M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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Eight.pence a- piece, amounting *. fourteen Pounds ; and a Pound of Silver ot the old Sterling, was to make twenty two Shillings and Six oenc A

Perci-val de Percbe was Mafter.— -27 Edw. 3. A Pound Weight of Gold, of the fame Sterling, wis to make by Tale forty five N bles amun'im. 1
fifteen Pounds : And a Pound Weight of Silver of the old Sterling, to make by Tate feventy five Gr..lTes, ( 1. e. Groats, ) amounting to tw'enty five Shi
lings ; or a hundred and fifty half Groffes at Two-pence a-ptece ; or three hundred Sterlings at a Penny a-piece : Henry Bnlfel was Mailer and Worke

called £*#Wy, cried down by A3 of Parliament, inferibed, EI WAN NES. DNS. Z R E V B. Reverfe, the Crofs and PeTlets as tht £^2
Money, LVCEBGENSIS. Likewife, another Piece, inferibed, ED W AR D. REX. ANGL. Under the King's Head a Lion paffan R«£uf
D V X. A QU I T A N I E. A Crown in each quarter of the Crofs ; a moft rare Piece, and to be afcribed ,0 this Ed-ward, who w« m „'h c»tej"
Duke of Aju.la.nm his Father's Life-time, but alfo crowned King of England, ( Fig. 3.) His Penny, and Halfpenny, ( called fometime, Mail* ) and
Farthings, were like thofe of his Predeceffors, but diftmguilhed by the Name EDWARD VS. ( F >g 4. ) Thole ot Ireland in a Trianele It i e
markable, what Bilhop Ton/lcsl obferved of the Gold of this Reign, that it came neareft to that of the antient Romans, or, that four Rofe- Nobles we -hei
an Ounce, and were equivalent to the Roman Awei both m weight and finenefs ; and fix Noble- Angels made an Ounce, which were an'werable in all Point!
to the old Roman Sohdus Aureus. Likewile in Silver Coins, that an old Sterling Groat was equivalent to the Romsn Denarius the Half Groat to th
Sluinariut, and rhe old Sterling Penny to the Scftertius Nummus ; Seftertium (in the Neuter Gender ) a thoufand Sefttrtii, to five Pounds Sterline whe^
three Shillings and Four-pence went to the Ounce ; but now to feven Pounds ten Shillings, according to Sir Ibomat stnitb's Account, when five Shillings g™

Book X.

A Dissertation on the SALIC LAW.

T. F. p. 7.

Edit- d'



of wonder than imitation (t). Some pretend, that Pha-
ramond the firft King of the Francs decreed by an ex-
prefs Law, that the Females mould not luccced 10 the
Crown, whicli has ever fince been inviolate. Others
attribute this Law to Clovis. Mezerai pretends the Suc-
ceffion of the Males to the Crown of France was not
eltablifhed by a written Law, but by an inviolable cuf-
tom. This confulion of Ideas, which makes the Salic
Law to be conlidered, one while as a Law of Nature, ano-
ther while as a pofitive and exprefs Law, and fometimes
as a mere cuftom, renders this matter obfcure ; which I
Ihall endeavour to clear, in order to give the Reader
a true notion of the famous conteft between the two

Before the Francs fettled in that part of Gaul they
have fo long pofielfed, thev were difperfed by Troops,
in Germany and the Low-Countries, from whence they
received feveral names, according to the different Paits
they inhabited. Some were called Salians, from the Ri-
ver Sala, which ran through the Country (2). Others
were diltinguifhed by the names of Cbamavi, Catti, At-
tuarians, Ripuarians, or Rtbsirols. Each of thefe Colonies
had Laws, common, no doubt, to all the Francs, and
probably particular ones too. The Laws of the Salians
and Ripitarians are ftill extant. Among the Saltan Laws
we find this :

De Terra vera Sa/ica, nulla Portio ad Mulierem
tranftt, fed hoc Virilis Sexus acquirit.

