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unworthy, to be thought on, in fit place,) wee will handle, what Persons are apt to Envy others; What persons are most Subiect to be Envied themselves; And, What is the Difference between Publique, and private Envy.
A man, that hath no vertue in himselfe, ever envieth Vertue in others. For Mens Mindes, will either feed upon their owne Good, or upon others Evill; And who wanteth the one, wil prey upon the other; And who so is out of Hope to attaine to anothers Vertue, will seeke to come at even hand, by Depressing an others Fortune.
A man that is Busy, and Inquisitive, is commonly Envious: For to know much of other Mens Matters, cannot be, because all that Adoe may concerne his owne Estate: Therfore it must needs be, that he taketh a kinde of plaie-pleasure, in looking upon the Fortunes of others; Neither can he, that mindeth but his own Businesse, finde much matter for Envy. For Envy is a Gadding Passion, and walketh the Streets, and doth not keepe home; Non est curiosus, quin idem sit malevolus.
Men of Noble birth, are noted, to be envious towards New Men, when they rise. For the distance is altered; And it is like a deceipt of the Eye, that when others come on, they thinke themselves goe backe.
Deformed Persons, and Eunuches, and Old Men, and Bastards, are Envious: For he that cannot possibly mend his owne case, will doe what he can to impaire anothers; Except these Defects light, upon a very brave, and Heroicall Nature; which thinketh to make his Naturall
Wants, part of his Honour: In that it should be said, that an Eunuch, or a Lame Man, did such great Matters; Affecting the Honour of a Miracle; as it was in Narses the Eunuch, and Agesilaus, and Tamberlanes, that were Lame men.
The same, is the Case of Men, that rise after Calamities, and Misfortunes; For they are, as Men fallen out with the times; And thinke other Mens Harmes, a Redemption, of their owne Sufferings.
They, that desire to excell in too many Matters, out of Levity, and Vaine glory, are ever Envious; For they cannot want worke; It being impossible, but many, in some one of those Things, should surpasse them. Which was the Character of Adrian the Emperour, that mortally Envied Poets, and Painters, and Artificers, in Works, wherein he had a veine to excell.
Lastly, neare Kinsfolks, and Fellowes in Office, and those that have beene bred together, are more apt to Envy their Equals, when they are raised. For it doth upbraid unto them, their owne Fortunes; And pointeth at them, and commeth oftner into their remembrance, and incurreth likewise more into the note of others: And Envy ever redoubleth from Speech and Fame. Cains Envy, was the more vile, and Malignant, towards his brother Abel; Because, when his Sacrifice was better accepted, there was no Body to looke on. Thus much for those that are apt to Envy.
Concerning those that are more or lesse subielt to Envy: First, Persons of eminent Vertue, when they are advanced, are lesse envied. For
their Fortune seemeth but due unto them; and no man Envieth the Payment of a Debt, but Rewards, and Liberality rather. Againe, Envy is ever ioyned, with the Comparing of a Mans Selfe; And where there is no Comparison, no Envy; And therfore Kings, are not envied, but by Kings. Neverthelesse, it is to be noted, that unworthy Persons, are most envied, at their first comming in, and afterwards overcome it better; wheras contrariwise, Persons of Worth, and Merit, are most envied, when their Fortune continueth long. For by that time, though their Vertue be the same, yet it hath not the same Lustre; For fresh Men grow up, that darken it.
Persons of Noble Bloud, are lesse envied, in their Rising: For it seemeth, but Right, done to their Birth. Besides, there seemeth not much added to their Fortune; And Envy is as the Sunne Beames, that beat hotter, upon a Bank or steepe rising Ground; then upon a Flat. And for the same reason, those that are advanced by degrees, are lesse envied, then those that are advanced suddainly, and per saltum.
Those that have ioyned with their Honour, great Travels, Cares, or Perills, are lesse subiect to Envy. For Men thinke, that they earne their Honours hardly, and pitty them sometimes; And Pitty, ever healeth Envy: Wherefore, you shall observe that the more deepe, and sober sort of Politique persons, in their Greatnesse, are ever bemoaning themselves, what a Life they lead; Chanting a Quanta patimur. Not that they feele it so, but onely to abate the Edge of Envy. But this is to be understood, of
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
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 Infections; 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