From W. W. Reade 7 September 1872
11 St. Mary Abbot’s | Terrace | Kensington
Sept. 7. ’72
My dear Sir
I find a passage in Andersson’s Lake Ngami p 435 about the tears in laughing which you may prefer to a verbal statement for purposes of quotation— The people in question are Bechuanas—a negro or negroid race.
“The mirth became so outrageous as to throw the party into convulsions many casting themselves at full length on the ground with their hands tightly clasped across their stomachs as if in fear of bursting whilst their greasy cheeks became furrowed with tears trickling down in streams—
At p 470 he says of the same people “Unless it forces tears into their eyes they look upon snuff as “worthless”.1
Emerson Tennant in his description of the elephants captured in a corral mentions their shedding tears.2 Gordon Cuming I think notices the same in a wounded giraffe—3 I have seen an African Pack-ass shed a tear on the bit being placed in its mouth for the first time.
Do not trouble to acknowledge the receipt of this but pray mention any point of this kind you wish me to look out for in my reading.
I remain | yours very truly | Winwood Reade
Sends extract [from Carl Johan Andersson, Lake Ngami (1856)] on expression.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8514,” accessed on 23 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8514