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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Jovial Supper

By Baltasar del Alcázar (1530–1606)

IN Jaen, where I reside,

Lives Don Lopez de Sosa;

And I will tell thee, Isabel, a thing

The most daring that thou hast heard of him.

This gentleman had

A Portuguese serving man …

However, if it appears well to you, Isabel,

Let us first take supper.

We have the table ready laid,

As we have to sup together;

The wine-cups at their stations

Are only wanting to begin the feast.

Let us commence with new, light wine,

And cast upon it benediction;

I consider it a matter of devotion

To sign with cross that which I drink.


Be it or not a modern invention,

By the living God I do not know;

But most exquisite was

The invention of the tavern.

Because, I arrive thirsty there,

I ask for new-made wine,

They mix it, give it to me, I drink,

I pay for it, and depart contented.

That, Isabel, is praise of itself,

It is not necessary to laud it.

I have only one fault to find with it,

That is—it is finished with too much haste.


But say, dost thou not adore and prize

The illustrious and rich black pudding?

How the rogue tickles!

It must contain spices.

How it is stuffed with pine nuts!


But listen to a subtle hint.

You did not put a lamp there?

How is it that I appear to see two?

But these are foolish questions,

Already know I what it must be:

It is by this black draught

That the number of lamps accumulates.

[The several courses are ended, and the jovial diner resolves to finish his story.]


And now, Isabel, as we have supped

So well, and with so much enjoyment,

It appears to be but right

To return to the promised tale.

But thou must know, Sister Isabel,

That the Portuguese fell sick …

Eleven o’clock strikes, I go to sleep.

Wait for the morrow.