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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.

MANOA H.
It shall be my delight to tend his eyes,
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

1490

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

1500

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
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 not seem vain 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 presagtravagant. 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 he from 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-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. Horribly loud, unlike the former shout.

1510 CHORUS. 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.

MANOAH.
Of ruin indeed methought I heard the noise : 1515
Oh it continues, they have slain my son.

CHORUS.
Thy son is rather slaying them, that outcry
From slaughter of one foe could not ascend.

MANOAH.
Some dismal accident it needs must be ;
What shall we do, stay here or run and see? 1520

CHORUS.
Best keep together here, lest running thither
We unawares rụn into danger's mouth.
This evil on the Philistines is fall’n ;
From whom could else a general cry be heard ?
The sufferers 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,

1512. -inhabitation) Oixouporn. Jonson's three plays, p. 31. Richardson.

derives the word dole from the 1514. -at the utmost point.] Greek ato tov dienesy, distribuere. Al ultimo segno. Richardson. By the way we may observe,

1529. -be dealing dole] Dis- that the Chorus here entertains tributing his gifts and portions the same pleasing hope of Samamong his enemies, from a Saxon son's eye-sight being by miracle word, says Skinner, but Mr. Up- restored, which he had before ton in his remarks upon Ben tacitly reproved in Manoah, and

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And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? 1530

MANOAH.
That were a joy presumptuous to be thought.

CHORUS.
Yet God hath wrought things as incredible
For his people of old ; what hinders now?

MANOAH.
He can I know, but doubt to think he will;
Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief. 1535
A little stay will bring some notice hither.

CHORUS. Of good or bad so great, of bad the sooner ; For evil news rides post, while good news baits. And to our wish I see one hither speeding, bits? An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe. . 1540

MESSENGER. O whither shall I run, or which way fly Manoah who had before encou- be: and so is the next but one, raged the same hope in himself, in that and all the editions ; now desponds and reckons it though it seems to belong rather presumptuous in another. Such to Manoah. The line between changes of our thoughts are na- them, which is wanting (as I just tural and common, especially in now observed) in the text of the any change of our situation and first edition, in the Errata and circumstances. Fear and hope in all the editions since is given usually succeed each other like to the Chorus, but the poet cerague and fever. And it was not tainly intended both them and a slight observation of mankind, Manoah a share in it. that could have enabled Milton to have understood and described

CHOR. A little stay will bring

some notice hither the human passions so exactly.

Of good or bad so great. Max. Of 1536. A little stay will bring bad the sooner ; some notice hither.] The text of For evil news rides post, while good the first edition wants the nine

CHOR. And to our wish I see one lines preceding this, and the line that follows it: but they are sup

hither speeding,

An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our plied in the Errata. This line in that edition is in the part of the

Calton. Chorus, as I think it ought to

news baits,

tribe.

1545

3

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,
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.

MA NOAH. .
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.

MESSENGER.
It would burst forth, but I recover breath
And sense distract, to know well what I utter.

MANOAH.
Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.

MESSENGER
Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are fallin,
All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall’n.

1555

1552. —and here before thee] 1556. And sense distract.) The Here again the old error was word is used likewise as an adcarefully preserved through all jective in Shakespeare. Julius the editions. In the first edition Cæsar, act iv. sc. 4. it was printed and heard before

With this she fell distract, but we have corrected it,

And (her attendants absent) swal. as Milton himself corrected it in

low'd fire. the table of Errata.

1554. No preface needs,] No Twelfth-Night, act v. sc. 5. preface is wanting. Needs is a

They say, poor gentleman! he's verb neuter here as in Paradise much distract. Lost X. 80. where see the note.

thee;

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