Buck. My Lord, this argues Conscience in your Grace, But the respects thereof are nice, and triuiall, All circumstances well considered. You say, that Edward is your Brothers Sonne, So say we too, but not by Edwards Wife: For first was he contract to Lady Lucie, Your Mother liues a Witnesse to his Vow; And afterward by substitute betroth'd To Bona, Sister to the King of France. These both put off, a poore Petitioner, A Care-cras'd Mother to a many Sonnes, A Beautie-waining, and distressed Widow, Euen in the after-noone of her best dayes, Made prize and purchase of his wanton Eye, Seduc'd the pitch, and height of his degree, To base declension, and loath'd Bigamie. By her, in his vnlawfull Bed, he got This Edward, whom our Manners call the Prince. More bitterly could I expostulate, Saue that for reuerence to some aliue, I giue a sparing limit to my Tongue. Then good, my Lord, take to your Royall selfe This proffer'd benefit of Dignitie: If not to blesse vs and the Land withall, Yet to draw forth your Noble Ancestrie From the corruption of abusing times, Vnto a Lineall true deriued course

Maior. Do good my Lord, your Citizens entreat you

Buck. Refuse not, mightie Lord, this proffer'd loue

Catesb. O make them ioyfull, grant their lawfull suit

Rich. Alas, why would you heape this Care on me? I am vnfit for State, and Maiestie: I doe beseech you take it not amisse, I cannot, nor I will not yeeld to you

Buck. If you refuse it, as in loue and zeale, Loth to depose the Child, your Brothers Sonne, As well we know your tendernesse of heart, And gentle, kinde, effeminate remorse, Which we haue noted in you to your Kindred, And egally indeede to all Estates: Yet know, where you accept our suit, or no, Your Brothers Sonne shall neuer reigne our King, But we will plant some other in the Throne, To the disgrace and downe-fall of your House: And in this resolution here we leaue you. Come Citizens, we will entreat no more.


Catesb. Call him againe, sweet Prince, accept their suit: If you denie them, all the Land will rue it

Rich. Will you enforce me to a world of Cares. Call them againe, I am not made of Stones, But penetrable to your kinde entreaties, Albeit against my Conscience and my Soule. Enter Buckingham, and the rest.

Cousin of Buckingham, and sage graue men, Since you will buckle fortune on my back, To beare her burthen, where I will or no. I must haue patience to endure the Load: But if black Scandall, or foule-fac'd Reproach, Attend the sequell of your Imposition, Your meere enforcement shall acquittance me From all the impure blots and staynes thereof; For God doth know, and you may partly see, How farre I am from the desire of this

Maior. God blesse your Grace, wee see it, and will say it

Rich. In saying so, you shall but say the truth

Buck. Then I salute you with this Royall Title, Long liue King Richard, Englands worthie King

All. Amen

Buck. To morrow may it please you to be Crown'd

Rich. Euen when you please, for you will haue it so

Buck. To morrow then we will attend your Grace, And so most ioyfully we take our leaue

Rich. Come, let vs to our holy Worke againe. Farewell my Cousins, farewell gentle friends.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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