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Cheiro / Palmistry for All
Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Christine D. and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at










[Illustration: (signed) Very Faithfully yours

Cheiro]




PALMISTRY

FOR ALL

CONTAINING NEW INFORMATION
ON THE STUDY OF THE
HAND NEVER BEFORE
PUBLISHED

BY

CHEIRO


_WITH A PREFACE TO AMERICAN READERS_

_AND_

_WITH UPWARDS OF SIXTY ILLUSTRATIONS_

G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS
NEW YORK LONDON

COPYRIGHT, 1916
BY
G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS

Published, May, 1916

Twenty-second Impression


Made in the United States of America




PREFACE

TO THE AMERICAN EDITION


There is no country in the world where the "study of character" is more
indulged in than in the United States of America. During my many visits
there I could not help remarking how even the "hardest headed" business
men used any form of this study that they could get hold of to help them
in their business dealings with other men and also in endeavouring to
ascertain the character of their clerks and employees.

In looking over the records of my career I find that in the course of my
visits to America I gave private lessons to the heads of two hundred and
seventy business establishments in New York, one hundred and thirty-five
in Boston, and three hundred and forty-two in Chicago.

All these men were large employers of labour and what they principally
wanted was, to have some help beyond that of their own judgment in
dealing with those with whom they came in contact in the regular course
of their business careers. In no other country did I find the same
interest taken in the study of character from a practical standpoint.

It is for this reason that I write a special Preface for this Edition,
believing as I do that my American readers will appreciate the added
information I may be able to give regarding the obtaining by a mere
glance at a hand a quick grasp of the leading characteristics of the
persons with whom they are thrown into contact, or for whatever reason
they choose to make use of this study.

Everyone knows that "the face can wear a mask," that a person may be a
good actor and put on a certain expression that may deceive even the best
judgment.

But hands cannot change as the result of a mere effort to please; _the
character they express is the real nature of the individual_--the true
character that has been formed by heredity or that has grown up with the
person by long years of habit.

The characteristics alluded to below are those which may be easily
observed and which are aids to a rapid judgment of character and which I
have never before been able to give to the public in such a concise way.

The more elaborate details concerning the ultimate success of the person
one is talking to, their more intimate character and their future
development will be found in their proper place, in the subsequent
chapters.


RULES FOR RAPID OBSERVATION

_The Fingers_

Observe the fingers. If they look short and stumpy in proportion to the
rest of the palm--one may be sure that the individual to whom they belong
is of an animal nature, possessing coarse instincts, devoid of real
intellectuality, and belonging to the lower order of humanity.

If the fingers and the palm appear equal in length, the owner belongs to
a more cultured race. He has inherited from a more intellectual line of
ancestors and for all work requiring intelligence and a higher mentality
he or she could be depended on, whereas the first-mentioned type could
not--no matter how well he might talk or advocate his own superiority.

If the fingers look unusually long and thin, and in this way out of
proportion to the palm, the man or woman will err on the side of too much
ideality and refinement and is not suited to business or work requiring
"level headedness" and practicality. It would be useless, for example, to
put such a person in charge of work-people or over work-rooms. His
ideality and refinement would be thrown away in such positions, and even
with the best will in the world he would be completely out of harmony
with his surroundings.

Such a man, however, could be depended upon in all positions requiring
personal mental work, research, science, literature, philosophy,
educational work or, in fact, anything relating to the higher qualities
of the mind.

If his fingers, in addition to their length, were also knotty or jointed
(joints much pronounced), he could be depended on to a still greater
extent for all work requiring great thoughtfulness, detail, and
concentration of mind.

If, on the other hand, these long fingers were smooth jointed, he would,
while having the same desire for ideality and for everything
intellectual, be impulsive and inspirational, would lack a sense of
detail and a love for detail in his own work, would be visionary,
artistic, emotional. Such a person would be suited to artistic work,
such as painting, making designs, models, etc., but could not be trusted
to perform anything requiring detail, research or science, and would be
utterly useless in any position where discipline or control of others
were required.


THE FINGERS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY

Let us now observe the fingers separately from the rest of the hand.

The first finger is considered as the Dictator, the Lawgiver, the finger
of Ambition, the Indicator, the Pointer, etc.

If this finger is unusually long and nearly equals the second, all these
tendencies are extremely pronounced.

