That evening Wilde dined at Blanche Roosevelt's house. Before dinner the guests put their hands through a curtain so that the palmist Cheiro could read their palms without knowing who they were.
When Wilde held out his hands, Cheiro found the markings on each hand so different from the other that he explained how in palmistry the left hand denotes hereditary tendencies and the right hand individual developments.
The left hand in front of him, he said, promised a brilliant success; the right hand, impending ruin. 'The left hand is the hand of a king, but the right that of a king who will send himself into exile.'
Wilde, a superstitious man (he had refused to join the skeptics of the Thirteen Club), asked 'At what date?' 'A few years from now, at about your fortieth year.' (He was then thirty-eight.) Without another word Wilde left the party.