« PreviousContinue »
Passions and Inclinations can never make themselves visible, it is impossible for a jealous Man to be throughly cured of his Suspicions. His Thoughts hang at belt in a State of Doubtfulness and Uncertainty; and are never capable of receiving any Satisfaction on the advantagious Side; so that his Enquiries are most successful when they discover nothing: His Pleasure arises from his Disappointments, and his Life is spent in Pursuit of a Secret that destroys his Happiness if he chance to find it..
AN ardent Love is always a strong Ingredient in this Pallion; for the same Affection which stirs up the jealous Man's Desires, and gives the Party beloved so beautiful à Figure in his Imagination, makes him believe the kindles thë fame Passion in others, and appears as amiable to all Beholders. And as Jealousy thus arises from an extraordinary Love, it is of so delicate a Nature, that it scorns to take up with any thing less than an equal Return of Love, Not the warmest Expressions of Affection, the softest and most tender Hypocrisy, are able to give any Satis. faction, where we are not perswaded that the Affection is real and the Satisfaction mutual. For the jealous. Man wishes himself a kind of Deity to the Person 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, besides himself.
PHÆDRIA's Request to his Miftres, upon his leaving her for three Days, is inimitably beautiful and natural.
.. Cum milite isto præfens, abfens ut' fies:
Dies, noctesque me ames: me desiderés :
- Ter. Eun. ? The jealous Man's Disease is of so malignant a Na ture, that it converts all he takes into its own Nourishment. A cool Behaviour fets him on the Rack, and is interpreted as an Instance of Aversion or Indifference; a food one raises his Suspicions, and looks too much like
Diflimu. Dislimulation and Artifice. If the Person he loves be cheerful, her Thoughts must be employed on another ; and if fad, he is certainly thinking on himself. In short, there is no Word or Gesture so insignificant, but it gives him new Hints, feeds bis Suspicions, and furnishes him with fresh Matters of Discovery : So that if we consider the Effects of this passion, one would rather think it proceeded from an inveterate Hatred than an excessive Love; for certainly none can meet with more Disquietude and Uneasiness than a suspected Wife, if we except the jealous Husband.
BUT the great Unhappiness of this passion is, that it naturally tends to alienate the Affection which it is lo follicitous to engross; and that for these two Reasons, because it lays too great à Conttraint on the Words and A&tions of the suspected Person, and at the same Time fhews you have no honourable Opinion of her ; both of which are strong Morives to Aversion.
NOR is this the worft Effect of Jealousy ; for it often draws after it a more fatal Train of Consequences, and makes the Person you suspect, guilty of the very Crimes you are so much afraid of. It is very natural for fuch who are treated ill and upbraided falsely, to find out an intimate Friend that will hear their Complaints, condole their Sufferings, and endeavour to footh and afswage their secret Resentments. Besides, Jealousy puts a Woman ofçen in Mind of an ill Thing that she would not otherwise perhaps have thought of, and fills her Imagination with such an unlucky Idea, as in time grows familiar, excits Desire, and loses all the Share and Horror which might at first attend it. Nor is it a Wonder, if she who suffers wrongfully in a Man's Opinion of her, and has therefore nothing to forfeit in his Efteem, resolves to give him Reason for his Suspicions, and to enjoy the Pleasure of the Crime, since she must undergo the Ignominy. Such probably were the Considerations that directed the Wise Man in bis Advice to Husbands ; Be not jea. lous over the Wife of thy Bosom, and teach her not an evil Leffon against thy self. Eccluf.
ANĐ here, among the other Torments which this Pallion produces, we may usually observe that none are
greater greater Mourners than jealous Men, when the Person who provoked their Jealousy is taken from them. Then it is that their love break's out furiously, and throws off all thc Mixtures of Suspicion which choaked and smothered it before. The beautiful Parts of the Character rise uppermoit in the Jealous Husband's Memory, and upbraid him with the ill Usage of fo divine a Creature as was once in his Poffeffion; whilst all the little Imperfections that were before so uncasy to him, wear off from his Remembrance, and shew themselves no more.
WE may fee by what has been said, that Jealousy takes the deepeit Root in Men of amorous Difpofitions; and of these we find three Kinds who are most over-run wich it.
