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Mario Donizetti
"Deadly sins - Theatrical Dialogue"
by Mario Donizetti 

SLOTH

I Voice (Scholar) - Perhaps sloth could moderate our ardour and save us from wrath but sloth is the worst of sins and, contrary to the other sins, lives in the absence of sins. It lives on constant and ever-present death. And so how could a sin like this moderate another when it is so passive?

If one could moderate one sin with another sin, the latter would not be a sin.

II Voice (Satyr) - Moderation can make even the sinful virtuous. Who, on the other hand, is visceral in sin is also visceral in judgement. He always overdoes it. Can you imagine a visceral slothful person? What judgement will he pass on the fatigue of others! And this puzzles me : what judgement will he give to those who have sins? The slothful will never be able to grasp how someone can possibly be lustful or mean or wrathful or envious, greedy or proud.

No sin touches him since a slothful person is beneath any sin. For the slothful person nothing else exists, he lives for himself and does not cause any harm to himself but only to others.

Not only does sloth not know the reason for any other sin but also for any virtue. So without knowledge the slothful person is also ignorant by nature.

I Voice - Sloth is the worst of sins as, by nature, it is without nature: it is so despicable as to be nothing and the mother of nothing.

II Voice - When sloth takes hold, it lets everything go.

Each slothful look lasts the same length of time. The slothful person looks at his friends as he looks at his enemies, in exactly the same way. Love and hate are habits, not sentiments.

If you do not make him a meal he does not eat, if you make him one he does not eat.

If you meet him for half an hour he is yours, if you do not meet him for half an hour he is of those who meet him for half an hour.

He is neither thief nor liar, but lives on theft and untruths. How he manages this trick I will tell you now. He does not speak: with modesty he whispers what might be true. And so he is believed and showing his poverty with dignity he brings forth incredible help from others and so does not steal openly. You will say that he is very sly. Well, yes and no. Because his false truths are immediately uncovered and little does he care as he had indeed said what could have been true, but above all having freely told the lie he shows that he wanted to tell the truth only without checking first that that particular truth might be a lie.

The slothful person has no interests but makes all others give to him disinterestedly to imitate him nobly.

He gives nothing and is a sponge soaking everything up but to no avail. Without trouble he learns a moral lesson and takes it in without fatigue. Then he sells it as his own, but this does not bring him praise. Rather, everyone is surprised that something other than that only whispered hiss should be uttered from his mouth. He speaks clearly for once when he is insulting. But he does it in a knowing tone, disinterestedly, for the good of the person insulted. As long as it lasts, it lasts, then he gets slapped and admits that he deserved it, renewing in the others the respect he had lost.

And so on, as time is endless and there is no day of reckoning.

I Voice - From this point of view the slothful person has one merit: that of having understood that everything passes and, in relation to eternity, by passing it is as if what has passed never existed. Existence is finite time, sloth infinite, and infinite is known: it is everything, whereas existence is a dream, perhaps it is nothing.

II Voice - Don't tell Hegelian lies: the slothful person sleeps and does not dream. When he tires of sleeping he comes to life and in reawakening he desires not to sleep - he wants to become tired.

But since the desire to become tired takes away sloth, this desire vanishes immediately and he desires not to become tired, at which point he becomes tired due to the fatigue of having wanted not to become tired and then he needs sleep. But the idea of rest tires him and he finds himself back right where he started. He starts off again only to find himself endlessly back at the beginning.

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