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close connections with foreign powers, and, above all, with Holland. But the country gentlemen and country clergymen were fated to be deceived, not for the last time. The prejudices and passions which raged without control in vicarages, in cathedral closes, and in the manor-houses of fox-hunting squires, were not shared by the chiefs of the ministry. Those statesmen saw that it was both for the public interest, and for their own interest, to adopt a whig policy; at least as respected the alliances of the country and the conduct of the war. But if the foreign policy of the whigs were adopted, it was impossible to abstain from adopting also their financial olicy. The natural consequences followed. #. rigid tories were alienated from the government. The votes of the whigs became necessary to it. The votes of the whigs could be secured only by further concessions; and further concessions the queen was induced to make. At the beginning of the year 1704, the state of parties bore a close analogy to the state of parties in 1826. In 1826, as in 1704, there was a tory ministry divided into two hostile sections. The position of Mr. Canning and his friends in 1826, corresponded to that which Marlborough and Godolphin occupied in 1704. Nottingham and Jersey were, in 1704, what Lord Eldon and Lord Westmoreland were in 1826. The whigs of 1704 were in a situation resembling that in which the whigs of 1826 stood. In 1704, Somers, Halifax, Sunderland, Cowper, were not in office. There was no avowed coalition between them and the moderate tories. It is probable that no direct communication tending to such a coalition had yet taken place; yet all men saw that such a coalition was inevitable, nay, that it was already half formed. Such, or nearly such, was the state of things when tidings arrived of the great battle fought at Blenheim on the 13th August, 1704. By the whigs the news was now hailed with transports of joy and pride. No fault, no cause of quarrel, could be remembered by them against the commander whose genius had, in one day, changed the face of Europe, saved the imperial throne, humbled the House of Bourbon, and secured the act of settlement against foreign hostility. The feeling of the tories was very different. They could not, indeed, without imprudence, openly express regret at an event so glorious to their country; but their congratulations were so cold and sullen as to give deep disgust to the victorious general and his friends. Godolphin was not a reading man. Whatever time he could spare from business he was in the habit of spending at Newmarket or at the card-table. But he was not absolutely indifferent to poetry; and he was too intelligent an observer not to perceive that literature was a formidable engine of political warfare; and that the great whig leaders had strengthened their party, and raised their character, by extending a liberal and judicious patronage to good writers. He was mortified, and not without reason, by the exceeding badness of the poems which appeared in honour of the battle of Blenheim. One of these poems has been

rescued from oblivion by the exquisite absurdity of three lines: “Think of two thousand gentlemen at least, And each man mounted on his capering beast; Into the Danube they were pushed by shoals. ' Where to procure better verses the treasurer did not know. He understood how to negotiate a loan, or remit a subsidy. He was also well versed in the history of running horses and fighting cocks; but his acquaintance among the poets was very small. He consulted Halifax; but Halifax assected to decline the office of adviser. He had, he said, done his best, when he had power, to encourage men whose abilities and acquirements might do honour to their country. Those times were over. Other maxims had prevailed. Merit was suffered to pine in obscurity; the public money was squandered on the undeserving. “I do know,” he added, “a gentleman who would celebrate the battle in a manner worthy of the subject. But I will not name him.” Godolphin, who was expert at the soft answer which turneth away wrath, and who was under the necessity of paying court to the whigs, gently replied, that there was too much ground for Halifax's complaints, but that what was amiss should in time be rectified; and that in the mean time the services of a man such as Halifax had described should be liberally rewarded. Halifax then mentioned Addison, but, mindsul of the dignity as well as of the pecuniary interest of his friend, insisted that the minister should apply in the most courteous manner to Addison himself; and this Godolphin promised to do. Addison, then occupied a garret up threa pair of stairs, over a small shop in the Hay market. In this humble lodging he was sur. prised, on the morning which followed the conversation between Godolphin and Halifax, by a visit from no less a person than the Righ Honourable Henry Boyle, then chancellor of the exchequer, and afterwards Lord Carleton." This high-born minister had been sent by the lord-treasurer as ambassador to the needy poet. Addison readily undertook the proposed task, a task which, to so good a whig, was probably a pleasure. When the poem was little more than half finished, he showed it to Godolphin, who was delighted with it, and particularly with the famous similitude of the angel. Addison was instantly appointed to a commissionership, with about two hundred pounds a year, and was assured that this appointment was only an earnest of greater favours. The “Campaign” came forth, and was as much admired by the public as by the minister. It pleases us less on the whole than the “Epistle to Halifax.” Yet it undoubtedly ranks high among the poems which appeared during the interval between the death of Dryden and the dawn of Pope's genius. The chief merit of the “Campaign,” we think, is that which was noticed by Johnson—the manly and rational rejection of fiction. The first great poet whose works have come down to us sang

