Page:Life in the Old World - Vol. I.djvu/75

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91
LIFE IN THE OLD WORLD.

ascent, and, this time, of an hour's length, and very difficult into the bargain; after that, a second, but not so laborious. And now, after three hours, we are at our journey's end.

The narrow mountain pass at once emerges into an open, grassy plain, surrounded in the distance by pointed Alps, and thinly scattered with cottages. The morning wind blows cool over the fine, waving grass. This is “La Vallèée des Mosses,” and the portion in which we find ourselves, La Lechevette. How delightful is it to rest myself here on soft couches of mown grass, which is drying in the sun, and to look around one on the extensive scene.

Troops of people are seen in long procession across the fields, hastening to the place of meeting; and as they meet from the various quarters, you see bright, kindly glances, and hear the cordial greetings and inquiries: “Comment êtes vous! Comment votre mêre,” and so on. “Mais tres joliment! Mais pas mal!” etc.

The people of the valleys are frequently related to each other, and they who now meet here have not seen one another since the last annual gathering.

In the mean time, you see the pastors and elders of the congregations busied in selecting the particular spot for the assembly, and afterwards preparing it for that purpose. The spot which they selected on this occasion, was a wood, the thick pine trees of which afforded a shelter from the heat of the sun. I was still busied looking around me on the scenery, and in watching the groups of people who had thrown themselves on the grass to converse, and to take breakfast,