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That mingle with thy fancy. I however
Must not omit a father's timely care

To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
By ransom or how else: meanwhile be calm, 604
And healing words from these thy friends admit.
SAMS. O that torment should not be confin'd
To the body's wounds and sores,

With maladies innumerable

In heart, head, breast, and reins;
But must secret passage find

To th' inmost mind,

There exercise all his fierce accidents,
And on her purest spirits prey,

As on entrails, joints, and limbs,

With answerable pains, but more intense,
Though void of corporal sense.

My griefs not only pain me

As a ling'ring disease,

But, finding no redress, ferment and rage,
Nor less than wounds immedicable

Rankle, and fester, and gangrene,

To black mortification.





Thoughts my tormentors, arm'd with deadly
Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise

Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb,
Or medicinal liquor can assuage,


605 healing] Eurip. Hippol. v. 478.

Εἰσὶν δ' ἐπὼδαι, καὶ λόγοι θελκτήριοι.


627 Medicinal] Milton always spells this word 'Medcinal.'

Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.
Sleep hath forsook and given me o'er

To death's benumbing opium as my only cure: 630 Thence faintings, swoonings of despair,

And sense of heav'n's desertion.

I was his nursling once, and choice delight,

His destin'd from the womb,

Promis'd by heavenly message twice descending:
Under his special eye

Abstemious I grew up, and thriv'd amain
He led me on to mightiest deeds,


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Above the nerve of mortal arm,
Against the uncircumcised, our enemies:
But now hath cast me off as never known,
And to those cruel enemies,

Whom I by his appointment had provok'd,
Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss
Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
The subject of their cruelty and scorn.
Nor am I in the list of them that hope;
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;
This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
No long petition, speedy death,

The close of all my miseries, and the balm.
CHOR. Many are the sayings of the wise,
In ancient and in modern books enroll'd,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude;
And to the bearing well of all calamities,
All chances incident to man's frail life,
Consolatories writ





With studied argument, and much persuasion Lenient of grief and anxious thought: [sought, But with th' afflicted in his pangs their sound Little prevails, or rather seems a tune


Harsh and of dissonant mood from his complaint; Unless he feel within

Some source of consolation from above,

Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
And fainting spirits uphold.

God of our fathers, what is man!

That thou towards him with hand so various,
Or might I say contrarious,



Temper❜st thy providence through his short course, Not ev'nly, as thou rul'st

Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute,
Irrational and brute.

Nor do I name of men the common rout,
That wand'ring loose about

Grow up and perish, as the summer fly,
Heads without name no more remember'd,
But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
To some great work, thy glory,

And people's safety, which in part they effect:
Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft

669 contrarious] Chaucer, Leg. of Dido, 435.
'Sens that the goddess ben contrarious to me.'




676 summer fly] Hen. VI. P. iii. act ii. sc. vi.
'The common people swarm like summer flies.'


Amidst their height of noon,

Changest thy countenance, and thy hand with no regard

Of highest favours past

From thee on them, or them to thee of service. Nor only dost degrade them, or remit


To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission, But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them


Unseemly falls in human eye,

Too grievous for the trespass or omission ;
Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword



Of heathen and profane, their carcasses
To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captív'd;
Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times,
And condemnation of the ingrateful multitude.
If these they scape, perhaps in poverty

With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down,
Painful diseases and deform'd,

In crude old age:

Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff'ring
The punishment of dissolute days: in fine,
Just or unjust, alike seem miserable,

For oft alike both come to evil end.


So deal not with this once thy glorious champion, The image of thy strength, and mighty minister. What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already?

694 dogs] Hom. II. i. 4. Newton.

700 crude] Premature, coming before its time, as 'Cruda funera in Statius. Jortin.

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Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end.

But who is this? what thing of sea or land? 710 Female of sex it seems,

That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,

Comes this way sailing

Like a stately ship

Of Tarsus, bound for th' isles

Of Javan or Gadire,

With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,

710 who is this]

'Sed hic quis est, quem huc advenientem conspicor, Suam qui undantem chlamydem quassando facit?' Plauti Epid. act. iii. sc. 3.


714 a stately ship] This passage may be well illustrated by a quotation from a Sermon called Wilkinson's 'Merchant Royall,' preached at the nuptials of the Lord Hay, in 1607 4to. The text is from Proverbs, xxxi. 14. She is like a Merchants shippe, she bringeth her foode from afarre! "But of all qualities, a woman must not have one quality of a ship, and that is, too much rigging. Oh! what a wonder it is to see a ship under saile, with her tacklings and her masts, and her tops, and her top-gallants, with her upper deckes, and her nether deckes, and so bedeckt with her streamers, flags, and ensignes, and I know not what; yea, but a world of wonders it is to see a woman created in God's image, so miscreate oft times and deformed with her French, her Spanish, and her foolish fashions, that he that made her, when hee lookes upon her, shall hardlie know her, with her plumes, her fannes, and a silken vizard, with a ruffe like a saile, yea, a ruffe like a rainebow, with a feather in her cap, like a flag in her top, to tell, I think, which way the winde will blowe." p. 15.

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