M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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the Englijh Army confuting only of Volunteers who ferv'd
at their own expence, would foon disband themfelves, as
it actually happenned. Winter coming on, the Englijl) re-
turned to their Homes, it not being in the Power of the

inferred the EngUfi Coafts, and did as much mifchief as
the Danes. Brithric, enraged at his Enemy's cfcape, and
his daring to brave him thus, put to Sea with eighty Sail to
give him chace, and endeavour to feize him alive or dead.
But he met with fo violent a Storm, that the greateil part'
of his Ships were loft or fell into the hands of Ulnoth.
Thus this great Fleet, which could not be fitted cut,
without a prodigious expence, was render'd unferviceable
by the Admiral's pailion. The lofs became lh'll more irre-
trievable, by the diffenfion among the Sea-Cfficers; feve-
ral of whom went and join'd Ulnoth.

In the mean time, the Danes took advantage of thefe '°oo.
Diforders. The next Spring two of their Fleets arrived ri '' DjncS
in England, one in Eajl-Anglia, under Turkil, another in Kent. '
the Ifle of Thanet, under Heming and Anlaff. Thefe Lea- s - Dumlm.
ders joining their Forces in Kent, plundered the Country, „ x An 1'

11 1 ■ 1 n- y-> 1 tm *-i- 1 ■ 1 J Huntined.

and then laid Siege to Canterbury. I lie City would have Eromrt.
infallibly fallen into the hands of the Danes, if the Inhabi-
tants had not purchafed a Peace with a large fum of
Money (14).

Whilft the Danes were pillaging Kent, Ethelred drew an Ethelred
Army together to oppofe their Ravages. As foon as he *%*/. "
was ready, he polled himfelf between them and their
Ships to prevent their embarking and carrying off their
Booty. Probably, he would have executed his Pro-
ject, and perhaps gained fome further confiderable Ad-
vantage, confidering the Superiority of his Forces, if Edric
had not found means to bring off the Danes. The Traitor Hoved.
perceiving their Danger, reprefented to the King, his Father-
in-law, that it would be more advantagious to let them re-
tire than hazard a Battle, which might prove fatal to him. ^fija-stbt
This pernicious Advice made fuch Impreilion on the King, ?*??
that he fuffered them to march by, with all their Plunder, hpl'l^T-'
unmloelted. But inllead of failing for Denmark, as 'twas dc ■''' ■ •
expected, they threw themfelves into the Ifle ot'Tha/ut ; from

(ij Wh.ch was drawn up in Wiltfblrt and Hampjhife. Sax. Ann. Humingd. p. 360.

(2) Though th< Annah tell us nol the Reafon, Malmjbury lays it was lor his Father's PcrfidioufneS, who had revolted feveral times.

(31 Particularly Wiltcn and Sarum. Sax Attn.

(4) But b^icre that— — — confil'um iniit cum Prcceribus in Orientallius Anglh, quibus optimum vifum eft. Sax. Ann.

\-f/ '- - —_-—■ #»*■•! •••VF H ,r.|njj 4 ', t j J j^ t jfj_ QUlL*\J^ ULIIIIIUJII «l*uiu-*h- **-* - - *«-' - -

(5) The Saxon Annah tell us, the Fight was very (harp, and end, J in a treat Slaughter on both fides, wherein abundance of the Englijh Nobility w
kill'd. But il all the Englijh Foices had been there, the Danes hud never reach'd their Ships. Anna 1004.
(01 Cmiinin; of the Militia of WeJJ'ex and Mercia. Sax. Ann.

{-) Thi was aboul Cbrifimau they plundered [not Kent] but Hampjhirt and BerkJhirCj as far as Reading, and burnt JFallinrfird.
v . I : - i'. 166

fays, . 'trior, fignifies the Acquirer, and therefore it wis net a Proper, but a Sirname only. Rapin.
(9 W] lid them. Sax. Ann. ( IO ) Which was ftation'd at Sandwich. Sax. Ann. Huntingd. p. 360.

