Edinburgh - Thanks WW for his letter: 'I feel the position in which you are placed and perhaps you had over rated what I could reasonably have expected or asked you to do' [re: a Royal pension?]. JDF hopes that by the time the cabinet ministers have his application they will be familiar with his name: - 'be predisposed to consider it favourably by knowing that persons in whose judgment they are likely to confide in questions touching scientific merit, entertain a favourable opinion of the qualifications of any person who is proposed to receive a public mark of distinction'. If WW gets a chance of saying so much to Henry Goulburn - referring to JDF's application made via Lord Aberdeen - 'it is as much as I can expect'.
The University election is a worry but after full consideration RJ will vote for Charles Shaw-Lefevre and Henry Goulburn. The latter should receive Lefevre's second votes. RJ thinks the 'Peelites will never form an administration of their own and will only come in as pendants to the Whigs who by force of circumstances have become the substantially conservative party'. Neither does he 'expect ever to see Goulburn in again at all. We have to choose apparently between him and Law [Charles Ewan Law] - now I should see with [Lord?] Stanley[,] Lord George[,] and Ben Disraeli strong enough to govern the country for a year and against Law who I consider one of them I should be ready to help a much worse man than Goulburn - there is much I admit to like in Stanley's character' but he has no 'practical talent for governing'. Everything at the moment 'points towards a Whig administration'. Did WW read an article on 'the primitive political economy of England in the last Edinburgh - I wrote it for Empson [William Empson - editor of the Edinburgh Review] who was begging for want of matter'.
WW's 'doings at Cambridge seem to have gone off well in spite of your rebellion against the 4th estate'. Did WW have anything to do with putting Charles Ewan Law in? RJ has 'nothing to say for Peel's conduct and less for that of those who first testified against it and then without any real change of circumstances adopted it ' and subsequently retained office. They are 'just now to help the Whigs the only practically conservative body and on public grounds I really feel it a duty to give said Whigs all the aid I can to press their ground and so as against Law and Fielding I vote unhesitatingly for Goulburn. Johnny has been throwing too much of his equipment overboard in clearing for electioneering action and has raised a strong feeling about his want of rigor - so much for overdone craft - he is in part as resolute as ever'. There are signs that 'a section of his party falling from him almost all are grumbling and a favourite speculation is that the government will fall to pieces - that Peel will yield to necessity and come in calling the more liberal and some of the venal Whigs round him and exclude the Whig aristocracy. This I think I told you the Duke said would happen as soon as Peel went out - and his liberal friends, that are to be, are quite impatient for the event - I doubt his getting a majority by any such move - but if he lives he is the very man to try it. His clique say he has not the least intention of handing them over to the Whigs and staying out himself which is what I expected and hoped would happen and they wait in patient confidence in their administrative merits and his - good people'. As usual RJ has two bills before Parliament which he thinks are now safe.