« ForrigeFortsæt »
moft hurt, are, when the Party, envied is beheld in glory or triumph; for that lets an edge upon Envy: And befides, at fuch times the spirits of the Perfon envied do come forth moft into the outward parts, and fo meet the blow.
But leaving these curiofities, (though not unworthy to be thought on fit place) we will handle, What Perfons are apt to envy others, what Perfons are most subject to be envied themselves, and what is the difference between publick and private Envy.
A man that hath no vertue in himself, ever envieth vertue in others. For mens minds will either feed upon their own good, or upon others evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other; and who fo is out of hope to attain to anothers vertue, will feek to come at even hand by depreffing anothers fortune.
A man that is bufie and inquifitive, is commonly Envious: for to know much of other mens matters cannot be, because all that ado may concern his eftate; therefore it muft needs be, that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure in looking upon the fortunes of others; neither can he that mindeth but his own business, find much matter for Enay: For Envy is a gadding paffion, and walketh the Streets, and doth not keep home, Non eft curiofus, quin idem fit malevolus.
Men of noble birth are noted to be envious towards new Men when they rife: For the distance is altered; and it is like a deceit of the eye, that when others come on, they think themselves go back. Deformed
- Deformed perfons, and Eunuchs, and old Men, and Bastards are envious: for he that cannot poffibly mend his own cafe, will do what he can to impair anothers, except these defects light upon a very brave and heroical nature, which thinketh to make his natural wants part of his honour; in that it should be faid,that an Eunuch, or lame Man, did fuch great matters, affecting the honour of a miracle, as it was in Narfes the Eunuch, and Agefilaus, and Tamberlanes, that were lame Men.
The fame is the cafe of men that rife after calamities and misfortunes; for they are as men fallen out with the times, and think other mens harms a redemption of their own fufferings.
They that defire to excel in too many matters, out of levity and vain glory, are ever Envious; For they cannot want work, it being impoffible but many in fome one of thofe things should furpass them; which was the character of Adri-i an the Emperor, that mortally envied Poets and Painters, and Artificers in works wherein he had a vein to excel.
Laftly, Near Kinsfolks and Fellows in Office, and thofe that have been bred together, are more apt to Envy their equals, when they are raised: For it doth upbraid unto them their own fortunes, and pointeth at them, and cometh oftner into their remembrance, and incurreth likewise more into the note of others; and Envy ever redoubleth from Speech and Fame. Cain's Envy was the more vile and malignant towards his
Brother Abel, because when his Sacrifice was better accepted, there was no body to look on. Thus much for those that are apt to Envy.
Concerning thofe that are more or less fubject to Envy First, Perfons of eminent vertue, when they are advanced, are lefs envied: For their fortune feemeth but due unto them; and no man envyeth the payment of a Debt, but Rewards and Liberality rather. Again, Envy is ever joyned with the comparing of a mans felf; and where there is no comparison, no Envy; and therefore Kings are not envied, but by Kings. Neverthelefs it is to be noted, that unworthy Perfons are most envied at their first coming in,and afterwards overcome it better; whereas contrariwife, Perfons of worth and merit are moft envied, when their fortune continueth long. For by that time, though their vertue be the fame, yet it hath not the fame Luftres for fresh men grow up that dar ken it.
Perfons of noble blood are lefs envied in their rifing; for it feemeth but right done to their birth. Befides, there feemeth not much added to their fortunes and Envy is as the Sun-beams, that beat hotter upon a Bank or fteep rifing Ground, than upon a Flat. And for the fame reafons, thofe that are advanced by degrees are lefs envied, than those that are advanced fuddenly, and per faltum
Thofe that have joyned with their Honour great Travels, Cares or Perils, are less subject to Enay: For men think that they earn their Ho
nours hardly,and pity them fometimes; and Pity ever healeth Envy: Wherefore you fhall obferve, that the more deep and fober fort of politick Perfons in their greatnefs, are ever bemeaning themselves, what a life they lead, chanting à Quanta patimur. Not that they feel it fo, but only to abate the edg of Envy. But this is to be understood of bufinefs that is laid upon men, and not fuch as they call unto themselves, For nothing increaseth Envy more than an unneceffary and ambitious engroffing of business; and nothing doth extinguish Envy more, than for a great Perfon to preferve all other inferior Officers in their full rights and preheminencies of their places: for by that means there be so many Skreens between him and Envy.
Above all, thofe are moft fubject to Envy which carry the greatness of their fortunes in an infolent and proud manner, being never well but while they are fhewing how great they are, either by outward pomp, or by triumphing over all oppofition or competition; whereas wife men will rather do Sacrifice to Envy, in fuffering themselves fometimes of purpose to be croft and over born of things that do not much concern them. Notwithstanding fo much is true, That the carriage of greatnefs in a plain and open manner (fo it be without arrogancy and vainglory) doth draw lefs Envy, than if it be in a more crafty and cunning fashion. For in that courfe a man doth but difavow fortune, and feemeth to be confcious of his own want in
worth, and doth but teach others to Envy him. Laftly, To conclude this part; As we said in the beginning, that the Act of Envy had fomewhat in it of witchcraft, fo there is no other cure of Envy but the cure of witchcraft; and that is, to remove the Lot (as they call it) and to lay it upon another. For which purpose, the wiser fort of great Perfons, bring in ever upon the Stage fome body upon whom to drive the Envy that would come upon themselves; fometimes upon Ministers and Servants, fometimes upon Colleagues and Affociates, and the like; and for that turn there are never wanting fome Perfons of violent and undertaking Natures, who, fo they may have Power and Business will take it at any coft.
Now to fpeak of publick Envy. There is yet fome good in publick Envy; whereas in private there is none. For publick Envy is an Ostracism, that eclipfeth men when they grow too great. And therefore it is a bridle alfo to great ones, to keep them within bounds.
This Envy being in the Latine word Invidia, goeth in the modern Languages by the name of Difcontentment, of which we fhall fpeak in handling Sedition. It is a difeafe in a State like to infection; for as infection fpreadeth upon that which is found, and tainteth it; fo when Envy is gotten once in a State, it traduceth even the beft actions thereof, and turneth them into an ill odour. And therefore there is little won by intermingling of plaufible actions. For that doth