Sir John Tenniel Mrs. Burton Harrison.

Alice in wonderland: A play for children in three acts online

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answer to it ?

Alice. Exactly so.

March Hare (sharply). Then you should say what you mean.

Alice. I do. At least — at least, I mean what I say. That's
the same thing, you know.

Hatter (suddenly). Not the same thing a bit. Why, yon
Twight just as well say that I see what I eat is the same thing as
X eat what I see.

March Hare (brisMy). Yon might just as well say that I like
what I get is the same as I get what I like.

Dormouse (talking in sleep). You might just as well say that
I breathe when I sleep is the same thing as I sleep when I

Hatter {cuffing Dormouse). It is the same thing with yon.


Alios (to herself). I mast think over all I can remember
about ravens and writing-desks— but it isn't much.

Hatter (who ha* taken his watch out, and looks at it uneasily,
shaking it and holding it to his ear). What day of the month is it f

Alice (considering). The fourth.

Hatter (with a deep sigh). Two days wrong! (Angrily to
March Hare.) I told you batter wouldn't suit the works !

March Hare (meekly). It was the best butter.

Hatter (grumbling). Yes, bat some crumbs must have got
into the works as well. You shouldn't have put it in with the

March Hare (takes watch, looks at it gloomily, dips it in his
cup of tea, puts it to his ear, looks at it again, and repeats). It
was the best batter, you know.

Alice (looking on curiously). What a funny watch ! It tells
the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!

Hatter. Why should itt Does your watch tell what year
it is t

Alice (readily). Of course not ; but that's because it stays the
same year for such a long time together.

Hatter (concisely). Which is just the case with mine.

Alice (aside). Fm dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark
seems to me to have no sort of meaning, yet it's certainly Eng-
lish. (Aloud.) I don't quite understand you.

Hatter. That Dormouse is asleep again. Let's poor a little
hot tea on his nose. [Action.

Dormouse (without opening eyes, shaking head impatiently).
Of course, of course ; just what I was going to remark myself.

Hatter (abruptly to Alice). Have you guessed that riddle

Alice. I give it up. What's the answer f

Hatter. I haven't the slightest idea.

March Hare. Nor I.

Alice (wearily sighing). I think yon might do something
better with the time than waste it iu asking riddles that have
no answers.

Hatter. If you knew Time si 3 well as I do you wouldn't talk
about wasting it. It's him.

Alice, I don't know what yon mean.

Hatter (contemptuovdy). Of course you don't. I dare say
you never even spoke to Time.


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Alios (cautiously). Perhaps not; but I know I have to beat
time when I learn music

Hatter. Oh, that accounts for it. He won't stand beatiug.
Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost
anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it
were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons.
Tou'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the
clock in a twinkling ! Half past one, time for dinner !

March Harr (in loud whisper). I only wish it was !

Alice (thoughtfully). That would be grand, certainly, but
then — I shouldn't be hungry for it, you know.

Hatter. Not at first, perhaps, but you could keep it half-past
one as long as you liked.

Alice. Is that the way yon manage f

Hatter (mournfully). Not I ; we quarrelled last March just
before he went mad, you know (pointing with teaspoon to
March Hare). It was at the great concert given by the Queen
of Hearts, and I had to sing: [Rise* to sing.

"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat,
How I wonder what you're at. M

Ton knew the song, perhaps!
Alice (doubtfuUy). I've heard something like it.
Hatter. It goes on, you know, in this way :

(AU in chorus.)

"Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the Ay.

Twinkle, twinkle-"

••Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle."

Hatter. Well, Fd hardly finished the first verse when the
Queen bawled out, " Off with his head ! He's murdering Timer*

Alice. How dreadfully savage !

Hatter (mournfully wiping his eyes with his napkin). And
ever since that, Time won't do «* thing I ask ! It's always six
o'clock now.

