Robert of Clari's account of the Fourth Crusade
Chapter 91 to 120
Chapter 91: OF THE TWO MARVELOUS IMAGES
And now in yet another part of the city was another marvel. There were two images, cast in copper, in the shape of women, most cunningly wrought and naturally, and exceeding beautiful. And neither of the two was less than twenty feet high. And the one of these images was stretching out her hand toward the West, and there were letters written upon her which said, "From out of the West will come they who shall conquer Constantinople."
And the other image was stretching out her hand toward an unseemly place and saying, "Thither" (so spoke the image) "shall they be thrust forth again."
These two images were sitting before the Exchange, which was wont erstwhile to be full of wealth; for there were wont to sit the rich money-changers, having before them great mountains of bezants and of precious stones, ere yet the city was taken. But there were not so many of them there, now that the city was taken.
Chapter 92: OF THE PILLARS OF CONSTANTINOPLE; AND OF THE CHURCH OF SAINT MARY OF BLACHERNAE
Yet again, in yet another part of the city, was to be seen yet a greater marvel. For there were two pillars; each one of them was, in thickness, thrice the spread of a man's arms, and each was full fifty fathoms high. And on the top of each one of these pillars dwelt a hermit, in little huts which were there. And there was a passage on the inside of the pillar, whereby one went up thither. And on the outside of these pillars were portrayed and written in prophecy all the happenings that have come to pass in Constantinople or are yet to come. Nor could any happening be known ere yet it had happened; but when it had happened, then went the people thither and mused there, and then did they perceive for the first time and divine the happening. Yea, even the conquest which the Franks made was written and portrayed there, and the ships with which the assault was made whereby the city was taken; nor yet were the Greeks able to see it until it had already come to pass. But after it was come to pass, then went they thither for to muse and to gaze on these pillars; and it was found that the letters which were written on the ships portrayed there declared that from out of the West would come a tall people, shaven with knives of iron, who would conquer Constantinople.
And all these marvels which I have related to you, and still many more which we cannot relate to you, did the Franks find in Constantinople when they had conquered it. Nor do I believe, of my own knowledge, that any man, be he never so skilled in accounting, could number all the abbeys of the city, so many were there of them, both of monks and of nuns, to say nothing of the other minsters in the city. And they counted, in round numbers, some thirty thousand priests in the city, both monks and others.
Of the other Greeks - the high, the lowly, the poor, the rich; of the greatness of the city, of the palaces, and of the other wonders which are therein - will we forbear to tell you further; for no earthly man, though he abode never so long in that city, could number or relate all this to you. And if he were to describe to you the hundredth part of the riches and the beauty and the magnificence which were to be found in the abbeys and in the minsters and in the palaces and in the city itself, it would seem that he was a liar, nor would ye believe him at all.
But among the rest, there was also another of the minsters, which was called the Church of my Lady Saint Mary of Blachernae, within which was the shroud wherein Our Lord was wrapped. And on every Friday that shroud did raise itself upright, so that the form of Our Lord could clearly be seen. And none knows - neither Greek nor Frank - what became of that shroud when the city was taken.
Likewise, there was another of the abbeys, wherein lay the good Emperor Manuel; for never was body born on earth - neither holy man nor holy woman – that lay so richly and magnificently in its tomb as did this emperor. In this abbey, also, was the marble table whereon Our Lord was laid out after He had been taken down from the cross; and there, too, were seen the tears that Our Lady had shed over Him.
Chapter 93: HOW THE PILGRIMS MADE READY TO CHOOSE AN EMPEROR
Thereafter it came to pass that all the counts and all the other nobles came together on a certain day to the Palace of the Lion's Mouth, which the marquis held, and said one to another that they would elect an emperor, and that they would choose ten men from their own number. And they said to the Doge of Venice that he should choose ten of his people. When the marquis heard this, he wished to place in this number his own men and such as he thought would choose himself for emperor, for he wished to be emperor forthwith. But the barons were by no means agreed that the marquis place his own men there; but, rather, they agreed that none of his men should be of that number. When the Doge of Venice, who was a very wise and worthy man, saw this, he spoke in the hearing of all, and said
"Sirs, listen now to me" (quoth the Doge). "I desire, ere we elect an emperor, that the palaces be guarded by the common guard of the host, so that, if I myself should be elected emperor, I may go thither straightway without any gainsaying and be seized of the palaces; and in like manner, if the Count of Flanders be chosen, that he may have the palaces with no gainsaying; or if the marquis be chosen, or Count Lewis, or the Count of Saint-Pol, or if some poor knight be chosen, that he who is to be emperor may have the palaces with no gainsaying, either on the part of the marquis, or of the Count of Flanders, or of one, or of another."
