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|§ 73 And whan they herden the goodliche wordes of dame Prudence, they weren so supprised and ravysshed, and hadden so greet joye of hire that wonder was to telle. "A, lady," quod they, "ye han shewed unto us the blessynge of swetnesse, after the sawe of David the prophete; for the reconsilynge which we been nat worthy to have in no manere, but we oghte requeren it with greet contricioun and humylitee, ye of youre grete goodnesse have presented unto us. Now se we wel that the science and the konnynge of Salomon is ful trewe. For he seith that 'sweete wordes multiplien and encreescen freendes, and maken shrewes to be debonaire and meeke.'||§ 73 And when they heard the good words of dame Prudence, they were so taken and ravished and had such great joy of her that it was a wonder to tell. "A, lady," said they, "you have showed unto us the blessing of sweetness, according to the saying of David the prophet for the reconciliation which we are not worthy to have in any manner, but we ought to request it with great contrition and humility, that you of your great goodness have presented unto us. Now see we well that the knowledge and the skill of Solomon is very true. For he says that `sweet words multiply and increase friends and make scoundrels to be gentle and meek.'|
|§ 74 "Certes," quod they, "we putten oure dede and al oure matere and cause al hooly in youre goode wyl and been redy to obeye to the speche and comandement of my lord Melibee. And therfore, deere and benygne lady, we preien yow and biseke yow as mekely as we konne and mowen, that it lyke unto youre grete goodnesse to fulfillen in dede youre goodliche wordes. For we consideren and knowelichen that we han offended and greved my lord Melibee out of mesure, so ferforth that we be nat of power to maken his amendes. And therfore we oblige and bynden us and oure freendes for to doon al his wyl and his comandementz. But peraventure he hath swich hevynesse and swich wratthe to us ward, by cause of oure offense, that he wole enjoyne us swich a peyne as we mowe nat bere ne susteene. And therfore, noble lady, we biseke to youre wommanly pitee to taken swich avysement in this nede that we, ne oure freendes, be nat desherited ne destroyed thurgh oure folye."||§ 74 "Certainly," said they, "we put our actions and all our matters and cause all wholly in your good will and are ready to obey to the speech and commandment of my lord And therefore, dear and benign lady, we pray you and beseech you as meekly as we know how and are able that it be pleasing unto your great goodness to fulfill in deed your goodly words, for we consider and acknowledge that we have offended and grieved my lord Melibee out of measure, so far that we are not of power to make his amends. And therefore we pledge and bind us and our friends to do all his will and his commandments. But perhaps he has such heaviness and such anger towards us because of our offense that he will impose on us such a punishment as we can not bear nor sustain. And therefore, noble lady, we beseech to your womanly pity to take such thought in this urgent matter that we nor our friends are not dispossessed nor destroyed through our folly."|
|§ 75 "Certes," quod Prudence, "it is an hard thyng and right perilous that a man putte hym al outrely in the arbitracioun and juggement, and in the myght and power of his enemys. For Salomon seith, 'leeveth me, and yeveth credence to that I shal seyn: I seye,' quod he, 'ye peple, folk and governours of hooly chirche, to thy sone, to thy wyf, to thy freend, ne to thy broother, ne yeve thou nevere myght ne maistrie of thy body whil thou lyvest.' Now sithen he deffendeth that man sholde nat yeven to his broother ne to his freend the myght of his body, by a strenger resoun he deffendeth and forbedeth a man to yeven hymself to his enemy. And nathelees I conseille you that ye mystruste nat my lord, for I woot wel and knowe verraily that he is debonaire and meeke, large, curteys, and nothyng desirous ne coveitous of good ne richesse. For ther nys nothyng in this world that he desireth, save oonly worshipe and honour. Forthermoore I knowe wel and am right seur that he shal nothyng doon in this nede withouten my conseil; and I shal so werken in this cause that, by the grace of oure lord god, ye shul been reconsiled unto us."||§ 75 "Certainly," said Prudence, "it is a hard thing and very dangerous that a man put himself entirely in the power of decision and judgment, and in the might and power of his enemies. For Solomon says, `Believe me, and give credence to what I shall say: I say,' said he, `you people, people and governors of holy church, to your son, to your wife, to your friend, nor to your brother give you never power (over) nor mastery of thy body while thou livest.' Now since he forbids that a man should give to his brother nor to his friend the control of his body, by a stronger reason he prohibits and forbids a man to give himself to his enemy. And nevertheless I advise you that you mistrust not my lord, for I know well and know truly that he is gentle and humble, generous, courteous, and in no way desirous nor covetous of goods nor riches. For there is nothing in this world that he desires, except only worship and honour. Furthermore I know well and am very sure that he shall do nothing in this urgent matter without my advice, and I shall so work in this cause that by the grace of our Lord God you shall be reconciled unto us."|
|§ 76 Thanne seyden they with o voys, "worshipful lady, we putten us and oure goodes al fully in youre wil and disposicioun, and been redy to comen, what day that it like unto youre noblesse to lymyte us or assigne us, for to maken oure obligacioun and boond as strong as it liketh unto youre goodnesse, that we mowe fulfille the wille of yow and of my lord Melibee."||§ 76 Then said they with one voice, "Worshipful lady, we put us and our goods all fully in your will and power, and are ready to come, what day that it pleases unto your noblesse to limit us or assign us, to make our pledge and bond as strong as it pleases unto your goodness, that we may fulfill the will of you and of my lord Melibee."|
From The Tale of Melibee, paragraph 77-84: