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1394 UNIVERSAL BISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

within the walls. Night came on and the

allies anxiously awaited the morning to renew

the struggle.

But Alexius was not more tyrant than poltroon. In the darkness of midnight he robbed

the Imperial treasure-house, gathered together

his terrified followers and fled from Constantinople. With the coming of dawn the Crusaders were amazed to see issuing from the city

an embassy which, making its way to the

camp, informed the barons and the dog that

Alexius had fled, that the blind Isaac had

come from his dungeon and was on the throne,

and that he desired the immediate presence of

his son and deliverers in the city. In answer

to this message, two barons and two Venetians

were sent to congratulate Isaac on his restoration, and to notify him of the conditions which

his son had made, in accordance with which

they had come to effect his deliverance and

restoration.

Great was the shock to Isaac when he

learned of the hard, almost intolerable terms

which his rash but loyal boy had made with

the mercenary soldiers of the Cross. But he

was in the grip of an appalling necessity, and

there was no alternative but to ratify the conditions imposed by his masters. All was agreed

to. The young Alexius made a triumphant

entry into the city and was jointly crowned

with his father. For the moment there seemed

to be an end of the struggle and the beginning

of a lasting peace.

The character of the Latins and Greeks,

however, forbade any permanent concord

between them. The coarse vigor of the one,

and the pusillanimous spirit of the other,

made it impossible for them to harmonize

in interest or purpose. For the time the

Greeks were obliged to yield in all things

to their conquerors. The Patriarch of Constantinople was constrained by the compact

and the presence of the Crusaders to do his

part by proclaiming from the Church of St.

Sophia the submission of Eastern Christendom to the Roman See. This was, perhaps, the most intolerable exaction of all to

which the people of the city were subjected.

Their hatred of the heretical faith and ritual,

which they were obliged to accept, was transferred to the young Emperor Alexius, in

whose interest the revolution had been accomplished.

Nor was his own conduct such as to allay the antipathy which was thus aroused.

During his two years' sojourn in the camp of

the Crusaders, he had become thoroughly

imbued with their manners and spirit. Their

carousals and debaucheries were now a part

of his life as much as of their own. He would

not, perhaps could not, shake off the rude

and intemperate habits which he had thus

acquired by contact with the boisterous

soldiers of the West. Under the force of a

disposition which had now become a second nature, he continued to prefer the license

and uproar of the Crusaders' camp to the

refinements and ceremony of the palace and

court.

It was not long until the respect and

esteem of his own countrymen had been

so completely forfeited by Alexius that

he found it necessary to retain the Latin

warriors in his capital as a means of support. Nor did they appear reluctant-

so greatly had their ferocious morality been

corrupted-to postpone the fulfillment of

their vows in order to enjoy the winter

in Constantinople. Meanwhile their self confidence was in a great measure restored

by the pardon received from the Pope. Both

they and the Venetians, after their capture of

the city, had made such penitential professions

to the Holy Father that he gladly extended

full absolution to his wayward and refractory

children.

During the winter the time was occupied

by a portion of the Crusaders with an expedition into Thrace. Alexius himself accompanied the barons on this campaign,

and his absence from, the city, together with

that of the Marquis of Montferrat, was

made the occasion of a disastrous outbreak.

The Latin warriors, tired of inaction, fell

upon and almost exterminated a colony of

Moslem merchants, who had long enjoyed

the protection of the city. The Mohammedans made a brave defense, and the Greeks

came in large numbers to the rescue. In

like manner the Latin party in the city rallied

to the support of the Crusaders, and the battle

became a slaughter. In the midst of the

conflict a fight broke out which continued

to rage for eight days. One-third of the

beautiful city was reduced to ashes. The

multitude of Greeks thus dispossessed of

their homes were exasperated to the last

degree; and, falling upon the Latin residents