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HARAPHA. Dost thou already single me? I thought Gyves and the mill had tam'd thee. O that fortune Had brought me to the field, where thou art fam'd To’have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw; 1095 I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms, Or left thy carcase where the ass lay thrown: So had the glory of prowess been recover'd To Palestine, won by a Philistine From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou bear'st 1100 The highest name for valiant acts; that honour Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.

SAMSON.
Boast not of what thou would'st have done, but do
What then thou would’st, thou seest it in thy hand. 1105

HARAPHA.
To combat with a blind man I disdain,
And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd.

Samson.
Such usage as your honourable lords
Afford me' assassinated and betray'd,
Who durst not with their whole united powers 1110
In fight withstand me single and unarm’d,

1093. Gyves] Chains, fetters. That lets it hop a little from her Cymbeline, act v. sc. 3.

Like a poor prisoner in his twisted -Must I repent ?

gyves, I cannot do it better than in gyves. And with a silk thread plucks it back

again, Romeo and Juliet, act ii. sc. 2. So loving jealous of his liberty. Juliet to Romeo.

Fairfax, cant. v. st. 42. 'Tis almost morning. I would have These hands were made to shake thee gone,

sharp spears and swords, And yet no farther than a wapton's Not to be tied in gyves and twisted bird,

cords. US

hand,

Nor in the house with chamber ambushes
Close-banded durst attack me, no not sleeping,
Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold
Breaking her marriage faith to circumvent me. 1115
Therefore without feign'd shifts let be assign'd
Some narrow place inclos’d, where sight may give thee,
Or rather flight, no great advantage on me;
Then put on all thy gorgeous arins, thy helmet .
And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, 1190
Vant-brass and greves, and gauntlet, add thy spear,
A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield,
I only with an oaken staff will meet thee,

1120. And brigandine of brass,

His left arm wounded had the knight

His ] &c] Brigandine, a coat of mail.

of France,

His shield was pierc'd, his vantbrace Jer, li. 3. Against him that bend

. cleft and split. . eth, let the archer bend his bow, Greves. armour for the legs. and against him that lifteth him-,

im. 1 Sam. xvii. 6. And he had greves self up in his brigandine. Haber

of brass upon his legs. Gauntlet, geon, a coat of mail for the neck and shoulders. Spenser, Faery

an iron glove. 2 Henry IV. act

i. sc. 3. old Northumberland Queen, b. ii. cant. 6. st. 29.

speaks. Their mighty strokes, their haber. -Hence therefore, thou nice crutch; geons dismail'd,

A scaly gauntlet now with joints of And naked made each other's manly

steel spalles.

Must glove this hand. Spalles, that is, shoulders. Fair. 1121. -add thy spear, &c.] fax, cant. i. st. 72.

This is Milton's own reading:

the other editions have and thy Some shirts of mail, some coats of

spear, which is not so proper, plate put on, and some a habergeon. . for it cannot well be said in con

struction, put on thy spear. A Vant-brass or Vantbrace, avant- weaver's beam, as Goliath's was, bras, armour for the arms. 1 Sam. xvii. 7. And the staff of Troilus and Cressida, act i. sc. his spear was like a weaver's beam: 6. Nestor speaks.

and his brother's, 2 Sam. xxi. I'll hide my silver beard in a gold 19. the staff of whose spear was beaver,

like a weaver's beam. And sevenAnd in my vantbrace put this wither’d

times folded shield, as was Ajax's, brawn.

clypei dominus septemplicis Ajax, Fairfax, cant. xx. st. 139. Ovid. Met. xiii. 2.

And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron,
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head, 1125
That in a little time while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast
Again in safety what thou would’st have done
To Samson, but shall never see Gath more.

HARAPHA.
Thou durst not thus disparage glorious arms, 1130
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn,
Their ornament and safety, had not spells
And black inchantment, some magician's art,
Arm’d thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou from

heaven Feign’dst at thy birth was giv’n thee in thy hair, 1195 Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back

1132. had not spells &c.] or any inchantment about him. This is natural enough in the Dugd. Warw. p. 73. or, in the mouth of Harapha, and no ways exact words of the oath of the inconsistent with the manners of Judicial combat, “ that ye have the age in which this scene is « no stone of virtue, nor hearb laid, since we are informed in " of virtue, nor none other inScripture that they were at that chantment by you, &c.” Dugd. time much addicted to magical Orig. Jurid. p. 166. And this superstition. But yet it is very was injoined so early as in the probable, that Milton adopted Laws of the Longobards. “Nulthis notion from the Italian Epics, “lus campio adversus alterum who are very full of inchanted pugnaturus audeat super se ha. arms, and sometimes represent “ bere herbas, nec res ad malé. their heroes invulnerable by this "ficia pertinentes, &c." Com. art. So Ariosto's Orlando is de pare Comus, 647. Milton's Hascribed. Thyer.

rapha of Gath is as much a Milton's idea is immediately Gothic giant, as any in Amadis and particularly taken from the de Gaul: and Harapha, like a ritual of the combat in chivalry. Gothic giant, engages in an unWhen two champions entered just cause against a virtuous the lists, each took an oath, champion. T. Warton. that he had no charm, herb,

1140

Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines.

SAMsoN.
I know no spells, use no forbidden arts;
My trust is in the living God, who gave me
At my nativity this strength diffus'd
No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones,
Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn,
The pledge of my unviolated vow.
For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy God,

1145
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
With solemnest devotion, spread before him
How highly it concerns his glory now
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells,
Which I to be the power of Israel's God

1150 Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test, Offering to combat thee his champion bold, With th' utmost of his Godhead seconded : Then thou shalt see, or rather to thy sorrow Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. 1155

HARAPHA. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be, Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off Quite from his people, and deliver'd up Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee 1160 Into the common prison, there to grind Among the slaves and asses, thy comrades, As good for nothing else, no better service

er

1138. -or ruffled porcupines. Who can doubt that Milton here had Shakespeare in mind ? Ham, let, act i. sc. 8.

And each particular hair to stand on

end, Like quills upon the fretful porcu.

pine.

re

With those thy boist'rous locks, no worthy match
For valour to assail, nor by the sword

1165
Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour,
But by the barber's razor best subdued.

Samson.
All these indignities, for such they are
From thine, these evils I deserve and more,
Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me 1170
Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon
Whose ear is ever open, and his eye
Gracious to re-admit the suppliant ;
In confidence whereof I once again
Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,

1175
By combat to decide whose God is God,
Thine or whom I with Israel's sons adore.

HARAPHA.
Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in trusting
He will accept thee to defend his cause,
A murderer, a revolter, and a robber.

1180
Samson.
Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou prove me these?

HARAPHA.
Is not thy nation subject to our lords ?
Their magistrates confess'd it, when they took thee
As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound
Into our hands : for hadst thou not committed 1185
Notorious murder on those thirty men

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1162. thy comrádes,] With the accent upon the last syllable, as in i Henry IV. act iv. sc. 2. And his comrades, that daft the

world aside

And bid it pass.

1181. Tongue-doughly) Doughty, that is, valiant. See Skinner. Ogasa oursopios. Æschylus, Septem contra Thebas, 617. Richardson.

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