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This day to Dagon is a solemn feast,

1311 With facrifices, 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; 1315 Rise therefore with all speed and come along, Where I will see thee hearten'd and fresh clad To' appear as fits before th’illustrious lords.

SAMSON. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore tell them, Our Law forbids at their religious rites

1320 My presence ; for that cause I cannot come.

OFFICER. This answer, be assurd, will not content them.

SAMSON. Have they not sword-players, and Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Juglers and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics, 1325 But they must pick me out with thackles tir’d,

And

every fort

1325. mummers, mimics,] It mirs? The table of Errata to the was printed mummers, mimirs ; first edition hath set us right, inmummers are maskers according to structing us to read mimics, but Junius, Skinner, and the other not one of the editions have fol. etymologists; but what are mi- lowed it.

1347. Perbap:

U4

And over-labor'd at their public mill
To make them sport with blind activity ?
Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels
On my refusal to distress me more,

1330 Or make a game

of
my

calamities?
Return the way thou cam'ft, I will not come.

OFFICER.
Regard thyself, this will offend them highly.

SAMSON.
Myself? my conscience and internal peace.
Can they think me so broken, so debas'd 1335
With corporal servitude, that my mind ever
Will condescend to such absurd commands?
Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester,
And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief 1339
To show them feats, and play before their God,
The worst of all indignities, yet on me
Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come,

OFFICER.
My message was impos'd on me with speed,

Brooks

1347. Perbaps thou fhalt bave

cause to forrow indeed.] Here the cataltrophe is anticipated, as before yer. 1266,

it
may

with mine
Draw their own ruin who at-

tempt the.deed.

And

Brooks no delay: is this thy refolution ? 1344

S A MSON.
So take it with what speed thy message needs.

OFFICER.
I am sorry what this stoutness will produce.

SAMSON.
Perhaps thou shalt have cause to forrow'indeed.

CHORUS.
Consider, Samson ; matters now are strain'd
Up to the highth, whether to hold or break;
He's
gone,

and who knows how he may report 1350
Thy words by adding fuel to the flame ?
Expect another message more imperious,
More lordly thund'ring than thou well wilt bear,

SAMSON.
Shall I abuse this consecrated gift
Of strength, again returning with ту

hair

1355 After my great transgression, so requite Favor renew'd, and add a greater sin By prostituting holy things to idols;

А

And such anticipations are usual as cannot be perfectly comprehendwith the best dramatic writers, ed, till they are fully explain'd by who knowing their own plan open

the event. The speaker himself is by degrees, and drop such hints can only be supposed to have some

general

A Nazarite in place abominable
Vaunting my strength in honor to their Dagon ?
Belides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,

1361 What act more execrably unclean, profane ?

CHORUS. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Philistines, Idolatrous, uncircumcis’d, unclean.

SAMSON. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor 1365 Honest and lawful to deserve my food Of those who have me in their civil

power. CHORUS. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile not.

SAMSON. Where outward force constrains, the sentence holds. But who constrains me to the temple’of Dagon, 1370 Not dragging? the Philistian lords command. Commands are no constraints. If I obey them,

I

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general meaning, and not a distinct rian's begging a dispensation of conception of all the particulars, this sort from Elisha, which he fomewhat like the high-priest in seemingly grants him. See the Gospel, who prophecied with- Kings V. 18, 19. Thyer. out his knowing it.

1384. I with this messenger will 1377. Yet that he may dispense go along, ] With what meffen&c) Milton here probably had in ger? It was not expressly said beview the ftory of Naaman the Sy- fore that the messenger was com

I do it freely, vent'ring to displease
God for the fear of Man, and Man prefer,
Set God behind : which in his jealousy

1375
Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness.
Yet that he may dispense with me or thee
Present in temples at idolatrous rites
For some important cause, thou need'It not doubt.

CHORUS.
How thou wilt here come off surmounts my reach.

SAMSON.
Be of good courage, I begin to feel

1381
Some rousing motions in me which dispose
To something extraordinary my thoughts.
I with this messenger will go along,
Nothing to do, be sure, that

may

dishonor 1385 Our Law, or stain my vow of Nazarite. If there be ought of presage in the mind, This day will be remarkable in

my

life

By

ing; it was implied indeed in what the Chorus, but seems hardly a the Chorus had said,

fufficient intimation to a blind How wilt thou here come off man, unless we suppose him to

know that the messenger was comsurmounts my reach:

ing by the same impulse that he and this might very well be un- felt rousing him to something exderstood by a man, who could fee traordinary. the messenger coming as well as

1404. Master's

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