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And not enforc'd oft-times to part from truth,
If it may stand him more in stead to lie,
Say and unsay, feign, flatter, or abjure?
But thou art plac'd above me, thou art Lord;
From thee I can, and must submiss, endure,
Check or reproof, and glad to 'scape so quit.
Hard are the ways of Truth, and rough to walk,
Smooth on the tongue discours'd, pleasing to the
And tuneable as sylvan pipe or song;
[ear,
What wonder then if I delight to hear [mire
Her dictates from thy mouth? Most men ad-
Virtue, who follow not her lore: permit me
To hear thee when I come, (since no man comes,)
And talk at least, though I despair to attain.
Thy father, who is holy, wise, and pure,
Suffers the hypocrite or atheous priest
To tread his sacred courts, and minister
About his altar, handling holy things,
Praying or vowing; and vouchsaf'd his voice
To Balaam reprobate, a prophet yet
Inspir'd: disdain not such access to me."

To whom our Saviour, with unalter'd brow: "Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope, I bid not, or forbid; do as thou find'st Permission from above; thou canst not more." He added not; and Satan, bowing low His gray dissimulation, disappear'd Into thin air diffus'd: for now began Night with her sullen wings to double-shade The desert; fowls in their clay nests were couch'd;

And now wild beasts came forth the woods to

roam.

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PARADISE REGAINED.

BOOK II. THE ARGUMENT.

:

The disciples of Jesus, uneasy at his long absence, reason amongst themselves concerning it. Mary also gives vent to her maternal anxiety in the expression of which she recapitulates many circumstances respecting the birth and early life of her son.-Satan again meets his infernal council, reports the bad success of his first temptation of our blessed Lord, and calls upon them for counsel and assistance. Belial proposes the tempting of Jesus with women. Satan rebukes Belial for his dissoluteness, charging on him all the profligacy of that kind ascribed by the poets tot he heathen gods, and rejects his proposal as in no respect likely to succeed. Satan then suggests other modes of temptation, particularly proposing to avail himself of the circumstance of our Lord's hungering; and, taking a. band of chosen spirits with him, returns to resume his enterprise.-Jesus hungers in the desert.-Night comes on; the manner in which our Saviour passes the night is desscribed.-Morning advances.--Satan again appears to Jesus, and, after expressing wonder that he should be so entirely neglected in the

wilderness, where others had been miracu. lously fed, tempts him with a sumptuous banquet of the most luxurious kind. This he rejects, and the banquet vanishes.—Satan, finding our Lord not to be assailed on the ground of appetite, tempts him again by offering him riches, as the means of acquiring power: this Jesus also rejects, producing many instances of great actions performed by persons under virtuous poverty, and specifying the danger of riches, and the cares and pains inseparable from power and greatness.

MEAN while the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd

At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Him whom they heard so late expressly call'd
Jesus Messiah, Son of God declar'd,
And on that high authority had believ'd,
And with him talk'd, and with him lodg'd; I

mean

Andrew and Simon, famous after known,
With others, though in Holy Writ not nam'd;
Now missing him, their joy so lately found,
(So lately found, and so abruptly gone,)
Began to doubt, and doubted many days,
And, as the days increas'd, increas'd their doubt.
Sometimes they thought he might be only shown,
And for a time caught up to God, as once
Moses was in the mount and missing long,
And the great Thisbite, who on fiery wheels
Rode up to Heaven, yet once again to come:
Therefore, as those young prophets then with
Sought lost Elijah, so in each place these [care
Nigh to Bethabara; in Jericho

The city of palms, Ænon, and Salem old,
Machærus, and each town or city wall'd
On this side the broad lake Genezaret,
Or in Peræa; but return'd in vain.
Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek, [play,
Where winds with reeds and osiers whispering
Plain fishermen, (no greater men them call,)
Close in a cottage low together got,
Their unexpected loss and plaints outbreath'd.

"Alas, from what high hope to what relapse Unlook'd for are we fall'n! our eyes beheld Messiah certainly now come, so long Expected of our fathers; we have heard His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth; Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand, The kingdom shall to Israel be restor❜d; Thus we rejoic'd, but soon our joy is turn'd Into perplexity and new amaze : For whither is he gone, what accident Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire After appearance, and again prolong Our expectation? God of Israel, Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come; Behold the kings of the Earth, how they oppress Thy chosen ; to what height their power unjust They have exalted, and behind them cast All fear of thee; arise, and vindicate Thy glory; free thy people from their yoke. But let us wait; thus far he hath perform'd, Sent his anointed, and to us reveal'd him, By his great prophet, pointed at and shown In public, and with him we have convers'd; Let us be glad of this, and all our fears Lay on his providence; he will not fail,

