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.
"The tendencies of each type among women are," says d'Arpeutigny, "the same as they are among men, only, those which are peculiar to the Spatulate and Square types are much less intense among women, by reason of the suppleness of their muscles, than they are among us." (I add, by reason of their delicate nerves.)
"Out of a hundred women in France," the Master claims, "forty belong to the Conical type, thirty to the Square, and thirty to the Spatulate type. These two latter types, of which the all ruling power is Mind, outweigh the former, of which the all-absorbing influence is Imagination.
"Few women have Knotty fingers, for few women are gifted with the latent of combination. Among intellectual labors. they generally choose those requiring more tact than science, more quickness of conception than strength, more intuition than reasoning. It would be otherwise if they had strongly Knotted fingers; then they would yield less easily to the inspirations of fantasy, and, just as the intoxicating qualities of wine are neutralized by the addition of water, so would theirs be by reason.
"Before combining Finger Tips and the other indications of Chirognomy, I will now divide women into two categories: those with large Thumbs, and those with small Thumbs. The former, more intelligent than sensitive, are attracted by serious, solid works, by books of history, travel, biography; the latter, more sensitive than intelligent, are captivated by the brilliant side of life.
"The cares of maternity being extremely difficult and complicated, their practice requires an instinct of a higher grade than that which is revealed in the Elementary Hands; these hands, therefore, are extremely rare among women."
"Women with Spatulate Hands and small Thumbs possess a great fund of affectionate freedom, an imperious desire of action and movement, a thorough understanding of real life.
"Order, arrangement, symmetry, and punctuality reign, without tyranny, in the homes which are governed by these calm managers with Square Fingers and a small Thumb.
"Do you lay siege to the heart of a beautiful woman whose Fingers are Square? Speak the language of common sense and do not confound singularity with distinction; remember that she has less imagination than brains, and that her mind is more just than original. Do not forget that she has the social instinct strongly developed, and that she combines with respect for what is regulated by good taste a great love of domination.
"Religious institutions governed by rigidly-severe and narrow rules, where nothing is left to discretion, recruit nearly all their adherents from among the female subjects of the Square type.
"See these little soft, supple hands, almost fleshless, but rosy, and with faintly marked Knots: they love brilliant phrases, which, like lightning, cast a sudden bright flash of wit around them; they live with their minds alone.
"With women whose hands are hard, whose Fingers are Conical, whose Thumbs are small, do not hesitate to skillfully and flatteringly excuse, justify, applaud peccadilloes of the tender description. They love all that is brilliant, and rhetoric has more empire over their minds than logic. They are governed by three things: indolence, fancy and sensuality."
"Fingers which are delicate, Smooth, and Pointed in a woman's hand, when their meaning is completed by a Palm both narrow and elastic, without softness. indicate tastes ruled far more by the heart and soul than by the mind or senses, a charming mixture of exaltation and indolence, a secret disgust for the realities of life, and for recognized duties; more perfunctory piety than faith. These Hands, whose possessors arc at the same time calm and radiant, expend their sovereign influence in a constant flow of inspiration and grace. Common sense, which of all human qualities is the most fruitful, but not the most exalted, pleases them far less than true genius."
All this is d'Arpentigny's semi-ironical plea in favor of the various types of Woman's Hands. He evidently had the Latin race in his mind's eye when penning these sprightly descriptions; and although America contains all the types in their purity as well as their most curious and unexpected combinations, my experience has taught me that the most thoroughly American Hand, in woman, can be correctly defined in these short paragraphs, which I had occasion to use in former books and lectures.
First of all, let it be clearly understood that by the typical Woman's Hand, I do not mean the hand of the woman of genius, or even the hand of the woman of unusual beauty, in shape and features. I mean the hand of the average woman, of the woman "womanly," the mother, the sweetheart, the daughter; the woman of the home, with her love, her patience, her divine devotion, but also with her imagination ever awake, her lack of logic, her sudden intuition, replacing sedate, sober reasoning, her whims and unexplained likes and dislikes. Of this Woman's Band the picture is found in this section and it tells the following tale:
Remark, first of all, that the Tips of these Fingers are neither Spatulate nor Square; they belong evidently to the Conical type, but not often so pronounced. Now. the possessors of such fingers are ruled by impulse, rather than calculation; they are predisposed to love beautiful things; they pass quickly from the acme of felicity to the lowest depth of despair; they need excitement in their lives and are not - alas! - they are not always constant.
The second observation is that in this hand there are no Knots. Especially the First joint is decidedly smooth, meaning, as you know, the absence of logical, philosophical bent of the mind. Generally the Second joint is slightly Knotted, a sign of order in material things. This is more clearly seen in the typical house wife, than whom there is no creature on earth that distributes more real, solid happiness around her.
The third remark refers to the Thumb; It is generally somewhat large, in the American woman, who is allowed so much liberty in her intercourse with men; that means that she is born naturally sensible and cautious in affairs of the heart; in other words, that she holds her sensations under the control of a well-balanced will.
A small Thumb would prove disastrous for a woman whose lines would not belie this disposition to excessive coquetry, unreasonable jealousy and unreliable nerves. Society belles, I am sorry to say. are very frequently afflicted with a puny Thumb. They are very seductive as a rule, but very fickle and somewhat fond of coming mighty near the fire "that sometimes scorches."
Short-Thumbed women do not keep secrets, nor do they keep their word, nor are they over-scrupulous when talking scandal. Fingers of diversified types and shapes - stragglers, I call them - are often found in connection with these short Thumbs; when close together they have wide spaces for the light to pass between, an indication of a never-satiated inquisitiveness.
Large-Thumbed women are somewhat slower in understanding, but withal shrewd and calculating. They consider marriage as a matter of business, not passion; they are common sense all over; sometimes they will be found worrying needlessly, domineering in spirit, even loud-voices and "mannish;" still, they arc the ones to be trusted.