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A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three
by Thomas Frognall Dibdin
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On concluding our dinner, and quitting Lauffen, it grew dusk, and the rain began to fall in a continued drizzling shower. "It always rains at Salzburg, sir," said the valet—repeating the information of the post boy. This news made us less cheerful on leaving Lauffen than we were on quitting Altoeting: but "hope travelled through"—even till we reached the banks of the river Salz, within a mile or two of Salzburg—where the Austrian dominions begin, and those of Bavaria terminate. Our carriage was here stopped, and the trunks were examined, very slightly, on each side of the river. The long, wooden, black and yellow-striped bar of Austria—reaching quite across the road—forbade further progress, till such examination, and a payment of four or five florins, as the barrier-tax,—had been complied with. I had imagined that, if our trunks had been examined on one side of the water, there needed no examination of them on the other; unless we had had intercourse with some water fiend in the interval. It seemed, however, that I reasoned illogically. We were detained full twenty minutes, by a great deal of pompous palaver—signifying nothing—on the part of the Austrian commissioner; so that it was quite dark when we entered the barriers of the town of Salzburg:—mountains, trees, meadows, and rivulets having been long previously obliterated from our view.

The abrupt ascents and descents of the streets—and the quivering reflection of the lights from the houses, upon the surface of the river Salz—soon convinced us that we were entering a very extraordinary town. But all was silent: neither the rattling of carriages, nor the tread of foot-passengers, nor the voice of the labourer, saluted our ear on entering Salzburg—when we drove briskly to the Goelden-Schiff, in the Place de la Cathedrale, whence I am now addressing you. This inn is justly considered to be the best in the town; but what a melancholy reception—on our arrival! No rush of feet, no display of candles, nor elevation of voices, nor ringing of the bell—- as at the inns on our great roads in England—but ... every body and every, thing was invisible. Darkness and dulness seemed equally to prevail. One feeble candle at length glimmered at the extremity of a long covered arch-way, while afterwards, to the right, came forward two men—with what seemed to be a farthing candle between them, and desired to know the object of our halting? "Beds, and a two-day's residence in your best suite of apartments," replied I quickly—for they both spoke the French language. We were made welcome by one of them, who proved to be the master, and who helped us to alight. A long, and latterly a wet journey, had completely fatigued us—and after mounting up one high stair-case, and rambling along several loosely-floored corridors—we reached our apartments, which contained each a very excellent bed. Wax candles were placed upon the tables: a fire was lighted: coffee brought up; and a talkative, and civil landlord soon convinced us that we had no reason to grumble at our quarters.[83]

On rising the next morning, we gazed upon almost every building with surprise and delight; and on catching a view of the CITADEL—in the back ground, above the Place de la Cathedrale—it seemed as if it were situated upon an eminence as lofty as Quito. I quickly sought the Monastery of St. Peter;—the oldest in the Austrian dominions. I had heard, and even read about its library; and imagined that I was about to view books, of which no bibliographer had ever yet—even in a vision—received intelligence. But you must wait a little ere I take you with me to that monastic library.

There is a pleasing chime of bells, which are placed outside of a small cupola in the Place, in which stands the cathedral. I had heard this chime during the night—when I would rather have heard ... any thing else. What struck me the first thing, on looking out of window, was, the quantity of grass—such as Ossian describes within the walls of Belcluthah—growing between the pavement in the square. "Wherefore was this?" "Sir, (replied the master of the Goelden Schiff) this town is undergoing a gradual and melancholy depopulation. Before the late war, there were 27,000 inhabitants in Salzburg: at present, there are scarcely 15,000. This Place was the constant resort of foreigners as well as townsmen. They filled every portion of it. Now, you observe there is only a narrow, worn walk, which gives indication of the route of a few straggling pedestrians. Even the very chimes of yonder bells (which must have delighted you so much at every third hour of the night!) have lost their pleasing tone;—and sound as if they foreboded still further desolation to Salzburg." The man seemed to feel as he spoke; and I own that I was touched by so animated and unexpected a reply.

I examined two or three old churches, of the Gothic order, of which I have already forgotten the names—unless they be those of Ste. Trinite and St. Sebastien. In one of them—it being a festival—there was a very crowded congregation; while the priest was addressing his flock from the steps of the altar, in a strain of easy and impassioned eloquence. Wherever I went—and upon almost whatever object I gazed—there appeared to be traces of curious, if not of remote, antiquity. Indeed the whole town abounds with such—among which are some Roman relics, which have been recently (1816) described by Goldenstein, in a quarto volume published here, and written in the German language.[84]

But you are impatient for the MONASTERY OF ST. PETER.[85] Your curiosity shall be no longer thwarted; and herewith I proceed to give you an account of my visit to that venerable and secluded spot—the abode of silence and of sanctity. It was my first appearance in a fraternity of MONKS; and those of the order of ST. BENEDICT. I had no letter of recommendation; but, taking my valet with me, I knocked at the outer gate—and received immediate admission within some ancient and low cloisters: of which the pavement consisted entirely of monumental slabs. The valet sought the librarian, to make known my wishes of examining the library; and I was left alone to contemplate the novel and strange scene which presented itself on all sides. There were two quadrangles, each of sufficiently limited dimensions. In the first, there were several young Monks playing at skittles in the centre of the lawn. Both the bowl and pins were of unusually large dimensions, and the direction of the former was confined within boards, fixed in the earth. These athletic young Benedictins (they might be between twenty and thirty years of age) took little or no notice of me; and while my eye was caught by a monumental tablet, which presented precisely the same coat-armour as the device used by Fust and Schoeffher,—and which belonged to a family that had been buried about two hundred and fifty years—the valet returned, and announced that the Principal of the College desired to see me immediately.

I obeyed the summons in an instant, and followed Rohfritsch up stairs. There, on the first floor, a middle-aged monk received me, and accompanied me to the chamber of the President. On rapping at the door with his knuckles, a hollow but deep-toned voice commanded the visitor to enter. I was introduced with some little ceremony, but was compelled, most reluctantly, to have recourse to Latin, in conversing with the Principal. He rose to receive me very graciously; and I think I never before witnessed a countenance which seemed to tell of so much hard fagging and meditation. He must have read every Father, in the editio princeps of his works. His figure and physiognomical expression bespoke a rapid approach to the grand climacteric of human life. The deeply-sunk, but large and black, beaming eye—the wan and shrivelled cheek—the nose, somewhat aquiline, with nostrils having all the severity of sculpture—sharp, thin lips—an indented chin—and a highly raised forehead, surmounted by a little black silk cap—(which was taken off on the first salutation) all, added to the gloom of the place, and the novelty of the costume, impressed me in a manner not easily to be forgotten. My visit was very short, as I wished it to be; and it was concluded with an assurance, on the part of the Principal, that the librarian would be at home on the following day, and ready to attend me to the library:—but, added the Principal, on parting, "we have nothing worthy of the inspection of a traveller who has visited the libraries of Paris and Munich. At Moelk, you will see fine books, and a fine apartment for their reception."

For the sake of keeping, in the order of my narrative, I proceed to give you an account of the visit to the library, which took place on the morrow, immediately after breakfast. It had rained the whole of the preceding night, and every hill and mountain about Salzburg was obscured by a continuation of the rain on the following day. I began to think the postilion spoke but too true, when he said "it always rains at Salzburg." Yet the air was oppressive; and huge volumes of steam, as from a cauldron, rose up from the earth, and mingled with the descending rain. In five minutes, I was within the cloisters of the monastery, and recognised some of the skittling young monks—whom I had seen the day before. One of them addressed me very civilly, in the French language, and on telling him the object of my visit, he said he would instantly conduct me to Mr. GAERTNER, the librarian. On reaching the landing place, I observed a long corridore—where a somewhat venerable Benedictin was walking, apparently to and fro, with a bunch of keys in one hand, and a thick embossed-quarto under his other arm. The very sight of him reminded me of good Michael Neander, the abbot of the monastery of St. Ildefonso—the friend of Budaeus[86]—of whom (as you may remember) there is a print in the Rerum Germanicarum Scriptores, published in 1707, folio.

"That, Sir, is the librarian:"—observed my guide: "he waits to receive you." I walked quickly forward and made obeisance. Anon, one of the larger keys in this said bunch was applied to a huge lock, and the folding and iron-cramped doors of the library were thrown open. I descended by a few steps into the ante-room, and from thence had a completely fore-shortened view of the library. It is small, but well filled, and undoubtedly contains some ancient and curious volumes: but several hiatuses gave indication that there had been a few transportations to Vienna or Munich. The small gothic windows were open, and the rain now absolutely descended in torrents. Nevertheless, I went quickly and earnestly to work. A few slight ladders were placed against the shelves, in several parts of the library, by means of which I left no division unexplored. The librarian, after exchanging a few words very pleasantly, in the French language, left me alone, unreservedly to prosecute my researches. I endeavoured to benefit amply by this privilege; but do not know, when, in the course of three or four hours, I have turned over the leaves of so many volumes ... some of which seemed to have been hardly opened since they were first deposited there ... to such little purpose.

However, he is a bad sportsman who does not hit something in a well-stocked cover; and on the return of the librarian, he found me busily engaged in laying aside certain volumes—with a written list annexed—"which might possibly, be disposed of ... for a valuable consideration?" "Your proposal shall be attended to, but this cannot be done immediately. You must leave the consideration to the Principal and the elder brethren of the monastery." I was quite charmed by this response; gave my address, and taking a copy of the list, withdrew. I enclose you the list or catalogue in question.[87] Certainly I augur well of the result: but no early Virgil, nor Horace, nor Ovid, nor Lucretius, nor even an early Greek Bible or Testament! What struck me, on the score of rarity, as most deserving of being secured, were some little scarce grammatical and philological pieces, by the French scholars of the early part of the sixteenth century; and some controversial tracts about Erasmus, Luther, and Eckius.

