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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. S. Dallas   22 February 1868


22 Feb. 1868.

My dear Sir

I last night sent you all the portions of Piderit except the “Résumé” in which I am bothered for the equivalent of one participle & its derived substantive.—1 I can neither find nor invent one, & I question whether it can be managed without a periphrasis:— the participle is “verbissen”.—

Müller’s “Für Darwin” seems a very nice little book,— I had not seen it previously.— I should think it would sell if well translated, but it seems to me that, considering the length of time that has elapsed since its publication that it would be worth while to wait until Müller can be communicated with, & send additional notes or alterations if he has any.—2 I should think £10.10/- or £12.12/- ought to repay me for the labour,— & I shall be very glad to do it.—3

I hope to send you Piderit & the remaining bit of Translation today  

Meanwhile, I am | Your’s very truly | W. S. Dallas.

C. Darwin Esq


Dallas had translated portions of Piderit 1867 (see letter from W. S. Dallas, 19 February 1868). CD’s copy of the book is in the Darwin Library–CUL. It is heavily annotated and contains twelve pages of manuscript translation (see Marginalia 1: 676–7). The sections translated are pp. 21–7, 88–9, and 107–9 (‘Resumé der mimischen Bewegungen der Gesichtsmuskeln’ (Summary of the mimetic movements of the facial muscles)).
CD had evidently suggested that Dallas undertake a translation of F. Müller 1864; his letter to Dallas has not been found.
In his account book for 1869 under the heading ‘Science’, CD recorded a payment of £18 to Dallas for translations of F. Müller 1864 and Piderit 1867 (CD’s Classed account books (Down House MS)).


Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

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


Has sent his translations [of parts of Theodor Piderit, System der Mimik und Physiognomik (1867)].

Fritz Müller’s Für Darwin [1864] would sell if well translated. WSD would be glad to undertake it.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Sweetland Dallas
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 162: 15
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5917,” accessed on 21 September 2021,

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