The exhibition called by this name is performed by means of a magic lantern, constructed on a large scale. In the common magic lantern the figures are painted on the glass, and all the rest of the glass is left transparent; but in the phantasmagoria the whole of the glass is made opaque, except the space taken up by the figures painted with the transparent colours; hence this difference in the effect is produced, that no light falls upon the screen but what passes through the figures themselves, consequently there is no circle of light, nor any thing but the figures on the screen. Let the door of a darkened room in which the exhibition is to be seen be set wide open, and its place supplied with a screen of thin silk, or fine linen, or of paper rendered transparent. From the outside of the room let the pictures, painted as above described, be thrown upon the screen, of a very minute size. They will immediately be seen within the room, and, though remarkably brilliant, they will be supposed to be distant by the spectators, because they see nothing but the light which comes from them.
If the lantern be drawn back to a greater distance from the screen, the images become gradually enlarged, and appear to approach the spectators, and seem pendant in the air.