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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



THE



PLEASURES OF MUSIC



AND OTHER POEMS.



JOHN CLAKK FERGUSON.



LATELY PUBLISHED UNDER. THE NAME OF "ALFRED LEE/



SECOND EDITION,



GREATLY ENLARGED.



tnhn :



R. GROOMBKIDGE & SONS ;

LONGMAN & CO. ; HAMILTON, ADAMS, & CO. ; G. EOUTLEDGE & CO.

CARLISLE : CHAKLES THUBNAM.

1850.



C-VKLISLE :

PRINTED AT THE oniCE OF CIIAIILES TUURNAM.



: rv



TO



DR. ANSTER,



THE CELEBRATED TRANSLATOR OF FAUST,



THIS VOLUME



IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED, BY



THE AUTHOR.



^^812



PEEFAGE.

Considering the exceedingly favouiable and
flattering manner in which the First Edition
of tliis Volume was received, both by the
Press and by literary individuals of the highest
eminence, the Author has determined upon
issuing a second, wliich he trusts will meet
with an equally favourable reception at the
hands of the public.



VI PREFACE.

He lias also thought fit to abandon the
fictitious name under which the Volume was
first published^ sUghtly to alter the title of
the principal poem, also to make the addition
of several smaller ones.

Caklisle, October Ibih, 1850.



CONTENTS.

PAGE.

PLEASURES OF MUSIC

•AMERICA, A SATIRE 37

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS 53

VALEDICTORY ST.iNZAS TO "W. C. MACREADY, ON

HIS LAST APPE-IR.ANCE ON THE BRITISH STAGE 55

TO THE RHINE 59

ODE TO POETRY CO

SONNET: TO THE LOWER LAKE OF KILLARNET,

WRITTEN ON THE SPOT 63

SONNET: WRITTEN AT ABBOTSFORD 61

LINES WRITTEN ON REVISITING ALLONBY 65

VERSES MEANT TO BE INSCRIBED ON THE MONU-
MENT OF CAMPBELL, IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY 69

TO THE OCE.VN 71

LINES WRITTEN ON A THUNDER-STORM 73



VIU CONTENTS.

PAGE.

WRITTEN ON A CHESS-TABLE, MADE FKOM A PIECE
OF OAK T.1KEN OUT OF QUEEN MAHY'S TOWER,

IN CARLISLE CASTLE 74

VERSES 76

SONNET: TO THE FIRESIDE 77

AN EMIGRANT'S SOLILOQUY 78

LINES SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY A WE^iRIED

M.VN OF FASHION 80

TO A WILD FLOWER IN AUTUMN 83

A WINTER SOLILOQUY 86

LINES WRITTEN ON VISITING HOLTROOD 91



THE PLEA8UKE8 OF MUSIC.



THE ARGUMENT.

Music given by Heaven to relieve the cares of life — Its refining influence,
and connection with all the nobler feelings of humanity — The IMusic
of Natiu'e — A Moonlight Scene and Summer Morning — The Music
of Church-bells, and the associations it awakens — The effect on the
mind of sacred Music — Allusion to the splendid display of Cathedral,
and the simpler form of Presbyterian worship — The feeling produced
by Music at a Soldier's Funeral — Its power of awakening patriotic
emotion — Allusion to the Battle of Trafalgai- — Social sensibility and
the love of Music connected — Description of a Winter's evening at
home, and the influence of Music in increasing domestic enjoyment
— Its power of awakening the dance — The ^olian Lyre — The pleas-
ing effect produced by Music amid a beautiful landscape by moon-
light — Music the most eloquent appealer to the heart — Its power
over memory — Over the emotion of pity — Its influence in soothing
the m-itation of the feelings— The human voice — The last appear-
ance of Malibran — Jenny Lind — Conclusion.

^^^Q^MID the weary wilderness of Life,
^^^^'Toiling along in bitterness and strife.
Say, Traveller, liast tliou found no fairy spell,
To charm thy care, thy mournfulness to quell ?

