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The image if thy strength, and mighty minister.
What do V beg • how hast thou dealt already!
Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end.

But who is this? what thing of sea or land?
Female of sex it seems,
That so bedecked, ornate, and gay,
Comes this way sailing
Like a stately ship I

Of Tarsus, bound for the isles
Of Javan or Gadire,

With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails filled, and streamers waving,
Courted by all the winds that hold them play.
An amber scent of odorous perfume
Her harbinger, a damsel train behind;
Some rich Philistian matron she may seem;
A nd now at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila, thy wife.

Sanu. My wife! my traitress: let her not come near me.

Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes

thee fixed,

About to have spoke; but now, with head declined,
Like a fair flower sureharged with dew, she weeps,
And words addressed seem into tears dissolved,
Wetting the borders of her silken veil:
But now again she makes address to speak.

[Enter] DalUn.

Dal. With doubtful feet n nd wavering resolution
I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson,
Which to have merited, without excuse,
I can not but acknowledge; yet, if tears,
May expiate, (though the fact more evil drew
In the perverse event than I foresaw,)
My penance talk not slackened, though my par-
don

No way assured. But conjugal affection,
Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt,
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 sufferest, 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.

Sams. Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted

arts,

And arts of every woman false like thee, J
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,
Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
And reconcilement move with feigned remorse,
Confess, and promise wonders in her change;
Not truly penitent, but chief to try
Her husband, how for urged his patience bears,
His virtue or weakness which way to assail;
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Addm transgresses, and again submits;

That wisest and best men, full oft beguiled,
With goodness principled not to reject
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
Entangled with a poisonous bosom snake,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off,
As I by thee, to ages an example.

Dal. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I ende>

vour

To lessen or extenuate my offence,
But tliat on the other side, if it be weighed
By itself, with aggravations not sureharged,
Or else with just allowance counterpoised,
I may, if possible, thy pardon find
The easier toward 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 seerets, then with like infirmity
To publish them, both common female fault?:
Was it not weakness also to make known
For importunity, that is, for nought,
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety?
To what I did thou showed'st me first the way.
But I to enemies revealed, and should not:
Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's

frailty;

Ere I to l\>ce, thou to thyself wast eruel.
Let weakness then with weakness come to park,
So near related, or the same of kind,
Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine
The gentler. if severely thou exact not
More strength from me, than in thyself was found
And what if love, which thou interpret'st hate,
The jealousy of love, powerful of sway
In human hearts, nor less in mine towards thee,
Caused what I did? I saw thee mutable
Of fancy, feared lest one day thou would'st lean

me

As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore
How to endear,. and hold thee to me firmest:
No better way I saw than by importuning
To learn thy seerets, get into my power
Thy key of strength and safety: thou wilt say,
Why then revealed? I was assured by those
Who tempted me, that nothing was designed
Against thee but safe custody, and hold:
That made for me, I knew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises.
While I at home sat full of cares and fears,
Wailing thy absence in my widowed bed;
Here I should still enjoy thee, day and •iigh
Mine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines',
Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
Fearless at home of partners in my love.
These reasons in love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps;
And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought ir Kb

wo.

Vet always pity or pardon hath obtained.
But nut like all others, not austere
As thou art strong, indexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.

£>nu. How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine!
That malice, not repentance, brought thec hither,
By this appears; I gave, thou say'st, the example,
I led the way; bitter reproach, but true;
I to myself was false ere thou to me;
Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou scest
Impartial, self severe, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather
Confess it feigned: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it; weakness to resist
Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, saerilegious, but may plead if!
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or man will gain thce no remission.
But love constrained thce; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy lust: 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 thce betrayed?
In vain thou strivest to cover shame with shame,
Or by evasions thy crime uncoverest 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,
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented;
Which might have awed the best resolved of men,
The constantest, to have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me: thou know'st the magis-
trates

And princes of my country came in person,
Solicited, commanded, threatened, urged,
Adjured by all the bonds of civil duty
And of religion, pressed how just it was,
How honourable, how glorious, to entrap
A common enemy, who had destroyed
Such numbers of our nation: and the priest
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Preaching how meritorious with the gods
It would ! - to ensnare an irreligious
Dishonourer 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 prevailed;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining.

Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles

would end;

In feigned religion, smooth hypoerisy!
But had thy love, still odiously pretended,
Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taug,-.t

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, loved thee, as too well thou knew'st:
Too well; unbosomed all my seerets to thee,
Not out of levity, but overpowered
By thy request, who could deny thec nothing;
Yet now am judged an enemy. Why then
Didst thou at first receive me for thy husband,
Then, as since then, thy country's foe professed!
Betng 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 thetr's: if aught against my hfe
Thy country sought of thee. it sought unjustly,
Against the law of nature, law of nations;
No more thy country, but an impious erew
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 obeyed. But zeal moved thee,
To please thy goda thou did'st it; gods unable
To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, gods can not he;
Less therefore to be pleased, obeyed, or feared
These false pretexts and varnished colours 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 suceeeded best. Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson; Afford me place to show what reconjliense Towards 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, enjoyed Where other senses want not their delights At home in leisure and domestic ease, Exempt from many a care and chance, to which Eyesight exposes daily men abroad. I to the lords will intercede, not doubting Their favourable ear, that I may feteh thee From forth this loathsome prison-house, to alnde 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 cheered, and so tupphed

That v,:, r. !:.> me thou host loet thou least shall miss.

Sam's. No, no; of my condition take no care; It ilts not; i In Mi and I long since are twain: Nor think me so unwary or aceursed, To bring my feet again into the snare Where once I have been caught: 1 know thy trains, Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils; Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms, No more on me have power; their force is nulled; So much of adder's wisdom I have learned, To fence my car against thy sorceries. If in my flower of youth and strength, when all

men Loved, honoured, feared me, thou alone could'st

hate me,

Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me;
How would'sl thou use me now, blind and thereby
Dceeivable, in most things as a child
Helpless, thence easily contemned and scorned,
And last neglected! How wouldst thou insult,
When I must hve uxorious to thy will
In perfect thraldom; how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doings to the lords
To gloss upon, and, certsuring, frown or smile!
This jail I count the house of hberty
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter.

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

Sana. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance

wake

My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thec; go with that;
Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works
It hath brought forth to make th6c memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives!
Cherish thy hastened widowhood with the gold
Of matrimonial treason! so farewell.

lial.. \ see thou art implacable, more deaf
To prayers than winds and seas; yet winds to seas
Are reconciled at length, and sea to shore;
Thy anger, unappeasable, still ragea,
Eternal tempest, never to he calmed.
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 denounced?
To mix with thy concernments I desist
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own.
Fame, if not double-faced, is double-mouthed,
And with contrary blasts proclaims most deeds;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild airy flight.
My name perhaps among the circumeised
In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes
To &!; posterity may stand defamed,
With maledictton mentioned, and the blot
Of falsehood most unconjugal traduced.
Hut in my country where 1 most desire,

In Eeron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,

I shall be named among the fomousest

Of women, sung at solemn festivals.

Living and drad 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 renowned than in mount Ephraim

Jael, who with inhospitable guile

Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nnilej

Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy

The public marks of honour and reward,

Conferred upon me for the piety

Which to my country I was judged to have shown

At this whoever envies or repines,

I leave him to his lot, and like my own. [K.rtt.,

Char. She's gone, a, manifest serpent by her sli r.^ Discovered in the end till now concealed.

Sams. So let her go; God sent her to tlebsac me, And aggravate my folly, who committed To such a viper his most seeret trust Of seerecy, my safety, and my life.

