Edward Arber.

An English garner; ingatherings from our history and literature online

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Hath the poor turtle gone to school, weenest thou.
To learn to mourn her lost make ? No» no, each
Creature by nature can tell how to wail.
Seest not these flocks ; how sad they wander now ?
Seemeth their leader's bell, their bleating tunes
In doleful sound. Like him, not one doth fail,
With hanging head to show a heavy cheer.
What bird, I pray thee, hast thou seen that prunes
Himself of late ? Did any cheerful note
Come to thine ears, or gladsome sight appear
Unto thine eyes, since that same fatal hour ?
Hath not the air put on his mourning coat,
And testified his grief with flowing tears ?
Sith then, it seemeth each thing to his power.
Doth us invite to make a sad consort :
Come let us join our mournful song with theirs I
Grief will indite, and sorrow will enforce
Thy voice ; and Echo will our words report.

Lycon. Though my rude rhymes, ill with thy verses
That others far excel : yet will I force [frame.

Myself to answer thee the best I can ;
And honour my base words with his high name.
But if my plaints annoy thee where thou sit
In secret shade or cave ; vouchsafe, O Pan I

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L. Bryskett.1

A Pastoral Eclogue on Sir P. Sidney. 275

To pardon me ; and hear this hard constraint
With patience, while I sing ; and pity it.
And eke ye rural Muses, that do dwell
In these wild woods : if ever piteous plaint
We did indite, or taught a woeful mind
With words of pure affect, his grief to tell ;
Instruct me now I Now Colin then go on ;
And I will follow thee, though far behind.

Colin. Phillisidbs is dead I O harmful death I
O deadly harm I Unhappy Albion I
When shalt thou see emong thy shepherds all
Any so sage, so perfect ? Whom uneath
Envy could touch for virtuous life and skill ;
Courteous, valiant, and liberal.
Behold the sacred Pales I where with hair
Untrusst, she sits in shade of yonder hill ;
And her fair face bent sadly down, doth send
A flood of tears to bathe the earth : and there
Doth call the heavens despiteful, envious ;
Cruel his fate, that made so short an end
Of that same life, well worthy to have been
Prolonged with many years, happy and famous.
The Nymphs and Oreades her round about
Do sit lamenting on the grassy green ;
And with shrill cries, beating their whitest breasts,
Accuse the direful dart that Death sent out

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276 A Pastoral Eclogue on Sir P. Sidney. [^- ^T^:

To give the fatal stroke. The stars they blame ;
That deaf or careless seem at their request.
The pleasant shade of stately groves they shun.
They leave their crystal springs, where they wont frame
Sweet bowers of myrtle twigs and laurel fair ;
To sport themselves free from the scorching sun.
And now the hollow caves, where Horror dark
Doth dwell, whence banished is the gladsome air
They seek; and there in mourning spend their time
With wailful tunes ; whiles wolves do howl and bark.
And seem to bear a bourdon to their plaint.

Lycon. Phillisidbs is dead I O doleful rhyme !
Why should my tongue express thee ? Who is left
Now to uphold thy hopes, when they do faint ;
Lycon unfortunate ? What spiteful fate ?
What luckless destiny hath thee bereft
Of thy chief comfort, of thy only stay ?
Where is become thy wonted happy state ?
Alas, wherein through many a hill and dale.
Through pleasant woods, and many an unknown way.
Along the banks of many silver streams.
Thou with him yodest ; and with him did scale
The craggy rocks of th'Alps and Appennine ?
Still with the Muses sporting, while those beams
Of virtue kindled in his noble breast ;
Which after did so gloriously forth shine ?

