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We shall catch them at their sport,
And our sudden coming there
Will double all their mirth and cheer ;
Come, let us haste, the stars grow high,

But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky.
The Scene changes, presenting Ludlow town and the President's

castle; then come in country dancers, after them the ATTENDANT SPIRIT, with the Two Brothers, and the LADY,

SONG.

Spirit. Back, shepherds, back, enough your play,
Till next sunshine holiday;
Here be, without duck or nod,
Other trippings to be trod
Of lighter toes, and such court guise
As Mercury did first devise,
With the mincing Dryades,

On the lawns, and on the leas.
This second Song presents them to their Father anil Mother.

Noble lord, and lady bright,
I have brought ye new delight,
Here behold so goodly grown
Three fair branches of your own ;
Heaven hath timely tried their youth,
Their faith, their patience, and their truth,
And sent them here through hard essays
With a crown of deathless praise,

To triumph in victorious dance
O'er sensual folly and intemperance.

The dances ended, the SPIRIT epiloguises.
Spirit. To the ocean now I fly,
And those happy climes that lie
Where day never shuts his eye,
Up in the broad fields of the sky;
There I suck the liquid air
All amidst the gardens fair
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three
That sing about the golden tree:
Along the crisped shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring,
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Thither all their bounties bring ;
There eternal Summer dwells,
And west-winds, with musky wing,
About the cedarn alleys fling,
Nard and cassia's balmy smells.
Iris there, with humid bow,
Waters the odorous banks, that blow
Flowers of more mingled hue

S

Than her purfled scarf can show;
And drenches with Elysian dew
(List, mortals, if your ears be true)
Beds of hyacinth and roses,
Where young Adonis oft reposes,
Waxing well of his deep wound
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly sits the Assyrian queen;
But far above in spangled sheen
Celestial Cupid, her famed son, advanced,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranced,
After her wandering labours long,
Till free consent the gods among
Make her his eternal bride,
.And from her fair unspotted side
T'wo blissful twins are to be born,
Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn.

But now my task is smoothly done,
I can fly, or I can run,
Quickly to the green earth's end,
Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend,
And from thence can soar as soon
To the corners of the moon.

Mortals, that would follow me,
Love virtue; she alone is free,
She can teach you how to climb
Higher than the sphery chime;
Or, if virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her,

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Τραγωδία μίμησις πράξεως σπουδαίας, &c.

Aristot. Poet. cap. vi.

Tragedia et imitatio actionis seriæ, &c. per misericordiam et metum perficiens

talium affectuum lustrationem.

Scripture,

OF THAT SORT OF DRAMATIC POEM WHICH IS CALLED

TRAGEDY. Tragedy, as it was anciently composed, hath been ever held the gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other poems; therefore said by Aristotle to be of power, by raising pity, and fear or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is,'to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight, stirred up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion, for so in physic things of melancholic hue and quality are used against melancholy, sour against sour, salt to remove salt humours. Hence philosophers and other gravest writers, as Cicero, Plutarch, and others, frequently cite out of tragic poets, both to adorn and illustrate their discourse. The apostle Paul himself thought it not unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the text of Holy

1 Cor. xv. 33, and Paræus, commenting on the Revelation, divides the whole book, as a tragedy, into acts, distinguished each by a chorus of heavenly harpings and song between. Heretofore men in highest dignity have

to compose a tragedy. Of that honour Dionysius the elder was no less ambitious, than before of his attaining to the tyranny, Augustus Cæsar also had begun his Ajax, but unable to please his own judgment with what he had begun, left it unfinished. Seneca, the philosopher, is by some thought the author of those tragedies, at least the best of them, that go under that name. Gregory Nazianzen, a father of the church, thought it not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to write a tragedy, which is entitled, Christ Suffering. This is mentioned to vindicate tragedy

from the small esteem, or rather infámy, which in the account of many it undergoes at this day with other common interludes; happening through the poet's error of intermixing comic stuff with tragic sadness and gravity, or introducing trivial and vulgar persons, which by all judicious hath been counted absurd, and or explanation, that which Martial calls an epistle, in behalf of this tragedy

use no prologue, yet using sometimes, in case of self-defence, passes for best, thus much beforehand may be epistled: that Chorus is here introduced after

the Greek manner, not ancient only but modern, and still in use among the Italians. In the modelling therefore of this poem, with good

ancient tragedy

reason, the ancients and Italians are rather followed, as of much more authority and fame. The measure of verse used in the chorus is of all sorts, called by the Greeks Monostrophic, or rather Apolelymenon, without regard had to Strophe, Antistrophe, or Epode, which were a kind of stanzas framed only for the music, then used with the chorus that sung ; not essential to the poem, and therefore not material ; or being divided into stanzas or pauses, they may be called Allæostropha. Division into act and scene referring chiefly to the stage, to which this work never was intended, is here omitted.