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"Princes, Heaven's ancient sons, ethereal

thrones;

Demonian spirits now, from the element
Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'd
Powers of fire, air, water, and earth beneath,
(So may we hold our place and these mild seats
Without new trouble,) such an enemy
Is risen to invade us, who no less

"O, what avails me now that honour high
To have conceiv'd of God, or that salute,
'Hail highly favour'd among women blest!'
While I to sorrows am no less advanc'd,
And fears as eminent, above the lot
Of other women, by the birth I bore;
In such a season born, when scarce a shed
Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me
From the bleak air: a stable was our warmth,
A manger his; yet soon enforc'd to fly,
Thence into Egypt, till the murderous king
Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fill'd
With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem;
From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many years; his life
Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,
Little suspicious to any king; but now
Full grown to man, acknowledg'd, as I hear,
By John the Baptist, and in public shown,
Son own'd from Heaven by his Father's voice,
I look'd for some great change; to honour? no,
But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Israël, and to a sign

Spoken against, that through my very soul
A sword shall pierce: this is my favour'd lot,
My exaltation to afflictions high;
Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest ;
I will not argue that, nor will repine.
But where delays he now? some great intent
Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had
I lost him, but so found, as well I saw
He could not lose himself, but went about
His father's business; what he meant I mus'd,
Since understand; much more his absence now
Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
But 1 to wait with patience am inur'd ;
My heart hath been a store-house long of things
And sayings laid up, portending strange events."

[seen,

Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind Recalling what remarkably had pass'd Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling: The while her son, tracing the desert wild, Sole, but with holiest meditations fed, Into himself descended, and at once All his great work to come before him set; How to begin, how to accomplish best His end of being on Earth, and mission high: For Satan, with sly preface to return, Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone Up to the middle region of thick air, Where all his potentates in council sat; There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy, Solicitous and blank, he thus began.

Threatens than our expulsion down to Hell;
I, as I undertook, and with the vote
Consenting in full frequence was impower'd,
Have found him, view'd him, tasted him; but
Far other labour to be undergone
[find
Than when I dealt with Adam, first of men,
Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,
However to this man inferiour far;

If he be man by mother's side, at least
With more than human gifts from Heaven adorn'd,
Perfections absolute, graces divine,

And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.
Therefore I am return'd, lest confidence
Of my success with Eve in Paradise
Deceive ye to persuasion over-sure
Of like succeeding here: I summon all
Rather to be in readiness, with band
Or counsel to assist; lest I, who erst
Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd."

So spake the old serpent, doubting; and from
With clamour was assured their utmost aid [all
At his command: when from amidst them rose
Belial, the dissolutest spirit that fell,
The sensuallest, and, after Asmodai,
The fleshliest incubus; and thus advis'd.

"Set women in his eye, and in his walk, Among daughters of men the fairest found: Many are in each region passing fair As the noon sky; more like to goddesses Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet, Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild And sweet allay'd, yet terrible to approach, Skill'd to retire, and, in retiring, draw Hearts after them, tangled in amorous nets. Such object hath the power to soften and tame Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow, Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve, Draw out with credulous desire, and lead At will the manliest, resolutest b.east, As the magnetic hardest iron draws. Women, when nothing else, beguil ́d the heart Of wisest Solomon, and made him build, And made him bow, to the gods of his wives."

To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd. "Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st All others by thyself; because of old Thou thyself doat'dst on womankind, admiring Their shape, their colour, and attractive grace, None are, thou think'st, but taken with such toys Before the flood thou with thy lusty crew, False titled sons of God, roaming the Earth, Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men, And coupled with them, and begot a race. Have we not seen, or by relation heard, In courts and regal chambers how thou lurk'st, In wood or grove, by mossy fountain side, In valley or green meadow, to way-lay Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene, Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa, Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more

