Whan Prudence hadde herd hir housbonde avanten him of his richesse and of his moneye, dispreisinge the power of hise adversaries, she spak, and seyde in this wyse: 'certes, dere sir, I graunte yow that ye
been rich and mighty, and that the richesses been goode to hem that han wel y-geten hem and wel conne usen hem. For right as the body of a man may nat liven with-oute the soule, namore may it live with-outen temporel goodes. And by richesses may a man gete him 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 hir ne refusen hir." And this Pamphilles seith also: "if thou be right happy, that is to seyn, if thou be right riche, thou shalt find a greet nombre of felawes and freendes. And if thy fortune change that thou wexe povre, farewel freendshipe and felaweshipe; for thou shalt be allone with-outen any companye, but-if it be the companye of povre folk." And yet seith this Pamphilles moreover: that "they that been thralle and bonde of linage 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 moder of ruine," that is to seyn, the moder of overthrowinge or fallinge doun. And therfore seith Piers Alfonce: "oon of the gretteste adversitees of this world is whan a free man, by kinde or by burthe, is constreyned by poverte to eten the almesse of his enemy." And the same seith Innocent in oon of hise bokes; he seith: that "sorweful and mishappy is the condicioun of a povre begger; for if he axe nat his mete, he dyeth for hunger; and if he axe, he dyeth for shame; and algates necessitee constreyneth him to axe." And therfore 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 liven in swich wyse." By thise resons that I have seid un-to yow, and by manye othere resons that I coude 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 how ye shul have yow, and how ye shul here yow in gaderinge of richesses, and in what manere ye shul usen hem.