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the following intimation prefixed to the original collection, and now printed in the front of the book:— “These letters give so true a picture of the writer's character, and are, besides, so worthy of aim in all respects (I mean, if the reader can forgive the playfulness of his wit in some instances, and the artiality of his friendship in many more), that, in É. of his memory, I would have them published after my death, and the profits arising from the sale of them, applied to the benefit of the Worcester Infirmary.” The tenor of this note, as well as the name and the memory of Warburton, excited in us no small curiosity to peruse the collection; and, for a moment, we entertained a hope of finding this intractable and usurping author softened down, in the gentler relations of private life, to something of a more amiable and engaging form: and when we found his right reverend correspondent speaking of the playfulness of his wit, and the partiality of his friendships, we almost persuaded ourselves, that we should find, in these letters, not only many traits of domestic tenderness and cordiality, but also some expressions of regret for the asperities with which, in the heat and he elation of controversy, he had insulted all who were opposed to him. It seems natural, .oo, to expect, that along with the confessions of an author's vanity, we should meet with some reflections on his own good fortune, and some expressions of contentment and gratitude for the honours and dignities which had been heaped upon him. In all this, however, we have been painfully disappointed. The arrogance and irritability of Warburton was never more conspicuous than in these Letters, nor his intolerance of opposition, and his preposterous estimate of his own merit and importance. There is some wit—good and bad— scattered through them; and diverse fragments of criticism: But the staple of the correspondence is his own praise, and that of his friend, whom he magnifies and exalts, indeed, in a way that is very diverting. To him, and his other dependants and admirers, and their patrons, he is kind and complimentary to excess; but all the rest of the world he regards with contempt and indifference. The age is a good age or a bad age, according as it applauds or neglects the Divine Legation and the Commentary on Horace. Those who write against these works are knaves and drivellers, and will meet with their reward in the contempt of another generation, and the tortures of another world!— Bishoprics and Chancellorships, on the other hand, are too little for those who extol and defend them; —and Government is reviled for leaving the ress open to Bolingbroke, and tacitly blamed or not setting Mr. Hume on the pillory. The natural connection of the subject with the general remarks which we have alread premised, leads us to begin our extracts . a few specimens of that savage asperity towards Christiansand Philosophers, upon which we have felt ourselves called on to pass a sentence of reprobation. In a letter, dated in 1749, we have the following passage about Mr. Hume,


“I am strongly tempted, too, to have a stroke at Hume in parting. He is the author of a little book, called Philosophical Essays; in one part of which he argues against the being of a God, and in another (very needlessly you will say) against the possibility of miracles. He has crowned the loso; press. And yet he has a considerable post under the Government'. I have a great mind to do justice on his arguments against miracles, which I think might be done in few words. But does he deserve notice Is he known amongst you? Pray answer me these questions; for # is own weight keeps him down, I should be sorry to rontribute to his advancement—to any place but the Pillory.”—p. 11.

In another place, he is pleased to say, under date of 1757, when Mr. Hume's reputation for goodness, as well as genius, was fully established:—

“There is an epidemic madness amongst us; today we burn with the severish heat of Supersition; to-morrow we stand fixed and frozen in Atheism. Expect to hear that the churches are all crowded next Friday; and that on Saturday they buy up Hume's new Essays; the first of which (and please ło, is The Natural History of Religion, for which will trim the rogue's jacket, at least sit upon his skirts, as you will see when you come hither, and find his margins scribbled over. In a word, the Essay is to establish an Atheistic naturalism, like Bolingbroke; and he goes upon one of B.'s capital arguments, that Idolatry and Polytheism were before the worship of the one God. It is full of absurdities; and here I come in with him; for they show themselves knaves; but, as you well observe, to do their business, is to show them fools. They say this man has several moral qualities. It may be so. But there are vices of the mind as well as body; and a Wickeder Heart, and more deter. mined to do public Mischief, I think I never knew.” p. 175. It is natural and very edifying, after all this to find him expressing the most unmeasur contempt, even for the historical works of this author, and gravely telling his beloved friend, who was hammering out a puny dialogue on the English constitution, “As to Hume's History, you need not fear being forestalled by a thousand such writers. But the fear is natural as I have often felt, and as often experienced to be absurd l’’ We really were not aware, either that this History was generally looked upon as an irreligious publication; or that there was reason to suspect that Dr. Robertson had no warm side to religion, more than his friend. Both these things, however, may be learned from the following short paragraph.

