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Chor. Many are the sayings of the wise, In ancient and in modern books enroll'd, Extolling patience as the truest fortitude; And to the bearing well of all calamities, All chances incident to man's frail life, Consolatories writ

With studied argument, and much persuasion sought,
Lenient of grief and anxious thought:
But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune

Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint;
Unless he feel within

Some source of consolation from above,

Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
And fainting spirits uphold.

God of our fathers, what is man!

regard

Of highest favors past

From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission,
But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them
high,
Unseemly falls in human eye,

Too grievous for the trespass or omission;
Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword

That thou towards him with hand so various,
Or might I say contrarious,

Temper'st thy providence through his short course, I cannot but acknowledge; yet, if tears
Not evenly, as thou rul'st
The angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute,
Irrational and brute.

May expiate, (though the fact more evil drew
In the perverse event than I foresaw,)

Nor do I name of men the common rout,
That, wandering loose about,

Grow up and perish, as the summer-fly,
Heads without name no more remember'd;
But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd,
To some great work, thy glory,
And people's safety, which in part they effect:
Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft,
Amidst their height of noon,

Of heathen and profane, their carcasses
To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captiv'd;
Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times,
And condemnation of the ingrateful multitude.
If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty

With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down,
Painful diseases and deform'd
In crude old age;

Though not disordinate, yet causeless suffering
The punishment of dissolute days: in fine,
Just, or unjust, alike seem miserable,
For oft alike both come to evil end.

So deal not with this once thy glorious champion,
The image of thy strength, and mighty minister.
What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already?
Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
His labors, for thou canst, to peaceful end.-

But who is this, what thing of sea or land?
Female of sex it seems,

That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,

Comes this way sailing

Like a stately ship

Of Tarsus, bound for the isles

Of Javan or Gadire

An amber scent of odorous perfume
Her harbinger, a damsel train behind;
Some rich Philistian matron she may seem;
And now at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila thy wife.

Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with no And arts of every woman false like thee,

To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,
Then as repentant to submit, beseech,

And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
Confess, and promise wonders in her change;
Not truly penitent, but chief to try

Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears,
His virtue or weakness which way to assail :
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again transgresses, and again submits;
That wisest and best men, full oft beguil'd,
With goodness principled not to reject
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
Entangled with a poisonous bosom snake,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off,
As I by thee, to ages an example.

Dal. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I endeavor
To lessen or extenuate my offence,

I

But that on the other side, if it be weigh'd
By itself, with aggravations not surcharg'd,
Or else with just allowance counterpois'd,
may, if possible, thy pardon find
The easier towards me, or thy hatred less.
First, granting, as I do, it was a weakness
In me, but incident to all our sex,
Curiosity, inquisitive, impórtune,
Of secrets, then, with like infirmity
To publish them, both common female faults:
Was it not weakness also to make known
For importunity, that is, for nought,
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety?
To what I did thou show'dst me first the way.
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not:

Nor shouldst thou have trusted that to woman's

[near me. Sams. My wife! my traitress: let her not come Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes thee fix'd,

With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,

Courted by all the winds that hold them play,

About to have spoke; but now, with head declin'd,
Like a fair flower surcharg'd with dew, she weeps,
And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd,
Wetting the borders of her silken veil :

But now again she makes address to speak.

[Enter DALILA.]

Dal. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution
I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson,
Which to have merited, without excuse,

My penance hath not slacken'd, though my pardon
No way assur'd. But conjugal affection,
Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt,
Hath led me on, desirous to behold
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If aught in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash, but more unfortunate, misdeed.

Sams. Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts,

frailty:
Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel.

Let weakness then with weakness come to parle,

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So near related, or the same of kind.
Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine
The gentler, if severely thou exact not
More strength from me, than in thyself was found.
And what if love, which thou interpret'st hate,
The jealousy of love, powerful of sway

In human hearts, nor less in mind towards thee,
Caus'd what I did? I saw thee mutable
Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou wouldst leave me
As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore
How to endear, and hold thee to me firmest :
No better way I saw than by importuning
To learn thy secrets, get into my power
Thy key of strength and safety: thou wilt say,
Why then reveal? I was assur'd by those
Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd
Against thee but safe custody, and hold:
That made for me; I knew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises,
While I at home sat full cares and fears,
Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed;
Here I should still enjoy thee, day and night,
Mine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines',
Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
Fearless at home of partners in my love.
These reasons in love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps :
And love hath oft, well-meaning, wrought much woe,
Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain'd.
Be not unlike all others, not austere
As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.

Sams. How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine?
That malice, not repentance, brought thee hither,
By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, the example,
I led the way: bitter reproach, but true;
I to myself was false ere thou to me;
Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest
Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather
Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it; weakness to resist
Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or man will gain thee no remission.
But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy lust: love seeks to have love;
My love how couldst thou hope, who took'st the way
To raise in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd?
In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,
Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.