(11 TI. Stxem Annah tell us this was the Iprcoft and bell Fleet England had ever feen. It wns built after this manner all
hundred .oil thirty ffldu of Lai d were obliged to find cneShip, and every eight Hides a Helmet and Breafl-Plate. An. MVII1, MIX

See Sax. Ann. IJui

S. Di/nc'm. p. 166.
ver England; e\eiy
It mult be oblon el

as this Tax for building a Fleet, were all levied with the joint Confcnt of the King and

tli 1 li . ah t( II us, the fever 1 Mini, paid to the Danes, as w
his Great Council, or It'trtena-Gtinct.

(iz) '■■ .t ' flex K.ii (. i.WiVs Father. Sax. Ann.

(13) The Saxtn Annah, and the iell of the Hillorians lay twenty. See Huntingd. p 360. S. Dune.'m. p. 166.

(10) Three th.uland Pom <ls. Sax. Ann MIX. After they had got thefe three thoufand Pound.., they failed round to the Ifle esHVirlt, and plundered
1 n.d Eerkjhin, burmng levers 1 Towns An,l h re it was that Ethelred drew au Army sEain.lt tjivro, not whiilt they w'ers ravaging Kent

.-... . .. Ann. Huntingd, p. 361, 5. Ewhlm. p. 167. Bnmp. p Sa;,


Book V.




the Danes
mount fome

Troops, and
beame Ma-
mo/i all
Sax. Ann.
S. Dunelm.

IOI 2.

They Burn



Mnney is
eiven tbcm.

They retire.
S. Dunelm.
M. Wert.

Swfyn re-
form inn

whence, during the whole Winter, they made incurfions
into the neighbouring Counties. They even made feve-
ral attempts upon London ; but were always repuls'd.
Mean while, Ulfketel, Duke of Eajl-Anglia, willing once
more to try the fortune of a battle in defence of his go-
vernment, had the misfortune to be overthrown, and by
his defeat left them malters of the country, he intended
to defend.

Hitherto the Danes wanted Cavalry, by reafon of the
difficulty of tranfporting Hories from Denmark. But as
foon as they were in polleftion of Ea/l-Anglia, a country
abounding with Hories, they mounted part of their troops,
and by that means extended their conquefts. Shortly af-
ter they fubdued Ejfex, Middlesex, Hertford/litre, Bucking-
ham/hire, Oxford/hire ( 1 ), Bedford/hire, Cambridge/lure,
Hunttngton/hire, Northampton/lire, Kent, Surrey, Suffix,
Hmnpjhire, IViltJhire, and Devon/hire, whilft Ethclred,
who had fcarce any thing left, kept himfelf fhut up in Lon-
don, without daring to take the field and ftop their pro-
grefs. In all the abovenamed Counties, London and Can-
terbury were the only places in the King's power. But at
length they attack'd the laft Co vigoroufly, that they took,
plundered, and reduced it to aflies. Elphegus the Arch-
bifhop being taken prifoner, was afterwards murdered by
thefe Barbarians (2). They proceeded with the fame cru-
elty towards the Monks of St. Augujlins, whom they put
under a decimation, destroying nine parts in ten (3).

England being reduced to this deplorable Hate, all the
great Men of the kingdom affembled at London with the
Kina:, to confult upon a remedy for fuch violent evils. The
belt expedient they could find, was to bribe thefe foreigners
with money to leave the kingdom. The fum agreed up-
on amounted to 48,000 pounds (4), which having lecei-
ved they departed with their booty (5).

Though the retreat of the Danes coft England dear,
the people thought themfelves happy to be thus freed from

