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judicem super eos vindicem invocabant, qui ad banc ignominiam
eos detrudebant, cum juxta rectam \'itam antiquorum Christianorum
et apostolicorum virorum manuum suarum laboribus viverent, nocte
et die operantes, unde alerentur et vestirentur, liberisque suis
idipsum providerent. Quaerebant et conquerebantur ad invicem
lacrymabiliter, unde illis magis quam aliis mercenariis haec
ignominia et vis contumeliosa, cum inter Cbristianos alia plura
essent officia suo niultum aspernabiliora, cum tamen nullum
dicerent aspernabilo, de quo Christianus posset se sine peccato
conducere, illudque solum esset vitabile et ignobile quod immun-
ditiam peccati contraberet animae, meliorque sit rusticus textor et
jjauper, quam exactor orphanorum et spoliator A'iduarum urbanus
et nobilis judex. Cumque liaec et eorum similia secum, ut dixi,
lacrymabiliter conquererentur, concrepabant ante illud, nescio cujus
potius dicam, Bacchi an Veneris, Neptuni sive Martis, sed ut verius
dicam ante omnium malvjnorum spirituum execrabile domicilium
genera diversorum musicorum, turpia cantica et religion! Christianae
indigna concineniium. Sancitum qiioqiie erat ajiidicibus, ut j^radcj-
tcxtores, quicumque ad tactum navi appropinquarent, pignus de collo
eorum ercptuni tcxtoribus relinquerent, nisi se ad libitum redimerent.
Sed quid faciam ? loquarne an sileam ? utinam spiritus mendacii
stillaret de labiis meis : sub fugitiva adhuc luce diei imminente
luna matronariim ccdervae abjecto femineo pudore audientes strepi-
tum hvjus vanitatis, passis capillis de stratis suis exiliehcmt, aliae
seminudae, aliae simplice trntum clamide circumdatae, clwrosque du-
cerdibus circa navim impudentcr irruinpcndo se admiscebant. Videres
ibi aliquando mille bominum animas sexus utriusque p)rodigiosum
ft infaustum celcusma usque ad noctis medium celebrare. Quando
vero execrabilis ilia cborea rumpebatur, emisso ingenti claviore vo-
cum inconditarum sexus uterque bac illacque baccbando ferebatur ;
quae tunc videres agere, nostrum est tacere et dellere, quibns modo
contingit graviter luere. Istis tam nefandis factis plus quam duo-



ISIS. 20 1

decim diclus supradicto ritu celebratis, confercbaut simul oppidiiiii
quid agerent amodo dc deducmda a se navi.

Qui sanioris evant consilii, et qui earn susccptam fuisse do-
lebant, timentes Deuni pro his quae facta videiunt et audierant,
et sibi pro liis futura conjiciebant, hortahantur ut comhuratitr
(combureretur) aut isto vcl illo modo de medio tolleretur ; sed
stulta quorundam coecitas huic salubri consilio contumeliose re-
nitebatur. ISIam malijui sjnritus, qui in ilia fcrcbanfur, disse-
niinaverant in populo, quod locus ille et inhabitantes prohroso
nomine amplius notarcntur, apud quos rcmansisse inveniretur. Dedu-
cendam igitur earn ad villain, quae juxta nos est, Leugues decre-
verunt. Interea Lovaniensis dominus audiens de dacmoiiioso navis
illius ridicido, instructusque a religiosis viris terrae suae de illo
vitando et terrae suae arcendo monstro, gratiam suam et amicitiam
mandat oppidanis nostris, commonefaciens eos Immiliter, ut pacem
illam quae inter illos et se erat reformata et sacranientis confir-
mata non iufringerent, et inde praecipue illud diaholi ludihrium
viciniae suae inferrent ; quod si ludum esse dicerent, quaererent
aliuni cum quo inde luderent. Quod si ultra hoc mandatura
committerent, pacem praedictam in eum infringerent et ipse vin-
diciam in eos ferro et igne exsequeretur. Id ipsum mandaverat
Durachiensibus dominis, qui et homines ejus fuerant manuatim, et
interpositis sacramentis et obsidibus datis sibi confoederati. Hoc
cum jam tertio fecisset, spretus est tam ab oppidanis nostris quam
Durachiensibus dominis. Xam propter peccata inhal)itantium vo-
lebat Dominus mittere super locum nostrum ignem et anna Lo-
vaniensium. Ad lianc igitmjdchciamfatmtatem adjunxit se dominus
Gislebertus (advocatus abbatiae S. Trudonis) contra generis sui
nobilitatem, trahendamque decrevit navcm illam tcrream usque
Leugues ultra Durachiensem villam, quod et fecit malo nostro
omine cum omni oppidanorum nostrorum multitudine et ingeuti
dehacchantium vociferatione. Leuguenses, oppidanis nostris pru-
dentiores et Lovaniensis domini mandatis obsequentes, portas
suas clauserunt et infausti ominis monstnim inirare non 'pcr-
miserunt.

