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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 ; 6
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, meliow'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, 8
All circumstances well considered.
You
say,

that Edward is your brother's son; So say we too, but not by Edward's wife:

6 As the ripe revenue and due of birth ;] So the folio. The quarto 1598 thus:

“ As my right, revenue, and due by birth.” A preceding line seems rather to favour the original reading:

Your right of birth, your empery, your own." The first quarto, [1597] I find, reads:

“ As my ripe revenew, and due by birth.” Malone. 7 And much I need to help you,] And I want much of the ability requisite to give you help, if help were needed. Fohnson.

are nice and trivial,} Nice is generally used by Shak. speare in the sense of minute, trifling, of petty import. So, in Romeo and Juliet :

“ The letter was not nice, but full of charge.” Malone.

8

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.9
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:2
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, 3
I gave 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

2

9 To Bona, sister to the king of France.] See King Henry VI; P. III, Act III, sc. iii. Bona was daughter to the Duke of Savoy, and sister to Charlotte, wife to Lewis XI, King of France.

Malone. ia poor petitioner,] See Vol. X, King Henry VI, P. III, Act III, p. 356 Malone.

- loath'd bigamy:] Bigamy, by a canon of the council of Lyons, A. D. 1274, (adopted in England by a statute in 4 Edw. 1.) was made unlawful and infamous. It differed from polygamy, or having two wives at once ; as it consisted in either marrying two virgins successively, or once marrying a widow. Blackstone.

loath'd bigamy:) So Sir T. More, copied by Hall and Holinshed: the only widowhead of Elizabeth Grey, though she were in all other things convenient for you, should yet suffice, as me seemeth, to restraine you from her marriage, sith it is an unfitting thing, and a verie blemish and high disparagement to the sacred majestie of a prince, (that ought as nigh to approach priesthood in cleanness, as he doth in dignity,) to be defouled with bigamie in his first marriage.” Malone. 3 More bitterly could I expostulate,

Save that, for reverence to some alive, ] The Duke bere hints at à topick which he had touched upon in his address to the citizens, the pretended bastardy of Edward and Clarence. alive,” is meant the Duchess of York, the mother of Edward and Richard. Malone.

Ву

some

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.
Cates. 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 was in love and zeal,
Loth 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 the throne,
To the disgrace and downfal of your

house.
And, in this resolution, here we leave you ;-
Leunes
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.

[Exeunt Buck. and Citizens. Cates. Call them again, sweet prince, accept their suit; If you deny them, all the land will rue it.

Glo. Will you enforce me to a world of cares?
him Well, call them again; I am not made of stone, 5

But penetrable to your kind entreaties, [Exit Cates.
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,

effeminate remorse,] i. e. pity. See our author, passim. Thus also, in The Miseries of enforced Marriage, 1600:

“ Be all his days, like winter, comfortless;

“ Restless his nights, his wants remorseless." i. e. unpitied. Steevens.

- I am not made of stone,? The quarto and folio have stones. Mr. Pope made the emendation. "Malone. blo. odo not swear, my cousin Buckingham .

5

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 it.
Glo.

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!

All, Amen.
Buck. To-morrow may it please you to be crown’d?
Glo. Even when you please, since you will lave 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. Farewel, good cousin ;-farewel, gentle friends.6

(Exeunt.

ACT IV ..... SCENE I.

Before the Tower.

Enter, on one side, Queen ELIZABETH, Duchess of York,

and Marquis of DORSET; on the other, Anne, Duchess of Gloster," leading Lady MARGARET PLANTAGENET, Clarence's young Daughter.

Duch. Who meets us here?-my niece Plantagenet Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster : 8

6 Farewel, good cousin ;-firewel, gentle friends.) To this Act should, perhaps, be added the next scene, so will ihe coronation pass between the Acts; and there will not only be a proper interval of action, but the conclusion will be more forcible. Johnson.

- Anne, Duchess of Gloster, ] We have not seen this lady since the second scene of the first Act, in which she promised to meet Richard at Crosby-place. She was married about the year 1472. Malone. 8 Who meets us here?-my niece Plantagenet

Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster ?] Here is a mani. fest intimation, that the Duchess of Gloster leads in somebody in her hand; but there is no direction marked in any of the copies, from which we can learn who it is. I have ventured 10 guess it VOL. XI.

M

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.

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:

Enter BRAKENBURY.
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?
Brak.

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 my peril.

Brak. No, madam, no, I may not leave it so;9 I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.

[Exit Brak Enter STANLEY. 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.Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster.

[ To the Duchess of Gloster. There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.

must be Clarence's young daughter. The old Duchess of York calls her niece, i. e. grand-daughter; as grand-children are fre. quently called nephews. Theobald. See note on Othello, Act I,'sc. i. Stcevens.

I may not leave it so;] That is, I may not so resign my office, which you offer to take on you at your peril. Fohnson.

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