Venice
March 1621, 22-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1910

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612-622

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'Venice: March 1621, 22-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 612-622. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88783 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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March 1621

March 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
782. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English resident has renewed his offers for assistance for the Count of Mansfelt. His Highness seems desirous of treating with me on the subject, and the agent has exhorted Mansfelt to hold on for two months as England will certainly help him. He assured me that his king was well disposed, and became more so every day, as he had sent an ambassador to the Archduke Albert with a demand for the immediate restitution of the Palatinate. His Majesty would not meddle with Bohemia, as he never had anything to do with it, and because he ought not to plunge into negotiations for mutual restitution unless the replies were not explicit. The ambassador certainly had instructions to intimate war. From what I hear from elsewhere I think that the zeal or the craft of this minister exceeds the limits in the interpretation of his instructions. He also told me that the truce will certainly be broken.
Turin, the 22nd March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
783. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Pecehius, the Chancellor of Brabant, arrived yesterday. The English ambassador called upon him to-day and I did the same. He told me that Digby had reached Brussels the day before he left, and had his first audience, which was simply complimentary. They thought he had come to negotiate for the restitution of the Palatinate and possibly about the truce. As the States gave no sign, it was necessary to approach a third party; every one was looking after his own reputation. The English ambassador told me that Peccius had said much the same to him. I do not know if your Excellencies imagine that the same peace and quiet is desired by France and by England and if it will be obtained by either. Pecchius says that Digby came with such orders and there is a report that a French ambassador is going to Brussels.
The Hague, the 23rd March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
784. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I fulfilled your Serenity's commands with the English ambassador. He thanked me and remarked that although a feeble instrument he would always devote his powers to the service of the republic.
I will send the Viscount de Lormes to Venice with Sig. Dardani, for greater security.
Lieutenant Colonel John Vere came to me last week to offer his services. He said he would levy 2,000 foot here upon the same conditions as your Serenity had arranged with others at Venice. He would await your good pleasure.
The Hague, the 23rd March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
785. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A member of the Council of State here has given me to understand that his Majesty has given orders for the affair of the Valtelline to be settled at all costs, in order to satisfy his Most Christian Majesty and the republic, as he did not desire war in Italy on any account. But his Majesty wished for war in Flanders whither he would direct all the power of Spain, especially now that the emperor is prospering so in Germany. The Duke of Bavaria will remain in the Palatinate, and with the Spaniards dealing in the usual way with the King of England, the States will remain isolated and must finally surrender.
Naples, the 23rd March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Collegio,
Notatorio.
Venetian
Archives.
786. That the town of Treviso be assigned to the company of 200 ultramontane infantry which Captain John Thomas, a Scot, is to form, in accordance with the deliberation of the Senate of the 20th inst., and that our Savio della Scrittura give the necessary instructions.
Ayes, 24.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
787. To the Ambassador LANDO in England.
Our ambassadors in France write that those of the States on arriving at that Court have shown the most friendly disposition and expressed their desire to act jointly with them in the common affairs and negotiations. However, they would not visit, claiming an equal title, as you will see by the enclosed copies of our ambassadors' letters. This has surprised us the more because many weeks before their arrival the ordinary ambassador declared in the contrary sense, giving our ambassador the title of Excellency and himself receiving that of Most Illustrious.
We send you this for your instruction, since your letters of this week call for no comment from us except to commend your diligence in obtaining information about the things which happen at that Court.
Ayes, 165.Noes, 1.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
788. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news from Paris rejoices those who love the general welfare, as well because the civil disputes seem to be dying away as because the king seems resolved upon the recovery of the Valtelline, for which he has sent his new ambassador to the Grisons (fn. 1) with a large sum of money; and that the Grisons, on the return of their ambassadors from Milan have received very ill the capitulation they made, one of those who signed being killed in a riot. But what gives most satisfaction is that the Most Christian king, with a prudent eye upon the affairs of Germany, has secretly sent a certain M. Guisard to the meeting of the United Princes, to encourage them to stand firm, and that the resident in Paris has been informed by some of the leading men of the royal Council, Puisieux and Lisombergh being mentioned, that they have decided in the said Council to help those princes with men and money, as soon as their own domestic humours are thoroughly settled.
