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Eye, that when others come on, they think themfelves go back.
Deformed Perfons, and Eunuchs, and Old Men, and Bastards, are Envious: For he that cannot poffibly mend his own cafe, 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 fhould be faid, that a Eunuch, or a Lame Man, did fuch great Matters; affecting the Honour of a Miracle: as it was in Narses the Eunuch, and Agefilaus, and Tamerlane, that were Lame men.
The fame is the Cafe of Men, that rife 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.
They, that defire to excel in too many Matters, out of Levity, and Vain-glory, are ever Envious ; for they cannot want Work; it being impoffible, but many, in fome one of thofe Things, fhould furpass 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 Kinsfolk, 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 redou
bleth from Speech and Fame. Cain's Envy was the more vile, and malignant, towards his brother Abel; becaufe, when his Sacrifice was better accepted, there was Nobody to look on. Thus much for those that are apt to envy.
Concerning those that are more or less fubject to Envy: First, Perfons of eminent Virtue, when they are advanced, are lefs envied. For their Fortune feemeth 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 Perfons are most envied at their first coming in, and afterwards overcome it better; whereas contrariwife, Persons of Worth, and Merit, are moft envied, when their Fortune continueth long. For by that time, though their Virtue be the fame, yet it hath not the fame Luftre; for fresh Men grow up, that darken it.
Perfons of Noble Blood are lefs envied, in their rifing for it feemeth, but Right done to their Birth. Befides, there feemeth not fo much added to their Fortune; and Envy is as the Sun Beams, that beat hotter upon a Bank or fteep rifing Ground, than upon a Flat. And for the fame reafon, thofe that are advanced by degrees, are lefs envied, than those that are advanced fuddenly, and per faltum.
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 fometimes; and Pity ever
healeth Envy: Wherefore, you shall observe that the more deep, and sober sort of politic Persons, in their Greatness, are ever bemoaning themselves, what a Life they lead; chanting a Quanta patimur: Not that they feel it fo; but only to abate the Edge of Envy. But this is to be understood, of Bufiness, that is laid upon Men, and not such as they call unto themselves. For Nothing increaseth Envy more, than an unneceffary, and ambitious Engroffing of Business. And nothing doth extinguish Envy more, than for a great Person to preferve all other inferior Officers, in their full Rights, and Pre-eminences, of their Places. For by that means, there be fo many Screens between him, and Envy.
Above all, those are most subject to Envy, which carry the Greatness of their Fortunes, in an infolent and proud Manner: being never well, but while they are showing, how great they are, either by outward Pomp, or by triumphing over all Oppofition, or Competition: Whereas wife Men will rather do Sacrifice to Envy; in fuffering themselves, fometimes of purpose to be croft, and overborne in things, that do not much concern them. Notwithstanding, so much is true; that the Carriage of Greatness, in a plain and open manner (so it be without Arrogancy, and Vain-glory) doth draw lefs Envy, than if it be in a more crafty, and cunning fashion. For in that course, a Man doth but difavow Fortune; and feemeth to be conscious of his own Want in Worth; and doth but teach others to Envy him.
Laftly, to conclude this Part; As we said in the
beginning, that the Act of Envy had somewhat in it of Witchcraft; fo there is no other Cure of Envy, but the cure of Witchcraft: And that is, to remove the Lot (as they call it) and to lay it upon another. For which purpose, the wifer Sort of great Perfons bring in ever upon the Stage, Somebody upon whom to derive the Envy, that would come upon themselves: Sometimes upon Ministers, and Servants; fometimes upon Colleagues and Affociates; and the like: And for that turn, there are never wanting fome Persons of violent and undertaking Natures; who so they may have Power, and Bufinefs, will take it at any Coft.
Now to speak of Public Envy: There is yet some good in Public Envy; whereas in Private, there is none. For Public Envy is as an Oftracifm, that eclipfeth Men when they grow too great: And therefore it is a bridle alfo to Great Ones, to keep them within Bounds.
This Envy, being in the Latin word Invidia, goeth in the Modern Languages, by the name of Difcontentment; (of which we shall speak in handling Sedition :) It is a Disease in a State, like to Infection. For as Infection fpreadeth upon that which is found, 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 plaufible Actions: For that doth argue but a Weakness, and Fear of Envy; which hurteth fo much the more, as it is likewife ufual in Infections; which, if you fear them, you call them upon you.
This Public Envy seemeth to beat chiefly, upon principal Officers, or Minifters, rather than upon Kings, and Estates themselves. But this is a fure Rule, that if the Envy upon the Minister be great, when the cause of it in him is fmall; or if the Envy be general, in a manner, upon all the Minifters of an Estate; then the Envy (though hidden) is truly upon the State itself. And fo much of Public Envy or Difcontentment, and the Difference thereof from Private Envy, which was handled in the first place.
We will add this, in general, touching the Affection of Envy; that of all other Affections, it is the most importune, and continual. For of other Affections, there is occafion given, but now and then: And therefore it was well faid; Invidia feftos dies non agit; for it is ever working upon fome, or other. And it is alfo noted, that Love and Envy do make a Man pine, which other Affections do not; because they are not fo continual. It is also the vileft Affection, and the moft depraved: For which Cause, it is the proper Attribute of the Devil; who is called, The Envious Man, that foweth Tares amongst the Wheat by night. As it always cometh to pass, that Envy worketh subtilely, and in the dark; and to the prejudice of good things, fuch as is the Wheat.