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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 nation arm'd the strength contain❜d: And I persuade me God hath not permitted 1495 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.
MAN. I know your friendly minds, and-O
Mercy of heav'n, what hideous noise was that? Horribly loud, unlike the former shout.
CHOR. Noise call you it or universal As if the whole inhabitation perish'd!
1494 contain❜d] Ovid. Met. viii. 8.
• Crinis inhærebat magni fiducia regni.'
1568 O what noise] Christ. Patiens, p. 16. ed. Rom.
'Α ἆ πολυστόνων ἄϊον ἰαχαν γόων,
Φωνὴν ἔκλυον, ἔκλυον βοὰς 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?
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?
And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? 1530
MAN. He can, I know, but doubt to think he
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,
An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe.
Which erst my eyes beheld, and yet behold?
MESS. It would burst forth, but I recover breath And sense distract, to know well what I utter
MAN. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer. MESS. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall'n. [fall'n, MAN. Sad; but thou know'st to Israelites not The desolation of a hostile city. [saddest
MESS. Feed on that first, there may in grief be MAN. Relate by whom.
MESS. By Samson.
1554 needs] Needs' is a neuter verb. See P. L. x. 80, and note. Newton.
1562 Feed] Two Gent. of Verona, act iii. sc. 1. I have fed upon this woe already,
And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
MAN. That still lessens
and converts it nigh to joy.
MESS. Ah! Manoa, I refrain too suddenly 1565 To utter what will come at last too soon; Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep. MAN. Suspense in news is torture, speak them [dead. MESS. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is MAN. The worst indeed. O! all my hopes
To free him hence! but death, who sets all free,
MESS. Unwounded of his enemies he fell.
MAN. Wearied with slaughter then, or how? ex-
MAW. Self-violence? what cause
Brought him so soon at variance with himself
1581 death's wound] Æn. xii. 322.
Pressa est insignis gloria facti,
Nec sese Æneæ jactavit vulnere quisquam.'
Among his foes?
MESS. Inevitable cause
At once both to destroy and be destroy'd ;
MAN. O lastly over-strong against thyself! 1590
MESS. Occasions drew me early to this city, And as the gates I enter'd with sun-rise, The morning trumpets festival proclaim'd Through each high-street. Little I had dispatch'd When all abroad was rumour'd, that this day 1600 Samson should be brought forth to show the people Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games; I sorrow'd at his captive state, but minded Not to be absent at that spectacle. The building was a spacious theatre, Half-round, on two main pillars vaulted high, With seats, where all the lords and each degree Of sort might sit in order to behold;
The other side was open, where the throng
The feast and noon grew high, and sacrifice