So much for the monastic visit to St. Peter's at Salzburg; and yet you are not to quit it, without learning from me that this town was once famous for other similar establishments[88]—which were said anciently to vie with the greater part of those in Austria, for respectability of character, and amplitude of possessions. At present, things of this sort seem to be hastening towards a close, and I doubt whether the present principal will have half a dozen successors. It remains only to offer a brief sketch of some few other little matters which took place at Salzburg; and then to wish you good bye—as our departure is fixed for this very afternoon. We are to travel from hence through a country of mountains and lakes, to the Monastery of Chremsminster, in the route to Lintz—on the high road to Vienna. I have obtained a letter to the Vice-President of Moelk monastery, from a gentleman here, who has a son under his care; so that, ere I reach the capital of Austria, I shall have seen a pretty good sprinkling of Benedictins—as each of these monasteries is of the order of St. Benedict.

The evening of the second day of our visit here, enabled me to ascertain something of the general character of the scenery contiguous to the town. This scenery is indeed grand and interesting. The summit of the lowest hill in the neighbourhood is said to be 4000 feet above the level of the sea. I own I have strong doubts about this. It is with the heights of mountains, as with the numbers of books in a great library,—we are apt to over-rate each. However, those mountains, which seem to be covered with perennial snow, must be doubtless 8000 feet above the same level.[89] To obtain a complete view of them, you must ascend some of the nether hills. This we intended to do—but the rain of yesterday has disappointed all our hopes. The river Salz rolls rapidly along; being fed by mountain torrents. There are some pretty little villas in the neighbourhood, which are frequently tenanted by the English; and one of them, recently inhabited by Lord Stanhope, (as the owner informed me,) has a delightful view of the citadel, and the chain of snow-capt mountains to the left. The numerous rapid rivulets, flowing into the Salz, afford excellent trout-fishing; and I understood that Sir Humphry Davy, either this summer, or the last, exercised his well-known skill in this diversion here. The hills abound with divers sorts of four-footed and winged game; and, in short, (provided I could be furnished with a key of free admission into the library of St. Peter's Monastery) I hardly know where I could pass the summer and autumn months more completely to my satisfaction than at SALZBURG. What might not the pencils of Turner and Calcott here accomplish, during the mellow lights and golden tints of autumn?

Of course, in a town so full of curiosities of every description, I am not able, during so short a stay in it, to transmit you any intelligence about those sights which are vulgarly called the Lions. But I must not close this rambling, desultory letter, without apprising you that I have walked from one end of the Moenschberg to the other. This is an excavation through a hard and high rocky hill, forming the new gate, or entrance into the town. The success of this bold undertaking was as complete, as its utility is generally acknowledged: nor shall it tarnish the lustre of the mitre to say, that it was a BISHOP of Salzburg who conceived, and superintended the execution of, the plan. A very emphatic inscription eternises his memory: "TE SAXA LOQUUNTUR." The view, from the further end of it, is considered to be one of the finest in Europe: but, when I attempted to enjoy it, every feature of the landscape was obscured by drizzling rain. "It always rains at Salzburg!"—said, as you may remember, the postilion from Lauffen. It may do so: but a gleam of sunshine always enlivens that moment, when I subscribe myself, as I do now, your affectionate and faithful friend.

[77] See vol. i. p. 199.

[78] It is thus entitled: Bibliothecae Ingolstadiensis Incunabula Typographica, 1787, 4to.: containing four parts. A carefully executed, and indispensably necessary, volume in every bibliographical collection.

[79] [I rejoice to add, in this edition of my Tour, that the LOST SHEEP has been FOUND. It had not straggled from the fold when I was at Landshut; but had got penned so snugly in some unfrequented corner, as not to be perceived.]

[80] [A vision, however, which AGAIN haunts me!]

[81] This copy has since reached England, and has been arrayed in a goodly coat of blue morocco binding. Whether it remain in Cornhill at this precise moment, I cannot take upon me to state; but I can confidently state that there is not a finer copy of the edition in question in his Britannic Majesty's united dominions. [This copy now—1829—ceases to exist... in Cornhill.]

[82] On consulting the Typog. Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 510, I found my conjectures confirmed. The reader will there see the full title of the work—beginning thus: "Eruditissimi Viri Guilelmi Rossei opus elegans, doctum, festiuum, pium, quo pulcherrime retegit, ac refellit, insanas Lutheri calumnias," &c. It is a volume of considerable rarity.

[83] The charges were moderate. A bottle of the best red ordinary wine (usually—the best in every respect) was somewhere about 1s. 6d. Our lodgings, two good rooms, including the charge of three wax candles, were about four shillings per day. The bread was excellent, and the cuisine far from despicable.

[84] We learn from Pez (Austriacar. Rer. vol. ii. col. 185, taken from the Chronicle of the famous Admont Monastery,) that, in the year 1128, the cathedral and the whole city of Salzburg were destroyed by fire. So, that the antiquity of this, and of other relics, must not be pushed to too remote a period.

[85] Before the reader commences the above account of a visit to this monastery, he may as well be informed that the SUBJOINED bird's-eye view of it, together with an abridged history (compiled from Trithemius, and previous chroniclers) appears in the Monasteriologia of Stengelius, published in 1619, folio.



The monastery is there described as—"et vetustate et dignitate nulli e Germaniae monasteriis secundum." Rudbertus is supposed to have been its founder:—"repertis edificiis basilicam in honore SANCTI PETRI construxit:" Chronicon Norimberg. fol. cliii.; edit. 1493. But this took place towards the end of the sixth century. From Godfred's Chronicon Gotvvicense, 1732, folio, pt. i. pp. 37, 39, 52—the library of this Monastery, there called "antiquissima," seems to have had some very ancient and valuable MSS. In Stengelius's time, (1620) the monastery appears to have been in a very flourishing condition.

[86] As it is just possible the reader may not have a very distinct recollection of this worthy old gentleman, and ambulatory abbot—it may be acceptable to him to know, that, in the Thanatologia of Budaeus (incorporated in the Tres Selecti Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum, 1707, folio, p. 27, &c.) the said Neander is described as a native of Sorau, in Bohemia, and as dying in his 70th year, A.D. 1595, having been forty-five years Principal of the monastery of St. Ildefonso. A list of his works, and a laudatory Greek epigram, by Budaeus, "UPON HIS EFFIGY," follow.

[87] For the sake of juxta-position I here lay before the reader a short history of the issue, or progress of the books in question to their present receptacle, in St. James's Place. A few days after reaching Vienna, I received the following "pithy and pleasant" epistle from the worthy librarian, "Mon tres-reverend Pasteur. En esperant que vous etes arrive a Vienne, a bon port, j'ai l'honneur de declarer a vous, que le prix fixe des livres, que vous avez choisi, et dont la table est ajoutee, est 40 louis d'or, ou 440 florins. Agreez l'assurance, &c."

[Autographs]

I wrote to my worthy friend Mr. Nockher at Munich to settle this subject immediately; who informed me, in reply, that the good monks would not part with a single volume till they had received "the money upon the nail,"—"l'argent comptant." That dexterous negotiator quickly supplied them with the same; received the case of books; and sent them down the Rhine to Holland, from thence to England: where they arrived in safe and perfect condition. They are all described in the second volume of the AEdes Athorpianae; together with a beautiful fac-simile of an illuminated head, or portrait, of Gaietanus de Tienis, who published a most elegantly printed work upon Aristotle's four books of Meteors, printed by Maufer, in 1476, folio; and of which the copy in the Salzburg library was adorned by the head (just mentioned) of the Editor. AEd. Althorp. vol. ii. p. 134. Among the books purchased, were two exquisite copies, filled with wood cuts, relating to the AEsopian Fables: a copy of one of which, entitled AEsopus Moralisatus, was, I think, sold at the sale of the Duke of Marlborough's books, in 1819, for somewhere about 13l.

[88] In Hartmann Schedel's time, Salzburg—which was then considered as the CAPITAL OF BAVARIA—"was surrounded by great walls, and was adorned by many beautiful buildings of temples and monasteries." A view of Salzburg, which was formerly called JUVAVIA, is subjoined in the Nuremberg Chronicle, fol. CLIII. edit. 1493. Consult also the Chronicon Gotvvicense, 1732, folio, pt. ii. p. 760—for some particulars respecting the town taking its name from the river Juvavia or Igonta. Salzburg was an Archbishopric founded by Charlemagne: see the Script. Rer. German. edited by Nidanus et Struvius, 1726 folio, vol. i. p. 525.

[89] On the morning following my arrival at Salzburg, I purchased a card, and small chart of the adjacent country and mountains. Of the latter, the Gross Klokner, Klein Klokner, are each about 12000 feet above the level of the sea; The Weisbachhorn is about 11000 feet of similar altitude; Der Hohe Narr about the same height; and the Hohe Warte about 10,000; while the Ankogl and Herzog Ernst, are 9000 each. The lowest is the Gaisberg of 4000 feet; but there is a regular gradation in height, from the latter, to the Gross Klokner, including about 25 mountains.





LETTER VIII.

SALZBURG. TO CHREMSMINSTER. THE LAKE GMUNDEN. THE MONASTERY OF CHREMSMINSTER. LINTZ.

Lintz; on the road to Vienna, Aug. 26, 1818.

In order that I may not be too much in arrear in my correspondence, I snatch an hour or two at this place, to tell you what have been my sights and occupations since I quitted the extraordinary spot whence I last addressed you. Learn therefore, at the outset, that I have been, if possible, more gratified than heretofore. I have shaped my course along devious roads, by the side of huge impending mountains; have skirted more than one lake of wide extent and enchanting transparency; have navigated the celebrated Lake of Gmunden from one end to the other—the greater part of which is surrounded by rocky yet fertilized mountains of a prodigious height;—have entered one of the noblest and richest monasteries of Austria—and darted afterwards through a country, on every side pleasing by nature, and interesting from history. My only regret is, that all this has been accomplished with too much precipitancy; and that I have been compelled to make sketches in my mind, as it were, when the beauty of the objects demanded a finished picture.

