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[275] The settlement of the date of Castillejo's death is important, and gets over a difficulty which everybody who has looked into his life must have felt; and the discussion about the old Romances sueltos has the thoroughness, finish, and conscientious exactness which marks everything of yours that I have seen. I have studied all four of them with care, and have no doubt you are right in the result of your investigations in each case. For the kindness with which you speak of me, I beg leave to make you my best acknowledgments.

I should have thanked you long before this time for these proofs of your remembrance and good-will, and for the very interesting letter that came with them, if I had not been constantly hoping to receive from Germany a copy of my ‘History of Spanish Literature,’ translated by Dr. Julius, and enriched by dissertations from you on. the Romanceros and Cancioneros. Five months ago half of it was printed, but since that time I have heard not a word about it. I have resolved, therefore, to wait no longer, but to send you now my very hearty acknowledgments; indeed, to thank you beforehand for what I know you have done to render my History more valuable in my own eyes, as well as those of all who are interested in its subject.

Prescott is well, and is busy with his ‘Philip II.,’ but the state of his eyes compels him to work slowly.

I hope I may soon hear from you, and soon see the German volumes, in which my name will have the honor of being associated with yours.

Very faithfully your friend and servant,


To Sir Edmund Head.

Boston, June 14, 1852.
my dear Sir Edmund,—I begin with business, for I observe that you are very accurate in such matters, and I mean to be, though I fail sometimes . . . .

Thank you for the reference to the passage copied by Southey, from Zabaleta, about las ambas silas.1 It seems, there, to be used in its primitive and literal sense, though I do not quite make out what are the two particular sills referred to. As a proverbial expression,


1 Sir E. Head to Mr. Ticknor, June 5, 1852: ‘Have you got the first volume of Southey's “Commonplace book” ? If so, you will see, at page 62, a passage illustrating the use of the phrase las dos sillas. It appears there to mean the seat of war and the seat of peace; of the manage and the road.’

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