Chapter 94: OF THE MANNER OF THEIR CHOOSING AN EMPEROR; AND OF THE PRETENSIONS OF THE MARQUIS OF MONTFERRAT
When the marquis heard this, he could in no wise go counter to it but gave over the palace which he held. Then they went and set as guards in the palaces men of the commonalty of the host, for to guard the palaces.
When the Doge of Venice had spoken after this fashion, he bade the barons choose their ten, for himself would very speedily have his own ten chosen. And when the barons heard this, then did each one wish to put forward his own men. The Count of Flanders wished to put forward his men; likewise, Count Lewis, the Count of Saint-Pol, and the other rich men; so that never in this manner could they agree whom they would put forward or choose. So, then, they set another day to choose these ten; and when that day was come, yet again were they unable to agree whom they would choose. Nay, rather, always did the marquis desire to put forward those that he thought would elect him emperor; for he wished to be emperor, even were it by force.
And this discord endured full fifteen days, nor could they come to any accord. Nor did a day pass, that they did not come together for this business; until, in the end, they agreed that the clergy of the host - the bishops and the abbots who were there - should be the electors. Then, when they had thus come to an agreement, the Doge of Venice went and chose his ten in such a manner as I will describe to you. He called four of those that he deemed the worthiest of his countrymen, and he made them to swear on holy relics that, to the best of their knowledge, they would choose the ten worthiest of their countrymen that were in the host. And these acted in such wise that when they called one of these men he must needs come forward, neither durst he speak or take counsel with any one; rather, they put him straightway into a minster, and in the same way the others, until the Doge had his ten. And when they were all in this minster - the ten Venetians and the bishops - then was sung a Mass of the Holy Ghost, that the Holy Ghost might counsel them and give them wisdom to appoint such a man as should be a good and profitable one for the office.
Chapter 95: HOW COUNT BALDWIN OF FLANDERS WAS CHOSEN EMPEROR
When the Mass had been sung, then came the electors together and spoke together in their council; and they spoke of this one and of that, until the Venetians and bishops and abbots with one accord agreed that it should be the Count of Flanders, and there was never a man of them that gainsaid this choice.
When they were thus agreed together and their council must needs break up, then they charged the Bishop of Soissons with the task of making known their choice. So when they had departed, then all they of the host assembled for to listen and to hear who should be named as emperor. And after they had assembled themselves they all remained very quiet. And the more part greatly feared and suspected that the marquis would be named, and they that held with the marquis greatly dreaded lest another than the marquis be named. And as they all stood there, so quiet, then rose the Bishop of Soissons to his feet and said to them: "Sirs," (quoth the bishop) "by common consent of you all were we sent to make this election. We have elected such a man as we knew, of our own knowledge, to be fit for the office, and one in whom the imperial power may well be vested, who is mighty to uphold the law and a man of gentle birth and high estate. We will name him to you: he is Count Baldwin of Flanders!"
When this word was heard, then were all the Franks right glad because of it; but certain others were there who were sore displeased thereat, such as they who clave to the marquis.