This ought to incite the king here also to something good. He has again received fresh solicitations from the princes, because Sir [Albert] Murton returned on Saturday from Heilbronn, where he had left them assembled, travelling with all speed. He encountered many perils because Spinola spread his nets to take him prisoner. The princes proposed first of all to send their offices by letter only, but afterwards they came to the decision that it would be better to represent their needs, the state of affairs and their wishes by word of mouth. He has conferred a great deal secretly with his Majesty, representing the large offers which the emperor proposes to the princes, and on the other hand his threats of punishment and the ban. Murton said that although they were very tired and worn out, yet they were disposed to do everything in their power if only his Majesty would come to their assistance without delay, not only with simple and specious words and vacillation and feeble succours, but with open and evident action. In such case they would attack Spinola and exert all their strength. The truce expired at the end of May, and after that they would be free from all obligations. Finally they pressed urgently for a succour of 6,000 foot immediately, so that they may reach the Palatinate in four or five weeks, which seems impossible, and for 25,000l. sterling a month, or 100,000 crowns. Otherwise they protest that they cannot hold out and will have to make terms, adding that this is the last time they will approach his Majesty on the subject.
The king seems very anxious and perplexed. If he does not satisfy them he fears on the one hand that everything may be precipitated. On the other hand he hopes for peace without trouble for himself. One day he seems disposed to send them money, another to send them men, while latterly, at the instances of Baron Dohna he has remained wavering on the edge of making a levy of 6,000 men more to join Vere. At another time he says: I will await some news of the negotiations of Digby, but every day he complains bitterly that such demands are not reasonable with many expressions of anger. He has sent an extraordinary secretary of the Council (fn. 2) to Digby at Brussels to hasten on his negotiations and to serve him when required, particularly in missions elsewhere, as they think he will have to deal with affairs which embrace so many interests. Some hope for good results, as it seems that his Majesty intends to send off Murton again with all speed. God grant that this may not be the usual kind of reply, fine phrases and nothing done.
As a matter of fact his Majesty is vexed by great irresolution and does not know what to do. He would like the King of Bohemia to put everything into his hands, and is even now awaiting his latest answer on the subject, and until that arrives he fears that by helping the Princes he may upset the affair and prevent the birth of more confidential relations with his son in law.
A leading minister told me as a great secret, that it is something more than a conjecture that the Palatine would ultimately consent, if he was sure to have the Palatinate again, as it was before, without the Spaniards or others retaining any part. Some believe that the Spaniards really think of restoring the Palatinate, especially if they see France becoming excited, or in order to captivate his Majesty's mind more completely, as they would doubtless conquer him completely by doing this, and with this assurance of his complacency in anything else they might do, and that they would never again encounter the smallest possible opposition from him, and would thus have complete freedom to direct their forces in any direction without any fears from this quarter, whether against Italy or the States, the chief obstacles in the way of their universal monarchy. Others do not see how they can bring themselves to restore it after the emperor and the Catholic king have spent so much gold and lost so many men, as it does not seem likely that they would simply throw it away, especially as they are not by nature prone to make restitution. The emperor retains Germany too well in his hands by the bridle of this possession. The ecclesiastical electors lay claim to many of the places occupied, and the Duke of Bavaria, who has worked so hard and spent so much, has already had the electorate and the Upper Palatinate assigned to him.
A leading minister remarked to me that your Serenity ought to try and foment trouble elsewhere, as otherwise you would have it yourself. Although it is easy to see with what object such advise was tendered, yet I can well understand that trouble in Italy with the Spaniards would not displease the partisans of the King of Bohemia, while it would interest your Serenity, the Duke of Savoy and some others more deeply in his cause, and that he might be free from greater travail and recover himself more easily.
Murton says that he left Mansfelt at Heilbronn with the United Princes. He seems most anxious to distinguish himself and requires 100,000 crowns, no more; but the princes cannot supply them, as they have none for themselves. Such an amount, he says, would suffice them for very considerable undertakings. He asserts that Bucquoi's troops are much diminished and do not exceed 8,000 men; that the Count of Tilly is not very secure at Prague, having asked Bucquoi to send him help at once as without it he would have to abandon the city and retire, because the king's army was increasing every day, and Gabor has a large force. Mr. Wake writes from Turin to a minister here that your Serenity has proposed to join in for the support of Mansfelt, sharing part of the cost, if his Majesty and the Duke of Savoy will do the same, and he has written to Mansfelt assuring him of the resolution and disposition of your Excellencies and his Highness, adding that your Serenity will concur for two reasons, one for the Valtelline, the second because of your fear of Leopold, who has prohibited all commerce with the Venetian state, as your Serenity has forbidden commerce with his, chiefly the transport of corn, and he pretends that he will make great conquests from the republic's dominions, and invites the Duke of Savoy to join him and share.
