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These, thus degenerate, by themselves enslav'd?
Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
Know therefore, when my season comes to sit
On David's throne, it shall be like a tree
Spreading and overshadowing all the Earth;
Or as a stone, that shall to pieces dash
All monarchies besides throughout the world;
And of my kingdom there shall be no end :
Means there shall be to this; but what the means,
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell."

To whom the tempter, impudent, replied. "I see all offers made by me how slight Thou valuest, because offer'd, and reject'st: Nothing will please the difficult and nice, Or nothing more than still to contradict: On the other side know also thou, that I On what I offer set as high esteem, Nor what I part with mean to give for nought; All these, which in a moment thou behold'st, The kingdoms of the world, to thee I give, (For, given to me, I give to whom I please,) No trifle; yet with this reserve, not else, On this condition, if thou wilt fall down, And worship me as thy superior lord, (Easily done,) and hold them all of me; For what can less so great a gift deserve?"

Whom thus our Saviour answer'd with disdain. "I never lik'd thy talk, thy offers less; Now both abhor, since thou hast dar'd to utter The abominable terms, impious condition: But I endure the time, till which expir'd Thou hast permission on me. It is written, The first of all commandments, 'Thou shalt worship

| And thou thyself seem'st otherwise inclin'd
Than to a worldly crown; addicted more
To contemplation and profound dispute,
As by that early action may be judg'd, [went'st
When, slipping from thy mother's eye, thou
Alone into the temple, there wast found
Among the gravest rabbies, disputant
On points and questions fitting Moses' chair,
Teaching, not taught. The childhood shows
the man,

As morning shows the day: be famous then
By wisdom; as thy empire must extend,
So let extend thy mind o'er all the world
In knowledge, all things in it comprehend.
All knowledge is not couch'd in Moses' law,
The Pentateuch, or what the prophets wrote;
The Gentiles also know, and write, and teach
To admiration, led by Nature's light,
And with the Gentiles much thoat must converse,
Ruling them by persuasion, as thou mean'st;
Without their learning, how wilt thou with them,
Or they with thee, hold conversation meet?
How wilt thou reason with them, how refute
Their idolisms, traditions, paradoxes?
Errour by his own arms is best evinc'd.
Look once more, ere we leave this specular
mount,
Westward; much nearer by southwest, behold;
Where on the Ægean shore a city stands,
Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil;
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
And eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;
There flowery hill Hymettus, with the sound
Of bees' industrious murmur, oft invites
To stulious musing; there Ilissus rolls
His whispering stream: within the walls, then
The schools of ancient sages; his who bred
Great Alexander to subdue the world,
Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
There shalt thou hear and learn the secret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand; and various-measur'd verse,
Eolian charms and Dorian lyric odes [sung,
And his, who gave them breath, but higher
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer call'd,
Whose poem Phoebus challeng'd for his own:
Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught
In Chorus or Iambic, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life,
High actions and high passions best describing:
Thence to the famous orators repair,
Those ancient, whose resistiess eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democratie,
Shook the arsenal, and fulmin’d over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne:
To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
From Heaven descended to the low-roof'd house
Of Socrates; see there his tenement,
Whom well inspir'd the oracle pronounc'd
Wisest of men; from whose ruth issued forth
Mellifluous streams, that water'd all the schools
Of academics old and new, with those

[view

The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve;'
And dar'st thou to the Son of God propound
To worship thee accurs'd? now more accurs'd
For this attempt, bolder than that on Eve,
And more blasphemous; which expect to rue.
The kingdoms of the world to thee were given?
Permitted rather, and by thee usurp'd ;
Other douation none thou canst produce.
If given, by whom but by the King of kings,
God over all supreme? If given to thee,
By thee how fairly is the giver now
Repaid! But gratitude in thee is lost
Long since. Wert thou so void of fear or shame,
As offer them to me, the Son of God?
To me my own, on such abhorred pact,
That I fall down and worship thee as God?
Get thee behind me; plain thou now appear'st
That Evil-one, Satan for ever damın'd.”

To whom the fiend, with fear abash'd, repli-
"Be not so sore offended, Son of God, [ed.
Though sons of God both angels are and men,
If I, to try whether in higher sort
Than these thou bear'st that title, have propos'd
What both from men and angels I receive,
Tetrarchs of fire, air, flood, and on the Earth,
Nations beside from all the quarter'd winds,
God of this world invok'd, and world beneath:
Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold
To me most fatal, me it most concerns;
The trial hath indamag'd thee no way,
Rather more honour left and more esteem;
Me nought advantag'd, missing what I aim'd.
Therefore let pass, as they are transitory,
The kingdoms of this world; I shall no more
Advise thee; gain them as thou canst, or not.

