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May ever tend about thee to old age,
| The public marks of honour and reward, With all things grateful cheer'd, and so supplied, Conferr'd upon me, for the piety That, what by me thou hast lost, thou least shalt Which to my country I was judg'd to have shown. miss.
At this whoever envies or repines, Sams. No, no; of my condition take no care; I leave him to his lot, and like my own. (Exit.] It fits not; thou and I long since are twain; | Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sting Nor think me so unwary or accursid,
Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd. To bring my feet again into the snare (trains, Sams. So let her go; God sent her to debase me, Where once I have been caught : I know thy And aggravate my folly, who committed Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils ; To such a viper his most sacred trust Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms, Of secresy, my safety, and my life. (power, No more on me have power ; their force is nullid; | Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd,
After offence returning, to regain
Love once possessid, nor can be easily
Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end,
Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit, Helpless, thence easily contemn’d and scorn'd, That woman's love can win, or long inherit; And last neglected ? How would'st thou insult, But what it is, hard is to say, When I must live uxurious to thy will
Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it,)
If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride
(wake Successor in thy bed, Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance Nor both so loosely disallied My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherous At distance I forgive thee; go with that ;
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Or value what is best
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long? Eternal tempest, never to be calm'd.
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best Why do I humble thus myself, and, suing
Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil, For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate? Soft, modest, meek, demure, Bid go with evil omen, and the brand
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn Of infamy upon my name denounc'd ?
Intestine, far within defensive arms To mix with thy concernments I desist
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own. Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms Fame, if not double-fac'd, is double-mouth'd, Draws him awry enslav'd And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds; With dotage, and his sense deprav'd On both his wings, one black, the other white, To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends. Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight. What pilot so expert but needs must wreck My name perhaps among the circumcis'd
Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm ? In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,
Favour'd of Heaven, who finds To all posterity may stand defam'd,
One virtuous, rarely found, With malediction mention'd, and the blot
That in domestic good combines : Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd.
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth : But in my country, where I most desire,
But virtue, which breaks through all opposition, In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,
And all temptation can remove, I shall be nam'd among the famousest
Most shines, and most is accceptable above. Of women, sung at solemn festivals,
Therefore God's universal law Living and dead recorded, who, to save
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe,
Smile she or lour:
So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd
| But had we best retire? I see a storm.
Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron, rain.
| Which long shall not withhold me from thy head, Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. That in a little time, while breath remains thee, Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast past.
Again in safety what thou would'st have done Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more. The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious Draws hitherward; I know him by his stride,
arms, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud. Their ornament and safety, had not spells Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him | And black enchantments, some magician's art, bither
Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou I less conjecture than when first I saw
from Heaven The sumptuous Dalila floating this way :
Feign'dst at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair, His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. | Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now Of chaf’d wild boars, or ruffled porcupines. arrives.
Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts ;
My trust is in the living God, who gave me (Enter HARAPHA.]
At my nativity this strength, diffus'd Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
Than thine, while I preserv’d these locks unshorn, Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath; The pledge of my unviolated vow. Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells,
Which I to be the power of Israel's God That I was never present on the place
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test, of those encounters, where we might have tried Offering to combat thee his champion bold, Each other's force in carnp or listed field;
With the utmost of his Godhead seconded : And now am come to see of whom such noise Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow, Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. If thy appearance answer loud report
Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be ; Sams. The way to know were not to see but taste. Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off
Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Quite from his people, and deliver'd up Gyves and the mill had tamed thee. O that fortune Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them Had brought me to the field, where thou art fam'd To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw! Into the common prison, there to grind I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms, Among the slaves and asses thy comrades, Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: As good for nothing else; no better service So had the glory of prowess been recover'd
With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match To Palestine, won by a Philistine,
For valour to assail, nor by the sword From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou bear'st Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, The highest name for valiant acts; that honour, But by the barber's razor best subdued. Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, Sams. All these indignities, for such they are I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, Sams. Boast not of what thou would'st have done, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me but do
Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, What then thou would'st; thou seest it in thy hand. Whose ear is ever open, and his eye
Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, Gracious to re-admit the suppliant: And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. In confidence whereof I once again
Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight, Afford me, assassinated and betray'd,
By combat to decide whose God is God, Wbo durst not with their whole united powers Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore. In fight withstand me single and unarm'd,
Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes
trusting Close-banded durst attack me, no, not sleeping, He will accept thee to defend this cause, Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold
A murderer, a revolter, and a robber! Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me. Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd
prove me these? Some narrow place enclos'd, where sight may give Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? thee,
Their magistrates confess'd it when they took thee Or rather flight, no great advantage on me; As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet Into our hands : for hadst thou not committed And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, Notorious murder on those thirty men Vant-brace and greves, and gauntlet, add thy spear, At Ascalon, who never did thee harm, A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield; Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ? I only with an oaken staff will meet thee,
The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league,
Went up with armed powers thee only sceking, They cannot well impose, nor I sustain;
; If they intend advantage of my labours, Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines | The work of many hands, which earns my keeping I chose a wife, which argued me no foe;
With no small profit daily to my owners. And in your city held my nuptial feast :
| But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove But your ill-meaning politician lords,
My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence; Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, The worst that he can give to me the best. Appointed to await me thirty spies,
Yet so it may fall out, because their end
Chor. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
To the spirits of just men long oppress'd ! As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
When God into the hands of their deliverer I us'd hostility, and took their spoil,
Puts invincible might To pay my underminers in their coin.
