ALEXIUS ABANDONS CONSTANTINOPLE - HIS BROTHER ISAAC IS REPLACED ON THE THRONE - THE CRUSADERS SEND HIM A MESSAGE
Now listen to the miracles of our Lord-how gracious are they whithersoever it pleases Him to perform them! That very might the Emperor Alexius of Constantinople took of his treasure as much as he could carry, and took with him as many of his people as would go, and so fled and abandoned the city. And those of the city remained astonied, and they drew to the prison in which lay the Emperor Isaac, whose eyes had been put out. Him they clothed imperially, and bore to the great palace of Blachernae, and seated on a high throne; and there they did to him obeisance as their lord. Then they took messengers, by the advice of the Emperor Isaac, and sent them to the host, to apprise the son of the Emperor Isaac, and the barons, that the Emperor Alexius had fled, and that they had again raised up the Emperor Isaac as emperor.
When the young man knew of this he summoned the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, and the marquis summoned the barons throughout the host. And when they were met in the pavilion of the Emperor Isaac's son, he told them the news. And when they heard it, their joy was such as cannot be uttered, for never was greater joy in all this world. And greatly and most devoutly was our Lord praised by all, in that He had succoured them within so short a term, and exalted them so high from such a low estate. And therefore well may one say: " Him whom God will help can no man injure."
Then the day began to dawn, and the host to put on their armour; and all gat them to their arms throughout the host, because they did not greatly trust the Greeks. And messengers began to come out from the city, two or three together, and told the same tale. The barons and counts, and the Doge of Venice had agreed to send envoys into the city, to know how matters really stood; and, if that was true which had been reported, to demand of the father that he should ratify the covenants made by the son; and, if he would not, to, declare that they on their part should not suffer the son to enter into the city. So envoys were chosen: one was Matthew of Montmorency, and Geoffry the Marshal of Champagne was the other, and two Venetians on the part of the Doge of Venice.
The envoys were conducted to the gate, and the gate was opened to them, and they dismounted from their horses. The Greeks had set Englishmen and Danes, with their axes, at the gate and right up to the palace of Blachernae. Thus were the envoys conducted to the great palace. There they found the Emperor Isaac, so richly clad that you would seek in vain throughout the world for a man more richly apparelled than he, and by his side the empress, his wife, a most fair lady, the sister of the King of Hungary; and of great men and great ladies there were so many, that you could not St' ir foot for the press, and the ladies were so richly adomed that richer adornment might not be. And all those who, the day before, had been against the emperor were, on that day, subject in everything to his good pleasure.