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Amidst their highth of noon
Changeft thy count'nance, and thy hand with no regard
Of highest favors past

685 From thee on them, or them to thee of service,

Nor only doft degrade them, or remit To life obscur’d, which were a fair dismission, But throw'st them lower than thou didit exalt them high, Unseemly falls in human eye,

690 Too grievous for the trespass or omission; Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword Of Heathen and profane, their carcases To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captív'd; Or to th' unjust tribunals, under change of times, 695 And condemnation of th' ingrateful multitude. If these they scape, perhaps in poverty With fickness and disease thou bow'st them down, Painful diseases and deform’d, In crude old-age ;

Though not disordinate, yet causeless suffering
The punishment of diffolute days: in fine,
Juft 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 ftrength, and mighty minifter.
What do I beg ? how haft thou dealt already?
Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
His labors, for thou canst to peaceful end.

But who is this, what thing of sea or land? 710
Female of sex it seems,
That fo bedeck’d, ornate, and gay,


Comes this way failing
Like a stately ship
Of Tarsus, bound for th' iles

Of Javan or Gadire
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber scent of odorous perfume

720 Her harbinger, a damsel train behind; Some rich Philiftian matron she may seem, And now at nearer view, no other certain Than Dalila thy wife.

[near me. SAMs. My Wife, my Traitress, let her not come Cho. Yet on the moves, now stands, and eyes

thee fix'd, About thave spoke, but now, with head declin'd Like a fair flower surcharg'd with dew, she weeps, And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd, Wetting the borders of her filken veil :

730 But now again fhe makes address to speak.

DAL. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution I came, ftill dreading thy displeasure, Samson, Which to have merited, without excuse, I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears 735 May expiate (though the fact more evil drew In the perverse event than I forefaw) My penance hath not flacken'd, though my pardon No way afiur'd. But conjugal affection, Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt,

740 Hath led me on desirous to behold


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Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If ought in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer'it, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,

745 Though late, yet in some part to recompense My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.

Sams. Out, out, Hyæna; these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 750
Then as repentant to fubmit, 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, 755
His virtue or weakness which way to assail :
Then with more cautious and instructed kill
Again transgresses, and again submits ;
That wiseft and best men full oft beguild,
With goodness principled not to reject
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 me, Samson; not that I endevor
To lessen or extenuate my offense,
But that on th' 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 poflible, thy 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,
Curiofity, inquifitive, 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 confifted all thy strength and safety ? 780
To what I did thou show'dit 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 785
So near related, or the fame of kind,
Thine forgive mine ; that men may censure thine
The gentler, if severely thou exact not
More ftrength from me, than in thyself was found.
And what if love, which thou interpret'it 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 left one day thou would'It leave me
As her at Timna, fought by all means therefore 795
How to indear, and hold thee to me firmeit:
No better way I saw than by importuning
To learn thy secrets, get into my power
The key of strength and safety: thou wilt say,
Why then reveald? I was assur'd by those Sco
Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd





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


These reasons in love's law have paft 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 auftere
As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals doft exceed,
In uncompaflionate anger do not fo.

SAMs. How cunningly the forceress displays Her own transgreffions, to upbraid me mine! 820 That malice not repentance brought thee hither, By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, th' 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 seest 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 refift Philiftian gold: if weakness may excuse,




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