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An Italian view of the English in 1497:

"The English are great lovers of themselves and of everything belonging to them. Whenever they see a handsome foreigner they say... ‘what a pity he isn’t English’.

"I never noticed anyone to be in love [innamorato]; whence one must necessarily conclude, either that the English are the most discreet lovers in the world or that they are incapable of love. I say this of the men, for I understand it is quite the contrary with the women, who are very violent in their passions."

(Andrea Trevisano, Venetian ambassador to the court of Henry VII, 1497-8.)