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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Mrs. Monteith, the excellent wife of James, and mother of Henry Monteith


THE following gossiping story sheds a pleasant lustre over the homely life of the old Bishop Street residence of the family. Mrs. Monteith was one of those busy, bustling housewives, whose whole but and ben was a model of orderliness, comfort, and cleanliness. As, however, there were around her fireside many hungry lads to feed, and her house was at a considerable distance from the Bell Street and Princes Street markets, she prudently provided that on the approach of winter the pickle-tub should be duly replenished with the yearly mart; and, of course, the manufacture of those dearly-prized kitchen ornaments, so bien in appearance and so delicate in flavour, the rows of puddings, white and black, were her own peculiar care and pride.

It was her practice every Sunday morning, when fully arrayed for church with best Sunday peaked bonnet, to take a housewifely look into the kitchen; for these glaiket taupies, Peggy and Nannie, frequently left the place in such a state of tapselteeriness as sorely unfitted her for profiting by the admonitions of the minister of the little Anderston Relief Kirk, of which her husband had been the chief founder in 1770.

One Sunday morning the usual inspection revealed some slight disarrangement in the ornamental ranks that hung so gracefully from the low roof. To mount upon a stool and set the whole in a sightly fashion only required a minute’s time, and then the good lady followed her husband, who, douce man, had slowly plodded before her on his way to the Wee Kirk.

Ere she could overtake him he had bestowed his usual nod on the elder, and dropped his usual offering in the plate; when hurrying after him, she was surprised by a tap on the shoulder from Davie of the plate, who thus addressed her:

"Ye’ll excuse me, mem, but there’s a black puddin’ stick-in’ on ye’re bannet !"

Sure enough, the unique ornament had dropped upon her head unobserved, and she had carried it through the streets, and was only prevented displaying it to the eyes of the great congregation by the timely warning of the obliging elder at the plate. We are not informed how it was finally. disposed of, but we may safely conclude that it found its way to the Bishop Street frying-pan, from its temporary place in the capacious side-pouch of Mrs. Monteith, in the goodly company of the newly - introduced Hymns and Spiritual Songs agreed upon by the Presbytery of Relief.

This Relief Hymn Book had been collected and an able introduction written to it by the then minister of the Anderston Relief Kirk, Mr. James Stuart, a reputed son of Royal Charlie.


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