« PreviousContinue »
MAN. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the noise: Oh it continues, they have flain my fon.
CHO. Thy fon is rather flaying them, that outcry From flaughter of one foe could not ascend.
MAN. Some difmal accident it needs must be; What fhall we do? stay here, or run and see?
CHO. Beft keep together here, left running thither We unawares run into danger's mouth.
This evil on the Philiftines is fall'n;
From whom could elfe a general cry be heard?
And over heaps of flaughter'd walk his way?
MAN. That were a joy prefumptuous to be thought. CHO. Yet God hath wrought things as incredible
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. 1535 A little stay will bring fome notice hither.
CHO. Of good or bad so great, of bad the sooner; For evil news rides post, while good news baits. And to our wifh I fee one hither speeding,
An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe.
MESS. O whither fhall I run, or which way fly
Which erft my eyes beheld, and yet behold?
But providence or instinct of nature seems,
MAN. The accident was loud, and here before thee With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not; No preface needs, thou feest we long to know. MESS. It would burst forth, but I recover breath And fenfe diftract, to know well what I utter.
MAN. Tell us the fum, the circumftance defer. MESS. Gaza yet stands, but all her fons are fall'n, All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall'n.
MAN. Sad, but thou know'st to Ifraelites not faddeft, The defolation of a hoftile city. [furfeit. MESS. Feed on that first, there may in grief be MAN. Relate by whom.
The forrow, and converts it nigh to joy.
MESS. Ah Manoah, I refrain too fuddenly 1565 To utter what will come at last too soon; Left evil tidings with too rude irruption Hitting thy aged ear fhould pierce too deep.
MAN. Sufpenfe in news is torture, speak them out. MESS. Take then the worst in brief, Samfon is dead. MAN. The worst indeed, O all my hopes defeated:· To free him hence! but death who fets all free
Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge.
What glorious hand gave Samfon his death's wound? MESS. Unwounded of his enemies he fell.
MAN. Wearied with flaughter then, or how? explain. MESS. By his own hands.
MAN. Self-violence? what caufe
Brought him fo foon at variance with himself
MESS. Inevitable caufe,
At once both to destroy and be destroy'd;
MAN. O laftly over-strong against thyself!
A dreadful way thou took'st to thy revenge.
Are in confufion, give us if thou canst,
Eye-witness of what first or last was done,
Relation more particular and distinct.
MESS. Occafions drew me early to this city,
And as the gates I enter'd with sun-rise,
Samfon fhould be brought forth, to fhow the people
The building was a spacious theatre
The other fide was open, where the throng
On banks and scaffolds under sky might stand; 1610 I among these aloof obfcurely stood.
The feast and noon grew high, and sacrifice
Had fill'd their hearts with mirth, high chear, and wine,
When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately
Was Samfon as a public fervant brought,
None daring to appear antagonist.
At length for intermiffion fake they led him
(For fo from fuch as nearer ftood we heard)
At laft with head erect thus cry'd aloud,
I mean to show you of my ftrength, yet greater;
He tugg'd, he fhook, till down they came, and drew
Lords, ladies, captains, counfellors, or pricfts,
Of this but each Philiftian city round,
Met from all parts to folemnize this feast.
Samfon with thefe immix'd, inevitably
Pull'd down the fame deftruction on himself;
CHO. O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious! 1660