Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire

Gibbon's The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

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Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.

Part II.

Proud of his victory and his royal prize, the Bulgarian advanced 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 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. In the rear, the marshal supported the weight of the pursuit; in the front, he moderated the impatience of the fugitives; and 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 Rodosta, ^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 empire, 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 deliverance of Baldwin was no longer, he said, in the power of man: that prince had 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 savage; 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 afterwards, 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 Jane is accused by the gravest historians of sacrificing to her ambition the life of an unfortunate father. ^30

[Footnote 27: The truth of geography, and the original text of Villehardouin, (No. 194,) place Rodosto three days' journey (trois jornées) 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 I shall spare.]

[Footnote 28: The reign and end of Baldwin are related by Villehardouin and Nicetas, (p. 386--416;) and their omissions are supplied by Ducange in his Observations, and to the end of his first book.]

[Footnote 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 Innocent

  1. c. 109.) *
* Compare Von Raumer. Geschichte der Hohenstaufen, vol. ii. p. 237. Petitot, in his preface to Villehardouin in the Collection des Mémoires, relatifs a l'Histoire de France, tom. i. p. 85, expresses his belief in the first part of the "tragic legend." -- M.]

[Footnote 30: 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's, in Matthew Paris, Hist. Major, p. 271, 272.]

In all civilized hostility, a treaty is established for the exchange or ransom of prisoners; and if their captivity be prolonged, their condition is known, and they are treated according to their rank with humanity or honor. But the savage 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 nuptials 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 Rhodope: 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 armor, 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 Calo-John, who enjoyed the honors, 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; ^31 and if he still exercised his military office of marshal of Romania, his subsequent exploits are buried in oblivion. ^32 The character of Henry was not unequal to his arduous situation: in the siege of Constantinople, and beyond the Hellespont, he had 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 honorable 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 Boniface, he freely intrusted to the Greeks the most important 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 valor 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 Cæsar'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. His valor 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. ^35

[Footnote 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.)]

[Footnote 32: The marshal was alive in 1212, but he probably died soon afterwards, without returning to France, (Ducange, Observations sur Villehardouin, p. 238.) His fief of Messinople, the gift of Boniface, was the ancient Maximianopolis, which flourished in the time of Ammianus Marcellinus, among the cities of Thrace, (No. 141.)]

[Footnote *: There was no battle. On the advance of the Latins, John suddenly broke up his camp and retreated. The Latins considered this unexpected deliverance almost a miracle. Le Beau suggests the probability that the detection of the Comans, who usually quitted the camp during the heats of summer, may have caused the flight of the Bulgarians. Nicetas, c. 8 Villebardouin, c. 225. Le Beau, vol. xvii. p. 242. -- M.]

[Footnote 33: The church of this patron of Thessalonica was served by the canons of the holy sepulchre, and contained a divine ointment which distilled daily and stupendous miracles, (Ducange, Hist. de C. P. ii.

  1. ]

[Footnote 34: Acropolita (c. 17) observes the persecution of the legate, and the toleration of Henry, ('Erh, * as he calls him) kludwna katestorese.

Note: * Or rather 'ErrhV. -- M.]

[Footnote 35: See the reign of Henry, in Ducange, (Hist. de C. P. l. i.

  1. 35--41, l. 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, some laws of Henry, which determined the service of fiefs, and the prerogatives of the emperor.]

The virtuous Henry died at Thessalonica, in the defence of that kingdom, and of an infant, the son of his friend Boniface. In the two first emperors of Constantinople the male line of the counts of Flanders was extinct. But their sister Yolande was the wife of a French prince, the mother of a numerous progeny; and one of her daughters had married Andrew king of Hungary, 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 neighboring 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 assume the empire of the East. The royal birth of his father, the noble origin of his mother, recommended to the barons of France the first cousin of their king. His reputation was fair, his possessions were ample, and in the bloody crusade against the Albigeois, the soldiers and the priests had been abundantly satisfied of his zeal and valor. Vanity might applaud the elevation of a French emperor of Constantinople; but prudence must pity, rather than envy, his treacherous and imaginary greatness. To assert and adorn his title, he was reduced to sell or mortgage the best of his patrimony. By these expedients, the liberality of his royal kinsman Philip Augustus, and the national spirit of chivalry, he was enabled to pass the Alps at the head of one hundred and forty knights, and five thousand five hundred sergeants and archers. After some hesitation, Pope Honorius the Third was persuaded to crown the successor of Constantine: but he performed the ceremony in a church without the walls, lest he should seem to imply or to bestow any right of sovereignty over the ancient capital of the empire. The Venetians had engaged to transport Peter and his forces beyond the Adriatic, and the empress, with her four children, to the Byzantine palace; but they required, as the price of their service, that he should recover Durazzo from the despot of Epirus. Michael Angelus, or Comnenus, the first of his dynasty, had bequeathed the succession of his power and ambition to Theodore, his legitimate brother, who already threatened and invaded the establishments of the Latins. After discharging his debt by a fruitless assault, the emperor raised the siege to prosecute a long and perilous journey over land from Durazzo to Thessalonica. He was soon lost in the mountains of Epirus: the passes were fortified; his provisions exhausted; he was delayed and deceived by a treacherous negotiation; and, after Peter of Courtenay and the Roman legate had been arrested in a banquet, the French troops, without leaders or hopes, were eager to exchange their arms for the delusive promise of mercy and bread. The Vatican thundered; and the impious Theodore was threatened with the vengeance of earth and heaven; but the captive emperor and his soldiers were forgotten, and the reproaches of the pope are confined to the imprisonment of his legate. No sooner was he satisfied by the deliverance of the priests and a promise of spiritual obedience, than he pardoned and protected the despot of Epirus. His peremptory commands suspended the ardor of the Venetians and the king of Hungary; and it was only by a natural or untimely death ^36 that Peter of Courtenay was released from his hopeless captivity. ^37