Lovaniensis autem dominus prccum suarum et mandatorum
contemptum nolens esse inultum, diem constituit comitibus tanquam
suis hominibus, qui neque ad primum, neque ad secundum, sed
nee ad tertium venire voluerunt. Eduxit ergo contra eos et contra



262 GODDESSES.

nos multorum multitudinis exercitum armatorum tain peditum
quam militum. Nostro igitur oppido seposito, tanquam firmius
munito et bellicosorum hominum pleiio, primum impetum in Dura-
clnenses fecit, quibus viriliter resistentibus castellum, nescio quare,
cum posset non obsedit, sed inter Leugues et Durachium pernocta-
vit. Cumque sequenti die exercitum applicare disponeret et ex
quatuor partibus assultum faceret, habebat enim ingentem multi-
tudinem, supervenit Adelbero Lletensium primicerius filiorum Lo-
vaniensis doniini avunculus, cujus interventu, quia comitissa Dura-
chiensis erat soror ejus, et Duracliiense erat castellum sancti
Lamberti, Lovaniensis dominus ab impugnatione cessavit et ab
obsidione se amovit, promisso ei quod Durachienses paulo post ei
ad justitiam suam educerentur. Et cum ista et alia de dominis
et inter dominos tractarentur, pedites et milites per omnia nostra
circumjacentia se diffuderunt, villas nostras, ecclesias, molendina
et quaecumque occurrebant combustioni et perditioni tradentes,
recedentes vero quae longe a nobis fuerant prout cuique adjacebaut
inter se diviserunt.

Obviously, throughout the narrative everything is put in an
odious light ; but the proceeding derives its full significance from
this very fact, that it was so utterly repugnant to the clergy, and
that they tried in every way to suppress it as a sinful and
heathenish piece of work. On the other hand, the secular power
had authorized the procession, and was protecting it ; it rested with
tlie several townships, whether to grant admission to the approach-
ing ship, and the popular feeling seems to have ruled that it would
be shabby not to forward it on its way.

Mere dancing and singing, common as they must have been on
all sorts of occasions with the people of that time, could not have
so exasperated the clergy. They call the ship ' malignorum
spirituum simulacrum ' and ' diaboli ludibrium,' take for granted it
was knocked together ' infausto omine ' and ' gentilitatis studio,'
that ' maligni spiritus ' travel inside it, nay, that it may well be
called a shi]3 of Neptune or Mars, of Bacchus or Venus ; they must
burn it, or make away with it somehow. " ^

Probably among the common people of that region there still
survived some recollections of an ancient heathen worship, which,
though checked and circumscribed for centuries, had never yet been
entirely uprooted. I consider this ship, travelling about the



ISIS. 2G3

country, welcomed by streaming multitudes, and honoured with
festive song and dance, to be the car of the god, or ratlier of that
goddess whom Tacitus identifies with Isis, and who (like Nerthus)
brought peace and fertility to mortals. As the car was covered uj),
so entrance to the interior of the ship seems to have been denied
to men ; there need not have been an image of the divinity inside.
Her name the people had long ago forgotten, it was only the
learned monks that still fancied something about Neptune or Mars,
Bacchus or Venus : but to the externals of the old festivity the
l")eople's apjDctite kept returning from time to time. How should
that ' pauper rusticus ' in the wood at Inden have lighted on the
thought of building a ship, had there not been floating in his mind
recollections of former processions, perhaps of some in neighbour-
ing districts ?

