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Sole author I, sole cause : if ought seem vile,
396 Her importunity, each time perceiving How openly, and with what impudence She purpos'd to betray me, and (which was worse Than undissembled hate with what contempt 400 She sought to make me traitor to myself ; Yet the fourth time, when must'ring all her wiles, With blandish'd parlies, feminine assaults,
391. –Ireason against me?] 401. She sought] So it is in By our laws called petty treason. Milton's own edition; in most Richardson.
of the others She thoughi.
Tongue-batteries, she surceas'd not day nor night
411. --O indignity! O blot &c.] there is something vastly grand Nothing could give the reader a and noble in his reflection upon better idea of a great and heroic his present condition on this ocspirit in the circumstances of casion, Samson, than this sudden gust These rags, this grinding is not yet of indignation and passionate so base &c. self-reproach upon the mention
Thyer. ing of his weakness. Besides
To violate the sacred trust of silence
434. This day the Philistines a improved, and with great judg. popular feast &c.] Judg. xvi. 23. ment he hath put this reproach Then the lords of the Philistines of Samson into the mouth of the gathered them together, for to offer father, rather than any other of a great sacrifice unto Dagon their the dramatis personæ. God, and to rejoice ; for they said, 449. —pomp] Public procesOur God hath delivered Samson sion, &c. See note, Par. Lost, our enemy into our hand, &c. viii. 60. and below, ver. 1312. This incident the poet hath finely E.
Among the heathen round; to God have brought Dishonour, obloquy, and op'd the mouths Of idolists, and atheists; have brought scandal To Israel, diffidence of God, and doubt In feeble hearts, propense enough before To waver, or fall off, and join with idols ; Which is my chief affliction, shame and sorrow, The anguish of my soul, that suffers not Mine eye to harbour sleep, or thoughts to rest. This only hope relieves me, that the strife 460 With me hath end; all the contést is now 'Twixt God and Dagon ; Dagon hath presum’d, Me overthrown, to enter lists with God, His deity comparing and preferring Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure, 465 Will not connive, or linger, thus provok’d, But will arise, and his great name assert: Dagon must stoop, and shall ere long receive Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him Of all these boasted trophies won on me, And with confusion blank his worshippers.
MANOAH. With cause this hope relieves thee, and these words I as a prophecy receive ; for God, Nothing more certain, will not long defer To vindicate the glory of his name
472. and these words Dagon's worshippers is artfully
I as a prophecy receive ;] presignified, as the death of This method of one person's Samson is in other places; but taking an omen from the words Manoah, as it was natural, acof another was frequently prac- cepts the good omen, without tised among the ancients: and thinking of the evil that is to in these words the downfail of follow.
Against all competition, nor will long
500. That Gentiles in their pa- poetæ impendere apud inferos rables condemn &c.] Alluding to saxum Tantalo faciunt ob scethe story of Tantalus, who for lera, animique impotentiam, et revealing the secrets of the gods superbiloquentiam. Euripides as. was condemned to pains in hell. signs the same punishment, and Cicero Tusc. Disp. iv. 16. -- for the same reason. Orestes 8.