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7^^] A Pastoral Eclogue on Sir P. Sidney. 277

But, woe is me, they now yquenched are
All suddenly, and death hath them oppressed,
Lo, father Neptune ! with sad countenance,
How he sits mourning on the strond now bare
Yonder ; where th'OcEAN with his rolling waves
The white feet washeth, wailing this mischance,
Of Dover cliffs. His sacred skirt about
The sea gods all are set ; from their moist caves.
All for his comfort gathered there they be.
The Thamis rich, the Humber rough and stout,
The fruitful Severn, with the rest ; are come
To help their lord to mourn, and eke to see
The doleful sight, and sad pomp funeral
Of the dead corps passing through his kingdom ;
And all their heads with cypress garlands crowned ;
With woeful shrieks salute him, great and small.
Eke wailful Echo, forgetting her dear
Narcissus, their last accents doth resound.

Colin. Phillisides is dead I O luckless age I
O widow world ! O brooks and fountains clear !
O hills ! O dales ! O woods that oft have rung
With his sweet carolling, which could assuage
The fiercest wrath of tiger or of bear !
Ye sylvans, fawns and satyrs, that emong
These thickets oft have danced after his pipe I
Ye Nymphs and Naiads with golden hair

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278 A Pastoral Eclogue on Sir P. Sidney. [^-"TJ^J:

That oft have left your purest crystal springs
To hearken to his lays, that coulden wipe
Away all grief and sorrow from your hearts !
Alas ! who now is left that like him sings ?
When shall you hear again like harmony ?
So sweet a sound, who to you now imparts ?
Lo where engpravM by his hand yet lives
The name of Stella in yonder bay tree.
Happy name ! happy tree ! Fair may you grow
And spread your sacred branch, which honour gives^
To famous emperors ; and poets crown.
Unhappy flock ! that wander scattered now.
What marvel if through grief, ye woxen lean,
Forsake your food, and hang your heads adown ?
For such a shepherd never shall you guide ;
Whose parting, hath of weal bereft you clean.

Lycon. Phillisides is dead ! O happy sprite I
That now in heaven with blessM souls dost bide.
Look down awhile from where thou sitt'st above.
And see how busy shepherds be to indite
Sad songs of grief, their sorrows to declare ;
And grateful memory of their kind love.
Behold myself with Colin gentle swain.
Whose learned Muse thou cherisht most whilere,
Where we thy name recording, seek to ease
The inward torment and tormenting pain

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^Ti^t] A Pastoral Eclogue on Sir P. Sidney. 279

That thy departure to us hoth hath bred ;

Ne can each other's sorrow yet appease.

Behold the fountains now left desolate.

And withered grass with cypress boughs bespread I

Behold these flowers which on thy grave we strew!

Which faded, show the givers' faded state ;

(Though eke they show their fervent zeal and pure)

Whose only comfort on thy welfare gprew.

Whose prayers importune shall the heavens for aye,

That to thy ashes, rest they may assure ;

That leamedst shepherds honour may thy name

With yearly praises ; and the n3rmphs alway,

Thy tomb may deck with fresh and sweetest flowers ;

And that for ever may endure thy fame.

Colin. The sun, lo, hastened hath his face to steep
In western waves, and th'air with stormy showers.
Warns us to drive homewards our silly sheep.
Lycon ! let's rise, and take of them good keep.

Virtuie summa ; catera fortuna.

L. B.

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282 An Elegy for A strophil.

rM* RoydoQa
L f XS9«.

Xc>c-.V.V>c -V^'^ .V.\, y-.V-Vi-^i^'^K. \ - .VX >o >c^:

And that which was of wonder most.

The Phoenix left sweet Araby ;

And on a cedar in this coast.

Built up her tomb of spicery.
As I conjecture by the same.
Prepared to take her dying flame.

In midst and centre of this plot,

I saw one grovelling on the grass ;

A man or stone, I knew not what.

No stone ; of man, the figure was.

And yet I could not count him one,
More than the image made of stone.

At length I might perceive him rear
His body on his elbows' end :
Earthly and pale with ghastly cheer.
Upon his knees he upward tend ;

Seeming like one in uncouth stound.
To be ascending out the ground.

