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You will doubtless recollect the agree
ment, that when the perusal of that elegant and interesting work, “Forbes's Oriental Memoirs,” was finished, I proposed to take up the pen, to acknowledge the receipt of, and return thanks for, your esteemed favour of the 28th December, 1838.
The favourable light in which you were pleased to view a certain Letter in the “ Antiquarian Miscellany” is very sensibly felt; and I am by no means less pleased with that peculiar tit-bit which formed the conclusion of your communication, under the title of “a bone to pick.” This
I accept as a treat, and shall have great pleasure in cooking it up to my own taste; as, no doubt, was the real intent of the donor, when he said “ As I know you like a bit of a controversy, I have sent you a bone to pick.”
First, a few words about the coin. You have some doubts, it seems, as to the medal being either genuine, or of any great antiquity. There are, however, traits which in some degree favour its being so. First, there is at the bottom of the medal or coin, apparently, a sketch of the skeleton of a crocodile,—which is not only considered an emblem of Egypt, but also an emblem of the ark, and likewise of mourning, from the whining doleful noise that creature is so well known to make. Indeed, its Hebrew name is significant of doleful sounds; consequently, a fit object for the tomb, on account of those lamentations naturally arising from scenes attendant on such abodes. Secondly, in ancient times, when inscriptions were put on stone, or metal, I believe it was the practice to give the () yod a larger form, so as not to be easily broken off or obliterated. Part of an