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.
Here we abandon what I call the pure types, already considerably modified by the occasional addition of the Knots, and we reach inferior grades of Hands, all deviating, more or less clearly, from what d'Arpentigny has called, very aptly, the Elementary Hand.
It is characterized by stiff, heavy Fingers, by a short, clumsy Thumb with the nailed Phalanx turned back, often of the "clubbed" type; by an extremely thick and hard Palm, and by Finger-Tips rounded and shapeless, somewhat of the Square type.
"Among the European races," writes d'Arpentigny, "these Hands undertake unskilled manual labor, the care of stables and the endless routine of coarse work, which may he carried out by the dim Bickerings of the light of instinct.
"To these Hands belong war. when no personal prowess and no intelligent leadership are needed; to them belongs colonization, when it is merely a matter of mechanically watering the soil of a foreign land with the sweat of the laboring brow. Shut in, on all sides, by material instincts, their opinions are formed in a groove, which is inaccessible to reason, and their virtues are generally those of a negative nature. Governed! as they are by dull routine, they proceed more by custom than in answer to their passions.
"Strangers to anything like enthusiasm, Elementary hands indicate feelings which are heavy and sluggish in rousing themselves, an imagination either asleep or wanting, an inert soul, and a profound indifference about everything but the rough needs and pleasures of the immediate present.
"In the Elementary Hand one finds a perfect demonstration of these axioms that 'organs which are practically insensible can only convey imperfect ideas to the brain;' that 'the outer man, is merely the reflection of the inner man;' and that as is the body, so is the mind,' and vice versa.
"Except in polar latitudes, real Elementary Hands are no longer to be found, save among nations of Tartar or Slavonic origin. Among the latter races, however, they exist in large numbers and in some localities they are to be found without any admixture of the more nobly endowed types."
And yet Elementary Hands are, almost invariably, more accessible to the charms of poetry or simple music than to those of science. It was to the lyric measures of Orpheus, and to the harmonies of the flute of Apollo, that in the old Greek world the first communities of men were formed, and the first towns were built.
"In the depth of the forest, or on the deserted sea shore," d'Arpentigny tells us, "by night, when the boundless ocean moans with the murmur of the tempest. Hands which are Elementary are, more than any other type, troubled by phantoms, specters and pallid apparitions, in proportion as their Finger-Tips are more or less Conical But whatever be the form of the nailed phalanx, their possessors are always much influenced by superstition.
"Elementary-Handed subjects, whom neither inertia nor insensibility has been able to protect from pain and sorrow. succumb the more readily to their attacks, from the fact that they are generally entirely wanting in resources and in moral strength."