[Footnote 36: Acropolita (c. 14) affirms, that Peter of Courtenay died by the sword, (ergon macairaV genesqai;) but from his dark expressions, I should conclude a previous captivity, wV pantaV ardhn desmwtaV poihsai sun pasi skeuesi. * The Chronicle of Auxerre delays the emperor's death till the year 1219; and Auxerre is in the neighborhood of Courtenay.

* Whatever may have been the fact, this can hardly be made out from the expressions of Acropolita. -- M.]

[Footnote 37: See the reign and death of Peter of Courtenay, in Ducange, (Hist. de C. P. l. ii. c. 22--28,) who feebly strives to excuse the neglect of the emperor by Honorius III.]

The long ignorance of his fate, and the presence of the lawful sovereign, of Yolande, his wife or widow, delayed the proclamation of a new emperor. Before her death, and in the midst of her grief, she was delivered of a son, who was named Baldwin, the last and most unfortunate of the Latin princes of Constantinople. His birth endeared him to the barons of Romania; but his childhood would have prolonged the troubles of a minority, and his claims were superseded by the elder claims of his brethren. The first of these, Philip of Courtenay, who derived from his mother the inheritance of Namur, had the wisdom to prefer the substance of a marquisate to the shadow of an empire; and on his refusal, Robert, the second of the sons of Peter and Yolande, was called to the throne of Constantinople. Warned by his father's mischance, he pursued his slow and secure journey through Germany and along the Danube: a passage was opened by his sister's marriage with the king of Hungary; and the emperor Robert was crowned by the patriarch in the cathedral of St. Sophia. But his reign was an æra of calamity and disgrace; and the colony, as it was styled, of New France yielded on all sides to the Greeks of Nice and Epirus. After a victory, which he owed to his perfidy rather than his courage, Theodore Angelus entered the kingdom of Thessalonica, expelled the feeble Demetrius, the son of the marquis Boniface, erected his standard on the walls of Adrianople; and added, by his vanity, a third or a fourth name to the list of rival emperors. The relics of the Asiatic province were swept away by John Vataces, the son-in-law and successor of Theodore Lascaris, and who, in a triumphant reign of thirty-three years, displayed the virtues both of peace and war. Under his discipline, the swords of the French mercenaries were the most effectual instruments of his conquests, and their desertion from the service of their country was at once a symptom and a cause of the rising ascendant of the Greeks. By the construction of a fleet, he obtained the command of the Hellespont, reduced the islands of Lesbos and Rhodes, attacked the Venetians of Candia, and intercepted the rare and parsimonious succors of the West. Once, and once only, the Latin emperor sent an army against Vataces; and in the defeat of that army, the veteran knights, the last of the original conquerors, were left on the field of battle. But the success of a foreign enemy was less painful to the pusillanimous Robert than the insolence of his Latin subjects, who confounded the weakness of the emperor and of the empire. His personal misfortunes will prove the anarchy of the government and the ferociousness of the times. The amorous youth had neglected his Greek bride, the daughter of Vataces, to introduce into the palace a beautiful maid, of a private, though noble family of Artois; and her mother had been tempted by the lustre of the purple to forfeit her engagements with a gentleman of Burgundy. His love was converted into rage; he assembled his friends, forced the palace gates, threw the mother into the sea, and inhumanly cut off the nose and lips of the wife or concubine of the emperor. Instead of punishing the offender, the barons avowed and applauded the savage deed, ^38 which, as a prince and as a man, it was impossible that Robert should forgive. He escaped from the guilty city to implore the justice or compassion of the pope: the emperor was coolly exhorted to return to his station; before he could obey, he sunk under the weight of grief, shame, and impotent resentment. ^39

[Footnote 38: Marinus Sanutus (Secreta Fidelium Crucis, l. ii. p. 4, c. 18, p. 73) is so much delighted with this bloody deed, that he has transcribed it in his margin as a bonum exemplum. Yet he acknowledges the damsel for the lawful wife of Robert.]

[Footnote 39: See the reign of Robert, in Ducange, (Hist. de C. P. l.

  1. c.--12.)]

It was only in the age of chivalry, that valor could ascend from a private station to the thrones of Jerusalem and Constantinople. The titular kingdom of Jerusalem had devolved to Mary, the daughter of Isabella and Conrad of Montferrat, and the granddaughter of Almeric or Amaury. She was given to John of Brienne, of a noble family in Champagne, by the public voice, and the judgment of Philip Augustus, who named him as the most worthy champion of the Holy Land. ^40 In the fifth crusade, he led a hundred thousand Latins to the conquest of Egypt: by him the siege of Damietta was achieved; and the subsequent failure was justly ascribed to the pride and avarice of the legate. After the marriage of his daughter with Frederic the Second, ^41 he was provoked by the emperor's ingratitude to accept the command of the army of the church; and though advanced in life, and despoiled of royalty, the sword and spirit of John of Brienne were still ready for the service of Christendom. In the seven years of his brother's reign, Baldwin of Courtenay had not emerged from a state of childhood, and the barons of Romania felt the strong necessity of placing the sceptre in the hands of a man and a hero. The veteran king of Jerusalem might have disdained the name and office of regent; they agreed to invest him for his life with the title and prerogatives of emperor, on the sole condition that Baldwin should marry his second daughter, and succeed at a mature age to the throne of Constantinople. The expectation, both of the Greeks and Latins, was kindled by the renown, the choice, and the presence of John of Brienne; and they admired his martial aspect, his green and vigorous age of more than fourscore years, and his size and stature, which surpassed the common measure of mankind. ^42 But avarice, and the love of ease, appear to have chilled the ardor of enterprise: ^* his troops were disbanded, and two years rolled away without action or honor, till he was awakened by the dangerous alliance of Vataces emperor of Nice, and of Azan king of Bulgaria. They besieged Constantinople by sea and land, with an army of one hundred thousand men, and a fleet of three hundred ships of war; while the entire force of the Latin emperor was reduced to one hundred and sixty knights, and a small addition of sergeants and archers. I tremble to relate, that instead of defending the city, the hero made a sally at the head of his cavalry; and that of forty-eight squadrons of the enemy, no more than three escaped from the edge of his invincible sword. Fired by his example, the infantry and the citizens boarded the vessels that anchored close to the walls; and twenty-five were dragged in triumph into the harbor of Constantinople. At the summons of the emperor, the vassals and allies armed in her defence; broke through every obstacle that opposed their passage; and, in the succeeding year, obtained a second victory over the same enemies. By the rude poets of the age, John of Brienne is compared to Hector, Roland, and Judas Machabæus: ^43 but their credit, and his glory, receive some abatement from the silence of the Greeks. The empire was soon deprived of the last of her champions; and the dying monarch was ambitious to enter paradise in the habit of a Franciscan friar. ^44

[Footnote 40: Rex igitur Franciæ, deliberatione habitâ, respondit nuntiis, se daturum hominem Syriæ partibus aptum; in armis probum (preux) in bellis securum, in agendis providum, Johannem comitem Brennensem. Sanut. Secret. Fidelium, l. iii. p. xi. c. 4, p. 205 Matthew Paris, p. 159.]

[Footnote 41: Giannone (Istoria Civile, tom. ii. l. xvi. p. 380--385) discusses the marriage of Frederic II. with the daughter of John of Brienne, and the double union of the crowns of Naples and Jerusalem.]

[Footnote 42: Acropolita, c. 27. The historian was at that time a boy, and educated at Constantinople. In 1233, when he was eleven years old, his father broke the Latin chain, left a splendid fortune, and escaped to the Greek court of Nice, where his son was raised to the highest honors.]

[Footnote *: John de Brienne, elected emperor 1229, wasted two years in preparations, and did not arrive at Constantinople till 1231. Two years more glided away in inglorious inaction; he then made some ineffective warlike expeditions. Constantinople was not besieged till 1234.--M.]

[Footnote 43: Philip Mouskes, bishop of Tournay, (A.D. 1274--1282,) has composed a poem, or rather string of verses, in bad old Flemish French, on the Latin emperors of Constantinople, which Ducange has published at the end of Villehardouin; see p. 38, for the prowess of John of Brienne.

