July 5, 2020

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade part 45

Now the term of your departure is nigh, and your fellowship with the Venetians is timed only to last till the feast of St. Michael. And within so short a term I cannot fulfil our covenant. Be it known to you therefore, that, if you abandon me, the Greeks hate me because of you: I shall losemy land, and they will kill me.

But now do this thing that I ask of you: remain here till March, and I will entertain your ships for one year from the feast of St. Michael, and bear the cost of the Venetians, and will give you such things as you may stand in need of till Easter. And within that term I shall have placed my land in such case that I cannot lose it again; and your covenant will be fulfilled, for I shall have paid such moneys as are due to you, obtaining them from all mi lands; and I shall be ready also with ships either to go with you myself, or to send others, as I have covenanted; and you will have the summer from end to end in which to carry on the war against the Saracens.”

The barons thereupon said they would consult together apart; knowing full well that what the young man said was sooth, and that it would be better, both for the emperor and for themselves, to consent unto him. But they replied that they could not so consent save with the common agreement of the host, and that they would therefore lay the matter before the host, and then give such answer as might be devised. So the Emperor Alexius departed from them, and went back to Constantinople. And they remained in the camp and assembled a parliament the next day. To this parliament were summoned all the barons and the chieftains of the host, and of the knights the greater part; and in their hearing were repeated all the words that the emperor had spoken.

Debate Among the Crusaders – Death of Matthew of Montmorency

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.”

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