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May ever tend about thee to old age,
With all things grateful cheer'd, and so supplied,
That, what by me thou hast lost, thou least shalt
Sams. No, no; of my condition take no care;
It fits not; thou and I long since are twain;
Northink me so unwary or accurs'd,
To bring my feet again into the snare [trains,
Where once I have been caught: I know thy
Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils;
Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms,
No more on me have power; their force is null'd;
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd,
To fence my ear against thy sorceries.
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men
Lov'd, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'st
hate me
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me;
How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby
Deceivable, in most things as a child
Helpless, thence easily contemn’d and scorn'd,
And last neglected 2 How would'st thou insult,
When I must live uxurious to thy will
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doings to the lords
To gloss upon, and, censuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter.
Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy
hand. [wake
Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thee; go with that;
Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works
It hath brought forth to make thee memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives!
Cherish thy hasten’d widowhood with the gold
Of matrimonial treason so farewell.
Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf
To prayers, than winds and seas; yet winds to seas
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore:
Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Eternal tempest, never to be calm'd.
Why do I humble thus myself, and, suing
For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate?
Bid go with evil omen, and the brand
Of infamy upon my name denounc'd?
To mix with thy concernments I desist
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own.
Fame, if not double-fac'd, is double-mouth'd,
And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight.
My name perhaps among the circumcis'd
In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,
To all posterity may stand defam'd,
With malediction mention'd, and the blot
Offalsehood most unconjugal traduc’d.
But in my country, where I most desire,
In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,
I shall be nam'd among the famousest
Of women, sung at solemn festivals,
Living and dead recorded, who, to save
Her country from a fierce destroyer, chose
Above the faith of wedlock-bands; my tomb
With odours visited and annual flowers;
Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim
Jael, who with hospitable guile
Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nail'd,
Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy

The public marks of honour and reward,
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
Which to my country I was judg’d to have shown.
At this whoever envies or repines,
I leave him to his lot, and like my own. [Erit.]
Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sting
Discover'd in the end, till now conceal’d.
Sams. So let her go; God sent her to debase me,
And aggravate my folly, who committed
To such a viper his most sacred trust
Of secresy, my safety, and my life. [power,
Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange
After offence returning, to regain
Love once possess'd, nor can be easily
Repuls'd, without much inward passion felt
And secret sting of amorous remorse.
Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end,
Not wedlock-treachery endangering life.
Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, wit,
Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit,
That woman's love can win, or long inherit;
But what it is, hard is to say,
Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it,)
Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day
Or seven, though one should musing sit.
If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride
Had not so soon preferr'd
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd,
Successor in thy bed,
Nor both so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherous
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Capacity not rais'd to apprehend

| Or value what is best

In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Or was too much of self-love mix’d,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long?
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil,
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms
Draws him awry enslav'd
With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm ?
Favour'd of Heaven, who finds
One virtuous, rarely found,
That in domestic good combines:
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth :
But virtue, which breaks through all opposition,
And all temptation can remove,
Most shines, and most is acceeptable above.
Therefore God's universal law
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe,
Nor from that right to part an hour,
Smile she or lour:
So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd
By female usurpation, or dismay’d.
But had we best retire? I see a storm.

Sms. Fair days have of contracted wind and rain. Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past. Chor: Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue Draws hitherward; I know him by his stride, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud. Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him hither I less conjecture than when first I saw The sumptuous Dalila floating this way: His habit carries peace, his brow defiance. Sims. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now arrives.

[Enter HARAPHA.]

Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been, Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath; Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd As 0g, or Anak, and the Emims old That Kiriathaim held; thou know'st me now If thou at all art known. Much I have heard Of thy prodigious might and feats perform’d, Incredible to me, in this displeas'd, That I was never present on the place of those encounters, where we might have tried Each other's force in camp or listed field; And now am come to see of whom such noise Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, If thy appearance answer loud report. Sams. The way to know were not to see but taste. Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Gyves and the mill had tamed thee. O that fortune Had brought me to the field, where thou art fam'd To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw I would have forc'd thee soon with other arms, 0 left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: So had the glory of prowess been recover'd To Palestine, won by a Philistine, From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou bear'st The highest name for valiant acts; that honour, Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, lose, prevented by thy eyes put out. Sims. Boast not of what thou would'st have done, but do What then thou would'st; thou seest it in thy hand. Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. Sims. Such usage as your honourable lords Aford me, assassinated and betray'd, Who durst not with their whole united powers to fight withstand me single and unarm’d, Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes Core-banded durst attack me, no, not sleeping, Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me. Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd &nne narrow place enclos'd, where sight may give

9, rather flight, no great advantage on me; Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, Want-brace and greves, and gauntlet, add thy spear, A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield; 'only with an oaken staff will meet thee,