Alice (eagerly). And that's th» reason so many tea-things are
pot out here f

Hatter (sighs dejectedly). Yes, that's it. It's always
time, and we've no time to wash the things between wh ilea.

Alice. Then you keep moving round, I suppose t

Hatter. Exactly so. as the things get used up.


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Alice. Bat what happens when you come back to the begin-

March Hare (yawnsy Suppose we change the subject. I'm
getting tired of this. I vote the yonng lady tells us a story.

Alice (in alarm). Fm afraid I don't know one.

Hatter and March Hare (together). Then the Dormouse
shall ! Wake up, Dormouse. [ They both pinch it at once.

Dormouse (slowly). I wasn't asleep. I heard every word you
fellows were saying.

March Hare. Tell us a story.

Alice. Yes, please do.

Hatter. And be quick about it, or youll be asleep again be-
fore it's done.

Dormouse (hurriedly). Once upon a time there were three
little sisters, and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie, and
they lived at the bottom of a well—

Alice. What did they live on t

Dormouse (ponders). They lived on molasses.

Alice (gently). They
couldn't have done that,
you know. They'd have
been ill.

Dormouse. So they were

Alice (much puzzled). But
why did they live at the
bottom of a well f

March Hare (to Alice).
Take some more tea, do.

Alice (offended). I haven't
had any yet, so I can't take

Hatter. Yon mean you
can't take less. It's very
easy to take more than no-

Alice. Nobody asked your opinion.

Hatter (in triumph). Who's making personal remarks now t

Alice (helps herself to tea and oread and butter). Dormouse,
why did they live at the bottom of a well f


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Dormouse (venders again). It was a molasses welL
Alice (angrily). There's no such thing.
Hatter and March Hare. 'Sh ! 'Sh!

[ Gesticulation* enjoining silence.
Dormouse (sulkily). If yon can't be civil, you'd better finish
the story for yourself.

Alice (humbly). No, please go on ! I won't interrupt you
again. I dare say there may be one molasses well.

Dormouse (scornfuUy). One, indeed ! And so, these three lit-
tle sisters — they were learning to draw, you know —
Alice. What did they draw f
Dormouse. Molasses!

Hatter (rises). I want a clean cup. Let's all move one place

[He moves on from eeat to seat all round the table.
The others follow him till they come bach
again to seat beyond Hatter's first place.
Dormouse gets Hatter's place, March Hare
gets Dormouse's, and Alice gets March
Hare's, who has upset milhjug into his plate.
Alice (when peace is restored). Bat, Dormouse, I didn't un-
derstand. Where did they draw the molasses from f

Hatter. Ton can draw water out of a water well, so I should
think you could draw molasses out of a molasses well. Hey,
stupid f
Alice (turns her back on him). But they were in the well.
Dormouse. Of course they were well in.

[Hatter and March Hare slap their knees with
approval, and cheer Dormouse enthusiastically
at this.
Dormouse. They were learning to draw (gets very sleepy),
and they drew all manner of things. Everything that begins
With an M —
Alice. Why with an M f
March Hare. Why not t
Dormouse (half asleep— -they pinch Mm to keep him awake),


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That begins with an M:
such as monso- traps, and
the moon, and memory, and
muchness (more and more
drowsy). You know you say
things are much of a much-
ness. (Falls asleep, snores,
and is aroused by a pinch.)
Did you ever see such a thing
as a drawing of a muchness f
Alice (confused). Really,
now yon ask me, I don't
think —

Hatter. Then you should
not talk.
Alice (springs up in disgust). You're the rudest old thing I
ever saw, and this is the stupidest tea party I ever was at in
all my life !

Hatter and March Hare. It's all the Dormouse's fault.
Let's put him in the teapot. Up with your heels, old fellow!

