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Quotations about Jealousy & Envy



Jealousy.— Tormenting yourself for fear you should be tormented by another. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824


Jealousy is nourished by doubt; and either becomes madness, or ceases as soon as we arrive at certainty. ~François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680), translated by Le Chevalier de Chatelain, 1875


In jealousy there is less of love than of self-love. ~François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680), translated by Le Chevalier de Chatelain, 1875


May we not be envious, since there is no need of envy. ~Charles F. Raymond, "A Petition," Just Be Glad, 1907


...envy is a waste of time. ~Berkley's Super Horoscope: Pisces, 2000


...an enemy's glory is the rival's hell. The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied wins applause. The immortality of his fame is the measure of the other's torture... ~Baltasar Gracián (1601–1658), The Art of Worldly Wisdom, translated from the Spanish by Joseph Jacobs, 1892


It was not love that is blind, but jealousy. ~Lawrence Durrell, Justine, 1957


It is never wise to seek or wish for another's misfortune. If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang. ~Charley Reese, King Features, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1991


He who is not jealous is not in love. ~St. Augustine  ["Qui non zelat non amat." —tg]


The Jealous are Troublesome to others, but a Torment to themselves. ~William Penn (1644–1718)


Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope. ~Josh Billings


Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own. ~Author unknown, c.1974


Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies… ~Elizabeth D. C. Bowen, The House in Paris, 1935


Pure love allows no room for jealousy. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


Envy is thin because it bites but never eats. ~Spanish proverb


Envy is admiration in despair. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


ENVY, n.  Emulation adapted to the meanest capacity. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Word Book, 1906


JEALOUS, adj.  Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can only be lost if not worth keeping. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Word Book, 1906


It must be remembered, however, that jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening. ~Maya Angelou, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, 1993


Don't envy; pity more. ~Charles F. Raymond, "This Banner Year," Just Be Glad, 1907


It was then first the poison of envy infected the pleasures of youth! — The magic of love overcame the endearments of friendship — every eye glistened with rapture, every bosom throbbed wild with delight, but jealousy had entered the circle, and concord and peace were no more! ~Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805), Fiesco, 1783, translated by George Charles D'Aguilar (1784–1855)


Jealousy exaggerates fears. ~Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, Fiesco, 1783  [A little altered. Other translations: "These are the exaggerated fears of jealousy" (D'Aguilar). "Jealousy is the great exaggerator" (unknown). "O jealousy! thou magnifier of trifles" (Beautiful Thoughts from German and Spanish Authors, Craufurd Tait Ramage, 1868). —tg]


Jealousy and love are sisters. ~Russian proverb


Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart. ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860


Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love... ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860


Is it an inexplicable thing that a girl should enjoy her lover's society the more for the presence of a third person, and be without the slightest spasm of jealousy, that the third person had the conversation habitually directed to her? Not when that girl is as tranquil-hearted as Lucy, thoroughly possessed with a belief that she knows the state of her companion's affections, and not prone to the feelings which shake such a belief in the absence of positive evidence against it. ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860


His name is Envy, and not one of his characteristics need description; they are as well known as those of the domestic cat. But who shall explain the perpetuity of envy? A vice that yields nothing! ~Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), translated by Myndart Verelst (Edgar Saltus), 1885


Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy. ~François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680), translated by J. W. Willis Bund and J. Hain Friswell, 1871


There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"


Envy lurks at the bottom of the human heart like a viper in its hole. ~Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), translated by J. De Finod, 1880


Never love unless you can
Bear with all the faults of man:
Men sometimes will jealous be,
Though but little cause they see...
~Thomas Campion (1567–1620)


Jealousy injures us with the dagger of self-doubt. ~Terri Guillemets


A woman never forgives the success of the man whom she refused to marry. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Every other sin hath some pleasure annexed to it, or will admit of an excuse: envy alone wants both. ~Democritus Junior (Robert Burton, 1577–1640), The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1651 edition


Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong...
~William Shakespeare, Othello, c.1604  [III, 3, Iago]


...it slays love quicker than any other one thing... Indeed, the jealous bring down the curse they fear upon their own heads. By their suspicions the jealous materialize the very thing they most dread... ~Dorothy Dix


Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead. ~Mark Twain


Lessons from jealousy and anger:  sometimes the poison-keeper gets poisoned. ~Terri Guillemets


But envy is so base and detestable, so vile in its original, and so pernicious in its effects, that the predominance of almost any other quality is to be preferred. It is one of those lawless enemies of society, against which poisoned arrows may honestly be used. Let it therefore be constantly remembered, that whoever envies another, confesses his superiority, and let those be reformed by their pride who have lost their virtue. ~Samuel Johnson, 1751


O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on...
~William Shakespeare, Othello, c.1604  [III, 3, Iago]


Jealousy is vengeful — not to its target but to ourselves. ~Terri Guillemets


A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity. ~Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988)


A show of envy is an insult to oneself.
Another's happiness will expiate
for any misfortune you might suffer.
~Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1932–2017), "People Were Laughing Behind a Wall," 1963


To be jealous is to rub salt into your own wounds. ~Terri Guillemets


Envy is the most universal passion. We only pride ourselves on the qualities we possess or think we possess; but we envy the pretensions we have, and those which we have not, and do not even wish for. We envy the greatest qualities and every trifling advantage. We envy the most ridiculous appearance or affectation of superiority. We envy folly and conceit; nay, we go so far as to envy whatever confers distinction or notoriety, even vice and infamy. ~William Hazlitt


Envy is a littleness of soul, which cannot see behind a certain point, and if it does not occupy the whole space, feels itself excluded. ~William Hazlitt


Don't let your jealousy harden into hate. ~Terri Guillemets


...to conquer the demon of jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretence of keeping it alive. ~Havelock Ellis, "Husbands and Wives," Little Essays of Love and Virtue, 1922


If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill. ~Danish proverb, quoted by Henry G. Bohn, 1857


Envy slays itself by its own arrows. ~Author unknown, The Palatine Anthology


Jealousy is a crutch. ~Terri Guillemets


...oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not..
~William Shakespeare, Othello, c.1604  [III, 3, Iago]





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