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MANOAH. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not saddest 1560 The desolation of a hostile city.
That still lessens
MANOAH. The worst indeed, O all my hope's defeated To free him hence! but death who sets all free Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge. What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves 1575 Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring
1576. Abortive as the first-born justness and propriety. One canbloom of spring &c.] As Mr. not possibly imagine, a more Thyer says, this similitude is to
exact and perfect image of the be admired for its remarkable dawning hope which Manoah
Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost!
Self-violence? what cause Brought him so soon at variance with himself
1585 Among his foes?
had conceived from the favour- And when he thinks, good easy man, able answer he had met with
full surely from some of the Philistian lords,
His greatness is a ripening, nips his
root; and of its being so suddenly ex- And then he falls, as I do. tinguished by this return of ill fortune, than that of the early Upon which Mr. Warburton rebloom,' which the warmth of a
marks, that as spring-frosts are few fine days frequently pushes not injurious to the roots of fruitforward in the spring, and then trees, he should imagine the poet it is cut off by an unexpected wrote shoot, that is, the tender
shoot' on which are the young return of winterly weather. As Mr. Warburton observes, this leaves and blossoms. The com, beautiful passage seems to be parison, as well as expression of taken from Shakespeare, Henry nips, is juster too in this reading. VIII. act iii. sc. 6.
Shakespeare has the same thought
in Love's Labour Lost. This is the state of man; to-day he puts forth
Byron is like an envious sneaping The tender leaves of hopes, to mor
frost row blossoms,
That bites the first-born infants of And bears his blushing honours thick
the spring. upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing
See Warburton's Shakespeare, 'vol. v. p. 413.
At once both to destroy and be destroy'd ;
1596. Occasions drew me early God who had given him such a &c.] As I observed before, that measure of strength, and was Milton had with great art excited summing up all his force and the reader's attention to this resolution, has a very fine effect grand 'event, so here he is no upon the imagination. Milton less careful to gratify it by the is no less happy in the sublimity relation. It is circumstantial, of his description of this grand the importance of it required, exploit, than judicious in the but not so as to be tedious or too choice of the circumstances prelong to delay our expectation. ceding it. The poetry rises as It would be found difficult, I the subject becomes more inbelieve, to retrench one article teresting, and one may without without making it defective, or rant or extravagance say, that to add one which should not ap- the poet seems to exert no less pear redundant. The picture of force of genius in describing Samson in particular with head than Samson does strength of inclined and eyes fired, as if he body in executing. Thyer. was addressing himself to that
Not to be absent at that spectacle.
1604. -absent at that spectacle] history, mentions two theatres The language would be more built by one C. Curio, who lived correct, if it was absent from that in Julius Cæsar's time ; each of spectacle.
which was supported only by 1605. The building was a spa- one pillar, or pin, or hinge, cious theatre
though very many thousands of Half-round on two main pillars people did sit in it together. See
vaulted high, &c.] Poole's Annotations. Mr. Thyer Milton has finely accounted for further adds, that Dr. Shaw in this dreadful catastrophe, and his travels observing upon the has with great judgment obviated' eastern method of building says, the common objection. It is that the place where they exhibit commonly asked, how so great their diversions at this day is an a building, containing so many advanced cloister, made in the thousands of people, could rest fashion of a large penthouse, upon two pillars 'so near placed supported only by one or two together: and to this it is an- contiguous pillars in the front, swered, that instances are not or else at the centre, and that wanting of far more large and upon a supposition therefore that capacious buildings than this, in the house of Dagon, there was that have been supported only a cloistered structure of this by one pillar. Particularly, Pli- kind, the pulling down the front ny in the fifteenth chapter of the or centre pillars only which supthirty-sixth book of his natural ported it, would be attended with
Archers, and slingers, cataphracts and spears.
' At sight of him the people with a shout
1620 Rifted the air, clamouring their God with praise, Who' had made their dreadful enemy their thrall. He patient but undaunted where they led him, Came to the place, and what was set before him, Which without help of eye might be assay'd, 1625 To heave, pull, draw, or break, he still perform’d All with incredible, stupendous force, None daring to appear antagonist. At length for intermission sake they led him Between the pillars ; he his guide requested 1630 (For so from such as nearer stood we heard) As over-tir'd to let him lean a while With both his arms on those two massy pillars, That to the arched roof
1645 This utter'd, straining all his nerves he bow'd,
the like catastrophe that hap- 1619. --cataphracts) Men or pened to the Philistines. See horses completely armed, from Shaw's travels, p. 983.
καταφρασσω armis munio.