Page 1323

1323 THE CRUSADES-THE FIRST CRUSADE.

censed at this act of bad faith on the part

of the Emperor. Landing at Philipopoli,

the Duke of Lorraine dispatched a messenger to Constantinople to know the occasion of the arrest of the Count of Vermandois, and to demand his liberation. To this civil request an evasive and unsatisfactory answer was returned. It was not long until crowds of fugitive Greeks

rushing into Constantinople gave notice that

Godfrey had become the avenger of his

friend, and turned his warriors loose upon the

perfidious country.

Alexius came quickly to his senses. An

embassy was hastily dispatched to Godfrey,

promising full explanation and satisfaction for

the violence done to Hugh, and begging him

to restrain his followers from further ravages.

The prince thereupon bade his warriors to

refrain from further injury to the Greeks, and

then pressed forward to the Eastern Capital.

Arriving before the gates he found them closed

against the army of the Cross; for the highly

moral Alexius, having now conceived the

noble design of starving the Crusaders to

death, had forbidden the Greeks to supply

them with provisions. But the Emperor had

not yet apprehended the spirit and temper

of the men with whom he had to deal. The

Crusaders were unwilling to be offered up

on the altar of hunger. They burst into

the suburbs of the city, plundered palaces

and villages, captured store-houses and helped

themselves bountifully to whatever good

things the fruitful East had heaped up in

her lap. It was not long until Alexius perceived that another policy must be adopted

with the warriors of the West. He sent a

messenger to Godfrey informing him of his

desire to supply the army out of the stores

of the city, and the duke thereupon ordered

his followers to desist from further pillage.

A better understanding was thus arrived

at between the treacherous Greeks and their

unwelcome guest.

Notwithstanding the outward show of amity

quarrels were constantly breaking out between

the two races. At times it appeared that their

common enmity against the Turks would be

wholly forgotten in the bitter recriminations

which burned in the hearts of Byzantine and

Frank. More than once the Crusaders were

on the eve of assaulting the city, and the

leaders of the host were little concerned to

prevent such a conflict. It were hard to say

whether at this juncture the cupidity of the

western soldiers or the insolence of the Greeks was more difficult to curb.

The Emperor within the walls looked with

ever-increasing alarm upon the threatening attitude of the crusading host. His next piece

of diplomacy was to secure from the Western

princes who had their camps outside the ramparts such acts of homage and oaths of fealty

to himself as could not be honorably or even

decently violated. He first tried the new

policy with success upon Hugh of Vermandois, and, having that prince in his power,