This week I've been working mainly on ocr'ing in a couple of books for the
site which will start to appear in the next week or so. I must say that both
have been time consuming as one has endless footnotes and the other has a
significant quantity of the old Scots language and even some gaelic so
proofing has been time consuming.
One of the questions that came up in the questionnaire was "why do I only
support the SNP on the site?". Well in actual fact I don't support the SNP
as such but I do support the Scots Independent Newspaper which does of
course fight for Scottish Independence.
The fact is that at one point I thought it would be useful to get each
political party to contribute some information to the site and I thus
contacted all of them to invite them to contribute. I got turned down by all
of them including the SNP.
When I came across the Scots Independent Newspaper they said their mission
was to fight for an independent Scotland and also to promote the history and
culture of Scotland. So when I discussed doing something with them it was
more to do with the historical and cultural activities but I thought it
would also be interesting to follow the fight for independence.
Due to the relationship we have built up there is a huge amount of content
within the Flag in the Wind including the largest audio recordings of the
old Scots language anywhere in the world. They also probably have the most
comprehensive time line of Scottish history.
When I first dealt with them they had their own section under Electric
Scotland but as this grew and grew I felt it would be better if they kept
their content under their own domain and so around 3 years back they moved
to their own domain. They have kept the Electric Scotland header which might
be why you confuse them as being part of Electric Scotland. The header
simply reflects their own mission to promote the history and culture of
Scotland which is why they kept it. It may be in the future that they'll
decide to remove that and have their own header but that will be their
So hopefully that explains things on this point :-)
ABOUT THE STORIES
Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out
the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's
New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and
stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks edition is by Richard Thomson.
I note with interest that several of the books that were on limited stock
alert are now sold out from the launch of their Shopping Mall.
I also note a new feature about Robert Burns started this week by Peter
Wright. Here is how he starts...
It is never to early to plan ahead for your next, or indeed first, Burns
Supper, and the intention of this new feature is to give you a ready
accessible collection of the National Bards material for the 25th of
January each year. Over the next few months we will give you a variety of
items by Robert Burns, which should prove useful to you.
Interest in the life and work of Robert Burns has never faltered and,
indeed, as we now approach the 250th anniversary of his birth in 2009, this
should grow apace. He holds a special place in the hearts of his countrymen
and his appeal spans the continents. A genius, he spoke for his people and
captured their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows, in poetry and song.
The Flag collection will reflect this.
We begin with two graces for Before and After your meal and also the
grace made famous world-wide by Robert Burns The Selkirk Grace. Prior to
its use by our National Bard it was known as The Covenanters Grace.
A GRACE BEFORE DINNER
O Thou, who kindly dost provide
For every creatures want!
We bless Thee, God of Nature wide,
For all Thy goodness lent:
And, if it please Thee, Heavnly Guide,
May never worse be sent;
But, whether granted, or denyd,
Lord, bless us with content! Amen.
GRACE AFTER DINNER
O Thou, in whom we live and move,
Who madst the sea and shore;
Thy goodness constantly we prove,
And, grateful, would adore.
And if it please Thee, Powr above,
Still grant us, with such store,
The friend we trust, the fair we love,
And we desire no more.
THE SELKIRK GRACE
Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thanket.
I also noted with interested in Peter's "Scottish Food, Traditions and
This week and next we will look at commemorations being held to mark the
important role in Scottish history played by two of the greatest ever Scots
Robert I, King of Scots, and Sir William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland.
It is encouraging that such events are being held as our education system
has ill-served Scots as far as their history is concerned. A sound grounding
in our own history is surely something every young, and not so young, Scot
deserves. The historian and author Chris Brown hit the nail on the head
Scotland is the only country in Europe where there is absolutely no legal
requirement for schoolchildren to be taught the history of their country.
The fact that there is no adequate history textbook for Scottish schools
compounds the problem, but in any case the teachers, mostly the product of
Scottish education themselves, have little or no grasp of their countrys
history: the problem is circular. Sadly, neither the Scottish government nor
Scottish education authorities seem to have any interest in doing anything
very practical toward improving the situation, so Scottish schoolchildren
will continue to be denied proper access to the history of their country.
