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himself to such disgraceful imputations, sion, steady nerves, confidence in success, the morality of the noblest persons in the and a ready eloquence in small words, are kingdom would be assailed by vulgar and essential to the performance of these little malevolent calumniators. But the English miracles of expertness. What wonders we peerage need not be rescued from the con- have seen in this way! and how wonder clusions of these crooked logicians, who, in grew upon itself with each new deception, contravention of common sense, judge the which at last almost justified the suspicion whole by a part. The chivalry of the that it was not all mere manual ingenuity, land is unstained, let what may become of but that it was the result of a confederacy the premier baron: nor does the affair with that nameless potentate, who, from prove anything more than that which the beginning of time, has contrived to busy every body knew, that the hangers-on himself in the most trifling, as well as the upon nobility, its remote connections and most solemn, concerns of this trusting dependants, the pretenders who cling to its world! Name your chosen card ; let there train, and flutter in its wake, are not the be no previous concert of any kind ; let the most scrupulous persons in the world ; that card selected be buried in the centre of the they preserve their elevation above the pack—and ley, presto! at the touch of the common level of the middle orders by enchanting word it flies out, and with the taking undue advantage of their position, tenactiy of the gum-footed spider, behold it at the expense of the parvenus they con- overhead clinging to the ceiling! Or, descend to patronize; and that their shifts choose a card, replace it yourself where to maintain appearances too frequently you please, shuffle to your heart's content, plunge them into devices that are not very (and even then you shall be out-shuffled by creditable to their reputation. But how the trickster), and, perhaps, in the next is the peerage of England damaged by these moment, you shall find the self-same card licentious scions of its name? Look deposited in the close folds of your fan, throughout the whole of Europe, and your reticule, or your hair. Again, think where shall you find a class of gentlemen of one card in a number that are exhibited so high-minded, so pure, so impressed with before you in the outspread pack; you the responsibility of high station, exhi- have not uttered the name of that card biting such a front of dignity, and exer- even to yourself; how can any body penecising so refining an influence over society ? trate your thoughts? Be patient for a few Not certainly in the profligate coteries of seconds; mix the cards as much as you France, whose ancient noblesse is nearly please, and then when you have completely extinct; not amongst the half-caste aristo- deranged their previous order so as to cracy of Germany; the pompous, but enhance the difficulty, you are required to starveling and degraded grandees of Spain; take any card you like out of the pack, or the skeleton counts of Italy.
which is presented to you with the faces But it would be a sorry waste of time to downwards. Look at that card ; do not be vindicate our nobility from such paltry and startled, nor turn away with a trembling shadowy insinuations. We here have to pulse--it is the identical card you thought do with legerdemain, which is a much live- of, and which it was clearly impossible any lier and pleasanter topic.
other individual could have known. But Let no one look wisely at this sentence, this is not all. Take another card, exand predicate a cunning defence of sleight of amine it attentively, hold it tightly between hand. We might, with a desirable show those slender, silken fingers--watch every of gravity, imitate the speciousness of motion of the player, he asks you to breathe Joseph Surface, and beginning with a “ The upon the card, that aromatic atmosphere man whom" run on into an axiom, cut and has a magical influence—now look at the dried, against all tricks upon cards as well card again—it is changed--perhaps into the as upon travellers. But we despise affecta- queen of hearts! Suspend your surprise tion. Tricks upon cards-provided they yet a little longer; be resolved to defeat really be tricks upon cards, and not upon these illusive practices upon your innocence, purses—are recreations which a much and watch the next trick still more closely greater number of people would be glad to than the last. You select another card; enjoy, but that they have not sufficient hide it from all eyes but your own, tear it dexterity to practise them. A supple hand, into fragments, drop it into the fire, observe flexible fingers, a quick eye, self-posses- it narrowly until you see it fairly burnt
into ashes. You are then requested to try adversaries' hands, as well as their partner's, once more-shocking! it is the same card, and to play accordingly; but in the short revived, like the Phønix, from its own time allowed for dealing, and the caution embers !