* Miss Aikin says that he was afterwards Lord Orrery. This is a mistake, (i. 170.)

of war long before war became a science or a trade. If, in his time, there was enmity between two little Greek towns, each poured forth its crowd of citizens, ignorant of discipline, and armed with implements of labour rudely turned into weapons. On each side appeared conspicuous a few chiefs, whose wealth had enabled them to procure good armour, horses, and chariots, and whose leisure had enabled them to practise military exercises. One such chief, if he were a man of great strength, agility, and courage, would probably be more formidable than twenty common men; and the force and dexterity with which he hurled his spear might have no inconsiderable share in deciding the event of the day. Such were probably the battles with which Homer was familiar. But Homer related the actions of men of a former generation—of men who sprang from the gods, and communed with the gods face to face—of men, one of whom could with ease hurl rocks which two sturdy hinds of a later period would be unable even to lift. He therefore naturally represented their martial exploits as resembling in kind, but far surpassing in magnitude, those of the stoutest and most expert combatants of his own age. Achilles, clad in celestial armour, drawn by celestial coursers, grasping the spear which none but himself could raise, driving all Troy and Lycia before him, and choking the Scamander with dead, was only a magnificent exaggeration of the real hero, who, strong, searless, accustomed to the use of weapons, guarded by a shield and helmet of the best Sidonian fabric, and whirled along by horses of Thessalian breed, struck down with his own right arm foe after foe. In all rude societies similar notions are found. There are at this day countries where the life-guardsman Shaw would be considered as a much greater warrior than the Duke of Wellington. Bonaparte loved to describe the astonishment with which the Mamelukes looked at his diminutive figure, Mourad Bey, distinguished above all his fellows by his bodily strength, and by the skill with which he managed his horse and his sabre, could not believe that a man who was scarcely five feet high, and rode like a butcher, was the greatest soldier in Europe. Homer's descriptions of war had therefore as much truth as poetry requires. But truth was altogether wanting to the performances of those who, writing about battles which had scarcely any thing in common with the battles of his times, servilely imitated his manner. The folly of Silius Italicus, in particular, is positively nauseous. He undertook to record in verse the vicissitudes of a great struggle between generals of the first order; and his narrative is made up of the hideous wounds which these generals inflicted with their own hands. Asdrubal flings a spear which grazes the shoulder of consul Nero; but Nero sends his spear into Asdrubal's side. Fabius slays Thuris, and Butes, and Maris, and Arses, and the long-haired Adherbes, and the gigantic Thylis, and Sapharus, and Monassus, and the trumpeter Morinus, Hannibal runs Perusinns through the groin with a stake, and breaks the : bone of Telesinus with a huge stone. This

detestable fashion was copied in modern times, and continued to prevail down to the age of Addison. Several versifiers had described William turning thousands to flight by his single prowess, and dyeing the Boyne with Irish blood. Nay, so estimable a writer as John Philips, the author of the “Splendid Shilling," represented Marlborough as having won the battle of Blenheim merely by strength of muscle and skill in fence. The following lines may serve as an example:–

“Churchill, viewing where The violence of Tallard most prevailed, Came to oppose his slaughtering arm. With speed Precipitate he rode, urging his way O'er hills of gasping heroes, and fallen steeds Rolling in death. Destruction, grim with blood, Attends his furious course, Around his head The glowing balls play innocent, while he With dire impetuous sway deals fatal blows Among the flying Gauls. In Gallic blood He dyes his reeking sword, and strews the ground With headless ranks. What can they do? Or how Withstand his wide-destroying sword 3’’

Addison, with excellent sense and taste, departed from this ridiculous fashion. He reserved his praise for the qualities which made Marlborough truly great, energy, sagacity, military science. But, above all, the poet extolled the firmness of that mind which, in the midst of confusion, uproar, and slaughter, examined and disposed every thing with the serene wisdom of a higher intelligence.

