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Geoffrey de Villehardouin

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).

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.

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.

Then came tidings that in a certain valley, three leagues distant from the host, were the men and women whom ohannizza was leading away captive, together with 9.11 his plunder, and all his chariots. Then did Henry appoint that the Greeks from Adrianople and Demotica should go and recover the captives and the plunder, two battalions of knights going with them; and as had been arranged, so was this done on the morrow. The command of the one battalion was given to Eustace, the brother of the Emperor Henry of Constantinople, and the command of the other to Macaire of Sainte-Menehould.

So much time had passed that it was now Lent, and the host prepared their fleet to sail at Easter. When the ships were laden on the day after Easter (7th April 1203), the pilgrims encamped by the port, and the Venetians destroyed the city, and the walls and the towers.

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