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their natural genius: none at all in their aeeitivc

I'initii; and much again in their good faith. Rousseau's warmth has made him act the madman in hi* philosophical inquiries, so that he oil paw not the mischief which he did: Иите'ч coldness made him not only tet but rejoice in his. But il i» neither parle nor |<чмп that has made either of them philosophers, but infidelity only. For which, to be sure, (hey both equally deserve a Pension."—pp. 236, 287.

After all this, it can surprise us very little to hear him call Voltaire a scoundrel and a linr; and, in the bitterness of his heart, qualify Smollett by the name of "a vagabond Scot, who wrote nonsense,"—because people had bought ten thousand copies of hie History, while the Divine Legation becan to lie heavy on the shelves of his bookseller. It may be worth while, however, to see how this orthodox prelate sneaks of the church and of churchmen. Tue following short passage will give the reader some light upon the subject; and also serve to exemplify the bombastic adulation which the reverend correspondents interchanged with each other, and the coarse but robust wit by which Warburton was certainly distinguished.

"You were made for higher things: and my greatest pleasure is, thru you give me я hint you are impatient to pursue them. What will not euch a capacity and inch a pen do, either to shame or to improve a miserable nge! The church, likr the Ark of Noah, is worth saving; not for the sake of t)if ЛТК-ira 7i braiilf and vermin that aimant ßlltd il and probably made most noise and clamour in it, but for the little corner of rationality, that was as much distressed by the stink wilhin, as by the ternpesi without."—pp. S3, 84.

In another place, he says, "I am serious «¡x>n it. I am afraid that both you and I shall outlive common sense, as well as learning, in our reverend brotherhood;" and afterwards complains, that he has laboured all his life to support the cause of the clergy, and been repaid with nothing but ingratitude. In the close "t another letter on the same subject, he say?, with a presumption, which the event has alrcatly made half ridiculous, and half melancholy, "Are not you and I finely employed? -but. Serimus arbores, alteri ffm scculo promail."

But these are only general expressions, arising, perhaps, from spleen or casual irritation. Let us inquire how he speaks of individuals. It would be enough, perhaps, to say. that except a Dr. Balguy, we do not remember of his saying any thing respectful of a single clergyman throughout the whole volume.— The following is a pretty good specimen of the treatment which was reserved for such of them as dared to express their dissent from his paradoxes and fancies.

What could make that important blockhead ivnu know whom) preach against me at St. Jumee'T He never met me at Court, or at Powis or Newoaitle-HcMise. And what was it to him, whether Ibn Jew* had a future life f II mie/it he well far *Hfft ая hm, if the Christians had none, neither!— Nor. / Jare »ay, doet he much trouble himself about th'matter, while he eland»foremost.amongst you, in the new Land of Promue ; which, however, to 'he mortification of these modern Jews, i» a little die'»ш from that of performance."—p. 65. 87

Now. this is not said in jest; but in fierce anger and resentment; and really affords as wonderful a picture of the temper and liberality of a Christian divine, as some of the dispute» among the grammarians do of the irritability of a mere man of letters. The contempt, indeed, with which he speaks of his answerers, who were in general learned divines, is equally keen and cutting with that which he evinces towards Hume and Bolingbroke. He himself knew ten thousand faults in his work; but they have never found one of them. Nobody has ever answered him yet, but at their own, expense; and some poor man whom he mentions "must share in the silent contempt with which I treat mv answerers." This is his ordinary style in those playful and affectionate letters. Of known and celebrated individuals, he talks in the same tone of disgusting arrogance and animosity. Dr. Lowth, the learned and venerable Bishop of London, had occasion to complain of some misrepresentations in Warburton's writings, relating to the memory of his father; and. after some amicable correspondence, stated the matter to the public in a short and temperate pamphlet. Here is the manner in which he is treated for it in this Episcopal correspondence.

"All you sny about Lowth's pamphlet breathes the purest spirit of friendship. His vil and his reasoning. God knows, and I also (as a certain critic said once in a mailer of the like great importance), are much below the qualities that deserve those names. But the Stranges! ihingof all, is this man'i boldness in publishing my leiters without my leave or knowledge. I remember several long letters pansi'd between us. And I remember vou sow the letters. But I have so totally forgot the contente, that I am at a loss for the meaning of these words.