their enemies, hoping they fhould repair by a peace, the
damages fufraincd by the war. But they v/ere far from
feeing yet the end of their mifcries. Hardly had they en-
joyed any quiet, when news came that Siveyn (6) was en-
tered the Plumber (;) with a powerful fleet, threatning
the whole kingdom with defolation and ruin. As this "' i '" m "
Prince found the country unprovided with troops, and 't t *„"i *
unable to defend itfelf, he quickly became mafter of Nor- Coumiet.
thumberland, Eajf-Anglia, in a word, of all the Counties Six - A " n •
lying north of fWatling-Street. But thefe conquefts not HurniUgd.
Iktistying his ambition, he takes hoftages of all the prin- s. Dumim<
cipal towns; and leaving his Son Canute to command M Wcft '
the newly conquered Counties, he advances fouthward,
and on a Hidden lays fiege to London, where Ethclred was
fhut up. Though he was but ill provided with neceflaru ,
to befiege in form a place of that importance, he imagined
the citizens would be terrified at his Menaces. But find-
ing they were not moved by them, he dcfiftcd from his
enterprise, and went and ravag'd the weftcrn parts of// </-
Jex, where he found no oppoiition to his arms. How-
ever, as he could not be eafy whilft London was out of his
power, he refolved to befiege it once more. But whilft
he was preparing for the fiege with greater precaution than
before, he had information of Ethelred's departure from
thence. This unfortunate Prince ever dreading to fall in-
to the hands of an enemy he had fo heinoufly injured, and
perceiving himfelf unfafe at London, retired into Normandy
with all his family. Whereupon the Londoners beino" left
to take care of themfelvcs, judged it a rafli undertaking
to maintain alone the rights of a Prince relinquifhed by
himfelf. They refolved therefore to fubmit to the King
of Denmark, to whom all the reft of the kingdom was
now fubjecl-. Preiently after the furrender of London,
Sweyn was proclaimed King of England without any op-
pofition, no one perfon in the kingdom daring to difpute
his title.

1 5. SWEYN King of Denmark, and fir ft of
the Danijh Kings in England.

impofes a
great Tax,

Jic dies
S. Dunelm.


H E firft act of Sovereignty exercifed by the new
King, was an immenfe tax on the kingdom for
payment of the Danijh troops who aflifted him
in his conquefts. No Hiltorian mentions the
coronation of this Prince. Perhaps he neglected this fo-
lemnity, believing it unnecefTary ; or, it may be, matters
of greater importance afforded him no time to think of
it, during his fhort reign of lefs than a year. Some fay
he died a natural death, being choak'd by a rheum. Ci-
thers believe he was poifoned. Whatever was the caufe,

'tis certain he died fuddenly, which gave occafion to
the legend Writers to fay he was killed with a Club or
Lance by St. Edmund, formerly King of Eajl-Anglia.
It is pretended, this Saint did it to fave the town,
where his Body lay buried (8), from being plundered for
refufing to pay the tax impofed by the new King.
The fhortnefs of his reign, and perhaps his not being
crown'd, are the reafons Hiftorians, for the moil part,
have not reckon'd this Prince in the number of the Kings
of England.

ETHELRED II. reftord.


Sax. Ann.
S. Dunelm.


'PON the death of Sweyn, his Son Canute was
proclaimed King of England by the Danes. But
the Fnglijh recalled Ethclred, promifing to fup-
port him in the throne, againil all the attempts
of the Danes, whofe government was become infupporta-
ble. Ethelred at firft was loth to truft to their promifes,
being apprehenfive of a defign to deliver him into the
hands of his enemies. But being encouraged by the good
reception his Son met with, whom he had fent before to
found the people's inclinations, he returned to England.
He was received with great demonstrations of joy ; and
his Subjects fwore allegiance to him again, as if he had
begun a new reign, his flight being considered as a fort

of abdication of the crown. For his part, he promifed
to reform whatever was amifs in the administration of
the government before his retreat. The eagernefs of the
Englijh to throw off" a foreign yoke, made them flock to
the King with fuch zeal and hafte, that he foon found
himfelf at the head of a powerful army. His firft ex-
pedition plainly fhowed, his misfortunes had made no great n,ebali:-
alteration in him. Inftead of marching againft the Danes, In the
he made ufe of his Forces to be reveng'd on the Men of Lindle v
Lindfey (9), who had fome way difpleafed him. After he mal '
had gratified his paffion by the chaftifement of thefe peo-
ple, he prepared to march and fight the Danes, who little
expected fo fudden a revolution. Though Canute had foi

(1) Oxford being burnt that year by the Danes, all ftudics ceafed there till the year 1 133. Tho. Redburn.

(2) He was killed at Grcenzuicb, to which place, the {ration of their Ships, they had brought him prifener. And therefore in the old Church of
Green-Mich, on the top ot the partition Wall, between the Nave of the Church and the Chancel, was this infeription, This Church teat creeled a-:d dedusi-d
to the Glory ofGcd, and the Memory of St. Alphage, Archbjjhtf ©/"Canterbury, here Jlain by the Danes j becaufe he would not ranfom hu Life by an unreafo-
nable Sum of Money. An. 1012. He was firft buried at St. 1'auTs in London, and afterwards removed to Canterbury. He was honour'd as a Martyr, and
ftands in the Roman Martyrology on the 19th of April.

