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To such as owe them absolutè subjection; . . 1405
And for a life who will not change his purpose?
(So mutable are all the ways of men)
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply
Scandalous or forbidden in our law. -

OFFICER.
? I praise thy resolution; doff these links: 1410
By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
To favour, and perhaps to set thee free.

... SAMSON... Brethren farewel; your company along .. I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them To see me girt with friends; and how the sight. 1415 Of me as of a common enemy, So dreaded once, may now exasperate them I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine; And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd With zeal, if ought religion seem concern'd; : . 1420 No less the people on their holy-days . i ' Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable: Happen what may, of me expect to hear Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy Our God, our law, my, nation, or myself,

1425 The last of me or no I cannot warrant.

1410. I praise thy resolution :] poral and spiritual, whom he That is, of going, not what he tacitly compares with the lords said last. Richardson.

and priests of Dagon; and then, 1418. -lords are lordliest in ver 1421. he insinuates that their wine,

holidays also are of heathen inAnd the well-feasted priest &c.]: stitution. He had spoken with First he expresses his contempt more complacency of holidays of a Nobility and an opulent in l'Allegro, 97. T. Warton. Clergy, that is, lords both 'tem

CHORUS. Go, and the Holy One Of Israel be thy guide To 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 1435 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 wondrous actions hath been seen. 1440 But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste With youthful steps? much livelier than ere while He seems ; supposing here to find his son, Or of him bringing to us some glad news? o

MANOAH. Peace with you, brethren? my inducement hither 1445 Was not at present here to find my son, By order of the lords new parted hence To come and play before them at their feast. I heard all as I came, the city rings, And numbers thither flock, I had no will, ..' 1450 Lest I should see him forc'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.

CHORUS.
That hope would much rejoice us to partake 1453
With thee; say, reverend Sire, we thirst to hear.

MANOAH.
I have attempted one by one the lords
Either at home, or through the high street passing,
With supplication prone and father's tears,
T'accept of ransom for my son their pris'ner. 1460
Some much averse I found and wondrous harsh,
Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite;
That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests :
Others more moderate seeming, but their aim
Private reward, for which both God and State 1465
They easily would set to sale: a third
More generous far and civil, who confess'd
They had enough reveng’d, having reduc'd
Their foe to misery beneath their fears,
The rest was magnanimity to remit,

1470
If some convenient ransom were propos'd.
What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky.

CHORUS.
Doubtless the people shouting to behold
Their once great dread, captive, and blind before them,
Or at some proof of strength before them shown, 1475

MANOAH.
His ransom, if my whole inheritance

1463. That part most recer. He might also perhaps in this enc'd Dagon and his priests ;] description of Manoah's appli. Milton, I doubt not, in this place cation for Samson's deliverance indulges that inveterate spleen, glance at his own case after the which he always had against Restoration. Thyer. public and established religion.

se

1480

1485

May compass it, shall willingly be paid
And number'd down: much rather I shall choose
To live the poorest in my tribe, than richest,
And he in that calamitous prison left.
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.

Chorus.
Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons,
Thou for thy son art 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.

MANOAH. 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 1495

1490. It shall be my delight of the doating fondness of an old &c.] The character of a fond father. Nor is the poet less to parent is extremely well sup- be admired for his making Maported in the person of Manoah noah under the influence of this quite through the whole per- pleasing imagination go still fur. formance; but there is in my ther, and flatter himself even opinion something particularly with the hopes of God's restornatural and moving in this speech. ing his eyes again. Hope as The circumstance of the old naturally arises in the mind in man's feeding and soothing his such a situation, as doubts and fancy with the thoughts of tend- fears do when it is overclouded ing his son and contemplating with gloominess and melancholy. him ennobled with so many fa- Thyer. mous exploits is vastly expressive

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.

CHORUS:
Thy hopes are not ill founded nor seem vain
Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon
Conceiv’d, agreeable to a father's love,
In both which we, as next, participate.

MANOAH.
I know your friendly minds and what noise !
Mercy of heav'n, what hideous noise was that !

1505

1504. Thy hopes are not ill catastrophe of this tragedy. This

founded nor stem vnin abrupt start of Manoah upon Of his delivery)

hearing the hideous noise, and This is very proper and becom- the description of it by the Choing the gravity of the Chorus, rus in their answer, in terms so as much as to intimate that his full of dread and terror, natuother hopes were fond and ex- rally fill the mind with a presag. travagant. And the art of the ing horror proper for the occapoet cannot be sufficiently ad- sion. This is still kept up by mired in raising the hopes and their suspense and reasoning cxpectations of his persons to the about it, and at last raised to a highest pitch just before the proper pitch by the frighted and dreadful catastrophe. How great distracted manner of the Mesand how sudden is the change senger's coming in, and his hefrom good to bad! The one sitation and backwardness in tellrenders the other more striking ing what had happened. What and affecting.

gives it the greater strength and 1508. -and-0 what noise! beauty is the sudden transition &c.] It must be very pleasing to from that soothing and flattering the reader to observe with what prospect with which Manoah was art and judgment Milton pre- entertaining his thoughts to a pares him for the relation of the scene so totally opposite. Thyer.

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