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drawing up a perpetual scheme of causes and events, and preserving a constant correspondence between the camp and the council-table. And thus it happens in the affairs of love with men of too refined a thought. They put a construction on a look, and find out a design in a smile; they give new senses and significations to words and actions; and are ever tormenting themselves with fancies of their own raising. They generally act in a disguise themselves, and therefore mistake all outward shows and appearances for hypocrisy in others; so that I believe no men see less of the truth and reality of things, than these great refiners upon incidents, who are so wonderfully subtle and over-wise in their conceptions.
Now what these men fancy they know of women by reflection, your lewd and vicious men believe they have learned by experience. They have seen the poor husband so misled by tricks and artifices, and in the midst of his inquiries so lost and bewildered in a crooked intrigue, that they still suspect an under-plot in every female action; and especially where they see any resemblance in the behaviour of two persons, are apt to fancy it proceeds from the same design in both. These men therefore bear hard upon the suspected party, pursue her close through all her turnings and windings, and are too well acquainted with the chase, to be flung off by any false steps, or doubles. Besides, their acquaintance and conversation has lain wholly among the vicious part of woman-kind, and therefore it is no wonder they censure all alike, and look upon the whole sex as a species of impostors. But if, notwithstanding their private experience, they can get over these prejudices, and entertain a favourable opinion of some women; yet their own loose desires will stir up new suspicions from another side, and make them believe all men subject to the same inclinations with themselves.
Whether these or other motives are most predominant, we learn from the modern histories of
America, as well as from our own experience in this part of the world, that jealousy is no northern passion, but rages most in those nations that lie nearest the influence of the sun. It is a misfortune for a woman to be born between the tropics; for there lie the hottest regions of jealousy, which, as you come northward, cools all along with the climate, till you scarce meet with any thing like it in the polar circle. Our own nation is very temperately situated in this respect; and if we meet with some few disordered with the violence of this sion, they are not the proper growth of our country, but are many degrees nearer the sun in their constitutions than in their climate.
After this frightful account of jealousy, and the persons who are most subject to it, it will be but fair to shew by what means the passion may be best allayed, and those who are possessed with it set at ease. Other faults indeed are not under the wife's jurisdiction, and should, if possible, escape her observation; but jealousy calls upon her particularly for its cure, and deserves all her art and application in the attempt. Besides, she has this for her encouragement, that her endeavours will be always pleasing, and that she will still find the affection of her husband rising towards her in proportion as his doubts and suspicions vanish; for, as we have seen all along, there is so great a mixture of love and jealousy, as is well worth the separating. But this shall be the subject of another paper *.
* See N° 178.
No 171, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1711.
Credula res amor est
OVID. Met. vii. 826.
The man who loves is easy of belief.
HAVING in my yesterday's paper discovered the nature of jealousy, and pointed out the persons who are most subject to it, I must here apply myself to my fair correspondents, who desire to live well with a jealous husband, and to ease his mind of its unjust suspicions.
The first rule I shall propose to be observed is, that you never seem to dislike in another what the jealous man is himself guilty of, or to admire any thing in which he himself does not excel. A jealous man is very quick in his applications; he knows how to find a double edge in an invective, and to draw a satire on himself out of a panegyric on another. He does not trouble himself to consider the person, but to direct the character; and is secretly pleased or confounded, as he finds more or less of himself in it. The commendation of any thing in another stirs up his jealousy, as it shews you have a value for others besides himself; but the commendation of that, which he himself wants, inflames him more, as it shews that in some respects you prefer others before him. Jealousy is admirably. described in this view by Horace in his ode to.. Lydia :
• Quum tu, Lydia, Telephi
Çervicem roseam, et cerea Telephi
Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur :
Tunc nec mens mihi, nec color
Certa sede manet; humor et in genas
Furtim labitur, arguens
Quam lentis penitùs macerer ignibus.'
1 Od. xiii. 1.
When Telephus his youthful charms,
The jealous man is not indeed angry if you dislike another: but if you find those faults which are to be found in his own character, you discover not only your dislike of another, but of himself. In short, he is so desirous of ingrossing all your love, that he is grieved at the want of any charm, which he believes has power to raise it: and if he finds by your censures on others, that he is not so agreeable in your opinion as he might be, he naturally concludes you could love him better if he had other qualifications, and that by consequence your affection does not rise so high as he thinks it ought. If therefore his temper be grave or sullen, you must not be too much pleased with a jest, or transported with any thing that is gay and diverting. If his beauty be none of the best, you must be a professed admirer of prudence, or any other quality he is master of, or at least vain enough to think he is.
In the next place, you must be sure to be free and open in your conversation with him, and to let in light upon your actions, to unravel all your designs, and discover every secret, however trifling or indifferent. A jealous husband has a particular aversion to winks and whispers; and if he does not see to the bottom of every thing, will be sure to go beyond it in his fears and suspicions. He will always expect to be your chief confidant; and where he
finds himself kept out of a secret, will believe there is more in it than there should be. And here it is of great concern, that you preserve the character your sincerity uniform and of a piece; for if he once finds a false gloss put upon any single action, he quickly suspects all the rest: his working imagination immediately takes a false hint, and runs off with it into several remote consequences, till he has proved very ingenious in working out his own misery.
If both these methods fail, the best way will be to let him see you are much cast down and afflicted for the ill opinion he entertains of you, and the disquietudes he himself suffers for your sake. There are many who take a kind of barbarous pleasure in the jealousy of those who love them, that insult over an aching heart, and triumph in their charms which are able to excite so much uneasiness :
· Ardeat ipsa licet, tormentis gaudet amantis.' JUV. Sat. vi. 208. 'Tho' equal pains her peace of mind destroy, A lover's torments give her spiteful joy.'
But these often carry the humour so far, till their affected coldness and indifference quite kills all the fondness of a lover, and are then sure to meet in their turn with all the contempt and scorn that is due to so insolent a behaviour. On the contrary, it is very probable a melancholy, dejected carriage, the usual effects of injured innocence, may soften the jealous husband into pity, make him sensible of the wrong he does you, and work out of his mind all those fears and suspicions that make you both unhappy. At least it will have this good effect, that he will keep his jealousy to himself, and repine in private, either because he is sensible it is a weakness, and will therefore hide it from your knowledge, or because he will be apt to fear some ill effect it may produce in cooling your love towards him, 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