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Chor. Many are the sayings of the wise,
An amber scent of odorous perfume In ancient and in modern books enrollid,
Her harbinger, a damsel train behind ; Extolling patience as the truest fortitude;
Some rich Philistian matron she may seem; And to the bearing well of all calamities,
And now at nearer view, no other certain All chances incident to man's frail life,
Than Dalila thy wife.
r me Consolatories writ
Sams. My wife! my traitress : let her not come With studied argument, and much persuasion sought, Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes Lenient of grief and anxious thought:
thee fix'd, But with the amicted in his pangs their sound About to have spoke; but now, with head declin'd, Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Like a fair flower surcharg'd with dew, she weeps, Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint ; And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd, Unless he feel within
Wetting the borders of her silken veil :
But now again she makes address to speak.
[Enter Dalila.) God of our fathers, what is man!
Dal. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution That thou towards him with hand so various, I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson, Or might I'say contrarious,
Which to have merited, without excuse, Temper’st thy providence through his short course, I cannot but acknowledge; yet, if tears Not evenly, as thou rul'st
May expiate, (though the fact more evil drew The angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute, In the perverse event than I foresaw,) Irrational and brute.
My penance hath not slacken'd, though my pardon Nor do I name of men the common rout,
No way assur'd. But conjugal affection, That, wandering loose about,
Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt,
Hath led me on, desirous to behold
If aught in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease To some great work, thy glory,
Thy mind with what amends is in my power, And people's safety, which in part they effect: Though late, yet in some part to recompense Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft,
My rash, but more unfortunate, misdeed. Amidst their height of noon,
Sams. Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts, Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with no And arts of every woman false like thee, regard
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, Of highest favors past
Then as repentant to submit, beseech, From thee on them, or them to thee of service. And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse, Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
Confess, and promise wonders in her change ; To life obscur’d, which were a fair dismission, Not truly penitent, but chief to try. But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears, high,
His virtue or weakness which way to assail : Unseemly falls in human eye,
Then with more cautious and instructed skill Too grievous for the trespass or omission;
Again transgresses, and again submits; Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword
That wisest and best men, full oft beguild, Of heathen and profane, their carcasses
With goodness principled not to reject
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off,
Dal. Yet hear me, Samson ; not that I endeavor In crude old age;
To lessen or extenuate my offence,
Or else with just allowance counterpois'd,
I may, if possible, thy pardon find
Of secrets, then, with like infirmity
Was it not weakness also to make known
For importunity, that is, for nought, Comes this way sailing
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety? Like a stately ship
To what I did thou show'dst me first the way. Of Tarsus, bound for the isles
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not: Of Javan or Gadire
Nor shouldst thou have trusted that to woman's With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
frailty: Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel. Courted by all the winds that hold them play, Let weakncss then with weakness come to parle,
So near related, or the same of kind.
. A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Dishonorer of Dagon : what had I
Only my love of thee held long debate,
Private respects must yield, with grave authority Thy key of strength and safety : thou wilt say, Took full possession of me, and prevail'd ; Why then reveal? I was assur'd by those
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining. Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd
Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles Against thee but safe custody, and hold :
would end ; That made for me; I knew that liberty
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy ! Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises, But had thy love, still odiously pretended, While I at home sat full of cares and fears, Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed ;
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. Here I should still enjoy thee, day and night, I, before all the daughters of my tribe Mine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines', And of my nation, chose thee from among Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st; Fearless at home of partners in my love.
Too well; unbosom'd all my secrets to thee, These reasons in love's law have past for good, Not out of levity, but overpower'd Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps : By thy request, who could deny thee nothing : And love hath oft, well-meaning, wrought much woe, Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain'd.
Didst thou at first receive me for thy husband, Be not unlike all others, not austere
Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd ? As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
Parents and country; nor was I their subject, In uncompassionate anger do not so.
