E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The Italian is pleasant, but without sinews, as still fleeting water.
The Frenchdelicate, but like an overnice woman, scarce daring to open her lips for fear of marring her countenance.
Spanishmajestical, but fulsome, running too much on the letter o; and terrible, like the devil in a play.
Dutchmanlike, but withal very harsh, as one ready at every word to pick a quarrel.
We (the English), in borrowing from them, give the strength of consonants to the Italian; the full sound of words to the French; the variety of terminations to the Spanish; and the mollifying of more vowels to the Dutch. Thus, like bees, we gather the honey of their good properties and leave the dregs to themselves. (Camden.)