Shades of Voltaire, Rousseau, Marat, and Lavoisier appeared in rapid succession. All these wonders were perpetrated through the medium of a phantasmagoric lantern, which threw images upon smoke. This was a great improvement on the simple concave mirror which so terrified Cellini. The effect of this entertainment was electrical; all Paris went wild over it. It was reserved for the nineteenth  century to produce the greatest of spectral exhibitions, that of Prof.
Pepper, manager of the London Polytechnic Institution.
In the year , he invented a clever device for projecting the images of living persons in the air. The illusion is based on a simple optical effect. In the evening carry a lighted candle to the window and you will see reflected in the pane, not only the image of the candle but that of your hand and face as well.
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One of the most famous of the eighteenth-century magicians was Torrini, a French nobleman, whose real name was the Comte de Grisi. His father, a devoted adherent of Louis XVI. Profiting by the disorders in the French capital, the young De Grisi was enabled to pass the barriers and reach the family chateau in Languedoc. He dug up a secret treasure his father had concealed for any emergency, and proceeded to Italy to study medicine.
He established himself at Naples, where he soon became a physician of note. Like many enthusiastic amateurs he became interested in legerdemain, and performed for the amusement of his friends. A peculiar incident led him to adopt the profession of a magician. At the Carnival of , the Chevalier Pinetti arrived in Naples to give a series of magical entertainments.
Pinetti was the idol of the Italian public. Pinetti, who was furious at having a rival, set about revenging himself on the audacious amateur. Without much difficulty he succeeded in ingratiating himself with De Grisi, and complimented him on his success as a prestidigitateur.
One evening, he persuaded the young Count to take his place at the theater and give a performance for the benefit of the poor of the city. Intoxicated with flattery, to say nothing of numerous glasses of champagne, De Grisi consented. A diabolical trap was laid for De Grisi. One of the accomplices declared that he had loaned the young magician a valuable diamond ring to use in a trick, and had had returned to him a pinchbeck substitute.
Here was a dilemma, but De Grisi put the man off with an excuse until after the entertainment. Approaching the box where the king and his family were seated, De Grisi begged the monarch to draw a card from a pack. No sooner, however, had  the king glanced at the card he had selected, than he threw it angrily on the stage, with marks of intense dissatisfaction.
De Grisi, horror-struck, picked up the card and found written on it a coarse insult. The conjurer rushed off the stage, picked up his sword, and searched in vain for the author of the infamous act of treachery; but Pinetti had fled. De Grisi was so utterly ruined, socially and financially, by this fiasco, that he came near dying of brain fever, the result of overwrought emotions. On his recovery he vowed vengeance on Pinetti, a most unique vengeance.
This was the plan I drew up: I determined to devote myself ardently to sleight-of-hand, to study thoroughly an art of which I as yet knew only the first principles. De Grisi sold everything he possessed, took refuge in the country, and toiled for six months at sleight-of-hand. Then with splendid apparatus and elaborate printing, he took the field against his hated enemy. He succeeded in accomplishing his ends: Pinetti had to retire vanquished.
Pinetti died in a state of abject misery at the village of Bastichoff, in Volhynia, Russia. De Grisi determined to proceed to Rome as a finish to his Italian performances. Pinetti had never dared to enter the Eternal City, since he laid claims to genuine necromancy to encompass his tricks. De Grisi, however, had no such fears, as his entertainment was professedly a sleight-of-hand performance and did not come under the denomination of witchcraft and necromancy.
The Frenchman set his wits to work to concoct a trick worthy to set before a Pope. That was enough for the juggler. The expensive recreation cost De Grisi a thousand francs. When the evening of the performance arrived the magician appeared before the Pope and a brilliant assemblage of red-robed Cardinals and executed his astonishing experiments in conjuring.
After many promises to handle it carefully, he dropped it on the floor of the audience chamber as if  by accident and set his heel upon it.
