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locomotive symmetry of figure is combined with direct and linear gait, a
character of mind and countenance not absolutely repulsive, but cold and
insipid, is indicated. If vital softness of figure is combined, with a
gentle lateral rolling of the body in its gait, voluptuous character and
expression of countenance are indicated.--If delicacy of outline in the
figure, be combined with perpendicular rising of the head, levity,
perhaps vanity, is indicated.--But there are innumerable combinations
and modifications of the elements which we have just described.
Expressions of pride, determination, obstinacy, &c., are all observable.
The gait, however, is often formed, in a great measure, by local or
other circumstances, by which it is necessary that the observer should
avoid being misled.
Dress, as affording indications, though less to be relied on than the
preceding, is not without its value. The woman who possesses a
cultivated taste, and a corresponding expression of countenance, will
generally be tastefully dressed; and the vulgar woman, with features
correspondingly rude, will easily be seen through the inappropriate mask
in which her milliner or dressmaker may have invested her.
External indications as to the personal habits of women are both
numerous and interesting.
The habit of child-bearing is indicated by a flatter breast, a broader
back, and thicker cartilages of the bones of the pubis, necessarily
widening the pelvis.
The same habit is also indicated by a high rise of the nape of the neck,
so that the neck from that point bends considerably forward, and by an
elevation which is diffused between the neck and shoulders. These all
arise from temporary distensions of the trunk in women whose secretions
are powerful, from the habit of throwing the shoulders backward during
pregnancy, and the head again forward, to balance the abdominal weight;
and they bestow a character of vitality peculiarly expressive.
The same habit is likewise indicated by an excess of that lateral
rolling of the body in walking, which was already described as connected
with voluptuous character. This is a very certain indication, as it
arises from temporary distensions of the pelvis, which nothing else can
occasion. As in consequence of this lateral rolling of the body, and of
the weight of the body being much thrown forward in gestation, the toes
are turned somewhat inward, they aid in the indication.
The habit of nursing children is indicated, both in mothers and
nursery-maids, by the right shoulder being larger and more elevated than
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