"In a word, you are rieht.—If he expected an answer, he will certainly find himself disappointed: thouah Ï believe I could make as good epori with this Drvil of a vice., for the public diversion, as ever was made with him, in the old Moralities."

pp. 273, 274.

Among the many able men who thought themselves called upon to expose his error« and fantasies, two of the most distinguished were Jortin and Leland. Dr. Jortin had objected to Warburton's theory of the Sixth ^neid; and Dr. Leland to his notion of the Eloquence of the Evangelists; and both with great respect and moderation. Warburton would not, or could not answer; — but his faithful esqnire was at hand ; and two anonymous pamphlets, from the pen of Dr. Richard Hurd, were sent forth, to extol Warburton, and his paradoxes, beyond the level of a mortal; to accuse Jortin of envy, and to convict Leland of ignorance and error. Leland answered for himself; and, in the opinion of all the world, completely demolished his antagonist. Jortin contented himself with laughins at the weak and elaborate irony of the Bishop's anonymous champion, and with wondering at his talent for perversion. Hurd never owned either of these malignant pamphlets; —and in the life of his friend, no notice whatever was taken of this ine'orious controversy. What would have been better Totgotten, how ever, for their joint reputation, is injudiciously 3 H 2

brought back to notice in the volume now before us;–and Warburton is proved by his letters to have entered fully into all the paltry keenness of his correspondent, and to have indulged a feeling of the most rancorous hostility towards both these excellent and accomplished men. In one of his letters he says “I will not tell you how much I am oblige to you for this correction of Leland. I have desired Colonel Harvey to get it reprinted in Dublin, which I think but a proper return for Leland's favour in London.” We hear nothing more, however, on this subject, after the publication of Dr. Leland's reply. With regard to Jortin, again, o says, “Next to the pleasure of seeing myself so finely praised, is the satisfaction I take in seeing Jortin mortified. I know to what degree it will do it; and he deserves to be mortified. One thing I in good earnest resented for its baseness,” &c. In another place, he talks of his “mean, low, and ungrateful conduct;” and adds, “Jortin is as vain as he is dirty, to imagine that I am obliged to him,” &c. And, after a good deal more about his “mean, low envy,” “the rancour of his heart,” his “selfimportance,” and other good qualities, he speaks in this way of his death—

“I see by the papers that Jortin is dead. His overrating his abilities, and the public's underrating them, made so gloomy a temper eat, as the ancients expressed it, his own heart. If his death distresses his own family, I shall be heartily sorry for this accident of mortality. If not, there is no losseven to himself”—p. 340.

That the reader may judge how far controversial rancour has here distorted the features of an adversary, we add part of an admirable character of Dr. Jortin, drawn by one who had good occasion to know him, as it appeared in a work in which keenness, candour, and erudition are very singularly blended. “He had a heart which never disgraced the powers of his understanding.— With a lively imagination and an elegant taste, he united the artless and amiable negligence of a schoolboy. Wit without ill-nature, and sense without effort, he could, at will, scatter on every subject; and, in every book, the writer presents us with a near and distinct view of the man. He had too much discernment to confound difference of opinion with malignity or dulness; and too much candour to insult, where he could not persuade. He carried with him into every subject which he explored, a solid greatness of soul, which could spare an inferior, though in the offensive form of an adversary, and endure an equal, with or without the sacred name of a

friend.”* Dr. Middleton, too, had happened to differ from some of warburton's opinions on the origin of Popish ceremonies; and accordingly he is very charitably represented as having renounced his religion in a pet, on account of the discourtesy of his brethren in the church: It is on an occasion no less serious and touch

. * See preface to Two Tracts by a Warburtonian. p. 194.

ing, than the immediate prospect of this learned man's death, who had once been his friend, that he gives vent to this liberal imputation.

“Had he had, I will not say piety, but greatness of mind enough not to suffer the pretended injuries of some churchmen to prejudice him against reli. gion, I should love him living, and honour his memory when dead. But, good God! that man, for the discourtesies done É. by his miserable fellow-creatures, should be content to divest him. self of the true viaticum, the comfort, the solace, the asylum, &c. &c. is perfectly astonishing. I believe no one (all things considered) has suffered more from the low and vile passions of the high and low amongst our brethren than myself. Yet, God forbid, &c.”—pp.40, 41.

