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And, see, a book of prayer in his hand;
True ornaments to know a holy man.'-
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ear to our requests;
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion, and right-christian zeal.
Glo. My lord, there needs no such apology;
I rather do beseech you pardon me,
Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Neglect the visitation of my friends.
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure?
Buck. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
Glo. I do suspect, I have done some offence,
That seems disgracious in the city's eye;
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
Buck. You have, my lord; Would it might please
On our entreaties to amend your fault!
Glo. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land? Buck. Know, then, it is your fault, that you resign The supreme seat, the throne majestical, The scepter'd office of your ancestors, Your state of fortune, and your due of birth, The lineal glory of your royal house, To the corruption of a blemish'd stock: Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts, (Which here we waken to our country's good,) The noble isle doth want her proper limbs; Her face defac'd with scars of infamy, Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants, And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion. Which to recure, we heartily solicit Your gracious self to take on you the charge
True ornaments to know a holy man by.
'Immersed up to the shoulders.
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 friends.
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, God 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 grace, But the respects thereof are nice' and trivial, All circumstances well considered.
You say, that Edward is your
So say we too, but not by Edward's wife:
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 your 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,3
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.
Of petty import.
By "some alive" are meant the duchess of York, the mother of Edward IV. and Richard III. 3 Tender pity.
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. [suit;
Glo. 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,-
Since you 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 God he 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 say Glo. In saying so, you shall but say the truth. [it. Buck. Then I salute you with this royal title,Long live king Richard, England's worthy king!
Buck. To-morrow may it please you to be crown'd? Glo. Even when you please, since you will have it so.
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.
SCENE I.—Before the Tower.
Enter, on one side, Queen ELIZABETH, Duchess of
YORK, and Marquess of DORSET; on the other,
ANNE, Duchess of GLOSTER, leading Lady MAR-
GARET 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.
God 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 together.
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,
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
I am their mother, who shall bar me from them?
Hath he set bounds between their love, and me?