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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 cireling 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, sincerc, 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 100 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; Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal moved thee; Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
To please thy gods thou didst it; gods, unable Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction And I believe it; weakness to resist
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 se'isfy 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 resolvid 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 honorable, 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 sting 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 possess'd, nor can be casily
Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end
Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit,
Harder to hit,
Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day
If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride
(wake Successor in thy bed,
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 Why do I humble thus myself, and, suing Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil, For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate ? Soft, modest, meek, demure, Bid go with evil omen, and the brand
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn of infamy upon my name denounc'd ?
Intestine, far within defensive arms To mix with thy concernments I desist
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own. Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms Fame, if not double-fac'd, is double-mouth'd, Draws him awry enslav'd And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds; With dotage, and his sense depravid On both his winge, one black, the other white, To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends. Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight. What pilot so expert but needs must wreck My name perhaps among the circumcis'd
Embark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm ? In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,
Favor'd of Heaven, who finds To all posterity may stand defamd,
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 oppositios 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
Gave to the man despotic power
Smile 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 outeries 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 oft 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 hairs 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 unshorn 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,
With the utmost of his Godhead seconded :
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 tamed thee. 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 l'o 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'st Of 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 Thino, 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 Nor 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 not thy nation subject to our lords ? thee,
Their magistrates 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,
But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove But your ill-meaning politician lords,
My speediest 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
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.
By his habit I discern him now
[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. He will directly to the lords, I fear, To appear as fits before the illustrious lords. 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 conten And, that he durst not, plain enough appear’d.
them. Much more affiction than already felt
Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every sort
Or gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, This day will be remarkable in my life
Of. Samson, this second message from our lords To make them sport with blind activity ?
To thee I am bid say. Art thou our slave, Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels, Our captive at the public mill, our drudge, On my refusal to distress me more,
And dar’st thou at our sending and command Or make a game of my calamities?
Dispute thy coming? come without delay; Return the way thou cam'st: I will not come Or we shall find such engines to assail
Of. Regard thyself; this will offend them highly. And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force,
Sams. Myself? my conscience, and internal peace. Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock. Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
Sams. I could be well content to try their art, With corporal servitude, that my mind ever Which to no few of them would prove pernicious Will condescend to such absurd commands? Yet, knowing their advantages too many, Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester, Because they shall not trail me through their streets And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief Like a wild beast, I am content to go. To show them feats, and play before their god, Masters' commands come with a power resistless The worst of all indignities, yet on me
To such as owe them absolute subjection; Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come. And for a life who will not change his purpose ?
Off. My message was impos'd on me with speed,(So mutable are all the ways of men ;) Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution ?
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply Sams. So take it with what speed thy message Scandalous or forbidden in our law. needs.
Off. I praise thy resolution: doff these links : Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
(Exit. To favor, and perhaps to set thee free. Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow Sams. Brethren, farewell; your company along indeed.
I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them Chor. Consider, Samson ; matters now are strain' To see me girt with friends; and how the sight Up to the height, whether to hold or break: Of me as of a common enemy, He's gone, and who knows how he may report So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, Thy words by adding fuel to the flame ?
I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine ; Expect another message more imperious,
And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd More lordly thundering than thou well wilt bear. With zeal, if aught religion seem concern'd;
Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift No less the people, on their holy-days, Of strength, again returning with my hair
Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable : After my great transgression, so requite
Happen what may, of me expect to hear Favor renew'd, and add a greater sin
Nothing dishonorable, impure, unworthy By prostituting holy things to idols ?
Our God, our law, my nation, or myself,
The last of me or no I cannot warrant.
Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.
Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor Rode up in flames after his message told Honest and lawful to deserve my food
Of thy conception, and be now a shield of those who have me in their civil power. Of fire; that spirit, that first rush'd on thee Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts In the camp of Dan, defile not.
[tence holds. Be efficacious in thee now at need. Sams. Where outward force constrains, the sen- For never was from Heaven imparted But who constrains me to the temple of Dagon, Measure of strength so great to mortal seed, Not dragging ? the Philistian lords command. As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen.Commands are no constraints. If I obey them, But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste I do it freely, venturing to displease
With youthful steps ? much livelier than erewhile God for the fear of man, and man prefer,
He seems ; supposing here to find his son,
Or of him bringing to us some glad news?
(Enler MANOAH.] Present in temples at idolatrous rites
Man. Peace with you, brethren; my inducement For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt.
By order of the lords now parted hence
And numbers thither flock: I had no will,
Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly. Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonor But that, which mov'd my coming now, was chiefly Our law, or stain my vow of Nazarite.
To give ye part with me what hope I have If there be aught of presage in the mind, With good success to work his liberty.