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Samf. He must alledge some cause, and offer'd figh Will not dare mention, lest a question rise Whether he durft accept the offer or not; And that he durft not plain enough appeard. Much more affliction than already felt They cannot well impose, nor I sustain; If they intend advantage of my

labours
The work of many hands, which earns my keeping
With no small profit daily to my owners.
But come what will, my deadliest Foe will prove
My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence,
The worst that he can give, to me the best.
Yet so it may fall out, because their end
Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine
Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed.

Chor. Oh how comely it is and how reviving
To the Spirits of just men long opprest !
When God into the hands of their deliverer
Puts invincible might
To quell the mighty of the Earth, th’oppressor,
The brute and boist'rous force of violent men
Hardy and industrious to support
Tyrannick power, but raging to pursue

The

1. The righteous and all such as honour Truth;

He all their Ammunition
And feats of War defeats
With plain Heroick magnitude of mind
And celestial vigour arm'd,
Their Armories and Magazins contemns,
Renders them useless, while
With winged expedition
Swift as the light’ning glance he executes
His errand on the wicked, who surprizd
Lose their defence distracted and amaz’d.

But patience is more oft the exercise
Of Saints, the trial of their fortitude,
Making them each his own Deliverer,
And Victor over all
That

tyranny or fortune can inflict,
Either of these is in thy lot,
Samfon, with might endu'd
Above the Sons of men; but fight bereav'd
May chance to number thee with those
Whom Patience finally must crown.
This Idols day hath been to thee no day of rest,

Labouring

.

Labouring thy mind
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
For I descry this way
Some other tending, in his hand
A Scepter or quaint Staff he bears,
Comes on amain, speed in his look,
By his habit I discern him now
A Publick Officer, and now at hand,
His message will be short and voluble.

Off. Hebrews the Pris’ner Samson here I seek.
Chor. His manacles remark him, there he sits.

Off. Samson, to thee our Lords thus bid me say;
This day to Dagon is a folemn Feast,
With Sacrifices, Triumph, Pomp and Games ;
Thy strength they know surpassing human race,
And now some publick proof thereof require
To honour this great Feast, and great Assembly;
Rise therefore with all speed and come along,
Where I will see thee heartn'd and fresh clad
To appear as fits before th'illustrious Lords.

Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew,therefore tell Our Law forbids at their Religious Rites [them

My

My presences for that cause I cannot come.

Off. This answer, be assurd, will not content them.

Sams. Have they not sword-players, and ev'ry sort Of Gymnick Artists, Wrestlers, Riders, Runners, Juglers and Dancers, Anticks, Mummers, Mimirs, But they must pick me out with shackles cir’d, And over-labour'd at their publick Mill, To make them sport with blind activity ? Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels On my refusal to distress me more, Or make a game of my calamities? Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come.

Off. Regard thy felf, this will offend them highly.

Sams. My felf? my conscience and internal peace. Can they think me fo broken, fo debas'd With corporal servitude, that my mind ever Will condescend to fuch abfurd commands? Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester, And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief To shew them feats, and play before their god, The worst of all indignities, yet on me Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come,

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Off. My message was impos'd on me with speed Bronks no delay: is this thy resolution? Samf. So take it with what speed thy message needs. Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. Sams.Perhaps thoushalt have causetoforrowindeed. Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd Up to the heighth, whether to hold or break; He's gone, and who knows how he may report Thy words by adding fuel to the flame? Expect another message more imperious; More Lordly thund'ring than thou well wilt bear.

Samf. Shall I abuse this Consecrated gift
Of strength, again returning with my

hair
After my great transgression, so requite
Favour renew'd, and add a greater fin
By prostituting holy things to Idols;
A Nazarite in place abominable
Vaunting my strength in honour to their Dagon?
Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
What act more execrably unclean, prophane?

Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the PhiIdolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.

[listinss Sams. Not in their Idol-worship, but by labour +

Honet

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