[ They hoist the Dormouse between them, and are in
the act of putting him headforemost in the tea-
pot, when trumpet sounds. When they have
stood Dormouse on his head in tea-pot, the Hat-
ter runs to wing and looks out nervously.
Hatter (to Alice). Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet t
Alice. No ; I don't know what he is.
Hatter. It's the thing mock-turtle soup is made of.
Alice. I never tasted — I mean I never heard of one.
Hatter. Here he comes, arm in arm with his friend the

Alice. What's a gryphon t

Hatter and March Hare (together). You don't know what a
gryphon is f Well, I never!

t They go on expressing surprise, till Alice is offended.
Alice. You might he more polite about it. Come, what is a
gryphon ?

March Hare. Wait till you've talked with him ; maybe then
you'll say he is a gruff un.

[ Groans from the Dormouse and the Hatter.
Alice. I hope he's no worse than the rest of you.


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Enter Gryphon and Mock Turtle arm in arm; they exchange
greetings with March Hare and Hatter (Dormouse is
asleep), and stare at Alice.

Gryphon. Holloa! What's that new cariosity you've got

Hatter. Oh, she's — well, I don't know exactly ; I don't be-
lieve anybody knows. Queer, isn't she f

Gryphon (derisively). If I had hair like that, I'd—

[ Laughs. Indignation of Alice.

Mock Turtle. Introduce me to her, somebody.

Alice (shaking hands with him). How sad he looks! I'm
sure he has a history.

Gryphon. History! I believe you. Why, it would fill a
story-book. Here, steam ahead, Mock Turtle, and tell your his-

Mock Turtle. I'll tell it to her. Sit down, everybody, and
don't speak a word till I have finished. [ They sit.

Alice (after short silence). I don't see how he can ever finish
if he don't begin.

Mock Turtle (sighing deeply). Once I was a real turtle —

[He sobs convulsively; all wipe their eyes. Silence.

Alice (getting up and courtesying). Thank you, sir, for your
very interesting story.

Mock Turtle. It isn't done. I've only just begun.

[Alice sits down.

Mock Turtle. When we were little we went to school in the
sea. The Master was an old Turtle— we used to call him Tor-

Alice. Why did yon call him Tortoise if he wasn't one f

Mock Turtle (angrily). We called him Tortoise because he
taught us. Really you are very dull.

Gryphon. Ton ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking
such a stupid question.

Hatter. Of course you ought.

March Hare. I wouldn't have believed it; would yon, Dor-

[Dormouse snores. Alice hangs her head.

Gryphon (to Mock Turtle). Drive on, old felloe. Don't
oe all day about it !

Mock Turtle. Yes, we went to school in the sea, though you


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mayn't believe it —

Alice. I never said I didn't

Mock Turtle. Ton did. [Alice tries to speak.

Gryphon. Hold your tongue!

Mock Turtle (proudly). We had the best of educations ; in
feet, we went to school every day.

Alice. Ton needn't be so proud as all that. I've been to
day-school, too.

Mock Turtle (anxiously). With extras f

Alice. Yes. French and music

Mock Turtle. And washing f

Alice (indignantly). Certainly not

Mock Turtle (greatly relieved). Ah, then yours wasn't a
really good school. Now, at ours they had, at the end of the
bill, French, music, and washing, extra.

Alice. I don't know what you wanted with washing, living
at the bottom of the sea.

Mock Turtle (sighing). I couldn't afford to learn it, anyhow.
I took the regular course only.

Alice. What was that 1

Mock Turtle. Reeling and Writhing, of coarse. We began
with that. Then, the different branches of Arithmetic — Ambi-
tion, Distraction, Uglificatiou, and Derision.

Alice. Uglificationf

Gryphon. Yes, simpleton. You know what to beautify is, I

Alice. To — make — anything prettier, isn't it 1

Gryphon. Then to uglify is to — Oh, come ! this is too much.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Hatter. Of course she ought.

March Hare. I wouldn't have believed it ; would you, Dor-
mouse 1 [Dormouse snores.