The circle must be broken and Scottish bairns properly taught their own
history. It is far too important a subject to be left to chance, as that way
misunderstanding arises and facts give way to myth. This is one aspect of
Scottish life which will take time to turn around but, hopefully, an SNP
controlled Scottish Executive from 2007 will start the wheel turning and
ensure that future generations of Scots know their own countrys history.
And of course that was one of the big reasons that I decided to build the
Electric Scotland web site so that it would offer just this type of
information for anyone interested in finding out more :-)
Good accounts of Stirling and Stirlingshire this week.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now on the C's with Cargill, Carlyle, Carmichael, Carnegie and
Carnwath added this week.
Here is a bit from the Carmichael entry...
CARMICHAEL, a local surname, of great antiquity in Scotland, derived from
the lands and barony of Carmichael, in the parish of that name, in the upper
ward of Lanarkshire, of which the earls of Hyndford (a title now extinct),
whose family name it was, were the proprietors. The parish appears to have
been so named from St. Michael, under whose protection it was placed.
The first of the family known was William de Carmichael, who is mentioned in
a charter of the lands of Ponfeigh about 1350. John de Carmichael, supposed
to be his son, was infeft in the lands of Carmichael, on a precept from
James earl of Douglas and Mar, killed at Otterburn in 1388. The name of
William de Carmichael, probably his son, occurs in a charter of donation to
the priory of St. Andrews in 1410. Sir John de Carmichael, supposed to be
the son of this William, accompanied the Scottish auxiliaries sent to the
assistance of Charles the Sixth of France, against the English. At the
battle of Beaugé in Anjou, in 1422, he is said to have unhorsed the duke of
Clarence, who commanded the English army, a feat which decided the victory
in favour of the French and Scots. In the encounter he broke his spear, and
his descendants bear for crest a dexter hand and man armed holding a broken
spear. This deed has been attributed to the earl of Buchan, and Sir
Alexander Buchanan [See BUCHANAN], as well as to Sir John de Carmichael and
the honour of it must be equally divided among these three. Sir John died in
1436. By his wife, supposed to have been a lady Mary Douglas, he had three
sons, namely, William, his successor; Robert, ancestor of the Carmichaels of
Balmadie; and John, provost of St. Andrews, who was one upon a perambulation
of some lands and marches in that neighbourhood in 1434.
William, the eldest son, was one of the inquest upon the service of Sir
David Hay of Yester, in 1437. He had two sons, Sir John, and George. The
latter, a doctor of divinity, was elected bishop of Glasgow in 1482, but
died before his consecration, in the following year. He had previously been
treasurer of that see, as rector of Carnwath. The same year that he was
elected bishop, he was joined in commission with several lords and barons,
to treat of a peace with England.
Sir John Carmichael, the elder son, had three sons and a daughter. William,
the eldest, had also three sons; Bartholomew, who predeceased him; William,
who succeeded him; and Walter, the progenitor of the Hyndford line. On the
8th March 1528 a remission was granted to William Carmichael of that ilk,
and three others, for art, part and assistance given by them to Archibald
sometime earl of Angus, his brother and eme (or uncle). Williams son, John
Carmichael, married Elizabeth, third daughter of the fifth lord Somerville,
and had two sons, John and Archibald, and a daughter, Mary, married to John,
son of Sir Robert Hamilton of Preston. John Carmichael, the father, his son
John, his brother Archibald, James Johnstone of Westraw, and thirty-one
others, were, January 8th, 1564, indicted before the high court of
justiciary, for wounding and deforcing a sheriffs officer of Lanarkshire,
when apprizing certain head of cattle, and for taking one of his assistants
captive and keeping him in confinement in various places. They were ordered
to enter into ward on the north side of the water of Spey, and remain there
during her majestys pleasure.
The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders
I have now added the second issue of Volume 10 (November 1901) which
includes amongst other articles includes ones on George MacKay, President of
the Clan MacKay Society, Neil MacLeod last of the MacLeods of Assynt,
Martial music of the clans, Clam MacKay gathering at Tongue, The Ossianic
Ballads, Simon Fraser, 10th Lord Lovat, etc.
