THE YOUNG ALEXIUS RETURNS TO CONSTANTINOPLIZHE FAILS IN HIS PROMISES TO THE CRUSADERS
The Emperor Alexius remained for a long time on progress, till St. Martin's Day, and then he returned to Constantinople. Great was the joy at his home-coming, and the Greeks and ladies of Constantinople went out to meet their friends in great cavalcades, and the pilgrims went out to meet their friends, and had great joy of them. So did the emperor re-enter Constantinople and the palace of Blachernae; and the Marquis of Montferrat and the other barons returned to the camp.
The emperor, who had managed his affairs right well and thought he had now the upper hand, was filled with arrogance towards the barons and those who had done so much for him, and never came to see them in the camp, as he had done aforetime. And they sent to him and begged him to pay them the moneys due, as he had covenanted. But he led them on from delay to delay, making them, at one time and another, payments small and poor; and in the end the payments ceased and came to naught.
The Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, who had done more for him than any other, and stood better in his regard, went to him oftentimes, and showed him what great services the Crusaders had rendered him, and that greater services had never been rendered to any one. And the emperor still entertained them with delays, and never carried out such things as he had promised, so that at last they saw and knew clearly that his intent was wholly evil.
Then the barons of the host held a parliament with the Doge of Venice, and they said that they now knew that the emperor would fulfil no covenant, nor ever speak sooth to them; and they decided to send good envoys to demand the fulfilment of their covenant, and to show what services they had done him; and if he would now do what was required, they were to be satisfied; but, if not, they were to defy him, and right well might he rest assured that the barons would by all means recover their due.