صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Lastly, near Kinsfolks and Fellows in Office, and those 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 oftener 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 Nobody to look on. Thus much for those that are apt to envy.

Concerning those that are more or less subject to Envy: First, Persons of eminent Virtue, when they are advanced, are less envied; for their Fortune seemeth but due unto them; and no Man envieth the Payment of a Debt, but Rewards and Liberality rather. Again, Envy is ever joined with the comparing of a Man's Self; and where there is no Comparison, no Envy; and therefore Kings are not envied but by Kings. Nevertheless, it is to be noted, that unworthy Persons are most envied at their first coming in, and afterwards overcome it better; whereas, contrariwise, Persons of Worth, and Merit are most envied when their Fortune continueth long; for by that time, though their Virtue be the same, yet it hath not the same Luftre; for fresh Men grow up that darken it.

Persons of Noble Blood are less envied in their rising; for it seemeth but Right done to their Birth. Besides, there seemeth not so much added to their Fortune ; and Envy is as the Sun Beams, that beat

upon a Flat.

hotter upon a Bank or steep rising Ground than

And for the same reason, those that are advanced by degrees are less envied than those that are advanced suddenly, and per faltum.

Those that have joined with their Honour great Travels, Cares, or Perils, are less subject to Envy; for Men think that they earn their Honours hardly, and pity them sometimes ; and Pity ever healeth Envy; wherefore you shall observe, that the more deep and fober sort of politique Persons, in their Greatness, are ever bemoaning themselves what a Life they lead, chanting a Quanta patimur: not that they feel it fo; but only to abate the Edge of Envy. But this is to be understood of Business that is laid upon Men, and not such as they call unto themselves. For Nothing increaseth Envy more than an unnecessary and ambitious Engrossing of Business: and nothing doth extinguish Envy more than for a great Person to preserve all other inferior Officers in their full Rights and Pre-eminences of their Places : for by that means, there be so many Screens between him, and Envy.

Above all, those are most subject to Envy which carry the Greatness of their Fortunes in an infolent and proud Manner : being never well, but while they are showing how great they are, either by outward Pomp, or by triumphing over all Opposition or Competition; whereas wise Men will rather do Sacrifice to Envy, in suffering themselves, sometimes of purpose, to be crost and overborne in things that do not much concern them. Notwithstanding so much is true; that the Carriage of Greatness in a plain and open manner (so it be without Arrogancy and Vain-glory) doth draw less Envy than if it be in a more crafty and cunning fashion. For in that course a Man doth but difavow Fortune, and seemeth to be conscious of his own Want in Worth, and doth but teach others to Envy him.

Lastly, to conclude this Part: as we said in the beginning, that the Act of Envy had somewhat in it of Witchcraft ; so 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 Sort of great Persons bring in ever upon the Stage Somebody upon whom to derive the Envy that would come upon themselves ; sometimes upon Ministers and Servants, sometimes upon Colleagues and Affociates, and the like ; and for that turn, there are never wanting some Persons of violent and undertaking Natures, who so they may have Power and Business, will take it at any Coft.

Now to speak of Public Envy : There is yet some good in Public Envy, whereas in Private, there is none. For Public Envy is as an Ostracism, that eclipseth Men when they grow too great: and therefore it is a bridle also to Great Ones to keep them within Bounds.

This Envy, being in the Latin word Invidia, goeth in the Modern Languages, by the name of Discontentment; of which we shall speak in handling Sedition. It is a Disease in a State like to Infection; for as Infection spreadeth upon that which is sound, and tainteth it; so when Envy is gotten once into a State, it traduceth even the best Actions thereof, and turneth them into an ill Odour. And therefore there is little won by intermingling of plausible Actions : for that doth argue but a Weakness and Fear of Envy; which hurteth so much the more, as it is likewise usual in Infections, which, if you fear them, you call them upon you.

This Public Envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon principal Officers or Ministers, rather than upon Kings and Estates themselves. But this is a sure Rule, that if the Envy upon the Minister be great, when the cause of it in him is small; or if the Envy be general, in a manner, upon all the Ministers of an Estate; then the Envy (though hidden) is truly upon the State itself. And so much of Public Envy or Discontentment, and the Difference thereof from Private Envy, which was handled in the first place.

We will add this in general touching the Affection of Envy; that of all other Affections it is the most importune and continual. For of other Affe&tions there is occasion given but now and then ; and therefore it was well said ; Invidia feftos dies non agit ;5 for it is ever working upon some or other. And it is also noted, that Love and Envy do make a Man pine, which other Affections do not; because they are not so continual. It is also the vileft Affection, and the most depraved ; for which Cause it is the proper Attri

5 This occurs also in the Antitheta, No. 16.

D

bute of the Devil, who is called, The Envious Man that soweth Tares amongst the Wheat by night. As it always cometh to pass, that Envy worketh subtilly, and in the dark; and to the prejudice of good things, such as is the Wheat.

[ocr errors][merged small]

HE Stage is more beholding to Love than the Life of Man. For as to the Stage, Love is ever matter of Come

dies, and now and then of Tragedies; but in Life it doth much mischief; fometimes like a Siren, sometimes like a Fury. You may observe, that amongst all the great and worthy Persons (whereof the memory remaineth, either Ancient or Recent), there is not One that hath been tranfported to the mad degree of Love; which shews, that great Spirits and great Business do keep out this weak Paffion. You must except, nevertheless, Marcus Antonius, the half Partner of the Empire of Rome ; and Appius Claudius the Decemvir and Law-giver : whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous Man, and inordinate ; but the latter was an austere and wise Man: and therefore it seems (though rarely) that Love can find entrance, not only into an open Heart, but also into a Heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept. It is a poor saying of Epicurus ; Satis magnum Alter Alteri

6 Matt. xiii. 24.

See Antitheta, No. 36.

« السابقةمتابعة »