Imágenes de páginas


with the maxim, that a soft tongus breaketh the they make a speedy, unceremonious approach to bone. Oppression has taught them to carry gen- the purses of the different communities: and then tleness to an excess. They are born and bred to give place to a new, and equally hungry succesthe practice of refined insinuation or gross flattery, sor. As I was mentioned as Secretary of the and it seems impossible to beat them off from that Bible Society in Malta, the bishop expressed his ground, since they expect to succeed on no other. interest in the welfare of the Society-saying,

Both the Abyssinian priest and myself speak “ Your heart is set upon a good work”—or words Arabic too imperfectly, to make ourselves well to that effect. His colleague is, at present, ill of understood by each other. I learn from him, a fever. however, that he has been in this city seven The librarian accompanied us to the library. years; that there are about twenty Abyssinians There are some books in Latin, French, and Itäin his convent, and that he is the chief among lian; but not many-none in Ethiopic: the chief them. Last year he says that seven pilgrims set part are Greek. In the small inner rooms, seve. out from Abyssinia ; of whom three were priests ral Greek manuscripts, principally Scriptural, and four deacons. By the term deacon may be were shown us : they did not appear to be of great meant merely persons who have taken the first antiquity. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, he tells degree in the church, and read the lessons in di- us, is settled by the will of his predecessor, not by vine service: it is usual, in the east, for young clection—the Patriarch of Constantinople, by elecmen to do this, while they remain laymen; and this tion of the Holy Synod; and the Patriarch of corresponds with the prima tonsura of the church Antioch, also, by the same Synod of Constantinoof Rome. One of these pilgrims did not live to ple. The Patriarch of Antioch takes up his resireach Jerusalem, but died at Damietta. The dence at Damascus. The Patriarch of Alexan. priest informs me, likewise, that the daughter of dria he represented also as chosen at Constantithe king of Abyssinia, mentioned by Mr. Connor, nople. These are all of the Oriental Greek is dead. The politieal news which they hear church. from Abyssinia is, that Subyadis is increasing in It is one of the canons of the Greek convents strength, and likely to fix himself in the situation of of Jerusalem, that NO NATIVES CAN BELONG TO the late Ras Welled Selasse as governor of Tigré : THEM. The Christians of this communion are if he should finally succeed, it may be of consider- numerous in Palestine and Syria; but they rise to able advantage ; as he is under personal obliga- none of the dignities of this patriarchate, nor are tion to Mr. Salt, and consequently a friend to the they admitted members of the monasteries. Most English.

generally they are married priests. Their language is Arabic. In the convents here, Greek chiefly is spoken, and also Turkish ; the monks

being all from Greece, Asia Minor, or the ArchiTuesday, Nov. 25, 1823.—We visited the princi- pelago. pal Greek convent, and had an interview with Da. Daniel takes his episcopal title from Nazareth: niel, the bishop of Nazareth; a man of acuteness and his colleague is styled Ayros serpas, "the saint of learning ; very placid, but apparently much worn Petra,” or “the holy [bishop) of Petra.” Petra with anxiety on account of the oppressions suffer- (the metropolis of which is Karrac, three or four ed by the Greek convents—And on the side of the days' distant from Jerusalem, on the east of the oppressors there is power. To him, conjointly Dead Sea, in which region are yet many Chriswith the bishop of Petra, is committed the charge tians) is his diocese. The title - holy” is very of the affairs of this patriarchate. The Patri- commonly given, in this inanner, to the bishops; arch himself

