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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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for the African coast; and the report of an immense treasure
reconciled his troops to the delay of their voyage to the Holy
Land. Instead of a proselyte, he found a siege: the French
panted and died on the burning sands: St. Louis expired in his
tent; and no sooner had he closed his eyes, than his son and
successor gave the signal of the retreat. ^100 "It is thus," says
a lively writer, "that a Christian king died near the ruins of
Carthage, waging war against the sectaries of Mahomet, in a land
to which Dido had introduced the deities of Syria." ^101

[Footnote 100: See the expedition in the annals of St. Louis, by
William de Nangis, p. 270 - 287; and the Arabic extracts, p. 545,
555, of the Louvre edition of Joinville.]

[Footnote 101: Voltaire, Hist. Generale, tom. ii. p. 391.]
A more unjust and absurd constitution cannot be devised than
that which condemns the natives of a country to perpetual
servitude, under the arbitrary dominion of strangers and slaves.
Yet such has been the state of Egypt above five hundred years.
The most illustrious sultans of the Baharite and Borgite
dynasties ^102 were themselves promoted from the Tartar and
Circassian bands; and the four-and-twenty beys, or military
chiefs, have ever been succeeded, not by their sons, but by their
servants. They produce the great charter of their liberties, the
treaty of Selim the First with the republic: ^103 and the Othman
emperor still accepts from Egypt a slight acknowledgment of
tribute and subjection. With some breathing intervals of peace
and order, the two dynasties are marked as a period of rapine and
bloodshed: ^104 but their throne, however shaken, reposed on the
two pillars of discipline and valor: their sway extended over
Egypt, Nubia, Arabia, and Syria: their Mamalukes were multiplied
from eight hundred to twenty-five thousand horse; and their
numbers were increased by a provincial militia of one hundred and
seven thousand foot, and the occasional aid of sixty-six thousand
Arabs. ^105 Princes of such power and spirit could not long
endure on their coast a hostile and independent nation; and if
the ruin of the Franks was postponed about forty years, they were
indebted to the cares of an unsettled reign, to the invasion of
the Moguls, and to the occasional aid of some warlike pilgrims.
Among these, the English reader will observe the name of our
first Edward, who assumed the cross in the lifetime of his father
Henry. At the head of a thousand soldiers the future conqueror
of Wales and Scotland delivered Acre from a siege; marched as far
as Nazareth with an army of nine thousand men; emulated the fame
of his uncle Richard; extorted, by his valor, a ten years' truce;
^* and escaped, with a dangerous wound, from the dagger of a
fanatic assassin. ^106 ^! Antioch, ^107 whose situation had been
less exposed to the calamities of the holy war, was finally
occupied and ruined by Bondocdar, or Bibars, sultan of Egypt and
Syria; the Latin principality was extinguished; and the first
seat of the Christian name was dispeopled by the slaughter of
seventeen, and the captivity of one hundred, thousand of her
inhabitants. The maritime towns of Laodicea, Gabala, Tripoli,
Berytus, Sidon, Tyre and Jaffa, and the stronger castles of the
Hospitallers and Templars, successively fell; and the whole
existence of the Franks was confined to the city and colony of
St. John of Acre, which is sometimes described by the more
classic title of Ptolemais.
[Footnote 102: The chronology of the two dynasties of Mamalukes,
the Baharites, Turks or Tartars of Kipzak, and the Borgites,
Circassians, is given by Pocock (Prolegom. ad Abulpharag. p. 6 -
31) and De Guignes (tom. i. p. 264 - 270;) their history from
Abulfeda, Macrizi, &c., to the beginning of the xvth century, by
the same M. De Guignes, (tom. iv. p. 110 - 328.)]
[Footnote 103: Savary, Lettres sur l'Egypte, tom. ii. lettre xv.
p. 189 - 208. I much question the authenticity of this copy; yet
it is true, that Sultan Selim concluded a treaty with the
Circassians or Mamalukes of Egypt, and left them in possession of
arms, riches, and power. See a new Abrege de l'Histoire
Ottomane, composed in Egypt, and translated by M. Digeon, (tom.
i. p. 55 - 58, Paris, 1781,) a curious, authentic, and national
[Footnote 104: Si totum quo regnum occuparunt tempus respicias,
praesertim quod fini propius, reperies illud bellis, pugnis,
injuriis, ac rapinis refertum, (Al Jannabi, apud Pocock, p. 31.)
The reign of Mohammed (A.D. 1311 - 1341) affords a happy
exception, (De Guignes, tom. iv. p. 208 - 210.)]
[Footnote 105: They are now reduced to 8500: but the expense of
each Mamaluke may be rated at a hundred louis: and Egypt groans
under the avarice and insolence of these strangers, (Voyages de
Volney, tom. i. p. 89 - 187.)]
[Footnote *: Gibbon colors rather highly the success of Edward.
Wilken is more accurate vol. vii. p. 593, &c. - M.]

[Footnote 106: See Carte's History of England, vol. ii. p. 165 -
175, and his original authors, Thomas Wikes and Walter
Hemingford, (l. iii. c. 34, 35,) in Gale's Collection, tom. ii.
p. 97, 589 - 592.) They are both ignorant of the princess
Eleanor's piety in sucking the poisoned wound, and saving her
husband at the risk of her own life.]

[Footnote !: The sultan Bibars was concerned in this attempt at
assassination Wilken, vol. vii. p. 602. Ptolemaeus Lucensis is
the earliest authority for the devotion of Eleanora. Ibid. 605.
- M.]

[Footnote 107: Sanutus, Secret. Fidelium Crucis, 1. iii. p. xii.
c. 9, and De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. p. 143, from the
Arabic historians.]
After the loss of Jerusalem, Acre, ^108 which is distant
about seventy miles, became the metropolis of the Latin
Christians, and was adorned with strong and stately buildings,
with aqueducts, an artificial port, and a double wall. The
population was increased by the incessant streams of pilgrims and
fugitives: in the pauses of hostility the trade of the East and
West was attracted to this convenient station; and the market
could offer the produce of every clime and the interpreters of
every tongue. But in this conflux of nations, every vice was
propagated and practised: of all the disciples of Jesus and
Mahomet, the male and female inhabitants of Acre were esteemed
the most corrupt; nor could the abuse of religion be corrected by
the discipline of law. The city had many sovereigns, and no
government. The kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus, of the house of
Lusignan, the princes of Antioch, the counts of Tripoli and
Sidon, the great masters of the hospital, the temple, and the
Teutonic order, the republics of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, the
pope's legate, the kings of France and England, assumed an
independent command: seventeen tribunals exercised the power of
life and death; every criminal was protected in the adjacent
quarter; and the perpetual jealousy of the nations often burst
forth in acts of violence and blood. Some adventurers, who
disgraced the ensign of the cross, compensated their want of pay
by the plunder of the Mahometan villages: nineteen Syrian
merchants, who traded under the public faith, were despoiled and
hanged by the Christians; and the denial of satisfaction
justified the arms of the sultan Khalil. He marched against
Acre, at the head of sixty thousand horse and one hundred and
forty thousand foot: his train of artillery (if I may use the
word) was numerous and weighty: the separate timbers of a single
engine were transported in one hundred wagons; and the royal
historian Abulfeda, who served with the troops of Hamah, was
himself a spectator of the holy war. Whatever might be the vices
of the Franks, their courage was rekindled by enthusiasm and
despair; but they were torn by the discord of seventeen chiefs,
and overwhelmed on all sides by the powers of the sultan. After
a siege of thirty three days, the double wall was forced by the
Moslems; the principal tower yielded to their engines; the
Mamalukes made a general assault; the city was stormed; and death
or slavery was the lot of sixty thousand Christians. The
convent, or rather fortress, of the Templars resisted three days
longer; but the great master was pierced with an arrow; and, of
five hundred knights, only ten were left alive, less happy than
the victims of the sword, if they lived to suffer on a scaffold,
in the unjust and cruel proscription of the whole order. The
king of Jerusalem, the patriarch and the great master of the
hospital, effected their retreat to the shore; but the sea was
rough, the vessels were insufficient; and great numbers of the
fugitives were drowned before they could reach the Isle of
Cyprus, which might comfort Lusignan for the loss of Palestine.
By the command of the sultan, the churches and fortifications of
the Latin cities were demolished: a motive of avarice or fear
still opened the holy sepulchre to some devout and defenceless
pilgrims; and a mournful and solitary silence prevailed along the
coast which had so long resounded with the world's debate. ^109
[Footnote 108: The state of Acre is represented in all the
chronicles of te times, and most accurately in John Villani, l.
vii. c. 144, in Muratoru Scriptores Rerum Italicarum, tom. xiii.
337, 338.]

[Footnote 109: See the final expulsion of the Franks, in Sanutus,
l. iii. p. xii. c. 11 - 22; Abulfeda, Macrizi, &c., in De
Guignes, tom. iv. p. 162, 164; and Vertot, tom. i. l. iii. p. 307
- 428.

Note: After these chapters of Gibbon, the masterly prize
composition, "Essai sur 'Influence des Croisades sur l'Europe,
par A H. L. Heeren: traduit de l'Allemand par Charles Villars,
Paris, 1808,' or the original German, in Heeren's "Vermischte
Schriften," may be read with great advantage. - M.]

Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade.

Part I.

Schism Of The Greeks And Latins. - State Of Constantinople.
- Revolt Of The Bulgarians. - Isaac Angelus Dethroned By His
Brother Alexius. - Origin Of The Fourth Crusade. - Alliance Of
The French And Venetians With The Son Of Isaac. - Their Naval
Expedition To Constantinople. - The Two Sieges And Final Conquest
Of The City By The Latins.

The restoration of the Western empire by Charlemagne was
speedily followed by the separation of the Greek and Latin
churches. ^1 A religious and national animosity still divides the
two largest communions of the Christian world; and the schism of
Constantinople, by alienating her most useful allies, and
provoking her most dangerous enemies, has precipitated the
decline and fall of the Roman empire in the East.

[Footnote 1: In the successive centuries, from the ixth to the
xviiith, Mosheim traces the schism of the Greeks with learning,
clearness, and impartiality; the filioque (Institut. Hist.
Eccles. p. 277,) Leo III. p. 303 Photius, p. 307, 308. Michael
Cerularius, p. 370, 371, &c.]
In the course of the present History, the aversion of the
Greeks for the Latins has been often visible and conspicuous. It
was originally derived from the disdain of servitude, inflamed,
after the time of Constantine, by the pride of equality or
dominion; and finally exasperated by the preference which their
rebellious subjects had given to the alliance of the Franks. In
every age the Greeks were proud of their superiority in profane
and religious knowledge: they had first received the light of
Christianity; they had pronounced the decrees of the seven
general councils; they alone possessed the language of Scripture
and philosophy; nor should the Barbarians, immersed in the
darkness of the West, ^2 presume to argue on the high and
mysterious questions of theological science. Those Barbarians
despised in then turn the restless and subtile levity of the
Orientals, the authors of every heresy; and blessed their own
simplicity, which was content to hold the tradition of the
apostolic church. Yet in the seventh century, the synods of
Spain, and afterwards of France, improved or corrupted the Nicene
creed, on the mysterious subject of the third person of the
Trinity. ^3 In the long controversies of the East, the nature and
generation of the Christ had been scrupulously defined; and the
well-known relation of father and son seemed to convey a faint
image to the human mind. The idea of birth was less analogous to
the Holy Spirit, who, instead of a divine gift or attribute, was
considered by the Catholics as a substance, a person, a god; he
was not begotten, but in the orthodox style he proceeded. Did he
proceed from the Father alone, perhaps by the Son? or from the
Father and the Son? The first of these opinions was asserted by
the Greeks, the second by the Latins; and the addition to the
Nicene creed of the word filioque, kindled the flame of discord
between the Oriental and the Gallic churches. In the origin of
the disputes the Roman pontiffs affected a character of
neutrality and moderation: ^4 they condemned the innovation, but
they acquiesced in the sentiment, of their Transalpine brethren:
they seemed desirous of casting a veil of silence and charity
over the superfluous research; and in the correspondence of
Charlemagne and Leo the Third, the pope assumes the liberality of
a statesman, and the prince descends to the passions and
prejudices of a priest. ^5 But the orthodoxy of Rome
spontaneously obeyed the impulse of the temporal policy; and the
filioque, which Leo wished to erase, was transcribed in the
symbol and chanted in the liturgy of the Vatican. The Nicene and
Athanasian creeds are held as the Catholic faith, without which
none can be saved; and both Papists and Protestants must now
sustain and return the anathemas of the Greeks, who deny the
procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, as well as from the
Father. Such articles of faith are not susceptible of treaty;
but the rules of discipline will vary in remote and independent
churches; and the reason, even of divines, might allow, that the
difference is inevitable and harmless. The craft or superstition
of Rome has imposed on her priests and deacons the rigid
obligation of celibacy; among the Greeks it is confined to the
bishops; the loss is compensated by dignity or annihilated by
age; and the parochial clergy, the papas, enjoy the conjugal
society of the wives whom they have married before their entrance
into holy orders. A question concerning the Azyms was fiercely
debated in the eleventh century, and the essence of the Eucharist
was supposed in the East and West to depend on the use of
leavened or unleavened bread. Shall I mention in a serious
history the furious reproaches that were urged against the
Latins, who for a long while remained on the defensive? They
neglected to abstain, according to the apostolical decree, from
things strangled, and from blood: they fasted (a Jewish
observance!) on the Saturday of each week: during the first week
of Lent they permitted the use of milk and cheese; ^6 their
infirm monks were indulged in the taste of flesh; and animal
grease was substituted for the want of vegetable oil: the holy
chrism or unction in baptism was reserved to the episcopal order:
the bishops, as the bridegrooms of their churches, were decorated
with rings; their priests shaved their faces, and baptized by a
single immersion. Such were the crimes which provoked the zeal
of the patriarchs of Constantinople; and which were justified
with equal zeal by the doctors of the Latin church. ^7

[Footnote 2: (Phot. Epist. p. 47, edit. Montacut.) The Oriental
patriarch continues to apply the images of thunder, earthquake,
hail, wild boar, precursors of Antichrist, &c., &c.]

