has never been conceived or made by man any instrument, machine,or contrivance,
capable of such a diversity of usefulness as the human hand. Nothing has ever
existed with such infinite adaptability to various needs, or capable of being
trained to such degrees of dexterity and versatility. Nor is it likely that as
perfect a machine will ever be produced by human skill, for the only thing the
human hand cannot do is to create an instrument as perfect as itself. There is
no possible question but that the fineness or coarseness of a human hand
indicates whether it can better do fine or coarse work, nor is there a doubt
but that other markings on it show for what lines of work it is best adapted.
The delicate hand of a lady cannot perform the same hard labor as the large,
strong hand of a blacksmith, nor can the blacksmith do the fine embroidery so
deftly wrought by the lady's hand. Neither has the blacksmith's brain the
little embroideries of the mind. His brain is of heavier construction, hers
more delicately built. His hand, like his brain, is heavy: her hand is fine
like her brain. Never was there a hand that did not exactly reflect the brain
that directs it, and this is the basis from which a scientific study of the
hand must begin. To get at the secrets of the mind embodies the effort toward
which scientific hand-reading aspires, for mind is the guiding force in life.
Upon that hypothesis are based the teachings of this book.