« PreviousContinue »
These reasons in love's law have past for good,
SAM. How cunningly the sorceress displays
830 Philistian gold : if weakness may excuse, What murderer, what traitor, parricide, Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it ? i. All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore With God or man will gain thee no remission. But love constrain'd thee ; call it furious rage To satisfy thy lust ; love seeks to have love ; My love how could'st thou hope, who took’st the To raise in me inexpiable hate,
[way 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 1 What sieges girt me round, ere I consented ; Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men, The constantest, to have yielded without blame. It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st, 849| That wrought with me: thou know'st the magiAnd princes of my country came in person, strates 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 honourable, how glorious to intrap A common enemy, who had destroy'd Such numbers of our nation : and the priest Was not behind, but ever at my car, Preaching how meritorious with the gods It would be to ensnare an irreligious Dishonorer of Dagon : what had I To oppose against such powerful 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, cruth, duty so enjoining. 870
Sam. I thought where all thy circling wiles
would end; In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy. But had thy love still odiously pretended Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. . I before all the daughters of my tribe And of my nation chose thee from among My enemies, loy'd thee, as too well thou knew'st Too well, unbosom’d, all my secrets to thee, Not out of levity, but over-power'd . 880 By thy request, who could deny thee nothing, Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then Did'st thou at first receive me for thy husband, Then, as since then thy country's foc profess'd ? Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave Parents and country: nor was I their subject, Nor under their protection but my own, Thou mine, not theirs : if aught against my life Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly. Against the law of nature, law of nations, 890 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 ; To please thy gods thou didst it ; gods unable To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes But how ungodly deeds, the contradiction Of their own deity, gods cannot be ;
Less therefore to be pleas’d, obey'd, or feard. 900 These false pretext 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.
Sam. 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 show what recompense 910 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 920 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 age With all things grateful cheer'd, and so supply'd, That what by me thou hast lost thou least shalt
miss Sam. No, no, of my condition take no care ;
It fits not ; thou and I long since are twain :
Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy hand. Sam. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint. [wake At distance I forgive thee, go with that, Bewail thy falshood, and the pious works It hath brought forth to make the memorable Among illustrious women, faithful wives: MILTON VOL. III. X