BALDWIN, COUNT OF FLANDERS, ELECTED EMPEROR
Then a parliament assembled, and the commons of the host declared that an emperor must be elected, as had been settled aforetime. And they parliamented so long that the matter was adjourned to another day, and on that day would they choose the twelve electors who were to make the election. Nor was it possible that there should be lack of candidates, or of men covetous, seeing that so great an honour was in question as the imperial throne of Constantinople. But the greatest discord that arose was the discord concerning Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault and the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat; for all the people said that either of those two should be elected.
And when the chief men of the host saw that all held either for Count Baldwin or for the Marquis of Montferrat, they conferred together and said: " Lords, if we elect one of these two great men, the other will be so filled with envy that he will take away with him all his people. And then the land that we have won may be lost, just as the land of Jerusalem came nigh to be lost when, after it had been conquered, Godfrey of Bouillon was elected king, and the Count of St. Giles became so fulfilled with envy that he enticed the other barons, and whomsoever he could, to abandon the host. Then did many people depart, and there remained so few that, if God had not sustained them, the land of Jerusalem wouldhavebeenlost. Letusthereforebewarelestthesame mischance befall us also, and rather bethink ourselves how we may keep both these lords in the host. Let the one on whom God shall bestow the empire so devise that the other is well content; let him grant to that other all the land on the further side of the straits, towards Turkey, and the Isle of Greece, and that other shall be his liegeman. Thus shall we keep both lords in the host."
As had been proposed, so was it settled, and both consented right willingly. Then came the day for the parliament, and the parliament assembled. And the twelve electors were chosen, six on one side and six on the other; and they swore on holy relics to elect, duly, and in good faith, whomsoever would best meet the needs of the host, and bear rule over the empire most worthily. Thus were the twelve chosen, and a day appointed for the election of the emperor; and on the appointed day the twelve electors met at a rich palace, one of the fairest in the world, where the Doge of Venice had his quarters. Great and marvellous was the concourse, for every one wished to see who should be elected. Then were the twelve electors called, and set in a very rich chapel within the palace, and the door was shut, so that no one remained with them. The barons and knights stayed without in a great palace.
The council lasted till they were agreed; and by consent' of all they appointed Nevelon, Bishop of Soissons, who was one of the twelve, to act as spokesman. Then they came out to the place where all the barons were assembled, and the Doge of Venice. Now you must know that many set eyes upon them, to know how the election had turned. And the bishop, lifting up his voice-while all listened intentlyspoke as he had been charged, and said: " Lords, we are agreed, let God be thanked! upon the choice of an emperor; and you have all sworn that he whom we shall elect as ern,,)eror shall be held by you to be emperor indeed, and that it any one gainsay him, you will be his helpers. And we name him now at the self-same hour when God was born, THE COUNT BALDWIN OF FLANDERS AND HAINAULT! "
A cry of joy was raised in the palace, and they bore the count out of the palace, and the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat bore him on one side to the church, and showed him all the honour he could. So was the Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault elected emperor, and a day appointed for his coronation, three weeks after Easter (16th May 1204). And you must know that many a rich robe was made for the coronation; nor did they want for the wherewithal.