Page images



With studied argument, and much persuasion
Lenient of grief and anxious thought: [sought,
But with th' afflicted in his pangs their sound 650
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Harsh and of dissonant mood from his complaint;
Unless he feel within
Some source of consolation from above,
Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
And fainting spirits uphold.

God of our fathers, what is man!
That thou towards him with hand so various,
Or might I say contrarious,
Temper’st thy providence through his short course,
Not ev'nly, as thou rul'st
Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute,
Irrational and brute.
Nor do I name of men the common rout,
That wand'ring loose about
Grow up and perish, as the summer fly,
Heads without name no more remember'd,
But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
To some great work, thy glory,
And people's safety, which in part they effect:
Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft



669 contrarious] Chaucer, Leg. of Dido, 435.

Sens that the goddess ben contrarious to me.'



676 summer fly] Hen. VI. P. iii. act ii. sc. vi.
• The common people swarm like summer flies.'




Amidst their height of noon,
Changest thy countenance, and thy hand with no

regard Of highest favours past From thee on them, or them to thee of service.

Nor only dost degrade them, or remit To life obscurd, which were a fair dismission, But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them

high, Unseemly falls in human eye, Too grievous for the trespass or omission ; Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword Of heathen and profane, their carcasses To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captív'd; Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times, And condemnation of the ingrateful multitude. If these they scape, perhaps in poverty With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down, Painful diseases and deform’d, In crude old age : Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff'ring The punishment of dissolute days : in fine, Just 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 strength, and mighty minister. What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already?



694 dogs] Hom. Il. i. 4. Newton.

700 crude] Premature, coming before its time, as Cruda funerą' in Statius. Jortin. VOL. III.


Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end.

But who is this? what thing of sea or land ? 710
Female of sex it seems,
That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,
Comes this way sailing
Like a stately ship
Of Tarsus, bound for th' isles
Of Javan or Gadire,
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill’d, and streamers waving,


710 who is this]
Sed hic quis est, quem huc advenientem conspicor,
Suam qui undantem chlamydem quassando facit?'

Plauti Epid. act. iii. sc. 3. 714 a stately ship] This passage may be well illustrated by a quotation from a Sermon called Wilkinson's Merchant Royall,' preached at the nuptials of the Lord Hay, in 1607 4to. The text is from Proverbs, xxxi. 14. She is like a Merchants shippe, she bringeth her foode from afarre! “But of all qualities, a woman must not have one quality of a ship, and that is, too much rigging. Oh! what a wonder it is to see a ship under saile, with her tacklings and her masts, and her tops, and her top-gallants, with her upper deckes, and her nether deckes, and so bedeckt with her streamers, flags, and ensignes, and I know not what; yea, but a world of wonders it is to see a woman created in God's image, so miscreate oft times and deformed with her French, her Spanish, and her foolish fashions, that he that made her, when hee lookes upon her, shall hardlie know her, with her plumes, her fannes, and a silken vizard, with a ruffe like a saile, yea, a ruffe like a rainebow, with a feather in her cap, like a flag in her top, to tell, I think, which way the winde will blowe."




near me


Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber scent of odorous perfume
Her harbinger, a damsel train behind ;
Some rich Philistian matron she may seem,
And now, at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila thy wife.
Sams. My wife ! my traitress: let her not come

sthee fix'd,
Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes
About t have 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 silken veil :
But now again she makes address to speak.

DAL. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson, 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 foresaw, My penance hath not slacken'd, though my pardon No way assur’d: but conjugal affection, Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt, Hath led me on, desirous to behold Once more thy face, and know of thy estate, If aught in my ability may serve


740 745

720 amber] Sylvester's Du Bartas (1621), p. 311.
Soft carpet knights all senting musk and amber.'

Todd. 728 Like] Virg. Æn. ix. 436. Hom. Il. viii. 306.


To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash, but more unfortunate, misdeed.

SAMs. Out, out, hyæna ! these are thy wonted
And arts of every woman false like thee, [arts,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,
Then, as repentant, to submit, 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, 756
His virtue or weakness which way to assail ;
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again transgresses, and again submits;
That wisest 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,
Entangled 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 endeaTo lesson or extenuate my offence, [vour 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, I may, if possible, thy pardon find The easier towards me, or thy hatred less. First granting, as I do, it was a weakness




« PreviousContinue »