, Polycarp, never visits Jerusalem. although, strictly, they do not allow the title For more than a century this has been the custom; « saint” to any except those who work miracles. and indeed those of whom I inquired scarcely knew This bishop is the one who, annually at Easter, from how far back the Patriarch had been in the performs the reputed miracle of the Holy Fire : habit of taking up his residence at Constantino- concerning which it is difficult to reflect without ple. This he does, because a very large sum of mingled emotions of horror and indignation. money would be required by the Turks, on such an We visited some of the monks ; and went over occasion as the entrance of a Patriarch within the the whole of the convent, which is a very extenwalls of Jerusalem. The head dragoman of the sive but irregular building. The number of monks convent was present, as also the librarian. The whom it would well accommodate was stated at dragoman cried out, repeatedly, and with an ear- seventy: and here nearly all the resident monks nestness which seemed almost like an appeal to of Jerusalem abide. The other Greek convents, our purses, “ We want help! We need some as in number about ten, are of far smaller dimensistance !” The bishop himself speaks with much sions ; designed only for the reception of the pilmore pathos : when we condoled with him on their grims, and merely occupied by a Superior and one present afflictions he briefly replied, “ It is for our or two monks during the absence of pilgrims.sins: the measure of the chastisement of our They are, at present, nearly a solitude; no Greek sins is not yet filled up!” And these are the ex- pilgrims having arrived for two years: formerly, pressions which he often uses with us. In allu- this communion could boast a much larger numsion to the new governor, who arrived only two ber of pilgrims than any other. The number of days before us, I was saying that probably they ecclesiastics, in the whole of the Greek patriarchhad not yet had much acquaintance with him : ate of Jerusalem, was stated to me at 200: but I they answered, with a sad smile, Our governors have no means of verifying the statement. soon make themselves known.” Coming, in fact, From the terrace of the principal convent, the as often as once a year, and sometimes oftener, court of the Abyssinians is overlooked. At the


hour we were there (about mid-day) we saw the of the Ethiopic New Testament, in two manupoor Abyssinians receiving their daily bread : it is script volumes. There was, among the manugiven them as charity by the Armenians. scripts, one great folio, written in large characters.

The priest had told others, and he wished to persuade me, that it was the whole of the Old Testa

ment. From the simplest calculation it evidently Thursday, Nov. 27, 1823.—Went to the Abys- could not be above the fifth part of it; but when sinian convent. The road by which the priest led I turned the leaves over, and showed him that it us, which was not the direct way, was through was only a Lectionary containing extracts from the place where they slaughter animals. Hovels Isaiah, Daniel, Hosea, and other books of the Old and streets so offensively abounding with noisome Testament, he began to be half angry. He said sights and pestilential smells

, I never before wit- that they read this book through in the offices of nessed. In the court-yard, and in a small adja- the passion week. cent garden belonging to the convent of this peo I will here add the remainder of that scanty ple, we saw twelve Abyssinians; of whom five information, which I subsequently obtained in this were females and seven were men. One of them quarter concerning the Abyssinians. Three or was pointed out to us as a priest ; but he could four of them have joined the Greck communion : speak no other than his native language. In the so far as I could learn, this conversion has arisen garden was a wretched hovel, which was the from the hope of improving their condition a little, abode of part of this company. Some of them and eating more bread. They are, at present, appeared very old ; one or two rather young.- residing at the Greek monastery of Mar Saba, They all seemed very idle, and indeed their whole three hours to the east of Jerusalem, on the way object appears to be, to spend their last days in to the Dead Sea. There are, likewise, two at the Jerusalem, doing almost nothing: Nor do we see, Armenian convent: I did not see them: but the indeed, any thing in the society by which they are Abyssinian priest, who is on friendly terms with surrounded, which would stimulate them to a the Armenians, said that one was elderly, the other higher purpose. We were not able to converse a youth. Of those whom I have to-day seen, one with them, and our accompanying priest was but was quite young; not more, probably, than twenty an imperfect, and somewhat unwilling, interpreter. years of age. The person pointed out as a priest He took us into his own room ; and here we sat, seemed to me not more than thirty-five. The for a long time, occupied with his manuscripts. chief priest appears upward of forty years of age. Among other books, we found copies of the Psalter published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

