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So dreaded once, may now exasperate them, And number'd down: much rather I shall choose
For his redemption all my patrimony,
If need be, I am ready to forego Happen what may, of me expect to hear And quit: not wanting him, I shall want no. Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy
thing. Our God, our law, my nation, or myself,
Chor. Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons, The last of me or no I cannot warrant.
Thou for thy son art bent to lay out all ; Chor. Go, and the Holy One
Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age, Of Israel be thy guide
[name Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy son, To what may serve his glory best, and spread his Made older than thy age through eye-sight lost. Great among the Heathen round;
Man. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, Send thee the angel of thy birth, to stand And view him sitting in the house, ennoble Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field With all those high exploits by him achievod, Rode up in flames after his message told And on his shoulders waving down those locks Of thy conception, and be now a shield
That of a nation arm'd the strength contain'd : Of fire ; that spirit, that first rush'd on thee And I persuade me, God bad not permitted In the camp of Dan,
His strength again to grow up with his hair, Be efficacious in thee now at need.
Garrison'd round about him like a camp Por never was from Heaven imparted
Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose Measure of strength so great to mortal seed, To use him further yet in some great service; As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen.- Not to sit idle with so great a gift But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste Useless, and thence ridiculous about him. (lost, With youthful steps? much livelier than ere And since his strength with eye-sight was not while
God will restore him eye-sight to his strength. He seems; supposing here to find his son,
Chor. Thy hopes are not ill founded, nor seem Or of him bringing to us some glad news ? Of his delivery, and the joy thereon
(vain Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love, [Enter] Manoak.
In both which we, as next, participate. Man. Peace with you, brethren; my induce- Man. I know your friendly minds and ment hither
what noise ! Was not at present here to find my son,
Mercy of Heaven, what hideous noise was that By order of the lords now parted hence
Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. To come and play before them at their feast. Chor. Noise call you it, or universal groan, I heard all as I came, the city rings,
As if the whole inhabitation perish'd ! (noise, And numbers thither fock: I had no will, Blood, death, and deathful deeds, are in that Lest I skould see him forc'd to things unseemly. Ruin, destruction at the utmost point. But that, which mov'd my coming now, was Man. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the chiefly
noise: To give ye part with me what hope I have Oh! it continues, they have slain my son. With good success to work his liberty.
Chor. Thy son is rather slaying them: that Chor. That hope would much rejoice us to
From slaughter of one foe could dot ascend. With thee ; say, reverend sire, we thirst to bear. Man. Some dismal accident it needs must be;
Man. I have attempted one by one the lords What shall we do, stay here or run and see? Either at home, or through the high street pass- Chor, Best keep together here, lest, running ing,
thither, With supplication prone and father's tears, We unawares run into danger's mouth. To accept of ransom for my son their prisoner. This evil on the Philistines is falln: Some much averse I found and wonderous harsh, From whoin could else a general cry be heard; Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite; The sufferers then will scarce molest us here; That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests: From other hands we need not much to fear. Others more moderate seeming, but their aim What if, his eye-sight (for to Israel's God Private reward, for which both God and state Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd, They easily would set to sale: a third
He now be dealing dole among his foes, More generous far and civil, who confess'd And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? They had enougb reveng'd; having reduc'd Man. That were a joy presumptuous to be Their foe to misery beneath their fears,
thought. The rest was magnanimity to remit,
Chor. Yet God hath wrought things as incre If some convenient ransom were propos'd.
dible What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky. For his people of old; what hinders now?
Chor. Doubtless the people shouting to behold Man. He can, I know, but doubt to think he Their once great dread, captive, and blind before
Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief, Or at some proof of strength before them shown. A little stay will bring some notice hither.
Man. His ransom, if my whole inheritance Chor. Of good or bad so great, of bad the May compass it, shall willingly be paid
Por evil news rides post, while good news bates. ( More than enough we know; but while things yet
Eye-witness of what first or last was done,
Relation more particular and distinct. (Enter) Messenger
Mess. Occasions drew me early to this city;
The morning trumpets festival proclaim'd
Through each high street: little I had despatch'd,
When all abroad was rumour'd that this day But providence or instinct of nature seems,
Samson should be brougbt forth, to show the Or reason though disturb'd, and scarce consulted,
Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games;
The building was a spacious theatre
Half-round, on two main pillars vaulted high, Man. The accident was loud, and here before With seats where all the lords, and each degree thee
Of sort, might sit in order to behold ;
The other side was open, where the throng
On banks and scaffolds under sky might stand ;
Tamong these aloof obscurely stood. breath
The feast and noon grew high, and sacrifice And sense distract, to know well what I utter.
