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Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly government of this your land:
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or lowly factor for another's gain:
But as successively, from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery’, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.
Glo. I cannot tell, if to depart in silence,
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof,
Best fitteth my degree, or your condition :
If, not to answer,
-you might haply think,
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;
If to reprove you for this suit of yours,
So season'd with your faithful love to me,
Then, on the other side, I check'd my
Therefore, - to speak, and to avoid the first;
And, then in speaking, not to incur the last,
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert
Unmeritable, shuns your high request.
First, if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown,
As the ripe revenue and due of birth;
Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty, and so many, my defects,
That I would rather hide me from my greatness,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
But, Heaven be thank'd, there is no need of me';
(And much I need to help you, if need were ;)
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay what you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars,
Which, God defend, that I should wring from him !
Buck. My lord, this argues conscience in your
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
say, that Edward is your brother's son ;
So say we too, but not by Edward's wife :
For first he was contract to Lady Lucy,
Your mother lives a witness to his vow ;
And afterwards by substitute betroth'd
To Bona, sister to the king of France.
These both put by, a poor petitioner,
A care-craz'd mother to a many sons,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye,
Seduc'd the pitch and height of all his thoughts
To base declension and loath'd bigamy:
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners call the prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue,
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer'd benefit of dignity :
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth
noble ancestry From the corruption of abusing time, Unto a lineal true-derived course.
May. Do, good my lord; your citizens entreat you.
Buck, Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love.
Cate. O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit.
Glo. Alas, why would you heap those cares on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty :-
I do beseech you, take it not amiss ;
I cannot, nor I will not, yield to you.
Buck. If you refuse it, - as in love and zeal,
Loath to depose the child, your brother's son;
As well we know your tenderness of heart,
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse',
Which we have noted in you to your kindred,
And equally, indeed; to all estates, —
Yet know, whe'r you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in your throne,
To the disgrace and downfal of your house.
And, in this resolution, here we leave you;
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.
[Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Citizens. Cate. Call them again, sweet prince, accept their
If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Ĝlo. Will you enforce me to a world of cares ? Well, call them again; I am not made of stone, But penetrable to your kind entreaties,
[Exit CATESBY. Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and the rest.
Cousin of Buckingham, -and sage, grave men,
will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burden, whe'r I will, or no,
I must have patience to endure the load:
But if black scandal, or foul-fac'd reproach,
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For heaven best knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire of this.
May. God bless your grace! we see it, and will
Glo. In saying so, you shall but say the truth.
Buck. Then I salute you with this royal title,
Long live king. Richard, England's worthy king !
Buck. To-morrow mayit please you to be crown'd?
Glo. Even when you please, since you will have
Buck. To-morrow then we will attend your grace;
And so, most joyfully, we take our leave.
Glo. Come, let us to our holy work again :-
[To the Bishops. Farewell, good cousin ;-farewell, gentle friends.
Enter on one side, Queen ELIZABETH, Duchess of
York, and Marquis of DORSET ; on the other, Anne, Duchess of Gloster, leading Lady MAR
PLANTAGENET, CLARENCE's young Daughter.
Duch. Who meets us here - my niece Plantagenet Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster ? Now, for my life, she's wand'ring to the Tower, On pure heart's love, to greet the 'tender prince.Daughter, well met.
Anne. Heaven give your graces
both A happy and a joyful time of day! Q. Eliz. As much to you, good sister ! Whither
away? Anne. No further than the Tower; and, as I guess, Upon the like devotion as yourselves, To gratulate the gentle princes there. Q. Eliz. Kind sister, thanks ; we'll enter all to
And, in good time, here the lieutenant comes. -
Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
How doth the prince, and my young son of York?
Brak. Right well, dear madam : By your patience,
I may not suffer you to visit them;
The king hath strictly charg'd the contrary.
Q. Eliz. The king! who's that ?
I mean, the lord protector.
Q. Eliz. The Lord protect him from that kingly
title! Hath he set bounds between their love, and me? I am their mother, who shall bar me from them?
Duch. I am their father's mother, I will see them. Anne. Their aunt I am in law, in love their
mother : Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame, And take thy office from thee, on thy peril.
Brak. No, madam, no, I may not leave it so ; I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
Stan. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour hence, And I'll salute your grace of York as mother, And reverend looker-on of two fair queens. –