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Reminiscences
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the uninitiated. The government of Venice also added, by its course, to the popular notions regarding the high mystery of the art, conferring, as it did, the title of "Gentleman" (no idle title in those days) on all who became accomplished in the manufacture. Howell, in his "Familiar Letters," dated from Venice in 1621, says: "Not without reason, it being a rare kind of knowledge and chemistry, to transmute the dull bodies of dust and sand, for they are the only ingredients, to such pellucid, dainty body, as we see crystal glass is."
    That the art had greatly improved in the hands of the Venetian artisans cannot be doubted. The manufacture was carried to a degree far beyond any previous period; and the more so, because sustained by the governmental protection and patronage. Venice being then in the height of her commercial glory, she herself being "Queen of the Sea," ample facilities existed for the exportation of her manufactures to every part of the known world; and for a long period she held the monopoly of supplying the cities of Europe with crystal glass in its various departments of ornament and utility.
    A French writer, who published an elaborate work in twelve books upon the subject of glass