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It fits not; thou and I long since are twain :
Nor think me so unwary, or accursed,
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 nullid
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
Loved, honour'd, fear’dme, thou alone could'st hate me,
Thy husbandslight 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 wouldst 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.
Dal. Let me approach, at least, & touch thy hand.
Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance My sudden rage, to tear thee joint by joint. [wake At distance, I forgive thee; go with that ; Bewail thy falsehood, 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.
Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf
To prayers, than winds and seas; yet winds to seas
Are reconciled 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 denounced ?
To mix with thy concernments I desist,
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own.
Fame, if not double-faced, is double-mouth'd,
And, with contrary blast, proclaims most deeds ;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names, in his wild aery flight.
My name, perhaps, among the circumcised
In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,
To all posterity may stand defamed,
With malediction mention'd, and the blot
Of falsehood, most unconjugal, traduced.
But in my country, where I most desire,
In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,
I shall be named 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 odours 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.
Nor shall I count it heinous, to enjoy
The public marks of honour and reward,
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety,
Which, to my country, I was judged to have shown.
At this whoever envies or repines,
I leave him to his lot, and like my own. [Exit.
Chor. She's gone; a manifest serpent, 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.
Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange After offence returning, to regain (power, Love once possess'd, nor can be easily Repulsed, without much inward passion felt, And secret sting of amorous remorse.
Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end; Not wedlock-treachery endangering life.
Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, 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.
any of these, or all, the Timnian bride
Had not so soon preferr'd
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compared,
Successor in thy bed ;
Nor both so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherously
Had shorn 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 raised to apprehend
Or value what is best
In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Or was too much of self-love mix'd,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
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,
Soft, modest, meek, demure;
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms,
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or, by her charms,
Draws him awry, enslaved
With dotage, and his sense depraved
To folly and shameful deeds, which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck,
Imbark'd with such a steersmate at the helm?
Favour'd of Heaven, 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, 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 shall he least confusion draw On his whole life, not sway'd By female usurpation, or dismay'd. But had we best retire? I see a storm. Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind & rain. Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.
Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear The bait of honied words ; a rougher tongue Draws hitherward ; I know him by his stride, 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
I less conjecture, than when first I saw [hither
The sumptuous Delilah floating this way :
His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes.
Chor. His freight we soon shall know; he now arrives.
Enter HARAPHA. Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, As these, perhaps ; yet wish it had not been, Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath; Men call me Harapha, of stock renown’d, As Og, or Anak, and the Emims old, That Kiriathaim held; thou know'st me now, If thou at all art known. Much I have heard Of thy prodigious might, and feats perform'd, Incredible to me; in this displeased, That I was never present, on the place Of those encounters, where we might have tried Each other's force, in camp, or listed field ; And now am come to see, of whom such noise Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, If thy appearance answer loud report.
Sams. Thy way to know, were not to see, but taste.
Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Gyves, and the mill, had tamed thee. O that fortune Had brought me to the field, where thou art famed To have wrought such wonders, with an ass's jaw; I should have forced thee soon, with other arms, Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: So had the glory of prowess been recover'd, To Palestine, won by a Philistine, From the unforeskin'd race, of whom thou bear'st The highest name, for valiant acts; that honour, Certain to have won, by mortal duel, from thee, I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out. [but do
Sams. Boast not of what thou would'st have done, What then thou would'st; thou see'st it in thy hand.
Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain ; And thou hast need much washing, to be touch'd.
Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Afford me, assassinated and betray'd ; Who durst not with their whole united powers, In fight withstand me, single, and unarm’d, Nor, in the house, with chamber-ambushes Close-banded, durst attack me; no, not sleeping Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold,
Breaking her marriage-faith, to circumvent me.
Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd
Some narrow place, enclosed, where sight may give thee
Or rather flight, no great advantage on me;
Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet,
And brigantine of brass, thy broad habergeon,
Vant-brace and greves, and gauntlet; add thy spear,
A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield;
I only with an oaken staff will meet thee,
And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron,
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head;
That in a little time, while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath, to boast,
Again, in safety, what thou would'st have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious arms,
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn,
Their ornament and safety, had not spells,
And black enchantments,some magician's art, (Heaven
Arm’d thee, or charm’d thee strong, which thou from
Feign'dst, at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair,
Where strength can least abide; though all thy hairs
Were bristles, ranged like those that ridge the back
Of chafed wild boars, or ruffled porcupines.
Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts ;
My trust is in the living God, who gave me,
At my nativity, this strength, diffused
No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones,
Than thine, while I preserved these locks unshorn,
The pledge of my unviolated vow.
For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,
Go to his temple, invocate his aid,
With solemnest devotion, spread before him,
How highly it concerns his glory now,
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells,
Which I to be the power of Israel's God
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test;
Offering to combat thee, his champion bold,
With the utmost of his godhead seconded :
Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow,
Soon feel, whose god is strongest, thine or mine.
Har. Presume not on thy God; whate'er he be ;
Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off
Quite from his people, and deliver'd up
Into thy enemies' hand; permitted them
To put out both thine eyes; and, fetter'd, send thee
Into the common prison, there to grind