Orient

After this time came from the land of Syria a great company of those who had abandoned the host, and gone thither from other ports than Venice. With this company came Stephen of Perche, and Renaud of Montmirail, who was cousin to Count Louis, and they were by him much honoured, for he was very glad of their coming. And the Emperor Baldwin, and the rest of the people also received them very gladly, for they were of high rank, and very rich, and brouaht very many good people with them.

At the time when the messengers arrived, there were in Constantinople five ships of Venice, very large and very good, laden with pilgrims, and knights and sergeants, who were leaving the land and returning to their own countries. There were at least seven thousand men at arms in the ships, and one was William the advocate of Béthune, and there were besides Baldwin of Aubigny, and John of Virsin, who be- longed to the land of Count Louis, and was his liegeman, and at least one hundred other knights, whom the book does not here name.

When the term appointed by the Doge was ended, the envoys returned to the palace. Many were the words then spoken which I cannot now rehearse. But this was the conclusion of that parliament: " Signors," said the Doge, " we will tell you the conclusions at which we have arrived, if so be that we can induce our great council and the commons of the land to allow of them; and you, on your part, must consult and see if you can accept them and carry them through.

The barons now resolved that they would go to Constantinople, and crown Henry, the brother of the Emperor Baldwin as emperor, and leave in the country Vemas, and all the Greeks of the land, together with forty knights, whom Henry, the Regent of the empire, would leave with him. So Henry, the Regent of the empire, and the other barons, went towards Constantinople, and they rode from day to day till they came thither, and right well were they received. They crowned Henry as emperor with great joy and great honour in the church of St.

Then the barons spoke together and said that they would send to Rome, to the Pope, because he had taken the capture of Zara in evil part. And they chose as envoys such as they knew were fitted for this office, two knights, and two clerks. Of the two clerks one was Nevelon, Bishop of Soissons, and the other Master John of Noyon, who was chancellor to Count Baldwin of Flanders; and of the knights one was John of Friaize, the other Robert of Boves. These swore on holy relics that they would perform their embassy loyally and in good faith, and that they would come back to the host.

Now listen to the miracles of our Lord-how gracious are they whithersoever it pleases Him to perform them! That very might the Emperor Alexius of Constantinople took of his treasure as much as he could carry, and took with him as many of his people as would go, and so fled and abandoned the city. And those of the city remained astonied, and they drew to the prison in which lay the Emperor Isaac, whose eyes had been put out. Him they clothed imperially, and bore to the great palace of Blachernae, and seated on a high throne; and there they did to him obeisance as their lord.

As they had settled, so was it done, and they encamped before the walls and before the towers by their ships. Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault quartered himself in the scarlet tents that the Emperor Mourzuphles had left standing, and Henry his brother before the palace of Blachernae; and Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat, he and his men, towards the thickest part of the city. So were the host encamped as you have heard, and Constantinople taken on the Monday after Palm Sunday (12th April 1204).

At that time those who had gone to the city of Piga - Peter of Bracieux and Payen of Orléans being the chiefs - fortified a castle called Palormo; and they left therein a garrison of their people, and rode forward to conquer the land. Theodore Lascaris had collected all the people he could, and on the day of the feast,of our Lord St. Nicholas (6th December 1204), which is before the Nativity, he joined battle in the plain before a castle called Poemaninon.

Now let us speak of these last no farther, but speak of Henry, brother to the Emperor Baldwin of Constantinople, who had left Adramittium, which he had conquered, and passed the straits at the city of Abydos, and was coming towards Adrianople to succour the Emperor Baldwin, his brother. And with him had come the Armenians of the land, who had helped him against the Greeks-some twenty thousand with all their wives and children-for they dared not remain behind.

When mass had been said, the Doge desired the envoys to humbly ask the people to assent to the proposed covenant. The envoys came into the church. Curiously were they looked upon by many who had not before had sight of them.

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