RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1871. [Extract of a letter to Louis Bouton, (secretary of the Royal Society of arts and sciences, Mauritius) 26 October 1871]. Transactions of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Mauritius, vol. 6, n.s.: 167-168.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 7.2021. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here.

Louis Sulpice Bouton (1799-1878), a Franco-Mauritian naturalist and secretary to the Royal Society for thirty-nine years. This letter fits between the letter from Louis Bouton to Darwin on 22 September 1871 (CUL-DAR160.259) and Bouton's reply on 15 December 1871 (CUL-DAR160.260). Translations of Bouton's letters are in Correspondence vol. 19, pp. 776 and 782.

[page] 167


[page]  168


Enfin cette haute stature et cette vigueur de quelques Seychellois ont-elles d'autres can es qui nous ont échappé jusqu'ici? Telle e t la que tion à résoudre.

Tous ces faits ont paru être d'une telle singularité au Secrétaire de la Société qu'il a voulu les soumettre à l'appreciation de l'un des grands naturalistes du siècle, et plus apte que qui que cé soit à s'en rendre compte-à Charles Darwin enfin, et voici la réponse qu'il en a reçue:

La lettre porte au cachet la devise: cave et aude.

Down Beckenham Kent,

October 26th 1871.

Dear Sir,

"I am much obliged for your kind and interesting letter… what you say about the men of the Seychelles islands is quite new to me. The case seems nearly parallel, though of a reverse nature, with that of the difference in stature between the inhabitants of the lofty volcanic and low coral islets of the Pacific.

"With my thanks.

I remain, Dear Sir,

Yours very faithfully,


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

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