I left Salzburg on the afternoon after writing my last epistle; and left it with regret at not having been able to pay a visit to the salt mines of Berchtesgaden and Hallein: but "non omnia possumus omnes." The first stage, to Koppf, was absolutely up hill, the whole way, a short German league and a half: probably about seven English miles. We were compelled to put a leader to our two horses, and even then we did little more than creep. But the views of the country we had left behind us, as we continued ascending, were glorious in the extreme. Each snow-capt mountain appeared to rise in altitude—as we continued to mount. Our views however were mere snatches. The sun was about to set in a bed of rain. Large black clouds arose; which, although they added to the grandeur of picturesque composition, prevented us from distinctly surveying the adjacent country. Masses of deep purple floated along the fir-clad hills: now partially illumined by the sun's expiring rays, and now left in deep shadow—to be succeeded by the darkness of night.

The sun was quite set as we stopped to change horses at Koppf: and a sort of premature darkness came on:—which, however, was relieved for a short time by a sky of partial but unusual clearness of tint. The whole had a strange and magical effect. As the horses were being put to, I stepped across the road to examine the interior of a small church—where I observed, in the side aisle, a group of figures of the size of life—which, at that sombre hour, had a very extraordinary effect. I approached nearer, and quickly perceived that this group was intended to represent the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Our Saviour, at a little distance, was upon his knees, praying; and the piety of some religieuse (as I afterwards learnt) had caused a white handkerchief to be fixed between his hands. The disciples were represented asleep, upon the ground. On coming close to the figures (which were raised upon a platform, of half the height of a man) and removing the moss upon which they were recumbent, I found that they were mere trunks, without legs or feet: the moss having been artfully placed, so as to conceal these defects when the objects were seen at a distance. Of course it was impossible to refrain from a smile, on witnessing such a sight.

The horses were harnessed in ten minutes; and, having no longer any occasion for a leader, we pursued our route with the usual number of two. The evening was really enchanting; and upon the summit of one of the loftiest of the hills—which rose perpendicularly as a bare sharp piece of rock—we discerned a pole, which we conjectured was fixed there for some particular purpose. The postilion told us that it was the stem of the largest fir-tree in the country, and that there were annual games celebrated around it—in the month of May, when its summit was crowned with a chaplet. Our route was now skirted on each side, alternately, by water and by mountain. The Mande See, Aber See, and Aller See, (three beautiful lakes) lay to the left; of which we caught, occasionally, from several commanding heights, most magnificent views—as the last light of day seemed to linger upon their surfaces. They are embosomed in scenery of the most beautiful description. When we reached St. Gilgen, or Gilling, we resolved upon passing the night there.

It was quite dark, and rather late, when we entered this miserable village; but within half a league of it, we ran a very narrow chance of being overturned, and precipitated into a roaring, rapid stream, just below the road—along the banks of which we had been sometime directing our course. A fir-pole lay across the road, which was undiscernible from the darkness of the night; and the carriage, receiving a violent concussion, and losing its balance for a moment—leaning over the river—it was doubtful what would be the issue. Upon entering the archway of the inn, or rather public house—from the scarcity of candles, and the ignorance of rustic ostlers, the door of the carriage (it being accidentally open) was completely wrenched from the body.

Never, since our night's lodging at Saudrupt,[90] had we taken up our quarters at so miserable an auberge. The old woman, our landlady, seemed almost to cast a suspicious eye upon us; but the valet in a moment disarmed her suspicions. It was raw, cold, and late; but the kitchen fire was yet in full force, and a few earthen-ware utensils seemed to contain something in the shape of eatables. You should know, that the kitchen fire-places, in Germany, are singularly situated; at least all those at the public inns where we have stopped. A platform, made of brick, of the height of about three feet, is raised in the centre of the floor. The fire is in the centre of the platform. You look up, and see directly the open sky through the chimney, which is of a yawning breadth below, but which narrows gradually towards the top. It was so cold, that I requested a chair to be placed upon the platform, and I sat upon it—close to the kitchen fire—receiving very essential benefit from the position. All the kitchen establishment was quickly put in requisition: and, surrounded by cook and scullion—pots, pans, and culinary vessels of every description—I sat like a monarch upon his throne: while Mr. Lewis was so amused at the novelty of the scene, that he transferred it to his sketch-book.

It was midnight when we attacked our potage—in the only visitor's bed-room in the house. Two beds, close to each other, each on a sloping angle of nearly forty-five degrees, were to receive our wearied bodies. The materiel of the beds was straw; but the sheets were white and well aired, and edged (I think) with a narrow lace; while an eider down quilt—like a super-incumbent bed—was placed upon the first quilt. It was scarcely day-light, when Mr. Lewis found himself upon the floor, awoke from sleep, having gradually slid down. By five o'clock, the smith's hammer was heard at work below—upon the door of the dismembered carriage—and by the time we had risen at eight o'clock, the valet reported to us that the job was just then ... in the very state in which it was at its commencement! So much for the reputation of the company of white-smiths at St. Gilgen. We were glad to be off by times; but I must not quit this obscure and humble residence without doing the landlady the justice to say, that her larder and kitchen enabled us to make a very hearty breakfast. This, for the benefit of future travellers—benighted like ourselves.

The morning lowered, and some soft rain fell as we started: but, by degrees, the clouds broke away, and we obtained a complete view of the enchanting country through which we passed—as we drove along by the banks of the Aber lake, to Ischel. One tall, sharp, and spirally-terminating rock, in particular, kept constantly in view before us, on the right; of which the base and centre were wholly feathered with fir. It rose with an extraordinary degree of abruptness, and seemed to be twice as high as the spire of Strasbourg cathedral. To the left, ran sparkling rivulets, as branches of the three lakes just mentioned. An endless variety of picturesque beauty—of trees, rocks, greenswards, wooded heights, and glen-like passes—canopied by a sky of the deepest and most brilliant blue—were the objects upon which we feasted till we reached Ischel: where we changed horses. Here we observed several boats, of a peculiarly long and narrow form, laden with salt, making their way for the Steyer and Ens rivers, and from thence to the Danube. To describe what we saw, all the way till we reached the Traun See, or the LAKE OF GMUNDEN, would be only a repetition of the previous description.

At Inderlambach, close to the lake in question, we stopped to dine. This is a considerable village, or even country town. On the heights are well-trimmed gravel walks, from which you catch a commanding view of the hither end of the lake; and of which the sight cheered us amazingly. We longed to be afloat. There is a great manufactory of salt carried on upon these heights—at the foot of which was said to be the best inn in the town. Thither we drove: and if high charges form the test of the excellence of an inn, there is good reason to designate this, at Inderlambach, as such. We snatched a hasty meal, (for which we had nearly fifteen florins to pay) being anxious to get the carriage and luggage aboard one of the larger boats, used in transporting travellers, before the sun was getting too low ... that we might see the wonders of the scenery of which we had heard so much. It was a bright, lovely afternoon; and about half-past six we were all, with bag and baggage, on board. Six men, with oars resembling spades in shape, were to row us; and a seventh took the helm. The water was as smooth as glass, and of a sea-green tint, which might have been occasioned by the reflection of the dark and lofty wood and mountainous scenery, by which the lake is surrounded.

The rowers used their oars so gently, as hardly to make us sensible of their sounds. The boat glided softly along; and it was evident, from the varying forms of the scenery, that we were making considerable way. We had a voyage of at least nine English miles to accomplish, ere we reached the opposite extremity—called Gmunden; and where we were told that the inn would afford us every accommodation which we might wish. On reaching the first winding or turning of the lake, to the left, a most magnificent and even sublime object—like a mountain of rock—presented itself to the right. It rose perpendicularly—vast, craggy, and of a height, I should suppose, little short of 2000 feet. Its gray and battered sides—now lighted up by the varied tints of a setting sun—seemed to have been ploughed by many a rushing torrent, and covered by many a winter's snow. Meanwhile the lake was receiving, in the part nearest to us, a breadth of deep green shadow, as the sun became lower and lower. The last faint scream of the wild fowl gave indication that night was coming on; and the few small fishermen's huts, with which the banks were slightly studded, began to fade from the view. Yet the summit of the mountain of rock, which I have just mentioned, was glowing with an almost golden hue. I cannot attempt a more minute description of this enchanting scene.

One thing struck me very forcibly. This enormous rocky elevation seemed to baffle all our attempts to near it—and yet it appeared as if we were scarcely a quarter of a mile from it. This will give you some notion of its size and height. At length, the scenery of the lake began to change—into a more quiet and sober character.... We had now passed the rocky mountain, and on looking upon its summit, we observed that the golden glow of sunshine had subsided into a colour of pale pink, terminating in alternate tints of purple and slate. Almost the whole landscape had faded from the eye, when we reached the end of our voyage; having been more than two hours upon the lake. On disembarking, we made directly for the inn—where we found every thing even exceeding what we had been led to expect—and affording a very striking and comfortable contrast to the quarters of the preceding evening at St. Gilgen. Sofas, carpets, lustres, and two good bed-rooms—a set of china which might have pleased a German baron—all glittered before our eyes, and shewed us that, if we were not well satisfied, the fault would be our own. The front windows of the hotel commanded a direct and nearly uninterrupted length-view of the lake; and if the full moon had risen ... but one cannot have every thing one wants—even at the hotel of Gmunden.

We ordered a good fire, and wax candles to be lighted; a chafing dish, filled with live charcoal caused a little cloud of steam to be emitted from a copper kettle—of which the exterior might have been cleaned ... during the last century. But we travelled with our own tea; and enjoyed a succession of cups which seemed to make us "young and lusty as eagles:" and which verified all the pleasing things said in behalf of this philosophical beverage by the incomparable Cowper. Mr. Lewis spent two hours in penning in his drawings; and I brushed up my journal—-opened my map—and catechised the landlord about the MONASTERY of CHREMSMINSTER, which it was resolved to visit on the following (Sunday) morning. Excellent beds (not "sloping in an angle of 45 degrees"—) procured us a comfortable night's rest. In the morning, we surveyed the lake, the village, and its immediate vicinity. We inspected two churches, and saw a group of women devoutly occupied in prayer by the side of a large tombstone—in a cemetery at a distance from any church. The tombstones in Germany are whimsical enough. Some look like iron cross-bows, others like crosses; some nearly resemble a gibbet; and others a star. They are usually very slender in their structure, and of a height scarcely exceeding four or five feet.

