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So rare,

..Thus stood I baliano'd equally precise,

“ Witness the world, wherein is nothing rifer,
Till my frail flesh did weigh me down to sin; Than miseries unken'd before they come:
Till world and pleasure made me partialize, Who can the characters of chance decipher,
And glittering pomp my vanity did win,

Written in clouds of our concealed doom?
When to excuse my fault my lusts begin,

Which though perhaps have been reveal'd to some,
And impious thoughts alleg'd this wanton clause, Yet that so doubtful (as success did prove them)
That though I sinn'd, my sin had honest cause. That men must know they have the Heav'ns above 420

them, -
“ So well the golden balls cast down before me, -
Could entertain my course, hinder my way :

" I saw the sin wherein my foot was ent'ring; 36 Whereat my wretchless youth stooping to store me, I saw how that dishonour did attend it ;

Lost me the goal, the glory, and the day.” I saw the shame whereon my flesh was vent'ring,
Pleasure had set my well-school'd thoughts to play, Yet had I not the power for to defend it ; -
And bid me use the virtue of mine eyes,

So weak is sense, when errour hath condemn'd it.
For sweetly it fits the fair to wantonize.

We see what's good, and thereto we consent;

But yet we choose the worst, and soon repent.
“Thus wrought to sin, soon was I train'd from court,
Ta solitary grange, there to attend

“ And now I come to tell the worst of illness; »
The time the king should thither make resort,

Now draws the date of mine affliction near.
Where he love's long desired work should end. Now when the dark had wrapt up all in stillness,
Thither he daily messages doth send,

And dreadful black had dispossess'd the clear, 37. With costly jewels (orators of love)

Com'd was the Night (inother of Sleep and Fear) -
Which (ah! too well men know) do women move.

Who with her sable mantle friendly covers

The sweet stoll'n sport of joyiul meeting lovers.
“ The day before the night of my defeature,
He greets me with a casket richly wrought;

“When, lo! I joy'd my lover, not my love,
that Art did seem to strive with Nature,

And felt the hand of lust most undesir'd;
T express the cunning workman's curious thought; Enforc'd th' unproved bitter sweet to prove,
The mystery whereof I prying sought,

Which yields no natural pleasure when 't is hird ;
And found engraven on the lid above,

Love's not constrain'd, nor yet of due requir'd:
Amymone, how she with Neptune strove.

Judge they who are unfortunately wed, 440

What 't is to come unto a loathed bed. “ Amymone, old Danaus' fairest daughter, 890 As she was fetching water all alone

“ But soon his age receiv'd his short contenting,
At Lerna whereas Neptune came and caught her, And sleep seald up his languishing desires ;
From whom she striv'd and struggled to be gone,

When he turns to his rest, I to repenting,
Bathing the air with cries and pitious moan; * Into myself my waking thought retires;
But all in vain, with him she's forc'd to go, My nakedness had prov'd my senses liars.
'T is shame that men should use poor maidens so. Now open'd were mine eyes to look therein,

Por first we taste the fruit, then see our sin.
“ There might I see described how she lay,
At those proud feet, not satisfy'd with prayer: “ Now did I find myself unparadis'd,
Wailing her heavy hap, cursing the day,

From those pure fields of my so clean beginning: 4.50 la act so pitious to express despair.

Now I perceiv'd how ill I was advis'd, 390 And by bow much more grieved, so much more fair

. My filesh gan loath the new-felt touch of simning

:
Did seem against the Sun crystal and pearl : For nature checks a new offence with loathing;

But use of sin doth make it seem as nothing.
" Whose pure clear streams (which lo so fair ap-
Wrought hotter flames (O miracle of love) (pears)“ And use of sin did work in me a boldness,
That kindles fire in water, heat in tears,

And love in him incorporates such zeal,
And make neglected beauty mightier prove, That jealousy increas'd with age's coldness;
Teaching afflicted eyes affect to move;

Fearing to loose the joy of all his weal,
To show that nothing ill becomes the fair,

Or doubting time his stealth might clse reveal, 460
But cruelty, which yields unto no prayer. " He's driven to devise some subtile way,
". This having view'd, and therewith something How he might safeliest keep so rich a prey.
Figur'd I find within the other squares, - [movid,
Transformed lo, Jove's dearly lov'd,

A stately palace he forthwith did build,
In her affliction how she strangely fares.

Whose intricate innumerable ways,

With such confused errours, so beguil'd
Strangely distress'd (O beauty, born to cares !)
Turn'd to a heifer, kept with jealous eyes,

Th' unguided ent'rers with uncertain strays,
Always in danger of her bateful spies.

And doubtful turnings kept them in delays;

With bootless labour leading them about,
“ These precedents presented to my view,

Able to find no way, nor in, nor out.
Wherein the presage of my fall was shown,
Might have forewarn'd me well what would ensue,

“ Within the closed bosom of which frame, 470 L! D And others' harms have made me shun mine own; That serv'd a centre to that goodly round,

But fate is not prevented, thongh foreknown: Were lodgings, with a garden to the same,
For that must hap, decreed by heavenly powers,

With sweetest flowers that eler adorn'd the ground,
Who work our fall, yet make the fault still ouis.

And all the pleasures that delight hath found

4 go

Tentertain the sense of wanton eyes,

If I unluckily had never stray'd,
Fuel of love, from whence lust's fames arise. But liv'd at home a happy country maid.
“ Here I enclos'd, from all the world asunder, « Whose unaffected innocency thinks 540
The minotaur of Shame kept for disgrace ; No guileful fraud, as doth the courtly liver !

The monster of Fortune, and the world's wonder, She's deck'd with truth; the river, where she drinks, 480 Liv'd cloist'red in so desolate a case :

Doth serve her for her glass; her counsel-giver None but the king might come into the place, She loves sincerely, and is loved ever. With certain maids that did attend my need, Her days are peace, and so she ends her breath, And he himself came guided by a thread. (True life that knows not what 's to die till death.)

LXX
“ O Jealousy ! daughter of Envy and Love, “ So should I never have been regist'red,
Most wayward issue of a gentle sire;

In the black book of the unfortunate;
Foster'd with fears, thy father's joys to improve ;* Nor had my name, enrold with maids misled,
Mirth-marring monster, born a subtle liar;

Which bought their pleasures at so high a rate:55D
Hateful unto thyself, flying thine own desire; Nor had I taught (through my unhappy fate)
Feeding upon suspect, that doth renew thee; This lesson (which myself learnt with expense)
Happy were lovers if they never knew thee. How most it hurts, that most delights the sense.

LXXX
“ Thou hast a thousaud gates thou enterest by, “ Shame follows sin, disgrace is duly given;
Condemning trembling passions to our heart : Impiety will out, never so closely done :
Hunder'd-ey'd Argus, ever waking spy,

No walls can hide us from the eye of Heaven;
Pale hag, infernal fury, pleasure's smart,

Por shame must end what wickedness begun; Envious observer, prying in every part;

Forth breaks reproach when we least think thereon ; Suspicious o would to God that love could be without thee. That nothing

can be done, but Fame reports. 560 “Thou did'st deprive (through false suggesting fear) “ Fame doth explore what lies most secret hidden, Him of content, and me of liberty,

Ent'ring the closet of the palace-dweller; SOO The only good that women hold so dear,

Abroad revealing what is most forbidden: And turn'st my freedom to captivity,

Of truth and falsehood both an equal teller, First made a prisoner ere an enemy:

"T is not a guard can serve for to expell her: Enjoin'd the ransom of my body's shame,

The sword of justice cannot cut her wings, Which though I paid, could not redeem the same. Nor stop her mouth from uttering secret things. " What greater torment ever could bave been,

" And this our stealth she could not long conceal, Than to enforce the fair to live retir'd ?

From her whom such a forfeit most concern'd, For what is beauty if it be not seen?

The wronged queen, who could so closely deal, 570 Or what is 't to be seen, if not admir'd?

That she the whole of all our practice learn'd, And though admir'd, unless in love desir'd ?

And watch'd a time when least it was discero'd, Sio , , In absence of the king, to wreak her wrong, Ordain'd to live imprison'd in a chamber.

With such revenge as she desired long. “ Nature created beauty for the view,

“ The labyrinth she enter'd by that thread, (Like as the fire for heat, the Sun for light:) That serv'd a conduct to my absent lord; The fair do hold this privilege as due,

Left there by chance, reserv'd for such a deed, By ancient charter, to live most in sight,

Where she surpris'd me whom she so abhor'd : And she that is debarr'd it, hath not right.

