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preceding weeks had been full of excitements. The tithe commutation had not yet been carried ; the substitution of service of process had not come into common use; and in various quarters a hot war was being carried on against the peasantry to levy the tithes by force. Into one parish in Munster alone the police, in a single week, accompanied four commissions of rebellion. Writs of rebellion, seizures and auction-sales for tithes, wholesale ejectments, were everywhere being enforced. Even these means did not suffice the tithe collectors. An incident in these weeks was the application to Government of Mr Talbot Glascock, attorney to the Dean of St Patrick's, for “ the aid of the civil and military powers to effect the service of Exchequer processes upon some of the Dean's parishioners in the county of Kilkenny.” The application-like many similar ones made at that time—was refused, on the ground that the Court might either substitute service or order the sheriff to assist in effecting it with whatever force might be requisite. The result was a correspondence between Drummond and Glascock—a rather eccentric person, well known in Dublin in his day-in the course of which Glascock's language grew very offensive. The correspondence is instructive only as showing the state of the tithe collection. Another incident belonging to these weeks was the blowing up, on the morning of April 8, 1836, of the statue of King William III. “ of pious, glorious, and immortal memory.” Rewards for the discovery of the perpetrators were offered both by the Government and by the Dublin Corporation, but without success. The destruction of the statue, following on the dissolution of the Orange Society, greatly alarmed and excited the Ascendancy; but those were probably not far from the truth who surmised that the act was done by Orange hands, with the view of producing this alarm and excitement.
The visit to Edinburgh, projected in Drummond's letter to his mother of April 13, 1836, was frequently talked of afterwards, but was never paid. Every week, after the date of the letter, brought new duties and new ties to Ireland. About this time he was engaged in negotiations for procuring the appointment of the Irish Railway Commission. By October 1836 the work of the Commission was commenced; and thereafter, till the end of July 1838, there was neither rest nor holiday for the Under Secretary.
In the end of August 1836 his home was brightened by the birth of a daughter—an event marked by a letter rather longer than was now customary from him to his mother. Dr Johnstone, who is referred to, was the family doctor and the friend of Mr Drummond.
“DUBLIN, September 4, 1836. “MY DEAREST MOTHER --I send you a lock of your little grand-daughter's hair. Where it has got the colour I cannot tell, for it is neither like its father's nor its mother's. Poor little thing : it looks so gentle and innocent. Both mother and child go on admirably; and as to Mrs Sharp, she is always peeping at baby. Dr Johnstone said to her, when sitting by its little cot, 'You seem to be watching as if you were afraid somebody would run away with it.' fancy about the child being called after you? I have always considered my own name such an abomination that I should certainly never have a child called after me. My notion is to give them pretty agreeably-sounding names. Maria feels in regard to this as I do; and as we both agree with Walter Scott in thinking Mary the prettiest name on the list of female names, we are disposed to call it Mary-Elizabeth-the latter of course after you. Now, tell us honestly whether you have
Have you any
any feeling on the subject, any desire that it should have your name alone, or that it should be Elizabeth-Mary. I like the sound Mary-Elizabeth rather better, so does Maria ; but we shall be delighted to do what is agreeable to you if you have any wish on the subject. I am glad, very glad that you give a favourable account of Eliza, and that you look forward to a better winter this year than last. Kindest regards to my aunt, kindest love to my dear Eliza and to John, and believe me ever, my dearest mother, your truly affectionate son,
“ T. DRUMMOND."
On two subsequent occasions, before the close of 1839, occurred the same grave difficulty of naming a child in the household of the Under Secretary.
No letters belonging to 1837 have been preserved ; those belonging to 1838 are numerous. In January 1838 he suffered severely from an attack of influenza; in February he was teased by a hacking cough left by the influenza, and was obliged to pass the nights at Kingstown for the sake of the sea air. Occasionally he went to Kingstown to stay from the Friday night to Monday night or Tuesday morning, for the sake of the air, and to avoid seeing so many people as he otherwise would, and being obliged to talk. I imagine that the Kingstown visits were made also with a view to uninterrupted work at the Railway Report. He was, in these months, most busily engaged on the Report, eager to finish it, and pushing on with it despite of impaired health. By the end of February his cough was somewhat better ; but he was much weakened by it and by overwork, which could not yet be relaxed. “Till the Railroad Report is finished,” he wrote to his mother, March 11, 1838, “I shall always be hard pressed. After that I expect some breathing time. Political events absorbed all our attention last week. Great the interest and anxiety with which the intelligence was looked for here ; great the triumph with which it was received by our friends. I think we are secure for the remainder of the session. The victory was greater than was anticipated. I hope and believe it will have the effect of setting us on our legs again.*
I should have but moderate work if I had disposed of the Railroad Report. It is well advanced, in fact almost ready."
An idea of the completeness of his occupation by business in these months, may be gathered from the subjoined extract from a letter written, on June 17, 1838, by his wife to his mother. By this date the family had been for some time established at Kingstown, and a second daughter had been born,
" My husband is in Dublin Railroadising, so I know not whether he will be able to write a scrap to-day.
The sea air has certainly done him good; but he is very thin and very much older in appearance than when you last saw him. The railroad will, I trust, soon be over ; but even his every day official business occupies him from nine in the morning till a quarter to eight (our dinner hour); so that any extra work brought on by any investigation must either be done before nine in the morning or in the evening after dinner. I often say that I might as well have no husband, for day after day often passes without more than a few words passing between us. Now, Dr Johnstone has forbidden his working after dinner; but then he must read the newspapers. Our dinner is not over till half-past eight, and half-past ten or eleven is quite late enough for a man who is up before six. From last Monday until this morning—a week all but a day—he never even saw his baby, although in the same house with her.
* The allusion is to the debate on the Ministers' Canadian policy, which, it was feared, might have ended in a defeat.
to get a peep at Mary for about five minutes every day almost, but he is on thorns even for these five minutes.
In July 1838 the Railway Report was finished. But by this time the jaded Under Secretary was fairly worn out. His mother was seriously alarmed by the accounts she received of his health, and wrote at once to Dr Johnstone and to the Lord Lieutenantto the former for his opinion, and to the latter entreating him to use his authority to make her son take a holiday. On the 24th July 1838 Dr Johnstone replied, stating that he had ordered Drummond off to Germany and Switzerland for a few weeks. “I feel quite certain,” he said, “that the excursion will be attended with complete restoration to health. He is now better than when I last wrote, and wants to avoid going to the Continent, and merely to pay you a visit for a short time. On this subject, however, I have used all the authority of a doctor, and will not remit any part of his sentence. If he were to go to Scotland they would send for him from this the first difficulty that occurred to the Government."
A few days later Lord Normanby wrote to her as follows:
" VICE-REGAL LODGE, July 30, 1838. MY DEAR MADAM,—I can assure you I enter most sincerely into your feelings with respect to your son's health, and I shall do everything in my power to induce him to take care of it, and to modify his zeal in the public service. The additional labour which he voluntarily undertook of superintending the Railroad Commission, has, I think, been too much for him; but the result will be as creditable to his talents as everything else in which he has ever been engaged. I hope I have arranged with him that, as soon as ever Lord Morpeth returns,