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Nothing dishonourable, impure unworthy Our God, our law, my nation, or myself, 1 he last of me or no I cannot warrant.

Chor. Go, and the Holy One Of Israel be thy guide

1 o what may serve his glory best, and spread his name Great among the Heathen round; 1430

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 rush'd on thee
In the camp of Dan
Be efficacious in thee now at need.
For never was from Heav'n imparted
Measure of strength so great to mortal seed,
As in thy wond'rous actions hath been seen. 1440
But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste
With youthful steps? much livelier than erewhile
He seems: supposing here to find his son,
Or of him bringing to us some glad news f

Man. Peace with you, brethren ; my inducemet.t
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 citv rings,
And numbers thither flock, I had no will, 1450
Lest I should see him fore'd to things unseemly.
But that which mov'd my coming now was chiefly

To give ye part with me what hope I have
With good success to work his liberty.

C H o R. That hope would much rejoice us to parr With thee; say, rev'rend Sire,we thirst to hear, [take

Ma N.I have attempted one by one the lords Either at home, or through the high street passing, With supplication prone and father's tears, 1459 To accept of ransom for my son their pris'ner. Some much averse I found and wond'rous harsh, Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite;' That part most reverene'd Dagon and his priest I 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 redue'd Their foe to misery beneath their fears, The rest was magnanimity to remit, 14 i 0

If some convenient ransom were propos'd. .What noise or shout was that? It tore the sky.

Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Their once great dread,captive and blind before them, Or at some proof of strength before them shown,

MAN. His ransom, if my whole inheritance May compass it, shall willingly be paid And numbcr'd down: much rather I shall choose To live the poorest in my tribe, than richest, And he in that calamitous prison left. 1489

No, I 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 him I shall want nothing.

Chor. Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons. Thou for thy son are bent to lay out all: ,

Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age,
Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy son
Made older than thy age through eye-sight lost.

Man. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes 1490
And view him sitting in the house, ennobled
With all those high exploits by him achiev'd,
And on his shoulders waving down those locks
That of a nation arm'd the strength contain'd:
And I persuade me God had not permitted
His strength again to grow up with his hair
Garrison'd round about him like a camp
Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose
To use him further yet in some great service,
Not to sit idle with so great a gift 1500

Useless, and thence ridiculous about him.
And since his strength with eye-sight was not lost,
God will restore him eye-sight to his strength.

Chor. Thy hopes are not ill founded nor seem Of his delivery, and the joy thereon [vain

Conceiv'd agreeable to a father's love, ,

In both which we, as next, participate. [noise!

MAN. I know your friendly minds and—O what Mercy of Heav'n what hideous noise was that! Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. 1519

Chor. Noise call you it-or universal groan, As if the whole inhabitation perish'd!

Blood, death, and dcaihful deeds are in that noise, Ruin, destruction at the utmost point.

M A K. Of ruin indeed rnethought I heard the noise: Oh it continues, they have slain my son.

CHOR.Thv son is rather slaying them, thatoutFrom slaughter of one foe could not ascend, [cry Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be; What shall we do, stay here or run and see ? 15'20 Cboc Best keep together here,lest running thiWe unawares run into Danger's mouth, [ther This evil on the Philistines is fali'n; From whom could else a gen'ral cry be heard? The sufferers then will scarce molest us here, From other hands we need not much to fear. What if his eye-sight (for to Israel's God Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd, He now be dealing dole among his foes, And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way ? 1530 Man. That were a joy presumptuous to be

thought. Choc. Yet God hath wrought things as incrediFor his people of old: what hinders now? [ble MAN.He can I know,but doubt to-think he will; Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempt belief. A little slay will bring some notice hither.

c it o R .Of good or bad sogreat,of bad the sooner; For evil news rides post, while good news baits, And to our wish I see one hither speeding, An Hebrew as I guess, and of our tribe. 1540 Mts O whither shall 1 run, or which way ily

This sight of this so horrid spectacle,
Which erst my eyes beheld and yet behold f
For dire imagination still pursues me.
But Providence or instinct of nature seems,
Or reason thought disturb'd, and scarce consulted,
To have guided me aright, I know not how,
To thee first reverend Manoah, and to these
My countrymen, whom here I knew remaining,
As at some distance from the place of horror, 1650
So in the sad event too much concern'd.

Man.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.

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

MAN. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.

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

Man. Sad, but thou knowest to Israelites not sadThe desolation of a hostile city. 1561

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

Man. Relate by whom. [surfeit.

Mes. By Samson.

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

Mes. Ah Manoah, I refrain too suddenly To utter what will come at last too soon; Lest evil tidings with too rude irrupt oi 15S9 Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep.

Man. Suspense in news is torture,speak theraout.

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