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The habits of the seamstress are indicated by the neck suddenly bending
forward, and the arms being, even in walking, considerably bent forward
or folded more or less upward from the elbows.
Habits of labor are indicated by a considerable thickness of the
shoulders below, where they form an angle with the inner part of the
arm; and, where these habits are of the lowest menial kind, the elbows
are turned outward, and the palms of the hands backward.
External indications of age are required chiefly where the face is
veiled, or where the woman observed precedes the observer and may
reasonably excite his interest.
In either of these cases, if the foot and ankle have lost a certain
moderate plumpness, and assumed a certain sinewy or bony appearance, the
woman has generally passed the period of youth.
If in walking, instead of the ball or outer edge of the foot first
striking the ground, it is the heel which does so, then has the woman in
general passed the meridian of life. Unlike the last indication, this is
apparent, however the foot and ankle may be clothed.--The reason of this
indication is the decrease of power which unfits the muscles to receive
the weight of the body by maintaining the extension of the ankle-joint.
Exceptions to this last indication are to be found chiefly in women in
whom the developments of the body are proportionally much greater,
either from a temporary or a permanent cause, than those of the limbs,
the muscles of which are consequently incapable of receiving the weight
of the body by maintaining the extension of the ankle-joint.
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