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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Langstaff   [after 22? April 1868]1

I have noticed the pinched look of the nose both in crying & when an individual has a cold.2 The columna is also drawn downwards which increases this look, & no doubt such an expression is greatly due to the action of the depressor alae nasi; but in addition the act of snuffling, which is constant in crying & very frequent in a cold, brings the pressure of the air on the Alæ of the nose compresses & drives them inwards towards the columna.

CD annotations

Top of letter] ‘nose in crying | Langstaff’ pencil
Verso] ‘Keep only the attached portion of this | occipito frontalis’ pencil, del ink, ‘platysma’ pencil, del ink


The date is conjectured from the relationship between this letter, the letter to W. E. Darwin, 16 April [1868], and the letter from W. E. Darwin [22? April 1868]. This memorandum may have been enclosed in the letter from W. E. Darwin, [after 22? April 1868].
See letter to W. E. Darwin, 16 April [1868] and n. 4. CD reported information from Langstaff on the pinched appearance of the nose in children with bad colds in Expression, p. 152.


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Describes the appearance of the nose in crying.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Langstaff
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 170: 1
Physical description
A mem 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7413,” accessed on 28 November 2021,

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