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positive drawback. The Radicals would have ALL POPULATION, and take effectual measures that there should be no wealth. Well-parties ( mirum') had agreed so far as to admit, pro tempore, as a ground of discussion, to put poor B and C on a footing of equality in the very narrow arena of the rotten boroughs, and so the thing was put into Drummond's hands. Suppose he had adopted instead of P + W,* such a function as NPW, or ✓P? + W?, or any decent symmetrical function, one might have stared, and set it down to the profundity of his
W2 researches; but had he taken what would have happened? Why, Lord Melbourne would have snatched the papers out of his hand. The Whigs would have called him a madman, the Tories a martyr, and the point would have been handed over to some plodding man without a party, who would be content to take the quiet responsibility of drawing a steady line between two great conflicting interests. (N.B.-W=B, P=nC.)
“Had the question been referred to me, I could have done no otherwise. I might have adopted a slightly different numerical value of n. (for that I admit a point of some nicety); but I would not have deviated from the form P + W (=B + nC.)—Believe me, yours very truly,
“ J. F. W. HERSCHEL."
The mathematics are a severely just science, and we may judge from these letters what the results would be of applying its logic to the system of representation. “ Parties (mirum !) had agreed to put population and wealth on a footing of equality in the very narrow arena of the rotten boroughs." Sir John turns his eyes from the stars to the political world, not without astonishment at what he sees going on there. It is the world which Drummond, who also is somewhat severe in his logic, and not without discernment of celestial and other harmonies in nature, is about to enter. Perhaps he also will presently find there matter for astonishment, and by the severe logic arrive at some new Drummond light suitable for doing brilliant service to his fellow-men.
* P= Population, W=Wealth.
The passing of the Reform Bill brought Mr Drummond a short interval of comparative rest. The reaction from severe labour set in with the diminution of the sustaining excitement, and was, as usual, illness and exhaustion. “ Brighton and its air and exercise recruited him," says Larcom," but more than this was the heartfelt joy he received from the approbation and friendship of his brother commissioners. His task had been one of much delicacy as well as labour, and of all the compliments which awaited him none was more gratifying than the letter addressed to him by the gentlemen with whom he had acted in the Boundary Commission.” The letter here referred to, which the General adds was “as honourable to those by whom it was written as to him to whom it was addressed," was as follows
“ LONDON, June “DEAR DRUMMOND, We, who have been your fellowlabourers in the task intrusted to us by the Government, of recommending the proper limits for boroughs under the Reform Bill, entertain an anxious desire, before we separate on the completion of our labours, to express to you in some marked manner our esteem and admiration of your conduct of that work.
“ We entertain no doubt that the Government will take the earliest opportunity of adequately discharging the great obligations it owes you, which can be duly appreciated only by considering the consequences if they had found in you anything short of the most perfect integrity, the most active zeal, and the most acute intelligence.
“But something would still be wanting to our own feelings, were we not to contrive some method of denoting our sense of the sound judgment and amiable manner which have marked
your whole intercourse with us, making it a source of pleasure to ourselves, and contributing in no small degree to the perfection of the harassing duty in which we have been engaged.
“After much consideration on the most appropriate method of recording these feelings, we have resolved to request that you will do us the favour to sit for your portrait to one of the best artists of the day.
“ We hope this will be preserved in your family as a memorial of the sense entertained of your merits by a number of gentlemen who have acted with you in the execution of a delicate and arduous duty, intimately connected with an important event in the history of our country. We remain, dear Drummond, your attached friends, “ E. J. LITTLETON.
H. BELLENDEN KER. F. BEAUFORT, R.N.
HENRY W. TANCRED. L. B. ALLEN.
G. B. LENNARD. B. ANSLEY.
W. H. ORD. THOS. B. BIRCH.
JOHN ROMILLY. H. R. BANDRETH.
ROBERT SAUNDERS. J. J. CHAPMAN.
RICHARD SCOTT. R. D. CRAIG.
W. EDWARD TALLENTS.
W. WYLDE." HENRY GAWLER. The portrait was painted by Pickersgill, and presented to Mr Drummond's mother; after his death it was engraved by Cousens; it now hangs in the Court-Room of the Edinburgh University. An engraving of it by Burton is prefixed to this volume.
THE EDINBURGH AND LEITH DISTRICT ELECTIONS ;
DRUMMOND'S LAST SCIENTIFIC EMPLOYMENTS; HIS SCIENTIFIC CAREER.
As the time for the General Election drew near after the passing of the Reform Bill, Mr Drummond began to take considerable interest in the election proceedings in Edinburgh and its neighbourhood. A contest was impending between Sir George Murray and Lord Ormelie in Perthshire, and thither Mr John Drummond had gone in July, to use his influence in the Comrie and Drummondernoch districts in behalf of Lord Ormelie, the Liberal candidate. In the Leith district preparations were making for a contest between John Archibald Murray, afterwards Sir John (the late Hon. Lord Murray, the most amiable of Scotch Whigs and Lords of Session), and Drummond's old friend, Mr Aitchison of Drummore. In Edinburgh, Mr Abercromby (afterwards Lord Dunfermline), and Mr Francis Jeffrey were looking forward to a struggle with Mr Hunter Blair, a Tory or Conservative, and Mr Aytoun (the Radical, not the poet). In all of these contests brother John, the advocate, was taking a more or less efficient part as a canvasser, and in regard to all of them Mr Drummond corresponded with him from time to time.
These election letters are interesting, as the first revelations of his feelings about human relations other than those of the family. Up to this time the details of practical services and scientific operations are the main burden of his correspondence, so far as not devoted to matters of family concern.
The man is seen as son and brother, but not as citizen. He now begins to appears as a citizen, exhibiting a fine moral sense, supported by a spirit of chivalry in the discussion of social rights and obligations.
As to the canvass against Sir George Murray, he writes to his brother :
“I rejoice at any occurrence which calls forth your exertions and brings you into action. But I fairly own to you that I wish your exertions had been directed against another opponent than Sir George Murray. He is in every respect so estimable a man, and so fit to represent a county, especially in a reformed Parliament, that I regret his return being opposed.
Your calmness and good sense will prevent your being betrayed into any rash or unbecoming expression towards your opponents; but it is right that I should tell you that Sir George Murray is a man universally respected by all parties for his ability, moderation, and fairness, and therefore I hope you will be betrayed into nothing, either in word or deed, that is disrespectful towards him. I don't say this to damp your ardour in the cause in which you are embarked, because I am sure that it would be injured rather than promoted by any conduct which had the appearance of disrespect; I say appearance, because now that I have told you the opinion entertained of Sir George, I feel perfectly satisfied that your canvass for Lord Ormelie will never be conducted in a way offensive to Sir George or his friends."*
If the spirit of this became general, a man might have less scruple in becoming a candidate in a contested election. The prevailing spirit is, unhappily, so
* Letter to Mr John Drummond, July 12, 1832.