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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.

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.

Then, on a Sunday, was assemblage held in the church of St. Mark. It was a very high festival, and the people of the land were there, and the most part of the barons and pilgrims.

Johannizza, the king of Wallachia, who had besieged Adrianople, gave himself no rest, for his petraries, of which he had many, cast stones night and day against the walls and towers, and damaed the walls and towers very greatly. And he set his sappers to mine the walls, and made many assaults. And well did those who were within, both Greeks and Latins, maintain themselves, and often did they beg the Emperor Henry to succour them, and wam him that, if he did not succour them, they were utterly undone.

The barons consulted together on the morrow, and said that they would show the young Alexius, the son of the Emperor of Constantinople, to the people of the city. So they assembled all the galleys. The Doge of Venice and the Marquis of Montferrat entered into one, and took with them Alexius, the son of the Emperor Isaac; and into the other galleys entered the knights and barons, as many as would.

For this embassy were chosen Conon of Béthune and Geoffry of Villehardouin, the Marshal of Champagne, and Miles the Brabant of Provins; and the Doge also sent three chief men of his council. So these envoys mounted their horses, and, with swords girt, rode together till they came to the palace of Blachernae. And be it known to you that, by reason of the treachery of the Greeks, they went in great peril, and on a hard adventure.

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.

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