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water, though of the color of true blood," and he clearly thinks this
satisfactory evidence that it was blood.

The same night another servant had a vision, in which still more
imperative orders for the removal of the relics were given ; and, from
that time forth, " not a single night passed without one, two, or even
three of our companions receiving revelations in dreams that the
bodies of the saints were to be transferred from that place to another."
At last a priest, Hildfrid, saw, in a dream, a venerable white-haired
man in a priest's vestments, who bitterly reproached Eginhard for not
obeying the repeated orders of the saints, and upon this the journey
was commenced. Why Eginhard delayed obedience to these repeated
visions so long does not appear. He does not say so in so many words,
but the general tenor of the narrative leads one to suppose that Mulin-
heim (afterward Seligenstadt) is the "solitary place" in which he had
built the church which awaited dedication. In that case all the
people about him wonld know that he desired that the saints should
go there. If a glimmering of secular sense led him to be a little sus-
picious about the real cause of the unanimity of the visionary beings
who manifested themselves to his entourage in favor of moving on, he
does not say so.

At the end of the first day's journey the precious relics were depos-
ited in the church of St. Martin, in the village of Ostheim. Hither a
paralytic nun (sanctimonialis gucedam paralytica) of the name of
Kuodlang was brought in a car by her friends and relatives from a
monastery a league off. She spent the night watching and praying
by the bier of the saints ; " and health returning to all her members,
on the morrow she went back to her place whence she came, on her
feet, nobody supporting her, or in any way giving her assistance."
(Cap. ii, 19).

On the second day the relics were carried to Upper Mulinheim, and
finally, in accordance with the orders of the martyrs, deposited in the
church of that place, which was therefore renamed Seligenstadt.
Here, Daniel, a beggar boy of fifteen, and so bent that " he could not
look at the sky without lying on his back," collapsed and fell down
during the celebration of the mass. " Thus he lay a long time, as if
asleep, and all his limbs straightening and his flesh strengthening
(recepta firmitate nervorum), he arose before our eyes, quite well."
(Cap. ii, 20.)

Some time afterward an old man entered the church on his hands
and knees, being unable to use his limbs properly:

He, In the presence of all of ns, by the power of God and the merits of the blessed martyrt, In
tne same hour in which he entered was so perfectly cured that he walked without so much as a
stick. And he said that, though, he had ben deaf for five years, his deafness had ceasttd alone
with the palty. (Cap. ill, M.)

86



CHRISTIANITY AND AGNOSTICISM. 421

Eginhard wa now obliged to return to the court at Aix-la-Chapelle,
where his duties kept him through the winter; and he is careful to
point out that the later miracles which he proceeds to speak of are
known to him only at second hand. But, as he naturally observes,
having seen such wonderful events with his own eyes, why should he
doubt similar narrations when they are received from trustworthy
sources ?

Wonderful stories these are indeed, but as they are, for the most
part, of the same general character as those already recounted, they
may be passed over. There is, however, an account of a possessed
maiden which is worth attention.

This is set forth in a memoir, the principal contents of which are
the speeches of a demon who declared that he possessed the singular
appellation of "Wiggo," and revealed himself in the presence of many
witnesses, before the altar, close to the relics of the blessed martyrs.
It is noteworthy that the revelations appear to have been made in the
shape of replies to the questions of the exorcising priest, and there is
no means of judging how far the answers are really only the questions
to which the patient replied yes or no.

The possessed girl, about sixteen years of age, was brought by her
parents to the basilica of the martyrs.

When she approached the tomb containing the sacred bodies, the priest, according to custom,
read the formula of exorcism over her head. When he began to ask how and when the demon
had entered her, she answered, not in the tongue of the barbarians, which alone the girl knew,
but in the Roman tongue. And when the priest was astonished and asked how she came to know
Latin, when her parents, who stood by, were wholly ignorant of it, " Thou hast never seen my
parents," was the reply. To this the priet, " Whence art thou, then, if these are not thy
parents ? " And the demon, by the month of the girl, " I am a follower and disciple of Satan, and
for a long time I was gatekeeper (janitor) in hell ; but, for some years, along with eleven compan-
ions, I have ravaged the kingdom of the Franks." (Cap. v, 49.)