The Life of James Stewart
D.D. M.D. Hon. F.R.G.S. by James Wells, D.D. (1909)
Am continuing this book and we are now up to chapter 26. Here is how Chapter
Table MountainThe Native ProblemThe Land Problem-Dr. Stewart as a DaysmanNative
Criminal LawRace EnmityThe Scorners of the NativesHopeful Facts.
It is the aim of Christianity to blot out the word alien and barbarian and
put the word brother in its place.Max Muller.
British justice, if not blind, should be colour-blind.Conan Doyle in The
Great Boer War.
Contempt of men is the ground-feature of heathenism. Marlensens
Mega anthropos (A man is a great thing).A Church Father.
The great ones honoured us, the believers showed us affection, but the
people of the world despised us because our skins were black. Gambella,
the Christian Prime Minister of King Lewanika of Barotsiland, on his return
from the Coronation of King Edward VII.
THE first object that fixes the gaze of the stranger at Cape Town is Table
Mountain, that dark gigantic rock of perpendicular granite, nearly 4000 feet
high and 12 miles long. It besets him, monopolises attention, shuts out all
objects behind and dwarfs all in front, and looks menacingly upon him
through the windows of the house where he is sojourning. When the white
chilling mist lies upon it, that dark mass seems to shut out heaven and
overhang the whole city.
Since old Africa came to an end in 1900, and Boer and Briton are now at
peace, the native problem confronts all thoughtful men in South Africa after
the fashion of Table Mount. It is the black cloud which overshadows the
patriot, and for him there is from it no escape. It is the storm-centre of
African discussion and politics. And it had a large place in Stewarts whole
life, and remained a permanent part of the horizon of his mind.
The native problem in South Africa is the greatest of its kind in history,
and one of the heaviest burdens ever laid upon the white man. It will
probably be the supreme test of modern statesmanship. It may be fairly
defined by using the words in which a statesman recently described the
kindred problem in India: It is not a phase but a development, not a
sickness but a birth which our own Government has created. The new wine is
bursting the old bottles.
The essential facts are these: Between the Cape and the Zambesi there were,
according to the census of 1904, 1,142,563 whites and 9,163,021 natives and
coloured people. Dudley Kidd, in his Kafir Socialism (p. 284), says that the
native population in Natal has increased seventy-five fold in seventy
yearsfrom about 10,000 in 1838 to 700,000 in 1906. The natives have an
unconquerable vitality. The vices of the white men have failed to reduce
their numbers as they have done in other lands. They are still fruitful and
multiply and replenish the earth. The Basutos, the most prosperous and
intelligent of the African races, have, it is said, increased fivefold
during the last thirty years. In Natal, in twenty years, the Zulus have
doubled. Bryce, in his Impressions of South Africa (p. 346), tells us that
the number of the Fingoes to-day is ten times as great as it was fifty or
sixty years ago. The blacks are increasing twice as fast as the whites, as
all the checks that formerly kept the population in bounds have been
removed. Dr. Carnegie says that the negroes in America in 1880 were
6,580,793, and in 1890, 8,840,789. The coloured races are multiplying with a
rapidity which many deem alarming. The problem is bow to develop the native
into a citizen. Every year it grows graver, and the penalty of failure is
appalling. And it is very urgent, for the natives do not move now as by the
measured pace of oxen, but as by steam and electricity.
[In his recently published Kafir Socialism and The Dawn of Individualism: An
Introduction to the Study of the Native Problem, Dudley Kidd endeavours to
set forth all the essential facts in the problem, and to suggest practical
remedies. It is a very interesting book, but it is fitted to make the reader
feel giddy in presence of the enormous complexities, varieties, and
hindrances which belong to the native question. Mr. Kidd says that we are
building up our structure at the foot of a volcano, but that, like all
Pompeians, we have grown used to it, and do not worry much about our
Vesuvius. The problems ahead, he says, make one almost afraid to think.]
There will soon be, if there is not already, a pressing land problem. The
territories allotted to the natives are now almost fully occupied. While
there are immense stretches of unoccupied lands, the greater part of these
is almost waterless, covered with scrub, and incapable of cultivation. Our
Empire in South Africa has now reached its territorial limits. Africa now
contains no more unparcelled earth of any agricultural value.
