Lehrjahre and Wanderjahre 183
A whole series of epigrams and verses touch on the fun and frolic of this last year of Galton's College career. The first, I quote, refers to the Historical Debating Society f'ouncled by Galton and his friend
On the cursed Gift of Oratory. Within the Black Bear's ancient walls, Sit the young Historicals. Sambo Sutton once fought there, Once a meeting met for prayer, Once a Tory there did try Election bribes successfully. But now worthier than all Sits the Sage Historical.
Look at him that now is pleading, Gravely, earnestly,
His hands against his lips applied, Swaying about from side to side, Ever with uneven motion, Like a barrel on the ocean. The while some one idea he lays Before the club in many ways.
Or, there was satire of some well-known member of the circle
Nature when she built you Taffy, Made a lion too,
For whom she found a soul so gruff And one so meek for you. She had in the live-coal Far too many irons, So the beast got Taffy's soul And Taffy got the lion's.
Taffy's heart of steel Knows not fear at all, But the lion he must feel Particularly small.
Towards the end of his Cambridge time Galton became for a short while a teetotaller, and possibly the following lines commemorate the episode
Ode to Milk Punch.
When first I met thee warm and young There shone such truth about thee, Such fragrance o'er thy surface hung I did not dare to doubt thee.