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The easier towards me, or thy hatred less.
First granting, as I do, it was a weakness
In me, but incident to all our fex,
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'dst me first the
way. But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not : Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's frailty : Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel. Let weakness then with weakness come to parle So near related, or the fame 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, 790 The jealousy of love, pow'rful of sway In human hearts, nor less in mine tow'rds thee, Caus'd what I did ? I saw thee mutable Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would't leave me As her at Timna, fought by ail means therefore 795 How to indear, and hold thce to me firmest : No better way I saw than by impórtuning To learn thy secrets, get into my power The key of ftrength and safety: thou wilt say, Why then reveal'd? I was afsur'd by those Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd - VOL. III.
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 widow'd bed ;
Here I should still enjoy thee day and night
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 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 doft exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not fo.
Sams. How cunningly the forceress displays Her own tranfgressions, to upbraid me mine! 820 That malice not repentance brought thee hither, By this appears : I gave, thou say't, th' example, I led the way; bitter reproach, but true; I to myself was falfe ere thou to me ; Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
825 Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seeft Impartial, self-severe, inexorable, Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse, And I believe it, weakness to resist
830 Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
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.
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,
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'ft,
That wrought with me: thou know'st the magistrates
And princes of my country came in person,
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
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 infnare an irreligious
860 Dishonorer 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 mouth's
Of wiseft men, that to the public good
Private respects must yield, with grave authority
Took full poffeffion of me and prevailid;
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;
Byt had thy love, ftill odiously pretended,
Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. 875
I before all the daughters of my
And of my nation chose thee from among
My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'ft,
Too well, unbofom'd all my secrets to thee,
Net 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 foe professid?
Being once a wife, for me thou waft to leave
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 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; 895
To please thy Gods thou didst it; Gods unable
T'acquit themselves and prosecute 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 mult 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, Sainson, Afford me place to show what recompense 91 Tow'ards thec I intend for what I have misdone, Misguided; only what remains paft cure Bear not too sensibly, nor fill infift T'amict thyself in vain : though sight be lost, Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd
915 Where other senses want not their delights At home in leisure and domestic ease, Exempt from many a care and chance to which Eye-light exposes daily men abroad. I to the Lords will intercede, not doubting 920 Their favorable that I may fetch thee