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Might easily have shook off all her snares:
But foul effeminacy held me yok'd
Her bond-slave; O indignity! O blot
To honour and religion! servile mind
Rewarded well with servile punishment!
The base degree to which I now am fall'n,
These rags, this grinding, is not yet so base
As was my former servitude, ignoble,
Unmanly, ignominious, infamous,

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True slavery, and that blindness worse than this, That saw not how degenerately I serv❜d.

MAN. I cannot praise thy marriage choices, son, Rather approy'd them not; but thou didst plead Divine impulsion prompting how thou might'st Find some occasion to infest our foes.

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I state not that; this I am sure, our foes
Found soon occasion thereby to make thee
Their captive and their triumph; thou the sooner
Temptation found'st, or over-potent charms
To violate the sacred trust of silence
Deposited within thee; which to have kept
Tacit, was in thy power. True; and thou bear'st
Enough and more the burthen of that fault;
Bitterly hast thou paid, and still art paying
That rigid score. A worse thing yet remains,
This day the Philistines a popular feast
Here celebrate in Gaza; and proclaim
Great pomp, and sacrifice, and praises loud
To Dagon, as their god, who hath deliver'd
Thee, Samson, bound and blind into their hands,

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Them out of thine, who slew'st them many a slain.
So Dagon shall be magnified, and God,
Besides whom is no God, compar'd with idols,
Disglorified, blasphem'd, and had in scorn.
By the idolatrous rout amidst their wine;
Which to have come to pass by means of thee,
Samson, of all thy sufferings think the heaviest,
Of all reproach the most with shame that ever
Could have befall'n thee and thy father's house.

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SAMS. Father, I do acknowledge and confess
That I this honour, I this pomp, have brought
To Dagon, and advanc'd his praises high
Among the heathen round; to God have brought
Dishonour, obloquy, and op'd the mouths
Of idolists and atheists; have brought scandal
To Israel, diffidence of God, and doubt
In feeble hearts, propense enough before
To waver, or fall off, and join with idols;
Which is my chief affliction, shame, and sorrow,
The anguish of my soul, that suffers not
Mine eye to harbour sleep, or thoughts to rest.
This only hope relieves me, that the strife
With me hath end; all the contést is now
'Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon hath presum'd,
Me overthrown, to enter lists with God,
His deity comparing and preferring

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Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure,

Will not connive, or linger, thus provok'd,

But will arise, and his great name assert:
Dagon must stoop, and shall ere long receive

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Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him
Of all these boasted trophies won on me,
And with confusion blank his worshippers.
MAN. With cause this hope relieves thee, and
these words

I as a prophecy receive: for God,

Nothing more certain, will not long defer
To vindicate the glory of his name
Against all competition, nor will long
Endure it, doubtful whether God be lord,
Or Dagon. But for thee what shall be done?
Thou must not in the meanwhile here forgot
Lie in this miserable loathsome plight
Neglected. I already have made way

To some Philistian lords, with whom to treat
About thy ransom: well they may by this
Have satisfied their utmost of revenge

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By pains and slaveries, worse than death, inflicted
On thee, who now no more canst do them harm.
SAMS. Spare that proposal, father, spare the
Of that solicitation: let me here,
As I deserve, pay on my punishment,
And expiate, if possible, my crime,
Shameful garrulity. To have reveal'd
Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend,

How heinous had the fact been, how deserving
Contempt and scorn of all, to be excluded

All friendship, and avoided as a blab,

471 blank] Hamlet, act iii. sc. 2.

Each opposite that blanks the face of joy.'

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Todd.

The mark of fool set on his front?

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But I God's counsel have not kept, his holy secret
Presumptuously have publish'd, impiously,
Weakly at least, and shamefully; a sin
That Gentiles in their parables condemn
To their abyss and horrid pains confin'd.
MAN. Be penitent and for thy fault contrite,
But act not in thy own affliction, son;
Repent the sin, but if the punishment
Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids;
Or th' execution leave to high disposal,
And let another hand, not thine, exact
Thy penal forfeit from thyself; perhaps
God will relent, and quit thee all his debt,
Who evermore approves and more accepts,
Best pleas'd with humble and filial submission,
Him who imploring mercy sues for life,
Than who self-rigorous chooses death as due,
Which argues over-just, and self-displeas'd
For self-offence, more than for God offended. 515
Reject not then what offer'd means: who knows
But God hath set before us, to return thee
Home to thy country and his sacred house,
Where thou may'st bring thy off'rings, to avert
His further ire, with prayers and vows renew'd?

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SAMS. His pardon I implore; but as for life, To what end should I seek it? when in strength All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes With youthful courage and magnanimous thoughts Of birth from heav'n foretold, and high exploits,

Full of divine instinct, after some proof
Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond

The sons of Anack, famous now and blaz'd,
Fearless of danger, like a petty God

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I walk'd about, admir'd of all and dreaded,
On hostile ground, none daring my affront.
Then swoll'n with pride into the snare I fell
Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
Soften'd with pleasure and voluptuous life;
At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge 535
Of all my strength in the lascivious lap
Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me,
Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece,
Then turn'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd,
Shav'n, and disarm'd, among mine enemies.

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CHOR. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks, Which many a famous warrior overturns, Thou could'st repress, nor did the dancing ruby Sparkling, out-pour'd, the flavour, or the smell, Or taste that cheers the hearts of gods and men, Allure thee from the cool crystalline stream. SAMS. Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd Against the eastern ray, translucent, pure, With touch etherial of heav'n's fiery rod,

535 lay my head] Spens. F. Q. ii. vi. 14.

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549

545 cheers] Judges ix. 13. 'Wine which cheereth God and man.'

549 touch] Lucr. iv. 409. 'Contingens fervidus igne.' Hor. Od. iii. xiii. 9. • Aura caniculæ nescit tangere.' Sid. Apoll. xxiii. 94. fulminei tactus.'

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