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Sports and Pastimes

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Sports and Pastimes
Publication Date1676

Sports and Pastimes "or, Sport for the city, and pastime for the country; with a touch of hocus pocus, or leger-demain" by anonymous (1676) contains prop bets, practical jokes, and magic including: Ball and Vase (one of the earliest known reference), Cut and Restored Handkerchief, Troublewit as well as a reference to an early dealer.


  • First edition (1676) - only two were known to exist at the time of the 1999 reprint.
  • Reprint of the 1676 edition by Steve Burton. (Reviewed in Genii 1999 November)

Table of content

  • I: The Epistle to the Reader
  • III: The Prologue
  • 01: To seem to turn water into wine
  • 02: To seem to conveigh a Card out of a Nut
  • 02: How to catch Mag-pyes or Crows
  • 03: How to catch Eels
  • 03: To make sport with an Egg
  • 04: To fetch a Shilling out of a Handkerchief
  • 04: To cause the Beer you drink seem to be rung out the handle of a Knife (crying pencil)
  • 05: To deceive one with three seeming pieces of Tabacco pipe
  • 06: To win a wager at Running
  • 06: To know what is crofs or Pile by the ringing
  • 06: To wrap a wag on the knuckles
  • 07: To make one laugh till the tears stand in his eyes
  • 07: To fox Fish
  • 08: A Philosophical Experiment
  • 08: To cure the Tooth-ach
  • 09: To bring two pieces together
  • 10: To win a wager at Feeling
  • 10: An easie way to take cunnies in abundance
  • 11: To take wild Ducks in abundance
  • 12: To make sport with a Maid-Servant
  • 12: To make liquor Boil out of a Pot
  • 13: To Keep an Host from froathing big Pots
  • 13: To Hatch Chickens without a Hen
  • 14: To cause it to freeze by the fire Side
  • 14: To win a wager of a wag
  • 14: Another to take a string off a Pipe
  • 15: To make sport in Company
  • 15: To seem to strike three choaks through a Table
  • 16: To convey a two Pence away
  • 16: To play the wag with a dairy Maid
  • 16: To make sport with Bells
  • 17: To cause worms or Maggots seem on Meat
  • 17: To write that it cannot be read but by them that understand it beforehand
  • 17: To cut the Blowing Book
  • 19: To ingrave or write any thing upon the Blade of a Knife
  • 20: The Egg-Box
  • 21: The Melting Box
  • 24: The Globe (Ball and Vase)
  • 26: To seem to cut a hole in a Cloak, Scarf, or Handkerchief, and with words tp make it whole again
  • 26: How to pinch a Cloak, that it shall not be discovered in a twelve Month
  • 27: To cause a Knife leap out of a Pot
  • 28: To take three Button moulds off two strings
  • 30: To cut a Glass with a piece of match-cord
  • 31: The Art of using the Mosaical Rod, to find out hidden Treasure
  • 32: To draw an Egg throw a Ring
  • 32: To put Pease into your Eye, and pull them out at your pleasure
  • 33: An excellent Receipt, to cause a pice of Harts-horn grow into a large pair of Harts-horns
  • 34: Another that comes not behind any in rarity
  • 34: To seem to write a Letter in the darke & Night, that is without the help of Fire or Candle
  • 35: To make a preparation that, being anointed therewith, you may walk aver a Bar of red hot Iron, and not be burnt: Hold fire in your mouth, and suffer no harm, although the fire therein be blown with Bellows: Take red hot Heaters out of the fire, or wash your hands in molten Lead and not be burnt
  • 36: Another to eat Fire
  • 36: To Make a Room Seem to be all on Fire
  • 37: To set Pease or Beans when you sit down to dinner, and you shall have them above ground when you rise from the table, or in an hours time
  • 37: To make an Egg fly into the Air
  • 38: To form a Snake like a Crocodil out of Water
  • 38: A Sheet of Paper called Trouble-wit (Troublewit)
  • 41: The Table (of Content)

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