To quell the mighty of the Earth, the oppressor, My nation was subjected to your lords;
The brute and boisterous force of violent men, It was the force of conquest : force with force Hardy and industrious to support Is well ejected when the conquer'd can.
Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue .
The righteous and all such as honour truth;
And feats of war defeats,
Their armouries and magazines contemns
But patience is more oft the exercise
And victory over all
Har. With thee! a man condem'd, a slave en- | Either of these is in thy lot,
Samson, with might endued
Whom patience finally must crown.
Har. () Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
A sceptre or quaint statt he bears,
Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By his habit I discern him now
Sams. So, baffled coward ! lest I run upon thee, His message will be short and voluble.
[Enter Officer.] Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down
Off. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here I seek. To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides. Chor. His manacles remark him, there he sits.
Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament 1 Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say ; These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. [Erit. This day to Dagon is a solemn feast,
Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat crestfallen, With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games : Stalking with less unconscionable strides,
Thy strength they know surpassing human rate, And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
And now some public proof thereof require Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood, To honour this great feast, and great assembly : Though fame divulge him father of five sons, Rise therefore with all speed, and come along, All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.
Where I will see thee hearten'd, and fresh clad, Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear, To appear as fits before the illustrious lords. And with malicious counsel stir them up
Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore Some way or other yet further to afflict thee. (fight
tell them, Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd Our law forbids at their religious rites Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
My presence; for that cause I cannot come. Whether he durst accept the offer or not ;
off. This answer, be assur’d, will not content And, that he durst not, plain enough appear'd. Much more affliction than already felt
| Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every sort
Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, This day will be remarkable in my life
off. Samson, this second message from our lords To make them sport with blind activity ?
To thee I am bid say. Art thou our slave, Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels
Our captive at the public mill, our drudge, On my refusal to distress me more,
And dar'st thou at our sending and command Or make a game of my calamities ?
Dispute thy coming ? come without delay; Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come. Or we shall find such engines to assail
01. Regard thyself; this will offend them highly. | And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force, Sams. Myself? my conscience, and internal peace. | Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock. Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
Sams. I could be well content to try their art, With corporal servitude, that my mind ever
Which to no few of them would prove pernicious. Will condescend to such absurd commands ?
Yet, knowing their advantages too many, Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester, Because they shall not trail me through their streets And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief
Like a wild beast, I am content to go. To show them feats, and play before their god, Masters' commands come with a power resistless The worst of all indignities, yet on me
To such as owe them absolute subjection ; Joio'd with extreme contempt? I will not come.
And for a life who will not change his purpose ? Of. My message was impos'd on me with speed,
(So mutable are all the ways of men ;) Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution ?
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply Sams. So take it with what speed thy message
Scandalous or forbidden in our law. needs.
Off. I praise thy resolution : doff these links: Of. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. | By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
[Erit.] To favour, and perhaps to set thee free. Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow Sams. Brethren, farewell ; your company along indeed.
I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them Chur. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd To see me girt with friends; and how the sight L'p to the height, whether to hold or break : Of me, as of a common enemy, He's gone, and who knows how he may report
So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
I know not : lords are lordliest in their wine; Expect another message more imperious,
And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd Mare lordly thundering than thou well wilt bear. With zeal, if aught religion seem concern'd;
Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift No less the people, on their holy-days, Of strength, again returning with my hair
Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable : After my great transgression, so requite
Happen what may, of me expect to hear Favour renew'd, and add a greater sin
Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy By prostituting holy things to idols?
Our God, our law, my nation, or myself,
The last of me or no I cannot warrant.
(name What act more execrably unclean, prophane?
i To what may serve his glory best, and spread his Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the
Great among the Heathen round;
Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand
Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labour Rode up in flames after his message told Honest and lawful to deserve my food
Of thy conception, and be now a shield Of those wbo have me in their civil power.
Of fire ; that spirit, that first rush'd on thee Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts In the camp of Dan, defile not.
(tence holds. Be efficacious in thee now at need. Sims. Where outward force constrains, the sen- | For never was from Heaven impartea But who constrains me to the temple of Dagon, Measure of strength so great to mortal seed, Net dragging? the Philistian lords command. As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen. Cortinands are no constraints. If I obey them, But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste I do it freely, venturing to displease
With youthful steps ? much livelier than ere while God for the fear of man, and man prefer,
| He seems ; supposing here to find his son, Set God behind; which in his jealousy
Or of him bringing to us some glad news? Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness.
