DEPARTURE OF THE CRUSADERS FOR CORFU - ARRIVAL OF THE YOUNG ALEXIUS - CAPTURE OF DURAS
So much time had passed that it was now Lent, and the host prepared their fleet to sail at Easter. When the ships were laden on the day after Easter (7th April 1203), the pilgrims encamped by the port, and the Venetians destroyed the city, and the walls and the towers.
Then there befell an adventure which weighed heavily upon the host; for one of the great barons of the host, by name Simon of Montfort, had made private covenant with the King of Hungary, who was at enmity with those of the host, and went to him, abandoning the host. With him went Guy of Montfort his brother, Simon of Nauphle and Robert Mauvoisin, and Dreux of Cressonsacq, and the abbot of Vaux, who was a monk of the order of the Cistercians, and many others. And not long after another great lord of the host, called Enguerrand of Boves, joined the King of Hungary, together with Hugh, Enguerrand's brother, and such of the other people of their country as they could lead away.
These left the host, as you have just heard; and this was a great misfortune to the host, and to such as left it a great disgrace.
Then the ships and transports began to depart; and it was settled that they should take port at Corfu, an island of Roumania, and that the first to arrive should wait for the last; and so it was done.
Before the Doge, the Marquis, and the galleys left Zara, Alexius, the son of the Emperor Isaac of Constantinople, had arrived together. He was sent by the King Philip of Germany, and received with great joy and great honour; and the Doge gave Mm as many galleys and ships as he required. So they left the port of Zara, and had a fair wind, and sailed onwards till they took port at Duras. And those of the land, when they saw their lord, yielded up the city right willingly and sware fealty to Mm.
And. they departed thence and came to Corfu, and found there the host encamped before the city; and those of the host had spread their tents and pavilions, and taken the horses out of the transports for ease and refreshment. When they heard that the son of the Emperor of Constantinople had arrived in the port, then might you have seen many a good knight and many a good sergeant leading many a good war-horse and going to meet him. Thus they received him with very great joy, and much high honour. And he had his tent pitched in the midst of the host; and quite near was pitched the tent of the Marquis of Montferrat, to whose ward he had been commended by King Philip, who had his sister to wife.