OF THE PILGRIMS WHO CAME TO VENICE, AND OF THOSE WHO WENT TO APULIA
Now let us for this present speak of them no further, but speak of the pilgrims, of whom a great part had already come to Venice. Count Baldwin of Flanders had already arrived there, and many others, and thither were tidings brought to them that many of the pilgrims were travelling by other ways, and from other ports. This troubled them greatly, because they would thus be unable to fulfil the promise made to the Venetians, and find the moneys that were due.
So they took counsel together, and agreed to send good envoys to meet the pilgrims, and to meet Count Louis of Blois and Chartres, who had not yet arrived, and to put them in good heart, and beseech them to have pity of the Holy Land beyond the sea, and show them that no other passage, save that from Venice, could be of profit.
For this embassy they made choice of Count Hugh of Saint-Paul and Geoffry the Marshal of Champagne, and these rode till they came to Pavia in Lombardy. There they found Count Louis with a great many knights and men of note and worth; and by encouragements and prayers prevailed on many to proceed to Venice who would otherwise have fared from other ports, and by other ways.
Nevertheless from Placentia many men of note proceeded by other ways to Apulia. Among them were Villain of Neuilly, who was one of the best knights in the world, Henry of Arzilliéres, Renaud of Dampierre, Henry of Longchamp, and Giles of Trasegnies, liegeman to Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault, who had given him, out of his own purse, five hundred livres to accompany him on this journey. With these went a great company of knights and sergeants, whose names are not recorded.
Thus was the host of those who went by Venice greatly weakened; and much evil befell them therefrom, as you shall shortly hear.