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Middle Ages

Then the Emperor Baldwin moved from Constantinople, with all his host, and rode forward till he came to Adrianople. There he found Henry his brother, and the men with him. All the people whithersoever the emperor passed, came to him, and put themselves at his mercy and under his rule. And while they were at Adrianople, they heard the news that the Emperor Alexius had pulled out the eyes of the Emperor Mourzuphles. Of this there was much talk among them; and well did all say that those who betrayed one another so disloyally and treacherously had no right to hold land in possession.

Now does this book relate a great marvel: for Renier of Trit, who was at Philippopolis, a good nine days' journey from Constantinople, with at least one hundred and twenty knights, was deserted by Reginald his son, and Giles his brother, and James of Bondies, who was his nephew, and Achard of Verdun, who had his daughter to wife. And they had taken some thirty of his knights, and thought to come to Constantinople; and they had left him, you must know, in great peril.

Now let us leave off speaking of those who were at Philippopolis, and of Renier of Trit, who is shut up in Stanimac, and return to Henry, the brother of the Emperor Baldwin, who had sojourned at Pamphyle till the beginning of winter. Then he took council with his men and with his barons; and they decided to set a garrison in a city called Rusium, which was situate at a place rich and fertile in the middle of the land; and the chiefs placed over this garrison were Thierri of Loos, who was seneschal, and Thierri of Tenremonde, who was constable.

Then the Doge spoke to his people, and said unto them:

Signors, these people cannot pay more; and in so far as they have paid at all, we have benefited by an agreement which they cannot now fulfil. But our right to keep this money would not everywhere be acknowledged; and if we so kept it we should be greatly blamed, both us and our land. Let us therefore offer them terms.

Before this assault began, on the Saturday morning, there came a messenger flying to Constantinople. He found the Emperor Henry in the palace of Blachernae, sitting at meat, and spoke to him thus: "Sire, be it known to you that those at Cibotos are being attacked by land and sea; and if you do not speedily deliver them, they will be taken, and but dead men."

The next day after, the Emperor Alexius sent an envoy with letters to the counts and to the barons. This envoy was called Nicholas Roux, and he was a native of Lombardy. He found the barons in the rich palace of Scutari, where they were holding council and he saluted them on the part of the Emperor Alexius of Constantinople, and tendered his letters to the Marquis of Montferrat-who received them.

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.

I know not by whose counsel it was that the emperor replied that he was determined to march towards Salonika, and would afterwards attend to his other affairs. Sire," said Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat, " I pray thee, since I am able without thee to get possession of my land, that thou wilt not enter therein; but if thou dost enter therein, I shall deem that thou art not acting for my good. And be it known to thee that I shall not go with thee, but depart from among you." And the Emperor Baldwin replied that, notwithstanding all this, he should most certainly go.

We will speak no further now of Renier of Trit but return to the Emperor Baldwin, who is in Constantinople, with but very few people, and greatly angered and much distracted. He was waiting for Henry his brother, and all the people on the other side of the straits, and the first who came to him from the other side of the straits came from Nicomedia, viz.: Macaire of Sainte-Menehould, and Matthew of Wallincourt, and Robert of Ronsoi, and with them full a hundred knights.

Thierri of Tenremonde, who was chief and constable, made a foray on the fourth day before the feast of St. Mary Candlemas (30th January 1206); and he rode all night, having six score knights with him, and left Rusium with but a small garrison. When it was dawn, he came to a village where the Comans and Wallachians were encamped, and surprised them in such sort that those who were in the village were unaware of their coming.

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