Had fill'd their hearts with mirth, high cheer; Man. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.
and wine, Mess. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are
When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately falln,
Was Samson as a public servant brought,
In their state livery clad; before him pipes,
At sight of him the people with a shout
Rifted the air, clamouring their God with praise,
Who had made their dreadful enemy their thrall.
'That still lessens He patient, but undaunted, where they led him, The sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy.
Came to the place; and what was set before him,
All with incredible, stupendous force;
Between the pillars; he his guide requested Mess. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is (For so from such as nearer stood we heard) dead.
As over-tir'd to let him lean a while
That to the arched roof gave main support.
As with amaze shall strike all who behold."
When mountains tremble, those two massy pilMess. By his own hands.
With horrible convulsion to and fro [lars Man.
Self-violence? what cause He tugg'd, he shook, till down they came and Brought him so soon at variance with himself
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath,
'Man. O lastly over-strong against thyself ! Met from all parts to solemnize this feast.
Pulld down the same destruction on himself ; Let us go find the body where it lies
Chor. O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious ! | With lavers pure, and cleansing herbs, wash off Living or dying thou hast fulfill'd
The clotted gore. I, with what speed the while, The work for which thou wast foretold
(Gaza is not in plight to say us nay,) To Israel, and now ly'st victorious
Will send for all my kindred, all my friends, Among thy slain self-kill'd,
To fetch him hence, and solemnly attend Not willingly, but tangled in the fold
With silent obsequy, and funeral train, Of dire necessity, whose law in death conjoin'd Home to his father's house: there will I build bird Thee with thy slaughter'd foes, in number more A monument, and plant it round with shade Than all thy life hath slain before.
Of laurel ever green, and branching palm, 1. Semichor. While their hearts were jocund With all his trophies hung, and acts inrolla and sublime,
In copious legend, or sweet lyric song. Drunk with idolatry, drunk with wine,
Thither shall all the valiant youth resort, And fat regorg'd of bulls and goats,
And from his memory inflame their breasts Chanting their idol, and preferring
To matchless valour, and adventures high : Before our living Dread who dwells
The virgins also shall, on feastful days, In Silo, his bright sanctuary:
Visit his tomb with flowers; only bewailing Among them he a spirit of phrenzy sent, His lot unfortunate in nuptial choice, Who hurt their minds,
From whence captivity and loss of eyes. And urg'd them on with mad desire
Chor. All is best, though we oft doubt To call in haste for their destroyer ;
What the unsearchable dispose They, only set on sport and play,
Of highest Wisdom brings about, Unweetingly importun'd
And ever best found in the close. Their own destruction to come speedy upon them. Oft he seems to hide his face, So fond are mortal men,
But unexpectedly returns, Fall'n into wrath divine.
And to his faithful champion bath in place As their own ruin on themselves to invite, Bore witness gloriously ; whence Gaza mourns, Insensate left, or to sense reprobate,
And all that band them to resist
His uncontrollable intent ;
With peace and consolation hath dismist,
And calm of mind, all passion spent.
CONTAINING PLANS OF OTHER SUBJECTS, IX-
FROM HIS OWN MS, IN TRINITY COL-
i. The Flood. (See No. iii. below.] A life heroic, on his enemies
ii. Abram in Ægypt. Fully reveng'd, hath left them years of mourning,
iii. The Deluge. And lamentation to the sons of Caphtor
iv. Sodom. Through all Philistian bounds, to Israel
v. Dinah, Vide Euseb. Præparat. Evangel. Honour hath left, and freedom, let but them lib. ix. cap. xxii. Find courage to lay hold on this occasion; To himself and father's house eternal fame;
These numerous scripture subjects justify a And, which is best and happiest yet, all this remark made by Mr. Warton, that Milton early With God not parted from him, as-was fear'd, leaned towards religious subjects for plays, and But favouring and assisting to the end.
wished to turn the drama into the scriptural Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail channel : he accordingly, in his Reason of Ch. Or knock the breast ; tio weakness, no contempt, Gov. against Prelacy, written in 1641, tempers Dispraise, or blame; nothing but well and fair, his praise of Sophocles and Euripides with recomAnd what may quiet us in a death so noble, mending Solomon's Song ; and adds, that “the
The former part is spent in bringing the
sick prince forth as it were desirous to Dine.
shift his chamber and couch, as dying Debora, Rebecca's nurse. Sichem.
men use; his father telling him what Jacob.
sacrifize he had sent for his health to Simeon.
Bethel and Dan; his fearlessnesse of Levi.
death, and putting his father in mind
to set (send] to Ahiah. The Chorus of ri. Thamar Cuophorusa. Where Juda is
the Elders of Israel bemoning his virfound to have been the author of that
tues bereft them, and at another time crime, which he condemned in Tamar:
wondring why Jeroboam, being bad Tamar excus'd in what she attempt
himself, should so grieve for his son ed.
that was good, &c. vii. The golden Calfe, or The Massacre in xxxiv. Imbres, or The Showers. I Reg. xviii, Horeb.
xix. viii. The Quails. Num. xi.
