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Orient

Then was there much discord in the host, as had been oft times before on the part of those who wished that the host should break up; for to them it seemed to be holding together too long. And the party that had raised the discord at Corfu reminded the others of their oaths, and said: " Give us ships as you swore to us, for we purpose to go to Syria."

The Emperor Mourzuphles had not yet removed more than four days' journey from Constantinople; and he had taken with him the empress who had been the wife of the Emperor Alexius, who aforetime had fled, and his daughter. This Emperor Alexius was in a city called Messinopolis, with all his people, and still held a great part of the land.

At that time there happened a great misfortune at Constantinople, for Count Hugh of St. Paul, who had long been in bed, sick of the gout, made an end and died; and this caused great sorrow, and was a great mishap, and much was he bewept by his men and by his friends. He was buried with great honour in the church of our Lord St. George of Mangana.

Henry, the Regent of the empire, with all his power, rode towards Adrianople, and laid siege to it; and he was in great peril, for there were many, both within and without the city who so hemmed him in, he and his people, that they could scantl buy provisions, or go foraging. Therefore they enclosed their camp with palisades and barriers, and told off part of their men to keep guard within the palisades and barriers, while the others attacked the city.

Now let us for this present speak of them no further, but speak of the pilgrims, of whom a great part had already come to Venice. Count Baldwin of Flanders had already arrived there, and many others, and thither were tidings brought to them that many of the pilgrims were travelling by other ways, and from other ports. This troubled them greatly, because they would thus be unable to fulfil the promise made to the Venetians, and find the moneys that were due.

Theodore Lascaris, who was warring against the Emperor Henry, took messengers and sent them to Johannizza, the King of Wallachia and Bulgaria. And he advised Johannizza that all the forces of the Emperor Henry were fighting against him (Lascaris) on the other side of the straits towards Turkey; that the emperor was in Constantinople with but very few people; and that now was the time for vengeance, inasmuch as he himself would be attacking the emperor on the one side, and Johannizza on the other, and the emperor had so few men that he would not be able to defend himself against both.

They rested thus that night. And in the morning, on the day of the feast of our Lord St. John the Baptist in June (24th June 1203), the banners and pennants were flown on the castles of the ships, and the coverings taken from the shields, and the bulwarks of the ships garnished. Every one looked to his antis, such as he should use, for well each man knew that full soon he would have need of them.

Afterwards, by the advice of the Greeks and the French the Emperor Alexius issued from Constantinople, with a very great company, purposing to quiet the empire and subject it to his will. With him went a great part of the barons; and the others remained to guard the camp. The Marquis Boniface of Montferrat went with him, and Count Hugh of St. Paul, and Henry, brother to Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault, and James of Avesnes, and William of Champlitte, and Hugh of Colerni, and many others whom the book does not here mention by name.

The Emperor Mourzuphles, when he heard that they thus advanced against him, did not dare to abide their coming, but remained always two or three days' march in advance. So he fared forward till he came near Messinopolis, where the Emperor Alexius was sojourning, and he sent on messengers, telling Alexius that he would give him help, and do all his behests. And the Emperor Alexius answered that he should be as welcome as if he were his own son, and that he would give him his daughter to wife, and make of him his son.

Then the Emperor Baldwin and the Doge of Venice, and Count Louis took counsel together, for they saw they were losing the whole land. And they settled that the emperor should tell his brother Henry, who was at Adramittium, to abandon whatsoever conquests he had made, and come to their succour.

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