Dat. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea
In man or woman, though to thy own condemning,
Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides,
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented;
Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men,
The constantest, to have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me: thou know'st the magistrates
And princes of my country came in person,
Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,
Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
And of religion, press'd how just it was,
How honorable, how glorious, to entrap

A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Such numbers of our nation: and the priest
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Preaching how meritorious with the gods
It would be to ensnare an irreligious
Dishonorer of Dagon: what had I

To oppose against such powerful arguments?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated in silence all these reasons
With hard contést: at length that grounded maxim,
So rife and celebrated in the mouths
Of wisest men, that to the public good
Private respects must yield, with grave authority
Took full possession of me, and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining.

Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles
would end;

In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy !
But had thy love, still odiously pretended,
Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds.
I, before all the daughters of my tribe

And of my nation, chose thee from among

My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st;
Too well; unbosom'd all my secrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but overpower'd

By thy request, who could deny thee nothing:
Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then
Didst thou at first receive me for thy husband,
Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd?
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave
Parents and country; nor was I their subject,
Nor under their protection, but my own,
Thou mine, not theirs; if aught against my life
Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly,
Against the law of nature, law of nations;
No more thy country, but an impious crew
Of men conspiring to uphold their state
By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends
For which our country is a name so dear;
Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal moved thee;
To please thy gods thou didst it; gods, unable
To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, gods cannot be ;

Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd or fear'd.
These false pretexts, and varnish'd colors failing,
Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear?

Dal. In argument with men, a woman ever
Goes by the worse whatever be her cause.

Sams. For want of words, no doubt, or lack of breath;
Witness when I was worried with thy peals.

Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken
In what I thought would have succeeded best.
Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson;
Afford me place to show what recompense
Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone,
Misguided; only what remains past cure
Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist

To afflict thyself in vain: though sight be lost.
Life
yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd
Where other senses want not their delights
At home in leisure and domestic ease,
Exempt from many a care and chance, to which
Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad.

I to the lords will intercede, not doubting
Their favorable ear, that I may fetch thee
From forth this lothesome prison-house to abide
With me, where my redoubled love and care
With nursing diligence, to me glad office,

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

miss.

Sams. No, no; of my condition take no care;
It fits not; thou and I long since are twain;
Nor think me so unwary or accurs'd,

To bring my feet again into the snare
Where once I have been caught: I know thy trains,
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, honor'd, fear'd me, thou alone couldst 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! How wouldst 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
[wake

hand.

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.

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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 secrecy, 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 casily
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, valor, 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

Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf

In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?

To prayers, than winds and seas; yet winds to seas Or was too much of self-love mix'd,

Of constancy no root infix'd,

Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore:
Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Eternal tempest, never to be calm'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,

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
Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd.
But in my country, where I most desire,
In Ecron, Gaza, Ashdod, 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 odors visited and annual flowers;
Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim
Jael, who with hospitable guile

So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd

Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nail'd. By female usurpation, or dismay'd.
Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy
But had we best retire? I see a storm

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
Embark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm?

Favor'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 acceptable 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:

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Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron,

rain.

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 wouldst have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious

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 honey'd 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.

arms,

Which greatest heroes have in battle worn,
Their ornament and safety, had not spells

Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him And black enchantments, some magician's art,

hither

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 unshorm
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
Quite from his people, and deliver'd up
Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them

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'dTo put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee
To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw!
I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms,
Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown:
So had the glory of prowess been recover'd
To Palestine, won by a Philistine,

Into the common prison, there to grind
Among the slaves and asses thy comrades.
As good for nothing else; no better service
With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match
For valor to assail, nor by the sword
Of noble warrior, so to stain his honor,
But by the barber's razor best subdued.

From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou bear'st
The highest name for valiant acts; that honor,
Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee,
1 lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.

Sams. All these indignities, for such they are
From thine, these evils I deserve, and more,

Sams. Boast not of what thou wouldst have done, 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.

but do
What then thou wouldst; 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.
Sams. Such usage as your honorable lords
Afford me, assassinated and betray'd,
Who durst not with their whole united powers
In fight withstand me single and unarm'd,
Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes
Close-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
Some narrow place inclos'd, where sight may give

Har. Fair honor that thou dost thy God, in trust

I less conjecture than when first I saw
The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.

Sams. 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 Og, 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,

thee,

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

ing

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,

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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
With strength sufficient, and command from Heaven,
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,
Though by his blindness maim'd for high attempts,
Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
As a petty enterprise of small enforce.

[roll'd,

Har. With thee! a man condemn'd, a slave enDue 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? 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 dishonors, and not render death?

They cannot well impose, nor I sustain ;
If they intend advantage of my labors,
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.

hand

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, baffled 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. [Exit.
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.

Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd fight 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

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 honor truth;
He all their ammunition

And feats of war defeats,

With plain heroic magnitude of mind
And celestial vigor arm'd;

Their armories 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, Laboring thy mind

More than the working day thy hands. And yet perhaps more trouble is behind, For I descry this way

Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy 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 honor 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 not content them.

Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every sort

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