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So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, And number'd down: much rather I shall choose
I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine; To live the poorest in my tribe, than richest,
And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd And he in that calamitous prison left.
With zeal, if aught religion seem concern'd; No, I am fix'd not to part hence without him.
No less the people, on their holy-days,

For his redemption all my patrimony,
Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable:

If weed be, I am ready to forego Happen what may, of me expect to hear And quit: not wanting him, I shall want no. Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy

thing. Our God, our law, my nation, or myself,

Chor. Pathers are wont to lay up for their sons, The last of me or no I cannot warrant.

Thou for thy son art bent to lay out all ; Chor. Go, and the Holy One

Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age, Of Israel be thy guide

[name Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy son, To what may serve his glory best, and spread his Made older than thy age through eye-sight lost. Great among the Heathen round;

Man. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand And view him sitting in the house, ennoblet Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field With all those high exploits by him achierod, Rode up in fames after his message told And on his shoulders waving down those locks Of thy conception, and be now a shield

That of a nation arm'd the strength contain'd : Of fire ; that spirit, that first rush'd on thee And I persuade me, God had not permitted In the camp of Dan,

His strength again to grow up with his hair, Be efficacious in thee now at need.

Garrison'd round about him like a camp Por never was from Heaven imparted

Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose Measure of strength so great to mortal seed, To use him further yet in some great service; As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen.- Not to sit idle with so great a gift But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste Useless, and thence ridiculous about him. (lost, With youthful steps? much livelier than ere And since his strength with eye-sight was not while

God will restore him eye-sight to his strength. He seems; supposing here to find his son, Chor. Thy hopes are not ill founded, nor seem Or of him bringing to us some glad news? Of his delivery, and the joy thereon (vain [Enter] Manoah.

Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love,

In both which we, as next, participate. Man. Peace with you, brethren; my induce- Man. I know your friendly minds and-o ment hither

what noise! Was not at present here to find my son,

Mercy of Heaven, what hideous noise was that By order of the lords now parted hence

Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. To come and play before them at their feast. Chor. Noise call you it, or universal groan, I heard all as I came, the city rings,

As if the whole inhabitation perish'd ! (noise, And numbers thither flock: I had no will, Blood, death, and deathful deeds, are in that Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly. Ruin, destruction at the utmost point. But that, which mov'd my coming now, was Man. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the chiefly

noise : To give ye part with me what hope I have Oh! it continues, they have slain my son. With good success to work his liberty.

Chor. Thy son is rather slaying them : that Chor. That hope would much rejoice us to

outcry partake

From slaughter of one foe could not ascend. With thee; say, reverend sire, we thirst to bear. Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be;

Man. I have attempted one by one the lords What shall we do, stay here or run and see? Either at home, or through the high street pass- Chor. Best keep together here, lest, running ing,

thither, With supplication prone and father's tears, We unawares run into danger's mouth. To accept of ransom for my son their prisoner. This evil on the Philistines is falln: Some much averse I found and wonderous harsh, From whom could else a general cry be heard; Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite; The sufferers then will scarce molest us here; That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests: From other hands we need not much to fear. Others more moderate seeming, but their aim What if, his eye-sight (for to Israel's God Private reward, for which both God and state Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd, They easily would set to sale: a third

He now be dealing dole among his foes, More generous far and civil, who confess'd And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? They had enough reveng'd; having reduc'd Man. That were a joy presumptuous to be Their foe to misery beneath their fears,

thought. The rest was magnanimity to remit,

Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as incre If some convenient ransom were propos'd.

dible What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky. For his people of old; what hinders now?

.Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Man. He can, I know, but doubt to think he Their once great dread, captive, and blind before

will; them,

Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief, Or at some proof of strength before them shown. A little stay will bring some notice hither.

Man. His ransom, if my whole inheritance Chor. Of good or bad so great, of bad the May compass it, shall willingly be paid


Por evil news rides post, while good news bates. ( More than enough we know; but while things yet
And to our wish I see one hither speeding, Are in confusion, give us, if thou canst,
An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe,

Eye-witness of what first or last was done,

Relation more particular and distinct. (Enter) Messenger.

Mess. Occasions drew me early to this city; Mess. O whither shall I run, or which way fly And, as the gates I enter'd with sun-rise, The sight of this so horrid spectacle,

The morning trumpets festival proclaim'd Which erst my eyes beheld, and yet behold?

Through each high street: little I had despatch'd, For dire imagination still pursues me.