A grievous sigh forthwith he throws,
As might have torn the vital strings ;
Then down his cheeks the tears so flows
As doth the stream of many springs.

So thunder rends the cloud in twain.
And makes a passage for the rain.

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M* Roytlon*~|
t i59«J

An Elegy for A strophil. 283


Incontinent with trembling sound.

He woefully 'gan to complain ;

Such were the accents as might wound,

And tear a diamond rock in twain.

After his throbs did somewhat stay,
Thus heavily he 'gan to say.

'' O sun ! " said he, seeing the sun,
" On wretched me, why dost thou shine ?
My star is fallen, my comfort done ;
Out is the apple of my eyen.

Shine upon those possess delight,
And let me live in endless night ! "

•* O grief! that liest upon my soul.
As heavy as a mount of lead;
The remnant of my life control.
Consort me quickly with the dead!

Half of this heart, this sprite and will.
Died in the breast of Astrophil.'*

'' And you compassionate of my woe,
Gentle birds, beasts, and shady trees !
I am assured ye long to know
What be the sorrows me aggrieves ;
Listen ye then to what ensu'th,
And hear a tale of tears and ruth."

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284 An Elegy for A strophil. ^^t^.

" You knew, who knew not Astrophil ?
(That I should live to say I knew.
And have not in possession still I)
Things known, permit me to renew :
Of him you know, his merit such,
I cannot say, you hear too much/*

** Within these woods of Arcady,
His chief delight and pleasure took :
And on the mountain Partheny,
Upon the crystal liquid brook,

The Muses met him every day ;

That taught him sing, to write, and say/

'^ When he descended down the mount.
His personage seemed most divine ;
A thousand graces one might count
Upon his lovely cheerful eyen :

To hear him speak, and sweetly smile ;

You were in Paradise the while."

'^ A sweet attractive kind of grace ;

A full assurance given by looks ;

Continual comfort in a face.

The lineaments of Gospel books.

I trow that countenance cannot lie.
Whose thoughts are legible in the eye/*

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An Elegy for Astrophil. 285

" Was ever eye did see that face ;

Was never ear did hear that tongue ;

Was never mind did mind his grace ;

That ever thought the travail long :

But eyes and ears and every thought,
Were with his sweet perfections caught."

*' O GOD ! that such a worthy man,
In whom so rare deserts did reign ;
Desired thus, must leave us then :
And we to wish for him in vain.

O could the stars that bred that wit,

In force no longer fixfed sit."

" Then being filled with learned dew,
The Muses willM him to love :
That instrument can aptly shctw.
How finely our conceits will move.

As Bacchus opes dissembled hearts,
So Love sets out our better parts."

'* Stella, a nymph within this wood,
Most rare, and rich of heavenly bliss ;
The highest in his fancy stood.
And she could well demerit this.

'Tis likely, they acquainted soon :
He was a sun, and she a moon."

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286 An Elegy for Astrophil. ^'^t^

** Our AsTROPHiL did Stella love.
O Stella ! vaunt of Astrophil !
Albeit thy graces gods may move ;
Where wilt thou find an Astrophil ?

The rose and lily have their prime ;

And so hath beauty but a time,"

" Although thy beauty do exceed
In common sight of every eye;
Yet in his poesies when we read.
It is apparent more thereby.

He that hath love and judgment too.
Sees more than any others do.'*

" Then Astrophil hath honoured thee.

For when thy body is extinct,

Thy graces shall eternal be.

And live by virtue of his ink.

For by his verses he doth give
To shortlived beauty aye to live/*

" Above all others this is he,
Which erst approved in his song
That love and honour might agree,
And that pure love will do no wrong.
Sweet saints! it is no sin nor blame
To love a man of virtuous name.'*

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M. Roydoii.1
t Z59Z.J

An Elegy for Astrophil. 287

" Did never love so sweetly breathe
In any mortal breast before ?
Did never Muse inspire beneath,
A poet's brain with finer store ?

