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over him, and consequently have pointed him out.
AFTER such Testimonies as these, in favour of Aymar's Pranks, given by Persons eminent at that time for their Genius and Veracity ; some of our Readers, who have not read the Knaveries of that Impostor, may be surpriz'd (notwithstanding the high Improbability of their being genuine) to find them all invalidated in the strongest and most indisputable manner. However, the Surprize of these will lefsen, when they recollect the famous Scene that was carried on a few Years since among us by the notorious fantastic Rabbit-breeder of Godalmin; how strongly some Persons of reputed Skill and Judgment writ in her favour ; and how much the Minds of people were divided on chat Oc. casion, till the whole was discover'd to be a manifeft Cheat. Till this was prov'd, fome endeavour'd to account for it physically ; in like manner as the Physicians and Naturalists in the Affair of Aymar, let fly their airy Corpuscles; which, cho' invisible, did nevertheless blind the Eyes of great numbers of People, till the most invincible Proofs of the Villany of the whole Scene restor'd them to their Sight. As therefore Imposture is but too apt to prevail over the Mind ; and that nothing contributes more to prevent its spreading, than the Relations of fucb, as, after having amaz'd and deluded the Public, and paft for Truchs during some time, have at last had the Mask forced off, and been display'd in their proper Colours of Infamy: it may not, perhaps, be improper, to give someAco count of the Manner in which Aymar's Frauds were detected, especially as it contains several entertaining Parciculars.
The Prince of Condé resolving to examine thoroughly into the Affair of Aymar, sent.for him to his Palace in Paris, where his Royal Highness caused the following Experiments. to be made: Money was hid in different Parts of a Room; and Aymar order'd to employ his Wand; which failing in the Attempt, the Mock-conjurer made this Excuse for it; viz. that the Gold with which the Room was adorn'd, confus'd his Wand, and prevented its usual Effeet. • ; Thén - several Holes were made in the Garden, when Silver was laid in the first, Gold in a second; Gold and Silver in a third, Copper in a fourth, and Stones in a fifth. The Prince was then resolv'd 'to fee, at the same time, whether he could discover in which Holes
the Metals were hid, and distinguish the feve'ral forts. But Aymar, fo far from distinguisha
ing them, affirmed that Metals were hid in char Hole in which the Stones were laid ; and another time, declar'd that Metals were hid in a Hole where was nothing.....'Twas with great difficulty that his Royal Highness afterwards endeavour'd to find his Gold and Silver again; not remembering the Places where they were laid.. .
jiri... iigis, :-ONE Circumstance that gave Aymar some Reputation was, the Value in Money, of two Silver Candlesticks which were sent to Mademoiselle of Condé. The Story, is as follows : The Wand turn'd round in the Closet, and afterwards having turned round several times in different Parts of the Palace, even in the Stableyard ; it trac'd (pretendedly) the Thiefthra' the Door of those Scables, which was almoft: always kept fut, except when Dung was carried thro? it. Aymar went from thence opposite
to the Brazen-borse on the Key, and stopt at a Goldsmith's, the Corner of Harlay-ftreet ; but as it was late; the House was only remark'd and the Prince sent two Candlesticks like to those which had been taken away, to the Goldsmith's, declaring that two such had been stole, and that he (the Goldsmith) had bought 'em. The Goldsmith protested, that he did not remember his having bought such Candlesticks; but that he might have purchased 'eim very innocently, for which he gave very good Reas fons. However, next morning, Money was fent ; but as 'twas more than the Value of the Candlesticks, (the Price of 'em being well known to the Goldsmiths), 'twas, fupposed that Aymar himself had done this secretly, purely to raise his Repucation and to gain an hundred times more than their Value. ... What follows, happened in Chantilly: His Royal Highness wanted to discover the Persons who had stole some Trouts out of a Bason. The Wand turned round over different Parts of the Bason, to thew that more than one had been concerned in the Rob. bery. It then directed Aymar and his Coma pany to a small House, and pointed out the several Places where any had been eat: It did not, however, turn round over any Person prea fent ; but one of the House, who was then aba! sent, hearing this, ran immediately to Aymar, in order to be pronounced innocent by his Wand. Aymar, who was then in Bed, declared himself to be very weary, and did not care for stirring ; however, the other was so vastly importunate, that he was forced to rise, when taking his Wand, it turned round. Upon which, the Fellow took to his heels, fearing this ExNo XIX. 1932.
importunate and, it turn heels, fearing periment
periment wou'd be interpreted into Conviction. After another Experiment or two, a Boy was seiz'd; and a Gentleman, in the Company whispering, by way of Confidence; in Aymar's Ear, that he was Son to the Fel low who was Aed; Aymar pretended not to hear him, but making his Wand turn round with prodigious swiftness, he declar'd, that the Lad had stole and eat the Trouts. Now it happen'd very unluckily for Aymar, that the Trours had been stole above four Years before that Incident happened ; and 'cwas very well known, that the Boy had not lived above a Year in Chantilly.
AYMAR and his Wand-Conjuration came off no less unluckily after chis. Mr. Goyonot, Register of the Council, by order, and in concert with his Royal Highness, pretended he had been robbed, and caused a Pane of Glass to be purposely broke, Aymar being sent for, made his Wand turn round over the Table, and over the broken Pane; but ftop'd its Motion on the Stair-case. He then turn'd it round under the Window in the Yard, and declar'd, that the Thief did not go up the Stair-case ; but had stole the things through the Window, and in the Yard. Then continuing to trace the chimerical Thief, he no doubt wou'd, at last, have pitch'd upon some body. However, the Spectator's contented themselves with alking him, which way the Thief had taken, after his leaving the House ? He answer'd, to the right Hand, because his Wand turned on that fide, and not towards the left... The Prince being afterwards inform'd of this, fent for Ays mar, and us'd him as he deservod,
AYMAR began with Imposture in Paris, and ended with Theft. A Woollen-Draper who had been robb'd of four or five Pieces of Cloth, address'd hiiñ the Evening before he left that City, in order to recover 'em. The Draper, to engage the Thief-catcher to, his Interests, made him a Present of a Suit of Clothes, which he had the Wit to secure in the Prince of Condé's Palace. Upon this, the
Thief-catcher went upon the hunt, accompa nied with several People of Repute; and the Day being spent to no purpose; they stop'd in order to take some Refreshments, and to repose themselves. Aymar proposed to continue the Search; the next Day and getting rid of all his Companions, the Woollen-Draper excepted, he carried him as far as Neuilly, when he gave hiiñ the Nip ; after having bilk'd him of his Clothes, and made hini spend fifty Livres to no purpose
Just before this, Aymar had made an ample Confeffion of the whole Imposture to the Prince of Condé ; and among other Particulars declar'd the following Words: That he did not possess any one of those Talentsy wbich werė ascribd to bim; and that all be had acted bitherto, was purely in the view of getting a Livelihood. Theses and a great many other curious Particulars relating to this egregious Cheat, may be read in Bayle's Dictionary, under the Article As. BARIS..