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Her harbinger, a damsel train behind;
Some rich Philistian matron she may seem,
And now at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila thy wife.

SAMSON.
My wife, my traitress, let her not come near me. 725

CHORUS. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes thee fix'd, About ť have spoke, but now, with head declin'd Like a fair flow'r surcharg'd with dew, she weeps, And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd, Wetting the borders of her silken veil :

730 But now again she makes address to speak.

DALILA.
With doubtful feet and wavering resolution

See Drayton, Polyolb. s. xx. vol. Mr. Jortin and Mr. Thyer both iv. p. i042. and Borde's Dietarie concurred in the same observaof Health, ch. viii. ed. 1542. tion, and therefore it is more Compare Howell's Letters, (Let. likely to be true. dat. 1629.) vol. i. sect. 5.

729. And words address'd &c.] As 'mongst all flowres the rose ex

This verse is printed imperfect cells,

in most of the editions, As amber 'mongst the fragrant'st

And words address'd seem tears dissmells.

solv'd, See also A Poem Royal, 1641. that being wanted which is in ibid. And Jonson's Cynth. Rev.

the first edition, a. v. S. 4. And in the Winter's

And words address'd seem into tears Tale, a. iv. s. 3.

dissolv'd. -necklace-aniber Perfume for a lady's chamber.

Mr. Jortin conjectured it should See also Tam. Shrew, a. iv. s. 3.

be so read, without seeing the

first edition. T. Warton.

732. With doubtful feet &c.] 726. Yet on she moves, &c.] The scene between Samson and Like Ismene in the Antigone of Dalila is drawn up with great Sophocles, ver. 532.

judgment, and particular beauty. Και μην προ πυλων ήδ' Ισμηνη

One cannot conceive a more artΦιλαδελφα κατω δακρυειβομενη

ful, soft, and persuasive eloquence Νεφελη δ' οφρυων υπερ, αιματοεν Ρεθος αισχυνει,

than that which is put into the Τεγγουσ' ευωπα ααρειαν.

mouth of Dalila, nor is the part den; devour them. So Solinus, the

735

740

I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson,
Which to have merited, without excuse,
I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears
May expiate (though the fact more evil drew
In the perverse event than I foresaw)
My penance hath not slacken’d, though my pardon
No way assur'd. But conjugal affection
Prevailing over fear, and timorous doubt,
Hath led me on, desirous to behold
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If ought in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer?st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power, 745
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.

SAMSON.
Out, out hyæna; these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,
Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,

750

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of Samson less to be admired for sequitur stabula pastorum, et authat stern and resolute firmness ditu assiduo addiscit vocamen, which runs through it. What quod exprimere possit imitatione also gives both parts a great ad- vocis humanæ, ut in hominem ditional beauty is their forming astu accitum nocte sæviat. A so fine a contrast to each other. celebrated tragic writer makes Thyer.

use of the same comparison. 748. Out, out hyæna ;] The Orphan, act hyæna is a creature somewhat like a wolf, and is said to imi. 'Tis thus the false hyæna makes her tate a human voice so artfully as

moan,

To draw the pitying traveller to her to draw people to it, and then

Your sex are so, such false dissem. transcriber of Pliny, cap. 27. blers all, &c. Multa de ea mira: primum quod

755

760

765

Confess, and promise wonders in her change,
Not truly penitent, but chief to try
Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears,
His virtue or weakness which way to assail:
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again transgresses, and again submits ;
That wisest and best men full oft beguild,
With goodness principled not to reject
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
Intangled with a pois’nous bosom snake,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off
As I by thee, to ages an example.

DALILA.
Yet hear me, Samson ; not that I endeavour
To lessen or extenuate my offence,
But that on th’ other side if it be weigh'd
By' itself, with aggravations not surchargedd,
Or else with just allowance counterpois’d,
I may, if possible, thy pardon find
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,

770

775

60. With goodness principled not to reject] Compare Comus, 367.

-unprincipled in virtue's book.

T. Warton.

Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety? 780 To what I did thou showd’st 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 thyself 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 severely 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 sway 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, sought by all means therefore 795 How to indear, and hold thee to me firmest: No better way I saw than by importuning To learn thy secrets, get into my power Thy key of strength and safety: thou wilt say, . Why then reveald? I was assur’d by those 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.

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805

810 815

820

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 dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.

SAMSON.
How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine!
That malice not repentance brought thee hither,
By this appears: I gave, thou say'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 see'st
Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather
Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it, weakness to resist
Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, 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,

825

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