It suffices if the whole drama be found not produced beyond the fifth act; of the style and uniformity, and that commonly called the plot, whether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such economy, or disposition of the fable as may stand best with verisimilitude and decorum, they only will best judge who are not unacquainted with Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three tragic poets, unequalled yet by any, and the best rule to all who endeavour to write tragedy. The circumscription of time, wherein the whole drama begins and ends is, according to ancient rule and best example, within the space of twenty-four hours.

THE ARGUMENT. Samson made captive, blind, and now in the prison at Gaza, there to labour as is

a common workhouse, on a festival-day, in the general cessation from labour, comes forth into the open air, to a place nigh, somewhat retired, there to sit a while and bemoan his condition

: where he happens at length to be visited by certain friends and equals of his tribe, which make the Chorus, who seek to comfort him what they can ; then by his old father Manoah, who endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his liberty by ransom ; and, lastly, that this feast was proclaimed by the Philistines as a day of thanksgiving for their deliverance from the hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him. Manoah then departs to prosecute his endeavour with the Philistine lords for Samson's redemption ; who in the meanwhile is visited by other persons ; and, lastly, by a public officer to require his coming to the feast before the lords and people, to play or show his strength in their presence.

He at first refuses, dismissing the public officer with absolute denial to come; at length, persuaded inwardly that this was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the second time with great threatenings

to fetch him. The Chorus yet remaining on the place, Manoah returns full of joyful hope, to procure ere long his son's deliverance: in the midst of which discourse an Hebrew comes in haste, confusedly at first, and afterward more distinctly, relating the catastrophe, what Samson had done to the Philistines, and by accident to himself; wherewith the tragedy ends.

THE PERSONS.
SAMSON.
MANOAH, the father of Samson.
Dalila, his wife.
HARAPHA, of Gath.
Public Officer
Messenger.

Chorus of Danites.
The Scene, before the Prison in Gaza.

Samson. A LITTLE onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little farther on ;
For yonder bank hath choice of sun or shade :
There I am wont to sit, when any chance

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Relieves me from my task of servile toil,
Daily in the common prison else enjoin'd me,
Where I, a prisoner chain'd, scarce freely draw
The air, imprison'd also, close and damp,
Unwholesome draught : but here I feel amends,
The breath of heaven fresh blowing, pure and sweet,
With day-spring born ; here leave me to respire.
This day a solemn feast the people hold
To Dagon, their sea-idol, and forbid
Laborious works; unwillingly this rest
Their superstition yields me ; hence, with leave
Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
This unfrequented place to find some ease,
Ease to the body some, none to the mind
From restless thoughts, that, like a deadly swarm
Of hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging, and present
Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
Oh, wherefore was my birth from heaven foretold
Twice by an angel, who at last, in sight
Of both my parents, all in flames ascended
From off the altar, where an offering burn'd,
As in a fiery column charioting
His godlike presence, and from some great act
Or benefit reveal'd to Abraham's race?
Why was my breeding order'd and prescribed
As of a person separate to God,
Design'd for great exploits, if I must die
Betray'd, captived, and both my eyes put out,
Made of my enemies the scorn and gaze,
To grind in brazen fetters under task
With this heaven-gifted strength ? O glorious strength,
Put to the labour of a beast, debased
Lower than bondslave! Promise was, that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver ;
Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him
Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves,
Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke.
Yet stay, let me not rashly call in doubt
Divine prediction ; what! if all foretold
Had been fulfill'd but through mine own default,
Whom have I to complain of but myself?
Who this high gift of strength committed to me,
In what part lodged, how easily bereft me,
Under the seal of silence could not keep,
But weakly to a woman must reveal it,
O'ercome with importunity and tears.
O impotence of mind, in body strong!
But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom? vast, unwieldy, burthensome,
Proudly secure, yet liable to fall
By weakest subtleties, not made to rule,

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