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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 eyes—“I 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, ‘Ha’e wi’ you, Marion Bowie!’ ‘Ha’e wi’ you, Elspa Hardie!’ ‘Ha’e 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 Lordship’s 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 Lordship’s 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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