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Gave to the man dešpotic power
Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes Over his female in due awe,
Close-banded darst attack me, no, not sleeping, Nor from that right to part an hour,
Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold Smile she or lour :
Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me. So shall he least confusion draw
Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assigo'd On his whole life, not sway'd
Some narrow place enclos'd, where sight may By female usurpation, or dismay'd.
give thee, But had we best retire? I see a storm. Or rather fight, no great advantage on me; * Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet raia.
And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. Vant-brace and greves, and gauntlet, add tliy Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are
A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield; Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor I only with an oaken staff will meet thee, fear
And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron, The bait of honied words ; a rougher tongue Which long shall not withhold me from thy Draws hitherward; I kpow him by his stride,
head, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
That in a little time, while breath remains thee, Hanghty, as is bis pile high-built and proud. Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast Conaes he in peace? what wind hath blown him Again in safety what thou would'st have done I less conjecture than when first I saw [bither To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more. The sumptuous Dalila floating this way :
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
arms, Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now Their ornament and safety, had not spells arrives.
And black enchantments, some magician's art,
Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou. [Enter] Harapha.
from Heaven Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy Feign'dst at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair, chance,
Where strength can least abide, though all thy As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
hairs Though for ao friendly intent. I amn of Gath; Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
Of chat'd wild boars, or ruMed porcupines. As Og, or Anak, and the Emims old
Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts; That Kiriathaim held ; thou know'st me now My trust is in the living God, who gave me If thou at all art known. Much I have heard At my nativity this strength, diffus'd Ofthy prodig'ous might and feats perform’d, No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, Incredible to me, in this displeas'd,
Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn, That I was never present on the place
The pledge of my unviolated vow. Of those encounters, where we might have tried For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god, Fach other's force in camp or listed field ; Go to his temple, invocate his ajd And now am come to see of whom such noise With solemnest devotion, spread before him Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, How highly it concerns his glory now If thy appearance answer loud report.
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells, Sams. The way to know were not to see but Which I to be the power of Israel's God taste.
Arow, and challenge Dagon to the test, Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Offering to combat thee his champion bold, Gyves and the mill had tam'd thee. O that fortune with the utmost of his Godhead seconded: Had brought me to the field, where thou art Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow, -fam'd
Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw! Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be; I should have forc'd thee soou with other arms, Thee le regards not, owns not, hath cut off Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: Quite from his people, and deliver'd up So had the glory of prowess been recover'd Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them To Palestine, won by a Philistine,
To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send Ibee From the unforeskin'd race, of whom thou bear'st Into the common prison, there to grind The highest name for valiant acts; that honour, Among the slaves and asses thy comrades, Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, As good for nothing else; no better service I lose, prevented by Iby eyes put out.
With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match Sams. Boast, not of what thou would'st hare For valour to assail, nor by the sword done, bet do
Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, What then thou would'st; thou seest it in thy But by the barber's razor best subdued. ** hand.
Sams. All these indignities, for such they are Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. Ack nowledge them from God is ficted on me , Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, Afford me, assassinated and betray'd,
Whose ear is ever open, and his eye Who durst not with their whole united powers Gracious to re-admit the suppliant: In fight withstand me single and unarın'd, In confiderice whereof I once agaio
Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,
Har. This insoterice other kind of answer Års. By combat to decide whose God is God,
Sams. Go, baffled coward ! lest I run uport Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore.
thee, Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast, trusting
And with one buffet lay thy structure low, He will accept thee to defend this cause, Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down A murderer, a revolter, and a robber!.
To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides. Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament prove me these?
These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. (Exis. ] Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? Chor. His giantship is gone somewhai cresta Their magistrates confessid it when they took
Stalking with less unconscionable strides, As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe. Into our hands: for hadst thou not committed Sams. I dread him nor, not all his giant-brood, Notorious murder on those thirty men
Though fame divulge him father of five sons, At Ascalon, who never did thee harm,
All of gigantic size, Goliah chief. Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ? Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear, The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the And with malicious counsel stir them up league,
Some way or other yet further to afflict thee. Went up with armed powers thee only seeking, Sams. He must allege some cause, and offerd To others did no violence nor spoil.
fight Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines will not dare mention, lest a question rise I chose a wife, which argued me no foe;
Whether he durst accept the offer or not ; And in your city held my nuptial feast :
And, that he durst not, plain enough appear'd. But your ill-meaning politician lords,
Much more affliction than already felt Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, They cannot well impose, nor I sustain; Appointed to await me thirty spies, [bride If they intend advantage of my labours, Who, threatening cruel death, constrain'd the The work of many hands, which earns my To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret,
keeping That solv'd the riddle which I had propos'd. With no small profit daily to my owners. When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence ; I us'd hostility, and took their spoil,
The worst that he can give to me the best. To pay my underminers in their coin.