When all abroad was rumour'd that this day But providence or instinct of nature seems,

Samson should be brought forth, to show the Or reason though disturb’d, and scarce consulted,

people To have guided me aright, I know not how,

Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games; To thee first, reverend Mangah, and to these I sorrow'd at his captive state, but minded My countrymen, whom here I knew remaining, Not to be absent at that spectacle. As at some distance from the place of horrour,

The building was a spacious theatre So in the sad event too much concern'd.

Half-round, on two main pillars vaulted high, Man. The accident was loud, and here before With seats where all the lords, and each degree thee

Of sort, might sit in order to behold; With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not;

The other side was open, where the throng No preface needs, thou seest we long to know.

On banks and scaffolds under sky might stand; Mess. It would burst forth, but I recover 1 among these aloof obscurely stood. breath

The feast and noon grew high, and sacrifice And sense distract, to know well what I utter.

Had fill'd their hearts with mirth, high cheer, Man. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.

and wine, Mess. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are

When to their sports they turu'd. Immediately fall'n,

Was Samson as a public servant brought, All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall’n.

In their state livery clad; before him pipes, Man. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not And timbrels, on each side went armed guards, The desolation of a hostile city. [saddest Both horse and foot, before him and behind Mess. Feed on that first; there may in grief Archers, and slingers, cataphracts and spears. be surfeit,

At sight of him the people with a shout Man. Relate by whom.

Rifted the air, clamouring their God with praise, Mess, By Samson.

Who had made their dreadful enemy their thrall. Man.

That still lessens He patient, but undaunted, where they led him, The sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy.

Came to the place; and what was set before him, Mess. Ah ! Manoah, I refrain too suddenly Which without help of eye might be assay'd, To utter what will come at last too soon ;

To heave, pull, draw, or break, he still perform'd Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption

All with incredible, stupendous force;
Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep. None daring to appear antagonist.
Man. Suspense in news is torture, speak them At length for intermission sake they led him

Between the pillars ; he his guide requested Mess. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is (For so from such as nearer stood we heard) dead.

As over-tir'd to let him lean a while Man. The worst indeed, O all my hopes de- With both his arms on those two massy pillars, feated

That to the arched roof gave main support. To free him hence! but death, who sets all free, He, unsuspicious, led him; which when Samson Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge. Felt in his arms, with head a while inclin'd, What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd And eyes fast fix'd he stood, as one who pray'd, Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves Or some great matter in his mind revolv'd : Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring At last with head erect thus cried aloud, Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost! “ Hitherto, lords, what your commands impos'd Yet ere I give the reins to grief, say first, I have perform'd, as reason was, obeying, How died he; death to life is crown or shame. Not without wonder or delight beheld: All by bim fell, thou say'st; by whom fell he ? Now of my own accord such other trial What glorious hand gave Samson his death's I mean to show you of my strength, yet greater; wound?

As with amaze shall strike all who behold.” Mess. Unwounded of his enemies he fell. This utter'd, straining all his nervés he bow'd, Man. Wearied with slavghter then, or how? As with the force of winds and waters pent, explain.

When mountains tremble, those two massy pila Mess. By his own hands.

With horrible convulsion to and fro [lars Man.

Self-violence? what cause He tugg'd, he shook, till down they came and Brought him so soon at variance with himself

drew Among his foes?

The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder Mess. Inevitable cause

Upon the heads of all who sat beneath,
At once both to destroy, and be destroy'd; Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests,
The edifice, where all were met to see him, Their choice nobility and flower, not only
Upon their heads and on bis own he pull’d. Of this but each Philistian city round,

Man. O lastly over-strong against thyself! Met from all parts to solemnize this feast.
A dreadful way thou took'st to thy revenge. Samson, with these immix'd, inevitably


Pull'd down the same destruction on himself ; Let us go find the body where it lies
The vulgar only 'scap'd who stood without. Soak'd in his enemies blood; and from the stream

Chor. O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious ! With lavers pure, and cleansing herbs, wash of Living or dying thou hast fulfill'd

The clotted gore. I, with what speed the while, The work for which thou wast foretold

(Gaza is not in plight to say us nay,) To Israel, and now ly'st victorious

Will send for all my kindred, all my friends, Among thy slain self-kill'd,

To fetch him hence, and solemnly attend Not willingly, but tangled in the fold

With silent obsequy, and funeral train, Of dire necessity, whose law in death conjoin'd Home to his father's house: there will I build hins Thee with thy slaughter'd foes, in number more A monument, and plant it round with shade Than all thy life hath slain before.

