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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

III: The Crusades of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI,   pp. 86-122 PDF (14.1 MB)

Page 96

and took, shortly, to the uninterrupted ravaging and occupation of cities,
castles, and villages until [finally] the emperor . . . indicated to us by
the tenor of his letters that the ambassadors . . . would return to us with
great honor. In the end, however, after many embassies and diplomatic evasions,
he craftily maintained the guile he had long since conceived against Our
Benevolence, by prolonging our passage until the harshness of winter. In
this spirit, when he returned our envoys . . . as if he had done a good turn,
he kept more than two thousand marks of their money and went on promising
a safe passage, an abundance of boats, a good market, and the usual money-exchange.
As the familiar proverb says, however, 'the burnt child dreads the fire',
we have no further faith in Greek vows and pretensions, and so have decided
to winter in Philippopolis. . . . The duke of Swabia, the brother of Your
Sublimity, is going to stay with a great part of the army in .Berrhoea [Stara
Zagora] . . . until the mildness of spring destroys the harsh winter air.
 'Since then we cannot cross the Arm of St. George unless we get from the
emperor . . . very select . . . hostages and unless we subject all Romania
[the Byzantine empire] to our rule, we strongly urge and request Your Prudent
Royal Nobility to send suitable envoys . . . to Genoa, Venice, Ancona, and
Pisa, and to other places, for a squadron of galleys and smaller vessels,
in order that, meeting us at Constantinople around the middle of March, they
may besiege the city by sea and we by land. We advise Your Royal Discretion,
furthermore, . . . to collect immediately all the outstanding money which
is owed us in different places, and have it deposited in the house of Bernard,
our Venetian agent. In this way . . . let it be transferred to Tyre, since
you know it will be very necessary to us on account of the unexpected delay
we are about to endure. . 
 'We affectionately request Your Royal Benevolence . . . to get monks with
never-failing vigilance to pour forth prayer to God for us. We . . advise
you also to take heed that the royal hand lay hold of judgment, and the zeal
of the royal dignity glow against criminals, for especially by this service
will you secure the grace of God and the favor of the people. Do not neglect,
moreover, to write the lord pope to send some monks to the various provinces
to exhort the people of God against the enemies of the cross, and especially
against the Greeks. For in the presence of our envoys, the bishop of Munster
and his colleagues, the patriarch of Constantinople publicly proclaimed [in
the church of Hagia Sophia], that any 

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