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Off. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here 1 seek.
"Chor. His manacles remark him, there he sits.
Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me This day to Dagon is a solemn feast, [say; With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games: Thy strength they know surpassing human rate, And now some public proof thereof require To honour this great feast, and great assembly: Rise therefore with all speed, and come along, Where I will see thee hearten'd, and fresh clad, To appear as fits before the illustrious lords.
Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore tell them,
Our law forbids at their religiou rites
Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every
Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Juglers, and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics,
But they must pick me out, with shackles tir'd,
Sams. Myself? my conscience, and internal
Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
Of. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. [Exit.]
Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow indeed.
Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd
Up to the height, whether to hold or break:
After my great transgression, so requite
Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.
Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labour Honest and lawful to deserve my food Of those who have me in their civil power. Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile not.
Sams. Where outward force constrains, the sentence holds.
But who constrains me to the temple of Dagon,
Sams. Be of good courage; I begin to feel Some rousing motions in me, which dispose To something extraordinary my thoughts. I with this messenger will go along, Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonour Our law, or stain my vow of Nazarite. If there be aught of presage in the mind, This day will be remarkable in my life By some great act, or of my days the last. Chor. In time thou hast resolv'd, the man returns.
Off. Samson, this
second message from our
lords To thee I am bid say. 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 engines to assail And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force, Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock'
So dreaded once, may now exasperate them,
Be efficacious in thee now at need.
He seems; supposing here to find his son, Or of him bringing to us some glad news? [Enter] Manoah.
Man. Peace with you, brethren; my induce
And number'd down: much rather I shall choose
No, I am fix'd not to part hence without him.
And quit: not wanting him, I shall want no❤
Was not at present here to find my son,
Chor. That hope would much rejoice us to
With thee; say, reverend sire, we thirst to hear. Man. I have attempted one by one the lords Either at home, or through the high street passing,
With supplication prone and father's tears,
Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Their once great dread, captive, and blind before them,
Or at some proof of strength before them shown. Man. His ransom, if my whole inheritance May compass it, shall willingly be paid
Chor. Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons, Thou for thy son art bent to lay out all; Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age, Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy son, Made older than thy age through eye-sight lost. Man. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, And view him sitting in the house, ennobled With all those high exploits by him achiev'd, And on his shoulders waving down those locks That of a nation arm'd the strength contain❜d: And I persuade me, God had not permitted His strength again to grow up with his hair, Garrison'd round about him like a camp Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose To use him further yet in some great service; Not to sit idle with so great a gift Useless, and thence ridiculous about him. [lost, And since his strength with eye-sight was not God will restore him eye-sight to his strength.
Chor. Thy hopes are not ill founded, nor seem Of his delivery, and the joy thereon [vain Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love, In both which we, as next, participate.
Man. I know your friendly minds and-O what noise!
Mercy of Heaven, what hideous noise was that Horribly loud, unlike the former shout.
Chor. Noise call you it, or universal groan, As if the whole inhabitation perish'd ! [noise, Blood, death, and deathful deeds, are in that Ruin, destruction at the utmost point.
Man. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the noise:
Oh! it continues, they have slain my son. Chor. Thy son is rather slaying them: that outcry
From slaughter of one foe could not ascend.
Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be; What shall we do, stay here or run and see?
Chor. Best keep together here, lest, running thither,
We unawares run into danger's mouth."
Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as incre
For his people of old; what hinders now? Man. He can, I know, but doubt to think he will;
Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief, A little stay will bring some notice hither.
Chor. Of good or bad so great, of bad the
For evil news rides post, while good news bates.
Mess. O whither shall I run, or which way fly The sight of this so horrid spectacle, Which erst my eyes beheld, and yet behold? For dire imagination still pursues me. But providence or instinct of nature seems, Or reason though disturb'd, and scarce consulted, To have guided me aright, I know not how, To thee first, reverend Manoah, and to these My countrymen, whom here I knew remaining, As at some distance from the place of horrour, So in the sad event too much concern'd.
Man. The accident was loud, and here before
With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not; No preface needs, thou seest we long to know. Mess. It would burst forth, but I recover breath
And sense distract, to know well what I utter.
Man. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer. Mess. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are fall'n,
All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall'n.
Man. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not The desolation of a hostile city. [saddest Mess. Feed on that first; there may in grief
Man. Relate by whom.
Mess. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is dead.
Man. The worst indeed, O all my hopes defeated
To free him hence! but death, who sets all free,
Mess. By his own hands.
Mess. Inevitable canse At once both to destroy, and be destroy'd; The edifice, where all were met to see him, Upon their heads and on his own he pull'd.
Man. O lastly over-strong against thyself! A dreadful way thou took'st to thy revenge.
More than enough we know; but while things yet
Mess. Occasions drew me early to this city;
Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games;
When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately
I mean to show you of my strength, yet greater,
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder
Pull'd down the same destruction on himself;
Let us go find the body where it lies
Not willingly, but tangled in the fold
1. Semichor. While their hearts were jocund With all his trophies hung, and acts inroll'd
In copious legend, or sweet lyric song.
And urg'd them on with mad desire
Chor. All is best, though we oft doubt
Their own destruction to come speedy upon them. Oft he seems to hide his face,
Fall'n into wrath divine.