By eleven in the morning, the postboy's bugle sounded for our departure. The carriage and horses were at the door: the postboy, arrayed in an entirely new scarlet jacket, with a black velvet collar edged with silver lace, the livery of Austria, was mounted upon a strong and lofty steed; and the travellers being comfortably seated, the whip sounded, and off we went, up hill, at a good round cantering pace. A large congregation, which was quitting a church in the vicinity of the inn, gazed at us, as we passed, with looks and gestures as if they had never seen two English travellers before.

The stage from Gmunden to Chremsminster is very long and tedious; but by no means devoid of interest. We halted an hour to rest the horses, about half-way on the route; which I should think was full eight English miles from the place of starting. On leaving Gmunden, and gaining the height of the neighbouring hills, we looked behind, or rather to the right, upon the back part of that chain of hills and rocks which encircle the lake over which we had passed the preceding evening. The sky was charged with large and heavy clouds; and a broad, deep, and as it were stormy, tint of dark purple ... mantled every mountain which we saw—with the exception of our old gigantic friend, of which the summit was buried in the clouds. At a given distance, you form a tolerably good notion of the altitude of mountains; and from this latter view of those in question, I should think that the highest may be about 3000 feet above the level of the lake. It was somewhere upon two o'clock when we caught the first glimpse of the spire and lofty walls of the MONASTERY OF CHREMSMINSTER. This monastery is hid by high ground,—till you get within a mile of the town of Chrems; so called, from a river, of the same name, which washes almost the walls of the monastery.

I cannot dissemble the joy I felt on the first view of this striking and venerable edifice. It is situated on a considerable eminence—and seems to be built upon a foundation of rock. Its mosque-fashioned towers, the long range of its windows, and height of its walls, cannot fail to arrest the attention very forcibly. Just on the spot where we caught the first view of it, the road was not only very precipitous, but was under repair; which made it absolutely perilous. The skill of our postilion, however extricated us from all danger; and on making the descent, I opened my portmanteau in front of me—which was strapped to the back-seat of the carriage—pulled out the green silk purse which I had purchased at Dieppe, within a few hours of my landing in France—and introducing my hand into it, took from thence some dozen or twenty napoleons—observing at the same time, to Mr. Lewis, and pointing to the monastery—that "these pieces would probably be devoted to the purchasing of a few book-treasures from the library of the edifice in view." In five minutes we drove up to the principal, or rather only inn, which the town seemed to afford. The first thing I did, was, to bespeak an immediate dinner, and to send a messenger, with a note (written in Latin) to the Vice Principal or Librarian of the monastery—"requesting permission to inspect the library, being English travellers bound for Vienna." No answer was returned ... even on the conclusion of our dinner; when,—on calling a council, it was resolved that we should take the valet and a guide with us, and immediately assail the gates of the Monastery.

I marched up the steep path which leads to these gates, with the most perfect confidence in the success of my visit. Vespers were just concluded; and three or four hundred at least of the population of Chrems were pouring forth from the church doors, down the path towards the town. On entering the quadrangle in which the church is situated, we were surprised at its extent, and the respectability of its architecture. We then made for the church—along the cloisters—and found it nearly deserted. A few straggling supplicants were however left behind—ardent in prayer, upon their knees: but the florid style of the architecture of the interior of this church immediately caught my attention and admiration. The sides are covered with large oil paintings, which look like copies of better performances; while, at each lower corner of these pictures, stands a large figure of a saint, boldly sculptured, as if to support the painting. Throwing your eye along this series of paintings and sculpture, on each side of the church, the whole has a grand and imposing effect—while the subjects of some of the paintings, describing the tortures of the damned, or the occupations of the good, cannot fail, in the mind of an enthusiastic devotee, to produce a very powerful sensation. The altars here, as usual in Germany, and even at Lauffen and Koppf—are profusely ornamented.

We had hardly retreated from the church—lost in the variety of reflections excited by the novelty of every surrounding object—when I perceived a Benedictin, with his black cap upon his head, walking with a hurried step towards us ... along the cloisters. As he approached, he pulled off his cap, and saluted us very graciously: pouring forth a number of sentences, in the Latin language, (for he could not speak a word of French) with a fluency and rapidity of utterance, of which, I could have no conception; and of which, necessarily, I could not comprehend one half. Assuming a more leisurely method of address, he asked me, what kind of books I was more particularly anxious to see: and on replying "those more especially which were printed in the fifteenth century—the "Incunabula"—he answered, "come with me; and, although the librarian be absent, I will do my utmost to assist you." So saying, we followed him into his cell, a mere cabin of a room: where I observed some respectably-looking vellum-clad folios, and where his bed occupied the farther part. He then retired for the key: returned in five seconds, and requested that we would follow him up stairs. We mounted two flights of a noble staircase; the landing-place of the first of which communicated with a lofty and magnificent, arched corridor:—running along the whole side of the quadrangle. The library is situated at the very top of the building, and occupies (as I should apprehend) one half of the side of the quadrangle. It is a remarkably handsome and cheerful room, divided into three slightly indicated compartments; and the colour, both of the wainscot and of the backs of the books, is chiefly white.

The first thing that struck me was, the almost unbounded and diversified view from thence. I ran to the windows—but the afternoon had become black and dismal, and the rain was descending fast on all sides; yet, in the haze of distance, I thought I could discern the chain of huge mountains near the lake of Gmunden. Their purple sides and craggy summits yet seemed to rise above the clouds, which were resting upon the intermediate country, and deluging it with rain. The Benedictin confirmed my suspicions as to the identity of the country before us, and then bade me follow, him quickly. I followed M. HARTENSCHNEIDER (for so the worthy Benedictin wrote his name) to the further division, or compartment of the library; and turning to the left, began an attack upon the Fifteeners—which were placed there, on the two lowest shelves. My guide would not allow of my taking down the books ... from sheer politeness. "They might prove burdensome"—as if any thing, in the shape of a book, could be considered a BURDEN!

The first volume I opened, was one of the most beautiful copies imaginable—utterly beyond all competition, for purity and primitiveness of condition—of Schoiffher's edition of St. Austin de Civitate Dei, with the Commentary of Trivetus, of the date of 1473. That work is everywhere—in all forms, types, and conditions—upon the continent. The worthy M. Hartenschneider seemed to be marvellously pleased with the delight I expressed on the view of this magnificent volume. He then placed before me the Catholicon of 1469, by G. Zainer: a cropt, but clean and desirable copy. Upon my telling him that I had not long ago seen a copy of it UPON VELLUM, in the Public Library at Munich, he seemed to be mute and pensive... and to sigh somewhat inwardly. Pausing awhile, he resumed, by telling me that the ONLY treasure they had possessed, in the shape of a VELLUM BOOK, was a copy of the same work of St. Austin, printed chiefly by John de Spira (but finished by his brother Vindelin) of the date of 1470; but with which, and many other book-curiosities, the French general Lecourbe chose to march away; in the year 1800. That cruel act of spoliation was commemorated, or revenged, by an angry Latin distich.

I was also much gratified by a beautifully clean copy of the Durandi Rationale by I. Zeiner, of the date of 1474: as well as with the same printer's Aurea Biblia, of the same date, which is indeed almost every where upon the Continent. But nothing came perfectly up to the copy of Schoiffher's edition of the De Civ. Dei. M. Hartenschneider added, that the Imperial Library at Vienna had possessed itself of their chief rarities in early typography: but he seemed to exult exceedingly on mentioning the beautiful and perfect state of their DELPHIN CLASSICS.

"Do you by chance possess the Statius?—" observed I. "Come and see—" replied my guide: and forthwith he took me into a recess, or closet, where my eye was greeted with one of the most goodly book-sights imaginable. There they all stood—those Delphin Classics—in fair array and comeliest condition. I took down the Statius, and on returning it, exclaimed "Exemplar pulcherrimum et optime conservatum." "Pretiosissimumque," rejoined my cicerone. "And the Prudentius—good M. Hartenschneider—do you possess it?" "Etiam"—replied he. "And the Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius?" They were there also: but one of the volumes, containing the Tibullus, was with a brother monk. That monk (thought I to myself) must have something of a tender heart. "But tell me, worthy and learned Sir, (continued I) why so particular about the Statius? Here are twenty golden pieces:" (they were the napoleons, taken from the forementioned silken purse[91])—"will these procure the copy in question?" "It is in vain you offer any thing: (replied M. Hartenschneider) we have refused this very copy even to Princes and Dukes." "Listen then to me:" resumed I: "It seems you want that great work, such an ornament to our own country, and so useful to every other—the Monasticon Anglicanum of Sir William Dugdale. Will you allow me to propose a fair good copy of that admirable performance, in exchange for your Statius?" "I can promise nothing—replied M. Hartenschneider—as that matter rests entirely with the superiors of the monastery; but what you say appears to be very reasonable; and, for myself, I should not hesitate one moment, in agreeing to the proposed exchange." My guide then gave me to understand that he was Professor of History; and that there were not fewer than one hundred monks upon the establishment.

I was next intreated, together with my travelling friend and our valet, to stop and pass the night there. We were told that it was getting late and dark; and that there was only a cross road between Chrems and Ens, in the route to Lintz—to which latter place we were going. "You cannot reach Lintz (said our hospitable attendant) before midnight; but rain and darkness are not for men with nice sensibilities to encounter. You and your friend, and eke your servant, shall not lack a hospitable entertainment. Command therefore your travelling equipage to be brought hither. You see (added he smiling) we have room enough for all your train. I beseech you to tarry with us." This is almost a literal version of what M. Hartenschneider said—and he said it fluently, and even in an impassioned manner. I thanked him again and again; but declared it to be impossible to comply with his kind wishes. "The hospitality of your order (observed I to the Professor) is equal to its learning." M. Hartenschneider bowed: and then taking me by the arm, exclaimed, "well, since you cannot be prevailed upon to stay, you must make the most of your time. Come and see one or two of our more ancient MSS."

