Should it happen that a spectator has discovered the method, the
performers easily turn the tables against him. They have always
ready a conventional list of common things; and the agent
undertakes that his mesmeric patient will indicate them without
hearing a word from him, even in another apartment. The agent
then merely touches the object, and the patient begins with the
first name in his list. The patient takes care to give the agent
sufficient time, lest he should name the object next to be
touched before the agent applies his finger, and thus, as it
were, call for it rather than name it when touched, as required
by the case.
Five persons having each thought of a different card, to guess
Take twenty-five cards, show five of them to a party, requesting
him to think of one, then place them one upon the other. Proceed
in like manner with five more to a second party, and so on, five
parties in all, placing the fives on the top of each other.
Then, beginning with the top cards, make five lots, placing one
card successively in each lot; and ask the five parties, one
after the other, in which lot their card is. As the first five
cards are the first of each lot, it is evident that the card
thought of by the first party is the first of the lot he points
to; that of the second, is the second of the lot he points to;
that of the third, the third of the third lot; that of the
fourth, the fourth of the fourth lot; that of the fifth, the
fifth of the fifth lot.
Of course five persons are not necessary. If there be but one
person, the card must be the first of the lot he points to.
It would be more artistic, perhaps, if you dispense with seeing
the cards, making the lots up with your eyes turned away from the
table. Then request the parties to observe in which lot their
respective card is, and, taking the lots successively in hand,
present to each the card thought of without looking at it