TO SEPTICIUS CLARUS
How happened it, my friend, that you did not keep your engagement the other night to sup with me? Now take notice, the court is sitting, and you shall fully reimburse me the expense I was at to treat you‹which, let me tell you, was no small sum. I had prepared, you must know, a lettuce and three snails apiece; with two eggs, barleywater, some sweet wine and snow (the snow most certainly I shall charge to your account, and at a high rate, as it was spoiled in serving). Besides all these curious dishes, there were olives, beets, gourds, shalots, and a hundred other dainties equally sumptuous. You should likewise have been entertained either with an interlude, the rehearsal of a poem, or a piece of music, as you like best; or (such was my liberality) with all three. But the oysters, chitterlings, seaurchins and Spanish dancers of a certain ‹ I know not who, were, it seems, more to your taste. However I shall have my revenge of you depend upon it;‹in what manner, shall at present be a secret. In good truth it was not kind thus to mortify your friend, I had almost said yourself;‹and upon second thoughts I do say so: for how agreeably should we have spent the evening, in laughing, trifling, and instruction! You may sup, I confess, at many places more splendidly; but you can be treated no where, believe me, with more unconstrained cheerfulness, simplicity nnd freedom: only make the experiment; and if you do not ever afterwards prefer my table to any other, never favour me with your company again. Farewell.