Alice Changing head). Well, what else had you to learn 1

Mock Turtle. There was Mystery, ancient and moderu, with
Seaography ; then Drawling — the Drawling-master was an old
conger-eel that used to come once a week. He taught us Drawl-
ing, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.

Alice (aside). That sounds exactly like something else Fve
heard. (Aloud.) How did you faint in coils f

Mock Turtle. I can't show you myself. Fm too stiff— and
the Gryphon never learned it.


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Gryphon. Hadn't time. I went to the Classical master. He
was an old crab, be was.

Mock Turtle. I never went to him. He taught Laughing
and Grief, they used to say.
Gryphon. So he did, so he did.

I Both weep. All weep as before.
Alice. Aud how many hours a day did you do lessons f
Mock Turtle. Ten hours the first day, nine the next, and
so on.

Alice. What a cnrious plan I

Gryphon. That's why they called them lessons. 'Cause they
lessen from day to day.

[He laughs gruffly ; laugh goes round circle, each
touching the other to make him see it.
March Hare. Joke, Dormouse, joke. Wake np and see it !

[Dormouse snores*
Alice. Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday.
Mock Turtle. Of course it was.
Alice. And how did you manage on the twelfth f
Gryphon (rising). Oh, dry up, will you t That's enough about
lessons. Let's talk about the games.
Mock Turtle (bursting into tears). Oh, I cannot bear it.


[Gryphon slapping him on bach; movement around

table. Hatter fetches teapot to pour on him, etc

Gryphon. Same as if he had a bone in his throat.

Mock Turtle. 'Tis the memory of my happy childhood's

hours ; but FU resume. Per- -
haps you never lived much
under water.
Alice. Not mnch.
Mock Turtle. And perhaps
you were never introduced to
a Lobster f

Alice. I once tasted — no,
I once saw one. He was ly-
ing on a dish covered with
bread crumbs and red pepper.
Mock Turtle. What use
was that 1 They would wash
off in the sea. Well, you can
have no idea what fun it is
to dance in ft Lobster QuaA


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Alice. No, indeed!

Mock Turtle. First form in a line along the sea-shore.

Gryphon. No; first clear away the jelly-fish.

Mock Turtle. Advance twice —

Gryphon (interrupts). A lobster for your partner —

Mock Turtle. Advance twice, balance to partners —

Gryphon. Lobsters chain —

Mock Turtle. Throw the —

Gryphon (bounding in air). Lobsters —

Mock Turtle. Far ont to sea as yon can —

Gryphon (very laud). Swim after 'em —

Mock Turtle (capering). Tarn a somersault in the water —

Gryphon (roars). Change lobsters!

Mock Turtle. Back to land again! (stopping suddenly) - '
That's all of it ; wouldn't yon like to see us dance it f

Alice. Oh, that I would !

Gryphon. All right.

Mock Turtle. Who'll sing?

Gryphon (gruffly). You sing. Fve got a little cold. Besides,
I can't remember words and steps too.

[ Then they sing and dance to the following words, aU
joining in chorus, Witt you, won't you, etc :

Tunr: "The Spider and the Fly. w

M Will you walk a little faster t" said a whiting to a snail,

•• There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my ttlt

See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance 1

They are waiting on the shingle— will you come and Join the dance f

44 Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance f
Will yon, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance f

"You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea 1"
But the snail replied, *' Too far, too far !" and gave a look askance-
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the <*

Would not, conld not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

"What matters it how far we go?" his scaly friend replied,
•* There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The farther off from Bngland the nearer Is to France —
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance,

"Will you, won't you, will you, won't yon, will you join the dance t
Will you, won't you, will you, won't yon, won*t you join the dancer

Hatter. Brayvo!

March Hare. Brayvo t Wake up, Dormouse, and applaud !

[Dormouse applauds in sleep.


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Alice (to Mock Tubtlb). I know a song about you - -if* beau-
Chorus. Do sing it!
Alice (ww^j).