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Surnam'd Peripatetics, and the sect
Epicurean, and the Stoic severe;
These here revolve, or, as thou lik'st, at home,
Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight;
These rules will render thee a king complete
Within thyself, much more with empire join'd."

To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied. "Think not but that I know these things, think

Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is prais'd aright, and God-like men,
The Holiest of Holies, and his saints,
(Such are from God inspir'd, not such from thee,)
Unless where moral virtue is express'd

scrib'd,

Our Hebrew sons and harps, in Babylon
That pleas'd so well our victor's ear, declare
That rather Greece from us these arts deriv'd;
Ill imitated, while they loudest sing
The vices of their deities, and their own,
In fable, hymn, or song, so personating
Their gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithets, thick laid
As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,
Thin sown with aught of profit or delight,

I know them not; not therefore am I short
Of knowing what I ought: he, who receives
Light from above, from the fountain of light,
No other doctrine needs, though granted true;
But these are false, or little else but dreams,
Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.
The first and wisest of them all profess'd
To know this only, that he nothing knew;
The next to fabling fell, and smooth conceits;
A third sort doubted all things, though plain
Others in virtue plac'd felicity,
[sense;
But virtue join'd with riches and long life;
In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease;
The Stoic last in philosophic pride,
By him call'd virtue; and his virtuous man,
Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing
Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
As fearing God nor man, contemning all
Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life,
Which, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he
For all his tedious talk is but vain boast, [can,
Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
Alas! what can they teach and not mislead,
Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,
And how the world began, and how man fell
Degraded by himself, on grace depending?
Much of the soul they talk, but all awry,
And in themselves seek virtue; and to themselves
All glory arrogate, to God give none;
Rather accuse him under usual names,
Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite
Of mortal things. Who therefore seeks in these
True wisdom, finds her not; or, by delusion,
Par worse, her false resemblance only meets,
An empty cloud. However, many books,
Wise men have said, are wearisome; who reads
Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
(And what he brings what needs he elsewhere
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep vers'd in books, and shallow in himself,
Grade or intoxicate, collecting toys
And trifles for choice matters, worth a sponge ;
As children gathering pebbles on the shore.
Or, if I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem, where so soon
As in our native language, can I find
That solace? All our law and story strew'd
With hymns, our psalms with artful terins in- Our Saviour meek, and with untroubled mind

[seek?)

Her shadowy offspring; unsubstantial both,
Privation mere of light and absent day.

After his aery jaunt, though hurried sore,
Hungry and cold, betook him to his rest,
Wherever, under some concourse of shades,
Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd might
shield

or

By light of Nature, not in all quite lost.
Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those
The top of eloquence; statists indeed,
And lovers of their country, as may seem;
But herein to our prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government,
In their majestic unaffected style,
Than all the oratory of Greece and Rome.
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
These only with our law best form a king."

So spake the Son of God; but Satan, now
Quite at a loss, (for all his darts were spent,)
Thus to our Saviour with stern brow replied.
"Since neither wealth nor honour, arms nor
arts,
Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor aught
By me propos'd in life contemplative
Or active, tended on by glory or fame,
What dost thou in this world? The wilderness
For thee is fittest place; I found thee there,
And thither will return thee; yet remember
What I foretel thee, soon thou shalt have cause
To wish thou never hadst rejected, thus
Nicely or cautiously, my offer'd aid, [ease
Which would have set thee in short time with
On David's throne, or throne of all the world,
Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season
When prophecies of thee are best fulfill'd.
Now contrary, if I read aught in Heaven,
Or Heaven write aught of fate, by what the stars
Voluminous, or single characters,
In their conjunction met, give me to spell,
Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate
Attend thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death;
A kingdom they portend thee,but what kingdom,
Real or allegoric, I discern not

Nor when; eternal sure, as without end,
Without beginning; for no date prefix'd
Directs me in the starry rubric set."

So saying he took, (for still he knew his power
Not yet expir'd,) and to the wilderness
Brought back the Son of God, and left him there,
Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose,
As day-light sunk, and brought in lowering
night,

From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head;
But, shelter'd, slept in vain; for at his head
The tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams
Disturb'd his sleep. And either tropic now
'Gan thunder, and both ends of Heaven; the

clouds,

From many a horrid rift, abortive pour'd
Fierce rain with lightning mix'd, water with fire
In ruin reconcil'd: nor slept the winds
Within their stony caves, but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell
On the vex'd wilderness, whose tallest pines,
Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest oaks,
Bow'd their stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts
Ör torn up sheer. Ill wast thou shrouded then,
O patient Son of God, yet only stood'st
Unshaken! Nor yet staid the terrour there;
Infernal ghosts and hellish furies round
Environ'd thee, some howl'd, some yell'd, some
shriek'd,

Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou
Sat'st unappall'd in calm and sinless peace!
Thus passed the night so foul, till Morning fair
Came forth, with pilgrim steps, in amice gray;
Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar
Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the
winds,

And grisly spectres, which the fiend had rais'd
To tempt the Son of God with terrours dire.
And now the Sun with more effectual beams
Had cheer'd the face of Earth, and dried the wet
From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the
birds,
[green,
Who all things now behold more fresh and
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Clear'd up their choicest notes in bush and spray,
To gratulate the sweet return of morn.
Nor yet, amidst this joy and brightest morn,
Was absent, after all his mischief done,
The prince of darkness; glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came;
Yet with no new device, (they all were spent,)
Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
Desperate of better course, to vent his rage
And mad despite to be so oft repell'd.
Him walking on a sunny hill he found,
Back'd on the north and west by a thick wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,
And in a careless mood thus to him sajd.

"Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God, After a dismal night: I heard the wrack, As earth and sky would mingle; but myself Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them

Not when it must, but when it may be best :
If thou observe not this, be sure to find,
What I foretold thee, many a hard assay
Of dangers, and adversities, and pains,
Ere thou of Israel's sceptre get fast hold;
Whereof this ominous night, that clos'd thee
So many terrours, voices, prodigies, [round,
May warn thee, as a sure fore-going sign."

So talk'd he, while the Son of God went on And staid not, but in brief him answer'd thus: "Me worse than wet thou find'st not; other. harm [none; Those terrours, which thou speak'st of, did me I never fear'd they could, though noising loud And threatening high: what they can do as signs, Betokening, or ill-boding, I contemn

As false portents, not sent from God, but thee;
Who, knowing I shall reign past thy preventing,
Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I, accepting,
At least might seem to hold all power of thee,
Ambitious spirit! and wouldst be thought my
God;

As dangerous to the pillar'd frame of Heaven,
Or to the Earth's dark basis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable
And harmless, if not wholesome, as a sneeze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone;
Yet, as being oft times noxious where they light
On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in the affairs of men,
Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point,
They oft fore-signify and threaten ill :
This tempest at this desert most was bent;
Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'st.
Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
The perfect season offer'd with my aid
To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong
All to the push of fate, pursue thy way
Of gaining David's throne, no man knows when,
For both the when and how is no where told?
Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt;
For angels have proclaim'd it, but concealing
The time and means. Each act is rightliest done

And storm'st refus'd, thinking to terrify
Me to thy will! desist, (thou art discern'd
And toil'st in vain,) nor me in vain molest."
To whom the fiend, now swoln with rage, re-
plied.
"Then hear, O son of David, virgin-born,
For son of God to me is yet in doubt;
Of the Messiah I had heard foretold
By all the prophets; of thy birth at length,
Announc'd by Gabriel, with the first I knew,
And of the angelic song in Bethlehem field,
On thy birth-night that sung thee Saviour born.
From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye
Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,
Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred;
Till at the ford of Jordan, whither all
Flock to the Baptist, 1, among the rest,
(Though not to be baptiz'd,) by voice from
Heaven

Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God belov'd.
Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view
And narrower scrutiny, that I might learn
In what degree or meaning thou art call'd
The Son of God; which bears no single sense.
The Son of God i also am, or was;
And if I was, I am; relation stands ;
All men are sons of God; yet thee I thought
In some respect far higher so declar'd:
Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,
And follow'd thee still on to this waste wild;
Where, by all best conjectures, I collect
Thou art to be my fatal enemy:
Good reason then, if I before-hand seek
To understand my adversary, who
And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent:
By parl or composition, truce or league,
To win him, or win from him what I can:
And opportunity I here have had.

To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found thee.
Proof against all temptation, as a rock
Of adamant, and, as a centre, firm;

To the utmost of mere man both wise and good, Not more; for honours, riches, kingdoms, glory, Have been before contemn'd, and may again. Therefore, to know what more thou art than man, Worth naming Son of God by voice from Heaven, Another method I must know begin."

