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foe, and comported himself so valorously that he gained great praise. The sound of alarm had been raised throughout our host; and now our people came running in upon the Greeks from every side; and they soon killed and captured a decent number of them. So that those who had come over from the city, to aid those in the suburb, ran back towards their barges and ships: of these some were drowned in the port, and some escaped. And those of the Greeks that returned to the Tower of Galata were followed so closely by the Franks, that they could not shut their gates ; so the people of the Emperor and our people entered together, fighting hand to hand. There fell a round number in killed and wounded; but soon the tower was ours, together with all that was in it.

“ Thus was the castle of Galata taken, and entrance gained into the port of Constantinople by force. Much were comforted those of our host, who rendered the praise and glory to our Lady the Virgin, and much were those in the strong city discomforted. On the morrow, the chain being broken, our ships, and galleys, and tenders were brought into the harbour. And then council was held by our chiefs to determine whether we should assault the city by land or by sea. Heartily did the Venetians recommend the attack by sea in their ships; but the French said that they were not expert in sea affairs, and that they could fight best on dry land and on horseback.”

Eventually it was resolved that the assault should be made both by sea and land. And, on the fifth day after the capture of the Tower of Galata, the army was put in motion for the landward walls of Constantinople. On reaching the river Barbyses, which flows into the Golden Horn, between the suburbs of Galata and Pera and the city, they found that the Greeks had destroyed the stone bridge. But, in the course of that day and the following night, the Franks restored the bridge ; and the next morning, crossing the Barbyses, they were soon under the treble, lofty walls of the city, on the side where those walls are loftiest and incomparably strongest.

None,” continues Geoffroy, "-sallied out of the city as we came up, which surely was marvellous, seeing that for every four men in our host there were four hundred men within the walls. Then, up went our tents and banners ! And it was a proud sight to see ; for the walls of Constantinople on the land side are three leagues in length, and the whole of our host, when drawn out in line, could only reach to the first



of the seven gates: and never were so many people besieged in so strong city by so few as we were

In the meanwhile the Venetians were in the port with their ships, threatening that side of the city, and preparing scaling-ladders, manginals, and slings, and making all things ready for their seaward assault.”

But in a day or two the besieged plucked up a little spirit, and be gan to make frequent sorties from the gates on the land side, which were too many and too far apart to be guarded or even watched by the besiegers. Several French knights of fame were taken by surprise and killed. These successes so emboldened the Greeks, that they sallied-more and more frequently, allowing the Franks no rest by day or by night. Geoffroy also tells us that he and his friends were sorely stinted in their provender; that the soldiers could not venture into the country to forage and collect good victual ; that fresh meat was not to be had in the camp, and that they had no beans to eat with their salt bacon *.

“In these pains and perils,” continues our Marshal of Champagne, “ did we pass ten days; but at length, on one fine Thursday morning, our scaling-ladders and all things else were ready for the assault, as well on the side of the Venetians as on the land side. And thus was the assault planned :— Three battaliæ out of the seven were to remain on guard in the camp, and the other four battaliæ were to storm the walls. The Marquess Boniface of Montferrat, and Mathieu de Montmorency, with the men of Burgundy and Champagne, were to remain on guard; and Count Baldwin of Flanders was to lead the main assault. Count Henry, Louis Count of Blois, Hugo Count of Saint-Pol, and the knights under their orders, were to carry a barbican which stood near the sea."

The Greeks, on the whole, had behaved like effeminate cowards; but when the Franks began the assault they found in their front & body of men as hardy and valiant as themselves. Ever since the year 1070 the Greek emperors had retained in their service a strong bodyguard of foreigners drawn from the north of Europe. These men were called collectively the Varanges, or the Northmanni, a name about equally terrible to the unwarlike citizens of Constantinople and to the enemies of the emperor.

* Ville-Hardoin uses the word bacon in the sense that we still use it. So does Rabelais.

They came from more than one of those northern countries which have been at all times the cradle of hardy and brave men; some were Danes (and the ponderous Danish battle-axe was the chief weapon of the corps), some were Jutlanders, some Norwegians, some Swedes, some Holsteiners, and some English. Their ranks were swelled at their first formation by the Norman conquest of England; for many of our Anglo-Saxon warriors, after withstanding William the Conqueror for the space of ten years, fled from their native land rather than submit to him, and repaired to Greece in quest of foreign service and bread. Geoffroy of Ville-Hardoin, who pays the tribute fairly due to their valour, calls them all English and Danes ("Englois et Danois ''). After describing how the Franks went to the assault, he continues :

“And the walls of the barbican were strongly garnished with Eng. lish and Danes. And the assault was hard and strong. And by dint of strength our knights and serjeants clomb up the walls, by the scaling-ladders, seeking to establish themselves on the rampart. And, when many had fallen, sixteen of our people got to the wall top, and there fought hand to hand with battle-axes and with swords. And those within the city reinforced those terrible English and Danes, who then drove the Franks from the walls, making two of them prisoners. And those of our people who were captured were carried before the Emperor Alexis ; yea, and they were bound with chains. And then the Franks renewed the assault; and a vast number of them were killed, or wounded, or sorely bruised. Whereat the barons of the host were very irate.

