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To such as owe them absolute subjection; 1805
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 forbidden in our law.

Off. I praise thy resolution: doff these links;
By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
To favour, and, perhaps, to set thee free.

Sams. Brethren, farewell; 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, 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 aught religion seem concern'd; 1420 No less the people on their holy-days Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable : Happen what may, of me expect to hear Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy Our God, our law, my nation, or myself, The last of me or no I cannot warrant.

Chor. Go, and the Holy One
Of Israel be thy guide
To what may serve his glory best, and spread his

name
Great among the heathen round;
Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand
Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field
Rode up in flames after his message told

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Of thy conception, and be now a shield
Of fire; that spirit that first rush'd on thee
In the camp of Dan
Be efficacious in thee now at need.
For never was from heaven imparted
Measure of strength so great to mortal seed,
As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen.
But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste
With youthful steps? much livelier than ere while
He seems; supposing here to find his son,
Or of him bringing to us some glad news ?
Man. Peace with you, brethren! my induce-

ment hither
Was not at present here to find my son,
By order of the lords new parted hence,
To come and play before them at their feast.
I heard all as I came, the city rings,
And numbers thither flock; I had no will,
Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly.
But that which mov'd my coming now was chiefly
To give ye part with me what hope I have
With good success to work his liberty.
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, To accept of ransom for my son their pris'ner.

1434 shield] See T. Warton's Note on Comus, ver. 658.

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Some much averse I found and wondrous harsh,
Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite;
That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests :
Others more moderate seeming, but their aim
Private reward, for which both God and State 1465
They easily would set to sale: a third
More generous far and civil, who confess'd
They had enough reveng'd, having reduc'd
Their foe to misery beneath their fears,
The rest was magnanimity to remit,
If some convenient ransom were propos’d.
What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky.

Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Their once great dread, captive and blind before

them, Or at some proof of strength before them shown. Man. His ransom,

if
my

whole inheritance
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.

Chor. 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 eyesight lost.

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Man. 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 pation arm’d the strength contain'd: And I persuade me God hath not permitted 1195 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 eyesight was not lost, God will restore him eyesight to his strength.

Chor. Thy hopes are not ill founded nor seem Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon (vain Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love, In both which we, as next, participate. Man. I know your friendly minds, and --O

what noise ! Mercy of heav'n, what hideous noise was that? Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. Chor. Noise call

you

it or universal groan, As if the whole inhabitation perish'd !

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1 19* contain'd) Ovid. Met. viii. 8.
• Crinis inhærebat magni fiducia regni.'

Todd. 10.8 O what noise] Christ. Patiens, p. 16. ed. Rom.

Α πολυστόνων άϊον ιαχαν γόων,
Φωνήν έκλυον, έκλυον βοάς στόνων, &c.

Blood, death, and deathful deeds are in that noise, Ruin, destruction at the utmost point. [noise :

Man. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the Oh it continues, they have slain my son. Chor. Thy son is rather slaying them, that

outcry From slaughter of one foe could not ascend.

Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be; What shall we do, stay here, or run and see ? 1540

Chor. Best keep together here, lest running We unawares run into danger's mouth. [thither 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, 1595 From other hands we need not much to fear. What if his eyesight, for to Israel's God Nothing is hard, by miracle restorid, He now be dealing dole among his foes, And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? 1530 Man. That were a joy presumptuous to be thought.

[credible Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as inFor his people of old; what hinders now ? . Man. He can, I know, but doubt to think he

will; Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief. A little stay will bring some notice hither.

Chor. 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,

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