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Aristocrats Selling Wine 19/03/2011

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c. 1825

It is held no disgrace however in Tuscany for gentlemen to make a merchandize of their wines. Travellers always mention their surprize. at seeing flasks hung up for signs at some of the greatest palaces. The signs are not always a proof that a gentleman has any thing to do with them; for many of these palaces are let out in lodgings to very humble persons. But the flask is undoubtedly to be found at little side-windows in very great houses; and the steward of the house looks after the business. It is a remnant of the old mercantile spirit which rendered Florence what it is, and sent forth thousands of coronets and princely families from behind the counter.

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