Yet so it may fall out, because their end
Is bate, not help to me, it may with mine
Chur. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving
Puts inrincible might
And feats of war defeats,
Their armouries and magazines contemns,
Renders them useless; while Though by his blindness maim'd for high at- With winged expedition, tempts,
Swift as the lightning glance, he executes Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
His errand on the wicked, who, surpris'd, As a petty enterprise of small enforce.
Lose their defence, distracted and amaz'd. Har. With thee! a man condemn'd, a slave But patience is more oft the exercise enrolld,
Of saints, the trial of their fortitude, Due by the law to capital punishment ! Making them each his own deliverer, To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
And victor over all Sums. Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to That tyranny or fortune can inflict. survey me,
Either of these is in thy lot, To descant on my strength, and give thy verdiet? Samson, with might endued Come nearer ; part not bence so slight informid; Above the sons of men; but sight berékp'd But take good heed my hand survey not thee. May chance to number thee with those
Har. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd Whom patience finally must crown. Hear these dishonours, and not render death? This idol's day hath been to thee today of rest, Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from Labouring thy mind thy hand
More than the working day thy hands. Fcar I incurable; bring up thy van,
And yet perhaps-mcre trouble is behind, My heels are setter'd, but my fist is free. For I descry this way
Some other tending ; in his hand
After my great transgression, so requite A sceptre or quaint staff he bears,
Favour renew'd, and add a greater sin Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By prostituting holy things to idols ? By his habit I discern him now
A Nazarite in place abominable A public officer, and now at hand;
Vaunting my strength in honour to their Dagon! His message will be short and voluble.
Besides, how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
What act more execrably unclean, prophane ? (Enter) Officer.
Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Off. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here I
Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean. Chor. His manacles remark him, there he Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labour sits.
Honest and lawful to deserve my food Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me of those who have me in their civil power. This day to Dagon is a solemn feast, (say; Chur. Where the heart joins not, outward acts With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games :
defile not. Thy strength they know surpassing human rate, Sams. Where outward force constrains, the And now some public proof thereof require
sentence holds. To honour this great feast, and great assembly : But who constrains me to the temple of Dagon, Rise therefore with all speed, and come along, Not dragging? the Philistian lords command. Where I will see thee hearten'd, and fresh clad, Commands are no constraints. If I obey them, To appear as fits before the illustrious lords. I do it freely, venturing to displease Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, there. God for the fear of man, and man prefer, fore tell them,
Set God behind : which in his jealousy Our law forbids at their religiov rites
Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. My presence; for that cause cannot come. Yet that he may dispense with me, or thee, Off. This answer, be assurd, will not content Present in temples at idolatrous rites them.
For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt. Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every
Chor. How thou wilt here come off surmounts sort Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners,
Sams. Be of good courage; I begin to feel Juglers, and dancers, antics, mummers, mi- Some rousing motions in me, which dispose mics,
To something extraordinary my thoughts.
Nothing to do, be sure,
may dishonour To make them sport with blind activity ?
Our law, or stain my vow of Nazarite.
This day will be remarkable in my life
By some great act, or of my days the last. Return the way thou cam’st, I will not come. Chor. In time thou hast resolv'd, the man reOff. Regard thyself; this will offend them
Off. Samson, this second message from our Sams. Myself? my conscience, and internal
To thee I am bid say. Art thou our slave, Can they think me so broken, so debas'd Our captive at the public mill, our drudge, With corporal servitude, that my mind ever And dar'st thou at our sending and command Will condescend to such absurd commands? Dispute thy coming ? come without delay; Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester, Or we shall find such engines to assail And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force, To show them feats, and play before their god, Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock The worst of all indignities, yet on me
Sams. I could be well content to try their art, Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come.