Enrag'd with madness, scarce she speaks a word, In vain our friends from this do us dehort, But dies with eager fury to my face, 580 For beauty will be where is most resort.

Offering me most unwomanly disgrace. “ Witness the fairest streets that Thames doth visit, “ Look how a tigress that hath lost her whelp, 520 The wondrous concourse of the glittring fair

;. Runs fiercely ranging through the woods astray; For what rare woman, deck'd with beauty, is it,

And seeing herself deprivd of hope or help, That thither covets not to make repair ?

Furiously assaults what 's in her way,
The solitary country may not stay her. -

To satisfy her wrath (not for a prey);
Here is the centre of all beauties best,

So fell she on me in outrageous wise,
Excepting Delia, left t adorn the west.

As could disdain and jealousy devise. “ Here doth the curious, with judicial eyes, " Contemplate beauty gloriously attir'd: She forc'd me take the poison she had brought, 590 And herein all our chiefest glory lies,

To end the life that had her so abus'd, To live where we are prais'd and most desir'd. And free her fears, and ease her jealous thought; 5370! how we joy to see ourselves admir'd, No cruelty her wrath could leave unwrought;

Whilst niggardly our favours we discover; * No spiteful act that to revenge is common ;
We love to be belov!d, yet scorn the lover. - (No beast being fiercer than a jealous woman.) -
" Yet would to God my foot had never mov'd «Here take,' said she, thou impudent unclean,
From country safety, from the fields of rest; Base graceless strumpet, take this next your heart;
To know the danger to be highly lov’d,

Your love-sick heart, that overcharg'd hath been And live in pomp to brave among the best: With pleasure's surfeit, must be purg'd with art; Happy for me, better had I been blessid,

This potion hath a power that will convert boo

640

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To ngught those humours that oppress you so;

And let thy heart pity thy heart's remorse,
And, girl, I'll see you take it ere I go.

And be thyself the mourner and the corse.
“"What! stand you now ainaz'd; retire you back ?". Condole thee here, clad all in black despair,
Treinble you, minion ? come, dispatch with speed; With silence only, and a dying bed ;
There is no help, your champion now we lack, Thou that of late, so flourishing, so fair,
And all these tears you shed will nothing steed;

:
Those dainty fingers needs must do the deed :

And now from friends, from succour hither led, 670
Take it, or I will drench you else by force,

Art made a spoil to lust, to wrath, to death,
And trifle not, lest that I use you worse.'

And in disgrace, forc'd here to yield thy breath. 610

“ Hlaving this bloody doom from hellish breath, « « Did Nature (for this good) ingeniate,
My wofull eyes on every side I cast;

To show in thee the glory of her best;
Rigour about me, in my hand my death, - Framing thine eye the star of thy ill fate,
Presenting me the horrour of my last;

Making thy face the foe to spoil the rest ?
All hope of pity and of comfort past.

O beauty! thou an enemy profess'd
No means, no power, no forces to contend,

To chastity, and us that love thee most,
My treinbling hands must give myself my end. Without thee, how w'are loath'd, and with thce lost!
“ Those hands that beauty's ministers had been, “« You, you that proud with liberty and beauty,
They must give death, that me adorn'd of late, (And well may you be proud that you be so)
Tbat mouth that newly gave consent to sin,

Glitter in court, lov'd and observ'd of duty; 620 Must now receive destruction in thereat ; Would God I might to you but ere I go That body which my lust did violate,

Speak what I feel, to warn you by my woe,
Must sacrifice itself to appease the wrong.

To keep your feet in cleanly paths of shame,
(So short is pleasure, glory lasts not long.) That not enticing may divert the same.

LXXX
“ And she no sooner saw I had it taken,

Seeing how 'gainst your tender weakness still,
But forth she rushes (proud with victory)

The strength of wit, and gold, and all is bent;
And leaves m' alone, of all the world forsaken,

And all th' assaults that ever might or skill
Except of Death, which she had left with me. Can give against a chaste and clean intent; 690
(Death and myself alone together be.)

Ah! let not greatness work you to consent.
To whom she did her full revenge refer.

