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Who seeing those great acts, which God had done
260 Bound with two cords ; but cords to me were threads Touch'd with the flame : on their whole host I flew Unarm’d, and with a trivial weapon felld
, Their choicest youth ; they only liv'd who fled. Had Judah that day join’d, or one whole tribe, 265 They had by this possess'd the tow'rs of Gath, And lorded over them whom now they serve:
247. Us'd no ambition] Going the top of the rock Etam. Then about with studiousness and af- the Philistines went up, and pitched fectation to gain praise, as Mr. in Judah, &c. Richardson says, alluding to the 254. --forecasting] The same origin of the word in Latin.
word as to cast, to consider, de253. Safe to the rock of Etham vise means, &c. See Par. Lost, was retir'd, &c.] Judg. xv. 8. iii. 634. T. Warton. And he went down, and dwelt in
But what more oft in nations grown corrupt,
268. But what more oft in na- self -potior visa est pericutions grown corrupt, &c.] Here losa libertas, quieto servitio. Mr. Thyer has anticipated me 278. How Succoth and the for! by observing, that Milton is very of Penuel &c.] The men of Sucuniform, as well as just, in his coth and of the tower of Penuel notions of liberty, always attri- refused to give loaves of bread buting the loss of it to vice and to Gideon and his three hundred corruption of morals: but in this
men pursuing after Zebah and passage he very probably in- Zalmunna, kings of Midian. See tended also a secret satire upon Judg. viii. 4-9. the English nation, which ac- 282. And how ingrateful Ecording to his republican politics phraim &c.] Jephtha subdued had; by restoring the King, the children of Ammon; and he chosen bondage with ease rather is said to have defended Israel by than strenuous liberty. And let argument not worse than by arms, me add, that the sentiment is on account of the message which very like that of Æmilius Le he sent unto the king of the chilpidus the consul, in his oration dren of Ammon, Judg. xi. 15– to the Roman people against 27. For his victory over the Sulla, preserved among the frag- Ammonites the Ephraimites enments of Sallust -annuite le- vied and quarrelled with him ; gibus impositis; accipite otium and threatened to burn his house cum servitio ; but for my- with fire: but Jephthah and the
Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
290 Me easily indeed mine may neglect, But God's propos’d deliverance not so.
Yet more there be who doubt his ways not just, 300 As to his own edicts found contradicting, Then give the reins to wand'ring thought,
men of Gilead smote Ephraim, "fool hath said in his heart, and took the passages of Jordan “ There is no God: and who before the Ephraimites, and there “ but a fool would have said slew those of them who could so?” not rightly pronounce the word 299. And no man therein doctor Shibboleth, and there fell at that but himself.] There is something time two and forty thousand of rather too quaint and fanciful in them. See Judg. xii. 1–6. this conceit, and it appears the
298. But the heart of the fool,] worse, as this speech of the Alluding to Psal. xiv. 1. and the Chorus is of so serious a nature, sentiment is not very unlike that and filled with so many deep of a celebrated divine, “ The and solemn truths. Thyer.
Regardless of his glory's diminution ;
As if they would confine th’ Interminable,
He would not else who never wanted means,
Down reason then, at least vain reasonings down,
303. Regardless of his glory's 324. That moral verdict quits diminution ;] This expression is her of unclean:] That is, by the strong as anciently understood. law of nature a Philistian woman Cicero de Orat. ii. 39. Majestatem was not unclean, yet the law of pop.
Rom. minuere is the same as Moses held her to be so. I do crimen læsæ majestatis. Corn. not know why the poet thought Nepos, Ages. 4. religionem minu- fit to make his hero scepticize ere is violare. Richardson. on a point, as irreconcileable to 319. -vow of strictest purity,] reason, which
well Not a vow of celibacy, but of accounted for by the best rules strictest purity from Mosaical of human prudence and policy. and legal uncleanness. War. The institution of Moses was to burton.
keep the Jewish people distinct
Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his.
But see here comes thy reverend Sire
age Came lagging after ; say if he be here.
and separate from the nations. desirous to visit him than his This the lawgiver effected by a father. vast variety of means: one of 340. O miserable change! &c.] which was to hold all other na- This speech of Manoah's is in tions under a legal impurity ; the my opinion very beautiful in its best means of preventing inter- kind. The thoughts are exactly marriages with them. Warburton. such as one may suppose would
336. - while mine cast back occur to the mind of the old with age] This is very artfully man, and are expressed with an and properly introduced, to ac- earnestness and impatience very count for the Chorus coming to well suited to that anguish of Samson before Manoah, for it is mind he must be in at the sight not to be supposed that any of of his son under such miserable his friends should be more con- afflicted circumstances. It is not cerned for his welfare, or more at all unbecoming the pious grave