thumb, the nearer the approach of the subject to the qualities of the monkey. Monkeys may be bright and shrewd, but wholly lack "character" (Benham). Mrs. Robinson in The Graven Palm says that high-set thumbs have as a rule been found on the hands of novelists, journalists, and writers. In my opinion, high-set thumbs must have been extremely large and well-shaped, in such cases, as, otherwise, there would not have been literary ability and intelligence on the part of their possessors.
Phalanges. The first phalange denotes a great fund of will-power, self-reliance, domineering spirit. The second shows logic, reasoning ability, judgment. The third is the mount of Venus, which indicates thfe passionate nature of the subject.
When reading a hand, it is necessary to ascertain whether a subject has more will than reasoning power or vice versa. In a well-balanced and excellent character, the two are evenly balanced. Both must be large and well-developed, if the subject is to be a leader of men, and possess enough force to make his way in life.
First phalange. The first phalange, if broad and larger than the second, denotes strength of will. If shorter it shows weakness of will, and if very short, it indicates carelessness and indifference. If long, but with square tips, it indicates love of justice and strong will. In a soft hand, this sign loses its force. If it is of medium length and size, but is broad, it indicates an obstinate character; but with a square tip, the possessor of sound judgment is indicated.
If very long, broad, and thick, furious impulses and uncontrollable temper are denoted. This sign has been seen on the hands of murderers, highwaymen, and cruel parents. These indications may be modified by the lines and signs on the palm. But they have been generally found correct as prognostications of misfortune. Such people should be shunned. Sometimes these types of thumbs assume the shape of clubs, and are known as clubbed thumbs. This is far more dangerous than any described hitherto. The strength of the first phalange of tne thumb should be gauged by a close examination of the breadth, thickness and size of the tips: square, spatulated, conical, or pointed.
Second phalange. The student should note carefully the fact that this phalange of the thumb is generally longer than the first. In very rare hands, the two are found equal; in which case, reason and will are found to be evenly balanced.
When the first phalange is narrow, flat, and inclined to be pointed, and very small as compared with the second phalange, a weak will is denoted. Such people are nervous by nature.
If both the phalanges are small, narrow, and thin, and the upper one inclined to be conical or pointed at the tip, and to slope down to greater width at the joint, the subject is obstinate.
If the thumb is of a conical shape at the tip, with the first phalange long as compared with a narrow second phalange, the subject is inclined to be diplomatic and tactful.
A full and clumsy second phalange indicates that the subject has poor logical and intellectual powers. It denotes a lower type of brain.
Such a type is prone to judge a situation incorrectly and take risks, act impulsively, and later repent.
Some observations by ancient Hindu writers. A thumb is considered to be good, if it is placed high, fully developed, and round in shape. On the other hand, if it is short, flat, and crooked, it tends to bring misfortune and unhappiness. If a woman has a wide thumb, it indicates widowhood. If a man has such a thumb, he faces trouble, and lives a celibate life. A straight, round, conical, and soft-looking thumb is considered good.
If the forepart of the thumb touches the second phalange of the first finger, it is a sign of a person who is an expert in engineering and the industrial arts, and learned in the sciences, philosophy, and literature. He is also a stalwart,