Here it was that he introduced the famous comparison of Marlborough to an angel guiding the whirlwind. We will not dispute the general justice of Johnson's remarks on this passage. But we must point out one circumstance which appears to have escaped all the critics. The extraordinary effect which this simile produced when it first appeared, and which to the following generation seemed inexplicable, is doubtless to be chiefly attributed to a line which most readers now regard as a feeble parenthesis—

“Such as of late, o'er pale Britannia pass'd.”

Addison spoke, not of a storm, but of the storm. The great tempest of November, 1703, the only tempest which in our latitude has equalled the rage of a tropical hurricane, had left a dreadful recollection in the minds of all men. No other tempest was ever in this country the occasion of a parliamentary address or of a public fast. Whole fleets had been cast away. Large mansions had been blown down. One prelate had been buried beneath the ruins of his palace. London and Bristol had presented the appearance of cities just sacked. Hundreds of families were still in mourning. The prostrate trunks of large trees, and the ruins of houses, still attested, in all the southern counties, the fury of the blast. The popularity which the simile of the angel enjoyed among Addison's contemporaries, has always seemed to us to be a remarkable instance of the advantage which, in rhetoric and poetry, the particular has over the general. Soon after the Campaign, was published Addison's Narrative of his Travels in Italy. The first effect produced by this narrative was disappointment. The crowd of readers who expected politics and scandal, speculations on the projects of Victor Amadeus, and anecdotes about the jollities of convents and the amours of cardinals and nuns, were confounded by finding that the writer’s mind was much more occupied by the war between the Trojans and Rutulians than by the war between France and Austria; and that he seemed to have heard no scandal of later date than the gallantries of the Empress Faustina. In time, however, the judgment of the many was overruled by that of the few; and before the book was reprinted, it was so eagerly sought that it sold for five times the original price. It is still read with pleasure: the style is pure and flowing; the classical quotations and allusions are numerous and happy; and we are now and then charmed by that singularly humane and delicate humour in which Addison excelled all men. Yet this agreeable work, even when considered merely as the history of a literary tour, may justly be censured on account of its faults of omission. We have already said that, though rich in extracts from the Latin poets, it contains scarcely any references to the Latin orators and historians. We must add that it contains little, or rather no information, respecting the history and literature of modern Italy. To the best of our remembrance, Addison does not mention Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Boiardo, Berni, Lorenzo de' Medici, Machiavelli. He coldly tells us, that at Ferrara he saw the tomb of Ariosto, and that at Venice he heard the gondoliers sing verses of Tasso. But for Tasso and Ariosto he cared far less than for Valerius Flaccus and Sidonius Apollinaris. The gentle flow of the Ticin brings a line of Silius to his mind. The sulphurous stream of Albula suggests to him several passages of Martial. But he has not a word to say of the illustrious dead of Santa Croce; he crosses the wood of Ravenna without recollecting the Spectre Huntsman; and wanders up and down Rimini without one thought of Francesca. At Paris, he eagerly sought an introduction to Boileau ; but he seems not to have been at all aware, that at Florence he was in the vicinity of a poet with whom Boileau could not sustain a comparison, of the greatest lyric poet of modern times, of Vincenzio Filicaja. This is the more remarkable, because Filicaja was the favourite poet of the all-accomplished Somers, under whose protection Addison travelled, and to whom the account of the Travels is dedicated. The truth is, that Addison knew little, and cared less, about the literature of modern Italy. His favourite models were Latin. His favourite critics were French. Half the Tuscan poetry that he had read seemed to him monstrous, and the other half tawdry. His Travels were followed by the lively opera of “Rosamond.” This piece was ill set to music, and therefore failed on the stage; but it completely succeeded in print, and is indeed excellent in its kind. The smoothness with which the verses glide, and the elasticity with which they bound, is, to our ears at least, very pleasing. We are inclined to think that if Addison had left heroic couplets to Pope, and blank verse to Rowe, and had employed himself in writing airy and spirited songs, his

