The cruder, simpler emotions are so frankly expressed that even a child or an animal can tell instantly whether a man is happy or loving, grieved or angry. These emotions show themselves in the voice, in the eyes, in the expression of the mouth, in the very way the man stands or sits or walks, in his gestures—in fact, in everything he does. In the same way, all of the finer and more elusive thoughts and emotions express themselves in everything a man says or does. Even when he does his best to mask his feelings, he finds that, while he is controlling his eyes and his voice, his posture, gestures, and even handwriting are giving him away. No living man can give attention to all of the modes of expression at once, and the trained observer quickly learns to discriminate between those which are assumed for the purpose of deception and those which are perfectly natural.
Transient emotions have transient expression, but the prevailing modes of thought and feeling leave their unmistakable impress just as surely as does a prevailing wind mould the form of all the trees growing in its path. The man who is sly, furtive, secretive, and fundamentally dishonest need not deceive you with his carefully manufactured expression of open-eyed frankness and honesty. If you have ever been “taken in” by a confidence man or a swindler, you either gave very slight attention to his expression or, what is more likely, suspected him but hoped to “beat him at his own game.”
Discriminating employers long ago learned to observe carefully the condition of every applicant. It is now a pretty well accepted fact that the accountant who neglects his finger nails will probably also neglect his entries; that the clerk who is slovenly about his clothes will also be slovenly about his desk and his papers; that the man who cannot be relied upon to keep his shoes shined and his collar clean is a very weak and broken reed upon which to lean for anything requiring accuracy and dependability.
We have presented to you, in a brief way, the fundamental principles of the science of character analysis and the nine fundamental variables in man to which those principles apply. Are we not justified in saying that a body of knowledge which has been so classified and organized that the main fundamental facts of it can be presented in a few pages, is, indeed, a science? Add to this the fact that every conclusion is not only based upon these fundamental scientific principles, but has been carefully verified by investigation and observation in not only hundreds but thousands of cases, and has been used daily for years under the trying conditions of actual commercial practice, and this science has passed out of the merely experimental stage.