It is worthy of note, that the weavers, a numerous and arrogant
craft in the Netherlands, but hateful to the common herd, were
compelled to draw the ship by ropes tied to their shoulders, and to
guard it ; in return, they could keep the rest of the people from
coming too near it, and fine or take pledges from those who did so.^

Piodulf does not say what became at last of the ' terrea navis,'
after it had made that circuit ; it is enough for him to relate, how,
on a reception being demanded for it and refused, heats and quarrels
arose, which could only be cooled in open war. This proves the
warm interest taken by contemporaries, fanned as it was to a flame
for or against the festival by the secular and the clerical party.

There are traces to be found of similar ship-proccssiom at the
beginning of spring in other partsof Germany, especially in Swabia,
which had then become the seat of those very Suevi of Tacitus (see
Suppl.). A minute of the town-council of Ulm, dated St. Nicholas'
eve, 1530, contains this prohibition: ' Item, there shall none, by day
nor night, trick or disguise him, nor put on any carnival raiment,
moreover shall Iccep him from the going about of the plough and
with shi2)s on pain of 1 gulden ',2 The custom of draiving the
plough ahont seems to have been the more widely spread, having

1 Doe.^ the antlior imply that the favour of the peasantry, as oiiposed to
iutizaiis, makes it likely that this was a relic of the worship of Earth i
Supposing even that the procession was that of the German Isis ; Tacitus
nowhere tells us what the functions of this Isis were, or that she 'brought
]>eace and fertility'. — Trans.

" Carl Jager, trchwiib. stadtewesen des MA. (]\Iid. Ages), 1, 525.



264; GODDESSES.

originally no doubt been performed in honour of the divinity from
W-hom a fruitful year and the thriving of crops was looked for.
Like the ship-procession, it was accompanied by dances and bon-
fires. Sebast. Frank, p. ol'^ of his Weltbuch : ' On the Ehine,
Franconia and divers other places, the young men do gather all the
dance-maidens and 'put them in a plough, and draw their piper, who
sitteth on the plough piping, into the water ; in other parts they
draw 2^. fiery plough kindled with a fire very artificial made thereon,
until it fall to wrack.' Enoch Wiedemann's chronik von Hof tells
how ' On Shrove-Tuesday evil-minded lads drove a 'plough about,
yoking to it such damsels as did not pay ransom ; others went
behind them sprinkling chopped straw and sawdust.' (Siichs.
provinz. bl. 8, 347.) Pfeiffer, chron. lips, lib, 2, § 53 : ' Mos erat
antiquitus Lipsiae, ut liberalibus (feast of Liber or Bacchus, i.e.,
carnival) personati juvenes per vicos oppidi aratriim circum
ducerent, puellas obvias per lasciviam ad illius jugum accedere
etiam repugnantes cogerent, hoc veluti ludicro poenam expetentes
ab iis quae innuptae ad eum usque diem mansissent '} On these
and similar processions, more details will be given hereafter; I only
wish at present to shew that the driving of the j^lough and that of
the shij) over the country seem both to rest on the same old-
heathen idea, which after the dislodgement of the gods by Chris-
tianity could only maintain itself in unintelligible customs of the
people, and so by degrees evaporate : namely, on the visible mani-
festation of a beneficent benign divinity among men, who every-
where approached it with demonstrations of joy, when in springtime
the soil was loose again and the rivers released from ice, so that
agriculture and navigation could begin anew.^ In this w^ay tl:e

1 Scheffer's Haltaus, 202. Hans Sachs also relates I. 5, 508% how the
maids who had not taken onen, were forced into the j)lough (see Sujipl.).

- To this day, in the churches of some villages of Holstein, largely inha-
bited by seamen, there hang little shi'ps, which in springtime, when navigation
re-opens, are decorated with ribbons and flowers : qnite the Roman custom in
the case of Isis (p. 258). We also find at times silver ships hung up in churches,
which voyagers in stress of weather have vowed in case of a safe arrival home ;
an old instance of this I will borrow from the Vita Godehardi Hildesiensis :
Fuit tunc temporis in Trajectensi episcopatu vir quidam arti mercatoriae dedi-
tus, qui frequenter mare transiret ; hie quodam tempore maxima tempestate in
medio mari deprehenditur, ab omnibus conclamatur, et nil nisi ultimus vitae
terminus timetur. Tandem tinito aliquanto tempore auxilium beati Godehardi
implorabant, et argenteam navim delaturos, si evaderent, devoverunt. Hos in
ecclesia nostra navim argenteam deferentes postea vidimus (in King Lothair's
time). In a storm at sea, sailors take vows : E chi dice, una nave vo far fare, e
'poi portarla in Vienna al gran barone ; Buovo d'Antona 5, 32. The Lapps at