Therefore, if your employee has this finger long, you can safely entrust
him with control over, and charge of others. You will be amazed how well
he or she will make rules and regulations and see that they are obeyed;
but beware, Mr. Employer, lest your first finger is short in proportion
as that of your employee is long, for, if such be the case, you too will
have "to toe the line" and you may find yourself in a very disagreeable
position.

But let me give you a further warning: Should this man or woman have a
first finger that is long and crooked, you will assuredly find out to
your cost that the personal ambitions of such an individual are
"crooked." Such an employee would be perfectly unscrupulous in finding
out your secrets and getting you into his power.

If the second finger is straight and well shaped, its owner will be very
serious, a little inclined to melancholy, but will pay due regard to
whatever responsibilities with which he may be entrusted, but again
beware if this finger is crooked. In this case the owner would be,
however, more subject to what may be called "a crooked fate" than
wilfully "wrong." Such people are, as a rule, the children of strange
circumstances over which they seem to have no control. They are
continually getting themselves into trouble and into false positions,
but, I must admit, more by a strange fatality of things than by their own
wilful actions. Nevertheless, such infelicities might be very unpleasant
for their employer, especially if he has more heart than brains.

The third finger, if extremely long and straight, indicates an
extraordinary desire for glory, celebrity, publicity and the like; and
although this might be an extremely good quality in the case of an actor,
preacher, politician or public man, it may be most undesirable if such a
person is to occupy the position of a private secretary, or the
confidential clerk to some family lawyer.

If this finger is crooked as well as very long, all the above qualities
will be intensified and exaggerated. The love of spending money and
fondness for show will also be more marked, the gambling tendencies very
pronounced. No position involving the handling of money, should be
entrusted to the possessor of such a finger.

The fourth, or little finger, if long (passing the nail joint of the
third) is indicative of power of speech and subtlety in choice of
language--the saying "to twist a person round one's little finger"
originated from this very sign. Such people have a marvellous gift of
speech, eloquence and flow of language, valuable gifts, of course, for
orators and public persons, but not desirable qualities in a wife if a
man is fond of sleep.

A short "little finger" denotes the reverse of the above. Such persons
find the greatest difficulty in expressing what they want to say, but
they can write better than speak and should be encouraged to do so.

These individuals have, however, not much power over others and the
shorter the "little finger" is, the more timid and sensitive they are in
the presence of strangers. If this finger is crooked, then these
weaknesses are all the more emphasised, but if formed _crooked and long_
the power of eloquence is also crooked. Such people will tell any "fairy
tale" to suit their purpose--they are natural born liars and the position
of President of the Ananias Club is their rightful inheritance.

The first and third fingers absolutely of equal length is the best sign
of _an equally balanced mind_, but such a sign is rather rare to find.

When the fingers are very supple in the joints and turn backwards or
outwards from the palm, it is an indication of a quick wit and clever
brain; but such persons lack continuity of purpose. They have no "hold,"
as it were, on any one thing.

Fingers slightly curved inwards towards the palm, denote persons slow to
grasp an idea, or a subject, but such people have retentive memories and
"hold" or grip, as it were, any one thing they may take up.


CHARACTER SHOWN BY THE THUMB

The thumb is in itself more expressive of character than any other member
of the hand. It was D'Arpentigny who wrote "the thumb individualises the
man."

Medical science has proved that there is such a thing as a "thumb centre"
in the brain and any pressure or disease in that part of the brain _shows
its effect in the thumb_.

A large well-made thumb is the outward and visible sign of a
strong-willed, determined person, be he man or woman.

The longer the thumb, the more the power of will rules the actions; the
shorter the thumb, the more brute force and obstinacy sways the nature.

The shorter and more thick-set the nail phalange is, giving the
appearance of a club, the more ungovernable is the person in his or her
temper. Such people have no control over themselves and under the least
opposition will fly into a blind rage of fury. This curious formation has
been called the "Murderer's Thumb" because so many who have committed
murder in a mad fit of passion have been found with this curious
formation.

An employee with this class of thumb should never be given any position
of authority over others, for he could not curb his ungovernable temper.
He would also be absolutely unbalanced in his jealousy, and no woman who
has the ambition to live to the usual "threescore-years-and-ten" should
risk marriage to a man with one of these thumbs. But as "love is blind"
it is useless, I know, to give advice in such a case.

