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A Fairy Tale in Two Acts Taken from Shakespeare (1763)
by William Shakespeare
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A FAIRY TALE IN TWO ACTS, TAKEN FROM SHAKESPEARE.

As it is Performed at the THEATRE-ROYAL In DRURY-LANE, LONDON

Printed for J. and R. Tonson.

MDCCLXIII.



DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

MEN.

Quince, a Carpenter, Mr. Love. Bottom, the Weaver, Mr. Baddely. Snug, the Joiner, Mr. Clough. Flute, the Bellows-mender, Mr. Castle. Snout, the Tinker, Mr. Ackman. Starveling, the Taylor, Mr. Parsons.

FAIRIES.

Oberon, King of the Fairies, Miss Rogers. Titania, Queen of the Fairies, Miss Ford. Puck, Master Cape. First Fairy, Miss Wright. Second Fairy, Master Raworth.

Other Fairies attending the King and Queen.

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it.



A FAIRY TALE.

ACT I. SCENE I.

SCENE a Room in Quince's House.

Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Starveling.

QUINCE.

Is all our company here?

Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.

Quin. Here is the scrowl of every man's name, which is thought fit through all Athens to play in our interlude before the Duke and Dutchess, on his wedding day at night.

Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors; and so grow on to a point.

Quin. Marry, our play is the most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.

Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scrowl. Masters, spread yourselves.

Quin. Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom the weaver!

Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and proceed.

Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.

Bot. What is Pyramus, a lover, or a tyrant?

Quin. A lover that kills himself most gallantly for love.

Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: If I do it let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms; I will condole in some measure. To the rest; yet, my chief humour is for a tyrant; I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in. "To make all split the raging rocks and shivering shocks shall break the locks of prison-gates, and Phibbus carr shall shine from far, and make and mar the foolish fates!" This was lofty. Now name the rest of the players. This is Ercles vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is more condoling.

Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.

Flu. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. Flute, you must take Thisby on you.

Flu. What is Thisby, a wand'ring knight?

Quin. It is the Lady that Pyramus must love.

Flu. Nay, faith, let not me play a woman, I have a beard coming.

Quin. That's all one, you shall play it in a mask, and you may speak small as you will.

Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too; I'll speak in a monstrous little voice; Thisne, Thisne, ah Pyramus my lover dear, thy Thisby dear, and lady dear.

Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and Flute, you Thisby.

Bot. Well, proceed.

Quin. Robin Starveling, the Taylor.

Star. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother:

Tom Snowt, the tinker.

Snowt. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father; Snug the joiner, you the Lion's part; I hope there is a play fitted.

Snug. Have you the Lion's part written? Pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.

Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.

Bot. Let me play the Lion too, I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me. I will roar, that I will make the Duke say, let him roar again, let him roar again!

Quin. If you should do it too terribly, you would fright the Dutchess and the Ladies, that they would shriek, and that were enough to hang us all.

All. That would hang us every mother's son.

Bot. I grant you, friends, if you should fright the Ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale.

Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus, for Pyramus is a sweet fac'd man, a proper man as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man: therefore you must needs play Pyramus.

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?

Quin. Why what you will.

Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-colour'd beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour'd beard, your perfect yellow.

Quin. Some of your French-crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd. But, masters here are your parts, and I am to intreat you, request you, and desire you to con them by to-morrow night; and meet me in the palace-wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight, there we will rehearse; for if we meet in the city, we shall be dog'd with company, and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I pray you fail me not.

Bot. We will meet, and there we may rehearse more obscenely and courageously. Take pains, be perfect, adieu.

Quin. At the Duke's oak we meet.

Bot. But hold ye, hold ye, neighbours; are your voices in order, and your tunes ready? For if we miss our musical pitch, we shall be all 'sham'd and abandon'd.

Quin. Ay, ay! Nothing goes down so well as a little of your sol, fa, and long quaver; therefore let us be in our airs—and for better assurance I have got the pitch pipe.

Bot. Stand round, stand round! We'll rehearse our eplog—Clear up your pipes, and every man in his turn take up his stanza-verse—Are you all ready?

