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Chapter 24:

To Sir Edmund Head, London.

Boston, February 21, 1867.
my dear Head,—I am surprised to find that I sent you no answer about the meaning of El moron in the ballad of ‘Blanca sois, Señora Mia.’ To be sure, I had no doubt but that it meant the horse, as soon as you gave me the suggestion of Mrs. Marshall, and I rather think that we ought both of us to feel a little mortified that we needed the lady's hint. And, to be sure, further I can say in reply to your question, that I do not remember any other case in which the name of the color is put for the horse, although I will bet a penny I ought to recollect cases in which pardo, bayo, etc., are so used. But is not Sancho's ass just as good as any horse in the world, and just as classical, and is he not called el rucio fifty times in ‘Don Quixote’?

And now I am in the way of confessing, I will acknowledge that I do not remember telling you how much I delight in the ‘Death of old King Gorm.’ See how old and forgetful I grow! So I have just read it over again, and have enjoyed it as much as I did when it first came out. Not so the translation from Theocritus, which I have seen lately. It is fine, but I do not like it so much. I wonder whether I take less than I used to, to the classical fashions. On the whole, I think not, though I sometimes suspect it; I should be sorry, in my old age, to become disloyal, and don't mean to.

I looked, an hour or two ago, into Boswell's Johnson, and bethought me that you are the Secretary of Johnson's old club. Pray tell me what sort of records have been kept of its meetings, and what sort you keep? Has anything more satisfactory been published about it than is to be found in Vol. I. of ‘Croker’? How many of you are there now? How often do you meet? How many, on an average, come together, and what sort of times do you have?

I have looked over Wornum's ‘Life of Holbein,’ as you counselled.

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