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Middle Ages

The envoys returned to Constantinople, and told what they had done.

Then came tidings that Johannizza, King of Wallachia, was coming upon them to relieve the city. So they set their affairs in order, and it was arranged that Geoffry the Marshal, and Manasses of l'Isle should guard the camp, and that the Emperor Baldwin and all the remainder of the host should issue from the camp if so be that johanizza came and offered battle.

Twelve leagues thence lay the city of Rodosto, on the sea. Tt was very strong, and rich, and large, and very well garrisoned by Venetians, And besides all this, there had come thither a body of sergeants, some two thousand strong, and they had also come to guard the city. When they heard that Napoli had been taken by force, and that Johannizza had caused all the people that were therein to be put to death, they fell in to such terror that they were utterly confounded and foredone.

Then were the ships and transports apportioned by the barons. Ah, God I what fine war-horses were put therein. And when the ships were fulfilled with arms and provisions, and knights and sergeants, the shields were ranged round the bulwarks and castles of the ships, and the banners displayed, many and fair.

The Emperor Henry sojoumed after this manner for five days in the meadow by Nicomedia. And while he was thus sojourning, Theodore Lascaris took messengers, and sent them to him, asking him to make a truce for two years, on condition that the emperor would suffer him to demolish Skiza and the fortress of the church of St. Sophia of Nicomedia, while he, on his side, would yield up all the prisoners taken in the last victory, or at other times of whom he had a great many in his land.

So was the tower of Galata taken, and the port of Constantinople won by force. Much were those of the host comforted thereby, and much did they praise the Lord God; and greatly were those of the city discomforted. And on the next day, the ships, the vessels, the galleys and the transports were drawn into the port.

Dire was the war between the Franks and the Greeks, for it abated not, but rather increased and waxed fiercer, so that few were the days on which there was not fighting by sea or land. Then Henry, the brother of Count Baldwin of Flanders rode forth, and took with him a great part of the good men in the host. With him went James of Avesnes, and Baldwin of Beauvoir, Odo of Champagne of Champlitte, William his brother, and the people of their country.

The Emperor Baldwin journeyed so day by day that he met the messengers sent by those of Constantinople. One of the messengers was a knight belonging to the land of Count Louis of Blois, and the count's liegeman; his name was Bègue of Fransures, and he was wise and eloquent.

Count Louis went out first with his battalion, and began to follow after the Comans, and sent to urge the emperor to come after him. Alas! how ill did they keep to what had been settled the night before! For they ran in pursuit of the Comans for at least two leagues, and joined issue with them, and chased them a long space. And then the Comans turned back upon them, and began to cry out and to shoot.

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