All. Ay, ay!—Sound the pitch-pipe, Peter Quince.

[Quince blows.

Bot. Now make your reverency and begin.

SONG—for Epilogue;

By Quince, Bottom, Snug, Flute, Starveling, Snout.

Quin. Most noble Duke, to us be kind; Be you and all your courtiers blind, That you may not our errors find, But smile upon our sport. For we are simple actors all, Some fat, some lean, some short, some tall; Our pride is great, our merit small; Will that, pray, do at court?

II.

Starv. O would the Duke and Dutchess smile, The court would do the same awhile, But call us after, low and vile, And that way make their sport: Nay, would you still more pastime make, And at poor we your purses shake, Whate'er you give, we'll gladly take, For that will do at court.

Bot. Well said, my boys, my hearts! Sing but like nightingales thus when you come to your misrepresentation, and we are made for ever, you rogues! so! steal a way now to your homes without inspection; meet me at the Duke's oak—by moon light—mum's the word.

All. Mum!

[Exeunt all stealing out.



SCENE, a Wood.

Enter a Fairy at one Door, and Puck, or Robin-good-fellow, at another.

Puck. How now, Spirit! whither wander you?

1st Fai. Over hill, over dale, Through bush, through brier, Over park, over pale, Through flood, through fire, I do wander every where, Swifter than the moon's sphere; And I serve the Fairy Queen, To dew her orbs upon the green: I must go seek some dew-drops here, And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

AIR.

Kingcup, daffodil and rose, Shall the fairy wreath compose; Beauty, sweetness, and delight, Crown our revels of the night: Lightly trip it o'er the green Where the Fairy ring is seen; So no step of earthly tread, Shall of end our Lady's head.

Virtue sometimes droops her wing, Beauties bee, may lose her sting; Fairy land can both combine, Roses with the eglantine: Lightly be your measures seen, Deftly footed o'er the green; Nor a spectre's baleful head Peep at our nocturnal tread.

Farewel thou lob of spirits, I'll be gone; Our Queen and all her Elves come here anon.

Puck. The King doth keep his revels here to-night, Take heed the Queen come not within his sight; For they do square, that all their Elves for fear Creep into acorn-cups, and hide them there.

1st Fai. But why is Oberon so fell and wrath?

Puck. Because that she, as her attendant hath A lovely boy stol'n from an Indian King; And she perforce with-holds the changling, Tho' jealous Oberon wou'd have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild.

1st Fai. Or I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish Sprite Call'd Robin-good-fellow.

Puck. Thou speak'st aright; I am that merry wand'rer of the night: I jest to Oberon, and make him smile, Oft lurk in gossip's bowl, and her beguile In very likeness of a roasted crab; And when she drinks, against her lips I bob, And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale; The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale, Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, And rails or cries, and falls into a cough, And then the whole choir hold their hips and loffe.

AIR.

1st Fai. Yes, yes, I know you, you are he That frighten all the villagree; Skim milk, and labour in the quern, And bootless make the huswife churn; Or make the drink to bear no barm, Laughing at their loss and harm, But call you Robin, and sweet Puck, You do their work, and bring good luck.

Yes, you are that unlucky Sprite! Like Will-a-whisp, a wandring light, Through ditch, thro' bog, who lead astray Benighted swains, who lose their way; You pinch the slattern black and blue, You silver drop in huswife's shoe; For call you Robin and sweet Puck, You do their work, and bring good luck.

Puck. But make room, Fairy, here comes Oberon.

1st Fai. And here my mistress: Would that he were gone!

Enter Oberon King of Fairies at one door, with his train, and the Queen at another with hers.

Ob. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania!

Queen. What, jealous Oberon? Fairy, skip hence, I have forsworn his bed and Company.

Ob. Tarry, rash wanton! Am not I thy Lord?

Queen. Then I must be thy Lady: Why art thou here? Come from the farthest steep of India? But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love, To Theseus must be wedded; and you come To give their bed joy and prosperity.