Which to no few of them would prove pernicious. Off. My message was impos'd on me with Yet, knowing their advantages too many, speed,
Because they shall not trail me through their Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution?
streets Sams. So take it with what speed thy message Like a wild beast, I am content to go. needs.
Masters' commands come with a power resistless Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will pro- To such as owe them absolute subjection, duce. [Exit.)
And for a life who will not change his purpose ? Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sor- (So mutable are all the ways of men ;) row indeed.
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are Scandalous or forbidden in our law. strain'd
Off. I praise thy resolution : doff these links : Up to the height, whether to hold or break : By this compliance thou wilt win the lords He's gone, and who knows how he may report To favour, and perhaps to set thee free. Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
Sans. Brethren, farewell; your company Expect another message more imperious,
along More lordly thundering than thou well wilt bear. I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them
Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift To see me girt with friends; and how the sight Of strength, again returning with my hair Of me, as of a common enemy,
So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, And number'd down : much rather I shall choose
For his redemption all my patrimony,
If weed be, I am ready to forego Happen what may, of me expect to hear And quit: not wanting him, I shall want no. Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy
thing. Our God, our law, my nation, or myself,
Chor. Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons, The last of me or no I cannot warrant,
Thou for thy son art bent to lay out all ; Chor. Go, and the Holy One
Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age, Of Israel be thy guide
[name Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy son, To what may serve his glory best, and spread his Made older than thy age through eye-sight losto Great among the Heathen round;
Man. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand And view him sitting in the house, ennobled Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field With all those high exploits by him achiev'd, Rode up in flames after his message told And on his shoulders waving down those locks Of thy conception, and be now a shield
That of a nation arm'd the strength contain'do Of fire ; that spirit, that first rush'd on thee And I persuade me, God had not permitted In the camp of Dan,
His strength again to grow up with his hair, Be efficacious in thee now at need.
Garrison'd round about him like a camp For never was from Heaven imparted
Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose Measure of strength so great to mortal seed, To use him further yet in some great service; As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen.- Not to sit idle with so great a gift But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste Useless, and thence ridiculous about him. (lost, With youthful steps? much livelier than ere And since his strength with eye-sight was not while
God will restore him eye-sight to his strength. He seems; supposing here to find his son, Chor. Thy hopes are not ill founded, nor seem Or of him bringing to us some glad news ? Of his delivery, and the joy thereon (vain
Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love, [Enter] Manoah.
In both which we, as next, participate. Man. Peace with you, brethren; my induce- Man. I know your friendly minds andment hithes
what noise ! Was not at present here to find my son,
Mercy of Heaven, what hideous noise was that By order of the lords now parted hence
Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. To come and play before them at their feast. Chor. Noise call you it, or universal groan, I heard all as I came, the city rings,
As if the whole inhabitation perish'd ! (noise, And numbers thither fock: I had no will, Blood, death, and deathful deeds, are in that Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly. Ruin, destruction at the utmost point. But that, which mov'd my coming now, was Man. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the chiefly
noise : To give ye part with me what hope I have Oh! it continues, they have slain my son. With good success to work bis liberty.
Chor. Thy son is rather slaying them; that Chor. That hope would mueh rejoice us to
From slaughter of one foe could not ascend. With thee; say, reverend sire, we thirst to hear. Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be;
Man. I have attempted one by one the lords What shall we do, stay here or run and see? Either at home, or through the high street pass- Chor. Best keep together here, lest, running ing,
thither, With supplication prone and father's tears, We unawares run into danger's mouth. To accept of ransom for my son their prisoner. This evil on the Philistines is fall'n: Some much averse I found and wonderous harsh, From whoin eould else a general cry be heard ; Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite; The safferers then will scarce molest us here; That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests: From other hands we need not much to fear Others more moderate seeming, but their aim What if, his eye-sight (for to Israel's God Private reward, for which both God and state Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd, They easily would set to sale: a third
He now be dealing dole among his foes, More generous far and civil, who confess'd And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? They had enough reveng'd; having reduc'd Man. That were a joy presumptuous to be Their foe to misery beneath their fears,
thought. The rest was magnanimity to remit,
Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as increIf some convenient ransom were propos'd.
dible What noise or shout was that ? it tore the sky. For his people of old; what binders now?
Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Man. He can, I know, but doubt to think he Their once great dread, captive, and blind before
Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief Or at some proof of strength before them shown. A little stay will bring some notice hither.
