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Of Heathen and profane, their carcases
To dogs and fowls a prey, or elsecaptiv'd;
Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of tims,
And condemnation of th' ungrateful 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; 700
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.
So deal not with this once thy glorious champion 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 labors, for thou cans't, to peaceful end.
But who is this, what thing of sea or land? 110
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Her jjarbiuger, a damsel train behind;
Sam. My wife, my traitress, let her not come
Chok. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes About t' have spoke, but now, with head declin'd Like a fair tlow'r surcharg'd with dew, she weeps, And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd, Wetting the borders of her silken veil: 730
But now again she makes address to speak.
Dal. Withdoubtful feet and wavering resolution 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, 740 Hath led me on desirous to behold Once more thy face, and know of thy estate, If aught 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.
Sam. Out, out hyaena; These are thy wonted arts, And arts of every woman false like thee, To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 7S» Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
Confess, and promise 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 assail:
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again transgresses, and again submits:
The wisest and best men full oftbeguil'd
With goodness principled not to reject 760
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
Intangled with a pois'nous bosom snake,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off
As I by thee, to ages an example.
Dal. Yet hear mc, Samson ; not that I endeavor To lessen or extenuate my offence, But that on the other side if it be weigh'd By itself, with aggravations not surcharg'd, Or else with just allowance counterpois'd, 770 I may, if possible my pardon find The easier towards me, or thy hatred less. First granting, as I do, it was a weakness In me, but incident to all our sex, Curiosity, inquisitive, importune Of secrets then with like infirmity To publish them, both common female faults: Was it not weakness also to make known For importunity, that is for nought, Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety ? 780 To what I did, thou show'd'st me first the way.
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not:
Nor shouldst thou have trusted that to woman's
In human hearts, nor less in mind tow'ards thee,
These reasons in love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps:
And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much woe
Yet always pity, or pardon hath obtain'd.
Be not unlike all others, not austere
As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.
Sam. How cunningly the sorceress displays
Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd ? 840