He was entrusted with the duty of embarking the fugitives when the town was evacuated.
In reality the young tsar had no intention of embarking on wild political adventures, and was fully determined not to let his hand be forced by men less cautious than himself.
But while his enemies taunted him with having twice wrecked his party - first the Radical party under Mr Gladstone, and secondly the Unionist party under Mr Balfour - no well-informed critic doubted his sincerity, or failed to recognize that in leaving the cabinet and embarking on his fiscal campaign he showed real devotion to an idea.
Smaller vessels they were able to beat off and so, in spite of the activity of the British cruisers and of many sharp encounters, the concentration was effected at Boulogne, where an army of 130,000 was encamped and was incessantly practised in embarking and disembarking.
The management of that enterprise, however, was a difficult one, and cost Villehardouin another embassy into Italy to prevent if possible some of his fellow-pilgrims from breaking the treaty with the Venetians by embarking at other ports and employing other convoy.