When divines of the Church of England are spoken of in this manner, it may be supposed that Dissenters and Laymen do not meet with any better treatment. Priestley accordingly, is called “a wretched fellow; and Dr. Samuel Johnson, who, in spite of considerable temptations to the contrary, had spoken with great respect of him, both in his preface to Shakespeare and in his notes, is thus rewarded by the meek and modest ecclesiastic for his forbearance.

“The remarks he makes in every page on my commentaries, o { insolence and malignant reflections, which, had they not in them as much folly as malignity, I should have had reason to be offended with. As it is, I think myself obliged to him in thus setting before the public so many my notes with his remarks upon them; for, though †. no great opinion of that trifling part of the public, which pretends to judge of this part of literature, in which boys and girls decide, yet I think nobody can be mistaken in this comparison; though I think their thoughts have never yet extended thus far as to reflect, that to discover the corruption in an author's text, and by a happy sa’ gacity to restore it to sense, is no easy task: But when the discovery is made, then to cavil at the conjecture, to propose an equivalent, and defend nonsense, by producing, out of the thick darknes it occasions, a weak and faint glimmering of sense (which has been the business of this Editor through: out) is the easiest, as well as dullest of all oterary efforts.”—pp. 272,273.

It is irksome transcribing more of these insolent and vindictive personalities; and we believe we have already extracted enough, to satisfy our readers as to the probable effect of this publication, in giving the world a ju impression of the amiable, playful, and alfootionate character of this formed prelate. It is scarcely necessary, for this purpose, to refer to any of his pathetic lamentations over his own age, as a “barbarous age,” an “to pious age,” and “a dark age,”—to quote his murmurs at the ingratitude with which ho own labours had been rewarded—or, indeed, to do more than transcribe his sage and mag: nanimous resolution, in the year 1768, to be. gin to live for himself—having already live. for others longer than they had deserved ol him.” This worthy and o ic person

had by this time preached and written him. self into a bishopric and a fine estate; and at the same time, indulged himself in even sort of violence and scurrility against thos" from whose opinions he dissented. In theo rirotimstances, we really are not aware either how he could have lived more for himself, or less for others, than he had been all alone doing. But we leave now the painful task of commenting upon this book, as a memorial ol his character; and gladly turn to those parts oi it, from ЛУ h ich ou r readers may derive more unmingled amusement.


The wit which it contains is generally strong and coarse, with a certain mixture of profanity which does not always seem to consort well wilh the episcopal character. There are some allusions to the Lady of Babylon, which we dare not quote iu our Presbyterian pages. The reader, however, may take the following :—

"Poor Job! It was hie eternal fate to be persecuted by his friends. His three comforters passed sentence of condemnation upon him; and he has been executing i» effigie ever since. He was first bound to the stake by a lung catena of Greek Fathers; then tortured by Pineda! then strangled by Caryl; and afterwards cut up by Westley, and anatomised by Garnet. Pray don't reckon me amongst his hangmen. I only acted the tender part ot his wife, and was for making short work wilh him! But he was ordained, I think, by a late like that of Prometheus, to lie still upon his dunghill, and have his brains sucked out by owls. One Hodges, n head of Oxford, now threatens us with a new Auto de Fi."—p. 22.

We have already quoted one assimilation of the Church to the Ark of Noah. This idea is pursued in the following passage, which is perfectly characteristic of the force, the vulsarity, and the mannerism of Warburton's writing :

"You mention Noah's Ark. I have really forgot what I said of it. But I suppose I compared the Church to it, as many a grave divine has done before me.—The rabbins make the giant Gog or Maeog contemporary with Noah, and convinced by his preaching; so that he was disposed to take the benefit of the ark. But here lay the distress; it by no means suited his dimensions. Therefore, as he could not enter in, he contented himself to ride upon it astride. And though you must suppose Hint, in that stormy weather, he was more than half-boots over, he kept his seat and dismounted safely, when the ark landed on Mount Ararat.— 1таце now to yourself this illustrious Cavalier mounted on his hackney: and see if it does not bring before you the Church, bestrid by some lumpish minister ol state, who turns and winds it at his pleasure. The only difference is, that Go¡r believed the preacher of righteousness and religion."

pp. 87, 88.