The first joint or nail phalange of the thumb, when long and thin,
denotes the opposite of the above characteristics. In such cases the
person has the most absolute control over his temper, his will power is
also strong but quick and unobtrusive, and in a firm, determined way
people with such a thumb manage others and bend those around them to
their purpose.

The second joint, if delicately shaped, almost "waist like," indicates
tact, diplomacy, and gentleness, also subtlety in argument; but if this
part of the thumb be full looking or equal in size to that of the nail
phalange, it denotes the person who cares nothing for tact but who, on
all occasions, will speak his mind plainly, and with brutal frankness.

When the thumb looks as if it were "tied in" close to the hand, the
person is timid, easily frightened by both people and circumstances,
narrow-minded in his views, and miserly in his habits. It is a
well-established fact that the thumbs of all misers are "tied in" and
cramped-looking. It is perhaps this very fear of things and people that
in the end makes them misers with their gold.

One need never waste one's time asking a person with one of these
cramped-looking thumbs to do a favour, and may God help the business man
or woman who ever gets into such a person's clutches!

A thumb with the nail joint supple (bending backwards or as it is also
called "double jointed") indicates a character the exact opposite of that
associated with the "tied in" thumb. Possessors of such a thumb are
generous, adaptable to others, extravagant, and impetuous in their
actions and decisions. They promise things quickly and are more often
heard to say "Yes" than "No"; but if they have time for reflection, they
very often go back on their promises.

Individuals having a "stiff-jointed" thumb, on the contrary, cannot
easily adapt themselves to others. They are distant and more reserved
with strangers. When asked to do a thing, they generally first say "No,"
but on reflection or when reasoned with, they often give in to the other
and generally regret having done so. It is useless to oppose such
people--if one cannot lead them, it is no use attempting to force them
against their will.

This type has more self-control than the type of people with the "supple
jointed" formation, and is not so generous or extravagant. Individuals of
this group, however, make more reliable friends, so their friendship,
though difficult to obtain, is generally worth having.

A thumb standing very far out from the hand (almost at right angles to
the palm) is not a good sign for ordinary success. Such people go to
extremes in everything they do and are generally fanatics in religion,
social reform, or whatever line of thought occupies their attention.


HANDS, HARD AND SOFT

Even in the simple act of shaking hands, one can form conclusions about
character.

Beware of any man or woman whose hand seems to slip from yours when you
grasp theirs in greeting. Such persons are deceptive and treacherous.
They may smile at you with their lips, but instinctively they regard you
as their prey and will only use you for their own object.

A soft, fat hand is the indication of an indolent and more or less lazy
person.

A firm hand is the sign of an energetic, reliable nature.

A very thin hand denotes a restless energetic disposition, but one that
is given to worry, and fretting and is generally discontented.

A thin hand that feels listless in one's grasp denotes a weak
constitution that has only sufficient energy to live.

A cold, clammy hand is also a sign of poor health, but generally that of
a very sensitive and nervous person.

A person who keeps his hands closed while talking, is distrustful in his
nature, has little self-reliance and can seldom be relied on by others.

A man or woman who gives a good firm grasp of the hand, is
self-confident, energetic, and generally reliable.

When all the fingers (especially if the fingers be long) are seen always
clinging, sticking, as it were, or folding over one another it denotes
very doubtful qualities in the nature of their possessor and a decided
tendency towards thieving and general lack of moral principal.

Remember that the hands _are the immediate servants or instruments of the
brain_. There are more motive and sensory nerves from the brain to the
hand than to any other portion of the body and, whether sleeping or
waking, they continually and unconsciously reflect the thought and
character of the mind or soul of the individual.

It will, then, be seen from these observations that without looking at
the lines of the hand, one may be able to obtain certain details of
character that are more trustworthy than those given by the face, and
that these rules, if followed, should be of the greatest assistance and
value to people in all walks of life.

Many of these observations are further amplified in subsequent chapters
of this work. There is not a single one of these rules that has not been
proved by me in my long professional career, and knowing that they will
bear the strictest inquiry and observation, it gives me pleasure now to
offer them to the readers of the American Edition of _Palmistry for All_.

CHEIRO.

LONDON.



