Sometime later, the merchant stops by the monk's abbey to pay a social call. The monk volunteers the information that he has repaid the one hundred francs to the merchant's wife only a day or two after he had borrowed it. When the merchant returns home, he chides his wife for not telling him that the loan was repaid. She explains that she used the money to buy fine clothes and promises to repay him — not with money, but in bed. Seeing no point in scolding her further, the merchant concludes, "Well, I forgive you what you spent / But don't be so extravagant again." ("Now Wyf," he sayde, "and I foryeve it thee; / But, by thy lyfe, ne be namoore so large.")This and the next tale present a "debate" on the role of position and power in this world. The opening lines of The Shipman's Tale establish this theme. "Once there was a merchant in St. Denys who was
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