Ob. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania, Glance at my credit with Hippolita, Knowing I know thy love to Theseus? Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night From Perigune, whom he ravished, And make him, with fair Egle, break his faith With Ariadne and Antiopa?

Queen. These are the forgeries of jealousy: And never since that middle summer's spring Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. The spring, the summer, The chiding autumn, angry winter, change Their wonted liveries; and the amazed world By their increase now knows not which is which; And this same progeny of evil comes From our debate, from our dissention, We are their parents and original.

Ob. Do you amend it then, it lies in you. Why should Titania cross her Oberon? I do but beg a little changling boy To be my henchman.

Queen. Set your heart at rest, The Fairy-land buys not the child of me. His mother was a votress of my order, And in the spiced Indian air by night Full often she hath gossipt by my side; And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands. Marking th' embarked traders of the flood, When we have laught to see the sails conceive, And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind; Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait, Would imitate, and sail upon the land, To fetch me trifles, and return again As from a voyage rich with merchandize; But she being mortal of that boy did die, And for her sake I do rear up her boy, And for her sake I will not part with him.

Ob. How long within this wood intend you stay?

Queen. Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day. If you will patiently dance in our round, And see our moon-light revels, go with us; If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

Ob. Give me that boy, and I'll go with thee.

Queen. Not for thy Fairy kingdom.

AIR. DUET.

Queen. Away, away, I will not stay, But fly from rage and thee.

King. Begone, begone, You'll feel anon What 'tis to injure me.

Queen. Away, false man! Do all you can, I scorn your jealous rage!

King. We will not part; Take you my heart! Give me your favourite page.

Queen. I'll keep my page!

King. And I my rage! Nor shall you injure me.

Queen. Away, away! I will not stay, But fly from rage and thee.

Both. Away, away, &c. [Exe. Queen, &c.

Ob. Well, go thy way; thou shalt not from this grove, Till I torment thee for this injury— My gentle Puck, come hither: There is a flow'r, the herb I shew'd thee once, The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid, Will make a man or woman madly doat Upon the next live creature that it sees. Fetch me that herb, and be thou here again Ere the leviathan can swim a league.

Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth In forty minutes. [Exit.

Ob. Having once this juice, I'll watch Titania when she is asleep, And drop the liquor of it in her eye; The next thing which she waking looks upon, (Be it on bear, lion, wolf, bull, ape or monkey), She shall pursue it with the soul of love; And ere I take this charm off from her sight, (As I can take it with another herb), I'll make her render up her page to me. [Exit.



SCENE another part of the Wood.

Enter Queen of the Fairies, and her Train.

Queen. Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song.

AIR.

2d Fai. Come, follow, follow me, Ye fairy Elves that be; O'er tops of dewy grass, So nimbly do we pass, The young and tender stalk Ne'er bends where we do walk.



SCENE The Wood.

Queen. Now, for the third part of a minute hence, Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds, Some war with rear-mice for their leathern wings, To make my small Elves coats: And some keep back The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders, At our queint spirits. Sing me now asleep, Then to your offices, and let me rest.

[Goes to the Bower and lies down.

AIR.

1st. Fai. You spotted snakes with double tongue, Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen, Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong, Come not near our fairy Queen. Philomel with melody, Sing in your sweet lullaby, Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby: Never harm, nor spell, nor charm, Come our lovely Lady nigh, So good night with lullaby.

II.

Weaving spiders come not here; Hence, you long-leg'd spinners, hence: Beetles black approach not near, Worm nor snail do no offence.

Philomel with melody, &c.

Hence away! now all is well; One aloof stand centinel. [Exeunt Fairies.

Enter Oberon and First Fairy.

[Oberon squeeses the Juice of the Flower on the Queen's Eyes.

Ob. What thou seest when thou dost wake, Do it for thy true love take; Love and languish for his sake; Be it ounce, or cat, or bear, Pard, or boar with bristled hair, In thy eye what shall appear, When thou wak'st, it is thy dear; Wake when some vile thing is near. [Exit Ob.

AIR.