Of laurel ever green, and branching palm, 1. Semichor. While their hearts were jocund with all his trophies hung, and acts inrolld and sublime,

In copious legend, or sweet lyric song. Drunk with idolatry, drunk with wine,

Thither shall all the valiant youth resort, And fat regorg'd of bulls and goats,

And from his memory inflame their breasts Chanting their idol, and preferring

To matchless valour, and adventures high : Before our living Dread who dwells

The virgins also shall, on feastful days, In Silo, his bright sanctuary :

Visit his tomb with flowers; only bewailing Among them he a spirit of phrenzy sent, His lot unfortunate in nuptial choice, Who hurt their minds,

From whence captivity and loss of eyes. And urg'd them on with mad desire

Chor. All is best, though we oft doubt To call in haste for their destroyer ;

What the unsearchable dispose They, only set on sport and play,

Of highest Wisdom brings about, Unweetingly importun'd

And ever best found in the close. Their own destruction to come speedy upon them. Oft he seems to hide his face, So fond are mortal men,

But unexpectedly returns, Fall'n into wrath divine.

And to his faithful champion bath in place As their own ruin on themselves to invite, Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mouras, Insensate left, or to sense reprobate,

And all that band them to resist
And with blindness internal struck.

His uncontrollable intent;
2. Semichor. But he, though blind of sight, His servants he, with new acquist
Despis'd and thought extinguish'd quite, Of true experience, from this great event
With inward eyes illuminated,

With peace and consolation hath dismist,
His fiery virtue rous'd

And calm of mind, all passion spent.
From under ashes into sudden flame,
And as an evening dragon came,
Assailant on the perched roosts
And nests in order rang'd
Of tame villatic fowl ; but as an eagle

His cloudless thunder bolted on their heads.
So virtue, given for lost,
Depress'd, and overthrown, as seem'd,
Like that self-begotten bird

In the Arabian woods embost,
That no second knows nor third,

And lay ere while a holocaust,
From out her ashy womb now teem'd,

Revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most

When most unactive deem'd;
And, though her body die, her fame survives
A secular bird ages of lives.

Man. Come, come; no time for lamentation

Nor much more cause; Samson hath quit himself
Like Samson, and heroicly hath finish'd

i. The Flood. (See No. iii. below.] A life heroic, on his enemies

ii. Abram in Ægypt. Fully reveng'd, hath left them years of mourning,

iii. The Deluge. And lamentation to the sons of Caphtor

iv. Sodom. Through all Philistian bounds, to Israel

v. Dinah, Vide Euseb. Præparat. Evangel. Honour hath left, and freedom, let but them lib. ix. cap. xxii. Find courage to lay hold on this occasion; To himself and father's house eternal fame;

These numerous scripture subjects justify a And, which is best and happiest yet, all this remark made by Mr. Warton, that Milton early With God not parted from him, as-was feard, leaned towards religious subjects for plays, and But favouring and assisting to the end.

wished to turn the drama into the scriptural Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail channel : he accordingly, in his Reason of Ch. Or knock the breast ; to weakness, no contempt, Gov. against Prelacy, written in 1641, tempers Dispraise, or blame; nothing but well and fair, his praise of Sophocles and Euripides with recomAnd what may quiet us in a death so noble. mending Solomon's Song ; and adds, that “ the








The Persons.

The former part is spent in bringing the

sick prince forth as it were desirous to Dine.


shjft his chamber and couch, as dying Debora, Rebecca's nurse. Sichem.

men use; his father telling him what Javob.

Counselors 2.

sacrifize he had sent for his health to Simeon.


Bethel and Dan; his fearlessnesse of Levi.


death, and putting his father in mind

to set (send] to Ahiah. The Chorus of vi. Thamar Cuophorusa. Where Juda is

the Elders of Israel bemoning his virfound to have been the author of that

tues bereft them, and at another time crime, which he condemned in Tamar:

wondring why Jeroboam, being bad Tamar excus'd in what she attempt

himself, should so grieve for his son ed.

that was good, &c. vii. The golden Calfe, or The Massacre in xxxiv. Imbres, or The Showers. I Reg. xviii, Horeb.

xix. vij. The Quails. Num. xi.

xxxv. Naboth cunvpartśusvog. I Reg. xxi. ix. The Murmurers. Num. xiv.

xxxvi. Ahab. I Reg. xxii. Beginning at the X. Corah, Dathan, &c. Num. xvi, xvii.

synod of fals profets : ending with rexi. Moabitides. Num. xxv. (See No. lv.

lation of Ahab's death: his bodie below.]

brought. Zedechiah slain by Ahab's xij. Achan. Joshue vii and viii.

friends for his seducing. (See Larater, xiii. Josuah in Gibeon. Josh. X.