INTRODUCTION


It was on July 21, 1894, that I had the honour of meeting Lord Kitchener
and getting the autographed impression of his right hand, which I now
publish for the first time as frontispiece to this volume. The day I had
this interview, Lord Kitchener, or, as he was then, Major-General
Kitchener, was at the War Office, and to take this impression had to use
the paper on his table, and, strangely enough, the imprint of the War
Office may be seen at the top of the second finger--in itself perhaps a
premonition that he would one day be the controlling force of that great
department.

Lord Kitchener was at that moment Sirdar of the Egyptian Army. He had
returned to England to tender his resignation on account of some hostile
criticism about "the Abbas affair," and so I took the opportunity of his
being in England to ask him to allow me to add his hand to my collection,
which even then included some of the most famous men and women of the
day.

As Mr. T.P. O'Connor, in writing recently of Lord Kitchener, said: "One
of his greatest qualities, at once useful and charming, is his
accessibility. Anybody who has anything to say to him can approach him;
anybody who has anything to teach him will find a ready and grateful
learner."

My experience can indeed bear out the truth of this clear judgment of one
of the leading traits in Lord Kitchener's character. That very year,
1894, was a notable one in his life; his strong-willed action over the
Abbas affair was completely vindicated; he was made a K.C.M.G., and
returned to Egypt with more power than ever.

Once in his presence he put me completely at my ease, and in a few
moments he appeared to be deeply interested in observing the difference
between the lines in his own clearly-marked palm and those in dozens of
other impressions that I put before him.

He was then almost forty-four years of age, and I remember well how I
explained the still higher positions and responsibilities that his path
of Destiny mapped out before him. The heaviest and greatest of all would,
I told him, be undertaken in his sixty-fourth year (1914), but how little
either of us thought then that in that year the most terrible war of the
century would have broken out.

Believing, as I do, in the Law of Periodicity playing as great a rôle in
the lives of individuals as it does in nations, it is strange to notice
that the same radix numbers that governed Lord Kitchener's career when he
was planning out the Egyptian campaign, which resulted in his great
victories of Atbara and Omdurman in 1896 and 1897, are exactly the same
for him in 1914-1915, and 1916 gives again the same radix number that in
1898 saw him receive a vote of thanks from both Houses of Parliament, and
a gift of £30,000 from the State.

From the standpoint of those interested in this strange study of hands,
the accompanying impression of Lord Kitchener's cannot help but be
regarded as of great importance. In it, the rules of Palmistry that I
have given in the following pages are borne out in all their details.

Returning to the impression of this remarkable hand; even in shape alone
one may read by the rules of this science the following clearly-marked
characteristics:

Length of fingers--intellectuality (page 134), strong determination and
will-power (chapter on the Thumb, page 127), mentality and firm
determination of purpose (_see_ Line of Head, page 17).

The remarkable Line of Fate running up the centre of the hand and turning
towards the first finger, denotes ambition and domination over others
(page 52).

The Line of Success and Fame, starting on the hand from the Line of Life
and ascending to the base of the third finger, exactly coincides with the
period in Lord Kitchener's career when he began to find recognition and
success (page 63).

As in my larger work on this subject I published Gladstone's hand as a
remarkable illustration of the truth that may be found in this study, so
in this present work with the same confidence I give this illustration of
Lord Kitchener's as another proof of character indicated in the shape and
lines of the hand, and as it has been said so often that "Character is
Destiny," so it is surely not illogical to point out that in following
the rules laid down by this study one may obtain a clear idea of the
destiny that the Character, Will, and Individuality trace out in
advance--tracks, as it were, stretching far out into the distant future
for the engine of purpose and achievement to find already laid and ready
to be used at the "appointed time."

In conclusion, as I have now completely retired from all professional
work, I may be allowed to point out that I am not publishing this book
with the idea of seeking clients. I have no desire but to see this
strange study taken up as a useful and practical means of obtaining an
exact judgment of the character, qualities, and hidden tendencies that
might otherwise be ignored.

I think that if all parents knew at least something of Palmistry, the
vast majority of children would be more usefully trained and their proper
tendencies developed.

It is often too late when a child discovers--and most probably by
accident--some tendency or talent that had never been suspected by its
parents.

It is no wonder that so few persons find their true vocations in the
world, when it is remembered the random, haphazard way in which children
are brought up--educated for the most part in some scholastic mill that
grinds down all to the same dead level of mediocrity, and then turns them
into the Army, the Church, or into trade.

