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What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, facrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or Man will gain thee no remission. 835
But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy luft: love seeks to' have love;
My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the way
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, 845
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented ;
Which might have aw'd the best-resolv'd of men,
The conftanteft, to' have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me : thou know'st the magistrates
And princes of my country came in person, 851
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 honorable, how glorious to intrap
855 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 insuare an irreligious
860 D.Monorer of Dagon: what had I
T'oppose against such pow'rful 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 injoining. 870
Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles would
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy. [end;
But had thy love, still odiously pretended,
Been, as it ought, fincere, it would have taught thee
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. 875
I before all the daughters of my tribe
And of my nation chose thee from
My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'ft,
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
Didst thou at first receive me for thy husband,
Then, as since then, thy country's fee profess’d?
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave
885 Parents and country; nor was I their subject, Nor under their protection but my own, Thou mine, not theirs : if ought against my life Thy country fought of thee, it fought unjustly, Against the law of nature, law of nations, No more thy country, but an impious crow
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 didit it; Gods unable
T'acquit themselves and profecute 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. 900
These false pretexts 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.
Sams. 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 how what recompense
Tow'ards thee I intend for what I have misdone,
Misguided; only what remains past cure
Bear not too sensibly, nor still infilt
T'afflict thyself in vain : though fight be loft,
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-fight exposes daily men abroad.
I to the Lords will intercede; not doubting
920 Their favorable ear; that I may fetch thes
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
925 With all things grateful chear'd, and so supply'd, That what by me thou' hast loft 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 coft, thy gins, and toils;
Thy fair inchanted cup, and warbling charms
No more on me have
their force is null’d, 935 So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd To fence my ear against thy forceries. If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men Lov'd, honor'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'st hate me Thy husband, slight me, fell 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 fcorn'd, And last neglected ? How wouldit thou insult, When I must live uxorious to thy will
945 In perfect thraldom, how again betray me, Bearing my words and doings to the lords To glofs upon, and cenfuring, frown or smile ? This jail I count the house of liberty To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter. 950 Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy hand.
Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake
My fadden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thee, go with that;
Bewail thy fallhood, and the pious works 955
It hath brought forth to make thee memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives:
Cherish thy haften' widowhood with the gold
Of matrimonial treason: so farewel.
DAL. I see thou art implacable, more deaf 960
To prayers, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to hore :
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?
with evil omen and the brand
Of infamy upon my name denounc'd ?
To mix with thy concernments I defilt
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own. 970
Fame if not double-fac'd is double-mouth'd,
And with contrary blait proclames moft 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 falshood most unconjugal traduc’d.
But in my country where I most desire,
980 In Ecron, Gazi, Asdod, and in Gath,