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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 fatisfy thy luft: love seeks to' have love;
My love how could't thou hope, who took'st the way
To raife in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I muft, by thee betray'd?
In vain thou ftriv'ft to cover fhame with fhame,
Or by evafions thy crime uncover'ft more.
DAL. Since thou determin'ft weakness for no plea In man or woman, though to thy own condemning, Hear what affaults I had, what fnares befides, What fieges girt me round, ere I confented; 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'st, That wrought with me: thou know'ft the magiftrates 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, prefs'd how juft 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 ear, Preaching how meritorious with the Gods It would be to infnare an irreligious Difhonorer of Dagon: what had I
T'oppose against such pow'rful arguments?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated in filence all these reasons
With hard contest: at length that grounded maxim So rife and celebrated in the mouths 866
Of wifeft men, that to the public good
Private refpects muft yield, with grave authority
Took full poffeffion of me and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty fo injoining.
SAMS. I thought where all thy circling wiles would In feign'd religion, fmooth hypocrify. But had thy love, still odiously pretended, Been, as it ought, fincere, it would have taught thee Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. 875 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'ft,
Too well, unbofom'd all my fecrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but over-power'd
By thy request, who could deny thee nothings
Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then
Didft thou at first receive me for thy husband,
Then, as fince then, thy country's fee profefs'd?
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 confpiring to uphold their ftate
By worse than hoftile deeds, violating the ends
For which our country is a name fo 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 profecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, Gods cannot be;
Lefs therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd, or fear'd.
Thefe falfe pretexts and varnish'd colors 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 rafh, and quite mistaken
In what I thought would have fucceeded best.
Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samfon,
Afford me place to fhow what recompenfe
Towards thee I intend for what I have mifdone,
Mifguided; only what remains paft cure
Bear not too fenfibly, nor still infist
T' afflict thyself in vain: though fight be loft,
Life yet hath many folaces, enjoy'd
Where other fenfes want not their delights
At home in leifure and domeftic ease,
Exempt from many a care and chance to which
Eye-fight expofes daily men abroad.
I to the Lords will intercede, not doubting
Their favorable ear, that I
From forth this loathfome prifon-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 chear'd, and fo fupply'd,
That what by me thou' haft loft thou least shalt mifs.
SAMS. No, no, of my condition take no care;
It fits not; thou and I long fince are twain:
Nor think me fo unwary or accurs'd,
To bring my feet again into the fnare
Where once I have been caught; I know thy trains
Though dearly to my coft, thy gins, and toils;
Thy fair inchanted cup, and warbling charms
No more on me have power, their force is null'd, 935
So much of adder's wifdom I have learn'd
To fence my ear against thy forceries.
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men
Lov'd, honor'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'ft hate me
Thy husband, flight me, fell 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 infult,
When I muft live uxorious to thy will
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doings to the lords
To glofs upon, and cenfuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty
To thine, whose doors my feet fhall never enter. 950
DAL. Let me approach at least, and touch thy hand.
SAMS. Not for thy life, left fierce remembrance wake My fudden rage to tear thee joint by joint. At distance I forgive thee, go with that; Bewail thy falfhood, and the pious works It hath brought forth to make thee memorable Among illuftrious women, faithful wives: Cherish thy haften'd widowhood with the gold Of matrimonial treason: so farewel.
DAL. I fee thou art implacable, more deaf
To prayers, than winds and feas, yet winds to feas
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore:
Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Eternal tempeft never to be calm'd.
Why do I humble thus myself, and fuing
For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate ?
with evil omen and the brand
Of infamy upon my name denounc'd?
To mix with thy concernments I desist
Henceforth, nor too much difapprove my own.
Fame if not double-fac'd is double-mouth'd,
And with contrary blast proclames 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 Judah, and the bordering tribes,
To all pofterity may stand defam'd,
With malediction mention'd, and the blot
Of falfhood moft unconjugal traduc'd.
But in my country where I moft defire,
In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,