MESSAGE OF ALEXIUS, THE SON OF ISAAC, THE DETHRONED EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE - DEATH OF FULK OF NEUILLY - ARRIVAL OF THE GERMANS
Now give ear to one of the greatest marvels, and most wonderful adventures that you have ever heard tell of. At that time there was an emperor in Constantinople, whose name was Isaac, and he had a brothor, Alexius by name, whom he had ransomed from captivity among the Turks. This Alexius took his brother the emperor, tore the eyes out of his head, and made himself emperor by the aforesaid treachery. He kept Isaac a long time in prison, together with a son whose name was Alexius. This son escaped from prison, and fled in a ship to a city on the sea, which is called Ancona. Thence he departed to go to King Philip of Germany, who had his sister for wife; and he came to Verona in Lombardy, and lodged in the town, and found there a number of pilgrims and other people who were on their way to join the host.
And those who had helped him to escape, and were with him, said: " Sire, here is an army in Venice, quite near to us, the best and most valiant people and knights that are in the world, and they are going overseass Cry to them therefore for mercy, that they have pity on thee and on thy father, who have been so wrongfully dispossessed. And if they be willing to help thee, thou shalt be guided by them. Perchance they will take pity on thy estate." And Alexius said he would do this right willingly, and that the advice was good.
Thus he appointed envoys, and sent them to the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, who was chief of the host, and to the other barons. And when the barons saw them, they marvelled greatly, and said to the envoys: " We understand right well what you tell us. We will send an envoy with the prince to King Philip, whither he is going. If the prince will help to recover the land overseass we will help him to recover his own land, for we know that it has been wrested from him and from his father wrongfully." So were envoys sent into Germany, both to the heir of Constantinople and to King Philip of Germany.
Before this happened, of which I have just told you, there came news to the host which greatly saddened the barons and the other folk, viz., that Fulk, the good man, the holy man, who first preached the Crusade, had made an end and was dead.
And after this adventure, there came to the host a company of very good and worthy people from the empire of Germany, of whose arrival they of the host were full fain. There came the Bishop of Halberstadt, Count Berthold of Katzenelenbogen, Gamier of Borland, Thierri of Loos, Henry of Orme, Thierri of Diest, Roger of Suitre, Alexander of Villers, Ulric of Tone, and many other good folk, whose names are not recorded in this book.