[Footnote 3: The mysterious subject of the procession of the Holy
Ghost is discussed in the historical, theological, and
controversial sense, or nonsense, by the Jesuit Petavius.
(Dogmata Theologica, tom. ii. l. vii. p. 362 - 440.)]

[Footnote 4: Before the shrine of St. Peter he placed two shields
of the weight of 94 1/2 pounds of pure silver; on which he
inscribed the text of both creeds, (utroque symbolo,) pro amore
et cautela orthodoxae fidei, (Anastas. in Leon. III. in Muratori,
tom. iii. pars. i. p. 208.) His language most clearly proves,
that neither the filioque, nor the Athanasian creed were received
at Rome about the year 830.]

[Footnote 5: The Missi of Charlemagne pressed him to declare,
that all who rejected the filioque, or at least the doctrine,
must be damned. All, replies the pope, are not capable of
reaching the altiora mysteria qui potuerit, et non voluerit,
salvus esse non potest, (Collect. Concil. tom. ix. p. 277 - 286.)
The potuerit would leave a large loophole of salvation!]
[Footnote 6: In France, after some harsher laws, the
ecclesiastical discipline is now relaxed: milk, cheese, and
butter, are become a perpetual, and eggs an annual, indulgence in
Lent, (Vie privee des Francois, tom. ii. p. 27 - 38.)]
[Footnote 7: The original monuments of the schism, of the charges
of the Greeks against the Latins, are deposited in the epistles
of Photius, (Epist Encyclica, ii. p. 47 - 61,) and of Michael
Cerularius, (Canisii Antiq. Lectiones, tom. iii. p. i. p. 281 -
324, edit. Basnage, with the prolix answer of Cardinal Humbert.)]

Bigotry and national aversion are powerful magnifiers of
every object of dispute; but the immediate cause of the schism of
the Greeks may be traced in the emulation of the leading
prelates, who maintained the supremacy of the old metropolis
superior to all, and of the reigning capital, inferior to none,
in the Christian world. About the middle of the ninth century,
Photius, ^8 an ambitious layman, the captain of the guards and
principal secretary, was promoted by merit and favor to the more
desirable office of patriarch of Constantinople. In science,
even ecclesiastical science, he surpassed the clergy of the age;
and the purity of his morals has never been impeached: but his
ordination was hasty, his rise was irregular; and Ignatius, his
abdicated predecessor, was yet supported by the public compassion
and the obstinacy of his adherents. They appealed to the
tribunal of Nicholas the First, one of the proudest and most
aspiring of the Roman pontiffs, who embraced the welcome
opportunity of judging and condemning his rival of the East.
Their quarrel was embittered by a conflict of jurisdiction over
the king and nation of the Bulgarians; nor was their recent
conversion to Christianity of much avail to either prelate,
unless he could number the proselytes among the subjects of his
power. With the aid of his court the Greek patriarch was
victorious; but in the furious contest he deposed in his turn the
successor of St. Peter, and involved the Latin church in the
reproach of heresy and schism. Photius sacrificed the peace of
the world to a short and precarious reign: he fell with his
patron, the Caesar Bardas; and Basil the Macedonian performed an
act of justice in the restoration of Ignatius, whose age and
dignity had not been sufficiently respected. From his monastery,
or prison, Photius solicited the favor of the emperor by pathetic
complaints and artful flattery; and the eyes of his rival were
scarcely closed, when he was again restored to the throne of
Constantinople. After the death of Basil he experienced the
vicissitudes of courts and the ingratitude of a royal pupil: the
patriarch was again deposed, and in his last solitary hours he
might regret the freedom of a secular and studious life. In each
revolution, the breath, the nod, of the sovereign had been
accepted by a submissive clergy; and a synod of three hundred
bishops was always prepared to hail the triumph, or to stigmatize
the fall, of the holy, or the execrable, Photius. ^9 By a
delusive promise of succor or reward, the popes were tempted to
countenance these various proceedings; and the synods of
Constantinople were ratified by their epistles or legates. But
the court and the people, Ignatius and Photius, were equally
adverse to their claims; their ministers were insulted or
imprisoned; the procession of the Holy Ghost was forgotten;
Bulgaria was forever annexed to the Byzantine throne; and the
schism was prolonged by their rigid censure of all the multiplied
ordinations of an irregular patriarch. The darkness and
corruption of the tenth century suspended the intercourse,
without reconciling the minds, of the two nations. But when the
Norman sword restored the churches of Apulia to the jurisdiction
of Rome, the departing flock was warned, by a petulant epistle of
the Greek patriarch, to avoid and abhor the errors of the Latins.

The rising majesty of Rome could no longer brook the insolence of
a rebel; and Michael Cerularius was excommunicated in the heart
of Constantinople by the pope's legates. Shaking the dust from
their feet, they deposited on the altar of St. Sophia a direful
anathema, ^10 which enumerates the seven mortal heresies of the
Greeks, and devotes the guilty teachers, and their unhappy
sectaries, to the eternal society of the devil and his angels.
According to the emergencies of the church and state, a friendly
correspondence was some times resumed; the language of charity
and concord was sometimes affected; but the Greeks have never
recanted their errors; the popes have never repealed their
sentence; and from this thunderbolt we may date the consummation
of the schism. It was enlarged by each ambitious step of the
Roman pontiffs: the emperors blushed and trembled at the
ignominious fate of their royal brethren of Germany; and the
people were scandalized by the temporal power and military life
of the Latin clergy. ^11

[Footnote 8: The xth volume of the Venice edition of the Councils
contains all the acts of the synods, and history of Photius: they
are abridged, with a faint tinge of prejudice or prudence, by
Dupin and Fleury.]
[Footnote 9: The synod of Constantinople, held in the year 869,
is the viiith of the general councils, the last assembly of the
East which is recognized by the Roman church. She rejects the
synods of Constantinople of the years 867 and 879, which were,
however, equally numerous and noisy; but they were favorable to

[Footnote 10: See this anathema in the Councils, tom. xi. p. 1457
- 1460.]
[Footnote 11: Anna Comnena (Alexiad, l. i. p. 31 - 33) represents
the abhorrence, not only of the church, but of the palace, for
Gregory VII., the popes and the Latin communion. The style of
Cinnamus and Nicetas is still more vehement. Yet how calm is the
voice of history compared with that of polemics!]

The aversion of the Greeks and Latins was nourished and
manifested in the three first expeditions to the Holy Land.
Alexius Comnenus contrived the absence at least of the formidable
pilgrims: his successors, Manuel and Isaac Angelus, conspired
with the Moslems for the ruin of the greatest princes of the
Franks; and their crooked and malignant policy was seconded by
the active and voluntary obedience of every order of their
subjects. Of this hostile temper, a large portion may doubtless
be ascribed to the difference of language, dress, and manners,
which severs and alienates the nations of the globe. The pride,
as well as the prudence, of the sovereign was deeply wounded by
the intrusion of foreign armies, that claimed a right of
traversing his dominions, and passing under the walls of his
capital: his subjects were insulted and plundered by the rude
strangers of the West: and the hatred of the pusillanimous Greeks
was sharpened by secret envy of the bold and pious enterprises of
the Franks. But these profane causes of national enmity were
fortified and inflamed by the venom of religious zeal. Instead of
a kind embrace, a hospitable reception from their Christian
brethren of the East, every tongue was taught to repeat the names
of schismatic and heretic, more odious to an orthodox ear than
those of pagan and infidel: instead of being loved for the
general conformity of faith and worship, they were abhorred for
some rules of discipline, some questions of theology, in which
themselves or their teachers might differ from the Oriental
church. In the crusade of Louis the Seventh, the Greek clergy
washed and purified the altars which had been defiled by the
sacrifice of a French priest. The companions of Frederic
Barbarossa deplore the injuries which they endured, both in word
and deed, from the peculiar rancor of the bishops and monks.
Their prayers and sermons excited the people against the impious
Barbarians; and the patriarch is accused of declaring, that the
faithful might obtain the redemption of all their sins by the
extirpation of the schismatics. ^12 An enthusiast, named
Dorotheus, alarmed the fears, and restored the confidence, of the
emperor, by a prophetic assurance, that the German heretic, after
assaulting the gate of Blachernes, would be made a signal example
of the divine vengeance. The passage of these mighty armies were
rare and perilous events; but the crusades introduced a frequent
and familiar intercourse between the two nations, which enlarged
their knowledge without abating their prejudices. The wealth and
luxury of Constantinople demanded the productions of every
climate these imports were balanced by the art and labor of her
numerous inhabitants; her situation invites the commerce of the
world; and, in every period of her existence, that commerce has
been in the hands of foreigners. After the decline of Amalphi,
the Venetians, Pisans, and Genoese, introduced their factories
and settlements into the capital of the empire: their services
were rewarded with honors and immunities; they acquired the
possession of lands and houses; their families were multiplied by
marriages with the natives; and, after the toleration of a
Mahometan mosque, it was impossible to interdict the churches of
the Roman rite. ^13 The two wives of Manuel Comnenus ^14 were of
the race of the Franks: the first, a sister-in-law of the emperor
Conrad; the second, a daughter of the prince of Antioch: he
obtained for his son Alexius a daughter of Philip Augustus, king
of France; and he bestowed his own daughter on a marquis of
Montferrat, who was educated and dignified in the palace of
Constantinople. The Greek encountered the arms, and aspired to
the empire, of the West: he esteemed the valor, and trusted the
fidelity, of the Franks; ^15 their military talents were unfitly
recompensed by the lucrative offices of judges and treasures; the
policy of Manuel had solicited the alliance of the pope; and the
popular voice accused him of a partial bias to the nation and
religion of the Latins. ^16 During his reign, and that of his
successor Alexius, they were exposed at Constantinople to the
reproach of foreigners, heretics, and favorites; and this triple
guilt was severely expiated in the tumult, which announced the
return and elevation of Andronicus. ^17 The people rose in arms:
from the Asiatic shore the tyrant despatched his troops and
galleys to assist the national revenge; and the hopeless
resistance of the strangers served only to justify the rage, and
sharpen the daggers, of the assassins. Neither age, nor sex, nor
the ties of friendship or kindred, could save the victims of
national hatred, and avarice, and religious zeal; the Latins were
slaughtered in their houses and in the streets; their quarter was
reduced to ashes; the clergy were burnt in their churches, and
the sick in their hospitals; and some estimate may be formed of
the slain from the clemency which sold above four thousand
Christians in perpetual slavery to the Turks. The priests and
monks were the loudest and most active in the destruction of the
schismatics; and they chanted a thanksgiving to the Lord, when
the head of a Roman cardinal, the pope's legate, was severed from
his body, fastened to the tail of a dog, and dragged, with savage
mockery, through the city. The more diligent of the strangers
had retreated, on the first alarm, to their vessels, and escaped
through the Hellespont from the scene of blood. In their flight,
they burnt and ravaged two hundred miles of the sea-coast;
inflicted a severe revenge on the guiltless subjects of the
empire; marked the priests and monks as their peculiar enemies;
and compensated, by the accumulation of plunder, the loss of
their property and friends. On their return, they exposed to
Italy and Europe the wealth and weakness, the perfidy and malice,
of the Greeks, whose vices were painted as the genuine characters
of heresy and schism. The scruples of the first crusaders had
neglected the fairest opportunities of securing, by the
possession of Constantinople, the way to the Holy Land: domestic
revolution invited, and almost compelled, the French and
Venetians to achieve the conquest of the Roman empire of the
[Footnote 12: His anonymous historian (de Expedit. Asiat. Fred.
I. in Canisii Lection. Antiq. tom. iii. pars ii. p. 511, edit.
Basnage) mentions the sermons of the Greek patriarch, quomodo
Graecis injunxerat in remissionem peccatorum peregrinos occidere
et delere de terra. Tagino observes, (in Scriptores Freher. tom.
i. p. 409, edit. Struv.,) Graeci haereticos nos appellant:
clerici et monachi dictis et factis persequuntur. We may add the
declaration of the emperor Baldwin fifteen years afterwards: Haec
est (gens) quae Latinos omnes non hominum nomine, sed canum
dignabatur; quorum sanguinem effundere pene inter merita
reputabant, (Gesta Innocent. III., c. 92, in Muratori, Script.
Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. pars i. p. 536.) There may be some
exaggeration, but it was as effectual for the action and reaction
of hatred.]
[Footnote 13: See Anna Comnena, (Alexiad, l. vi. p. 161, 162,)
and a remarkable passage of Nicetas, (in Manuel, l. v. c. 9,) who
observes of the Venetians, &c.]

[Footnote 14: Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 186, 187.]

[Footnote 15: Nicetas in Manuel. l. vii. c. 2. Regnante enim
(Manuele) . . apud eum tantam Latinus populus repererat gratiam
ut neglectis Graeculis suis tanquam viris mollibus et
effoeminatis, . . . . solis Latinis grandia committeret negotia .
. . . erga eos profusa liberalitate abundabat . . . . ex omni
orbe ad eum tanquam ad benefactorem nobiles et ignobiles
concurrebant. Willelm. Tyr. xxii. c. 10.]

[Footnote 16: The suspicions of the Greeks would have been
confirmed, if they had seen the political epistles of Manuel to
Pope Alexander III., the enemy of his enemy Frederic I., in which
the emperor declares his wish of uniting the Greeks and Latins as
one flock under one shephero, &c (See Fleury, Hist. Eccles. tom.
xv. p. 187, 213, 243.)]

[Footnote 17: See the Greek and Latin narratives in Nicetas (in
Alexio Comneno, c. 10) and William of Tyre, (l. xxii. c. 10, 11,
12, 13;) the first soft and concise, the second loud, copious,
and tragical.]
In the series of the Byzantine princes, I have exhibited the
hypocrisy and ambition, the tyranny and fall, of Andronicus, the
last male of the Comnenian family who reigned at Constantinople.
The revolution, which cast him headlong from the throne, saved
and exalted Isaac Angelus, ^18 who descended by the females from
the same Imperial dynasty. The successor of a second Nero might
have found it an easy task to deserve the esteem and affection of
his subjects; they sometimes had reason to regret the
administration of Andronicus. The sound and vigorous mind of the
tyrant was capable of discerning the connection between his own
and the public interest; and while he was feared by all who could
inspire him with fear, the unsuspected people, and the remote
provinces, might bless the inexorable justice of their master.
But his successor was vain and jealous of the supreme power,
which he wanted courage and abilities to exercise: his vices were
pernicious, his virtues (if he possessed any virtues) were
useless, to mankind; and the Greeks, who imputed their calamities
to his negligence, denied him the merit of any transient or
accidental benefits of the times. Isaac slept on the throne, and
was awakened only by the sound of pleasure: his vacant hours were
amused by comedians and buffoons, and even to these buffoons the
emperor was an object of contempt: his feasts and buildings
exceeded the examples of royal luxury: the number of his eunuchs
and domestics amounted to twenty thousand; and a daily sum of
four thousand pounds of silver would swell to four millions
sterling the annual expense of his household and table. His
poverty was relieved by oppression; and the public discontent was
inflamed by equal abuses in the collection, and the application,
of the revenue. While the Greeks numbered the days of their
servitude, a flattering prophet, whom he rewarded with the
dignity of patriarch, assured him of a long and victorious reign
of thirty-two years; during which he should extend his sway to
Mount Libanus, and his conquests beyond the Euphrates. But his
only step towards the accomplishment of the prediction was a
splendid and scandalous embassy to Saladin, ^19 to demand the
restitution of the holy sepulchre, and to propose an offensive
and defensive league with the enemy of the Christian name. In
these unworthy hands, of Isaac and his brother, the remains of
the Greek empire crumbled into dust. The Island of Cyprus, whose
name excites the ideas of elegance and pleasure, was usurped by
his namesake, a Comnenian prince; and by a strange concatenation
of events, the sword of our English Richard bestowed that kingdom
on the house of Lusignan, a rich compensation for the loss of

[Footnote 18: The history of the reign of Isaac Angelus is
composed, in three books, by the senator Nicetas, (p. 228 - 290;)
and his offices of logothete, or principal secretary, and judge
of the veil or palace, could not bribe the impartiality of the
historian. He wrote, it is true, after the fall and death of his

[Footnote 19: See Bohadin, Vit. Saladin. p. 129 - 131, 226, vers.
Schultens. The ambassador of Isaac was equally versed in the
Greek, French, and Arabic languages; a rare instance in those
times. His embassies were received with honor, dismissed without
effect, and reported with scandal in the West.]
The honor of the monarchy and the safety of the capital were
deeply wounded by the revolt of the Bulgarians and Walachians.
Since the victory of the second Basil, they had supported, above
a hundred and seventy years, the loose dominion of the Byzantine
princes; but no effectual measures had been adopted to impose the
yoke of laws and manners on these savage tribes. By the command
of Isaac, their sole means of subsistence, their flocks and
herds, were driven away, to contribute towards the pomp of the
royal nuptials; and their fierce warriors were exasperated by the
denial of equal rank and pay in the military service. Peter and
Asan, two powerful chiefs, of the race of the ancient kings, ^20
asserted their own rights and the national freedom; their
daemoniac impostors proclaimed to the crowd, that their glorious
patron St. Demetrius had forever deserted the cause of the
Greeks; and the conflagration spread from the banks of the Danube
to the hills of Macedonia and Thrace. After some faint efforts,
Isaac Angelus and his brother acquiesced in their independence;
and the Imperial troops were soon discouraged by the bones of
their fellow-soldiers, that were scattered along the passes of
Mount Haemus. By the arms and policy of John or Joannices, the
second kingdom of Bulgaria was firmly established. The subtle
Barbarian sent an embassy to Innocent the Third, to acknowledge
himself a genuine son of Rome in descent and religion, ^21 and
humbly received from the pope the license of coining money, the
royal title, and a Latin archbishop or patriarch. The Vatican
exulted in the spiritual conquest of Bulgaria, the first object
of the schism; and if the Greeks could have preserved the
prerogatives of the church, they would gladly have resigned the
rights of the monarchy.

[Footnote 20: Ducange, Familiae, Dalmaticae, p. 318, 319, 320.
The original correspondence of the Bulgarian king and the Roman
pontiff is inscribed in the Gesta Innocent. III. c. 66 - 82, p.
513 - 525.]

[Footnote 21: The pope acknowledges his pedigree, a nobili urbis
Romae prosapia genitores tui originem traxerunt. This tradition,
and the strong resemblance of the Latin and Walachian idioms, is
explained by M. D'Anville, (Etats de l'Europe, p. 258 - 262.) The
Italian colonies of the Dacia of Trajan were swept away by the
tide of emigration from the Danube to the Volga, and brought back
by another wave from the Volga to the Danube. Possible, but

The Bulgarians were malicious enough to pray for the long
life of Isaac Angelus, the surest pledge of their freedom and
prosperity. Yet their chiefs could involve in the same
indiscriminate contempt the family and nation of the emperor.
"In all the Greeks," said Asan to his troops, "the same climate,
and character, and education, will be productive of the same
fruits. Behold my lance," continued the warrior, "and the long
streamers that float in the wind. They differ only in color; they
are formed of the same silk, and fashioned by the same workman;
nor has the stripe that is stained in purple any superior price
or value above its fellows." ^22 Several of these candidates for
the purple successively rose and fell under the empire of Isaac;
a general, who had repelled the fleets of Sicily, was driven to
revolt and ruin by the ingratitude of the prince; and his
luxurious repose was disturbed by secret conspiracies and popular
insurrections. The emperor was saved by accident, or the merit
of his servants: he was at length oppressed by an ambitious
brother, who, for the hope of a precarious diadem, forgot the
obligations of nature, of loyalty, and of friendship. ^23 While
Isaac in the Thracian valleys pursued the idle and solitary
pleasures of the chase, his brother, Alexius Angelus, was
invested with the purple, by the unanimous suffrage of the camp;
the capital and the clergy subscribed to their choice; and the
vanity of the new sovereign rejected the name of his fathers for
the lofty and royal appellation of the Comnenian race. On the
despicable character of Isaac I have exhausted the language of
contempt, and can only add, that, in a reign of eight years, the
baser Alexius ^24 was supported by the masculine vices of his
wife Euphrosyne. The first intelligence of his fall was conveyed
to the late emperor by the hostile aspect and pursuit of the
guards, no longer his own: he fled before them above fifty miles,
as far as Stagyra, in Macedonia; but the fugitive, without an
object or a follower, was arrested, brought back to
Constantinople, deprived of his eyes, and confined in a lonesome
tower, on a scanty allowance of bread and water. At the moment
of the revolution, his son Alexius, whom he educated in the hope
of empire, was twelve years of age. He was spared by the
usurper, and reduced to attend his triumph both in peace and war;
but as the army was encamped on the sea-shore, an Italian vessel
facilitated the escape of the royal youth; and, in the disguise
of a common sailor, he eluded the search of his enemies, passed
the Hellespont, and found a secure refuge in the Isle of Sicily.
After saluting the threshold of the apostles, and imploring the
protection of Pope Innocent the Third, Alexius accepted the kind
invitation of his sister Irene, the wife of Philip of Swabia,
king of the Romans. But in his passage through Italy, he heard
that the flower of Western chivalry was assembled at Venice for
the deliverance of the Holy Land; and a ray of hope was kindled
in his bosom, that their invincible swords might be employed in
his father's restoration.
[Footnote 22: This parable is in the best savage style; but I
wish the Walach had not introduced the classic name of Mysians,
the experiment of the magnet or loadstone, and the passage of an
old comic poet, (Nicetas in Alex. Comneno, l. i. p. 299, 300.)]

[Footnote 23: The Latins aggravate the ingratitude of Alexius, by
supposing that he had been released by his brother Isaac from
Turkish captivity This pathetic tale had doubtless been repeated
at Venice and Zara but I do not readily discover its grounds in
the Greek historians.]

[Footnote 24: See the reign of Alexius Angelus, or Comnenus, in
the three books of Nicetas, p. 291 - 352.]

About ten or twelve years after the loss of Jerusalem, the
nobles of France were again summoned to the holy war by the voice
of a third prophet, less extravagant, perhaps, than Peter the
hermit, but far below St. Bernard in the merit of an orator and a
statesman. An illiterate priest of the neighborhood of Paris,
Fulk of Neuilly, ^25 forsook his parochial duty, to assume the
more flattering character of a popular and itinerant missionary.
The fame of his sanctity and miracles was spread over the land;
he declaimed, with severity and vehemence, against the vices of
the age; and his sermons, which he preached in the streets of
Paris, converted the robbers, the usurers, the prostitutes, and
even the doctors and scholars of the university. No sooner did
Innocent the Third ascend the chair of St. Peter, than he
proclaimed in Italy, Germany, and France, the obligation of a new
crusade. ^26 The eloquent pontiff described the ruin of
Jerusalem, the triumph of the Pagans, and the shame of
Christendom; his liberality proposed the redemption of sins, a
plenary indulgence to all who should serve in Palestine, either a
year in person, or two years by a substitute; ^27 and among his
legates and orators who blew the sacred trumpet, Fulk of Neuilly
was the loudest and most successful. The situation of the
principal monarchs was averse to the pious summons. The emperor
Frederic the Second was a child; and his kingdom of Germany was
disputed by the rival houses of Brunswick and Swabia, the
memorable factions of the Guelphs and Ghibelines. Philip Augustus
of France had performed, and could not be persuaded to renew, the
perilous vow; but as he was not less ambitious of praise than of
power, he cheerfully instituted a perpetual fund for the defence
of the Holy Land Richard of England was satiated with the glory
and misfortunes of his first adventure; and he presumed to deride
the exhortations of Fulk of Neuilly, who was not abashed in the
presence of kings. "You advise me," said Plantagenet, "to
dismiss my three daughters, pride, avarice, and incontinence: I
bequeath them to the most deserving; my pride to the knights
templars, my avarice to the monks of Cisteaux, and my
incontinence to the prelates." But the preacher was heard and
obeyed by the great vassals, the princes of the second order; and
Theobald, or Thibaut, count of Champagne, was the foremost in the
holy race. The valiant youth, at the age of twenty-two years,
was encouraged by the domestic examples of his father, who
marched in the second crusade, and of his elder brother, who had
ended his days in Palestine with the title of King of Jerusalem;
two thousand two hundred knights owed service and homage to his
peerage; ^28 the nobles of Champagne excelled in all the
exercises of war; ^29 and, by his marriage with the heiress of
Navarre, Thibaut could draw a band of hardy Gascons from either
side of the Pyrenaean mountains. His companion in arms was
Louis, count of Blois and Chartres; like himself of regal
lineage, for both the princes were nephews, at the same time, of
the kings of France and England. In a crowd of prelates and
barons, who imitated their zeal, I distinguish the birth and
merit of Matthew of Montmorency; the famous Simon of Montfort,
the scourge of the Albigeois; and a valiant noble, Jeffrey of
Villehardouin, ^30 marshal of Champagne, ^31 who has
condescended, in the rude idiom of his age and country, ^32 to
write or dictate ^33 an original narrative of the councils and
actions in which he bore a memorable part. At the same time,
Baldwin, count of Flanders, who had married the sister of
Thibaut, assumed the cross at Bruges, with his brother Henry, and
the principal knights and citizens of that rich and industrious
province. ^34 The vow which the chiefs had pronounced in
churches, they ratified in tournaments; the operations of the war
were debated in full and frequent assemblies; and it was resolved
to seek the deliverance of Palestine in Egypt, a country, since
Saladin's death, which was almost ruined by famine and civil war.