N'Aie, Ector, Roll' ne Ogiers

Ne Judas Machabeus li fiers

Tant ne fit d'armes en estors

Com fist li Rois Jehans cel jors

Et il defors et il dedans

La paru sa force et ses sens

Et li hardiment qu'il avoit.

[Footnote 44: See the reign of John de Brienne, in Ducange, Hist. de C.

  1. l. ii. c. 13--26.]

In the double victory of John of Brienne, I cannot discover the name or exploits of his pupil Baldwin, who had attained the age of military service, and who succeeded to the imperial dignity on the decease of his adoptive father. ^45 The royal youth was employed on a commission more suitable to his temper; he was sent to visit the Western courts, of the pope more especially, and of the king of France; to excite their pity by the view of his innocence and distress; and to obtain some supplies of men or money for the relief of the sinking empire. He thrice repeated these mendicant visits, in which he seemed to prolong his stay and postpone his return; of the five-and-twenty years of his reign, a greater number were spent abroad than at home; and in no place did the emperor deem himself less free and secure than in his native country and his capital. On some public occasions, his vanity might be soothed by the title of Augustus, and by the honors of the purple; and at the general council of Lyons, when Frederic the Second was excommunicated and deposed, his Oriental colleague was enthroned on the right hand of the pope. But how often was the exile, the vagrant, the Imperial beggar, humbled with scorn, insulted with pity, and degraded in his own eyes and those of the nations! In his first visit to England, he was stopped at Dover by a severe reprimand, that he should presume, without leave, to enter an independent kingdom. After some delay, Baldwin, however, was permitted to pursue his journey, was entertained with cold civility, and thankfully departed with a present of seven hundred marks. ^46 From the avarice of Rome he could only obtain the proclamation of a crusade, and a treasure of indulgences; a coin whose currency was depreciated by too frequent and indiscriminate abuse. His birth and misfortunes recommended him to the generosity of his cousin Louis the Ninth; but the martial zeal of the saint was diverted from Constantinople to Egypt and Palestine; and the public and private poverty of Baldwin was alleviated, for a moment, by the alienation of the marquisate of Namur and the lordship of Courtenay, the last remains of his inheritance. ^47 By such shameful or ruinous expedients, he once more returned to Romania, with an army of thirty thousand soldiers, whose numbers were doubled in the apprehension of the Greeks. His first despatches to France and England announced his victories and his hopes: he had reduced the country round the capital to the distance of three days' journey; and if he succeeded against an important, though nameless, city, (most probably Chiorli,) the frontier would be safe and the passage accessible. But these expectations (if Baldwin was sincere) quickly vanished like a dream: the troops and treasures of France melted away in his unskilful hands; and the throne of the Latin emperor was protected by a dishonorable alliance with the Turks and Comans. To secure the former, he consented to bestow his niece on the unbelieving sultan of Cogni; to please the latter, he complied with their Pagan rites; a dog was sacrificed between the two armies; and the contracting parties tasted each other's blood, as a pledge of their fidelity. ^48 In the palace, or prison, of Constantinople, the successor of Augustus demolished the vacant houses for winter fuel, and stripped the lead from the churches for the daily expense of his family. Some usurious loans were dealt with a scanty hand by the merchants of Italy; and Philip, his son and heir, was pawned at Venice as the security for a debt. ^49 Thirst, hunger, and nakedness, are positive evils: but wealth is relative; and a prince who would be rich in a private station, may be exposed by the increase of his wants to all the anxiety and bitterness of poverty.

[Footnote 45: See the reign of Baldwin II. till his expulsion from Constantinople, in Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. iv. c. 1--34, the end l.

  1. c. 1--33.]

[Footnote 46: Matthew Paris relates the two visits of Baldwin II. to the English court, p. 396, 637; his return to Greece armatâ manû, p. 407 his letters of his nomen formidabile, &c., p. 481, (a passage which has escaped Ducange;) his expulsion, p. 850.]

[Footnote 47: Louis IX. disapproved and stopped the alienation of Courtenay (Ducange, l. iv. c. 23.) It is now annexed to the royal demesne but granted for a term (engagé) to the family of Boulainvilliers. Courtenay, in the election of Nemours in the Isle de France, is a town of 900 inhabitants, with the remains of a castle, (Mélanges tirés d'une Grande Bibliothèque, tom. xlv. p. 74--77.)]

[Footnote 48: Joinville, p. 104, edit. du Louvre. A Coman prince, who died without baptism, was buried at the gates of Constantinople with a live retinue of slaves and horses.]

[Footnote 49: Sanut. Secret. Fidel. Crucis, l. ii. p. iv. c. 18, p. 73.]

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