YSA PETROS, A GREEK PRIEST. This city may be an excellent station for learn. ing the Abyssinian language; as here is a com The breaking up of the weather here, in the pany of twenty, who, although ignorant, indolent, close of this week, interrupted our excursions. I and utterly inapt to the art of teaching, would, have just made the acquaintance, however, of one nevertheless, to a man who could teach himself of the most interesting characters in this placefrom books, furnish pronunciation and practice. Pappas Ysa Petros. He is a priest of the Greek As a station for distributing the Abyssinian Scrip- communion : being a native, Arabic is his lantures, I imagine it would not answer; for they, guage. He is married, and has several children. who come hither, generally never return to their He has already been employed as a translator into native country. The motive which brought them Arabic by Mr. Fisk; through whose kindness, two hither-blind devotion—and the difficulties which or three tracts have been put into my possession they net with on their way, added to their ex- for printing. During a residence of many years treme poverty, operate to fix them in Jerusalem, at Damietta, he translated, for an opulent Arab when once fairly arrived. Yet, possibly, an Eng-merchant at Damietta, the whole of Rollin's Anlishman, intending to visit Abyssinia, might here cient History into Arabic, which it is to be hoped find an individual among them willing, for a suita- may one day see the light : of this work, he has a ble pecuniary consideration, to accompany him; small part in his possession, which he showed us : and he would serve, though on many accounts it is the first rough translation, containing the hisimperfectly, as a guide and interpreter. My con- tory of Egypt and Carthage: the whole work viction is here confirmed, that whoever visits Abys- occupied him six years. He understands, besides sinia must go relying, under Providence, on his his native language, Greek, Italian, and French , own resources, and not on any companion. Were and he has studied Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arme. it my destination, however, I should certainly, nian from his natural love of languages. I have after acquiring a competent knowledge of Arabic, seen no one in Syria, who unites so much simpliaim at giving twelve or eighteen months to the city and goodness of disposition, with such a comstudy and practice of the ancient and modern pass of literary acquirements. Abyssinian languages in Jerusalem, rather than It is a curious circumstance with regard to any other spot which I have yet seen. There are names, that not only is the influence of Mohamthese additional advantages : the mind would thus medanism manifested in the adoption, by Chris. become inured to the misery of the circumstances tians, of names not common among their brethren of that people ; and, further, a traveller, passing in other countries ; but, further, in the name Ysa from Jerusalem to Abyssinia, would carry with they have adopted the orthography of the Koran : him, as a visiter from that holy city, a peculiar it is the Mohammedan reading for Jesus. recommendation.

Sunday, Nov. 30, 1823.-We again united with I examined several of the manuscripts in this our countryman, in performing divine service in convent; and subsequently purchased the whole English.



Monday, Dec. 1, 1823.—As I was this morning in that language, might seem premature : it may, on my way to wait on the Armenian patriarch, I doubtless, be expected, however, to occupy one met à courier just come in with letters from Malta. day a useful post in the field of religious inquiryThey announce the arrival in Beirout of two more a field which is gradually becoming more and American missionaries, the Rev. Messrs. Bird and more open to people of every nation. Goodell, with their families. We were already I was particularly struck with one remark of apprized of their intention to proceed either to Ysa Petros on the style of some short sermons Smyrna or Alexandria : but this decisive step has which we put into his hands to translate into rejoiced our hearts more abundantly than we had Arabic. They are,” he observed, “too much anticipated. To Mr. Fisk and myself, they ap- in the second person. Thus • You are a sinner pear to have done exactly the right thing; and -You must repent or perish!' Now the reader," the kindness with which they have been received he said, “will naturally ask, “Who is this, that on their landing, by our consul and his family, has tells me I am a sinner? Is he not a sinner himnot a little gratified us.

self ?!” This criticism, intended as a censure, appears to me to be, in some sense, a commendation of the sermons: it shows that they are point

ed and awakening; and it amounts, at the same In the afternoon I went out of the city, and time, to a tacit acknowledgment, that pointed and walked round a considerable part of the walls, so awakening addresses to the conscience are not in as to obtain a general view of the principal objects. the style of the east. Sermons, in fact, are very

Educated in an early love of Scripture, I can- rarely preached here ; and those are little more not describe the emotions excited by beholding than moral treatises, or panegyrics of some saint, the very scene of the most important events re or stories of miracles. Ysa Petros, himself, does corded in the Old and New Testaments. I have, not preach. He would be astonished to witness designedly, kept myself from attending to the tra- the earnestness of multitudes of our English ditionary minute which are imposed upon the preachers, stirring up sinners to flee from the thousands of annual pilgrims. I envy not those, wrath to come, and urging them to come to Christ who, from ignorance and superstitious subjection, for salvation. Perhaps he would say to himselfare obliged to receive from the lips of hackneyed. They preach as if they thought they were speakguides the trifles of tradition; who can fall down ing to men who are not Christians !” prostrate, and embrace with rapture, the very spot There are, in Jerusalem, about ten native Greek measured to an inch, or the very stone wall of a priests who are married and have families. No house preserved for ten or twenty or thirty cen one of them comes up to Ysa Petros in acquireturies, at which some event of Scripture history ments, or in intelligent and philanthropic views. is said to have taken place. Good taste and the They are far behind. He is much respected by love of truth alike revolt from the details, which the Superiors of the Greek convent; and is apmay be collected from many books of travels.- pointed by them to accompany us to-morrow to This system tends to bring down the mind to tri- examine the library of the monastery of the Holy fles : it more often perplexes than throws