He then placed before me an Evangelistarium of the eighth century, which he said had belonged to Charlemagne, the founder of the monastery.[92] It was one of the most perfect pieces of calligraphy which I had ever seen; perhaps superior to that in the Public Library at Landshut. But this MS. is yet more precious, as containing, what is considered to be, a compact between Charlemagne and the first Abbot of the Monastery, executed by both parties. I looked at it with a curious and sceptical eye, and had scarcely the courage to doubt its authenticity. The art which it exhibits, in the illuminations of the figures of the Evangelists, is sufficiently wretched—compared with the specimens of the same period in the celebrated MS. (also once belonging to Charlemagne) in the private library of the King at Paris.[93] I next saw a MS. of the Sonnets of Petrarch, in a small folio, or super royal octavo size, supposed to have been executed in the fifteenth century, about seventy years after the death of the poet. It is beautifully written in a neat roman letter, and evidently the performance of an Italian scribe; but it may as likely be a copy, made in the early part of the fifteenth century, of a MS. of the previous century. However, it is doubtless a precious MS. The ornaments are sparingly introduced, and feebly executed.

On quitting these highly interesting treasures, M. H. and myself walked up and down the library for a few minutes, (the rain descending in torrents the whole time) and discoursed upon the great men of my own country. He mentioned his acquaintance with the works of Bacon, Locke, Swift, and Newton—and pronounced the name of the last ... with an effervescence of feeling and solemnity of utterance amounting to a sort of adoration. "Next to Newton," said he, "is your Bacon: nor is the interval between them very great: but, in my estimation, Newton is more an angel than a mortal. He seemed to have been always communing with the Deity." "All this is excellent, Sir,—replied I: but you say not one word about our divine Shakspeare." "Follow me—rejoined he—and you shall see that I am not ignorant of that wonderful genius—and that I do not talk without book." Whereupon M.H. walked, or rather ran, rapidly to the other end of the library, and put into my hands Baskerville's Edition of that poet,[94] of the date of 1768—which I frankly told him I had never before seen. This amused him a good deal; but he added, that the greater part of Shakspeare was incomprehensible to him, although he thoroughly understood Swift, and read him frequently.

It was now high time to break off the conversation, interesting as it might be, and to think of our departure: for the afternoon was fast wearing away, and a starless, if not a tempestuous, night threatened to succeed. Charles Rohfritsch was despatched to the inn below—to order the horses, settle the reckoning, and to bring the carriage as near to the monastery as possible. Meanwhile Mr. L. and myself descended with M. Hartenschneider to his own room—where I saw, for the first time, the long-sought after work of the Annales Hirsaugienses of Trithemius, printed in the Monastery of St. Gall in 1690, 2 vols., folio, lying upon the Professor's table. M.H. told me that the copy belonged to the library we had just quitted. I had indeed written to Kransfelder, a bookseller at Augsbourg, just before leaving Munich, for two copies of that rare and estimable work—which were inserted in his sale catalogue; and I hope to be lucky enough to secure both—for scarcely ten shillings of our money.[95] It now only remained to bid farewell to the most kind, active, and well-informed M. Hartenschneider—and to quit (probably for ever) the MONASTERY OF CHREMSMINSTER. Like the worthy Professor Veesenmeyer at Ulm, he "committed me to God's especial good providence—" and insisted upon accompanying me, uncovered, to the very outer gates of the monastery: promising, all the way, that, on receiving my proposals in writing, respecting the Statius, he would promote that object with all the influence he might possess.[96] Just as he had reached the further limits of the quadrangle, he met the librarian himself—and introduced me to him: but there was now only time to say "Vale!" We shook hands—for the first ... and in all probability ... the last time.

Every thing was in readiness—on reaching the bottom of the hill. A pair of small, and apparently young and mettlesome horses, were put to the carriage: the postilion was mounted; and nothing remained but to take our seats, and bid adieu to Chrems and its Monastery. The horses evinced the fleetness of rein deer at starting; and on enquiring about their age and habits, I learnt that they were scarcely three years old—had been just taken from the field—and had been but once before in harness. This intelligence rather alarmed us. However, we continued to push vigorously forward, along a very hilly road, in which no difference whatever was made between ascents and descents. It was a good long sixteen mile stage; and darkness and a drizzling rain overtook us ere we had got over half of it. There were no lights to the carriage, and the road was the most devious I had ever travelled. The horses continued to fly like the wind, and the charioteer began to express his fatigue in holding them in. At length we saw the light of Ens, to the right—the first post town on the high road from Lintz to Vienna. This led us to expect to reach the main road quickly. We passed over a long wooden bridge—under which the river Ens, here broad and rapid, runs to empty itself into the Danube: and... nearer the hour of eleven than ten, we drove to the principal inn in the Place.

It was fair time: and the town of LINTZ was glittering with lights, and animated by an unusual stir of population. The centre of the Place or Square, where the inn is situated, was entirely filled by booths; and it was with difficulty we could gain admission within the inn, or secure rooms when admitted. However, we had no reason to complain, for the chambermaid (an exceedingly mirthful and active old woman) assured us that Lord and Lady Castlereagh on their route to Vienna in 1815, had occupied the very beds which she had destined for us. These beds were upon the second floor, in a good large room, warmed by a central stove of earthenware tiles—the usual fireplace in Germany. The first floor of the inn was wholly occupied by travellers, merchants, dealers, and adventurers of every description—the noise of whose vociferations, and the tramp of whose movements, were audible even till long after midnight.

I am tarrying in a very large, very populous, and excellently well built town. LINTZ, or LINZ, has a population of at least 20,000 souls: and boasts, with justice, not only of its beautiful public buildings, but of its manufactories of stuffs, silks, and printed calicoes. The Place, before this inn, affords evidence of the splendour of these wares; and the interiors of several booths are in a perfect blaze—from the highly ornamented gold gauze caps worn by the upper classes of the middling people, even more brilliant than what was observed at Augsbourg. I was asked equal to four guineas of our money for one of these caps, in my reconnoissance before breakfast this morning—nor, as I afterwards learnt, was the demand exorbitant.

I must bid you farewell in haste. I start for Vienna within twenty minutes from this time, and it is now nearly-mid-day. But ere I reach the capital of Austria, I hope to pay a string of MONASTIC VISITS:—beginning with that of St. Florian, about a dozen miles from this place, just before you reach Ens, the next post town; so that, ere I again address you (which cannot be until I reach Vienna,) I shall have made rather a rambling and romantic tour. "Omne ignotum pro magnifico"—yet, if I mistake not; (from all that I can collect here) experience will confirm what hope and ignorance suggest.

[90] Vol. ii. p. 352-3.

[91] See p. 217 ante.

[92] It should seem, from the pages of PEZ and NIDANUS, that Charlemagne was either the founder, or the patron, or endower, of almost every monastery in Germany. Stengelius, however, gives a a very romantic origin to the foundation of Chremsminster. "The eldest son of Tassilo, a Duke or Elector of Bavaria, went out a hunting in the winter; when, having been separated from his companions, in a large wood, he met a wild boar of an enormous size, near a fountain and pool of water. Notwithstanding the fearful odds between them, Tassilo gallantly received the animal upon the point of his hunting spear, and dispatched him with a tremendous wound: not however without a fatal result to himself. Rage, agony, and over exertion... proved fatal to the conqueror: and when, excited by the barking of the dogs, his father and the troop of huntsmen came up to see what it might be, they witnessed the spectacle of the boar and the young Tassilo lying DEAD by the side of each other. The father built the MONASTERY of CHREMSMINSTER upon the fatal spot—to the memory of his beloved but unfortunate son. He endowed it with large possessions, and his endowments were confirmed by Pope Adrian and the Emperor Charlemagne—in the year 777. The history of the monastery is lost in darkness, till the year 1046, when Engelbert, Bishop of Passau, consecrated it anew; and in 1165, Diepold, another Bishop of Passau, added greatly to its possessions; but he was, in other respects, as well as Manegold in 1206, a very violent and mischievous character. Bishop Ulric, in 1216, was a great benefactor to it; but I do not perceive when the present building was erected: although it is possible there may be portions of it as old as the thirteenth century. See Pez: Script. Rer. Austriac., vol. i. col. 1305, &c.: vol. ii. col. 67, &c. At the time of publishing the Monasteriologia of Stengelius, 1638, (where there is a bird's-eye view of the monastery, as it now generally appears) Wolffradt (or Wolfardt) was the Abbot—who, in the author's opinion, "had no superior among his predecessors." I go a great way in thinking with Stengelius; for this worthy Abbot built the Monks a "good supper-room, two dormitories, a sort of hospital for the sick, and a LIBRARY, with an abundant stock of new books. Also a sacristy, furnished with most costly robes, &c. Monasteriologia; sign. A. It was doubtless the BIBLIOTHECA WOLFRADTIANA in which I tarried—as above described—with equal pleasure and profit.

[93] See vol. ii. p. 199.

[94] This I presume to be the "spurious" Birmingham edition, which is noticed by Steevens in the Edit. Shakspeare, 1813. 8vo. vol. ii. p. 151.

[95] They were both secured. One copy is now in the ALTHORP LIBRARY, and the other in that of Mr. Heber.

[96] On the very night of my arrival at Lintz, late as it was, I wrote a letter to the Abbot, or head of the monastery, addressed thus—as the Professor had written it down: "Ad Reverendissimum Dominum Anselmum Mayerhoffer inclyti Monasterii Cremifanensis Abbatem vigilantissimum Cremifanum." This was enclosed in a letter to the Professor himself with the following direction: "Ad Rev. Dm. Udalricum Hartenschneider Professum Monasterij Cremifanensis et Historiae ibidem Professorem publicum. Cremifanum:" the Professor having put into my hands the following written memorandum: "Pro commutandis—quos designasti in Bibliotheca nostra, libris—primo Abbatem adire, aut litteris saltem interrogare necesse est: quas, si tibi placuerit, ad me dirigere poteris."

[Autograph]

This he wrote with extreme rapidity. In my letter, I repeated the offer about the Monasticon; with the addition of about a dozen napoleons for the early printed books above mentioned; requesting to have an answer, poste restante, at Vienna. No answer has since reached me. The Abbot should seem to have preferred Statius to Dugdale. [But his Statius NOW has declined wofully in pecuniary worth: while the Dugdale, in its newly edited form, has risen threefold.]