II Chron. xviii.) xiv. Gideon Idoloclastes. Judg. vi, vii. xxxvii. Elias in the mount. II Reg. i. 'Optikárne. xv. Gideon pursuing. Judg. viii.

Or, better, Elias Polemistes. xvi. Abimelech the Usurper. Judg. ix. xxxviii. Elisaus Hudrochóos. Il Reg. iii. Hudroxvi. SAMSON MARRUING, or in Ramach Lechi.

phantes. Aquator. Judg. xv.

xxxix. Elisaus Adororocétas. xviii. Samson PURSOPHORUS, or Hybrisles, or xl. Elisæus Minutes, sive in Dothaimis. II Dagonalia. Judg. xvi.

Reg. vi.
xix. Comazontes, or The Benjaminites, or The xli. Samaria Liberala. II Reg. vii.
Rioters. Judg. xix, xx, xxi.

xlii. Achabæi Cunoborwmeni. II Reg. ix. xx. Theristria, a Pastoral, out of Ruth.

The Scene, Jesrael. Beginning, from xxi. Eliada, Hophni and Phinehas. 1 Sam.

the watchman's discovery of Jehu, till i, ii, iii, iv. Beginning with the first

he go out. In the mean while, message overthrow of Israel by the Philistines;

of things passing brought to Jesebel, interlac't with Samuel's vision concern

&c. Lastly, the 70 heads of Ahab's ing Elie's family.

sons brought in, and message brought of xxij. Jonathan rescued. I Sam. xiv.

Ahaziah's brethren slain on the way. xxii. Doeg slandering. 1 Sam. xxii.

Chap. x. xxiv. The sheep-shearers in Carmel, a Pastoral. xlii. Jehu Belicola. II Reg. x, I Sam. xxv.

xliv. Athaliah. II Reg. xi. xv. Saul in Gilboa. 1 Sam. xxvïi, xxxi.

xlv. Amaziah Doryalotus. II Reg. xiv. II xxvi. David revolted. I Sam, from the xxvii

Chron. xxv. chap. to the xxxi.

xlvi. Hezechias Fonsogxépesos. II Reg. xviii, xxvii. David adulterous. Il Sam. c. xi, xii.

xix. Hesechia beseiged. The wicked hyxxviii. Tamar. II Sam. xiii.

pocrisy of Shebna, (spoken of in the si. xxix. Achitophel. II Sam. xv, xvi, xvii, xviii.

or thereabout of Isaiah,) and the comxxx. Adoniah. I Reg. ii.

mendation of Eliakim, will afford á pógreas xxxi. Solomon Gynæcocratumenns, or Idolo

abys, together with a faction that sought margus, aut Thysiazusa. I Reg. xi.

help from Egypt. xxxii. Rehoboam. I Reg. xii. Wher is dis- xlvii. Josiah Abalomenos. II Reg. xxiii. puted of a politic religion.

xlviii. Zedechia veotezlEwr. II Reg. But the xxxiü. Abias Thersæus. I Reg. xiv. The queen,

story is larger in Jeremiah. after much dispute, as the last refuge, xlix. Salymay Halosis.

Which may begin sent to the profet Abias of Shilo; re

from a message brought to the city, of ceavs the message. The Epitasis, in

the judgement upon Zedechiah and his that shee, bearing the child shall die,

children in Ribla : and so seconded as she comes home, refuses to return,

with the burning and destruction of city thinking thereby to elude the oracle.

and temple by Nebuzaradan; lamented

by Jeremiah. Apocalypse of Saint John is the majestic image

1. Asa, or Æthiopes. II Chron. xiv. with

the deposing his mother, and burning of a high and stately tragedy, shutting up and in

her idol. termingling her solemn scenes and acts with a

li. The three children. Dan. iji. seven-fold chorus of hallelujahs and harping sym

li. Abram from Morea, or Isaac redeemphudies.” Prose-Works, edit. 1698, vol. i. 61.