B



10 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

Music ! that spell is thine, to thee we owe
The sweet refreshing rest that gladdens Woe ;
'Tis thine to bid the throb of sorrow cease,
*Tis thine to jDour the grateful balm of peace,
And thine to make the raptur'd bosom feel
As much of Heaven as Nature can reveal.

Music ! sweet Goddess ! by thy power refin'd.
The charms of Taste exalt the cultur'd mind ;
Inspir'd by thee, Expression's varying art
Can warmth of fancy, feeling, soul impart !
Each gen'rous impulse brightens into day,
Our finer nature has its wonted play,
While the sweet Sister Arts thy power attend^
And all the softness of refinement lend.



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 11

Music ! where'er o'er Nature's face we roam,
Wide o'er the world's domain, we find thy home ;
The whisp'ring breeze, the murmur of the sea,
The song of birds are buoyant all with thee ;
Thine is the charm of each delightful hour.
When Spring's best beauty blooms around the bower,
And thine the sadness of the wintry blast,
That seems to mourn o'er Summer's glories past.
'Tis night ! the sounds of busy tumult cease,
The sturdy sons of labour sleep in peace.
No voice is heard around, no steps intrude
To mar the pleasing calm of solitude ;
The moon with silver gems the silent scene,
And o'er the waters throws her light serene.
Wide o'er the view the lovely landscape glows
In all the chasten'd beauty of repose,



12 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

And here, where wrapt in midnight, Nature sleeps,
Her tranquillizing empire Music keeps ;
The breeze that falls like magic on the ear.
The gently-whispering wave that murmurs near,
Breathe o'er the musing mind the tone of rest.
And lull each fever'd passion of the breast ;
Kemembrance there recalls each cherish'd scene,
Hid by the tide of years that rolls between.
Views the sweet hours of pleasure, long since fled,
Hours to the hopes, the joys of boyhood wed.
When lightsome Ardour gladden' d every heart,
And sportive Pleasure played her smiling part.
When Care and Sorrow were alike unknown,
Nor Vice had mark'd the bosom for her own.

How fair the brightness of the early morn,
"When by the breeze the flower's sweet breath is borne.



THE PLEASURES OP MUSIC. 13

When the mild radiance of the dawning day-
Sheds its sweet sunshine o'er the landscape gay,
When the glad voice of birds salutes the ear,
And not a cloud o'ercasts Heaven's azure clear !
Say, does the musing mind not feel the sway
Of gladness chase its sorrow here away ?
Does not the festive tone of Nature's voice
Bid the forlorn, the aching heart rejoice ?
Yes ! Music, yes ! thy joyful presence here
Inspires the heart with thoughts to rapture dear ;
Hope's cheering visions fill the lightsome breast,
And Life seems now in Fancy's splendour drest,
Age feels the sweetness of thy aid restore
The buoyant freshness felt in youth before,
And all the sportive fondness of the boy
Returns recall'd by thy glad tones of joy.



14 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

'Tis sweet to hear the gentle Sabbath bell
Breathe its soft accents o'er the village dell ;
And, as its silvery cadence meets the ear,
What feelings rise to English nature dear !
How glows the bosom with that loyal pride.
To all our best and bravest thoughts allied !
For, 'tis the sweetest Music of this land.
Where Peace and Freedom flourish hand in hand.
Where smiling verdure decks the gentle vale.
And health is wafted in the freshening gale.
Where live the brave in arms, the great in song,
Where Commerce dwells her crowded shores along,
Whose stately navy on the broad deep rolls,
And whose majestic sway unites the poles.

Is there on earth no great, no potent spell,
To raise the raptur'd mind from where we dwell ?



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 15

Is there no power below to fix the thought
On scenes of heavenly loveliness renaote ?
To bid us look beyond this narrow sj)here,
And feel that Mind's enthronement is not here ?
Thine is that spell, sweet Music ! thine the power
Which elevates, refines Devotion's houi*,
And wafts the spirit, on its heaven-ward flight.
To scenes that shine in everlasting light !

