+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

this would have been a surprising feat, but it
was not so; the chairs were brought well under
his shoulders, and half way towards the calves
of his legs.

By many graceful passes and wavings of a
white pocket-handkerchief, the Infant Magnet
now succeeded in de-mesmerising the superior half
of Master Raphael's frame, leaving only the lower
limbs in the magnetised state. In a word, the
next act exhibited was to be that which bears the
exquisitely humorous title of the " Rigid Legs."

The reader may, without being possessed of
any great muscular power, achieve the " Rigid
Legs" act, as completely as it was performed by
Master Raphael. Let him (the reader) seat
himself in a strong chair, and take a firm hold of
the seat with both hands; let him stretch his
legs out straight in front of him not to touch
the ground, and he will find that he can keep them
in that position with a full-grown human being
standing upon his insteps. It will be necessary
that the amateur acrobat shall be held into his
chair, as was the case with Master Raphael, as
otherwise, acrobat, chair, and all, must infallibly
be overbalanced and brought to the ground by
the weight of the full-grown human being.

The " Rigid Legs" having been done justice
to, a few more lucid remarks follow from the

"It will now be our interesting office to
consider, or rather that of the young lady to so act
upon the phrenological organisation; nor can
any more interesting study be conceived; and
most persons will admit. The sensitiveness of
our young friend's cranium being such; whether
we test the organ of self-esteem, or of veneration,
or that of sublimity" (an organ of sublimity!),
"but the fearful struggles and violence demonstrated
in the exhibition of that of combativeness,
no person can doubt the truth of the
science after witnessing; and myself being, as I
have remarked, a practical phrenologist. Whilst
the development of tune can be brought into
action by musical one, if any lady or gentleman will
kindly favour us by playing any little air:—"

"Would any lady or gentleman oblige us
by performing a tune upon the piano?" continued
the lecturer, as if the idea had suddenly occurred
to him and had never been suggested before.

All this time the Infant Magnet is engaged in
preparing Master Raphael for the phrenological
test. She now pronounces him to be in perfect
readiness, and comes to consult the Professor as
to the exact position (to the eighth of an inch) of
the organ of self-esteem. Having with the
assistance of this gentleman got it to the utmost
nicety, the Magnet does not let it go again, but
continues to poke the bump in question with
her infant forefinger till our youth, beginning
perhaps to find his situation uncomfortable, gets
up and proceeds to develop his idea of the
usual manifestations of the quality in question.
He begins by buttoning up his coat at the waist
(which it appears is an infallible sign of self-
esteem). Then he converts his forefinger and
thumb into a barbarous imitation of an eye-
glass, and holding this phantom optical aid to his
eye, walks round the room with his head on one
side, with a kind of paralytic strut, stopping
suddenly from time to time as if he had
forgotten something.

The mountebank who had taught the young
impostor this nonsense, had also taught him
that the sublimest acme of veneration was to be
shown by a figure kneeling upon one knee, with
the head thrown back and the hands clasped in
the attitude of the Exeter Hall negro when he
cries, with a jingle of his chains, " Am I not a
man and a brother?" But neither the mountebank,
nor the professor, nor the Infant Magnet,
nor the boy's mother had taken due pains that
evening to prepare him for all emergencies in
one important particular. They had sent
him to the show in a "Dickey;" a dreadful
subterfuge (the sale of which should be illegal)
which bears the semblance of a shirt; while, in
reality, it is only the front of one. The Dickey
behaved very well for a long time. Through all
the squarings and strikings out, the buffetings of
the air, and the cuffings of imaginary adversaries,
it kept its place; but when, in the final crisis of
destructiveness, our youngster flung himself,
wallowing on the ground, then the last thread,
or the final tape, or the critical button, or something
or other, gave way, and the deceptive
piece of wearing apparel dawned upon the
company in all its native hideousness. It was too
much for the gravity of even the Magnet herself.
All eyes went to the shirt-front; whisperings
and covert laughter, and explosive splutterings
of bathing-machine boys, gathered force and
volume, till at last the attention of the combative
youth himself was drawn to the derangement of
his attire, and, as he rolled over in one of his
paroxysms, he managed to turn his back to the
audience, and capture the floating ends of the
treacherous Dickeyand thrust it back into his

Climax, and finishing stroke of humbug!
Fitting end of an exhibition with as much of
Magnetism in it, as of anything else that is
genuine and real. And one thing serious let the
reader take note ofthat the paltry fabric of
this poor sham, was shored up and held
together by the aid of two young creatures, a boy
and a girl entering newly into life, but entering
it by what a road of falsehood and deceit!

On Thursday, the 27th instant, will be published,
price 5s. 6d., bound in cloth,
(Containing from Nos. 1 to 26, both inclusive) of
London: Published at the Office of ALL THE YEAR
ROUND, 11. Wellington-street North., W.C.: and by
CHAPMAN and HALL, 193, Piccadilly, W.