From pg 13-14 of William Boulting’s Tasso and His Times. This book has been one of my most happy stumblings in recent memory and I look forward to reading at least his biography of Pius II as well. It only saddens me I can’t find any details about Boulting’s own life. He seems to have produced five books in quick succession in the years between 1908 and 1920 and nothing afterwards. I hope the date of the last one at least indicates he made it through the great war, if he was still of service age.
Let us pay an imaginary visit with [Torquato’s father] to some petty princelet of the time ….
….and so you take your place at the pranzo below the dais. And perchance the English ambassador is here, paying a visit on his easy travel to Venice. He being a man more familiar with his straight two-edged sword of all work than with the fork, contrives to run both prongs into his cheek, and leaves the table spluttering blood, and one hears strange sibilant sounds outside, which is the English tongue, wherein he curses all new-fangled notions and strange inventions that his forebears (God rest their souls!) know not, nor may their descendants ever, since the Almighty gives us all fingers for honest use.