As their own ruin on themselves to invite,
2. Semichor. But he, though blind of sight,
From under ashes into sudden flame,
Of tame villatic fowl; but as an eagle
So virtue, given for lost,
Like that self-begotten bird
In the Arabian woods embost,
That no second knows nor third,
And, though her body die, her fame survives
Man. Come, come; no time for lamentation
Nor much more cause; Samson hath quit himself
Fully reveng'd, hath left them years of mourning,
But unexpectedly returns,
And to his faithful champion hath in place
His uncontrollable intent;
His servants he, with new acquist
Of true experience, from this great event
xii. Achan. Joshue vii and viii. xiii. Josuah in Gibeon, Josh. x.
xiv. Gideon Idoloclastes. Judg. vi, vii. xv. Gideon pursuing. Judg. viii. xvi. Abimelech the Usurper. Judg. ix. xvii. SAMSON MARRIING, or in Ramach Lechi.
xviii, SAMSON PURSOPHORUS, or Hybristes, or Dagonalia. Judg. xvi,
xix. Comazontes, or The Benjaminites, or The
xx, Theristria, a Pastoral, out of Ruth.
xxii. Jonathan rescued. I Sam. xiv. xxiii. Doeg slandering. I Sam, xxii. xxiv. The sheep-shearers in Carmel, a Pastoral, I Sam. xxv.
xxv. Saul in Gilboa. I Sam. xxviji, xxxi. xxvi. David revolted, I Sam. from the xxvii chap. to the xxxi.
xxvii. David adulterous, II Sam. c. xi, xii. xxviii. Tamar, II Sam. xiii.
xxix. Achitophel. II Sam. xv, xvi, xvii, xviii. Xxx. Adoniah. I Reg. ii.
xxxi. Solomon Gynæcocratumenus, or Idolomargus, aut Thysiazusa. I Reg. xi. xxxii. Rehoboam. I Reg. xii. Wher is disputed of a politic religion, xxxiii. Abias Thersæus. I Reg. xiv. The queen,
after much dispute, as the last refuge, sent to the profet Ahias of Shilo; receavs the message. The Epitasis, in that shee, hearing the child shall die, as she comes home, refuses to return, thinking thereby to elude the oracle.
Apocalypse of Saint John is the majestic image of a high and stately tragedy, shutting up and intermingling her solemn scenes and, acts with a seven-fold chorus of hallelujahs and harping symphonies." Prose-Works, edit. 1698, vol. i. 61.
2 So they are termed in Milton's MS. Those, which relate to Paradise Lost, have been given at the end of that poem. TODD.
The former part is spent in bringing the sick prince forth as it were desirous to shift his chamber and couch, as dying men use; his father telling him what sacrifize he had sent for his health to Bethel and Dan; his fearlessnesse of death, and putting his father in mind to set [send] to Ahiah. The Chorus of the Elders of Israel bemoning his virtues bereft them, and at another time wondring why Jeroboam, being bad himself, should so grieve for his son that was good, &c.
xxxiv. Imbres, or The Showers. I Reg. xviii, xix.
xxxv. Naboth unvparrμevoç. I Reg. xxi. xxxvi. Ahab. I Reg. xxii. Beginning at the
synod of fals profets: ending with relation of Ahab's death: his bodie brought. Zedechiah slain by Ahab's friends for his seducing. (See Lavater, II Chron. xviii.)
xxxvii. Elias in the mount. II Reg. i. 'Opeißárns. Or, better, Elias Polemistes.
xxxviii. Elisaus Hudrochóos. II Reg, iii. Hudrophantes. Aquator.
xxxix. Elisaus Adorodocétas.
xl. Elisæus Minutes, sive in Dothaimis. II Reg. vi.
xli. Samaria Liberata. II Reg. vii. xlii. Achabai Cunoboremeni. II Reg. ix.
The Scene, Jesrael. Beginning, from the watchman's discovery of Jehu, till he go out. In the mean while, message of things passing brought to Jesebel, &c. Lastly, the 70 heads of Ahab's sons brought in, and message brought of Ahaziah's brethren slain on the way. Chap. x.
xliii. Jehu Belicola. II Reg. x. xliv. Athaliah. II Reg. xi.
xlv. Amaziah Doryalotus. II Reg. xiv. II Chron. xxv.
xlvi. Hezechias πολιορκώμενος. II Reg. xviii, xix. Hesechia beseiged. The wicked hypocrisy of Shebna, (spoken of in the xi. or thereabout of Isaiah,) and the commendation of Eliakim, will afford apóguas Aéys, together with a faction that sought help from Egypt.
xlvii. Josiah Asalomenos. II Reg. xxiii. xlviii. Zedechia VEOTEgiv. II Reg. But the story is larger in Jeremiah.
xlix. Salymay Halosis. Which may begin
from a message brought to the city, of the judgement upon Zedechiah and his children in Ribla: and so seconded with the burning and destruction of city and temple by Nebuzaradan; lamented by Jeremiah.
1. Asa, or Æthiopes. II Chron. xiv. with the deposing his mother, and burning her idol.
li. The three children. Dan. iii.
lii. Abram from Morea, or Isaac redeemThe oiconomie may be thus. The fift or sixt day after Abraham's departure, Eleazar (Abram's steward) first alone, and then with the Chorus, dis