For those who look upon the study of Palmistry and Graphology but as a frivolous pastime unworthy of serious attention, this little book on Chirognomancy, or indications of character as shown by the shape and texture of the fingers, will not have much interest; but, though there are many who smile at these pursuits, their number seems, year by year, to decrease; and, despite the Realism by which we are in these days oppressed – possibly from the reaction growing out of that Realism – the time will come when it will be generally accorded, that those, who possess a thorough knowledge of these sciences, and the capability of applying that knowledge in their judgments of those with whom they are brought into contact, possess an enormous advantage over those to whom all these indications are as characters written in an unknown tongue; for surely it must be, by all, admitted that ‘the proper study of mankind is man.’
In these days, when Realism over-rides the Ideal, it seems almost absurd to offer to the reading public even so small a brochure as mine on the old-world subject of Palmistry; but a superstition (if you will) which has attracted the serious attention of Aristotle and many other ancient writers, and among the modern, of Herder, Balzac, Desbarolles, and a host of others, is at any rate worth considering.
Whilst at Paris, some years ago, I was shown by an intelligent Frenchmen (who like myself confessed to be almost a believer in Palmistry) some very interesting drawings of the hands of Victor Hugo, Dumas, Lamartine, and other French celebrities; and, in all these drawings, the development of the lines and mounts showed exactly the qualities which we knew these men possesses; for instance, in Victor Hugo’s hand we noticed that Jupiter and Venus were so prominent as almost to overpower the development of the rest of the palm. Jupiter (as will be seen) gives power, pride, imagination of the fervid order, and immense self-assertion; Venus, tenderness and passion. Are not these qualities shown in ‘Notre Dame de Paris,’ ‘Les Miserables,’ and, indeed, in all this author’s works?
In the hand of Dumas, the Line of Head (which denotes intellect) is long and well developed, and descends, with vehemence, towards the Mount of the Moon, which is salient; which combination indicates, according to Palmistry, the almost Eastern imagination which produced ‘Monte Cristo;’ indeed, imagination would accupy the whole of the left hand, did not the Mount of Venus (passion) rise to meet it - there is no want of passion in Dumas’ writing. In the right hand the Mount of Mars is very salient, which accounts for the action, energy, and spirited movement of all Dumas’ historical works.
In Lamartine’s hand we noticed the same long line of Head, but not droping so much to the Mountain of the Moon; but the Mount of Mercury was largely developed, and accounted for the eloquence of the language in his writings, whilst the Line of Heart, extending all across the palm and enriched by branches, explained the exquisite tenderness of his verse.
Other drawings, too, of the hands of well-known artists, seemed equally happy in bearing out the axioms of Palmistry, and, as I closed my examination of them, I could not help echoing my French Friend’s word: ‘C’est, au moins, tres curieux.’
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