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equally protests and plants its engines against both; neither allowing sovereign rulers (who yet are men, and sometimes not without the infirmities of men) meet helps and ministers to govern by, nor so much as an illustrious simpleton sometimes to refresh themselves with; which is very hard and severe usage certainly, especially since it has been always looked upon as one of the most allowed, uncontested royalties of princes, to make their will the sole rule and reason of their kindness, to dispense their benefactions as they please, and, in a word, to be as free and arbitrary as fortune herself, by bestowing their favours upon such as she usually bestows hers; not the wisest always in the world.
3. A third ground or motive of envy is from the wealth, riches, or plenties of another. No man willingly would be poor, and no envious person would have another rich; every one who is remarkably so being commonly looked upon but as a kind of injury to all the poor ones about him ; not that he does or ever did them any injury, but that by being rich, he is reckoned one himself. For whosoever has a great deal to lay up, will be always an intolerable grievance to him who has nothing to spend; and to look upon a full bag, and to have nothing to do with it, is no small mortification to such a one. The learned Verulam observes, that diseases arising from emptiness are generally the most dangerous, and most hardly cured; and amongst the diseases of the mind, envy, grounded upon domestic penury, is certainly of the same nature; especially where a neighbouring opulence shews what the remedy is, but not how it may be had; like the thirst of Tantalus, where the thing thirsted for was near enough, and yet out of reach too. And in such a case envy will be sure to work and boil up to a more than ordinary height, while the envious person frets, and raves, and swells at the plenties and affluence of his abounding neighbour, and (as I may so express it) is even ready to burst with another's fulness.
What made the Devil (the grand exemplar of envy) so much malign Job, but the bounties of Providence to him in a large estate, great revenues, and a flourishing family; and all of them watched over and guarded by the wakeful eye and the powerful hand of him who gave them ? And no doubt the Sabeans and Chaldeans, with the rest of his good neighbours, (who did such terrible execution upon all that belonged to him,) were acted and led on by the same spirit. They could not brook the splendour and greatness of so potent and (as they thought) overgrown a neighbour. He was an eyesore to them upon the throne, but (for all his noisome ulcers) none at all when they saw him upon the dunghill.
What made that wretch Ziba accuse his lord and master to David, (a judge after Ziba's own heart?) The accusation indeed charged treason upon Mephibosheth; but whatsoever the treason was, it was only
2 his land which was the traitor: for when his envious accuser had once swallowed that, the accusation was at an end presently, and poor Mephibosheth quickly became innocent Mephibosheth. In fine, if the envious
poor and beggarly, he would have all about him as arrant beggars as himself; but if rich, he would have all beggars but himself; like Gideon's fleece, filled with the dew of heaven, and every thing else dry about it; so that wheresoever you see any one of a plentiful fortune
and large possessions, you are not at all to wonder, if you also see such an one maligned, envied, and pursued with all imaginable spite and rancour by some pitiful malecontent or other, who perhaps could never call so much land his own as might serve to bury him when dead, and much less suffice to maintain him while alive. And it is too well known to all the world, not to be justly detested by it, that there is a certain profession of men who shall never cease to be maligned and persecuted, while there is any thing of revenue either to support the dignity of their function, or procure a common respect to their persons ; but they shall be followed with all the odious, false, and base imputations of pride, covetousness, and luxury, still rattling about their ears, and whatsoever else the envy of a gaging avarice and a domineering insolence can belch out against them. But after all, I would gladly learn wherein this monstrous pride and covetousness of the church shews itself. Why, in this, that the ministers of it are not yet clothed in rags or sackcloth; that the church itself is neither for naked gospels & nor naked evangelists; and that her poor clergy can just (or very hardly) find enough to pay taxes and other public duties, and yet make a shift to keep themselves from quite starving or begging afterwards. This, this is the pride and covetousness of our clergy. And then, lastly, for their luxury, that will be found (if at all) in their not being willing to lick the crumbs at the end of their rich neighbour's table, and much less under it; that they scorn to sneak here and there
a See a vile book so entitled, though (to the shame of the auand reflecting upon the clergy, thor) written by a clergyman.
for a dinner, or to beg their daily bread of any one but of God himself.
This, I say, is the real and true account of all these loud and impudent clamours made by envy and atheism, popery and puritanism, against the English clergy. And the truth is, that as long as that small remainder of land belonging to the church shall continue yet untorn from her, and as long as there shall be those about her (as there will ever be very many) who will never think that they themselves have enough, the church and clergy of England shall always be inveighed against and struck at, as having too much.
But fourthly, the fourth and last grand motive and ground of envy that I shall mention is, a man's having a fair reputation and name in the world; a thing upon which envy has always a cross and malign aspect : though surely nothing in nature can be imagined less liable to any rational exception, than for a man of merit to be praised and commended, that is, to have a few good words sprinkled upon him without offence to any one; and that fame, which is nothing but air and voice, should not be able to raise such storms in any breast whatsoever. But experience has declared it much otherwise, and that some men can hear the applauses of none but themselves, but with the utmost indignation and impatience; nay, so boundless and unreasonable are they, that they would even engross the vogue of the whole world, and confine the very popular breath, and unlimited, boundless freedom of men's tongues to their own persons. Such an one perhaps is hated by his neighbour to the very death. And what, I pray, may be his fault? Why, he is generally well spoken of, the world gives him the character of a virtuous,
a just, or a discreet person, and this the envious wretch thinks casts a dark shadow upon himself, who never reckons himself so fine, as when he plumes and decks himself with the spoils of his brother's reputation, and can refresh his base mind in all companies with malicious, reproachful stories of him; often repeating and improving what the malice of report has brought to him to be commented and enlarged upon by his own more malicious invention, Nay, that very worth and virtue which deservedly draws after it the highest panegyrics from some, often proves matter of the bitterest satires from others; a very odd and strange thing, I confess; but envy will easily unriddle the strangeness, and take off the wonder. The due consideration of all which has founded the truth of a saying much more significant, I own, than believed, and more believed than practised, namely, that he of all men lives the safest who lies the closest; and that none are so much out of the reach of the world, as those who are most out of the view of it too. For what is every step into the public, but a further advance into danger ? an engaging in fresh troubles and contentions, and a drawing after one those eyes, which, like the basilisk, kill whatsoever they look upon, if but capable of worth enough to be looked to death by them. It is not safe for any one to be much commended, to be borne upon the wings of fame, and ride in triumph upon the tongues of men ; for the tongues of some do but provoke the teeth of more; and men, we know, do much more heartily detract than they use to commend. And thus I have shewn four of the chief motives of envy; for I never pretended to recount or rip them up all : but