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It is often seen that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be that it raiseth the price of their husbands' kindness when it comes, or that the wives take a pride in their patience; but this never fails, if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against their friends consent, for then they will be sure to make good their own folly.
THERE be none of the affections which have been noted to fascinate or bewitch, but love and envy : they both have vehement wishes; they frame themselves readily into imaginations and suggestions; and they come easily into the eye, especially upon the presence of the objects, which are the points that conduce to fascination, if any such thing there be. We see, likewise, the scripture calleth envy an evil eye; and the astrologers call the evil influences of the stars evil aspects; so that still there seemeth to be acknowledged in the act of envy an ejaculation or irradiation of the eye: nay, some have been so curious as to note, that the times, when the stroke or percussion of an envious eye doth most hurt, are when the party envied is beheld in glory or triumph; for that sets an edge upon envy; and besides, at such times the spirits of the person envied do come forth most into the outward parts, and so meet the blow. But leaving these curiosities, (though not unworthy to be thought on in fit place,) we will handle what persons are apt to envy others; what persons are most subject to be envied themselves; and what is the difference between public and private envy. A man that hath no virtue in himself ever envieth virtue in others; for men’s minds will either feed upon their own good, or upon others’ evil; and who wanteth the one will prey upon the other; and whoso is out of hope to attain another’s virtue, will seek to come at even hand by depressing another's fortune. A man that is busy and inquisitive is commonly envious ; for to know much of other men's matters cannot be, because all that ado may concern his own estate; therefore it must needs be that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure in looking upon the fortunes of other; neither can he that mindeth but his own business find much matter for envy; for envy is a gadding passion, and walketh the streets, and doth not keep 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 deceit of the eye, that when others come on they think themselves go back. Deformed persons and eunuchs, and old men and bastards are envious; for he that cannot possibly mend his own case will do what he can to impair another's; 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 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 Tamerlane, that were lame men. The same is the case of men who rise after calamities and misfortunes; for they are as men fallen out with the times, and think other men's harms a redemption of their own sufferings. d
They that desire to excel in too many matters, out of levity and vain glory, are ever envious, for they cannot want work; it being impossible, but many, in some one of those things should surpass them; which was the character of Adrian the emperor, that mortally envied poets, and painters, and artificers in works wherein he had a vein to excel.
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 no body 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 lustre, for fresh men grow up to 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 much added to their fortune; and,envy is as the sunbeams, that beat hotter upon a bank or steep rising ground than upon a flat; and, for the same reason, those that are advanced by degrees are less envied than those that are advanced suddenly, and “per saltum.”
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