If, on the contrary, all these studies that teach the understanding of
character were more encouraged, parents would have less excuse for the
supreme ignorance they now show as to the real nature of those children
who hold them responsible for their entry into the battlefield of
existence.

These same parents would lift up their voices in righteous indignation if
soldiers were sent into battle untrained, without their proper equipment,
and yet these same parents have never, in the whole course of their
lives, made the simplest study of any one of those many subjects by which
they could in knowing the nature of their child, have strengthened weak
points in the fortress of character, or by developing some talent or
gift, doubly armed him for his entry into the battle of life.

It is from this standpoint that I earnestly hope this study of hands may
some day be taken up. It was from this standpoint that I interested such
men as Gladstone, Professor Max Muller, of Oxford, Lord Russell, when he
was Lord Chief Justice, King Edward VII., and many others too numerous to
mention; and lastly, it is from the same standpoint that I have now
written this book, which under the title of _Palmistry for All_, will, I
hope, appeal to all classes, and cause such an interest in the Study of
Character that, instead of such an art being left in the hands of a few,
it will, on the contrary, become universally used for the benefit of all.

CHEIRO

NOTE.--Cheiro retired from all professional work some time ago, and the
public is therefore warned against persons pretending that they are the
real "Cheiro," and endeavouring to pass themselves off as the author of
his well-known works.




CONTENTS


PAGE
PREFACE iii
INTRODUCTION xv

PART I
PALMISTRY OR CHEIROMANCY

CHAPTER

I. A BRIEF RÉSUMÉ OF THE HISTORY OF THE STUDY
OF HANDS THROUGH THE CENTURIES TO THE
PRESENT DAY 1

II. THE LINE OF HEAD OR THE INDICATIONS OF MENTALITY 8
The Line of Head and its Variations 10
The Line of Head joined to the Line of Life 16
The Line of Head separated from the Line of Life 19
The Line of Head and its Secondary Signs 22
Changes in the Line of Head 26
Crosses and Squares in connection with the Line of Head 30
Double Lines of Head 31
The Line of Head on the Seven Types of Hands 33

III. THE LINE OF LIFE AND ITS VARIATIONS 36

IV. THE LINE OF MARS OR INNER LIFE LINE 44

V. THE LINE OF DESTINY OR FATE 47
From the Line of Life 50
From the Wrist 50
From the Mount of the Moon 51
From the Middle of the Palm 55
Influence Lines to the Line of Fate 57
Double Lines of Fate 57

VI. THE LINE OF THE SUN OR SUCCESS 61
From the Line of Life 63
From the Line of Fate 63
From the Plain of Mars 63
From the Mount of the Moon 63
From the Line of Head 63
From the Line of Heart 63

VII. THE LINE OF HEART AS INDICATING THE AFFECTIONATE
AND EMOTIONAL NATURE 67

VIII. SIGNS RELATING TO MARRIAGE 73

THE LINE OF MARRIAGE:
At the Base of the Fourth Finger 73
Influence Lines to the Fate Line 77
Influence Lines on Venus 79

IX. LINES DENOTING CHILDREN, THEIR SEX, AND OTHER MATTERS
CONCERNING THEM 81

X. THE LINE OF HEALTH OR HEPATICA 83

XI. THE GIRDLE OF VENUS 88
The Ring of Saturn 90
The Bracelets 91

XII. THE LINE OF INTUITION 92
The Via Lasciva 93

XIII. LA CROIX MYSTIQUE 95
The Ring of Solomon 96

XIV. TRAVELS, VOYAGES AND ACCIDENTS 97

XV. THE ISLAND, THE CIRCLE, THE SPOT AND THE GRILLE 101

XVI. THE STAR, THE CROSS, THE SQUARE 104

XVII. DIFFERENT CLASSES OF LINES AND RIGHT AND LEFT HANDS 107

XVIII. THE GREAT TRIANGLE AND THE QUADRANGLE 110

XIX. HOW TO TELL TIME AND DATES OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN
THE LIFE 112


PART II

CHEIROGNOMY--OR THE SHAPES OF THE HANDS AND FINGERS

I. THE STUDY OF THE SHAPE OF THE HANDS 117

THE SEVEN TYPES OF HANDS:
The Elementary 119
The Square 119
The Spatulate 121
The Philosophic 122
The Conic 124
The Psychic 125
The Mixed 126

