Original Text

Modern Text

LORD MAYOR

200Do, good my lord. Your citizens entreat you.

LORD MAYOR

Yes, my good lord, your citizens beg you.

BUCKINGHAM

Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffered love.

BUCKINGHAM

Don’t refuse the love we offer you.

CATESBY

O, make them joyful. Grant their lawful suit.

CATESBY

Oh, make them joyful! Grant their law-abiding request!

RICHARD

Alas, why would you heap this care on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty.
205I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
I cannot, nor I will not, yield to you.

RICHARD

Alas, why would you heap all these responsibilities on me? I am unfit to rule and to be king. Please, don’t take it badly, but I cannot and will not give in to you.

BUCKINGHAM

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
210And 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,
215But 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.

BUCKINGHAM

Perhaps you refuse our request out of love for your brother’s son. You don’t want to depose the child. We know how tender your heart is and what gentle, kind, womanly feelings you have for your relatives, as well as for people from all walks of life.
But listen, if you won’t become king, we’ll just get someone else, to the disgrace and ruin of your family. We will not have your brother’s son as king. On this note, we’re leaving. Come, citizens. Damn it, I’m not going to beg anymore!