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The Works of Aristotle - Of Judgments drawn from several other parts of man's body, etc.

Of Judgments drawn from several other parts of man's body, etc.

In the body of a man the head and face are the principal parts, being the index which heaven has laid open to every one's view to make a judgment therefrom, therefore I have been the larger in my judgment from the several parts thereof. But as to the other parts, I shall be much more brief, as not being so obvious to the eyes of men; yet I would proceed in order.

The throat, if it be white, whether it be fat or lean, shows a man to be vain-glorious, timorous, wanton, and very much subject to choler. If the throat be so thin and lean that the veins appear, it shows a man to be weak, slow, and of a dull and heavy constitution.

A long neck shows one to have a long and slender foot, and that the person is stiff and inflexible either to good or evil. A short neck shows one to be witty and ingenious, but deceitful and inconstant, well skilled in the use of arms, and yet cares not to use them, but is a great lover of peace and quietness.

A lean shoulder bone signifies a man to be weak, timorous, peaceful, not laborious, and yet fit for any employment. He whose shoulder bones are of a great bigness is commonly, by the rules of physiognomy, a strong man, faithful, but unfortunate; somewhat dull of understanding, very laborious, a great eater and drinker, and one equally contented in all conditions. He whose shoulder bone seemeth to be smooth, is by the rule of nature modest in his look, and temperate in all his actions, both at bed and board. He whose shoulder bone bends, and is crooked inwardly, is commonly a dull person, and withal deceitful.

Long arms hanging down, and touching the knees, though such arms are rarely seen, denotes a man liberal, but withal vain-glorious, proud and inconstant. He whose arms are very short in respect of the stature of his body, is thereby signified to be a man of high and gallant spirit, of a graceful temper, bold and warlike. He whose arms are full of bones, sinews, and flesh, is a great desirer of novelties, and beauteous, and one that is very credulous, and apt to believe every thing. He whose arms are very hairy, whether they be lean or fat, is, for the most part, a luxurious person, weak in body and mind, very suspicious, and malicious withal. He whose arms have no hair on them at all, is of a weak judgment, very angry, vain, wanton, credulous, easily deceiveth himself, and yet a great deceiver of others, no fighter, and very apt to betray his dearest friends.


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