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And now some public proof thereof require
them Our law forbids at their religious ritesMy presence; for that cause I cannot come, 1321
Of.This answer, be assurd, will not content them.
SAM. Have they not sword-players, and every sort Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Juglers and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics, But they must pick me out with shạckles tird, And over-labor'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,
1330 Or make a game of my calamities? Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come.
OF. Regard thyself, this will offend them highly.
SAM.Myself? my conscience and internal peace. Can they think me so broken, so debas'd 1335 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 1339 To show them feats, and play before their god, The worst of all indignities, yet on me Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come,
Of. My message was impos'd on me with speed, Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution ? 1344
SAM. So take it with what speed thy message needs.
SAM. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift Of strength, again returning with my hair 1355 After my great transgression, so requite Favor renew'd, and add a greater sin By prostituting holy things to idols; -A Nazarite in place abominable Vaunting my strength in honor to their Dagon? Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
1361 What aut more execrably unclean, profane ?
Chor.Yet with this strength thou sery'st the Phi. Idolatrous, uncircumcis’d, unclean. [listines,
SAM. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor Honest and lawful to deserve my food Of those who have me in their civil power. [not. CHOR.Where the heart joinsnot,outward acts defile
Sam. Where ontward force constrains, the sentence But who constrains me tothe temple of Dagon, [holds. Not dragging ? the Philistian lords command. 1371
Commands are no constraints. If I obey them,
SAM. Be of good courage, I begin to feel [reach.
life By some great act, or of my days the last. 1389
Chor. In time thou hast resoly’d, the man returns.
OF. 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 dar’st thou at our sending and command Dispute thy coming ? come without delay; 1395 Or we shall find such engins to assail And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force, Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock.
Sam. I could be well content to try their art Which to no few of them would prove pernicious. Yet knowing their advantages too many, 1401
Because they shall not trail me through their streets
resistless To such as owe them absolute subjection; 1405 And for a life who will not change his purpose ? (So mutable are all the ways of men) Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply Scandalous or forbbiden in our law.
OF. I praise thy resolution: doff these links: By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
1411 To favour, and perhaps to set thee free.
SAM. Brethren farewel; your company along I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them To see me girt with friends; and how the sight Of me as of a common enemy,
1416 So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine; And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd With zeal, if ought religion seem concern’d; No less the people on their holy-days
1421 Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable: Happen what may, of me expect to hear Nothing dishonorable, impure, unworthy Our God, our law, my nation, or myself, 1425 The last of me or no I cannot warrant.
Chor. Go, and the Holy One Of Israel be thy guide
[name To what may serve his glory best, and spread his Great among the Heathen round;
1430 Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand Volume III.
Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field
Man. Peace with you, brethren; my inducement
Chor. That hope would much rejoice us to partake With thee; say, reverend Sire, we thirst to hear.
Man. I have attempted one by one the lords Either at home, or through the high street passing, With supplication prone and father's tears, 1459 To'accept of ransom for my son their pris'ner. Some much averse I found and wondrous harsh,