I shall have occasion to return to Deacon Deusdona's conditions, and to what happened after Eginhard's acceptance of them. Suffice it, for the present, to say that Eginhard's notary, Ratleicus (Ratleig), was dispatched to Rome and succeeded in securing two bodies, supposed to be those of the holy martyrs Marcellinus and Petrus; and when he had got as far on his homeward journey as the Burgundian town of Solothurn or Soleure, notary Ratleig dispatched to his master, at St. Bavon, a letter announcing the success of his mission.
Three days after Eginhard's arrival began the series of wonderful events which he narrates, and for which we have his personal guarantee. The first thing that he notices is the dream of a servant of Ratleig the notary, who, being set to watch the holy relics in the church after vespers, went to sleep, and during his slumbers had a vision of two pigeons, one white and one gray and white, which came and sat upon the bier over the relics; while, at the same time, a voice ordered the man to tell his master that the holy martyrs had chosen another resting-place and desired to be transported thither without delay.
Unfortunately, the saints seem to have forgotten to mention where they wished to go, and, with the most anxious desire to gratify their smallest wishes, Eginhard was naturally greatly perplexed what to do. While in this state of mind, he was one day
- Now included in western Switzerland.
- Probably, according to Teulet, the present Sandhofer-fahrt, a little below the embouchure of the Neckar.
- The present Michilstadt, thirty miles northeast of Heidelberg.