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So saying he caught him up, and, without wing ( Supplanted Adam, and, by vanquishing
Of hippogrif, bore through the air sublime,
Over the wilderness and o'er the plain,
Till underneath them fair Jerusalem,

Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
And frustrated the conquest fraudulent.
He never more henceforth will dare set foot
In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke:
For, though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
A fairer Paradise is founded now

For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou,
A Saviour, art come down to re-install,
Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall
Of tempter and temptation without fear. [be,
But thou, infernal serpent! shalt not long
Rule in the clouds like an autumnal star,
Or lightning, thou shalt fall from Heaven, trod
down

:

Under his feet for proof, ere this thou feel'st
Thy wound, (yet not thy last and deadliest

wound,)

By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
No triumph in all her gates Abaddon rues
Thy bold attempt. Hereafter learn with awe
To dread the Son of God: he, all unarm❜d,
Shall chase thee, with the terrour of his voice,
From thy demoniac holds, possession foul,
Thee and thy legions: yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,
Lest he command them down into the deep,
Bound, and to torment sent before their time.-—
Hail, Son of the Most High, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan! on thy glorious work
Now enter; and begin to save mankind."

Thus they the Son of God, our Saviour meek,
Sung victor, and, from heavenly feast refresh'd,
Brought on his way with joy; he, unobserv'd,
Home to his mother's house private return'd.

The holy city, lifted high her towers,
And higher yet the glorious temple rear'd
Her pile, far off appearing like a mount
Of alabaster, topt with golden spires:
There, on the highest pinnacle, he set
The Son of God; and added thus in scorn.
"There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand
upright

Will ask thee skill; I to thy Father's house
Have brought thee, and highest plac'd: highest
is best:

.

Now show thy progeny; if not to stand,
Cast thyself down; safely, if Son of God:
For it is written, He will give command
Concerning thee to his angels, in their hands
They shall up lift thee, lest at any time
Thoa chance to dash thy foot against a stone.""
To whom thus Jesus: "Also it is written,
"Tempt not the Lord thy God." He said, and
stood:

But Satan, smitten with amazement fell.
As when Earth's son Antæus, (to compare
Small things with greatest,) in Irassa strove
With Jove's Alcides, and, oft foil'd, still rose,
Receiving from his mother Earth new strength,
Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple join'd,
Throttled at length in the air, expir'd and fell;
So, after many a foil, the tempter proud,
Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride,
Fell whence he stood to see his victor fall:
And as that Theban monster, that propos'd
Her riddle, and him who solv'd it not devour'd,
That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spite
Cast herself headlong from the Ismenian steep;
So, struck with dread and anguish, fell the fiend,
And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought
(Joyless triumphals of his hop'd success,)
Rain, and desperation, and dismay,
Who durst so proudly tempt the Son of God.
So Satan fell; and straight a fiery globe
Of angels on full sail of wing flew nigh,
Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft
From his uneasy station, and upbore,
As on a floating couch, through the blithe air;
Then, in a flowery valley, set him down
On a green bank, and set before him spread
A table of celestial food, divine
Ambrosial fruits, fetch'd from the tree of life,
And, from the fount of life, ambrosial drink,
That soon refresh'd him wearied; and repair'd
What hunger, if aught hunger, had impair'd,
Or thirst; and, as he fed, angelic quires
Sung heavenly anthems of his victory
Over temptation and the tempter proud.

"True image of the Father; whether thron'd
In the bosom of bliss, and light of light
Conceiving, or, remote from Heaven, enshrin'd
In fleshly tabernacle, and human form,
Wandering the wilderness; whatever place,
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with God-like force endued
Against the attempter of thy Father's throne,
And thief of Paradise him long of old
Thou didst debel, and down from Heaven cast
With all his army; now thou basť aveng'd

SAMSON AGONISTES,

A DRAMATIC POEM

ARISTOT. Poet. cap. 6.

Τραγῳδία μίμησις πράξεως σπεδαίας, και το πο

Tragoedia est imitatio actionis seriæ, &c. per misericordiam et meteum perficiens talium affectuum lustrationem.

OF THAT SORT OF DRAMATIC POỂM WHICH 13
CALLED TRAGEDY.

