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Ali, schemes may be approaching maturity undertakings of both descriptions. In all which, if executed, will leave their traces not three countries capital and enterprise have only on Ordnance maps of six inches to the been attracted by preference to the railroad. mile, but on Mercator's projection, and the In Mr. Tanner's summary of the canals and school atlases of rudimental geography. Ca- railroads of the United States, published in dets now studying at Addiscombe may live 1840, we find a list of prepesed railroads for to lock down into the Red Sea on their way the State of New York alone to the number to Calcutta, and the steamer from Hong of eighty-four, with an authorized capital of Kong may bring our despatches through Pan- 26,000,000 dollars. We find no mention of ama; but with our present degree of informa- any new canal company, as bread to this intion the discussion of such projects would be tolerable quantity of sack. In 1837, Mr. premature.

Chevalier estimated the number of miles of The mention of the name of Mehemet Ali railroad and canal in the United States at makes it impossible to pass without notice the 7350. In 1840, by Mr. Tanner's summary, achievements in hydraulics of that remark- they would approach 9000, of which water able man, who has summoned European sci- claims for its share about 4300. If, howence to co-operate with the physical force of ever, North America claim the superiority numbers, marshalled under a more than Orien- natural to youth in respect of activity of entei. tal despotism. The Canal of Mahmoudieh, prise, the luxuriance of her virgin soil has in connecting Alexandria with the Nile, is but many instances been rank and deceptive, and one of forty-five works in pari materiâ con- many of her schemes have doubtless lacked structed under his auspices. According to the solidity which in the main has characterClot Bey's description, it is twenty-five leagues ized the proceedings of England and the Conin length, and was completed in ten months tinent. Mr. Tanner writes :by the labor of 313,000 men.

· With regard to the abstract question of revetation of sovereigns could be measured by the number of cubic feet of earth removed in their mense sums invested in canals and railroads in

nue, it is obvious that a large portion of the imrespective reigns, Mehemet Ali's name will the United States will fail in producing the antibe tolerably conspicuous on the record. In cipated results. Visionary enterprises of all the article of canals alone, exclusive of bridg- sorts are the distinguishing characteristics of es, dams, and other enormous works of con

the times, and the almost infinite variety of struction and excavation, the account in 1840 schemes which of late have been pressed upon stood at nearly 105,000,000 of cubic metres. tion, have in some instances resulted in the diver

public attention, and adopted without due cauTaking one of these as the average day's sion of funds fron objects of undoubted utility work of an Egyptian laborer, and consider- and advantage to schemes of an opposite characing that, except in special cases, these works ter. The mode of improvement, and its fitness only proceed during four months of the year, for the purposes to which it is designed, are Clot Bey calculates that, for some years past,

considerations to which little regard lias been the number of individuals annually employed paid in deciding upon the location of some of on hydraulic works in Egypt has been 355,- the numerous failures, and the consequent with000.

drawal of public confidence in such investments In an article of our April Number for generally.'-p. 23. 1837, on Mr. Michel Chevalier’s ‘Letters on North America,' will be found some no- It is sufficiently notorious that certain tice of the then comparative state of inter- other considerations, besides the choice of nal intercourse in France, England, and the location,' have been overlooked in the pubUnited States. The condition of these three lic works of North America, the neglect of countries, both relative and positive, with re- which would considerably impede the further spect to railroads, has doubtless been much march of improvement in any other commualtered in the years which have since elaps- nity. We leave, however, this topic in the ed, while inland navigation has probably abler hands to which of right it belongs. We more nearly preserved its proportions. Ad of the Quarterly have no money to invest in ditions to the latter have been perhaps little foreign stocks. Our indignation would be called for in England. In France, as Mr. tame, and our satire pointless, in comparison Chevalier then observed, the want of works with that of others. We content ourselves to make her existing canals available by im- with saying to our insolvent relations on the proving the access to them from her rivers, other side of the Atlantic what, in virtue of as in the signal case of the Canal de Lan- the length and discursiveness of this article, guedoc and the Garonne, was more pressing our readers will ere now have been tempted than that of new lines of navigation, though to say to usthere is doubtless room for remunerative · Claudite jam rivos, pueri, sat prata biberunt.'


have him; and at twenty-one he may dispose of his

property, so that he may throw himself away seven THE COMIC BLACKSTONE. years sooner than he can throw away his money.

