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found secret. The desire to be discharged seems to have been epidemic in the Academy. He mentions several by name as affected by it, his friend Jackson being one of them.
means to make no progress in his studies, so as to be discharged at the end of the year. As to he is too far advanced ever to think of retreating ; but he is completely tired of it. Keep all this a deep secret from their friends."
Before the vacation came, however, he had caught a little of the better spirit of the place, and was rising superior to its annoyances. The debate as to what should be done probably never was held ; at least there is neither record nor trace of it.
He passed his entrance examination in the end of February ; by April he had passed his first examination for a place in the school. The result is recorded in a letter to Mr Aitchison, dated April 13, 1813. " At the last examination here I got from the bottom of the sixth academy to be fifth in the fifth academy, by which I took fifty-five places, and was made by Captain Gow (the commanding officer] head of a room. There is an examination here every month, by which means you have an opportunity of rising in the Academy. But there is no such thing as studying by yourself. This is prevented by the older cadets, who, being at the head of the muster-roll, can do what they please ; and as they are always the most ignorant and idle fellows among the cadets, they not only dislike studying themselves, but prevent others from doing it."
A letter to his mother, dated 27th April 1813, is mainly occupied with matters foreign to the studies and competitions at Woolwich. Captain Waugh, a friend of the family, has introduced him to a Lieutenant Chapman, who is very kind, lends him mathe
matical books, and invites him to his rooms to study. He is intimate with a Lieutenant Smith, and Jackson and he are faster friends than ever, and often go long walks in the evening. “It will be a sad loss to me when the Smiths go. Their kindness has been beyond expression.” Next Sunday he is to go to visit Mr Hart at Brixton, a friend mentioned for the first time. Fires and candles are now put out at ten o'clock ; they were extinguished at nine o'clock in the sixth academy. But the suppers of bread and cheese have grown unsatisfactory. O for the penny post! Almost all the letters contain allusions to the cruel postal rates, and the desirableness of franks. In one, dated 27th May 1813, the clamour for franks increases. By this time he has repeatedly visited the Harts at Brixton, and been most kindly entertained. They are obviously great friends of the family; press him to spend his vacation with them; and then, that being declined, are urgent that he should bring his sister Eliza to visit them when he returns from Scotland.
In his letter to Mr Aitchison he had been looking forward to a competition to take place before July for the vacancies, should they occur, in the senior department. The vacancies occurred, and the competition followed. On the 1st of July he records the result in a letter to his mother. “The examination is now over, , and everything has succeeded according to my wishes. I am first on the mathematical list, and second in the Academy.
Yesterday was the grand examination day for commissions in the first academy. The vacancies have all been filled, and a few supernumeraries left. If Portugal don't help a little, promotion will be slow.” It is thus that, through class feeling, even the best of men are brought at times to
look upon war.
“ When I return I shall be at the upper barracks, or, to speak so as you may understand me better, at the senior department.” His distinguished place had won for him an appointment to the upper school.
A few days after this, Drummond returned to Scotland to visit his relations. In less than four months he had won his way from the bottom of the sixth academy to the top of the junior department, and secured his appointment to the senior department. Referring to his rapid progress, General Larcom says: “ His mathematical abilities soon made him conspicuous ; and it is remembered that he was moved from the sixth to the fifth academy without the usual examination, and passed with such rapidity through that academy, and the fourth and third, that at Christmas of the year in which he joined, he entered the second academy.”
The distinguished General here appears not so well informed as usual of the conditions of Drummond's progress. If “it is remembered” that he was promoted to the fifth from the sixth academy without the usual examination, the recollection is probably of some story concocted and circulated through envy. We have seen, from his letter to Mr Aitchison of April 13, 1813, that he won that step after the usual examination, and an unusual display of ability, by which he earned at once fifty-five places, and mounted from the bottom of the sixth to be fifth man in the fifth academy.
When he returned to the family in July for the vacation, he looked very unwell. No doubt, hard work, inferior living, and mental distress, had reduced him not a little. It will be remembered that at first
* Memoir, p. 2.
he gave a favourable account of the food supplied to the cadets, and that afterwards he complained of the suppers. As time passed, the meals grew more and more unsatisfactory, and he had at last to receive remittances from home in aid of his breakfasts and teas; his friends, Dawson and Kennedy of Kirkmichael, clubbing with him for these extra repasts. But before he disclosed his case and got this assistance, he was half-starved at Woolwich. The joints at mess were carved by " the respectables," the loafers described in one of his letters as being at the head of the musterroll, and doing what they liked. The respectables ate up everything, and left nothing for the boys. In this state of things, and having no money to procure food, Miss Drummond states he wrote to a friend that he was “like to die of hunger."
The friend (we suspect Mr Hart, who appears, from one of his letters, to have lent him L.4) at once sent money to enable him to get meat and tea. To complain of “the respectables” would have been worse than useless.
Another thing which made him suffer in health was a “practical joke,” as a certain class of actions are called, which ought more properly to be regarded and punished as crimes. Some cadets came in the night and poured a tubful of water on his bed. He became ill in consequence, and had to go to the hospital. It appears, from his letter of May 27, that he remained there three days, suffering from an affection of the throat, of which he never got rid. The fact that this “joke” had been played upon him, came to the knowledge of Professor Barlow, who took care so to express his sense of it, that nothing of the kind was again attempted. Is it too bad that it was suspected that the perpetrators of the “joke" aimed at
impeding the progress of a lad with whom they were unable to cope in a fair field ?
On the eve of his return to Woolwich, his sister, who had amassed a little money, was urgent that he should take it from her as a protection against casual wants at the Academy. The night before he left us,” she says, “I took my money, and desired him to take it. We always took farewell at night to avoid disturbing the house in the morning. He refused for a little--a very little. At last he agreed, and I retired so happy, thinking he had got it. In the morning, when I awoke, there was all the money at the back of
A letter which, in the vacation, he received from Professor Jardine, is interesting as illustrating the attitude in which his old master now stood to him, besides being of high value in itself for the wisdom of the advice it contains.
“HALLSIDE, 4th August 1813. “MY DEAR THOMAS,— I received your letter, and I need not inform you that I am highly pleased with the information it contains, and with the very flattering accounts I have had of your conduct and progress at Woolwich from other quarters. I have often seen Colonel Millar, who was in this neighbourhood four or five weeks, and he informed me that Colonel Mudge said to him, that you were just such a student as he wished, and that, if you continued your ambition and your industry, there was no doubt of your future success. Colonel Millar will at all times be ready to give you any friendly advice which you may think necessary, and to interest the masters in your favour. I have a prospect of soon seeing a friend of mine, a great mathematician, and if he be acquainted with Dr Gregory or Mr Bonnycastle [both of them professors at the Royal Military Academy), which he probably is, I shall certainly get you recommendations to them from him.
" But, my dear young friend, after the introductions you