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No. 171 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

Saturday, Sept. 15, 1711.

‘Credula res amor est …’

Ovid. Met.

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 [; [1]]

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.