that is exercised in counter-shuffling, it is It is evident that these tricks depend almost impossible to control, as some people solely upon the skill of the exhibitor : believe, the ultimate destiny of the game. they are not the results of confederacy, nor, Sir William Ingleby, in his evidence unlike the deceptions with which the an- upon the late trial, stated that he had seen cients used to be entertained, do they owe Lord de Ros perform the trick called any portion of their success to the credulity sauter la coupe-jumping over the cut-at or imagination of the spectators. Mr. Lane, least fifty times, and he afforded no small in his recent work upon Egypt, describes amusement to the court by his awkward the extraordinary power of the travelling attempts to show how this ingenious sleight jugglers in producing certain appearances was performed. But this, of all tricks, is in a basin of water ; but, unfathomable as the most simple and palpable. Poor Sir the act of these consummate cheats must be William, as Mr. Thessiger observed, is admitted to be, it is possible to guess at it plainly no conjuror. In the good days of by supposing the imagination of a stranger George III., when the people were much to be so affected by the mysterious pre- more credulous than they are now, there parations and accurate descriptions of the flourished a scientific gentleman of the juggler as to fancy a sight that did not name of Ingleby, who used to astonish the really exist. In these tricks on the cards, lieges by his marvellous exploits in this however, no such illusion can be discovered, way. Wherever he appeared, he attracted for the audience, instead of being thus per- crowds, such as Mr. Love, the polyphonist, suaded out of their senses, exercise all the assures the public besiege his entertainpenetration they can bring to bear upon ments in the city. He was wont to issue them, in order to detect the machinery by bills, printed appropriately in blue and red which they are accomplished. But the ink, the colours of the lights that are said more the uninitiated dwell upon them, the to blaze in the condemned world, in which more they will be perplexed. Once obtain he announced himself as the Emperor of a clue to any single trick of mere legerde- all the conjurors ;” and he had a wife, and main, and all the difficulties vanish. No- Mrs. Ingleby, who, if we recollect rightly, thing can be more simple; the puzzle is had a faculty for swallowing swords, for reentirely on the surface. You wonder how ceiving dagger-wounds uninjured, in all it is that you draw a particular card out of parts of her body, and for catching bullets the pack. You are not aware that the in the palm of her hand, was, of course, the trick-player forces you to draw that card, “ Empress of all the conjurors.” How that that he engages your attention at the in- worthy professor would have blushed at the stant, and actually puts the card into your unskilfulness and ignorance of his namehand, while you fancy that you are select- sake-.who is evidently not his successor. ing it at your own will and pleasure. It The Sieur Ingleby would have thought as is the adroitness with which he executes little of sauter la coupe, or of making the this very obvious cheat which deceives whole pack jump out of the windows, as you.
Sir William would think of cutting into a But these devices which require space, fresh rubber. and above all, auxiliary helps in the way There are several ways of doing the trick of conversation to divert the attention, and of sauter la coupe : but it appears that the action to carry off the eyes—are literally most available is that of getting a sudden impracticable at a card-table. The cleverest cough, and reversing the cut under the of all the jugglers could not cheat at play table. But that is the resource of clumsy by pure legerdemain, except to a very hands. A trick, to be truly performed, limited extent. They may certainly com- ought to be done above board. There is mand the turn-up card, and perhaps occa- nothing like open cheating, if we are to sionally succeed in distributing the honours cheat at all. The easiest method is to between two hands—but that is all. They replace the cards exactly in the same posicannot influence the game any farther. Of tion as they were when they were delivered course, by marking the cards they are over to be cut; but sit must be done dexenabled to ascertain the strength of their terously, the dealer deceiving the eye by
VOL. X.-NO. III.MARCH, 1837.
appearing to adopt the cut of his antagonist. tune to be cast into company with a cheat, Another mode is to adopt the cut, taking to follow Blucher's example should he care to slide the bottom card, which would detect the impostor, and strike a fork, or otherwise be deposited in the middle, to any other convenient sharp instrument, the bottom. This requires considerable through his hand. If he be sure that he is experience in sleight of hand, and whist- not deceived in his suspicions, he need not players may rest assured that it will be apprehensive of consequences. seldom be attempted, in consequence of It is the fashion in some distinguished the great risk of detection. A third companies to play upon polished tables, method is to take the cut, keeping the without covers. We may venture to conintended turn-up card, which will thus be clude by a prohibition against this treaplaced in the midst, firmly designated by cherous fashion. The dealer-if he be a the thumb, and to shift it to the bottom in black--leg-has by this means the power of the course of the dealing, which can be ascertaining at once every card that he accomplished by an adept without much gives out. The table acts as a mirror, and difficulty. We are not sufficiently learned if you obtain the proper point of light, will in legerdemain to know whether there are reflect with remarkable clearness the face any other ways of effecting the fraud; but of the card as you lift it from the pack. we recommend every player who, illumi- Never, therefore, excellent and unsuspicious nated by these hints, may have the misfor- reader, play cards without a table-cover.
TWELVE HOURS IN THE LIFE OF A NERVOUS MAN.
BY GEORGE SOANE.
I like not this grinding honour that Sir Walter hath.-Shakspeure.