HOLDA, HOLLE. 265

Sueves of Tacitus's time must have done honour to tlicir goddess
by carrying- her ship about. The forcing of unmarried young
women to take part in the festival is like the constraint put upon
the weavers in Eipuaria, and seems to indicate that the divine
mother in her progi-ess at once looked kindly on the bond of love
and ivedloclc, and punished the backward ; in this sense she might
fairly stand for Dame A^enus, Holda and Frecke.

The Greeks dedicated a ship not only to Isis, but to Athene.
At the Panathenoea her sacred peplos was conveyed by ship to the
Acropolis : the sliip, to whose mast it was suspended as a sail, was
built on the Kerameikos, and moved on dry land by an under-
ground mechanism, first to the temple of Demeter and all round it,
past the Pelasgian to the Pythian, and lastly to the citadel. The
people followed in solemnly ordered procession.^

We must not omit to mention, that Aventin, after transforming
the Tacitean Isis into a frau Eiscii, and making iron (eisen) take
its name from her, expands the account of her worship, and in
addition to the little ship, states further, that on the death of her
father (Hercules) she travelled through all countries, came to the
German king Schwab, and staid for a time with him ; that she
taught him the forging of iron, the sowing of seed, reaping, grinding,
kneading and baking, the cultivation of flax and hemp, spinning,
weaving and needle work, and that the people esteemed her a holy
woman.2 We shall in due time investigate a goddess Zisa, and her
claims to a connexion with Isis.

4. Holda, Holle.
Can the name under which the Suevi worshipped that goddess

yiile-tide oflFer to their jauloherra small shijis smeared with reindeer's blood, and
han;? them on trees ; Hogstrom, elterretninger om Lapland, p. 511. These
votive gifts to saints fill the place of older ones of the heathen time to gods,
as tlie voyagers to Helgohuid continued long to respect Fosete's sanctuary
(p. 231). Now, as silver ylovrjhs too were placed in churches, and later in the
Mid. Ages were even demanded as dues, these ships and idoughs together lend
a welcome support to the ancient worship of a maternal deity (see Suppl.).

1 Philostr. de vitis sophist, lib. 2 cap. 1, ed. Paris. 1608, p. 549.

- So Jean le Maire de Beiges in his Illustrations de Gaulle, Paris, 1548, bk.
3 p. .xxviii : ' Au temps du([uel (Hercules Allemannus) la deesse Isis, ri)yne
*| %'.ypt«, veint en Alh-maigne et montra au rude peuple I'usaige de mouldre la
farine et faire du pain.' J. le Maire finished his work in 151'J, Aventin not
till 1522 ; did they lioth boirow iiom the spurious Berosus that came out in
the 15th century ? Hunibald makes a queen Camhra, who may be compared
Mith the Langobardic Gambara, introduce the arts of building, sowing and
weaving (see Suppl.).



263 GODDESSES.

wliom the Eomans identified with Isis — may not at least one of her
secondary names — have been Holda ? The name has a purely
Teutonic meaning, and is firmly grounded in the living traditions
of our people to this day.

Holda is the kind, benignant, merciful goddess or lady, from
hold (propitius), Goth. hul]?s (Luke 18, 13 ; root, liil}?an hal]?
hul];un, to bend, bow), ON. hollr ; the Gothic form of it would be
Hulpo. For the opposite notion of a malignant diabolic being,
Ulphilas employs both the fem. unhtdpo and the masc. unlmdjja,
from which I infer a hulpa by the side of hulpd : one more confir-
mation of the double sex running through the idea of these
divinities. It is true, such a by-name could be shared by several
gods or spirits. Notker in the Capella 81 renders verus genius by
' min ware lioldo '. And in MHG. parlance, holde (fem. and masc.)
must have been known and commonly used for ghostly beings.
Albrecht of Halberstadt, in translating Ovid's Metamorphoses,
uses ivazzcrholde (gen. -en) for nympli ; rhyme has protected the
exact words from corruption in Wikram's poetic paraphrase.^ In
the largely expanded Low German version of the Ship of Fools
(Narragonia, Eostock 1519 ; 96^) we find the following passage
which is wanting in the HG, text : ' Mannich narre lovet (be-
lieveth) an vogelgeschrei, und der gudcn kollcn (bonorum geniorum)
gunst '. Of more frequent occurrence is the MHG. iinholde (fem.),
our modern unhold (masc), in the sense of a dark, malign, yet
mighty being.