1st Fai. Such the force of Magic Pow'r, Of the juice of this small flower, It shall jaundice so her sight, Foul shall be fair, and black seem white; Then shall dreams, and all their train, Fill with Fantasies her brain; Then, no more her darling joy, She'll resign her changeling boy.

[Exeunt.

End of the First Act.



ACT II.

SCENE Continues.

Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout and Starveling.

The Queen of Fairies lying asleep.

Bot. Are we all met?

Quin. Pat, pat! and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyring house, and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the Duke.

Bot. Peter Quince.

Quin. What say'st thou, Bully Bottom?

Bot. There are things in this Comedy of Pyramus and Thisby, that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself, which the Ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?

Snout. By'rlaken, a parlous fear!

Starv. I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.

Bot. Not a whit; I have a device to make all well; write me a prologue, and let the prologue seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords, and that Pyramus is not kill'd indeed; and for more better assurance tell them, that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: this will put them out of fear.

Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue, and it shall be written in eight and six.

Bot. No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.

Snout. Will not the Ladies be afraid of the Lion?

Starv. I fear it, I promise you.

Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves; to bring in, heaven shield us! a Lion among Ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wildfowl than your Lion, living; and we ought to look to it.

Snout. Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a Lion.

Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect: Ladies, or fair Ladies, I would wish you, or I would request you, or I would intreat you, not to fear, not to tremble; my life for yours; if you think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life; no, I am no such thing; I am a man as other men are; and there indeed let him name his name, and tell them plainly, He is Snug the Joiner.

Quin. Well, it shall be so; but there is two hard things, that is, to bring the moon-light into a chamber; for you know Pyramus and Thisby met by moon-light.

Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?

Bot. A kalendar, a kalendar! look into the almanack; find out moon-shine, find out moon-shine.

Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.

Bot. Why then may you leave a casement of the great chamber window, where we play, open, and the moon may shine in at the casement.

Quin. Ay, or else one must come in with a bush of throns and a lanthern; and say he comes to disfigure or to present the person of moon-shine. Then there is another thing; we must have a wall in the great chamber, for Pyramus and Thisby (says the story) did talk through the chink of a wall.

Snug. You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?

Bot. Some man or other must present wall; and let him have some plaster, or some loome, or some rough-cast, about him, to signify wall: Or let him hold his fingers thus, and through the cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down every mother's son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin; and when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake, and so every one according to his cue.

Enter Puck.

Puck. What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here, so near the cradle of the Fairy Queen? What, a play tow'rd; I'll be an auditor; An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.

Quin. Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.

Pyr. Thisby, the flower of odious savours sweet.

Quin. Odours, odours.

Pyr. Odours savours sweet; So doth thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear: But hark, a voice! Stay thou but here a while, And by-and-by I will to thee appear,

Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here! [Aside. Now for a storm to drive these patches hence. [He waves his wand.] Thunder and Lightning.

Quin. O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted: Pray masters, fly masters, help!

[Exeunt Clowns.

Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Thro' bog, thro' bush, thro' brake, thro' briar; Sometimes a horse I'll be, sometimes a hound, A hog, a headless bear, sometimes a fire, And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn, Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.

[Exit.

Enter Bottom.

Bot. Why do they let a little thunder frighten them away? But I will not stir from this place, do what they can: I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.

[Sings.

AIR.

The ousel-cock, so black of hue, With orange-tawny bill, The throstle, with his note so true, The wren with little quill.

Queen. What angel wakes me from my flow'ry bed?

Bot. (Sings.) The finch, the sparrow, and the lark, The plain-song cuckow grey, Whose note full many a man doth mark, And dares not answer nay.

Queen. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again, Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note; So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape, On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.

Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that; and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay I can gleek upon occasion.

Queen. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

Bot. Not so neither: But if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.

Queen. Out of this wood do not desire to go; Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no, I am a spirit of no common rate; The summer still doth tend upon my state, And I do love thee; therefore go with me, I'll give thee Fairies to attend on thee; And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep, And sing, while thou on pressed flow'rs doth sleep; And I will purge thy mortal grossness so, That thou shalt like an airy Spirit go. Peaseblossom, Cob, Moth, Mustardseed!

