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man. The productions of his pen, which are many and various, relate chiefly to natural philosophy, divinity, and law. His religious opinions were Calvinistical; and his chief theological work, entitled Contemplations, Moral and Divine, retains considerable popularity among serious people of that persuasion. As a specimen of his style, we present a letter of advice to his children, written about the year 1662.

twelve he took the degree of bachelor of arts, pre-extracted from Baxter a character of this estimable viously to which he had gained an extensive acquaintance with several additional languages, including Arabic, Syriac, and Chaldee; as well as with geography, logic, philosophy, chronology, and mathematics. As in many similar cases, however, the expectations held out by his early proficiency were not justified by any great achievements in after life. We quote the following passage from his Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning (1694), chiefly because it records the change of manners which took place among literary men during the seventeenth century.

[Decline of Pedantry in England.]

The last of Sir William Temple's reasons of the great decay of modern learning is pedantry; the urging of which is an evident argument that his discourse is levelled against learning, not as it stands now, but as it was fifty or sixty years ago. For the new philosophy has introduced so great a correspondence between men of learning and men of business; which has also been increased by other accidents amongst the masters of other learned professions; and that pedantry which formerly was almost universal is now in a great measure disused, especially amongst the young men, who are taught in the universities to laugh at that frequent citation of scraps of Latin in common discourse, or upon arguments that do not require it; and that nauseous ostentation of reading and scholarship in public companies, which formerly was so much in fashion. Affecting to write politely in modern languages, especially the French and ours, has also helped very much to lessen it, because it has enabled abundance of men, who wanted academical education, to talk plausibly, and some exactly, upon very many learned subjects. This also has made writers habitually careful to avoid those impertinences which they know would be taken notice of and ridiculed; and it is probable that a careful perusal of the fine new French books, which of late years have been greedily sought after by the politer sort of gentlemen and scholars, may in this particular have done abundance of good. By this means, and by the help also of some other concurrent causes, those who were not learned themselves being able to maintain disputes with those that were, forced them to talk more warily, and brought them, by little and little, to be out of countenance at that vain thrusting of their learning into everything, which before had been but too visible.


SIR MATTHEW HALE (1609-1676) not only acquired some reputation as a literary man, but is celebrated as one of the most upright judges that have ever sat upon the English bench. Both in his studies and in the exercise of his profession he displayed uncommon industry, which was favoured by his acquaintance with Selden, who esteemed him so highly as to appoint him his executor. Hale was a judge both in the time of the commonwealth and under Charles II., who appointed him chief baron of the exchequer in 1660, and lord chief-justice of the king's benchi eleven years after. In the former capacity, one of his most notable and least creditable acts was the condemnation of some persons accused of witchcraft at Bury St Edmunds in 1664. Amidst the immorality of Charles II.'s reign, Sir Matthew Hale stands out with peculiar lustre as an impartial, incorruptible, and determined administrator of justice. Though of a benevolent and devout, as well as righteous disposition, his manners are said to have been austere; he was, moreover, opinionative, and accessible to flattery. In a previous page, we have

[On Conversation.]

DEAR CHILDREN-I thank God I came well to Farrington this day, about five o'clock. And as I have some leisure time at my inn, I cannot spend it more to my own satisfaction, and your benefit, than, by a letter, to give you some good counsel. The subject shall be concerning your speech; because much of the good or evil that befalls persons arises from the well or ill managing of their conversation. When I have leisure and opportunity, I shall give you my directions on other subjects.


Never speak anything for a truth which you know or believe to be false. Lying is a great sin against God, who gave us a tongue to speak the truth, and not falsehood. It is a great offence against humanity itself; for, where there is no regard to truth, there can be no safe society between man and man. it is an injury to the speaker; for, besides the disgrace which it brings upon him, it occasions so much baseness of mind, that he can scarcely tell truth, or avoid lying, even when he has no colour of necessity for it; and, in time, he comes to such a pass, that as other people cannot believe he speaks truth, so he himself scarcely knows when he tells a falsehood.

As you must be careful not to lie, so you must avoid coming near it. You must not equivocate, nor speak anything positively for which you have no authority but report, or conjecture, or opinion.

