The Ten Duplicates
Select any twenty cards; let any person shuffle them; lay them by
pairs on the board, without looking at them. You next desire several
persons, (as many persons as there are pairs on the table,) each to
look at different pairs and remember what cards compose them. You then
take up all the cards in the order they lay, and replace them with
their faces uppermost on the table, according to the order of the
letters in the
ollowing words:
M U T U S
1 2 3 4 5
D E D I T
6 7 8 9 10
N O M E N
11 12 13 14 15
C O C I S
16 17 18 19 20
(These words convey no meaning.)--You will observe, that they contain
ten letters repeated, or two of each sort. You therefore ask each
person which row or rows the cards he looked at are in; if he say the
first, you know they must be the second and fourth, there being two
letters of a sort (two U's) in that row; if he say the second and
fourth, they must be the ninth and nineteenth, (two I's,) and so of
the rest. This amusement, which is very simple, and requires very
little practice, will be found to excite, in those who are
unacquainted with the key, the greatest astonishment.
The readiest way is to have a fac-simile of the key drawn on a card,
to which you refer.