But the fate of so many royal armies displayed the toils and
perils of a land expedition; and if the Flemings dwelt along the
ocean, the French barons were destitute of ships and ignorant of
navigation. They embraced the wise resolution of choosing six
deputies or representatives, of whom Villehardouin was one, with
a discretionary trust to direct the motions, and to pledge the
faith, of the whole confederacy. The maritime states of Italy
were alone possessed of the means of transporting the holy
warriors with their arms and horses; and the six deputies
proceeded to Venice, to solicit, on motives of piety or interest,
the aid of that powerful republic.

[Footnote 25: See Fleury, Hist. Eccles. tom. xvi. p. 26, &c., and
Villehardouin, No. 1, with the observations of Ducange, which I
always mean to quote with the original text.]

[Footnote 26: The contemporary life of Pope Innocent III.,
published by Baluze and Muratori, (Scriptores Rerum Italicarum,
tom. iii. pars i. p. 486 - 568, is most valuable for the
important and original documents which are inserted in the text.
The bull of the crusade may be read, c. 84, 85.]
[Footnote 27: Por-ce que cil pardon, fut issi gran, si s'en
esmeurent mult licuers des genz, et mult s'en croisierent, porce
que li pardons ere su gran. Villehardouin, No. 1. Our
philosophers may refine on the causes of the crusades, but such
were the genuine feelings of a French knight.]
[Footnote 28: This number of fiefs (of which 1800 owed liege
homage) was enrolled in the church of St. Stephen at Troyes, and
attested A.D. 1213, by the marshal and butler of Champagne,
(Ducange, Observ. p. 254.)]
[Footnote 29: Campania . . . . militiae privilegio singularius
excellit . . . . in tyrociniis . . . . prolusione armorum, &c.,
Duncage, p. 249, from the old Chronicle of Jerusalem, A.D. 1177 -

[Footnote 30: The name of Villehardouin was taken from a village
and castle in the diocese of Troyes, near the River Aube, between
Bar and Arcis. The family was ancient and noble; the elder
branch of our historian existed after the year 1400, the younger,
which acquired the principality of Achaia, merged in the house of
Savoy, (Ducange, p. 235 - 245.)]

[Footnote 31: This office was held by his father and his
descendants; but Ducange has not hunted it with his usual
sagacity. I find that, in the year 1356, it was in the family of
Conflans; but these provincial have been long since eclipsed by
the national marshals of France.]

[Footnote 32: This language, of which I shall produce some
specimens, is explained by Vigenere and Ducange, in a version and
glossary. The president Des Brosses (Mechanisme des Langues,
tom. ii. p. 83) gives it as the example of a language which has
ceased to be French, and is understood only by grammarians.]

[Footnote 33: His age, and his own expression, moi qui ceste
oeuvre dicta. (No. 62, &c.,) may justify the suspicion (more
probable than Mr. Wood's on Homer) that he could neither read nor
write. Yet Champagne may boast of the two first historians, the
noble authors of French prose, Villehardouin and Joinville.]

[Footnote 34: The crusade and reigns of the counts of Flanders,
Baldwin and his brother Henry, are the subject of a particular
history by the Jesuit Doutremens, (Constantinopolis Belgica;
Turnaci, 1638, in 4to.,) which I have only seen with the eyes of

In the invasion of Italy by Attila, I have mentioned ^35 the
flight of the Venetians from the fallen cities of the continent,
and their obscure shelter in the chain of islands that line the
extremity of the Adriatic Gulf. In the midst of the waters, free,
indigent, laborious, and inaccessible, they gradually coalesced
into a republic: the first foundations of Venice were laid in the
Island of Rialto; and the annual election of the twelve tribunes
was superseded by the permanent office of a duke or doge. On the
verge of the two empires, the Venetians exult in the belief of
primitive and perpetual independence. ^36 Against the Latins,
their antique freedom has been asserted by the sword, and may be
justified by the pen. Charlemagne himself resigned all claims of
sovereignty to the islands of the Adriatic Gulf: his son Pepin
was repulsed in the attacks of the lagunas or canals, too deep
for the cavalry, and too shallow for the vessels; and in every
age, under the German Caesars, the lands of the republic have
been clearly distinguished from the kingdom of Italy. But the
inhabitants of Venice were considered by themselves, by
strangers, and by their sovereigns, as an inalienable portion of
the Greek empire: ^37 in the ninth and tenth centuries, the
proofs of their subjection are numerous and unquestionable; and
the vain titles, the servile honors, of the Byzantine court, so
ambitiously solicited by their dukes, would have degraded the
magistrates of a free people. But the bands of this dependence,
which was never absolute or rigid, were imperceptibly relaxed by
the ambition of Venice and the weakness of Constantinople.
Obedience was softened into respect, privilege ripened into
prerogative, and the freedom of domestic government was fortified
by the independence of foreign dominion. The maritime cities of
Istria and Dalmatia bowed to the sovereigns of the Adriatic; and
when they armed against the Normans in the cause of Alexius, the
emperor applied, not to the duty of his subjects, but to the
gratitude and generosity of his faithful allies. The sea was
their patrimony: ^38 the western parts of the Mediterranean, from
Tuscany to Gibraltar, were indeed abandoned to their rivals of
Pisa and Genoa; but the Venetians acquired an early and lucrative
share of the commerce of Greece and Egypt. Their riches
increased with the increasing demand of Europe; their
manufactures of silk and glass, perhaps the institution of their
bank, are of high antiquity; and they enjoyed the fruits of their
industry in the magnificence of public and private life. To
assert her flag, to avenge her injuries, to protect the freedom
of navigation, the republic could launch and man a fleet of a
hundred galleys; and the Greeks, the Saracens, and the Normans,
were encountered by her naval arms. The Franks of Syria were
assisted by the Venetians in the reduction of the sea coast; but
their zeal was neither blind nor disinterested; and in the
conquest of Tyre, they shared the sovereignty of a city, the
first seat of the commerce of the world. The policy of Venice
was marked by the avarice of a trading, and the insolence of a
maritime, power; yet her ambition was prudent: nor did she often
forget that if armed galleys were the effect and safeguard,
merchant vessels were the cause and supply, of her greatness. In
her religion, she avoided the schisms of the Greeks, without
yielding a servile obedience to the Roman pontiff; and a free
intercourse with the infidels of every clime appears to have
allayed betimes the fever of superstition. Her primitive
government was a loose mixture of democracy and monarchy; the
doge was elected by the votes of the general assembly; as long as
he was popular and successful, he reigned with the pomp and
authority of a prince; but in the frequent revolutions of the
state, he was deposed, or banished, or slain, by the justice or
injustice of the multitude. The twelfth century produced the
first rudiments of the wise and jealous aristocracy, which has
reduced the doge to a pageant, and the people to a cipher. ^39

[Footnote 35: History, &c., vol. iii. p. 446, 447.]

[Footnote 36: The foundation and independence of Venice, and
Pepin's invasion, are discussed by Pagi (Critica, tom. iii. A.D.
81), No. 4, &c.) and Beretti, (Dissert. Chorograph. Italiae Medii
Aevi, in Muratori, Script. tom. x. p. 153.) The two critics have
a slight bias, the Frenchman adverse, the Italian favorable, to
the republic.]

[Footnote 37: When the son of Charlemagne asserted his right of
sovereignty, he was answered by the loyal Venetians, (Constantin.
Porphyrogenit. de Administrat Imperii, pars ii. c. 28, p. 85;)
and the report of the ixth establishes the fact of the xth
century, which is confirmed by the embassy of Liutprand of
Cremona. The annual tribute, which the emperor allows them to
pay to the king of Italy, alleviates, by doubling, their
servitude; but the hateful word must be translated, as in the
charter of 827, (Laugier, Hist. de Venice, tom. i. p. 67, &c.,)
by the softer appellation of subditi, or fideles.]

[Footnote 38: See the xxvth and xxxth dissertations of the
Antiquitates Medii Aevi of Muratori. From Anderson's History of
Commerce, I understand that the Venetians did not trade to
England before the year 1323. The most flourishing state of
their wealth and commerce, in the beginning of the xvth century,
is agreeably described by the Abbe Dubos, (Hist. de la Ligue de
Cambray, tom. ii. p. 443 - 480.)]

[Footnote 39: The Venetians have been slow in writing and
publishing their history. Their most ancient monuments are, 1.
The rude Chronicle (perhaps) of John Sagorninus, (Venezia, 1765,
in octavo,) which represents the state and manners of Venice in
the year 1008. 2. The larger history of the doge, (1342 - 1354,)
Andrew Dandolo, published for the first time in the xiith tom. of
Muratori, A.D. 1728. The History of Venice by the Abbe Laugier,
(Paris, 1728,) is a work of some merit, which I have chiefly used
for the constitutional part.

Note: It is scarcely necessary to mention the valuable work
of Count Daru, "History de Venise," of which I hear that an
Italian translation has been published, with notes defensive of
the ancient republic. I have not yet seen this work. - M.]

Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade.

Part II.

When the six ambassadors of the French pilgrims arrived at
Venice, they were hospitably entertained in the palace of St.
Mark, by the reigning duke; his name was Henry Dandolo; ^40 and
he shone in the last period of human life as one of the most
illustrious characters of the times. Under the weight of years,
and after the loss of his eyes, ^41 Dandolo retained a sound
understanding and a manly courage: the spirit of a hero,
ambitious to signalize his reign by some memorable exploits; and
the wisdom of a patriot, anxious to build his fame on the glory
and advantage of his country. He praised the bold enthusiasm and
liberal confidence of the barons and their deputies: in such a
cause, and with such associates, he should aspire, were he a
private man, to terminate his life; but he was the servant of the
republic, and some delay was requisite to consult, on this
arduous business, the judgment of his colleagues. The proposal
of the French was first debated by the six sages who had been
recently appointed to control the administration of the doge: it
was next disclosed to the forty members of the council of state;
and finally communicated to the legislative assembly of four
hundred and fifty representatives, who were annually chosen in
the six quarters of the city. In peace and war, the doge was
still the chief of the republic; his legal authority was
supported by the personal reputation of Dandolo: his arguments of
public interest were balanced and approved; and he was authorized
to inform the ambassadors of the following conditions of the
treaty. ^42 It was proposed that the crusaders should assemble at
Venice, on the feast of St. John of the ensuing year; that
flat-bottomed vessels should be prepared for four thousand five
hundred horses, and nine thousand squires, with a number of ships
sufficient for the embarkation of four thousand five hundred
knights, and twenty thousand foot; that during a term of nine
months they should be supplied with provisions, and transported
to whatsoever coast the service of God and Christendom should
require; and that the republic should join the armament with a
squadron of fifty galleys. It was required, that the pilgrims
should pay, before their departure, a sum of eighty-five thousand
marks of silver; and that all conquests, by sea and land, should
be equally divided between the confederates. The terms were
hard; but the emergency was pressing, and the French barons were
not less profuse of money than of blood. A general assembly was
convened to ratify the treaty: the stately chapel and place of
St. Mark were filled with ten thousand citizens; and the noble
deputies were taught a new lesson of humbling themselves before
the majesty of the people. "Illustrious Venetians," said the
marshal of Champagne, "we are sent by the greatest and most
powerful barons of France to implore the aid of the masters of
the sea for the deliverance of Jerusalem. They have enjoined us
to fall prostrate at your feet; nor will we rise from the ground
till you have promised to avenge with us the injuries of Christ."
The eloquence of their words and tears, ^43 their martial aspect,
and suppliant attitude, were applauded by a universal shout; as
it were, says Jeffrey, by the sound of an earthquake. The
venerable doge ascended the pulpit to urge their request by those
motives of honor and virtue, which alone can be offered to a
popular assembly: the treaty was transcribed on parchment,
attested with oaths and seals, mutually accepted by the weeping
and joyful representatives of France and Venice; and despatched
to Rome for the approbation of Pope Innocent the Third. Two
thousand marks were borrowed of the merchants for the first
expenses of the armament. Of the six deputies, two repassed the
Alps to announce their success, while their four companions made
a fruitless trial of the zeal and emulation of the republics of
Genoa and Pisa.
[Footnote 40: Henry Dandolo was eighty-four at his election,
(A.D. 1192,) and ninety-seven at his death, (A.D. 1205.) See the
Observations of Ducange sur Villehardouin, No. 204. But this
extraordinary longevity is not observed by the original writers,
nor does there exist another example of a hero near a hundred
years of age. Theophrastus might afford an instance of a writer
of ninety-nine; but instead of Prooem. ad Character.,)I am much
inclined to read with his last editor Fischer, and the first
thoughts of Casaubon. It is scarcely possible that the powers of
the mind and body should support themselves till such a period of

