Story type: Essay
Saturday, Sept. 15, 1711.
‘Credula res amor est …’
Having in my Yesterday’s Paper discovered the Nature of Jealousie, and pointed out the Persons who are most subject to it, I must here apply my self 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 Satyr on himself out of a Panegyrick 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. Jealousie is admirably described in this View by Horace in his Ode to Lydia [; ]
Quum tu, Lydia, Telephi
Cervicem roseam, et cerea Telephi
Laudas brachia, vae meum
Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur:
Tunc nec mens mihi, nec color
Certa sede manet; humor et in genas
Furtim labitur, arguens
Quam lentis penitus macerer ignibus.
When Telephus his youthful Charms,
His rosie Neck and winding Arms,
With endless Rapture you recite,
And in the pleasing Name delight;
My Heart, inflam’d by jealous Heats,
With numberless Resentments beats;
From my pale Cheek the Colour flies,
And all the Man within me dies:
By Turns my hidden Grief appears
In rising Sighs and falling Tears,
That shew too well the warm Desires,
The silent, slow, consuming Fires,
Which on my inmost Vitals prey,
And melt my very Soul away.
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 Confident, 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 of 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 aking Heart, and triumph in their Charms which are able to excite so much Uneasiness.
‘Ardeat ipsa licet tormentis gaudet amantis’.
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 believ’d, and what is often practis’d by Women of greater Cunning than Virtue: This is to change Sides for a while with the jealous Man, and to turn his own Passion upon himself; to take some Occasion of growing Jealous of him, and to follow the Example he himself hath set you. This Counterfeited Jealousy will bring him a great deal of Pleasure, if he thinks it real; for he knows experimentally how much Love goes along with [this Passion, ] and will [besides feel ] something like the Satisfaction of a Revenge, in seeing you undergo all his own Tortures. But this, indeed, is an Artifice so difficult, and at the same time so dis-ingenuous, that it ought never to be put in Practice, but by such as have Skill enough to cover the Deceit, and Innocence to render it excusable.
I shall conclude this Essay with the Story of Herod and Mariamne, as I have collected it out of Josephus;  which may serve almost as an Example to whatever can be said on this Subject.
Mariamne had all the Charms that Beauty, Birth, Wit and Youth could give a Woman, and Herod all the Love that such Charms are able to raise in a warm and amorous Disposition. In the midst of this his Fondness for Mariamne, he put her Brother to Death, as he did her Father not many Years after. The Barbarity of the Action was represented to Mark Antony, who immediately summoned Herod into Egypt, to answer for the Crime that was there laid to his Charge. Herod attributed the Summons to Antony’s Desire of Mariamne, whom therefore, before his Departure, he gave into the Custody of his Uncle Joseph, with private Orders to put her to Death, if any such Violence was offered to himself. This Joseph was much delighted with Mariamne’s Conversation, and endeavoured, with all his Art and Rhetorick, to set out the Excess of Herod’s Passion for her; but when he still found her Cold and Incredulous, he inconsiderately told her, as a certain Instance of her Lord’s Affection, the private Orders he had left behind him, which plainly shewed, according to Joseph’s Interpretation, that he could neither Live nor Die without her. This Barbarous Instance of a wild unreasonable Passion quite put out, for a time, those little Remains of Affection she still had for her Lord: Her Thoughts were so wholly taken up with the Cruelty of his Orders, that she could not consider the Kindness that produced them, and therefore represented him in her Imagination, rather under the frightful Idea of a Murderer than a Lover. Herod was at length acquitted and dismissed by Mark Antony, when his Soul was all in Flames for his Mariamne; but before their Meeting, he was not a little alarm’d at the Report he had heard of his Uncle’s Conversation and Familiarity with her in his Absence. This therefore was the first Discourse he entertained her with, in which she found it no easy matter to quiet his Suspicions. But at last he appeared so well satisfied of her Innocence, that from Reproaches and Wranglings he fell to Tears and Embraces. Both of them wept very tenderly at their Reconciliation, and Herod poured out his whole Soul to her in the warmest Protestations of Love and Constancy: when amidst all his Sighs and Languishings she asked him, whether the private Orders he left with his Uncle Joseph were an Instance of such an inflamed Affection. The Jealous King was immediately roused at so unexpected a Question, and concluded his Uncle must have been too Familiar with her, before he would have discovered such a Secret. In short, he put his Uncle to Death, and very difficultly prevailed upon himself to spare Mariamne.
After this he was forced on a second Journey into Egypt, when he committed his Lady to the Care of Sohemus, with the same private Orders he had before given his Uncle, if any Mischief befel himself. In the mean while Mariamne so won upon Sohemus by her Presents and obliging Conversation, that she drew all the Secret from him, with which Herod had intrusted him; so that after his Return, when he flew to her with all the Transports of Joy and Love, she received him coldly with Sighs and Tears, and all the Marks of Indifference and Aversion. This Reception so stirred up his Indignation, that he had certainly slain her with his own Hands, had not he feared he himself should have become the greater Sufferer by it. It was not long after this, when he had another violent Return of Love upon him; Mariamne was therefore sent for to him, whom he endeavoured to soften and reconcile with all possible conjugal Caresses and Endearments; but she declined his Embraces, and answered all his Fondness with bitter Invectives for the Death of her Father and her Brother. This Behaviour so incensed Herod, that he very hardly refrained from striking her; when in the Heat of their Quarrel there came in a Witness, suborn’d by some of Mariamne’s Enemies, who accused her to the King of a Design to poison him. Herod was now prepared to hear any thing in her Prejudice, and immediately ordered her Servant to be stretch’d upon the Rack; who in the Extremity of his Tortures confest, that his Mistress’s Aversion to the King arose from [something ] Sohemus had told her; but as for any Design of poisoning, he utterly disowned the least Knowledge of it. This Confession quickly proved fatal to Sohemus, who now lay under the same Suspicions and Sentence that Joseph had before him on the like Occasion. Nor would Herod rest here; but accused her with great Vehemence of a Design upon his Life, and by his Authority with the Judges had her publickly Condemned and Executed. Herod soon after her Death grew melancholy and dejected, retiring from the Publick Administration of Affairs into a solitary Forest, and there abandoning himself to all the black Considerations, which naturally arise from a Passion made up of Love, Remorse, Pity and Despair, he used to rave for his Mariamne, and to call upon her in his distracted Fits; and in all probability would soon have followed her, had not his Thoughts been seasonably called off from so sad an Object by Publick Storms, which at that Time very nearly threatned him.
[Footnote 1: “, part of which I find Translated to my Hand.”]
[Footnote 2: that]
[Footnote 3: it]
[Footnote 4: receive]
[Footnote 5: ‘Antiquities of the Jews’, Bk. xv. ch. iii. Sec. 5, 6, 9; ch. vii. Sec. 1, 2, etc.]
[Footnote 6: some thing that]
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