The'following is in a broader and more ambitious style,—yet still peculiar and forcible. After recommending a tour round St. James' Park, as far more instructive than the grand loor, he proceeds—

"Tin* is enough for any one who only wants to fii:tdy miMi for his use. But if our aspiring friend «•otiid en higher, and study human nature, in and for nself, he must take a much larger tour than that ot Knrope. He must first go and catch her undressed, nay, quite naked, in North America, and ni the Cape of Good Hope. He mav then examine how slie appears cramped, contracted, and buttoned close up in the straight tunic of law and custom, as in China and Japan; or spread out, and enlarged «bove her common size, in the long and flowing robe of enthusiasm amongst the Arabs and Sarafens; or, lastly, as she flutters in the old rags of «orn-out policy and civil government, and almost

ready to run back naked to the déserte, as on the Mediterranean coast of Africa. These, tell him, are the grand scenes for the true philosopher, foi the citizen of the world, to contemplate. The Tour of Europe is like the entertainment that Plutarch speaks of, which Pompey's host of Epirus gave him. There were many dishes, and they had « seeming variety; but when he came to examine them narrowly, he found them all made out of one hog, and indeed nothing but pork differently disguised.

"Indeed I perfectly agree with you, that a scholar by profession, who knows how to employ his time in his study, for the benefit of mankind, would be more than fantastical, he would be mad, to go rambling round Europe, though his fortune would permit him. For to travel with profit, must be when his faculties are at the height, his studies matured, and all his reading fresh in his head. But to waste a considerable space of lime, at such a period of life, is worse than suicide. Yet, for all this, the knowledge of human nature (the only knowledge, in the largest sense of it, worth a wise man's concern or care) can never be well acquired without seeing it under all its disguises and distortions, arising from absurd governments and monstrous religions, in every quarter of the globe. Therefore, I think a collection of the best voyages no despicable part of a philosopher's library. Perhaps there will be found more dross in this sort of literature, even when selected most carefully, than in any other. But no matter for that; such a collection will contain a great and solid treasure.''—pp. Ill, 118.

These, we think, are favourable specimens of wit, and of power of writing. The bad jokes, however, rather preponderate. There is one brought in, with much formality, about his suspicions of the dunces having stolen the lead off the roof of his coachhouse; and two or three absurd little anecdotes, which seem to have no pretensions to pleasantry—but that they are narratives, and have no serious meaning..

To pass from wit, however, to more serious matters, we find, in this volume, some very striking proofs of the extent and diligence of this author's miscellaneous reading, particularly in the lists and characters of the authors to whom he refers his friend as authorities for a history of the English constitution. In this part of his dialogues, indeed, it appears that Hurd has derived the whole of his learning, and most of his opinions, from Warburton. The following remarks on the continuation of Clarendon's History are good and liberal :—

"Besides that business, and age, and misfortunes had perhaps sunk his spirit, the Continuation is not so properly the history of the first six years of Charles the Second, as an anxious apology for the share himself had in the administration. This has hurt the composition in several respects. Amongst others, he could not, with decency, allow his pen that «cope in his delineation of the chief characters of the court, who were all his personal enemies, as he had done in that of the enemies to the King and monarchy in the grand rebellion. The endeavour to keep up a show of candour, and especially to prevent the appearance of a rancorous resentment, has deadened his colouring very much, besides that it made him sparing in the use of it; else, his illimitable pencil had attempted, at least, to do justice to Bennet, to Berkley, to Coventry, to the nightly cabal of facetious memory, to the Lady, and, if his excessive loyalty had not intervened, to hie infamous master himself. With all this, I am apt to think there may still be something in what I said of the nature of the subject. Exquisite virtue and enormous vice afford a fine field for (he historian's genius. And hence Livy and Taciius are, in their way, perhaps equally entertaining. But the little intrigues of a selfish court, about carrying, or defeating this or that measure, about displacing this and bringing in that minuter, which interest nobody very much but the parties concerned, can hardly be made very striking by any ability of the relator. If Cardinal de Retz has succeeded, hie •cene was busier, and of a another nature from that of Lord Clarendon."'—p. 217.

