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CHAP. troops; and had Baldwin expected the return of his gallant
LXI. brother, with a supply of twenty thousand Armenians, he mmight have encountered the invader with equal numbers and
a decisive superiority of arms and discipline. But the spirit of chivalry could seldom discriminate caution from cowardice; and the emperor took the field with a hundred and forty knights, and their train of archers and sergeants. The marshal, who dissuaded and obeyed, led the vanguard in their march to Adrianople; the main body was commanded by the count of Blois ; the aged doge of Venice followed with the rear; and their scanty numbers were increased from all sides by the fugitive Latins. They undertook to besiege the rebels of Adrianople ; and such was the pious tendency of the crosades, that they employed the holy week in pillaging the country for their subsistence, and in framing engines for the destruction of their fellow-christians. But the Latins were soon interrupted and alarmed by the light cavalry of the Comans, who boldly skirmished to the edge of their imperfect lines; and a proclamation was issued by the marshal of Romania, that, on the trumpet's sound, the cavalry should mount and form ; but that none, under pain of death, should abandon themselves to a desultory and dangerous pursuit. This wise injunction was first disobeyed by the count of Blois, who involved the emperor in his rashness and ruin. The Comans, of the Parthian or Tartar school, fled before their first charge ; but after a ca. reer of two leagues, when the knights and their horses were
almost breathless, they suddenly turned, rallied, and encomDefeat and passed the heavy squadrons of the Franks. The count was sampe wity of slain on the field; the emperor was made prisoner; and if the A.D. 1205, one disdained to fly, if the other refused to yield, their per15.
sonal bravery made a poor atonement for their ignorance, or neglect, of the duties of a general. 26
Proud of his victory and his royal prize, the Bulgarian ad. vanced to relieve Adrianople and achieve the destruction of the Latins. They must inevitably have been destroyed, if the marshal of Romania had not displayed a cool courage and consummate skill; uncommon in all ages, but most uncommon in those times, when war was a passion, rather than a science.
His grief and fears were poured into the firm and faithful the Latins. bosom of the doge ; but in the camp he diffused an assurance
of safety, which could only be realized by the general belief. All day he maintained his perilous station between the city and the barbarians: Villehardouin decamped in silence, at the dead of night; and his masterly retreat of three days would have deserved the praise of Xenophon and the ten thousand.
26 Nicetas, from ignorance or malice, imputes the defeat to the cowardice of Dandolo (p. 383 ;) but Villehardouin shares his own glory with his venerable friend, qui viels "home ére et gote ne veoit, mais mult ere sages et preus el vigueros (No. 193.)
In the rear the marshal supported the weight of the pursuit; in CHAP. the front be moderated the impatience of the fugitives ; and LXI. wherever the Comans approached, they were repelled by a line of impenetrable spears. On the third day, the weary troops beheld the sea, the solitary town of Rodosto, 27 and their friends, who had landed from the Asiatic shore. They embraced, they wept ; but they united their arms and counsels; and, in his brother's absence, count Henry assumed the regency of the einpire, at once in a state of childhood and caducity.28 If the Comans withdrew from the summer heats, seven thousand Latins, in the hour of danger, deserted Constantinople, their brethren, and their vows. Some partial success was overbalanced by the loss of one hundred and twenty knights in the field of Rusium ; and of the Imperial domain, no more was left, than the capital with two or three adjacent fortresses on the shores of Europe and Asia. The king of Bulgaria was resistless and inexorable ; and Calo-John respectfully eluded the demands of the Pope, who conjured his new proselyte to restore peace and the emperor to the afflicted Latins. The Death of deliverance of Baldwin was no longer, he said, in the power of foe, empeman: that prince died in prison; and the manner of his death is variously related by ignorance and credulity. The lovers of a tragic legend will be pleased to hear that the royal captive was tempted by the amorous queen of the Bulgarians ; that his chaste refusal exposed him to the falsehood of a woman and the jealousy of a savag('; that his hands and feet were severed from his body; that his bleeding trunk was cast among the carcasses of dogs and horses; and that he breathed three days, before he was devoured by the birds of prey. 29 About twenty years afterward, in a wood of the Netherlands, a hermit announced himself as the true Baldwin, the emperor of Constantinople, and lawful sovereign of Flanders. He related the wonders of his escape, his adventures, and his penance, among a people prone to believe and to rebel; and, in the first transport, Flanders acknowledged her long-lost sovereign. A short examination before the French court detected the impostor, who was punished with an ignominious death ; but the Flemings still adhered to the pleasing error; and the countess
27 The truth of geography, and the original text of Villehardouin (No. 194,) place Rodosto three days' journey (trois journcés) from Adrianople; but Vigenere, in his version, has most absurdly substituted trois heures ; and this error, which is not corrected by Ducange, has entrapped several moderns whose names ) shall spare.