And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron,
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head,
That in a little time, while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast
Again in safety what thou would'st have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious

arms, Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, Their ornament and safety, had not spells And black enchantments, some magician's art, Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou from Heaven Feign'dst at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair, Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines. Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts; My trust is in the living God, who gave me At my nativity this strength, diffus'd No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn, The pledge of my unviolated vow. For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god, Go to his temple, invocate his aid With solemnest devotion, spread before him How highly it concerns his glory now To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells, Which I to be the power of Israel's God Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test, Offering to combat thee his champion bold, With the utmost of his Godhead seconded : Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow, Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be; Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off Guite from his people, and deliver'd up Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee Into the common prison, there to grind Among the slaves and asses thy cområdes, As good for nothing else; no better service . With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match For valour to assail, nor by the sword Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, But by the barber's razor best subdued. Sams. All these indignities, for such they are From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, Whose ear is ever open, and his eye Gracious to re-admit the suppliant: In confidence whereof I once again Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight, By combat to decide whose God is God, Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore. Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in trusting He will accept thee to defend this cause, A murderer, a revolter, and a robber! Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou prove me these? Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? Their magistrates confess'd it when they took thee As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound Into our hands: for hadst thou not committed Notorious murder on those thirty men At Ascalon, who never did thee harm, Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes?

The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league,

Went up with armed powers thee only seeking,
To others did no violence nor spoil.
Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines
I chose a wife, which argued me no foe;
And in your city held my nuptial feast:
But your ill-meaning politician lords,
Under pretence of bridal friends and guests,
Appointed to await me thirty spies,
Who, threatening cruel death, constrain'd the bride
To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret,
That solv'd the riddle which I had propos'd.
When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
I us’d hostility, and took their spoil,
To pay my underminers in their coin.
My nation was subjected to your lords;
It was the force of conquest: force with force
Is well ejected when the conquer'd can.
But I a private person, whom my country
As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum'd
Single rebellion, and did hostile acts.
I was no private, but a person rais'd [Heaven,
With strength sufficient, and command from
To free my country; if their servile minds
Me, their deliverer sent, would not receive,
But to their masters gave me up for nought,
The unworthier they ; whence to this day they serve.
I was to do my part from Heaven assign'd,
And had perform'd it, if my known offence
Had not disabled me, not all your force :
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant, [tempts,
Though by his blindness maim'd for high at-
Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
As a petty enterprise of small enforce. [roll'd,
Har. With thee! a man condem’d, a slave en-
Due by the law to capital punishment'
To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
Sams. Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to
survey me,
To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict 2
Come nearer; part not hence so slight inform'd;
But take good heed my hand survey not thee.
Har. O Baal-zebub can my ears unus'd
Hear these dishonours, and not render death?
Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy
Fear I incurable; bring up thy van,
My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.
Har. This insolence other kind of answer fits.
Sams. Go, basiled coward lest I run upon thee,
Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast,
And with one buffet lay thy structure low,
Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down
To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides.
Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament
These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. [Erit.]
Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat crestfallen,
Stalking with less unconscionable strides, -
And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood,
Though fame divulge him father of five sons,
All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.
Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear,
And with malicious counsel stir them up
Some way or other yet further to afflict thee. [fight
Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd
Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
Whether he durst accept the offer or not;
And, that he durst not, plain enough appear'd.
Much more affliction than already felt

They cannot well impose, nor I sustain;
If they intend advantage of my labours,
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
Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine
Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed.
Chor. 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
Puts invincible might
To quell the mighty of the Earth, the oppressor,
The brute and boisterous force of violent men,
Hardy and industrious to support
Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
The righteous and all such as honour truth;
He all their ammunition
And feats of war defeats,
With plain heroic magnitude of mind
And celestial vigour arm'd;
Their armouries and magazines contemns
Renders them useless; while
With winged expedition,
Swift as the lightning glance, he executes
His errand on the wicked, who, surpris'd,
Lose their defence, distracted and amaz'd.
But patience is more oft the exercise
Of saints, the trial of their fortitude,
Making them each his own deliverer
And victory over all
That tyranny or fortune can inflict.
Either of these is in thy lot,
Samson, with might endued
Above the sons of men; but sight bereav'd
May chance to number thee with those
Whom patience finally must crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest
Labouring thy mind
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
For I descry this way
Some other tending; in his hand
A sceptre or quaint staff he bears,
Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By his habit I discern him now
A public officer, and now at hand;
His message will be short and voluble.

[Enter Officer.]