I HAVE the misfortune of being more their own skulls, would at any time wager finely wrought than my neighbours, and of them against ball or bullet for the considerpossessing nerves of a more delicate confor- ation of eighteen-pence a day. I can't say, mation, or, as my maligners will have it, of however, that I much blame them for it ; being a little too prone to take fright at as, if they should happen to lose their lives danger. But if they think the organ of they lose no such weighty matter. But it cautiveness is too great with me, I can is far otherwise with men, like myself, of assure them, in requital, that I think they sense and reflection; when I consider how have the bump of combativeness to a most much trouble and expense it has cost to preposterous degree; and whether the said make me what I am, I can by no means protuberance will lead to glory or a gallows reconcile myself to the idea of exposing the is more than any one can say. Indeed, I valuable result to any thing like the chance never could see the merit of that stupid of damage. insensibility to danger which the world is Such being my sentiments, it will perhaps pleased to call courage, and which to my be a matter of surprise to you that I should thinking is only another name for ignorance, trust myself to the countless hazards of a or deficient sensibility, or both united. And continental town, in which, not to speak of what, after all, is this courage good for, un- the chance of my being shipwrecked beless to betray the possessor of it into all tween Dover and Calais, I should also be manner of broils and difficulties, at one time liable to the daggers of banditti, and the curtailing him of his fair proportion, and fear of breaking my neck in crossing the leaving him minus some useful member, Pyrenees. All these perils I had duly such as a leg or an arm, while at another it weighed, but then they were distant, and may chance to make him acquainted with by no means certain ; others had escaped the wholesome rigour of the law? Then, them and so might I, but who ever escaped too, it is such a vulgar, common qualifi- in a duel with Sir Phelim O'Connor ? He cation: we have thousands, and tens of had already killed his dozen, and, as he was thousands of stupid dogs in the army and pleased to inform me, with the air of one navy, who, knowing the exact value of who was telling an exceedingly good joke,
he had “ a mighty desire to make a baker's kind of places that romance-writers choose dozen of it, by adding me to the list.” I, for the perpetration of their most horrid on my part, thought this desire a little murders. With these plain indications, any unreasonable ; and, as the discussion grew person of common sense who travels the unpleasant, his friend hinting something same road, and feels sufficient curiosity on about canes and cowards, I withdrew myself the subject, cannot fail to recognise the to the continent with the intention of stay- exact locality of the “ Twelve hours in the ing abroad till it should please Sir Phelim life of a nervous man.” to abate somewhat of his absurd wrath, or The lively good-humoured face of my to forget me altogether. If neither of these driver, whom I had taken up at the last desirable events should fall out, there was stage only, served for a time to reconcile me still a tolerable chance of so fiery a gentle- to the dreariness of the way; but when the man involving himself in a dispute with an evening closed in, and found us still far opponent of more sensibility than myself, from the place where we intended to pass and thus getting his mittimus to another the night, I must confess I began to feel world, which would equally well answer uneasy. My attention being thus called to my purpose.
the man, I observed—what had before The experience I had acquired of a tra- escaped my notice—that he was by no means veller's hazards, in only going from Brighton urging on his horses to their fair speed. At to Dieppe, and from Dieppe again to Paris, times, too, he would whistle in a very pecugave me every possible inclination to fix my liar manner, and, when I called out to him abode in the capital of the French empire; to cease his confounded clamour, and drive but fate, in the disguise of a Gallic doctor, faster, as I had no mind to pass the night who had been called to my aid in a fit of I on the road if he had, the rascal only whis. know not what precise kind, ordered me off tled so much the louder. This was too to Italy. Great as was my reluctance to much, but I was determined he should have encounter the perils of such a journey, I no pretext of not hearing me, so I cried out had no alternative but that or dying—at again at the utmost pitch of my voicem least if any trust could be placed in my Momolo, you rascal !” medical oracle—and therefore, as I always Momolo, I should observe, is the dimido on such occasions, I chose to risk the nutive of Geronimo, the same that we in remote danger, rather than the one present. English call Jerome. At all events, it was putting off the evil Momolo, you scoundrel !” day, and that was something.