28 The reign and end of Baldwin are related by Villehardouin and Nicetas (p. 386—416 :) and their oniissions are supplied by Ducange in bis Observations, and to the end of his first book.
29 After brushing away all doubtful and improbable circumstances, we may prove the death of Baldwin, 1. By the firm belief of the French barons (Villehardouin, No. 230.) 2. By the declaration of Calo-John himself, who excuses his not releasing the captive emperor, quia debitum carnis exsolverat cum carcere teneretur (Gesta lonocent III. c. 109.)
CHAP. Jane is accused by the gravest historians of sacrificing to her LXI. ambition the life of an unfortunate father. So
In all civilized hostility, a treaty is established for the exReign and change or ransomn of prisoners; and if their captivity be proof Henry, longed, their condition is known, and they are treated accordAug. 20°ing to their rank with humanity or honour. But the savage June 1). Bulgarian was a stranger to the laws of war; his prisons were
involved in darkness and silence; and above a year elapsed before the Latins could be assured of the death of Baldwin, before his brother, the regent Henry, would consent to assume the title of emperor. His moderation was applauded by the Greeks as an act of rare and inimitable virtue. Their light and perfidious ambition was eager to seize or anticipate the moment of a vacancy, while a law of succession, the guardian both of the prince and people, was gradually defined and confirmed in the hereditary monarchies of Europe. In the support of the Eastern empire, Henry was gradually left without an associate, as the heroes of the crusade retired from the world or from the war. The doge of Venice, the venerable Dandolo, in the fulness of years and glory, sunk into the grave, The marquis of Montferrat was slowly recalled from the
Peloponnesian war to the revenge of Baldwin and the defence of Thessalonica. Some nice disputes of feudal homage and service, were reconciled in a personal interview between the emperor and the king; they were firmly united by mutual esteem and the common danger; and their alliance was sealed by the nuptial of Henry with the daughter of the Italian prince. He soon deplored the loss of his friend and father. At the persuasion of some faithful Greeks, Boniface made a bold and successful inroad among the hills of Rodope; the Bulgarians fled on his approach; they assembled to harass his retreat. On the intelligence that his rear was attacked, without waiting for any defensive armour, he leaped on horseback, couched his lance, and drove the enemies before him ; but in the rash pursuit he was pierced with a mortal wound ; and the head of the king of Thessalonica was presented to Caro-John, who enjoyed the honours, without the merit of victory. It is here, at this melancholy event, that the pen or the voice of Jeffrey of Villehardouin seems to drop or to expire ;s1 and if he still exercised bis military office of marshal of Romania, his subsequent exploits are buried in oblivion.32 The character
S0 See the story of this impostor from the French and Flemish writers, in Ducange, Hist. de C. P. iii. 9, and the ridiculous fables that were believed by the monks of St. Alban, in Matthew Paris, Hist. Major. p. 271, 272.
31 Villehardouin, No. 257. I quote, with regret, this lamentable conclusion, where we lose at once the original history, and the rich illustrations of Ducange. The last pages may derive some light from Henry's two Epistles to Innocent III. (Gesta, c. 106, 107.)
$2 The marshal was alive in 1212, but he probably died soon afterward, without returning to France (Ducange, Observations sur Villehardouin, p. 238.) His
of Henry was not unequal to his arduous situation : in the chap. siege of Constantinople, and beyond the Hellespont, he had lxi. deserved the fame of a valiant knight and a skilful commander ; and his courage was tempered with a degree of prudence and mildness unknown to his impetuous brother. In the double war against the Greeks of Asia and the Bulgarians of Europe, he was ever the foremost on shipboard or on horseback; and though he cautiously provided for the success of his arms, the drooping Latins were often roused by his example to save and to second their fearless emperor. But such efforts, and some supplies of men and money from France, were of less avail than the errors, the cruelty, and death, of their most formidable adversary. When the despair of the Greek subjects invited Calo-John as their deliverer, they hoped that he would protect their liberty and adopt their laws : they were soon taught to compare the degrees of national ferocity, and to execrate the savage conqueror, who no longer dissembled his intention of dispeopling Thrace, of demolishing the cities, and of transplanting the inhabitants beyond the Danube. Many towns and villages of Thrace were already evacuated ; a heap of ruins marked the place of Philippopolis, and a similar calamity was expected at Demotica and Adrianople, by the first authors of the revolt.