Let Admiration pause, and ponder near —
Lo, York's majestic Minster choir is here !
As the deep organ's tone inspires the while,
Come, let us pause amid the cloister'd aisle.
And let the rapt, the spell-bound footsteps bend
Where tower and arch their gothic splendour lend ;:
Here, as the rising anthem rends the air,
Devotion lifts the raptur'd soul in prayer,



16 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

Far fairer scenes delight the ravish'd view,
And Fancy's fading fire now burns anew.
For, in the sacred joy each strain supplies.
We feel the ecstatic powers of Paradise.

Or, would you pause where pious rustics sing
A simpler song of praise to Heaven's great King,
Go, view the spot where Scotia's mountains rise.
And torrents foam beneath the aziu'e skies.
Here, in the midst of solitude sublime.
Where craggy cliffs resist the power of Time,
Within those rustic walls that storms defy,
The solemn song of praise ascends on high ;
And, as united voices breathe around
The pure, iingarnish'd majesty of sound.
The sweet and simple form of worship here
Draws from its silent source the trembling tear,



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 17

We own the cliarm that Music can impart
"When least assisted by the aid of Art,
And, as the purest sanctuary, hail
The healthful freshness of the mountain gale.

Say, would you feel sweet Music's mournful spell
Cast a chaste sadness o'er the funeral knell ?
Then view the pomp which ushers to the grave
In martial state the relics of the brave !
Mark the deep accents of the muffled drum !
And mark the slow and solemn ranks that come !
Here, as the plaintive march salutes the air,
"What mournful thoughts the musing fancy share,
"What gen'rous sorrow holds the spell-bound throng,
That marks the pensive pageant pass along !



18 THE PLEASURES OE MUSIC.

Lives there a man to nobler impulse dead.
His best desires to sensual pleasure wed,
Whose clay-cold feelings never yet have known
That gen'rous pride the patriot calls his own ?
Say, is his form the temple where the light
Of Mind immortal glows divinely bright ?
Say, does it claim that majesty divine,
Through which the vivid beams of Godhead shine ?
But, Music ! charmed by thee what feelings rise !
At thy command each base emotion flies.
Then brave, ennobling thoughts inspire the mind,
Heroic virtues flourish unconfined.
The love of freedom stamps the manly brow,
And injur'd Virtue prompts the gen'rous vow.
Yes ! mark the soldier on the battle plain,
Stirr'd by the power of ^lusic's martial strain,



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 19

When warlike hosts combine in dread array,
And Death's stern progress stains with gore his way,
See, how inspiring Freedom bids him glow,
And how his dauntless ardour braves the foe,
Till Triumph sheds her lustre o'er the day.
And cheers the warrior with her welcome ray —
Thus, when Trafalgar's wave disclosed to sight
Opposing fleets array'd in hostile might,
"When, ere the conflict rag'd, that strain^ arose,
Warm'd by whose power each British bosom glows.
The valour of her sons, fair England's pride,
Then stemm'd the stormy wildness of the tide,
Dispers'd the hostile navy that assail'd.
And Britain's matchless majesty prevail'd.

1 It is said, that just before the Battle of Trafalgar took place, the
band of the British Navy played the air of " Kule Britannia," and
thus inspirited the hearts of the seamen.



20 THE PLEASURES OP MUSIC.

Who liatli not proved the cmj)iro of that power,
Which sways the joys of Youth's delightful hour ?
Who hath not known the social hearth impart
The glow of transport to the feeling heart ?
Who hath not felt sweet Beauty's magic sway
The Stoic firmness of the soul betray ?
But, waked by Music, all those feelings live,
Warm with the brightest fervour Hope can give ;
For, from that nobler nature of the mind.
Whose purest source is by her power refined.
Spring the sweet joys to so;:ial virtue true,
Joys which enliven but the heav'n-taught few,
And which the gen'rous heart dehghts to claim
As winds that fan the brightness of its flame.

How calm the joy Domestic Comfort brings.
When o'er the pensive world grey Evening flings



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 21

Her sombre veil, and round the social hearth
Delighted kindred show their wonted mirth ;
When the bright taper cheers the peaceful scene,
And Fortune's sweetest sunshine smiles serene ;
When fond AiFection has her purest play.
And Wit beguiles the happy hours away !
Who would not leave the busy scenes of life,
Where jarring Discord swells the voice of Strife,
To view Domestic Comfort's calm retreat.
That spot where all the gentler virtues meet ?
What though no idle pomp, nor vain parade.
Proclaim the sway of Fashion's lordly grade !
What though no flatt'ring courtier meets the view,
To utter what the heart believes untrue !
Still the sweet joys that leave no sting behind
Give tranquil transport to the wearied mind.