The spot is foul, though by a monarch made, 630 Oh, poor weak conquest both for him and her! Kings cannot privilege what God forbade.

XC “ Then straight my conscience summons up my sin

« • Lock up therefore the treasure of your love,
To appear before me in a hideous face;

Under the surest keys of fear and shame: -
Now doth the terrour of my soul begin,

And let no powers have power chaste thoughts to
When ev'ry corner of that hateful place

To make a lawless entry on your fame. [move
Dictates mine errour, and reveals disgrace;

Open to those the comfort of your flame, ”
Whilst I remain oppress'd in every part,

Whose equal love shall march with equal pace,
Death in my body, horruur at my heart
“ Down on my bed my loathsome self I cast, “ • For see how many discontented beds,
The bed that likewise gives in evidence

Our own aspiring or our parents' pride
640 Against my soul, and tells I was unchaste, Have caus'd, whilst that ambition vainly weds
Tells I was wanton, tells I follow'd sense,

Wealth and not love, honour and nought beside: –
And therefore cast, by guilt of mine offence, Whilst marry'd but to titles, we abide
Must here the right of Heaven needs satisfy, As wedded widows, wanting what we have,
and where I wanton lay, must wretched die. When shadows cannot give us what we crave.
“ Here I began to wail my hard mishap,

« « Or whilst we spend the freshest of our time,
My sudden, strange, unlook'd-for misery,

The sweets of youth inplotting in the air;
Accusing them that did my youth entrap, Alas! how oft we fall, hoping to climb;'- 710
To give me such a fall of infamy.

Or whither as unprofitably fair,
' And poor distressed Rosamond,' said I,

Whilst those decays which are without repair, 659* Is this thy glory got, to die forlorn

Make us neglected, scorned, and reprov'd. lo deserts where no ear can hear thee mourn (And 0, what are we, if we be not lov’d?) “ Nor any eye of pity to behold'

• Fasten therefore upon occasions fit,
The wofull end of thy sad tragedy ;

Lest this, or that, or like disgrace as mine,
But that thy wrongs unseen, thy tale untold, Do overtake your youth, or ruin it,
Must here in secret silence bury'd lie,

And cloud with infamy your beauty's shine:
And with thee, thine excuse together die ?

Seeing how many seek to undermine
Thy sin reveal'd, but thy repentance hid,

The treasury that 's unpossessid of any;
Thy shame alive, but dead what thy death did. And bard 't is kept that is desir'd of many.

“ “Yet breathe out to these walls the breath of moan, “ • And Ay (О fy!) these bed-brokers unclean, Obor Tell th' air thy plaints, since men thou canst not tell.-(The monsters of our sex) that make a prey And though thou perish desolate alone,

Of their own kind, by an unkindly mean ;
Tell yet thyself, what thyself knows too well : And e'en (like vipers) eating out a way
Utter thy grief, wherewith thy soul doth swell, Through th' womb of their own shame, accursed they

In those pure ways that lead to no disgrace. You

720

730

740.

(hoid 50

750

Live by the death of fame, the gain of sin, “ Amaz'd he stands, nor voice nor body stirs;
The filth of lust, uncleanness wallows in.

Words had no passage, tears no issue found,

For sorrow shut up words, wrath kept in tears;
" As if 't were not enough that we (poor we) Confus'd effects each other do confound;
Have weakness, beauty, gold, and men, our foes, Oppress'd with grief, his passions had no bound.
But we must have some of ourselves to be

Striving to tell his woes, words would not come;

-719 > Traitors unto ourselves, to join with those;

For light cares speak, when mighty griefs are dumb.
Such as our feeble forces do disclose,
And still betray our cause, our shame, our youth, “ At length extremity breaks out a way,
To lust, to folly, and to mens' untruth.

'Through which, th' imprisoned voice with tears at

tended,
* Hateful confounders both of blood and laws, Wails out a sound that sorrows do bewray ;
Vile orators of shame, that plead delight;

With arms across, and eyes to Heaven bended,
Ungracious agents in a wicked cause,

Vapouring out sighs that to the skies ascended ;- Factors for darkness, messengers of night,

Sighs (the poor ease calamity affords)
Serpents of guile, devils that do unite

Which serve for speech, when sorrow wanteth words.
The wanton taste of that forbidden tree,
Whose fruit once pluck'd, will show how foul we "• O Heavens !' quoth he, why do mine eyes be-
be.

