Honey catches more flies than vinegar (2). A Pan-European proverb? On prend plus de mouches avec une cuillerée de miel qu’avec cent barils de vinaigre; Más moscas se cogen con miel que con hiel

Learning Italian in the UK is nowadays a minority pursuit. In contrast, in the late sixteenth century to know it was an important weapon in the intellectual armoury of the elite: Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth and James VI and I’s consort, Anne of Denmark, all knew la bella lingua. John Florio, the author of the first substantial Italian-English dictionary, was a groom of Queen Anne’s chamber and enjoyed a position at court. Torriano inherited Florio’s manuscripts and published in 1639 New and Easie Directions for attaining the Thuscan Italian tongue and the year after that The Italian Tutor.