Let your words be few, especially when your superiors, or strangers, are present, lest you betray your own weakness, and rob yourselves of the opportunity, which you might otherwise have had, to gain knowledge, wisdom, and experience, by hearing those whom you silence by your impertinent talking.

Be not too earnest, loud, or violent in your conversation. Silence your opponent with reason, not with noise.

Be careful not to interrupt another when he is speaking; hear him out, and you will understand him the better, and be able to give him the better


Consider before you speak, especially when the business is of moment; weigh the sense of what you mean to utter, and the expressions you intend to use, that they may be significant, pertinent, and inoffensive. Inconsiderate persons do not think till they speak; or they speak, and then think.

Some men excel in husbandry, some in gardening, some in mathematics. In conversation, learn, as near as you can, where the skill or excellence of any person lies; put him upon talking on that subject, observe what he says, keep it in your memory, or commit it to writing. By this means you will glean the worth and knowledge of everybody you converse with; and, at an easy rate, acquire what may be of use to you on many occasions.

When you are in company with light, vain, impertinent persons, let the observing of their failings make you the more cautious both in your conversation with them and in your general behaviour, that you may avoid their errors.

If any one, whom you do not know to be a person of truth, sobriety, and weight, relates strange stories, be not too ready to believe or report them; and yet

(unless he is one of your familiar acquaintance) be not too forward to contradict him. If the occasion requires you to declare your opinion, do it modestly and gently, not bluntly nor coarsely; by this means you will avoid giving offence, or being abused for too much credulity.

If a man, whose integrity you do not very well know, makes you great and extraordinary professions, do not give much credit to him. Probably, you will find that he aims at something besides kindness to you, and that when he has served his turn, or been disappointed, his regard for you will grow cool.

Beware also of him who flatters you, and commends you to your face, or to one who he thinks will tell you of it; most probably he has either deceived and abused you, or means to do so. Remember the fable of the fox commending the singing of the crow, who had something in her mouth which the fox wanted.

Be careful that you do not commend yourselves. It is a sign that your reputation is small and sinking, if your own tongue must praise you; and it is fulsome and unpleasing to others to hear such commendations.

Speak well of the absent whenever you have a suitable opportunity. Never speak ill of them, or of anybody, unless you are sure they deserve it, and unless it is necessary for their amendment, or for the safety and benefit of others.

Avoid, in your ordinary communications, not only oaths, but all imprecations and earnest protestations. Forbear scoffing and jesting at the condition or natural defects of any person. Such offences leave a deep impression; and they often cost a man dear.

Be very careful that you give no reproachful, menacing, or spiteful words to any person. Good words make friends; bad words make enemies. It is great prudence to gain as many friends as we honestly can, especially when it may be done at so easy a rate as a good word; and it is great folly to make an enemy by ill words, which are of no advantage to the party who uses them. When faults are committed, they may, and by a superior they must, be reproved: but let it be done without reproach or bitterness; otherwise it will lose its due end and use, and, instead of reforming the offence, it will exasperate the offender, and lay the reprover justly open to reproof.

If a person be passionate, and give you ill language, rather pity him than be moved to anger. You will find that silence, or very gentle words, are the most exquisite revenge for reproaches; they will either cure the distemper in the angry man, and make him sorry for his passion, or they will be a severe reproof and punishment to him. But, at any rate, they will preserve your innocence, give you the deserved reputation of wisdom and moderation, and keep up the serenity and composure of your mind. Passion and anger make a man unfit for everything that becomes him as a man or as a Christian.

Never utter any profane speeches, nor make a jest of any Scripture expressions. When you pronounce the name of God or of Christ, or repeat any passages or words of Holy Scripture, do it with reverence and seriousness, and not lightly, for that is 'taking the name of God in vain.'

If you hear of any unseemly expressions used in religious exercises, do not publish them; endeavour to forget them; or, if you mention them at all, let it be with pity and sorrow, not with derision or reproach.

Read these directions often; think of them seriously; and practise them diligently. You will find them useful in your conversation; which will be every day the more evident to you, as your judgment, understanding, and experience increase.

