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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 p!et
In man or woman though to thy own condemning
Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides
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, 81J
That wrought with me: thou know'st the tnage
And princes of my country came in person, [strata
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 ear,
Preaching how meritorious with the gods
It would be to ensnare an irreligious 860

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, truth, 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, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'it
Too well, unbosom'd, all my secrets to thee,
Not out of Uvity, 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 foe 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 fear'd. 909 These false pretext and varnish'd colors failing, Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear? Dai.. 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 case, 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 mist Sam. No, no, of my condition take no care;

t fits not; thou and I long since are twain:

Nor think me so unwary or accurs'd, 930

To bring my feet again into the snare

Where once I have been caught; I know thy trams

Though dearly to my cost, thy gins and toils;

Thy fair inchanted cup, and warbling charms

No more on me have power, their force is null'd.

So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd

To fence my ear against thy sorceries.

If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men

Lov'd, honour'd, fear'dme, thou alone couldsthate

me
Thy husband, slight me, sell 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 scorn'd,
And last neglected? How wouldst thou insult,
When I must live uxorious to thy will
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doing to the lords
To gloss upon, and censuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty 945

To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter.
D A L. 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. 111. K.

Cherish thy hasten'd 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 seal

Are reconcil'dat length, and sea to shore:

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 fae'd is double mouth'd, 9*71

"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 Jtidah, and the bordering tribes,

To all posterity may stand defam'd,

With malediction mention'd, and the blot

Of falshood most unconjugal tradue'd.

But in my country where I most desire, 980

In Ecron, Gava, Ashdod, and in Gath,

I shall be nam'd among the famousest

Of women, sung at solemn festivals,

Livinf and dead recorded, who to save

Her countrv from a fierce destroyer, chose

Above the faith of wedlock bands, my tomb

With odors visited and annual flowers;

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