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

Of highest favors past


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

Nor only doft degrade them, or remit

To life obfcur'd, which were a fair difmiffion,

But throw'ft them lower than thou didst exalt them high,

Unfeemly falls in human eye,


Too grievous for the trespass or omiffion;

Oft leav'ft them to the hoftile sword

Of Heathen and profane, their carcafes

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'ft them down,
Painful difeafes and deform'd,

In crude old-age;

Though not difordinate, yet causeless suffering
The punishment of diffolute days: in fine,
Juft or unjuft alike feem miferable,

For oft alike both come to evil end.


So deal not with this once thy glorious champion, The image of thy strength, and mighty minister. What do I beg ? how haft thou dealt already ? Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn His labors, for thou canft, to peaceful end.

But who is this, what thing of sea or land ? Female of fex it feems,

That fo bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,



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Comes this way failing
Like a stately fhip

Of Tarfus, bound for th' iles
Of Javan or Gadire

With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and ftreamers waving,
Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber scent of odorous perfume
Her harbinger, a damfel train behind;
Some rich Philiftian matron fhe 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 t' have spoke, but now, with head declin'd
Like a fair flower furcharg'd with dew, she weeps,
And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd,
Wetting the borders of her filken veil :
But now again she makes address to speak.
DAL. With doubtful feet and wavering refolution
I came, ftill dreading thy difpleasure, Samfon,
Which to have merited, without excuse,
I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears
May expiate (though the fact more evil drew
In the perverse event than I forelaw)
My penance hath not flacken'd, though my pardon
No way affur'd. But conjugal affection,

over fear and timorous doubt,
Hath led me on defirous to behold





Once more thy face, and know of thy eftate,
If ought in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
Though late, yet in some part to recompenfe
My rash but more unfortunate mifdeed.


SAMS. Out, out, Hyæna; these are thy wonted arts, And arts of every woman falfe like thee, To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, Then as repentant to submit, befeech, And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse, Confefs, and promise wonders in her change, Not truly penitent, but chief to try Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears, His virtue or weakness which way to affail: Then with more cautious and instructed skill Again tranfgreffes, and again fubmits; That wisest and best men full oft beguil❜d, With goodness principled not to reject The penitent, but ever to forgive, Are drawn to wear out miserable days, Intangled with a pois'nous bofom fnake, If not by quick destruction soon cut off As I by thee, to ages an example.


DAL. Yet hear me, Samfon; not that I endevor
To leffen or extenuate my offense,

But that on th' other fide if it be weigh'd
By' itself, with aggravations not surcharg'd,
Or elfe with juft allowance counterpois'd,
I may, if poffible, thy pardon find






The eafier towards me, or thy hatred lefs.
Firft granting, as I do, it was a weakness
In me, but incident to all our fex,
Curiofity, inquifitive, importune



Of fecrets, 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?
To what I did thou show'dft me first the way.
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not:
Nor fhould'st thou have trusted that to woman's frailty:
Ere I to thee, thou to thyfelf 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 cenfure thine
The gentler, if feverely thou exact not
And what if love, which thou interpret'ft hate,
More ftrength from me, than in thyself was found.
The jealoufy of love, pow'rful of fway


In human hearts,

nor lefs in mine tow'rds thee,


her at

Caus'd what I did? I faw thee mutable
Of fancy, fear'd left one day thou would't leave me
Timna, fought by all means therefore 795
How to indear, and hold thee to me firmest:
No better way I faw than by impórtuning
To learn thy fecrets, get into my power
The key of ftrength and fafety: thou wilt say,
Why then reveal'd? I was aflur'd by those
Who tempted me, that nothing was defign'd





Against thee but fafe cuftody, and hold:
That made for me; I knew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises,
While I at home fat full of cares and fears,
Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed;
Here I should ftill 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 auftere
As thou art ftrong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in ftrength all mortals doft exceed,
In uncompaffionate anger do not fo.


SAMS. How cunningly the forceress displays Her own tranfgreffions, to upbraid me mine ! That malice not repentance brought thee hither, By this appears: I gave, thou fay'ft, 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,
Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou feest
Impartial, felf-fevere, inexorable,

Thou wilt renounce thy feeking, and much rather
Confefs it feign'd: weakness is thy excufe,
And I believe it, weakness to refift
Philiftian gold: if weakness may excufe,



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