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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 how'dit me first the way.
But I to enemies reveal’d, and should not :
Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's frailty :
Ere I to thee, thou to thyfelf wast cruel.
Let weakness then with weakness come to parle 785
So near related, or the same of kind,
Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine
The gentler, if feverely 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, pow'rful of fway
In human hearts, nor less in mine tow'rds 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, fought by all means therefore 795 s How to indear, 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 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,
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 woe,
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 doft exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.
SAMs. How cunningly the forceress displays Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine! 820 That malice not repentance brought thee hither, appears :
gave, thou fay'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 seest
Impartial, self-fevere, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy feeking, and much rather
Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it, weakness to resist
830 Philistian gold : if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Inceftuous, 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 satisfy thy lust: love seeks to have love ;
My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the way
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 same,
Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.
DAL. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea
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's the magistrates
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, press’d how just 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 insnare an irreligious
860 Dishonorer of Dagon : what had I
T'oppose against such pow'rful arguments ?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated 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 possession of me and prevail'd ;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty so injoining. 870
Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles would
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrify.
But had thy love, still odiously pretended,
Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. 875
I before all the daughters of my
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 secrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but over-power'd
By thy request, who could deny thee nothing i
Yet now am judg’d an enemy. Why then
Didst 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
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 sought of thee, it sought unjustly,
Against the law of nature, law of nations, 890
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; 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;
Less therefore to be pleas’d, obey’d, or fear'd. 900
These false 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 rash, and quite inistaken In what I thought would have succeeded best. Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Sa:nson, Afford me place to show what recompense 910 Tow'ards thee I intend for what I have misdone, Misguided; only what remains past cure Bear not too sensibly, nor still infilt T'afflict thyself in vain : though fight be lok, 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-light exposes daily men abroad.
I to the Lords will intercede, not doubting 920
Their favorable ear, that I