Summer at the Lake of Monteith Curious Old Tradition regarding the Earl of Monteith
On some occasion, when one of the Earls of Monteith was
entertaining his friends on the island, he accidentally ran short of
wine. On finding out the mistake, he ordered his butler to set off to
Stirling with all speed, and to lose no time in returning with the
required material. The servant instantly set off on the mission, but
hour after hour fled on; and no word of the butler or wine, until at
last the guests had to retire minus their tumblers. Enraged at the
delay, early next morning the Earl walked into the servants hall, to
learn whether the butler had yet arrived; and on entering the apartment
he found the truant fast asleep on a bench, with the barrel beside him.
The enraged nobleman instantly roused and chid him for his negligence.
Pardon me, my Lord, exclaimed the butler, as he scratched his matted
locks, and rubbed his half-open eyesI have been for wine, and if I
mistake not, have brought you the best that ever was in your cellar.
When near the shore of the lake, I spied two honest women, each mounted
on a bulrush, and crying to each other, Hae wi you, Marion Bowie!
Hae wi you, Elspa Hardie! Hae wi you too! says I, mounting like
them on a bulrush. Instantly we were rushing through the regions of
space, and immediately found ourselves in the
palace of the King of France. As for myself, I was near a sideboard,
where there was a store of wine, and, being invisible to the people, I
took the opportunity of filling your Lordships cask. I have also found
the cup out of which his Imperial Majesty was wont to drink. I then
returned on my trusty nag as quickly as I went; and here I am again, my
Lord, at your Lordships pleasure. During dinner the company were
delighted with the fine character of the wines, and not a little amazed
on hearing the Earl tell the way in which it had been procured. The
story was confirmed when the Earl called his butler, and made him show
to the company the elegant silver cup on which was engraved the
fleur-de-lis of the House of Bourbon!
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