[Enter MangaH.] Yet that he may dispense with me, or thee, Present in temples at idolatrous rites
Man. Peace with you, brethren; my inducement For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt.
hither Chr. How thou wilt here come off surmounts my Was not at present here to find my son, reach.
| By order of the lords now parted hence Senas. Be of good courage; I begin to feel To come and play before them at their feast. Some rousing motions in me, which dispose
I heard all as I came, the city rings, To something extraordinary my thoughts.
And numbers thither flock: I had no will, I with this messenger will go along,
Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly. Notlung to do, be sure, that may dishonour
But that, which mov'd my coming now, was chiefly Our law, cestuin m 183, stain my vow of Nazarite.
To give ye part with me what hope I have tlacre be aught of presage in the mind, | With good success to work his liberty. .
Chor. That hope would much rejoice us to partake | This evil on the Philistines is fall'n: With thee; say, reverend sire, we thirst to hear. From whom could else a general cry be heard ?
Man. I have attempted one by one the lords The sufferers then will scarce molest us here; Either at home, or through the high street passing, From other hands we need not much to fear. With supplication prone and father's tears,
What if, his eye-sight (for to Israel's God To accept of ransom for my son their prisoner. Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd, Some much averse I found and wondrous harsh, He now be dealing dole among his foes, Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite; And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests : Man. That were a joy presumptuous to be thought. Others more moderate seeming, but their aim
Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as incredible Private reward, for which both God and state For his people of old ; what hinders now? They easily would set to sale : a third
Man. He can, I know, but doubt to think he will, More generous far and civil, who confessid
Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief. They had enough reveng'd; having reduc'd A little stay will bring some notice hither. Their foe to misery beneath their fears,
Chor. Of good or bad so great, of bad the sooner; The rest was magnanimity to reinit,
For evil news rides post, while good news bates. If some convenient ransom were propos'd.
And to our wish I see one hither speeding, What noise or shout was that ? it tore the sky. An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe.
Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Their once great dread, captive, and blind before
[Enler Messenger.] thom,
Mess. O whither shall I run, or which way fly Or at some proof of strength before them shown. The sight of this so horrid spectacle,
Man. His ransom, if my whole inheritance Which erst my eyes beheld, and yet behold May compass it, shall willingly be paid
For dire imagination still pursues me. And number'd down : much rather I shall choose But providence or instinct of nature seems, To live the poorest in my tribe, than richest, Or reason though disturb'd, and scarce consulted, And he in that calamitous prison left.
To have guided me aright, I know not how, No, I am fix'd not to part hence without him. To thee first, reverend Manoah, and to these For his redemption all my patriinony,
My countrymen, whom here I knew remaining, If need be, I am ready to forego
As at some distance from the place of horrour, And quit : not wanting him, I shall want nothing. So in the sad event too much concern'd. (thee
Chor. Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons, Man. The accident was loud, and here before Thou for thy son art bent to lay out all;
With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not; Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age,
No preface needs, thou seest we long to know. Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy son,
Mess. It would burst forth, but I recover breath Made older than thy age through eye-sight lost. And sense distract, to know well what I utter.
Man. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, Man. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer. And view him sitting in the house, ennobled
Mess. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are fall'n, With all those high exploits by him achiev'd, All in a moment overwhelm'd and fallin. (saddest And on his shoulders waving down those locks Man. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not That of a nation arm’d the strength contain'd: The desolation of a hostile city.
(surfeit. And I persuade me, God had not permitted
Mess. Feed on that first: there may in grief be His strength again to grow up with his hair,
Man. Relate by whom. Garrison'd round about him like a camp
By Samson. Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose
That still lessens
Vess. Ah! Manvah, I refrain too suddenly
To utter what will come at last too soon; And since his strength with eye-sight was not lost, | Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption God will restore him eye-sight to his strength. [vain Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep. (out.
Chor. Thy hopes are not ill-founded, nor seem Man. Suspense in news is torture, speak them Of his delivery, and the joy thereon
Mess. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love,
[feated In both which we, as next, participate. (noise! - | Man. The worst indeed, O all my hopes de i
Man. I know your friendly minds and - O what To free him bence! but death, who sets all free, Mercy of Heaven, what hideous noise was that Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge. Horribly loud, unlike the former shout.
What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd Chor. Noise call you it, or universal groan, Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves As if the whole inhabitation perish'd !
Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring
Yet ere I give the reins to grief, say first,
All by him fell, thou say'st : by whom fell he?
Mess. Unwounded of his enemies he fell. (plain Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be; Man. Wearied with slaughter then, or how ? exWhat shall we do, stay here or run and see?
Mess. By his own hands. Chor. Best keep together here, lest, running Man.
Self-violence? what cause
Brought him so soon at variance with himself We unawares run into danger's mouth.
Among his foes?