This Law, as it is eafy to obferve, concerns private
Inheritances, and the Title de Alodio, under which it
is placed, puts it out of difpute. Arcordingly, this is the
opinion of numberlefs Author^, as well French as others,
whofe names it would be needlefs to repeat. Mezerai
was doubtlefs of the lame opinion, fince he faid, the
Succeffion of the Males to the Crown was not efta-
blifhed bv any written Law. All that can be allcdged
with any plaufiblenefs , by thole who ground the Ex-
clufion of the Females upon the above-mentioned Pa-
ragraph of the Salian Law, is, that the Succeilion to
the Crown is included in the Law, which fettled the
Succeffion to the Inheritances of the noble Families. This
opinion is alfo embraced by Father Daniel in his Hif-
tory of France. He pretends, that the rule concerning
the Succeflion to the Crown, is contained in that parti-
cular Article of the Saltan or Salic Law, which includes
all the Laws of the Salian Francs. What this able Hif-
torian fays, in the Reign ot Clevis, being of great fervice
to clear up this point, I fhall tranlcribe part of it here,
in order to fave the Reader the trouble of coniulcing

" It was then, probably, that Ckvis publiihed the fa-
" mous Salic Law. I am fenlible moll of our Hidorians
" afcribe the honour of it to Pharamond ; but I follow
" here the opinion of one of our belt Criticks. [ Hadr. de
" Vakis. ]

" Many fpeak and hear of this Law without know-
" ing what it is. It is a common notion, that it con-
" cerns folely or chiefly the Succeffion of the Males to
" the Crown of France, by determining the qualifications
" of thofe who may put in their Claim. This notion
" is wrong in feveral refpecls. Of the feventy two Ar-
" tides, this Law confifts of (3), there are but three or
" four Lines of the fixty fecond relating to this point.
'* Befides, they do not particularly concern the Succef-
" fion of the Males to the Crown ; but belong in gene-
" ral to all the noble Families, whofe Rights they re-
" gulate, as well as thofe of the Royal Family. The
" words run thus : As for the Salic Land, no part
'■'■fhall defend to the FEMALE, but all Jhall go to the
« Male.

" By Salic Land is meant the Lands of the Nobles
" of the Nation, and moreover, according to fome, the
" Lands of Conquelt, fuch were almoft all thofe of the
" French Monarchy on this lide the Rhine. What
" has chiefly occasioned this popular notion, was the
" great Difpute formerly between Philip de Valois and

" Edward III, King of England Belides this fa-

" mous Contelt, the little ufe made of this Law at pre-
" fent, which is feldom cited by our Lawyers upon other
" accounts , was the reafon 01 this common perfuafion
" of its being thus limited. But in reality, it contain-
" ed numberlefs regulations concerning all forts of mat-
" ters.


I am apt to believe, what we now have of the
" Salic Law, is only an Abitrarft of a larger Code, a-
" bridged on purp,fe, that the People and Judges might
" more cafily learn the fubltance and principal pointSI
" What makes me believe this, is, that in the prefent
' Book of the Salic Law, the Salic Law it felf, is quo-
" ted with certain Forms not to be found in that

" Book. And this moreover leaves no room to

" queltion that it was at firft compofed in the Language
•' of the Francs, and afterwards the Abftract tranflated
" into Latin for the ufe of the Gauls, to whom it wai
" to be common in feveral Articles, with the Francs. Ti.i;
" is the Abftradt or Abridgment that has been tranfmit-
" ted to us. "

Thus we have three different opinion", given by thrcr?
learned Criticks concerning the Salic Law, the Law J
mean which renders Women incapable of fucceeding to
the Crown. Bignon fays, it is a Law of Nature which
ought to be common to all Nations. According to Fa-
ther Daniel, by the Salic Law wc are to unJerlrand, an
Abridgment of the Salian Laws publiihed by Clevis. As
for the particular Law fettling the Succeffion to the Crown
of France, he pretends it is a mere Chimera, a v:.
Error, and adds, without alledging however any proof,
that the Exclufion of the Females with refpetft to the
Crown, derives its whole force from that particular paf-
fage of the Salic Code (4), which fettles the Inheritance
of the noble Families, and confequently, in his opinion,
the Inheritance of the Family Royal, that is, of the
Crown. According to Mezerai, by the Salic Law, or the
Law that fettles the Succeffion, is meant, not a written
Law, but an inviolable Cuftom, which is inftead of a Law.
To give a diftincT: notion of this matter, I fhall examine
thefe three Opinions, and fhow the objections they are lia-
ble to.

