BALDWIN'S REPLY TO THE MESSAGE OF THE CRUSADERS
The Emperor Baldwin journeyed so day by day that he met the messengers sent by those of Constantinople. One of the messengers was a knight belonging to the land of Count Louis of Blois, and the count's liegeman; his name was Bègue of Fransures, and he was wise and eloquent. He spoke the message of his lord and the other barons right manfully, and said: " Sire, the Doge of Venice, and Count Louis, my lord, and the other barons who are in Constantinople send you health and greeting as to their lord, and they complain to God and to you of those who have raised discord between you and the Marquis of Montferrat, whereby it failed but little that Christendom was not undone; and they tell you that you did very ill when you listened to such counsellors. Now they apprise you that the marquis has referred to them the quarrel that there is between him and you, and they pray you, as their lord, to refer that quarrel to them likewise, and to promise to abide by their ruling. And be it known to you that they will in no wise, nor on any ground, suffer that you should go to war."
The Emperor Baldwin went to confer with his council, and said he would reply anon. Many there were in the emperor's council who had helped to cause the quarrel, and they were greatly outraged by the declaration sent by those at Constantinople, and they said: " Sire, you hear what they declare to you, that they will not suffer you to take vengeance of your enemy. Truly it seems that if you will not do as they order, they will set themselves against you."
Very many big words were then spoken; but, in the end, the council agreed that the emperor had no wish to lose the friendship of the Doge of Venice, and Count Louis, and the others who were in Constantinople; and the emperor replied to the envoys: " I will not promise to refer the quarrel to those who sent you, but I will go to Constantinople without doing aught to injure the marquis." So the Emperor Baldwin journeyed day by day till he came to Constantinople, and the barons, and the other people, went to meet him, and received him as their lord with great honour.