Chapter 96: HOW COUNT BALDWIN WAS CROWNED EMPEROR
When the emperor was elected, then the bishops and all the high barons and the Franks, who were exceedingly glad because of this, took him and led him away to the Palace of the Lion's Mouth, amid very great joy and very great rejoicing. And when the nobles were all in the palace, then did they set a day to crown the emperor. And when that day was come [May 1, 1204], they mounted their horses - both the bishops and the abbots and all the high barons, both Venetian and Franks - and went forth to the Palace of the Lion's Mouth. Thence they brought the emperor to the Monster of Saint Sophia; and when they came to the minster, then was the emperor taken to a place apart, within the minster, and into a chamber there. The he was stripped of his garments, and his shoes taken off his feet; and then they put on him scarlet hose of samite, and over these, shoes that were all set with precious stone above. And then they laid on him the imperial mantle - a manner of vestment was this which reached to his ankles in front, and behind was so long that he girded himself therewith and then it was cast back over the left arm, even as a priest's maniple. And this mantle was very rich and very magnificent and all laden with rich and precious stones. Thereafter there was laid over this a very rich cloak, which was all laden with precious stones, and the eagles which were upon the other side of it were wrought of precious stones and shone so that it seemed as if the cloak were all alight.
When he was arrayed in this manner, they led him before the altar; and as he was brought before the altar, Count Lewis bare his imperial gonfalon, and the Count of Saint-Pol bare his sword, and the marquis his crown, and two bishops held up the arms of the marquis, who bare the crown, and two other bishops walked beside the emperor. And all the barons were richly arrayed, not was there Frank of Venetian that had not a robe either of samite or of silken cloth.
And when the emperor came before the altar, he kneeled down; then they took from him his cloak and imperial mantle, so he remained in his bare coat. And they loosed from the coat the golden buttons, before and behind, so that he was all naked from the girdle upward, and then did they anoint him. And when he was anointed, they fastened again the coat with the golden buttons, then they laid on him again the imperial mantle, then the cloak was folded over his shoulder. And then, when he was thus arrayed, and two bishops were holding the crown above the altar, came all the bishops; and together they took the crown and blessed it, and made the sign of the cross over it, and set it upon his head. Thereafter was hanged about his neck a very rich stone for an agraffe [brooch], which the Emperor Manuel bought for three score and two thousand marks.
Chapter 97: HOW COUNT BALDWIN WAS SEATED ON THE THRONE OF CONSTANTINE
When they had crowned him, they set him on a high throne, and there he remained until Mass had been sung, holding his sceptre in his hand and in the other hand a golden apple with a little cross above it. And the ornaments that he had upon him were of greater price than the treasure of a rich king. And when he had heard Mass, they brought him a white horse, whereon he mounted; and the barons led him back to his palace of the Lion's Mouth; and they seated him on the throne of Constantine. Then, when they had set him on Constantine's throne, all acknowledged him emperor, and the Greeks that were there did him reverence, even as to an holy emperor. Then were the tables set, and the emperor ate, and all the barons in the palace with him. When they had eaten, then the barons departed and all went their ways to their habitations, but the emperor remained in his palace.
Chapter 98: OF THE DIVISION OF THE TREASURE
Thereafter it came to pass one day that the barons came together and said one to another that a partition should be made of the spoil. So was it divided - save only the coarser silver which was there: to wit, the silver ewers that the ladies of the city carried to the baths. And a portion thereof was given to each knight, each serjeant of horse, and to all the other common people of the host, to women, and to children - to every one.
But Aleaume of Clari, the clerk (of whom I have spoken to you before, who was so valiant of his body and wrought such deeds of arms, as we have said before this), said that he wished to have his share as a knight. And some said that it was not right that he should share as a knight; but he said that it was right, for that he also had horse and hauberk, like a knight, and that he had wrought deeds of arms there; yea, more than many a knight had done had he himself wrought. And at last the Count of Saint-Pol adjudged that he should share as a knight, since he had wrought there more deeds of arms and of prowess. For the Count of Saint-Pol bare him witness that the knights, albeit there were three hundred of them, had not wrought such deeds as he, and rightly therefore should he share as a knight. Thereby did this clerk cause it to be adjudged that the clerks should share even as the knights.