Man. His ransom, if my whole inheritance Chor. Of good or bad so great, of bad the May compass it, shall willingly be paid
For evil news rides post, while good news bates. More than enough we know; but while things yet
Eye-witness of what first or last was done,
Relation more particular and distinct. [Enter) Messenger.
Mess. Occasions drew me early to this city; Mess. O whither shall I run, or which way fly And, as the gates I enter'd with sun-rise, The sight of this so horrid spectacle,
The morning trumpets festival proclaim'd Which erst my eyes beheld, and yet behold ?
Through each high street: little I had despatch’d, For dire imagination still pursues me.
When all abroad was rumour'd that this day But providence or instinct of nature seems,
Samson should be brougbt forth, to show the Or reason though disturb'd, and scarce consulted,
people To have guided me aright, I know not how,
Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games; To thee first, reverend Manoah, and to these
I sorrow'd at bis captive state, but minded
The building was a spacious theatre
Half-round, on two main pillars vaulted high, Man. The accident was loud, and here before With seats where all the lords, and each degree thee
Of sort, might sit in order to behuld ; With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not;
The other side was open, where the throng No preface needs, thou seest we long to know.
On banks and scaffolds under sky might stand; Mess. It would burst forth, but I recover I among these aloof obscurely stood. breath
The feast and noon grew high, and sacrifice And sense distract, to know well what I utter.
Had fill'd their hearts with mirth, high cheer, Man. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.
and wine, Mess. Gaza yet stands, but all her suns are
When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately fall'n,
Was Samson as a public servant brought, All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall’n.
In their state livery clad; before him pipes, Man. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not And timbrels, on each side went armed guards, The desolation of a hostile city. (saddest Both horse and foot, before him and behind Mess. Feed on that first, there may in grief Archers, and slingers, cataphracts and spears. be surfeit.
At sight of him the people with a shout Man. Relate by whom.
Rifted the air, clamouring their God with praise, Mess. By Samson.
Who had made their dreadful enemy their thrall. Man.
That still lessens He patient, but undaunted, where they led him, The sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy.
Came to the place; and what was set before him, Mess. Ah ! Manoah, I refrain too suddenly Which without help of eye might be assay'd, To utter what will come at last too soon ;
To heave, pull, draw, or break, he still perform'd Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption
All with incredible, stupendous force; Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep. None daring to appear antagonist. Man. Suspense in news is torture, speak them At length for intermission sake they led him out.
Between the pillars; he his guide requested Mess. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is (For so from such as nearer stood we beard) dead.
As over-tir'd to let him lean a while Man, The worst indeed, O all my hopes de- With both his arms on those two massy pillars, feated
That to the arched roof gave main support. To free him hence! but death, who sets all free, He, unsuspicious, led him; which when Samson Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge. Felt in his arms, with head a while inclin'd, What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd And eyes fast fix'd he stood, as one who pray'd, Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves Or some great matter in his mind revolv'd : Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring
At last with head erect thus cried aloud, Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost ! “ Hitherto, lords, what your commands impos'd Yet ere I give the reins to grief, say first, I have perform'd, as reason was, obeying, How died he; death to life is crown or shame. Not without wonder or delight beheld: All by bim fell, chou say'st; by whom fell he ? Now of my own accord such other trial What glorious hand gave Samson his death’s I mean to show you of niy strength, yet greater, wound?
As with amaze shall strike all who behold." - Mess. Unwounded of his enemies he fell. This utter'd, straining all his nerves he bow'd, Man. Wearied with slaughter then, or how? As with the force of winds and waters pent, explain.
When mountains tremble, those two massy pila Mess. By his own hands.
With horrible convulsion to and fro [lars Man.
Self-violence? what cause He tugg'd, he shook, till down they came and Brought him so soon at variance with himself
drew Among his foes?
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder Mess. Inevitable cause
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath, At once both to destroy, and be destroy'd; Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests, The edifice, where all were met to see him, Their chvice nobility and flower, not only Upon their heads and on bis own he pull'd. Of this but each Philistian city round,
Man. Q lastly over-strong against thyself ! Met from all parts to solemnize this feasta A dreadful way tbou took'st to thy revenge, Samson, with these immix'd, inevitably