shirt, without undressing him, or having Occasion for a Confederate
  • CHAP. XLI. The divining Rod
  • CHAP. XLII. Different performances, both ancient and modern, extracted from a work which is not yet published
  • CHAP. XLIII. Self performing Organ, Artificial Serpents, Mechanical Birds, Automaton Chess player, a Speaking and a Vaulting Figure
  • CHAP. XLIV. The Automaton playing at Command on the Flute, being perfectly detached from Communication with any other Object,—a perpetual Motion.—Tables on which Machines are caused to move at Will, without either Levers, Brass Wires, or Magnetick Aid.—The invisible Stair-case, &c
  • CHAP. XLV. An artificial Spider, which moves by Electricity
  • CHAP. XLVI. To make fine blue Wax, which is very difficult to be had
  • CHAP. XLVII. A philosophical Mushroom
  • CHAP. XLVIII. How to dispose two little Figures, so that one shall light a Candle, and the other put it out
  • CHAP. XLIX. To change a Card which is in the Hand of a Person, recommending him to cover it well
  • CHAP. L. A mathematical Combination for guessing, in a whole pack composed of fifty-two Cards, how many Points will make the Cards under each Parcel, which Parcels are to be made by one of the Company, observing to him that each Parcel he makes is to compose the Number of Thirteen, to begin from the Point of the first Card which he takes to form each Parcel
  • CHAP. LI. To take a Bird out of a Cage, and make it appear as dead, or to roll it about as you please.

1st edition 1785, 3rd edition 1790, 128 pages; PDF 51 pages
word count: 22324 which is equivalent to 89 standard pages of text


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