Saturday 23 August 1662

Up early, and about my works in my house, to see what is done and design more. Then to my office, and by and by we sat till noon at the office. After sitting, Mr. Coventry and I did walk together a great while in the Garden, where he did tell me his mind about Sir G. Carteret’s having so much the command of the money, which must be removed. And indeed it is the bane of all our business. He observed to me also how Sir W. Batten begins to struggle and to look after his business, which he do indeed a little, but it will come to nothing. I also put him upon getting an order from the Duke for our inquiries into the Chest, which he will see done. So we parted, and Mr. Creed by appointment being come, he and I went out together, and at an ordinary in Lumbard Streete dined together, and so walked down to the Styllyard, and so all along Thames-street, but could not get a boat: I offered eight shillings for a boat to attend me this afternoon, and they would not, it being the day of the Queen’s coming to town from Hampton Court. So we fairly walked it to White Hall, and through my Lord’s lodgings we got into White Hall garden, and so to the Bowling-green, and up to the top of the new Banqueting House there, over the Thames, which was a most pleasant place as any I could have got; and all the show consisted chiefly in the number of boats and barges; and two pageants, one of a King, and another of a Queen, with her Maydes of Honour sitting at her feet very prettily; and they tell me the Queen is Sir. Richard Ford’s daughter. Anon come the King and Queen in a barge under a canopy with 10,000 barges and boats, I think, for we could see no water for them, nor discern the King nor Queen. And so they landed at White Hall Bridge, and the great guns on the other side went off:

But that which pleased me best was, that my Lady Castlemaine stood over against us upon a piece of White Hall, where I glutted myself with looking on her. But methought it was strange to see her Lord and her upon the same place walking up and down without taking notice one of another, only at first entry he put off his hat, and she made him a very civil salute, but afterwards took no notice one of another; but both of them now and then would take their child, which the nurse held in her armes, and dandle it. One thing more; there happened a scaffold below to fall, and we feared some hurt, but there was none, but she of all the great ladies only run down among the common rabble to see what hurt was done, and did take care of a child that received some little hurt, which methought was so noble.

Anon there came one there booted and spurred that she talked long with. And by and by, she being in her hair, she put on his hat, which was but an ordinary one, to keep the wind off. But methinks it became her mightily, as every thing else do.

The show being over, I went away, not weary with looking on her, and to my Lord’s lodgings, where my brother Tom and Dr. Thomas Pepys were to speak with me. So I walked with them in the garden, and was very angry with them both for their going out of town without my knowledge; but they told me the business, which was to see a gentlewoman for a wife for Tom, of Mr. Cooke’s providing, worth 500l., of good education, her name Hobell, and lives near Banbury, demands 40l. per annum joynter. Tom likes her, and, they say, had a very good reception, and that Cooke hath been very serviceable therein, and that she is committed to old Mr. Young, of the Wardrobe’s, tuition.

After I had told them my mind about their folly in going so unadvisedly, I then begun to inquire after the business, and so did give no answer as to my opinion till I have looked farther into it by Mr. Young.

By and by, as we were walking in my Lord’s walk, comes my Lord, and so we broke our discourse and went in with him, and after I had put them away I went in to my Lord, and he and I had half an hour’s private discourse about the discontents of the times, which we concluded would not come to anything of difference, though the Presbyters would be glad enough of it; but we do not think religion will so soon cause another war.

Then to his own business. He asked my advice there, whether he should go on to purchase more land and to borrow money to pay for it, which he is willing to do, because such a bargain as that of Mr. Buggins’s, of Stukely, will not be every day to be had, and Brampton is now perfectly granted him by the King — I mean the reversion of it — after the Queen’s death; and, in the meantime, he buys it of Sir Peter Ball his present right.

Then we fell to talk of Navy business, and he concludes, as I do, that he needs not put himself upon any more voyages abroad to spend money, unless a war comes; and that by keeping his family awhile in the country, he shall be able to gather money.