reputation as a poet would have stood far higher,

than it now does. Some years after his death. “Rosamond” was set to new music by Doctor Arne; and was performed with complete success. Several passages long retained their popularity, and were daily sung, during the latter part of George the Second's reign, at all the harpsichords in England. While Addison thus amused himself, his prospects, and the prospects of his party were constantly becoming brighter and brighter. In the spring of 1705, the ministry were freed from the restraint imposed by a House of Commons, in which tories of the most perverse class had the ascendancy. The elections were favourable to the whigs. The coalition which had been tacitly and gradually formed was now openly avowed. The great seal was given to Cowper. Somers and Halifax were sworn of the council. Halifax was sent in the following year to carry the decorations of the garter to the electoral prince of Hanover, and was ac. companied on this honourable mission by Ad. dison, who had just been made under-secretary of state. The secretary of state under whom Addison first served was Sir Charles Hedges, a tory. But Hedges was soon dismissed to make room for the most vehement of whigs, Charles, Earl of Sunderland. In every department of the state,indeed,the high churchmen were compelled to give place to their opponents. At the close of 1707, the tories who still remained in office strove to rally, with Harley at their head. But the attempt, though favoured by the queen, who had always been a tory at heart, and who had now quarrelled with the duchess of Marlborough, was unsuccessful. The time was not yet. The captain-general was at the height ot popularity and glory. The low-church party had a majority in Parliament. The country squires and rectors, though occasionally uttering a savage growl, were for the most part in a state of torpor, which lasted till they were roused into activity, and indeed into madness, by the prosecution of Sacheverell. Harley and his adherents were compelled to retire. The victory of the whigs was complete. At the general election of 1708, their strength in the House of Commons became irresistible; and, before the end of that year, Somers was made lord-president of the council, and Wharton lord-lieutenant of Ireland.” Addison sat for Malmsbury in the House of Commons which was elected in 1708. But the House of Commons was not the field for him. The bashfulness of his nature made his wit and eloquence useless in debate. He once rose, but could not overcome his diffidence, and ever after remained silent. Nobody can think it strange that a great writer should fail as a speaker. But many, probably, will think it strange that Addison's failure as a speaker should have had no unfavourable effect on his success as a politician. In our time, a man of high rank and great fortune might, though speaking very little and very ill, hold a considerable post. But it is inconceivable that a mere adventurer, a man who, when out of of. fice, must live by his pen, should in a few years become successively under-secretary of state, chief secretary for Ireland, and secretary of state, without some oratorical talent. Addison, without high birth, and with little property, rose to a post which dukes, the heads of the great houses of Talbot, Russell, and Bentinck, have thought it an honour to fill. Without opening his lips in debate, he rose to a post the highest that Chatham or Fox ever reached. And this he did before he had been nine years in Parliament. We must look for the explanation of this seeming miracle to the peculiar circumstances in which that generation was placed. During the interval which elapsed between the time when the censorship of the press ceased and the time when parliamentary proceedings began to be freely reported, literary talents were, to a public man, of much more importance, oratorical talents of much less importance, than in our time. At present, the best way of giving rapid and wide publicity to a statement or an argument, is to introduce that statement or argument into a speech made in Parliament. If a political tract were to appear superior to the conduct of the Allies, or to the best numbers of the Freeholder, the circulation of such a tract would be languid indeed when compared with the circulation of every remarkable word uttered in the deliberations of the legislature. A speech made in the House of Commons at four in the morning, is on thirty thousand tables before ten. A speech made on the Monday is read on the Wednesday by multitudes in Antrim and Aberdeenshire. The orator, by the help of the short-hand writer, has to a great extent superseded the pamphleteer. It was not so in the reign of Anne. The best speech could then produce no effect except on those who heard it. It was only by means of the press that the opinion of the public without doors could be influenced; and the opinion of the public without doors could not but be of the highest importance in a country governed by parliaments; and indeed at that time governed by triennial

