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RICHARD

O, do not swear, my lord of Buckingham!

RICHARD

Oh, please don’t swear, my lord of Buckingham.
Exit BUCKINGHAM and some others
BUCKINGHAM exits with CITIZENS and LORD MAYOR.

CATESBY

220Call them again, sweet prince. Accept their suit.
If you deny them, all the land will rue it.

CATESBY

Call them back, my lord, and accept their request. If you refuse it, the whole country will regret it.

RICHARD

Will you enforce me to a world of cares?
Call them again. I am not made of stones,
But penetrable to your kind entreaties,
225Albeit against my conscience and my soul.

RICHARD

Would you tie me to a whole world of worries? Well, call them back again. I am not made of stone; I am affected by all these kind pleas, though it goes against my conscience and my soul.
Enter BUCKINGHAM and the rest
BUCKINGHAM and the rest return.
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;
230But if black scandal or foul-faced 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,
235How far I am from the desire of this.
Buckingham, my brother, and you wise, serious men, since you intend to force me to take responsibility for these changing times, whether I want to or not, I’m going to have to be brave and endure the load. But if this imposition you’ve put on me happens to result in dark scandal or ugly reproach, the fact that you forced me to accept this should clear me from blame. God knows, and you may have noticed, I’m not to eager to take on this job.

LORD MAYOR

God bless your Grace! We see it and will say it.

LORD MAYOR

God bless your Grace! We understand you’re just doing it for us, and we’ll be sure to say so.

RICHARD

In saying so, you shall but say the truth.

RICHARD

If you say that, you’ll only be telling the truth.