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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Periods & styles of Magic » » Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft: "New" Tricks Re-discovered (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

HenryleTregetour
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Most practitioners of early period magic are familiar with Chapters 22-34 of Book XIII in Discoverie. These are the chapters detailing various juggler tricks. By contrast the first 21 chapters of that book are much more difficult and less interesting. Nevertheless, I have slugged through them more than once, and have found a couple of tricks as well as a few effects that might be of interest to people here.

(My copy of The Discoverie of Witchcraft is a Dover Publications, 1972, although the actual book is of much more recent production).

Chapter XIII, p. 174

1. In this trick a person looks at the card which is then burned, and then the magician finds the card in someone's pocket.
Text: "As for example, he will shew you a card, or anie other like thing: and will saie further unto you; Behold and see what a marke it hath, and then burneth it; and nevertheless fetcheth another life card so maked out of some bodies pocket, or out of some corner where he himselfe before had placed it"

2. In this trick the juggler stabbed the picture of a dove, killing a bird perched on top of a house.
Text: "What wondering and admiration was there at Brandon the juggler, who painted on a wall the picture of a dove, and seeing a pigeon sitting on the top of a house, said to the king; Lo now your Grace shall see what a juggler can doo, if he be his craftes maister; and then pricked the picture with a knife so hard and so often, and with so effectuall words, as the pigeon fell downe from the top of the house starke dead."

Effects

Chapter XVIII(p. 178)
1. Context: Experiments with eggs to produce "monsters"
Text: From an egg, "You may also produce (as they saie) the most venomous, noisome, and dangerous serpent, called a cockatrice"
2. Text: "The ashes of a ducke, being put betweene two dishes, and set in a moist place, dooth ingender a huge toad"

Chapter XIX (p. 179)
This chapter includes information drawn from John Baptista Porta's Natural Magic (J. Bap. Neap. is Scot's abbreviation) about which I posted previously. Of particular interest is this: "There be glasses also, wherein one man may see another mans image, and not his own." I will also add that Natural Magic also includes a discussion of how one might make the mirror in Hocus Pocus Junior in which one first sees a single images then sees a multitude of images, ie. "A device how to multiply one face, and make it seeme to be an hundred or a thousand." IIRC, the Natural Magic version uses mercury. Oh well, it is the effect, not the method, that is most important.

HLT
Cartomancer54
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Thank you! The book really is a wonderful inspiration for the odd and Magickal...
Dick Oslund
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I use a trick that I learned from a circus side show magician on July 4, 1941. (I was 9 years old!) Although I knew how the trick was DONE, I had
to "grow" a little before I could do it! (It took a bit of sleight of hand.) Then, even though I could manage to DO it, it certainly was not ready for "PRIME TIME"! It took a couple of years (I didn't have a mentor, then.) Eventually, I could perform it. I do it in almost every show that I do.

"Required" are two handkerchiefs (preferably at least 20 inches square) a wee bit of skill, and, a whole lot of SHOWMANSHIP.

About 1950 (+/-) a magician named Quintino Marucci, saw the possibilities in it, and developed a great routine. I never saw him perform it, until 50 + years later, so, I had developed my own routine. Quintino's stage name was Slydini. Some readers will recognize Quintino as the "inventor" of the Slydini Knots.

l never kept count of the handkerchiefs, that I wore out!

Oh! the knot trick came from Scot's "Discovery of Witchcraft".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mr. Woolery
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I remember seeing Penn and Teller's show where they went to India to see the magicians there. Their guide, Lee Segal (I think), had them watch some tricks by a few different magicians. One of them was the knot trick. I recall Penn saying something like "a lot of magicians in America do this trick, but they do it as a challenge. This guy did it as a miracle and it is a better trick that way."

There's a lot in Discouverie that isn't very useful. I can put myself right to sleep reading some of it. However, there's gold in there and not all of it in the conjuring chapters.

I confess to preferring Hocus Pocus Jr for readability, though.

-Patrick
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