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• mode of life had considerably impaired his fortune. • He knew this; but he knew not exactly to what extent. He received gentle remonstrances on the
subject from some of his relations in Scotland, who o remembered his virtues. In the letters of his sister • Leonora (who still retained that affection and at• tachment to her brother which his attention to her, • both before and after her father's death, had ima
pressed upon her mind), he perceived an anxiety, for which he could not otherwise account than * from her apprehensions about the situation of his
affairs. The patronage of the Earl of W• presented itself as a remedy. To him, therefore, • he determined to apply. The intimacy in which • he lived with his sons, the friendly manner in which * the Earl himself always behaved to him, made this appear an easy matter to Antonio ; but he was un
accustomed to ask favours even from the great. • His spirit rose at the consciousness of their having • become necessary; and he sunk in his own esteem * in being reduced to use the language of solicitation • for something like a pecuniary favour. After se• veral fruitless attempts, he could bring himself no • farther than to give a distant hint to his compa• nions, the sons of the Earl. It was sufficient to • them; and, at the next interview with their fa. • ther, Antonio received the most friendly assurances • of being soon provided for in some way suited tą • his taste and disposition.
• 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 £ 20,000 left by his father, there was little • more than £r.10,000 remaining; 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 beha• viour to her during a nine months residence in Scotland, he confirmed that love and affection which his more early conduct had justly merited.'
N° 71. TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 1780,
6 and severe.
• Antonio returned to London about the breaking out of the Spanish war in 1739. The parties in the
state ran high; the minister was attacked on all • sides, in a language somewhat more decent than • what is in use among the patriots of the present day, though it was not, on that account, less poignant
Antonio's patron, the Earl of W"took part with the minister, and both he and his
sons, who were by this time in parliament, seemed • so much occupied with the affairs of the public, • that Antonio was unwilling to disturb them with any private application for himself, until the ferment was somewhat subsided. In the mean time, he continued his usual mode of 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 familiar terms, began • to treat him with a forbidding ceremony, more disgusting to a mind of sensibility than downright insolence; still the consciousness of liis situation pre
vented him from renouncing a society in which the • secret admonitions of his heart frequently told him
he could not continue, without 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 cabinet; • and the new and the old ministers having adjusted their different pretensions, a calm tranquillity succeeded, as the less powerful and disappointed patriots, rendered suspicious by the defection 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 • the levees of the great, like one who had never felt • himself their equal. Fortunately there soon happened a vacancy in an office in the department of
the Earl of W- which was every way suited 'to Antonio. He modestly reminded the Earl of his ' former promises ; and, having made the first appli*cation, his request was instantly granted. At that moment Lord C-, who was supposed to be • Prime Minister, arrived to ask the office for the son of a butcher in Kent, who was returning officer in a borough where there was a contested election. The Earl of W
told the minister, that he had just now promised it to that gentleman, point*ing to Antonio. The minister had frequently seen • Antonio, and was not unacquainted with his character-congratulated him with much seeming cor
• diality; and, turning to the Earl of Wpaid him many compliments on his bestowing the
office upon one of so distinguished merit : ' That • consideration,' added he, can compensate for the • disappointment I feel in not having obtained it for « the person
I mentioned to your Lordship.' An. • tonio was too well acquainted with the language of • the court not to understand the tendency of all this. « The Earl of W- immediately 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 exceeding his wishes.
Though Antonio was not, upon the whole, very • well pleased with this incident, he endeavoured to * comfort himself with reflecting, that he had now
acquired a right of going directly to the minister, • which was so much the more agreeable, as he plain
ly 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 com. panions, 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 instruc. tion or entertainment, they were mutually assisting to each other, and they found Antonio to be in
every thing their equal, perhaps in some things ? their superior. The scene was now changed. In • the midst of their family and relations, possessed
of the adventitious, though dazzling qualities of • rank and fortune, the real merit of Antonio was
hardly perceived. They now found him to be in some things their inferior. This alone would have,
• in time, put an end to their intimacy, unless like
many others, he would have contented himself with • acting the part of an humble attendant. Having
once opened to their views the career of ambition, and the prospect of rising in the state, they esti
mated their friendships by the extent of their poliitical influence. Virtue and merit were now out of
the question, or were at best but secondary corsiderations. Former services, 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. Perhaps, even if applied to in
fortunate moment, when impelled by a sudden • emanation of half-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 smcthered 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 Scotland had frequently informed him of this; but che 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 o also contracted several debts to the different trades
men he employed. He irankly told there his situ• ation ; but they remembered the liberality of his
conduct and behaviour in the days of his prosperity, 6 and would not use the barbarcus rightoi imprison. inent to increase his calamities, • The accumulated distress to which Antonio was