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"ladies and Gentlemen,— In an age so enlightened as our own, It Is really surprising to see how many popular fallacies spring up from day to day, and are accepted by the public mind as unchangeable laws of nature. Amongst these there is one which I propose to point out to you, and which I flatter myself I shall very easily dispose of. Many people have asserted, and amongst others the celebrated Erasmus of Rotterdam, that a material object can only be In one place at one time. Now, X maintain, on the contrary, that any object may be in several places at the same time, and that it is equally possible it may be nowhere at all."

"I must beg you to observe, in the first place, that I have nothing in my hands - with the exception of my fingers; and that between my fingers there is nothing save a few atoms of the mysterious fluid which we call the atmosphere, and through which our Jolly old earth spins so merrily along. But we must leave the commonplace regions of astonomy and return to the mysteries of hermetic science."

"I have before me, as you will have noticed, three little cups or goblets. The metal of which these are composed is an amalgam of costly minerals, unknown even to the most profound philosophers. This mysterious composition, which resembles silver in its solidity, its color and the clearness of its ring, has over silver this great advantage, that it will at pleasure become as impalpable as air, so that solid bodies pass through these goblets as easily as they would through empty space. I will give you a curious illustration of this by making one goblet pass through another." (Here the performer will execute Sleight 10, already described. He will then continue, taking up the wand in the left hand and secretly palming a ball in the right hand.) "This little wand, you are possibly aware, ladles and gentlemen, goes by the name of Jacob's Rod. Why it is so called I really don't know; I only know that this simple looking wand has the faculty of producing various articles at pleasure. For instance, I require for the purpose of my experiment a little ball. My wand at once supplies me." (Ball produced from the wand by Sleight 3 and laid on table.)

Variation —- "Formerly I never used anything but cups made of solid gold. Later, however, it became necessary for me to try silver; even that was not entirely satisfactory, and now I never use anything but the metal the alchemists attributed to Jupiter and Mars, in other words common tin, as I find this saves me quite a lot of trouble and, incidentally, other people as well."

Having delivered the whole or part of the above, or some similar oration, the performer will proceed to exhibit a series of mysterious appearances and disappearances of the balls from beneath the cups. Each effect is known as a "Pass," and the arrangement is usually in accordance with his own taste; the following may serve as a guide, and form which a selection may be made to occupy, say ten minutes; longer routines will weary an audience, and repetition possibly expose your methods. Further on, one or two complete professional routines from start to finish will be given.

From the performer's left, cups are A. B. C.

PASSES WITH ONE BALL (No duplicate).

Pass 1. To Place a Ball under each Cup and to

Remove all without Lifting the Cups---This pass is given a detailed explanation to familiarise readers with the feints and subtleties used. To save space other passes will be given more or less in the vernacular.

The performer continues: "You will kindly notice that I have nothing in my hands and that there is nothing under either of the cups." (Lifts and replaces each cup in turn, then takes up the ball.) "I shall place this ball voider one of the cups." (Seems to place it in the left hand, really palming it in the right which forthwith lifts "C" while the left hand simulates the action of placing the ball under it. Sleight 6) "I now take another ball from my wand (the same ball, of course) and place it under the middle cup." This is actually done this time, the performer duplicating the actions employed when apparently placing the ball under the first cup. He continues: "I take still another ball from the wand - I beg your pardon. Nol I certainly have nothing concealed in my hands" (shows hands, fingers apart). "I think I also heard someone assert that I only pretended to place the balls under the cups - that's really very unkind." (Raises the middle cup and picks up the ball at the finger tips of the right hand, holding it up that all may see it. He then, immediately, seems to replace the ball under the cup, but merely simulates the action by Sleight 6, the ball remaining in the right hand.) He continues: "Vie now have a ball under each of these two cups - we want just one more. I take that also from my wand (produces the one from palm) and place it under the third cup." This is actually done.

"We have now a ball under each of the three cups, the next thing is to remove them. A would-be 'wit' once remarked, 'nothing in that, just lift up the cups and take up the balls.'" Suiting the action to the word, the performer lifts "A" and picks up the ball, then when seeming to replace it, palms it as before, and continues , "A very good solution but not magical. The balls must be removed without raising the cups — like this." Passing the right hand over "C", the ball being palmed by the second method (in the palm proper) that the fingers may be spread wide apart, he lowers the ball onto the top of the cup, then, raising the hand, picks it up by the finger tips, the effect being that it is actually pulled through the cup.

"Having no further use for this ball I return it to the wand." Does so by Sleight 4. "I remove the second ball in the same manner (movement repeated at "B") and return it also to the wand. There is no necessity for me to handle the cups, I will merely touch this third one with my wand and the ball will instantly appear on the end of it." The ball supposed to be on the end of the wand is, of course, invisible, but is nevertheless removed thence by the right hand, the palmed ball being dropped to the finger tips at the right moment. "I shall pass this also into the wand to join its companions. Nol I am forgetting, we shall want it for the next experiment, so will leave it here on the table."

(To be continued)

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