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Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines.
SAMSON. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts ; My trust is in the living God, who gave me At my nativity this strength diffus'd No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn, The pledge of my unviolated vow. For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy God, Go to his temple, invocate his aid With solemnest devotion, spread before him How highly it concerns his glory now To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells, Which I to be the power of Israel's God Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test, Offering to combat thee his champion bold, With th' utmost of his Godhead seconded : Then thou shalt see, or rather to thy sorrow Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. 1155
HARAPHA. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be, Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off Quite from his people, and deliver'd up Into thy enemies’ hand, permitted them To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee 1160 Into the common prison, there to grind Among the slaves and asses, thy comrades, As good for nothing else, no better service
1138. -or ruffled porcupines.] Who can doubt that Milton here had Shakespeare in mind ? Hamlet, act i. sc. 8.
And each particular hair to stand on
end, Like quills upon the fretful porcu
With those thy boist'rous locks, no worthy match
1165 . Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, But by the barber's razor best subdued.
SAMSON. All these indignities, for such they are From thine, these evils I deserve and more, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me 1170 Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon Whose ear is ever open, and his eye Gracious to re-admit the suppliant; In confidence whereof I once again Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,
1175 By combat to decide whose God is God, Thine or whom I with Israel's sons adore.
1162. - thy comrades,] With the accent upon the last syllable, as in 1 Henry IV. act iv. sc. 2. And his comrades, that daft the
And bid it pass.
1181.Tongue-doughty] Doughty, that is, valiant. See Skinner. Ogace TUOTOJOS. Æschylus, Septem contra Thebas, 617. Richardson.
At Ascalon, who never did thee harm,
meaning politician lords,
Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, Appointed to await me thirty spies, Who threat’ning cruel death constrain’d the bride To wring from me and tell to them my secret, That solv'd the riddle which I had propos’d. When I perceiv'd all set on enmity, As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd, I us'd hostility, and took their spoil To pay my underminers in their coin. My nation was subjected to your lords. . It was the force of conquest ; force with force Is well ejected when the conquer'd can. But I a private person, whom my country As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum’d Single rebellion, and did hostile acts. I was no private but a person rais'd With strength sufficient and command from heaven To free my country ; if their servile minds Me their deliverer sent would not receive, But to their masters gave me up for nought, Th’ unworthier they ; whence to this day they serve.
I was to do my part from heav'n assign'd,
1225 To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
1235 HARAPHA. This insolence other kind of answer fits.
1231. O Baal-zebub!] He is thrice] This was the custom and properly made to invoke Baalthe law of arms to give the chal- zebub, as afterwards to swear by lenge and to sound the trumpet Astaroth, that is, the deities of thrice. In allusion to the same the Philistines and neighbouring practice Edgar appears to fight nations, of whom we have said with the Bastard by the third something in the notes on the sound of the trumpet, Lear, act v. Paradise Lost, and the learned SC. 7.
reader may see more in Selden.
further to afflict thee.
1248. Though fame divulge him very well known: and the other &c.] So it plainly should be as four are mentioned 2 Sam, xxi. Milton himself corrected it, and 15-22. These four were born to not divulged as it is in all the edi- the giunt or to Harapha in Gath, tions. Father of five sons &c. and fell by the hand of David, The story of Goliath of Gath is and by the hand of his servants.