Jealousy, its Equivocations, Name, Definition, Extent, several kinds; of Princes, Parents, Friends. In Beasts, Men: before marriage, as Co-rivals; or after, as in this place

Jealousy, its Equivocations, Name, Definition, Extent, several kinds; of Princes, Parents, Friends. In Beasts, Men: before marriage, as Co-rivals; or after, as in this place

Valescus de Taranta cap. de Melanchol. Ælian Montaltus, Felix Platerus, Guianerius, put jealousy for a cause of melancholy, others for a symptom; because melancholy persons amongst these passions and perturbations of the mind, are most obnoxious to it. But methinks for the latitude it hath, and that prerogative above other ordinary symptoms, it ought to be treated of as a species apart, being of so great and eminent note, so furious a passion, and almost of as great extent as love itself, as Benedetto Varchi holds, "no love without a mixture of jealousy," qui non zelat, non amat. For these causes I will dilate, and treat of it by itself, as a bastard-branch or kind of love-melancholy, which, as heroical love goeth commonly before marriage, doth usually follow, torture, and crucify in like sort, deserves therefore to be rectified alike, requires as much care and industry, in setting out the several causes of it, prognostics and cures. Which I have more willingly done, that he that is or hath been jealous, may see his error as in a glass; he that is not, may learn to detest, avoid it himself, and dispossess others that are anywise affected with it.

Jealousy is described and defined to be "a certain suspicion which the lover hath of the party he chiefly loveth, lest he or she should be enamoured of another:" or any eager desire to enjoy some beauty alone, to have it proper to himself only: a fear or doubt, lest any foreigner should participate or share with him in his love. Or (as Scaliger adds) "a fear of losing her favour whom he so earnestly affects." Cardan calls it "a zeal for love, and a kind of envy lest any man should beguile us." Ludovicus Vives defines it in the very same words, or little differing in sense.

There be many other jealousies, but improperly so called all; as that of parents, tutors, guardians over their children, friends whom they love, or such as are left to their wardship or protection.

"Storax non rediit hac nocte a coena Æschinus,
Neque servulorum quispiam qui adversum ierant?"

"Has not every one of the slaves that went to meet him returned this night from the supper?"

As the old man in the comedy cried out in a passion, and from a solicitous fear and care he had of his adopted son; "not of beauty, but lest they should miscarry, do amiss, or any way discredit, disgrace" (as Vives notes) "or endanger themselves and us." Ægeus was so solicitous for his son Theseus, (when he went to fight with the Minotaur) of his success, lest he should be foiled, Prona est timori semper in pejus fides. We are still apt to suspect the worst in such doubtful cases, as many wives in their husband's absence, fond mothers in their children's, lest if absent they should be misled or sick, and are continually expecting news from them, how they do fare, and what is become of them, they cannot endure to have them long out of their sight: oh my sweet son, O my dear child, &c. Paul was jealous over the Church of Corinth, as he confesseth, 2 Cor. xi. 12. "With a godly jealousy, to present them a pure virgin to Christ;" and he was afraid still, lest as the serpent beguiled Eve, through his subtlety, so their minds should be corrupt from the simplicity that is in Christ. God himself, in some sense, is said to be jealous, "I am a jealous God, and will visit:" so Psalm lxxix. 5. "Shall thy jealousy burn like fire for ever?" But these are improperly called jealousies, and by a metaphor, to show the care and solicitude they have of them. Although some jealousies express all the symptoms of this which we treat of, fear, sorrow, anguish, anxiety, suspicion, hatred, &c., the object only varied. That of some fathers is very eminent, to their sons and heirs; for though they love them dearly being children, yet now coming towards man's estate they may not well abide them, the son and heir is commonly sick of the father, and the father again may not well brook his eldest son, inde simultates, plerumque contentiones et inimicitiæ; but that of princes is most notorious, as when they fear co-rivals (if I may so call them) successors, emulators, subjects, or such as they have offended. Omnisque potestas impatiens consortis erit: "they are still suspicious, lest their authority should be diminished," as one observes; and as Comineus hath it, "it cannot be expressed what slender causes they have of their grief and suspicion, a secret disease, that commonly lurks and breeds in princes' families." Sometimes it is for their honour only, as that of Adrian the emperor, "that killed all his emulators." Saul envied David; Domitian Agricola, because he did excel him, obscure his honour, as he thought, eclipse his fame. Juno turned Prætus' daughters into kine, for that they contended with her for beauty; Cyparissæ, king Eteocles' children, were envied of the goddesses for their excellent good parts, and dancing amongst the rest, saith Constantine, "and for that cause flung headlong from heaven, and buried in a pit, but the earth took pity of them, and brought out cypress trees to preserve their memories." Niobe, Arachne, and Marsyas, can testify as much. But it is most grievous when it is for a kingdom itself, or matters of commodity, it produceth lamentable effects, especially amongst tyrants, in despotico Imperio, and such as are more feared than beloved of their subjects, that get and keep their sovereignty by force and fear. Quod civibus tenere te invitis scias, &c., as Phalaris, Dionysius, Periander held theirs. For though fear, cowardice, and jealousy, in Plutarch's opinion, be the common causes of tyranny, as in Nero, Caligula, Tiberius, yet most take them to be symptoms. For "what slave, what hangman" (as Bodine well expresseth this passion, l. 2. c. 5. de rep.) "can so cruelly torture a condemned person, as this fear and suspicion? Fear of death, infamy, torments, are those furies and vultures that vex and disquiet tyrants, and torture them day and night, with perpetual terrors and affrights, envy, suspicion, fear, desire of revenge, and a thousand such disagreeing perturbations, turn and affright the soul out of the hinges of health, and more grievously wound and pierce, than those cruel masters can exasperate and vex their apprentices or servants, with clubs, whips, chains, and tortures." Many terrible examples we have in this kind, amongst the Turks especially, many jealous outrages; Selimus killed Kornutus his youngest brother, five of his nephews, Mustapha Bassa, and divers others. Bajazet the second Turk, jealous of the valour and greatness of Achmet Bassa, caused him to be slain. Suleiman the Magnificent murdered his own son Mustapha; and 'tis an ordinary thing amongst them, to make away their brothers, or any competitors, at the first coming to the crown: 'tis all the solemnity they use at their fathers' funerals. What mad pranks in his jealous fury did Herod of old commit in Jewry, when he massacred all the children of a year old? Valens the emperor in Constantinople, when as he left no man alive of quality in his kingdom that had his name begun with Theo; Theodoti, Theognosti, Theodosii, Theoduli, &c. They went all to their long home, because a wizard told him that name should succeed in his empire. And what furious designs hath Jo. Basilius, that Muscovian tyrant, practised of late? It is a wonder to read that strange suspicion, which Suetonius reports of Claudius Cæsar, and of Domitian, they were afraid of every man they saw: and which Herodian of Antoninus and Geta, those two jealous brothers, the one could not endure so much as the other's servants, but made away him, his chiefest followers, and all that belonged to him, or were his well-wishers. Maximinus "perceiving himself to be odious to most men, because he was come to that height of honour out of base beginnings, and suspecting his mean parentage would be objected to him, caused all the senators that were nobly descended, to be slain in a jealous humour, turned all the servants of Alexander his predecessor out of doors, and slew many of them, because they lamented their master's death, suspecting them to be traitors, for the love they bare to him." When Alexander in his fury had made Clitus his dear friend to be put to death, and saw now (saith Curtius) an alienation in his subjects' hearts, none durst talk with him, he began to be jealous of himself, lest they should attempt as much on him, "and said they lived like so many wild beasts in a wilderness, one afraid of another." Our modern stories afford us many notable examples. Henry the Third of France, jealous of Henry of Lorraine, Duke of Guise, anno 1588, caused him to be murdered in his own chamber. Louis the Eleventh was so suspicious, he durst not trust his children, every man about him he suspected for a traitor; many strange tricks Comineus telleth of him. How jealous was our Henry the Fourth of King Richard the Second, so long as he lived, after he was deposed? and of his own son Henry in his latter days? which the prince well perceiving, came to visit his father in his sickness, in a watchet velvet gown, full of eyelet holes, and with needles sticking in them (as an emblem of jealousy) , and so pacified his suspicious father, after some speeches and protestations, which he had used to that purpose. Perpetual imprisonment, as that of Robert Duke of Normandy, in the days of Henry the First, forbidding of marriage to some persons, with such like edicts and prohibitions, are ordinary in all states. In a word ( as he said) three things cause jealousy, a mighty state, a rich treasure, a fair wife; or where there is a cracked title, much tyranny, and exactions. In our state, as being freed from all these fears and miseries, we may be most secure and happy under the reign of our fortunate prince:

"His fortune hath indebted him to none
But to all his people universally;
And not to them but for their love alone,

Which they account as placed worthily.
He is so set, he hath no cause to be
Jealous, or dreadful of disloyalty;
The pedestal whereon his greatness stands.
Is held of all our hearts, and all our hands."

But I rove, I confess. These equivocations, jealousies, and many such, which crucify the souls of men, are not here properly meant, or in this distinction of ours included, but that alone which is for beauty, tending to love, and wherein they can brook no co-rival, or endure any participation: and this jealousy belongs as well to brute beasts, as men. Some creatures, saith Vives, swans, doves, cocks, bulls, &c., are jealous as well as men, and as much moved, for fear of communion.

"Grege pro toto bella juvenci,
Si con jugio timuere suo,
Poscunt timidi prælia cervi,
Et mugitus dant concepti signa furoris."

"In Venus' cause what mighty battles make
Your raving bulls, and stirs for their herd's sake:
And harts and bucks that are so timorous,
Will fight and roar, if once they be but jealous."

