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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 afcend.
MAN. Some difmal accident it needs must be; What fhall we do? ftay here, or run and fee?
CHO. Best 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?
He now be dealing dole among his foes,
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 fo great, of bad the fooner; For evil news rides poft, while good news baits. And to our wifh I fee one hither speeding,
An Hebrew, as I guefs, and of our tribe.
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 circumstance 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'ft to Ifraelites not faddeft, The defolation of a hostile 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 worft 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 cause,
At once both to destroy and be destroy'd;
MAN. O laftly over-ftrong 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 diftinct.
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
Half-round on two main pillars vaulted high,
On banks and scaffolds under sky might stand;
I among thefe aloof obfcurely stood.
The feast and noon grew high, and facrifice
Had fill'd their hearts with mirth, high chear, and wine, When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately
Was Samfon as a public servant brought,
In their state livery clad; before him pipes
None daring to appear antagonist.
At length for intermiffion fake they led him
(For fo from fuch as nearer ftood we heard)
As over-tir'd to let him lean a while
With both his arms on thofe two maffy pillars,
He unfufpicious led him; which when Samfon 1635
At last with head erect thus cry'd aloud,
Now of my own accord fuch other trial
I mean to show you of my ftrength, yet greater;
He tugg'd, he fhook, till down they came, and drew
Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests,
Of this but each Philiftian city round,
Met from all parts to folemnize this feaft.
Samfon with these immix'd, inevitably
Pull'd down the fame deftruction on himself;
CHO. O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious! 1660