(3) Florence oflVorccflcr fays, the Burghers were ferved in the fame manner ; fo that only four Monks, and about eight hundred Laymen were left alive.
Lambard iuppofes there were about forty three thoufand two hundred perfuns matiacred. Peramb, of Kent.

(4) Sax. Ann. Huntingd. p. 36 1, and Brompton fjy but eight thoufand.

(0 Forty five of their Ships fubmitted to Ethilred, and promifed to defend the kingdom, provided he would allow them Victuals and Cloathes. Sax.
Ann. Huntingd. p. 361.

(6) The Enghjh Hiftorians hav« not told us the Reafon why Siviyn ftaid away fo long, as from 1005 to 1013, eight years.

(7) He came firft to Sandwich, and from thence failing to the Mouth of the Humber, he went up the Trent, as far a., GMmkrm'b. Sax. Ann. Main-
/bury, S. Dunelm. Ingulfh. (8) St. Edmund' i-Ury.

(9) Oneol the three Dividomof Lincoln/hire, Ti*. HJIand, Keftmtn, .mi Lindfey. The Saxcn Annali tell us, the Men of Lindfey had provided the
Dane' with Horfes, and defigned to join with them hi theu Rj\a£'S- An. MX1V.

N°VII. Vol. I. H h him

I 22


Vol. I.

Canute re*

turns into
Denmark :
The RtaffH

The Caufe
tfhn lean/in

and Cruelty
•f Ethelred.
Sax. Ann.
S. Dunclm.

PulS t'a'O
Earh to
Death for
liar EJlatts,
Sax. Ann.
M. Weft.
S* Dunelm.

The Mar-

riagc of hit
S-.r. Ed-


Canute re-
turns to

Is Favoured
by Streon.
Ann. Sax.
S. Duntlm.

him all the Danes, and the fame forces his Father Sweyn
had conquered England with, he did not think fit to
hazard a battle. On the contrary, before Etbclred was
advane'd near enough to oblige him to fight, he led his
Troops to the fea-fide, and embarking them, fet fail for
Denmark. But before his departure, he ordered the hands
and feet of the hoftages he had in his power, to be cut
off, leaving them thus mangled on the more (1).

The retreat of this Prince cannot but feem ftrange,
fince he had never been worfted, and befides, had many
ftrong places itiil in his hands. It is no lefs to be wonder'd,_
that the Englijh hiitorians lhould not explain the caufe ot
fo hafty a retreat. But what the Englijh hiitory paffes
over in filence, is fupplicd by the Danijh. We are there
informed, that Canute had a younger brother, named Ha-
rold, who being regent in the abfence of his Father
Sweyn, feized upon the Kingdom for himfelf. 'Twas this
that obliged Canute to leave England, with a precipitation
that feemed to be an effeel of tear rather than found Poli-
cy, as it really was. This Prince did not believe he
ought to abandon the kingdom of his anceftors, for the
fake of a ftrange and newly conquer'd country, ripe for a
general defection. And indeed, if the revolt of the Eng-
lijh had engaged him in a long war, as was but too pro-
bable, what affiltance could he expccSt from Denmark,
vvhilft the kingdom was in the hands of his brother? He
made it but too vifible afterwards, when having fettled his
affairs in the North, he returned with his victorious Troops
to England, that lie was incapable of the fear that was laid
to his charge.

As foon as Ethelred hw himfelf freed from the Danes,
he never thought of performing his promife to his Subjects.
On the contrary, he refum'd his old maxims, and im-
pofed, on feveral pretences, exceflive taxes (2), which
railed great murmurings among the Nobles and People.

To thefe occafions of publick complaint, he added o-
thers of a more private nature, which deftroyed all the
hopes entertained of his amendment. Morcard and Sij-
ferth, Lords of Danijh extracTion, who had all along firm-
ly adhered to the interett of the King and their new Coun-
try, were faenficed to his avarice. To draw thefe two
Earls into his fnare, the King conven'd a great Council
at Oxford (3), where he caufed them to be murdered, and
then leized their Eftates, as if they had been condemned by
the common forms of Juftice (4). Jlgitba, Widow of
Sijferth, was fliut up in a Monaftery, to which confine-
ment fhe was indebted for her after greatnefs. Edmund,
the King's eldett Son palling that way, fome time after,
had a mind to fee a Lady fo renown'd for her beauty, and
fell fo defperately in love with her, that he married her,
even againft his Father's confent.