Cross. the fair path of antiquarian research : and (which

MONASTERY OF THE HOLY CROSS. is the most painful) it confounds the belief built on sound historical evidence, with that credulity Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1823.-We proceeded, this which clings to uncertain tradition ; and draws morning, with our friend, to the monastery of the aside the hearts of the mựltitude of superstitious Holy Cross, which is romantically situated in a devotees, from great, essential, and affecting doc- valley on the west of the city, between the two trines, to dubious and insignificant localities. I roads—that, on the one side, to Jaffa ; and that, feel it enough to know, that, here, is the hill of on the other, to Bethlehem. By leisurely walk. Zion-beneath, and all around, are the valley of ing, we arrived there in forty minutes. We had Jehoshaphat, and the brook Cedron-yonder, the to knock loud and long, before we gained attenMount of Olives, and the road to Bethany. The tion. The Superior having scanned our appearrest must be supplied by a spiritual sense of an ance from the lattice of an upper window, at ever present Saviour.

length put forth his head, and inquired our errand; after which an order was given for our admission, and we entered, door after door closing with bars

and locks behind us. It is in a solitary situation; In the evening, we had our friend Pappas Ysa and is exposed, particularly during the present disto tea; and conversed concerning his translations turbances in Bethlehem, to the rude demands of into Arabic. He was long employed in this ca- the Arabs, who, could they force an entrance, pacity, by Seignior Basil Fakr of Damietta ; who, would prove not very courteous guests. to his extensive commercial engagements, added It is a wearisome ceremony, especially when a very laudable ambition to furnish his library with any business presses, to have to receive pipes, useful books, translated from European languages sweet-meats, and coffee. Such, however, is the into his own. Rollin has been translated into usage; and he would be thought a barbarian, who modern Greek; and, from this version, the Arabic should decline, in certain circumstances, to receive translation was made. Another work which Ysa the compliment. Such discourtesy would have Petros translated was an answer to various infidel been particularly felt by the Superior of this conobjections by Voltaire : I have not heard that any vent, to whom we were introduced by a letter part of the works of Voltaire was ever translated from the bishop of Nazareth, and who in this soliinto Arabic ; so that a refutation of his opinions, tude seems to have nearly nothing to do.



We were taken over the whole building, which, dress might be of the value of 20 or 30 shillings with several courts to it, may contain sixty or only: but, when of gold, a lady will carry from seventy rooms, for the reception of pilgrims. It five to ten pounds' worth upon her head; someis at present occupied by this monk, a native of times much more: and even dirty children, playLarissa ; and three or four nearly superanuated ing in the streets, will be seen with gold pieces men, who are employed as domestics, but who about their head-dress, to the value of five or ten seem not to have one idea beyond the walls of the shillings. monastery. I remarked, particularly, one of these After the pledge was given, and the man gone, inmates, who seems, either from want of society the superior begged us, on our departure, to take or want of employment, to have sunk into a state a particular road on the other side of the monasof almost ideotic vacancy.

tery, lest our visit should be observed; as it might, This was, originally, an Iberean convent; and, probably, occasion him to be troubled with quesin the spacious but dilapidated church, there is a tions : such is the state of apprehension and pregreat number of portraits of Georgian kings and caution in which they are obliged to live. queens, executed in the rudest style on the walls, with inscriptions in the Georgian character. In a recess behind the altar, they show the ground wherein, as they pretend, grew the tree from Monday, Dec. 4, 1823.—Having, a few days which the cross was made on which Christ was ago, sent to the Armenian patriarch a letter of incrucified: and, that credulity may not want her troduction which I had for him, I went, this mornshow of evidence, or at least her outward visible ing, and had an interview with him. This consign, a small circular hole, of a few inches dia- vent is far more splendid than any other building meter is exhibited, before which a lighted lamp is in Jerusalem; and declares at once the opulence suspended; and here the original tree is said to of its possessors. The patriarch himself sits on have stood.

