Source: Games for Halloween
A maid and youth each places a chestnut to roast on fire, side by
side. If one hisses and steams, it indicates a fretful temper in owner
of chestnut; if both chestnuts equally misbehave it augurs strife. If
one or both pop away, it means separation; but if both burn to ashes
tranquilly side by side, a long life of undisturbed happiness will be
lot of owners.
These portentous omens are fitly defined in the following lines:
"These glowing nuts are emblems true
Of what in human life we view;
The ill-matched couple fret and fume,
And thus in strife themselves consume;
Or from each other wildly start,
And with a noise forever part.
But see the happy, happy pair,
Of genuine love and truth sincere;
With mutual fondness while they burn,
Still to each other kindly turn;
And as the vital sparks decay,
Together gently sink away;
Till life's fierce trials being past,
Their mingled ashes rest at last."
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