By the law of England a girl may be given in marFrom the Charivari.

riage at seven, but surely this must mean the hour

of the day at which she may be married, and not A GUARDIAN is a sort of temporary parent to a

the age at which the ceremony may be performed. minor,-a kind of tarpaulin thrown over the orphan

Formerly, children might make their wills at fourto shield him from the storms of life during his in- teen, but as they could not be expected to have a

will of their own, it has been enacted that no will fancy-or, il we may use an humbler illustration, a guardian is a kind of umbrella, put up by the law made by a person under twenty-one shall be valid. over the ward, to keep off the pelting of the pitiless

Among the Greeks and Romans, women storm till the years of discretion are arrived at.

never of age, and if they had their way in this There are various kinds of guardians, such as This law must have been the civil law, for its con

country, a good many of them never would be. guardians by nature, and guardians for nurture, sideration towards the fair sex on a matter of so who are of course the parents of the child; for if an estate be left to an infant, the father is guardian,

much delicacy as a question of age betokens exand must account for the profits; but as the father law was so civil as to regard them as infants till

treme civilily. When this wore away, the Roman can control the child's arithmetical studies, it is easy for the latter to be brought up in blessed igno- the ladies half-way by treating them as little indo

they were five-and-twenty-which was meeting rance of accounts, and thus the parent may easily mystify the child when the profits of the estate are

cents for the first quarter of a century of their pre

cious existences. to be accounted for. The mother is the guardian for nurture ; that is to say, she is expected to nurse

Infants have various privileges, such as the comthe infant, and the law being very fond of children,

mon law privilege of jumping over the posts at the requires the mother to look to the infantine ward corners of the streets, and playing at hop-scotch or robe. It also invests her with absolute power over tine privilege is the juvenile amusement of going

rounders in retired neighborhoods. Another infanthe milk and water, and the bread and butter, to law, which a child may do by his guardian or making her a competent authority-from which his prochein amy, or next friend—though, by the there is no appeal-on all points of nursery prac- bye, he must be a pretty friend who would help antice. Next comes the guardian in socageso called, hanged at fourteen, and certainly may not be

other into a law-suit. A child may certainly be perhaps, from the quaint notion that guardianship hanged at seven, but the intermediate period is one generally extends to those who wear socs or of doubt whether the infunt culprit is hangable. socks—which is further borne out by the fact that Hale gives two instances of juvenile executions in guardianship in socage ceases when the child is whicho two infant prodigies were the principal fourteen years old—which is about the socks are relinquished in favor of stockings. These characters. One was a girl of thirteen, who was

burned for killing her mistress ; and the other a guardians in socage are such as cannot inherit an estate to which a child is entitled, for Coke says

boy still younger, who, after murdering one of his that to cominit the custody of an intant to him who companions by a severe hiding, proceeded to hide

bimself, and was declared in legal language, doli is next in succession, is " quasi agnum committere lupo,"' to hand over the lamb to the wolf, and thus rists, en haut du tabac, and hanged accordingly. It is

capar--up to snuff-or, to follow the Norman ju. says Fortescue, in one of those rascally puns for which the old jurists were infamous, "the law, not lose by laches, or, in other words, that the

a fine maxim of the English law, that an infant shall wishing the child to escape from the lupo has left a

stern old doctrine of no askee no haveé does not loop-hole to enable him to do so. Selden has cleared this pun of a god deal of its ambiguity by he neglects asking for.

apply to a child who is entitled to something which changing the word lupo into loop-ho, but Chitty and

An infant cannot bind himself, but he may be all the later writers are utterly silent regarding it. By the 12th of Charles II. confirmed by Ist Vic- Tweedish wrapper-at his own cost, if he thinks