He wrote of love with high conceit ;

And beauty reared above her height.*'

" Then Pallas afterward attired
Our Astrophil with her device,
Whom in his armour heaven admired.
As of the nation of the skies :

He sparkled in his arms afar.

As he were dight with fiery stars.**

** The blaze whereof, when Mars beheld
(An envious eye doth see afar)
* Such majesty,' quoth he, * is seld.
Such majesty, my mart may mar.
Perhaps this may a suitor be
To set Mars by his deity.' "

" In this surmise, he made with speed
An iron can, wherein he put
The thunders that in clouds do breed ;
The flame and bolt together shul.

With privy force burst out again ;
And so our Astrophil was slain.**

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288 An Elegy for Astrophil. ^'^Vt^

His word, " was slain," straightway did move,

And Nature's inward life-strings twitch,

The sky immediately above.

Was dimmed with hideous clouds of pitch.
The wrastling winds, from out the ground
Filled all the air with rattling sound.

The bending trees expressed a groan,

And sigh^ the sorrow of his fall ;

The forest beasts made ruthful moan ;

The birds did tune their mourning call,
And Philomel for Astrophil,
Unto her notes, annexed a '^ phiL''

The turtle dove with tones of ruth.

Showed feeling passion of his death ;

Methought she said '' I tell thee truth.

Was never he that drew in breath.
Unto his love more trusty found.
Than he for whom our griefs abound.*'

The swan that was in presence here,

Began his funeral dirge to sing ;

" Good things," quoth he, " may scarce appear ;

But pass away with speedy wing.
This mortal life as death is tried.
And death gives life, and so he died.*'

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M. Roydon.]
t 1S9X.J

An Elegy for Astrophil. 289

The general sorrow that was made

Among the creatures of kind.

Fired the Phoenix where she laid.

Her ashes fl}ring with the wind.
So as I might with reason see
That such a Phoenix ne'er should be.

Haply, the cinders driven about.
May breed an offspring near that kind {
But hardly a peer to that, I doubt :
It cannot sink into my mind

That under branches e'er can be.

Of worth and value as the tree.

The eagle Qiarked with piercing sight
The mournful habit of the place ;
And parted thence with mounting flight,
To signify to Jove the case :

What sorrow Nature doth sustain,

For Astrophil, by Envy slain.

And while I followed with mine eye

The flight the eagle upward took ;

All things did vanish by and by,

And disappeared from my look.

The trees, beasts, birds and grove were gone :
So was the friend that made this moan.

ENG, Gar, I.

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An Elegy for Asi rophil.

[M* Rojrdon.
t X591.

This spectacle had firmly wrought
A deep compassion in my sprite ;
My molten heart issued, methought,
In streams forth at mine eyes aright :

And here my pen is forced to shrink ;

My tears discolour so mine ink.

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t "i

An Epitaph upon Sir P. Sidney. 291

An Epitaph upon the Right Honourable

Sir Philip Sidney, Knight^ Lord

Governor of Flushing.

O praise thy life or wail thy worthy death ;
And want thy wit, thy wit pure, high, divine :
Is far beyond the power of mortal line.
Nor any one hath worth that draweth breath.

Yet rich in zeal, though poor in learning's lore ;
And friendly care obscured in secret breast,
And love that envy in thy life supprest.
Thy dear life done, and death hath doubled more.

And I, that in thy time and living state,
Did only praise thy virtues in my thought ;
As one that seld the rising sun hath sought :
With words and tears now wail thy timeless fate.

19 •

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292 An Epitaph upon Sir P. Sidney, [^l^


Drawn was thy race aright from princely line,
Nor less than such (by gifts that Nature gave.
The common mother that all creatures have)
Doth virtue show, and princely lineage shine.

A King gave thee thy name ; a kingly mind
That GOD thee gave : who found it now too dear
For this base world ; and hath resumed it near,
To sit in skies, and 'sort with powers divine.

