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[24] monasteries, and the preservation of an establishment of this sort in all its stateliness and wealth shows how little their power is broken down as yet in ‘old Austria,’ as Prince Metternich calls it. It was a very interesting and a very strange sight to us, Protestants and Puritans.

July 4.—. . . . Our next purpose was to pass the night at the monastery of St. Florian, another of the vast Benedictine establishments, which has existed here certainly since 1071, and which still remains in undiminished splendor. They have documents that go back to 819, and claim to have been founded in 455. At any rate, like all the other large and old monasteries in this part of Europe, it goes back to a period earlier than the building of the cities, which cannot be put farther back than the middle of the tenth century. It is to this period, when the influence of the monks was so valuable and beneficent, when they protected the poor peasantry from the lords of the numberless castles and robber's-nests,—whose picturesque ruins we find everywhere,—and when they introduced agriculture and the arts of civilized life, that they trace their great possessions and the main elements of the influence they have ever since exercised. I speak exclusively of South Germany.

It is less than an hour's drive to the westward of Enns, and the beautiful cultivation through which we passed spoke well both of the influence and the example of the monks as agriculturists. We saw, too, an imposing castle with four massive towers, which we afterwards learnt had been built by the nephew of Tilly, the great general of the Thirty Years War; but which, since 1763, has been owned by the monks, who obtained it by purchase.

The monastery itself is larger even than the one at Molk, and more regularly built by the same architect, having been finished in 1745. It stands on a hillside with a village below it, and commands a view of one of the most fertile and beautiful valleys I ever beheld, closed up by mountains beyond; itself a most grand and imposing pile of architecture in the Italian style of the eighteenth century, which makes the neighboring castle look like a structure of very moderate size.

We were received, as we were at Molk, at the bottom of the grand marble staircase,—to the foot of which we drove under a massive portal,—by a servant who showed us at once to a suite of four rooms, which we were desired to regard as our own, and to order such refreshments as we might need. The Prelate, Arneth, to whom we had letters, was absent, . . . . but would be back in the evening.

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