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Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy
The publick marks of honour and reward,
Conferr'd upon me for the piety,
Which to my country I was judged to have shown.
At this whoever envies or repines,
I leave him to his lot, and like my own.
[Exit. Cho. 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.
Cho. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power,
After offence returning, to regain
Love once possess’d, nor can be easily
Repulsed, without much inward passion felt,
And secret sting of amorous remorse.
Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end,
Not wedlock treachery endangering life.
Cho. 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 compared,
Successour in thy bed,
Nor both so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherously
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 raised 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
1003. Yet beauty, &c. This truth Mil- 1020. Paranymph, & bride-man, one ton has finely exemplified in Adam's for who leads the bride to her marriage. giving Eve, and he had full experience See Judges xiv. 20. of it in his own case.--NEWTON.
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms
Draws him awry enslaved
With dotage, and his sense depraved
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 domestick 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 despotick 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, nor dismay'd.
But had we best retire? I see a storm.
Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.
Cho. But this another kind of tempest brings.
Sams. Be less abstruse; my riddling days are past.
Cho. 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 1070
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.
Cuo. His fraught we soon shall know: he now arrives.
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
1039. A clearing mischief. These words 1068. Harapha. This character is ficallude to the poisoned shirt sent to Her titious, but is properly introduced by the culeg by his wife Dejanira.
poet, and not without some foundation 1016. Favour'd of Hearen, &c. If Mil. in Scripture. Arapha, or rather Rapha, ton, like Solomon and the Son of Sirach, (says Calmet) was father of the giants of satirizes the women in general, like them Raphaim.-NEWTOX. too he commends the virtuous and good, 1075. Fraught, for freight. and esteems a good wife a blessing from 1080. Og. See Deut. iii. 11, and ii. 10, 11, the Lord. See Prov. xviii. 22, xix. 14, and Ecclesiasticus, xxvi. 1, 2.
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 displeased,
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 famed
To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw!
I should have forced 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
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,
I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
Sams. Boast not of what thou wouldst have done, 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 honourable 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 hired a woman with their gold,
Breaking her marriage faith, to circumvent me.
Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd
Some narrow place enclosed, where sight may give 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-brass, and greves, and gauntlet; add thy spear,
A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield:
I 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 wouldst have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.
1081. Kiriathaim. See Gen, xiv. 5. vant-brass, (avant-bras) armor for the 1113. Close-bondad, secretly lengued. arms; greres, for the legs: gauntlet, an
1120. Brigandine, a coat of mail: haber. | iron glore. See 1 Sam. xvii. 6. geon, made for the neck and shoulders :
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious arms, 1130
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
Feign'dst at thy birth was given thee in thy hair,
Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs
Were bristles ranged 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, diffused
No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones,
Than thine, while I preserved 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 magick 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
To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee
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 valour to assail, nor by the sword
Of noble warriour, 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 his 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 solved the riddle which I had proposed.
When I perceived all set on enmity,
As on my enemies, wherever chanced,
I used hostility, and took their spoil,
To pay my underminers in their coin.
My nation was subjected to your
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, presumed
Single rebellion, and did hostile acts.
I was no private, but a person raised
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 naught,
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
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.
HAR. With thee? a man condemn’d, a slave inroll’d,
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 ?
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 unused Hear these dishonours, and not render death?