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Samson.
So let her go, God sent her to debase me,
And aggravate my folly, who committed
To such a viper his most sacred trust
Of secresy, my safety, and my life.

CHORUS.
Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power,
After offence returning, to regain
Love once possess'd, nor can be easily
Repuls’d, without much inward passion felt
And secret sting of amorous remorse.

SAMSON.
Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end,
Not wedlock-treachery indang’ring life.

CHORUS.
It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, wit,

1010

1005

1003. Yet beauty, though inju- called the woman-hater. It may rious, hath strange power, &c.] be said indeed in excuse, that This truth Milton has finely ex- the occasion was very provok. emplified in Adam forgiving Eve, ing, and that these reproaches and he had full experience of it are rather to be looked upon as in his own case, as the reader a sudden start of resentment, may see in the note upon Para- than cool and sober reasoning. dise Lost, x. 940.

Thyer. · 1008. Love-quarrels oft in These reflections are the more pleasing concord end,] Terence, severe, as they are not spoken Andria iii. iii. 23.

by Samson, who might be sup

posed to utter them out of pique Amantium iræ, amoris integratio est.

and resentment, but are delivered 1010. It is not virtue, &c.] by the Chorus as serious and imHowever just the observation portant truths. But by all acmay be, that Milton in his Para- counts Milton himself had sufdise Lost seems to court the fa- fered some uneasiness through vour of the female sex, it is very the temper and behaviour of two certain, that he did not carry the of his wives; and no wonder same complaisance into this per- therefore that upon so tempting formance. What the Chorus here an occasion as this he indulges says outgoes the very bitterest his spleen a little, depreciates satire of Euripides, who was the qualifications of the women, and asserts the superiority of the Read to the wisest man. See the men, and to give these sentiments following expressions, -in his the greater weight puts them way, -draws him awry. Meainto the mouth of the Chorus. doncourl.

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1020

Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit
That woman's love can win or long inherit;
But what it is, hard is to say,
Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it,)
Much like thy riddle Samson, in one day
Or sev’n, though one should musing sit.

If any of these or all, the Timnian bride
Had not so soon preferr'd
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compard,
Successor in thy bed,
Nor both so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherously
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Capacity not rais'd to apprehend
Or value what is best
In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Or was too much of self-love mix'd,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long?

Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best

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1030

1020. Thy paranymph,] Bride. We have such a change of the man, Bul Samson's wife was number in the Paradise Lost, ix. given to his companion, whom he 1183. had used as his friend. Judg. xiv.

in women overtrusting 20. Richardson.

Lets her will rule; restraint ske will

not brook, 1034. -lo wisest men and best]

And left to herself, &c.
VOL. III.

035

Seeming at first all heav'nly under virgin veil, 1035
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms .. 1040
Draws him awry inslav'd
With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm ? 1045

Favour'd of heav'n who finds
One virtuous rarely found,
That in domestic good combines :
Happy that house his way to peace is smooth :
But virtue which breaks through all opposition, 1050
And all temptation can remove,

and we justified it there by a rizes the women in general, like similar instance from Terence. them too he commends the vir1038. -far within defensire tuous and good, and esteems a arms

good wife a blessing from the A cleaving mischief,]

Lord. Prov. xviii. 22. Whoso The words a cleaving mischief al- findeth a wife, findeth a good thing, lude to the poisoned shirt sent to and obtaineth favour of the Lord. Hercules by his wife Deianira. xix. 14. A prudent wife is from Meadow court.

the Lord. Ecclus. xxvi. 1, 2. The idea is rather that of an Blessed is the man that hath a adversary, who, having rushed virtuous wife, for the number of within his antagonist's shield, his days shall be double. A cir. grapples with him and cleaves tuous woman rejoiceth her husto his side. We would willingly band, and he shall fulfil the years save Milton, if possible, from the of his life in peace, &c. This is reproach of so many ill-placed much better than condemning allusions to classic mythology. all without distinction, as Juve

nal and Boileau have done, the 1046. Farour'd of heav'n who former in his sixth, and the latfinnis &c.) If Milton like Solo- ter in his tenth satire. mon and the Son of Sirach sati

Most shines and most is acceptable above.

Therefore God's universal law Gave to the man despotic power Over his female in due awe,

1055 Nor from that right to part an hour, Smile she or lour:

.
So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd
By female usurpation, or dismay’d.

1060 But had we best retire, I see a storm?

. SAMSON.
Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.

CHORUS. -
But this another kind of tempest brings.

SAMSON.
Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.

CHORUS
Look now for no inchanting voice, nor fear 1065
The bait of honied words ; a rougher tongue
Draws hitherward, I know him by his stride,
The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Haughty as is his pile high-built and proud.
Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him hither
I less conjecture than when first I saw : 1071
The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.

· Samson. , Or peace or not, alike to me he comes.

CHORUS. His fraught we soon shall know, he now arrives. 1075

1075. His fraught] For fraught read freight. Meadowcourt.

1080

HARAPHA.
I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance,
As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
Though for no friendly' intent. I am of Gath,
Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
As Og or Anak and the Emims old
That Kiriathaim held, thou know'st me now
If thou at all art known. Much I have heard
Of thy prodigious might and feats perform'd
Incredible to me, in this displeas'd,
That I was never present on the place
Of those encounters, where we might have tried
Each other's force in camp or listed field :
And now am come to see of whom such noise
Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey,
If thy appearance answer loud report.

SAMSON.
The way to know were not to see but taste.

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1079. Men call me Harapha, accounted giants or Rephaim, as &c.] This character is fictitious, the Anakims, but the Moabites but is properly introduced by call thèm Emims. That Kiriathe poet, and not without some thaim held, for Gen. xiv. 5. Chefoundation in Scripture. Arapha, dorlaomer, and the kings that were or rather Rapha, (says Calmet,) with him, smote the Rephaims in was father of the giants of Re- Ashteroth Karnain, and the Zuphaim. The word Rapha may zims in Ham, and the Emims eis likewise signify simply a giant. Shaveh Kiriathaim, or the plain Of stock renowned as Og, for Og of Kiriathaim. the king of Bashan was of the 1081. -thou know'st me now race of the Rephaim, whose bed If thou at all art known.] was nine cubits long, and four He is made to speak in the spibroad, Deut. iii. 11. Or Anak, rit, and almost in the language, the father of the Anakims, and of Satan, Paradise Lost, iv. the Enims old, Deut. ii. 10, 11, a 830. people great, and many, and tall Not to know me argues yourselves as the Anakims; which also were

unknown.

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