Then was all the coarser silver apportioned, even as I have told you; and the rest of the spoil - the gold, the silken stuffs, of which there was so much that it was a fair marvel - remained to divide. And this was put under the common guard of the host, in the ward of such persons as it was believed would guard it honourably
Chapter 99: OF THE CONQUESTS OF THE EMPEROR BALDWIN; AND HOW THE MARQUIS OF MONTFERRAT DEFIED THE EMPEROR
It befell, no very great space after this, that the emperor summoned all the high barons, and the Doge of Venice, and Count Lewis, and the Count of Saint–Pol, and all the high nobles, and told them that he desired to go forth and conquer somewhat of the land; and so was it determined that the emperor should go forth. Then was it also determined which ones should remain for a guard to the city. And it was determined that the Doge of Venice should tarry there, and Count Lewis, and their people with them. The marquis, also, tarried there, and he married the wife of Isaac (that had been emperor), who was sister to the King of Hungary. When the marquis saw that the emperor was about to make ready to go forth and conquer lands, he came and demanded of the emperor that he give him the kingdom of Salonika, a land that lay distant a fortnight's march from Constantinople. But the emperor answered that this land was not his to give, for the barons of the host and the Venetians had the greater share therein. Yet so much of it as appertained to himself, that would he give him right freely and willingly; but the portion that belonged to the barons of the host and to the Venetians could he in no wise give him.
When the marquis saw that he could have none of it he was sorely vexed thereat. Thereafter the emperor went away, whither he had purposed to go, with all his people. And as he came to the castles and the cities, they that were in them yielded themselves to him without any gainsaying, and came out to meet him, bringing their keys; and the priests and clerks came forth in procession to meet him, and received him; and the Greeks all did him reverence, as to an holy emperor. And the emperor set his garrisons in the castles and cities whithersoever he came, until he had fully conquered the land for a space of fifteen days' march from Constantinople and until he was come within one day's march of Salonika.
In the mean time, whilst the emperor was thus conquering the land, the marquis had set forth, together with his wife and all his people, to follow after the emperor, so that he overtook the host of the emperor ere the emperor was come to Salonika. And when he had overtaken the host he went and pitched his camp about a league away; and when he had encamped he took messengers and sent them to the emperor and bade him not to enter his land of Salonika, which had been given to him; for let the emperor know well that if he went thither, then would the marquis go no further with him, nor would he any longer cleave to him, but, rather, would turn back again to Constantinople and do the best that he could for himself:
Chapter 100: HOW THE BARONS RECEIVED THE DEFIANCE OF THE MARQUIS
When the barons of the emperor's company heard the word that the marquis had sent him, then were they very bitter and sore displeased; and they sent word back again to the marquis that neither for him nor for his behest would they forbear to go on, holding both of no account, for the land was not his.
Chapter 101: OF THE REVOLT OF THE MARQUIS OF MONTFERRAT
When the marquis heard this he turned back, and he went until he came to a city wherein the emperor had put certain of his people to guard the city. This city he took by treachery. When he had taken this city he put therein guards of his own people, and then, when he had done this, he passed on to another city, which was called Adrianople, wherein the emperor had posted certain of his people. And he laid siege to it and set up his petraries and his mangonels to attack the city, but they of the city held out strongly against him. And when he saw that he would not be able to take them by force, he spoke to them that were upon the walls and said to them, "Bah, sirs! And have ye not perceived that here is the wife of Isaac, the emperor?"
Then did he bring forward his wife, and his wife said: "Bah! Have ye not recognized me, that I am the empress? And have ye not recognized my two children, that I had by Isaac, the emperor?"
Then did she bring forward her children. And then a certain wise man of the city made answer, "Yea!" quoth this man. "We have perceived clearly that this was the wife of Isaac and that these were his children."
"Bah!" quoth the marquis. "Wherefore, then, have ye not recognized one of these children as your lord?"
"I will tell you," quoth the man. "Get you hence to Constantinople and cause him to be crowned, and when he shall have sat down on Constantine's throne and we shall have learned thereof, then will we do in the matter that which we ought to do."
Chapter 102: HOW THE EMPEROR BALDWIN TOOK SALONIKA
In the mean time, whilst the marquis was proceeding in this sort, the emperor went to Salonika and laid siege to it. And after he had laid siege thereto, the host was so poor that there was not bread there to feed more than an hundred men, but of flesh and wine had they a plenty. And the emperor had not long besieged the city until it yielded to him, and when the city had yielded, then was there an abundance of all that was needful - both bread and wine and flesh. And then the emperor set his guards there; and since he had no thought to go further, he turned about to go back thence to Constantinople.