He is glad of a friendship with Mr. Coventry, and I put him upon increasing it, which he will do, but he (as Mr. Coventry do) do much cry against the course of our payments and the Treasurer to have the whole power in his own hands of doing what he will, but I think will not meddle in himself.

He told me also that in the Commission for Tangier Mr. Coventry had advised him that Mr. Povy, who intended to be Treasurer, and it is intended him, may not be of the Commission itself, and my Lord I think will endeavour to get him to be contented to be left out of the Commission, and it is a very good rule indeed that the Treasurer in no office ought to be of the Commission. Here we broke off, and I bid him good night, and so with much ado, the streets being at nine o’clock at night crammed with people going home to the city, for all the borders of the river had been full of people, as the King had come, to a miracle got to the Palace Yard, and there took boat, and so to the Old Swan, and so walked home, and to bed very weary.

54 Annotations

T, Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Coventry and I did walk together a great while in the Garden, where he did tell me his mind about Sir G. Carteret's having so much the command of the money, which must be removed.”

L&M note: “Cf. Coventry’s proposal to transfer payment of the Navy Victualler from the Navy Treasurer to the Exchequer; see [ 12 June ]”

T, Foreman  •  Link

"King and Queen in a barge under a canopy with 10,000 barges and boats, I think, for we could see no water for them, nor discern the King nor Queen."

This seems to me to suggest a circumstantial answer to tony t's query of yesterday: "Was "10,000 to one" an expression in general use at the time” in the affirmative. We say ‘a million to one’ in the same way, and might say there were a million boats on parade.

T, Foreman  •  Link

"she is committed to old Mr. Young, of the Wardrobe's, tuition [=guardianship].”

L&M note: “She was kinswoman of Young ….”

Leslie Katz  •  Link

"demands 40l. per annum joynter"

"Joynter" should actually be "jointure". What was being demanded was that, before marriage, the intended husband should make himself and his intended wife joint owners of some piece of land which could bring in forty pounds a year. The fact that the ownership would be "joint" would mean that, on the death of one of the spouses, the other spouse would automatically become the sole owner of the land. Obviously, the demand was being made on the proposed wife's behalf because it was expected that the proposed husband would die before her and that, in that event, she'd be able to obtain the forty pounds annually in her widowhood.

T, Foreman  •  Link

"Brampton is now perfectly granted him by the King - I mean the reversion of it - after the Queen's death; and, in the meantime, he buys it of Sir Peter Ball his present right.”

L&M note: “The grant of the reversion of the manor of Brampton was completed by December and the patent issued on the following 3 February…. Sandwich now bought from the Queen Mother’s trustees the right to enjoy the revenues immediately. Ball was her Attorney-General.”

T, Foreman  •  Link

(I sure thank L&M for clarifying these legalisms!!)

JWB  •  Link

"...the Presbyters would be glad enough of it; but we do not think religion will so soon cause another war."
I think it was one of the Howe brothers who called the Am. Revolution "just another Presbyterian uprising".

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sir George is dead, long live Mr. Coventry...How quickly doth our Sam reattach these days.

Palmer continues to seem like a very nice guy, kind to the children at least some of whom his Missus has declared to the world are not his own.

Tom P's matrimonial endeavors...He must be a little irked to have brother Sam sitting in judgment considering Sam's rather reckless mating. Though in fairness Sam may be wisely refraining from commenting directly and just venting to us...And he's probably harped long and loud on Bess' aristocratic parentage, even if he avoids all contact, no need not to make use of it.

Unless of course at every family get-together poor Bess must suffer through listening to this...

"Well, brother Thomas just because I made an insanely foolish and headstrong match. And then was fool enough to go and marry the silly wench on top of it..."

"Aye, son." John Pepys chimes in. "Sam's managed to make the best of his folly in allowing himself to be seduced by that sister of Satan, God help him. But you, boy, lacking his brains and spirit, can't afford such a ruinous mistake."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Huzzah! Good old Povey (Povy) has arrived!

