Page:Magic (Ellis Stanyon).djvu/10

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8
Preface

Since Houdin's time, conjuring has made rapid strides. The wide dissemination of literature on the subject and the consequent exposés have stimulated magicians to invent new tricks, or improve old ones. The study of magic in addition to being a fascinating amusement has a pedagogical value, admitted by all professors of psychology; it sharpens the mental faculties, especially those of observation and attention.

A comprehensive but concise manual on the subject of up-to-date tricks will be welcomed by the student.

I take pleasure in introducing to American readers, Professor Ellis Stanyon's capital manual on sleight-of-hand. Professor Stanyon is one of the most prolific as well as one of the cleverest living writers, on the subject of legerdemain. He has done much to popularize the fascinating art of white magic. His excellent chapter on "After-Dinner Tricks" is particularly recommended as being within the province of almost any amateur who possesses a modicum of personal address and a fair amount of digital dexterity. I have supplemented the work with chapters on "Shadowgraphy," and "Stage Illusions," also a number of tricks which have proved "drawing cards" in the hands of American conjurers, like the late Alexander Herr-