LETTER IX.

THE MONASTERIES OF ST. FLORIAN, MOeLK, AND GOeTTWIC.

Vienna; Hotel of the Emperor of Hungary, Aug. 31, 1818.

MY DEAR FRIEND;

Give me your heartiest congratulations; for I have reached, and am well lodged at, the extreme limit of my "BIBLIOGRAPHICAL, ANTIQUARIAN, AND PICTURESQUE TOUR." Behold me, therefore, at VIENNA, the capital of Austria: once the abode of mighty monarchs and renowned chieftains: and the scene probably of more political vicissitudes than any other capital in Europe. The ferocious Turk, the subtle Italian, and the impetuous Frenchman, have each claimed Vienna as their place of residence by right of conquest; and its ramparts have been probably battered by more bullets and balls than were ever discharged at any other fortified metropolis.

At present, however, my theme must be entirely monastic. Prepare, therefore, to receive an account of some MONASTIC VISITS, which have perfectly won my heart over to the Institutions of ST. BENEDICT and ST. AUGUSTIN. Indeed I seem to have been mingling with a new set of human beings, and a new order of things; though there was much that put me in mind of the general character of my ever-cherished University of Oxford. Not that there is any one college, whether at Oxford or at Cambridge, which in point of architectural magnificence, can vie with some of those which I am about to describe. My last letter, as you may remember, left us upon the point of starting from Lintz, for the monastery of ST. FLORIAN. That monastery is situated within about three miles of Ens, the next post town from Lintz. The road thither was lined, on each side, with the plum and the pear tree—in their alternate tints of saffron and purple—but far from being ripe. The sight, altogether, was as pleasing as it was novel: and especially were my spirits gladdened, on thinking of the fortunate escape from the perils that had seemed to have awaited us in our route from Chremsminster the preceding evening.

On turning out of the main road, about a dozen miles from Lintz, we began to be sensible of a gentle ascent,—along a pleasant, undulating road, skirted by meadows, copses, and corn-fields. In ten minutes, the valet shouted out—"Voila le Monastere de St. Florian!" It was situated upon an eminence, of scarcely half the height of Chremsminster; but, from the abruptness of the ascent, as you enter the village, and make towards the monastery, it appears, on an immediate approach, to be of a very considerable elevation. It looked nobly, as we neared it. The walls were massive, and seemed to be embedded in a foundation of granite. Some pleasing little cultivated spots, like private gardens, were between the outer walls and the main body of the building. It rained heavily as we rolled under the archway; when an old man and an old woman demanded, rather with astonishment than severity, what was the object of our visit? Having received a satisfactory answer, the gates were opened, and we stopped between two magnificent flights of steps, leading on each side to the cloisters. Several young monks, excited by the noise of the carriage, came trooping towards the top of the stairs, looking down upon us, and retreating, with the nimbleness and apparent timidity of deer. Their white streamers, or long lappets, suspended from the back of the black gown, (the designation of the Augustine order) had a very singular appearance.

Having received a letter of recommendation to the librarian, M. KLEIN, I delivered it to the porter—and in a few seconds observed two short monks uncovered, advancing towards me. M. Klein spoke French—after a certain fashion—which however made us understand one another well enough; and on walking along the cloisters, he took me by the arm to conduct me to the Abbot. "But you have doubtless dined?" observed he,—turning sharply upon me. It was only between one and two o'clock; and therefore I thought I might be pardoned, even by the severest of their own order, for answering in the negative. My guide then whispered to his attendant (who quickly disappeared) and carried me directly to the Abbot. Such a visit was worth paying. I entered with great solemnity; squeezing my travelling cap into a variety of forms, as I made obeisance,—on observing a venerable man, nearer fourscore than seventy, sitting, with a black cap quite at the back part of his head, and surrounded by half a dozen young monks, who were standing and waiting upon him with coffee (after dinner) which was placed upon the table before him. He was the Principal. The old gentleman's countenance was wan, and rather severely indented, but lighted up by a dark and intelligent pair of eyes. His shoulders were shrouded in a large gray fur tippet; and, on receiving me, he demonstrated every mark of attention—by giving his unfinished cup of coffee to one of his attendants, and, pulling off his cap, endeavouring to rise. I advanced and begged there might be no further movement. As he spoke French, we quickly understood each other. He bade me see every thing that was worth seeing; and, on his renewing the dinner question, and receiving an answer in the negative, he commanded that a meal of some sort should be forthwith got ready. In this, however, he had been anticipated by the librarian.

I made my retreating bow, and followed my guide who, by this time, had assumed quite a pleasant air of familiarity with me. I accompanied him to the Library. It is divided into three rooms; of which the largest, at the further end, is the most characteristic. The central room is small, and devoted to MSS. none as I learnt, either very old, very curious, or very valuable. The view from this suite of apartments must, on a fine day, be lovely. Bad as was the weather, when I looked from the windows, I observed, to the left, some gently sloping and sweetly wooded pleasure grounds, with the town of Ens, in the centre, at the distance of about three miles. To the right, were more undulating hills, with rich meadows in the foreground; while, immediately below, was the ornamented garden of the monastery.

The prospect within doors was not quite of so gratifying a description. It seemed to be the mere shadow of a library. Of old books, indeed, I saw nothing worth noticing—except a white and crackling, but cropt, copy of Ratdolt's Appian of 1478, (always a beautiful book) and a Latin Version of Josephus, printed at Venice in 1480 by Maufer, a citizen of Rouen. This latter was really a very fine book. There was also Ratdolt's Euclid of 1485—which indeed is every where abroad—but which generally has variations in the marginal diagrams. Of Bibles, either Latin or German, I saw nothing more ancient than the edition by Sorg, in the German language of the date of 1477. I paused an instant over the Tyturell of 1477, (the only really scarce book in the collection) and threw a gilded bait before the librarian, respecting the acquisition of it;—but M. Klein quite screamed aloud at the proposition—protesting that "not a single leaf from a single book should be parted with!" "You are quite right," added I. "My guide eyed me as if he could have said, "How much at variance are your thoughts and words!" And yet I spake very sincerely. Mr. Klein then placed a clean, but cropt, copy of the first Aldine Pindar before me; adding, that he understood it to be rare. "It is most rare," rejoined I:—but it is yet "rarer than most rare" when found UPON VELLUM!—as it is to be seen in Lord Spencer's library." He seemed absolutely astonished at this piece of intelligence—and talked about its pecuniary value. "No money can purchase it. It is beyond all price"—rejoined I. Whereupon my guide was struck with still deeper astonishment.

There were all the Polyglott Bibles, with the exception of the Complutensian; which appears to be uncommon in the principal libraries upon the continent. Walton's Polyglott was the Royal copy; which led to a slight discussion respecting the Royal and Republican copies. M. Klein received most implicitly all my bibliographical doctrine upon the subject, and expressed a great desire to read Dr. Adam Clarke's Essay upon the same. When I spoke of the small number of copies upon LARGE PAPER, he appeared to marvel more than ever—and declared "how happy the sight of such a copy would make him, from his great respect for the Editor!" There was a poor sprinkle of English books; among which however, I noticed Shakspeare, Milton, Swift, and Thomson; I had declared myself sufficiently satisfied with the inspection of the library, when dinner was announced; but could not reconcile it to myself to depart, without asking "whether they had the Tewrdanckh?" "Yes, and UPON VELLUM, too!" was the Librarian's reply. It was a good sound copy.

The dinner was simple and nourishing. The wine was what they call the white wine of Austria: rather thin and acid. It still continued to rain. Our friends told us that, from the windows of the room in which we were eating, they could, in fair weather; discern the snow-capt mountains of the Tyrol:—that, from one side of their monastery they could look upon green fields, pleasure gardens, and hanging woods, and from the other, upon magnificent ranges of hills terminated by mountains covered with snow. They seemed to be proud of their situation, as they had good reason to be. I found them exceedingly chatty, pleasant, and even facetious. I broached the subject of politics—but in a very guarded and general manner. The lively Librarian, however, thought proper to observe—"that the English were doing in India what Bonaparte had been doing in Europe." I told him that such a doctrine was a more frightful heresy than any which had ever crept into his own church: at which he laughed heartily, and begged we would not spare either the bouille or the wine.

We were scarcely twenty minutes at our meal, being desirous of seeing the CHURCH, the PICTURE GALLERY, and the SALOON—belonging to the monastery. It was not much after three o'clock, and yet it was unusually dark for the hour of the day. However, we followed our guides along a magnificent corridor—desirous of seeing the pictures first. If the number of paintings, and of apartments alone, constitute a good collection of pictures, this of Saint Florian is doubtless a very fair specimen of a picture gallery. There are three rooms and a corridor (or entrance passage) filled with paintings, of which three fourths at least are palpable copies. The subjects of some of the paintings were not exactly accordant with monastic gravity; among these I regret that I am compelled to include a copy of a Magdalen from Rubens—and a Satyr and Sleeping Nymph, apparently by Lucas Giordano. Nevertheless the collection is worth a second and a third examination; which, if time and circumstances had allowed, we should in all probability have given it. A series of subjects, fifteen in number, illustrative of the LIFE OF ST. FLORIAN,[97] (the great fire-extinguishing Saint,—to whom the Monastery is dedicated, and who was born at Ens, in the neighbourhood) cuts a most distinguished figure in this collection. There is a good, and I think genuine, head of an old woman by Rubens, which I seemed to stumble upon as if by accident, and which was viewed by my guides with a sort of apathy. Mr. Lewis was half lost in extacies before a pretty little sketch by Paolo Veronese; when, on my observing to him that the time was running away fast, M. Klein spoke aloud in the English language—"Mister Louise, (repeating my words) teime fleis." He laughed heartily upon uttering it, and seemed to enjoy the joke full as much as my companion, to whom the words were addressed. There were several specimens of the old German masters, but I suspect most of them were copies.

