« PreviousContinue »
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant
HAR. With thee, a man condemn'd, a slave inroll'd, Due by the law to capital punishment ?
1225 To fight with thee no man of arms will deiga,
SAMs. Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to survey me, To défcant on my strength, and give thy verdict ? Come nearer, part not hence so flight inform’d; But take good heed my hand survey not thee. 1230
HAR. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd Hear these dishonors, and not render death?
SAMs. Noman withholds thee, nothing from thy hand Fear I incurable ; bring up thy van, My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free. 1235
HAR. This infolence other kind of answer fits,
SAMs. Go, baffled coward, left I run upon tliee,
1240 To th' hazard of thy brains and shatter'd fides.
HAR. By Astaroth ere long thou shalt lament These braveries in irons loaden on thee.
Cho. His giantship is gone somewhat crest-faln, Stalking with less unconscionable strides,
1245 And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
SAMS. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood,
Cho. He will directly to the lords, I fear 1250 And with malicious counsel stir them up Some way or other yet further to afflict thee,
SAMs. He must allege some cause, and offer'd fight Will not dare mention, lest a question rise Whether he durft accept the offer or not, 1235 And that he durst not plain enough appear'd. Much more amiction than already felt They cannot well impose, nor I sustain; If they intend advantage of my labors, 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 1265 Is hate, not help to me,
may with mine Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed.
Cho. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving To the spirits of just men long oppress'd ! When God into the hands of their deliverer 1270 Puts invincible might To quell the mighty of the earth, th’ oppressor, The brute and boisterous force of violent men Hardy and industrious to support Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
1275 The righteous and all such as honor truth; He all their ammunition And feats of war defeats VOL. III.
With plain heroic magnitude of mind
But patience is more oft the exercise Of saints, the trial of their fortitude, Making them each his own deliverer, And victor over all
1299 That tyranny or fortune can inflict. Either of these is in thy lot, Samfon, with might indued Above the sons of men : but sight bcreay'd May chance to number thee with those
1295 Whom patience finally must crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of reit,
1303 A public Officer, and now at hand. His message will be short and voluble.
OFF. Hebrews, the pris'ner Samson here I seek.
Off. Samfon, to thee our lords thus bid me say;
1320 My presence ; for that caufe I cannot come.
Off, This answer, be assur'd, will not content them.
Sams. Have they not fword-players, and every fort
OFF. Regard thyself; this will offend them highly.
SAMs. Myself? my conscience and internal peace. Can they think me so broken, fo debas'd 1335 With corporal servitude, that my mind ever
Will condescend to such absurd commands ?
OFF. My message was impos’d on me with speed, Brooks no delay : is this thy resolution ?
SAMs. So take it with what speed thy message needs. OFF. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to forrow'indeed.
Cho. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd Up to the highth, whether to hold or break; He's gone, and who knows how he may report 1350 Thy words by adding fuel to the flame ? Expect another message more imperious, More lordly thundering than thou well wilt bear.
SAMs. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift Of strength, again returning with my hair 1355 After my great transgreffion, fo requite Favor renew'd, and add a greater sin By prostituting holy things to idols; A Nazarite in place abominable · Vaunting my strength in honor to their Dagon ? 1360 Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous, What act more execrably unclean, profane ?
Cho. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Philistines, Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.
Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor 1365 Honest and lawful to deserve my food