THE ELECTION OF A LATIN EMPEROR.
Now that the city was captured, the great question was the election of a new Emperor. The three chiefs of the expedition, the three most prominent men, and therefore the candidates whose names rose first to each man's mind, were Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat; Baldwin, Earl of Flanders and of Hainault; and Dandolo. There were others who hoped to be appointed, or at least to become candidates, but none of them ever had the least chance of success.1 The great Doge would not allow himself to be put forward as a candidate. Whatever his own wishes may have been, it was in the highest degree improbable that even his great influence with the Republic could have persuaded it to allow any of its citizens to occupy so exalted a position as that of Emperor. Venice was fully alive to her own interest. To break the power of Constantinople, to weaken its influence over the territories adjacent to those of the Republic, to take away its trade, to obtain a considerable portion of its territory--all these were advantages. But it was not to the interest of the Republic to allow one of its citizens to occupy a throne which might render him or his successor a dangerous rival. Venice was already in difficulties with the Elder Rome, and had no wish to alienate Philip and everyone else who claimed or hoped to be the ruler of the New Rome. Moreover, it was not probable that Dandolo would have stood a good chance of being elected. A large portion of the Venetians themselves would have opposed his election, while the Crusaders would probably have for the