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As at some distance from the place of horror, 1550
So in the sad event too much concern'd.

The accident was loud, and here before thee
With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not;
No preface needs, thou seest we long to know,

It would burst forth, but I recover breath
And sense distract, to know well what I utter. 1556

Tell us the fum, the circumstance defer,

Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are fall'n,
All in a moment overwhelm’d and fall’n.

Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not saddest
The desolation of a hostile city.

Feed on that first, there may in grief be surfeit.




and here before thee] himself corrected it in the table of Here again the old error was care Errata, to which correction as well fully preserved through all the edi as the reit no regard was paid in tions. In the first edition it was any edition, though it improves printed and heard before thee; but the sense greatly. we have corrected it, as Milton 1554. No preface needs,] No pre


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Relate by whom.

By Samson.

That still leflens
The sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy.

:- Ah Manoah, I refrain too suddenly 1565
To utter what will come at last too soon;
Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption
Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep.

Suspense in news is torture, speak them out.

Take then the worst in brief, Samson is dead.

The worst indeed, O all my hopes defeated 1571
To free him hence! but death who fets all free


face is wanting. Needs is a verb tive in Shakespear. Julius Cæsar neuter here as in Paradise Loft X. . Act Sc,

4. 80. where see the note.

With this she fell di trazi, 1556. And fenfe diftraft,] The And (her attendants absent) word is used likewise as an adjec swallow'd fire.



Hath paid his ransome now and full discharge.
What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd
Hopeful of his deļivery, which now-proves 1575
Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring
Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost!
Yet ere I give the reins to grief, say first,
How dy'd he ; death to life is crown or shame.
All by him fell thou say'st, by whom fell he, 1589
What glorious hand gave Samson his death's wound?

Unwounded of his enemies he fell,

Wearied with slaughter then or how? explain.

MESSENGER By his own hands.


Twelfth-pight Act 5. Sc. 5, with from fome of the Philiftian They say, poor gentleman ! he's lords, and of its being fo fuddenly much difrael,

extinguish'd by this return of įll

fortune, than that of the early 1576. Abortive as the firft-born bloom, which the warmth of a

bloom of spring &c] As Mr. few fine days frequently pushes Thyer says, this fimilitude is to forward in the spring, and then be admired for its remarkable juft- it is cut off by an unexpected reness and propriety; One cannot gurn of winterly weather, As possibly imagin a more exact and Mr. Warburton observes this beauperfect image of the dawning hope tiful passage seems to be taken which Manoab had conceived from from Shakespear. Henry VIII. Ad the favorable answer he had met 3. Sc. 6,

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Self-violence ? what cause
Brought him so soon at variance with himself 1585
Among his foes?

Inevitable cause
At once both to destroy and be destroy'd;
The edifice, where all were met to see him,
Upon their heads and on his own he pulld.

O lastly over-strong against thyself! 1590
A dreadful way thou took'st to thy revenge.
More than enough we know; but while things yet
Are in confusion, give us if thou canst,
Eye-witness of what fịrst or last was done,


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the young

This is the state of man; to day Upon which Mr. Warburton res

marks, that as spring-frofts are The tender leaves of hopes, to not injurious to the roots of fruit. morrow blossoms,

trees, he should imagin the poet And bears his blushing honors wrote foot, that is, the tender thick upon him ;

hoot on which are The third day comes a frost, a "leaves and blossoms. The compakilling froit;

rison, as well as expression of nips, And when he thinks, good easy is jufter too in this reading. Shakeman, full surely

spear has the same thought in Love's His greatness is a ripening, nips Labor Loft.

Byron is like an envious sneapAnd then he falls, as I do.


'This root;

ing frost


Relation more particular and distinct.

1595 MESSENGER. Occafions drew me early to this city, And as the gates I enter'd with sun-rise, The morning trumpets festival proclam’d Through each high-street: little I had dispatch’d, When all abroad was rumor'd that this day

1600 Samson should be brought forth, to show the people Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games ; I sorrow'd at his captive state, but minded Not to be absent at that spectacle.


That bites the first-born infants had given him such a measure of of the spring

strength, and was summing up all See Warburton's Shakespear. Vol. his force and resolution, has a very

fine effect upon the imagination. 5. P. 413

Milton is no less happy in the sub1596. Occasions drew me early &c] limity of his description of this As I observed before, that Milton grand exploit, than judicious in had with great art excited the rea the choice of the circumstances der's attention to this grand event, preceding it. The poetry rises as fo here he is no less careful to gra- the subject becomes more interesttify it by the relation. It is cir- ing, and one may without rant or cumftantial, as the importance of extravagance say, that the poet it requir'd, but not so as to be seems to exert no less force of tedious or too long to delay our genius in describing than Samson expectation. It would be found does strength of body in executing. ditficult, I believe, to retrench one

Thyer. article without making it defective, 1604. - absent at that spectacle] or to add one which should not ap. The language would be more corpear redundant. The picture of rect, if it was absent from that Samson in particular with head in: spectacle. clin'd and eyes fix’d, as if he was 1605. The building was a Spaaddrelling himself to that God who

cious theatre



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