His account of Tillotson seems also to be fair and judicious.

"As to the Archbishop, he was certainly a virtuous, pious, humane, and moderate man ; which last quality was a kind of rarity in those times. I think the sermons published in his lifetime, are fine moral discourses. They bear, indeed, the character of their author,—simple, elegant, candid, clear, and rational. No orator, in the Greek and Roman sense of the word, like Taylor; nor a discourser, in their sense, like Barrow ;—free from their irregularities, but not able to reach their heights ; on which account, I prefer them infinitely to him. You cannot sleep with Taylor; you cannot forbear thinking with Barrow; but you maybe much at your ease in the midst of a lone lecture from Tillotson. clear, and rational, and equable as he is. Perhaps the last quality may account for it."

pp. 93, 94.

The following observations on the conduct of the comic drama were thrown out for Mr. Hurd's use, while composing his treatise. We think they deserve to be quoted, for their clearness and justness :—

"As those intricate Spanish plots have been in use, and have taken both wiih us and some French writers for the stage, and have much hindered the main end of Comedy, would it not be worth while to give them a word, as it would tend to the further illustration of your subject? On which you might observe, that when these unnatural plots are used, the mind is not only entirely drawn off from the character* by those surprising turns and revolutions, but characters have no opportunity even of being callid out and displaying themselves; for the actors of all characters succeed and are embarrassed alike, when the instruments for carrying on designs are only perplexed apartments, dark entries, disguised habits, and ladders of ropes. The comic plot is, and must indeed be. earned on by deceit. The Spanish scene does it by deceiving the roan through hit senses;—Terence and Moliere, by deceiving him throuph hit passions and ofections. And this is the right way; for the character is not called out under the first species of deceit,—under the second, the character does all."—p. 57.

There are a few of Bishop Hurd's own letters in this collection : and as we suppose they were selected with a view to do honour to hi

memory, we think it our duty to lay one 01 them at least before our readers. Warbnrtun had slipped in his garden, and hurt his arm whereupon thus inditeth the obsequióos Dr. Hurd :—

"I thank God that I can now, with some «ssuranee, congratulate with myself on the prosprci ot your Lordship's safe and speedy recovery from your sad disaster.

"Mrs. Warburton'a laat letter was a corda! to me; and, as the ceasing of intense pain, so :!.» abatement of the fears I have been torment«! with for three or four days past, gives a certain alamtj to my spirit», of which your Lordship may b*i to feel the effects, in a long letter!

"And now, supposing, u I trust I may do. thii your Lordship will be in no great paio when \-n receive this letter, lam tempted to begin, и fntrti« usually do when such accidents befal, »i'b tr.j reprehensions, rather than condolence. 1 hire onto wondered why your Lordship should net ыгаач in your walks '. which might haply have prereirrt this misfortune! especially considering th»i Hes ven, I suppose the better to keep its sons in ют sort of equality, has thought fit to make your oírward sight by many degrees lees perfect than ¡our inward. Even I, a young and stout son of ike church, rarely trust my firm steps into my prdtr. without some support of this kind! How imprudent, then, was it in a father of the church to commit his uñateadlas! footing to this hazard!" ic.

p. ¿51.

There are many pages written with ¡he same vigour of sentiment and expression, ar.i in the same tone of manly independence.

We have little more to say of thiseurioo« volume. Like all Warburton's wrilitiírí. il bears marks of a powerful understand ins aal an active fancy. As a memorial of h;f {*.'sonal character, it must be allowed tu be n least faithful and impartial; for it makes и acquainted with his faults at least, as dwinc4.Iv as with his excellences : and gives, indtrJ the most conspicuous place to ifie former. I: has few of the charms, however, of a ru'ui-ction of letters ;—no anecdotes—no traju o; simplicity or anlese affection;—nothins u¡ the softness, grace, or negligence of Cowper « correspondence—and little of the lighlne<- •-•! the elegant prattlement of Pope's or Lai;' Mary Wortley's. The writers always apprti busy, and even laborious persons,—ami prisons who hate many people, and despise nuuij more.—But they neither appear very bpf? nor very amiable; and, at the end of tl* book, have excited no other interest in ihe reader, than as the authors of their respect« publications.

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