The hateful rays of this unbappy Sup?

Why have I light to see my sins control'd, *«• You in the habit of a grave aspect,

With blood of mine own sbame thus wildly done? (In credit by the trust of years) can show

How can my sight endure to look thereon ?
The cunning ways of lust, and can direct

Why doth not black eternal darkness hide
The fair and wily wantons how to go,

That from inine eyes, my heart cannot abide ?
Having (your loathsome selves) your youth spent so:

“What saw my life wherein my soul might joy? And in uncleanness ever have been fed,

What had my days, whom troubles still afflicted, By the revenue of a wanton bed :

But only this, to counterpoise annoy?

This joy, this hope, which death hath interdicted ; "' By you have been the innocent betray'd,

This sweet, whose loss hath all distress inflicted ; -817
The blushing fearful bolder'd unto sin,

This, that did season all my sour of life,
The wife made subtile, subtile made the maid,

Vex'd still at home with broils, abroad in strife.
The husband scorn'd, dishonoured the kin;
* Parents disgrac’d, children infamous been:

« • Vex'd still at home with broils, abroad in strife, Confus'd our race, and falsify'd our blood,

Dissention in my blood, jars in my bed ;
Whilst fathers' sons possess wrong fathers' good.'

Distrust.at board, suspecting still my life,

Spending the night in horrour, days ia dread;
w "This, and much more, I would have utter'd then, (Such life hath tyrants, and this life I led.)
A testament to be recorded still,

These miseries go mask'd in glittering shows,
Sign'd with my blood, subscrib'd with conscience'

Which wise men see, the vulgar little knows.'
pen,
To warn the fair and beautiful from ill;

* Thus, as these passions do him overwhelm, 820 Though I could wish (by the example of my will)

He draws bim near my body to bebold it;
I had not left this note unto the fair,

And as the vine married unto the elm,
But dy'd intestate to have had no heir.

With strict embraces, so doth he infold it :

And as he in his careful arms doth bold it,
c
“ But now the poison, spread through all my veins, On senseless lips, millions of kisses spends.

Viewing tbe face that even death commends,
Gan disposses my living senses quite;
And nought-respecting Death (the last of pains) os • Pitiful mouth!' saith he,' that living gav'st -
Plac'd his pale colours (th' ensign of his might) The sweetest comfort that my soul could wish:
Upon his new-got spoil before his right:

O be it lawful now, that dead thou hav'st,
Thence chasid my soul, setting my day ere noon, This sorrowing farewell of a dying kiss. $30
When I least thought my joys could end so soon. And you fair eyes, containers of my bliss,

Motives of love, born to be matched never,
“ And as convey'd t' untimely funerals,

Entomb’d in your sweet circles, sleep for ever. -
My scarce cold corse not suffer'd longer stay :
Behold! the king (by chance) returning, falls

Ah! how methinks I see Death dallying seeks » T encounter with the same upon the way,

To entertain itself in Love's sweet place;

Decayed roses of discolour'd cheeks,
As he repaird to see his dearest joy ;

Do yet retain dear notes of former grace:
Not thinking such a meeting could have been,

And ugly Death sits fair withių her face;
To see his love, and steing been unseen.

Sweet remnants resting of vermilion red,

That Death itself doubts whether she be dead. 50 “ Judge those whom chance deprives of sweetest treasure,

"" Wonder of beauty, ob! receive these plaints, – What 't is to lose a thing we hold so dear!

These obsequies, the last that I shall make thee : C'The best delight wherein our soul takes pleasure, Por lo, my soal that now already faints, The sweet of life, that penetrates so near.

(That lov & thee living, dead will not forsake thee)
What passions feels that heart, inforc'd to bear Hastens her speedy course to overtake thee.
The deep impression of so strange a sight,

I'll meet my death, and free myself thereby,
That overwhelms us, or confounds us quite ? For, ah! what can he do that cannot die ?

abo .

