Page "belles_lettres" Paragraph 1191
from Brown Corpus
In all the talk of feudal rights, the knights and bishops must never forget the woolworkers, nor was it easy to do so, for all along the road to Italy they passed the Florentine pack trains going home with their loads of raw wool from England and rough Flemish cloth, the former to be spun and woven by the Arte Della Lana and the latter to be refined and dyed by the Arte Della Calimala with the pigment recently discovered in Asia Minor by one of their members, Bernardo Rucellai, the secret of which they jealously kept for themselves.
These chatty merchants made amusing and instructive traveling companions, for their business took them to all four corners of the globe, and Florentine gossip had already reached a high stage of development as even a cursory glance at the Inferno will prove.
A northern ambassador, willing to keep his mouth shut and his ears open, could learn a lot that would stand him in good stead at the Curia.