Nor under their protection, but my own, Sams. How cunningly the sorceress displays Thou mine, not theirs; if aught against my life Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine? Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly, That malice, not repentance, brought thee hither, Against the law of nature, law of nations ; By this appears : I gave, thou say'st, the example, No more thy country, but an impious crew I led the way: bitter reproach, but true;
Of men conspiring to uphold their state I to myself was false ere thou to me;
By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
For which our country is a name so dear;
To please thy gods thou didst it; gods, unable
of their own deity, gods cannot be ; Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd or fear'd. . What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
These false pretexts, and varnish'd colors failing, Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it ?
Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear? All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore Dal. In argument with men, a woman ever With God or man will gain thee no remission. Goes by the worse whatever be her cause. But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
Sams. For want of words, no doubt, or lack of breath; To satisfy thy lust: love seeks to have love; Witness when I was worried with thy peals. My love how couldst thou hope, who took'st the way Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken To raise in me inexpiable hate,
In what I thought would have succeeded best. Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd ? Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson ; In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame, Afford me place to show what recompense Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.
Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone, Dal. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea Misguided; only what remains past cure In man or woman, though to thy own condemning, Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides, To afflict thyself in vain: though sight be lost. What sieges girt me round, ere I consented; Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men, Where other senses want not their delights The constantest, to have yielded without blame. At home in leisure and domestic ease, It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st, Exempt from many a care and chance, to which That wrought with me: thou know'st the magistrates Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad. And princes of my country came in person, I to the lords will intercede, not doubting Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,
Their favorable ear, that I may fetch thee Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
From forth this lothesome prison-house to abide And of religion, press'd how just it was,
With me, where my redoubled love and care How horiorable, how glorious, to entrap
With nursing diligence, to me glad office,
May ever tend about thee to old age,
The public marks of honor and reward, With all things grateful cheer'd, and so supplied, Conferr'd upon me, for the piety That, what by me thou hast lost, thou least shalt Which to my country I was judg'd to have shown. miss.
At this whoever envies or repines, Sams. No, no; of my condition take no care; I leave him to his lot, and like my own. [Erit It fits not; thou and I long since are twain;
Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sung Nor think me so unwary or accurs'd,
Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd. To bring my feet again into the snare
Sams. So let her go ; God sent her to debase me,
Love once possessid, nor can be casily
| Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end
Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit,
Harder to hit,
Much like ihy riddle, Samson, in one day
1 If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter. Had not so soon preferr'd Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd, hand.
(wake Successor in thy bed, Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance Nor both so loosely disallied My sudden rage to lear thee joint by joint.
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherous At distance I forgive thee; go with that;
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Or value what is best
That either they love nothing, or not long?
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Embark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm?
Favord of Heaven, who finds To all posterity may stand defam'd,
One virtuous, rarely found, With malediction mention'd, and the blot
That in domestic good combines : Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd.
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth: But in my country, where I most desire,
But virtue, which breaks through all oppositioú, In Ecron, Gaza, Ashdod, and in Gath,
And all temptation can remove, I shall be nam'd among the famousest
Most shines, and most is acceptable above. Of women, sung at solemn festivals,
Therefore God's universal law Living and dead recorded, who, to save
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe,
Sinile she or lour:
So shall he least confusion draw Jael, who with hospitable guile
On his whole life, not sway'd Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nail'd. By female usurpation, or dismay'd. Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy
But had we best retire? I see a storm
Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron, rain.
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head, Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. That in a little time, while breath remains thee, Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are Thou ost shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast past.
Again in safety what thou wouldst have done Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more. The bait of honey'd words; a rougher tongue | Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious Draws hitherward; I know him by his stride,
arms, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud. Their ornament and safety, had not spells Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him And black enchantments, some magician's art, hither
Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou from I less conjecture than when first I saw
Heaven The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
| Feign'dst at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair, His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
Where strength can least abide, though all thy hair Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now Of chaf 'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines. arrives.
| Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts,
My trust is in the living God, who gave me [Enter HARAPHA.]