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn was there also...

His diary entry for today:

"I this day was spectator of the most magnificent Triumph that certainly ever floted on the Thames, considering the innumerable number of boates & Vessels, dressd and adornd with all imaginab[l]e Pomp: but, above all, the Thrones, Arches, Pageants & other representations, stately barges of the Lord Major, & Companies, with vari[o]us Inventions, musique, & Peales of Ordnance from both the vessels & shore, going to meet & Conduct the new Queene from Hampton Court to White-hall, at the first time of her Coming to Towne, [far] exceeding in my opinion, all the Venetian Bucentoro

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Jolly old office politics, he whom doth controll the purse strings doth get the bacon. "...Mr. Coventry and I did walk together a great while in the Garden, where he did tell me his mind about Sir G. Carteret

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

So whats new "...I offered eight shillings for a boat to attend me this afternoon, and they would not, it being the day of the ..."

Supply and demand in full effect.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The Londen diner?

Banqueting hall Indigo Jones

JWB  •  Link

"So whats new?"
Just a couple of days ago Sam was boasting that they do all come to him, Clerk of the Acts of the Navy Board, and here he can't get a walla-walla for love nor money.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

for those that want hind sight"...A Proviso tendered, for taking away all Fees, Salaries, and Rewards, from the Treasurer of the Navy, and Officers of Exchequer, for Monies paid by Anticipation, was twice read...."

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 7 December 1666', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), p. 659. URL: Date accessed: 24 August 2005.

Larry Bunce  •  Link

Pagents of the King and Queen among the crowd who couldn't see the real events:
And we think giant-screen TV monitors at mass public events are new!

Mary  •  Link


Certainly "joynter" means "jointure"but you can't say that "it should be jointure." Spelling has not been normalized at this date and Sam is writing the word in a way that represents his own, current pronunciation.

Mary  •  Link

Milady Castlemaine.

A fine example of her behaviour towards Charles, Katherine and her own husband; making sure that everyone, King & Queen included, get a good look at both her and her latest, bastard, child on a very public stage.

Peter  •  Link

Mary, the other thing that struck me was Lady C leaping to the rescue when the scaffold collapsed. A genuine and spontaneous act?.... or the actions of someone who knows how to get all the right publicity?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Lady C and publicity
Presumably Sam was not the only red-blooded male feasting his eyes on this object of male fancy and fantasy, so maybe she did this knowing she "would get a good press", but maybe it was spontaneous. Were there other contemporary accounts? Or just Sam's?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and two pageants,one of a King and another of a Queen"
Surely, someone must have captured all this Pomp and Circumstance on camera!
also Sir John Evelyn must have looked down on our man Sam;"what?! can't get a boat?!"

J A Gioia  •  Link

it is fair to say that sam here gives us a glimpse of the whole spectrum of english society, from the royals down to the concerns of destitue seamen, with particular attention paid to the calculations of the middle classes and social gymnastics of the toffs.

his discription of the castlemaines' behavior is acute and fascinating. the lady strikes me as a decent, down-to-earth sort. i doubt she would race down a couple flights of stairs for the welfare of some urchin in order to impress a lot of backstabbers.

Tom Burns  •  Link

I offered eight shillings for a boat to attend me this afternoon, and they would not...

A princely sum indeed for the hire of a mere conveyance! Transportation must have indeed been in short supply this day.

Tom Burns  •  Link

Lady Castlemaine

I can see Sam positively drooling as he stands amongst the throng! Ah, the allure of the bad girl to the righteous!

gerry  •  Link

The eight shillings that Sam offers for a boat is obviously an inflated amount. But I think this is the first time in the diary that any figure has been quoted regarding the cost of his hired transport of varying sorts.

Glyn  •  Link


According to this site:

the standard rate for a single journey was 3 pennies (rowed by 1 man) or 6 pennies (rowed by 2 men).

