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Arm’d thee or charm’d thee strong, which thou from

Feign’dst at thy birth, was giv’n thee in thy hair, 1135
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 poșcupines.

I know no spells, use no forbidden arts;
My trust is in the living God, who gave me 1140
At my nativity this strength, diffus'd
No less through all my finews, joints and bones,
Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unthorn,
The pledge of my unviolated vow.
For proof hereof if Dagon be thy God, 1145


other editions have and thy spear, the age in which this seene is laid, which is not so proper, for it can- since we are informed in Scripnot well be said in construction, ture that they were at that time put on thy Spear. A weaver's beam, much addicted to magical superas Goliath's was, i Sam. XVII, 7. ' ftition.

But yet it is very proAnd the staff of his spear was like a bable, that Milton adopted this weaver's beam, and his brother's, ` notion from the Italian Epics, 2 Sam. XXI. 19. the ftaff of whose who are very full of inchanted Spear was like a weaver's beam. arms, and sometimes represent

And seven times folded shield, as was their heroes invulnerable by this
Ajax's, clypei dominus feptemplicis art. So Ariosto’s Orlando is de.
Ajax, Qvid. Met. XIII, 2.

scribed. Thyer.
1132. had not spells, &c] 1138.-- or ruffled Porcupines.]
This is natural enough in the Who can doubt that Milton here
mouth of Harapha, and no ways had Shakespear in mind? Hamlet
inconsistent with the manners of Act 1. Sc. 8,


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 pow'r of Israel's God 1150
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test,
Offering to combat thee his champion bold,
With th' utmost of his Godhead seconded :
Then thou shalt see, or rather to thy sorrow 1154
Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine.

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 1159
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 boist'rous locks, no worthy match


And each particular hair to stand 1162. -- thy comrades,] With on end,

the accent upon the last syllable Like quills upon the fretful por- as in i Henry IV. Ad 4. Sc. 2, cupine.


and his eye

For valor to affail, nor by the sword

1165 Of noble warrior, so to stain his honor, But by the barber's razor best subdued.

SAMSON. All these indignities, for such they are From thine, these evils I deserve and more, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me 1170 Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon Whose ear is ever open, Gracious to re-admit the suppliant: In confidence whereof I once again Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,

1175 By combat to decide whose God is God, Thine or whom I with Israel's sons adore.

Fair honor that thou dost thy God, in trusting
He will accept thee to defend his cause,
A Murderer, a Revolter, and a Robber.

[these? Tongue-doughty Giant, how dost thou prove me


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And his comrades, that daft the that is valiant. See Skinner. Spaworld afide

ouson@. Æschylus. Septem conAnd bid it pass.

tra Thebas. 617. Richardjon. 1181, Tongue-doughry ] Doughty

1222, W'he


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 1185
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 hadît broke the league,


with armed pow'rs thee only seeking, 1190 To others did no violence nor spoil.

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

1195 Under

of bridal friends and guests,
Appointed to await me thirty spies,
Who threatning cruel death constrain'd the bride
To wring from me and tell to them
That folv'd the riddle which I had propos’d. 1200
When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,



my secret,

1222. Who now defies thee thrice.] arms to give the challenge and to This was the custom and the law of found the trumpet tbrise. In al.


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As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
I us'd hostility, and took theit spoil
To pay my underminers in their coin.
My nation was subjected to your lords. 1205
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, 1215
Th' unworthier they ; whence to this day they

I was to do my part from Heav'n assign'd,
And had perform’d it, if my known offense
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,


your force:

I 220

lusion to the fame practice Edgar by the third sound of the trumpet, appears to fight with the Bastard Lear. Ac s. Sc. 7. Vol. I.



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