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Samson. Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to
To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict? Come nearer; part not hence so slight inform'd ; But take good heed my hand survey not thee.
Harapha. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd Hear these dishonours, and not render death? Samson. No man witholds thee, nothing from thy hand
Fear I incurable; bring up thy van,
My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.
Harapha. This insolence other kind of answer fits.
Samson. Go, baffled coward! lest I run upon thee Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast, And with one buffet lay thy structure low, Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides. Harapha. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. [Exit.]
Chorus. His giantship is gone somewhat crest
Stalking with less unconscionable strides,
And lower looks, but in a sultry chase.
Samson. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood, Though Fame divulge him father of five sons, All of gigantick size, Goliah chief.
Chorus. He will directly to the lords, I fear,
And with malicious counsel stir them up
Some way or other yet further to afflict thee.
Samson. He must allege some cause, and offer'd
Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
The work of many hands, which earns my keeping
But come what will, my deadliest foe will
Puts invincible might
To quell the mighty of the earth, the oppressour, The brute and boisterous force of violent men, Hardy and industrious to support
Tyrannick power, but raging to pursue
The righteous and all such as honour truth;
And feats of war defeats,
With plain heroick magnitude of mind
Their armouries and magazines contemns,
With winged expedition,
Swift as the lightning glance he executes
But patience is more oft the exercise
That tyranny or fortune can inflict.
Samson, with might endued
Above the sons of men ; but sight bereav'd
May chance to number thee with those
Whom patience finally must crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest,
Labouring thy mind
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
For I descry this way
Some other tending; in his hand
Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By his habit I discern him now
A publick officer, and now at hand;
Officer. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here I seek.
Our Law forbids at their religious rites
Samson. Have they not sword-players, and every
Of gymnick-artists, wrestlers, riders, runners,
To make them sport with blind activity?
Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels
Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come. Officer. Regard thyself; this will offend them highly.
Samson. Myself? my conscience, and internal
Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
Brooks no delay; is this thy resolution?
Samson. So take it with what speed thy message
Officer. I am sorry what this stoutness will pro
Up to the highth, whether to hold or break: