Thursday, April 29, 2010

Deeds Of the Franks, Book Two, Chapter Eight, cont.

However, there was on one side of the city a very large lake, in which the Turks were sending their own ships, both coming and going, and bearing food, wood and many other things. Then our nobles, as one in agreement, sent messengers to Constantinople to speak with the emperor that that he would send ships to be lead to Cyiot where there is a port and order oxen to be brought together which they would drag the ships across the mountains and forests and all the way to near the lake. Which he did immediately and he ordered his Turcopoles to go with these ships. On the day the ships, thus brought over, had arrived, they were not willing to set these immediately into the lake; but with night coming over them, they sent these ships onto that very lake, full of Turcopoles with well ornamented weapons. At earliest daylight, the ships were standing at the appointed place just in time, speeding across the lake to fight against the city. The Turks, seeing this, were wondering, not knowing whether it was their own people or the emperor's. Afterwards they recognized them to be people of the emperor, they were frightened unto death, wailing and crying; the Franks were rejoicing and gave glory to God. Moreover, the Turks, seeing that they would not be able to have any help from their own armies, sent an envoy to the emperor saying that they would voluntarily give back the city, if they would be permitted to leave the city with their wives and children and their property. Then the emperor, full of vain and evil thinking, ordered that these may depart unpunished and without fear, and to be lead to Constantinople with great faith. Very zealously he saved those people as he had these people protected from injuries and obstructions of the Franks.

We were in that siege for seven weeks and three days and many of our men there received martyrdom and dying joyfully gave back their happy souls to God. And among the poorest people were many who died of hunger in Christ's name. These triumphing in heaven bear the robe of martyrs that they received, crying out with one voice, "Avenge our blood Lord, he who is devoted to you, who is blessed and praiseworthy in the lives of the ages. Amen"

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