The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin

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Publishers Printing Company, 1908 - Juggling - 319 pages

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Page 227 - This day, the sixth of June, 1786, this iron box, containing six handkerchiefs, was placed among the roots of an orange tree by me, Balsamo, Count of Cagliostro, to serve in performing an act of magic which will be executed on the same day sixty years hence before Louis Philippe of Orleans and his family.' "'There is, decidedly, witchcraft about this,' the King said, more and more amazed.
Page 202 - ... led me straight to the invention of second sight. My two children were playing one day in the drawingroom at a game they had invented for their own amusement. The younger had bandaged his elder brother's eyes, and made him guess the objects he touched, and when the latter happened to guess right, they changed places. This simple game suggested to me the most complicated idea that ever crossed my mind. Pursued by the notion, I ran and shut myself up in my workroom, and was fortunately in that...
Page 259 - This Lock is so constructed that if a stranger attempt to open it, it catches his hand as a trap catches a fox, though so far from maiming him for life, yet so far marketh him that if suspected he might easily be detected.
Page 51 - After these performances Auriol smoked a pipe, and ended by accompanying on the flageolet an air played by the orchestra. " The next was a mysterious orange-tree, on which flowers and fruit burst into life at the request of the ladies. As the finale, a handkerchief I borrowed was conveyed into an orange purposely left on the tree. This opened and displayed the handkerchief, which two butterflies took by the corners and unfolded before the spectators. " Lastly, I made a dial of transparent glass,...
Page 87 - I pressed the spring, and the clockwork began acting. I dared hardly breathe through fear of disturbing the operations. The automaton bowed to me, and I could not refrain from smiling on it as on my own son. But when I saw the eyes fix an attentive glance on the paper — when the arm, a few seconds before numb and lifeless, began to move...
Page 87 - ... an attentive glance on the paper — when the arm, a few seconds before numb and lifeless, began to move and trace my signature in a firm handwriting — the tears started to my eyes, and I fervently thanked Heaven for granting me such success. And it was not alone the satisfaction I experienced as inventor, but the certainty I had of being able to restore some degree of comfort to my family, that caused my deep feeling of gratitude. After making my Sosia repeat my signature a thousand times,...
Page 55 - Astronomical, for shewing the various, Motions and Phenomena of planets and fixed stars solving at sight several Astronomical problems, besides all this a variety of Musical performances, and that to the greatest Nicety of Time and Tune with the usual graces ; together with a wonderful...
Page 232 - The King gave some orders in a low voice, and I directly saw several persons run to the orange-tree, in order to watch it and prevent any fraud. I was delighted at this precaution, which must add to the effect of my experiment, for the trick was already arranged, and the precaution hence too late.
Page 230 - ... following specimen, exhibited before Louis Philippe at St. Cloud, by M. Robert Houdin : — ' I borrowed from my noble spectators several handkerchiefs, which I made into a parcel, and laid on the table. Then, at my request, different persons wrote on cards the names of places whither they desired the handkerchiefs to be invisibly transported. When this had been done, I begged the King to take three of the cards at hazard, and choose from them the place he might consider most suitable.
Page 54 - At the close of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth, Nagasaki's experts were brought into prominence by Kizayemon, artistically known as Jakushi.

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