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Among the slaves and asses, thy comrades,
Sams. All these indignities, for such they are,
Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in trustHe will accept thee, to defend his cause, [ing A murderer, a revolter, and a robber! (me these?
Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou prove
Har. 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 Notorious murder, on those thirty men At Ascalon, who never did thee harm; Then like a robber stripp’dst them of their robes ? The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league, Went up with armed powers, thee only seeking, To others did no violence nor spoil.
Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines I chose a wife, which argued me no foe; And in your city held my nuptial feast : But your ill-meaning politician lords, Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, Appointed to await me thirty spies, Who, threatening cruel death, constrain’d the bride To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret, That solv'd the riddle, which I had proposed. When I perceiv'd all set on enmity, As on my enemies, wherever chanced, I used hostility, and took their spoil, To pay my underminers in their coin. My nation was subjected to your lords. It was the force of conquest; force with force Is well ejected, when the conquer'd can But I, a private person, whom my country,
As a league-breaker, gave up, bound, presumed
Har. With thee, a man condemn'd, a slave enroll’d,
Sams. Camest thou for this, vain boaster, to survey To descant on my strength, & give thy verdict ? [me, Come nearer; part not hence so slight inform’d; But take good heed my
survey not thee. Har. © Baal-zebub! can my ears, unused, Hear these dishonours, and not render death?
Sams. No man withholds thee; nothing from thy Fear I incurable ; bring up thy van; [hand My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.
Har. This insolence other kind of answer fits.
Sams. Go, baffled coward, lest I run upon thee,
Har. By Astaroth, ere long, thou shalt lament These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. [Exit.
Chor. His giantship is gone, somewhat crest-fallen, Stalking with less unconscionable strides, And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood, 'Though fame divulge him father of five sons, All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.
Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear, And with malicious counsel, stir them up, Some way or other, yet further to afflict thee.
Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd Will not dare mention, lest a question rise, (fight Whether he durst accept the offer, or not ;
And, that he durst not, plain enough appear'd.
Chor. Oh how comely it is, & how reviving,
But patience is more oft the exercise
This idol's day hath been, to thee, no day of Labouring thy mind
rest More, than the working day thy hands. And yet, perhaps, more trouble is behind; For I desery this way Some other tending, in his hand,
A sceptre or quaint staff he bears,
will be short and voluble.
Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say;
Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew; therefore
off. This answer, be assur'd, will not content them.
Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every sort Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Jugglers, and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics, But they must pick me out, with shackles tired, And over-labour'd at their public mill, To make them sport, with blind activity ? Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels, On my refusal, to distress me more, Or make a game of my calamities? Return the way thou camest; I will not come.
Off. Regard thyself; this will offend them highly.
Sams. Myself? my conscience and internal peace. Can they think me so broken, so debased, With corporal servitude, that my mind ever Will condescend to such absurd commands? Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester, And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief, To show them feats, and play before their god, The worst of all indignities, yet on me Joined with extreme contempt? I will not come.
Off. My message was imposed on me with speed, Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution?
Sams. So take it, with what speed thy message needs. Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. [Erit. Sams.Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow indeed.
Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain’d,
Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift
Chor. Yet with this strength thou servest the
Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labour, Honest and lawful, to deserve my food Of those, who have me in their civil power. [not.
Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile
Sams. Where outward force constrains, the sentence But who constrains me to the temple of Dagon, [holds. Not dragging ? The Philistian lords command. Commands are no constraints. If I obey them, I do it freely, venturing to displease God, for the fear of man, and man prefer, Set God behind : which, in his jealousy, Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. Yet that he may dispense with me, or thee, Present in temples, at idolatrous rites, For some important cause, thou need’st not doubt.
Chor. How thou wilt come off here, surmounts my
Sams. Be of good courage; I begin to feel (reach. Some rousing motions in me, which dispose, To something extraordinary, my thoughts. I with this messenger will go along, Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonour, Our law, or stain my vow of Nazarite. If there be aught of presage in the mind, This day will be remarkable in my life, By some great act, or of my days the last. Chor. In time thou hast resolved, the man returns.
Off. Samson, this second message from our lords To thee I am bid say. Art thou our slave, Our captive, at the public mill our drudge, And darest thou at our sending and command,