RECORD: Darwin, C. R. n.d. Blushing / Chinese in Malacca. CUL-DAR195.1.9. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 5.2022. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin. The volume CUL-DAR195 contains materials for Darwin's book Expression of the emotions (1872) organised roughly as: DAR195.1 blushing. DAR195.2 astonishment, fear. DAR195.3 indignation, rage, screaming, etc. DAR195.4 laughter, frowning, introduction.



The young Chinese who blushed to his waist did so when asked by Mr G. "why do you not makebetter work."

Chinese in Malacca

[Darwin quotes from the letter from Frederick F. Geach April 1868, Correspondence vol. 16, p. 351: "With Chinese, in being detected in stealing petty things, falsehoods, &c, &c. The young Chinese Carpenter I spoke of blushed because I asked—Why do you not make better work? when his face, arms, breast & legs, blushed". In Expression, p. 317 Darwin wrote: "Mr. Geach informs me that the Chinese settled in Malacca and the native Malays of the interior both blush. Some of these people go nearly naked, and he particularly attended to the downward extension of the blush. Omitting the cases in which the face alone was seen to blush, Mr. Geach observed that the face, arms, and breast of a Chinaman, aged 24 years, reddened from shame; and with another Chinese, when asked why he had not done his work in better style, the whole body was similarly affected."

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 25 September, 2022