Too long, then lay'st thy scapes on names ador'd, Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan, Satyr, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts Delight not all; among the sons of men, How many have with a smile made small acOf Beauty and her lures, easily scorn'd [count All her assaults, on worthier things intent! Remember that Pellean conqueror, A youth, how all the beauties of the East He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass'd; How he, surnam'd of Africa, dismiss'd, In his prime youth, the fair Iberian maid. For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full Of honour, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond Higher design than to enjoy his state; Thence to the bait of women lay expos'd: But he, whom we attempt, is wiser far Than Solomon, of more exalted mind, Made and set wholly on the accomplishment Of greatest things. What woman will you find, Though of this age the wonder and the fame, On whom his leisure will vouchsafe an eye Of fond desire? Or should she, confident, As sitting queen ador'd on Beauty's throne, Descend with all her winning charms begirt To enamour, as the zone of Venus once Wrought that effect on Jove, so fables tell; How would one look from his majestic brow, Seated as on the top of Virtue's hill, Discountenance her despis'd, and put to rout All her array; her female pride deject, Or turn to reverent awe! for Beauty stands In the admiration only of weak minds Led captive; cease to admire, and all her plumes Fall flat, and shrink into a trivial toy, At every sudden slighting quite abash'd. Therefore with manlier objects we must try His constancy; with such as have more show Of worth, of honour, glory, and popular praise, Rocks, whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd; Or that which only seems to satisfy Lawful desires of nature, not beyond; And now I know he hungers, where no food Is to be found, in the wide wilderness: The rest commit to me; I shall let pass No advantage, and his strength as oft assay."

He ceas'd, and heard their grant in loud acclaim;

Then forthwith to him takes a chosen band Of spirits, likest to himself in guile, To be at hand, and at his beck appear, If cause were to unfold some active scene Of various persons, each to know his part: Then to the desert takes with these his flight; Where, still from shade to shade, the Son of God After forty days fasting had remain'd, Now hungering first, and to himself thus said. "Where will this end? four times ten days I've pass'd Wandering this woody maze, and human food Nor tasted, nor had appetite; that fast To virtue I impute not, or count part Of what I suffer here; if nature need not, Or God support nature without repast Though needing, what praise is it to endure? But now I feel I hunger, which declares Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God Can satisfy that need some other way, Though hunger still remain: so it remain

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Without this body's wasting, I content me, And from the sting of famine fear no harm; Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts, that feed Me hungering more to do my Father's will."

It was the hour of night, when thus the Son Commun'd in silent walk, then laid him down Under the hospitable covert nigh Of trees thick interwoven; there he slept, And dream'd, as appetite is wont to dream, Of meats and drinks, nature's refreshment sweet: Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood, And saw the ravens with their horny beaks Food to Elijah bringing, even and morn, Though ravenous, taught to abstain from what they brought:

He saw the prophet also, how he fled
Into the desert, and how there he slept
Under a juniper; then how awak'd
He found his supper on the coals prepar'd,
And by the angel was bid rise and eat,
And eat the second time after repose,
The strength whereof suffic'd him forty days:
Sometimes that with Elijah he partook,
Or as a guest with Daniel at his pulse.
Thus wore out night; and now the herald lark
Left his ground-nest, high towering to descry
The Morn's approach, and greet her with his

song:

As lightly from his grassy couch up rose
Our Saviour, and found all was but a dream;
Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting wak'd.
Up to a hill anon his steps he rear'd,
From whose high top to ken the prospect round,
If cottage were in view, sheep-cote, or herd;
But cottage, herd, or sheep-cote, none he saw;
Only in a bottom saw a pleasant grove,
With chant of tuneful birds resounding loud:
Thither he bent his way, determin'd there
To rest at noon, and enter'd soon the shade
High-roof'd, and walks beneath, and alleys

brown,

That open'd in the midst a woody scene;
Nature's own work it seem'd (Nature taught Art)
And, to a superstitious eye, the haunt
Of wood-gods and wood-nymphs: he view'd it
When suddenly a man before him stood; [round.
Not rustic as before, but seemlier clad,
As one in city, or court, or palace bred,
And with fair speech these words to him ad
dress'd.

"With granted leave officious I return,
But much more wonder that the Son of God
In this wild solitude so long should bide,
Of all things destitute; and, well I know,
Not without hunger. Others of some note,
As story tells, have trod this wilderness;
The fugitive bond-woman, with her son
Out-cast Nebaioth, yet found here relief
By a providing angel; all the race
Of Israel here had famish'd, had not God [bold,
Rain'd from Heaven manna; and that prophet
Native of Thebez, wandering here was fed
Twice by a voice inviting him to eat:

Of thee these forty days none hath regard,
Forty and more deserted here indeed."

To whom thus Jesus. "What conclud'st -thou hence?

They all had need; I, as thou seest, have none." "How hast thou hunger then?" Satar replied.

Tell me, if food were now before thee set,
Would'st thou not eat?""Thereafter as I like
The giver," answer'd Jesus. "Why should that
Cause thy refusal ?" said the subtle fiend.
"Hast thou not right to all created things?
Owe not all creatures by just right to thee
Duty and service, nor to stay till bid,
But tender all their power? Nor mention t
Meats by the law unclean, or offer'd first
To idols, those young Daniel could refuse;
Nor proffer'd by an enemy, though who
Would scruple that, with want oppress'd? Behold,
Nature asham'd, or, better to express, [vey'd
Troubled, that thou should'st hunger, hath pur-
From all the elements her choicest store,
To treat thee, as beseems, and as her Lord,
With honour: only deign to sit and eat."

