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

ENVY

I Voice (Scholar) - In the end it is paid, since if you had to pay in advance, none of us would be alive. Every sin is paid for in the end.

And that is why sins are appealing - because they are not paid for when they are consumed. Seeing others enjoying themselves without paying a price, we give birth to pride and make it grow.

II Voice (Satyr) - The Master gives us credit and puts off payment as he hopes in conversion which, in all truth, always arrives in time even if at the last minute, but there and then when we receive with generosity we are, because of that, moved by envy. The more generous the credit terms are the more humiliated we feel about the debt. Then, if the debt is made in money and the master is someone like you: envy breeds hate.

The person who helps, uses his power and shows the weakness of the person helped. So the person receiving does not give anything, except rancour.

I Voice - Refusing help is less offensive than giving out a lot of charity. This satisfies the immediate need but wipes out personality for ever.

II Voice - And this is how envy is nourished, but the lack of charity nourishes envy, too.

I Voice - The process is a circle: from envy to envy due to solitary poverty. But sometimes the circle is broken. Envy, which by nature is passive, becomes active in emulation.

II Voice - Then envy is beaten by its own nature and changes face becoming positive, but the envious person almost never emulates, but slanders and hides the value of the person envied, playing down his importance.

You can see the two sides of envy in an audience. If you see someone unshaven, lean and pale; with a shifty look; hands in pockets; ascetic air; you can be sure; that person is passively envious.

You see: the sturdy person, but always with a green pallor to his skin: he wallows in obsequiousness, he brags about those who are worthy, especially if they are not in his line of business.

He helps the young to grow up so that they will not become his competitors in the future.

A true philanthropist, as long as a plaque flattering him while he is still living is legally erected.

At the end of the performance the former shakes his head from left to right, the latter up and down. Both with deep self-esteem.

All the others clap their hands, but they stamp their feet because they are in a hurry to get away from their glory as actors who, out of courtesy, thank everybody, both those active and passive touched by the misfortune of envy.

At the restaurant after the theatre, the former swallows slowly, the latter rapidly but for both the effect is continual hunger. The former is mean. The latter liberal. One hides the other shows off. One is silent, the other chatters.

Both think that their poor health is due to their integrity. But if he could, the envious person would take the chewed mouthful from the mouth of others.

The thin envious person envies the fat man and the fat man the thin man.

The envious person would even like the sexual satisfaction of others for himself. But envying the pleasure of his spouse and in wanting it for himself alone alienates him from his spouse and so the pleasure lost by his spouse is also lost to him.

So love does violence because of envy.

The envious person would like to see everyone without any clothes on in the streets, but he would envy them the just same for their courage in going around nude and would believe his despicable feeling to be disinterested appreciation of the moral strength of others.

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