The other persons present testified their unanimous acquiescence in what Sir Richard Glendale had said.
'I see you have taken your resolutions, gentlemen,' said Redgauntlet; 'unwisely I think, because I believe that, by softer and more generous proceedings, you would have been more likely to carry a point which I think as desirable as you do. But what is to be done if Charles should refuse, with the inflexibility of his grandfather, to comply with this request of yours? Do you mean to abandon him to his fate?'
'God forbid!' said Sir Richard, hastily; 'and God forgive you, Mr. Redgauntlet, for breathing such a thought. No! I for one will, with all duty and humility, see him safe back to his vessel, and defend him with my life against whosoever shall assail him. But when I have seen his sails spread, my next act will be to secure, if I can, my own safety, by retiring to my house; or, if I find our engagement, as is too probable, has taken wind, by surrendering myself to the next Justice of Peace, and giving security that hereafter I shall live quiet, and submit to the ruling powers.'
Again the rest of the persons present intimated their agreement in opinion with the speaker.
'Well, gentlemen,' said Redgauntlet, 'it is not for me to oppose the opinion of every one; and I must do you the justice to say, that the king has, in the present instance, neglected a condition of your agreement which was laid before him in very distinct terms. The question now is, who is to acquaint him with the result of this conference; for I presume you would not wait on him in a body to make the proposal that he should dismiss a person from his family as the price of your allegiance.'
'I think Mr. Redgauntlet should make the explanation, said Lord --. 'As he has, doubtless, done justice to our remonstrances by communicating them to the king, no one can, with such propriety and force, state the natural and inevitable consequence of their being neglected.'
'Now, I think,' said Redgauntlet, 'that those who make the objection should state it, for I am confident the king will hardly believe, on less authority than that of the heir of the loyal House of B--, that he is the first to seek an evasion of his pledge to join him.'
'An evasion, sir!' repeated Lord --, fiercely, 'I have borne too much from you already, and this I will not endure. Favour me with your company to the downs.'