In bulls, horses, goats, this is most apparently discerned. Bulls especially, alium in pascuis non admittit, he will not admit another bull to feed in the same pasture, saith Oppin: which Stephanus Bathorius, late king of Poland, used as an impress, with that motto, Regnum non capit duos. R. T. in his Blazon of Jealousy, telleth a story of a swan about Windsor, that finding a strange cock with his mate, did swim I know not how many miles after to kill him, and when he had so done, came back and killed his hen; a certain truth, he saith, done upon Thames, as many watermen, and neighbour gentlemen, can tell. Fidem suam liberet; for my part, I do believe it may be true; for swans have ever been branded with that epithet of jealousy.

The jealous swanne against his death that singeth,
And eke the owle that of death bode bringeth
.

Some say as much of elephants, that they are more jealous than any other creatures whatsoever; and those old Egyptians, as Pierius informeth us, express in their hieroglyphics, the passion of jealousy by a camel; because that fearing the worst still about matters of venery, he loves solitudes, that he may enjoy his pleasure alone, et in quoscunque obvios insurgit, Zelolypiæ stimulis agitatus, he will quarrel and fight with whatsoever comes next, man or beast, in his jealous fits. I have read as much of crocodiles; and if Peter Martyr's authority be authentic, legat. Babylonicæ lib. 3. you shall have a strange tale to that purpose confidently related. Another story of the jealousy of dogs, see in Hieron. Fabricius, Tract. 3. cap. 5. de loquela animalium.

But this furious passion is most eminent in men, and is as well amongst bachelors as married men. If it appear amongst bachelors, we commonly call them rivals or co-rivals, a metaphor derived from a river, rivales, a rivo; for as a river, saith Acron in Hor. Art. P?t. and Donat in Ter. Eunuch. divides a common ground between two men, and both participate of it, so is a woman indifferent between two suitors, both likely to enjoy her; and thence comes this emulation, which breaks out many times into tempestuous storms, and produceth lamentable effects, murder itself, with much cruelty, many single combats. They cannot endure the least injury done unto them before their mistress, and in her defence will bite off one another's noses; they are most impatient of any flout, disgrace, lest emulation or participation in that kind. Lacerat lacerium Largi mordax Memnius. Memnius the Roman (as Tully tells the story, de oratore, lib. 2.) , being co-rival with Largus Terracina, bit him by the arm, which fact of his was so famous, that it afterwards grew to a proverb in those parts. Phædria could not abide his co-rival Thraso; for when Parmeno demanded, numquid aliud imperas? whether he would command him any more service: "No more" (saith he) "but to speak in his behalf, and to drive away his co-rival if he could." Constantine, in the eleventh book of his husbandry, cap. 11, hath a pleasant tale of the pine-tree; she was once a fair maid, whom Pineus and Boreas, two co-rivals, dearly sought; but jealous Boreas broke her neck, &c. And in his eighteenth chapter he telleth another tale of Mars, that in his jealousy slew Adonis. Petronius calleth this passion amantium furiosum æmulationem, a furious emulation; and their symptoms are well expressed by Sir Geoffrey Chaucer in his first Canterbury Tale. It will make the nearest and dearest friends fall out; they will endure all other things to be common, goods, lands, moneys, participate of each pleasure, and take in good part any disgraces, injuries in another kind; but as Propertius well describes it in an elegy of his, in this they will suffer nothing, have no co-rivals.

"Tu mihi vel ferro pectus, vel perde veneno,
A domina tantum te modo tolle mea:
Te socium vitæ te corporis esse licebit,
Te dominum admitto rebus amice meis.
Lecto te solum, lecto te deprecor uno,
Rivalem possum non ego ferre Jovem."

"Stab me with sword, or poison strong
Give me to work my bane:
So thou court not my lass, so thou
From mistress mine refrain.
Command myself, my body, purse,
As thine own goods take all,
And as my ever dearest friend,
I ever use thee shall.
O spare my love, to have alone
Her to myself I crave,
Nay, Jove himself I'll not endure
My rival for to have."

This jealousy, which I am to treat of, is that which belongs to married men, in respect of their own wives; to whose estate, as no sweetness, pleasure, happiness can be compared in the world, if they live quietly and lovingly together; so if they disagree or be jealous, those bitter pills of sorrow and grief, disastrous mischiefs, mischances, tortures, gripings, discontents, are not to be separated from them. A most violent passion it is where it taketh place, an unspeakable torment, a hellish torture, an infernal plague, as Ariosto calls it, "a fury, a continual fever, full of suspicion, fear, and sorrow, a martyrdom, a mirth-marring monster. The sorrow and grief of heart of one woman jealous of another, is heavier than death," Ecclus. xxviii. 6. as Peninnah did Hannah, "vex her and upbraid her sore." 'Tis a main vexation, a most intolerable burden, a corrosive to all content, a frenzy, a madness itself; as Beneditto Varchi proves out of that select sonnet of Giovanni de la Casa, that reverend lord, as he styles him.

 

Previous Next