* Miss Aikin has not informed herself accurately as to the politics of that time. We give a single specimen. We could easily give many. “The Earl of Sunderland,” she says, “was not suffered long to retain his hard-won secretaryship. In the last month of 1708 he was dismissed to make room for Lord Dartmouth, who ranked with the tories. Just at this time the Earl of Wharton, being appointed Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, named Mr. Addison his chief secretary.” (i 235.) Sunderland was not zismissed to make room for Dartmouth till June, 1710; and most certainly Wharton would never have been appointed lord-lieutenant at all.if he had not been appointed long before Sunderland's dismissal. Miss Aikin's mistake exactly resembles that of a person who should relate the history of our times as follows: “Lord John Russell was dismissed in 1839 from the Home-Office, to make room for Sir James Graham, who ranked with the tories; but just at this time Earl Fortescue was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, with Lord Morpeth for his secretary.” Such a narrative would give to posterity

rather a strange notion of the ministerial revolutions of

Queen Victoria's days.
E*

parliaments. The pen was, therefore, a more

formidable political engine than the tongue.

Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox contended only in Parliament. But Walpole and Pulteney, the Pitt and

Fox of an earlier period, had not done half of

what was necessary, when they sat down

amidst the acclamations of the House of Com

mons. They had still to plead their cause be

fore the country, and this they could do only

by means of the press. Their works are now

forgotten. But it is certain that there were in

Grub street few more assiduous scribblers of

thoughts, letters, answers, remarks, than these two great chiefs of parties. Pulteney, when leader of the opposition, and possessed of £30,000 a year, edited the “Craftsman.” Walpole, though not a man of literary habits, was the author of at least ten pamphlets; and letouched and corrected many more. These facts sufficiently show of how great importance literary assistance then was to the contending parties. St. John was, certainly, in Anne's reign, the best tory speaker; Cowper was probably the best whig speaker. But it may well be doubted whether St. John did so much for the tories as Swift, and whether Cowper did so much for the whigs as Addison. When these things are duly considered, it will not be thought strange that Addison should have climbed higher in the state than any other Englishman has ever, by means merely of literary talents, been able to climb. Swift would, in all probability, have climbed as high, if he had not been encumbered by his cassock and his pudding-sleeves. As far as the homage of the great went, Swift had as much of it as if he had been lord-treasurer. To the influence which Addison derived from his literary talents, was added all the influence which arises from character. The world, always ready to think the worst of needy political adventurers, was forced to make one exception. Restlessness, violence, audacity, laxity of principle, are the vices ordinarily attributed to that class of men. But faction itself could not deny that Addison had, through all changes of fortune, been strictly faithful to his early opinions, and to his early friends; that his integrity was without stain; that his whole deportment indicated a fine sense of the becoming; that, in the utmost heat of controversy, his zeal was tempered by a regard for truth, humanity, and social decorum; that no outrage could ever provoke him to retaliation unworthy of a Christian and a gentleman; and that his only faults were a too sensitive deli. cacy, and a modesty which amounted to bashfulness. He was undoubtedly one of the most popular men of his time; and much of his popularity he owed, we believe, to that very timidity which his friends lamented. That timidity often prevented him from exhibiting his talents to the best advantage. But it propitiated Nemesis. It averted that envy which would otherwise have been excited by same so splendid, and by so rapid an elevation. No man is so great a favourite with the public, as he who is at once an object of admiration, of respect, and of pity; and such were the feelings which Addison inspired. Those who enjoyed the privilege of hearing his familiar conversation, declared with one voice that it was superior even to his writings. The brilliant Mary Montagu said that she had known all the wits, and that Ad dison was the best company in the world. The malignant Pope was forced to own, that there was a charm in Addison's talk which could be found nowhere else. Swift, when burning with animosity against the whigs, could not but confess to Stella, that, after all, he had never known any associate so agreeable as