He then goes on to tell how they blasted the crops and scattered
pestilence among beasts and men, because of the prevalent wickedness
of the people.*

The enumeration of all these iniquities, in oratorical style, takes np
a whole octavo page; and at the end it is stated, "All these things
the demon spoke in Latin by the mouth of the girl."

And when the priest imperatively ordered him to come out, "I shall go," said he, "not in
obedience to you, but on account of the power of the saints, who do not allow me to remain any
longer." And, having said this, he threw the girl down on the floor and there compelled her to
lie prostrate for a time, as though she slumbered. After a little while, however, he going away,
the girl, by the power of Christ and the meriis of the blessed martyrs, as it were awakening from
sleep, rose np quite well, to the astonishment of all present; nor after the demon had gone oat was
ehe able to speak Latin : so that it was plain enough that it was not ahe who had spoken in that
tongue, but the demon by her mouth. (Cap. v,51.)

If the "Historia Translationis" contained nothing more than has
been, at present, laid before the reader, disbelief in the miracles of
which it gives so precise and full a record might well be regarded as
hyper-skepticism. It might fairly be said: "Here you have a man,
whose high character, acute intelligence, and large instruction are
certified by eminent contemporaries ; a man who stood high in the
confidence of one of the greatest rulers of any age, and whose other
works prove him to be an accurate and judicious narrator of ordinary
events. This man tells you, in language which bears the stamp of
sincerity, of things which happened within his own knowledge, or
within that of persons in whose veracity he has entire confidence,
while he appeals to his sovereign and the court as witnesses of others;
what possible ground can there be for disbelieving him ? "

* In the middle ages one of the most favorite accusations against witchM ws that thy com
mittad juit thatw enormities.

7



422 BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

Well, it is hard upon Eginhard to say so, but it is exactly the
honesty and sincerity of the man which are his undoing a8 a witness
to the miraculous. He himself makes it quite obvious that when his
profound piety comes on the stage, his good sense and even his per-
ception of right and wrong make their exit. Let us go back to the
point at which we left him, secretly perusing the letter of Deacon
Deusdona. As he tells us, its contents were

that he (the deacon) had many relics of saints at home, and that he would pive them to me If I
would famish him with the means of returning to Rome ; he had observed that I had two mules,
and, if I would let him have one of them and would dispatch with him a confidential servant to
take charge of the relics, he would at once send them to me. This plausibly exuressed proposi-
tion pleased me, and I made up my mind to test the value of the somewhat ambiguous promise at
once:* so giving him the mule and money for his journey I ordered my notary Katleig (who



already desired to go to Rome to offer his devotions there) to go with him. Therefore, having left
Aix-la Chapelle (where the emperor and his court resided at the time) they came to Soissons.
Here they spoke with Hildoln, abbot of the monastery of St. Medardus, because the said deacon



had assured him that he had the means of placing in his possession the body of the blessed Tibur-
tius the martyr. Attracted by which promises he (Hildoin) sent with them a certain priest, Hunus
by name, a sharp man (hominem callulum), whom he ordered to receive and bring back the body
of the martyr in question. And so, resuming their journey, they proceeded to Home as fast as they
could. (Cap. i, 3.)

Unfortunately, a servant of the notary, one Reginbald, fell ill of a
tertian fever, and impeded the progress of the party. However, this
piece of adversity had its sweet uses; for, three days before they
reached Rome, Reginbald had a vision. Somebody habited as a deacon
appeared to him and asked why his master was in such a hurry to get
to Rome; and when Reginbald explained their business, this visionary
deacon, who seems to have taken the measure of his brother in the
flesh with some accuracy, told him not by any means to expect that
Duesdona would fujfill his promises. Moreover, taking the servant
by the hand, he led him to the top of a high mountain, and, showing
him Rome (where the man had never been), pointed out a chuich,
adding: "Tell Ratleig the thing he wants is bidder there; let him
get it as quickly as he can and go back to his master '* ; and, by way
of a sign that the order was authoritative, the servant was promised
that from that time forth his fever should disappear. And as the
fever did vanish to return no more, the faith of Eginhard's people in
Deacon Deusdona naturally vanished with it (et fidem diaconi promis-
sis non haberent). Nevertheless, they put up at the deacon's house
near St. Peter da Vincula. But time went on and no relics made
their appearance, while the notary and the priest were put off with all
sorts of excuses the brother to whom the relics had been confided
was gone to Beneventum and not expected back for some time, and so
on until Ratleig and Hunus began to despair, and were minded to
return, infecto negotio.

