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To lighten what thou suffer'st and-appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power, 745
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.
Sam. Out, out, hyæna; these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 750
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 urged his patience bears,
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 beguiled,
714. This comparison is to be found in several of the older poets, Shakspeare, Beaumont and Fletcher,
748. Hyana; this animal is known to imitate the human voice so well, as to have deceived travellers with its complaints.
To lessen or extenuate my offence,
But that on the other side if it be weigh'd
By' itself, with aggravations not surcharged,
Or else with just allowance counterpoised,
I may, if possible, thy pardon find
The easier towards me, or thy hatred less.
First granting, as I do, it was a weakness
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,
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety?
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
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.
Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel.
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 iflove, which thou interpret'st hate,
The jealousy of love, powerful of sway 791
In human hearts, nor less in mind tow'rds thee,
Caused what I did? I saw thee mutable [me
Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would'st leave
As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore
How to endear, and hold thee to me firmest: 796
No better way I saw than by importuning
To learn thy secrets, get into my power
Thy key of strength and safety: thou wilt say,
Why then reveal'd? I was assured by those 800
Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd
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, 805
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
Sam. 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, Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou
Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much ra-
Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it, weakness to resist
Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
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.
But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage 836
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,
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.
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, What sieges girt me round, ere I consented; 846 Which might have awed the best resolved 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, 851
Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urged,
Adjured 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 insnare an irreligious
Dishonourer of Dagon: what had I
To' oppose against such powerful arguments?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated in silence all these reasons
With hard contest: at length that grounded
By thy request, who could deny thee nothing;
Yet now am judged an enemy. Why then
Did'st thou at first receive me for thy husband,
Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd?
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave 885
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 moved thee;
To please thy gods thou didst it; gods unable 896
To' acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, gods cannot be;
Less therefore to be pleased, obey'd, or fear'd. 900
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 cause. 904 Sam. For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath;
Witness when I was worried with thy peals.
Dal. I was a fool, too 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 shalt
Sam. No, no, of my condition take no care; It fits not; thou and I long since are twain : Nor think me so unwary or accursed, To bring my feet again into the snare Where once I have been caught; I know thy Though dearly to my cost, thy gins and toils; Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms
No more on me have power, their force is null'd,
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd 936
To fence my ear against thy sorceries. [men
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all
Loved, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'st
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego
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 would'st 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. 950
Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy
Sam. 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
It 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 960 To prayers than winds and seas, yet winds to seas Are reconciled at length, and sea to shore : Thy anger unappeasable, still rages, Eternal tempest 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 denounced? To mix with thy concernments I desist Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own. 970 Fame if not double-faced is double-mouth'd, And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds; On both his wings, one black, the other white, Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight. My name perhaps among the circumcised In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes, To all posterity may stand defamed, With malediction mention'd, and the blot Of falsehood most unconjugal traduced. But in my country, where I most desire, In Ecron, Gaza, Ashdod, and in Gath, I shall be named 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
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?
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Seeming at first all heav'nly under virgin veil, 1035
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms 1040
Draws him awry inslaved
With dotage, and his sense depraved
988, Judges iv. v.
1020. Paranymph; brideman.
1034. There is a similar change of numbers to that in this passage of men, and the singular pronoun, in Par. Lost, ix. 1183.
I less conjecture than when first I saw
The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
Sam. Or peace or not, alike to me he comes. Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now arrives. 1075 Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been, Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath, Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd As Og or Anak, and the Emims old That Kiriathaim held; thou know'st me now If thou at all art known. Much I have heard Of thy prodigious might and feats perform❜d, Incredible to me, in this displeased, That I was never present on the place Of those encounters, where we might have tried Each other's force in camp or listed field; And now am come to see of whom such noise Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, If thy appearance answer loud report.
Sam. The way to know were not to see but taste. Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Gyves and the mill had tamed thee. O that For
Had brought me to the field, where thou art famed
To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw;
I should have forced thee soon with other arms,
Or left thy carcase where the ass lay thrown: 1097
So had the glory' of prowess been recover'd
To Palestine, won by a Philistine,
From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou bear'st
The highest name for valiant acts; that honour
Certain to' have won by mortal duel from thee, 1102
I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
Sam. Boast not of what thou would'st have done, but do
What then thou would'st, thou seest it in thy hand. Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd.
1075. His fraught; freight is proposed as a better reading.
1079. Harapha is a fictitious character, but the name was suggested to Milton by Arapha or Rapha being mentioned in Scripture as the father of the giants of Rephaim.-See Deut. ii. 10, 11. iii. 11. Gen. xiv. 5. 1093. Gyves, fetters or chains.