I have little further to add at this time, but my wish and command that you will remember the former counsels that I have frequently given you. Begin and

end the day with private prayer; read the Scriptures often and seriously; be attentive to the public wor ship of God. Keep yourselves in some useful employ ment; for idleness is the nursery of vain and sinful thoughts, which corrupt the mind, and disorder the life. Be kind and loving to one another Honour your minister. Be not bitter nor harsh to my servants. Be respectful to all. Bear my absence patiently and cheerfully. Behave as if I were present among you and saw you. Remember, you have a greater Father than I am, who always, and in all places, beholds you, and knows your hearts and thoughts. Study to requite my love and care for you with dutifulness, observance, and obedience; and account it an honour that you have an opportunity, by your attention, faithfulness, and industry, to pay some part of that debt which, by the laws of nature and of gratitude, you owe to me. Be frugal in my family, but let there be no want; and provide conveniently for the poor.

I pray God to fill your hearts with his grace, fear, and love, and to let you see the comfort and advantage of serving him; and that his blessing, and presence, and direction, may be with you, and over you all.-I am your ever loving father.

England, during the latter half of the seventeenth century, was adorned by three illustrious philosophers, who, besides making important contributions to science, were distinguished by the simplicity and moral excellence of their personal character, and an ardent devotion to the interests of religion, virtue, and truth. We allude to John Locke, Robert Boyle, and Sir Isaac Newton.

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John Locke

mentary education at Westminster school, completed his studies at Christ-church college, Oxford In the latter city he resided from 1651 till 1664,

other letters, he continues in the same humorous strain.

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In the same year, Locke returned to Oxford, where he soon afterwards received an offer of considerable preferment in the Irish church, if he should think fit to take orders. This, after due consideration, he declined. A man's affairs and whole course of his life,' says he, in a letter to the friend who made the proposal to him, are not to be changed in a moment, and one is not made fit for a calling, and that in a day. I believe you think me too proud to undertake anything wherein I should acquit myself but unworthily. I am sure I cannot content myself with being undermost, possibly the middlemost, of my profession; and you will allow, on consideration, care is to be taken not to engage in a calling wherein, if one chance to be a bungler, there is no retreat. * *It is not enough for such places to be in nature should be thrown upon a man who has never given any proof of himself, nor ever tried the pulpit.'

In 1666, Locke became acquainted with Lord Ashley, afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury; and so valuable did his lordship find the medical advice and general conversation of the philosopher, that a close and permanent friendship sprang up between them, and

during which period he became disgusted with the verbal subtleties of the Aristotelian philosophy, which he found unfruitful and devoid of practical utility. Having chosen the profession of medicine, he made considerable progress in the necessary studies; but finding the delicacy of his constitution an obstacle to successful practice, he at length abandoned his design. In 1664, he accompanied, in the capacity of secretary, Sir Walter Vane, who was sent by Charles II. as envoy to the Elector of Brandenburg during the Dutch war: some lively and interesting letters written by him from Germany on this occasion have recently been published by Lord King. Those who are acquainted with Locke only in the character of a grave philosopher, will peruse with interest the following humorous account, which he gives to one of his friends, of some Christmas religious ceremonies witnessed by him in a church at Cleves. About one in the morning I went a gos-orders, and I cannot think that preferment of that siping to our lady. Think me not profane, for the name is a great deal modester than the service I was at. I shall not describe all the particulars I observed in that church, being the principal of the Catholics in Cleves; but only those that were particular to the occasion. Near the high altar was a little altar for this day's solemnity; the scene was a stable, wherein was an ox, an ass, a cradle, the Virgin, the babe, Joseph, shepherds, and angels, dramatis personæ. Had they but given them motion, it had been a perfect puppet play, and might have deserved pence a-piece; for they were of the same size and make that our English puppets are; and I am confident these shepherds and this Joseph are kin to that Judith and Holophernes which I have seen at Bartholomew fair. A little without the stable was a flock of sheep, cut out of cards; and these, as they then stood without their shepherds, appeared to me the best emblem I had seen a long time, and methought represented these poor innocent people, who, whilst their shepherds pretend so much to follow Christ, and pay their devotion to him, are left unregarded in the barren wilderness. This was the show: the music to it was all vocal in the quire adjoining, but such as I never heard. They had strong voices, but so ill-tuned, so ill-managed, that it was their misfortune, as well as ours, that they could be heard. He that could not, though he had a cold, make better music with a chevy chase over a pot of smooth ale, deserved well to pay the reckoning, and go away athirst. However, I think they were the honestest singing-men I have ever seen, for they endeavoured to deserve their money, and earned it certainly with pains enough; for what they wanted in skill, they made up in loudness and variety. Every one had his own tune, and the result of all was like the noise of choosing parliament men, where every one endeavours to cry loudest. Besides the men, there were a company of little choristers; I thought, when I saw them first, they had danced to the other's music, and that it had been your Gray's Inn revels; for they were jumping up and down about a good charcoal fire that was in the middle of the quire (this their devotion and their singing was enough, I think, to keep them warm, though it were a very cold night); but it was not dancing, but singing they served for; for when it came to their turns, away they ran to their places, and there they made as good harmony as a concert of little pigs would, and they were much about as cleanly. Their part being done, out they sallied again to the fire, where they played till their cue called them, and then back to their places they huddled. So negligent and slight are they in their service in a place where the nearness of adversaries might teach them to be more careful' In this and


