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February 8, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(6):388-391. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480060026001g

The individual who comes into the world is, as Luys1 remarks, not an isolated being separated from his kindred. He is one link in a long chain which is unrolled by time, and of which the first links are lost in the past. He is bound to those who follow him and to the atavic influence which he possesses; he serves for their temporary resting place, and he transmits them to his descendants. If he come from a race well endowed and well formed, he possesses the characteristics of organization which his ancestors have given him. He is ready for the combat of life and to pursue his way by his own virtues and energies. But inversely, if he spring from a stock which is already marked with an hereditary blemish and in which the development of the nervous system is incomplete, he comes into existence with a badly