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The easier towards me, or thy hatred lefs.
First granting, as I do, it was a weakness
In me, but incident to all our fex,
Curiofity, inquifitive, importune
Of secrets, then with like infirmity
To publish them, both common female faults :
Was it not weakness alfo to make known
For importunity, that is for nought,
Wherein confifted all thy strength and safety?
To what I did thou show'dft me first the way.
But 1 to enemies reveal'd, and should not :
Nor fhould't thou have trufted that to woman's frailty:
Ere I to thee, thou to thyfelf waft cruel.
Let weakness then with weaknefs come to parle
So near related, or the fame of kind,
Thine forgive mine; that men may cenfure thine
The gentler, if feverely thou exact not
More ftrength from me, than in thyfelf was found.
And what if love, which thou interpret'ft hate,
The jealousy of love, pow'rful of fway
In human hearts, nor less in mine tow'rds thee,
Caus'd what I did? I faw thee mutable
Of fancy, fear'd left one day thou would'st leave me
As her at Timna, fought by all means therefore
How to indear, and hold thee to me firmeft:
No better way I faw than by impórtuning
To learn thy fecrets, get into my power
The key of strength and safety: thou wilt fay,
Why then reveal'd? I was affur'd by those
Who tempted me, that nothing was defign'd
Against thee but fafe cuftody, and hold:
That made for me; I knew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises,
While I at home fat full of cares and fears,
Wailing thy abfence in my widow'd bed;
Here I fhould ftill enjoy thee day and night
Mine and love's prifoner, not the Philistines,
Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
Fearless at home of partners in my love.
These reafons in love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reafonlefs to fome 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 ftrong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in ftrength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompaffionate anger do not fo.
SAMS. How cunningly the forceress displays
Her own tranfgreffions, to upbraid me mine!
That malice not repentance brought thee hither,
By this appears I gave, thou fay'ft, th' example,
I led the way; bitter reproach, but true;
I to myself was falfe ere thou to me;
Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou feest
Impartial, felf-fevere, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy feeking, and much rather
Confefs it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it, weakness to refift
Philiftian gold: if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Inceftuous, facrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or Man will gain thee no remission.
But love conftrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To fatisfy thy luft: love feeks to' have love;
My love how could'st thou hope, who took'ft the way
To raise in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I muft, by thee betray'd ?
In vain thou ftriv'ft to cover fhame with fhame,
Or by evafions thy crime uncover'st more.
DAL. Since thou determin'ft weaknefs for no plea
In man or woman, though to thy own condemning,
Hear what affaults I had, what fnares befides,
What fieges girt me round, ere I confented;.
Which might have aw'd the best-resolv'd of men,
The conftanteft, to' have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me: thou know'ft the magiftrates
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 honorable, how glorious to intrap
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 infnare an irreligious
Dishonorer of Dagon: what had I
T'oppofe against fuch pow'rful arguments ?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated in filence all these reafons
With hard contest: at length that grounded maxim
So rife and celebrated in the mouths
Of wifeft men, that to the public good
Private refpects must yield, with grave authority
Took full poffeffion of me and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty fo injoining.
SAMS. I thought where all thy circling wiles would
In feign'd religion, fmooth hypocrify.
But had thy love, ftill odiously pretended,
Been, as it ought, fincere, it would have taught thee Far other reafonings, brought forth other deeds. 875 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, unbofom'd all my fecrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but over-power'd
By thy requeft, who could deny thee nothing;
Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then
Didst thou at firft receive me for thy husband,
Then, as fince then, thy country's foc profefs'd?
Being once a wife, for me thou waft to leave
Parents and country; nor was I their fubject,
Nor under their protection but my own,
Thou mine, not theirs: if ought against my life
Thy country fought of thee, it fought unjustly,
Against the law of nature, law of nations,
No more thy country, but an impious crew
Of men confpiring to uphold their state
By worse than hoftile deeds, violating the ends
For which our country is a name fo dear;
Not therefore to be' obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee; 895
To please thy Gods thou didst it; Gods unable
T'acquit themselves and profecute 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 colors failing,
Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear?
DAL. In argument with men a woman ever
Goes by the worse, whatever be her caufe.
SAMS. For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath; Witnefs when I was worried with thy peals.
DAL. I was a fool, too rafh, and quite mistaken
In what I thought would have fucceeded best.
Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Sanfon,
Afford me place to fhow what recompenfe
Tow'ards thee I intend for what I have mifdone,
Mifguided; only what remains paft cure
Bear not too fenfibly, nor ftill infift
T' afflict thyfelf in vain though fight be lost,
Life yet hath many folaces, enjoy'd
Where other fenfes want not their delights
At home in leisure and domestic ease,
Exempt from many a care and chance to which
Eye-fight expofes daily men abroad.
I to the Lords will intercede, not doubting
Their favorable ear, that I may fetch thee