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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.

720

SAMS. My wife! my traitress: let her not come [thee fix'd,

near me.

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.

730

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,

735

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

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

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

Todd.

740

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.

745

750

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

760

Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears, 755
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 beguil'd,
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.

765

DAL. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I endea

To lessen or extenuate my offence,

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

[vour

770

In me, but incident to all our sex,
Curiosity, inquisitive, 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,

775

Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety? 780 To what I did thou show'dst me first the way. But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not;

Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel. [frailty. Let weakness then with weakness come to parle, So near related, or the same of kind,

Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine The gentler, if severely thou exact not

More strength from me than in thyself was found.
And what if love, which thou interpret'st hate, 790
The jealousy of love, powerful of sway

In human hearts, nor less in mine towards thee,
Caus'd what I did? I saw thee mutable
Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would'st leave me
As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore 795
How to endear, and hold thee to me firmest:
No better way I saw than by impórtuning
To learn thy secrets, get into my power
The key of strength and safety. Thou wilt say,
Why then reveal'd? I was assur❜d by those
Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd

800

785 parle] See Par. L. vi. 296. P. Reg. iv. 529. Shakesp. Tam. of a Shrew, act i. sc. 1. Todd.

805

810

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 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
Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain’d.
Be not unlike all others, not austere
As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.

[woe,

815

820

SAMS. How cunningly the sorceress displays Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine! 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,

825

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 resist
Philistian gold; if weakness may excuse,

830

What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or man will gain thee no remission. 835
But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy lust. Love seeks to have love:
My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the
To raise in me inexpiable hate,
[way
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd? 840
In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,
Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more. [plea

DAL. Since thou determin'st weakness for no
In man or woman, though to thy own condemning,
Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides, 845
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented,
Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men,
The constantest, to have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me. Thou know'st the magis-
And princes of my country came in person, [trates
Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,
Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
And of religion, press'd how just it was,
How honourable, how glorious, to entrap
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 ensnare an irreligious
Dishonourer of Dagon. What had I

855

860

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