The calm England enjoy'd after the retreat of the
Danes, latted but one year. Canute having got poffefli-
on of the throne of Denmark, immediately fet out for
England, and, when leaft expected, landed a numerous
Army at Sandwich. Ethelred, being then out of order,
Edmund his Son, with Streon Duke of Mercia, his Son-
in-law, had the command of the army againft the Danes.
Edmund foon perceiv'd Iris Brother-in-law was a friend to
Canute. This difcovery made him invent fome pretence
to di\ ide the army into two bodies, that he might be lepa-
rated from him, not daring to punifh the traytor, for fear
of exciting a revolt in Mereia, where Streon's Power was
exceeding great. Befides, he dreaded his Father's difplea-
fure, who would never be periuaded, his Son-in-law held
intelligence with the Danes. Canute taking advantage of
this divifion of the Englift) forces, made large conquefts
immediately ; and the treacherous Edric, who had join'd
Edmund with no other view but to betray him, finding
he had loft his aim, openly dcclar'd for Canute. This
would have been rather an advantage than a detriment
to the King's affairs, if the Traytor had not carried with
him a confiderablc body of troops, with forty fhips of war.
This defcrtion which prov'd very ferviceable to Canute,
was a mortal wound to Ethelred. The People went
over in crowds to the Danes, in proportion as the King's

affairs fell to decay. Even IVeJJex itfelf was not very fe-
curc (5).

Canute's expectations daily increafing bv thefe fucccfles, C.-.tre /lit-
he turn'd his arms againft thole of the Mercians who *j" "J 1
continued in their allegiance to the King, and at length, re(ohci'uL&
with the affiftance of Streon, entirely fubdu'd them. Af- "tatting
ter which he form'd a defign to attack Ethelred in Jt'ej- c At . lk ' x ^
j'ex itfelf. He had the more reafon to expect fuccefs in this bimrrtM
enterprize, as Edric had artfully inftilled into the Mercians Semiea
that were in the Englijh army, a notion that it was a fin "" Ann "
to bear arms againft a Prince, in poffefiion of their coun-
try. All that Edmund could obtain of thefe troops,
was that they would follow the King when he command-
ed the army in Perfon, rcfufing to fight under any other
General. In this extremity, Edmund ufed all poffible
endeavours to perfuade the King his Father, who feign'd
himfelf fick at London, to take the command of the army.
But the more Ethelred was prefs'd, the more he was Ethclred'j
confirm'd in his Sufpicion of a defign to deliver him to Fean.
the Danes, imagining the Englijh had no other way to
make a peace with them. As he durft not quit London
where he thought himfelf fafc, he refus'd to go to the
army ; and the Prince his Son had the vexation to fee
his troops difperfe, without being able to oblige them to
ftand a battle. In the mean time, Canute taking advan-
tage of thefe diforders, enlarged his conquefts with great

In thefe wretched circumftanccs, Edmund faw no re- u, p rm ;r„
medy but to go himfelf to London, and try toperluade the to head tit
King to head the army. He prevail'd at Lift with great ~ r "^\
difficulty, and by his extraordinary care, rais'd another
army more numerous than the former. His defign was to
give Canute battle, perfuaded as he was, that nothing but
a fignal victory could retrieve the affairs of the Englijh.
Ethelred came to the army according to his promife, but fagots, bm
upon his arrival was feized by his old fears. Whether ht /•■ddenly n-
had any ground for his fufpicion, or it was inftiU'd into him '""'
by the Traytors about his Perfon, he made but a very fhort
ftay, returning to London with all imaginable fpeed. After
his departure, the army being much weaken'd by the re-
treat of the Mercians, who obftinately refus'd to fight
without the King at their head, Edmund was oblig'd to
keep at a diftance from the Danes, for fear of engaging at
a great difadvantage. Then Canute finding no farther op-
pofition, became mafter of feveral counties in JFejfex, and
foon faw himfelf in condition to complcat the conqueft of
the whole Kingdom.

