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286

The matchless Gideon in pursuit
Of Madian and her vanquish'd kings:
And how ingrateful Ephraim
Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
Not worse than by his shield and spear,
Defended Israel from the Ammonite,
Had not his prowess quell’d their pride
In that sore battel, when so many dy'd
Without reprieve adjudg’d to death,
For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.

SAMSON.
Of such examples add me to the roll,
Me easily indeed mine may neglect,
But God's propos’d deliverance not fo.

CHORUS
Just are the

ways

of God, And justifiable to men;

290

Unless

fused to give loaves of bread to of the children of Ammon. Judg. XI. Gideon and his three hundred 15--27. For his victory over the Ammen pursuing after Zebah and monites the Ephraimites envied and Zalmunna kings of Midian. See quarreld with him; and threatend Judg. VIII. 4-9.

to burn his house with fire: but 282. And how ingrateful Ephraim Jephthah and the men of Gilead &c) Jephthah fubdued the children (mote Ephraim, and took the palof Ammon; and he is faid to have fages of Jordan before the Ephradefended Ifrael by argument not worse imites, and there slew those of them than by arms on account of the mef- who could not rightly pronounce age which he sent unto the king the word Shibboleth, and there fell at

that

295

Unless there be who think not God at all :
If any be, they walk obscure;
For of such doctrine never was there school,
But the heart of the fool,
And no man therein doctor but himself.

299
Yet more there be who doubt his ways not just,
As to his own edicts found contradicting,
Then give the reins to wand’ring thought,
Regardless of his glory's diminution ;
Till by their own perplexities involv'd
They ravel more, still less resolv’d,

305 But never find self-satisfying solution.

As if they would confine th’ Interminable,
And tie him to his own prescript,
Who made our laws to bind us, not himself,
And hath full right t’exempt

310 Whom so it pleases him by choice

From

Thyer.

that time two and forty thousand thing rather too quaint and fanciof them. Şee Judg. XII. 1–6. ful in this conceit, and it appears

298. But the heart of the fool,] the worse, as this speech of the Alluding to Psal. XIV. 1. and the Chorus is of fo ferious a nature, sentiment is not very unlike that and fill'd with so many deep and of a celebrated divine. " The fool solemn truths. " hath said in his heart, There is no 303. Regardless of his glory's di* God: and who but a fool would minution;] This expression is " have said so?”

strong as anciently understood. 299. And no man therein doctor Cicero de Orat. II.

39. Majeftatem but bimself:] There is some- pop. Rom. minuere is the same as

Q 4

crimen

From national obstriction, without taint
Of fin, or legal debt;
For with his own laws he can best dispense.

He would not else who never wanted means, 315
Nor in respect of th' enemy just cause
To set his people free,
Have prompted this heroic Nazarite,
Against hịs vow of strictest purity,
To seek in 'marriage that fallacious bride,

320 Unclean, unchaste.

Down reason then, at least vain reasonings down, Though reason here aver That moral verdict quits her of unclean : Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his. 325

But see here comes thy reverend Sire With careful step, locks white as down, Old Manoah : advise

Forth

Not a

crimen læse majeftatis. Corn. was not unclean, yet the law of Nepos Ages. 4. religionem minuere Moses held her to be fo. I don't is violare. Richardson.

know why the poet thought fit to 319. – vow of frictest purity,] make his hero fcepticize on a point,

vow of celibacy, but of as irreconcileable to reason, which ftriétest purity from Mofaical and may be very well accounted for by legal uncleanness. Warburton. the best rules of human prudence 324. That moral verdiet quits her and policy. The institution of Mo

of unclean:] That is, By the fes was to keep the Jewish people law of nature a Philiftian woman diftinct and separate from the na

tions.

Forthwith how thou oughtst to receive him.

SAMSON.
Ay me, another inward grief awak'd

330 With mention of that name renews th' affault.

MANOAH.
Brethren and men of Dan, for such ye seem,
Though in this uncouth place ; if old respect,
As I suppose, tow’ards your once glory'd friend,
My son now captive, hither hath inform’d

335 Your younger feet, while mine cast back with age Came lagging after ; say if he be here,

CHORUS.
As signal now in low dejected state,
As erst in high'est, behold him where he lies.

Μ Α Ν Ο Α Η.
O miserable change! is this the man, 340
That invincible Samson, far renown'd,

The

tions. This the lawgiver effected before Manoah, for it is not to be by a vast variety of means: one supposed that any of his friends of which was to hold all other na should be more concern'd for his tions under a legal impurity; the welfare, or more desirous to visit best means of preventing intermar- him than his father. riages with them. Warburton. 340. O miserable change! &c] 336.- while mine caft back with This speech of Manoah's is in my

age] This is very artfully and opinion very beautiful in its kind, properly introduc'd, to account The thoughts are exactly such as for the Chorus coming to Samson one may suppose would occur to

the

The dread of Israel's foes, who with a strength
Equivalent to Angels walk'd their streets,
None offering fight; who single combatant
Dueld their armies rank'd in proud array, 345
Himself an army, now unequal match
To save himself against a coward arm’d
At one spear's length. O ever-failing trust
In mortal strength ! and oh what not in man
Deceivable and vain ? Nay what thing good 350
Pray'd for, but often proves our woe, our bane ?

I

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the mind of the old man, and are may be introduced here. They expressed with an earnestness and

are very beautiful, and not imperimpatience very well suited to that tinent. anguish of mind he must be in at the right of his fon under such Γυναι, φιλον μεν φεύγG- ήλια miserable afflicted circumstances. It is not at all unbecoming the Καλον δε σονία χευμ' ιδειν ευηνεpious grave character of Manoah,

plov, to represent him, as Milton does, Γητηρινον θαλλασα, αλεσιον 9' even complaining and murmuring udwp at this disposition of Heaven, in Πολλων σ'

εςι μου λεξα. the first bitterness of his soul.

καλων. . Such sudden starts of infirmity are Αλλ' εδεν έτω λαμπρον, ουδ' ιδειν ascribed to some of the greatest καλον, , personages in Scripture, and it is

Ως τους απαισι, και σοθω δεδηγagreeable to thai well known

fleroos, maxim, that religion may regulate,

Παιδων νεογων δoμoις ιδειν but can never eradicate natural

O&o. passions and affections. Thyer. 352. I pray'd for children, and Mulier, amicam folis hoc magni thought barrenness

jubar, In wedlock a reproach ;] Some Dulce et tueri maria cum venti lines from a fragment of Euripides filent :

Dulce

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