Now you can prevent your victim from jumping, with this deceptive “magic circle” trick

Now you can prevent your victim from jumping, with this deceptive "magic circle" trickDoctor Faustus and his magic circle.

Here’s an early 19th Century trick to convince someone at a party that you have "magical" powers.


You tell a person you will place him in the centre of a room, and draw a circle of chalk round him, which shall not exceed three feet in diameter, yet out of which he shall not be able to leap, though his legs shall be perfectly free. When the party has exhausted his ingenuity in trying to discover by what means you can prevent his accomplishing so seemingly easy a task, you ask him if he will try, and on his assenting, you bring him into the middle of the room, and having requested him to button his coat tightly, you draw, with a piece of chalk, a circle round his waist, outside his coat, and tell him to jump out of it!

It will greatly improve this trick if the person be blindfolded, as he will not be aware of the mode of performing it till the bandage is removed, provided his attention be diverted while you are drawing the line round him. 

From the book Parlour Magic, 1838.

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