14 FEBRUARY 1880, Page 3

If it is true, as the Scotsmen says, that 260

faggot-votes have been created in Midlothian by the Tories, solely to keep

out Mr. Gladstone, it will be necessary to remodel the law about non-resident votes. The names of all the holders of such votes are published, the Liberals are threatening or carrying out reprisals, and it is evident that a contest for a Scotch county may be reduced, as in old days, to a contest between two or three wealthy persona. The object of the Reform Bill was to avoid that very practice, and the abuse which threatens to revive it should be strenuously re- sisted, all the more because the faggot-voters evidently think their conduct legitimate electioneering. The list contains the names of respectable landowners, a clergyman of South Devon, decent farmers of Dumfriesshire, and a Member of Parliament, all of whom believe that what the law allows they may law- fully do. Mr. Charles Dalrymple, M.P., generously makes over to his two brothers, Sir James Fergusson and Captain J. A. Fergusson, a life-rent interest in a field of pasture-land adjoining his mansion at New Hailes ; while the Marquis of Lothian does the same by his relative, Lord Ralph Kerr, in respect of a house at Dalkeith. House property in that ducal village seems suddenly to have become an object of attraction to gentlemen in the uttermost parts of the kingdom. Fifteen persons, forming as miscellaneous a company as one could well imagine—for it includes two sons of the Earl of Galloway, who live in London ; two cadets of the Melville family, who are serving their country as soldiers ; a Lincolnshire landowner, Mr. J. L. Fytche, who recently served the office of High Sheriff ; half-a-dozen pro- prietors scattered over Scotland, and three or four Edinburgh lawyers—have clubbed to buy houses there that will bring in a return of £75 a year, thus entitling each to a vote. A clergyman from South Devon has acquired "a shop and back apartment" at Corstorphine ; and we have a brace of baronets adding to their hereditary possessions "two rooms and a kitchen" a piece.