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T'acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds; the contradiction
Of their own deity, gods cannot be;
Less therefore to be pleased, obey'd, or fear'd.
These false pretexts and varnish'd colours 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.
Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of
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
Their favourable ear, that I may
fetch thee From forth this loathsome prison-house, to abide
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 supplied, That what by me thou hast lost thou least shalt
miss. Sams. 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 enchanted cup, and warbling charms
No more on me have power, their force is nullid,
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 me
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me;
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 doings to the lords
To gloss upon, and censuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter.
Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy
Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thee, go with that ;
Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works
It hath brought forth to make thee memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives:
Cherish thy hasten’d widowhood with the gold
Of matrimonial treason: so farewell.
Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf
To prayers, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore ;
Thy anger, unappeasible, still rages,
Eternal tempestnever to be calm’d.
Why do I humble thus myself, and suing
For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate?
Bid go with evil omen and the brand
Of infamy upon my name denounc'd ?
To mix with thy concernments
desist Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own.
Fame, if not double fac'd is double moutn’d,
And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild airy flight.
My name perhaps among the circumcis'd
In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,
To all posterity may stand defam’d,
With malediction mention'd, and the blot
Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd.
But in my country, where I most desire,
In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,
I shall be nam'd among the famousest
Of women, sung at solemn festivals,
Living and dead recorded, who to save
Her country from a fierce destroyer, chose
Above the faith of wedlock-bapds, my tomb
With odours visited, and annual flowers;
Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim
Jael, who with inhospitable guile
Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nail'd.
Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy
The public marks of honour and reward
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
Which to my country I was judg’d to have shown.
At this who ever envies or repines,
I leave him to his lot, and like my own.
Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sting Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.
Sams. So let her go, God sent her to debase me,
And aggravate my folly, who committed
To such a viper his most sacred trust
Of secresy, my safety and my life.
Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange
After offence returning, to regain
Love once possess’d, nor can be easily
Repuls'd without much inward passion felt
And secret sting of amorous remorse.
Sams. Love quarrels oft in pleasing concord end, Not wedlock-treach’ry endangering life.
Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, wit,
Strength, comliness of shape, or amplest merit
That woman's love can win or long inherit;
But what it is, hard is to say,
Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it)
Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day,
Or seven, though one should musing sit.
If any of these or all, the Timnian bride
Had not so soon preferr’d
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd
Successor in thy bed,
Nor but so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, not this last so treacherously
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
Were left for haste unfinish’d, judgment scant,
Capacity not rais'd to apprehend
Or value what is best
In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Or was too much of self-love mix'd,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long?
What'er it be to wisest men and best,
Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil,
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms
Draws him awry enslav'd
With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
Embark'd with such a steersmate at the helm ?
Favour'd of heaven who finds
One virtuous rarely found,
That in domestic good combines :
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth.
But virtue which breaks through all opposition,
And all temptation can remove,
Most shines and most is acceptable above.
Therefore God's universal law
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe,
Not from that right to part an hour,
Smile she or lour:
So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd
By female usurpation, or dismay’d.
But had we best retire, I see a storm?
Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.
Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings.
Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.
Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear
The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue
Draws hitherwards, I know him by his stride,
The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Haughty as is his pile high-built and proud.
Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him
I less conjecture than when first I saw
The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
Sams. Or peace or not, alike to me he comes.
Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now
arrives. Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been, Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath : Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd As Og or Anak and the Emims old That Kiriathaim held, thou know'st me now If thou at all art known. Much I have heard Of thy prodigious might and feats perform'd