[Footnote 41: The modern Venetians (Laugier, tom. ii. p. 119)
accuse the emperor Manuel; but the calumny is refuted by
Villehardouin and the older writers, who suppose that Dandolo
lost his eyes by a wound, (No. 31, and Ducange.)

Note: The accounts differ, both as to the extent and the
cause of his blindness According to Villehardouin and others, the
sight was totally lost; according to the Chronicle of Andrew
Dandolo. (Murat. tom. xii. p. 322,) he was vise debilis. See
Wilken, vol. v. p. 143. - M.]

[Footnote 42: See the original treaty in the Chronicle of Andrew
Dandolo, p. 323 - 326.]

[Footnote 43: A reader of Villehardouin must observe the frequent
tears of the marshal and his brother knights. Sachiez que la ot
mainte lerme ploree de pitie, (No. 17;) mult plorant, (ibid;)
mainte lerme ploree, (No. 34;) si orent mult pitie et plorerent
mult durement, (No. 60;) i ot mainte lerme ploree de pitie, (No.
202.) They weep on every occasion of grief, joy, or devotion.]
The execution of the treaty was still opposed by unforeseen
difficulties and delays. The marshal, on his return to Troyes,
was embraced and approved by Thibaut count of Champagne, who had
been unanimously chosen general of the confederates. But the
health of that valiant youth already declined, and soon became
hopeless; and he deplored the untimely fate, which condemned him
to expire, not in a field of battle, but on a bed of sickness.
To his brave and numerous vassals, the dying prince distributed
his treasures: they swore in his presence to accomplish his vow
and their own; but some there were, says the marshal, who
accepted his gifts and forfeited their words. The more resolute
champions of the cross held a parliament at Soissons for the
election of a new general; but such was the incapacity, or
jealousy, or reluctance, of the princes of France, that none
could be found both able and willing to assume the conduct of the
enterprise. They acquiesced in the choice of a stranger, of
Boniface marquis of Montferrat, descended of a race of heroes,
and himself of conspicuous fame in the wars and negotiations of
the times; ^44 nor could the piety or ambition of the Italian
chief decline this honorable invitation. After visiting the
French court, where he was received as a friend and kinsman, the
marquis, in the church of Soissons, was invested with the cross
of a pilgrim and the staff of a general; and immediately repassed
the Alps, to prepare for the distant expedition of the East.
About the festival of the Pentecost he displayed his banner, and
marched towards Venice at the head of the Italians: he was
preceded or followed by the counts of Flanders and Blois, and the
most respectable barons of France; and their numbers were swelled
by the pilgrims of Germany, ^45 whose object and motives were
similar to their own. The Venetians had fulfilled, and even
surpassed, their engagements: stables were constructed for the
horses, and barracks for the troops: the magazines were
abundantly replenished with forage and provisions; and the fleet
of transports, ships, and galleys, was ready to hoist sail as
soon as the republic had received the price of the freight and
armament. But that price far exceeded the wealth of the
crusaders who were assembled at Venice. The Flemings, whose
obedience to their count was voluntary and precarious, had
embarked in their vessels for the long navigation of the ocean
and Mediterranean; and many of the French and Italians had
preferred a cheaper and more convenient passage from Marseilles
and Apulia to the Holy Land. Each pilgrim might complain, that
after he had furnished his own contribution, he was made
responsible for the deficiency of his absent brethren: the gold
and silver plate of the chiefs, which they freely delivered to
the treasury of St. Marks, was a generous but inadequate
sacrifice; and after all their efforts, thirty-four thousand
marks were still wanting to complete the stipulated sum. The
obstacle was removed by the policy and patriotism of the doge,
who proposed to the barons, that if they would join their arms in
reducing some revolted cities of Dalmatia, he would expose his
person in the holy war, and obtain from the republic a long
indulgence, till some wealthy conquest should afford the means of
satisfying the debt. After much scruple and hesitation, they
chose rather to accept the offer than to relinquish the
enterprise; and the first hostilities of the fleet and army were
directed against Zara, ^46 a strong city of the Sclavonian coast,
which had renounced its allegiance to Venice, and implored the
protection of the king of Hungary. ^47 The crusaders burst the
chain or boom of the harbor; landed their horses, troops, and
military engines; and compelled the inhabitants, after a defence
of five days, to surrender at discretion: their lives were
spared, but the revolt was punished by the pillage of their
houses and the demolition of their walls. The season was far
advanced; the French and Venetians resolved to pass the winter in
a secure harbor and plentiful country; but their repose was
disturbed by national and tumultuous quarrels of the soldiers and
mariners. The conquest of Zara had scattered the seeds of
discord and scandal: the arms of the allies had been stained in
their outset with the blood, not of infidels, but of Christians:
the king of Hungary and his new subjects were themselves enlisted
under the banner of the cross; and the scruples of the devout
were magnified by the fear of lassitude of the reluctant
pilgrims. The pope had excommunicated the false crusaders who
had pillaged and massacred their brethren, ^48 and only the
marquis Boniface and Simon of Montfort ^* escaped these spiritual
thunders; the one by his absence from the siege, the other by his
final departure from the camp. Innocent might absolve the simple
and submissive penitents of France; but he was provoked by the
stubborn reason of the Venetians, who refused to confess their
guilt, to accept their pardon, or to allow, in their temporal
concerns, the interposition of a priest.

[Footnote 44: By a victory (A.D. 1191) over the citizens of Asti,
by a crusade to Palestine, and by an embassy from the pope to the
German princes, (Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. x. p. 163,

[Footnote 45: See the crusade of the Germans in the Historia C.
P. of Gunther, (Canisii Antiq. Lect. tom. iv. p. v. - viii.,) who
celebrates the pilgrimage of his abbot Martin, one of the
preaching rivals of Fulk of Neuilly. His monastery, of the
Cistercian order, was situate in the diocese of Basil]
[Footnote 46: Jadera, now Zara, was a Roman colony, which
acknowledged Augustus for its parent. It is now only two miles
round, and contains five or six thousand inhabitants; but the
fortifications are strong, and it is joined to the main land by a
bridge. See the travels of the two companions, Spon and Wheeler,
(Voyage de Dalmatie, de Grece, &c., tom. i. p. 64 - 70. Journey
into Greece, p. 8 - 14;) the last of whom, by mistaking Sestertia
for Sestertii, values an arch with statues and columns at twelve
pounds. If, in his time, there were no trees near Zara, the
cherry-trees were not yet planted which produce our incomparable

[Footnote 47: Katona (Hist. Critica Reg. Hungariae, Stirpis
Arpad. tom. iv. p. 536 - 558) collects all the facts and
testimonies most adverse to the conquerors of Zara.]

[Footnote 48: See the whole transaction, and the sentiments of
the pope, in the Epistles of Innocent III. Gesta, c. 86, 87,

[Footnote *: Montfort protested against the siege. Guido, the
abbot of Vaux de Sernay, in the name of the pope, interdicted the
attack on a Christian city; and the immediate surrender of the
town was thus delayed for five days of fruitless resistance.
Wilken, vol. v. p. 167. See likewise, at length, the history of
the interdict issued by the pope. Ibid. - M.]

The assembly of such formidable powers by sea and land had
revived the hopes of young ^49 Alexius; and both at Venice and
Zara, he solicited the arms of the crusaders, for his own
restoration and his father's ^50 deliverance. The royal youth was
recommended by Philip king of Germany: his prayers and presence
excited the compassion of the camp; and his cause was embraced
and pleaded by the marquis of Montferrat and the doge of Venice.
A double alliance, and the dignity of Caesar, had connected with
the Imperial family the two elder brothers of Boniface: ^51 he
expected to derive a kingdom from the important service; and the
more generous ambition of Dandolo was eager to secure the
inestimable benefits of trade and dominion that might accrue to
his country. ^52 Their influence procured a favorable audience
for the ambassadors of Alexius; and if the magnitude of his
offers excited some suspicion, the motives and rewards which he
displayed might justify the delay and diversion of those forces
which had been consecrated to the deliverance of Jerusalem. He
promised in his own and his father's name, that as soon as they
should be seated on the throne of Constantinople, they would
terminate the long schism of the Greeks, and submit themselves
and their people to the lawful supremacy of the Roman church. He
engaged to recompense the labors and merits of the crusaders, by
the immediate payment of two hundred thousand marks of silver; to
accompany them in person to Egypt; or, if it should be judged
more advantageous, to maintain, during a year, ten thousand men,
and, during his life, five hundred knights, for the service of
the Holy Land. These tempting conditions were accepted by the
republic of Venice; and the eloquence of the doge and marquis
persuaded the counts of Flanders, Blois, and St. Pol, with eight
barons of France, to join in the glorious enterprise. A treaty of
offensive and defensive alliance was confirmed by their oaths and
seals; and each individual, according to his situation and
character, was swayed by the hope of public or private advantage;
by the honor of restoring an exiled monarch; or by the sincere
and probable opinion, that their efforts in Palestine would be
fruitless and unavailing, and that the acquisition of
Constantinople must precede and prepare the recovery of
Jerusalem. But they were the chiefs or equals of a valiant band
of freemen and volunteers, who thought and acted for themselves:
the soldiers and clergy were divided; and, if a large majority
subscribed to the alliance, the numbers and arguments of the
dissidents were strong and respectable. ^53 The boldest hearts
were appalled by the report of the naval power and impregnable
strength of Constantinople; and their apprehensions were
disguised to the world, and perhaps to themselves, by the more
decent objections of religion and duty. They alleged the sanctity
of a vow, which had drawn them from their families and homes to
the rescue of the holy sepulchre; nor should the dark and crooked
counsels of human policy divert them from a pursuit, the event of
which was in the hands of the Almighty. Their first offence, the
attack of Zara, had been severely punished by the reproach of
their conscience and the censures of the pope; nor would they
again imbrue their hands in the blood of their fellow-Christians.

The apostle of Rome had pronounced; nor would they usurp the
right of avenging with the sword the schism of the Greeks and the
doubtful usurpation of the Byzantine monarch. On these
principles or pretences, many pilgrims, the most distinguished
for their valor and piety, withdrew from the camp; and their
retreat was less pernicious than the open or secret opposition of
a discontented party, that labored, on every occasion, to
separate the army and disappoint the enterprise.

[Footnote 49: A modern reader is surprised to hear of the valet
de Constantinople, as applied to young Alexius, on account of his
youth, like the infants of Spain, and the nobilissimus puer of
the Romans. The pages and valets of the knights were as noble as
themselves, (Villehardouin and Ducange, No. 36.)]

[Footnote 50: The emperor Isaac is styled by Villehardouin,
Sursac, (No. 35, &c.,) which may be derived from the French Sire,
or the Greek melted into his proper name; the further corruptions
of Tursac and Conserac will instruct us what license may have
been used in the old dynasties of Assyria and Egypt.]
[Footnote 51: Reinier and Conrad: the former married Maria,
daughter of the emperor Manuel Comnenus; the latter was the
husband of Theodora Angela, sister of the emperors Isaac and
Alexius. Conrad abandoned the Greek court and princess for the
glory of defending Tyre against Saladin, (Ducange, Fam. Byzant.
p. 187, 203.)]

