Lehrjahre and Wanderjahre 175
bodily fear. So they went down into the cloisters. On arriving there C-- asked him if it was true that he had spread the above report. P- replied that he had struck him in the Union. C- drew out his horsewhip and held it over him and said : Consider yourself horsewhipped. P- said: You have not struck me. C- dropped the whip on his shoulders. P-- drew out a life-preserver and struck C- ferociously over the temples which quite confused him; he however closed in when X- and Y- actually pinioned C- and whilst C-'s two friends were trying to tear them off, P- deliberately hit C- several times on the head. P- trotted away and said I have witnesses that you first struck me. He since owned that the whole affair was prearranged. All C-'s friends were of course almost mad. It was beneath his dignity to challenge him'. To skip overall the different plans that were proposed and laid aside it has ended in laying the matter before the College authorities who have rusticated P- "sine die," which is the same as expelling him, for they take his name off the boards and they have not allowed C- to reside this term which is almost a nominal punishment as he is a bachelor scholar, and in no way to be injured by such sentence. I need not add that P- is universally cut and I understand that he has threatened being revenged on me.
C- was a good deal hurt. A large committee of whom I am one are always together either at C-'s or some others' rooms. He breakfasts with me tomorrow before going down and the whole of Trinity will probably see him of The motion for P-'s expulsion comes on tomorrow evening. Denman, son of Lord Denman, and senior classic takes the chair. A printed statement will be published as soon as the Magdalene men have been punished and I will send you one.
The tests for arsenic are very easily applied and quite cheaply, but the 4 pounds is I believe the Chemist's fee. Your affectionate son,
I fear the shortness of the above statement will not give you a very clear notion of the way matters stand.
There are no further letters relating to this remarkable episode in the life of the Union 2, but a few verses-apparently by Galton-among his papers show that he saw the humorous as well as the serious side of the matter. They run
Horsewhip and Life-preserver.
P- I'll face it out and 'stead of dawdling Go and see my friends at Magdalene
1 On the proposal to challenge: see the Memories, p. 75.
2 Among Mr Harold Wright's gleanings from the minutes we find a motion by Galton "That the restriction by which the Library Committee are prevented from purchasing novels be done away with" (October 29, 1843). The motion was lost. His name also appears (March 28, 1843) at the end of a report of a committee appointed to consider the question of the Union giving a ball. The Committee strongly opposed the suggestion. Galton was proposed on Jan. 31, 1842, by Housman of St John's for the office of President, but was defeated on a poll by Crawshay of Trinity. Some account of this disturbance at the Union will be found in Bristed, loc. cit. p. 169.