a divan which is quite princely, and speaks in a In various parts of this extensive, but now de- slow and dignified manner. He complained of serted establishment, considerable expense has being indisposed; and left his two bishops, who very recently been bestowed, in suitably furnish- were sitting on the opposite side of the divan, to ing iron railings and other accommodations. This support the conversation. Many inquiries and rewas the work of the late Procopius, superintend- plies of ceremony occupied the first minutes; as ent of this patriarchate. He was a man of great also the introduction of coffee, sweet-meats, and ability and spirit; and he flourished at a time when wine—the wine of a very great age. prosperity filled the Greek coffers with opulent I endeavored, as well as I could, to touch, in resources. His death, about two years ago, was geographical order, on those places with which the a serious loss to the Bible Society, whose cause he Armenians have most connection. They have had heartily espoused.

four patriarchates at present—Echmiazin, Jery. The library, into which we were after some salem, Constantinople and Sis: of these, Echtime introduced, proved to be a small room, full of miazin, in Persia, is the first. To my inquiry, if dust; and so dark, that we were obliged to hold, they enjoyed protection there, they expressed every one of us, a candle in his hand : the books themselves as being in a better state under the lay in heaps, some on the floor, the rest on bend- Persians than under the Turks. In Calcutta, ing shelves. At the beginning of this year, the under British government, they acknowledge, with American missionaries classed them according to pleasure, that they have perfect protection. On languages; and this circumstance has facilitated my prosecuting that topic, one of the bishops sitmy researches. There may be four or five hun- ting opposite to me, whose name I was afterward dred volumes of different kinds: the principal told is Garabee, said that he had visited Calcutta, part of these are in the Georgian language, thick about eleven years ago: as this was previous to folios in manuscript. As I was given to under the arrival of bishop Middleton in India, I gave stand that a person from St. Petersburgh had vi- them some account of the ecclesiastical establishsited this convent, and made a selection of such ment now existing there, aud the name of the prevolumes as might be useful to the Bible Society, sent bishop; and expressed a hope that their and as there is not at present in Jerusalem any churches and ours would become acquainted upon person who understands this language. I content- Indian ground. ed myself with obtaining one folio and one quarto. Printing presses for the Armenian language The rest are in Ethiopic, Armenian, Syrian, Ara- they have at Constantinople, in Russia, and in bic, Greek, and Latin. Of the Ethiopic, I made Venice. On my mentioning what modern Armea more copious selection : but, unhappily, these nian books I had found in Paris, such as Rollin, manuscripts are in a mutilated condition ; and, Robinson Crusoe, &c. they informed me, that the excepting psalters, do not contain much of the style of those translations is good. Of the moScriptures. The Greek and Latin are few in dern version of the New Testament executing in number, and chiefly printed books.

Paris, they had not seen a specimen. With reJust before our leaving the convent, a peasant gard to the style of modern Armenian, they reof the neighborhood called for a pledge which had commended the neighborhood of Erivan, rather been left by him. It was a woman's head-dress, than Erzerum, where the Armenian is vulgar. made, according to the fashion of the country, of I was particularly desirous to know if they pieces of money; and fitting the head like a close had any communications with Samarcand, or helmet, strapped under the chin by a band of si- Buckharia ; but, after pronouncing these names milar texture of coins. As these pieces of money in every possible way, they could give me no inwere of the lowest value in circulation, this head-formation about the places; and bishop Garabee


said that they travelled to India by way of the cons, gorgeously arrayed, and surrounded with Persian gulf. As they were equally curious to many lighted tapers, solemnly ascends the pulpit, know my motive for asking about those places, I and reads, or rather chants, a portion of the gosdirected their attention to the opinion that many pel. From the lofty ceiling are suspended many Jews, and probably the ten tribes, exist there ; | lamps, and also numerous ostrich eggs, which sewhich brought up the mention of Mr. Wolff, of veral servants were keeping clean with long whose movements they were much interested to bunches of soft feathers. Every thing has an air hear.