It is not surprising that the natives should be discontented when they see
the land which belonged to their tribes from time immemorial, now occupied
by white men, some of whom, they believe, are coveting the poor black mans
vineyard, and wishing to eat up his land. Some one has said that formerly
Europeans used to steal Africans from Africa, and now they are trying to
steal Africa from the Africans. The recent Boer war and the war in German
territory have tended to foster elements of discontent. And their rulers
admit that they have real grievances which should be remedied.
Many have written upon this perplexing subject. A perusal of their writings
leaves two impressions: all admit the extreme gravity of the problem, and no
one suggests a practical and hopeful solution. The Native Affairs Commission
left this question untouched. We are in presence of the growing pains of a
new and vast Empire. This spectacle has drawn the eyes of the world to South
Africa. We may hope that there will never be any serious war of races,
though some students of the problem have grave fears. There is a history of
Lobengula which has as its frontispiece a white and a black soldier fully
armed. It is plain to the eye that the black man has no better chance in
battle than the crow has with the eagle. Besides, the various races know not
how to unite, though they are now beginning to realise their race unity and
their common interests.
Stewart was well fitted to be a Daysman between the conflicting parties. The
Great White Father of the natives, he could lay a hand on both. The word
Lovedale had a charm for them. It offered a fair field to all and no
favour. There their children ate, studied, worked, and played together with
the white children. They all knew that he had devoted his life to them.
[The Reverend Doig Young writes: Once when Dr. Stewart and Mr. Mzimba were
travelling together to attend a meeting of Presbytery, they had to spend a
night at a wayside inn. Knowing that hotel-keepers as a rule do not give up
a bedroom to a native, Dr. Stewart, after being shown his room, asked the
landlady what accommodation Mr. Mzimba was to have. "Oh," she said, "I will
let him sleep in the loft outside." "Well, well," was the quiet rejoinder,
"just let me see the place." They were taken to the loft above the stable.
Dr. Stewart turned to Mr. Mzimba and said, in presence of the landlady, "You
go and occupy my room, and I will sleep here." "Oh no," was her reply, "I
cannot allow that." "But I insist upon it," continued Dr. Stewart; "if you
have no bedroom in the house to give my friend, he must take my room." The
upshot was that Mr. Mzitnba was shown into a comfortable room. During many
years this landlady told this wonderful story to her guests. It seems to
have been the only experience of the kind she had known.
Dr. Stewart was all through his long missionary life the loyal and
sympathetic friend of the native people. He never forgot the old students
either. Should he, even when hurrying through the streets of a town to catch
a train, notice an old Lovedale lad on the other side of the street, across
he would run at once, shake hands, and ask after his welfare. He lived, he
worked, he prayed for the advancement of the natives.]
Byways of Scottish Story
by George Eyre-Todd (1930)
This is a new book with sketches on various topics. The first chapter should
be of general interest as it explains "Braid Scots" and here is how that
THERE is probably no presumption more widely taken for granted even in
Scotland itself at the present day than the belief that "broad Scotch" is a
mere vulgar corruption of "good English." Among people especially who pay
some attention to correctness of speech an idea is prevalent that anything,
word or idiom, which is not to be found in Webster's or Ogilvy's dictionary
must perforce be either vulgarity or slang. So greatly, indeed, has the
written language of modern times overpowered the native spoken speech of
older Scotland, that the slightest difference of accent from present usage,
or the slightest broadening of the vowels, is apt upon a platform, or even
in ordinary company, to excite immediate suspicion as to the breeding of the
speaker. Not only, however, is the general assumption as to "broad Scotch"
entirely wrong, but in many cases the particular departure from ordinary
modern usage is both purer and more vigorous speech than its conventional
The actual position of the ancient language of Scotland among its fellows
should be more popularly known than it is; the perusal of books like Malet's
"Northern Antiquities" and Dr. Murray's "Dialect of the Southern Counties of
Scotland" is confined too much, it is to be feared, to mere scholars and
specialists. In Britain during the early centuries, from the time of Bruce
downwards, three great Saxon dialects, each of distinctly marked features,
were spoken. The most southern of these, the language of Rent and Devon,
giving birth to no great literature and possessing no royal vogue, decayed
early and died out, though its influence may possibly still be traced in the
speech of its ancient region. Middle English, as it is called, the speech of
the middle counties of England, and the language of the Bible and
Shakespeare, has had a different fate. Supported by Court usage after the
death of Norman-French, and made the medium of the best English thought, by
the labours, among others, of Chaucer, Gower, and Wiclif, it gradually
obtained dominance in the South, and became the national tongue of England.
