THE INHABITANTS OF ZARA OFFER TO CAPITULATE, AND THEN DRAW BACK - ZARA IS TAKEN
On the day following the feast of St. Martin, certain of the people of Zara came forth, and spoke to the Doge of Venice, who was in his pavilion, and said to him that they would yield up the city and all their goods-their lives being spared-to his mercy. And the Doge replied that he would not accept these conditions, nor any conditions, save by consent of the counts and barons, with whom he would go and confer.
While he went to confer with the counts and barons, that party, of whom you have already heard, who wished to disperse the host, spoke to the envoys and said, " Why should you surrender your city? The pilgrims will not attack you - have no care of them. If you can defend yourselves against the Venetians, you will be safe enough." And they chose one of themselves, whose name was Robert of Boves, who went to the walls of the city, and spoke the same words. Therefore the envoys returned to the city, and the negotiations were broken off.
The Doge of Venice, when he came to the counts and barons, said to them: "Signors, the people who are therein desire to yield the city to my mercy, on condition only that their lives are spared. But I will enter into no agreement with them-neither this nor any other-save with your consent." And the barons answered: " Sire, we advise you to accept these conditions, and we even beg of you so to do." He said he would do so; and they all returned together to the pavilion of the Doge to make the agreement, and found that the envoys had gone away by the advice of those who wished to disperse the host.
Then rose the abbot of Vaux, of the order of the Cistercians, and said to them: " Lords, I forbid you, on the part of the Pope of Rome, to attack this city; for those within it are Christians, and you are pilgrims." When the Doge heard this, he was very wroth, and much disturbed, and he said to the counts and barons: "Signors, I had this city, by their own agreement, at my mercy, and your people have broken that agreement; you have covenanted to help me to conquer it, and I summon you to do so."
Whereon the counts and barons all spoke at once, together with those who were of their party, and said: " Great is the outrage of those who have caused this agreement to be broken, and never a day has passed that they have not tried to break up the host. Now are we shamed if we do not help to take the city." And they came to the Doge, and said: " Sire, we will help you to take the city in despite of those who would let and hinder us."
Thus was the decision taken. The next morning the host encamped before the gates of the city, and set up their petraries and manoonels, and other engines of war, which they had in plenty, and on the side of the sea they raised ladders from the ships. Then they began to throw stones at the walls of the city and at the towers. So did the assault last for about five days. Then were the sappers set to mine one of the towers, and began to sap the wall. When those within the city saw this, they proposed an agreement, such as they had before refused by the advice of those who wished to break up the host.