Sam. Such usage as your honourable lords 1108 Afford me,' assassinated and betray'd, Who durst not with their whole united powers In fight withstand me single and unarm'd, 1111 Nor in the house with chamber ambushes Close-banded durst attack me, no not sleeping, Till they had hired a woman with their gold Breaking her marriage faith to circumvent me. Therefore, without feign'd shifts let be assign'd Some narrow place inclosed, where sight may give thee, 1117
Or rather flight, no great advantage on me;
Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet
And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon,
Vant-brass and greves, and gauntlet, add thy ·
A weaver's beam, and seven-times folded shield,
I only with an oaken staff will meet thee,
And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron,
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head,
That in a little time, while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast 1127
Again in safety what thou would'st have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, 1131 Their ornament and safety, had not spells And black inchantments, some magician's art, Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou from Heav'n 1134 Feign'dst at thy birth was given thee in thy hair, Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs
Were bristles ranged like those that ridge the back Of chafed wild boars, or ruffled porcupines.
Sam. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts; My trust is in the living God, who gave me 1140 At my nativity this strength, diffused
No less through all my sinews, joints and bones, Than thine, while I preserved these locks unshorn,
1120. Brigandine, a coat of mail.-Habergeon, a covering of mail for the head and shoulders.--Vantbrass or brace, covering for the arms; greves, for the legs, gauntlet, an iron glove.
1138. Shakspeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Sc. 8.
The pledge of my unviolated vow.
For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
With solemnest devotion, spread before him
How highly it concerns his glory now
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells,
Which I to be the power of Israel's God
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test,
Offering to combat thee his champion bold,
With th' utmost of his godhead seconded:
Then thou shalt see, or rather to thy sorrow 1154
Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine.
Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be, Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off Quite from his people, and deliver'd up Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee Into the common prison, there to grind Among the slaves and asses thy comrades, As good for nothing else, no better service With those thy boist'rous locks, no worthy match For valour to assail, nor by the sword Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, But by the barber's razor best subdued.
Sam. All these indignities, for such they are
From thine, these evils 1 deserve and more,
Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me
Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon
Whose ear is ever open, and his eye
Gracious to re-admit the suppliant:
In confidence whereof I once again
Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,
By combat to decide whose God is God,
Thine or whom I with Israel's sons adore.
Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in
He will accept thee to defend his cause,
A murderer, a revolter, and a robber.
Sam. Tongue-doughty Giant, how dost thou
prove me these?
Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? Their magistrates confess'd it, when they took thee
As a league-breaker and deliver'd bound
Into our hands: for hadst thou not committed 1185
Notorious murder on those thirty men
At Ascalon, who never did thee harm,
Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ?
The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the
Went up with armed pow'rs thee only seek-
To others did no violence, nor spoil.
Sam. Among the daughters of the Philistines
I chose a wife, which argued me no foe;
And in your city held my nuptial feast:
But your ill-meaning politician lords
Under pretence of bridal friends and guests,
Appointed to await me thirty spies,
Who threat'ning cruel death, constrain'd the
To wring from me and tell to them my secret, That solved the riddle which I had proposed. 1200
When I perceived all set on enmity,
As on my enemies, wherever chanced,
I used hostility and took their spoil
To pay my underminers in their coin.
My nation was subjected to your lords,
It was the force of conquest; force with force
Is well ejected when the conquer'd can.
But I a private person, whom my country
As a league-breaker gave up bound, presumed
Single rebellion and did hostile acts.
I was no private, but a person raised
With strength sufficient and command from
To free my country; if their servile minds
Me their deliverer sent would not receive,
But to their masters gave me up for nought, 1215
Th' unworthier they; whence to this day they
I was to do my part from Heav'n assign'd,
And had perform'd it, if my known offence
Had not disabled me, not all your force:
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant, 122)
Though by his blindness maim'd for high attempts,
Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
As a petty enterprise of small enforce.
Har. With thee a man condemn'd, a slave enroll'd,
Due by the law to capital punishment?
To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
Sam. Camest thou for this, vain boaster, to
To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict? Come nearer, part not hence so slight inform'd ; But take good heed my hand survey not thee. 1230
Har. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unused Hear these dishonours, and not render death? Sam. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy hand
Fear I incurable; bring up thy van,
My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.
Har. This insolence other kind of answer fits. Sam. Go, baffled coward, lest I run upon thee, Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast, And with one buffet lay thy structure low, Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down 1240 To th' hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides.
Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament These braveries in irons loaded on thee. [fall'n, Chor. His Giantship is gone somewhat crestStalking with less unconscionable strides, And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
Sam. I dread him not, nor all his giant brood, Though fame divulge him father of five sons, All of gigantic size, Goliath chief.
Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear, 1250 And with malicious counsel stir them up Some way or other yet further to afflict thee. Sam. He must allege some cause, and offer'd fight
1231. Baalzebub. Astaroth, deities of the Philistines.
1248. 1 Sam. xvii. 2 Sam. xx. i. 15.