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Election Eclogues. I. The Retreat. Abercromby-Jeffrey

1832: Representation of the People Acts

The editor of this collection, Peter Brown, was a ‘ten pounder’: ‘one of those who have been called into political existence, as it were, by the great measure which has lately given a new character to public affairs’.  Despite this, he was against those calling for more reform.  This particular poem takes the form of a satirical dialogue between the Whigs James Abercromby and Francis Jeffrey.  The poem particularly satirises their wealth and pensions.  Abercromby is also described as not enjoying 'your Scottish air' - suggesting that he is not loyal to Scotland.  A Melville is mentione, alongside various othe political figures but it is not clear who it refers to.  A note is included with the poem, which states the rumour that the Whigs are preparing to offer Abercromby the Perth seat if he is thrown out of Edinburgh.  The poem also appears in The Ten Pounder, an anti-Whig periodical, which Brown edited.