Page images
PDF
EPUB

Har. With thee a man condemn'd, a slave enrolld, Due by the law to capital punishment? 1225 To fight with thee no man of arms will deign. Sams. Cam's thou for this, vainboaster, to survey me, To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict? Come nearer, part not hence so slight inform’d; But take good heed my hand survey not thee.

Har. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd 123 I Hear these dishonors, and not render death?

Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy Fear I incurable; bring up thy van, (hand My heels are fetter'd but my fist is free. 1235

Har. This insolence other kind of answer fits.

Sams. Go baffled coward, left I run upon thee, Though in these chains, bulk without spirit yast, 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 Astaroth ere long thou shalt lament These braveries in irons loaden on thee.

Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat crest-fall’n, Stalking with less unconscionable strides, 1245 And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.

Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood, Though fame divulge him father of five sons, All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.

Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear, 1250 And with malicious counsel ftir them up

Some

1

V

Some way or other yet further to afflict thee.
· Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd fight
Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
Whether he durft accept the’offer or not, 1255
And that he durft not plain enough appear'd..
Much more affliction than already felt
They cannot well impose, nor I sustain;
If they intend advantage of my labors,

The work of many hands, which earns my keeping
With no small profit daily to my owners. 1261
But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove
My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence,
The worst that he can give, to me the best.
Yet so it may fall out, because their end 1265
Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine
Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed.

Chor. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving To the spirits of just men long oppress’d! When God into the hands of their deliverer 1270 Puts invincible might To quell the mighty of the earth, th' oppressor, The brute and boil'rous force of violent men Hardy and industrious to support Tyrannic pow'r, but raging to pursue 1275 The righteous and all such as honor truth; He all their ammunition And feats of war defeats: With plain heroic magnitude of mind

IS

And

1280

And celestial vigor arm’d,
Their armories and magazines contemns,
Renders them useless, while
With winged expedition
Swift as the lightning glance he executes
His errand on the wicked, who surpris'd 1285
Lose their defense distracted and amaz’d.

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 rest,
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.

T

Off.

[ocr errors]

Of. Hebrews, the pris’ner Samson here I seek. - Chor. His manacles remark him, there he fits.

off. Samson to thee our lords thụs bid me say; This day to Dagon is a solemn feast, 1311 With sacrifices, 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.

Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore , Our law forbids at their religious rites (tell them, My presence; for that cause I cannot come. 1321

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, But they must pick me out with shackels tir’d, 1326 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, Or make a game of my calamities? Return the way thou cam's, I will not come.

Of. Regard thyself, this will offend them highly.

Sams. Myself? my conscience and internal peace. Can they think me so broken, so debas'd 1335

1330

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
To show them feats, and play before their God,
The worst of all indignities, yet on me 1341
Join’d with extreme contempt? I will not come.

Off. My message was impos'd on me with speed, Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution? 1344

Sams. So take it with what speed thy message needs. Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. Sam.Perhaps thou shalt have causeto sorrow indeed.

Chor. 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 Thy words by adding fuel to the flame ? 1351 Expect another message more imperious, More lordly thund'ring than thou well wilt bear.

Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift Of strength, again returning with my hair 1355 After my great transgression, so requite Favor renew'd, and add a greater sin By prostituting holy things to idols; A Nazarite in place abominable

1359 Vaunting my strength in honor to their Dagon ? Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous, What actmoreexecrably unclean, profane? (stines, Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Phili

« PreviousContinue »