“ stitched in a neat wrapper"—that is to say, a toria, inny father may appoint, by will, a guardian to his child till the latter is twenty-one; but it is proper to go and pay ready money for it. An infant

cannot convey away his own estate, but he may run twenty to one whether such a guardian-called a

through his own property as fast as lie likes, for if he testamentary guardian-will be able to exercise has a field he may run across it-in at one end and proper control over the infant. Guardians in chivalry have been abolished, and An infant trustee may convey an estate that he

out at the other-whenever he feels disposed for it. 60 bave the guardians of the night, who on the holds in trust for another person, though he may lucus a non lucendo principle, were called watch- not be a party in a conveyance on his own account,

from the fact of their never watching. The Lord Chancellor is the general guardian of yet he may, nevertheless, join a party in a public all infints, and especially of idiots aud lunatics, for present a clerk to the bishop, but if the bishop don't

conveyance, such as an omnibus. An infant may as Chancery drives people mad, it is only right like the clerk, he may turn upon his heel ; but that Chancery should take care of those who are

still the presentation does not fall by lapse into the afilicted with insanity, and who may be called the laps of the bishop: An infant may bind himself natural offspring of equity.

for necessaries, such as food and physic; thus, if Having disposed of the guardians, let us come to he gives a draft to pay for a pill, or contracts with the wards, or, as Coke would say, “ having goi rid of the wolf, let us discuss the lamb in an amicable a butcher to supply what is requisite and meet, he

will be clearly liable. spirit.”. A male at twelve years of age may take the orth of allegiance; but this does not apply to fants, we come to the conclusion, that, to every six

In weighing the disabilities and privileges of inall males, for the Hounslow mail can take nothing of one, there will be about half-a-dozen of the but two insides and the letters. At fourteen a boy

other. may marry, if he can find any one fool enough to


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HISTORICAL RESEARCHES ON THE PRETENDED emigrant, Demetrius of Phaleros, this prince

BURNING OF THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA BY established a society of learned and scientific THE SARACENS, UNDER THE CALIPH OMAR.

men, the prototype of our academies and modern From Fraser's Magazine.

institutions. He caused that celebrated mu

seum to be raised, that became an ornament to Alexandria, once a Pagan city, then the the Bruchion; and here was deposited the noseat of philosophy and mysticism, soon after ble library, “ a collection," says Titus Livius, “ at semi-Jewish, and the cradle of Christianity, then once a proof of the magnificence of those kings, the receptacle of Mussulmans of various sects, at and of their love of science." length became the abode of theophilanthropy, by favor of the freedom of worship, and still that the library of the Bruchion already num

Philadelphos, the successor of Lagus, finding greater freedom of opinions, introduced by bered 490,000 volumes, and either thinking that 30,000 preachers,* that out-tongued her Mame- the edifice could not well make room for any lucks in eloquence. Buonaparte was no longer the Alexandria of more, or being desirous, from motives of jealthe Ptolemies, nor even of Omar. The new construction of a similar monument, founded a

ousy, to render his name equally famous by the conqueror found no traces left of the library; second library in the temple of Serapis, called which, even to this day, is still an object of the Serapeum, situated at some distance from regret.

the Bruchion, in another part of the town. At the moment we are tracing these lines, in- These two libraries were denominated, for a stead of the numerous population closely packed length of time, the Mother and the Daughter. within the walls of ancient Alexandria, a small During the war with Egypt, Cæsar, having number of Arabs, together with some Eu set fire to the king's fleet, which happened to be ropeans, are encamped upon its ruins. Five anchored in the great port, it communicated hundred thousand souls are reduced to forty with the Bruchion; the parent library was conthousand, and even this is a great improvement sumed, and, if any remains were rescued from since 1820, when the town only numbered ten the flames, they were, in all probability, conthousand inhabitants. For the distance of a veyed to the Šerapeum. Consequently, ever league around its ramparts, the soil is covered after, there can be no question but of the latter. with gigantic ruins. Huge blocks of granite,

Euergetes and the other Ptolemies enlarged that are so many silent monuments of the glory it successively; and Cleopatra added 200 000 of Sesostris's descendants, and marble columns manuscripts at once from the library of King of a more recent date, recalling the reign of the Pergamos, given her by Mark Antony-a noble Prolemies, shapeless and truncated fragments of present, which proves that women of gallantry pillars, and enormous masses of stone, that the have, now and then, benefited the world. more degenerate race of these days would be

Let us follow the traces indicative of the existunable to raise,-such are the remains of the ence of this library. mighty city, once the queen of the commercia!

