Revenge is wild justice. When taking revenge, one is even. When passing over the revenge, one is superior. That which is past is gone, irrevocable. Wise men have enough to do with problems in the present, rather than dwelling on those in the past. If a person does wrong out of sheer ill nature, consider it like a briar that can’t do anything else. Comus, duke of Florence, said, “You shall read…that we are commanded to forgive our enemies, but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends.” Bacon concludes his essay on revenge with this quote: “This is certain, that a man that studies revenge keeps his own wound green, which otherwise would heal and do well.”
The Oxford Book of Essays. Ed. John Gross. Oxford and new York: Oxford University Press. 1991.