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From forth this loathsome prison-house, to abide
redoubled love and care: With nursing diligence, to me glad office, May ever tend about thee to old age
925 With all things grateful cheard, and so supply'd, That what by me thou' hast loft thou least shalt 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 my feet again into the snare
Where once I have been caught; I know thy trains
Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils ;
Thy fair inchanted cup, and warbling charms
No more on me have power, their force is null’d, 935
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, honor’d, fear'd me, thou alone could'st hate me
Thy husband, slight me, fell me, and forego me; 940
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 wouldst thou insult,
When I must live uxorious to thy will
945 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 hand.
SAMS. Not for thy life, left fierce remembrance wake
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thee, go with that;
Bewail thy fallhood, 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 farewel.
DAL. I see thou art implacable, more deaf 960
To prayers, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to Thore :
Thy anger, unappeafable, fill rages,
Eternal tempeft never to be calm’d.
Why do I humble thus myself, and suing 965
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 defist
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own,
Fame if not double-fac'd is double-mouth'd,
And with contrary blast proclames moft deeds;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight.
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 falsnood most unconjugal traducid.
But in my country where I most defire,
In Ecron, Gaza, Afdod, and in Gath,
I Mall 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 odors 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. 990
Nor shall I count it hainous to enjoy
The public marks of honor and reward,
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
Which to my country I was judg’d to have shown.
At this whoever envies or repines,
995 I leave him to his lot, and like my own.
Cho. She's gone, a manifest ferpent by her 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.
Cho. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange After offense returning, to regain
[power, Love once possess’d, nor can be easily
1005 Repuls d, without much inward passion felt And secret sting of amorous remorse.
SAMS. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end, Not wedlock-treachery indangering life.
Cho. It is not virtue, wisdom, valor, wit, Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit
That woman's love can win or long inherit;
But what it is, hard is to say,
Harder 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 foon preferr'd
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd,
Successor in thy bed,
Nor both fo loofly disally'd
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherously
Had fhorn 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 nuuch of self-love mix'd,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long?
Whate'er it be, to wiseft men and best
Seeming at first all heav'nly under virgin veil,
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestin, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms
Draws him awry insav'd
With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
To folly' and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
İmbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm ?
Favor'd of Heav'n who finds
One virtuous rarely found,
That in domestic good combines :
Happy that house? his way to peace is smooth :
But virtue, which breaks through all opposition, 1050
And all temptation can remove,
Most shines and most is acceptable above.
Therefore God's universal law
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe,
Nor from that right to part an hour,
Smile she or lour :
So Thall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd
By female usurpation, or dismay'd.
1060 But had we best retire, I see a storm ?
SAMs. Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain, Cho. But this another kind of tempest brings. Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.
Cho. Look now for no inchanting voice, nor fear The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue Draws hitherward, I know him by his ftride, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look Haughty as is his pile high-built and proud. Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him hither I less conjecture than when first I saw