Aulus Gellius and Ammianus Marcellus seem cities of the earth ; but we seek in vain for the to insinuate that the whole of the Alexandrian ashes or the site of its far-famed library. These library had been destroyed by fire in the time giant archives of the genius of antiquity are vul- of Cæsar. The former observes, in his Attic garly supposed to have been reduced to ashes, Nights, (book vi. chap. 17.) “ The number of at the taking of Alexandria by the Arab Ma- books collected together in Égypt by the Prolehometans. Several authors have denied the authenticity umes; but they were all burnt during the first

mies was enormous, amounting to 700,000 volof the fact

, and endeavored to clear the Islamites war in Alexandria, not through any premediof so heavy a reproach. We shall present an tated design, but through the carelessness of abstract of their reasons, to which we shall add the soldiers and the allied troops.” And the our own comments.

latter (book xxii. chap. 16 of his History) makes 1.-SHORT HISTORY OF THE LIBRARY BEFORE TAE the following remark ;—“The Serapeum con

tained an inestimable library of 700 000 volumes, Alexandria became a rich and flourishing city collected by the zeal of the Ptolemies, and burnt shortly after her foundation by the conqueror or during the war with Alexandria, at the destrucIndia. Her importance increased under the tion of that town by the dictator Cæsar.” successors of Alexander. Like other great

But both are mistaken on this point. Amcities, Alexandria was divided into districts, mianus, in the rest of his narrative, evidently which were like so many distinct towns (see a confounds Serapeum and Bruchion. It has been tolerably extensive description given by Sirabo, proved that Cæsar only destroyed some edifices book xvii.) One of these districts, the Bruchion, in the latter portion of the town, and not the ensituated on the sea-shore, near the great port,

tire city. contained all the edifices belonging to the Ba

Suetonius (in his Life of Domitian) mentions silicon, or king's palace, the grand college, and that this emperor sent some amanuenses to several other buildings.

Alexandria, for the purpose of copying a quanThe first of the Ptolemies, Lagus, not only tity of books that were wanting in his library; endeavored 10 render Alexandria one of the most consequently a library existed in Alexandria a beautiful and most commercial of cities he like-long

while after Cæsar. Besides, we know that wise wished her to become the cradle of science the Serapeum was only destroyed A. D. 391, by and philosophy. By the advice of an Athenian the order

of Theodosius.

Doubtless the library suffered considerably on * The French army.

this last-mentioned occasion; but that it still


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partly existed is beyond a doubt, according to God's holy book, and then God's book is all-suffiihe testimony of Oroses, who, twenty-four years cient without them; or they disagree with God's later, made a voyage to Alexandria, and assures book, in which case they onght not to be preus that he “saw, in several temples, presses full served.' And, in consequence, Amrou Ebno’l-As of books,” the remains of ancient libraries. It caused them to be distributed amongst the difis worthy of remark, that this author, as well as ferent baths of the city, to serve as fuel

. In this Seneca, (De Tranquillitate Animi, cap. ix.), manner they were consumed in half-a-year.” estimates the number of volumes burnt by When this account of Abulfarage's was made Cæsar at 400,000; and, as it appears that the known in Europe, it was at once admitted as a total number of hooks of the two libraries fact, without the least question: it soon gained amounted to 700,000, there remains, together ground, and with the multitude it had the honor with the portion saved from the conflagration of of passing for incontestable truth. the former library, a residue of from 3 to 400,000 Since Pococke, another Arab historian, likevolumes, which composed the second library. wise a physician, was discovered, who gave

The trustworthy Oroses, in 415, is the last wit- pretty nearly the same account. This was Abness we have of the existence of a library at dollatif, who wrote towards 1200, and conseAlexandria. The numerous Christian writers quently prior to Abulsarage. The publication of the fifth and sixth centuries, who have handed of his work is owing to M. Paulus, a professor, down to us so many trifling facts, have not said who translated it from an Arabian manuscript a word upon this important subject.

in the library at Boldei. The passage in quesWe, therefore, have no certain documents tion runs as follows:upan the fate of our library from 415 to 636, “I also saw the portico which, after Aristotle or, according to others, 640, when the Arabs took and his pupils, became the academical college; possession of Alexandria, a period of ignor- and likewise the college, which Alexander the ance and barbarism, of war and revolutions, and Great caused to be built at the same time as the vain disputes between a hundred different sects. town, and which contained the splendid library

that Amrou Ebno 'l-As committed to the flames, 11.---THE LIBRARY BURNT BY THE SARACENS.

