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Everyone knows the tale of him who reported he had seen a cabbage under whose leaves a regiment of soldiers were sheltered from a shower of rain. Another who was no traveller (yet the wiser man) said, he had passed by a place where there were four hundred braziers making of a cauldron, two hundred within and two hundred without, beating the nails in. The traveller asking for what use that huge cauldron was, he told him, "Sir it was to boil your cabbage.".

Furthermore, there is amongst many others (which were too long to recite here) an odd kind of anglicism, wherein some do frequently express themselves, as to say "Your boors of Holland, sir; your Jesuits of Spain, sir; your courtezans of Venice, sir: whereunto one answered (not impertinently) "My courtezans sir? Pox on them all for me, they are none of my courtezans.'

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Lastly, some kind of travellers there are, whom their gait and strutting, their bending in the hams and shoulders, and looking upon their legs, with frisking and singing do speak them travellers.

Others by a fantastic kind of ribanding themselves, by their modes of habit and make themselves known to have breathed foreign air.

JAMES HOWELL, Instructions for forreine travell 1642

The Italianate Englishman

Fashions in proud Italy,

Whose manners still our tardy apish nation

Limps after in base imitation.

Richard II., II. i. 21—23

Sir Richard Sackville, that worthy gentleman of worthy memory, as I said in the beginning, in the queen's privy chamber at Windsor, after he had talked with me for the right choice of a good wit in a child for learning, and of the true difference betwixt quick and hard wits, of alluring young children by gentleness to love learning, and of the special care that was to be had to keep young men from licentious living, he was most earnest with me, to have me say my mind also, what I thought concerning the fancy that many young gentle men of England have to travel abroad, and namely to lead a long life in Italy. His request, both for his authority and good will toward me, was a sufficient commandment unto me to

satisfy his pleasure with uttering plainly my opinion in that matter. "Sir," quoth I, "I take going thither and living there for a young gentleman that doth not go under the keep and guard of such a man, as both by wisdom can, and authority dare rule him, to be marvellous dangerous." And why I said so then, I will declare at large now: which I said then privately and write now openly, not because I do contemn either the knowledge of strange and diverse tongues, and namely the Italian tongue, which next to the Greek and Latin tongue I like and love above all other; or else because I do despise the learning that is gotten, or the experience that is gathered in strange countries; or for any private malice that I bear to Italy, which country, and in it namely Rome I have always specially honoured. Because, time was, when Italy and Rome have been, to the great good of us the now live, the best breeders and bringers up of the worthiest men, not only for wise speaking, but also for well doing in all civil affairs, that ever was in the world. But now, that time is gone, and though the place remain, yet the old and present manners do differ as far as black and white, as virtue and vice. Virtue once made that country mistress over all the world. Vice now maketh that country slave to them that before were glad to serve it. All men seeth it: they themselves confess it, namely such as be best and wisest amongst them. For sin, by lust and vanity, hath and doth breed up everywhere common contempt of God's word, private contention in many families, open factions in every city: and so, making themselves bond to vanity and vice at home, they are content to bear the yoke of serving strangers abroad. Italy now is not that Italy, that it was wont to be: and therefore now not so fit a place, as some do count it, for young men to fetch either wisdom or honesty from thence. For surely, they will make other but bad scholars, that be so ill masters to themselves....

But I am afraid that over many of our travellers into Italy do not eschew the way to Circe's court, but go, and ride, and run, and fly thither. They make great haste to come to her: they make great suit to serve her: yea, I could point out some with my finger, that never had gone out of England, but only to serve Circes in Italy. Vanity and vice, and any licence to ill living in England was counted stale and rude unto them.

Andr so, being mules and horses before they went, returned very swine and asses home again, yet everywhere very foxes with subtle and busy heads, and, where they may, very wolves with cruel malicious hearts. A marvellous monster, which for filthiness of living, for dullness to learning himself, for wiliness in dealing with others, for malice in hurting without cause, should carry at once in one body the belly of a swine, the head of an ass, the brain of a fox, the womb of a wolf. If you think we judge amiss, and write too sore against you, hear what the Italian saith of the Englishman, what the master reporteth of the scholar: who uttereth plainly, what is taught by him, and what learned by you, saying, Englese italianato, è un diavolo incarnato, that is to say, you remain men in shape and fashion, but become devils in life and condition. This is not the opinion of one for some private spite, but the judgment of all in a common proverb, which riseth of that learning and those manners which you gather in Italy: a good schoolhouse of wholesome doctrine and worthy masters of commendable scholars, where the master had rather defame himself for his teaching, than not shame his scholar for his learning. A good nature of the master and fair conditions of the scholars. And now choose you, you Italian Englishmen, whether you will be angry with us for calling you monsters, or with the Italians for calling you devils, or else with your own selves, that take so much pains and go so far to make your selves both. If some yet do not well understand what is an Englishman Italianated, I will plainly tell him. He, that by living and travelling in Italy, bringeth home into England out of Italy the religion, the learning, the policy, the experience, the manners of Italy. That is to say, for religion papistry or worse for learning less commonly than they carried out with them: for policy a factious heart, a discoursing head, a mind to meddle in all men's matters: for experience plenty of new mischiefs never known in England before: for manners variety of vanities, and change of filthy living. These be the enchant ments of Circes, brought out of Italy to mar men's manners in England; much by example of ill life, but more by precepts of fond books, of late translated out of Italian into English, sold in every shop in London, commended by honest titles the sooner to corrupt honest manners, dedicated over boldly to virtuous and

honourable personages, the easier to beguile simple and innocent wits. It is pity that those which have authority and charge to allow and disallow books to be printed, be no more circumspect herein than they are. Ten sermons at Paul's Cross do not so much good for moving men to true doctrine, as one of those books do harm with enticing men to ill living. Yea, I say farther, those books tend not so much to corrupt honest living, as they do to subvert true religion. More papists be made, by your merry books of Italy, than by your earnest books of Louvain. And because our great physicians do wink at the matter, and make no count of this sore, I, though not admitted one of their fellowship, yet having been many years a prentice to God's true religion, and trust to continue a poor journey-man therein all days of my life, for the duty I owe and love I bear both to true doctrine and honest living, though I have no authority to amend the sore myself, yet I will declare my good will to discover the sore to


ROGER ASCHAM, The Scholemaster 1570


The South Bank of the Thames 1647

showing the Globe Theatre and a bear-garden

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