They raised a cry of grief and repentance to the throne of Henry; the emperor alone had the magnanimity to forgive and trust them. No more than four hundred knights, with their sergeants and archers, could be assembled under his banner: and with this slender force he fought and repulsed the Bulgarian, who, besides his infantry, was at the head of forty thousand horse. In this expedition, Henry felt the difference between a hostile and a friendly country; the remaining cities were preserved by his arms; and the savage, with shame and loss, was compelled to relinquish his prey. The siege of Thessalonica was the last of the evils which Calo-John inflicted or suffered; he was stabbed in the night in his tent; and the general, perhaps the assassin, who found him weltering in his blood, ascribed the blow, with general applause, to the lance of St. Demetrius. 33 After several victories, the prudence of Henry concluded an honourable peace with the successor of the tyrant, and with the Greek princes of Nice and Epirus. If he ceded some doubtful limits, an ample kingdom was reserved for himself and his feudatories; and his reign, which lasted only ten years, afforded a short interval of prosperity and peace. Far above the narrow policy of Baldwin and Bofief of Messinople, the gift of Boniface, was the ancient Maximianopolis, which flourished in the time of Ammianus Marcellinus, among ihe cities of Tbrace. (No. 141.)
83 The church of this patron of Thessalonica was served by the canons of the boly sepulchre, and contained a divine ointment which distilled daily and stupendous miracles (Ducange, Hist. de C. P. ij. 4.) VOL. 11.
CAP. niface, he freely intrusted to the Greeks the most important LXI. offices of the state and army; and this liberality of sentiment
and practice, was the more seasonable, as the princes of Nice and Epirus had already learned to seduce and employ the mercenary valour of the Latins. It was the aim of Henry to unite and reward his deserving subjects of every nation and language ; but he appeared less solicitous to accomplish the impracticable union of the two churches. Pelagius, the pope's legate, who acted as the sovereign of Constantinople, had interdicted the worship of the Greeks, and sternly imposed the payment of tithes, the double procession of the Holy Ghost, and a blind obedience to the Roman pontiff. As the weaker party, they pleaded the duties of conscience, and implored the rights of toleration : “Our bodies,” they said, “are Cesar's, but our souls belong only to God.” The persecution was checked by the firmness of the emperor; 34 and if we can believe that the same prince was poisoned by the Greeks themselves, we must entertain a contemptible idea of the sense and gratitude of mankind. Ilis valour was a vulgar attribute, which he shared with ten thousand knights; but Henry possessed the superior courage to oppose, in a superstitious age, the pride and avarice of the clergy. In the cathedral of St. Sophia he presumed to place his throne on the right hand of the patriarch; and this presumption excited the sharpest censure of pope Innocent the Third. By a salutary edict, one of the first examples of the laws of mortmain, he prohibited the alienation of fiefs; many of the Latins, desirous of returning to Europe, resigned their estates to the church for a spiritual or temporal reward ; these holy lands were immediately discharged from military service; and a colony of soldiers would have been gradually transformed into a college of priests.»
The virtuous Henry died at Thessalonica, in the defence of Come.com" that kingdom, and of an infant, the son of his friend Boniface. Constanti
. In the two first emperors of Constantinople the male line of the 1. 1917, counts of Flanders was extinct. But their sister Yolande was April 3, the wife of a French prince, the mother of
numerous progeny; and one of her daughters had married Andrew, king of llungary, a brave and pious champion of the cross. By seating him on the Byzantine throne, the barons of Romania would have acquired the forces of a neighbouring and warlike kingdom; but the prudent Andrew revered the laws of succession; and the princess Yolande, with her husband Peter of Courtenay, count of Auxerre, was invited by the Latins to
31 Acropolita (c. 17,) observes the persecution of the legate, and the toleration of Henry ('Egr as he calls bim,) xAudwie *171548TI.
35 See the reign of Henry, in Ducange (Hist. de C. P. I. i. c. 35-41, 1. ii. c. 1---22,) who is much indebted to the Epistles of the Popes. Le Beau (Hist. du Bas-Empire, tom. xxi. p. 120-122,) has found, perhaps in Doutreman, soine laws of Henry, which determined the service of tiefs, and the prerogative of the emperor.