• <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. Autograph Letter Signed ("B. Franklin"), to Benjamin Vaughan asserting the primacy of American independence in negotiating the Treaty of Paris, Passy, July 11, 1782. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. Autograph Letter Signed ("B. Franklin") to David Hartley addressing Hartley's final issues with the recently completed ratification of the Treaty of Paris, Passy, June 2, 1784. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> MASON & DIXON. A hand-colored contemporary manuscript map titled in cartouche, "A Map of that Part of AMERICA where a degree of LATITUDE was measured for the ROYAL SOCIETY, by Chas Mason & Jer: Dixon," c.1768. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("WB Yeats"), a fair copy of "When Helen Lived" for John Preece headed ("For John Preece"), framed. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> "LINCOLN SEATED." KECK, CHARLES, sculptor. 1875-1951. Patinated bronze, 1950. Louise Taper Collection. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S FINAL HOURS. BURNS, J., painter. <i>Death-Bed of Abraham Lincoln.</i> Oil on canvas, 1866. Collection of Louise Taper. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> FILSON, CHARLES PATTERSON, painter. 1860-1937. <i>Portrait of Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War.</i> $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> A MATZOS BOX PRESENTED BY THE MANISHEVITZ BROTHERS TO WARREN G. HARDING. Louise Taper Collection. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> LEWIS CARROLL. Original albumen print photograph, approximately 6 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches, Chelsea, London, October 7, 1863, of the Rossetti Family at home, one of only three known examples of the full image. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> CHRISTINA ROSSETTI. <i>Verses ... Dedicated to Her Mother.</i> Privately printed, 1847. First edition of her first book, printed at her grandfather's press, THE ROSSETTI FAMILY COPY. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> CHRISTINA ROSSETTI. Original drawing of snowdrops in purple pencil, sent by CGR to Lucy Rossetti, inscribed "I doubt whether you will make out my copy from nature," 1887. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI, et al. The Germ: <i>Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art.</i> Fine copy in a Doves binding by Cobden Sanderson. $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <i>Der Sturm.</i> 1922. Sold October 2021 for € 13,000.
    Diophantus Alexandrinus, <i>Arithmeticorum libri sex.</i> 1670. Sold October 2021 for € 18,000.
    <i>Cozzani Ettore e altri, l’Eroica. Tutto il pubblicato.</i> Sold October 2021 for € 11,000.
    Newton Isaac, <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> 1714. Sold October 2021 for € 7,500.
    Manetti Saverio, <i>Storia naturale degli uccelli.</i> 1767-1776. Sold April 2021 for € 26,000.
  • <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. Carolina Parrot. Plate 26. Hand-colored aquatint and engraved plate from Audubon's <i>Birds of America.</i> $80,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Francisco Henrique Carls. [Album de Pernambuco e seus Arrabaldes]. Fifty-three chromolithographed plates of landscape, town views and more of the state of Pernambuco, northeast Brazil. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Captain Thomas Davies, after. Group of 5 engraved topographical scenes of North American waterfalls. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> William R. Morley. Morley's Map of New Mexico. Large lithographed pocket map with original hand-color in outline. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Frederick William Beechey, et al. <i>The Zoology of Captain Beechey's Voyage; Compiled from the Collections and Notes Made by Captain Beechey…</i> $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> ZUDA ROKASHI (Priest Hotan.) Nansenbushu Bankoku Shoka No Zu. Woodblock wall map of the world on 16 sheets joined. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> De Wit’s composite atlas with magnificent full original color. $125,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Gardner's photographic sketch book of the Civil War. $200,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Waugh Oil Painting, 70 Degrees North; The Polar Bear. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Audubon aquatint, Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. $75,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Blaeu terrestrial table globe, 1602. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Audubon aquautint, Ruby-Throated Humming Bird. $35,000 to $45,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Bessa original watercolor of a bouquet of flowers. $75,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> John Gould's only work devoted to American birds. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Wyld & Malby pair of terrestrial & celestial globes, 1833. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Leutze map of the world oil painting. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Caula, the finest 18th century drawing of Lison. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Scolari / Blaeu map of Germania, 1650. $15,000 to $22,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2019 Issue

Dallas and the Maroons: God’s Will

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The Maroons were runaway slaves of the New World, who chose a life of hardship rather than of submission. In Jamaica, they fought against the colonists for decades, almost bringing the island to its ruins. But in 1739, the British offered them peace and freedom! Unfortunately, accordingly to the signed treaty, they turned slave hunters. Their terrible story was told in a book, published in 1803 by Robert Charles Dallas (1754-1824), The History of the Maroons (London, Longman and Rees).