An: "Beautiful Star."

M Beautiful Soap, to rich and green,
Waiting in a hot toroen 1
Who for each dainties would not stoop f
Soap of the evening, beantifal Soap !
Soap of the evening, beautiful Soap I
Beaa-ootifal Soo-oopl
Beau-ootifal Soo-oopl
Soo-oop of the e-e-eveningl
Beautiful, beautiful Soup I

"Beautiful Soap! Who cares for nan,
Game, or any other dish r
Who would not give all else for. two p
ennyworth only of beantifal Soap t
Pennyworth only of beantifal Soupf

Beaa-ootifal Soo-oopl

Beaa-ootifal Soo-oopl
Soo-oop of the e-e-evening.
Beautiful, beauti-FUL SOUPl"

I A trumpet sounds off. All start in alarm.
Enter White Babbit and Guards.
White Rabbit. Sorry to intrude, Alice aud gentlemen, but I
have orders from the Queen to summon you all as witnesses to
the great trial of the Knave of Hearts' case, about the stolen
Alice. But I never heard a word of it before.
White Babbit. All the better. Just the thing they want.
Close in, guards!
Hatter. Will they do anything to me f
March Hare. And met
Dormouse. And mef

GRYPHON. I 'ain't done nothing to nobody, have If
MOCK Turtle (tragic). I am the toy of destiny ! Move ont

[ They form into a procession, Hatter carrying tea-
cup and piece of bread and butter. Guard*
fall in around them.




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act m.

Hall in Qurarffi Palaee. King and Queen seated upon throne.
Courtiers around them; Knave of Hearts in chains, Guard
on either side; White Rabbit right of King, scroll in one
handy trumpet in other; Gryphon, March Hare, Mock
Turtle, Dormouse. Table with dish of tarts centre stage,
Alice near Gryphon.

Alice (to Gryphon — points to tarts). I suppose those are the
refreshments. I wish they'd get the trial over and hand around
tbe tarts.

Gryphon. ; Sh! 'Sh!

King. Silence in the Court ! Herald, where's the jury t
Babbit. Please, your Majesty, we forgot to get any.
King. Monstrous! There must be a jury. Provide the
Gryphon and the Mock Turtle and the March Hare and the Dor-
mouse with slates aud pencils, and let them be the jury.

[Rabbit bows, and seats the characters named upon
a bench, with slates and pencils. They all fall
to writing on the spot
Alice {glancing over slate). They are writing down their
own names. What a funny kind of a jury !
Babbit. Silence in the Court!

Alice (still looking at slates, reads). What a funny kind of
jury ! [She laughs out.

King. Silence in the Court !

[Alice jumps. The Dormouse's pencil squeaks
upon his slate. She takes it from him, and
he goes on writing with his fingers; then falls
KrNG. Herald, read the accusation.

White Babbit (blows three blasts on trumpet; then, unroUing
pareAmeni scroUy reads).


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" The Qaeen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a eammer's day;
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
And took them qnite away."

King (to jury). Consider your verdict.

White Rabbit. Not yet, your Majesty. There's a good deal
to come before that verdict.
Kino. Call the first witness.
White Rabbit (three blasts on trumpet). First witness !

Hatter (presents himself,
teacup in one hand, bread and
butter in the other). I beg par-
don, your Majesty, but I
hadn't quite finished my tea.
King. Then you ought to
have finished. When did you
begin 1

Hatter (looking around
wildly). Fourteenth of March,
I think it was.

March Hare. Fifteenth.
Dormouse. Sixteenth.
White Rabbit. Silence in
tlio Court !

King. Jury, write that
down. [Jury write on slates.]
(To Hatter.) Take oif your

Hatter. It isn't mine.
King. Stolen! Write that,
jury. [Jury write on slates.
Hatter. I keep them to sell. I've none of my own. I'm a

[Queen puts on spectacles, leans forward, Stares
at Hatter, who fidgets dreadfully.

