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[22] our left, until at last we came very abruptly upon the magnificent monastery of Molk, with the village of the same name below it.

The monastery itself stands upon an abrupt rock, above an hundred feet high, rising perpendicularly from the Danube, and is one of those enormous structures whose foundation belongs to another period of the world's history. It goes back, in fact, to the tenth century (984), by authentic documents, though the present regular and imposing building was erected between 1701 and 1736, and bears the date of 1718 on its fine and massive portal. We wished to see it, and had, therefore, brought letters which insured us the hospitality and civility of the monks; a hospitality and civility, however, I ought to add, which is most freely granted to all who have any pretensions to ask them.1

We drove directly through the two spacious courts, round which their monastery is built, and, passing under a noble archway, stopped at the bottom of a flight of marble stairs, which would have done honor to a palace. A servant appeared instantly and showed us to a suite of very large, richly furnished rooms, where the old ‘guest-master’ appeared immediately afterwards,—a venerable, gentle old man of seventy-six,—and begged us to make ourselves entirely comfortable, and to command whatever we wanted. Our letter of introduction was sent to the librarian, who expressed his regret that he could not leave the library until after twelve o'clock, but hoped to see us there at any time that would suit our convenience.

When we had refreshed ourselves, the guest-master carried us to see the monastery. First he showed us the apartments of the Prelate, now absent. There were thirty fine rooms, with a chapel, where he says his private masses daily, a concert-room, etc., all richly furnished, and in the nicest order. Then we went through the guest-chambers, or a part of them, for there were no less than sixty in all; many of them, like those we occupied, opening into a beautiful cloister, paved with marble, and nine hundred feet long, and all of them comfortably furnished. We went to the library, a grand room almost entirely of marble, about sixty feet high, with 20,000 volumes, where the librarian was ready to receive us most civilly; and to the church, a fine piece of architecture entirely of marble, and capable of holding five or six thousand persons.

1 In fact, Mr. Ticknor was thought, in Vienna, to be over-scrupulous, when he insisted on taking letters to this and the two other monasteries which he afterwards visited; for the readiness of these communities to entertain guests was asserted to be beyond question.

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