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« Antonio received the most friendly assurances of “ being soon provided for in some way suited to his 6i taste and disposition.
4 Elated with these hopes, he returned, after a “ ten-years' absence to visit his friends in Scotland, « and to examine into the situation of his affairs. " Of the twenty thousand pounds left by his father, ... there was little more than ten thousand pounds re“maining; and the half of that sum belonged to his “ sister Leonora. The knowledge of this made no “ great impression on his mind, as he was certain
of being amply provided for; meanwhile, he « thought it his duty to put his sister's fortune in « safety; and, by his whole behaviour to her during
a nine-months' residence in Scotland, he confirmed " that love and affection which his more early conhal duct had justly merited.”
No. LXXI. TUESDAY, JANUARY 11.
« ANTONIO returned to London about the " breaking out of the Spanish war in 1739. The par
ties in the state ran high ; the minister was attack6 ed on all sides, in a language somewhat more deO cent than what is in use among the patriots of the
present day, though it was not, on that account, " less poignant and severe. Antonio's patron, the " Earl of W............., took part with the minister, " and both he and his sons, who were by this time 6. in parliament, seemed so much occupied with the ** affairs of the public, that Antonio was unwilling to 4 disturb them with any private application for him* self, until the ferment was somewhat subsided. In " the mean time, he continued his usual mode o
“ life ; and, though he could not help observing, that
many of the great men with whom he had been " accustomed to converse on the most easy and fa“ miliar terms, began to treat him with a forbidding
ceremony, more disgusting to a mind of sensibility “ than downright insolence; still the consciousness “ of his situation prevented him from renouncing a " society in which the secret admonitions of his heart “ frequently told him he could not continue, with“ out forfeiting the strongest support of virtue and " honour, a proper respect for himself.
· Sir Robert Walpole was at last obliged to resign, " and along with him a few of his friends, who were “ most obnoxious to the leaders of the successful “ party. The Earl of W............. was not of the " number; he still preserved his place in the cabi“ net; and the new and the old ministers having “ adjusted their different pretensions, a calm tran“ quillity succeeded, as the less powerful and disap“pointed patriots, rendered suspicious by the de“ fection of their principal leaders, could not at once “ connect themselves into a formidable opposition.
“ Antonio thought this a proper time to renew his “ application. That delicacy which made him for“ merly shrink at the idea of asking a pecuniary “ favour, was now no more ; his growing necessities, " and the habits of submission they produced, had “ blunted the fine feelings of independence, and he « could now, though unnoticed, dance attendance at 66 the levees of the great, like one who had never felt to himself their equal. Fortunately there soon hap“pened a vacancy in an office in the department of o the Earl of W..........., which was every way suit, "ed to Antonio. He modestly reminded the Earl of « his former promises ; and, having made the first 66 application, his request was instantly granted. At " that moment Lord C........., who was supposed to 6 be prime minister, arrived to ask the office for the « son of a butcher in Kent, who was returning offi
cer in a borough where there was a contested “ election. The Earl of W............. told the minis
ter, that he had just now promised it to that gen"tleman, pointing to Antonio. The minister had
frequently seen Antonio, and was not unacquaint"ed with his character ; congratulated him with "much seeming cordiality; and, turning to the Earl " of W............., paid him many compliments on his " bestowing the office upon one of so distinguished “ merit. That consideration, added he, can compen" sate for the disappointment I feel in not having obtained it for the person I mentioned to your " lordship. Antonio was too well acquainted with "the language of the court not to understand the “ tendency of all this. The Earl of W........... im(mediately observed, that to oblige his lordship, he “ had no doubt Antonio would readily give up the
promise. This was instantly done ; and these two “ noble persons vied with each other in their offers " of service ; he was given to understand, that the " first opportunity should be taken to provide for him in a manner exce
ceeding his wishes. " Though Antonio was not, upon the whole, 6. very well pleased with this incident, he endea“ voured to comfort himself with reflecting, that he " had row acquired a right of going directly to the " minister, which was so much the more agreeable,
as he plainly perceived that the sons of the Earl of W........, though they still behaved to him " with more ease and attention than many others of « his former companions, would, like the rest, soon “ be estranged from him. At school at college, on “their travels, and even for some time after their "return, their pursuits were the same. Whether it
was instruction or entertainment, they were mu"tually assisting to each other, and they found An“.tonio tu be in every thing their equal, perhaps in some things their superior. The scene was now 6 changed. In the midst of their family and rela« tions, possessed of the adventitious, though daz
zling qualities of rank and fortune, the real merit “ of Antonio was hardly perceived. They now found s him to be in some things their inferior. This « alone would have, in time, put an end to their in. “ timacy, unless, like many others, he would have " contented himself with acting the part of an hum. 6 ble attendant. Having once opened to their views “ the career of ambition, and the prospect of rising
in the state, they estimated their friendships by “ the extent of their political influence. Virtue and 66 merit were now out of the question, or were at 6 best but secondary considerations. Former ser« vices, compared to the objects in which they were « now engaged, sunk to nothing; at the same time “ a consciousness of duty led them to behave civilly "" to a man they had once esteemed, and who had “ done nothing to forfeit their good opinion. Per" haps, if even applied to in a fortunate moment, 66 when impelled by a sudden emanation of half6 extinguished virtue, they might have exerted " themselves to serve him; but these exertions “ would not have been of long continuance ; they “ would soon have been smothered by cold political " prudence.
“ After two years solicitation, during which his
patrons sometimes cajoled him with promises, and, “ at others, hardly deigned to take notice of his re
quest, Antonio gave up all hopes of success. His “ fortune was now totally gone. His friends in Scot“ land had frequently informed him of this ; but he « continued to solicit and to receive small sums of “ money from time to time, which he was in hopes “ of being soon able to repay. These hopes being “ extinguished, he could not ask for more. He had " also contracted several debts to the different trades.
« men he employed. He frankly told them his situ“ ation, but they remembered the liberality of his " conduct and behaviour in the days of his prospe
rity, and would not use the barbarous right of imprisonment to increase his calamities. " The accumulated distress to which Antonio was now exposed, was more than he could bear. After " combating some time with the agitation of his "mind, he was seized with a slow fever, attended “ with a delirium, which made it necessary to ac“ quaint his friends. His sister Leonora hastened " to his relief. At the end of some weeks, his health
was so far re-established, that she ventured to propose his undertaking a journey to Scotland ; to « which he at last consented, but not without reluct
“ He learned, by degrees, that the money he re“ceived for the last two years he resided in London, “ had come from Leonora ; that she had paid all his “ debts there, and with the small remains of her for
tune, had purchased an annuity of an hundred " and fifty pounds for his and her own life. In a " short time they retired to a village in the county 5 of ........, not far from my father's residence, who “ had been an early acquaintance of Antonio's. My “ father joined his endeavours to those of Leonora to “ recover him from that depression of spirits into " which his misfortunes, and the reflection on his “ past conduct, had thrown him. They at last suc“ ceeded, and saw him, with pleasure, regain those “ mild and engaging manners which they had for“ merly admired. But his spirit and vivacity could “ not be restored. He seemed to engage in the usual "pastimes and occupations of a country life, rather “ with patience than satisfaction, and to suffer society
as a duty which he owed to a sister who has pre« served him, and to those friends who shewed so “ much solicitude for his happiness, rather than to