[Footnote 52: Nicetas (in Alexio Comneno, l. iii. c. 9) accuses
the doge and Venetians as the first authors of the war against
Constantinople, and considers the arrival and shameful offers of
the royal exile.
Note: He admits, however, that the Angeli had committed
depredations on the Venetian trade, and the emperor himself had
refused the payment of part of the stipulated compensation for
the seizure of the Venetian merchandise by the emperor Manuel.
Nicetas, in loc. - M.]

[Footnote 53: Villehardouin and Gunther represent the sentiments
of the two parties. The abbot Martin left the army at Zara,
proceeded to Palestine, was sent ambassador to Constantinople,
and became a reluctant witness of the second siege.]

Notwithstanding this defection, the departure of the fleet
and army was vigorously pressed by the Venetians, whose zeal for
the service of the royal youth concealed a just resentment to his
nation and family. They were mortified by the recent preference
which had been given to Pisa, the rival of their trade; they had
a long arrear of debt and injury to liquidate with the Byzantine
court; and Dandolo might not discourage the popular tale, that he
had been deprived of his eyes by the emperor Manuel, who
perfidiously violated the sanctity of an ambassador. A similar
armament, for ages, had not rode the Adriatic: it was composed of
one hundred and twenty flat- bottomed vessels or palanders for
the horses; two hundred and forty transports filled with men and
arms; seventy store-ships laden with provisions; and fifty stout
galleys, well prepared for the encounter of an enemy. ^54 While
the wind was favorable, the sky serene, and the water smooth,
every eye was fixed with wonder and delight on the scene of
military and naval pomp which overspread the sea. ^* The shields
of the knights and squires, at once an ornament and a defence,
were arranged on either side of the ships; the banners of the
nations and families were displayed from the stern; our modern
artillery was supplied by three hundred engines for casting
stones and darts: the fatigues of the way were cheered with the
sound of music; and the spirits of the adventurers were raised by
the mutual assurance, that forty thousand Christian heroes were
equal to the conquest of the world. ^55 In the navigation ^56
from Venice and Zara, the fleet was successfully steered by the
skill and experience of the Venetian pilots: at Durazzo, the
confederates first landed on the territories of the Greek empire:
the Isle of Corfu afforded a station and repose; they doubled,
without accident, the perilous cape of Malea, the southern point
of Peloponnesus or the Morea; made a descent in the islands of
Negropont and Andros; and cast anchor at Abydus on the Asiatic
side of the Hellespont. These preludes of conquest were easy and
bloodless: the Greeks of the provinces, without patriotism or
courage, were crushed by an irresistible force: the presence of
the lawful heir might justify their obedience; and it was
rewarded by the modesty and discipline of the Latins. As they
penetrated through the Hellespont, the magnitude of their navy
was compressed in a narrow channel, and the face of the waters
was darkened with innumerable sails. They again expanded in the
basin of the Propontis, and traversed that placid sea, till they
approached the European shore, at the abbey of St. Stephen, three
leagues to the west of Constantinople. The prudent doge
dissuaded them from dispersing themselves in a populous and
hostile land; and, as their stock of provisions was reduced, it
was resolved, in the season of harvest, to replenish their
store-ships in the fertile islands of the Propontis. With this
resolution, they directed their course: but a strong gale, and
their own impatience, drove them to the eastward; and so near did
they run to the shore and the city, that some volleys of stones
and darts were exchanged between the ships and the rampart. As
they passed along, they gazed with admiration on the capital of
the East, or, as it should seem, of the earth; rising from her
seven hills, and towering over the continents of Europe and Asia.

The swelling domes and lofty spires of five hundred palaces and
churches were gilded by the sun and reflected in the waters: the
walls were crowded with soldiers and spectators, whose numbers
they beheld, of whose temper they were ignorant; and each heart
was chilled by the reflection, that, since the beginning of the
world, such an enterprise had never been undertaken by such a
handful of warriors. But the momentary apprehension was
dispelled by hope and valor; and every man, says the marshal of
Champagne, glanced his eye on the sword or lance which he must
speedily use in the glorious conflict. ^57 The Latins cast anchor
before Chalcedon; the mariners only were left in the vessels: the
soldiers, horses, and arms, were safely landed; and, in the
luxury of an Imperial palace, the barons tasted the first fruits
of their success. On the third day, the fleet and army moved
towards Scutari, the Asiatic suburb of Constantinople: a
detachment of five hundred Greek horse was surprised and defeated
by fourscore French knights; and in a halt of nine days, the camp
was plentifully supplied with forage and provisions.
[Footnote 54: The birth and dignity of Andrew Dandolo gave him
the motive and the means of searching in the archives of Venice
the memorable story of his ancestor. His brevity seems to accuse
the copious and more recent narratives of Sanudo, (in Muratori,
Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xxii.,) Blondus, Sabellicus, and

[Footnote *: This description rather belongs to the first setting
sail of the expedition from Venice, before the siege of Zara.
The armament did not return to Venice. - M.]

[Footnote 55: Villehardouin, No. 62. His feelings and
expressions are original: he often weeps, but he rejoices in the
glories and perils of war with a spirit unknown to a sedentary

[Footnote 56: In this voyage, almost all the geographical names
are corrupted by the Latins. The modern appellation of Chalcis,
and all Euboea, is derived from its Euripus, Euripo, Negri-po,
Negropont, which dishonors our maps, (D'Anville, Geographie
Ancienne, tom. i. p. 263.)]

[Footnote 57: Et sachiez que il ni ot si hardi cui le cuer ne
fremist, (c. 66.) . . Chascuns regardoit ses armes . . . . que
par tems en arons mestier, (c. 67.) Such is the honesty of

In relating the invasion of a great empire, it may seem
strange that I have not described the obstacles which should have
checked the progress of the strangers. The Greeks, in truth,
were an unwarlike people; but they were rich, industrious, and
subject to the will of a single man: had that man been capable of
fear, when his enemies were at a distance, or of courage, when
they approached his person. The first rumor of his nephew's
alliance with the French and Venetians was despised by the
usurper Alexius: his flatterers persuaded him, that in this
contempt he was bold and sincere; and each evening, in the close
of the banquet, he thrice discomfited the Barbarians of the West.

These Barbarians had been justly terrified by the report of his
naval power; and the sixteen hundred fishing boats of
Constantinople ^58 could have manned a fleet, to sink them in the
Adriatic, or stop their entrance in the mouth of the Hellespont.
But all force may be annihilated by the negligence of the prince
and the venality of his ministers. The great duke, or admiral,
made a scandalous, almost a public, auction of the sails, the
masts, and the rigging: the royal forests were reserved for the
more important purpose of the chase; and the trees, says Nicetas,
were guarded by the eunuchs, like the groves of religious
worship. ^59 From his dream of pride, Alexius was awakened by the
siege of Zara, and the rapid advances of the Latins; as soon as
he saw the danger was real, he thought it inevitable, and his
vain presumption was lost in abject despondency and despair. He
suffered these contemptible Barbarians to pitch their camp in the
sight of the palace; and his apprehensions were thinly disguised
by the pomp and menace of a suppliant embassy. The sovereign of
the Romans was astonished (his ambassadors were instructed to
say) at the hostile appearance of the strangers. If these
pilgrims were sincere in their vow for the deliverance of
Jerusalem, his voice must applaud, and his treasures should
assist, their pious design but should they dare to invade the
sanctuary of empire, their numbers, were they ten times more
considerable, should not protect them from his just resentment.
The answer of the doge and barons was simple and magnanimous.
"In the cause of honor and justice," they said, "we despise the
usurper of Greece, his threats, and his offers. Our friendship
and his allegiance are due to the lawful heir, to the young
prince, who is seated among us, and to his father, the emperor
Isaac, who has been deprived of his sceptre, his freedom, and his
eyes, by the crime of an ungrateful brother. Let that brother
confess his guilt, and implore forgiveness, and we ourselves will
intercede, that he may be permitted to live in affluence and
security. But let him not insult us by a second message; our
reply will be made in arms, in the palace of Constantinople."

[Footnote 58: Eandem urbem plus in solis navibus piscatorum
abundare, quam illos in toto navigio. Habebat enim mille et
sexcentas piscatorias naves ..... Bellicas autem sive mercatorias
habebant infinitae multitudinis et portum tutissimum. Gunther,
Hist. C. P. c. 8, p. 10.]

[Footnote 59: Nicetas in Alex. Comneno, l. iii. c. 9, p. 348.]
On the tenth day of their encampment at Scutari, the
crusaders prepared themselves, as soldiers and as Catholics, for
the passage of the Bosphorus. Perilous indeed was the adventure;
the stream was broad and rapid: in a calm the current of the
Euxine might drive down the liquid and unextinguishable fires of
the Greeks; and the opposite shores of Europe were defended by
seventy thousand horse and foot in formidable array. On this
memorable day, which happened to be bright and pleasant, the
Latins were distributed in six battles or divisions; the first,
or vanguard, was led by the count of Flanders, one of the most
powerful of the Christian princes in the skill and number of his
crossbows. The four successive battles of the French were
commanded by his brother Henry, the counts of St. Pol and Blois,
and Matthew of Montmorency; the last of whom was honored by the
voluntary service of the marshal and nobles of Champagne. The
sixth division, the rear-guard and reserve of the army, was
conducted by the marquis of Montferrat, at the head of the
Germans and Lombards. The chargers, saddled, with their long
comparisons dragging on the ground, were embarked in the flat
palanders; ^60 and the knights stood by the side of their horses,
in complete armor, their helmets laced, and their lances in their
hands. The numerous train of sergeants ^61 and archers occupied
the transports; and each transport was towed by the strength and
swiftness of a galley. The six divisions traversed the
Bosphorus, without encountering an enemy or an obstacle: to land
the foremost was the wish, to conquer or die was the resolution,
of every division and of every soldier. Jealous of the
preeminence of danger, the knights in their heavy armor leaped
into the sea, when it rose as high as their girdle; the sergeants
and archers were animated by their valor; and the squires,
letting down the draw-bridges of the palanders, led the horses to
the shore. Before their squadrons could mount, and form, and
couch their Lances, the seventy thousand Greeks had vanished from
their sight: the timid Alexius gave the example to his troops;
and it was only by the plunder of his rich pavilions that the
Latins were informed that they had fought against an emperor. In
the first consternation of the flying enemy, they resolved, by a
double attack, to open the entrance of the harbor. The tower of
Galata, ^62 in the suburb of Pera, was attacked and stormed by
the French, while the Venetians assumed the more difficult task
of forcing the boom or chain that was stretched from that tower
to the Byzantine shore. After some fruitless attempts, their
intrepid perseverance prevailed: twenty ships of war, the relics
of the Grecian navy, were either sunk or taken: the enormous and
massy links of iron were cut asunder by the shears, or broken by
the weight, of the galleys; ^63 and the Venetian fleet, safe and
triumphant, rode at anchor in the port of Constantinople. By
these daring achievements, a remnant of twenty thousand Latins
solicited the license of besieging a capital which contained
above four hundred thousand inhabitants, ^64 able, though not
willing, to bear arms in defence of their country. Such an
account would indeed suppose a population of near two millions;
but whatever abatement may be required in the numbers of the
Greeks, the belief of those numbers will equally exalt the
fearless spirit of their assailants.

[Footnote 60: From the version of Vignere I adopt the
well-sounding word palander, which is still used, I believe, in
the Mediterranean. But had I written in French, I should have
preserved the original and expressive denomination of vessiers or
huissiers, from the huis or door which was let down as a
draw-bridge; but which, at sea, was closed into the side of the
ship, (see Ducange au Villehardouin, No. 14, and Joinville. p.
27, 28, edit. du Louvre.)]

[Footnote 61: To avoid the vague expressions of followers, &c., I
use, after Villehardouin, the word sergeants for all horsemen who
were not knights. There were sergeants at arms, and sergeants at
law; and if we visit the parade and Westminster Hall, we may
observe the strange result of the distinction, (Ducange, Glossar.
Latin, Servientes, &c., tom. vi. p. 226 - 231.)]
[Footnote 62: It is needless to observe, that on the subject of
Galata, the chain, &c., Ducange is accurate and full. Consult
likewise the proper chapters of the C. P. Christiana of the same
author. The inhabitants of Galata were so vain and ignorant,
that they applied to themselves St. Paul's Epistle to the

[Footnote 63: The vessel that broke the chain was named the
Eagle, Aquila, (Dandolo, Chronicon, p. 322,) which Blondus (de
Gestis Venet.) has changed into Aquilo, the north wind. Ducange
(Observations, No. 83) maintains the latter reading; but he had
not seen the respectable text of Dandolo, nor did he enough
consider the topography of the harbor. The south-east would have
been a more effectual wind. (Note to Wilken, vol. v. p. 215.)]
[Footnote 64: Quatre cens mil homes ou plus, (Villehardouin, No.
134,) must be understood of men of a military age. Le Beau
(Hist. du. Bas Empire, tom. xx. p. 417) allows Constantinople a
million of inhabitants, of whom 60,000 horse, and an infinite
number of foot-soldiers. In its present decay, the capital of
the Ottoman empire may contain 400,000 souls, (Bell's Travels,
vol. ii. p. 401, 402;) but as the Turks keep no registers, and as
circumstances are fallacious, it is impossible to ascertain
(Niebuhr, Voyage en Arabie, tom. i. p. 18, 19) the real
populousness of their cities.]

