previous next

[25] Meanwhile, the next in office, the Abbot,—a round easy person, nearly seventy years old, who seemed to think everything in his monastery admirable and wonderful,—with another monk about forty,—who seemed to be the wit of the brotherhood, and to be willing to make us merry even with the Abbot and his excessive fancy for all that belonged to them,—made their appearance and offered to do the honors of the establishment to us.

We went first to their collection of pictures, which filled five or six rooms, but where only a few had any merit at all, and then to a collection of engravings hung round the walls of several more rooms, which were very good, and among which I noticed an engraving of the battle of Bunker Hill, where, to the great astonishment of the monks, I pointed out the commander on our side dressed like a farmer. But the distances are so great in these enormous convents, and the walks through their unending cloisters, over polished marble, so hard, that we were glad to retire to our rooms and rest.

Supper, I found, had been ordered for us in the Prelate's apartments, . . . . but I begged the Abbot to let Mr. Sparmann and myself join them in convent, to which he readily agreed, the witty brother adding that it would be merrier there. So in a few moments we went to supper. I thought we should never get there. We passed from one grand arched cloister to another, until, notwithstanding interruptions from talking with the monks, I counted above eleven hundred steps. I suppose, in fact, we went half a mile, at least.

At last we found a lofty marble hall, at the upper end of which was a billiard-table, where Mr. Sparmann was playing with one of the monks, while down the middle was the supper-table.

Eighteen monks were soon gathered round it, the whole number that inhabits this wide pile. There are eighty-nine in all, but many serve in parishes, and the rest are employed as teachers in a large gymnasium, which is supported by the monastery, in Linz. Two of the monks I saw to-night are interesting men,—Stiltz, the librarian, a young man who seems full of zeal for knowledge; and Kurtz, an old, very modest man, whose works on the history of Austria, amounting to sixteen or eighteen octavos, are valued throughout Germany as the best on the subject. I talked a good deal with him, . . . . walked with him in the garden, and went with him to his room, which was large, every way comfortable, rather nicely furnished, and hung round with good engravings . . . . . They have about an hundred rooms for guests.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Austria (Austria) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Herr Sparmann (2)
Kurtz (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: