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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Critical and Biographical Introduction
By Baltasar del Alcázar (1530–1606)
 
ALTHOUGH little may be realized now of Alcázar’s shadowy personality, there is no doubt that in his own century he was widely read. Born of a very respectable family in Seville, either in 1530 or 1531, he first appears as entering the Spanish navy, and participating in several battles on the war galleys of the Marquis of Santa Cruz. It is known that for about twenty years he was alcalde or mayor at the Molares on the outskirts of Utrera,—an important local functionary, a practical man interested in public affairs.  1
  But, on the whole, his seems to have been a strongly artistic nature; for he was a musician of repute, skillful too at painting, and above all a poet. As master and model in metrical composition he chose Martial, and in his epigrammatic turn he is akin to the great Latin poet. He was fond of experimenting in Latin lyrical forms, and wrote many madrigals and sonnets. They are full of vigorous thought and bright satire, of playful malice and epicurean joy in life, and have always won the admiration of his fellow-poets. As has been said, they show a fine taste, quite in advance of the age. Cervantes, his greater contemporary, acknowledged his power with cordial praise in the Canto de Caliope.  2
  The “Witty Andalusian” did not write voluminously. Some of his poems still remain in manuscript only. Of the rest, comprised in one small volume, perhaps the best known are ‘The Jovial Supper,’ ‘The Echo,’ and the ‘Counsel to a Widow.’  3
 
 
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