Firft, as to the opinion that fuppofes the Salic La'v,
or, which is the fame thing, the Exclufion of the Females
and their Descendants from the Succeffion to the Crown,
to be a Law of Nature: I own, it might with fome rea-
fon be maintained, that Nature requires States and King-
doms to be governed by Men, if the Salic extended no
further; but fince it reaches to the Exclufion of the Male- •

Heirs of the Women of the Royal Family, methinks
Nature does not appear in that Extension. In the next
place, if the Salic Law was a Law of Nature, it would
be praftifed in all Stales, or at lead the exceptions, if any,
would be but few. But here we find juft the contrary.
Of all the independent Kingdoms of Europe, eftablifhed
by the northern Nations, France alone follows this p ■:-
tended Law of Nature. All the other States, Spain,
Portugal, Naples, Sicily, Bohemia, Hungary, Sxvedeland,
Denmark, England, Scotland, admit of the Femal Succef-
fion. Only France then mult be faid to follow Nature,
and all the reft of the States to deviate from her Law,
which to me feems abfurd. Wherefore in the third place,
the Salic Law has all along been deemed, as it is at
prefent, a Law peculiar to France ; and we do not find
that Philip le Long, or Philip de Vciois ever pretended to
urge it, upon any other foot.

As for Father Daniel's, opinion, whatever efreem I
may have for his Hiitory, which I take to be the belt of
all the French Hiftories, I cannot forbear faying, it is nor
only groundlefs, but improbable. It is eafy to demon-
ftrate, that the Paragraph of the Salic Code, on which
he grounds the Exclufion of the Females and their De-
fcendents, has no manner of relation to the Succeffion of
the Crown, as will appear, if the whole Title under
which it is placed, be but confidered. It is the bzi, en-
titled, de Alodio, which fettles the Inheritance of the Alo-
dial Lands. But firft, it mult be obferved, that Alodial
Lands, were Lands of Inheritance, not held of any other
Lord. This diftinguifhes them from thoie termed. Bene- r>j Can»e
fieia, which were diftributed among the Nobles, on con- Altai;.'
dition of perfonally ferving the State upon certain occa-
fions, which Women were incapable of. Thefe were
the Lands called Terra Salica, becaufe tney were confi-
dered, as belonging properly to the collective Body of the
Nation, and were held by private Perfons, on the fole
condition of ferving the State. This being fuppofed, the
whole Title of the Salic Law, where the Paragraph is in-
ferred, runs thus :

T I T. 62. De Alode.

" 1. Si quit homo mor tints fuerit, & flics non dimiferit, ElJ ; t f


(1) One miy juftly fay, there is no Beginning or End of the Salic Law, for it is a Law of Nature born with Men, and no: written, as AriJixU ob.
ferves, The Law of Nature and Nations is not written. Bignon, I 3. Rapm.

( 1) There arc a dozen different Opinions about the Etymology of the Word Salic. That from th e Salians, whofe Name is taken from the Rivei Sala,
feems to me the mofl probable. See Lrmno-ar dejure Imp- Ri,mjn. Germ. 1. 1. c. 2. Rapm.

(3) Some Edition', have more, fome lei's. Rapm.

(4., Rapm, in exporting here Father Daiufs Opinion, feems to make u r e of too ftrong Terms ; for it is plain, from (hi; Author's own \Vords, that he
makes the Salic Lav, rsceive part of its Fores from autient Cuftom, which he even calls ir.vwhbl ,

" ft Pater



Vol. I.

«' ft Pater aut Mater fuperfuerint, ipft in Hareditatem fuc-

" cedant.

" 2. Si Pater aut Mater non fuperfuerint £s" Fratres vel
" Sorores reliquerit, ipfe Hareditatem obtineant.

" 3. Quod ft nee i/li fuerint, Sorores patris in Hceredi-
" tatem fuccedant.

" 4. Si vera Sorores patris non extiterint, Sorores matris
" ejus Hareditatem ftbi vendicent.

" c. Si autem nulli horum fuerint, qiticunquc proximiores
*' fuerint tie paterna generatione, ipfi in Hareditatem fucce-

« </««/.

" 6. De Terra autem Salica, nulla Portio Hareditatis
" mulieri veniat, fed ad virilem Sexum tota Terrse Has-
" reditas perveniat ".

