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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. S. Dallas   14 February 1868


14 Feb. 1868.

My dear Sir

I fear you must fancy that I am afflicted with a most undue allowance of pride or conceit or some similar unamiable quality, if you think that the proposition made in your letter could be in any way offensive to me,—considering our relative scientific positions I can only feel gratified in doing all in my power to aid you in your researches, & as I am at present situated, with a small income & a large family, & at this distance from London I am only too glad to get translations to do.—1 If therefore your pieces of translation are not required in a very great hurry, (for as the Record advances I cannot always depend upon having much time to spare), I shall be very happy to do my best for you.—2

As regards remuneration I enclose one of my ordinary slips of MS, which I generally reckon as making about half a page of the Annals,— it will contain on an average I think about 225 words.—3 I have generally received from £2 to £3 per sheet of 16 pp. 8vo., which would make each slip worth from 1s/3d to 1s/1012 d; or say 412 of them to the 1000 words, then the thousand would be worth from 5/6 to 8/–.— I think perhaps the fairest way will be to strike a sort of rough average of all the work & all the prices, & reckon each MS. slip, such as the enclosed at eighteen pence, or the thousand words at seven shillings.— I will leave it to you to decide upon this knotty question,— if the above charge be too much I will endeavour to lower it.—

I am afraid you will think that the above discussion of charges & prices is very disgusting, but as this, say what we may, is after all a matter of business, I thought it best to put it in as business-like a form as I could.— If I could realise my dearest wish of getting back again to London, I might, perhaps be able to assist you without so much consideration of the filthy lucre, although perhaps I might find my hands even fuller.—

Under any circumstances I must thank you for all your kindnesses up to this time, & even for Mr. Murray’s liberality, of which you have been the prime mover—4

Believe me | Your’s always truly | W. S. Dallas.

CD annotations

1.7 not … hurry, ] scored pencil
2.7 eighteen … shillings.— 2.8] scored pencil
End of letter: ‘I sent again Variation book | It | 7s per 1000 | If Book differs when seen | Postage—’ pencil


CD’s letter to Dallas has not been found. CD had asked Dallas to translate a part of Piderit 1867 (see letter from W. S. Dallas, 19 February 1868).
Dallas edited various sections of the Zoological Record.
Dallas was editor of the Annals and Magazine of Natural History.


Piderit, Theodor. 1867. Wissenschaftliches System der Mimik und Physiognomik. Detmold: Klingenberg’sche Buchhandlung.


WSD expresses his willingness to do further translating for CD. Sends terms of remuneration.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Sweetland Dallas
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 162: 13
Physical description
6pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5877,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

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