« PreviousContinue »
Preaching how meritorious with the gods
It would be to ensnare an irreligious
Dishonourer of Dagon : what had I
T'oppose against such powerful arguments ?
Ony my love of thee held long debate,
And corobated 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 possesion of me and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty so enjoining.
Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles woulo
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy.
But had thy love, still odiously pretended,
Been as it ought, sincere, it would have taught 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, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st,
Too well, unbosom'd all my secrets to thee,
Not 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,
Chen, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd ?
Being 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 theirs : if aught against my life
Thy country sought of thee, it sought 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;
To please thy gods thou didst it ; gods unable
T'acquit themselves and prosecute their toes
But by ungodly deeds; the contradiction
Oi their own deity, gods cannot be ;
Less therefore to be pleased, obey'd, or fear d.
These false pretexts and varnish'd 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 case.
Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of
breath ; Witness when I was worried with thy peals.
Dal. I was a fool, 100 rash, and quite mistaken In what I thought would have succeeded best. Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson, Afford me place to show what recompense Tow'rds 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, enjoy'd, Where other senses want not their delights, At home, in leisure and domestic ease, Exempt from many a care and chance to which Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad. I to the lords will intercede, not doubting Their favourable ear, that I may fetch thee From forth this loathsome prison-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 cheer'd, and so supplied, That what by me thou hast lost thou least shu's
miss. Sams. No, no, of my condition take no care, It fits not; thou and I long since are twain ; Nor think me so unwary or accurs’d, To bring iny feet again into the snare Where once I have been caught; I know thy trains Mboth rearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils i
Thy faii enchanted cup, and warbling char 118
No more on me have power, their force is nullid,
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn’d
To fence my ear against thy sorceries. .
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men
Lov’d, honourd, fear'd me, thou alone couldst hate in
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me ;
How wouldsi thou use me now, blind, and thereby
Deceivable, in most things as a child
Helpless, thence easily contemu’d, and scorn'd,
And last neglected ? How wouldst thou insult,
When I must live uxorious to thy will
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doings to the lords
To gloss upon, and censuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter.
Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy
Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thee, go with that ;
Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works
ji hath brought forth to make thee memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives :
Cherish thy hasten'd widowhood with the gold
Of matrimonial treason: so farewell.
Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf
To prayers, than winds and seas, yet winds to sea.
A re reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore ;
Thy anger, unappeasible, still rages,
Eternal tenpest never to be calm’d.
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 denounc'd ?
To mix with thy concernments I desisi
llenceforth, nor too much disapprove iny own
Fame, if not double fac'd is double moutn'd,
And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds; *
In both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild airy fight.
My name perhaps among the circumcis'd
In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,
To all posterity may stand defam'd,
With malediction mention'd, and the blot
Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd.
But in my country, where I most desire.
In Ecron Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,
I shall be nam'd among the famousest
Of women, sung at solemn festivals.
Living and dead 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 renown'd than in mount Ephraim
Jael, who with inhospitable guile
Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nail'd.
Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy
The public marks of honour and reward
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
Which to my country I was judg’d to have shown
At this who ever envies or repines,
I leave him to his lot, and like my own.
Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by ner sting Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.
Sams. So let her go, God sent her to debase me,
And aggravate my folly, who committed
To such a viper his most sacred trust
Of secresy, my safety and my life.
Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange
After offence returning, to regain..
Love once possess'd, nor can be easily
Repuls'd without much inward passion felt
And secret sting of amorous remarse.
Sams. Love quarrels oft in pleasing concord enda Noi'wedlock-treach'ry endangering life.
Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, wit, Strength, comliness of shape, or amplest merit That woman's love can win or long inherit. Bui what it is, hard is to say,
arder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it.)
Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day,
Or seven, though one should musing sit.
If any of these or all, the 'Timnian bride
Had not so soon preferr'd
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compard
Successor in thy bed,
Nor but so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, not this last so treacherously
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Capacity not rais'd to apprehend
Or value what is best
In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Or was too much of self-love mix’d,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long?
What'er it be to wisest men and best,
Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veii,
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Iniestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms
Draws him awry enslav'd
With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
Embark'd with such a steersmate at the helm !
Favour'd of heaven whc finds