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.
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'er you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in the throne,
To the disgrace and downfall of your house:
And in this resolution here we leave you. —
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.
[Exeunt BUCKINGHAM, the MAYOR and citizens retiring.]
Call them again, sweet prince, accept their suit:
If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Will you enforce me to a world of cares?
Call them again.
[CATESBY goes to the MAYOR, &c., and then exit.]
I am not made of stone,
But penetrable to your kind entreaties,
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
[Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and CATESBY, MAYOR, &c., coming forward.]
Cousin of Buckingham, — and sage grave men,
Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burden, whe'er 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 doth know, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire of this.
God bless your grace! we see it, and will say it.
In saying so, you shall but say the truth.
Then I salute you with this royal title, —
Long live King Richard, England's worthy king!
To-morrow may it please you to be crown'd?
Even when you please, for you will have it so.
To-morrow, then, we will attend your grace:
And so, most joyfully, we take our leave.
[To the BISHOPS.]
Come, let us to our holy work again. —
Farewell, my cousin; — farewell, gentle friends.