The King of Bohemia has been to visit the Kings of Sweden and Denmark and other princes, obtaining money and men, which he is accumulating. He left Hamburg recently, they suppose for Silesia. At Hamburg they had some scruples in receiving him, out of respect for the emperor, but ultimately the English merchants and their consul succeeded in getting him received, and they entertained him and paid all his expenses, making him a present of 20,000 thalers in ready money at his departure.
They say that the queen will proceed to the Hague and possibly come on here, where it is certain that the king has declared more than once he does not wish her to come.
London, the 26th March, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
789. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agents of the States, by sending captains and officers have levied about 8,000 men here, and these last weeks some officers who went to Scotland have had the misfortune to suffer shipwreck, losing everything. The ambassadors extraordinary of the States obtain no reply beyond what I have already reported, about the truce as the king sent word that they must do as they pleased. He has given them to understand that he will give them no further answer before the affair of the herring fisheries is settled, which has been in negotiation for many years, and he does not want to have it dragged on any longer. He also adds something about the East Indies, since they say that the English merchants continue to suffer harm and loss from the Dutch in those parts.
All these points are arranged and embittered by the skill of the Spanish ambassador. The said ambassadors have written to their masters for fuller commissions and instructions, the point about the fisheries being especially important as upon that industry a great part of the population of Holland and Zeeland depends. They have never seen the king again since their first public audience, while in effect he shows them very little honour and does not at all enjoy seeing before him a republic of seven ambassadors, so to speak. But they have been before the Council several times where they have presented so far about five documents.
They have orders from their masters to speak to the king himself about the Valtelline, but they told me that they had referred to it in their last paper. I thought it superfluous to incite them, especially as one cannot hope for much success, both because his Majesty has already been approached on the subject and because when they receive so little satisfaction in their own affairs they will probably receive less in those of others, and while the king is doing nothing for his own children he will do less for them. The leading ministers express the same opinion and others also who shrug their shoulders and lament the evil condition of the times.
The Ambassador Carleton has sent his Majesty news from the Hague which arrived to-day, of negotiations taking place between an Ambassador of Denmark and their High Mightinesses about the affairs of Germany and some league. But it is not easy to discover the particulars of this or of the arrival there of some commissioner from Brussels, they say for negotiations for a truce.
It seems that for some days past the affairs of the parliament have been passing smoothly between the king and his people. To the satisfaction of the latter his Majesty spoke recently in the Upper Chamber, renewing the permission to punish delinquents and those who prejudice the interests of the realm. (fn. 3) Every day they press matters further with the design of bringing about the fall of the greatest. The king said that he wished the parliament would last for ever, but those who are nearest to him wish that it had never begun. The clergy have granted him three subsidies, amounting to about 100,000l. with which he can do a great deal if he likes, it only rests with him to decide.
The Archbishop of St. Andrews has left to return to Scotland, having received leave, because a parliament is meeting there also. (fn. 4)
Of the fleet of twenty ships they report that it remained for eight days running before Algiers. The Commander had a parley with the Pasha there and recovered some English slaves. They established a consul for their nation there, but a person of the lowest condition, who had been condemned to death by the commander for his misdeeds, (fn. 5) but upon condition that if they found ships of those countries they will take them if they can. However as they have given chase to many and have not as yet taken one, they say they cannot sail so well as these, and so the commander asks that his ships may be changed. Thus they fear that they will obtain but scanty results after all their expense. The fact of the appointment of this consul also causes dissatisfaction here, as it seems by no means honourable to this nation owing to the character of the nominee. As this fleet sailed by the king's decision alone and that of a few favourites, without the participation of the Council, the ministers of that body laugh and make mock at it, with the idea of recalling it and joining it with the Dutch against the Spaniards. But his Majesty, far from embracing this proposal, does not even willingly listen to it. They also hear that when the fleet returned to Spain it met with a chilly reception, owing to this agreement made with the pirates and to other suspicions and offences. In some places it was refused refreshments and not even allowed to take in water.
I have negotiated with General Cecil, in conformity with your Serenity's instructions. He tells me that he is now bound to the States and in a few days he will have to set out to serve them, and he cannot leave them this year. He pretends that for the charges which he holds there he receives 1,500l. or 6,000 crowns, between a regiment which he has there and a company of horse. He aspires to the chief command, and to be above all, but I do not think he will achieve this. If he went to Venice he says that it would involve great expense, as he would have to take his wife, children and all his household with him. Accordingly he would only accept conditions much more favourable than those which he enjoys here. I do not know if he is all that he represents, but I do know that although he serves the States he did not obtain the charge which Vere now enjoys in the Palatinate, owing to some opinion about him. It was promised him by the king at the request of the favourites, but taken away by the prince and the Ambassador Dohna. (fn. 6) If you desire the negotiations to continue it may be done better through the Secretary Suriano at the Hague, but your Serenity must clearly state the title which you propose to give him, because he told me that he could not answer generalities.
I enclose the articles which I ultimately induced Lord Nort to accept, Willoughby's terms being so high that I have not sent them. North offers to bring another colonel with him and 1,000 foot. His brother offers to levy 500 and to serve by sea and land, but preferably by sea, which is his profession, upon the same conditions as his brother, except that on land he would only ask the title of major, and by sea he wishes to be admiral of the ships levied for the 500, with 100 ducats a month at least.
A gentleman came the other day in the king's name, but so far as I make out simply from the favourite to say that his Majesty, hearing that I was negotiating with many leading gentlemen for the levies he had granted upon rather poor terms, not altogether honourable to the nation, desired to see them, and begged me to consider the interests and reputation of the nation, because at other times they had served the republic not without dishonour, upon lower terms than others, meaning, I believe that Peyton's men had lower terms than those of John Ernest of Nassau. I said that your Serenity esteemed the English above every other nation. I thought your Serenity prudently desired to make all payments on the same scale, the English would not be lower than the others; but they cost more to levy and transport. Your Excellencies had not yet sent me precise details about the pay As regards the levy, Vere's soldiers had gone to the Palatinate for 10s. only; your Serenity offered 16s. I have had negotiations with various gentlemen, but some demand such high terms that I do not know how to grant them. Others have come to terms which I hope to arrange to the satisfaction of your Excellencies and of his Majesty.
All this comes from those who wish to force me to accept their extravagant claims, and so I do not pay it so much attention as I otherwise might. The same persons disseminate many notions which might prove harmful, and in particular they call to mind the fate of those gentlemen who were put to death in the fleet under Peyton, some of whom were of good blood. (fn. 7) In these and other matters Spanish guile does not remain idle.
I must not omit to add that the Cavalier Lazzari is also here upon the business of Prince Joinville. The king thinks he has said enough to your Excellencies. The Cavalier told me that the prince offered to bring your Serenity as many as 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse, ultramontanes, to the Gulf by way of Marseilles, binding himself to bring 4,000 in the space of two months, and the rest as quickly as possible. He would content himself, he professes, with the name of general, in case your Serenity does not for the moment intend to create the post of general of the ultramontanes, for which he has treated up to the present, and leaving the question of pay to the public munificence. I report this although it is a matter that would be better treated in France
London, the 26th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
790. 1621, the 24th March, in London.
I will serve as Colonel with a regiment of 2,000 foot, 200 in my company and 150 in the others.
I will serve by sea or land against all except the King of Great Britain or other Protestant powers.
I will obey all the Venetian representatives and the commanders.
My regiment shall serve nine months and no less after my arrival.
The republic in dismissing the men shall pay them for 1½ months to return; a month being 30 days.
For the levy I must have 20s. or 5 ducats for each soldier and the ships must be ready 15 days after the order for a quarter, and week by week for the other quarters, so that the men may not desert. The men must receive food after the English fashion and the ships must be at the expense of the republic.
After landing in Venetian territory the men must have a fortnight's rest.
On embarking each soldier shall receive a week's pay.
The republic shall bear all the expenses of the voyage, but the officers shall begin to receive pay on signing their commissions and shall bear their own expenses.
The troops shall receive pay on entering the republic's dominions and shall not be called upon to serve before.
The men shall receive the best pay granted by the republic, to be notified by the ambassador before the levy is begun. I should wish for not less than 30s. a month per man. Personally I will serve the republic without a levy as the English do in the Palatinate.
I desire 60l. or 300 ducats for myself, but submit to the republic's pleasure. For the lieutenant colonel 25l., for the serjeant major 15l., and 70l. to distribute among the officers of the company. The custom of the republic may be observed for the provost, quarter master, surgeon and others.
The value of the money should be the same as with all the others.
The muster of the regiment shall only be made in the first week of every month, and payment given them.
I desire to exercise the usual justice by sea and land over my men, and to choose the officers to fill gaps.
