"They were like the cherubs of the anecdote"
These putti are the type which Coleridge had in mind
Creative Commons AttributionThese putti are the bottomless cherub boys Coleridge had in mind - Credit: Rubens; Martin Beek

The anecdote in question is recorded by Charles Lamb in his essay "Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago". On learning that his former headmaster James Boyer, a man who certainly did not believe in sparing the rod, was on his deathbed, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge responded "Poor J.B. ! — may all his faults be forgiven; and may he be wafted to bliss by little cherub boys, all head and wings, with no bottoms to reproach his sublunary infirmities".

sublunary (literally, "below the moon") means "of or relating to the Earth"

Read Lamb's essay here.