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er Yet, ere I die, thus much my soul doth vow,

Revenge shall sweeten death with ease of mind : 85 And I will cause posterity shall know,

A LETTER
How fair thou wert above all woman kind,
And after-ages monuments shall find,
Showing thy beauty's title, not thy name,

OCTAVIA TO MARCUS ANTONIUS.
Rose of the world, that sweeten'd so the same.'

FROM

TO

A

“ This said, though more desirous yet to say,
(Fur sorrow is unwilling to give over)
He doth repress what grief should else bewray,

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE AND MOST VIRTUOUS LADY,
Lest he too much his passions should discover,

THE LADY MARGARET,
And yet respect scarce bridles such a lover,
860 So far transported, that he knows not whither,

COUNTESS OF CUMBERLAND.
For love and majesty dwell ill together.

ALThough the meaner sort (whose thoughts are " Then were my funerals not long deferred, As in another region, far below [plac'd, But done with all the rites pomp could devise,

The sphere of greatness) cannot rightly taste
At Godstow, where my body was interred,
And richly tomb'd in honourable wise,

What touch it hath, nor right her passions know:
Where yet as now scarce any note descries

Yet have I bere adventur'd to bestow
Unto these times, the memory of me,

Words upon grief, as my griefs comprehend,
Marble and brass so little lasting be.

And made this great afflicted lady show, " For those walls, which the credulous devout

Out of my feelings, what she might have pennid: 870 And apt-believing ignorant did found;

And here the same, I bring forth to attend
With willing zeal, that never call'd in doubt,

Upou thy reverend name, to live with thee
That time their works should ever so confound,
Lie like confused heaps as under ground.

Most virtuous lady, that vouchsaf'st to lend
And what their ignorance esteem'd so holy, Ear to my notes, and comfort unto me,
The wiser ages do account as folly.

That one day may thine own fair virtues spread, And were it not thy favourable lines

Being secretary now but to the dead.
Re-edify'd the wreck of my decays,
And that thy accents willingly assigns
Some further date, and give me longer days,

THE ARGUMENT. 710 Few in this age had known my beauty's praise.*

But thus renew'd, my fame redeems some time, Upon the second agreement (the first being broken
Till other ages shall neglect thy rhyme.

through jealousy of a disproportion of eminency)

between the triumviri Octavius Cæsar, Marcus An“ Then when confusion in her course shall bring tonius, and Lepidus; Octavia, the sister of Octavius Sad desolation on the times to come :

Cæsar, was married to Antonius, as a link to comWhen mirthless Thames shall have no swan to sing, bine that which never yet, the greatest strength of All music silent, and the Muses dumb;

Nature, or any power of nearest respect, could long And yet even then it must be known to some,

hold together; who, made but the instrument of That once they flourish'd, though not cherish'd so, others' ends, and delivered up as an ostage, to And Thames had swans as well as ever Po. serve the opportunity of advantages, met not with

that integrity she brought; but as highly preferred 470" But here an end, I may no longer stay, to affliction, encountered with all the grievances I must return t'attend at Stygian flood :

that beat upon the misery of greatness, exposed to Yet, ere I go, this one word more I pray,

stand betwixt the diverse tending bumours of unTell Delia, now her sigh may do me good,

quiet parties: for Antony having yet upon him the And will her note the frailty of our blood.

fetters of Egypt, laid on by the power of a most And if I pass unto those happy banks,

incomparable beauty, could admit vo new laws Then she must have her praise, thy pen her thanks.” into the state of his affection, or dispose of himself,

being not himself; but as having his heart turned So vanish'd she, and left me to return

eastward, whither the point of his desires are diTo prosecute the terrour of my woes :

rected, touched with the strongest allurements Eternal matter for my Muse to mourn,

that ambition and a licentious sovereignty could But yet the world hath heard too much of those, draw a man unto, could not truly descend to the goo

My youth such errours must no more disclose. private love of a civil nurtred matron, whose en-
I'll hide the rest, and grieve for what hath been, tertainment, bounded with modesty and the na-
Who made me known, must make we live unseen. ture of her education, knew not to clothe her

affections in any other colours than the plain
habit of truth, wherein she ever suited all her ac-
tions, and used all her best ornaments of honesty,
to win the good liking of him that held her, but as
a curtain, drawn between him and Octavius, to
shadow his other purposes withal, which the sharp
sight of an equally jealous ambition would soon

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