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Nor under their protection but my own,
Thou mine, not theirs: if ought 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; 895
To please thy Gods thou didst it; Gods unable
T'acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, Gods cannot be ;

Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd, or fear'd.
These false pretexts and varnish'd colours failing,
Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear?
DALILA.

In argument with men a woman ever

Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause.

DALILA.

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 recompence
Tow'rds thee I intend for what I have misdone,
Misguided; only what remains past cure
Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist
T' afflict thyself in vain: though sight be lost,

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SAMSON.

For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath; 905 Witness when I was worried with thy peals.

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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 With me, where my redoubled love and care With nursing diligence, to me glad office, May ever tend about thee to old With all things grateful cheer'd, and so supplied, That what by me thou' hast lost thou least shalt miss.

age

SAMSON.

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 pow'r, their force is null'd,
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd

934. Thy fair inchanted cup, and warbling charms] Alluding no doubt to the story of Circe and the Sirens; but did not our author's fondness for Greek learning make him here forget, that it is a little out of character to represent Samson acquainted with the mythology of that country? It seems the more odd, as the allusion to the adder immedi

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ately following is taken from Scripture. Thyer.

He might as well be supposed the Sirens, as of Tantalus, &c. to know the story of Circe and before, ver. 500. and there is no more impropriety in the one than in the other.

936. So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd] The allusion is to Psal. lviii. 4, 5. They are like the

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 could'st hate me
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me; 940
How would'st 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 would'st 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.
DALILA.

Let me approach at least and touch thy hand.
SAMSON.

Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake
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 farewel.

DALILA.

I see thou art implacable, more deaf

To pray'rs, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore:

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deaf adder, that stoppeth her ear; of charmers, charming never so which will not hearken to the voice wisely.

Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Eternal tempest never 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 I desist
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own.
Fame if not double-fac'd is double-mouth'd,
And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild aery 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,

973. On both his wings, one black, the other white, Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight.]

I think Fame has passed for a goddess ever since Hesiod deified her: Egy. 763.

Φημη ୪ ου τις παμπαν απολλυται, ἣν

εινα πολλοι

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Milton makes her a god, I know not why, unless secundum eos, qui dicunt utriusque sexus participationem habere numina. So

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in his Lycidas he says, (unless it be a false print,)

Where Muse in the masculine for poet is very bold. Perhaps it should be,

Λαοι Φημίζουσι. θεος νυ τις εςι και αυτή.

Bears greatest names in his wide acry flight.

Fama vero nulla prorsus perit, quam
quidem multi
Populi divulgant, quippe dea quidem What Milton says of Fame's bear-
est et ipsa.
ing great names on his wings,
Od. ii. ii. 7.
seems to be partly from Horace,

Illum aget penna metuente solvi
Fama superstes.
Jortin.

So may some gentle Muse

With lucky words favour my destin'd urn,

And as he passes turn,

And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

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-bands, 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. 990
Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy

The public marks of honour and reward

She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sting Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.

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.

CHORUS.

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