Edmund perceiving he was unable to flop the progrefs of EdmunJ
the Enemy, refolved to go and join Uthred Earl of North- e^StMt
umberland, who had levied fome troops in the North. • ■" i_T t i m . I j -
They ravag'd together thofe parts of the country that Sax.Ann.
fided with the Danes (6), whilft Canute and the Duke of
Mercia laid wafte the fouthern counties that perfifted in
their obedience to Ethelred {-). But Canute did not long Canute /»/-
fuffer his Friends to be expos'd to the ravages of the Englijh. ban him.
The moment he was informed of what palled in the
North, he march'd thither with the utmoft expedition,
and compelled Edmund and Uthred to retire into Lanca-
Jhire, where they were not very fecure. Uthred, finding _ , , , t-
he was no match for Canute, thought beft to fubmit to mti ,, Urn,
the Danijl) King, who continued him in his govern-
ment, though but for a little while. As he plainly faw
the Earl had changed fides purely by compulfion, and had
reafon to fear he would not remain faithful, he caufed him
to be put to death, and placed Eric a Danijh Lord in his anJ . ^

room to Death.

Edmund being at a lofs what to do, retired to his Father
at London, and earneflly prefs'd him to exert himfelf on E ' h °f I
the prefent occafion; but all to no purpofe. Ethelred, dies.
who till then had feigned himfelf fick, fell dangeroufly ill
in good earneft, and died foon after in the fiftieth year of
his age, and the thirty-feventh of his Reign (8). Never
was England in a more deplorable ftate, than in the Reign
of this Prince.

He had by his firft Wife Elgiva (9), Edmund, who fuc- m, w"„,
ceeded him ; Atheljlan, who died in his child-hood ; ano-

(1) He failed to Sandwich, where he fet the Hoftages en Shore, and then went away to Denmark. The Hiftorians fay, he cut off their Hands,
Noles, and Ears, without any mention of their Feet. Sax. Ann. Malmjb. p. 71. S. Dunelm. p. 171. ©e.

(a) Particularly twenty one thoufand Pound, for his Fleet and Army that was at Greenwich. Sax. Ann. Huntingd. p. 362. .9. Dunclm. and tici-cd.
fay, it was thirty thoufand Pound, p. 141. is,y,. - -Anno. 1014. Sift. sS. There was fuch an Inundation ot the Sea, that it overflowed feveral Towns,
and drowned abundance of People. Sax. Arm. Malmjb. p. 71.

(3) Of Englijh and Danes, Malmjb. p. 71. M.tVtftm. 395.

(+) Florence tfrVorcifter, and Matthew H'ejlminjlcr relate, that thefe two Earls were privately accufed by Edric, who gaped after their Eftates, of tra-
inable Practices againft Ethelred, by whofe Order Edric invited them to a Feaft, where he caufed them to be- treacheroully murdered. Their Depen-
dants, who went about to revenge their Deaths, were forced to fly into St. Fridefiuide'l Church in Oxford, which being let on fire, they pcrilned in
the Flames. But the King repenting of his Cruelty, caufed the Church to be rebuilt. In this, and icveral other Particulars, it is plain, that Etbclred
was epged en by the treacherous Ed' it, to make him odious to the People j and that he was not fo bad as is reprefentcd, as appears from the good Laws he
made", w hich are ftill extant. He was fo particularly careful of the due Execution ot Juftice, that having found one It'algeatus, a Judge, whom he loved,
guilt) ot Iniuir ice, he depofed him from his Omcc.

(i) Canute plundered Dor jet, Wilts, and Scmeijetjhires. Sax. Ann. Malmjb. p. 71. 5. Dunelm. p. 172.

(6) Staffordjhire, Shropjhire, Lcictjtcrjhire. S..x. Ann.

(7) Buckingham, Bedrid, Huntingdon, Lincoln, Nottmgbamjhires ; and fo through Nortlumbna towards 7crk. Sax. Ann. Malmjb. p. 71, 72. S.

Dunelm. p. 172. Btompt.

(S) He was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. Malm/b. p. 72.

(9) Or Etbelgiva, the Daughter ofEarl Egbert. Prompt, p. S77. He fays in the fame place, that he had his firft Children by a ForeJraer, that war

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