Chapter 103: OF THE DEATH OF MY LORD PETER OF AMIENS; AND HOW THE MARQUIS LAID SIEGE TO ADRIANOPLE
But then befell a very great loss and there was very great dole in the host, for my Lord Peter of Amiens, the fair, the valiant, died as they were returning, at a city which was called the White City and lay very nigh to Philippi, where Alexander was born; likewise, there died full fifty knights on this march. And as the emperor was returning he heard tidings that the marquis had taken one of his cities by treachery, and that he had put therein guards of his own people, and that he had laid siege to Adrianople.
Chapter 104: OF CERTAIN DISSENSIONS THAT AROSE AMONGST THE MEN OF THE CROSS
When the emperor and the barons of the host heard this, they were sore vexed and troubled exceedingly; and they threatened the marquis and his people, saying that if they overtook them they would cut them all in pieces, nor would they leave him a living man. When the marquis knew that the emperor was returning, then was he greatly afraid, even as one that had done great naughtiness, so that he scarce knew what counsel to take. But at last he sent word to Constantinople - to the Doge of Venice, to Count Lewis, and to the other barons who had remained there - saying that he would put himself in their ward, and that he would make amends through them for the mischief that he had wrought. And when the Doge and the count and the other barons heard that the marquis was willing to make amends, through them, for the mischief which he had wrought and that which he had essayed, then did they dispatch four messengers to the emperor, sending him word that the marquis had given them this promise and that the emperor should do no harm either to him or to his people.
Chapter 105: HOW THE KNIGHTS AND YOUNG BACHELORS RECEIVED NEWS OF THE UNJUST DIVISION OF THE SPOIL; AND OF THEIR WRATH THEREAT
When the barons and knights of the host heard this, they answered that all this would not avail one whit to keep them from putting the marquis and his people to shame, or from cutting them all in pieces if they could overtake them. And only with great difficulty were they appeased; nevertheless, they granted a truce to the marquis.
Thereafter the barons asked of the messengers tidings of Constantinople, and what was befalling there. And the messengers answered that all was well, and that they had divided the spoil which remained, and likewise the city.
"What!" cried the knights and the young bachelors of the host. "Our spoil have ye divided - for which we suffered great pains and travails, hungerings and thirstings, cold and heat? And this have ye divided without us? Take this!" cried they to the messengers. "Here! Take my gage! For I shall prove you all to be traitors!"
Forth sprang another, and spoke likewise, and another also; for so sorely were they angered that they would have hewn the messengers all in pieces, and it lacked but little that they would have slain them; until the emperor and the nobles of the host brought them to reason and wrought the best concord that they could. And they returned together to Constantinople.
And when they were returned, then was there never one of them was able to come back to his former lodging, for the lodgings which they had left behind no longer remained for them, since the nobles had divided the city and their retinues had taken their lodging elsewhere in the city; so that they of the host must needs seek for themselves habitations distant a league or two leagues from those that they had left.
Chapter 106: OF AN ADVENTURE WHICH BEFELL MY LORD PETER OF BRACHEUX
Now we had forgotten to recount an adventure which befell my Lord Peter of Bracheux. It chanced that the Emperor Henry was with the host, and John the Wallach and the Comans had made an incursion into the emperor's land. And they had encamped some two leagues or less away from the host of the emperor. And much had they heard told concerning my Lord Peter of Bracheux and his excellent knighthood. And at last they sent word one day to my Lord Peter of Bracheux, by messengers, that they would be very fain to speak with him one day under safe-conduct; and my Lord Peter answered that if he had safe-conduct he would gladly go thither to speak with them. So the Wallachians and the Comans sent good hostages to the emperor's host, until my Lord Peter should return. Then went my Lord Peter, and three other knights with him; and he rode upon a great horse. And as he drew near to the host of the Wallachs and John the Wallach beheld him coming, then did John go forth to meet him, along with certain noblemen of Wallachia. And they saluted him and welcomed him; but they looked up to him with very great difficulty, for he was an exceeding tall man. And they spoke to him of this thing and of that, and at length they said to him, "Sir, we marvel much at your excellent knighthood, and we wonder much what ye are seeking in this country - ye who are from such far countries and are come hither to conquer lands. For have ye not," asked they, "lands in your own countries wherewith ye could maintain yourselves?"
