The return of a large part of the armed forces from Italy and Germany, where they had lived on the liberated inhabitants, also threw new burdens on the Republic; and it was clear that French money alone would not suffice to fit out an armada.
Under Louis Savoy began to decline, for he was indolent, incapable, and entirely ruled by his wife, Anne of Lusignan, daughter of the king of Cyprus, an ambitious and intriguing woman; she induced him to fit out an expensive expedition to Cyprus, which brought him no advantage save the barren title of king of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia.
On the 23rd of March 1776 Congress did indeed issue letters of marque and reprisal, and efforts were made to fit out a national force.
Justinian was occupied by the ecclesiastical controversy of the Three Chapters, and had not the money to fit out a proper army and fleet; indeed, it may be doubted whether he would ever have roused himself to the necessary exertions but for the presence at Constantinople of a knot of Roman exiles, who kept urging him to reconquer Italy, representing that with their help and the sympathy of the people it would not be a difficult enterprise.
Fearing lest he should have escaped to Toledo and should there fit out another army, the partisans of Witiza insisted that Tariq should march immediately against the capital.