Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The greatest book of all time?

As far as fabulous books go, this one is high on the list. It's title summons visions of Bette Midler as a wicked witch. It draws you in with promises of how to get rich quick, how to play with the animals (including cats). For the adventurous types, it dazzles with promises of balancing two knives on the brim of a glass (useful as a new parlour trick). Even parents get a look in as they can teach their children to read by using dice. You can become immune to the rascalous pick pockets, make fireworks and booze, and fix up the house with some plastering.

How is this not the greatest selling book of all time? Well, it's free. Download it now!

Hocus pocus : or, a rich cabinet of legerdemain curiosities, natural and artificial conclusions. Shewing 1. How to cleave money. 2. To make Sport with Cats, Ducks, or Poultry. 3. To hang two Knives on the brim of a Glass. 4. To wash your Hands in melted Lead without damage. 5. To make a Sixpence seem to fall thro' a Table. 6. Teach Children to Read by Dice. 7. Divers wonderful Things done by the Loadstone. 8. To catch Kites, Crows, Magpies, &c. alive. 9. To catch a Pick-Pocket. 10. To name a Pack of Cards, and not feel 'em. 11. To write Love-Letters secretly. 12. Experiments in Drawing, Painting, Geometry, Astronomy, &c. 13. To make variety of Fireworks. 14. To keep Fowl, Venison, or any Flesh sweet a month. 15. To make a Drink you cannot relish other Liquors. 16. To sox Fish and Fowl. 17. To make one Candle outlast three. 18. To preserve Fruit all the Year. 19. To make excellent plaistering for Ceilings or Walls. With many other Natural and Artificial Conclusions, affording great variety of innocent Sport and Pastime. Adorn'd with above 40 curious cuts. By J. White, a Lover of Art and Ingenuity.1671

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