But my notary, calling to mind his servant's dream, proposed to his companion that they
should go to the cemetery which their host bad talked abont without him. So, naving found and
hired a guide, they went in the first place to the basilica of the blessed Tibnrtius in the Via Labi-
cana, about three thousand paces from the town, and cautiously ar>d carefully inspected the tomb
of that martyr, in order to discover whether it conlil be opened w "lout any one being the wiser.
Then they descended into the adjoining crypt, in which the bodies of the blessed martyrs of Christ,
Marcel linus and Petrus, were buried ; and, having maue out the nature of their tomb, they went
away thinking their host would not know what they had been about. But things fell out differ-
ently from what they had imagined. (Cap. i, 7.)

In fact, Deacon Duesdona, who doubtless kept an eye on his guests,
knew all about their manoBuvres and made haste to offer his services, in
order that, " with the help of God " (si Deus votis eorumfavere digna-
retur), they should all work together. The deacon was evidently
alarmed lest they should succeed without his help.

* It is pretty clear that Eginhard had his doubts abont the deacon, whose pledge he qualifies M
spontiontt inctrtce. But, to DC sure, he wrote after events which fully justified skepticism.

88



CHRISTIANITY AND AGNOSTICISM. 4*3

So, by way of preparation for the contemplated vol avec effr action,
they fasted three days; and then, at night, without being seen, they
betook themselves to the basilica of St. Ti bur tins, and tried to break
open the altar erected over his remains. But the marble proving too
solid, they descended to the crypt, aud " having invoked our Lord
Jesus Christ and adored the holy martyrs," they proceeded to prise off
the stone which covered the tomb, and thereby exposed the body of
the most sacred martyr Marc^llinus, " whose head rested on a marble
tablet on which his name was inscribed." T he body was taken up
with the greatest veneration, wrapped in a rich covering, and given
over to the keeping of the deacon and his brother Lunison, while the
stone was replaced with such care that no sign of the theft remained.

As sacrilegious proceedings of this kind were punishable with death
by the Roman law, it seems not unnatural that Deacon Deusdona
should have become uneasy, and have urged Ratleig to be satisfied
with what he had got and be off with his spoils. But the notary
having thus cleverly captured the blessed Marcellinus, thought it a
pity he should be parted from the blessed Petrus, side by side with
whom he had rested for five hundred years and more in the same
sepulchre (as Eginhard pathetically observes) ; and the pious man
could neither eat, drink, nor sleep, until he had compassed his
desire to reunite the saintly colleagues. This time, apparently
in consequence of Duesdona's opposition to any further resur-
rectionist doings, he took counsel with a Greek monk, one Basil,
and, accompanied by Hunus, but saying nothing to Deusdona,
they committed another sacrilegious burglary, securing this time,
not only the body of the blessed Petrus, but a quantity of dust,
which they agreed the priest should take, and tell his employer that it
was the remains of the blessed Tiburtius.

How Deusdona was " squared," and what he got for his not very
valuable complicity in these transactions, does not appear. But at
last the relics were sent off in charge of Lunison, the brother of
Duesdona, and the priest Hunus, as far as Pavia, while Ratleig
stopped behind for a week to see if the robbery was discovered, and,
presumably, to act as a blind if any hue and cry were raised. But, as
everything remained quiet, the notary betook himself to Pavia, where
he found Lunison and Hunus awaiting his arrival. The notary's
opinion of the character of his worthy colleagues, however, may be
gathered from the fact that, having persuaded them to set out in
advance along a road which he told them he was about to take, he
immediately adopted another route, and, traveling by way of St. Mau-
rice and the Lake of Geneva, eventually reached Soleure.

Eginhard tells all this story with the most naive air of unconscious-
ness that there is anything remarkable about an abbot, and a high
officer of state to boot, being an accessory both before and after the
fact to a most gross and scandalous act of sacrilegious and burglarious
robbery. And an amusing sequel to the story proves that, where
relics were concerned, his friend Hildoin, another high ecclesiastical
dignitary, was even less scrupulous than himself.

