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Samson. 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.
Harapha. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd Hear these dishonours, and not render death? Samson. No man witholds thee, nothing from
Harapha. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. [Exit.] Chorus. His giantship is gone somewhat crest
fallen, Stalking with less unconscionable strides, And lower looks, but in a sultry chase.
Samson. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood, Though Fame divulge him father of five sons, All of gigantick size, Goliah chief.
Chorus. He will directly to the lords, I fear,
And with malicious counsel stir them up
way or other yet further to afflict thee. Samson. 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 felc 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.
Chorus. 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 oppressour, The brute and boisterous force of violent men, Hardy and industrious to support Tyrannick power, but raging to pursue The righteous and all such as honour truth; He all their ammunition
And feats of war defeats,
But patience is more oft the exercise
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest,
A publick officer, and now at hand;
Enter OFFICER. Officer. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here I seek. Chorus. His manacles remark him, there he sits.
Officer. 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 publick 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. Samson. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, there
fore tell them, Our Law forbids at their religious rites My presence ; for that cause I cannot come. Officer. This answer, be assur'd, will not content
them. Samson. Have they not sword-players, and every
sort Of gymnick artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Juglers, and dancers, anticks, mummers, mimicks, But they must pick me out, with shackles tir'd, And over-labour'd at their publick mill, To make them sport with blind activity?
Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels
calamities? Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come. Officer. Regard thyself; this will offend them
highly. Samson. Myself? my conscience, and internal
Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
speed, Brooks no delay; is this thy resolution? Samson. So take it with what speed thy message
needs. Officer. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce.
[Exit.] Samson. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow
indeed. Chorus. Consider, Samson ; matters now are
strain'd Up to the highth, whether to hold or break: