Slike strani


for me, to show at Cave's as a kind of credential,

JOHNSON TO PAUL. containing only a few lines, to mention the value

“Sept. 25. 1756. of the stock, the certainty of the security, and your “ Sir, — I would not have it thought that if I desire of my interposition, that I may not seem to sometimes transgressed the rules of civility, I thrust myself needlessly between Cave and pay. would violate the laws of friendship. If I had

Let the letter be without dejection, as if heard any thing from the Gate I would bave inthe delay was a thing rather convenient than neces- formed you, and I will send to them lest they sary to you. Cavę cannot, I think, want forty should neglect to transmit any accounts that they pounds, nor perhaps has he twice forty to spare. receive. I have been inany times hindered from

"I will do my best for you in both negotiations; coming to you, but if by coming I could have been with Hitch my best can be very little, with Cave I of any considerable use, I would not have been expect to succeed, at least for so short a delay as to hindered. They are so cold at the Gate, both to Midsummer, and think it would be as well in your the landlord and to you, that if I could think of letter to refer payment to Michaelmas or Christmas. any body else to apply to, I would trouble them no If they will grant the whole of our request (for I more. I am thinking of Dicey. I am, Sir, your shall make it mine too), they may more easily humble servant,

SAM. Johnson." grant part. But, once more, you know all these Pocock MSS. things better than I. I am, Sir, your most humble servant, Sam. Johnson."


· Wednesday. “Sir, — You will think I forgot you, but my

boy is run away, and I know not whom to send. JOHNSON TO JOSEPH WARTON.

Besides, nothing seemed to require much expedi

" 15th April, 1756. tion, for Mr. Cave has left London almost a fort“ DEAR Sır, – Though, when you and your night. They intimate at the Gate some desire to brother were in town, you did not think my humble know your determination. I will be with you in habitation worth a visit, yet I will not so far give a day or two. I am, Sir, your humble servant, way to sullenness as not to tell you that I have

Pocock MSS.

“ SAM. Johnson." lately seen an octavo book' which I suspect to be yours, though I have not yet read above ten pages.

JOHNSON TO PAUL, That way of publishing, without acquainting your

“ Saturday. friends, is a wicked trick. However, I will not so far depend upon a mere conjecture as to charge you ordered, — when your last message came I was on

“ DEAB SIR, — I have been really much diswith a fraud which I cannot prove you to have the bed, and had not resolution to rise, having had committed. " I should be glad to hear that you are pleased audible voice, but am now much better, though I

no sleep all night. I indeed had for two days no with your new situation. You have now a kind

cannot hope to go out very quickly. I am, Sir, of royalty, and are to be answerable for your con

your humble servant,

Sam. Johnson." duct to posterity. I suppose you care not now to

- Pocock MSS. answer a letter, except there be a lucky concurrence of a post-day with a holiday. These restraints are

JOHNSON TO PAUL. troublesome for a time, but custom makes them casy, with the help of some honour, and a great deal

(No date.) of profit, and I doubt not but your abilities will

“Sir, - I am astonished at what you tell me. obtain both.

I cannot well come out to-night, but will wait on “ For my part, I have not lately done much. Iyou on Monday evening. I have been very busy, have been ill in the winter, and my eye has been in- but have now some leisure. I repeat again that I famed; but I please myself with the hopes of doing am astonished. Henry is just gone out of town, many things, with which I have long pleased and but I could send to him, if there was any likelihood deceived myself.

of advantage from it. I am certain it is not done “ What becomes of poor dear Collins? I with his privity, for he has no interest in it, - and wrote him a letter which he never answered. I he is too wise to do ill without interest !

SAM. Johnson. suppose writing is very troublesome to him. That Sir, your humble servant, man is no common loss. The moralists all talk of

I am ready to do on this occasion any thing the uncertainty of fortune, and the transitoriness that can be done."

Pocock MSS. of beauty; but it is yet more dreadful to consider that the powers of the mind are equally liable to change; that understanding may make its appear

JOHNSON TO PAUL. ance and depart, that it may blaze and expire.

" 8th Oct. 1756. “Let me not be long without a letter, and I will “Sir, — You think it hard by this time you forgive you the omission of the visit ; and if you cannot have a letter. can tell me that you are now more happy than “I engaged Mr. Newberry, who sent me on before, you will give great pleasure to, dear Sir, Monday night the note enclosed, and appeared to your most affectionate and most humble servant, think the matter well settled. On Tuesday I wrote Wooll's Life.

“ San. Johnson.' to Mr. Henry, but soon beard he was out of town,

I am,


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· The first volume of the Essay on the Writings and 3 The boy, in one of the former notes called the child, was, Genius of Pope appeared anonymously in 1756. — CROKER. I suppose, Francis Barber: antè, p. 77. n. 1: in 1759

2 His appointment of second master of Winchester School (post, 16th March) he is still called boy and lad. - Croker. took place in 1753. - CROKER.

I knew not what to do. - I then had recourse to and that he also wrote “A Dissertation on the young Mr. Cave, who very civilly went about the State of Literature and Authors," † and “A business, and came to me yesterday in the evening Dissertation on the Epitaphs written by Pope." with this account.

The last of these, indeed, he afterwards added “ Mr. Cave seized, and has a man in possession.

to his “Idler." Why the essays truly written “ He made a sale, and sold only a fire-shovel for by him are marked in the same manner with four shillings. " The goods were appraised at about eighty but, with deference to those who have ascribed

some which he did not write, I cannot explain; pounds. • Mr. Cave will stay three weeks without any

to him the three essays which I have rejected, further motion in the business, but will still keep they want all the characteristical marks of his possession.

Johnsonian composition. “ He expects that you should pay the expence of He engaged also to superintend and conthe seizure; how much it is I could not be in tribute largely to another monthly publication, formed.

entitled “THE LITERARY MAGAZINE, OR UNI“ He will stay to Christmas upon security. He VERSAL Review," *2 the first number of which is willing to continue you tenant, or will sell the came out in May this year. What were his mill to any that shall work or buy the machine. emoluments from this undertaking, and what He values bis mill at a thousand pounds. “ He did not come up about this business, but discovered. He continued to write in it, with

other writers were employed in it, I have not another. “ Mr. Barker, as young Mr. Cave thinks, is at think that he never gave better proofs of the

intermissions, till the fifteenth number; and I Northampton. “ These, Şir

, are the particulars that I have force, acuteness, and vivacity of his mind, than gathered. I am, Sir, your very humble servant,

in this miscellany, whether we consider his ori- Pocock MSS.

“ Sam. Johnson.”

ginal essays, or his reviews of the works of

others. The “ Preliminary Address” | to the JOHNSON TO PAUL.

public, is a proof how this great man could

embellish with the graces of superior composi

(No date.) “Sir, — I am no less surprised than yourself at tion, even so trite a thing as the plan of a the treatment which you have met with, and agree

magazine. with you that Mr. Cave must impute to himself His original essays are, “An Introduction to part of the discontent that he shall suffer till the the Political State of Great Britain;" † “Respindles are produced.

marks on the Militia Bill;” + “Observations “ If I have any opportunity of dispelling the on his Britannic Majesty's Treaties with the gloom that overcasts him at present, I shall en- Empress of Russia and the Landgrave of Hesse deavour it both for his sake and yours ; but it is to Cassel ;"† “ Observations on the Present State little purpose that remonstrances are offered to of Affairs;” † and, “ Memoirs of Frederick II. voluntary inattention or to obstinate prejudice. King of Prussia." †. In all these he displays Cuxon in one place and Garlick in the other, leave extensive political knowledge and sagacity, no room for the unpleasing reasonings of your expressed with uncommon energy and perspihumble servant,

Sam. Johnson."']

cuity, without any of those words which be Pocock MSS.

sometimes took a pleasure in adopting, in imiHis works this year were, an abstract or tation of Sir Thomas Browne; of whose “Chrisepitome, in octavo, of his folio Dictionary, and tian Morals” he this year gave an edition, with a few essays in a monthly publication, entitled his “Life”* prefixed to it, which is one of * THE UNIVERSAL Visiter." Christopher Johnson's best biographical performances. In Smart, with whose unhappy vacillation of mind one instance only in these essays has he inhe sincerely sympathised, was one of the stated dulged his Brownism. Dr. Robertson, the undertakers of this miscellany; and it was to historian, mentioned it to me, as having at assist him that Johnson sometimes employed once convinced him that Johnson was the auhis pen. All the essays marked with two as- thor of the “ Memoirs of the King of Prussia." terišks have been ascribed to him; but I am Speaking of the pride which the old King, the confident,

from internal evidence, that of these father of his hero, took in being master of the neither “ The Life of Chaucer," "Reflections tallest regiment in Europe, he says, " To review on the State of Portugal,” nor “An Essay on this towering regiment was his daily pleasure; Architecture," were written by him. I am and to perpetuate it was so much his care, that equally confident, upon the same evidence, that when he met a tall woman, he immediately he wrote “Further Thoughts on Agriculture;"† commanded one of his Titanian retinue to being the sequel of a very inferior essay on the marry her, that they might propagate prosame subject, and which, though carried on as cerity.For this Anglo-Latian word procerity, if by the same hand, is both in thinking and Johnson had, however, the authority of Addiexpression so far above it, and so strikingly son. peculiar, as to leave no doubt of its true parent; His reviews are of the following books :

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* Probably the design mentioned to Dr. Adams, antè, p. 93. - CROKER.

5 "listory of the Royal Society;" † of prying with profane eyes into the recesses of

v s-Inn Journal;"? - Warton's poliev, it is evident that this reverence can be se Writings and Genius of Pope, claimed only by counsels yet unexecuted, and pro- stampwus Truosiation of Poly jects suspended in deliberation. But when a design silaweüs Vemoirs of the Court of has ended in miscarriage or success, when every

Ruseii's Vatural History of ere and every ear is witness to general discontent, Visije Newton's Arguments in or general satisfaction, it is then a proper time to vi * * Borias's History of the disentangle confusion and illustrate obscurity; to Heine's Experiments oa ' in what effects it is likely to terminate; to lay

shew by what causes every event was produced, and - inwes Christian Vorsis;” | down with distinct particularity what rumour Siang Sa-Water. Venclators in always huddles in general exclamation, or perSee also il l'asce in Wik: 1 - Lu- pleres by indigested narratives ; to shew whence

seis: * -* Reich's Catalogue happiness or calamity is derived, and whence it Tout: - Browne's History may be expected; and honestly to lay before the

Presuphical Transactions people what inquiry can gather of the past, and - Un swx's Iranslation of conjecture can estimate of the future."

uzvilanies by Elizabeth w waru, Aerount of vertible principle, that in this country the

Here we have it assumed as an incontromisma it kerica, Ҡ "Letter

* Appeal to

people are the superintendents of the conduct

and measures of those by whom government is namin ditunti Bvng;*** Hande verster, and Exay on the present reign afforded an illustrious ex

administered; of the beneficial effect of which aina Witary Treatise : ample, when addresses from all parts of the Homma avatars in relativu to the dimin e bacientleman of Ox. kingdom controlled an audacious attempt to in 'Ninawihe Vinistry relating

troduce a new power subversive of the crown.. pered examini; "ť

A still stronger proof of his patriotic spirit Biquin ap the Nature and Origin appears in his review of an “Essay on Waters, A vi sivu iuerual evidence, by Dr. Lucas,"S of whom, after describing him

as a man well known to the world for his Kauxot theru I know

Bovis wiw han marked theru with an daring defiance of power, when he thought it wie

exerted on the side of wrong, he thus speaks :V. Thomas Davies, inFINN keh Nini'w Ur. Burke's “ The Irish ministers drove him from his native in Niged w' our Ideas of the country by a proclamation, in which they charge

and Sir John Haw him with crimes of which they never intended to wanita di prima Wakikeuk, las inserted it in be called to the proof, and oppressed him by * was works: whereas it methods equally irresistible by guilt and innoher i alle Johnson's composition, cence.