Off. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here I seek. Chor. His manacles remark him, there he sits. Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say; This day to Dagon is a solemn feast, 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 religious rites My presence; for that cause I cannot come. Off. This answer, be assur'd, will pot content them. Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every sort

Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners,
Jugglers, and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics,
But they must pick me out, with shackles tir’d,
And over-labour'd at their public mill,
To make them sport with blind activity?
Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels
On my refusal to distress me more,
Or make a game of my calamities?
Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come.
Off. Regard thyself; this will offend them highly.
Sims. Myself? my conscience, and internal peace.
Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
With corporal servitude, that my mind ever
Will condescend to such absurd commands?
Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester,
And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief
To show them feats, and play before their god,
The worst of all indignities, yet on me
Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come.
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. - [Erit.] &ms. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow


Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd Up to the height, whether to hold or break: He's gone, and who knows how he may report 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 Ofstrength, again returning with my hair After my great transgression, so requite Favour renew'd, and add a greater sin By prostituting holy things to idols? A Nazarite in place abominable Wausting my strength in honour to their Dagon Besides, how vile, contemptible, ridiculous, What act more execrably unclean, prophane? Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Philistines, 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. [tence holds. Sims. Where outward force constrains, the senBut who constrains me to the temple of Dagon, Not dragging? the Philistian lords command. Commands are no constraints. If I obey them, I do it freely, venturing to displease God for the fear of man, and man prefer, * God behind; which in his jealousy Şall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. Yet that he may dispense with me, or thee, Present in temples at idolatrous rites For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt. Chor. How thou wilt here come off surmounts my reach. Sims. 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 Qu law, or stain my vow of Nazarite. "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.
Sams. I could be well content to try their art,
Which to no few of them would prove pernicious.
Yet, knowing their advantages too many,
Because they shall not trail me through their streets.
Like a wild beast, I am content to go.
Masters' commands come with a power resistless
To such as owe them absolute subjection;
And for a life who will not change his purpose?
(So mutable are all the ways of men;)
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply
Scandalous or forbidden in our law.
Off. I praise thy resolution: doff these links:
By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
To favour, and perhaps to set thee free.
Sams. Brethren, farewell; your company along
I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them
To see me girt with friends; and how the sight
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 soonest fir’d
With zeal, if aught religion seem concern'd;
No less the people, on their holy-days,
Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable:
Happen what may, of me expect to hear
Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy
Our God, our law, my nation, or myself,
The last of me or no I cannot warrant.
Chor. Go, and the Holy One
Of Israel be thy guide [name
To what may serve his glory best, and spread his
Great among the Heathen round;
Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand
Fast by thy side, 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 ethicacious in thee now at need.
For never was from Heaven imparted
Measure of strength so great to mortal seed,
As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen. —
But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste
With youthful steps ? much livelier than ere while
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 inducement hither

Was not at present here to find my son,
By order of the lords now parted hence
To come and play before them at their feast.
I heard alk as I came, the city rings,
And numbers thither flock: I had no will,
Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly.
But that, which mov'd my coming now, was chiefly
To give ye part with me what hope I have
With good success to work his liberty.

Chor. That hope would much rejoice us to partake

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,
To accept of ransom for my son their prisoner.
Some much averse I found and wondrous harsh,
Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite;
That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests:
Others more moderate seeming, but their aim
Private reward, for which both God and state
They easily would set to sale: a third
More generous far and civil, who confess'd
They had enough reveng'd; having reduc’d
Their foe to misery beneath their fears,
The rest was magnanimity to remit,
If some convenient ransom were propos'd.
What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky.
Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold
Their once great dread, captive, and blind before
Or at some proof of strength before them shown.
Man. His ransom, if my whole inheritance
May compass it, shall willingly be paid
And number'd down: much rather I shall choose
To live the poorest 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.
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.
And since his strength with eye-sight was not lost,
God will restore him eye-sight to his strength. [vain
Chor. Thy hopes are not ill-founded, nor seem
Of his delivery, and the joy thereon
Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love,
In both which we, as next, participate. [noise! —
Man. I know your friendly minds and—O what
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 :
Blood, death, and deathful deeds, are in that noise,
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
We unawares run into danger's mouth.

This evil on the Philistines is fall'n :
From whom could else a general cry be heard 2
The sufferers then will scarce molest us here;
From other hands we need not much to fear.
What if, his eye-sight (for to Israel's God
Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd,
He now be dealing dole among his foes,
And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way?
Man. That were a joy presumptuous to be thought.
. Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as incredible
For his people of old; what hinders now 2
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 sooner;
For evil news rides post, while good news bates.
And to our wish I see one hither speeding,
An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe.

[Enter Messengen.]

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. [thee 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. (saddest Man. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not The desolation of a hostile city. [surfeit. Mess. Feed on that first: there may in grief be Man. Relate by whom. Mess. By Samson. Man. That still lessens The sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy. Mess. Ah! Manoah, I refrain too suddenly To utter what will come at last too soon ; Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep. [out. Man. Suspense in news is torture, speak them Mess. Take then the worst in bricf, Samson is dead. (feated Man. The worst indeed, O all my hopes deTo free him hence but death, who sets all free, Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge. What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost! Yet ere I give the reins to grief, say first, How died he ; death to life is crown or shame. All by him fell, thou say'st: by whom fell he 2 What glorious hand gave Samson his death's wound? Mess. Unwounded of his enemies he fell. [plain. Man. Wearied with slaughter then, or how 2 ex, Mess. By his own hands. Man. Self-violence 2 what cause Brought him so soon at variance with himself Among his foes?

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