At my nativity this strength, diffus'd Har. I come not; Samson, to condole thy chance, No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been, | Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshors Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath; The pledge of my unviolated vow. Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy God,
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
Which I to be the power of Israel's God
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test, of those encounters, where we might bave tried | Offering to combat thee his champion bold, Each other's force in camp or listed field ;
With the utmost of his Godhead seconded : And now am come to see of whom such noise |Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow, Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. If thy appearance answer loud report.
Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be • Sams. The way to know were not to see but taste. Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off
Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Quite from his people, and deliver'd up Gyves and the mill had jamed thce. O that fortune Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them Had brought me to the field, where thou art fam'd |To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw! Into the common prison, there to grind I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms, Among the slaves and asses thy cområles. , Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: As good for nothing else; no better service So had the glory of prowess been recover'd With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match To Palestine, won by a Philistine,
For valor to assail, nor by the sword From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou bear'stlof noble warrior, so to stain his honor, The highest name for valiant acts; that honor, But by the barber's razor best subdued. Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, Sams. All these indignities, for such they are I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, Sams. Boast not of what thou wouldst have done, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me but do
Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, What then thou wouldst ; thou seest it in thy hand. Whose ear is ever open, and his eye
Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, Gracious to re-admit the suppliant : And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. In confidence whereof I once again
Sams. Such usage as your honorable lords Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight, Afford me, assassinated and betray'd,
By combat to decide whose God is God, Who durst not with their whole united powers Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore. In fight withstand me single and unarm'd,
| Har. Fair honor that thou dost thy God, in trust Kor in the house with chamber-ambushes
ing Close-banded durst attack me, no, not sleeping, He will accept thee to defend this cause, Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold
A murderer, a revolter, and a robber! Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me. | Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou prove Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd
me these? Some narrow place inclos'd, where sight may give Har. Is n
Their magistrales confess'd it when they took thee Or rather flight, no great advantage on me;
As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet Into our hands : for hadst thou not committed And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, Notorious murder on those thirty men Vant-brace and greaves, and gauntlet, add thy spear, At Ascalon, who never did thee harm, A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield; Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ? I only with an oaken stafl' will meet thee,
The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league,
Went up with armed powers thee only seeking, They cannot well impose, nor I sustain ;
If they intend advantage of my labors,
With no small profit daily to my owners. And in your city held my nuptial feast :
But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove But your ill-meaning politician lords,
My spcediest friend, by death to rid me hence; Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, The worst that he can give to me the best. Appointed to await me thirty spies,
Yet so it may fall out, because their end Who, threatening cruel death, constrain’d the bride Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret, Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed. That solv'd the riddle which I had propos'd.
Chor. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
To the spirits of just men long oppress'd! As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
When God into the hands of their deliverer I us'd hostility, and took their spoil,
Puts invincible might To pay my underminers in their coin.
To quell the mighty of the Earth, the oppressor, My nation was subjected to your lords ;
The brute and boisterous force of violent men,
Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
And feats of war defeats,
With plain heroic magnitude of mind
But patience is more oft the exercise
And victory over all
Har. With thee! a man condemn'd, a slave en- Either of these is in thy lot,
Samson, with might endued
Whom patience finally must crown.
Har. O Baal-zebub? can my ears unus'd And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
A sceptre or quaint staff he bears,
Comes on amain, speed in his look. My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.
By his habit I discern him now
Sams. Go, baffled coward ! lest I run upon thee, His message will be short and voluble.
(Enter Officer.] Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down Off. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here I seek. To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides Chor. His manacles remark him, there he sits.
Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say; These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. [Exit. This day to Dagon is a solemn feast,
Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat crestfallen, With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games : Stalking with less unconscionable strides, Thy strength they know surpassing human rate, And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
And now some public proof thereof require Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood, To honor this great feast, and great assembly : Though fame divulge him father of five sons, Rise therefore with all speed, and come along, All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.
Where I will see thee hearten'd, and fresh clad, Chor. Ile will directly to the lords, I fear, To appear as fits before the illustrious loris. And with malicious counsel stir them up
Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore Some way or other yet further to afflict thee.
Off. This answer, be assur'd, will not content And, that he durst not. plain enough appear'd.
them. Much more affliction than already felt
Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every sort