II. THE THUMB 127
The Supple Jointed 128
The Firm Jointed 128
The First, Second and Third Phalange 131

III. THE FINGERS 133
Length of Fingers to one another 133
Smooth Jointed 135
Knotty Jointed 135

IV. THE NAILS 136
Long Nails 136
Short Nails 137
Flat Nails 138
Their Indications of Disease 139

V. THE MOUNTS OF THE HAND 140

VI. THE MOUNT OF MARS 144

VII. THE MOUNT OF JUPITER 150

VIII. THE MOUNT OF SATURN 154

IX. THE MOUNT OF THE SUN 158

X. THE MOUNT OF MERCURY 162

XI. THE MOUNT OF THE MOON 168

XII. THE MOUNT OF VENUS 173

XIII. ADVICE TO THE STUDENT: THE BEST MEANS TO
MAKE CASTS OR TAKE IMPRESSIONS OF THE HANDS 178




ILLUSTRATIONS


PAGE

Cheiro _Frontispiece_

The Lines of the Hand 1

Lord Kitchener's Hand 2

PLATE

I. The Three Principal Positions for the Commencement
of the Line of Head 11

II. The Line of Head joined to the Line of Life and
its Terminations 18

III. The Line of Head separated from the Line of
Life 20

IV. Islands on the Line of Head 24

V. More Variations of the Line of Head 27

VI. The Line of Head and Line of Heart running
together 29

VII. Double Lines of Head, also Crosses and Squares 32

VIII. The Line of Life and Sections of Influences from
the Mounts 37

IX. The Line of Life and its Variations 40

X. The Line of Life and Line of Mars 45

XI. The Line of Destiny and its Modifications 51

XII. The Line of Destiny and its Variations 53

XIII. The Line of Destiny and its Modifications 56

XIV. The Line of Destiny, Islands, and other Signs 59

XV. The Line of Sun and its Modifications 62

XVI. The Line of Heart and its Variations 68

XVII. The Line of Marriage 74

XVIII. Marriage Lines and Influence Lines which further
help in denoting Marriage 78

XIX. The Line of Health 84

XX. The Girdle of Venus. The Ring of Saturn.
The Bracelets. The Line of Intuition. The
Via Lasciva 89

XXI. Travels, Voyages, Accidents, and Descending
Lines from the Mounts 99

XXII. The Island, the Circle, the Spot, the Grille, the
Star, and the Square 102

XXIII. Minor Marks and Signs 105

XXIV. Minor Marks and Signs 108

XXV. The Great Triangle and the Quadrangle 111

XXVI. Times and Dates of Principal Events 113


CHEIROGNOMY

ILLUSTRATIONS

I. The Elementary Hand 120
The Square or Useful Hand 120
The Spatulate Hand 120
The Philosophic Hand 120

II. The Conic or Artistic Hand 123
The Psychic Hand 123
The Mixed Hand 123

III. Thumbs:
The Clubbed Thumb 129
The Supple Jointed Thumb 129
The Firm Jointed Thumb 129
The Waist-Like Thumb 129
The Straight Thumb 129
The Elementary Thumb 129

IV. The Fingers:
The Smooth 134
The Square 134
The Knotty 134

V. The Nails:
Delicacy of Throat 137
Chest and Bronchial 137
Spinal Weakness 137
Weak Action of the Heart 137
Paralysis 137

VI. The Mounts of the Hand:
The Mount of Venus 141
The Mount of Mars 141
The Mount of Jupiter 141
The Mount of Saturn 141
The Mount of the Sun 141
The Mount of Mercury 141
The Mount of the Moon 141

[Illustration: THE LINES OF THE HAND.]




Palmistry for All




PART I--PALMISTRY OR CHEIROMANCY




CHAPTER I


A BRIEF RÉSUMÉ OF THE HISTORY OF THE STUDY OF HANDS THROUGH THE CENTURIES
TO THE PRESENT DAY

The success I had during the twenty-five years in which I was connected
with this study was, I believe, chiefly owing to the fact that although
my principal study was the lines and formation of hands, yet I did not
confine myself alone to that particular page in the book of Nature. I
endeavoured to study every phase of thought that can throw light on human
life; consequently the very ridges of the skin, the hair found on the
hands, all were used as a detective would use a clue to accumulate
evidence. I found people were sceptical of such a study only because they
had not the subject presented to them in a logical manner.

