with God, or becoming, once again, One with the All, with
Possibly the most famous example of twins of this type were Helen and Judith, the Hungarian sisters, born in 1701 at Szony, in Hungary. They were the objects of great curiosity, and were shown successively in Holland, Germany, Italy, France, England, and Poland. At the age of nine they were placed in a convent, where they died almost simultaneously in their twenty-second year. During their travels all over Europe they were examined by many prominent physiologists, psychologists, and naturalists; Pope and several minor poets have celebrated their existence in verse; Buffon speaks of them in his "Natural History," and all the works on teratology for a century or more have mentioned them. A description of them can be best given by a quaint translation by Fisher of the Latin lines composed by a Hungarian physician and inscribed on a bronze statuette of them: --
Two sisters wonderful to behold, who have thus grown as one, That naught their bodies can divide, no power beneath the sun. The town of Szoenii gave them birth, hard by far-famed Komorn, Which noble fort may all the arts of Turkish sultans scorn. Lucina, woman's gentle friend, did Helen first receive; And Judith, when three hours had passed, her mother's womb did leave. One urine passage serves for both;--one anus, so they tell; The other parts their numbers keep, and serve their owners well. Their parents poor did send them forth, the world to travel through, That this great wonder of the age should not be hid from view. The inner parts concealed do lie hid from our eyes, alas! But all the body here you view erect in solid brass.
They were joined back to back in the lumbar region, and had all their parts separate except the anus between the right thigh of Helen and the left of Judith and a single vulva. Helen was the larger, better looking, the more active, and the more intelligent. Judith at the age of six became hemiplegic, and afterward was rather delicate and depressed. They menstruated at sixteen and continued with regularity, although one began before the other. They had a mutual affection, and did all in their power to alleviate the circumstances of their sad position. Judith died of cerebral and pulmonary affections, and Helen, who previously enjoyed good health, soon after her sister's first indisposition suddenly sank into a state of collapse, although preserving her mental faculties, and expired almost immediately after her sister. They had measles and small-pox simultaneously, but were affected in different degree by the maladies. The emotions, inclinations, and appetites were not simultaneous. Eccardus, in a very interesting paper, discusses the physical, moral, and religious questions in reference to these wonderful sisters, such as the advisability of separation, the admissibility of matrimony, and, finally, whether on the last day they would rise as joined in life, or separated.
There is an account of two united females, similar in conjunction to the "Hungarian sisters," who were born in Italy in 1700. They were killed at the age of four months by an attempt of a surgeon to separate them.
In 1856 there was reported to have been born in Texas, twins after the manner of Helen and Judith, united back to back, who lived and attained some age. They were said to have been of different natures and dispositions, and inclined to quarrel very often.
Pancoast gives an extensive report of Millie-Christine, who had been extensively exhibited in Europe and the United States. They were born of slave parents in Columbus County, N.C., July 11, 1851; the mother, who had borne 8 children before, was a stout negress of thirty-two, with a large pelvis. The presentation was first by the stomach and afterward by the breech. These twins were united at the sacra by a cartilaginous or possibly osseous union. They were exhibited in Paris in 1873, and provoked as much discussion there as in the United States. Physically, Millie was the weaker, but had the stronger will and the dominating spirit. They menstruated regularly from the age of thirteen. One from long habit yielded instinctively to the other's movements, thus preserving the necessary harmony. They ate separately, had distinct thoughts, and carried on distinct conversations at the same time. They experienced hunger and thirst generally simultaneously, and defecated and urinated nearly at the same times. One, in tranquil sleep, would be wakened by a call of nature of the other. Common sensibility was experienced near the location of union. They were intelligent and agreeable and of pleasant appearance, although slightly under size; they sang duets with pleasant voices and accompanied themselves with a guitar; they walked, ran, and danced with apparent ease and grace. Christine could bend over and lift Millie up by the bond of union.
A recent example of the pygopagus type was Rosa-Josepha Blazek, born in Skerychov, in Bohemia, January 20, 1878. These twins had a broad bony union in the lower part of the lumbar region, the pelvis being obviously completely fused. They had a common urethral and anal aperture, but a double vaginal orifice, with a very apparent septum. The sensation was distinct in each, except where the pelves joined. They were exhibited in Paris in 1891, being then on an exhibition tour around the world. Rosa was the stronger, and when she walked or ran forward she drew her sister with her, who must naturally have reversed her steps. They had independent thoughts and separate minds; one could sleep while the other was awake. Many of their appetites were different, one preferring beer, the other wine; one relished salad, the other detested it, etc. Thirst and hunger were not simultaneous. Baudoin describes their anatomic construction, their mode of life, and their mannerisms and tastes in a quite recent article. Fig. 42 is a reproduction of an early photograph of the twins, and Fig. 43 represents a recent photograph of these "Bohemian twins," as they are now called.
The latest record we have of this type of monstrosity is that given by Tynberg to the County Medical Society of New York, May 27, 1895. The mother was present with the remarkable twins in her arms, crying at the top of their voices. These two children were born at midnight on April 15th. Tynberg remarked that he believed them to be distinct and separate children, and not dependent on a common arterial system; he also expressed his intention of separating them, but did not believe the operation could be performed with safety before another year. Jacobi describes in full Tynberg's instance of pygopagus. He says the confinement was easy; the head of one was born first, soon followed by the feet and the rest of the twins. The placenta was single and the cord consisted of two branches. The twins were united below the third sacral vertebrae in such a manner that they could lie alongside of each other. They were females, and had two vaginae, two urethrae four labia minora, and two labia majora, one anus, but a double rectum divided by a septum. They micturated independently but defecated simultaneously. They virtually lived separate lives, as one might be asleep while the other cried, etc.
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