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deepest root in men of amorous dispositions; and of these we find three kinds who are most over-run with 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, that all fondness towards them puts them out of countenance, and looks like a jest upon their persons. They grow suspicious on their first looking in a glass, and are stung with jealousy at the sight of a wrinkle. A handsome fellow immediately alarms them, and everything that looks young or gay turns their thoughts upon their wives.
A second sort of men, who are most liable to this passion, are those of cunning, wary, and distrustful tempers. is a fault very justly 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, from 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 hypocrisy in others; 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-wise in their conceptions.
Now, what these men fancy they know of women by reflection, your lewd and vicious men believe they have learned by experience. They have seen the poor husband so misled by tricks and artifices, and, in the midst of his inquiries, so lost and bewildered in a crooked intrigue, that they still suspect an under-plot in every female action; and especially where they see any resemblance 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 womankind, and therefore it is no wonder they censure all alike, and look upon the whole sex as a species of impostors. But if, notwithstanding their private experience, they can get over these prejudices, and entertain a favourable opinion of some women, yet their own loose desires will stir up new suspicions from another side, and make them believe all men subject to the same 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 influence of the sun. It is a misfortune for a woman to be born between the tropics; for there lie the hottest regions of jealousy, which as you come northward cools all along with the climate, till you scarce meet anything like it in the polar circle. Our own nation is very temperately situated 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 nearer the sun in their constitution 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 show by what means the passion may be best allayed, and those who are possessed with it set at ease. Other faults, indeed, are not under the wife's jurisdiction, and should, if possible, escape her observation; but jealousy calls upon her particularly for its cure, and deserves all her art and application in the attempt: besides, she has this for her encouragement, that her endeavours will be always pleasing, and that she will still find the affection of her husband rising towards her in proportion as his doubts and suspicions 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. 171. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15.
Credula res amor est
HAVING in my yesterday's paper discovered the nature of jealousy, and pointed out the persons who are most subject to it, I must here apply myself 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 anything 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 satire on himself out of a panegyric 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 anything in another stirs up his jealousy, as it shows you have a value for others besides himself; but the commendation of that which he himself wants, inflames him more, as it shows that in some respects you prefer others before him. Jealousy is admirably described in this view by Horace in his Ode to Lydia.
Quum tu, Lydia, Telephi
Cervicem roseam, et cerea Telephi
Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur:
Certâ sede manet; humor et in genas
Furtim labitur arguens
Quàm lentis penitus macerer ignibus.
The jealous man is not indeed angry if you dislike another: but if you find those faults which are to be found in his own character, you discover not only your dislike of another, but of himself. In short, he is so desirous of engrossing all your love, that he is grieved at the want of any charm, which he believes has power to raise it; and if he finds, by your censures on others, that he is not so agreeable in your opinion as he might be, he naturally concludes you could love him better if he had other qualifications, and that by consequence your affection does not rise so high as he thinks it ought. If, therefore, his temper be grave or sullen, you must not be too pleased with a jest, or transported with any thing that is gay and diverting. If his beauty be none of the best, you must be a professed admirer of prudence, or any other quality he is master of, or at least vain enough to think he is.
In the next place, you must be sure to be free and open in your conversation with him, and to let in light upon your actions, to unravel all your designs, and discover every secret, however trifling or indifferent. A jealous husband has a particular aversion to winks and whispers, and if he does not see to the bottom of everything, will be sure to go beyond it in his fears and suspicions. He will always expect to be your chief confidant, and where he finds himself kept out of a secret, will believe there is more in it than there should be. And here it is of great concern, that you preserve the character of your sincerity uniform and of a piece; for if he once finds a false gloss put upon any single action, he quickly suspects all the rest; his working imagination immediately takes a false hint, and runs off with it into several remote consequences, till he has proved very ingenious in working out his own misery.
If both these methods fail, the best way will be to let him see you are much cast down and afflicted for the ill opinion he entertains of you, and the disquietudes he himself suffers for your sake. There are many who take a kind of barbarous pleasure in the jealousy of those who love them, that insult over an aching heart, and triumph in their charms which are able to excite so much uneasiness.
Ardeat ipsa licet, tormentis gaudet amantis. Juv. But these often carry the humour so far, till their affected coldness and indifference quite kills all the fondness of a
lover, and are then sure to meet in their turn with all the contempt and scorn that is due to so insolent a behaviour. On the contrary, it is very probable, a melancholy, dejected carriage, the usual effects of injured innocence, may soften the jealous husband into pity, make him sensible of the wrong he does you, and work out of his mind all those fears and suspicions that make you both unhappy. At least it will have this good effect, that he will keep his jealousy to himself, and repine in private, either because he is sensible it is a weakness, and will therefore hide it from your knowledge, or because he will be apt to fear some ill effect it may produce, in cooling your love towards him, or diverting it to another.
There is still another secret, that can never fail, if you can once get it believed, and which is often practised by women of greater cunning than virtue: this is, to change sides for a while with a jealous man, and to turn his own passion upon himself; to take some occasion of growing jealous of him, and to follow the example he himself hath set you. This counterfeited jealousy will bring him a great deal of pleasure, if he thinks it real; for he knows experimentally how much love goes along with this passion, and will besides feel something like the satisfaction of a revenge, in seeing you undergo all his own tortures. But this, indeed, is an artifice so difficult, and at the same time so disingenuous, that it ought never to be put in practice, but by such as have skill enough to cover the deceit, and innocence to render it excusable.
I shall conclude this essay with the story of Herod and Mariamne, as I have collected it out of Josephus, which may serve almost as an example to whatever can be said on this subject.
Mariamne had all the charms that beauty, birth, wit, and youth could give a woman; and Herod all the love that such charms are able to raise in a warm and amorous disposition. In the midst of this his fondness for Mariamne, he put her brother to death, as he did her father not many years after. The barbarity of the action was represented to Mark Antony, who immediately summoned Herod into Egypt, to answer for the crime that was there laid to his charge. Herod attributed the summons to Antony's desire of Mariamne, whom therefore, before his departure, he gave into the custody of his uncle Joseph, with private orders to