The earliest example of the more restricted use of the name
Holda is furnished by Burchard, bp. of Worms, p. 194=" : ^ Credidisti

1 Frankf. 1631 ; 4, ITl'' von einer wazzerliolclen, rh. solden ; 176* wazzer-
holde, rh. solde.

- If, in the inscription ' deae Hludanae ' quoted p. 257, we might by a
slight transposition substitute Huldanae, this would be even more welcome
than the analogy to ON. HloSyn, it would be the most ancient evidence for
Hulda, supported as she already is by the Goth. unJmlpo and the OHG. female
name Holda, a rare one, yet forthcoming in Schannat, trad. fuld. no. 445 ; also
Holdasind in Graif 4, 915. Schutze's treatise De dea Hludana hrst appeared
Lips. 1741 ; and when Wolf (in Wodana, p. 50) mentions a Dutch one De dea
Hiddea, Trajecti 1746, if that be really the title, this can be no other than a very
tempting conjecture by Cannegieter founded on our ' Hulda ' which occurs in
Eccard. A Latin dative Hiddanae woidd mean our weak form, OHG. Holdun,
AS. Holdan, just as Berta, Hildegarda are in Latin docs, inflected Bertanae,
Hildegardanae ; though there may also have sprung up a nom. Bertana,
Huldana. So the dat. Tanfanae too would lead us to at all events a German
nom. Tanfa, and cut short all the attempts to make out of -fana a Celtic word
or the Latin fanum. Tan/a su;7Pests an ON. man's name Dan])r, or the OHG,



UOLDA, IIOLLE. 267

ut aliqua femina sit, quae hoc facere possit, quod quaedam adiabolo
deceptae se affirmant necessario et ex praecepto facere debere, id
est cum daemonum turba in siniilitudinem mulierum transformata,
quara vulgaris stultitia Holdam (al. vnholdain) vocat, certis
noctibus equitare debere super quasdam bestias, et in eorum se
consortio annumeratam esse. The remarkable varia lectio
' nnholda' is taken from the Cod. vindob. univ. 633. Burchard has
here put the German word in the place of the more usual ' Diana
paganorum dea,' who in other passages is named in a like sense and
in the same connexion. [A still earlier notice of Holda is found
in Walafrid Strabo, see Suppl.]

In popular legends and nursery-tales, fraa Holda (Hulda,
Holle/ Ilulle, frau Holl) appears as a superior being, who manifests a
kind and helpful disposition towards men, and is never cross
except when she notices disorder in household affairs. None of
the German races appear to have cherished these oral traditions so
extensively as the Hessians and Thuringians (that Worms bishop
was a native of Hesse). At the same time, dame Holle is found as
far as the Voigtland,^ past the Ehon mts in northern Franconia,^ in
the Wetterau up to the Westerwald,* and from Thuringia she
crosses the frontier of Lower Saxony. Swabia, Switzerland,
IJavaria, Austria, North Saxony and Friesland do not know her by
that name.

From what tradition has still preserved for us,^ we gather the
following characteristics. Frau Holle is represented as a being of
the shy, begirdling the earth : when it snows, she is making her

root danipli ; granted a change of F into CH or TH [/ has become ch in sachte,
nichte, achter, rnehtliar or ruchbar, «&c.], there would arise yet further possi-
bilities, e.(j. a female name Tancha (grata) would correspond to the OHG. masc.
Dancho (gratus) Gratf 5, IGi) ; conf. Dank rat = Gibicho, Haupt's zeitschr. 1,
573 — I am not convinced of Iluldaaa, and confess that Hludana may also
maintain itself, and be explained as Hli'tda (clara, praeclara) ; the weight of
other argmiients must turn the scale. Among these however, the use of gute
holden and hollar Vivttir (Siem. 240'') for spirits, and of holl regin (Sa^m. GO^)
for gods, is es])ecially worthy of notice. In ON. the adj. hollr had undergone
assimilation (Goth. hul])s, OHG. hold), while the proper name Hiddr retained
the old form ; for to me the explanation huldr =: occultus, celatus, looks very
dubious.

