— Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
Path of Life (1909), p. 89
„Attacking the rich is not envy. It is self defense. The hoarding of wealth is the cause of poverty. The rich aren’t just indifferent to poverty; they create it and maintain it.“
— Jodie Foster American actor, film director and producer 1962
Misattributed, Incorrectly attributed to Foster, according to snopes.com https://www.snopes.com/attacking-the-rich/
„It is impossible to deny that dishonest men often grow rich and famous, becoming powerful in their parish or in parliament. Their portraits simper from shop windows; and they live and die respected. This success is theirs; yet it is not the success which a noble soul will envy.“
— George Henry Lewes British philosopher 1817 - 1878
The Principles of Success in Literature (1865), Context: It is impossible to deny that dishonest men often grow rich and famous, becoming powerful in their parish or in parliament. Their portraits simper from shop windows; and they live and die respected. This success is theirs; yet it is not the success which a noble soul will envy. Apart from the risk of discovery and infamy, there is the certainty of a conscience ill at ease, or if at ease, so blunted in its sensibilities, so given over to lower lusts, that a healthy instinct recoils from such a state. Observe, moreover, that in Literature the possible rewards of dishonesty are small, and the probability of detection great. In Life a dishonest man is chiefly moved by desires towards some tangible result of money or power; if he get these he has got all. The man of letters has a higher aim: the very object of his toil is to secure the sympathy and respect of men; and the rewards of his toil may be paid in money, fame, or consciousness of earnest effort. The first of these may sometimes be gained without Sincerity. Fame may also, for a time, be erected on an unstable ground, though it will inevitably be destroyed again. But the last and not least reward is to be gained by every one without fear of failure, without risk of change. Sincere work is good work, be it never so humble; and sincere work is not only an indestructible delight to the worker by its very genuineness, but is immortal in the best sense, for it lives for ever in its influence. There is no good Dictionary, not even a good Index, that is not in this sense priceless, for it has honestly furthered the work of the world, saving labour to others, setting an example to successors.
„Jealousy has no power over me,
Nor do I envy a god his work,
And I do not burn to rule.
Such things have no
Fascination for my eyes.“
— Archilochus Ancient Greek lyric poet -680 - -645 a.C.
Fragments, Context: These golden matters Of Gyges and his treasuries Are no concern of mine. Jealousy has no power over me, Nor do I envy a god his work, And I do not burn to rule. Such things have no Fascination for my eyes. Variant: The affairs of gold-laden Gyges do not interest me zealousy of the gods has never seized me nor anger at their deeds. But I have no love for great tyranny for its deeds are very far from my eyes.
„Wont you draw back the curtain within me,
O Lord Venkataramana of Tirupati, Open up this screen of envy.“
— Tyagaraja Carnatic musician and composer 1767 - 1847
[Jackson, William Joseph, Tyāgarāja and the Renewal of Tradition: Translations and Reflections, http://books.google.com/books?id=CZBnppBQgOsC&pg=PA69, 1 January 1994, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 978-81-208-1146-1, 169–]
— Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871), Context: Reverence for greatness dies out, and is succeeded by base envy of greatness. Every man is in the way of many, either in the path to popularity or wealth. There is a general feeling of satisfaction when a great statesman is displaced, or a general, who has been for his brief hour the popular idol, is unfortunate and sinks from his high estate. It becomes a misfortune, if not a crime, to be above the popular level. We should naturally suppose that a nation in distress would take counsel with the wisest of its sons. But, on the contrary, great men seem never so scarce as when they are most needed, and small men never so bold to insist on infesting place, as when mediocrity and incapable pretence and sophomoric greenness, and showy and sprightly incompetency are most dangerous. Ch. III : The Master, p. 67
„I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.“
— Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919
1910s, Address in Des Moines, Iowa (4 November 1910)
— Oscar Levant American comedian, composer, pianist and actor 1906 - 1972
As quoted in The Portable Curmudgeon (1992) by Jon Winokur, p. 88.
„Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.“
— Bill Clinton 42nd President of the United States 1946
1990s, First inaugural address (January 20, 1993), Washington, D.C.
— Margaret Thatcher British stateswoman and politician 1925 - 2013
The Path To Power (1995)
„Existential envy which is directed against the other person’s very nature, is the strongest source of ressentiment. It is as if it whispers continually: “I can forgive everything, but not that you are— that you are what you are—that I am not what you are—indeed that I am not you.” This form of envy strips the opponent of his very existence, for this existence as such is felt to be a “pressure,” a “reproach,” and an unbearable humiliation. In the lives of great men there are always critical periods of instability, in which they alternately envy and try to love those whose merits they cannot but esteem. Only gradually, one of these attitudes will predominate. Here lies the meaning of Goethe’s reflection that “against another’s great merits, there is no remedy but love.”“
— Max Scheler German philosopher 1874 - 1928
Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912), L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 52-53
„And I envied her that she had chosen her work herself and was doing what she wanted to do. I don't suppose I had any idea what I 'wanted' and so I was chosen, not choosing. There's glory and honor in being chosen. But not much room for free will.“
— Elizabeth Wein, book Code Name Verity