AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FRANKS AND VENETIANS BEFORE ATTACKING CONSTANTINOPLE
Now let us leave speaking of those who avoided the host, and speak of those before Constantinople. Well had these prepared all their engines, and mounted their petraries, and mangonels on the ships and on the transports, and got ready all such engines of war as are needful for the taking of a city, and raised ladders from the yards and masts of the vessels, so high that they were a marvel to behold.* [note: This passage is obscure in the original.] And when the Greeks saw this, they began, on their side, to strengthen the defences of the city which was enclosed with high walls and high towers. Nor was any tower so high that they did not raise thereon two or three stages of wood to heighten it still more. Never was city so well fortified. Thus did the Greeks and the Franks bestir themselves on the one side and the other during the greater part of Lent.
Then those of the host spoke together, and took counsel what they should do. Much was advanced this way and that, but in the end, they devised that if God granted them entry into the city by force, all the booty taken was to be brought together, and fittingly distributed; and further, if the city fell into their power, six men should be taken from among the Franks, and six from among the Venetians, and these twelve should swear, on holy relics, to elect as emperor the man who, as they deemed, would rule with most profit to the land. And whosoever was thus elected emperor, would have one quarter of whatever was captured, whether within the city or without, and moreover would possess the palace of Bucoleon and that of Blachernae; and the remaining three parts would be divided into two, and one of the halves awarded to the Venetians and the other to those of the host.
And there should be taken twelve of the wisest and most experienced men among the host of the pilgrims, and twelve among the Venetians, and those twenty-four would divide fiefs and honours, and appoint the service to be done therefor to the emperor.
This covenant was made sure and sworn to on the one side and the other b' the Franks and the Venetians; with provision that at the end of March, a year thence, any who so desired might depart hence and go their way, but that those who remained in the land would be held to the service of the emperor in such mariner as might be ordained. Thus was the covenant devised and made sure; and such as should not observe it were excommunicated by the clergy.