« 上一頁繼續 »
it from your knowledge, or because he will be apt to fear some ill effect it may produce, in cooling your love towards l im, 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 the 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 satis, faction of 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 Marianne, 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 put her to death, if any such violence was offered to himself. This Joseph was much delighted with Mariamne's conversation, and endeavoured with all his art and rhetoric, to set out the excess of Herod's passion for her; but when he still found her cold and incredulous, he inconsiderately told her, as a certain instance of her lord's affection, the private orders he had left behind him, which plainly shewed, according to Joseph's interpretation, that he could neither live nor die without her. This barbarous instance of a wild unreasonable passion quite put out, for a time, those little remains of affection she still had for her lord: her thoughts were so wholly taken up with the cruelty of his or. ders, that she could not consider the kindness that produced them, and therefore represented him in her imagination, rather under the frightful idea of a murderer than a lover. Herod was at length acquitted and dismissed by Mark Antony, when his soul was all in flames for his Mariamne; but before their meeting, he was not a little alarmed at the report he had heard of his uncle's conversation and familiarity with her in his absence. This, therefore, was the first discourse he entertained her with, in which she found it no easy matter to quiet his suspicions. But at last he appeared so well satisfied of her innocence, that from reproaches and wranglings he fell to tears and embraces. Both of them wept very tenderly at their reconciliation, and Herod poured out his whole soul to her, in the warmest protestations of love and constancy; when amidst all his sighs and languishings she asked him, whether the private orders he left with his uncle Joseph were an instance of such an inflamed affection. The jealous king was immediately roused at so unexpected a question, and concluded his uncle must have been too familiar with her, before he would have discovered such a secret, In short, he put his uncle to death, and very difficultly prevailed upon himself to spare Mariamne.
After this he was forced on a second journey into Egypt, when he committed his lady to the care of Sohemus, with the same private orders he liad before given his uncle, if any mischief befel him. In the mean while Mariamne so won upon Sohemus by her presents and obliging conversation, that she drew all the secret from him, with which Herod had entrusted him; so that after his return, when he flew to her with all the transports of joy and love, she received him coldly with sighs and tears, and all the marks of indifference and aversion. This reception so stirred up his indignation, that he had certainly slain her with his own hands, had not he feared he himself should have become the greater sufferer by it. It was not long after this, when he had another violent return of love upon him; Mariamne was therefore sent for to him, whom he endeavoured to soften and reconcile with all possible conjugal caresses and endearments; but she de ned his embraces, and answered all his fondness with bitter invectives for the death of her father and her brother. This behaviour so incensed Herod, that he very hardly refrained from striking her; when, in the heat of their quarrel, there came in a witness, suborned by some of Mariamne's enemies, who accused her to the king of a design to poison him. Herod was now prepared to hear any thing in her prejudice, and immediately ordered her servant to be stretched upon the rack; who, in the extremity of his tortures, confessed that his mistress's arersion to the king arose from something Sohemus had told her; but as for any design of poisoning, he utterly disowned the least knowledge of it. This confession quickly proved fatal to Sohemus, who now lay under the same suspicions and sentence that Joseph had before him on the like occasion. Nor would Herod rest here; but accused her with great vehemence of a design upon his life, and, by his authority with the judges, had her publicly condemned and execu
ted. Herod, soon after her death, grew melancholy and dejected, retiring from the public administration of affairs into a solitary forest, and there abandoning himself to all the black considerations, which naturally arise from a passion made up of love, remorse, pity and despair. He used to rave for his Mariamne, and to call upon her in his distracted fits ; and in all probability would soon have followed her, had not his thoughts been seasonably called off from so sad an object by public storms which at that time very nearly threatened him.
No. CLXXII. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17.
Non solùm scientia, quæ est remota à justitia, calliditas potiùs
quam sapientia est appellanda; verùm etiam, animus paratus ad periculum, si suâ cupiditate, non utilitate communi, impellitur, audaciæ potiùs nomen habeat, quàm fortitudinis...
As knowledge, without justice, ought to be called cunning,
rather than wisdom ; so, a mind prepared to meet danger, if excited by its own eagerness, and not the public good, deserves the name of audacity, rather than of courage.
THERE can be no greater injury to human society, than that good talents among men should be held honorable to those who are endowed with them without any regard how they are applied. The gifts of nature and accomplishments of art are valuable but as they are exerted in the interests of virtue, or governed by the rules of honour. We ought to abstract our minds from the observation of any excellence in those we converse with, until we have taken some notice, or received some good information of the disposition of their minds; otherwise the beauty of their persons, or the charms of their wit, may make us fond of those whom our reason and judgment will tell us we ought to abhor.
When we suffer ourselves to be thus carried away by mere beauty, or mere wit, Ommamante, with all her vice, will bear away as much of our good-will as the most innocent virgin or discreetest matron ; and there cannot be a more abject slavery in this world than to dote upon what we think we ought to condemn; Yet this must be our condition in all the parts of life, if we suffer ourselves to approve any thing but what tends to the promotion of what is good and honour. able. If we would take true pains with ourselves to consider all things by the light of reason and justice, though a man were in the height of youth and amorous inclinations, he would look upon a coquette with the same contempt or indifference that he would upon a coxcomb. The wanton carriage in a woman would disappoint her of the admiration which she aims at ; and the vain dress or discourse of a man would destroy the comeliness of his shape, or goodness of his understanding. I say the goodness of his understand. ing, for it is no less common to see men of sense commence coxcombs, than beautiful women become immodest. When this happens in either, the favour we are naturally inclined to give to the good qualities they have from nature, should abate in proportion. But however just it is to measure the value of men by the application of their talents, and not by the eminence of those qualities abstracted from their use ; I say, however just such a way of judging is, in all ages as well as this, the contrary has prevailed upon the generality of mankind. How many lewd devices have been preserved from one age to another, which had perished as soon as they were made, if painters and sculptors had been esteemed as much for the purpose, as the execution of their designs ; modest