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sider that opportunities or the times were the chief causes, we must have a wonderful knowledge of all the intricate effects of this medium in order to explain the character in this way. The theory of chances seems here to be in danger, while the theory of chances can be shown to be pretty well satisfied by the laws of heredity.


The Hapsburg Lip.

The accompanying illustrations show one of the best known and most conspicuous facial peculiarities among the royal families, the great swollen protruding lip of the Hapsburgs which can be traced with its varying degrees of intensification through no less than eighteen generations, coming out in at least forty-one of the various descendants.

Its first appearance, according to history, was in Cymburga, who was born in the last part of the fourteeenth century, and became the wife of Ernst, the second patriarch of the House of Hapsburg.[1] In its latest manifestation it appears at the present day with diminished strength and modified form in the young king of Spain. This is a remarkable instance of the force of heredity in perpetuating a physical trait, and has been thought to be an instance of prepotency, the male line being able to transmit a deeply rooted peculiarity, the features from the maternal side having no influence in counteracting it.

As an example of prepotency, the Hapsburg lip was cited by Darwin.[2] To quote his words:

It would appear that in certain families some one ancestor and after him others in the same family must have had great power in transmitting their likeness through the male line; for we cannot otherwise understand how the same features should so often be transmitted after marriage with various females as has been the case with the Austrian Emperors.

The same idea is expressed by Strahan, 'Marriage and Disease' p. 64. As a matter of fact this feature, the big lip, was maintained and transmitted in no more remarkable way than the neurosis was, and for the same reason, namely, intermarriages in their own family, and time and time again the selection of those who exhibited the feature rather than those who did not.

In almost every generation there were some who showed the peculiar lip and there were always some who did not inherit it in any degree at all, and this is also paralleled by the mental abnormality. Therefore since there was an increasing number in each successive generation who were free from the peculiarity, the average of all descendants in each generation would give a diminution of the quality in question, and we have no prepotency at all, but merely

  1. Coxe, 'Austria,' I., p. 297.
  2. Darwin, 'Animals and Plants' II., p. 65.