FIRST STARTING OF THE PILGRIMS FOR VENICE, AND OF SOME WHO WENT NOT THITHER
After Easter and towards Whitsuntide (June 1202) began the pilgrims to leave their own country. And you must
know that at their departure many were the tears shed for pity and sorrow, by their own people and by their friends. So they journeyed through Burgundy, and by the mountains of Mont-joux (? Jura) by Mont Cenis, and through Lombardy, and began to assemble at Venice, where they were lodged on an island which is called St. Nicholas in the port.
At that time started from Flanders a fleet that carried a great number of good men-at-arms. Of this fleet were captains John of Nêle, Castellan of Bruges, Thierri, who was the son of Count Philip of Flanders, and Nicholas of Mailly. And these promised Count Baldwin, and swore on holy relics, that they would go through the straits of Morocco, and join themselves to him, and to the host of Venice, at whatsoever place they might hear that the count was faring. And for this reason the Count of Flanders and Henry his brother had confided to them certain ships loaded with cloth and food and other wares.
Very fair was this fleet, and rich, and great was the reliance that the Count of Flanders and the pilgrims placed upon it, because very many of their good sergeants were journeying therein. But ill did these keep the faith they had sworn to the count, they and others like them, because they and such others of the same sort became fearful of the great perils that the host of Venice had undertaken.
Thus did the Bishop of Autun fail us, and Guignes the Count of Forez, and Peter Bromont, and many people besides, who were greatly blamed therein; and of little worth were the exploits they performed there where they did go. And of the French failed us Bernard of Moreuil, Hugh of Chaumont, Henry of Araines, John of Villers, Walter of Saint-Denis, Hugh his brother, and many others, who avoided the passage to Venice because of the danger, and went instead to Marseilles-whereof they received shame, and much were they blamed-and great were the mishaps that afterwards befell them.