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the admirable powers and not less admirable virtue of the incomparable Drummond.” The three are also brought together by Mr Shiel, in his speech on the passage of the Corn and Tariff Bills of 1846 (27th June 1846). Contrasting the Normanby administration with the Tory governments that followed and preceded it
I will show you,” he said, “ that a government, conducted on different principles, has been productive of peace. Let yours and Lord Normanby's government be compared. Lord Normanby, beloved by the Irish people, was the Lord Lieutenant; the Chief Secretary, an object to all who knew him of affectionate respect, was Lord Morpeth. You, Mr Speaker, will pardon a breach of order, when, for the purpose of panegyric, it is almost sufficient to give utterance to a name—the Under Secretary was Mr Drummond—who, not born in Ireland, was more than an Irishman in his love of Ireland, and who, at his own and his last request, lies buried in the land for which he died of intellectual toil.” Like the Viceroy, Drummond won popularity in Ireland, but in a different manner. The Irish, it has been said, knew not how they loved him till they lost him.
The difficulty is to assign to the subordinate his precise part. Had the object of the Roden Committee of 1839 not been the virtual impeachment of the Irish government, this difficulty might not have existed. Before that committee Drummond was examined as to the whole course of the administration. Had the circumstances been different, his evidence might have afforded a means of discriminating between his own acts and those of his superiors. As it happened, the evidence was evoked in defence of his superiors, to whom he gave the credit of the administration. He
exhibited the reserve of a subordinate even in regard to measures known to have originated with himself. All that appears is, that he had brought under the notice of the Viceroy the state of matters for which the measures provided.
The means, I believe, exist of overcoming to some extent this difficulty ; but the time has not yet come when they can be freely used. Avoiding doubtful questions, therefore, I shall confine myself to notorious facts, or such as are vouched by public documents. A measure of success can be attained even within these limits, in an attempt to justify by details the expressions of admiration of Drummond's abilities and self-devotion that have already found place in the histories of the time.
One thing which gave Drummond superior fitness for the duties which the new Irish government had undertaken, was an intimate knowledge of the country and the people. Both of these were well known to him when he went to Ireland in 1835. Eleven years before he had, with Colby, traversed the whole land. In the years from 1824 to 1830 he had enjoyed special opportunities of studying the character and condition of the peasantry. Nearly the whole of the years 1827, 1828, and 1829 he spent in Ireland, passing the sum mer months in the country, and the winter months in Dublin. In town and country he must have been a frequent and interested listener to discussions on Irish politics. No one could be in Ireland in those years, when the whole land was profoundly agitated final struggles of the Catholics for liberty, without going back on the history of their long enslavement and gradual emancipation. We may be sure that Drummond did so. Animated as he was with strong
feelings in favour of popular claims, we need not ask which section of the Irish people had his sympathies.
The Survey afforded excellent opportunities of becoming acquainted with the peasantry. He availed himself of these, and got to know the people well. According to Dr Madden, no one ever knew them better. He says—
" It was the rare union of thought and feeling, of a generous nature with a scientific mind, that won for Drummond the mingled admiration and esteem of so many of the best men of the two nations in Ireland. It was this union also that enabled him to acquire his unrivalled knowledge of every class in Ireland. It is possible that he may have been equalled, but he certainly never was surpassed in his knowledge of Irishmen considered in their social relations. Naturally a man of thought and observation, while in the earlier part of his life engaged in the Ordnance Survey, he had abundant opportunities for seeing the Irish character in all its native force. Lying on the mountain side at night in some savage wild of Antrim or Tyrone, with the stars over his head, and no vestiges of civilisation in the neighbourhood, he would draw out' the Irish peasants who came to the Engineers’ station from motives of curiosity or the hope of chance employment. No Cockney impudence, no sneer of superiority, was ever visible in Drummond, as he listened to the vague and melancholy narration of some tale of suffering, in which, perhaps the faults of the complaining narrator were as manifest as those of the local tyrant whom he cursed. Unlike most of his companions, Drummond preferred to see the darker and more startling part of Irish character rather than its joyousness and levity. The jokes, and the funny stories, and the droll sayings, he left to be enjoyed by those who were pleased to think that the Irishman was only a fierce Joe Miller, with a furious brogue. He had an eye for nature, and liked to see the original character of the Irish-its wildness and romance, so congenial with the scenery of the Irish landscape-its dark spirit of brooding over wrong-its savage spirit of revenge for personal injury or insult--its poetical sensibility--and its preference for the illusive and the fanciful over the actual and true. Drummond liked to see all this with his own eyes, and to ponder on it, as he found this romantic disposition united with such an exquisite perception for the droll and ridiculous. He saw-he studied-and, with his genial sympathy, he felt the Irish character and nature.
“And so, when he came to Ireland as Under Secretary in 1835, he entered upon the duties of his office with a better preparation for his task than any of his predecessors ever exhibited. By nature he had been gifted with a masculine and vigorous intellect, which had been sedulously improved by an enlarged and systematic course of scientific training. His understanding was singularly clear, and his knowledge of the various subjects to which he had applied it was not merely copious in extent, but precise even in minute details. There was in his mental conformation a decided tendency to the inventive and original, which showed him to be no common man, and preserved him from being merely an individual of acquisitions, and nothing more.
Having acquired a practical knowledge of the arts by which men are governed in these kingdoms, he went to Ireland in the full possession of physical energy and mental vigour, and with a mind filled with zeal to perform service in Ireland. He believed that Government might effect wonders in Ireland, and he entered upon his duties with a head teeming with projects of reform, and a heart overflowing with affection for the Irish people.”*
Another thing which gave him superior fitness for the task which lay before the Irish Government is touched in the last sentence of this quotation. It was his perfervid zeal and spirit of self-devotion. It is no disparagement to the memories of Normanby and Carlisle to say that neither of them can even be suspected of having been animated by the same spirit in an equal degree. The very portraits of the men exclude such a suspicion. The “politest of statesmen” may be at once put out of the field. And between
* “ Ireland and its Rulers," part iii. chap. iv.
the Howard and Drummond could a contrast be more complete? The face of the one tells of refinement and an easy lymphatic nature. The face of the other is full of intense earnestness, indicating high intellectuality in union with great nervous force. Men like Mulgrave and Morpeth were incapable of feeling, even for a moment, the power of inward impulse to action which regulated Drummond's whole life.
Drummond was distinguished by another quality which made him the superior of his nominal superiors. It was his power of work—a faculty for transacting business which was altogether extraordinary. “ To one like him," says Larcom, “to will and to do were one. Such was his power of concentration that he could fix the whole force of his mind on any subject in discussion, to the utter exclusion of every other; whether the subject were great or small, his mind appeared to grasp and could not be diverted from it.” It might be something worth doing could an idea be conveyed of the amount of mere toil which he underwent for Ireland, and how with failing health he laboured in her service to the last.
The routine duties of the Under Secretary were exceedingly various. They comprised the receiving and answering of a variety of communications similar to those made to the Home Department in England, and, in addition to them, reports from the constabulary, and a large daily correspondence with the local and stipendiary magistrates, as well as all applications addressed to the Government on the state of the country. It was his duty, in the absence of the Chief Secretary—whose place for most of the year was in Parliament—to bring under the notice of the Lord Lieutenant all correspon