THE First are those who are conscious to themselves of any Infirmity, whether it be Weakness, Old Age, Deformity, Ignorance, or the like. These Men are so 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, thac all Fondness towards them puts them out of Countenance, and looks like a Jeft upon their persons. They grow suspicious on their first looking in a Glass, and are ftung with Jealousy at the sight of a Wrinkle. A handsome Fels low 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 Pafsions are those of cunning, wary, and distrustful Tempers. It is a Fault very juftly found in Histories composed by Politicians, that they leave nothing to Chance or Humour, but are still for deriving every Action from some Plot or Contrivance, for drawing up a perpetual Scheme of Causes and Events, and preserving a constant CorreSpondence 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 Construction on a Look, and find out a Design in a Smile; they give new Senses and Significations to Words and Actions, and are ever tormenting themselves with Fancies of their own raising: They generally act in a Disguise themselves, and therefore mistake all outward Shows and Appearances
for Hypocrify in chers ; so that I believe no Men see less of the Truth and Reality of Things, than these great Refiners upon Incidents, who are so wonderfully subtle and over-wife in their Conceptions.
NOW what these Men fancy they know of Women by Reflection, your lewd and vicious Men believe they bave learned by Experience. They have seen the poor Husband fo mis-led by Tricks and Artifices, and in the midst of bis Enquiries lo loft and bewildered in a crooked Intrigue, that they ftill suspect an Under-Plot in every female Action; and efpecially where they see any Refemblance in the Behaviour of two Persons, are apt to fancy it proceeds from the same Design in both. These Men therefore bear hard upon the suspected Party, pursue her close through all her Turnings and Windings, and are too well acquainted with the Chace, to be flung off by any false Steps or Doubles: Besides, their Acquaintance and Conversation has lain wholly among the vicious Part of Womenkind, and therefore it is no wonder they censure all alike, and look upon the whole Sex as a Species of Impoftors. But if, notwithstanding their private Experience, they can get over these Prejudices, and entertaia a favourable Opinion of some Women; yet their own loose Delires will ftir up new Suspicions from another Side, and make them believe all Men subject to the fame Inclinations with themselves.
WHETHER these or other Motives are most predominant, we learn from the modern Histories of America, as well as from our own. Experience in this part of the World, that Jealousy is no Northern Passion, but rages most in those Nations that lie nearest the lofluence of the Sun. It is a Misfortune for a Woman to be born between the Tropicks ; for there lie the hottest Regions of Jealoufy, which as you come Northward cools all along with the Climate, till you scarce meet any thing like it in the Polar Circle. Our own Nation is very temperarely situ.. ated in this respect; and if we meet with some few disordered with the Violence of this Passion, they are not the proper Growth of our Country, but are many Degrees . pearer the Sun in their Conftitution than in their Climate.
AFTER this frightful Account of Jealousy, and the Persons who are most subject to it, it will be but fair to Thew by what means the pasion may be best allavi and those who are poframed with it set at Ease. ther Faults indeed are not under the Wife's Tomiciction, and should, it Double, escape her Obiervation; but Jealousy calls upon her particulariy for its Cure, and deserves all her Art and Application in the Attempt: Besides, she has this for her Encouragement, that her Endeavours wi!! be always plcalino ang that she will still find the Affection of her Houstand rising towards her in Proportion as his Doubts and Sufficions vanish; for, as we have seen all along, There is so great a Mixture of Love in Jealousy as is well worth the separating. But this shall be the Subject of another Paper.
No 174. Saturday, September 15.
Credula res amor eft
+ who are most subject to it, I must here apply my felf to my Fair Correspondents, who desire to live well with a jealous Husband, and to ease his Mind of its unjust Suspicions.
THE first Rule I shall propose to be observed is, that you never seem to dislike in another what the Jealous Man is himself guilty of, or to admire any thing in which he himself does not excel. A jealous Man is very quick in his Applications, he knows how to find a double Edge in an Invective, and to draw a Satyr on himself out of a
Panegyrick on another. He does not trouble himself to * consider the Person, but to direct the Character ; and is
secretly pleased or confounded as he finds more or less of himself in it. The Commendation of any thing in another, stirs up his Jealousy, as it shews you have a Value