And my Lord Peter made answer, "Bah!" (quoth he) "And have ye never heard, then, how Troy the Great was destroyed, or by what strategem?"
"Bah!" answered the Wallachs and the Comans. "Verily have we heard tell of these things; but most likely all this never was!"
"Bah!" quoth my Lord Peter. "Troy belonged to our ancestors, and they who escaped thence came to dwell in that place from whence we are come; and because it belonged to our ancestors are we come hither to conquer lands!"
Thereupon did he take his leave of them and went back.
Chapter 107: HOW FIEFS WERE ESTABLISHED IN THE EAST
When the emperor had returned, and the barons who went with him, having conquered a good part of the land and full three score cities, beside castles and towns, then was the city of Constantinople so divided that the emperor had the fourth part thereof in freehold, and the three other parts were so divided that the Venetians had the one-half of these three parts and the pilgrims the other half. Thereafter was it determined to divide the lands that had been conquered; and first, division was made amongst the counts, and afterward, among the other men of high rank. And it was taken into account who was the richest man and highest in rank, and who had had the most people in his following in the host; and to him was the most land given. There were some to whom were given two hundred knights' fiefs, and to some were given one hundred, to some three score and ten, to some three score, to some forty, to some twenty, to some ten; and they who received least had seven or six. And the value of the fief was three hundred pounds Angevin. And to each of the noblemen they said, "Ye shall have so many fiefs; and ye, so many; and ye, so many; and therewith shall ye enfeoff your men and those who shall desire to hold in fee from you. And ye shall have this city; and ye, that one; and ye, this other" (and the seigniories that appertained thereto).
When, in this manner, his portion had been given to each one, then did the counts and the other noblemen go forth to view their lands and their cities, and they established there their bailiffs and other guards.
Chapter 108: HOW MOURZUPHLES THE TRAITOR WAS TAKEN CAPTIVE
At last it came to pass one day that my Lord Thierri, brother to the Count of Loos, set forth to view his lands, and as he was going he met one day by chance, in a narrow pass, Mourzuphles the traitor, who was going I know not whither. And he had in his company ladies and damsels and other folk a many, and he rode in pomp and circumstance, like an emperor, with as many folk as was possible. And what did my Lord Thierri do but charge straight on him; and he contrived, he and his people, to seize this emperor by force. And when he had thus taken him, he brought him to Constantinople and gave him over to the Emperor Baldwin. And when the emperor had seen him, he cast him into prison and had him well guarded.
Chapter 109: HOW MOURZUPHLES THE TRAITOR WAS PUT TO DEATH
When Mourzuphles was in prison, the Emperor Baldwin sent one day for all his barons and all the noblest men who were in the land of Constantinople to come to the palace - the Doge of Venice, Count Lewis, the Count of Saint-Pol, and all the others - and they came thither. And when they were come, then did the Emperor Baldwin tell them how he had Mourzuphles in prison; and he asked them what they advised him to do with him. Then some said that he should be hanged, others, that he should be drawn and quartered; but at last the Doge of Venice said that he was a man of too high birth to be hanged.
"But to such a man of high birth," quoth the Doge, "I will tell you what manner of high justice" shall be done. There are in this city two high pillars, nor is either less than sixty or fifty fathoms high. So let him be made to mount to the top of one of these, and then let him be hurled headlong to the ground!"
Now this was one of those two pillars whereon the hermits dwelt and whereon the fortunes of Constantinople were written, even as I have told you heretofore. And to what the Doge said the barons agreed. So was Mourzuphles taken and led to one of these pillars and made to mount the steps which were on the inside thereof. And when Mourzuphles stood at the top, then they pushed him, so that he fell to the ground and was dashed all in pieces. Such was the vengeance that they took on Mourzuphles the traitor.
Chapter 110: HOW PEACE WAS MADE BETWEEN THE MARQUIS AND THE EMPEROR
After the lands had been so apportioned as I have told you, it came about that peace was made between the marquis and the emperor. And the emperor was blamed for this, because he did not call thither all the high barons. None the less did the marquis demand the kingdom of Salonika, and none the less did he have it, for the emperor gave it to him. And when the kingdom was bestowed upon him, then did the marquis depart thither, with his wife and all his people; and when he was come thither he took over the garrisons of that country and was lord and king thereof.
