You will not, perhaps, fall into so open a snare, for you have sufficient tact and quickness of perception to know that, under such circumstances, you must, on your own account, bury in your bosom those emotions of pain which I much fear you will generally feel. It is not, however, the outward expression of such emotions, but their inward experience, which is the real question we are considering, both as regards your present happiness and your eternal interest. Ask yourself whether it is a pleasurable sensation, or the contrary, when those you love (I am still putting a strong case) are admired and appreciated, ire held up as examples of excellence? If you love truly, if you are free from envy, such praise will be far sweeter to your ears than any bestowed on yourself could ever be. Indeed, it might be considered a sufficient punishment for this vice, to be deprived of the deep and virtuous sensation of delight experienced by the loving heart when admiration is warmly expressed for the objects of their affection.
There has been a time when I should have scornfully rejected the supposition that such a failing as envy could exist in companionship with aught that was loveable or amiable. More observation of character has, however, given me the unpleasant conviction that it occasionally may be found in the close neighbourhood of contrasting excellences. Alas! instead of being concealed or gradually overgrown by them, it, on the contrary, spreads its deadly blight over any noble features that may have originally existed in the character. Nothing but the severest discipline, external and internal, can arrest this, its natural course.
When you were younger, the feelings which I now warn you against were called jealousy, and even now some indulgent friends may continue to give them this false name. Do not you suffer the dangerous delusion! Have the courage to place your feelings in all their natural deformity before you, and this sight will give you energy to pursue any regimen, however severe, that may be required to subdue them.