This gentleman was a Frenchman called Floram Marchand, who arrived in
In brief, Floram Marchand’s act involved drinking water on stage, and vomiting up wine: “and at his vomit render not onely the tincture but the strength and smell of severall wines”.
The pamphlet informs us that Marchand would “take all the fouleness, and slime which would otherwise make thick the water, and offend the eye of the observer” by skipping breakfast, and drinking four or five pints of luke-warm water, off-stage. And he has taken a bitter purgative “about the quantity of a hazle nut, confected with the Gall of an Heifer & wheat flower baked” as a “cleansing pill”. Just before going on stage, he drinks a dye, made by boiling 2 ounces of “Brazile” in water.
He then would go on stage, and drink 24 glasses of luke warm water. His performance would follow rather rapidly: “the first vomit he maketh, the water seemeth to be a full deep Claret”, then by degrees, “the water that comes from him will grow paler and paler”.
But his clever extra involved carefully rinsing some of the glasses he puked into in white wine vinegar, which apparently developed the paler colour into more deep coloured ‘claret’, leaving him to vomit almost instantaneously into an unprepared glass, and so apparently deliver at pretty much the same time a white wine or pale ale.
Marchand learned his trick from an Italian, who had done it so convincingly in
I still wouldn’t want to watch it on late night television, though.