22 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

Yes ! here are pleasiu'es, purer, dearer far,

Which e'en the Avorld's contagion cannot mar,

For Woman here, "within the storm-scath'd dome,

Inspires the calm, but heart-felt joys of home,

Gives a soft impulse to the tone of mirth.

And beams her sweetness round the household hearth,

'Tis here her virtues have their gentlest sway !

'Tis here her presence sheds its purest ray !

'Tis here the chasten'd lustre of her love

Shines like the silver moon-beam from above.

And here we feel that Nature chose to give

Her heav'nly form, that Man might love to live !

But say, does Music here perform no part.

To bid the slumb'ring pulse of pleasure start ?

Say, does the tide of social joy receive

No streams, to swell the rapture it can leave ?



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 23

Yes ! Music, yes ! thy tributary aid

Has oft to evening's joys its homage paid ;

Oft have thy charms made glad the wintry hour,

And oft have ardent souls there owned thy power.

For, when thy cheering voice is heard around,

What welcome thoughts inspire us at the sound !

Then brighter, fairer are our kindred's smiles,

Then fonder far the gladness that beguiles.

And doubly sweet the joys of home appear,

When Music's mirthful presence lingers near.

When Youth's gay numbers throng the festive ball.
How Pleasure's liveliest powers the sense enthral !
Then Beauty shows the brightness of her sheen.
While Fashion's splendour dignifies the scene,
And, as the dance invigorates the night.
How glows the heart with undisguis'd delight !



24 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

Who does not feel the pulse's quicken'd play,
When Music then gives impulse to the gay ?
Yes ! when that sweetest pastime gains command,
To swell the joy of Pleasure's votive band.
When all the powers of Love's divine controul
Possess the spell-bound ardour of the soul.
And when exulting Youth delights to find
The madd'ning throb of rapture unconfin'd.
Then Music, then, the triumph of thy might !
And then the splendour of thy noon-tide light !

But, would you know the melancholy sway
Of thoughts which mourn the march of Time's decay,
Go where stern Winter sweeps the iEolian lyre.
And feel the pensive mood his gales inspire ;
Here does each whisper of the murm'ring wind
Wake to reflection's power the musing mind ;



THE PLEASURES OP MUSIC. 25

Its mournful Music brings to Mem'ry's view
Far distant scenes to artless childhood true,
When Hope's delusive visions cheer'd the breast,
And promis'd joys that never were possest,
When the sweet fondness of Affection's power
Secm'd the fair boyhood of the ripen'd flower,
And when each simple sport could please, could charm
The mind where Care awaken'd no alarm.

Say, would you feel the sweet and soft controul
Of Music lull the passions of the soul,
And the fine fervour of the fancy rise
With Night's serenest scene to harmonize ?
Then, view the beauty of Italia's clime,
Where pillar'd arch displays the touch of Time,
And landscape lies beneath a lovelier sky
Tlmn e'er iu realms more Northern meets the eye ;

D



26 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

There, as the moon adorns each ancient tower,
And clothes with pensive grace the midnight hour,
O'er the hush'd wave should reach us from afar
The echoed softness of the wild guitar,
"Wliat magic thoughts inspire the ravish'd mind,
As each sweet note is wafted hy the wind !
What fairy dreams invest Heav'n's vault serene.
Whose azure splendour decks the peaceful scene,
And what oblivion to the things of Time
Wafts the aspiring soul to realms sublime !

But would you say in Woman's gentle ear,
How charms divine as hers to Man are dear ?
Yes ! would you speak that sentiment refined.
The tender homage of the love-taught mind ?
Then let the power of Music's voice appeal.
And the fond fervour of the soul reveal,



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 27

For, in its plaintive tone there works a cliarm,
Which can the storm of angry passion calm,
Which in impassion'd eloquence can speak.
When the best accents of the tongue are weak,
Can bid the coldness of contempt depart,
And touch the secret springs of Woman's heart !

