Lehrjahre and Wanderjahre 139
He has himself in his Memories (p. 55) told us how he escaped three or four days' quarantine at Trieste by the quaint process of making Spoglio. The assumption made is that an apparently healthy human body passed through water is not as dangerous as the clothes it carries. Accordingly a few days before termination of the usual quarantine there is a medical inspection and the doctor directs those who satisfy him, and wish to " make Spoglio," to a covered quay ; opposite to this, at a distance of about 20 feet, is a second quay, the two being separated by a strip of water four or five feet deep. On the second quay are vendors of clothes.
"A bargain had to be made with one of the old-clothes men by shouting across the water. I," writes Galton, " was to leave everything I had on me, excepting coin or other metal, and papers which were about to be fumigated, in exchange for the offered clothes. When the bargain was concluded, I stripped, plunged in, and emerged on the opposite quay stark naked, to be newly clothed and receive freedom. The clothesman got my old things in due time-that was his affair. The new clothes were thin, and the trousers were made of a sort of calico and deficient in the fashionable cut of my old ones ; but as it was not then late in the year the thinness mattered little in those latitudes, and I did not care about the rest."
From Trieste Galton returned by way of Venice, Milan, Geneva and Boulogne. We have no record of the home-coming beyond what Galton himself has told us
"My dear kind father took my escapade humorously. He was pleased with it rather than otherwise, for I had much to tell and had obviously gained a great deal of experience." Memories, p. 57.
But the seed had been sown ; the first attack had run its triumphant course, and the Wanderlust would manifest its power year after year in Galton's life. He himself says
" This little expedition proved an important factor in moulding my after-life. It vastly widened my views of humanity and civilisation, and, it confirmed aspirations for travel which were afterwards indulged."