Against Envy, Livor, Emulation, Hatred, Ambition, Self-love, and all other Affections.

Against Envy, Livor, Emulation, Hatred, Ambition, Self-love, and all other Affections.

     Against those other passions and affections, there is no better remedy than as mariners when they go to sea, provide all things necessary to resist a tempest: to furnish ourselves with philosophical and Divine precepts, other men's examples, Periculum ex aliis facere, sibi quod ex usu siet: To balance our hearts with love, charity, meekness, patience, and counterpoise those irregular motions of envy, livor, spleen, hatred, with their opposite virtues, as we bend a crooked staff another way, to oppose "sufferance to labour, patience to reproach," bounty to covetousness, fortitude to pusillanimity, meekness to anger, humility to pride, to examine ourselves for what cause we are so much disquieted, on what ground, what occasion, is it just or feigned? And then either to pacify ourselves by reason, to divert by some other object, contrary passion, or premeditation. Meditari secum oportet quo pacto adversam ærumnam ferat, Paricla, damna, exilia peregre rediens semper cogitet, aut filii peccatum, aut uxoris mortem, aut morbum filiæ, communia esse hæc: fieri posse, ut ne quid animo sit novum. To make them familiar, even all kind of calamities, that when they happen they may be less troublesome unto us. In secundis meditare, quo pacto feras adversa: or out of mature judgment to avoid the effect, or disannul the cause, as they do that are troubled with toothache, pull them quite out.

"Ut vivat castor, sibi testes amputat ipse;
Tu quoque siqua nocent, abjice, tutus eris."

"The beaver bites off's stones to save the rest:
Do thou the like with that thou art opprest."

Or as they that play at wasters, exercise themselves by a few cudgels how to avoid an enemy's blows: let us arm ourselves against all such violent incursions, which may invade our minds. A little experience and practice will inure us to it; vetula vulpes, as the proverb saith, laqueo haud capitur, an old fox is not so easily taken in a snare; an old soldier in the world methinks should not be disquieted, but ready to receive all fortunes, encounters, and with that resolute captain, come what may come, to make answer,

------"non ulla laborum
O virgo nova mi facies inopinaque surgit,
Omnia percepi atque animo mecum ante peregi."

"No labour comes at unawares to me,
For I have long before cast what may be."

------"non hoc primum mea pectora vulnus
Senserunt, graviora tuli"------

"My breast was not conscious of this first wound, for I have endured still greater."

The commonwealth of Venice in their armoury have this inscription, "Happy is that city which in time of peace thinks of war," a fit motto for every man's private house; happy is the man that provides for a future assault. But many times we complain, repine and mutter without a cause, we give way to passions we may resist, and will not. Socrates was bad by nature, envious, as he confessed to Zophius the physiognomer, accusing him of it, froward and lascivious: but as he was Socrates, he did correct and amend himself. Thou art malicious, envious, covetous, impatient, no doubt, and lascivious, yet as thou art a Christian, correct and moderate thyself. 'Tis something, I confess, and able to move any man, to see himself contemned, obscure, neglected, disgraced, undervalued, "left behind;" some cannot endure it, no not constant Lipsius, a man discreet otherwise, yet too weak and passionate in this, as his words express, collegas olim, quos ego sine fremitu non intueor, nuper terræ filios, nunc Mæcenates et Agrippas habeo,-- summo jam monte potitos. But he was much to blame for it: to a wise staid man this is nothing, we cannot all be honoured and rich, all Caesars; if we will be content, our present state is good, and in some men's opinion to be preferred. Let them go on, get wealth, offices, titles, honours, preferments, and what they will themselves, by chance, fraud, imposture, simony, and indirect means, as too many do, by bribery, flattery, and parasitical insinuation, by impudence and time-serving, let them climb up to advancement in despite of virtue, let them "go before, cross me on every side," me non offendunt modo non in, oculos incurrant, as he said, correcting his former error, they do not offend me, so long as they run not into mine eyes. I am inglorious and poor, composita paupertate, but I live secure and quiet: they are dignified, have great means, pomp, and state, they are glorious; but what have they with it? "Envy, trouble, anxiety, as much labour to maintain their place with credit, as to get it at first." I am contented with my fortunes, spectator e longinquo, and love Neptunum procul a terra spectare furentem: he is ambitious, and not satisfied with his: "but what gets he by it? to have all his life laid open, his reproaches seen: not one of a thousand but he hath done more worthy of dispraise and animadversion than commendation; no better means to help this than to be private." Let them run, ride, strive as so many fishes for a crumb, scrape, climb, catch, snatch, cozen, collogue, temporise and fleer, take all amongst them, wealth, honour, and get what they can, it offends me not:

-----"me mea tellus
Lare secreto tutoque tegat,"

"I am well pleased with my fortunes," Vivo et regno simul ista relinquens. (Hor. "I live like a king without any of these acquisitions.")

     I have learned "in what state soever I am, therewith to be contented," Philip, iv 11. Come what can come, I am prepared. Nave ferar magna an parva, ferar unus et idem. I am the same. I was once so mad to bustle abroad, and seek about for preferment, tire myself, and trouble all my friends, sed nihil labor tantus profecit nam dum alios amicorum mors avocat, aliis ignotus sum, his invisus, alii large promittunt, intercedunt illi mecum soliciti, hi vana spe lactant; dum alios ambio, hos capto, illis innotesco, ætas perit, anni defluunt, amici fatigantur, ego deferor, et jam, mundi tæsus, humanæque satur infidelitatis acquiesco. ("But all my labour was unprofitable; for while death took off some of my friends, to others I remain unknown, or little liked, and these deceive me with false promises. Whilst I am canvassing one party, captivating another, making myself known to a third, my age increases, years glide away, I am put off, and now tired of the world, and surfeited with human worthlessness. I rest content.") And so I say still; although I may not deny, but that I have had some bountiful patrons, and noble benefactors, ne sim interim ingratus, and I do thankfully acknowledge it, I have received some kindness, quod Deus illis beneficium rependat, si non pro votis, fortasse pro meritis, more peradventure than I deserve, though not to my desire, more of them than I did expect, yet not of others to my desert; neither am I ambitious or covetous, for this while, or a Suffenus to myself; what I have said, without prejudice or alteration shall stand. And now as a mired horse that struggles at first with all his might and main to get out, but when he sees no remedy, that his beating will not serve, lies still, I have laboured in vain, rest satisfied, and if I may usurp that of Prudentius,

"Inveni portum; spes et fortuna valete,
Nil mihi vobiscum, ludite nunc alios."

"Mine haven's found, fortune and hope adieu,
Mock others now, for I have done with you."

 

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