The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 5/The Wonder of All the Wonders
OF ALL THE
THAT EVER THE WORLD WONDERED AT.
FOR ALL PERSONS OF QUALITY AND OTHERS.
NEWLY arrived at this city of Dublin, the famous artist John Emanuel Schoitz, who, to the great surprise and satisfaction of all spectators, is ready to do the following wonderful performances; the like before never seen in this kingdom.
He will heat a bar of iron red hot, and thrust it into a barrel of gunpowder before all the company, and yet it shall not take fire.
He lets any gentleman charge a blunderbuss with the same gunpowder, and twelve leaden bullets, which blunderbuss the said artist discharges full in the face of the said company, without the least hurt, the bullets sticking in the wall behind them.
He takes any gentleman's own sword, and runs it through the said gentleman's body, so that the point appears bloody at the back to all the spectators; then he takes out the sword, wipes it clean, and returns it to the owner, who receives no manner of hurt.
He takes a pot of scalding oil, and throws it by grent ladlefuls directly at the ladies, without spoiling their clothes or burning their skins.
He takes any person of quality's child from two years old to six, and lets the child's own father or mother take a pike in their hands; then the artist takes the child in his arms, and tosses it upon the point of the pike, where it sticks to the great satisfaction of all spectators; and is then taken off without so much as a hole in his coat.
He mounts upon a scaffold just over the spectators, and from thence throws down a great quantity of large tiles and stones, which fall like so many pillows, without so much as discomposing either perukes or headdresses.
He takes any person of quality up to the said scaffold, which person pulls off his shoes, and leaps nine foot directly down on a board prepared on purpose, full of sharp spikes six inches long, without hurting his feet or damaging his stockings.
He places the said board on a chair, upon which a lady sits down with another lady in her lap, while the spikes, instead of entering into the under lady's flesh, will feel like a velvet cushion.
He takes any person of quality's footman, ties a rope about his bare neck, and draws him up by pullies to the ceiling, and there keeps him hanging as long as his master or the company pleases, the said footman, to the wonder and delight of all beholders, having a pot of ale in one hand and a pipe in the other; and when he is let down, there will not appear the least mark of the cord about his neck.
He bids a lady's maid put her finger into a cup of clear liquor like water, upon which her face and both her hands are immediately withered like an old woman of fourscore; her belly swells as if she were within a week of her time, and her legs are as thick as millposts: but upon putting her finger into another cup, she becomes as young and handsome as she was before.
He gives any gentleman leave to drive forty twelvepenny nails up to the head in a porter's backside, and then places the said porter on a loadstone chair, which draws out every nail, and the porter feels no pain.
He likewise draws the teeth of half a dozen gentlemen, mixes and jumbles them in a hat, gives any person leave to blindfold him, and returns each their own, and fixes them as well as ever.
With his forefinger and thumb, he thrusts several gentlemen's and ladies' eyes out of their heads, without the least pain, at which time they see an unspeakable number of beautiful colours; and after they are entertained to the full, he places them again in their proper sockets, without any damage to the sight.
He lets any gentleman drink a quart of hot melted lead, and by a draught of prepared liquor, of which he takes part himself, he makes the said lead pass through the said gentleman, before all the spectators, without any damage; after which it is produced in a cake to the company.
With many other wonderful performances of art, too tedious here to mention.
The said artist has performed before most kings and princes in Europe with great applause.
He performs every day (except Sundays) from ten of the clock to one in the forenoon; and from four till seven in the evening, at the New inn in Smithfield.
N. B. The best hands in town are to play at the said show.