I've always loved these lines by Praed, although I did not go to Eton. I wonder if David Cameron does and find them consoling now.
With many other noodles;
And lay my head in Jermyn Street,
And sip my hock at Boodles.
But often, when the cares of life
Have set my temples aching,
When visions haunt me of a wife,
When duns await my waking ...
I wish that I could run away
From House, and Court, and Levee,
Where bearded men appear today
Just Eton boys, grown heavy;
That I could bask in childhood’s sun,
And dance o’er childhood’s roses,
And find huge wealth in one pound one,
Vast wit in broken noses;
And play Sir Giles at Datchet Lane,
And call the milk-maids Houris;
That I could be a boy again,
A happy boy, at Drury’s.
Praed evidently enjoyed Eton despite the floggings. I tend more to side with Philip Larkin who said, 'When I was a child I thought I hated the human race, but when I grew up I realised it was only children I couldn't stand.'
Of course I love children now that I am no longer at their mercy.