The day seemed to be growing darker and darker, although it was only somewhere between three and four o'clock. We descended quickly to see the church, where I found Charles (the valet) and several other spectators. We passed through a small sacristy or vestry, in the way to it. This room was fitted up with several small confessionals, of the prettiest forms and workmanship imaginable: having, in front, two twisted and slender columns, of an ebony tint: the whole—exceedingly inviting to confession. Here the Dean met us; a grave, sober, sensible man, with whom I conversed in Latin. We entered the church, on the tip-toe of expectation: nor were we disappointed. It is at once spacious and magnificent; but a little too profuse in architectural ornament. It consists of a nave and transepts, surmounted by a dome, with a choir of very limited dimensions. The choir is adorned, on each side, just above the several stalls, by an exceedingly rich architrave, running the whole length, in a mixed roman and gothic style. The altar, as usual, is a falling off. The transepts are too short, and the dome is too small. The nave is a sort of elongated parallelogram. It is adorned on each side by pillars of the Corinthian order, and terminated by an Organ ... of the most gorgeous and imposing appearance. The pipes have completely the appearance of polished silver, and the wood work is painted white, richly relieved by gold. For size and splendor united, I had never seen any thing like it. The whole was perfectly magical.

On entering, the Dean, M. Klein, and three or four more Benedictins, made slight prostrations on one knee, before the altar; and, just as they rose, to our astonishment and admiration, the organ burst forth with a power of intonation (every stop being opened) such as I had never heard exceeded. As there were only a few present, the sounds were necessarily increased, by being reverberated from every part of the building: and for a moment it seemed as if the very dome would have been unroofed, and the sides burst asunder. We looked up; then at each other: lost in surprise, delight, and admiration. We could not hear a word that was spoken; when, in some few succeeding seconds, the diapason stop only was opened ... and how sweet and touching was the melody which it imparted! "Oh Dieu! (exclaimed our valet) que cela est ravissant, et meme penetrant." This was true enough. A solemn stave or two of a hymn (during which a few other pipes were opened) was then performed by the organist ... and the effect was, as if these notes had been chanted by an invisible choir of angels. The darkness of the heavens added much to the solemnity of the whole. Silence ensuing, we were asked how we liked the church, the organ, and the organist? Of course there could be but one answer to make. The pulpit—situated at an angle where the choir and transept meet, and opposite to the place where we entered—was constructed of the black marble of Austria, ornamented with gold: the whole in sober good taste, and admirably appropriate.

We left this beautiful interior, to snatch a hasty view of the dormitories and saloon, and to pay our farewell respects to the Principal. The architect of this church was a Florentine, and it was built something more than a century ago. It is doubtless in too florid a style.

Instead of calling the bed-chambers by the homely name of "dormitories," they should be designated (some at least), as state bed rooms. At each corner of several of the beds was a carved figure, in gilt—serving as a leg. The beds are generally capacious, without canopies; but their covertures—in crimson, blue, or yellow silk—interspersed with spots of gold or silver—gave indication, in their faded state, of their original costliness and splendor. The rooms are generally large: but I hurried through them, as every thing—from the gloomy state of the afternoon, and more especially from the absence of almost every piece of furniture—had a sombre and melancholy air. Nothing is more impressive than the traces of departed grandeur. They had once (as I learnt) carousals and rejoicings in this monastery;—and the banquet below made sweet and sound the slumbers above. But matters have recently taken a different and less auspicious turn. The building stands, and will long stand—unless assailed by the musquet and cannon—a proud monument of wealth and of art: while the revenues for its support ... are wasting every year! But I hope my intelligence is incorrect.

The highest gratification was yet in store for me: in respect to an architectural treat. In our way to the Saloon, I noticed, over the door of a passage, a small whole length of a man, in a formal peruke and dress, walking with a cane in his hand. A noble building or two appeared in the background. "Who might this be?" "That, Sir, (replied the Dean) is the portrait of the architect of THIS MONASTERY and of MOeLK. He was born, and lived, in an obscure village in the neighbourhood; and rose to unrivalled eminence from the pure strength of native genius and prudent conduct." I looked at the portrait with increased admiration. "Might I have a copy of it—for the purpose of getting it engraved?" "There can surely be no objection,"—replied the Dean. But alas, my friend, I fear it will never be my lot to possess this portrait—in any form or condition.

If my admiration of this architect increased as I continued to gaze upon his portrait, to what a pitch was it raised on entering the Saloon! I believe that I may safely say I never before witnessed such a banquetting room. It could not be less than sixty feet long, by forty feet wide and forty high;—and almost entirely composed of Salzburg marble,[98] which is of a deep red tint, but mellow and beautiful. The columns, in exceedingly bold alto-relievo, spring from a dado about the height of a man's chest, and which is surmounted by a bold and beautiful architrave. These columns, of the Ionic and Corinthian orders, judiciously intermixed, rise to a fine bold height: the whole being terminated by a vaulted ceiling of a beautiful and light construction, and elaborately and richly ornamented. I never witnessed a finer proportioned or a more appropriately ornamented room. It is, of its kind, as perfect as the Town Hall at Augsbourg;[99] and suitable for an imperial coronation.

To a question respecting the antiquity of the monastery,[100] J M. Klein replied, that their crypt was considered to be of the eleventh century. I had not a moment's leisure to examine it, but have some doubts of the accuracy of such a date. The Dean, M. Klein, and several monks followed us down stairs, where the carriage was drawn up to receive us—and helping us into it, they wished us a hearty farewell. Assuredly I am not likely to forget THE MONASTERY OF ST. FLORIAN.

We were not long in reaching Ens, the first post town on the high road from Lintz to Vienna. On approaching it, our valet bade us notice the various signs of reparation of which the outer walls and the fronts of many houses gave evidence. Nearly half of the town, in short, (as he informed us) had been destroyed by fire in Bonaparte's advance upon Vienna. The cannon balls had done much, but the flames had done more. We slept at the next post town, Strengberg, but could not help continuing to express our surprise and admiration of the fruit trees (the pear and plum) which lined each side of the road. We had determined upon dining at Moelk the next day. The early morning was somewhat inauspicious; but as the day advanced, it grew bright and cheerful. Some delightful glimpses of the Danube, to the left, from the more elevated parts of the road, accompanied us the whole way; till we caught the first view, beneath a bright blue sky, of the towering church and MONASTERY OF MOeLK.[101] Conceive what you please, and yet you shall not conceive the situation of this monastery. Less elevated above the road than Chremsminster, but of a more commanding style of architecture, and of considerably greater extent, it strikes you—as the Danube winds round and washes its rocky base—as one of the noblest edifices in the world. The wooded heights of the opposite side of the Danube crown the view of this magnificent edifice, in a manner hardly to be surpassed. There is also a beautiful play of architectural lines and ornament in the front of the building, indicative of a pure Italian taste, and giving to the edifice, if not the air of towering grandeur, at least of dignified splendour. I send you a small bird's-eye view of it—necessarily furnishing a very inadequate representation—for which I am indebted to Professor Pallas, the Sub-Principal.



As usual, I ordered a late dinner, intending to pay my respects to the Principal, and obtain permission to inspect the library. My late monastic visits had inspired me with confidence; and I marched up the steep sides of the hill, upon which the monastery is built, quite assured of the success of the visit I was about to pay. You must now accompany the bibliographer to the monastery. In five minutes from entering the outer gate of the first quadrangle—looking towards Vienna, and which is the more ancient part of the building—I was in conversation with the Vice Principal and Librarian, each of us speaking Latin. I delivered the letter which I had received at Salzburg, and proceeded to the library. In proceeding with the Librarian along the first corridor, I passed a portly figure, with an expressive countenance, dressed precisely like the Duke of Norfolk,[102] in black waistcoat, breeches, and stockings, with a gray coat. He might seem to be a sort of small paper copy of that well-known personage, for he resembled him in countenance as well as in dress. On meeting, he saluted me graciously: and he had no sooner passed, than my guide whispered in my ear, "THAT is the famous bibliographer, the ABBE STRATTMAN, late principal librarian to the Emperor." I was struck at this intelligence; and wished to run back after the Abbe,—but, in a minute, found myself within the library. I first went into a long, narrow, room—devoted, the greater part, to MSS.:—and at the hither end of which (that is, the end where I entered) were two figures—as large as, and painted after, the life. They were cut out in wood, or thick pasteboard; and were stuck in the centre of the space between the walls. One was an old gentleman, with a pair of bands, and a lady, his wife, opposite to him. Each was sitting upon a chair. A dog (if I remember rightly) was between them. The effect was at first rather startling; for these good folks, although they had been sitting for the best part of a century, looked like life, and as if they were going to rise up, and interrogate you for impertinently intruding upon their privacy. On nearing them, I found that the old gentleman had been a great pedagogue, and a great benefactor to the library: in short, the very MSS. by which we were surrounded were solid proofs of his liberality. I was urgent and particular about the contents of these MSS.; but my guide (otherwise a communicative and well-informed man) answered my questions in a manner so general, as to lead me to conclude that they had never been sufficiently examined. There might be at least four thousand volumes in this long and narrow room.

From thence we proceeded, across a passage, to a small room—filled with common useful books, for the young men of which the monastic society is now composed; and who I learnt were about one hundred and twenty in number. There were, however, at one end of this room, some coins and medals. I was curious about ascertaining whether they had any Greek gold coins, but was answered that they had none. This room is divided into two, by a partition something like the modern fashion of dividing our drawing rooms. The whole is profusely ornamented with paintings executed upon the walls; rather elegantly than otherwise. The view from this library is really enchanting—and put every thing seen, from a similar situation at Landshut, and almost even at Chremsminster, out of my recollection. You look down upon the Danube, catching a fine sweep of the river, as it widens in its course towards Vienna. A man might sit, read, and gaze—in such a situation—till he fancied he had scarcely one earthly want! I now descended a small stair-case, which brought me directly into the large library—forming the right wing of the building, looking up the Danube towards Lintz. I had scarcely uttered three notes of admiration, when the ABBE STRATTMAN entered; and to my surprise and satisfaction, addressed me by name. We immediately commenced an ardent unintermitting conversation in the French language, which the Abbe speaks fluently and correctly. We darted at once into the lore of bibliography of the fifteenth century; when the Abbe descanted largely upon the wonders I should see at Vienna:—especially the Sweynheyms and Pannartz' UPON VELLUM! "Here (continued he) there is absolutely nothing worthy of your inspection. We have here no edit. prin. of Horace, or Virgil, or Terence, or Lucretius: a copy of the Decretals of Pope Boniface, of the date of 1465, is our earliest and only VELLUM treasure of the XVth century. But you will doubtless take the Monastery of Goettwic in your way?" I replied that I was wholly ignorant of the existence of such a monastery. "Then see it—(said, he) and see it carefully; for the library contains Incunabula of the most curious and scarce kind. Besides, its situation is the noblest in Austria." You will give me credit for not waiting for a second importunity to see such a place, before I answered—"I will most assuredly visit the monastery of Goettwic."

