Nicolas, De Champagne

Nicolas, De Champagne a French Benedictine monk, was born in the beginning of the 12th century. After having embraced a religious life in the abbey, of Moutier-Ramey, near Troyes, he went to Clairvaux in 1145, and there became one of the secretaries of St. Bernard. He was an able man, educated, learned, who expressed himself in Latin with much elegance; but, according to St. Bernard, he made a bad use of his knowledge and his talent. At last, after having committed numberless thefts, he left Clairvaux in 1151, and the illustrious abbe was obliged to denounce him to pope Eugenius as a robber of books and of money, and as a forger. His principal artifice was, according to this report, to write letters in the interest of persons who paid him for his services, and to affix to these letters false seals. It is believed that he retired to England. He, however, afterwards turned up in Moutier- Ramey, enjoying there the best reputation. He was patronized, recommended, and spoken of in the most honorable terms by popes Hadrian IV and Alexander III, and became secretary or chancellor of the count of Champagne. Henry the Liberal. Possibly he was wrongfully accused by St. Bernard, whose habitual vivacity may well be suspected of some anger, and consequently of some injustice. Nicolas died after 1176. We have of his works Lettres, to the, number of fifty-five, which have been published in the Bibliotheque des Peres, vol. 21. His Sermons, to the number of nineteen, are found in the Biblioth. de Citeaux, vol. 3 See St. Bernardi Epistoke, passim; Hist. litt. de la France, xiii, 553.

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