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These reasons in love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps:
And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much woc
Yet always pity, or pardon hath obtain'd.

Be not unlike all others, not austere
As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.

SAM. How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine; 820
That malice, not repentance brought thee hither,
By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, th' example,
I led the way; bitter reproach, but true;
I to myself was false ere thou to me;

Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,

Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest Impartial, self severe, inexorable,


Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather
Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it, weakness to resist
Philistian gold if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or man will gain thee no remission.
But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy lust; love seeks to have love ;
My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the
To raise in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd? 840

In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame, Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.

DAL. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea
In man or woman though to thy own condemning,
Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented;
Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men,
The constantest, to have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st, 849
That wrought with me: thou know'st the magi
And princes of my country came in person, [strates
Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,
Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
And of religion, press'd how just it was,
How honourable, how glorious to intrap
A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Such numbers of our nation: and the priest
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Preaching how meritorious with the gods
It would be to ensnare an irreligious
Dishonorer of Dagon: what had I

To oppose against such powerful arguments?
Only my love of thee held long debate,

And combated in silence all these reasons


With hard contest: at length that grounded maxim, So rife and celebrated in the mouths

Of wisest men, that to the public good

Private respects must yield with grave authority
Took full possession of me and prevail'd:
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty so enjoining. 810

SAM. I thought where all thy circling wiles.

would end;

In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy.

But had thy love still odiously pretended

Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds.
I before all the daughters of my tribe

And of my nation chose thee from among

My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st
Too well, unbosom'd, all my secrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but over-power'd



By thy request, who could deny thee nothing,
Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then
Did'st thou at first receive me for thy husband,
Then, as since then thy country's foe profess'd?
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave'
Parents and country: nor was I their subject,
Nor under their protection but my own,
Thou mine, not theirs: if aught against my life
Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly.
Against the law of nature, law of nations,
No more thy country, but an impious crew
Of men conspiring to uphold their state,
By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends,
For which our country is a name so dear;
Not therefore to be' obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee;
To please thy gods thou didst it; gods unable
To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But how ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, gods cannot be;

Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd, or fear'd. 900
These false pretext and varnish'd colors failing,
Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear ?
DAL. In argument with men a woman ever
Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause.
SAM. For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath,
Witness when I was worried with thy peals,


DAL. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken In what I thought would have succeeded best. Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson, Afford me place to show what recompense Tow'rds thee I intend for what I have misdone, Misguided; only what remains past cure Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist

To afflict thyself in vain though sight be lost,
Life yet hath many solaces enjoy'd

Where other senses want not their delights
At home in leisure and domestic ease,
Exempt from many a care and chance to which
Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad.

I to the Lords will intercede, not doubting 920
Their favourable ear, that I may fetch thee
From forth this loathsome prison-house, to abide
With me, where my redoubled love and care
With nursing diligence, to me glad office,
May ever tend about thee to old age

With all things grateful cheer'd, and so supply'd,
That what by me thou hast lost thou least shalt


SAM. No, no, of my condition take no care;

It fits not; thou and I long since are twain :
Nor think me so unwary or accurs'd,

To bring my feet again into the snare


Where once I have been caught; I know thy trains
Though dearly to my cost, thy gins and toils;
Thy fair inchanted cup, and warbling charms
No more on me have power, their force is null❜d,
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd

To fence my ear against thy sorceries.

If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men Lov'd, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone couldst hate


Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me; 940
How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby
Deceivable, in most things as a child

Helpless, thence easily contemn'd, and scorn'd,
And last neglected? How wouldst thou insult,
When I must live uxorious to thy will
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doing to the lords
To gloss upon, and censuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty

949 To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter. DAL. Let me approach at least,and touch thy hand. SAM. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint. [wake At distance I forgive thee, go with that,

Bewail thy falshood, and the pious works
It hath brought forth to make the memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives:


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