Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

For oft alike, both come to evil end.

So deal not with this once thy glorious Champion,
The Image of thy strength and mighty Minister.
What do I beg? how haft thou dealt already?
Behold him in his ftate calamitous, and turn
His labours, for thou canft, to peaceful end..

.

But who is this, what thing of Sea or Land?
Female of fex it seems,

That fo bedeckt, ornate, and gay,
Comes this way failing,

Like a ftately Ship

Of Tarfus, bound for th' ifles

Of Javan or Gadier,

With all her bravery on, and tackle trim, 、
Sails fill'd, and ftreamers waving,

Courted by all the winds that hold them play;
An Amber scent of odorous perfume,
Her harbinger, a damfel train behind;
Some rich Philiflian Matron fhe may seem:
And now, at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila thy Wife.

Dal. With doubtful feet and wavering refolutione
I came, ftill dreading thy difpleasure, Samfon,
Which to have, merited, without excufe,..
I cannot but acknowledge: yet if tears
May expiate, (though the fact more evil drew

7c6

710

715

720

724

Samf. My Wife! my.Trait'refs! let her not come
[near me.

Chor. Yet on fhe moves, now stands and eyes thee fix'd
About t' have spoke, but now, with head declin'd,
Like a fair flow'r furcharg'd with dew, the weeps,
And words addrefs'd feem tears diffolv'd,
Wetting the borders of her filken veil:
But now again fhe makes address to speak.

730

735

In the perverse event than I forefaw)

My penance hath not flacken'd, though my pardon
No way affur'd. But conjugal affection
Prevailing over fear, and timorous doubt,
Hath led me on, defirous to behold

[ocr errors]

Once more thy face, and know of thy eftate,
If aught in my ability may ferve.
To lighten what thou fuffer'ft, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my pow'r ;
Though late, yet in fome part to recompenfe
My rafh, but more unfortunate misdeed.

740

Dal. Yet hear me, Samfon; not that I endeavour
To leffen or extenuate my offence,
But that on th' other fide if it be weigh'd
By itfelf, with aggravations not furcharg'd,
Or elfe with juft allowance counterpois'd,
I may, if poffible, thy pardon find
The easier tow'rds me, or thy hatred lefs.

745

Samf. Out, out, Hyena; thefe are thy wonted arts,
And arts of ev'ry woman falfe like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray;
Then as repentant to submit, befeech,
And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
Confefs, and promife wonders in her change;
Not truly penitent, but chief to try

Her Husband, how far urg'd his patience bears,
His virtue or weakness which way to affail:
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again tranfgreffes, and again fubmits;
That wifeft and beft men full oft beguil'd,
With goodness principl'd not to reject.
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
Are drawn to wear out miferable days,
Entangl'd with a pois'nous bofom fnake,
If not by quick deftruction foon cut off,
As I by thee, to Ages an example.

750

7554

760..

765

770

Firft granting,. as I do, it was a weakness
In me, but incident to all our sex,
Curiofity, inquifitive, importune
Of fecrets, then with like infirmity
To publish them; both common female faults:
Was it not weakness alfo to make known
For importunity, that is, for nought,
Wherein confifted all thy ftrength and safety?
To what I did thou fhew'dit me first the way.
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not;
Nor fhould'st thou have trufled that to woman's frailty:
Ere I to thee, thou to thy felf waft cruel.
Let weakness then with weakness come to parl,
So near related, or the fame of kind,
Thine forgive mine; that men may cenfure thine
The gentler, if feverely thou exact not

785

More ftrength from me, than in thyfelf was found.
And what if Love, which thou interpret ft Hate,
The jealoufie of Love, powerful of fway,
In human hearts, nor lefs in mine tow'rds thee,
Caus'd what I did? Ifaw thee mutable
Of fancy, feas'd left one day thou would'ft leave me
As her at Timna; fought by all means therefore
How to endear, and hold thee to me firmeft:
No better way I faw than by importuning
To learn thy fecrets, get into my pow'r
Thy key of strength and fafety: thou wilt fay,
Why then reveal'd? I was affur'd by those
Who tempted me, that nothing was defign'd
Against thee but fafe cuftody, and hold.
That made for me, I knew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprifes,
While I at home fat full of cares and fears,
Wailing thy abfence in my widow'd bed:
Here I fhould fill enjoy thee day and night
Mine and Love's pris'ner, not the Philiftins,
Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
Fearless at home of partners in my love.

775

780

790

795

800

Ses

810

Thefe

[ocr errors]

These reasons in Love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reafonlefs to fome perhaps ;
And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much woe,
Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain❜d.
Be not unlike all others, not auftere
As thou art strong, inflexible as fteel:
If thou in ftrength all mortals doft exceed,
In uncompaffionate anger do not fo.

́815

Samf. How cunningly the Sorcerefs difplays
Her own tranfgreffions, to upbraid me mine!
That malice, not repentance, brought thee hither,
By this appears: I gave, thou fay'it, th' example;
I led the way: bitter reproach, but true.
I to myself was falfe, ere thou to me :
Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou feeft
Impartial, felf-fevere, inexorable,

[ocr errors]

Dal. Since thou determin'ft weakness for no plea
In man or woman, though to thy own condemning;
Hear what affaults I had, what fnares befides,
What fieges girt me round, ere I consented;

8 20

825

Thou wilt renounce thy feeking, and much rather
Confefs it feign'd. Weakness is thy excufe,
And I believe it; weakness to refift
Philiftian gold: if weakness may excuse,
What Murtherer, what Traitor, Parricide,
Incestuous, Sacrilegious, but may plead it;
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or Man will gain thee no remiffion.
But Love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To fatisfie thy luft: Love seeks t' have Love;
My Love how coud'st thou hope, who took'ft the way
To raife in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd ?

840

In vain thou ftriv'it to cover fhame with fhame,

For by evafions thy crime uncover'st more.

830

835

845

Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of Men,
The conftanteft, t' have yielded without blame.
It was not Gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me: thou know'it the Magiftrates
And Princes of my Country came in person,
Sollicited, commanded, threatn'd, urg'd,
Adjur'd by all the Bonds of civil Duty
And of Religion, prefs'd how juft it was,
How honourable, how glorious to entrap
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 enfnare an irreligious
Dishonourer of Dagon: what had I
T'oppofe against fuch powerful Arguments?
Only my love of thee held long debate?
And combated in filence all their reasons

851

855

860

With hard contest. At length that grounded maxim,
So rife and celebrated in their mouths
Of wifest men, that to the publick good
Private respects muft yield, with grave authority
Took full poffeffion of me, and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, Truth, Duty so enjoining.

866

870

875

Samf. I thought where all thy circling wiles would end; In feign'd Religion, fimooth hypocrifie. But had thy love, ftill odiously pretended, Been, as it ought, fincere, it wou'd have taught thee Far other reafonings, brought forth other deeds. I before all the daughters of my Tribe And of my Nation chofe thee from among My enemies; lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'ft, Too well, unbofom'd all my fecrets to thee, Not out of levity, but over pow'r'd By thy requeft, who could deny thee nothing; Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then Didft thou at first receive me for thy Husband?

880

Then,

« PreviousContinue »