ATTACK ON THE CITY BY LAND AND SEA
So was the tower of Galata taken, and the port of Constantinople won by force. Much were those of the host comforted thereby, and much did they praise the Lord God; and greatly were those of the city discomforted. And on the next day, the ships, the vessels, the galleys and the transports were drawn into the port.
Then did those of the host take council together to settle what thing they should do, and whether they should attack the city by sea or by land. The Venetians were firmly minded that the scaling ladders ought to be planted on the ships, and all the attack made from the side by the sea. The French, on the other hand, said that they did not know so well how to help themselves on sea as on land, but that when they had their horses and their arms they could help themselves on land right well. So in the end it was devised that the Venetians should attack by sea, and the barons and those of the host by land.
They sojourned thus for four days. On the fifth day, the whole host were armed, and the divisions advanced on horseback, each in the order appointed, along the harbour, till they came to the palace of Blachernae; and the ships drew inside the harbour till they came over against the self-same place, and this was near to the end of the harbour. And there is at that place a river that flows into the sea, and can only be passed by a bridge of stone. The Greeks had broken down the bridge, and the barons caused the host to labour all that day and all that night in repairing the bridge. Thus was the bridge repaired, and in the morning the divisions were armed, and rode one after the other in the order appointed, and came before the city. And no one came out from the city against them; and this was a great marvel, seeing that for every man that was in the host there were over two hundred men in the city.
Then did the barons decide that they should quarter them- selves between the palace of Blachernae and the castle of Boemond, which was an abbey enclosed with walls. So the tents and pavilions were pitched-which was a right proud thing to look upon; for of Constantinople, which had three leagues of front towards the land, the whole host could attack no more than one of the gates. And the Venetians lay on the sea, in ships and vessels, and raised their ladders, and mangonels, and petraries, and made order for their assault right well. And the barons for their part made ready their petraries and mangonels on land.
And be it known to you that they did not have their time in peace and quiet; for there passed no hour of the night or day but one of the divisions had to stand armed before the gate, to guard the engines, and provide against attack. And, notwithstanding all this, the Greeks ceased not to attack them, by this gate and by others, and held them so short that six or seven times a day the whole host was forced to run to arms. Nor could they forage for provisions more than four bow-shots' distance from the camp. And their stores were but scanty, save of flour and bacon, and of those they had a little; and of fresh meat none at all, save what they got from the horses that were killed. And be it known to you that there was only food generally in the host for three weeks. Thus were they in very perilous case, for never did so few people besiege so many people in any city.