Most northern of the three great dialects, and in many respects the richest
and most beautiful, was the language of Scotland. The region in which it was
spoken was not large, Gaelic being the language of Galloway and the
Highlands. But from the Borders to the Clyde and Forth, and northwards in
the East of Scotland to Aberdeen, braid Scots was the vernacular for five
centuries. During these centuries it gave birth to a poetry with which, in
many respects, and considering the size of the country, the poetry of Greece
alone can be honourably compared. In the Scottish vernacular was written
Barbour's great national poem, "The Bruce," which, it is not too much to
say, takes its place among the great poems of Europe as particularly the
Epic of Freedom. In Scottish was written Blind Harry's glowing
romance-history, "Sir William Wallace," of which Burns has said it "poured a
tide of Scottish prejudice into his veins which would boil along there till
the flood-gates of life shut in eternal rest." In Scottish appeared the
beautiful "King's Quair" of James I., a composition, according to Mr.
Stopford Brooke, "sweeter, tenderer, and purer than any verse till we come
to Spenser." In Scottish are preserved Henryson's exquisite rich pastorals
and poems, from "Robene and Makyne" to the "Tale of the Upland Mouse and the
Burgess Mouse"; Dunbar's fiery rose-heart of song, from "The Goldyn Targe"
to "The Dance of the Seven Deidly Sins"; Gavin Douglas's classic grace, and
the scorching Reformation satire of Sir David Lyndsay and Sir Richard
Maitland; not to speak of minor bards unnumbered, and the rich unrivalled
store of nameless ballad minstrelsy. Scottish was the language of Court and
Bar, of Bruce on the field of Bannockburn, and of James IV. in the halls of
In the reign of the latter king the language, like the kingdom of Scots, may
be said to have reached its meridian. The splendour of the Court in which it
was spoken was then at its height. The monarch was alike wealthy and
refined, speaking no less than seven languages besides his own. Ambassadors
of all the countries of Europe heard the Scottish poets and minstrels recite
their lays in the presence of King James. Scottish merchant carvels carried
the speech of Scotland across all the northern seas. And altogether the
period must be owned to merit the title of an Augustine age.
James Chalmers of New Guinea
Missionary, Pioneer and Martyr by Cuthbert Lennox (1902).
I thought I'd hold off doing this book seeing as we are already doing a
missionary in James Stewart but will start this up again when we complete
the other one.
As some of you may know I went to the Fergus Highland Games in Ontario last
Saturday. I was mainly there to try and get a few video clips of Highland
Dancing as I do plan to do a section on the site about this. I got around 8
video clips which you can see at
David Hunter Photography
As you know David has sent us in the odd collection of superb pictures of
Scotland and this week he's sent in another set from Morvern & Ardgour, the
old lands of the MacLeans which you can see at
World Pipe Band Championships
Our thanks to Ronnie Simpson of the All Celtic Music Store for sending us in
The Super Bowl of World Pipe Banding took place on Glasgow Green in, yes,
Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday 12th August. Reports suggest around 200 pipe
bands took part in competition over 6 grades, from Grade 1 down to Novice
Juvenile, that tallies up to in excess of 3,000 players added to the 50,000
Pipe bands pay all of their own costs of travel, accommodation and each
players living costs and travel from the USA, Canada, Australia, South
Africa, Pakistan, over Europe, from Ireland and Scotland (and there are no
cash prizes!). Much as you might expect it the top bands NO LONGER
necessarily come from Scotland. Lets see how 2006 shaped up.
