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Nicholas “be thy speed!—Saint,” THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, iii. 1. 292. “The true reason why this Saint was chosen to be the patron of Scholars may be gathered from the following story in his Life composed in French verse by Maitre Wace, chaplain to Henry the Second, remaining in manuscript but never printed. . . .
‘Treis clers aloent a escole
Nen frai mie longe parole,’ etc., etc. That is, ‘Three scholars were on their way to school (I shall not make a long story of it), their host murdered them in the night, and hid their bodies; their [a word defaced in the manuscript] he reserved. Saint Nicholas was informed of it by God Almighty, and according to his pleasure went to the place. He demanded the scholars of the host, who was not able to conceal them, and therefore showed them to him. Saint Nicholas by his prayers restored the souls to their bodies. Because he conferred such honour on scholars, they at this day celebrate a festival.’ It is remarkable that although the above story explains the common representation of the saint with three children in a tub, it is not to be found in that grand repertory of Monkish lies, The golden legend. It occurs, however, in an Italian Life of Saint Nicholas printed in 1645, whence it is extracted into the Gentleman's Magazine for 1777, p. 158” (DOUCE) .

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