OUT of this root of envy spring those feral branches of faction, hatred, livor, emulation, which cause the like grievances, and are, serræ animæ, the saws of the soul, consternationes plenæ affectus, affections full of desperate amazement; or as Cyprian describes emulation, it is "a moth of the soul, a consumption to make another man's happiness his misery, to torture, crucify, and execute himself, to eat his own heart. Meat and drink can do such men no good, they do always grieve, sigh, and groan, day and night without intermission, their breast is torn asunder:" and a little after, "Whomsoever he is whom thou dost emulate and envy, he may avoid thee, but thou canst neither avoid him, nor thyself; wheresoever thou art he is with thee, thine enemy is ever in thy breast, thy destruction is within thee, thou art a captive, bound hand and foot, as long as thou art malicious and envious, and canst not be comforted. It was the devil's overthrow;" and whensoever thou art thoroughly affected with this passion, it will be thine. Yet no perturbation so frequent, no passion so common.
Και κεραμολις κεραμει κοτεει και τεκτονι τεκτων,
Και πτωλυς πτωχω φθονεει και ύοιδος ύoιδω
[Kai keramolis keramei koteei kai tektoni tekton
Kai ptolys ptocho phthoneei kai yoidos yoido]
A potter emulates a potter:
One smith envies another
A beggar emulates a beggar,
A singing man his brother.
Every society, corporation, and private family is full of it, it takes hold almost of all sorts of men, from the prince to the ploughman, even amongst gossips it is to be seen, scarce three in a company but there is siding, faction, emulation, between two of them, some simultas, jar, private grudge, heart-burning in the midst of them. Scarce two gentlemen dwell together in the country (if they be not near kin or linked in marriage), but there is emulation betwixt them and their servants, some quarrel or some grudge betwixt their wives or children, friends and followers, some contention about wealth, gentry, precedency, &c., by means of which, like the frog in Æsop, "that would swell till she was as big as an ox, burst herself at last;" they will stretch beyond their fortunes, callings, and strive so long that they consume their substance in law-suits, or otherwise in hospitality, feasting, fine clothes, to get a few bombast titles, for ambitiosa paupertate laboramus omnes, to outbrave one another, they will tire their bodies, macerate their souls, and through contentions or mutual invitations beggar themselves. Scarce two great scholars in an age, but with bitter invectives they fall foul one on the other, and their adherents; Scotists, Thomists, Reals, Nominals, Plato and Aristotle, Galenists and Paracelsians, &c., it holds in all professions.
Honest emulation in studies, in all callings is not to be disliked, 'tis ingeniorum cos, as one calls it, the whetstone of wit, the nurse of wit and valour, and those noble Romans out of this spirit did brave exploits. There is a modest ambition, as Themistocles was roused up with the glory of Miltiades; Achilles' trophies moved Alexander,
"Ambire semper, stulta confidentia est,
Ambire nunquam, deses arrogantia est."
(Grotius. Epig. lib. 1. "Ambition always, is a foolish confidence, never, a slothful arrogance.")
'Tis a sluggish humour not to emulate or to sue at all, to withdraw himself neglect, refrain from such places, honours, offices, through sloth, niggardliness, fear, bashfulness, or otherwise, to which by his birth, place, fortunes, education, he is called, apt, fit, and well able to undergo; but when it is immoderate, it is a plague and a miserable pain. What a deal of money did Henry VII. and Francis I. king of France, spend at that famous interview? and how many vain courtiers, seeking each to outbrave other, spent themselves, their livelihood and fortunes, and died beggars? Adrian the emperor was so galled with it, that he killed all his equals; so did Nero. This passion made Dionysius the tyrant banish Plato and Philoxenus the poet, because they did excel and eclipse his glory, as he thought; the Romans exile Coriolanus, confine Camillus, murder Scipio; the Greeks by ostracism to expel Aristides, Nicias, Alcibiades, imprison Theseus, make away Phocion, &c. When Richard I. and Philip of France were fellow soldiers together, at the siege of Acon in the Holy Land, and Richard had approved himself to be the more valiant man, insomuch that all men's eyes were upon him, it so galled Philip, Francum urebat Regis victoria, saith mine author, tam ægre ferebat Richardi gloriam, ut carpere dicta, calumniari facta; that he cavilled at all his proceedings, and fell at length to open defiance; he could contain no longer, but hasting home, invaded his territories, and professed open war. "Hatred stirs up contention," Prov. x. 12., and they break out at last into immortal enmity, into virulency, and more than Vatinian hate and rage; they persecute each other, their friends, followers, and all their posterity, with bitter taunts, hostile wars, scurrile invectives, libels, calumnies, fire, sword, and the like, and will not be reconciled. Witness that Guelph and Ghibelline faction in Italy; that of the Adurni and Fregosi in Genoa; that of Cneius Papirius, and Quintus Fabius in Rome; Cæsar and Pompey; Orleans and Burgundy in France; York and Lancaster in England: yea, this passion so rageth many times, that it subverts not men only, and families, but even populous cities, Carthage and Corinth can witness as much, nay flourishing kingdoms are brought into a wilderness by it. This hatred, malice, faction, and desire of revenge, invented first all those racks and wheels, strapadoes, brazen bulls, feral engines, prisons, inquisitions, severe laws to macerate and torment one another. How happy might we be, and end our time with blessed days and sweet content, if we could contain ourselves, and, as we ought to do, put up injuries, learn humility, meekness, patience, forget and forgive, as in God's word we are enjoined, compose such final controversies amongst ourselves, moderate our passions in this kind, "and think better of others," as Paul would have us, "than of ourselves: be of like affection one towards another, and not avenge ourselves, but have peace with all men." But being that we are so peevish and perverse, insolent and proud, so factious and seditious, so malicious and envious; we do invicem angariare, maul and vex one another, torture, disquiet, and precipitate ourselves into that gulf of woes and cares, aggravate our misery and melancholy, heap upon us hell and eternal damnation.