Addison. Steele, an excellent judge of lively

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eonversation, said, that the conversation of Addison was at once the most polite, and the most mirthful, that could be imagined;—that it was Terence and Catullus in one, heightened by an exquisite something which was neither Terence norCatullus, but Addison alone. Young, an excellent judge of serious conversation, said, that when Addison was at his ease, he went on in a noble strain of thought and language, so as to chain the attention of every hearer. Nor were his great colloquial powers more admirable than the courtesy and softness of heart which appeared in his conversation. At the same time, it would be too much to say that he was wholly devoid of the malice which is, perhaps, inseparable from a keen sense of the ludicrous. He had one habit which both Swift and Stella applauded, and which we hardly know how to blame. If his first attempts to set a presuming dunce right were ill received, he changed his tone, “assented with civil leer,” and lured the flattered coxcomb deeper and deeper into absurdity. That such was his practice we should, we think, have guessed from his works. The Tatler's criticisms on Mr. Softly's sonnet, and the Spectator's dialogue with the politician, who is so zealous for the honour of Lady Q—p—t—s, are excellent specimens of this innocent mischief. Such were Addison's talents for conversation. But his rare gifts were not exhibited to crowds or to strangers. As soon as he entered a large company, as soon as he saw an unknown face, his lips were sealed, and his manners became constrained. None who met him only in great assemblies, would have been able to believe that he was the same man who had often kept a few friends listening and laughing round a table, from the time when the play ended, till the clock of St. Paul's in Covent-Garden struck four. Yet, even at such a table, he was not seen to the best advantage. To enjoy his conversation in the highest perfection, it was necessary to be alone with him, and to hear him, in his own phrase, think aloud. “There is no such thing,” he used to say, “as real conversation, but between two persons.” This timidity, a timidity surely neither ungraceful nor unamiable, led Addison into the two most serious faults which can with justice be imputed to him. He found that wine broke the spell which lay on his fine intellect, and was therefore too easily seduced into convivial excess. Such excess was in that age regarded, even by grave men, as the most venial of all peccadilloes; and was so far from being a mark of ill-breeding that it was almost essential to the character of a fine gentleman. But the smallest speck is seen on a white ground; and almost all the biographers of Addison have said something about this failing. Of any other statesman or writer of Queen Anne's reign, we should no more think of saying that

whom he was as a king or rather as a god. All these men were far inferior to him in abulity, and some of them had very serious faults. Nor did those faults escape his observation; for, if ever there was an eye which saw through and through men, it was the eye of Addison. But with the keenest observation, and the finest sense of the ridiculous, he had a large charity. The feeling with which he looked on most of his humble companions was one of benevolence, slightly tinctured with contempt. He was at perfect ease in their company; he was grateful for their devoted attachment; and he loaded them with benefits. Their veneration for him appears to have exceeded that with which Johnson was regarded by Boswell, or Warburton by Hurd. It was not in the power of adulation to turn such a head, or deprave such a heart as Addison's. But it must in candour be admitted, that he contracted some of the faults which can scarcely be avoided by any person who is so unfortunate as to be the oracle of a small literary coterie. One member of this little society was Eustace Budgell, a young templar of some literature, and a distant relation of Addison. There was at this time no stain on the character of Budgell, and it is not improbable that his career would have been prosperous and honourable, if the life of his cousin had been prolonged. But when the master was laid in the grave, the disciple broke loose from all restraint; descended rapidly from one degree of vice and misery to another; ruined his fortune by follies; attempted to repair it by crimes; and at length closed a wicked and unhappy life by self-murder. Yet, to the last, the wretched man, gambler, lampooner, cheat, forger, as he was, retained his affection and veneration for Addison; and recorded those feelings in the last lines which he traced before he hid himself from infamy under London Bridge. Another of Addison's favourite companions was Ambrose Phillipps, a good whig and a middling poet, who had the honour of bringing into fashion a species of composition which has been called after his name, Namby-Pamby. But the most remarkable members of the little senate, as Pope long afterwards called it, were Richard Steele and Thomas Tickell. Steele had known Addison from childhood. They had been together at the Charter House and at Oxford; but circumstances had then, for a time, separated them widely. Steele had left college without taking a degree, had been disinherited by a rich relation, had led a vagrant life, had served in the army, had tried to find the philosopher's stone, and had written a religious treatise and several comedies. He was one of those people whom it is impossible either to hate or to respect. His temper was sweet, his affections warm, his spirits lively, his passions strong, and his principles weak. His life was spent in sinning and repenting;

he sometimes took too much wine, than that he in inculcating what was right, and doing what

wore a long wig and a sword.

To the excessive modesty of Addison's na

ture, we must ascribe another fault which

was wrong. In speculation, he was a man of piety and honour; in practice, he was much of the rake and a little of the swindler. He

generally arises from a very different cause. was, however, so good-natured that it was not

He became a little too fond of seeing himself

surrounded by a small circle of admirers, to

easy to be seriously angry with him, and that even rigid moralists felt more inclined to pivor

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