On going to the palace early one morning, after the saints were
safely bestowed at Seligenstadt, he found Hildoin waiting for an
audience in the emperor's antechamber, and began to talk to him
about the miracle of the bloody exudation. In the course of conversa-
tion, Eginhard happened to allude to the remarkable fineness of tb

89



424 BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE:

garment of the blessed Marcellinus. Whereupon Abbot Hildoin
replied (to Eginhard's stupefaction) that his observation was quite
correct. Much astonished at this remark from a person who was sup-
posed not to have seen the relics, Eginhard asked him how he knew
that. Upon this, Hildoin saw that he had better make a clean breast
of it, and he told the following story, which he had received from his
priestly agent, Hunus: While Hunus and Lunison were at Pavia,
waiting for Eginhard's notary, Hunus (according to his own account)
had robbed the robbers. The relics were placed in a church, and a
number of laymen and clerics, of whom Hunus was one, undertook to
keep watch over them. One night, however, all the watchers, save
the wide-awake Hunus, went to sleep; and then, according to the
story which this "shaip" ecclesiastic foisted upon his patron

It was borne in upon his mind that there must he some great reason why all the people, except
him -elf, had eurt enly become somnolent; and, deter Dining to avail himself of the opportunity
thus offered (oblata occasiane utendum), he rose and, having lighted a candle, silently approached
the cheats. Then, having burned through the threads of the seals with the flame of the candle, he
quickly opened the chests, which had no locks; * and, taking out portions of each of the bodies
which were thus exposed, he closed the chests and connected the burned ends of the threads with
the seals again, so that they appeared not to have been touched ; and, no one having seen him, he
returned to his place. (Cap. iii, 23.)

Hildoin went on to tell Eginhard that Hunus at first declared to
him that these purloined relics belonged to St. Tiburtius ; but after-
ward confessed, as a great secret, how he had come by them, and he
wound up his discourse thus :

They have a place of honor beside St. Medardus, where they are worshiped with great venera-
tion by all the people ; but whether we may keep them or not is for your judgment. (Cap. iii, 23.)

Poor Eginhard was thrown into a state of great perturbation of
mind by this revelation. An acquaintance of his had recently told
him of a rumor that was spread about, that Hunus had contrived to
abstract all the remains of SS. Marcellinus and Petrus while Egin-
hard's agents were in a drunken sleep ; and that, while the real relics
were in Abbot Hildoin's hands at St. Medardus, the shrine at Seligen-
stadt contained nothing but a little dust. Though greatly annoyed
by this " execrable rumor, spread everywhere by the subtlety of the
devil," Eginhard had doubtless comforted himself by his supposed
knowledge of its falsity, and he only now discovered how considerable
a foundation there was for the scandal. There was nothing for it but
to insist upon the return of the stolen treasures. One would have
thought that the holy man, who had admitted himself to be know-
ingly a receiver of stolen goods, would have made instant restitution
and begged only for absolution. But Eginhard intimates that he had
Very great difficulty in getting his brother abbot to see that even resti-
tution was necessary.

Hildoin's proceedings were not of such nature as to lead any one to
place implicit trust in anything he might say ; still less had his agent,
priest Hunus, established much claim to confidence ; and it is not
surprising that Eginhard should have lost no time in summoning his
notary and Lunison to his presence, in order that he might hear what
they had to say about the business. They, however, at once protested
that priest Hunus's story was a parcel of lies, and that after the relics
left Borne no one had any opportunity of meddling with them. More-
over, Lunison, throwing himself at Eginhard's feet, confessed with
many tears what actually took place. It will be remembered that,
after the body of St. Marcellinus was abstracted from its tomb, Ratleig

* The words are rinia sine clave, which seem to mean "having no key." But the circum-
stances forbid th ida of breaking open.

00



CHRISTIANITY AND AGNOSTICISM. 425

deposited it in the house of -Deusdona, in charge of the latter^
brother, Lunison. But Hunus, being very much disappointed that he
could not get hold of the body of St. Tiburtius, and afraid to go back
to his abbot empty-handed, bribed Lunison with four pieces of gold
and five of silver to give him access to the chest. This Lunison did,
and Hunus helped himself to as much as would fill a gallon measure
(vas sextarii menzuram) of the sacred remains. Eginhard's indigna-
tion at the " rapine " of this " nequissimus nebulo " is exquisitely
droll. It would appear that the adage about the receiver being as bad
as the thief was not current in the ninth century.

