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To come and play before them at their feast.
Chor. That hope would much rejoice us to partake With thee; fay, reverend Sire, we thirst to hear.
Man. I have attempted one by one the lords
If some convenient ransome were propos'd.
Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Theironce great dreadcaptive3andblindbesorethem, Or at some proof of strength before them shown.
Man. His ransome, if my whole inheritance
No, I am fix'd not to part hence without him.
Chor. Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons,
Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age,
Man. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, 1490
Useless, and thence ridiculous about him.
Chor. Thy hopes are not ill founded nor seem vain Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon 1505
Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love,
Man. I know your friendly minds and—O what Mercy of Heav'n, what hideous noise was that! Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. 1510
Chor. Noise call you it or universal groan, As if the whole inhabitation perish'd! Blood, death, and deathful deeds are in that noise. Ruin, destruction at the utmost point.
Man. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the noise, Oh it continues, they have flain my son. 1516
Chor. Thy son is rather flaying them, that outcry From flaughter of one foe could not ascend.
Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be; What shall we do, stay here or run and see? 1520
Chor. Best keep together here, lest running thither We unawares run into danger's mouth. This evil on the Philistines is fall'n; From whom could else a general cry be heard? The susferers then will scarce molest us here, 1525 From other hands we need not much to fear. What if his eye-sight (for to Israel's God Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd, He now be dealing dole among his foes, And over heaps of flaughter'd walk his way? 1530 Man. That were ajoy presumptuous to be thought.
Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as incredible For his people of old; what hinders now?
Man. He can I know, but doubt to think he will; Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief. A little stay will bring some notice hither. 1536
Chor. Of good or bad so great, of bad the sooner; For evil news rides post, while good news baits. And to our wish I fee one hither speeding, An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe. 1540
Mejf. O whither shall I run, or which way fly The sight of this so horrid spectacle, Which erst my eyes beheld and yet behold? For dire imagination still pursues me. But providence or instinct of nature seems, 1545 Or reason though disturb'd, and scarce consulted, To' have guided me aright, I know not how, To thee first reverend Manoah, and to these My countrymen, whom here I knew remaining As at some distance from the place of horror, 1550 So in the sad event too much concern'd.
Man. The accident was loud, and here before thee With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not; No preface needs, thou seest we long to know.
Mejf. It would burst forth, but I recover breath And fense distract, to know well what I utter. 1556
Man. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.
Mejf. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are fall'n, All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall'n.
Man. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not saddest The desolation of a hostile city. 1561
MeJJ'. Feed on that first, there may in grief be surMan. Relate by whom. MeJJ. By Samson, (feit. Man. That still lessens The sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy.
MeJJ'. Ah Manoah, I refrain, too suddenly 1565 To utter what will come at last too soon; Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep. Man. Suspense in news is torture, speak them out. MeJJ. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is dead. Assln.The worst indeed, O all my hope'sdefeatedi5 71 To free him hence! but death who sets all free Hath paid his ransome now and full discharge. What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves 1575 Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost! Yet ere I give the reins to grief, fay first, How dy'd he; death to life is crown or shame. All by him fell thou say'st, by whom fell he, 1580 What glorious handgaveSamsonhisdeath'swound? MeJJ. Unwounded of his enemies he fell. Man. Wearied with flaughter then or how? explain. MeJJ. By his own hands.
Man. Self-violence? what cause 1585
Brought him so soon at variance with himself
U 2 Among