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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Scott   12 August 1872

Down, Beckenham, Kent,

Aug. 12, 1872.

My Dear Sir,—

I received from Kew about a week ago some boxes with worm castings, no doubt sent by you; but I have found no memorandum enclosed.1 Some of these castings from South India are quite gigantic, and others seem very extraordinary; but I have not as yet looked at all of them. There is also a bottle with worms in spirits. As on so many former occasions, you have taken infinite pains to oblige me, and the materials seem wonderfully complete. But I am very anxious for some information with respect to these specimens; and I hope no letter has miscarried, for this would be a very great loss to me.

I have almost finished printing my volume on expression, which will not be published until November. I will then send you a copy, in which you will see how valuable your observations have been to me.2

With very sincere thanks,—Believe me, Yours truly, | Ch. Darwin.

There is also a block of grey consolidated earth. Also a tin box with pellets like shot.


After receiving observations on worms from Scott, CD had requested further information specifically on castings and burrowing behaviour (see letter from John Scott, 22 March 1872, and letter to John Scott, 15 April [1872]). The box had been forwarded from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (letter to J. D. Hooker, 4 August [1872]).
Expression was published on 26 November 1872 (Freeman 1977). Scott had supplied CD with extensive observations on emotional expression in India (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from John Scott, 4 May 1868, and Correspondence vol. 17, letters from John Scott, 2 July 1869 and 21 December 1869). His name is on the presentation list for Expression (Appendix IV).


Acknowledges a box of worm-casts from India and a bottle of worms in spirits. There is no memorandum.

His book on expression is finished and includes valuable information from JS.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Scott
Sent from
Source of text
Transactions of the Hawick Archæological Society (1908): 69

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8465F,” accessed on 19 February 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20