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Middle Ages

Now let us leave speaking of those who avoided the host, and speak of those before Constantinople.

The marquis then took leave, and went towards Salonika with his people, and with his wife; and with him rode the envoys of the emperor; and as they went from castle to castle, each, with all its lordship, was restored to the marquis on the part of the emperor. So they came to Salonika, and those who held the place for the emperor surrendered it. Now the governor, whom the emperor had left there, and whose name was Renier of Mons, had died; he was a man most worthy, and his death a great mischance.

Thus they waited till it was night; and when it was night the Doge of Venice left the camp, as had been arranged, and Geoffry the Marshal formed the rear-guard. And they departed at foot pace, and took with them all their people mounted and dismounted, the wounded as well those who were whole-they left not one behind. And they journeyed towards a city that lies upon the sea, called Rodosto, and that was full three days' journey distant. So they departed from Adrianople, as you have heard; and this adventure befell in the year of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ twelve hundred and five.

The other year after that right worthy man Fulk had so spoken of God, there was held a tourney in Champagne, at a castle called Ecri, and by God's grace it so happened that Thibaut, Count of Champagne and Brie, took the cross, and the Count Louis of Blois and Chartres likewise; and this was at the beginning of Advent (28th November 1199). Now you must know that this Count Thibaut was but a young man, and not more than twenty-two years of age, and the Count Louis not more than twenty-seven.

Then did Henry take council with his barons, and their decision was that they would go to the city of Bizve, which was a fair city, and strong. So they did as they had devised, and came to Bizye, and encamped before the city on the eve of the feast of our Lord St. John the Baptist, in June (23rd June 1206).

A fortnight after came to Zara the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, who had not yet joined, and Matthew of Montmorency, and Peter of Bracieux, and many another man of note. And after another fortnight came also the envoys from Germany, sent by King Philip and the heir of Constantinople. Then the barons, and the Doge of Venice assembled in a palace where the Doge was lodged. And the envoys addressed them and said: " Lords, King Philip sends us to you, as does also the brother of the king's wife, the son of the emperor of Constantinople.

At that time Boniface, the Marquis of Montferrat, who was at Seres, which he had fortified, rode forth as far as Messinopolis, and all the land surrendered to his will. Then he took messengers, and sent them to the Emperor Henry, and told him that he would right willingly speak with him by the river that runs below Cypsela. Now they two had never been able to speak together face to face since the conquest of the land, for so many enemies lay between them that the one had never been able to come to the other.

Thus their peril and toil lasted for nearly ten days, until, on a Thursday morning (I7th July I203) all things were ready for the assault, and the ladders in trim; the Venetians also had made them ready by sea. The order of the assault was so devised, that of the seven divisions, three were to guard the camp outside the city, and other four to give the assault. The Marquis Boniface of Montferrat guarded the camp towards the fields, with the division of the Burgundians, the division of the men of Champagne, and Matthew of Montmorency.

The fleet was very well prepared and armed, and provisions were got together for the pilgrims. On the Thursday after mid-Lent (8th April 1204), all entered into the vessels, and put their horses into the transports. Each division had its own ships, and all were ranged side by side; and the ships were separated from the galleys and transports. A marvellous sight it was to see; and well does this book bear witness that the attack, as it had been devised, extended over full half a French league.

In those days it happened that the Emperor Mourzuphles, whose eyes had been put out-the same who had murdered his lord, the Emperor Isaac's son, the Emperor Alexius, whom the pilgrims had brought with them to that land-it happened, I say, that the Emperor Mourzuphles fled privily, and with but few people, and took refuge beyond the straits. But Thierri of Loos heard of it, for Mourzuphles' flight was revealed to him, and he took Mourzuphles and brought him to the Emperor Baldwin at Constantinople,.

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