Char. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strnr:gu

power,

After offence returning, to regain
Love once possessed, nor can be easily
Repulsed, without much inward passion frit
And seeret sting of amorous remorse.

Sains. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing cor.cord cud, Not wedlock treachery endangering life.

Char. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, wit.
Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest ment,
That woman's love can win or long inherit;
But what it is, hard is to say,
Harder to hit,

|fWhich.way soever men refer it,)
-Much like thy rid.lie, Samson, in one dav
Or seven, though one should musing sit.
If any of these or nil the Timnian bride
Had not so soon preferred
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compared.
Suceessor in thy bed,
Nor both so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherously
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Was lavished on their sex, that inward gifts
Were left for haste unfinished, judgment scnnt,
Capacity not raised to apprehend
Or value what is best
In choice, but ollest to affect Hie wrong,
Or was too much of self-love mixed,
Of constancy no root infixed,
That either they love nothing, or not lonp'1
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best,
Sceeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil,
Soft, modest, meek, demure.
Once joined, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms

A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue

Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms

Draws him awry enslaved

With dotage, and hi s Bense depraved

To fully, and shameful deeds which ruin ends.

What pilot Bo expert but needs must wreck,

Emliarki >f with such a steer's-mate at the helm?

Favoured of Heaven, who finds
One virtuous, rarely found,
That in domestic good combines:
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth:
But virtue, which breaks through all opposition,
And all temptation can remove,
Most shines, and most is aeceptable above.

Therefore God's universal law
Gave to the man despotic power
Over hi s female in due awe,
Nor from that right to part an hour,
Smile she or lower:
So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not swayed
r>y female usurpation, or dismayed.

But had we best retire? I see a storm.

Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.

CHor. But tliis another kind of tempest brings.

Sams. Be less obstruse, my riddling days are pant.

Char. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor

fear

The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue
Draws hithmvard; I know him by his stride,
The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud.
Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him

hither

I less conjecture than when first I saw
The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
Hi s habit carries peace, his brow defiance.

Sams. Or peace or not, alike to me he comes.

Char. II is fraught we soon shall know, he now arrives.

[Enter] Harapha.

liar. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, As these perhaps, yrt wish it had not been, Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath; Men call me Harapha, of stock renowned As Og, or Anak, and the Emimsold That Kiriathaim held; thou knowest me now, If thou at all art known. Much I have heard Of thy prodigious might and feats performed, I nerwlible to rne, in this displeased, Thai I was never present on the place Of those encounters, where we might have tried Each other's foree in camp or listed field; And now am come to see of whom such noise Hath walked about, and each limb to survey, .f thv appearance answer loud report.

Sams. The way to know were not to see, but taste.

Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Gyves and the mill had tamed thec. O that fortune Had brought me to the field, where thou art famed To have wrought such wonders with im Usd's jaw! I should have foreed thee soon with other arms, Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: So had the glory of prowess been recovered To Palestine, won Vy a Philistine, From the unforeskinned race, of whom thou bearest The highest name for valiant acts; that honour, Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.

Sanu. Boast not of what thou would'st havo

done, but do What then thou would'st; thou secst it in thy hand.

Hot. To combat with a blind man I disdain, And thou hast need much washing to be touched.

Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords, Afford me, assassinated and betrayed, Who durst not with their whole unite!! powers In fight withstand me single and unarmed, Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes Close-banded durst attack me, no, not meeping, - Till they had hired a woman with tlu-ir gold Breaking her marriage faith to cireumvent me. i Therefore, without feigned shirts, let be assigned Some narrow place enclosed, where sight may give

thee,

Or rather flight, no great advantage on me; Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet And brigandine of brass, thy broad haliergeon, Vanthrass and greaves, and gauntlet, add thy

spear,

A weavers beam, and seven-times folded shield;
I only with an oaken staff will meet thee,
And raise such outeries on thy clattered iron,
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head,
That in a little time, while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shall wish thyself at Gath, to boast
Again in safety what thou wouldst have done
To Samson, but shalt never sec Gath more.

Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious

arms,

Which greatest heroes have in battle worn,
Their ornament and safety, had not spells,
And black enchantments, sor.re magician's art,
Armed thee or charmed thee strong, which thou

from Heaven •

Feigned'st at thy birth was given thoe in thy hair Where strength can least abide, though all thy

hairs

Were bristles ranged like those that ri dgc the back Of chafed wild boars, or rullled poreupine?

Sams. I know no spells, use no forbi>Ken arts, My trual is in the living God, who gave me At my nativity this strength, diffused No less througn all my sinews, jomte ar.d bones. That thine, while I preserved these locks unshorn,

The pledge of my unviolated vow.

For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,

Go to his temple, invocate his aid

With solemnest devotion, spread before him

How highly it concerns liis glory now

To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells,

Which I to be the power of Israel's God

Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test,

Offering to combat thee his champion bold,

With the utmost of his godhead seconded:

Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow,

Soon feel, whose god is strongest, thine or mine.

Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be: Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off Quite from this people, and delivered up Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them To put out both thine eyes, and fettered send thee Into the common prison, there to grind Among the slaves and asses thy comrades, As good for nothing else; no better service With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy mateh For valour to assail, nor by the sword Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, But by the barber's razor best subdued.

Sams. All these indignities, for such they are From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, Whose ear is ever open, and his eye Gracious to readmit the suppliant: In confidence whereof I once again Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight, By combat to decide whose god is God, Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore.

Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in

trustit.g

He will aecept thee to defend his cause,
A murderer, a revolter, and a robber!

Sa-ms. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou prove me these?

Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? Their magistrates confessed it when they took thee As a league breaker, and delivered bound Into our hands: for hadst thou not committed Notorious murder on those thirty men At Ascalon, who never did thee harm, Then like a robber stripped'st them of their robesl The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league, Went up with armed powers thee only seeking, To others did no violence or spoil.

Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines I chose a wife, which argued me no foe; And in your city held my nuptial feast: But your ill meaning politician lords, Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, Appomted to await me thirty spies, Who, threatening eruel death, constrained the bride

To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret,

That solved the riddle which I had proposed.

When I pereeived all set on enmity,

As on my enemies, wherever chanced,

I used hostility, and took their spoil,

To pay my underminers in their coin.

My nation was subjected to your lords*

It was the foree of conquest: foree with foree

Is well ejected when the conquered can.

But I, a private person, whom my country

As a league bearer gave up bound, presumed

Single rebellion, and did hostile acts.

I was no private, but a person raised

With strength sufficient, and command from Hem

ven

To free my country: if their servile minds
Me, their deliverer sent, would not receive,
But to their masters gave me up for nought,
The unworthier they; whence to this day they

serve.

I was to do my part from Heaven assigned,
And hath performed it, if my known offence
Hath not disabled me, not all your foree;
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant,
Though by his blindness maimed for high at-
tempts,

Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
As a petty enterprise of small enforee.

Har. With thee! a man condemned, a slave enrolled.

Due by the law to capital punishment!
To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.

Sams. Cam'st thou for this, vain Boaster, to sot

vey me,

To descant on my strength, and give thy verdiet 1 Come nearer; part not hence so slight informed; But take good heed my hand survey not thee.

Har. O Basl-zebub! can my ears unused Hear these dishonours, and not render death?

Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from thj

hand

Fear I incurable; bring up thy van,
My heels are fettered but my fist is free.

Har. This insolence other kind of answer fits.

Sams. Go, baffled coward! lest I run upon thee, Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast, And with one buffet lay thy structure low, Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down To the hazard of thj brains and shattered sides.

Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. \Exit.\

Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat cmt

fallen,

Stalking with less unconscionable strides,
And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.

Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant brood.
Though fame divulge him father of five sons,
All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.

Char. He will directly to the lords, I fear.

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