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From The Tale of Melibee, paragraph 51-57:
To avenge or not to avenge, that's the question
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Tale of Melibee
Paragraph 58-59
Melibeus says he is richer and more powerful than his enemies

§ 58        "Certes," quod Melibee, "I graunte yow that whan a man is inpacient and wrooth, of that that toucheth hym noght and that aperteneth nat unto hym, though it harme hym, it is no wonder. For the lawe seith that 'he is coupable that entremetteth hym or medleth with swych thyng as aperteneth nat unto hym.' And Salomon seith that 'he that entremetteth hym of the noyse or strif of another man is lyk to hym that taketh an hound by the eris.' For right as he that taketh a straunge hound by the eris is outherwhile biten with the hound, right in the same wise is it resoun that he have harm that by his inpacience medleth hym of the noyse of another man, wheras it aperteneth nat unto hym. But ye knowen wel that this dede, that is to seyn, my grief and my disese, toucheth me right ny. And therfore, though I be wrooth and inpacient, it is no merveille. And, savynge youre grace, I kan nat seen that it myghte greetly harme me though I tooke vengeaunce. For I am richer and moore myghty than myne enemys been; and wel knowen ye that by moneye and by havynge grete possessions been alle the thynges of this world governed. And Salomon seith that 'alle thynges abeyen to moneye.' § 58        "Certainly," said Melibee, "I grant you that when a man is impatient and angry with that which touches him not and which pertains not unto him, though it harm him, it is no wonder. For the law says that `he is guilty that intrudes himself or meddles with such thing as pertains not unto him.' And Solomon says that `he that meddles with the quarrels or strife of another man is like to him that takes an hound by the ears.' For just as he that takes a strange hound by the ears is at another time bitten by the hound, in just the same way it is reasonable that he have harm who by his impatience meddles himself with the quarrels of another man, whereas it pertains not unto him. But you know well that this deed, that is to say, my grief and my suffering, touches me very closely. And therefore, though I am angry and impatient, it is no marvel. And, with all due respect to you, I can not see that it might greatly harm me though I took vengeance. For I am richer and more mighty than my enemies are; and you well know that by money and by having great possessions are all the things of this world governed. And Solomon says that `all things obey to money.'"
§ 59        Whan Prudence hadde herd hir housbonde avanten hym of his richesse and of his moneye, dispreisynge the power of his adversaries, she spak, and seyde in this wise: "Certes, deere sire, I graunte yow that ye been riche and myghty, and that the richesses been goode to hem that han wel ygeten hem and wel konne usen hem. For right as the body of a man may nat lyven withoute the soule, namoore may it lyve withouten temporeel goodes. And by richesses may a man gete hym grete freendes. And therfore seith Pamphilles: 'if a net-herdes doghter,' seith he, 'be riche, she may chesen of a thousand men which she wol take to hir housbonde; for, of a thousand men, oon wol nat forsaken hire ne refusen hire. And this Pamphilles seith also: 'if thow be right happy - that is to seyn, if thou be right riche - thou shalt fynde a greet nombre of felawes and freendes. And if thy fortune change that thou wexe povre, farewel freendshipe and felaweshipe; for thou shalt be alloone withouten any compaignye, but if it be the compaignye of povre folk.' And yet seith this Pamphilles moreover that 'they that been thralle and bonde of lynage shullen been maad worthy and noble by the richesses.' And right so as by richesses ther comen manye goodes, right so by poverte come ther manye harmes and yveles. For greet poverte constreyneth a man to do manye yveles. And therfore clepeth Cassidore poverte the mooder of ruyne, that is to seyn, the mooder of overthrowynge or fallynge doun. And therfore seith Piers Alfonce: 'oon of the gretteste adversitees of this world is whan a free man by kynde or of burthe is constreyned by poverte to eten the almesse of his enemy,' and the same seith innocent in oon of his bookes. He seith that 'sorweful and myshappy is the condicioun of a povre beggere; for if he axe nat his mete, he dyeth for hunger; and if he axe, he dyeth for shame; and algates necessitee constreyneth hym to axe.' And seith Salomon that 'bet it is to dye than for to have swich poverte. And as the same Salomon seith, 'bettre it is to dye of bitter deeth than for to lyven in swich wise.' By thise resons that I have seid unto yow, and by manye othere resons that I koude seye, I graunte yow that richesses been goode to hem that geten hem wel, and to hem that wel usen tho richesses. And therfore wol I shewe yow hou ye shul have yow and how ye shul bere yow in gaderynge of richesses, and in what manere ye shul usen hem. § 59        When Prudence had heard her husband boast of his riches and of his money, belittling the power of his adversaries, she spoke and said in this manner: "Certainly, dear sir, I grant you that you are rich and mighty and that riches are good to those that have well gotten them and well know how to use them. For just as the body of a man can not live without the soul, no more than it can live without temporal goods. And by riches a man get can himself great friends. And therefore says Pamphilles: `If a cowherd's daughter,' says he, `is rich, she may choose of a thousand men which she will take to her husband, for, of a thousand men, not one will forsake her nor refuse her.' And this Pamphilles says also, `If you be very happy, that is to say, if you be very rich, you shall find a great number of fellows and friends. And if your fortune change that you were poor, farewell friendship and fellowship, for you shall be alone without any company, except if it be the company of poor people.' And yet says this Pamphilles moreover that `they that are enslaved and in bondage by birth shall be made worthy and noble by riches.' And just as by riches there come many goods, just so by poverty come there many harms and evils, for great poverty constrains a man to do many evils. And therefore Cassiodorus calls poverty the mother of ruin; that is to say, the mother of overthrowing or falling down. And therefore says Petrus Alphonsus, `One of the greatest adversities of this world is when a man free by nature or by birth is constrained by poverty to eat the alms of his enemy,' and the same says Innocent in one of his books. He says that `sorrowful and unfortunate is the condition of a poor beggar; for if he does not beg for his food, he dies for hunger; and if be begs, he dies for shame, and yet necessity constrains him to beg.' And says Solomon that `better it is to die than to have such poverty.' And as the same Solomon says, `Better it is to die of bitter death than to live in such a way.' By these reasons that I have said unto you and by many other reasons that I could say, I grant you that riches are good to them that get them well and to them that well use those riches. And therefore will I show you how you should behave, and how you should bear yourself in gathering of riches, and in what manner you shall use them.

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From The Tale of Melibee, paragraph 60-62:
Prudence explains that wealth and richness should be used wisely