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From The Tale of Melibee, paragraph 73-76:
Prudence secretly talks to the enemies of her husband
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Tale of Melibee
Paragraph 77-84
About repentance

§ 77        Whan dame Prudence hadde herd the answeres of thise men, she bad hem goon agayn prively; and she retourned to hir lord Melibee, and tolde hym how she foond his adversaries ful repentant, knowelechynge ful lowely hir synnes and trespas, and how they were redy to suffren al peyne, requirynge and preiynge hym of mercy and pitee. § 77        When dame Prudence had heard the answers of these men, she bad them go again secretly; and she returned to her lord Melibee, and told him how she found his adversaries very repentant, acknowledging very lowly their sins and trespass, and how they were ready to suffer any punishment, requesting and praying him of mercy and pity.
§ 78        Thanne seyde Melibee: "he is wel worthy to have pardoun and foryifnesse of his synne. That excuseth nat his synne, but knowelecheth it and repenteth hym, axinge indulgence. For Senec seith, 'ther is the remissioun and foryifnesse, where as the confessioun is'; for confessioun is neighebor to innocence. And he seith in another place that 'he that hath shame of his synne and knowlecheth it, is worthy remissioun.' And therfore I assente and conferme me to have pees; but it is good that we do it nat withouten the assent and wyl of oure freendes." § 78         Then said Melibee: "He is well worthy to have pardon and forgiveness of his sin, who does not excuse his sin but acknowledges it and repents himself, asking indulgence. For Seneca says, `There is the remission and forgiveness, where the confession is,' for confession is neighbour to innocence. And he says in another place that `he who has shame of his sin and acknowledges it is worthy of having remission.' And therefore I assent and resolve myself to have peace; but it is good that we do it not without the assent and will of our friends."
§ 79        Thanne was Prudence right glad and joyeful, and seyde: "Certes, sire," quod she, "ye han wel and goodly answered; for right as by the conseil, assent, and help of youre freendes ye han been stired to venge yow and maken werre, right so withouten hire conseil shul ye nat accorden yow ne have pees with youre adversaries. For the lawe seith: 'ther nys no thyng so good by wey of kynde as a thyng to be unbounde by hym that it was ybounde.'" § 79        Then was Prudence very glad and joyful and said: "Certainly, sir," said she, "you have well and goodly answered, for just as by the advice, assent, and help of your friends you have been stirred to avenge yourself and make war, just so without their advice shall you not reconcile yourself nor have peace with your adversaries. For the law says, `There is no thing so good in the natural course of events kind as for a thing to be unbound by him who bound it.'"
§ 80        And thanne dame Prudence, withouten delay or tariynge, sente anon hire messages for hire kyn, and for hire olde freendes which that were trewe and wyse, and tolde hem by ordre in the presence of Melibee al this mateere as it is aboven expressed and declared, and preyden hem that they wolde yeven hire avys and conseil what best were to doon in this nede. And whan Melibees freendes hadde taken hire avys and deliberacioun of the forseide mateere, and hadden examyned it by greet bisynesse and greet diligence, they yave ful conseil for to have pees and reste, and that Melibee sholde receyve with good herte his adversaries to foryifnesse and mercy. § 80        And then dame Prudence without delay or tarrying sent immediately her messages for her kin and for her old friends which that were true and wise, and told them in detail in the presence of Melibee all this matter as it is above expressed and declared, and prayed them that they would give their counsel and advice what best were to do in this urgent matter. And when Melibee's friends had taken her counsel and deliberation on the foresaid matter, and had examined it by great effort and greet diligence, they gave unqualified advice to have peace and rest, and that Melibee should with good heart receive his adversaries to forgiveness and mercy.
§ 81        And whan dame Prudence hadde herd the assent of hir lord Melibee, and the conseil of his freendes accorde with hire wille and hire entencioun, she was wonderly glad in hire herte, and seyde: "ther is an old proverbe," quod she, "seith that 'the goodnesse that thou mayst do this day, do it, and abide nat ne delaye it nat til tomorwe.' And therfore I conseille that ye sende youre messages, swiche as been discrete and wise, unto youre adversaries, tellynge hem on youre bihalve that if they wole trete of pees and of accord, that they shape hem withouten delay or tariyng to comen unto us." Which thyng parfourned was in dede. And whanne thise trespassours and repentynge folk of hire folies, that is to seyn, the adversaries of Melibee, hadden herd what thise messagers seyden unto hem, they weren right glad and joyeful, and answereden ful mekely and benignely, yeldynge graces and thankynges to hir lord Melibee and to al his compaignye; and shopen hem withouten delay to go with the messagers, and obeye to the comandement of hir Lord Melibee. § 81        And when dame Prudence had heard the assent of her lord Melibee, and the advice of his friends agree with her will and her intention, she was wonderfully glad in her heart and said: "There is an old proverb," said she, "which says that `the goodness that you can do this day, do it, and abide not nor delay it not till tomorrow.' And therefore I advise that you send your messengers, such as are discrete and wise, unto your adversaries, telling them on your behalf that if they will negotiate about peace and about harmony, that they prepare themselves without delay or tarrying to come unto us." Which thing was carried out indeed. And when these trespassers and people repenting of their follies, that is to say, the adversaries of Melibee, had heard what these messengers said unto them, they were just glad and joyful, and answered very meekly and benignly, yielding thanks and gratitude to their lord Melibee and to all his company, and prepared themselves without delay to go with the messengers and obey to the command of their lord Melibee.
