Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/491

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Islington and Pentonville,' 1819, includes a view of Pentonville Chapel with poplar trees growing on either side. Dibdin selected these to create some resemblance with Sadler's Wells, where poplar trees were a feature noticeable in most of the prints and drawings of that resort. I was recently shown a portfolio of drawings by Arnold of scenes and places in Pentonville and Islington, and in those of the view from his house in Rodney Street poplars invariably occur in the grcfunds and gardens opposite, originally the site of the Helicon Theatre. ALECK ABRAHAMS.

KELSO ABBEY (11 S. xi. 312). The querist in U Intermediaire is evidently not aware that Kelso Abbey was destroyed by Lord Hertford in one of his raids in the sixteenth century. W. E. WILSON.

THE ZANZIGS (11 S.xi. 249,304, 367, 409). The clever performance given by the Zanzigs, called ' Two Minds with but a Single Thought,' may be rightly appreciated by giving here, just briefly, a general de- scription of what two great performers in the same branch of the conjurer's art did in the past. Robert -Houdin advertised on 12 Feb., 1846 :

"In this programme M. Robert- Houdin's som who is gifted with a marvellous second sight, after "his eyes have been covered with a thick bandage, will designate every object presented to him by the aivlience."

Houdin never revealed the secret of this remarkable trick, but plainly indicated in his autobiography that it was the result of an ingenious combination of questions that gave the clue to the supposed clairvoyant on the stage. It was the idea of people at the time that the experiment was the result of animal magnetism, but the astute Robert Heller thought otherwise, and he went to work to perfect a system that far excelled that of any of his predecessors in the art, adding certain subtle improvements that made the trick all but supernatural. No- thing offered by a spectator seemed to baffle Houdin or Heller. Half -obliterated Roman, Grecian, and Oriental coins were described with wonderful ease and accuracy by the assistant on the stage; also secret-society emblems and inscriptions thereon ; what kind of watches, the maker's name, and how many jewels in the works. After Heller's death, Fred Hunt, jun., his assistant, contributed an expose to The Times. It is not unlikely the Zanzigs copied Heller's code. Mr. Zanzig's " What 's this ? " " Now this ? " and " This ? " and so on, Was not

simply a question, but denoted the article before him, and his next questions, usually consisting of a few monosyllables, supplied

he details to his partner. TOM JONES.

I have always been interested in this kind jf thing, but attended the Zanzigs perform- ance, with my wife and sister, in a very incredulous state of mind.

We have a private family order, and all

he ladies of the family wear a symbol

suspended by a chain round the neck, under the clothing and next to the skin, where, with a high blouse as worn in those days, it was impossible to be seen. The symbol is the sign of the zodiac Taurus in plain flat gold. When Zanzig came opposite to my sister she said, " What am I wearing round my neck ? " Mrs. Zanzig answered at once from the stage, " A kind of cabalistic gold


That was pretty good, was it not ?



I remember reading in some paper an interview with Mr. Zanzig, in which he stated that no trickery was employed, and that he and his wife discovered this power of thought-transference by finding that they repeatedly were thinking simultaneously of the same thing. The Daily Chronicle in- stituted a crucial test of the Zanzigs' power. Mr. Zanzig was put in one room, and his wife in another. A member of the Chronicle staff took a book from the shelf, opened it at random, and pointed out a sentence in it to Mr. Zanzig. He read it, and then his wife repeated it in the next room.

I write from memory, but perhaps some of your correspondents can either correct or endorse what I have said. Thought- transference is not a bit more wonderful than wireless telegraphy. If electric force can travel from one pole to another through the invisible ether, there is no reason why vital force should not send thought -waves from one brain to another.

Hawick. W - E ' WILSON.

[MR R. GRIME also thanked for reply.J

THE FLAG OF THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA (US. xi. 359, 439).So far as the English branch is concerned one must question the accuracy of MB. FINCH AM' s statement that these Knights " always bore as their arms and flag the plain white cross on red," for the mantle of Sir Thomas Tresham, the last Lord Prior of the Order in England, on his recumbent effigy in Rush ton Church, has oil the breast a cross flory, concerning which