Kent, thy birthdays ; and Oxford held thy youth.

The heavens made haste, and stayed nor years nor time ;

The fruits of age grew ripe in thy first prime :

Thy will, thy words ; thy words, the seals of truth.

Great gifts and wisdom rare employed thee thence.
To treat from kings, with those more great than kings.
Such hope men had to lay the highest things
On thy wise youth, to be transported thence.

Whence to sharp wars, sweet Honour did thee call,
Thy country's love, religion, and thy friends :
Of worthy men, the marks, the lives and ends ;
And her defence, for whom we labour all.

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1S9X.] An Epitaph upon Sir P. Sidney. 293

t »S9

These didst thou vanquish shame and tedious age,
Grief, sorrow, sickness and base fortune's might.
Thy rising day saw never woeful night,
But passed with praise from off this worldly stage.

Back to the camp, by thee that day was brought
First, thine own death ; and after, thy long fame ;
Tears to the soldiers ; the proud Castilians' shame ;
Virtue expressed ; and honour truly taught.

What hath he lost ? that such great grace hath won.
Young years, for endless years ; and hope unsure
Of fortune's gifts, for wealth that still shall 'dure.
O happy race ! with so great praises run.

England doth hold thy limbs, that bred the same ;
Flanders, thy valour ; where it last was tried.
The camp, thy sorrow ; where thy body died.
Thy friends, thy want ; the world, thy virtue's fame.

Nations, thy wit ; our minds lay up thy love.
Letters, thy learning ; thy loss, years long to come.
In worthy hearts, sorrow hath made thy tomb ;
Thy soul and sprite enrich the heavens above.

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An Epitaph upon Sir P. Sidney.



Thy liberal heart embalmed in grateful tears.
Young sig^y sweet sighs, sage sighs bewail thy fall.
Envy, her sting ; and Spite, hath left her gall.
Malice herself, a mourning garment wears.

That day their Hannibal died, our Scipio fell :
SciPio, Cicero, and Petrarch of our time :
Whose virtues, wounded by my worthless rh3rme,
Let angels speak ; and heaven, thy praises tell.

Another of the same.

Ilence augmenteth grief! writing increaseth rage !
jStald are my thoughts, which loved and lost the

wonder of our age.
Yet quickened now with fire, though dead with frost

ere now,
Enraged I write, I know not what. Dead, quick,

I know not how.

Hard-hearted minds relent, and Rigour's tears abound,
And Envy strangely rues his end, in whom no fault she
found ;

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? F. GrevUIe.

^Jj;] Another Epitaph on Sir P. Sidney. 295

Knowledge her light hath lost; Valour hath slain her

Knight :
Sidney is dead ! Dead is my friend ! Dead is the world's


Place pensive wails his fall, whose presence was her pride.
Time crieth out "my ebb is come; his life was my springtide."
Fame mourns in that she lost the ground of her reports.
Each living wight laments his lack, and all in sundry sorts.

He was (woe worth that word !) to each well-thinking mind,
A spotless friend, a matchless man, whose virtue ever shined :
Declaring in his thoughts, his life, and that he writ ;
Highest conceits, longest foresights, and deepest works of


He only like himself, was second unto none,

Whose death (though life) we rue, and wrong, and all in

vain do moan.
Their loss, not him ; wail they, that fill the world with cries.
Death slew not him ; but he made death his ladder to the


Now sink of sorrow I, who live, the more the wrong,

Who wishing death, whom death denies, whose thread is all

too long;
Who tied to wretched life, who looks for no relief.
Must spend my ever-dying days in never-ending grief.

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296 Another Epitaph on Sir P. Sidney. [^^'^I^Tj'Jt

Heartsease and only I like parallels run on.

