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These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant 1220
Har. With thee, a man condemn'd, a slave inroll’d, Due by the law to capital punishment ?
1225 To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
Sams. Cam'ft thou for this, vain boafter, to survey me, To défcant on my strength, and give thy verdict ? Come nearer, part not hence fo flight inform’d; But take good heed my hand survey not thee. 1230
HAR. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd Hear these dishonors, and not render death?
Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy hand Fear I incurable; bring up thy van, My heels are fetter'd, but my fift is free.
1235 HAR. This infolence other kind of answer fits.
Sams. Go, baffled coward, left I run upon thee, Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast, And with one buffet lay thy structure low, Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down 1240 To th’ hazard of thy brains and shatter'd fides.
Har. By Aftarcth ere long thou shalt lament These braveries in irons loaden on thee.
Cho. His giantship is gone fomewhat crest-Fall'n, Stalking with less unconscionable strides, 1243 And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood,
Cho. He will directly to the lords, I fear,
SAMs. He must allege fome cause, and offer'd fight
1265 Is hate, not help to me,
with mine Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed.
Cho. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving
1275 The righteous and all such as honor truth; He all their ammunition And feats of war defeats VOL. XII.
With plain heroic magnitude of mind
But patience is more oft the exercise Of saints, the trial of their fortitude, Making them each his own deliverer, And victor over all
1290 That tyranny or fortune can inflict. Either of these is in thy lot, Samson, with might indued Above the sons of men: but fight bereav'd May chance to number thee with those
1295 Whom patience finally must crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of reft, Laboring thy mind More than the working-day thy hands. And yet perhaps more trouble is behind, 1300 For I descry this way Some other tending, in his hand A scepter or quaint staff he bears, Comes on amain, speed in his look. By his habit I discern him now
1305 A public Officer, and now at hand. His message will be short and voluble.
Off. Hebrews, the pris'ner Samson here I seek. Cho. His manacles remark him, there he sits. Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say; This day to Dagon is a folemn feast, With facrifices, triumph, pomp, and games; Thy strength they know surpafling 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's and fresh clad To
appear as fits before th' illustrious lords. Sams. Thou know'ft I am an Hebrew, therefore tell
them Our Law forbids at their religious rites 1320 My presence; for that cause I cannot come.
Off. This answer, be assur’d, will not content them. Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every sort Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Juglers and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics, 1325 But they must pick me out with shackles tir’d, 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,
thou cam'ft, I will not come. Opp. Regard thyself; this will offend them highly. Sams. Myself? my conscience and internal peace. Can they think me fo broken, so debas'd 1335 corporal servitude, that my mind ever E 2
Or make Return the
Will condescend to such absurd commands ?
Off. My message was impos'd on me with speed, Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution ?
SAMS. So take it with what speed thy message needs. Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to forrow' indeed.
Cho. 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 thundering than thou well wilt bear.
Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift Of Atrength, again returning with my hair 1355 After my great transgression, fo requite Favor renew'd, and add a greater
fin By prostituting holy things to idols; A Nazarite in place abominable Vaunting my strength in honor to their Dagon ? 1360 Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous, What act more execrably unclean, profane?
Cho. Yet with this ftrength thou serv'it the Philistines, Idolatrous, uncircumcis’d, unclean.
Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor 1365 Honest and lawful to deserve my food