 

As soon as 1656, Governor Sedgwick realized that the Spanish slaves, who had run in the hills when the English took the island in 1655, would become a "thorn in the side" of the colony: “Having no moral sense (...) and not understanding what the laws and customs of civil nations mean," he wrote, "we know not how to capitulate or treat with any of them.” Rejecting all bribes and compromises, they became known as the Maroons (from the Spanish ‘cimarrons’, savage), and made themselves formidable. “A small body of Negroes (they were 600 in 1739 and 1,400 in 1788),” Dallas writes, “defeated the choicest troops of one of the greatest nations in the world, kept an extensive country in alarm, and were at length brought to surrender, only by means of a subvention still more extraordinary than their own mode of warfare.”

 

Actually, they didn’t surrender—they simply accepted the truce offered by the English. In fact, although a confession of weakness, the truce of 1739 may be regarded as a victory for the Europeans. First, because it put an end to an exhausting and humiliating war; second, because the terms of the treaty turned the Maroons into runaway slave hunters—and they were quite good at it. “In the rebellion of 1766,” Dallas writes, “the Maroons brought in the head or person of every slave in rebellion, in the space of one month.”

 

Edward Long, a typical English planter who considered that God had placed the Negroes in the hands of slave masters for their own good, rejoices in The History of Jamaica (London, 1774): This contest, which while it lasted, seemed to portend nothing less than the ruin of the whole colony, became productive of quite contrary effect in the end; insomuch that we may date the flourishing state of it from the ratification of the treaty." R.C. Dallas, who was born in Jamaica and who married the daughter of a slave-owner, thought exactly the same—but he added a shade of hypocrisy to the offense. Although horrified at the consequences of the French Revolution, he was yet influenced by the "Philosophes des Lumières": “God forbid that I should support a position of which the object were to diminish the happiness of my fellow creatures!

 

But what if slavery was actually a positive opportunity for the Africans? Since “the colonists rescue these unfortunate blacks from a state of horrid and savage slavery (in Africa), to place them in a mild and civilized state of servitude,” then, “slavery may be made a blessing, if it be not already one.” Dallas might have deemed himself “an enemy of the very name of slavery”, he couldn’t reasonably go against God’s will, or, as he puts it, against “what He permits”. Of course, the raging abolitionist movement in Europe had forced the slave owners to adopt more humane practices, and the condition of slaves had actually improved at the turn of the 19th century. Nevertheless, God permits us to doubt Dallas when he claims that “in Jamaica, the evil of servitude to whatever height it may have formerly have arisen, is now assuaged by institute, and tamed by manners,” adding that “the general treatment of the negroes in this island is temperate and human.”

 

The History of the Maroons (London, 1803) is a gorgeous set of two in-8° volumes, that was never reprinted. It is also an unexpected work—the only contemporary one dedicated to the Maroons, a “vulgar” topic for most writers at the time. The first volume opens on a frontispiece, the unique known representation of the most famous Jamaican Maroon ever, Cudjoe. In 1690, he partook in the “first Maroon war”, a general uprising of slaves which didn’t reach as far as expected. Cudjoe was among those who sew asunder the skull of their master to drink his blood from it, before running to the hills of the Blue Mountains. On the engraving, he looks like a deformed dwarf: “Cudjoe was rather a short man, uncommonly stout, with very strong African features, and a peculiar wildness in his manners. He had a very large lump of flesh upon his back.

 

Dallas tries to remain impartial in his book, even clashing several times Bryan Edwards’ exaggerated descriptions of the Maroons’ fierceness (The History of the British Colonies in the West-Indies, 1793), claiming that “many of the horrors attributed to them are void of foundation.” He then adds: “No woman in child-bed, no infant at the breast, was ever put to death by a Maroon.” Yet, we cannot help but wonder: did Cudjoe really “threw himself on the ground” that very day, to “embrace the legs” of the British officer? “He seemed to have lost all his ferocity, and to have become humble, penitent and abject.” This is the only detailed description of this historical meeting—where did Dallas get all this detail, he doesn’t say—probably not from the Maroons. But although they may be partial, these extraordinary pages take us right under this “large cotton-tree” of the Maroons’ camp where the treaty was signed.

 

The second folding map of the set describes the cockpits country, seat of the second Maroon war of 1795-96, in the parish of St James. This is the heart of Dallas’ book, the last war led by the Maroons—those from Trelawny Town, that is; led by the dreadful Johnson, just as nearby Haiti (then Saint-Domingue) was sinking into blood following the French Revolution. In Jamaica, the “temperate and human” colonists hardly slept at night, fearing their slaves might imitate the French’s. So when the dreaded Maroons went to war, it was bad news.

