Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

History of Twins 167 
in some cases the resemblance of body and mind had con¬ 
tinued unaltered up to old age, notwithstanding very different 
conditions of life ; and they showed in the other cases that 
the parents ascribed such dissimilarity as there was, wholly 
or almost wholly to some form of illness. In four cases it 
was scarlet fever ; in a fifth, typhus ; in a sixth, a slight effect 
was ascribed to a nervous fever; in a seventh it was the 
effect of an Indian climate ; in an eighth, an illness (un¬ 
named) of nine months’ duration ; in a ninth, varicose veins ; 
in a tenth, a bad fracture of the leg, which prevented all 
active exercise afterwards ; and there were three additional 
instances of undefined forms of ill health. It will be sufficient 
to quote one of the returns ; in this the father writes : 
“ At birth they were exactly alike, except that one was born 
with a bad varicose affection, the effect of which had been to 
prevent any violent exercise, such as dancing or running, and, as 
she has grow-n older, to make her more serious and thoughtful. 
Had it not been for this infirmity, I think the two would have 
been as exactly alike as it is possible for two women to be, both 
mentally and physically ; even now they are constantly mistaken 
for one another.” 
In only a very few cases is some allusion made to the 
dissimilarity being partly due to the combined action of 
many small influences, and in none of the thirty-five cases 
is it largely, much less wholly, ascribed to that cause. In 
not a single instance have I met with a word about the 
growing dissimilarity being due to the action of the firm free¬ 
will of one or both of the twins, which had triumphed over 
natural tendencies ; and yet a large proportion of my corre¬ 
spondents happen to be clergymen, whose bent of mind is 
opposed, as I feel assured from the tone of their letters, to 
a necessitarian view of life. 
It has been remarked that a growing diversity between 
twins may be ascribed to the tardy development of naturally 
diverse qualities ; but we have a right, upon the evidence I 
have received, to go farther than this. We have seen that a 
few twins retain their close resemblance through life ; in 
other words, instances do exist of an apparently thorough 
similarity of nature, in which such difference of external 
circumstances as may be consistent with the ordinary con¬ 
ditions of the same social rank and country do not create


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