This was delivered in too high a tone for I will not trouble you with the recital of him to pretend deafness any longer. the multitude of hairbreadth escapes I met Si, signor,” he replied, pulling up, and with in my journey from Paris across the turning half round upon his saddle to face
They were, indeed, well worth remembering, and, many of them, such as The traitor! To stop his horses at a I cannot now reflect upon without the time like this, when, for aught I knew to same feelings of horror that are said to agi- the contrary, there might be a robber taking tate the somnambulist upon being shown, aim at me from behind the nearest oak. I when awake, the perils of his nightly wan- had never fired off a pistol in my life; but derings. But, fearful as they were, they I felt at the moment that it would cost me bear no comparison with my adventures of very little effort to shoot him dead on the one night at an inn about five leagues from spot. Indeed, I did go so far as to draw Terracina, or Bergamo, I am uncertain the weapon from its holster, and held it which, or whether it was either of the two, ready for action. for I am not very learned in nice points of “ Drive on, I say, and faster, rascal, for geography, and, even when the people told your life—for your life ! Do you hear, me the name of any place, I generally con- villain ? Get out of that snail's trot, and trived to forget it. Two things, however, put your horses to something like a gallop, I do remember with the utmost distinct- as you hope to sleep with whole bones toness; the forest, where we broke down, was night.” a very wild forest full of trees, and the “ Diavolo! is the signor ill ?” building was a large ruin in the midst of a “Very ill-exceedingly ill-drive on as desolate spot, far removed from any human if you were driving to the devil.” habitation, both, in short, being precisely the “ Santa Maria! Will not the signor
taste a drop first out of my little flask? I a warm reception. Ha! ha! Many is the never go unprovided.”
moonlight prank we have played together He was just getting off his horse, under in these same woods.” the pretext of coming to my assistance. I The blood curdled in my veins at this saw not a moment was to be lost, for it was proposal. It was the very counterpart of quite evident he was only seeking to pro- the trick first broached in the “Monk," tract the time, to give his comrades a better and afterwards retailed in a hundred novels; chance of falling in with us, and, growing a pretty plain proof that it is a customary desperate, I levelled my pistol at him, and thing with drivers on the continent to break bade him drive on instantly, or I would down their vehicles in gloomy forests, now shoot him dead without another word. the abode of some associate, to which the This threat had its effect. He made no poor traveller is afterwards half-enticed, reply; but set off at full gallop, dashing half-driven, like a fatted pig to the slaughalong over stock and stone in a way that ter-house. The execrable traitor! as if to made me tremble for my neck, and showed leave upon my mind no doubt of his horrible me I had only exchanged one peril for purpose, he gave a cunning leer when alanother. It was in vain that I shouted luding to his moonlight frolics, as he called
Stop, stop!” adding every term of vitu- them, that would have let an idiot into peration that my memory could supply me the very heart of his projected villany, with in French, English, Italian, and Ger- To go with him into the murderer's den man, such as rascal, himdsfott, canaille, was a thing not to be thought of; and, and their various synonyms and collaterals. accordingly, I signified to him, in a tone of The more I shouted, the more furiously as much resolution as I could muster, that did he apply whip and spur to the reeking it was my fixed intent to stay where I was flanks of his cattle, till at last, in the midst till morning. of all this uproar, smash went the axletree, “ You can go," I added, “
on one of the and down came the chaise with me in it. horses to the next post, and bring the reFortunately I received no damage beyond quisite assistance.” a few slight contusions, and the joy I felt The fact was, I had determined in my in finding myself landed on terra firma in own mind to plunge deeper into the forest some measure compensated for the terror of the moment I had got rid of him, for I my fall. The rascal too, I must allow well knew, if he left me, it would only be that, showed himself extremely solicitous to return with a party of his associates for for my safety, making all manner of fine my destruction. Finding me obstinate on apologies for the accident; but then they this point, the traitor saw that he must never cost an Italian any thing, and, when either gave way, or use compulsion ; and to I came to weigh the real merits of the
case, this strong measure he did not like to have the delight I had experienced at first on recourse, probably because he carried no finding myself with whole limbs underwent other weapon than the knife at his girdle, a very considerable diminution. Here I while I had fire-arms. was in the midst of a gloomy forest, my He was accordingly about to set off, chaise broken down beyond the possibility when a shrill whistle was heard in the of immediate repair, the night rapidly wood to the right of us, and a spotted greydrawing in, and not a creature to be seen hound flew across our path. far or near, except Momolo, whom I had “ There goes Silver !” exclaimed my such good reason to distrust. Still, as I driver; 6 where she is, Giuseppe can't be had no one else to apply to, I could not far off. What, ho! hilloah! hilloah ! help consulting him.
Giu-sep-pe! Hilloah !” Well, Momolo," I said, “ what are we The person, thus summoned, was not to do now?”
slow in making his appearance. He was a He shrugged his shoulders with a most tall, athletic fellow, with a rifle on his piteous air of doubt.
shoulder, in the dress of a forester, and was “ I know nothing better than-Santa followed by two other dogs beside the greyMaria ! that I should forget my old friend, hound, all of whom came sniffing at me honest Giuseppe ! He lives hard by here with an air of suspicion, and then, as if in the forest, in the ruins of an old hunting satisfied with the result of their canine villa, and though he does not make a trade investigation, bounded off to the rascal of taking in travellers, I can warrant you Momolo, whom they evidently recognised