Friday, 25 November 2011

Jews in the wine trade, 1728

This snippet is quite unusual. The author has something positive to say about Jewish business practice.

I know not whether so abstemious and regular a person as my constitution and course of life have obliged me to be, may venture to mention another Custom which universally prevails here, since the use of Wine has been so general; and that is, that the Jews are entirely possest of the monopoly of Wine in this Country, who are found by experience to fell it pure and unmixed. This practice they give into out of principle, the Law of Moses strictly forbidding all mixtures; and as they scrupulously adhere to it, and dare not violate it, they are observed to keep it unadulterated, as it comes from the Vineyard. How far this might deserve to be encouraged in Great Britain where we consume so much Wine, and so abominably brewed and compounded, by the tricks and imposture of our Merchants; or how far at least, these Brokers of the World, who lie sucking the life-blood of our Trade, mjght be made useful in this branch of our Commerce, I leave to your Lordship's consideration, who knows so well how much the health and lives of the Subjects are concerned in it, as well as the Excise on the consumption.

Source: Memoirs of the twentieth century. 1728. Page 196.

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