This section is from the book "The Practice Of Palmistry For Professional Purposes", by C. de Saint-Germain. Also available from Amazon: The Practice of Palmistry for Professional Purposes.
Based upon the system conceived and developed by Casimir Stanislas d'Arpentigny, a distinguished French cavalry officer and a scholar, born in Normandy, March 13, 1798. Served under Napoleon in 1814 at the siege of Dantzic; entered the service of King Louis XVIII., 1815; appointed to the Royal Body Guard, 1820, he had reached the rank of a captain when he retired in 1844. Attracted to the study of occult sciences, he neglected ancient Chiromancy and gave his whole attention to the outward aspect - the Physiognomy, so to speak - of the human hand. In 1839, the result of his investigations appeared under the title of Ld Chirognontonie. In 1865 a third edition of this great book came out under the title of La Science de la Main. Modified and improved by Desbarrolles, the knowledge of the d'Arpentigny system of Chirognomy forms the first and indispensable step toward a complete logical knowledge of the Hand.
As I stated in a preceding chapter, I call
Hand as a whole._the Back of the hand, from Wrist to Finger Tips;
Hand proper, the Back of the Hand from the Wrist to the Knuckles at the base of the Fingers;
Palm, the Inside of the Hand, from the Wrisl to the base of the Fingers - which, by the way - does not correspond at all with the base of the Fingers as seen from the back; and
Palm Proper, the Inside of the Hand, less the space occupied by the Mounts. I shall review now such observations as refer:
First: To the Skeleton of the Hand. Second: To the Hand as a whole. Third: To the Hand Proper, by itself, or in comparison of length with the Fingers.
Fourth: To the Hand Proper and the Palm examined together, to judge of the Thickness and Consistency of the Hand.
Fifth: To the Palm by itself;
Sixth: To the Palm Proper.
To follow precedents in which I find but little logic I shall include in this chapter all the indications referring,
Seventh: To the Nails, although they belong altogether to the Finger Division of the Hand. My only excuse for doing so is that it is really customary to examine the Nails before turning one's attention to the Fingers and Thumb, I. The Skeleton of the Hand. The Eight small bones at the base form the Wrist and their anatomical name is the Carpial Bones or the Carpus.
From that base emerge five long and straight bones, scientifically called Metacarpal Bones or Metacarpus, and which constitute the Hand minus the Fingers. or what I designate in this book as the Hand proper and the Palm.
Above the Metacarpus rise the fourteen Phalanges: two for the Thumb, three for each of the four fingers, I am bound to state that medical works consider the Phalanges attached to te Metacarpus as the First and the Nailed Phalanges as the Third. Desbarrolles, and all those who with him believe in the attraction and penetration of the vital (or electric) fluid through the Tips of the fingers have reversed the nomenclature, and call the Nailed Phalanges. the First Ones and so on, downwards to the Hand Proper.