Whose equal length keep equal breadth, and never meet in

one :
Yet for not wronging him, my thoughts, my sorrows' cell,
Shall not run out; though leak they will, for liking him so


Farewell to you ! my hopes, my wonted waking dreams.
Farewell sometimes enjoyM joy ! Eclipsed are thy beams.
Farewell self-pleasing thoughts! which quietness brings

And farewell friendship'.s sacred league 1 uniting minds of


And farewell, merry heart ! the gift of guiltless minds ;
And all sports ! which for life's restore, variety assigns.
Let all that sweet is, void ! In me no mirth may dwell.
Philip, the cause of all this woe, my life's content, farewell I

Now rhyme, the son of rage, which art no kin to skill ;
And endless grief which deads my life, yet knows not how

to kill:
Go, seek that hapless tomb ! which if ye hap to find ;
Salute the stones that keep the limbs that held so good a



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Sir Thomas More.

Letter to his wife Alice on the
burning of his barns.

\Workt, 1557.]

Sir Thomas More was made Lord Chancellor of England
in Michaelmas Term in the year of our Lord 15299 and
in the 2ist year of King Henry the Eighth. And in
the latter end of the harvest then next before. Sir
Thomas More then Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster being returned from Cambray in Flanders
(where he had been Ambassador for the King), rode
immediately to the King at the Court at Woodstock :
and while he was there with the King, part of his
own dwelling house at Chelsea and all his bams
there full of corn, suddenly fell on fire and were
burnt and all the com therein, by the negligence of
one of his neighbour's carts that carried the com;
and by occasion thereof, were divers of his next
neighbours' bams burnt also. Upon which news
brought unto him to the Court, he wrote to the Lady
his wife the letter following.

C A Copy of the Letter.

|I stress Alice, in my most hearty wise I recommend
me to you. And whereas I am informed by my son
Heron of the loss of our bams and our neigh-
bours' also, with all the com that was therein :
albeit (saving QOD's pleasure) it is great pity of
so much good com lost, yet since it hath liked Him to send us
such a chance, we must and are bounden not only to be

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298 The burning of his barns at Chelsea. [|'sJv.^5^

content but also to be glad of His visitation. He sent us all
that we have lost : and since he hath by such a chance, taken
it away again, His pleasure be fulfilled. Let us never grudge
thereat, but take it in good worth; and heartily thank Him, as
well for adversity as prosperity. And peradventure we have
more cause to thank Him for our loss than for our winning.
For His wisdom better seeth what is good for us than we do

Therefore I pray you to be of good cheer, and take all the
household with you to church, and there thank GOD : both for
that He hath given us and for that He hath taken from us,
and for that He hath left us ; which if it please Him, He can
increase when He will. And if it please Him to leave us
yet less, at His pleasure be it.

I pray you make some good ensearch what my poor
neighbours have lost, and bid them take no thought therefore :
for and I should not leave myself a spoon, there shall no poor
neighbour of mine, bear no loss by any chance happened in
my house.

I pray you be with my children and your household merry
in GOD. And devise somewhat with your friends, what way
were best to take for provision to be made for com for your
household, and for seed this year coming ; if you think it good
that we keep the ground still in our hands. And whether ye
think it good that we so shall do or not, yet I think it were
not best suddenly thus to leave it all up; and to put away our
folk off the farm, till we have somewhat advised us thereon.
Howbeit if we have more now than ye shall need, and which
can get other masters ; ye may then discharge us of them.
But I would not that any man were suddenly sent away, we
wot [knew] nere whither.

At my coming hither, I perceived none other, but that I
should tarry still with the King's Grace. But now I shall
(I think) because of this chance, get leave this next week to
come home and see you ; and then shall we further devise
together upon all things, what order shall be best to take.

And thus heartily fare you well with all our children, as ye
can wish. At Woodstock the third of September [1529], by
the hand of

Your loving husband

Thomas More, Knight.

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The Privy Council.

A brief note of the benefits that grow to

this Realm^by the observation of Fish

Online LibraryEdward ArberAn English garner; ingatherings from our history and literature → online text (page 19 of 44)