Magic Trick: To Pass a Handkerchief over the Flame of a Candle without Burning it

This is a remarkable effect, which only requires confidence to ensure its successful execution. The performer has a lighted candle standing upon the table, and when in possession of a borrowed handkerchief for a trick, he introduces the sleight as an interlude. Grasping the handkerchief by one corner, in such a way as to spread it somewhat with the fingers, he holds it in front of the candle, and then draws it upwards and backwards, right over the flame, almost extinguishing the latter in so doing. The handkerchief should be an ordinary white one, and the flame will be seen by the spectators to be eating into it, apparently. There is not the least necessity to be in any hurry, the action of drawing the handkerchief over the flame being a steady and deliberate one. It may be repeated as often as the performer chooses, but not made anything of by him, the impression to be conveyed being that the power of placing a handkerchief in the flame of a candle without injuring it is one necessarily possessed by him, as a matter of course. This sleight will come in particularly à propos if it precedes a trick in which a handkerchief is burned. It is not advisable to try the feat with a scented handkerchief, it being just possible that the spirit contained in the perfume might ignite.

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