How sweet the power of Mem'ry's blest controul,
When scenes long past refresh the wearied soul.
When absent forms appear to Fancy's view,
And dreams of pleasure fled the mind renew !
But can soft Music's voice not Mcm'ry sway,
Nor call her pensive beauty into day ?
Yes ! let that strain beguile the raptur'd ear,
Which oft in happier hours we lov'd to hear,
And ah ! what feelings rise within the breast.
We seem to be with bye-gone pleasures blest,



28 THE PLEASL'llES OF MUSIC.

And each sweet, social scene again to view,
That cheer'd the heart when life's best joys were new;
We seem to live again in long-fled hours,
Sweet with the perfum'd breath of fairy flowers.
And all that heart-felt happiness to share.
That never knew the scathing hand of Care.
But would you see how Music can impart
Past pleasure's fond remembrance to the heart,
And with what plaintive eloquence disclose
The fountain whence our purest rapture flows ;
Then view the Switzer, when from home astray
He hears the air that cheer'd'^ his mountain way.
And mark the tear that moistens o'er his eye.
As Mcm'ry then recounts sweet scenes gone by,



2 The celebrated Eaiu do Vaches. " Get air si clif-ri dos Suisses qu'il
fut defendu sous peine de mort de Ic jouer dans leur troupes, pai-ce ([u'il
faisait fondre en I'armes, deserter ou niourir ceux qui I'cntendoient, tant
il excitait un nex4'ardent dC-sii' de revoir leux pays."— EousSEAU.



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 29

See how liis ardour longs once more to stand
'Mid the lov'd wildness of Helvetia's laud !
And gaze upon each oft-remember'd spot,
Where humble happiness once cheer'd his lot !
But such the thoughts the pensive Stranger' knew
When Mem'ry brought the scenes of youth to view,
When, through the mournful strain that met his ear.
He saw the joys to happier moments dear,
Joys that were his while yet the hand of Care
The ties of kindred and of home could spare.
While the undimmed sunshine of delight
Knew not the cheerless gloom of Sorrow's nieht.

Where is the heart whose feelings never knew
One tender pang to pensive pity true ?

8 Allusion is here made to Kotzcbuc's beautiful play of " Tlic
Strangei," Act iv. Scene 1.



80 TUE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

That never paid the tribute of a tear,
"When Grief's dejected accents met the ear ?
Say, can that heart of coldness deign to tell j
Of Music's magic sway and soft'ning spell ?
Yes ! hath it felt Expression's kindling ray
Give to its dark retreat the light of day ?
No ! Music breathes on all her heav'nly tone,
But finds respoDse in gen'rous hearts alone;
'Tis there she strikes a sympathetic chord,
That vibrates to the tune her lips afford,
And there she wakes the fulness of that grief
That finds in sorrow's burst refin'd relief.
Hark ! through the breeze* those warbled accents swell.
That speak the grief of Flora's last farewell.
When that frail bark departed from her view
That held the form her best affections knew ;

i The beautiful and pathetic Scottish melody, ciJlcd " Tloia
M-Douald's Lament."



THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC. 31

Say, is that plaintive sweetness spent for nought ?
Say, does its fervour wake no gen'rous thought ?
Then is the glow of nohler nature fled,
And the dull soul to sordid silence wed !

But, is the mind whence finer feelings flow
Not pierced more deeply with the pangs of Woe ?
And does each bitter ordinance of Fate
Youth's fairy dream of pleasure not await ?
True ! but the touch of Music tends to heal
Those keener pains that gen'rous spirits feel ;
Her gentle presence lulls the troubled breast.
And bids the tempest of the passions rest,
Steeps in repose the anguish of our grief.
And yields the care-worn spirit sweet relief,
Bids the fond dreams of Hope again arise.
And points to brighter scenes and purer skies.