§ 82        And right anon they tooken hire wey to the court of Melibee, and tooken with hem somme of hire trewe freendes to maken feith for hem and for to been hire borwes. And whan they were comen to the presence of Melibee, he seyde hem thise wordes: "it standeth thus," quod Melibee, "and sooth it is, that ye, causelees and withouten skile and resoun, han doon grete injuries and wronges to me and to my wyf Prudence, and to my doghter also. For ye han entred into myn hous by violence, and have doon swich outrage that alle men knowen wel that ye have disserved the deeth. And therfore wol I knowe and wite of yow wheither ye wol putte the punyssement and the chastisynge and the vengeance of this outrage in the wyl of me and of my wyf Prudence, or ye wol nat?" § 82        And right away they took their way to the court of Melibee, and took with them some of their true friends to stand surety for them and to be their guarantors. And when they were come to the presence of Melibee, he said to them these words: "It stands thus," said Melibee, "and true it is, that you, causeless and without logical explanation and reason, have done great injuries and wrongs to me and to my wife Prudence and to my daughter also. For you have entered into my house by violence, and have done such outrage that all men know well that you have deserved the death. And therefore will I know and learn of you whether you will put the punishment and the chastising and the vengeance of this outrage in the power of me and of my wife Prudence, or will you not?"
§ 83        Thanne the wiseste of hem thre answerde for hem alle, and seyde, "sire," quod he, "we knowen wel that we been unworthy to comen unto the court of so greet a lord and so worthy as ye been. For we han so greetly mystaken us, and han offended and agilt in swich a wise agayn youre heigh lordshipe, that trewely we han disserved the deeth. But yet, for the grete goodnesse and debonairetee that al the world witnesseth of youre persone, we submytten us to the excellence and benignitee of youre gracious lordshipe, and been redy to obeie to alle youre comandementz; bisekynge yow that of youre merciable pitee ye wol considere oure grete repentaunce and lowe submyssioun, and graunten us foryevenesse of oure outrageous trespas and offense. For wel we knowe that youre liberal grace and mercy strecchen hem ferther into goodnesse than doon oure outrageouse giltes and trespas into wikkednesse, al be it that cursedly and dampnablely we han agilt agayn youre heigh lordshipe." § 83        Then the wisest of them three answered for them all and said, "Sir," said he, "we know well that we are unworthy to come unto the court of so great a lord and so worthy as you are. For we have so greatly transgressed, and have offended and done wrong in such a way against your high lordship that truly we have deserved the death. But yet, for the great goodness and gentleness that all the world witnesses of your person, we submit ourselves to the excellence and benignity of your gracious lordship, and are ready to obey all your commandments, beseeching you that of your merciful pity you will consider our great repentance and low submission and grant us forgiveness of our outrageous trespass and offense. For well we know that your liberal grace and mercy stretch themselves farther into goodness than do our outrageous guilts and trespass into wickedness, although it be so that cursedly and damnably we have sinned against your high lordship."
§ 84        Thanne Melibee took hem up fro the ground ful benignely, and receyved hire obligaciouns and hir boondes by hire othes upon hire plegges and borwes, and assigned hem a certeyn day to retourne unto his court, for to accepte and receyve the sentence and juggement that Melibee wolde comande to be doon on hem by the causes aforeseyd. Whiche thynges ordeyned, every man retourned to his hous. § 84        Then Melibee took them up from the ground very benignly, and received their pledges and their bonds by their oaths upon their pledges and guarantors, and assigned them a certain day to return unto his court to accept and receive the sentence and judgment that Melibee would command to be done on them by the causes aforesaid. Which things arranged, every man returned to his house.

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From The Tale of Melibee, paragraph 85-88:
Forgiveness and a happy end