Birthplace of Locke

Locke became an inmate of his lordship's house. This brought him into the society of Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Halifax, and other celebrated wits of the time, to whom his conversation was highly acceptable. An anecdote is told of him, which shows the easy terms on which he stood with these noblemen. On an occasion when several of them were met at Lord Ashley's house, the party, soon after assembling, sat down to cards, so that scarcely any conversation took place. Locke, after looking on for some time, took out his note-book, and began to write in it, with much appearance of gravity and deliberation. One of the party observing this, inquired what he was writing. My lord,' he replied, I am endeavouring to profit as far as I am able in your company; for having waited with impatience for the honour of being in an assembly of the greatest geniuses of the age, and having at length obtained

this good fortune, I thought that I could not do better than write down your conversation; and indeed I have set down the substance of what has been said for this hour or two.' A very brief specimen of what he had written was sufficient to make the objects of his irony abandon the card-table, and engage in rational discourse. While residing with Lord Ashley, Locke superintended the education, first of his lordship's son, and subsequently of his grandson, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, who figured as an elegant philosophical and moral writer in the reign of Queen Anne. In 1672, when Lord Ashley received an earldom and the office of chancellor, he gave Locke the appointment of secretary of presentations, which the philosopher enjoyed only till the following year, when his patron lost favour with the court, and was deprived of the seals. The delicate state of Locke's health induced him in 1675 to visit France, where he resided several years, first at Montpelier, and afterwards at Paris, where he had opportunities of cultivating the acquaintance of the most eminent French literary men of the day.

