Asks to have observations made of a person retching violently, but ejecting nothing from stomach, in order to test relation between spasmodic contraction of orbicular muscles and tears. CD believes tears are caused by matter filling nostrils.
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
My dear Paget
You have been so kind in helping me that I think you willagain.—f2 Can you persuade the resident Doctor in some hospitalto observe a person retching violently, but throwing nothingfrom the stomach.— When a person vomits violently, he alwayscontracts the orbicular muscles round the eyes, & tears oftenflow. I have been discussing with, or rather enquiring from,Prof. Donders of Utrecht about the relation between the spasmodiccontraction of the orbicular muscles & the secretion of tears. Inthe case of vomiting he suspects that irritating matter isinjected into the nose & thus causes tears.f3 From my own personalexperience I do think that this is the case. Therefore what Iwant to know is whether in violent retching, with nothingejected from stomach, when the orbiculars are stronglycontracted, do the eyes fill with tears or even overflow?—f4
Pray do not acknowledge this note & believe me | Yours verysincerely | Ch. Darwin