Redgauntlet looked at Sir Richard, as if to say, 'Can you press any additional or unpleasant condition at a moment like this?' And the other shook his head and looked down, as if his resolution was unaltered, and yet as feeling all the delicacy of the situation.
There was a silence, which was broken by the unfortunate representative of an unhappy dynasty, with some appearance of irritation. 'This is strange, gentlemen,' he said; 'you have sent for me from the bosom of my family, to head an adventure of doubt and danger; and when I come, your own minds seem to be still irresolute. I had not expected this on the part of two such men.'
'For me, sire,' said Redgauntlet, 'the steel of my sword is not truer than the temper of my mind.'
'My Lord --'s and mine are equally so,' said Sir Richard; 'but you had in charge, Mr. Redgauntlet, to convey our request to his Majesty, coupled with certain conditions.'
'And I discharged my duty to his Majesty and to you,' said Redgauntlet.
'I looked at no condition, gentlemen,' said their king, with dignity,' save that which called me here to assert my rights in person. That I have fulfilled at no common risk. Here I stand to keep my word, and I expect of you to be true to yours.'
'There was, or should have been, something more than that in our proposal, please your Majesty,' said Sir Richard. 'There was a condition annexed to it.'
'I saw it not,' said Charles, interrupting him. 'Out of tenderness towards the noble hearts of whom I think so highly, I would neither see nor read anything which could lessen them in my love and my esteem. Conditions can have no part betwixt prince and subject.'