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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, 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 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

1138. —or ruffled porcupines.) Who can doubt that Milton here had Shakespeare in mind ? Hamlet, act i. sc. 8.

And each particular hair to stand on

end, Like quills upon the fretful porcu

pine.

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.

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
Notorious murder on those thirty men

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1162. —thy comrádes,] With the accent upon the last syllable, as in 1 Henry IV. act iv. sc. 2. And his comrades, that daft the

world aside

And bid it pass.

1181. Tongue-doughty] Doughty, that is, valiant. See Skinner. Ogan CUPTOMOS. Æschylus, Septem contra Thebas, 617. Richardson.

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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, 1190
To others did no violence nor spoil.

SAMSON.
Among the daughters of the Philistines
I chose a wife, which argued me no foe;
ind 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 threat'ning cruel death constrain'd the bride
To wring from me and tell to them my secret,
That solv'd the riddle which I had propos’d.
When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
I us'd 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, presum’d
Single rebellion, and did hostile acts.
I was no private but a person rais'd
With strength sufficient and command from heaven
To free my country ; if their servile minds
Me their deliverer sent would not receive,
But to their masters gave me up for nought,
Th’ unworthier they ; whence to this day they serve.

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your force:

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I was to do my part from heav'n assign’d,
And had perform'd it, if my known offence
Had not disabled me, not all
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant
Though by his blindness maim'd for high attempts,
Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
As a petty enterprize of small enforce.

HARAPHA.
With thee a man condemn’d, a slave inroll’d,
Due by the law to capital punishment ?
To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.

SAMSON.
Cam’st thou for this, vain boaster, to survey me,
To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict ?
Come nearer, part not hence so slight inform’d;
But take good heed my hand survey not thee.

HARAPHA.
O Baal-zebub ! can my ears unus'd
Hear these dishonours, and not render death?

SAMSON.
No man withholds thee, nothing from thy hand
Fear I incurable ; bring up thy van,
My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.

HARAPHA.
This insolence other kind of answer fits.

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now

1222. Who

defies thee

1231. O Baal-zebub!] He is thrice] This was the custom and properly made to invoke Baalthe law of a-ms to give the chal- zebub, as afterwards to swear by lenge and to sound the trumpet Astaroth, that is, the deities of thrice. In allusion to the same the Philistines and neighbouring practice Edgar appears to fight nations, of whom we have said with the Bastard by the third something in the notes on the sound of the trumpet, Lear, act v. Paradise Lost, and the learned SC. 7.

reader may see more in Selden.

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SAMSON.
Go baffled coward, lest I run upon thee,
Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast,
And with one buffet lay thy structure low,
Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down
To th' hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides.

HARAPHA.
By Astaroth ere long thou shalt lament
These braveries in irons loaden on thee.

CHORUS.
His giantship is gone somewhat crest-fall’n,
Stalking with less unconscionable strides,
And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.

SAMSON.
I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood,
Though fame divulge him father of five sons,
All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.

CHORUS.
He will directly to the lords, I fear,
And with malicious counsel stir them up
Some way or other yet further to afflict thee.

SAMSON.
He must allege some cause, and offer'd fight
Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
Whether he durst accept th' offer or not,
And that he durst not plain enough appear'd.

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1248. Though fame divulge him very well known: and the other &c.] So it plainly should be as four are mentioned 2 Sam, xxi. Milton himself corrected it, and 15—22. These four were born to not divulged as it is in all the edi- the giunt or to Harapha in Gath, tions. Father of five sons &c. and fell by the hand of David, The story of Goliath of Gath is and by the hand of his servants.

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