He spake no dream; for, as his words had end,
Our Saviour lifting up his eyes beheld,
In ample space under the broadest shade,
A table richly spread, in regal mode,
With dishes pil'd, and meats of noblest sort
And savour; beasts of chase, or fowl of game,
In pastry built, or from the spit, or boil'd,
Gris-amber-steam'd; all fish, from sea or shore,
Freshet or purling brook, of shell or fin,
And exquisitest name, for which was drain'd
Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast.
(Alas, how simply, to these cates compar'd,
Was that crude apple that diverted Eve!)
And at a stately side-board, by the wine
That fragrant smell diffus'd, in order stood
Tall stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue
Than Ganymed or Hylas; distant more
Under the trees now tripp'd, now solemn stood,
Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades
With fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn,
And ladies of the Hesperides, that seem'd
Fairer than feign'd of old, or fabled since
Of faery damsels, met in forest wide
By knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
Lancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore.
And all the while harmonious airs were heard
Of chiming strings, or charming pipes; and
Of gentlest gale Arabian odours fann'd [winds
From their soft wings, and Flora's earliest
smells.

Such was the splendour; and the tempter-now His invitation earnestly renew'd.

"What doubts the Son of God to sit and eat? These are not fruits forbidd'n; no interdict Defends the touching of these viands pure; Their taste no knowledge works, at least of evil, But life preserves, destroys life's enemy, Hunger, with sweet restorative delight. [springs, All these are spirits of air, and woods, and Thy gentle ministers, who come to pay Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord: What doubt'st thou, Son of God? Sit down and To whom thus Jesus temperately replied.[eat." "Said'st thou not that to all things I had right? And who withholds my power that right to use? Shall I receive by gift what of my own, When and where likes me best, I can command? I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou, Command a table in this wilderness, And call swift flights of angels ministrant Array'd in glory on my cup to attend : Why should'st thou then obtrude this diligence,

In vain, where no acceptance it can find?
And with my hunger what hast thou to do?
Thy pompous delicacies I contemn,

And count thy specious gifts no gifts, but guiles."
To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent.
"That I have also power to give, thou seest;
If of that power I bring thee voluntary
What I might have bestow'd on whom I pleas'd,
And rather opportunely in this place
Chose to impart to thy apparent need,
Why should'st thou not accept it? but I see
What I can do or offer is suspect:
Of these things others quickly will dispose,
Whose pains have earn'd the far-fet spoil." With
that

Both table and provision vanish'd quite
With sound of harpies' wings and talons heard:
Only the impórtune tempter still remain'd,
And with these words his temptation pursued.

"By hunger, that each other creature tames, Thou art not to be harm'd, therefore not mov'd; Thy temperance invincible besides, For no allurement yields to appetite; And all thy heart is set on high designs, High actions: but wherewith to be achiev'd? Great acts require great means of enterprise; Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of birth, A carpenter thy father known, thyself Bred up in poverty and straits at home, Lost in a desert here and hunger-bit : Which way, or from what hope, dost thou aspire To greatness? whence authority deriv'st? What followers,, what retinue can'st thou gain, Or at thy heels the dizzy multitude,

Longer than thou canst feed them on thy cost? Money brings honour, friends, conquest, and realms :

What rais'd Antipater the Edomite,

And his son Herod plac'd on Judah's throne, Thy throne, but gold that got him puissant friends?

Therefore, if at great things thou would'st arrive,
Get riches first, get wealth, and treasure heap,
Not difficult, if thou hearken to me:
Riches are mine, fortune is in my hand';
They whom I favour thrive in wealth amain,
While virtue, valour, wisdom, sit in want."