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Smash went the priceless timepiece. The Cardinal turned pale with rage, and all were horror-struck at the unfortunate fiasco. But the Frenchman smiled at the consternation of the spectators, picked up the fragments of the watch, had them fully identified in order to preclude any idea of substitution, and then proceeded to pulverize them in a big brass mortar. A detonation took place and red flames leaped up from the mortar in the most approved order of diabolism; all crowded around to watch the result.
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The mystification was complete when De Grisi pretended to pass the ingot of melted gold from the mortar into the pocket of His Holiness, resulting in the discovery of the watch, which was produced intact. This seeming marvel made the lifelong reputation of the French artist. A real leaden bullet got among the sham bullets and was loaded into the weapon. The wretched father did not long survive this tragic affair. He died in the city of Lyons, France, in the early part of this century. Comte was the most distinguished of these artists, being noted for his wit and audacity.
He was a past master in the art of flattery.
The monarch selected the king of hearts, by chance, or by adroit forcing on the part of the magician. The card was torn up, and rammed into a pistol. The weapon was fired, whereupon a small bust of Louis XVIII appeared instantaneously out of the center of the bouquet. Monsieur Magician, that you have made a slight mistake.
Behold, there is your likeness! The king bowed his royal head benignly, while the assembled courtiers made the salon ring with their applause. The journals next morning reported this little scene, and Comte became the lion of the hour. Comte was in the zenith of his fame when a new performer entered the arena of magic—Robert-Houdin. One day the following modest handbill appeared on the Parisian bulletin-boards:. The proprietor was destined to be the greatest and most original fantaisiste of his time, perhaps of all times, the founder of a new and unique school of conjuring, and the inventor of some marvelous illusions.
No one who stopped at the unpretentious place could have prophesied that the keen-eyed little Frenchman, in his long blouse besmeared with oil and iron filings, would become the premier prestidigitateur of France, the inventor of the electrical bell, improver of the electrical clock, author, and ambassador to the Arabs of Algeria.
When he went abroad on business or for pleasure he wore the large paletot of the period and practiced juggling with cards and coins in the capacious pockets. The Count, who was an ardent lover of the art amusante , or science wedded  to recreation, made frequent visits to the shop in the Rue du Temple, and sat for hours on a stool in the dingy workroom watching Houdin at work.
It was not long before Houdin confided the secret of his hopes to the Count—his burning desire to become a great magician. Next, handing to the prelate himself a small slip of paper, I requested him to write thereon, secretly, a sentence, or whatever he might choose to think of; the paper was then folded in four, and apparently burnt. But scarcely was it consumed and the ashes scattered to the winds, than, handing the envelope to the Archbishop, I requested him to open it.
The first envelope being removed a second was found, sealed in like manner; then another, until a dozen envelopes, one inside another, had been opened, the last containing the scrap of paper restored intact. It was passed from hand to hand, and each read as follows:. Houdin preserved this slip of paper as a religious relic for many years, but lost it during his travels in Algeria.
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One day the watchmaker, after considerable hesitation, confessed his inability to do so on account of poverty. Accept them, my dear Houdin, and begin your career. For the last year an escritoire in my sleeping-apartment has been robbed from time to time of large sums of money, notwithstanding  the fact that I have adopted all manner of precautions and safeguards, such as changing the locks, having secret fastenings placed on the doors, etc.
I have dismissed my servants, one after another, but, alas! This very morning I have been robbed of a couple of thousand-franc notes.
There is a dark cloud of suspicion and evil hanging over my house that nothing will lift till the thief is caught. Can you help me?
police-risk-management.com/order/nokia/dufu-clonare-un-cellulare.php Come, come, my friend; can you not devise some mechanical means for apprehending a thief? While Houdin was placing his apparatus in position, the Count frequently expressed his wonderment at the heavy padded glove which the conjurer wore on his right hand.
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When everything was arranged, the mechanician began his explanation of the working of the secret detective apparatus. A fleur de lys stamped by an executioner with a red-hot iron could not be more effective. To brand a fellow-being in such a fashion would forever close the doors of society against him. I could not think of such a thing. Besides, suppose some member of my family through carelessness or forgetfulness were to fall a victim to this dreadful apparatus.