Modern Magicians

Our last month's portrait of Prof. Hoffmann we follow with one of Mr. E. T. Sachs, whose work, " Sleight of Hand," was appearing, oddly enough, in serial form in the Exchange & Mart, at the same time as '' Modern Magic'' was being published elsewhere. The two works have since held the field side by side for more than a quarter of a ceutury, and only last year a new edition of "Sleight of Hand" was called for. The book has brought the author communications literally from all corners of the earth, chiefly from professionals, who first learned to walk through its pages. The programme of an American conjurer who performed at the London Halls a few years since was made up from "Sleiglit of Hand,,' and the work has no greater admirer than Harry Kellar, the finished American magician, whose testimonial is published in the introduction. On occasions when conjurers, professional and amateur, foregather, it is no uncommon experience with Mr. Sachs to be warmly greeted by a stranger, glad to meet the author and thank him for having taught him a pleasant and lucrative profession which, moreover, is pursued at the expense of no one, but rather to the benefit of the mr. e. t community.

To the publication of Cremer's "The Secret Out " our author owed his first enlightenment in the mysteries of magic, and he considers himself specially fortunate in having had the Great Herrmann, a typical exponent of the old Continental drawing-room school, performing for three years on end at the Egyptian Hall, London. The influence of this school is perceived in his work 011 conjuring and on it was modelled his personal style.

Probably no amateur has had a more varied practical experience. In the course of some three years' travels in the Dutch Indies, Mr. Sachs found the native chiefs to be very partial to magic so he sent home for a small selection of apparatus, and with its aid beguiled both whites and natives as they never had been before. In Java he gave over a hundred performances in Dutch and Malay tongues, usually mixed, like the audiences, finishing up by filling the large theatre in Surabaya.

The native magician has no place in these parts, not even a Chinese conjurer being seen, although there are hundreds of thousands of Chinamen in the Dutch Indies. In India they are plentiful and some are met with in Burma. One and all were found by Mr. Sachs to be very commonplace though he heard of others who were said to be otherwise—but he never succeeded in finding any of these.

By profession a journalist, Mr. Sachs has been for many years on the staff of the Field. In early life a successful athlete, he was largely instrumental in introducing the beautiful game of Lacrosse into the United Sachs. Kingdom, and he has written two books on the game. The fine series of sporting books now being published by Methuen is produced under his direction and editing, and he is universally regarded as being in the forefront of sporting literature and journalism.

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