The oiconomie may be thus. The

fift or sixt day after Abraham's depare * So they are termed in Milton's MS. Those,

ture. Eleazar (Abram's steward) first which relate to Paradise Lost, have been given at the end of that poem,


alone, and then with the Chorus, dis.

with joy.

course of Abraham's strange voiage,

Sodom burning. The Scene before Lot's thire mistresse sorrow and perplexity,

gate. accompanied with frightfull dreams;

The Chorus, consisting of Lot's shepand tell the manner of his rising by

herds come to the citty about some afnight, taking his servants and bis son

fairs, await in the evening thire maiswith him. Next may come forth Sa

ter's retum from his evening walk torah herself. After the Chorus, or Is

ward the citty gates. He brings with mael, or Agar. Next some shepheard

him two young men, or youths, of noble or companie of merchants, passing

form. After likely discourses, prethrough the mount in the time that

pares for thire entertainment. By then Abram was in the mid-work, relate to Sarah what they saw.

supper is ended, the gallantry of the Hence lainen

towne passe by in procession, with tations, fears, wonders. The matter in

music and song, to the temple of the mean while divulg'd, Aner, or Es

Venus Urania or Peor ; and, underchol, or Mamre, Abram's confederats,

standing of tow noble strangers arriv'd, come to the house of Abram to be

they send 2 of thire choysest youth, with more certaine, or to bring news ; in

the priest, to invite them to thire citiy the mean while discoursing, as the

solemnities; it beeing an honour that world would, of such an action, divers

thire citty bad decreed to all fair perways ; bewayling the fate of so noble a

sonages, as beeing sacred to their godman faln from his reputation, either

dess. The angels being ask't by the through divin justice or superstition, or

priest whence they are, say they are of covering to doe some notable act through

Salem ; the priest inveighs against the zeal. At length a servant, sent from

strict reign of Melchisedec. Abram, relates the truth; and last he

Lot, that knows thire drift, answers himselfe comes in with a great traine

thwartly at last. Of which notice given of Melchizedec's, whose shepbeards,

to the whole assembly, they hasten beeing secretlye witnesses of all pas

thither, taxe him of præsumption, sinsages, had related to their master, and

gularity, breach of city-customs; in he conducted his friend Abraham home

fine, offer violence. The Chorus of lii. Baptistes. The Scene, the Court.

shepbeards præpare resistance in thire

maister's defence; calling the rest of Beginning, From the morning of He

the serviture: but, being forc't to give ro'ds birth day.

back, the angels open the dore, rescue Herod, by some couhsel

Lot, discover themselves, Farne bim gin of ibe Ms. Oreiš the queen er persuaded * on his birth

to gether his friends and sons in law out may plot, under day to release John Bap

of the city. ging for his ii. tist, purposes it, causes berty, to seek him to be sent for to court

He goes, and returns; as having

met with some incredulous. Some to a snare by from prison. The queen

other freind or son in law (out of the ipeech. hears of it, takes occa

way when Lot came to his house) over. sion to passe wher he is, on purpose,

takes him to know his buisnes. Heer is that, under prætense of reconsiling to

disputed of incredulity of divine judgehim, or seeking to draw a kind retrac

ments, and such like inatters. tation from bim of the censure on the

At last is described the parting from marriage; to which end she sends a

the citty. The Chorus depart with their courtier before, to sound whether he

maister. The angels doe the deed with might be persuaded to mitigate his sen

all dreadful execution. The king and tence; which not finding, she herself

pobles of the citty may come forth, çraftily assays; and on his constancie,

and serve to set out the terror. A Chofounds an accusation to Herod of a con

rus of angels concluding, and the tumacious affront, on such a day, be

angels relating the event of Lot's jourfore many peers ; præpares the king to

ney, and of his wife. some passion, and at last by her daugh

The first Chorus, beginning, may reter's dancing, effects it. There may

Jate the course of the citty ; each eveprologize the spirit of Philip, Herod's

ing every one, with mistresse or Gany. brother. · It may also be thought that

med, gitterning along the streets, or soHerod had well bedew'd bimself with

lacing on the banks of Jordan, or dom wine, which made him grant the easier

the stream. to his wive's daughter,

At the priests' inviting the angels to Some of his disciples also, as to con

the solemnity, the angels, pittying their gratulate his liberty, may be brought

beauty, may dispute of love, and how it in ; with whom, after certain command

differs from lust; seeking to win them. of his death, many compassionating

In the last scene, to the king and words of bis disciples, bewayling his

nobles, when the fierce thunder begins youth cut off in his glorious cours; he

aloft, the angel appeares all girt with telling them his work is don, and wish

flames, which, he saith, are the flames ing them to follow Christ his mais

of true love, and tells the king, who ter.

falls down with terrour, his just suffering, liv, Sodom, The title, Cupid's funeral pile :

as also Athane's, that is, Gener, Lot's sca

. In tbe mar

his freedom of

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