him leisure to finish, he had been engaged for eighteen years. His object in writing it is thus explained in the prefatory epistle to the reader :Were it fit to trouble thee with the history of this essay, I should tell thee that five or six friends meeting at my chamber, and discoursing on a subject very remote from this, found themselves quickly at a stand by the difficulties that rose on every side. After we had a while puzzled ourselves, without coming any nearer a resolution of those doubts which perplexed us, it came into my thoughts, that we took a wrong course, and that, before we set ourselves upon inquiries of that nature, it was necessary to examine our own abilities, and see what objects our understandings were, or were not, fitted to deal with. This I proposed to the company, who all readily assented; and thereupon it was agreed that this should be our first inquiry. Some hasty and undigested thoughts on a subject I had never before considered, which I set down against our next meeting, gave the first entrance into this discourse; which having been thus begun by chance, was continued by intreaty, written by incoherent parcels; and after long intervals of neglect, resumed again, as my humour or occasions permitted; and at last, in a retirement where an attendance on my health gave me leisure, it was brought into that order thou seest it.' In proceeding to treat of the subject originally proposed, he found his matter increase upon his hands, and was gradually led into other fields of investigation. It hence happens, that of the four books of which the essay consists, only the last is devoted to an inquiry into the objects within the sphere of the human understanding. Of the contents of the com. pleted work, the following summary will perhaps impart to the reader as definite an idea as our limited space will allow to be conveyed:- After clearing the way by setting aside the whole doctrine of innate notions and principles, both speculative and practical, the author traces all ideas to two sources, sensation and reflection; treats at large of the nature of ideas simple and complex; of the operation of the When Shaftesbury regained power for a brief season human understanding in forming, distinguishing, in 1679, he recalled Locke to England; and, on tak-compounding, and associating them; of the manner ing refuge in Holland three years afterwards, was in which words are applied as representations of followed thither by his friend, whose safety likewise ideas; of the difficulties and obstructions in the was in jeopardy, from the connexion which subsisted search after truth, which arise from the imperfecbetween them. After the death of his patron in tion of these signs; and of the nature, reality, kinds, 1683, Locke found it necessary to prolong his stay degrees, casual hindrances, and necessary limits of in Holland, and even there was obliged by the ma- human knowledge. The most valuable portions of the chinations of his political enemies at home, to live work are the fourth book, already mentioned, and the for upwards of a year in concealment; in 1686, how-third, in which the author treats of the nature and ever, it became safe for him to appear in public, and in the following year he instituted, at Amsterdam, a literary society, the members of which (among whom were Le Clerc, Limborch, and other learned individuals,) met weekly for the purpose of enjoying each other's conversation. The revolution of 1688 finally restored Locke to his native country, to which he was conveyed by the fleet that brought over the princess of Orange. He now became a prominent defender of civil and religious liberty, in a succession of works which have exerted a highly beneficial influence on subsequent generations, not only in Britain, but throughout the civilised world. While in Holland, he had written, in Latin, A Letter concerning Toleration: this appeared at Gouda in 1689, and translations of it were immediately published in Dutch, French, and English. The liberal opinions which it maintained were controverted by an Oxford writer, in reply to whom Locke successively wrote three additional Letters. In 1690 was published his most celebrated work, An Essay concerning Human Understanding. In the composition of this treatise, which his retirement in Holland afforded

Seal of Locke.

imperfections of language. The first and second books are on subjects of comparatively little appli cability to practical purposes, and, moreover, contain doctrines which have been much controverted by subsequent philosophers, and seem to be not always consistent with each other. The style of the work is plain, clear, and expressive; and, as it was designed for general perusal, there is a frequent employment of colloquial phraseology. Locke hated scholastic jargon, and wrote in language intelligible to every man of common sense. No one,' says his pupil, Shaftesbury, has done more towards the recalling of philosophy from barbarity, into the use and practice of the world, and into the company of the better and politer sort, who might well be ashamed of it in its other dress.'t The influence of the Essay on Human Understanding' upon the aims and habits of philosophical inquirers, as well as upon the minds of educated men in general, has been extremely bene ficial. Few books,' says Sir James Mackintosh,

* Enfield's Abridgment of Brucker's History of Philosophy. ↑ Shaftesbury's Correspondence, February 1707.

