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Of those who have me in their civil power.


CHO. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile SAMS. Where outward force constrains, the fen

tence holds.

But who constrains me to the temple' of Dagon, 1370
Not dragging? the Philiftian lords command.
Commands are no conftraints. If I obey them,
I do it freely, vent'ring to difplease
God for the fear of Man, and Man prefer,
Set God behind: which in his jealoufy
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'st not doubt. CHO. How thou wilt here come off furmounts my


SAMS. Be of good courage, I begin to feel

Some rousing motions in me, which dispose
To fomething extraordinary my thoughts.
I with this meffenger will go along,
Nothing to do, be fure, that may dishonor
Our Law, or stain my vow of Nazarite.
If there be ought of prefage in the mind,
This day will be remarkable in my life
By fome great act, or of my days the last.



CHO. In time thou haft refolv'd, the man returns.
OFF. Samson, this second 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 fending and command

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Difpute thy coming? come without delay;
Or we shall find fuch engins to affail


And hamper thee, as thou shalt 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. 1400
Yet, knowing their advantages too many,
Because they shall not trail me through their streets
Like a wild beaft, I am content to go.

Mafters' commands come with a power refiftlefs
To fuch as owe them abfolute fubjection;
And for a life who will not change his purpose?
(So mutable are all the ways of men!)

Yet this be fure, in nothing to comply
Scandalous or forbidden in our Law.


OFF. I praise thy resolution: doff these links: 1410 By this compliance thou wilt win the lords

To favor, and perhaps to fet 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,

So dreaded once, may now exasperate them,

I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine ;
And the well-feasted priest then foonest fir'd
With zeal, if ought religion feem concern'd;
No lefs the people on their holy-days
Impetuous, infolent, unquenchable:
Happen what may, of me expect to hear
Nothing difhonorable, impure, unworthy



Our God, our Law, my Nation, or myself,

The laft of me or no I cannot warrant.

CHO. Go, and the holy One

Of Ifrael be thy guide


To what may serve his glory best, and spread his name

Great among the Heathen round;


Send thee the Angel of thy birth, to stand

Faft by thy fide, who from thy father's field

Rode up in flames after his message told

Of thy conception, and be now a shield

Of fire; that Spirit that first rush'd on thee
In the camp of Dan


Be efficacious in thee now at need:

For never was from Heav'n imparted

Measure of strength so great to mortal feed,
As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen!
But wherefore comes old Manoah in fuch hafte
With youthful fteps? much livelier than ere-while
He seems supposing here to find his fon,


Or of him bringing to us fome glad news?


MAN. Peace with you, Brethren; my inducement

Was not at present here to find my fon,

By order of the lords new parted hence

To come and play before them at their feaft.

I heard all as I came, the city rings,
And numbers thither flock, I had no will,
Left I should fee him forc'd to things unfeemly.
But that which mov'd my coming now was chiefly
To give you part with me what hope I have
With good fuccefs to work his liberty.

E 4



CHO. That hope would much rejoice us to partake With thee; fay, reverend Sire, we thirst to hear.

MAN. I have attempted one by one the lords,
Either at home, or through the high street paffing,
With fupplication prone and father's tears,
Taccept of ransom for my son their pris❜ner.
Some much averfe I found and wondrous harfh,
Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite;
That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests:
Others more moderate feeming, but their aim
Private reward, for which both God and State
They eafily would fet to fale: a third
More generous far and civil, who confefs'd
They had enough reveng'd, having reduc'd
Their foe to misery beneath their fears,



The reft was magnanimity to remit,

If fome convenient ranfom were propos'd.


What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky.

CHO. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Their once great dread, captive, and blind before them, Or at fome proof of strength before them shown. 1475 MAN. His ransom, if my whole inheritance May compafs it, fhall willingly be paid

And number'd down: much rather I fhall choose

To live the pooreft in my tribe, than richest,

And he in that calamitous prison left.


No, I am fix'd not to part hence without him.

For his redemption all my patrimony,

If need be, I am ready to forego

And quit: not wanting him I shall want nothing.


CHO. Fathers are wont to lay up for their fons, 1485 Thou for thy fon art bent to lay out all:

Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age,

Thou in old age car'ft how to nurse thy fon
Made older than thy age through eye-fight loft.
MAN. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, 1490
And view him sitting in the house, ennobled
With all those high exploits by him achiev'd,
And on his shoulders waving down thofe locks
That of a nation arm'd the strength contain'd:
And, I persuade me, God had not permitted
His ftrength again to grow up with his hair
Garrison'd round about him like a camp
Of faithful foldiery, were not his purpose
To use him further yet in some great service,
Not to fit idle with so great a gift

Ufelefs, and thence ridiculous about him.

And fince his strength with eye-fight was not loft,
God will restore him eye-fight to his ftrength.



CHо. Thy hopes are not ill founded nor feem vain Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon

Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love,

In both which we, as next, participate.



MAN. I know your friendly minds, and---O what Mercy of Heaven, what hideous noise was that! Horribly loud, unlike the former shout.

CHO. Noife call you it, or universal groan,

As if the whole inhabitation perish'd!


Blood, death, and deathful deeds are in that noise,
Ruin, destruction at the utmost point.


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