Alexius Part 3

Certainly the most effective of his methods for conciliating Tutach was, speaking broadly, a kind of offering the right hand of friendship; his words were these; “The two, your Sultan and my Emperor, are friends! This barbarian Ursel is lifting his hand against both, and he is a most dangerous foe to both, for he keeps on attacking the latter, and is always stealing away a bit here and there from the Roman Empire, and, on the other hand, he is robbing Persia of parts of Persia which might have been preserved to her. In all this he uses great art, for at present he is overshadowing me by your help, and then later, at a propitious moment, he will leave me when he thinks himself secure, and turn round again and attack you.

So if you will listen to me, you should, when Ursel next comes to you, seize him with superior numbers and send him captive to us. If you do this,” he continued, ” you will gain three things;— firstly, such a sum of money as no one ever gained before; secondly, you will win in addition the goodwill of the Emperor; and as a result you will quickly reach the acme of prosperity; and thirdly, your Sultan will be greatly pleased at the removal of so formidable a foe, who practised violence against Romans and Turks alike.”

Aforementioned Tutach

This was the tenor of the despatch sent to the aforementioned Tutach by my father, at that time Commander-in-Chief of the Roman Army. Together with it he also sent some members of the noblest families as hostages; and at an agreed moment and for a sum of money, he persuaded Tutach’s barbarian followers to seize Ursel; and this they did quickly, and after his capture he was forwarded to the General at Amaseia.

But in the meantime the money was slow to come in, for Alexius himself had no fund wherewith to pay it off, and the sums due from the Emperor did not arrive, consequently, it did not only “journey at slow speed,” [Eurpides] as the tragedian says [, but it did not come at all! Tutach’s followers meanwhile were insistent in their demands for the money promised or for the surrender of the man they had sold and said that he should be allowed to return to the place where he had been seized; and my father had no means of paying the purchase-price.

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