Act III, Scene 7
- Enter Richard of Gloucester and Buckingham at
- several doors.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester1
- How now, how now, what say the citizens?
Duke of Buckingham2 - 3
- Now, by the holy Mother of our Lord,
- The citizens are mum, say not a word.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester4
- Touch’d you the bastardy of Edward’s children?
Duke of Buckingham5 - 22
- I did, with his contract with Lady Lucy,
- And his contract by deputy in France,
- Th’ unsatiate greediness of his desire,
- And his enforcement of the city wives,
- His tyranny for trifles, his own bastardy,
- As being got, your father then in France,
- And his resemblance, being not like the Duke.
- Withal I did infer your lineaments,
- Being the right idea of your father,
- Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
- Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
- Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
- Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
- Indeed, left nothing fitting for your purpose
- Untouch’d or slightly handled in discourse.
- And when mine oratory drew to an end,
- I bid them that did love their country’s good
- Cry, “God save Richard, England’s royal king!”
Richard, Duke of Gloucester23
- And did they so?
Duke of Buckingham24 - 41
- No, so God help me, they spake not a word,
- But like dumb statues, or breathing stones,
- Star’d each on other, and look’d deadly pale;
- Which when I saw, I reprehended them,
- And ask’d the Mayor what meant this willful silence.
- His answer was, the people were not used
- To be spoke to but by the Recorder.
- Then he was urg’d to tell my tale again:
- “Thus saith the Duke, thus hath the Duke inferr’d”—
- But nothing spake in warrant from himself.
- When he had done, some followers of mine own,
- At lower end of the hall, hurl’d up their caps,
- And some ten voices cried, “God save King Richard!”
- And thus I took the vantage of those few:
- “Thanks, gentle citizens and friends,” quoth I,
- “This general applause and cheerful shout
- Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard”—
- And even here brake off, and came away.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester42
- What tongueless blocks were they! Would they not speak?
Duke of Buckingham43
- No, by my troth, my lord.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester44
- Will not the Mayor then and his brethren come?
Duke of Buckingham45 - 51
- The Mayor is here at hand. Intend some fear,
- Be not you spoke with but by mighty suit;
- And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,
- And stand between two churchmen, good my lord—
- For on that ground I’ll make a holy descant—
- And be not easily won to our requests:
- Play the maid’s part, still answer nay, and take it.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester52 - 54
- I go; and if you plead as well for them
- As I can say nay to thee for myself,
- No doubt we bring it to a happy issue.
Duke of Buckingham55 - 58
- Go, go up to the leads, the Lord Mayor knocks.
- Exit Gloucester.
- Enter the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens.
- Welcome, my lord! I dance attendance here;
- I think the Duke will not be spoke withal.
- Enter Catesby.
- Now, Catesby, what says your lord to my request?
Catesby59 - 64
- He doth entreat your Grace, my noble lord,
- To visit him tomorrow or next day.
- He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
- Divinely bent to meditation,
- And in no worldly suits would he be mov’d,
- To draw him from his holy exercise.
Duke of Buckingham65 - 69
- Return, good Catesby, to the gracious Duke,
- Tell him, myself, the Mayor and Aldermen,
- In deep designs, in matter of great moment,
- No less importing than our general good,
- Are come to have some conference with his Grace.
- I’ll signify so much unto him straight.
Duke of Buckingham71 - 80
- Ah ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward!
- He is not lulling on a lewd love-bed,
- But on his knees at meditation;
- Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
- But meditating with two deep divines;
- Not sleeping, to engross his idle body,
- But praying, to enrich his watchful soul.
- Happy were England, would this virtuous prince
- Take on his Grace the sovereignty thereof,
- But sure I fear we shall not win him to it.
- Marry, God defend his Grace should say us nay!
Duke of Buckingham82 - 83
- I fear he will. Here Catesby comes again.
- Enter Catesby.
- Now, Catesby, what says his Grace?
Catesby84 - 88
- My lord,
- He wonders to what end you have assembled
- Such troops of citizens to come to him,
- His Grace not being warn’d thereof before:
- He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him.
Duke of Buckingham89 - 95
- Sorry I am my noble cousin should
- Suspect me that I mean no good to him.
- By heaven, we come to him in perfit love,
- And so once more return and tell his Grace.
- Exit Catesby.
- When holy and devout religious men
- Are at their beads, ’tis much to draw them thence,
- So sweet is zealous contemplation.
- Enter Richard of Gloucester aloft, between two
- Bishops. Catesby returns.
- See where his Grace stands, ’tween two clergymen!
Duke of Buckingham97 - 104
- Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
- To stay him from the fall of vanity;
- And see, a book of prayer in his hand—
- True ornaments to know a holy man.
- Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
- Lend favorable ear to our requests,
- And pardon us the interruption
- Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester105 - 109
- My lord, there needs no such apology.
- I do beseech your Grace to pardon me,
- Who, earnest in the service of my God,
- Deferr’d the visitation of my friends.
- But leaving this, what is your Grace’s pleasure?
Duke of Buckingham110 - 111
- Even that (I hope) which pleaseth God above
- And all good men of this ungovern’d isle.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester112 - 114
- I do suspect I have done some offense
- That seems disgracious in the city’s eye,
- And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
Duke of Buckingham115 - 116
- You have, my lord. Would it might please your Grace,
- On our entreaties, to amend your fault!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester117
- Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
Duke of Buckingham118 - 141
- Know then, it is your fault that you resign
- The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
- The sceptred 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;
- Whiles 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 should’red 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
- 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 cause come I to move your Grace.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester142 - 174
- 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 vapor of my glory smother’d.
- But God be thank’d, there is no need of me,
- And much I need to help you, were there need:
- 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 that you would lay on me,
- The right and fortune of his happy stars,
- Which God defend that I should wring from him!
Duke of Buckingham175 - 201
- 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 brother’s son:
- So say we too, but not by Edward’s wife;
- For first was he contract to Lady Lucy—
- Your mother lives a witness to his vow—
- And afterward by substitute betroth’d
- To Bona, sister to the King of France.
- These both put off, 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 his degree
- 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 your noble ancestry
- From the corruption of abusing times
- Unto a lineal true-derived course.
- Do, good my lord, your citizens entreat you.
Duke of Buckingham203
- Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer’d love.
- O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester205 - 208
- Alas, why would you heap this care 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.
Duke of Buckingham209 - 220
- 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 egally 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. ’Zounds, I’ll entreat no more.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester221
- O, do not swear, my Lord of Buckingham.
- Exeunt Buckingham, Mayor, Aldermen, and
Catesby222 - 223
- Call him again, sweet prince, accept their suit.
- If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester224 - 237
- Will you enforce me to a world of cares?
- Call them again, I am not made of stones,
- But penetrable to your kind entreaties,
- Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
- 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’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.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester239
- In saying so you shall but say the truth.
Duke of Buckingham240 - 241
- Then I salute you with this royal title—
- Long live Richard, England’s worthy king!
Duke of Buckingham243
- Tomorrow may it please you to be crown’d?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester244
- Even when you please, for you will have it so.
Duke of Buckingham245 - 246
- Tomorrow then we will attend your Grace,
- And so most joyfully we take our leave.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester247 - 248
- To the Bishops.
- Come, let us to our holy work again.—
- Farewell, my cousin, farewell, gentle friends.