Alexander Herrmann (February 10, 1844 – December 17, 1896)
was a French magician, better known as Herrmann the Great.
"A so-called magician, more than a poet,
must be born with a peculiar aptitude for the calling.
He must first of all possess a mind of contrarieties, quick
to grasp the possibilities of seemingly producing
the most opposite effects from the most natural causes. He must
be original and quick-witted, never to be taken unawares.
He must possess, in no small degree, a knowledge of the exact sciences,
and he must spend a lifetime in practice,
for in the profession its emoluments come very slowly. All this
is discouraging enough, but this is not all. The magician must expect
the exposure of his tricks sooner or later, and see what it has required
long months of study and time to perfect, dissolved in an hour."