Wi friendship's Wyne Step ben

The entryway at Wardend has the inscription  "Wi'" is "with"; "Wyne" is nothing but an archaic and alternative spelling of "wine"; and "ben" means something like "in" or "within" (see references below). So altogether the inscription means The original rhymes (at least sort of) which means, of course, that it doesn't have to make sense. But the idea seems to be that (besides giving a vague general impression that we'll offer friends a nice cup o'cheer if they happen to stop by--and maybe they ought to bring something cheery along, too, if they want to be friendly) we're saying metaphorically that just as wine is the distillation of the "best" parts of the grape, which can be bottled, preserved, and given away, so you're invited to distill the best parts of your friendship. With a bottle of this kind of "wine" as your gift, feel free to step in.

 Keep in mind that it was (and is) customary to bring a gift of some kind when going on a friendly visit for a meal or for the evening. When invited to dine in a friend's home, a bottle of (real) wine to accompany the meal was and is the most usual kind of gift to bring. The inscription is inviting you to forgo this usual type of gift and bring a better one: the wine of friendship.

If you don't like references to "wine", you could go with this:

It misses the point, of course, but it doesn't offend our teetotaling sensibilities--and, as everyone knows, being inoffensive to your friends is the best gift of all . . .


Appendix--Online References to Scottish Words in the Inscription



Scottish-English Dictionary:



ben (bef. 12c), within, intimate, well cared for

ben (ca. 1799), the inner room or parlor of a 2-room cottage




Appendix A: Classification of Scotch Whiskies, http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whisky/lapointe/text.html:


A.5 . Group E

Scotches: Balblair, Bladnoch, Caol Ila, Edradour, Glenburgie, Inchmurrin, Inverleven, Kinclaith, Littlemill, Pulteney

Average characteristics: pale wyne, gold; fruity, peaty; light; sweet, spicy; fruity

Distillery and Scotch average rating: 3.00; 74.8

The best of its class: Bladnoch (Lowlands), 8 years, 85


A.8. Group H

Scotches: Bruichladdich, Deanston, Fettercairn, Glenfiddich, Glen Mhor, Glen Spey, Glentauchers, Ladyburn, Tobermory

Average characteristics: white wyne, pale; sweet; smooth, light; sweet, dry, fruity, smoky; dry, light

Distillery and Scotch average rating: 2.44; 69.2

The best of its class: Bruichladdich (Islay), 10 years, 76

A.9. Croup I

Scotches: Ardberg, Bowmore, Dufftown, Glenfarclas, Glenlochy, Glenury Royal, Jura, Lagavulin, Longrow (Springbank distillery)

Average characteristics: gold, full gold, bronze; dry, peaty; medium, light, finn; dry, smoky, sweet; salty

Distillery and scotch average rating: 3.67; 79.9

The best of its class: Longrow (Campbeltown), 14 years, 90




The TREASURE of poor men

Here beginneth a good boke of medecines called the Treasure of pore men.

London: imprynted by Robert Redman, 1539. [Af. e. 62]

This is one of the earliest English medical books. It contains numerous homely prescriptions, mainly consisting of herbs, for instance: For stoppynge of the Splenne. Take the Elder roote and sethe it in whyte wyne unto the thyrd pte & drynke therof for it cureth merueylously. Only three other copies of this edition are known to exist, one (which is imperfect) in Britain and two in the United States. It has a printerís ornament on the title page, woodcut initials, and Pynsonís device on the verso of the last leaf.




'thirdendeal. ...

1. The third part of anything; a third.

. . .

2. A third of a tun; = tertian B. 2.


1423 Rolls of Parlt. IV. 256/1 Thredendels and hoggeshedes so aftur lesse



14.. MS. Cantab. Ff. 5. 48, lf. 55 b (Hartshorne Anc. Metr. T. (1829) 54),

Hit holdis a gode thrydendele Ful of wyne euery mele.





310 The Erle sayde, "Y holde the trewe,
And that schall the nevyr rewe,
As farre forthe as y may."
Yn hys herte he waxe gladde: grew
"Fylle the wyne," wyghtly he badde, eagerly
315 "Thys goyth to my pay!" goes to my liking
There he restyd that nyght;
On the morne he can hym dyght prepare himself
Yn armytes array; hermit's
When they ronge to the masse,
320 To the chapell conne they passe, (see note)
To see that lady gay.



Friendship's wine




Our life is joyous, jocund, free --
Not one a slave
Who bends in fear the trembling knee,
And seeks to save
A coward soul from future pain;
Not one will cringe or crawl for gain.
The jeweled cup of love we drain,
And friendship's wine
Now swiftly flows in every vein
With warmth divine.
And so we love and hope and dream
That in death's sky there is a gleam.