Alexius Part 38

This excuse Monomachatus made to my father, and tried to conciliate him (I mean my father) and Botaniates, simultaneously, but he also sent a much plainer message to the barbarian Robert, and then broke forth into open rebellion, and for this I must condemn him severely. But perhaps this kind of unstable conduct, ever changing with the changes in the government, is but natural; and all such men are prejudicial to the public weal, but steer a safe course for themselves, for they study nothing but their own personal interests, and even so they generally fail.

Behold, my steed has run off the high road of my history, but although he is out of hand, I must bring him back to our former road. Robert, indeed, had ever been wildly impatient to cross into our country, and was ever dreaming of Dyrrachium, but now, on receipt of Monomachatus’ message, his ardour burst all restraint, and he pushed on the naval expedition with all his might and main, and hurried up the soldiers, and whipped up their courage by stimulating addresses.

Robert and Alexius

Monomachatus, having set things in trim in this direction, now began constructing a second place of refuge for himself in another place; For he won over Bodinus and Michaelas, the Ex-archs of Dalmatia by his letters, and influenced their decisions by opportune gifts; thus opening secretly, as it were, various doors for himself. For he reasoned that if he were to fail with Robert and Alexius, and be rejected by both of them, then he would turn deserter, and go straight to Bodinus and Michaelas in Dalmatia. For, supposing that Robert and Alexius declared themselves his enemies, he placed his remaining hopes on Michaelas and Bodinus, and arranged to flee to them, should the feelings of Robert and Alexius be plainly adverse to him. But here we will let these matters rest. It is high time I should turn to my father reign, and relate how and why he became ruler.

I do not intend to narrate his life before he became ruler, but all his successes and failures as Emperor; if we shall occasionally find him unsuccessful in the course of the long stretch we are to traverse, I should not spare him for being my father if anything, he did struck me as not well done; nor shall I gloss over his successes to avoid the under-current of suspicion that it is a daughter writing about her father, for in either case I should be wronging truth. This then is my aim, as I have repeatedly stated already, and the subject I have chosen is the Emperor, my father. We will leave Robert in the spot to which our history has brought him, and now consider the Emperor’s doings. We shall reserve the wars and battles against Robert for a later book.

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