Enter Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, Four Fairies.

Pease. Ready.

Cob. And I.

Moth. And I.

Must. And I. Where shall we go?

Queen. Be kind and courteous to this Gentleman; Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes; Feed him with apricots and dewberries; With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries; The honey-bags steal from the humble bees, And for night-tapers, crop their waxen thighs, And light them at the fiery glow-worms eyes, To have my love to-bed, and to arise: Nod to him, Elves, and do him courtesies.

Pease. Hail, mortal, hail!

Cob. Hail!

Moth. Hail!

Queen. Come, wait upon him, lead him to my bow'r. The moon, methinks, looks with a watry eye, And when she weeps, weep ev'ry little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity. Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently. [Exeunt.



SCENE Another part of the Wood.

Enter Oberon.

Ob. I wonder if Titania be awak'd: Then what it was that next came in her eye, Which she must doat on in extremity?

Enter Puck.

Here comes my messenger! how now, mad sprite! What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

Puck. My mistress with a mortal is in love.

Ob. This falls out well and fortunate in truth; Now to my Queen, and beg her Indian youth: And then I will her charmed eye release From mortals view, and all things shall be peace. Away, away, make no delay, We may effect this business yet ere day. [Exit Puck.

AIR.

Up and down, up and down, We will trip it up and down. We will go through field and town, We will trip it up and down.

[Exit Oberon.



SCENE The Wood and Bower.

Enter Queen of Fairies, Bottom; Fairies attending and the King behind them.

Queen. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed. Say wilt thou hear some music sweet dove.

Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in music.

DUET. By 1st and 2d Fairy.

Welcome, welcome to this place, Favorite of the Fairy Queen; Zephyrs, play around his face, Wash, ye dews, his graceful mien.

Pluck the wings from butterflies, To fan the moon-beams from his eyes; Round him in eternal spring Grashoppers and crickets sing.

By the spangled starlight sheen, Nature's joy he walks the green; Sweet voice, fine shape, and graceful mien, Speak him thine, O Fairy Queen!

Queen. Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat. I have a ventrous Fairy that shall seek The squirrels hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

Bot. I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

Queen. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms; Fairies begone, and be always away. So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle Gently entwist. O how I love thee! how I doat on thee! [They sleep.

Enter Puck, at one door, Oberon and 1st Fairy at another.

Ob. Welcome, good Robin! See'st thou this sweet sight? Her dotage now I do begin to pity: For meeting her of late behind the wood, I then did ask of her her changeling child, Which strait she gave me; wherefore I'll undo This hateful imperfection of her eyes: [He strokes her eyes with the flower. Now, Fairy, sing the charm.

AIR.

1st Fai. Flower, of this purple dye, Hit with cupid's archery, Sink in apple of her eye! When her lord she doth espy, Let him shine as gloriously As the Phoebus of the sky. When thou wak'st, if he be by, Beg of him for remedy. [Exit Fairy.

Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweet queen.

Queen. My Oberon! What visions have I seen! Methought I was enamour'd of a mortal.

Ob. There lies your love.

Queen. How came these things to pass? O how mine eyes do loath this visage now!

Ob. Silence awhile. Robin, remove the man, And you mean while, Titania, music call, And strike more dead than common deep his senses.

Queen. Musick, ho, musick! such as charmeth sleep.

AIR.

2d Fai. Orpheus, with his lute, made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves when he did sing, To his musick, plants and flowers Ever spring, as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring. [During this song the body is removed.

Ob. Come, my Queen, take hand with me, Now thou and I are new in amity.

AIR.

2d Fai. Sigh no more, lady, sigh no more Be not inconstant ever, One foot on sea, and one on shore, You can be happy never. [Lark sings.

Puck. Fairy king, attend and mark, I do hear the morning lark.

Ob. Then, my Queen, in silence sad, Trip we after the night's shade, We the globe can compass soon, Swifter than the wand'ring moon.

Queen. Come, my lord, and in our flight, Tell me, how it came this night, That I sleeping here was found, With yon mortal on the ground.

A Dance of Fairies.

FINIS.

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