I now took a leisurely survey of the library; which is, beyond all doubt, the finest room of its kind which I have seen upon the Continent:—not for its size, but for its style of architecture, and the materials of which it is composed. I was told that it was "the Imperial Library in miniature:"—but with this difference, let me here add, in favour of Moelk—that it looks over a magnificently-wooded country, with the Danube rolling its rapid course at its base. The wainscot and shelves are walnut tree, of different shades, inlaid, or dovetailed, surmounted by gilt ornaments. The pilasters have Corinthian capitals of gilt; and the bolder or projecting parts of a gallery, which surrounds the room, are covered with the same metal. Every thing is in harmony. This library may be about a hundred feet in length, by forty in width. It is sufficiently well furnished with books, of the ordinary useful class, and was once, I suspect, much richer in the bibliographical lore of the fifteenth century. The Abbe Strattman bade me examine a MS. of Horace, of the twelfth century, which he said had been inspected by Mitscherlich.[103] It seemed to be of the period adjudged to it. The Vice-Principal, M. PALLAS, now made his appearance. He talked French readily, and we all four commenced a very interesting conversation, "Did any books ever travel out of this library?"—said I. "Surely there must be many which are rather objects of curiosity than of utility: rarely consulted, no doubt; but which, by being exchanged for others of a more modern and useful description, would contribute more effectually to the purposes of public education, in an establishment of such magnitude?"

These questions I submitted with great deference, and without the least hesitation, to the Vice Principal; who replied in such a manner as to induce me immediately to ascend the staircase, and commence a reconnaissance among the books placed above the gallery. The result of twenty minutes examination was, if not absolutely of the most gratifying kind, at least sufficient to induce me to offer twenty louis d'or for some thirty volumes, chiefly thin quartos, containing many Greek grammatical and philosophical tracts, of which I had never before seen copies. Some scarce and curious theological Latin tracts were also in this number. I turned the books upon their fore-edges, leaving their ends outwards, in order to indicate those which had been selected. M. Pallas told me that he could say nothing definitive in reply,[104] for that the matter must be submitted to the Prelate, or head of the monastery, who, at that time, was at Vienna, perhaps at the point of death. From the library we went to the church. This latter is situated between the two wings: the wings themselves forming the Saloon and the library. As we were about to leave the library, the Abbe observed—"Here, we have food for the mind: in the opposite quarter we dine—which is food for the body:[105] between both, is the church, which contains food for the soul." On entering the corridor, I looked up and saw the following inscription (from 1 Mac. c. xii. v. 9.) over the library door: "Habentes solatio sanctos libros qui sunt in manibus nostris." My next gratification was, a view of the portrait of BERTHOLDUS DIETMAYR—the founder, or rather the restorer, both of the library and of the monastery—possessing a countenance full of intelligence and expression. Beneath the portrait, which is scarcely half the size of life, is the following distich:

Bertholdi Dietmayr Quidquid Mortale, Tabella, Ingentemque animum BIBLIOTHECA, refert.

"There," exclaimed the Abbe Strattman—"there you have the portrait of a truly great man: one of the three select and privy counsellors of the Emperor Charles VI. Dietmayr was a man of a truly lofty soul, of a refined taste, and of unbounded wealth and liberality of spirit. Even longer than this edifice shall last, will the celebrity of its founder endure." My heart overflowed with admiration as I heard the words of the Abbe, gazing, at the same time, intently upon the portrait of the Prelate Dietmayr. Such men keep the balance of this world even.

On reaching the last descending step, just before entering the church, the Vice Principal bade me look upwards and view the cork-screw stair-case. I did so: and to view and admire was one and the same operation of the mind. It was the most perfect and extraordinary thing of the kind which I had ever seen—the consummation (as I was told) of that particular species of art. The church is the very perfection of ecclesiastical Roman architecture: that of Chremsminster, although fine, being much inferior to it in loftiness and richness of decoration. The windows are fixed so as to throw their concentrated light beneath a dome, of no ordinary height, and of no ordinary elegance of decoration; but this dome is suffering from damp, and the paintings upon the ceiling will, unless repaired, be effaced in the course of a few years. The church is in the shape of a cross; and at the end of each of the transepts, is a rich altar, with statuary, in the style of art usual about a century ago. The pews—made of dark mahogany or walnut tree, much after the English fashion, but lower and more tasteful—are placed on each side of the nave, on entering; with ample space between them. They are exclusively appropriated to the tenants of the monastery. At the end of the nave, you look to the left, opposite,—and observe, placed in a recess—a PULPIT ... which, from top to bottom, is completely covered with gold. And yet, there is nothing gaudy, or tasteless, or glaringly obtrusive, in this extraordinary clerical rostrum. The whole is in the most perfect taste; and perhaps more judgment was required to manage such an ornament, or appendage,—consistently with the splendid style of decoration exacted by the founder—(for it was expressly the Prelate Dietmayr's wish that it should be so adorned) than may, on first consideration, be supposed. In fact, the whole church is in a blaze of gold; and I was told that the gilding alone cost upwards of ninety thousand florins. Upon the whole, I understood that the church of this monastery was considered as the most beautiful in Austria; and I can easily believe it to be so.

The time flew away so quickly that there was no opportunity of seeing the Saloon. Indeed, I was informed that it was occupied by the students—an additional reason why I ought to have seen it. "But have you no old paintings, Mr. Vice Principal—no Burgmairs, Cranachs, or Albert Durers?" said I to M. Pallas. "Ha! (observed he in reply,) you like old pictures, then, as well as old books. Come with me, and you shall be satisfied." So saying, the Abbe Strattman[106] left us, and I followed the Vice Principal—into a small, wainscoted room, of which he touched the springs of some of the compartments, and anon there was exhibited to my view a series of sacred subjects, relating to the Life of Christ, executed by the first and last named masters: exceedingly fresh, vigorously painted, and one or two of them very impressive, but bordering upon the grotesque. I am not sure that I saw any thing more striking of the kind even in the extraordinary collection at Augsbourg. From this room I was conducted into the Prelate's apartment, where I observed a bed—in an arched recess—which might be called a bed of state. "Our Prelate has left his apartment for the last time; he will never sleep in this bed again"—observed M. Pallas, fixing himself at the foot of it, and directing his eyes towards the pillow. I saw what it was to be beloved and respected; for the Vice Principal took the end of his gown to wipe away a little dust (as he was pleased to call it—but I suspect it was a starting tear) which had fallen into his eye. I was then shewn a set of china, manufactured at Vienna—upon some of the pieces of which were painted views of the monastery. This had been presented to the Prelate; and I was then, as a final exhortation, requested to view the country around me. Need I again remark, that this country was enchantingly fine?

On returning to the inn, and dining, we lingered longer than we were wont to do over our dessert and white wine, when the valet came to announce to us that from thence to St. Poelten was a long stage; and that if we wished to reach the latter before dark, we had not ten minutes to spare. This hint was sufficient: and the ten minutes had scarcely elapsed when we were on the high road to St. Poelten. It was indeed almost with the last glimmer of daylight that we entered this town, yet I could observe, on descending the hill by which we entered it, a stone crucifix, with the usual accompanying group. I resolved to give it a careful examination on the morrow.

The inn at St. Poelten (I think it was the Dolphin) surprised us by its cheerfulness and neatness. The rooms were papered so as to represent gothic interiors, or ornamented gardens, or shady bowers. Every thing was—almost—as an Englishman could wish it to be. Having learnt that the MONASTERY OF GOeTTWIC was a digression of only some twelve or fourteen miles, I resolved to set off to visit it immediately after an early breakfast. We had scarcely left the town, when we observed a group of rustics, with a crucifix carried in front—indicating that they were about to visit some consecrated spot, for the purpose of fulfilling a vow or performing an annual pilgrimage. I stopped the carriage, to take a survey of so novel a scene; but I confess that there was nothing in it which induced me to wish to be one of the party. If I mistake not, this was the first pilgrimage or procession, of the kind, which I had seen in Austria, or even in Bavaria. It was a sorry cavalcade. Some of the men, and even women, were without shoes and stockings; and they were scattered about the road in a very loose, straggling manner. Many of the women wore a piece of linen, or muslin, half way up their faces, over the mouth; and although the road was not very smooth, both men and women appeared to be in excellent spirits, and to move briskly along—occasionally singing, and looking up to the crucifix—which a stout young man carried at the head of them. They were moving in the direction of the Monastery of Goettwic.

It was cold and cloudy at starting; but on leaving the main road, and turning to the left, the horizon cleared up—and it was evident that a fine day was in store for us. Our expectations were raised in proportion to the increasing beauty of the day. The road, though a cross one, was good; winding through a pleasant country, and affording an early glimpse of the monastery in question—at the distance of at least ten miles—and situated upon a lofty eminence. The first view of it was grand and imposing, and stimulated us to urge our horses to a speedier course. The country continued to improve. Some vineyards were beginning to shew the early blush of harvest; and woods of fir, and little meandring streams running between picturesque inequalities of ground, gave an additional interest to every additional mile of the route. At length we caught a glimpse of a crowd of people, halting, in all directions. Some appeared to be sitting, others standing, more lying; and a good number were engaged in devotion before a statue. As we approached them, we observed the statue to be that of St. Francis; around which this numerous group of pilgrims appeared to have marshalled themselves—making a HALT in their pilgrimage (as we afterwards learnt) to the monastery of Goettwic.

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