Hence it appears, I. That the Salic Lands were Alodial
like the other, that is, were the real Patrimony of the
Poffefibr, otherwife they would not have been placed here.
II. That the defign of the fixth Paragraph was to diftin-
guifh the Salic, from the common Alodial Lands, that the
former were liable to military Service, which Women
could not perform. But by reafon, the fenfe of the fixth
Paragraph muff, I think, be ftrangely wrefted, to extend
it to the Succeffion of the Crown, the moft that can be
pretended, is, that the King's own Demefns were fubjecT:
to this Law.

But, more fully to fhow, this Article concerns not the
fucceffion to the Crown, it muff, be remarked, there are
two original Editions of the Salic Law, one procured by
Herald, the other by Fr. Pithou, and in the latter, this
fixth Article of Title 6z, is imperfect, there being no
more than what is inferted above. But in the other Edi-
tion, the Paragraph runs in this manner :

De Terra vera Salica in mulierem nulla portio Haredi-
tatis tranfit, fed hoc virilis Sexus acquirit, hoc eft, Filij in
Hareditate fuecedunt. Sed ubi inter Nepotes & Pronepotes,
poj} longum Tempus, de Alode Terra contentio fufcitatnr, tunc
non per Jlirpes, fed per capita dividantur.

I do not fee, confidering the whole Paragraph, how it
can with the leaft fhadow of reafon, be applied to the
Succeffion of the Crown.

To this may be added, that very probably, when the
Salic Law was made, the Francs had not yet a King.
We not only fee no fign of any fuch thing in the feveral
Articles of this Law, but moreover find in the Preambles,
what makes it believed the Francs were not fubject to a
Sovereign Power.

This is the beginning of the Salic Law, according to
Herold's Edition.


Incipit Paclus Legis Salica.

Hi autem funt qui Legem Salicam traclaverunt, Wifa-
gaft, Arogaft, Salegaft, & Windogaif, in Bodham, Sale-
ham, & Widham.

According to the other Edition.

Incipit Traclatus Legis Salica.

Gens Francorum inclyta, autlore Deo condita, dum ad-
bac ritu barbarico teneretur, infpirante Deo, inquirens fci-
entia clavim, juxta morum fuorum qualitatem, dcfiderans
jujlitiam, & cujiodiens pietatem, diclavit Salicam Legem,
per Proceres illius Gentis, qui tunc temporis, ejufdem ade-
rant Restores Elecli de pluribus viri quatuor, his nomi-
nibus, Wifogaftus, Bodogaftus, Sologaftus, tjf Wodogaftus,
in locis. cognominatis, Soleheim, Bodoheim, & Widoheim,
qui per ties Mallos ( 1 ) convenientes, omnes caufarum origi-
nes follictte tratlantes, difcutiendo de fngulis, ficitt ipfa
Lex declarat, Judicium decreverunt hoc nuclo. At ubi, Deo
favente, Rex Francorum Clodovasus, fiorens (sf puleher, &
inclytus, primus recepit catholicum Baptifmurn , C3* deinde
Childebertus & Clotarius, in culmen Regale, Deo protegente,
pervenerunt, qukquid in Patio (2) habebatur minus idoneum,
fuit per illos lucidius emendatum &' fanclius decretum. Vivat
qui Francos diligit, &c.

In all likelihood, this Preamble was placed before the
Salic Law, between the Reins of Clot ha ire II, and Char-
lemain, and perhaps before the time of Dagobert, fince he
is not mentioned, though he made fome alterations in this
Law, as well as Clothaire and Childebert.

Another Preamble made in the time of Charlemain.

Prologue Lzms Sal ice.

(I) Tint h. PMick .;/ ' .

[2, Tuac is in 'he Law cailed, FaSus U«ii I ..' r.


Placuit atque convenit inter Francos & eorttm Proceres,
ut (u-opter fervandum inter fe pads Jludhtm, omnia incrementa
veterum rixarum, refecare deberent, cj' quia catcris Gcnti-
bus juxta fe pofttis, fortitudinis brachio praeminebant, ita
etiam Legum aucloritate pracellerent, & juxta qualitatem
caufarum, fumeret criminalls aclio terminum. Exttterunt
igitur inter eos, elecli de pluribus quatuor viri, his no:/.inibus,
Wifogaftus, Bodogaftus, Salogaftus, bi Widogaftus, invillis
qua ultra Rhenum funt, Saleheim, Bodoheim, & Wido-
heim, qui per tres Mallos convenientes, omnium caufarum
Origincm follicite difcutiendo, tratlantes de fngulis, Judicium
decreverunt hoc modo.

