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النشر الإلكتروني

'To raise in me inexpiable hate,

Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd?
In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,
Or by evasions thy crime uncover❜st more.

Dalila 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,
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'st the ma-


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 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 ensnare 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 contést: at length that grounded maxim,
So rife and celebrated in the mouths

Of wisest men, that to the publick good
Private respects must yield, with grave authority
Took full possession of me, and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining.
Samson. I thought where all thy circling wiles
would end;

In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy !

But had thy love, still odiously pretended,

Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee

Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds.
I before all the daughters of my tribe

And of my nation, chose thee from among

My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st;
Too well; unbosom'd all my secrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but over-power'd

By thy request, who could deny thee nothing;
Yet now am judg'd 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
Parents and country; nor was I then 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 mov'd thee;
To please thy Gods thou didst it; Gods unable
To acquit themselves and prosecute 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.
These false pretexts and varnish'd colours failing,
Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear!

Dalila. In argument with men a woman ever
Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause.

Samson. For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath;

Witness when I was worried with thy peals.

Dalila. 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 recompence Towards 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 domestick 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 fetch thee
From forth this loathsome prison house, to abide
With me, where 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 miss.

Samson. 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 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,

To fence my ear against thy sorceries.

If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men Lov'd, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'st hate me

Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me ; 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.
Dalila. Let me approach at least, and touch
thy hand.

Samson. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake

My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint,
At distance I forgive thee; go with that;
Bewail thy falshood, 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.

Dalila. I see thou art implacable, more deaf To prayers, than winds and seas; yet winds to seas Are reconcil'd 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 denounc'd?

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