But the Doge of Venice was making good progress on his side of the city, with his galleys and great ships drawn out in line; and that line was three crossbow-shots long. And the Venetians, all together, approached the shore of the port, and soon ran close under the walls and towers, working their manginals with vigour, and using their bows, crossbows, and javelins very deliberately and with a sure aim. And when their platforms and ladders were laid from the ships to the walls, those within the walls stood forth and fought desperately, in such sort that in many places they and the Venetians were mixed; and so fearful was the noise they raised as they struggled with sword and spear, that you would have thought heaven, earth, and sea were coming to



gether. And ye must know that those who were in the galleys did not dare set foot on shore.

But now must ye hear of an extraordinary courage, and an extraordinary miracle ; for the Doge of Venice, who was now a very aged man, and quite blind, stood, armed cap-a-pied, on the deck of his galley, with the gonfalon of Saint Mark before him, and he cried out to his people in the galleys that they must land or he would hang them all. And the blind old doge drove his own galley right ashore. And then all the people were shamed, and began to land as fast as might be. And when the Venetians saw the gonfalon of Saint Mark ashore, and the galley of their lord the doge fast on the shore, every man of them took shame to himself and made for land. Nay, even the people in the little tenders and transport ships jump out and gain the shore. And those in the great ships, which could not near the edge of the port, get into their barges and row to land as fast as they can.

And now are seen grand and marvellous assaults! And Geoffroy, Marshal of Champagne, who writes this book, and who saw every thing with his own eyes, can bear this testimony :-suddenly the great banner [gonfalon] of Saint Mark was seen on the top of one of the towers of the city, and no man ever knew who carried it thither: and more than forty barons witnessed this miracle.

· Now hear a miracle of war! The Greeks within fled from the walls, and the Venetians climbed over the walls, and entered the city as fast as they could, and best as they could ; and they spread themselves, hither and thither, and they presently seized twenty-five of the towers of Constantinople, and garrisoned them with their own people. And the Doge of Venice dispatched a messenger to Count Baldwin and the barons who were combating on the land side of the city, to let them know that he had taken twenty-five towers, and that, for a certainty, the Greeks should never retake them. The barons were right joyous; yet, upon consideration, they could not believe all they heard. So the Venetians began to send them horses and palfreys, and other fine things they had captured in the city.

And when the Emperor Alexis saw that the Venetians were within the city, he began to send such multitudes of people against them, that they saw they could not withstand them; so the Venetians kindled a great fire, and set fire to the houses which were between them and

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the Greeks; the winds fanned the fire, the flames crackled, and the smoke which arose was so thick that the Greeks could not see our brave people ; and in this guise the Venetians retreated into the strong towers which they had seized and conquered. Then the Emperor of Constantinople, with all his host, made a sally on the land side, going out by a gate which was a good league from the host of the Franks. And so many went out with him that it seemed as though all the people of the world were there. He put his army in order of battle in the open plain a little to the east of our camp. When our people saw this they ran to their arms, and, trumpets sounding, they formed their battaliæ.

* This day Henry, brother of Count Baldwin of Flanders, kept guard by the great gate of Plackierne, and with him were Mathieu de Vaulaincourt, Baldwin of Beauvoir, and their vassals. But out of three other gates that could not be guarded there came forth many more Greeks, who fell upon our flank. Now our seven battaliæ formed in front of our camp, the knights and men-at-arms on horseback, the bowmen and cross-bowmen on foot, and in front of the horse. But a great company of our cavaliers did battle on foot, having no horses to ride. We kept close to our own quarters, and wise it was to do so; for there were in the open plain so many people, that we should have been buried in the midst of them had we gone forth. That whole country seemed covered with the battaliæ of the Greeks. And, after awhile, they marched towards us in good order, but with slow steps.

“ Assuredly our condition seemed very perilous; seeing that we had but six battaliæ for action, while the Greeks had more than forty, and not one of their battaliæ but was far stronger than any one of ours. But we had so stationed ourselves that they could attack us only in our front. And the Emperor Alexis rode up, until the two hosts were not a bowshot from each other. And so soon as the Doge of Venice heard these things, he recalled his people from the towers they had conquered, saying that he would go where danger was, and live or die with the barons and pilgrims. And so he came up the port, and landed nigh unto us, and brought with him as many of his brave people as he could bring.

“ Then stood the two hosts facing each other for a long time, the Greeks not daring to attack the pilgrims in their position, and the pilgrims not willing to quit their lines.

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