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Which to no few of them would .prove pernicious.
Yet, knowing their advantages too many,
Because they shall not trail me through their streets
Like a wild beast, I am content to go.
Masters' commands come with a power resistless
To such as owe them absolute subjection;
And for a life who will not change his purpose?
(So mutable are all the ways of men;)
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply
Scandalous or forbidden in our Law.
Officer. I praise thy resolution: doff these links By this compliance thou wilt win the lords To favour, and perhaps to set thee free.
Samson. Brethren, farewell; your company along I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them To see me girt with friends; and how the sight Of me, as of a common enemy, So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine; And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd With zeal> if aught religion seem concern'd; No less the people, on their holy-days, Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable: Happen what may, of me expect to hear Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy Our God, our Law, my Nation, or myself, The last of me or no I cannot warrant.
Chorus. Go, and the Holy one
Of Israel be thy guide
To what may serve his glory best, and spread Iils Name
Great among the Heathen round;
Send thee the Angel of thy birth, to stand
Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field
Rode up in flames after his message told
Of thy conception, and be now a shield
Of fire; that Spirit, that first rushed on thee
In the camp of Dan,
Be efficacious in thee now at need.
For never was from Heaven imparted
Measure of strength so great to mortal seed,
As in thy wonderous actions hath been seen..'—
But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste
With youthful steps? much livelier than ere while
He seems; supposing here to find his son,
Or of him bringing to us some glad news?
Manoah. Peace with you, Brethren ; .my inducement hither Was not at present here to find my son, By order of the lords now parted hence To come and play before them at their feast. I heard all as I came, the city rings, And numbers thither flock: I had no will, Lest I should see him fore'd to things unseemly.
But that, which mov'd my coming now, was chiefly
Chorus. That iiope would much rejoice us to
With thee; say, reverend Sire, we thirst to hear.
Manoah. 1 have attempted one by one the lords Either at home, or through the high street passing, With supplication prone and father's tears, To accept of ransom for my son their prisoner. Some much averse 1 found and wonderous harsh, Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite; That part most revcrenc'd Dagon and his priests: Others more moderate seeming, but their aim Private reward, for which both God and State They easily would set to sale: a third More generous far and civil, who confess'd They had enough reveng'd; having reduc'd .' Their foe to misery beneath their fears, The rest was magnanimity to remit, If some convenient ransom were propos'd. '' What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky.
Chorus. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Their once great dread, captive, and blind before them,
Or at some proof of strength before them shown.
Manoah. His ransom, if my whole inheritance May compass it, shall willingly be paid
VOL. IV. M
And number'd down: much rather I shall choose
To live the poorest in my tribe, than richest,
And he in that calamitous prison left.
No, T am fix'd not to part hence without him,
For his redemption all my patrimony
If need be, I am ready to forego
And quit: not wanting hitliv, I shall Want nothing.
Thou for thy Sob art bent to lay out all;
Manoah. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes,
Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon
Manoah. I know your friendly minds and—O
Chorus. Noise call you it, or universal groan, As if the whole inhabitation perish'd! Blood, death, and deathful deeds, are in that noise, Ruin, destruction at the utmost point.
Manoah. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the noise:
Oh! it continues, they have slain my son.
Chorus. Thy son is rather slaying them; that outcry
From slaughter of one foe could not ascend.
Manoah. Some dismal accident it needs must be, What shall we do, stay here or run and see?
Chorus. Best keep together here, lest, running thither,
We unawares run into danger's mouth.