After these came the grand standard of the abbaye and the vine-dressers the real objects of the festival, succeeded. The laborers of the spring led the advance, the men carrying their picks and spades, and the women vessels to contain the cuttings of the vines. Then came a train bearing baskets loaded with the fruit, in its different degrees of perfection and of every shade of color. Youths holding staves topped with miniature representations of the various utensils known in the culture of the grape, such as the laborer with the tub on his back, the butt, and the vessel that first receives the flowing juice, followed. A great number of men, who brought forward the forge that is used to prepare the tools, closed this part of the exhibition. The song and the dance again succeeded, when the whole disappeared at a signal given by the approaching music of Bacchus. As we now touch upon the most elaborate part of the representation, we seize the interval that is necessary to bring it forward, in order to take breath ourselves.
And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
That stand’st between her father’s ground and mine
Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne.
Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“’Odds my life, but this goes off with a grace, brother Peter!” exclaimed the Baron de Willading, as he followed the vine-dressers in their retreat, with an amused eye—“If we have much more like it, I shall forget the dignity of the buergerschaft, and turn mummer with the rest, though my good for wisdom were the forfeit of the folly.”
“That is better said between ourselves than performed before the vulgar eye, honorable Melchior It would sound ill, of a truth, were these Vaudois to boast that a noble of thy estimation in Berne were thus to forget himself!”
“None of this!—are we not here to be merry and to laugh, and to be pleased with any folly that offers? A truce, then, to thy official distrusts and superabundant dignity, honest Peterchen,” for such was the good-natured name by which the worthy bailiff was most commonly addressed by his friend; “let the tongue freely answer to the heart, as if we were boys rioting together, as was once the case, long ere thou wert thought of for this office, or I knew a sorrowful hour.”
“The Signor Grimaldi shall judge between us: I maintain that restraint is necessary to those in high trusts.”
“I will decide when the actors have all played their parts,” returned the Genoese, smiling; “at present, here cometh one to whom all old soldiers pay homage. We will not fail of respect in so great a presence, on account of a little difference in taste.”