If the reader has given sufficient attention to the principles laid down in the preceding pages he will have no trouble grasping and storing in his memory the few following statements concerning the Character of the Lines:

First, as to Color; if normal and healthy, it must not be too vividly different or distinct from the general color of the hand; just a trifle higher in tint perhaps, of a faint, pink hue. We follow here the directions of the physician and accept his dictum that "A very white hand indicates a poor quality of blood and a superabundance of lymph; that a yellowish tint is evidence of liver trouble of a more or less serious nature; that a red hand indicates a superabundance of blood, and a very red hand a tendency to apoplexy." What applies to the inside of the hand is still more positive when the color of the lines is under examination.

In a moral point of view:

Pale lines are the token of weak, deceitful natures;

Yellow lines, of a sad, Saturnian temperament;

Red lines, of a violent disposition.

The general shape of the hand, the character of the nails, the prominence of certain Mounts, must, of course, verify, or modify the impression produced upon the examiner by the peculiar color of the subject's lines.

After Color, comes Length; but concerning this characteristic the only general rule that applies is that the Line of Life can never be too long, while there are certain limitations as to the length of the other Main Lines, which will be expatiated upon, in detail, in the chapters devoted to each of them respectively.

Width may be treated right here, as two short paragraphs will do it justice.

A line must not spread too much in its course, or it loses its qualities as a channel for the transmission of the nervous fluid - whatever name we please to give it. Like a river that runs over its banks, it ceases to be useful as a carrier and its shallowness destroys its efficiency.

There are two exceptions to this ruling, however, and these two exceptions confirm the rule. The first ten or twelve years on the Line of Life (see Chapter on Dates), and the final portion of the Line of Heart are Found, in ninety-five cases out of a hundred, quite wide and often even malformed. This is due to the well-known fact that during the first period of every animated being's existence, his tenure of life is very shaky and uncertain - and this is made manifest by the poorly shaped Line of Life during those years. When the inevitable end grows near, another Line - this time the Line of Heart - shows signs of fatigue, even failure.

But. in health, all the lines are to be medium thin, straight and not too deep; and this brings me to the fourth characteristic - Depth.

No measurement and no sounding, of course, could be applied in this case. But a few months' experience will teach the student to recognize with sufficient accuracy those lines that have cut too deep a furrow into the hand, either all along their course, or only during certain periods. He will learn, also, without much questioning, that these deep stretches always indicate a strain, an effort on the part of the subject, and, if he follow the case long enough, he cannot fail to discover that this strain, this effort has played havoc with the subject's constitution and ambition, and, within a comparatively short time, often wrecked both. Too much fluid has been called upon by sheer will-power on the part of the subject, to run along these fragile channels cut out for its passage; the tension soon exceeds the power to sustain it, hence the crash, hence the catastrophe, generally ending in paralysis - if the Line of Head shows the abnormal depth - or in the bursting of a blood vessel - if the Line of Heart be at fault.