„O! what a Godlike Power is that of doing Good! — I envy the Rich and the Great for nothing else!“

—  Samuel Richardson, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, Pamela (1740), Page 312
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Samuel Richardson1
1689 - 1761
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Jodie Foster photo

„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/

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„Envy destroys good deeds“

—  Ali al-Hadi imam 829 - 868
Religious Wisdom, Misnad al-Imām al-Hādī, p. 302.

George Henry Lewes photo

„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.

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„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–]

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„Reverence for greatness dies out, and is succeeded by base envy of greatness.“

—  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

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„I envy people who drink — at least they know what to blame everything on.“

—  Oscar Levant American comedian, composer, pianist and actor 1906 - 1972
As quoted in The Portable Curmudgeon (1992) by Jon Winokur, p. 88.

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