I may fill gaps among the men by levies here, at the good pleasure of the republic.
On the conclusion of the war the republic shall receive back the weapons used except those lost in battle, or if they wish, I will arm them for 3½l. for every two soldiers.
I desire two months' pay in advance to clothe the men, to be deducted by instalments extending over nine months.
DUDLEY NORTH.
[Italian.]
March 29.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
791. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassdar in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English resident tells me that while his king will have nothing to do with Bohemia, the King Palatine will not give up the crown or any of the provinces, and he has sent 40,000 florins to Mansfelt. He also told me of the arrival of his secretary in London at a most fortunate moment. His Majesty is inclined to welcome his proposal, and establish some arrangements for a diversion, paying money to those States and uniting the interests of the Palatinate and the Valtelline. He disclosed to me that his king would not undertake anything whatsoever except in the hope of the restitution of the Palatinate, founded upon precise offers of his Catholic Majesty.
Turin, the 29th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
792. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has received a special express messenger from his Court. I understand that he brings commissions for very strong representations for the complete restoration to the Palatine of what has been taken. The messenger is to wait for the answer and take it back.
Madrid, the 30th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
793. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses proposals of the Chancellor Peckius, which have been communicated to the Ambassadors of France, England and Denmark. They are most exercised here at the little good they can expect from the two kings, and before entering upon fresh negotiations for an alliance they desire satisfaction for their demands.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
794. Proposals of P Peckius, Chancellor of Brabant, to the States.
The archdukes desire to prolong the truce; they would like to see all the Netherlands united again. They suggest that the Provinces should recognise their natural prince. This will avoid further bloodshed. Their Highnesses will listen to all reasonable proposals.
Presented to the States General at the Hague on the 23rd March, 1621. (fn. 8)
[Italian.]
March 30.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
795. SIR [HENRY] WOTTON, Ambassador of the King of Great Britain, came into the Cabinet and said:
I first wish to return thanks to the magistrates of the Board of Health for the time when I was in quarantine, and their constant favours and attentions. I rejoice to see the benignity of your Serenity and their lordships towards myself and my countrymen, who may indeed be called Venetians, since they are actually such When my master ordered me to return to serve your Serenity I replied that as every good subject of his Majesty ought to obey him in difficult matters, so much greater is the obligation in pleasant ones. His Majesty will always remain a true friend to the republic.
My master commands me to salute your Serenity and your Excellencies and to assure you of his perfect good will. He then handed in two letters from his Majesty and the prince his son.
After the letters had been read the doge remarked that they were glad of the ambassador's return in good health. The republic reciprocated his Majesty's friendly feelings. Englishmen were as welcome as their own citizens.
The ambassador then rose and expressed a wish that the gentlemen with him should kiss the doge's hand. He remained standing until all had been presented and then took leave.
Letter of Prince Charles to the doge, accompanying Sir Henry Wotton and expressing constant friendship towards the republic.
From the church of Westminster (Vestmont), the 18th July, 1620.
Letter of King James to the doge, notifying the sending for the third time as ambassador of Sir Henry Wotton, who has always done his utmost to strengthen the bonds of friendship between them. The rest is committed to Wotton, who will express the king's feelings better than is possible upon paper.
Dated at Greenwich, the 3rd June, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 30.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
796. To the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
Colonel Henry Peyton will cross the Menzo to place himself under the orders of our Proveditore Contarini, if you so please, together with his company.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Montholon.
2 John Dickenson, dispatched on March the 19th to Lord Digby "to have a present answer or return forthwith without it." Birch: Court and Times of James I., ii, page 236.
3 On Saturday, March 10/20.—Cal. S.P. Dom. 1619 23, page 234.
4 Archbishop John Spottiswoode had been sent to persuade the king to summon a parliament, as money for the Palatinate could not otherwise be obtained. He succeeded in his mission and the proclamation for the new parliament was issued on the 6/16 March. Reg. Privy Council of Scotland, xii. pages 406, 438.
5 His name was Richard Forde.
6 Gardiner suggests that Dohna had private reasons for passing over Cecil, who had somehow given offence to Elizabeth. (Hist, of Eng., iii. page 358.) This may also account for the interference of Charles, which Gardiner does not mention. See also Dalton: Life of Edward Cecil, i, pages 321–328.
7 See the preceding vol. of this Calendar, Preface, page 25.
8 There is an English translation of this paper in the Public Record Office. State Papers, Foreign. Holland.


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