 

In doing so, they only reacted to the ill-treatment received by two of them in Montego Bay, and to the firing of John James, the superintendent of their settlement of Trelawny Town, whom they loved with a passion. A white man, he yet matched their physical abilities. “Barefoot, he equaled the speed of the hardiest Maroons over rocks and precipices, darting on with an agility peculiar to himself,” Dallas writes. “He was indefatigable in every pursuit to which the Maroons were accustomed, and nothing that he pursued escaped him.”

 

Dallas knew several officers involved in the second Maroon war, including Robertson, who drew the maps joined to his book. He had first-hand information, especially about the battle of the Guthrie’s defile, in the cockpits country, the stronghold of the Maroons. Once again, their knowledge of the country, and their guerilla tactics paid off. They ambushed the company of Colonel Fitch, killing many, including Lieutenant Tomlinson, “whose head was cut off, and afterwards seen suspended by the hair to the bough of a tree. It was imagined that he owed his death to the loss of his spectacles, by which he missed the route taken by his comrades.

 

The Maroons of Accompong Town, disagreeing with those of Trelawny, took arms against them alongside the English! Two of them, namely Captain Reid and Badnage, were thus with the English when they were attacked by some invisible Maroons, who fired at them from hiding. “Colonel Brissett, wounded, was seen staggering to the right, and probably fell dead among the bushes. Reid, the Accompong, gave a loud shriek and fell; Badnage (...) fell dead without a struggle or a groan.” Colonel Jackson then ran to Colonel Fitch, whom he found bleeding and “mortally wounded.” When the Maroons fired again, Fitch was hit by a “fatal ball, which penetrated (his) forehead just above the right eye, and he fell lifeless.”

 

The frontispiece of the second volume is also unique—it represents a Spanish chasseur with his dogs. At one point, it was indeed decided to call upon some chasseurs from Cuba to track the Maroons entrenched in the impenetrable defiles of the cockpits country. “The animal is the size of a very large hound, with ears erect, which are usually cropped at the points; the nose more pointed, but widening very much towards the after-part of the jaw. His coat, or skin, is much harder than that of most dogs and so must be the whole structure of the body, as the severe beatings he undergoes in training would kill any other species of dogs.” The idea of using dogs against men was horrible; and reminded the dark days of the conquest of America by the Spaniards, and their blood-thirsty hound dogs. But these dogs “will not kill the object they pursue unless resisted. On coming up with a fugitive, they bark at him till he stops, then they crouch near him, terrifying him with a ferocious growling if he stirs.” Eventually, seven weeks later, 40 chasseurs and 104 dogs arrived in Jamaica. Fortunately, the dogs were never used against the Maroons—let’s bear in mind that the English were “temperate and human” people—, who surrendered rapidly after they arrived, since allegedly terrified by them; so Dallas says. End of the History of the Maroons? Not quite.

 

The history of the Maroons is fascinating. Former runaways, they defeated the English for several decades before becoming their best allies in fighting runaways. When the last war broke, some Maroons turned against other Maroons! Refusing to give up their freedom, and identity, they were yet deeply attached to Jamaica—when, following the war, the Governor of Jamaica took a pretext to send them off to Halifax, Nova-Scotia, it was the worst punishment they could have expected. The Assembly of Jamaica did what it could to maintain the Maroons as long as possible in this cold weather. But at the end of the day, they demanded to be sent to a warmer country. They consequently went to Sierra Leone, Africa, where some English abolitionists had reintroduced former slaves, who had turned banditti. The Maroons soon forced them to beg for mercy! Going back to Africa is a dream for many nowadays Jamaicans, especially those who follow Marcus Garvey’s doctrine of repatriation. But in the early 19th century, many children of the exiled Maroons went back to Jamaica... to return to their roots!

 

Dallas is better known today for his Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron from the year 1808 to the end of 1814—they exchanged letters for a few years. Yet his History of the Maroons is a silent classic about Jamaica. It might have been better, had the author focused on his topic rather than giving a whether-too-long-or-too-short history of the island in his preface, and shared his thoughts on sugar-cane or slavery (and the way to convert the slaves to Christianity). Yet, by publishing it, he embodied a story that is still told today. The Maroons still exist in Jamaica, where they proudly perpetuate their culture.

Thibault Ehrengardt

 

 

- The History of the Maroons, by R.C. Dallas (London, 1803).

* 2 in-8° volumes, 2 folding maps, 2 frontispieces as called for in volume 2.