32 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

But whilst her varied charms entranc'd we scan.
The brightest beam of Music shines in Man,
And through the wondrous fabric of his speech,
Perfection's purest powers she shows to each ;
For here the lamp of Life and Godhead glows.
And here the mighty tide of Reason flows ;
Here we perceive a deity divine
In all that Thought and Feeling can combine.
And here the fulness of Expression's grace
Has left the lustre of its brightest trace !
For, when in song the warbling voice is heard,
What more than Music vibrates in each word !
A something o'er us, life-fraught, sweet, refin'd.
Bursts with the winged swiftness of the wind ;
We feel a god-like sympathy within,
Touched by a magnet to itself akin,



THE PLEASUEES OF MUSIC. 33

And drawn from earth to purer realms serene,
Where brighter glories gild each heav'nly scene,
Where ravish'd Fancy finds a fuller view
Than e'er below her stinted vision knew.
And where the influence of a purer clime
Tunes Mind's immortal chord to thought subHme !

What potent pencil can depict the scene,
That owned the sway of song's majestic Queen ?
Yes ! what bright fancy can those moments scan.
When sank the setting sun of Malibran ?
There, the surpassing sweetness of her song
Thrill'd with admiring awe a raptur'd throng !
There, in the fervour of each fearful tone.
The flash of more than inspiration shone !
And there, with all the majesty of art.
Her heaven-taught genius triumph'd o'er the heart !



34 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

But, with that mighty energy's display,
The strain'd supports of Nature yielded way !
Her soul aspir'd in fairer climes to glow,
And burst the ties that bound it here below ;
The powers of struggling Sense were overcome.
And that transcendant voice in death was dumb !
But who that mark'd the splendour of that scene
Can pause unmov'd, and muse o'er what hath been ?
Or who that heard her parting accents tone
Will cast her image e'er from Mem'ry's throne ?
No ! the wild fervour of that last display.
The meteor blaze of Life's expiring ray,
And each convulsive bvirst of piercing strain,
That mark'd the dawn of Death's redoubted reign.
These, on the page that tells of nobler man,
Shall fix the immortal name of Malibran !



THE PLEASURES OP MUSIC. 35

But who is she whom glitt'ring throngs admire.
Nor own the magic of her Music tire ?
Lo ! Sweden's far-fam'd songstress meets the view,
And kings and princes pay the tribute due ;
Here, as she sings, her voice with wonder thrills.
And with delight her raptur'd bosom fills,
Her gesture's grace, by Inspiration taught.
Makes song the picture of each finer thought,
And while the past one image can supply,
Her great and glorious name will never die !

Music ! the magic of thy matchless power
Sheds its sweet halo o'er our darkest hour ;
'Tis thine to cheer this mourning world of woe,
'Tis thine o'er Heav'n enchantment to bestow !
Yes ! when the mind has cast aside its clay.
And soars unfetter'd into endless day,



36 THE PLEASURES OF MUSIC.

When bright Perfection crovras each nobler hope,
And fairer scenes give Fancy fuller scope.
When with the sense's finer, sweeter flow.
We feel the purest pleasure Thought can know,
Then will we own the climax of thy sway.
And to tjiy boundless empire tribute pay !



AMERICA.



A M E K I C A .

A SATIRE.

Fann'd by the freshness of the fav'ring gale,
From England's shore we ardent turn our sail,
And, o'er the waters carried, plough our way
To where the western mountain greets the day ;
For there, in zenith fulness Freedom reigns.
And beams her matchless splendour o'er those plains;
There, in the naked majesty of worth,
Creation's lord untitled walks the earth ;
There does the tide of justice ampler flow.
Than e'er in climes more favour'd here below :
Surely a land so great, so good as this.
Should rank the noblest 'mid the realms of bliss.



40 AMERICA, A SATIRE.

O Art's most useful gift, Perryan pen,
Thou mighty lever of the thoughts of men !
Sent from thy home in Birmingham, to lift
Each load entail'd on Nature's noblest gift ;
Thee would the Muse invoke, thine aid implore,
To conquer gravitation while I soar,
To raise with Titan strength my giant strain.
Then reeky Soho wont have smok'd in vain.


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Online LibraryJohn Clark FergusonThe pleasures of music, and other poems → online text (page 1 of 3)