E X C O D I C E. M. S.

Marchomiris quoque dedit Francis id Confilium, & ele-
gcrunt Faramandum ipftus Filium cif levaverunt in Regem
fuper fe crinitum. Tunc habere Leges coeperunt, quas eorum
Proceres gentiles traclaverunt, his nominibus Wifogaftus,
Arogaftus, Salogaftus, in Villis qua ultra Rhenum funt, in
Botagin, Selecagin, Widecagin.

Anno ab Jnearratione Domini nojlri Jefu Chrifti
DCCXCVIII, Dominus Carolus Rex Francorum inclytus,
hunc Libellum Traclatus Legis Salica jcribere juffit.

What likelihood is there, that, if the Authors of thefe
Prefaces were of opinion, the Francs had a King when
the Salic Law was made, they mould not have mentioned
him ? For as to the Abftrad of the Chronicle, it is a fe-
parate piece, added by the Author of the laft Preface, as
treating of the fame fubject. But if the Francs had not a
King, how can the fixth Paragraph of the fixty fecond
Title be applicable to the fucceffion of the Crown of

Another objection to Father Daniel's opinion is this :
Suppofing the Article, Dc Terra vero Salica, concerned the
Succeffion to the Crown, as well as private Inheritances ;
if it be true, that this Law was abrogated under the
third Race of the Kings of France, with refpect to the
Salic Lands or great Fiefs, it may, I think, be inferred,
that it was alfo annulled with regard to the Crown. But
the thing fpeaks of it felf, fince it cannot be denied, that
the Dukedoms, Earldoms, in a word, all the great Fiefs of
the Crown, defcended to the Females. Normandy, Gui-
enne, Ponthieu, and Montrevil, fell to the Kings of Eng-
land by the Women. It was the fame with the Earldom
of Touloufc, Provence, and Brctagne. The Succeffion of fj,ji„y t r
the Earldom of Flanders always devolved to the next <te Earl, of
Heir, without any preference of Sex, fince the time of F ^ „ ers "'
Charles the Bald. All thefe examples actually fubfifted at ,698,
the time of Lewis Hutin's death, when the Salic Law
began for the firft time te be urged in favour of the Males.
There were large portions of the Salic Lands fallen to
Women, purely by Right of Inheritance. Where was
then the obfervance of the Article, De Terra vero Salica
nulla Portio ad mulierem tranftt ?

There feems to me to be but two ways of anfwering this
objection. Firft, by faying the Salic Lands, or great Fiefe
of the Crown, defcended to the Women, only when there
was no Male-Heir in the Family. But this Reply has no
foundation. Befides what has been faid concerning the
Earldom of Flanders, in the very time of Philip de Valois,
Artois was adjudged to Maud, to the prejudice of Robert
d'Artois, Grandfon by his Father of the laft Duke ; and
the Duchy of Brctagne, to the Wife of Charles de Blots,
though Earl Montfort, Brother of the late Duke, was alive.
But, fuppofing this Law was not annulled when Hugh
Capet came to the Crown, it was at leaft abrogated by
that Prince, in granting in Fee to the Nobility the great
Fiefs, without excluding the Females.

The other way of anfwering the objection, is by af-
ferting, that though the Law was repealed as to the Salic
Lands, it was not fo with regard to the Succeffion of the
Crown, where it was always inviolable. But how can a
Law be fuppofed to be abrogated in the undoubted fenfe
of the words, and remain in force in a difputable fenfe,
which is taken for granted without the leaft proof? Befides,
I fhall make appear hereafter, there had never been any
occafion to break it.

A third objection againft Father DanicFs opinion, may
be taken from his own Preface- to the Hifiory of France.
This able Hiftorian maintains, Article Iff, that the Crown,
after being hereditary in the firft Race, became elective
in the fecond, and was hereditary in the third, only by
way of Affbciation practifed by the firft Kings of that Race,
from Hugh Capet to Philip Auguftus. If lb, where (hall
we find the obfervance of the Salick Law, with refpeel to
the Crown, from Pepin the Short to Levtis VIII I How


Book X.