There are hundreds of facts connected with the hand that people have
rarely, if ever, heard of, and I think it will not be out of place if I
touch on them here. For instance, in regard to what are known as the
corpuscles, Meissner, in 1853, proved that these little molecular
substances were distributed in a peculiar manner in the hand itself. He
found that in the tips of the fingers they were 108 to the square line,
with 400 papillæ; that they gave forth certain distinct crepitations, or
vibrations, and that in the red lines of the hand they were most numerous
and, strange to say, were found in straight individual rows in the lines
of the palm. Experiments were made as to these vibrations, and it was
proved that, after a little study, one could distinctly detect and
recognise the crepitations _in relation to each individual_. They
increased or decreased in every phase of health, thought, or excitement,
and were extinct the moment death had mastered its victim. About twenty
years later, experiments were made with a man in Paris, who had an
abnormally acute sense of sound (Nature's compensation for want of sight,
as he had been born blind). In a very short time this man could detect
the slightest change or irregularity in these crepitations, and through
the changes was able to tell with wonderful accuracy about how old a
person was, and how near they were to illness, and even death.

The study of these corpuscles was also taken up by Sir Charles Bell, who,
in 1874, demonstrated that each corpuscle contained the end of a nerve
fibre, and was in immediate connection with the brain. This great
specialist also demonstrated that every portion of the brain was in touch
with the nerves of the hand and more particularly with the corpuscles
found in the tips of the fingers and the lines of the hand.

[Illustration: LORD KITCHENER'S HAND.]

The detection of criminals by taking impressions of the tips of the
fingers and by thumb marks is now used by the police of almost every
country, and thousands of criminals have been tracked down and identified
by this means.

To-day, at Scotland Yard, is to be seen almost an entire library now
devoted to books on this side of the subject and to the collections that
the police have made, and yet, in my short time, I remember how the idea
was scoffed at when Monsieur Bertillon and the French police first
commenced the detection of criminals by this method. If the ignorant
prejudice against a complete study of the hand were overcome, the police
would be greatly assisted by studying the lines of the palm, and
acquiring a knowledge of what these lines mean, especially as regards
mentality and the inclination of the brain in one direction or another.

It is a well-known fact that, even if the skin be burned off the hands or
removed by an acid, in a short time the lines will reappear exactly as
they were before, and the same happens to the ridges or "spirals" in the
skin of the inside tips of the fingers and thumb.

The scientific use of such a study could also be made invaluable in
foreseeing tendencies towards insanity, etc.

Sir Thomas Browne, in his _Religio Medici_, after referring to
Physiognomy, says:

"Now there are besides these characters in our faces certain
mystical figures in our hands, which I dare not call mere
dashes, strokes _à la volée_ or at random, because delineated
by a pencil that never works in vain, and hereof I take more
particular notice because I carry that in mine own hand which
I could never read nor discover in another."

But prejudice is a hard thing to combat, and, in consequence, a study
which could render untold aid to humanity has been neglected in modern
times. Yet it cannot be denied that this strange study was practised and
followed by some of the greatest teachers and students of other
civilisations.

Whether or no these ancient philosophers were more enlightened than we
are has long been a question of dispute, but the one point and the most
important one which has been admitted is, that in those days the greatest
study of mankind was man. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose that
their conclusions are more likely to be correct than those of an age like
our own--famous chiefly for its implements of destruction, its warships,
its dynamite, and its cannon.

This study of hands can be traced back to the very earliest, most
enlightened forms of civilisation. It has been practised by the greatest
minds in all those civilisations, minds that have left their mental
philosophies and their monuments for us to marvel at. India, China,
Persia, Egypt, Rome--all in their study of mankind have placed the
greatest store in their study of the hand.

During my stay in India, I was permitted by some Brahmans (descendants of
the Joshi Caste, famous from time immemorial for their knowledge in
occult subjects) with whom it was my good fortune to become intimately
acquainted, to examine and make extracts from an extraordinary book on
this subject which they regarded as almost sacred, and which belonged to
the great past of the now despised Hindustan.

As the wisdom of the Hindus spread far and wide across the earth, so the
theories and ideas about this study spread and were practised in other
countries.



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