Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968). The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
Concerning Wealth. VIII. (From The Convivio of Dante Alighieri)
(Italian epic poet, 12651321)
I AFFIRM that gain is precisely that which comes oftener to the bad than to the good; for illegitimate gains never come to the good at all, because they reject them. And lawful gains rarely come to the good, because, since much anxious care is needful thereto, and the anxious care of the good man is directed to weightier matters, rarely does the good man give sufficient attention thereto. Wherefore it is clear that in every way the advent of these riches is iniquitous.
Let us give heed to the life of them who chase riches, and see in what security they live when they have gathered of them, how content they are, how reposeful! And what else, day by day, imperils and slays cities, countries and single persons so much as the new amassing of wealth by anyone? Which amassing reveals new longings, the goal of which may not be reached without wrong to someone.
Wherefore the baseness of riches is manifest enough by reason of all their characteristics, and so a man of right appetite and of true knowledge never loves them; and not loving them does not unite himself to them, but ever wishes them to be far removed from him, save as they be ordained to some necessary service.