King. Give your evidence and don't be nervous, or Fll have
you executed on the spot.

[Queen stares, Hatter bites a piece out of cup,
spills tea, etc.
Queen (to King). Stop talking for a minute, won't you I {To
Officer). Bring me a list of singers in the last Court concert


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[Officer botes and goes off. Returning with scroll.
Hatter trembles and shakes his shoes off.

King. Give your evidence, or 111 execute yon, whether yon are
nervous or not.

Hatter. Fm a poor man, your Majesty — and I hadn't but just
begnn my tea — not above a week or so — and what with the
bread and butter getting so thin, and the twinkling of the tea—

King. The twinkling of what?

Hatter. It began with the tea.

King. Of course twinkling begins with a T. Ton take me
for a dunce. Go on.

Hatter. Fm a poor man — and most things twinkled after
that. Only the March Hare said —

March Hare. I didn't

Hatter. You did.

March Hare. You're another.

White Rabbit. Silence in the Court t

Hatter. After that I cut some more bread and butter, and
the Dormouse said — (Looks round anxiously.)

[Dormouse snores.

King. What did the Dormouse say f

Hatter. That I can't remember.

King. You must remember, or FU remember to have your
head cut off.

Hatter (going* down on knees). I'm a poor man, your Maj-

King. You're a poor speaker.

Dormouse (waking up and cheering). Heart Heart

King. Suppress that Dormouse somebody.

[Officer of Court pops bag over Dormouse's
head like extinguisher.

Alice. I'm glad I've seen that done, your Majesty. Fve often
read in newspapers how when there was an attempt at applause
it was immediately suppressed by the officers of the Court.

King. That's irrelevant. Hatter, stand down.

Hatter. I can't, your Majesty ; I'm on the floor now.

King. Then sit down.

Mock Turtle (cheers). Hurray! Hurray!

King. Suppress that juryman.*

[Officer of Court puts bag on Mock Turtle.


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Queen (who has been reading long list on paper). Stop there,
Hatter. I thought bo. You're a pretty fellow, aren't yoo f Whs
murdered Time when he sang at my last concert f Off with
bis head !

Hatter (on knees). Have mercy! have mercy, your Majesty I
It was the tea went to my head.

Queen. Then I sentence you to never touch another drop of

Hatter. Worse and worser. Boo-hoo! Boo-hoo!

Queen. And to dance a hornpipe for the Court.

Hatter. I can't, your Majesty ; Fve got a bone in my lag.

King. Obey!

[Music; dance. Ratter finally faUs exhaust**,
and is picked up, carried to seat, and extin-
guisher clapped on his head.

King. Call the next witness.

White Babbit. Next witness.

Enter Cook, pepper-box in hand. Everybody faUs to sneering.

Kino (sneezing). Give your evidence.

Cook. Sha'n't.

Kino. That sounds rather like sauce. Hum ! my dear, sauce
from a Cook ; not bad, is it f

Queen (snappishly). Sauce for a gander!

Kino. Hum ! hum ! Now what am I to do next f

Alice. He's perfectly idiotic.

White Rabbit. Try cross-examining her, your Majesty.

Kino. Be very cross, yon mean. All right. Answer me, min-
ion, or your life shall pay the forfeit. What are tarts made oft

Cook (shaking cruet; everybody sneezes). Pepper, mostly.

Dormouse (holding up hand). I know, teacher. It's mo-

Queen. Collar that Dormouse! Behead that Dormouse ! Turn
that Dormouse out of Court! Suppress him ! Pinch him! Off
with his whiskers! [Dormouse is taken out of Court.

Kino (sneezing violently). The witness may go. I have fully
cross-examined her, and the testimony is taken down.

Cook (waving pepper -box). You are a nice King, aren't
you? I could make a better one out of a lump of dough.

Queen (sneezing). Off with her head!

f Cook is taken out of (hurt

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