of oriental splendor, too glittering and gaudy for I was anxious to bring the subject of Abyssinia our simpler occidental taste. before them; and inquired if they still kept up the While we were wandering here, another bishop communion with that country, which formerly they entered the church from a side door. These, had been in the habit of doing ; and for which with two more whom I' subsequently saw in the they enjoy a peculiar degree of facility, from their church of the Holy Sepulchre, make, in addition church holding the same doctrines with the Abys- to the Patriarch, five bishops. I had been insinian church. They gave little satisfaction on formed that there are fourteen in all. They are this head : indeed they said, that, at present, they not constantly residing here, but occasionally visit have no intercourse with Abyssinia. I explained the other monasteries ; of which, in the Holy my views as well as I could through the inter- Land, there are four-namely, this one within the preter ; stating, that, as both England and the city, one just without the walls, one at Bethlehem, Armenians were friends to Abyssinia, and the Ar- and one at Rama; besides the adjoining nunnery menians peculiarly so, it would give us pleasure if in the city. the Armenians, when voyaging to the Red Sea, would assist us in our endeavors to convey the Scriptures to Abyssinia.

I intimated a wish to see their library ; but Friday, Dec. 5, 1823.-A little before noon, we they stated that they had no old or very curious called on Rabbi Mendel, a Jewish rabbi, of some books to show; and on my more particularly spe- consideration on account of his talmudical learncifying the acts of their councils

, the proposal was ing. There is frequent mention of him in Mr. turned off in a manner that evinced a decided un- Wolff's Journals. He had, at his side, a volume willingness to enter on such subjects. Their opi- of the Talmud; and he is greatly in repute for his nions are, indeed, thus far known—that they ad- skill in these works. mit only the first three general councils, and break It is, in myself

, a mixed feeling of inability and off from the Greek church at the fourth ; but the disinclination to enter upon such studies, which subsequent national councils of the Armenians I restrain me from taking up the question with the have not seen. I had a particular wish to see Jews on that ground. Mr. Wolff

, who is not desthose which relate to the celibacy of the clergy. titute of the ability, yet latterly has grown—and I

The Patriarch offered me a room in the con- think it a more likely way for success—disinclined vent, which I said that I should gladly have ac- to argue with them from the Talmud ; but presses cepted, had I not found one already prepared for on them the law, the prophets and the gospel. me by a friend in Mar Michael. He asked if I He did, indeed, procure a Jew to sift out of the wished to see their church : this question, as the Talmud all passages in favor of Christianity; servant at the same time came to sprinkle rose- and, in the course of their research, they also water upon my hands, I took as a polite hint that found, among these writings, many passages so the conversation had been sufficiently protracted; absurd, that the Jews themselves do not like to and, therefore, after an interchange of compli- have them produced. But the detection of these ments similar to that at entering, I withdrew. absurdities does not much aid the cause of truth:

men can bear a great deal of absurdity to be CHURCH OF THE ARMENIAN CONVENT. proved against them, and against their party or

system, without changing sides; and, frequently, The Patriarch's secretary then took me to see the more we point out partial weaknesses or errors, the church. It is more splendid than any thing the more tenaciously do they cling to their own else in Jerusalem, not excepting the church of the opinion. Mr. Wolff has latterly told them, that Holy Sepulchre, although this latter is consider is, during his second visit to Jerusalem, that, unless ably larger. The walls of the Armenian church they quit the Talmud, it is impossible that they are lined with a kind of glazed Dutch pottery, should think straight.” Thinking straight has with pictures of sacred story and Armenian in evident reference to some straight rule of opinion; scriptions upon them. On one side is a small and this rule is the law and the testimony. From chapel, brilliantly adorned and lighted up, with a what I can learn concerning the disputes and stupicture of St. James's head : the head itself

, they dies of the rabbies of Jerusalem-with whom I say, is in Spain. The convent is dedicated to am unable to converse much, from not knowing . this apostle, and is built, they say, upon and around German—they seem to be men ever learning, but the very spot where he was beheaded by order of never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Herod. On the opposite side is a very large chapel for the females: adjoining to this convent is an Armenian nunnery. On the left hand, as you face the great altar of the church, is a splen In addition to a certain wild abstracted gaze, did spacious pulpit; but sermons are not preached which nature and talmudical studies have given here : it is used for the purpose of the customary to the countenance of Rabbi Mendel, he was furprocession, in which one of the priests or deather suffering from terror, the impression of which


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