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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles L. 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.


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 21 September 2019,

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