Chapter 111: OF THE DIVISION OF THE CONQUESTS
Afterward, my Lord Henry, the emperor's brother, demanded the kingdom of Adramyttium, which lay beyond the Strait of Saint George, if he could conquer it; and it was given to him. Then thither went my Lord Henry, with all his people, and conquered a good part of the land. And after that, Count Lewis demanded another kingdom, and it was given to him; and the Count of Saint-Pol demanded yet another, and it was given to him, Next, my Lord Peter of Bracheux asked another kingdom, which lay in the land of the Saracens, toward Konieh, if he could conquer it; and this was granted to him. And my Lord Peter went thither with all his people and conquered this kingdom very easily and became lord thereof.
In this wise did the rich men demand their kingdoms, which had not yet been conquered; and the Doge of Venice and the Venetians had the island of Crete and the Isle of Corfu and the Isle of Modon, and yet others a plenty which they had already coveted.
But a very great loss befell the host, in that the Count of Saint-Pol died but a short time thereafter.
Chapter 112: OF THE VERY GRIEVOUS BATTLE OF ADRIANOPLE; OF THE LOSS OF THE EMPEROR BALDWIN AND OF MANY OTHER MEN OF HIGH ESTATE; AND HOW THESE THINGS WERE BUT GOD'S VENGEANCE FOR THE PRIDE AND THE BAD FAITH THAT THEY HAD SHOWN TOWARD THE POOR MEN OF THE HOST
Then it befell after this that a certain city which the emperor had conquered revolted against him; and the name of this city was Adrianople. Whom the emperor learned thereof lie sent for the Doge of Venice and Count Lewis and the other barons, and he told them that he wished to go and lay siege to Adrianople, which had revolted against him, and desired them to help him conquer this city. And the barons answered that they would be very fain to do this. So the emperor made ready, and the barons likewise, to go to this city.
When they were come to this city they laid siege to it; and as they were sitting down before it, lo and behold, one day came John the Wallach, both he and the Comans, with a great multitude of folk, into the lands of Constantinople, even as they had done aforetime. And they found the emperor and all his host sitting down before Adrianople. And when they of the host saw the Comans all clad in skins, they suspected them not nor regarded them any more than they would have regarded a band of children. But the Comans and their people came on at full speed and rushed upon the Franks and slew many of them and routed them all in this battle. So was the emperor lost, so that none ever knew what became of him; likewise Count Lewis and many another of the noblemen, the number of whom we know not; but of a certainty there were lost there full three hundred knights.
And whosoever was able to escape came fleeing to Constantinople; so came the Doge of Venice fleeing thence, and much people with him. And they left behind their tents and their harness, even as they had been sitting before the city; for never durst they turn again in that direction. And great was their discomfiture.
Even in this manner did the Lord God take vengeance on them for their pride and their bad faith which they had shown toward the poor folk of the host, and for the horrible sins that they had committed in the city after they had taken it.
Chapter 113: HOW THEY SENT FOR MY LORD HENRY, THE EMPEROR'S BROTHER
When the emperor was lost through this misadventure, the barons departed, and they remained exceeding sorrowful. Thereafter they came together one day for to choose another emperor. And they sent for my Lord Henry, brother to the Emperor Baldwin that was, to make him emperor, for he was in his own country which he had conquered beyond the Strait of Saint George.
Chapter 114: HOW MY LORD HENRY WAS MADE EMPEROR
When the Doge of Venice and the Venetians saw that the Franks desired to make my Lord Henry emperor, then were they all against it, nor would they suffer it to be unless they should have a certain likeness of Our Lady, which was painted upon a tablet. Now this picture was exceeding rich and was all set with rich and precious stones. And the Greeks said that this was the first likeness of Our Lady that ever was painted or portrayed. And in this likeness had the Greeks so great trust that they adored it above every other thing, and they carried it in procession on every Tuesday; then did the Greeks adore it and give it great gifts. Now the Venetians would on no account suffer my Lord Henry to be made emperor unless first they had this picture; so at last the picture was given to them. Then was my Lord Henry crowned emperor.
