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And celestial vigor arm'd,

Their armories and magazines contemns,
Renders them useless, while

With winged expedition

Swift as the lightning glance he executes
His errand on the wicked, who furpris'd
Lose their defense distracted and amaz'd.
But patience is more oft the exercise
Of faints, 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,


More than the working day thy hands.

And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
For I defcry this way

Some other tending, in his hand
A fcepter or quaint staff he bears,
Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By his habit I discern him now
A public Officer, and now at hand.
His message will be short and voluble.



Samfon, with might indued

Above the fons of men; but fight bereav'd
May chance to number thee with those

Whom patience finally muft crown.

This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest, Laboring thy mind





Off. Hebrews, the pris'ner Samfon here I seek. Chor. His manacles remark him, there he fits. Off. Samfon, to thee our lords thus bid me say; This day to Dagon is a folemn feast, 1311 With facrifices, triumph, pomp, and games; Thy ftrength they know surpassing human rate, And now fome public proof thereof require To honor this great feast, and great assembly; 1315 Rife therefore with all speed and come along, Where I will fee thee hearten'd and fresh clad To' appear as fits before th'illuftrious lords. (them, Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore tell Our Law forbids at their religious rites 1320 My presence; for that cause I cannot come. Off. This answer, be assur'd, will not content them. Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every fort Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Juglers and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics, 1325 But they must pick me out with fhackles tir'd, And over-labor'd at their public mill, To make them sport with blind activity? Do they not feek occasion of new quarrels On my refufal to distress me more, Or make a game of my calamities? Return the way thou cam'ft, I will not come. Off. Regard thyfelf, this will offend them highly. Sams. Myfelf? my confcience and internal peace. Can they think me so broken, so debas'd



With corporal fervitude, that my mind ever
Will condefcend to fuch abfurd commands?
Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester,
And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief

To fhow them feats, and play before their God, 1340
The worst of all indignities, yet on me
Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come.
Off. My message was impos'd on me with speed,
Brooks no delay: is this thy refolution?
Sams. So take it with what speed thy message needs.
Off. I am forry what this ftoutness will produce.
Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to forrow' indeed.
Chor. Confider, Samfon; matters now are ftrain'd
Up to the highth, whether to hold or break;
and who knows how he may report 1350
Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
Expect another message more imperious,
More lordly thund'ring than thou well wilt bear.
Sams. Shall I abuse this confecrated gift
Of ftrength, again returning with my hair
After my great tranfgreffion, so requite
Favor renew'd, and add a greater fin
By prostituting holy things to idols;
A Nazarite in place abominable
Vaunting my ftrength in honor to their Dagon? 1360
Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
What act more execrably unclean, profane? (ftines,
Chor. Yet with this ftrength thou serv'st the Phili-


Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.


Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor 1365 Honeft and lawful to deserve my food Of those who have me in their civil power. Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile Sams. Where outward force conftrains, the sentence But who conftrains me to the temple' of Dagon, (holds. Not dragging? the Philistian lords command. 1371 Commands are no conftraints. If I obey them, I do it freely, vent'ring to displease God for the fear of Man, and Man prefer, Set God behind: which in his jealousy Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. Yet that he may dispense with me or thee Present in temples at idolatrous rites For fome important cause, thou need'ft not doubt. Chor. How thou wilt here come off furmounts my reach. Sams. Be of good courage, I begin to feel Some rousing motions in me which dispose To fomething extraordinary my thoughts. I with this messenger will go along, Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonor Our law, or flain my vow of Nazarite. If there be ought of presage in the mind, This day will be remarkable in life my By fome great act, or of my days the last. 1390 Chor. In time thou hast resolv'd, the man returns. Off. Samson, this fecond message from our lords





To thee I am bid fay. Art thou our slave,
Our captive, at the public mill our drudge,
And dar'st thou at our sending and command
Dispute thy coming? come without delay;
Or we shall find such engins to assail
And hamper thee, as thou fhalt come of force,
Though thou wert firmlier faften'd than a rock.

Sams. I could be well content to try their art,
Which to no few of them would prove pernicious.
Yet knowing their advantages too many,
Because they shall not trail me through their streets
Like a wild beast, I am content to go.


Masters commands come with a pow'r resistless
To fuch as owe them abfolute fubjection;
And for a life who will not change his purpose?
(So mutable are all the
of men)
Yet this be fure, in nothing to comply
Scandalous or forbidden in our Law.


So dreaded once, may now exasperate them

I know not: lords are lordlieft in their wine;
And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd


Off. I praise thy resolution: doff these links: 1410 By this compliance thou wilt win the lords To favor, and perhaps to set thee free.

Sams. Brethren farewel; your company along

I will not wish, left it perhaps offend them

To fee me girt with friends; and how the fight 1415 Of me as of a common enemy,

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