2 JUNE 1866, Page 2

Lord Robert Montagu's mind appears to be much exercised on

the subject of division of money. He interrupted Mr. Gladstone on Monday to say, "You cannot divide by 2/. 13s. 81" That de- pends on what you mean by division. You certainly cannot divide anything, say 1,330/. 17s. 61., for instance, into as many equal parts as there are units in 2/. 13s. 81, and then find how large is each part, because the latter is a sum of money, and not a number of units at all. But if you explain division thus,—" Divi- sion is the mode of flailing a multiplier called the quotient, that will by multiplication turn the divisor into the dividemi," then you can divide by 2/. 13s. 81., because you can find a multiplier which will turn 2/. 13s. 81. into 1,330/. 178. 61. Indeed, in this way of stating it you must divide by the concrete quantity, be- cause your quotient is stated to be a pure number, and you can only get a pure number for quotient by dividing one concrete by another of the same sort. In fact Lord Robert Montagu's pedantic criticism on Mr. Gladstone was both old-fashioned and erroneous. If you may say 4 times 51. equals 201., it is just as correct to say that 201. divided by 5/. gives 4, as that 20/. divided by 4, gives 5/. A concrete quantity multiplied by an abstract number gives a concrete quantity of the same kind. Hence the latter may be divided by either of the factors which make it up, and will yield the other factor. A number of pounds divided by a number of pounds gives a pure number. A number of pounds divided by a pure number gives a number of pounds. Mr. Glad- stone's language was quite as correct as Lord Robert Montagu's, and not nearly so conceited.