Xxxv. Naboth ouxvpayré jsvog. I Reg. xxi. ix. The Murmurers. Nam. xiv.
xxxvi. Ahab. I Reg. xxii. Beginning at the x. Corah, Dathan, &c. Num. Xvi, xvii.
synod of fals profets : ending with rexi. Moabitides. Num. xxv. [See No. lv.
lation of Ahab's death: his bodie below.]
brought. Zedechiah slain by Ahab's xii. Achan. Joshue vii and viii.
friends for his seducing. (See Larater, xiii. Josuah in Gibeon. Josh. X.
II Chron. xviii.) xiv. Gideon Idoloclastes. Judg. vi, vii. Xxxvii. Elias in the mount. II Reg. i. 'Opuißárng. xv. Gideon pursuing. Judg. viii.
Or, better, Elias Polemistes. xvi. Abimelech the Usurper. Judg. ix. xxxviii. Elisæus Hudrochóos. Il Reg. iii. Hudroxvii. SAMSON MARRIING, or in Ramach Lechi.
phantes. Aquator. Judg. xv.
xxxix. Elisæus Adororocétas. xviii. SAMSON PURSOPHORUS, or Hybristes, or xl. . Elisæus Minutes, sive in Dothaimis. II Dagonalia. Judg. xvi.
xlii. Achabæi Cunoborwmeni. II Reg. ix. XX. Theristria, a Pastoral, out of Ruth.
The Scene, Jesrael. Beginning, from xxi. Eliade, Hophni and Phinehas. 1 Sam.
the watchman's discovery of Jehu, till i, ii, iii, iv. Beginning with the first
he go out. In the mean while, message overthrow of Israel by the Philistines;
of things passing brought to Jesebe), interlac't with Samuel's vision concern
&c. Lastly, the 70 heads of Ahab's ing Elie's family.
sons brought in, and message brought of Xxii. Jonathan rescued. I Sam. xiv.
Ahaziah's brethren slain on the way. xxiü. Doeg slandering. I Sam. xxii.
Chap. x. xxiv. The sheep-shearers in Carmel, a Pastoral. xliii. Jehu Belicola. Il Reg. x. I Sam. xxv.
xliv, Athaliah. II Reg. xi. xv. Saul in Gilboa. 1 Sam. xxvü, xxxi.
xlv. Amaziah Doryalotus. II Reg. xiv. II Xxvi. David revolted. I Sam, from the xxvii
Chron. xxv. chap. to the xxxi.
xlvi. Hezechias Foncopné uscos. II Reg. xviii, xxvii. David adulterous. II Sam. c. xi, xii.
xix. Hesechia beseiged. The wicked hyxxviji. Tamar. II Sam. xiii.
pocrisy of Shebna, (spoken of in the si. xxix. Achitophel. II Sam. xv, xvi, xvii, xviii.
or thereabout of Isaiah,) and the comXXX. Adoniah. I Reg. ii.
mendation of Eliakim, will afford á póguas xxxi. Solomon Gynæcocratumenns, or Idolo
abye, together with a faction that sought margus, aut Thysiazusa. I Reg. xi.
help from Egypt. xxxii. Rehoboam. I Reg. xi. Wher is dis- xlvii. Josiah Abalomenos. II Reg. xxiii. puted of a politic religion.
xlviii. Zedechia veoteziEw. II Reg. But the XXXüï. Abias Thersæns. I Reg. xiv. The queen,
story is larger in Jeremiah. after much dispute, as the last refuge, xlix. Salymay Halosis. Which may begin sent to the profet Abias of Shilo; re
from a message brought to the city, uf ceavs the message. The Epitasis, in
the judgement upon Zedechiah and his that shee, bearing the child shall die,
children in Ribla : and so seconded as she comes home, refuses to return,
with the burning and destruction of city thinking thereby to elude the oracle.
and temple by Nebuzaradan; lamented
1. Asa, or Æthiopes. II Chron. xiv. with Apocalypse of Saint John is the majestic image
the deposing his mother, and burning of a high and stately tragedy, shutting up and in
her idol. termingling her solemn scenes and acts with a
li. The three children. Dan. iji. seven-fold chorus of ballelujahs and harping sym
lii. Abram from Morea, or Isaac redeemphonies.” Prose-Works, edit. 1698, vol. i. 61.