To whom thus Jesus patiently replied.
"Yet wealth, without these three, is impotent
To gain dominion, or to keep it gain'd.
Witness those ancient empires of the Earth,
In height of all their flowing wealth dissolv'd:
But men endued with these have oft attain'd
In lowest poverty to highest deeds;
Gideon, and Jephtha, and the shepherd lad,
Whose offspring on the throne of Judah sat
So many ages, and shall yet regain
That seat, and reign in Israel without end.
Among the Heathen, (for throughout the world
To me is not unknown what hath been done
Worthy of memorial,) canst thou not remember
Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus?
For I esteem those names of men so poor,
Who could do mighty things, and could contemn
Riches, though offer'd from the hand of kings.
And what in me seems wanting, but that I
May also in this poverty as soon
Accomplish what they did, perhaps and more?
Extol not riches then, the toil of fools,

The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare; more
To slacken Virtue, and abate her edge, [apt
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and realms? yet not for that a crown,
Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless
nights,

To him who wears the regal diadem,
When on his shoulders each man's burden lies;
For therein stands the office of a king,
His honour, virtue, merit, and chief praise,
That for the public all this weight he bears.
Yet he, who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king;
Which every wise and virtuous man attains;
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
Cities of men, or headstrong multitudes,
Subject himself to anarchy within,
Or lawless passions in him, which he serves.
But to guide nations in the way of truth
By saving doctrine, and from errour lead
To know, and knowing worship God aright,
Is yet more kingly; this attracts the soul,
Governs the inner man, the nobler part;
That other o'er the body only reigns,
And oft by force, which, to a generous mind,
So reigning, can be no sincere delight.
Besides, to give a kingdom hath been thought
Greater and n bler done, and to lay down
Far more magnanimous, than to assume.
Riches are needless then, both for themselves,
And for thy reason why they should be sought,
To gain a sceptre, oftest better miss'd."

PARADISE REGAINED.

BOOK III.

THE ARGUMENT.

Satan, in a speech of much flattering commendation, endeavours to awaken in Jesus a passion for glory, by particularising various instances of conquests achieved, and great actions performed, by persons at an early period of life. Our Lord replies, by showing the vanity of worldly fame, and the improper means by which it is generally attained; and contrasts with it the true glory of religious patience and virtuous wisdom, as exemplified in the character of Job. Satan justifies the love of glory from the example of God himself, who requires it from all his creatures. Jesus detects the fa'lacy of this argument, by showing that, as goodness is the true ground on which glory is due to the great Creator of all things, s.nful man can have no right whatever to it.-Satan then urges our Lord respecting his claim to the throne of David; he tells him that the kingdom of Judea, being at that time a province of Rome, cannot be got possession of without much personal exertion on his part, and presses him to lose no time in beginning to reign. Jesus refers him to the time allotted for this, as for all other things; and, after

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intimating somewhat respecting his own pre vious sufferings, asks Satan, why he should be so solicitous for the exaltation of one, whose rising was destined to be his fall. Satan replies, that his own desperate state, by excluding all hope, leaves little room for fear; and that, as his own punishment was equally doomed, he is not interested in preventing the reign of one, from whose apparent benevo lence he might rather hope for some interference in his favour.-Satan still pursues his former incitements; and, supposing that the seeming reluctance of Jesus to be thus advanced might arise from his being unacquainted with the world and its glories, conveys him to the summit of a high mountain, and from thence shows him most of the kingdoms of Asia, particularly pointing out to his notice some extraordinary military preparations of the Parthians to resist the incursions of the Scythians. He then informs our Lord, that he showed him this purposely that he might see how necessary military exertions are to retain the possession of kingdoms, as well as to subdue them at first, and advises him to consider how impossible it was to maintain Judea against two such powerful neighbours as the Romans and Parthians, and how necessary it would be to form an alliance with one or other of them. At the same time he recommends, and engages to secure to him, that of the Parthians; and tells him that by this means his power will be defended from any thing that Rome or Cæsar might attempt against it, and that he will be able to extend his glory wide, and especially to accomplish, what was particularly necessary to make the throne of Judea really the throne of David, the deliverance and restoration of the ten tribes, still in a state of captivity. Jesus, hav ing briefly noticed the vanity of military efforts and the weakness of the arm of flesh, says, that when the time comes for his ascending his allotted throne he shall not be slack: he remarks on Satan's extraordinary zeal for the deliverance of the Israelites, to whom he had always showed himself an enemy, and declares their servitude to be the consequence of their idolatry; but adds, that at a future time it may perhaps please God to recall them, and restore them to their liberty and native land.

So spake the Son of God; and Satan stood
A while, as mute, confounded what to say,
What to reply, confuted, and convinc'd
Of his weak arguing and fallacious drift;
At length, collecting all his serpent wiles,
With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts.

"I see thou know'st what is of use to know,
What best to say canst say, to do canst do;
Thy actions to thy words accord, thy words
To thy large heart give utterance due, thy heart
Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
Should kings and nations from thy mouth consult,
Thy counsel would be as the oracle
Urim and Thumruim, those oraculous gems
On Aaron's breast; or tongue of seers old,
Infallible: or wert thou sought to deeds

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