In the choice of the attack, the French and Venetians were
divided by their habits of life and warfare. The former affirmed
with truth, that Constantinople was most accessible on the side
of the sea and the harbor. The latter might assert with honor,
that they had long enough trusted their lives and fortunes to a
frail bark and a precarious element, and loudly demanded a trial
of knighthood, a firm ground, and a close onset, either on foot
or on horseback. After a prudent compromise, of employing the
two nations by sea and land, in the service best suited to their
character, the fleet covering the army, they both proceeded from
the entrance to the extremity of the harbor: the stone bridge of
the river was hastily repaired; and the six battles of the French
formed their encampment against the front of the capital, the
basis of the triangle which runs about four miles from the port
to the Propontis. ^65 On the edge of a broad ditch, at the foot
of a lofty rampart, they had leisure to contemplate the
difficulties of their enterprise. The gates to the right and left
of their narrow camp poured forth frequent sallies of cavalry and
light-infantry, which cut off their stragglers, swept the country
of provisions, sounded the alarm five or six times in the course
of each day, and compelled them to plant a palisade, and sink an
intrenchment, for their immediate safety. In the supplies and
convoys the Venetians had been too sparing, or the Franks too
voracious: the usual complaints of hunger and scarcity were
heard, and perhaps felt their stock of flour would be exhausted
in three weeks; and their disgust of salt meat tempted them to
taste the flesh of their horses. The trembling usurper was
supported by Theodore Lascaris, his son-in-law, a valiant youth,
who aspired to save and to rule his country; the Greeks,
regardless of that country, were awakened to the defence of their
religion; but their firmest hope was in the strength and spirit
of the Varangian guards, of the Danes and English, as they are
named in the writers of the times. ^66 After ten days' incessant
labor, the ground was levelled, the ditch filled, the approaches
of the besiegers were regularly made, and two hundred and fifty
engines of assault exercised their various powers to clear the
rampart, to batter the walls, and to sap the foundations. On the
first appearance of a breach, the scaling-ladders were applied:
the numbers that defended the vantage ground repulsed and
oppressed the adventurous Latins; but they admired the resolution
of fifteen knights and sergeants, who had gained the ascent, and
maintained their perilous station till they were precipitated or
made prisoners by the Imperial guards. On the side of the harbor
the naval attack was more successfully conducted by the
Venetians; and that industrious people employed every resource
that was known and practiced before the invention of gunpowder.
A double line, three bow-shots in front, was formed by the
galleys and ships; and the swift motion of the former was
supported by the weight and loftiness of the latter, whose decks,
and poops, and turret, were the platforms of military engines,
that discharged their shot over the heads of the first line. The
soldiers, who leaped from the galleys on shore, immediately
planted and ascended their scaling-ladders, while the large
ships, advancing more slowly into the intervals, and lowering a
draw-bridge, opened a way through the air from their masts to the
rampart. In the midst of the conflict, the doge, a venerable and
conspicuous form, stood aloft in complete armor on the prow of
his galley. The great standard of St. Mark was displayed before
him; his threats, promises, and exhortations, urged the diligence
of the rowers; his vessel was the first that struck; and Dandolo
was the first warrior on the shore. The nations admired the
magnanimity of the blind old man, without reflecting that his age
and infirmities diminished the price of life, and enhanced the
value of immortal glory. On a sudden, by an invisible hand, (for
the standard-bearer was probably slain,) the banner of the
republic was fixed on the rampart: twenty-five towers were
rapidly occupied; and, by the cruel expedient of fire, the Greeks
were driven from the adjacent quarter. The doge had despatched
the intelligence of his success, when he was checked by the
danger of his confederates. Nobly declaring that he would rather
die with the pilgrims than gain a victory by their destruction,
Dandolo relinquished his advantage, recalled his troops, and
hastened to the scene of action. He found the six weary
diminutive battles of the French encompassed by sixty squadrons
of the Greek cavalry, the least of which was more numerous than
the largest of their divisions. Shame and despair had provoked
Alexius to the last effort of a general sally; but he was awed by
the firm order and manly aspect of the Latins; and, after
skirmishing at a distance, withdrew his troops in the close of
the evening. The silence or tumult of the night exasperated his
fears; and the timid usurper, collecting a treasure of ten
thousand pounds of gold, basely deserted his wife, his people,
and his fortune; threw himself into a bark; stole through the
Bosphorus; and landed in shameful safety in an obscure harbor of
Thrace. As soon as they were apprised of his flight, the Greek
nobles sought pardon and peace in the dungeon where the blind
Isaac expected each hour the visit of the executioner. Again
saved and exalted by the vicissitudes of fortune, the captive in
his Imperial robes was replace on the throne, and surrounded with
prostrate slaves, whose real terror and affected joy he was
incapable of discerning. At the dawn of day, hostilities were
suspended, and the Latin chiefs were surprised by a message from
the lawful and reigning emperor, who was impatient to embrace his
son, and to reward his generous deliverers. ^67

[Footnote 65: On the most correct plans of Constantinople, I know
not how to measure more than 4000 paces. Yet Villehardouin
computes the space at three leagues, (No. 86.) If his eye were
not deceived, he must reckon by the old Gallic league of 1500
paces, which might still be used in Champagne.]
[Footnote 66: The guards, the Varangi, are styled by
Villehardouin, (No. 89, 95) Englois et Danois avec leurs haches.
Whatever had been their origin, a French pilgrim could not be
mistaken in the nations of which they were at that time

[Footnote 67: For the first siege and conquest of Constantinople,
we may read the original letter of the crusaders to Innocent
III., Gesta, c. 91, p. 533, 534. Villehardouin, No. 75 - 99.
Nicetas, in Alexio Comnen. l. iii. c. 10, p. 349 - 352. Dandolo,
in Chron. p. 322. Gunther, and his abbot Martin, were not yet
returned from their obstinate pilgrim age to Jerusalem, or St.
John d'Acre, where the greatest part of the company had died of
the plague.]

Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade.

Part III.

But these generous deliverers were unwilling to release
their hostage, till they had obtained from his father the
payment, or at least the promise, of their recompense. They
chose four ambassadors, Matthew of Montmorency, our historian the
marshal of Champagne, and two Venetians, to congratulate the
emperor. The gates were thrown open on their approach, the
streets on both sides were lined with the battle axes of the
Danish and English guard: the presence-chamber glittered with
gold and jewels, the false substitute of virtue and power: by the
side of the blind Isaac his wife was seated, the sister of the
king of Hungary: and by her appearance, the noble matrons of
Greece were drawn from their domestic retirement, and mingled
with the circle of senators and soldiers. The Latins, by the
mouth of the marshal, spoke like men conscious of their merits,
but who respected the work of their own hands; and the emperor
clearly understood, that his son's engagements with Venice and
the pilgrims must be ratified without hesitation or delay.
Withdrawing into a private chamber with the empress, a
chamberlain, an interpreter, and the four ambassadors, the father
of young Alexius inquired with some anxiety into the nature of
his stipulations. The submission of the Eastern empire to the
pope, the succor of the Holy Land, and a present contribution of
two hundred thousand marks of silver. - "These conditions are
weighty," was his prudent reply: "they are hard to accept, and
difficult to perform. But no conditions can exceed the measure
of your services and deserts." After this satisfactory assurance,
the barons mounted on horseback, and introduced the heir of
Constantinople to the city and palace: his youth and marvellous
adventures engaged every heart in his favor, and Alexius was
solemnly crowned with his father in the dome of St. Sophia. In
the first days of his reign, the people, already blessed with the
restoration of plenty and peace, was delighted by the joyful
catastrophe of the tragedy; and the discontent of the nobles,
their regret, and their fears, were covered by the polished
surface of pleasure and loyalty The mixture of two discordant
nations in the same capital might have been pregnant with
mischief and danger; and the suburb of Galata, or Pera, was
assigned for the quarters of the French and Venetians. But the
liberty of trade and familiar intercourse was allowed between the
friendly nations: and each day the pilgrims were tempted by
devotion or curiosity to visit the churches and palaces of
Constantinople. Their rude minds, insensible perhaps of the
finer arts, were astonished by the magnificent scenery: and the
poverty of their native towns enhanced the populousness and
riches of the first metropolis of Christendom. ^68 Descending
from his state, young Alexius was prompted by interest and
gratitude to repeat his frequent and familiar visits to his Latin
allies; and in the freedom of the table, the gay petulance of the
French sometimes forgot the emperor of the East. ^69 In their
most serious conferences, it was agreed, that the reunion of the
two churches must be the result of patience and time; but avarice
was less tractable than zeal; and a larger sum was instantly
disbursed to appease the wants, and silence the importunity, of
the crusaders. ^70 Alexius was alarmed by the approaching hour of
their departure: their absence might have relieved him from the
engagement which he was yet incapable of performing; but his
friends would have left him, naked and alone, to the caprice and
prejudice of a perfidious nation. He wished to bribe their stay,
the delay of a year, by undertaking to defray their expense, and
to satisfy, in their name, the freight of the Venetian vessels.
The offer was agitated in the council of the barons; and, after a
repetition of their debates and scruples, a majority of votes
again acquiesced in the advice of the doge and the prayer of the
young emperor. At the price of sixteen hundred pounds of gold,
he prevailed on the marquis of Montferrat to lead him with an
army round the provinces of Europe; to establish his authority,
and pursue his uncle, while Constantinople was awed by the
presence of Baldwin and his confederates of France and Flanders.
The expedition was successful: the blind emperor exulted in the
success of his arms, and listened to the predictions of his
flatterers, that the same Providence which had raised him from
the dungeon to the throne, would heal his gout, restore his
sight, and watch over the long prosperity of his reign. Yet the
mind of the suspicious old man was tormented by the rising
glories of his son; nor could his pride conceal from his envy,
that, while his own name was pronounced in faint and reluctant
acclamations, the royal youth was the theme of spontaneous and
universal praise. ^71

[Footnote 68: Compare, in the rude energy of Villehardouin, (No.
66, 100,) the inside and outside views of Constantinople, and
their impression on the minds of the pilgrims: cette ville (says
he) que de toutes les autres ere souveraine. See the parallel
passages of Fulcherius Carnotensis, Hist. Hierosol. l. i. c. 4,
and Will. Tyr. ii. 3, xx. 26.]

[Footnote 69: As they played at dice, the Latins took off his
diadem, and clapped on his head a woollen or hairy cap, (Nicetas,
p. 358.) If these merry companions were Venetians, it was the
insolence of trade and a commonwealth.]
[Footnote 70: Villehardouin, No. 101. Dandolo, p. 322. The doge
affirms, that the Venetians were paid more slowly than the
French; but he owns, that the histories of the two nations
differed on that subject. Had he read Villehardouin? The Greeks
complained, however, good totius Graeciae opes transtulisset,
(Gunther, Hist. C. P. c 13) See the lamentations and invectives
of Nicetas, (p. 355.)]

[Footnote 71: The reign of Alexius Comnenus occupies three books
in Nicetas, p. 291-352. The short restoration of Isaac and his
son is despatched in five chapters, p. 352 - 362.]

By the recent invasion, the Greeks were awakened from a
dream of nine centuries; from the vain presumption that the
capital of the Roman empire was impregnable to foreign arms. The
strangers of the West had violated the city, and bestowed the
sceptre, of Constantine: their Imperial clients soon became as
unpopular as themselves: the well-known vices of Isaac were
rendered still more contemptible by his infirmities, and the
young Alexius was hated as an apostate, who had renounced the
manners and religion of his country. His secret covenant with
the Latins was divulged or suspected; the people, and especially
the clergy, were devoutly attached to their faith and
superstition; and every convent, and every shop, resounded with
the danger of the church and the tyranny of the pope. ^72 An
empty treasury could ill supply the demands of regal luxury and
foreign extortion: the Greeks refused to avert, by a general tax,
the impending evils of servitude and pillage; the oppression of
the rich excited a more dangerous and personal resentment; and if
the emperor melted the plate, and despoiled the images, of the
sanctuary, he seemed to justify the complaints of heresy and
sacrilege. During the absence of Marquis Boniface and his
Imperial pupil, Constantinople was visited with a calamity which
might be justly imputed to the zeal and indiscretion of the
Flemish pilgrims. ^73 In one of their visits to the city, they
were scandalized by the aspect of a mosque or synagogue, in which
one God was worshipped, without a partner or a son. Their
effectual mode of controversy was to attack the infidels with the
sword, and their habitation with fire: but the infidels, and some
Christian neighbors, presumed to defend their lives and
properties; and the flames which bigotry had kindled, consumed
the most orthodox and innocent structures. During eight days and
nights, the conflagration spread above a league in front, from
the harbor to the Propontis, over the thickest and most populous
regions of the city. It is not easy to count the stately
churches and palaces that were reduced to a smoking ruin, to
value the merchandise that perished in the trading streets, or to
number the families that were involved in the common destruction.