The oiconomie may be thus. The
fift or sixt day after Abraham's depar* So they are termed in Milton's MS. Those,
ture. Eleazar (Abram's steward) first which relate to Paradise Lost, have been given at
TODD. the end of that poem.
alone, and then with the Chorus, dis.
course of Abraham's strange voiage,
Sodom burning. The Scene before Lot's thire mistresse sorrow and perplexity,
gate. accompanied with frightfull dreams;
The Chorus, consisting of Lot's shepand tell the manner of his rising by
herds come to the citty about some af. night, taking his servants and bis son
fairs, await in the evening thire maiswith him. Next may come forth Sar
ter's retum from his evening walk torah herself. After the Chorus, or Is
ward the citty gates. He brings with mael, or Agar. Next some shepheard
him two young men, or youths, of noble or companie of merchants, passing
form. After likely discourses, prethrough the mount in the time that
pares for thire entertainment. By then Abram was in the mid-work, relate to
supper is ended, the gallantry of the Sarah what they saw. Hence lainen
towne passe by in procession, with tations, fears, wonders. The matter in
music and sung, to the temple of the mean while divulg'd, Aner, or Es
Venus Urania or Peor ; and, underchol, or Mamre, Abram's confederats,
standing of tow noble strangers arriv'd, come to the house of Abram to be
they send 2 of thire choysest youth, with more certaine, or to bring news ; in
the priest, to invite them to thire citty the mean while discoursing, as the
solemnities; it beeing an honour that world would, of such an action, divers
thire citty had decreed to all fair per. ways ; bewayling the fate of so noble a
sonages, as beeing sacred to their godman faln from his reputation, either
dess. The angels being ask't by the through divin justice or superstition, or
priest whence they are, say they are of covering to doe some notable act through
Salem ; the priest inveighs against the zeal. At length a servant, sent from
strict reign of Melchisedec. Abram, relates the truth; and last he
Lot, that knows thire drift, answers himselfe comes in with a great traine
thwartly at last. Of which notice given of Melchizedec's, whose shepheards,
to the whole assembly, they hasten beeing secretlye witnesses of all pas
thither, taxe him of præsumption, sinsages, had related to their master, and
gularity, breach of city-customs; in he conducted his friend Abraham home
fine, offer violence. The Chorus of
shepbeards præpare resistance in thire fiii. Baptistes. The Scene, the Court.
maister's defence; calling the rest of Beginning, From the morning of He
the serviture: but, being forc't to give ro'ds birth day.
back, the angels open the dore, rescue Herod, by some counsel
Lot, discover themselres, marne him gin of meer er persuaded on his birth
to gether his friends and sons in law out may plot, under day to release John Bap
of the city. king for his li- tist, purposes it, causes
He goes, and returns; as having berty, to seck him to be sent for to court
met with some incredulous. Some to a snare by from prison. The queen his freedom of hears of it, takes occa
other freind or son in law (out of the Speech.
way when Lot came to his house) over. sion to passe wher he is, on purpose,
takes him to know his buisnes. Heer is that, under prætense of reconsiling to
disputed of incredulity of divine judgehim, or seeking to draw a kind retrac
ments, and such like inatters. tation from him of the censure on the
At last is described the parting from marriage; to which end she sends a
the citty. The Chorus depart with their courtier before, to sound whether he
maister. The angels doe the deed with might be persuaded to mitigate his sen
all dreadful execution. The king and tence; which not finding, she herself
pobles of the citty may come forth, craftily assays; and on his constancie,
and serve to set out the terror. A Chofounds an accusation to Herod of a con
rus of angels concluding, and the tumacious affront, on such a day, be
angels relating the event of Lot's jourfore many reers; præpares the king to
ney, and of his wife. some passion, and at last by her daugh
The first Chorus, beginning, may reter's dancing, effects it. There may
Jate the course of the citty ; each erenprologize the spirit of Philip, Herod's
ing every one, with mistresse or Ganybrother. It may also be thought that
med, gitterning along the streets, or soHerod bad well bedew'd bimself with
lạcing on the banks of Jordan, or dose wine, which made him grant the easier
the stream. to his wive's daughter.
At the priests' inviting the angels to Some of his disciples also, as to con
the solemnity, the angels, pittying their gratulate his liberty, may be brought
beauty, may dispute of love, and how it in ; with whom, after certain command
differs from lust; seeking to win them. of his death, many compassionating
In the last scene, to the king and words of his disciples, bewayling his
nobles, when the fierce thunder begins youth cut off in his glorious cours ; he
aloft, the angel appeares all girt with telling them his work is don, and wish
flames, which, he saith, are the flames ing them to follow Christ his mais
of true love, and tells the king, who ter.
falls down with terrour, his just suffering, liv, Sodom, The title, Cupid's funeral pile :
as also Athane's, that is, Gener, Lot's son
# In tbemar.