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dustry supply themselves with that which nature refused to give them. All men observe in the litigation of the schools that the calm and undisturbed disputants maintain their point and pursue their end much more efficaciously than their angry and vehement adversaries, whose passions lead them into absurd concessions and undiscerned contradictions. All the ambitious designs for honour and preferment, all the violent pursuits of pleasure and profit, are but disputations and contentions to maintain their theses, to compass that which we have a mind to obtain, and though the boldest men do sometimes possess themselves of the prize, it is but sometimes, and when it is not warily guarded. The dispassionate candidates are not so often disappointed, nor so easily discouraged; they are intent and advancing when the others haveTM given over; and then they enjoy what they get with much more satisfaction, because they pursued it with less greediness.
Angry and choleric men are as ungrateful and unsociable as thunder and lightning, being in themselves all storm and tempest; but quiet and easy natures are like fair weather, welcome to all, and acceptable to all men; they gather together what the others disperse, and reconcile all whom the others incense. And as they have the good will and the good wishes of all other men, so they have the full possession of themselves, have all their own thoughts at peace, and enjoy quiet and ease
-in their own fortunes how strait soever; whereas the other neither love nor are beloved, and make war the more faintly upon others, because they have no peace within themselves; and though they are very ill company to every body else, they are worst of all to themselves, which is a punishment that nature has provided for them who delight in being vexatious and uneasy to others.
IF did not burn itself by its owu fire, and consume and destroy those persons it possesses, before it can destroy those it hates, it would set the world on fire, and leave the most excellent persons the most miserable.
Of all the affections and passions which lodge themselves within the breast of man, envy is the most troublesome, the most restless, has the most of malignity, the most of poison. The object to which she bears immortal hatred is virtue, and the war she makes is always against the best and virtu с
ous men, at least against those who have some signal perfection. No other passion vents itself with that circumspection and deliberation, and is in all its rage and extent, in awe of some controul. The most choleric and angry man may offend an honest and worthy person, but he chuses it not; he had rather provoke a worse man, and always recollects himself upon the sight of the magistrate. Lust, that is blind and frantic, courts the worst company, and seldom assaults chastity. But envy, a more pernicious passion, is inquisitive, observes whose merit most draws the eyes of men, is most crowned by the general suffrage; and against that person shoots all her venom, and without any noise enters into all unlawful combinations to destroy him.
Though the high condition of Solomon kept him from feeling the effects of envy (for kings can only be envied by kings) he well discovered her uncontroulable power. Wrath, he says, is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who can stand before envy. Let wrath be as cruel as it will, a stronger wrath can disarm it, or application and address can pacify it, fair words have power over it; and let anger be never so outrageous, it can be resisted, and will extinguish itself. They both give fair warning, are discovered afar off, and we have time to fight or fly; but envy has no fixed or open residence; no man knows where she dwells, nor can discern where she marches. Envy is a flying squadron, that declares no war; but breaks into our quarters when we do not suspect
her approach, wounds our reputation, stifles the brightness of our merit, and works even upon our friends to suspend their good opinion, and to doubt whether they are not deceived, and whether we are as good as we appear to be. If our credit be so well built, so firm, as not easily to be shaken by calumny and insinuation, envy, then, once commends us, and extols us beyond reason to those upon whom we depend, till they become jealous, and so blow us up when they cannot throw us down.
There is no guard to be kept against envy, because no man knows where it dwells; and generous and innocent men are seldom jealous and suspicious till they feel the wound, or discern some notorious symptom. Envy shelters herself for the most part in dark and melancholy constitutions, yet sometimes gets into less suspected lodgings; but never owns to be within, when asked for. All other passions do not only betray and discover, but likewise confess themselves: the choleric man confesses he is angry, and the proud man confesses he is ambitious; the covetous man never denies that he loves money, or the drunkard that he loves wine; but no envious man ever confessed that he envied. He commands his words much better than his looks, and those would betray him, if he had not bodily infirmities apparent enough, that those of the mind cannot easily be discovered, but in the mischief they do.
Envy pretends always to be a rival to virtue, and to court honour only by merit, and never to be afflicted but on the behalf of justice, when persons less meritorious are preferred. And it is so far true, that she seldom assaults unfortunate virtue, and is as seldom troubled for any success, however unworthy, that does not carry a man to a higher elevation than the envious man himself can attain; he envies and hates, and would destroy all who have better parts or better fortune than himself; he has more pride and ambition than any other sort of sinner.
STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privacy and retirement; for ornament, is in discourse, and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business: for expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs come best from those that are learned.