Then indeed the Emperor was delighted with them and dismissing them from the feast, spent the rest of the day free from care. Henceforward the Comneni made it their business to visit the palace and pay court to the men about the emperor even more assiduously; for they did not wish to give their adversaries the slightest handle, nor to afford them any pretext whatever for hatred, but on the contrary to win all over to liking them and being on their side both in thought and speech.
They also exerted themselves to win over the Empress Maria more completely and to convince her that they only lived and breathed for her. Isaac for his part with the excuse of his marriage to her cousin, used his freedom of access to the utmost, whilst Alexius, my father, alleging his nearness of kin but still more his adoption, as a brilliant reason, visited the Queen, without arousing anybody’s suspicion and threw a veil over the envy of his ill-wishers.
But he was well aware of the fierce resentment of those barbarian slaves and also of the Emperor’s extreme lightheaded-ness. So they naturally took thought how not to fall from his good favour, as, in that case, they might become a prey to their enemies. For light-headed dispositions are ever unstable and like the Euripus, they drift, as it were, on ever-changing currents.
Emperor’s goodwill towards them
IV When thee slaves saw that matters were not progressing along the lines hey wished and that the destruction of such men was not an easy job as the Emperor’s goodwill towards them augmented daily, they broached many plans and as often rejected them and finally settled on another course. And what was it? – it was to-send for them one night without the ruler’s knowledge and to put them out of the way by trumping up some false charge and boring out their eyes. The Comneni heard of this As they recognized that danger was very near they decided after much internal conflict that their only hope of safety lay in rebellion and that they were driven to by dire necessity.
For what sense was there in waiting for the red-hot iron to be applied which would quench the light of their eyes for ever? Therefore they kept this decision deep down in their minds. Soon after this Alexius (who was at that time Domestic of the Western Empire) was ordered to call up to the city a certain division of the army to be prepared for marching against the Hagarenes who had sacked the city of Cyzicus. Seizing this reasonable opportunity, he summoned by letter those officers in the army who were well disposed to himself and their respective troops. These were all mobilized and hurried up to the metropolis.
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