with the consent of the great Omar, to whom

God be merciful." Now, towards a. D. 636, or 640, the troops of As this anecdote agreed perfectly with the the caliph, Omar, headed by his lieutenant, ferocious and barbarous character ascribed to Amrou, took possession of Alexandria. For the Saracens, nobody thought of questioning its more than six centuries nobody in Europe took authenticity for a considerable length of time. the trouble of ascertaining what bad become of We will endeavor, however, to clear the caliph the library of Alexandria.

and his lieutenant, Amrou, of this imputation, At length, in the year 1660, a learned Oxford | not for love of the Saracens, but for the love scholar. Edward Pococke, who had been twice of truth. to the East, and had brought back a number of Arabian manuscripts, first introduced the Oriental history of the physician Abulsarage to the learned world, in a Latin translation. In it we read the following passage:

We may reasonably suppose, as Abdollatif “In those days flourished John of Alexandria, is the most ancient writer of the two, that Abulwhom we have surnamed the Grammarian, and farage was acquainted with the above-mentioned who adopied the tenets of the Christian Jacobites. passage in his history, and commented upon it, .... He lived to the time when Amrou Ebno and embellished it according to his own taste. 'l-As look Alexandria. He went to visit the Abdollatif does not relate any of the circumconqueror; and Amrou, who was aware of the stances accessory to the destruction of the liheight of learning and science that John had at- brary. But what faith can we put in a writer tained, treated him with every distinction, and who tells us that he has actually seen what listened eagerly to his lectures on philosophy. could no longer have been in existence in his which were quite new to the Arabians. Amrou time? “I have seen," says he, “the portico was himself a man of intellect and discernment and the college that Alexander the Great caused and very clear-headed. He retained the learned to be built, and which contained the splendid li. man about his person. John one day said to brary,” &c. Now, these buildings were situated him, “You have visited all !he stores of Alex- within the Bruchion; and since the reign of andria, and you have put your seal on all the Aurelian, who had destroyed it.--that is to say, different things found there. I say nothing at least nine hundred years before Abdollatifabout those treasures which have any value for the Bruchion was a deserted spot, covered with you; but, in good sooth, you might leave us ruins and rubbish. those of which you make no use.' What, then. Abulsarage, on the other hand, places the is it that you want?' interrupted Amrou. “The library in the Royal Treasury; and the anabooks of philosophy that are to be found in the chronism is just as bad. The royal edifices royal treasury,' answered John. I can dispose were all contained within the walls of the Bru- . of nothing,' Amrou then said, ' without the per- chion; and not one of them could be left. Bemission of the lord of all true believers, Omar sides, what meaning could be implied by the Ebno 'l-Chatiab.' He therefore wrote to Omar. words Royal Treasury, in a country that had informing him of John's request. He recrived long ago ceased to be governed by kings, and an answer from Omar in these words: “As to was subject to the emperors of the East ? the books you mention, either they agree with Moreover, as a fact is not necessarily incon



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testable because advanced as such by one or then could he have forgotten the library, he even two historians, several persons of learning who, according to Abulfarage, was a friend to and research have doubted the truth of this as the fine arts and philosophy? Did he think that sertion. Renandot (Hist. des Patriarches (l'Alex- so celebrated and ancient a monument was not undrie) had already questioned its authenticity, worthy to be mentioned ? by observing: “ This account is raiher suspi- Elmacin in turn gives us Amrou's letter nearcious, as is frequently the case with the Arabi- ly in the same terms, and not one word of the ans." And, lastly, Querci, the two Assemani, library. Villoison, and Gibbon, completely declared It may be objected that the letter was, perthemselves against it.

