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No 170. Friday, September 14. 1711.
In amore hac omnia infunt vitia: injuria,
PON looking over the Letters of my fe
JEALOUSY is that Pain which a Man feels from
N° 170. Paffions and Inclinations can never make themselves vifible, it is impoffible for a jealous Man to be throughly cured of his Sufpicions. His Thoughts hang at beft in a State of Doubtfulness and Uncertainty; and are never capable of receiving any Satisfaction on the advantagious Side; fo that his Enquiries are moft fuccessful when they difcover nothing: His Pleasure arifes from his Difappointments, and his Life is spent in Purfuit of a Secret that deftroys his Happiness if he chance to find it.
AN ardent Love is always a strong Ingredient in this Paffion; for the fame Affection which tirs up the jealous Man's Defires, and gives the Party beloved fo beautiful a Figure in his Imagination, makes him believe the kindles the fame Paffion in others, and appears as amiable to all Beholders. And as Jealoufy thus arifes from an extraordinary Love, it is of fo delicate a Nature, that it fcorns to take up with any thing less than an equal Return of Love. Not the warmest Expreffions of Affection, the foftest and moft tender Hypocrify, are able to give any Satisfaction, where we are not perfwaded that the Affection is real and the Satisfaction mutual. For the jealous. Man wishes himself a kind of Deity to the Perfon he loves: He would be the only Pleasure of her Senfes, the Employment of her Thoughts; and is angry at every thing the admires, or takes Delight in, befides himself.
PHEDRIA's Requeft to his Miftrefs, upon his leaving her for three Days, is inimitably beautiful and natural.
Cum milite ifto præfens, abfens ut fies:
Meus fac fis poftremò animus, quando ego fum tuus.
THE jealous Man's Disease is of fo malignant a Nature, that it converts all he takes into its own Nourishment. A cool Behaviour fets him on the Rack, and is interpreted as an Inftance of Averfion or Indifference; a ford one raifes his Sufpicions, and looks too much like
Diffimulation and Artifice. If the Perfon he loves be cheerful, her Thoughts must be employed on another; and if fad, fhe is certainly thinking on himself. In fhort, there is no Word or Gefture fo infignificant, but it gives him new Hints, feeds bis Sufpicions, and furnishes him with fresh Matters of Difcovery: So that if we confider the Effects of this Paffion, one would rather think it proceeded from an inveterate Hatred than an exceffive Love; for certainly none can meet with more Difquietude and Uneafinefs than a fufpected Wife, if we except the jealous Husband.
BUT the great Unhappiness of this Paffion is, that it naturally tends to alienate the Affection which it is fo follicitous to engrofs; and that for these two Reasons, because it lays too great a Conttraint on the Words and Actions of the fufpected Perfon, and at the fame Time fhews you have no honourable Opinion of her; both of which are ftrong Motives to Averfion.
NOR is this the worft Effect of Jealoufy; for it often draws after it a more fatal Train of Confequences, and makes the Perfon you fufpect, guilty of the very Crimes you are fo much afraid of. It is very natural for fuch who are treated ill and upbraided falfely, to find out an intimate Friend that will hear their Complaints, condole their Sufferings, and endeavour to footh and affwage their fecret Refentments. Befides, Jealoufy puts a Woman often in Mind of an ill Thing that the would not otherwife perhaps have thought of, and fills her Imagination with fuch an unlucky Idea, as in time grows familiar, excits Defire, and lofes all the Share and Horror which might at firft attend it. Nor is it a Wonder, if the who fuffers wrongfully in a Man's Opinion of her, and has therefore nothing to forfeit in his Efteem, refolves to give him Reason for his Sufpicions, and to enjoy the Pleasure of the Crime, fince the muft undergo the Ignominy. Such probably were the Confiderations that directed the Wife Man in his Advice to Husbands; Be not jealous over the Wife of thy Bofom, and teach her not an evil Leffon against thy felf. Eccluf.
AND here, among the other Torments which this Paffion produces, we may ufually obferve that none are
greater Mourners than jealous Men, when the Person who provoked their Jealoufy is taken from them. Then it is that their Love breaks out furiously, and throws off all the Mixtures of Sufpicion which choaked and fmothered it before. The beautiful Parts of the Character rise uppermott in the Jealous Husband's Memory, and upbraid him with the ill Ufage of fo divine a Creature as was once in his Poffeffion; whilft all the little Imperfections that were before so uneafy to him, wear off from his Remembrance, and fhew themselves no more.
WE may fee by what has been said, that Jealousy takes the deepest Root in Men of amorous Difpofitions; and of thefe we find three Kinds who are most over-run with it.
THE Firft are those who are confcious to themselves of any Infirmity, whether it be Weaknefs, Old Age, Deformity, Ignorance, or the like. Thefe Men are fo well acquainted with the unamiable Part of themselves, that they have not the Confidence to think they are really beloved; and are so distrustful of their own Merits, that all Fondness towards them puts them out of Countenance, and looks like a Jeft upon their Perfons. They grow fufpicious on their firft looking in a Glafs, and are fung with Jealoufy at the Sight of a Wrinkle. A handfome Fellow immediately alarms them, and every thing that looks young or gay turns their Thoughts upon their Wives.
A Second Sort of Men, who are most liable to this Paffion, are thofe of cunning, wary, and diftrustful Tempers. It is a Fault very juftly found in Hiftories compofed by Politicians, that they leave nothing to Chance or Humour, but are ftill for deriving every Action from fome Plot or Contrivance, for drawing up a perpetual Scheme of Caufes and Events, and preferving a conftant Correfpondence between the Camp and the Council-Table. And thus it happens in the Affairs of Love with Men of too refined a Thought. They put a Conftruction on a Look, and find out a Defign in a Smile; they give new Senfes and Significations to Words and Actions; and are ever tormenting themselves with Fancies of their own raifing: They generally act in a Difguife themfelves, and therefore mistake all outward Shows and Appearances