By this outrage, which the doge and the barons in vain affected
to disclaim, the name of the Latins became still more unpopular;
and the colony of that nation, above fifteen thousand persons,
consulted their safety in a hasty retreat from the city to the
protection of their standard in the suburb of Pera. The emperor
returned in triumph; but the firmest and most dexterous policy
would have been insufficient to steer him through the tempest,
which overwhelmed the person and government of that unhappy
youth. His own inclination, and his father's advice, attached him
to his benefactors; but Alexius hesitated between gratitude and
patriotism, between the fear of his subjects and of his allies.
^74 By his feeble and fluctuating conduct he lost the esteem and
confidence of both; and, while he invited the marquis of
Monferrat to occupy the palace, he suffered the nobles to
conspire, and the people to arm, for the deliverance of their
country. Regardless of his painful situation, the Latin chiefs
repeated their demands, resented his delays, suspected his
intentions, and exacted a decisive answer of peace or war. The
haughty summons was delivered by three French knights and three
Venetian deputies, who girded their swords, mounted their horses,
pierced through the angry multitude, and entered, with a fearful
countenance, the palace and presence of the Greek emperor. In a
peremptory tone, they recapitulated their services and his
engagements; and boldly declared, that unless their just claims
were fully and immediately satisfied, they should no longer hold
him either as a sovereign or a friend. After this defiance, the
first that had ever wounded an Imperial ear, they departed
without betraying any symptoms of fear; but their escape from a
servile palace and a furious city astonished the ambassadors
themselves; and their return to the camp was the signal of mutual

[Footnote 72: When Nicetas reproaches Alexius for his impious
league, he bestows the harshest names on the pope's new religion,
(p. 348.) Such was the sincere language of every Greek to the
last gasp of the empire.]
[Footnote 73: Nicetas (p. 355) is positive in the charge, and
specifies the Flemings, though he is wrong in supposing it an
ancient name. Villehardouin (No. 107) exculpates the barons, and
is ignorant (perhaps affectedly ignorant) of the names of the

[Footnote 74: Compare the suspicions and complaints of Nicetas
(p. 359 - 362) with the blunt charges of Baldwin of Flanders,
(Gesta Innocent III. c. 92, p. 534,) cum patriarcha et mole
nobilium, nobis promises perjurus et mendax.]
Among the Greeks, all authority and wisdom were overborne by
the impetuous multitude, who mistook their rage for valor, their
numbers for strength, and their fanaticism for the support and
inspiration of Heaven. In the eyes of both nations Alexius was
false and contemptible; the base and spurious race of the Angeli
was rejected with clamorous disdain; and the people of
Constantinople encompassed the senate, to demand at their hands a
more worthy emperor. To every senator, conspicuous by his birth
or dignity, they successively presented the purple: by each
senator the deadly garment was repulsed: the contest lasted three
days; and we may learn from the historian Nicetas, one of the
members of the assembly, that fear and weaknesses were the
guardians of their loyalty. A phantom, who vanished in oblivion,
was forcibly proclaimed by the crowd: ^75 but the author of the
tumult, and the leader of the war, was a prince of the house of
Ducas; and his common appellation of Alexius must be
discriminated by the epithet of Mourzoufle, ^76 which in the
vulgar idiom expressed the close junction of his black and shaggy
eyebrows. At once a patriot and a courtier, the perfidious
Mourzoufle, who was not destitute of cunning and courage, opposed
the Latins both in speech and action, inflamed the passions and
prejudices of the Greeks, and insinuated himself into the favor
and confidence of Alexius, who trusted him with the office of
great chamberlain, and tinged his buskins with the colors of
royalty. At the dead of night, he rushed into the bed-chamber
with an affrighted aspect, exclaiming, that the palace was
attacked by the people and betrayed by the guards. Starting from
his couch, the unsuspecting prince threw himself into the arms of
his enemy, who had contrived his escape by a private staircase.
But that staircase terminated in a prison: Alexius was seized,
stripped, and loaded with chains; and, after tasting some days
the bitterness of death, he was poisoned, or strangled, or beaten
with clubs, at the command, or in the presence, of the tyrant.
The emperor Isaac Angelus soon followed his son to the grave; and
Mourzoufle, perhaps, might spare the superfluous crime of
hastening the extinction of impotence and blindness.
[Footnote 75: His name was Nicholas Canabus: he deserved the
praise of Nicetas and the vengeance of Mourzoufle, (p. 362.)]

[Footnote 76: Villehardouin (No. 116) speaks of him as a
favorite, without knowing that he was a prince of the blood,
Angelus and Ducas. Ducange, who pries into every corner,
believes him to be the son of Isaac Ducas Sebastocrator, and
second cousin of young Alexius.]

The death of the emperors, and the usurpation of Mourzoufle,
had changed the nature of the quarrel. It was no longer the
disagreement of allies who overvalued their services, or
neglected their obligations: the French and Venetians forgot
their complaints against Alexius, dropped a tear on the untimely
fate of their companion, and swore revenge against the perfidious
nation who had crowned his assassin. Yet the prudent doge was
still inclined to negotiate: he asked as a debt, a subsidy, or a
fine, fifty thousand pounds of gold, about two millions sterling;
nor would the conference have been abruptly broken, if the zeal,
or policy, of Mourzoufle had not refused to sacrifice the Greek
church to the safety of the state. ^77 Amidst the invectives of
his foreign and domestic enemies, we may discern, that he was not
unworthy of the character which he had assumed, of the public
champion: the second siege of Constantinople was far more
laborious than the first; the treasury was replenished, and
discipline was restored, by a severe inquisition into the abuses
of the former reign; and Mourzoufle, an iron mace in his hand,
visiting the posts, and affecting the port and aspect of a
warrior, was an object of terror to his soldiers, at least, and
to his kinsmen. Before and after the death of Alexius, the
Greeks made two vigorous and well-conducted attempts to burn the
navy in the harbor; but the skill and courage of the Venetians
repulsed the fire-ships; and the vagrant flames wasted themselves
without injury in the sea. ^78 In a nocturnal sally the Greek
emperor was vanquished by Henry, brother of the count of
Flanders: the advantages of number and surprise aggravated the
shame of his defeat: his buckler was found on the field of
battle; and the Imperial standard, ^79 a divine image of the
Virgin, was presented, as a trophy and a relic to the Cistercian
monks, the disciples of St. Bernard. Near three months, without
excepting the holy season of Lent, were consumed in skirmishes
and preparations, before the Latins were ready or resolved for a
general assault. The land fortifications had been found
impregnable; and the Venetian pilots represented, that, on the
shore of the Propontis, the anchorage was unsafe, and the ships
must be driven by the current far away to the straits of the
Hellespont; a prospect not unpleasing to the reluctant pilgrims,
who sought every opportunity of breaking the army. From the
harbor, therefore, the assault was determined by the assailants,
and expected by the besieged; and the emperor had placed his
scarlet pavilions on a neighboring height, to direct and animate
the efforts of his troops. A fearless spectator, whose mind
could entertain the ideas of pomp and pleasure, might have
admired the long array of two embattled armies, which extended
above half a league, the one on the ships and galleys, the other
on the walls and towers raised above the ordinary level by
several stages of wooden turrets. Their first fury was spent in
the discharge of darts, stones, and fire, from the engines; but
the water was deep; the French were bold; the Venetians were
skilful; they approached the walls; and a desperate conflict of
swords, spears, and battle- axes, was fought on the trembling
bridges that grappled the floating, to the stable, batteries. In
more than a hundred places, the assault was urged, and the
defence was sustained; till the superiority of ground and numbers
finally prevailed, and the Latin trumpets sounded a retreat. On
the ensuing days, the attack was renewed with equal vigor, and a
similar event; and, in the night, the doge and the barons held a
council, apprehensive only for the public danger: not a voice
pronounced the words of escape or treaty; and each warrior,
according to his temper, embraced the hope of victory, or the
assurance of a glorious death. ^80 By the experience of the
former siege, the Greeks were instructed, but the Latins were
animated; and the knowledge that Constantinople might be taken,
was of more avail than the local precautions which that knowledge
had inspired for its defence. In the third assault, two ships
were linked together to double their strength; a strong north
wind drove them on the shore; the bishops of Troyes and Soissons
led the van; and the auspicious names of the pilgrim and the
paradise resounded along the line. ^81 The episcopal banners were
displayed on the walls; a hundred marks of silver had been
promised to the first adventurers; and if their reward was
intercepted by death, their names have been immortalized by fame.
^* Four towers were scaled; three gates were burst open; and the
French knights, who might tremble on the waves, felt themselves
invincible on horseback on the solid ground. Shall I relate that
the thousands who guarded the emperor's person fled on the
approach, and before the lance, of a single warrior? Their
ignominious flight is attested by their countryman Nicetas: an
army of phantoms marched with the French hero, and he was
magnified to a giant in the eyes of the Greeks. ^82 While the
fugitives deserted their posts and cast away their arms, the
Latins entered the city under the banners of their leaders: the
streets and gates opened for their passage; and either design or
accident kindled a third conflagration, which consumed in a few
hours the measure of three of the largest cities of France. ^83
In the close of evening, the barons checked their troops, and
fortified their stations: They were awed by the extent and
populousness of the capital, which might yet require the labor of
a month, if the churches and palaces were conscious of their
internal strength. But in the morning, a suppliant procession,
with crosses and images, announced the submission of the Greeks,
and deprecated the wrath of the conquerors: the usurper escaped
through the golden gate: the palaces of Blachernae and Boucoleon
were occupied by the count of Flanders and the marquis of
Montferrat; and the empire, which still bore the name of
Constantine, and the title of Roman, was subverted by the arms of
the Latin pilgrims. ^84
[Footnote 77: This negotiation, probable in itself, and attested
by Nicetas, (p 65,) is omitted as scandalous by the delicacy of
Dandolo and Villehardouin.
Note: Wilken places it before the death of Alexius, vol. v.
p. 276. - M]
[Footnote 78: Baldwin mentions both attempts to fire the fleet,
(Gest. c. 92, p. 534, 535;) Villehardouin, (No. 113 - 15) only
describes the first. It is remarkable that neither of these
warriors observe any peculiar properties in the Greek fire.]

[Footnote 79: Ducange (No. 119) pours forth a torrent of learning
on the Gonfanon Imperial. This banner of the Virgin is shown at
Venice as a trophy and relic: if it be genuine the pious doge
must have cheated the monks of Citeaux]

[Footnote 80: Villehardouin (No. 126) confesses, that mult ere
grant peril; and Guntherus (Hist. C. P. c. 13) affirms, that
nulla spes victoriae arridere poterat. Yet the knight despises
those who thought of flight, and the monk praises his countrymen
who were resolved on death.]

[Footnote 81: Baldwin, and all the writers, honor the names of
these two galleys, felici auspicio.]

[Footnote *: Pietro Alberti, a Venetion noble and Andrew
d'Amboise a French knight. - M.]

[Footnote 82: With an allusion to Homer, Nicetas calls him
eighteen yards high, a stature which would, indeed, have excused
the terror of the Greek. On this occasion, the historian seems
fonder of the marvellous than of his country, or perhaps of
truth. Baldwin exclaims in the words of the psalmist,
persequitur unus ex nobis centum alienos.]

[Footnote 83: Villehardouin (No. 130) is again ignorant of the
authors of this more legitimate fire, which is ascribed by
Gunther to a quidam comes Teutonicus, (c. 14.) They seem ashamed,
the incendiaries!]
[Footnote 84: For the second siege and conquest of
Constantinople, see Villehardouin (No. 113 - 132,) Baldwin's iid
Epistle to Innocent III., (Gesta c. 92, p. 534 - 537,) with the
whole reign of Mourzoufle, in Nicetas, (p 363 - 375;) and
borrowed some hints from Dandolo (Chron. Venet. p. 323 - 330) and

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