haps, never written by Amrou, and that the two Gibbon at once expresses his astonishment historians have falsely attributed it to him. So that two historians, both of Egypt. should not much the more reason for the library to have have said a word about so remarkable an event been mentioned in the supposed letter. Could The first of these is Eutychius, patriarch of they both have overlooked a feature so important Alexandria, who lived in that city 500 years in the estimation of two learned inhabitants of after it was taken by the Saracens, and who Alexandria ? Would they have taken a pride gives a long and detailed account, in his Annals, in seeming better informed on the subject of both of the siege and the succeeding events; baths and kitchen-gardens than about the lithe second is Elmacin, a most veracious writer, brary? the author of a History of the Saracens, and It, however, the letter be authentic, as its erwho especially relates the life of Omar, and the istence tends to make us believe, then let us taking of Alexandria, with its minutest circum- pay attention to the caliph's answer, who comstances. Is it conceivable or to be believed that mands his troops to respect every thing the city these two historians should have been ignorant contains. of so important a circumstance? That two We, therefore, run no great risk in drawing learned men who would have been deeply in the conclusion, from all these premises, that the terested in such a loss should have made no library of the Ptolemies no longer existed in 640 mention of it, though living and writing in Alex- at the taking of Alexandria by the Saracens. andria – Eutychius, too, at no distant period We may add fresh proofs on the authority of from the event ? and that we should learn it for two writers, nearly contemporary with Omar. the first time from a stranger, who wrote, six One of these, John Philoponos, (who has been centuries after, on the frontiers of Media ? erroneously confounded by Gibbon and others

Besides, as Gibbon observes, why should the with John the Grammarian mentioned by AbulCaliph Omar, who was no enemy to science, farage.) says, in his commentaries on Aristotle's have acted, in this one instance, in direct oppo- Analytics, that the ancient libraries contained sition to his character, when he might have dis- forty different books of this Analytica. He does pensed with such an act of barbarism, by shield- not, it is true, expressly mention the library of ing himself behind the opinion of the casuists of Alexandria, but he lived and wrote in that city the Mahometan law? These, namely, declare where, doubtless, they were always designated (see Dissertations de Rélanıl sur le Droit Mili- as the libraries, and he, therefore, could refer to taire des Mahometans, tom. iii.) “ that it is not no other in this passage. Besides, we know that right to burn the books of Christians, out of re- Aristotle's writings had been carefully collected spect for the name of God that is to be met with in the library of the Ptolemies. (See Athenæus, in them, and that every true believer is allowed Strabo, and Plutarch's Life of Sylla.) to make a proper use of profane books of history, But were any doubts remaining we may poetry, natural history, and philosophy.” This consult Philoponos's master, Ammonius Herdecision does not savor much of destroying li- meas, in his observations on Aristotle's Catebraries.

gories. He lived in Alexandria prior to the inTo these reasons may be added the remark of vasion of the Saracens. “It is reported of a German writer, M. Reinhard, who observes Ptolemy Philadelphos,” says he, “that he took that Eutychius (Annals of Eutychius, vol. ii. p. great pains tɔ collect together the writings of Aris316) iranscribes the very words of the letter totle, liberally rewarding those who brought in which Amrou gives the Caliph Omar an ac- him such; which was the cause that many percount of the taking of Alexandria after a long sons presented him manuscripts falsely attributed and obstinate siege. “I have carried the town to Aristotle; consequently, no less than forty difby storm,” says he, "and without any preced- ferent books of the Analytica were to be met with ing offer of capitulation. I cannot describe all in the great library." the treasures it contains ; suffice it to say, that It is clear that Ammonius here adverts to the it numbers 4000 palaces, 4900 baths, 40 000 library of Alexandria ; therefore Philoponos altaxable Jews, 400 'theatres. 12 000 gardeners ludes to it likewise. What he designates as the who sell vegetables. Your Mussulmans demand ancient libraries is the same as Animonius calls the privilege of pillazing the city, and sharing the great library. They both speak of it as of the booty.” Omar, in his reply, disapproves of a thing past and gone, and no longer in existthe request, and expressly forbids all pillage or ence, and do doubt can be entertained on this dilapidation

head. We may even imagine that he alludes It is plain that, in his official report, Amrou to the library of the Serapeum ; for Philadelseeks to exaggerate the value of his conquest phos, who took so much pains to gather toand to magnify, its importance, like the diplo-gether the writings of Aristotle, would doubtmatists of our times. He does not overlook a lessly have placed them in a collection that was single hovel, nor a Jew, nor a gardener. How his own work, and which he valued especially.

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