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Darwin Correspondence Project

From F. F. Geach   4 July 1868

Answers to queries about Expressions1

No. of Query

1 — All the Malays of this district Men, Women & Children, when asked to show where any thing has been put, as a knif, Sarong, or an article of dress, look towards the spot, or article, and pout or elongate the lips— Similar to a monkey attempting to make friends with his Master.

2 A Bugis Man2

Face. Neck. Arms. Body to waist

— A Chinese man age 24

Face. Arms. & Breast

— A Malay man

Do — Do. Do.

— A Malay Woman

Face, only seen.

— A Chinese Woman

Face, and Neck.

— A Chinese Man


A Bugis Man

Face. Arms. & Breast.3

3 — A Bugis Man.

First part of question— Yes, and opened his hands.

4. Malay Man

Frowns, looks down, wrinkles the skin about the eye.

— Another man   wrinkles on the brow and lifts up his head.

— Another man.

Depressed Corners of the mouth, the chin & forehead in wrinkles.

— Another— Frowns.

— Another. Corners of the mouth depressed    Chin & Forehead in

wrinkles. Frowns.

— With a Bugis Man

Latter part of the question

— A Malay boy. Do. Do. Do.

— A Malay man— Yes—

— Another man. Frowns.

5 A Malay man. From Malacca.

The Corners of the mouth much depressed.

The Nose & inner Corners of the eye wrinkled the brow deeply

grooved and short.

A very strange expression, the man turned his head & it was gone, very much like a person about to cry at some great loss. Only one opportunity4

No 6. A Bugis man

Corners of the mouth a little raised. Under the eyes slightly wrinkled

7. My Malay boat man

Only seen once.5

8. A Bugis man. Yes. "

" A Malay man Yes "

9 — I have not a Note —

10th All Malays answer to spitting something from the mouth6

11 — Malays become White Shake

12 Malay Woman. Yes—

13 A Malay Man

Beautifully discribed7

13. A Bugis Man Yes.

opens his legs.

14. Malay Boys & Girls “Yes”

15. Not a Note

16.— do do

17. Malay Men & Women Yes

4 July 1868

Malay Peninsula

CD annotations

First line of answer to 2: ‘Blush’ blue crayon


CD had sent Geach a copy of his Queries about expression after receiving his address from Alfred Russel Wallace in March 1867; Geach had sent preliminary replies in June 1867 (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from F. F. Geach, June 1867 and n. 2). For a copy of CD’s printed list of questions, produced in late 1867 or early 1868, see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix V.
Bugis: ‘a people of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes)’ (OED).
CD cited Geach’s answer to his question about the extent of blushing in Expression, p. 317, adding some contextual information from Geach that is neither in this letter nor in Geach’s letter and enclosure of June 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15).
CD quoted Geach’s answer to his question about the expression of sadness in Expression, p. 187.
CD cited Geach’s answer to his question about the exposure of the canine teeth in sneering and snarling in Expression, p. 252.
CD quoted Geach’s answer to his question about the expression of disgust in Expression, p. 261.
CD combined Geach’s answers to his question about shrugging to express inability to do something from this letter and from the enclosure to Geach’s letter of June 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15) in Expression, p. 268.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


Answers to Expression questionnaire.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frederick F. Geach
Charles Robert Darwin
Source of text
DAR 165: 23/2

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6267F,” accessed on 25 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16