^Dissertation on the SALIC LAW.



could it fubllft in an elective Kingdom, where it was in
the power of the great Men to give the Crown to whom
they pleafed, and even to chufe Kings not of the Royal
Family, as for inftance, Ralph and Eudes ? Hear what
Father Daniel fays of this matter.

Tot /.//? It is extremely probable, that Hugh Capet having con-

Page of the firmed the Dukes, Earls, and other Lords in their Ujitrpa-
rtjacc f l0 ns, not only for them/elves, but their Pojlcrity, obtained
likewife from them the Ejlablijhment of the Hereditary Suc-
ceffion to the Crown in his Family. But, as he mijlrujhd
their Levity, he officiated his Son Robert. Robert did the
fame by his Son Henry ; and the Cujlom of Officiating Itijlrd
till Philip Aliguftus, who thinking Hereditary Right fi'ffui-
ently e/lablijhed by the Succeffion of feveral of his Picdacjjoi s,
from Father to Son, down to Hugh Capet, and wboje Reigns
for the mo/l part were very long, never troubled himfi If to of-
ficiate Lewis VIII, his Son.

I fhall now examine Mczerai's opinion, and theirs, who
with him, believe the Salic Law, that is, the exclufion of
the Females and their Defcendants, to be founded only
upon an inviolable Cuftom. But it will be neceftary,
in the firft place, to remove all ambiguity in the term
Cuftom ; for by that may be meant, either a negative,
if I may be allowed that exprelfion, or a pofitive, Cuf-
tom. I call a negative Cuftom, that to which no in-
ftance to the contrary can be alledged, and which how-
ever, does not form or eftabufh any right. For example,
there never was in England, a lame or a one-handed King.
Now let it be affirmed, as ftrongly as you pleafe, that
this is a Cuftom that was never violated, if unfortunately,
the only Son of a King of England ftiould become lame,
or happen to lofe a hand, would this be a good reafon to
exclude him from his Father's Succeffion ? It is the fame
with the inviolable Cuftom of France, taken in this fenfe.
Becaufe there never was in France, a Queen that wore
the Crown by her own Authority and Right, it does not
necellarily follow, that the Females have no right to the
Succeffion ; as it cannot be ("aid in England, that a lame
or a one-handed Man cannot mount the Throne, becaufe
in that Country there never was a lame or a one-handed
King. I call a politive Cuftom, that which is grounded
upon fome Law, or at leaft upon examples and precedents,
which demonftrate it to have been inviolably pra£tifed, and
to have ferved for Rule on certain occalions. Of fuch a
Cuftom Mezerai muft be understood to fpeak, fince he
confounds it with the Salic Law, and endeavours to pro-
duce an Inftance of its being obferved. The queftion then
is to know, whether there was in France, any fuch pofi-
tive Cuftom before the Reign of Philip le Long ; who in
fupport of his Right, pleaded the Salic Law, whether he
thereby meant the Paragraph of the Salic Code above-
mentioned, or an inviolable Cuftom. But where are the
Authors that fpeak of it ? Is it not ftrange that, for nine
hundred years, from Pharamond to Philip le Long, this
inviolable Cuftom, which ferves for fundamental Law to a
great Kingdom, fhould not be mentioned by a fingle Au-
thor ? I believe I may give this for certain Fact:, though I
have not read all, becaufe it appears to me impoffible that
of fo many learned Men, who, from the time of Philip
le Long to this day, have diligently fought after proofs in
defence of the Salic Law ; not one fhould have been fo
happy as to difcover, in the antient Authors, any PafTages
favouring, or, at leaft, alluding to, this written or un-

written Law. Of all the Teftimo.nies alledyed, there is
not one but what is later than the Reign of Philit, le
Long (i). I am well await, this objection has already been
anfweied, by affirming that Marciuphus, who lived in
the middle of the Vllth Century, mentions the Salic L;.w
in his For/mil.-?-;,.. But this is* Fallacy. No body ever
pretended to difpute the exiftente of the Salic Law, if
thereby is meant the Saiian or Salic Code in general. But
the bulinefs is to prove the exiftence of this particular
Law, called the Salic Lav/, whereby Women and their

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