1) Field Marshal Montgomery (Ulster)
2) Simon Fraser University (Canada)
3) House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead (Scotland)
4) Strathclyde Police (Scotland)
5) Boghall & Bathgate (Scotland)
6) 78th Fraser Highlanders (Canada)
1) Robert Malcolm Memorial (Canada)
2) Tayside Police (Scotland)
3) The Band Club (Australia)
4) Torphichen & Bathgate (Scotland)
5) Cullybacky (Ulster)
6) Bagad Cap Caval (France)
1) Kintyre Schools (Scotland)
2) Methil & District (Scotland)
3) George Watsons College (Scotland)
4) Robert Wisemans Dairies Vale of Atholl (Scotland)
5) Johnstone (Scotland)
6) Inveraray (Scotland)
There are two groups in Grades 3 & 4 simply because of the number of
entries. Remember these 200 + bands have ALL got to be heard and judged in
one day. There are 6 places to be won in each group - winning, trophies,
pennants or shields. Scottish bands only won 3 of the six groups, Ulster won
3, Canada won 1 & USA won 1.
The competition takes place on the second Saturday of August every year.
There is a huge amount of reading within this section and here are just some
of the links you can find...
Act against the Highland Dress
Parliament, in 1746 and 1747, passed various Acts, by which it was ordained
that the Highlanders should be disarmed, their peculiar dress laid aside,
and the heritable jurisdictions and wardholding abolished.
The Act of Proscription 1747
An act for the more effectual disarming the highlands in Scotland; and for
the more effectual securing the peace of the said highlands; and for
restraining the use of the highland dress; and for further indemnifying such
persons as have acted in the defence of His Majesty's person and government,
during the unnatural rebellion; and for indemnifying the judges and other
officers of the court of judiciary in Scotland, for not performing the
northern circuit in May, one thousand seven hundred and forty six; and for
obliging the masters and teachers of private schools in Scotland, and
chaplains, tutors and governors of children or youth, to take the oaths to
his Majesty, his heirs and successors, and to register the same.
This Month in Scottish History
Each month brings you interesting accounts of people, places and events in
Declaration of Arbroath 1320
The Declaration of Arbroath was and has been unequalled in its eloquent plea
for the liberty of man. From the darkness of medieval minds it shone a torch
upon future struggles which its signatories could not have foreseen or
Friends of Grampian Stones
Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Kincardinshire & Moray - four counties in
Northeast Scotland with boundaries created in Norman times based on earlier
Pictish land divisions - have the world's greatest configuration of
prehistoric and early-historic stones, carved art and clusters of ancient
settlements, in an area roughly half the size of Switzerland.
A Scottish saga of the Lothians - a story for Scots [and all those of
Scottish intent] wherever they may be. The first novel of the West Lothian
Battle of Pinkie Cleugh
Pinkie Cleugh was the first "modern" battle on British soil--featuring
combined arms, cooperation between infantry, artillery and cavalry and, most
remarkably, a naval bombardment in support of land forces. Such an
interpretation places Britain in the mainstream of military development 100
years earlier than is generally accepted.
Composed by one of the MacCrummens in the midst of the Battle of Inverlochy,
1427, wherein Donald Balloch of the Isles was victorious over the Royal
The North British Railway
Here is an account of the North British Railway written some time ago which
shows the part the railway played in Scotland.
As a testament to Bobby's devotion, the people of Edinburgh, erected a
memorial to Bobby. In most of the Encyclopedias, under famous dogs, Bobby's
story can be found.
The dull thundering of hooves in the distance would send fear into the
hearts of families gathered around the fire. The firelight would reflect the
fear in the eyes of women and children as the galloping horses came closer.
Colin Campbell of Glenure
Colin Campbell of Glenure, also known as "Red Colin", was not present at
Culloden although he held a commission in Lord Loudens regiment during the
uprising. After resigning his commission, Glenure became one of these
factors, having sway over the Cameron lands of Lochaber and Stewart lands in
The Gathering Stone
The stone was erected in the wake of Kenneth McAlpine's defeat of the Picts
in 834 AD which led to the unification of the Scottish nation.
Inverness Kirk-Session Records
Extracts from Inverness Kirk-Session Records 1661-1800.
David Loch's Tour of Scotland in 1778
In 1778, David Loch wrote a book entitled A Tour through most of the
Trading Towns and Villages of Scotland; containing Notes and Observations
concerning the Trade, Manufactures, Improvements, &c., of these Towns and
And that's all for now and I hope you all have a great weekend :-)
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