'have contributed more to rectify prejudice, to under- In reference to the writings of Locke, Sir James mine established errors, to diffuse a just mode of Mackintosh observes, that justly to understand their thinking, to excite a fearless spirit of inquiry, and character, it is necessary to take a deliberate survey yet to contain it within the boundaries which nature of the circumstances in which the writer was placed. has prescribed to the human understanding. An Educated among the English dissenters, during the amendment of the general habits of thought is, in short period of their political ascendency, he early most parts of knowledge, an object as important as imbibed that deep piety and ardent spirit of liberty even the discovery of new truths, though it is not so which actuated that body of men; and he probably palpable, nor in its nature so capable of being esti- imbibed also in their schools the disposition to memated by superficial observers. In the mental and taphysical inquiries which has everywhere accommoral world, which scarcely admits of anything panied the Calvinistic theology. Sects founded in which can be called discovery, the correction of the the right of private judgment, naturally tend to intellectual habits is probably the greatest service purify themselves from intolerance, and in time learn which can be rendered to science. In this respect, to respect in others the freedom of thought to the the merit of Locke is unrivalled. His writings have exercise of which they owe their own existence. By diffused throughout the civilised world the love of the Independent divines, who were his instructors, civil liberty; the spirit of toleration and charity in our philosopher was taught those principles of relireligious differences; the disposition to reject what-gious liberty which they were the first to disclose to ever is obscure, fantastic, or hypothetical in specu- the world. When free inquiry led him to milder lation; to reduce verbal disputes to their proper dogmas, he retained the severe morality which was value; to abandon problems which admit of no solu- their honourable singularity, and which continues to tion; to distrust whatever cannot be clearly ex- distinguish their successors in those communities pressed; to render theory the simple expression of which have abandoned their rigorous opinions. His facts; and to prefer those studies which most directly professional pursuits afterwards engaged him in the contribute to human happiness. If Bacon first dis- study of the physical sciences, at the moment when covered the rules by which knowledge is improved, the spirit of experiment and observation was in its Locke has most contributed to make mankind at youthful fervour, and when a repugnance to scholaslarge observe them. He has done most, though often tic subtleties was the ruling passion of the scientific by remedies of silent and almost insensible operation, world. At a more mature age, he was admitted into to cure those mental distempers which obstructed the society of great wits and ambitious politicians. the adoption of these rules; and thus led to that During the remainder of his life, he was often a man general diffusion of a healthful and vigorous under- of business, and always a man of the world, without standing, which is at once the greatest of all improve- much undisturbed leisure, and probably with that ments, and the instrument by which all other in- abated relish for merely abstract speculation which provements must be accomplished. He has left to is the inevitable result of converse with society and posterity the instructive example of a prudent refor- experience in affairs. But his political connexions mer, and of a philosophy temperate as well as liberal, agreeing with his early bias, made him a zealous adwhich spares the feelings of the good, and avoids vocate of liberty in opinion and in government; and direct hostility with obstinate and formidable pre- he gradually limited his zeal and activity to the illusjudice. These benefits are very slightly counter-tration of such general principles as are the guardians balanced by some political doctrines liable to mis- of these great interests of human society. Almost application, and by the scepticism of some of his all his writings, even his essay itself, were occasional, ingenious followers, an inconvenience to which every and intended directly to counteract the enemies of philosophical school is exposed, which does not reason and freedom in his own age. The first letter steadily limit its theory to a mere exposition of ex- on toleration, the most original perhaps of his works, perience. If Locke made few discoveries, Socrates was composed in Holland, in a retirement where he made none. Yet both did more for the improvement was forced to conceal himself from the tyranny which of the understanding, and not less for the progress of pursued him into a foreign land; and it was pubknowledge, than the authors of the most brilliant lished in England in the year of the Revolution, to discoveries."* vindicate the toleration act, of which the author lamented the imperfection.'t

In 1690, Locke published two Treatises on Civil Government, in defence of the principles of the Revolution against the Tories; or, as he expresses himself, 'to establish the throne of our great restorer, our present King William; to make good his title in the consent of the people, which, being the only one of all lawful governments, he has more fully and clearly than any prince in Christendom; and to justify to the world the people of England, whose love of their just and natural rights, with their resolution to preserve them, saved the nation when it was on the very brink of slavery and ruin.' The chief of his other productions are Thoughts concerning Education (1693), The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695), two Vindications of that work (1696), and an admirable tract On the Conduct of the Understanding, printed after the author's death. A theological controversy in which he engaged with Stillingfleet, bishop of Worcester, has already been spoken of in our account of that prelate. Many letters and miscellaneous pieces of Locke have been published, partly in the beginning of last century, and partly by Lord King in his recent life of the philosopher.

* Edinburgh Review, vol. xxxvi, p. 243.

On the continent, the principal works of Locke became extensively known through the medium of translations into French. They seem to have been attentively studied by Voltaire, who, in his writings on toleration and free inquiry, has diffused still farther, and in a more popular shape, the doctrines of the English philosopher.

Immediately after the Revolution, employment in the diplomatic service was offered to Locke, who declined it on the ground of ill health. In 1695, having aided government with his advice on the subject of the coin, he was appointed a member of the Board of Trade, which office, however, the same cause quickly obliged him to resign. The last years of his existence were spent at Oates, in Essex, the seat of Sir Francis Masham, who had invited him to make that mansion his home. Lady Masham, a daughter of Dr Cudworth, and to whom Locke was attached by strong ties of friendship, palliated by her attention the infirmities of his declining years. The

*Orme's Memoirs of Dr Owen, pp. 99–110. London, 1820. In this very able volume, it is clearly proved that the Indepen dents were the first teachers of religious liberty."

† Edinburgh Review, vol. xxxvi, p. 229.

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