Chapter 115: HOW THE EMPEROR HENRY MARRIED THE DAUGHTER OF THE MARQUIS; AND OF HER DEATH
When my Lord Henry was become emperor, then he and the marquis (who was king of Salonika) spoke together; and the marquis gave him his daughter, and the emperor married her; however, the empress lived not very long thereafter, but died.
Chapter 116: HOW THE EMPEROR HENRY SOUGHT THE DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF WALLACHIA IN MARRIAGE
Now it came to pass no very long time after this that John the Wallach and the Comans overran the marquis' land of Salonika. And the marquis was in his land and fought against these Wallachs and Comans, and he was slain in that battle, and his people all routed. So went John the Wallach, and the Comans, and he laid siege to Salonika. And they set up their engines to assail the city. And the marquis' wife had remained in the city, and knights and other folk with her who were defending the city. Now there lay within the city the body of my Lord Saint Demetrius, who would never suffer the city to be taken by violence; and there flowed so great an abundance of oil from this holy body that it was a fair marvel. And it came to pass, as John the Wallach was lying one morning in his tent, that my Lord Saint Demetrius came and thrust him through the middle of his body with a lance and slew him. When his own people and the Comans knew that he was dead, they brake camp and returned to their own land. And after this the kingdom of Wallachia escheated to a nephew of John, Borislas by name. This Borislas became thereafter king of Wallachia, and he had a fair daughter. And afterward it came to pass that Henry, who was a right good emperor, took counsel with his barons, what he might do with these Wallachs and Comans, who were ever making war on the empire of Constantinople and had killed Baldwin, his brother. And the barons advised that he should send to this Borislas, who was king of Wallachia, and demand of him that he give him his daughter to wife. But the emperor answered that a wife of so low lineage would he never take. And the barons said: "Sire, this shall ye do! We advise you well that ye come to an agreement with them, for they are the strongest people and the most redoubtable of the empire and of the whole earth!"
And thus spoke the barons, until the emperor sent thither two knights of high birth, and caused them to be richly accoutred, but these messengers went very fearfully into that wild land. Nevertheless, the messengers spoke to this Borislas, until he made answer to them that he would gladly send his daughter to the emperor.
Chapter 117: IN WHAT FASHION THE KING OF WALLACHIA SENT HIS DAUGHTER TO THE EMPEROR
Then did King Borislas cause his daughter to be very richly decked and magnificently adorned, and a multitude of people with her, and sent her to the emperor. And he bestowed on her sixty sumpter-horses, all laden with wealth of gold and silver and silken cloth and rich jewels, nor was there an horse that was not caparisoned with cloth of crimson samite, which was so long that it trailed full seven feet or eight behind each one; and notwithstanding they passed through mire and over grievous roads, yet never one of the samite cloths was frayed, because of their elegance and excellence.
Chapter 118: OF THE MARRIAGE OF THE EMPEROR HENRY AND THE DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF WALLACHIA
When the emperor knew that the damsel was coming he went forth to meet her, and the barons with him, and made great rejoicing over her and her people. And shortly thereafter the emperor married her.
Chapter 119: OF THE DEATH OF THE EMPEROR HENRY
And no great space after this the emperor was summoned to Salonika for to crown the marquis' son as king, and thither the emperor went. And when he had crowned him (the marquis' son) he fell sick there, and there he died, which was a very great loss and a very great pity.
Chapter 120: OF THE TRUTH OF ALL THAT HATH BEEN RELATED IN THIS HISTORY
Now have ye heard the truth, in what manner Constantinople was conquered, and in what way Count Baldwin of Flanders became emperor thereof, and my Lord Henry his brother after him; for he who was there and who saw these things and who heard the testimony thereof, Robert of Clari, Knight, hath also caused the truth to be put down in writing, how the city was conquered; and albeit he may not have recounted the conquest in as fair a fashion as many a good chronicler would have recounted it, yet hath he at all times recounted the strict truth; and many true things hath he left untold, because, in sooth, he cannot remember them all.