網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

To the Right Honourable

HENRY BOYLE, ESQ.

SIR,

AS the professed design of this work is to entertain its readers in general, without giving offence to any particular person, it would be difficult to find out so proper a patron for it as yourself, there being none whose merit is more universally acknowledged by all parties, and who has made himself more friends, and fewer enemies. Your great abilities, and unquestionable integrity, in those high employments which you have passed through, would not have been able to have raised you this general approbation, had they not been accompanied with that moderation in an high fortune, and that affability of manners; which are so conspicuous through all parts of your life. Your aversion to any ostentatious arts of setting to show those great services which you have done the public, has not likewise a little contributed to that universal acknowledgement which is paid you by your country.

The consideration of this part of your character, is that which hinders me from enlarging on those extraordinary talents, which have given you so great a figure in the British Senate, as well as in that elegance and politeness which appear in your more retired conversation. I should be un

pardonable, if, after what I have said, I should longer detain you with an address of this nature ; I cannot, however, conclude it without owning those great obligations which you have laid upon,

Sir,

your most obedient,
humble servant,

THE SPECTATOR.

THE

SPECTATOR.

No. CLXX. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1711.

In amore hæc omnia insunt vitia: injuriæ.
Suspiciones, inimicitiæ, induciæ,
Bellum, pax rursum-

TER

All these inconveniences are incident to love : Reproaches,

jealousies, quarrels, reconcilements, war, and then peace.

UPON looking over the letters of my

female correspondents, I find several from women complaining of jealous husbands, and at the same time protesting their own innocence, and desiring my advice on this occasion. I shall therefore take this subject into my consideration; and the more willingly, because I find that the Marquis of Halifax, who, in his Advice to a Daughter, has instructed a wife how to behave herselftowards a false, an intemperate, a choleric, asullen, a covetous, or a silly husband, has not spoken one word of a jealous husband.

Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves. Now, because our inward passions and inclinations can never make themselves visible, it is impossible for a jealous man to be thoroughly cured of his suspicions. His thoughts hang at best in a state of doubtfulness and uncertainty; and are never capable of receiving any satisfaction on the advantageous 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 passion; for the same affection which stirs up the jealous man's desires, and gives the party beloved so beautiful a figure in his imagination, makes him believe she kindles the same 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 satisfaction, where we are not persuaded 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 senses, the employment of her thoughts: and is angry at every thing she admires, or takes delight in, besides himself.

Phædria's request to his mistress upon his leaving her for three days, is inimitably beautiful and natural.

Cum milite isto præsens, absens ut sies :
Dies noctesque me ames: me desideres:
Me somnies: me expectes: de me cogites:
Me speres : me te oblectes: mecum tota sis:
Meus fac sis postremò animus, quando ego sum tuus.

TER.

« When you are in company with that soldier, behave « as if you were absent: but continue to love me by “ day and by night: want me: dream of me; expect « me; think of me; wish for me; delight in me; be “ wholly with me: in short, be my very soul, as I am “ your's."

The jealous man's disease is of so malignant a nature, that it converts all he takes into its own nourishment. A cool behaviour sets him on the rack, and is interpreted as an instance of aversion or indifference; afondone raises his suspicions, and looks too much like dissimulation and artifice. If the person he loves be cheerful, her thoughts must be employed on another; and if sad, she is certainly thinking on himself. In short, there is no word or gesture so insignificant, but it gives him new hints, feeds his 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 so solicitous to engross; and that for these two reasons, because it lays too great a constraint on the words and actions of the suspected person, and at the same time shews you have no honourable opinion of her; both of which are strong motives to aversion.

Nor is this the worst 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 such who are treated ill, and upbraided falsely, to find out an intimate friend that will hear their complaints, condole their sufferings, and endeavour to soothe and asswage their secret resentments. Besides, jealousy puts a woman often 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, excites desire, and loses all that shame and horror which might at first attend it. Nor is it a wonder if she who suffers wrongfully in a man's opi- nion of her, and has therefore nothing to forfeit in his esteem, resolves to give him reason for his suspicion, and to enjoy the pleasure of the crime, since she must undergo the ignominy. Such probably were the con

« 上一頁繼續 »