Page images
PDF
EPUB

Businesse, that is laid upon Men, and not such as they call unto themselves. For Nothing increaseth Envy more, then an unnecessary, and Ambitious Ingrossing of Businesse. And nothing doth extinguish Envy more, then for a great Person, to preserve all other inferiour Officers, in their full Rights, and Preheminences, of their Places. For by that meanes, there be so many Skreenes betweene him, and Envy.

Above all, those are most subiect to Envy, which carry the Greatnesse of their Fortunes, in an insolent and proud Manner: Being never well, but while they are shewing, how great they are, Either by outward Pompe, or by Triumphing over all Opposition, or Competition ; whereas Wise men will rather doe sacrifice to Envy; in suffering themselves, sometimes of purpose to be crost, and overborne in things, that doe not much concerne them. Notwithstanding, so much is true; That the Carriage of Greatnesse, in a plaine and open manner (so it be without Arrogancy, and Vaine glory) doth draw lesse Envy, then if it be in a more crafty, and cunning fashion. For in that course, a Man doth but disavow Fortune; And seemeth to be conscious, of his owne 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) & to lay it upon another. For which purpose, the wiser Sort of great Persons, bring in ever upon

D

the Stage, some Body, upon whom to derive the Envie, that would come upon themselves; Sometimes upon Ministers, and Servants; Sometimes upon Colleagues and Associates; and the like; And for that turne, there are never wanting, some Persons of violent and undertaking Natures, who so they may have Power, and Businesse, will take it at any Cost.

Now to speake of Publique Envy. There is yet some good in Publique Envy; whereas in Private, there is none. For Publique Envy is as an Ostracisme, that eclipseth Men, when they grow too great. And therefore it is a Bridle also to Great Ones, to keepe them within Bounds.

This Envy, being in the Latine word Invidia, goeth in the Moderne languages, by the name of Discontentment: Of which we shall speake 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 Weaknesse, and Feare of Envy, which hurteth so much the more, as it is likewise usuall in Infeitions; which if you feare them, you call them upon you.

This publique Envy, seemeth to beat chiefly, upon principall Officers, or Ministers, rather then upon Kings, & 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 smal; or if the Envy be generall, in a manner, upon all the Ministers of an Estate; then the Envy (though hidden) is truly upon the State it selfe. And so much of publike envy or discontentment, & the difference therof from Private Envy, which was handled in the first place.

We will adde this, in generall, touching the Affection of Envy; that of all other Affections, it is the most importune, and continuall. For of other Affections, there is occasion given, but now and then: And therefore, it was well said, Invidia festos dies non agit. For it is ever working upon some, or other. And it is also noted, that Love and Envy, doe make a man pine, which other Affections doe not; because they are not so continuall. It is also the vilest Affection, and the most depraved; For which cause, it is the proper Attribute, of the Devill, who is called ; (The Envious Man, that soweth tares amongst the wheat by night, As it alwayes commeth to passe, that Envy worketh subtilly, and in the darke; And to the preiudice of good things, such as is the Wheat.

x

Of Love

THE Stage is more beholding to Love, then

1 the Life of Man. For as to the Stage, Love is ever matter of Comedies, and now and then of Tragedies: But in Life, it doth much mischiefe: Sometimes like a Syren; 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 beene transported, to the mad degree of Love: which shewes, that great Spirits, and great Businesse, doe keepe out this weake Passion. You must except, neverthelesse, Marcus Antonius the halfe 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 seemes (though rarely) that Love can finde entrance, not only into an open Heart; but also into a Heart well fortified; if watch be not well kept. It is a poore Saying of Epicurus; Satis magnum Alter Alteri Thea

trum sumus: As if Man, made for the contemplation of Heaven, and all Noble Obiects, should doe nothing, but kneele before a little Idoll, and make himselfe subiect, though not of the Mouth (as Beasts are) yet of the Eye; which was given him for higher Purposes. It is a strange Thing, to note the Excesse of this passion; And how it braves, the Nature, and value of things; by this, that the Speaking in a perpetuall Hyperbole, is comely in nothing, but in Love. Neither is it meerely in the Phrase; For whereas it hath beene well said, that the Arch-flatterer, with whom all the petty Flatterers have Intelligence, is a Mans Selfe; Certainly, the Lover is more. For there was never Proud Man, thought so absurdly well of himselfe, as the Lover doth of the Person loved: And therefore, it was well said; That it is impossible to love, and to be wise. Neither doth this weaknesse appeare to others onely, and not to the Party Loved; But to the Loved, most of all: except the Love be reciproque. For, it is a true Rule, that Love is ever rewarded, either with the Reciproque, or with an inward, and secret Contempt. By how much the more, Men ought to beware of this Passion, which loseth not only other things, but it selfe. As for the other losses, the Poets Relation, doth. well figure them; That he that preferred Helena, quitted the Gifts of Iuno, and Pallas. For whosoever esteemeth too much of Amorous Affection, quitteth both Riches, and Wisedome. This Passion, hath his Flouds, in the very times of Weaknesse; which are, great Prosperitie; and great Adversitie; though this latter hath beene

« PreviousContinue »