TRAGEDY, as it was anciently composed, hath been ever held the gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other poems: therefore said

Of that sort of dramatic poem, called Tragedy.] Milton, who was inclin'd to Puritanism, had good reason to think, that the publication of his Samson Agonistes would be very offensive to his brethren, who held poetry, and particularly that of the dramatic kind, in the greatest abhorrence. And, upon this account, it is probable, that, in order to excuse himself from having engaged in this proscribed and forbidden species of writing, he thought it expedient to prefix to his play formal defence of tragedy. WARTON,

454

by Aristotle to be of power by raising pity and
fear, or terrour, to purge the mind of those and
such like passions, that is, to temper and reduce
them to just measure with a kind of delight,
stirred up by reading or seeing those passions
well imitated. Nor is Nature wanting in her
own effects to make good his assertion: for so, in
physic, things of melancholic hue and quality
are used against melancholy, sour against sour,
salt to remove salt humours. Hence philosophers
and other gravest writers, as Cicero, Plutarch,
and others, frequently cite out of tragic poets,
both to adorn and illustrate their discourse. The
Apostle Paul himself thought it not unworthy
to insert a verse of Euripides into the text of
Holy Scripture, 1 Cor. xv. 33; and Paræus,
Commenting on the Revelation, divides the whole
book as a tragedy, into acts distinguished each
by a chorus of heavenly harpings and song be-
tween. Heretofore men in highest dignity have
laboured not a little to be thought able to com-
pose a tragedy. Of that honour Dionysius the
elder was no less ambitious, than before of his
attaining to the tyranny. Augustus Cæsar also
had begun his Ajax, but unable to please his
own judgment with what he had begun, left it
unfinished. Seneca, the philosopher, is by some
thought the author of those tragedies (at least the
best of them) that go under that name. Gregory
Nazianzen, a father of the church, thought it
not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to
write a tragedy, which is entitled Christ suffering.
This is mentioned to vindicate tragedy from the
small esteem, or rather infamy, which in the
account of many it undergoes at this day with
other common interludes; happening, through
the poet's errour of intermixing comic stuff with
tragic sadness and gravity; or introducing tri-
vial and vulgar persons, which by all judicious
hath been counted absurd; and brought in with-
out discretion, corruptly to gratify the people.
And though ancient tragedy use no prologue,
yet using sometimes, in case of self-defence, or
explanation, that which Martial calls an epistle;
in behalf of this tragedy coming forth after the
ancient manner, much different from what among
us passes for best, thus much before-hand may
be epistled; that Chorus is here introduced
after the Greek manner, not ancient only but
modern, and still in use among the Italians. In
the modelling therefore of this poem, with good
reason, the ancients and Italians are rather fol-
lowed, as of much more authority and fame.
The measure of verse used in the Chorus is of all
sorts, called by the Greeks Monostrophic, or
rather Apolelymenon, without regard had to
Strophe, Antistrophe, or Epode, which were a
kind of stanzas framed only for the music, then
used with the Chorus that sung; not essential to
the poem, and therefore not material; or, being
divided into stanzas or pauses, they may be called
Allæostropha. Division into act and scene re-
ferring chiefly to the stage (to which this work
never was intended) is here omitted.

It suffices if the whole drama be found not produced beyond the fifth act. Of the style and uniformity, and that commonly called the plot, whether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such economy, or disposition of the

fable as may stand best with versimilitude and decorum; they only will best judge who are not unacquainted with Eschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three tragic poets unequalled yet by any, and the best rule to all who endeavour to write tragedy. The circumscription of time, wherein the whole drama begins and ends, is according to ancient rule, and best example, within the space of twenty-four hours.

THE ARGUMENT.

Samson, made captive, blind, and now in the prison at Gaza, there to labour as in a common workhouse, on a festival day, in the general cessation from labour, comes forth into the open air, to a place nigh, somewhat retired, there to sit a while and bemoan his condition. Where he happens at length to be vi sited by certain friends and equals of his tribe, which makes the Chorus, who seek to comfort him what they cau; then by his old fa ther Manoah, who endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his li berty by ransom; lastly, that this feast was proclaimed by the Philistines as a day of thanksgiving for their deliverance from the hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him. Manoah then departs to prosecute his endeavour with the Philistine lords for Samson's redemption; who in the mean while is visited by other persons; and lastly by a pub lic officer to require his coming to the feast before the lords and people, to play or show his strength in their presence; he at first refuses, dismissing the public officer with absolute denial to come; at length, persuaded inwardly that this was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the second time with great threatenings to fetch him: the Chorus yet remaining on the place, Manoah returns full of joyful hope, to procure ere long his son's deliverance: in the midst of which discourse an Hebrew comes in haste, confusedly at first, and afterward more distinctly, relating the catastrophe, what Samson had done to the Philistines, and by accident to himself; where with the tragedy ends.

THE PERSONS,

SAMSON.

MANOAH, the father of Samson.
DALILA, his wife.
HARAPHA of Gath.
Public Officer.
Messenger.
Chorus of Danites.

The Scene before the Prison in Gaza,

Samson, [Attendant leading him.]
A LITTLE onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on;
For yonder bank hath choice of sun or shade:
There I am wont to sit, when any chance

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