Let the man thus driven into exile, for * ******* R her devu written by having been the friend of his country, be received boy beads with #ww lexiged it to me in every other place as a confessor of liberty; and

let the tools of power be taught in time, that they **

We ha part in justice to John. may rob, but cannot impoverish." Net binnen riche e vuri wala has been mis- Some of his reviews in this Magazine are bali was the submissive to power', very short accounts of the pieces noticed, and

their wel een bea che present State of I mention them only that Dr. Johnson's opinion Xiat * ***ated a spirit of con- of the works may be known; but many of them More fun in direkte de touud any where are examples ot elaborate criticism, in the most 1 Rok Na

masterly style. In his review of the “Memoirs * Auto usach in which every English of the Court of Augustus,” he has the resovivo i fino ad avi obe rational atfairs; lution to think and speak from his own mind, si lasteaed. As the sta ww have that expectation regardless of the cant transmitted from age to

di schemat sa De urged by minis- age, in praise of the ancient Romans. Thus : in w wodemos ay or interest make the ;.I know not why any one but a schoolboy in

de idadi keruing the necessity of his declamation should whine over the ComLa nos die vier vores med the presumption monwealth of Rome, which grew great only by

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Dec 10 where, that I know, 2 Mr. Boswell means Mr. Fox's celebrated India Bill, as an in de sus in, "abjertly submissive

adversary of which he distinguished himself as much as a man idth * ** supped, and with some

in a private station could do. - CROKER. Ang banse and its successive

3 Dr. Lucas was an apothecary in Dublin, (afterwards wa Huswell thus ingeniously M.D.), who brought himself into public notice and a high has le reste he became too

degree of popularity by his writings and speeches against the chich is that in spite of his

government. He was elected representative of Dublin in Atted to discipline in the

1761 ; and a marble statue to his honour is erected in the novih trade ihough he joined in the

Royal Exchange of that city. He died in Nov. 1771. its we have forget the Second, his

CROKER. .buert the monarchical

the misery of the rest of mankind. The Ro- relish the infusion of that fragrant leaf than mans, like others, as soon as they grew rich, Johnson. The quantities which he drank of it grew corrupt; and in their corruption sold the at all hours were so great, that his nerves must lives and freedoms of themselves, and of one have been uncommonly strong, not to have another." Again : “A people, who while they been extremely relaxed by such an intemperwere poor robbed mankind ; and as soon as ate use of it. He assured me, that he never they became rich robbed one another.”—In his felt the least inconvenience from it; which is a review of the Miscellanies in prose and verse, proof that the fault of his constitution was published by Elizabeth Harrison, but written rather a too great tension of fibres, than the by many bands, he gives an eminent proof at contrary. Mr. Hanway wrote an angry answer once of his orthodoxy and candour.

to Johnson's review of his Essay on Tea, and “ The authors of the essays in prose seem gene

Johnson, after a full and deliberate pause, made rally to have imitated, or tried to imitate, the

a reply to it; the only instance, I believe, in copiousness and luxuriance of Mrs. Rowe. This, the whole course of his life, when he condehowever, is not all their praise; they bave laboured scended to oppose any thing that was written to add to her brightness of imagery, her purity of against him. I suppose, when he thought of sentiments. The poets have had Dr. Watts before any of his little antagonists, be was ever justly their eyes; a writer, who, if he stood not in the aware of the high sentiment of Ajax in Ovid: first class of genius, compensated that defect by a

Iste tulit pretium jam nunc certaminis hujus, ready application of his powers to the promotion of

Qui, cùm victus erit, mecum certasse feretur.? piety. The attempt to employ the ornaments of romance in the decoration of religion, was, I think, But, indeed, the good Mr. Hanway laid himself first made by Mr. Boyle's • Martyrdom of Theo.

so open to ridicule, that Johnson's animadverdora ;' but Boyle's philosophical studies did not sions upon his attack were chiefly to make allow him time for the cultivation of style: and sport. the completion of the great design was reserved for The generosity with which he pleads the Mrs. Rowe, Dr. Watts was one of the first who cause of Admiral Byng is highly to the honour taught the Dissenters to write and speak like other of his heart and spirit. Though Voltaire affects men, by shewing them that elegance might consist to be witty upon the fate of that unfortunate with piety. They would have both done honour officer, observing that he was shot"

pour ento a better society, for they had that charity which courager les autres," the nation has long been might well make their failings be forgotten, and satisfied that his life was sacrificed to the poliwith which the whole Christian world wish for tical fervour of the times. In the vault becommunion. They were pure from all the heresies longing to the Torrington family, in the church of an age, to which every opinion is become a favourite that the universal church has hitherto de lowing epitaph upon his monument, which I

of Southill, in Bedfordshire, there is the foltested! This praise the general interest of man

have transcribed : kind requires to be given to writers who please and do not corrupt, who instruct and do not weary. But to them all human eulogies are vain, whom I believe applauded by angels, and numbered with the just." His defence of Tea against Mr. Jonas Han

PERSECUTION, way's violent attack upon that elegant and

MARCH 14. IN THE YEAR 1757 ; popular beverage, shows how very well a man of genius can write upon the slightest subject, when he writes, as the Italians say, con amore: I suppose no person ever enjoyed with more






1 In this review, Johnson candidly describes himself as “a other directed the execution : there can be no stronger proof hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who has for many years that he was not a political martyr. See this subject treated dílated his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating at large in the Quarterly Review for April, 1822-1831. But plant ; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool ; who with tea though legally, and, I believe, justly convicted, it is likely amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnights, and with that he would have been pardoned had not popular fury ran tea welcomes the morning." This last phrase his friend, Tom so high. The public had from the first condemned the Tyers, happily parodied, “te veniente die - te decedente." unhappy admiral, and anticipated his fate. Thus Lloyd Hawkins calls his addiction to it unmanly, and almost gives writes on the 30th September, 1756, three months before the it the colour of a crime. The Rev. Mr. Parker, of Henley, change of ministry, and six months before Byng's execution :is in possession of a tea-pot which belonged to Dr. Johnson, and which contains above two quarts. — CROKER.

“ So ministers of basest tricks,

I love a fing at politics; 2 * Losing, he wins, because his name will be

Amuse the nation's court and king,
Ennobled by defeat, who durst contend with me."

By breaking Flow]ke and hanging Byng."

And in the London Magazine for the same month, in a 3 Nothing can be more unfounded than the assertion that Byog fell a martyr to " political persecution." It is impossible

long vituperative poem, addressed to Byng, are these lines :to read the trial without being convinced that he had miscon.

“An injured nation must be satisfied ; ducted himself; and the extraordinary proceedings in both

To public execution thou must go, Houses of Parliament subsequent to his trial, prove, at once,

A public spectacle of shame and woe." the zeal of his friends to invalidate the finding of the court. I now believe that the general officer alluded to, ante, p. 42., martial, and the absence of any reason for doing so. By a may have been General Fowke, whom, after a kind of acquitstrange coincidence of circumstances, it happened that there tal' by a court-martial, George II. struck out of the army

change ministry between th accusation nd lists, nd the narrators of the anecdote mistook the the sentence, so that one party prepared the trial and the date.-CROKER.

Johnson's most exquisite critical essay in the Dedication to the Earl of Rochford,* and a Literary Magazine, and indeed any where, is Preface, * both of which are adınirably adapted his review of Soame Jenyns's “Inquiry into to the treatise to which they are prefixed. the Origin of Evil.” Jenyns was possessed of Johnson, I believe, did not play at draughts lively talents, and a style eminently pure and after leaving College; by which he suffered ; easy, and could very happily play with a light for it would have afforded him an innocent subject, either in prose or verse: but when he soothing relief from the melancholy which disspeculated on that most difficult and excruci- tressed him so often. I have heard him regret ating question, the Origin of Evil, he “ventured that he had not learnt to play at cards; and far beyond his depth," and, accordingly, was the game of draughts we know is peculiarly exposed by Johnson, both with acute argument calculated to fix the attention without straining and brilliant wit. I remember when the late it. There is a composure and gravity in Mr. Bicknell's humorous performance, entitled draughts which insensibly tranquillises the “The Musical Travels of Joel Collyer," in mind; and, accordingly, the Dutch are fond which a slight attempt is made to ridicule of it, as they are of smoking, of the sedative Johnson, was ascribed to Soame Jenyns, “ Ha! influence of which, though he himself never (said Johnson) I thought I had given him smoked, he had a high opinion. Besides, enough of it.”

there is in draughts some exercise of the faculHis triumph over Jenyns is thus described ties; and accordingly, Johnson, wishing to by my friend Mr. Courtenay, in his “Poetical dignify the subject in his Dedication with what Review of the literary and moral character of is most estimable in it, observes, “ Triflers may Dr. Johnson ;” a performance of such merit, find or make any thing a trifle: but since it is that had I not been honoured with a very kind the great characteristic of a wise man to see and partial notice in it, I should echo the sen- events in their causes, to obviate consequences, timents of men of the first taste loudly in its and ascertain contingencies, your lordship will praise :

think nothing a trifle by which the mind is “ When specious sophists with presumption scan

inured to caution, foresight, and circumspecThe source of evil, hidden still from man ;

tion." Revive Arabian tales, and vainly hope

As one of the little occasional advantages To rival St. John and his scholar Pope :

which he did not disdain to take by his pen, as Though metaphysics spread the gloom of night, a man whose profession was literature, he this By reason's star he guides our aching sight; year accepted of a guinea from Mr. Robert The bouuds of knowledge marks, and points the Dodsley, for writing the Introduction to “The way

London Chronicle," an evening newspaper; and To pathless wastes where wilder'd sages stray; even in so slight a performance exhibited

pecu; Where, like a farthing link-boy, Jenyns stands,

liar talents. This Chronicle still subsists, and And the üim torch drops from his feeble hands."' from what I observed, when I was abroad, has

This year Mr. William Payne, brother of a more extensive circulation upon the conthe respectable bookseller of that name, pub- tinent than any of the English newspapers. It lished " An Introduction to the Game of was constantly read by Johnson himself; and Draughts,” to which Johnson contributed a it is but just to observe, that it has all along

I Some time after Dr. Johnson's death, there appeared in
the newspapers and magazines [the following) illiberal and
petulant attack upon him, in the form of an Epitaph, under
ihe name of Mr. Soame Jenyns, very unworthy of that gen.
tleman, who had quietly submitted to the critical lash while
Johnson lived. It assumed, as characteristics of him, all the
vulgar circumstances of abuse which had circulated amongst
the ignorant :-
“ Here lies poor Johnson. Reader, have a care,

Tread lightly, lest you rouse a sleeping bear ;
Religious, moral, generous, and humane
He was — but self-sufficient, rude, and vain ;
Ill-bred and overbearing in dispute,
A scholar and a Christian - yet a brute.
Would you know all his wisdom and his folly,
His actions, sayings, mirth, and melancholy,
Boswell and Thrale, retailers of his wit,
Will tell you how he wrote, and talk'd, and cough'd, and

Gent. Mag. 1786. This was an unbecoming indulgence of puny resentment, at a time when he bimself

was at a very advanced age, and had a near prospect of descending to the grave. I was truly sorry for it; for he was then become an avowed and (as my Lord Bishop of London, who had a serious conversation with him on the subject, assures me) a sincere Christian. He could not expect that Johnson's numerous friends would patiently bear to have the memory of their master stigmatized by no mean pen, but that, at least, one would be found lo retort. Accordingly, this unjust and sarcastic epitaph was inet in the same public field by an answer, in terms by no means soft, and such as wanton provocation only could justify:

* Prepared for a creature not quite dead yet.
“ Here lies a little ugly nauseous ell,

Who, judging only from its wretched sell,
Feebly attempted. petulant and vain,
The Origin of Evil' to explain.
A mighty Genius at this ell displeased,
With a strong critic grasp the urchin squeezed.
For thirty years its coward spleen it kept,
Till in the dust the mighty Genius slept ;
Then stunk and fretted in expiring snuff,
And blink'd at JOHNSON with its last poor puff.".

BOSWELL. The answer was no doubt by Mr. Boswell himself, and does more credit to his zeal than his poetical talents. This Review was so successful that Johnson re-published it in a separate pamphlet. Jenyns was born in 1705, and died in 1787. He was for near forty years in Parliament, and published some poetry ; but his best known work is his Source of the Nile ; also, Evidences of the Christian Religion, published in 1774. Of this work, the seriousness and sincerity was much questioned, which is the occasion of Mr. Boswell's observation as to his being "a sincere Christian." - CROKER.

See post, August 19. 1773. Hawkins heard Johnson say, that insanity had grown more frequent since smoking had gone out of fashion. -- CROKER.

3 The London Chronicle, or Universal Evening Post, was published three times a week. The first number, coutaining Johnson's Introduction, appeared Jan. 1. 1757. Mr. Buswell often wrote in this journal. - CROKER.

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