* Vol. 1: Title-page, cxiv pages, 359 pages, 1 frontispiece, 2 folding maps (the map of Jamaica / The seat of the Maroon war). Vol.2: Title-page, xi pages, 514 pages, 1 page (errata + catalogue). 1 frontispiece.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Ortelius (Abraham). <i>Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,</i> folio, Antwerp, 1570, First Edition (2nd Issue), 53 double-page maps, contemporary hand colouring. €40,000 to €60,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> An original engraved facsimile copy of the Declaration of Independence of 4 July 1776, issued by order of Congress on 4 July 1823 in a limited edition of 200 copies on fine parchment. €20,000 to €30,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses.</i> Shakespeare & Co., Rue de l’Odeon, Paris 1922. No. 559 of 1000 Copies of the First Edn.,, one of 750 Copies on handmade paper. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Malton (James) [1761-1803]. A fine quality set of twenty-five hand coloured aquatint Views of Dublin, as published for <i>A Picturesque and Descriptive View of the City of Dublin</i>. €6,000 to €7,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> 'Bloody Sunday.' An original Admission Ticket to Croke Park, Great Challenge Match (Football), Tipperary v. Dublin, Sunday, November 21,1920. Pink card, 3 ins x 4 ¼ ins. €4,000 to €5,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Haveth Childers Everywhere - Fragment from Work in Progress,</i> Paris & N.Y., 1930, First Edn., Signed and Limited No. 50 (100) Copies. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Edward Lyons, Irish (1726-1801). Genealogy: <i>The FitzGerald's Arms of Carton House, Kildare,</i> pen and ink and watercolour on laid paper. €3,000 to €4,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Yeats (William Butler). <i>Poems.</i> Cuala Press, D. 1935, stiff blue paper covers, unlettered as issued, coloured initials and ornaments hand-drawn by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats. One of 300 copies. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> A fine and important collection of Ulster Wit. Belfast Political Scrapbook, 19th century. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Rare Views of the Giant's Causeway. Coloured Prints: Drury (Susanna) [1698-1770]. A rare pair of original Engraved Prints. €1,200 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> [Johnson (Rev. Samuel)]. <i>Julian the Apsostate Being a Short Account of his Life, together with a Comparison of Popery and Paganism,</i> L., 1682, First Edn. €800 to €1,200.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Aringhi (Pauli). <i>Roma Subterranea Novissima,</i> 2 vols. lg. folio Rome (Typis Vitalis Mascardi) 1651. €350 to €750.
  • <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 47. Roosevelt, Theodore. Photograph inscribed to Morris J. Hirsch. May 7th 1918. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 178. Whitman, Walt. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York: [Printed for the author], 1955. First edition in the first issue binding. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 38. Mather, Cotton. <i>Magnalia Christi Americana; or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England.</i> London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, 1702. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 55. Taylor, Zachary. Autograph letter signed as President-Elect. Baton Rouge: January 15, 1849. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 203. Picasso, Pablo. <i>Verve</i> Vol. V, Nos. 19-20. Paris: Editions Verve, 1948. Inscribed on the title page by Picasso. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 211. Domergue, Jean-Gabriel. L'Ete a Monte Carlo. Lithographed poster, Lucien Serre & Cie, Paris, circa 1937. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 105. Manuscript Illumination attr. to Neri da Rimini. Large excised initial "N" from a choirbook, extensively historiated. [Likely Rimini: first quarter of the 14th century]. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 40. McKenney, Thomas L. and Hall, James. <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs.</i> Philadelphia: Rice, Rutter & Co., 1870. $3,00
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 222. Searle, Ronald. [Pets--a dog, cats and a parrot-- surrounded by books, and inspecting a globe, perhaps planning global domination]. Original drawing, 17 3/8 x 13 1/2 inches. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 98. Faden, William; Scull, Nicholas and George Heap. A Plan of the City and Environs of Philadelphia, Survey'd by N. Scull and G. Heap. London: William Faden, 12 March 1777. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Zang Tumb Tuuum:<br>la révolution futuriste<br>Online Auction<br>30 November – 7 December</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 18:</b> The "Official Edition" of the United States Constitution and the First Printing of the Final Text of the Constitution, 1787. $15,000,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. I Paroliberi Futuristi. 1914-1915. 8 p. Unique corrected proofs, for an anthology that remained unpublished. €40,000 to €60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Studenti in Lettere. Università. 1915. Seminal work, featured in 3 historical futurist exhibitions. €20,000 to €30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Chiaro di luna. Circa 1915. Collage and gouache on paper. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. Manicure. Faire les ongles à l'Italie. Circa 1915. A fantastic parody of an advertising poster. €20,000 to €30,000.

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