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Dispute thy coming ? come without delay;
Or we shall find such engins to assail
And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force,
Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock.

SAM. I could be well content to try their art Which to no few of them would prove pernicious. Yet knowing their advantages too many,

1101 Because they shall not trail me through their street, 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.

OF. I praise thy resolution: doff these links: 1410 By this compliance thou wilt win the lords To favour, and perhaps to set thee free.

sam. 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 eneiny, So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine; And the well-feasted priest :hen soonest fir'd With zeal, if ought religion seem concern'd; 1420 No less the people on their holy days Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable : Happen what may, of me expect to hear

1430

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
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
Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field
Rode

up

in flames after bis 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 seed, As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen. 1440 But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste With youthful steps ? much livelier than erewhile He seems : supposing here to find his son, Or of him bringing to us some glad news ? Man. Peace with

you, brethren ; my inducemer.e 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 fcast. I heard all as I came ; the city rings, And numbers thither flock, I had no will, 1450 Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly. But that which mov'd my coming now was chiefly

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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 par, With thee; say, rev'rend Sire, we thirst to hear. (take

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, 1459 To accept of ransom for my son their pris'ner. Some much averse I found and wond'rous' harsh, Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite; ! That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priest : 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 foc to misery beneath their fears, The rest was magnanimity to remit,

1470 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 them, Os 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. 1480 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 are 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

1490 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

1500 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.

CHOR. Thy hopes are not ill founded nor seem Of his delivery, and the joy thereon

(vain Conceiv'd agreeable to a father's love, In both which we, as next, participate.

MAN. I know your friendly minds and --- what Mercy of Heav'n what hideous noise was that! Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. 1510

CHOR. Noise call you' it or universal groan, As if the whole inhabitation perish'd !

1

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

MAN.Ofruinindeed methought I heard the noise : Oh it contigues, they have slain my son.

Chor. Thy son is rather slaying them, that out* From slaughter of one foe could not ascend. (cry

MAX. Some dismal accident it needs must be ; What shall we do, stay here or run and see ? 1520

CHOR. Best keep together here,lest running thiWe unawares sun into Danger's mouth, [ther This evil on the Philistines is fall’n ; From whom could else a gen’ral cry be heard ? 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

? 1530 MAN, That were a joy presumptuous to be

thought. CHOR. Ye. God hath wrought things as incrediFor his people of old: what hinders now ? [ble

MAN.He can I know, but doubt to think he will; Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempt belief. A little stay will bring some notice bither.

chor.Of good or bad so great,of bad the sooner; For evil news rides post, while good news baits, And to our wish I see one hither speeding, An Hebrew as I guess, and of our tribe. 1540

MES O whither shall I run, or which way fly

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