On Chiromancy

from the Commonplace Books

MS. Sloane 1875, in Wilkin (1846, IV, 451)

TO make further inquiry into that chiromantical doctrine of Bartholomeus Cocles, that the acuteness of the linea mensalis denotes the acuteness of fevers, and great disposition thereto, in persons where it extendeth high and near the fore finger, Chromanticæ parvæ, lib. vi, cap. 28.

Great variety there is in the lines of the hand; almost no strict conformity. In the palm, they seem to be made by the articulation of the metacarpus, or middle hand, from whence the fingers begin. The inflexion of the little and fourth finger makes the table of the … and middle the natural line, that of the thumb the line of life. The other lines are made out of the ligaments or ties of the broad tendons unto the bones, or of divers lines of fibres under the skin.

Of the first sort there are also master and principal lines, in some analogy to these, in creature of five divisions of foot, as apes, monkeys, in frogs, with like lesser also, and in great variety.

These are also observed in most digitate animals, and variously disposed, as in dogs, cats, &c.; in fin-footed birds, swans, geese, ducks.

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