' Holle from Hulda, as FoUe from FuhUi,

" Jul. Schmidt's Ueichenfels p. 152.

' Keinwald, Henneb. id. 1, C8. 2, 62. Schmeller 2, 174.

■• Schmidt's Westerwald. idiot. 73. 341.

^ Kinderm. no. 24. Deutsrche sagen, uos. 4 — 8. Falkenstein's Thur.
chronica 1, IGJ-C (see Suppl.),



2GS GODDESSES,

bed, and the feathers of it fly.^ Slie stirs up snow, as Donar does
rain : the Greeks ascribed the production of snow and rain to their
Zeus : Jio? o/x/3po9, II. 5, 91. 11, 493 as well as vi.<^dhe<i Ato'i, II. 19,
357 ; so that Holda conies before us as a goddess of no mean rank."^
The comparison of snowflakes to feathers is very old ; the Scythians
pronounced the regions north of them inaccessible, because they
were filled witli feathers (Herod. 4, 7. conf. 31). Holda then must
be able to move througli the air, like dame Herke.

She loves to haunt the lake and fountain ; at the hour of noon
she may be seen, a fair white lady, hathing in the flood and
disappearing; a trait in wiiich she resembles Nerthus. Mortals,
to reach her dwelling, pass through the well ; conf. the name
wazzerholde?

Another point of resemblance is, that she drives about in a
waggon. She had a linchpin put in it by a peasant whom she
met ; when he picked up the chips, they were gold.* Her annual
progress, wdiich, like those of Herke and Berhta, is made to fall
between Christmas and Twelfth-day, when the supernatural has
sway,^ and wild beasts like the wolf are not mentioned by their
names, brings fertility to the land. Not otherwise does ' Derk with
the boar,' that Freyrof the Netherlands (p. 214), appear to go his
rounds and look after the ploughs. At the same time Holda, like
Wuotau, can also ride on the winds, clothed in terror, and she, like
the god, belongs to the ' wiitende heer'. From this arose the
fancy, that witches ride in Holla's company (cli. XXXIV, snow-

1 Dame Holle shakes her bed, Modejoiirn. 1816, p. 283. They say in
Scotland, when the first flakes fall : The men o' the East are pyking their
geese, and sending their feathers here awa' there awa'. In Prussian Samland,
when it snows : The angels shake their little bed ; the flakes are the down-
feathers, but many drop past, and get down to our earth.

^ As other attriljutes of Holda have passed to Mary, we may here also
bring into comparison the Maria ad nives, notre dame aux neiges, whose feast was
held on Aug. 6 ; on that day the lace-makers of Brussels pray to her, that their
work may keep as white as snow. In a folk-song of Bretagne : Notre dame
Marie, sur votre trone de neige ! (Barzas breiz 1, 27). May not the otherwise
unintelligible Hildesheim legend of Hillesnee (DS. no. 436) have arisen out of
a Holde sne ?

^ If the name brunnenhold in the Marchenbuch of Allj. Ludw. Grimm 1,
221 is a genuine piece of tradition, it signifies a fountain-sprite. [Newborn
babes are fetched by the nurse out oH dame HolWs j^ond ; Siippl.]

* A similar legend in Jul. Schmidt's Reichenfels p. 152.

s This must be a purely heathen view. I suppose the christian sentiment
was that expressed by Marcellus in Hamlet i. 1 : ' no spirit dares stir abroad,
the nights are wholesome, &c. '. — Trans.



HOLD A, HOLLE. 2C9

Wives) ; it was already known to BurcharJ, and now in Upper
Hesse and the Westerwald, HoUc-ridinfj, to ride with Holle, is
equivalent to a witches' ride.^ Into the same ' furious host,'
according to a wide-spread popular belief, were adopted the souls
of infants di/ing unhcq^tizcd ; not having been cliristian'd, they
remained heathen, and fell to heathen gods, to Wuotan or to
llulda.

The next step is, that Ilulda, instead of her divine shape,
assumes the appearance of an vglij old ^voman, long-nosed, big-



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