Let us now briefly sum up the history of the acquisition of the
relics. Eginhard makes a contract with Deusdona for the delivery of
certain relics which the latter says he possesses. Eginhard makes no
inquiry how he came by them; otherwise, the transaction is innocent
enough.

Deusdona turns out to be a swindler, and has no relics. Thereupon
Eginhard's agent, after due fasting and prayer, breaks open the tombs
and helps himself.

Eginhard discovers, by the self-betrayal of his brother abbot, Hil-
doin, that portions of his relics have been stolen and conveyed to the
latter. With much ado he succeeds in getting them back.

Hildoin's agent, Hunus, in delivering these stolen goods to him, at
first declared that they were the relics of St. Tiburtius, which Hildoin
desired him to obtain ; but afterward invented a story of their being
the product of a theft, which the providential drowsiness of his com-
panions enabled him to perpetrate from the relics which Hildoin well
knew were the property of his friend.

Lunison, on the contrary, swears that all this story is false, and that
he himself was bribed by Hunus to allow him to steal what he pleased
from the property confided to his own and his brother's care by their
guest Ratleig. And the honest notary himself seems to have no hesi-
tation about lying and stealing to any extent, where the acquisition of
relics is the object in view.

For a parallel to these transactions one must read a police report of
the doings of a " long firm " or of a set of horse-coupers ; yet Egin-
hard seems to be aware of nothing, but that he has been rather badly
used by his friend Hildoin and the " nequissimus nebulo" Hunus.

It is not easy for a modern Protestant, still less for any one who has
the least tincture of scientific culture, whether physical or historical,
to picture to himself the state of mind of a man of the ninth century,
however cultivated, enlightened, and sincere he may have been. His
deepest convictions, his most cherished hopes, were bound up in the
belief of the miraculous. Life was a" constant battle between saints
and demons for the possession of the souls of men. The most super
stitious among our modern countrymen turn to supernatural agencies
only when natural causes seem insufficient; to Eginhard and his
friends the supernatural was the rule, and the sufficiency of natural
causes was allowed only when there was nothing to suggest others.

Moreover, it must be recollected that the possession of miracle-work-
ing relics was greatly coveted, not only on high but on very low
grounds. To a man like Eginhard, the mere satisfaction of the relig-
ious sentiment was obviously a powerful attraction. But, more than
this, the possession of such a treasure was an immense practical advan-
tage. If the saints were duly flattered and worshiped, there was no

91



426 BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

telling what benefits might result from their interposition on yonr
behalf. For physical evils, access to the shrine was like the grant of
the use of a universal pill and ointment manufactory; and pilgrim ages
thereto might suffice to cleanse the performers from any amount of sin.
A letter to Lupus, subsequently abbot of Ferrara, written while
Eginhard was smarting under the grief caused by the loss of his much-
loved wife Imma, affords a striking insight into the current view of
the relation between the glorified saints and their worshipers. The writer
shows that he is anything but satisfied with the way in which he has
been treated by the blessed martyrs whose remains he has taken such
pains to " convey " to Seligenstadt, and to honor there as they would
never have been honored in their Roman obscurity :

It is an aggravation of my grief and a reopening of my wound, that our vows have been of no
avail, and mat the faith which we placed in the merits and intervention of the martyrs has been
utterly disappointed.

We may admit, then, without impeachment of Eginhard's sincerity,
or of his honor under all ordinary circumstances, that when piety, self-
interest, the glory of the Church in general, and that of the church at
Seligenstadt in particular, all pulled one way, even the work-a-day
principles of morality were disregarded, and a fortiori, anything like
proper investigation of the reality of the alleged miracles was thrown
to the winds.

And if this was the condition of mind of such a man as Eginhard,
what is it not legitimate to suppose may have been that of Deacon
Deusdona, Lunison, Hunus, and company, thieves and cheats by their
own confession; or of the probably hysterical nun; or of the profes-



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