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Changest thy count'nance, and thy hand with no regard

Of highest favours past

685

From thee on them, or them to thee of service.

Nor only dost degrade them, or remit

To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission,

But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them high, Unseemly falls in human eye,

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Too grievous for the trespass or omission;
Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword

Of heathen and profane, their carcases

To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captiv'd;

Or to th' unjust tribunals, under change of times, 695

693. - -their carcases

To dogs and fowls a prey,] Plainly alluding to Homer's Iliad,

i. 4.

-AUTOUS δ' έλώρια τεύχε κύνεσσιν

Οιωνοίσι σε χασι.

695. Or to th' unjust tribunals, under change of times, &c.] Here no doubt Milton reflected upon the trials and sufferings of his party after the Restoration: and probably he might have in mind particularly the case of Sir Harry Vane, whom he has so highly celebrated in one of his sonnets. If these they scape, perhaps in poverty &c; this was his own case; he escaped with life, but lived in poverty; and though he was always very sober and temperate, yet he was much afflicted with the gout and other painful diseases in crude old age, cruda senectus, when he was not yet a very old man:

Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff'ring

The punishment of dissolute days. Some time after I had written VOL. III.

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And condemnation of th' ingrateful multitude.
If these they scape, perhaps in poverty
With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down,
Painful diseases and deform'd,

In crude old age;

Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff'ring
The punishment of dissolute days: in fine,
Just or unjust alike seem miserable,
For oft alike both come to evil end.

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So deal not with this once thy glorious champion, 705 The image of thy strength, and mighty minister. What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already? Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end.

But who is this, what thing of sea or land? Female of sex it seems,

That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,

Comes this way sailing

Like a stately ship

Of Tarsus, bound for th' isles

Of Javan or Gadire

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

Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber scent of odorous perfume

714. Like a stately ship &c.] The thought of comparing a woman to a ship is not entirely new. Plautus has in his Pænulus, i. ii. 1. it

Negotii sibi qui volet vim parare,
Navem et mulierem, hæc duo com-

parato.

Nam nullæ magis res duæ plus negotii Habent, forte si occeperis ornare, &c. Of Tarsus, there is frequent mention in Scripture of the ships of Tarshish, which Milton as well as some commentators might conceive to be the same as Tarsus in Cilicia: bound for th' isles of Javan, that is Greece, for Javan or Ion the fourth son of Japheth is said to have peopled Greece and Ionia: or Gadire, Taduga, Gades, Cadiz. Mr. Warburton in his notes upon Shakespeare,

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715

720

Merry Wives of Windsor, act iii.
sc. 8. speaking of the ship-tire,
says, "it was an open head-
"dress, with a kind of scarf
"depending from behind. Its
"name of ship-tire was, I pre-
66 sume, from its giving the
"wearer some resemblance of a
"ship (as Shakespeare says) in
"all her trim: with all her pen-
"nants out, and flags and
"streamers flying. Thus Milton
"in Samson Agonistes paints
"Dalila. This was an image
"familiar with the poets of that
"time.
Thus Beaumont and
"Fletcher in their play of Wit
"without Money-She spreads
"sattens as the king's ships do
canvas &c."

720. An amber scent of odorous perfume] Ambergris was now in high repute for its fragrance.

Her harbinger, a damsel train behind;
Some rich Philistian matron she may seem,
And now at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila thy wife.

SAMSON.

My wife, my traitress, let her not come near me. 725 CHORUS.

Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes thee fix'd, About t' have spoke, but now, with head declin'd Like a fair flow'r surcharg'd with dew, she weeps, And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd, Wetting the borders of her silken veil : But now again she makes address to speak. DALILA.

With doubtful feet and wavering resolution

See Drayton, Polyolb. s. xx. vol. iv. p. 1042. and Borde's Dietarie of Health, ch. viii. ed. 1542. Compare Howell's Letters, (Let. dat. 1629.) vol. i. sect. 5.

As 'mongst all flowres the rose excells,

As amber 'mongst the fragrant'st smells.

See also A Poem Royal, 1641. ibid. And Jonson's Cynth. Rev.

a. v. s. 4. And in the Winter's Tale, a. iv. s. 3.

-necklace-amber
Perfume for a lady's chamber.
See also Tam. Shrew, a. iv. s. 3.
T. Warton.

726. Yet on she moves, &c.] Like Ismene in the Antigone of Sophocles, ver. 532.

και μην προ πυλών ήδ' Ισμήνη Φιλάδελφὰ κάτω δακρύ ειβόμενη Νεφέλη δ' οφρύων ὑπερ, αίματοιν Ῥεθος αισχυνεί,

Teyyour' suwwa wagsiav.

730

Mr. Jortin and Mr. Thyer both concurred in the same observation, and therefore it is more likely to be true.

729. And words address'd &c.] This verse is printed imperfect in most of the editions,

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I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson,
Which to have merited, without excuse,
I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears
May expiate (though the fact more evil drew
In the perverse event than I foresaw)
My penance hath not slacken'd, though my pardon
No way assur'd. But conjugal affection
Prevailing over fear, and timorous doubt,
Hath led me on, desirous to behold
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If ought in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash but more unfortunate misdeed,

SAMSON.

Out, out hyæna; these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,
Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,

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sequitur stabula pastorum, et auditu assiduo addiscit vocamen, quod exprimere possit imitatione vocis humanæ, ut in hominem astu accitum nocte sæviat. A celebrated tragic writer makes use of the same comparison. Orphan, act ii.

'Tis thus the false hyæna makes her moan,

To draw the pitying traveller to her den;

Your sex are so, such false dissemblers all, &c.

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