So Pepys was offering the equivalent of the fee for 16 or even 32 journeys and was still turned down.

Should we presume that this was the queen's first arrival in London, after stopping at Hampton Court Palace, hence all the ceremony? If so, then it would have been the first opportunity for ordinary people to see her.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I remember reading that the Empress Josephine, Napy's sweet first wife, in Italy when Napoleon went to be duly crowned with the Iron Crown of the Lombards, won great affection from the Italians by running to help an old man who'd been knocked down by the milling crowd. Napoleon was very conscious of the effect of his wife's kind-heartedness noting that "she wins me hearts". However she was generally regarded as spontaneously kind and good natured...Hard to say as to milady C. But lets be kind and say it was geniune

Mary  •  Link

Castlemaine decent and down-to-earth?

Down and dirty, perhaps. It's hardly decent to parade yourself and your latest bastard in full view of the crowd and in the face of your own husband, your lover and your lover's brand-new wife. Yes, people in general knew what the situation was vis-a-vis Charles, but this attempt to cause Katherine to lose face at her point of entry to London shows Castlemaine employing bully-boy tactics..... and Charles was to show himself to be eminently bully-able time and again.

Jesse  •  Link

"she of all the great ladies only"

Pepys (that influenced by rose colored glasses?) seems to thinks she's sincere "methought was so noble". Also, I'm guessing decency may be trumped when 'your latest bastard' can claim direct royal lineage.

T, Foreman  •  Link

Pageant a-float of "a Queen, with her Maydes of Honour sitting at her feet very prettily" lives on in parades, e.g. in Pasadena, California, each New Year's Day at the Rose Parade of the Tournament of Roses
Although one web definition of "float" (courtesy of Google) is "an elaborate display mounted on a platform carried by a truck (or pulled by a truck) in a procession or parade," floats in the Rose Parade are constructed to hide their source of locomotion, as to appear indeed to 'float' on a river (of asphalt, in this case). Other examples from a professional design company: The same effect is achieved by the Jersey Battle of Flowers Moonlight Parade Floats: (What is it with the Wars of the Roses theme?! The original is notable for the heavy toll it took among the nobility; but these floral displays....?)
There are other parades that either do or don't create the illusion; but none, I am sure can compete with this day's parade of "barges and boats" on the Thames.

Linda F  •  Link

re: Lady Castlemaine: Had she stood alone in a prominent spot with her child, I might agree that she was flaunting her status indecently. But legally she was Palmer's wife, and he was present with her and both played with what was legally (even if everyone knew better) her child by him. So she might have flaunted her status hatefully, but not really indecently (unless the discourse with the unnamed cavalier whose hat she donned rose to obvious flirtation, and SP didn't seem to think so). Palmer's being there with her saved face for him and served them both. It seems a bit naive of Sam to wonder why they paid so little attention to each other after an initial greeting. A glimpse into his own relationship with Elisabeth -- maybe they talked and conversed a great deal more than is obvious from the diary entries -- or else SP's was stunned that any man could forego talking as much as possible with Lady C. Whatever Lady C's motives, her husband's being there gave all a veil of decency. Then and now, social dealings are full of conventions observed, whatever the reality. As for Lady C. (and only Lady C.) rushing to the aid of a child, she could have had any number of motives at the same time: she certainly knew how to present herself to advantage to win admirers, but also would have been able to demand any help needed for persons hurt. And who doubts that she would have found delicious the opportunity to upstage the Queen by being the focus of attention? If she had stayed away, the talk would have been that she dared not show herself, and that just doesn't sound like what we know of her so far.

Linda F  •  Link

Sorry: in above obviously meant "SP was stunned" and not "SP's".

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Stunned by Lady Castlemaine

Linda, I don't think Sam was stunned. He was merely commenting on how cold the relationship was between the Lady and Lord -- so cold that they had even given up trying to be civil to each other in public.

As for Sam and milady:
"where I glutted myself with looking on her ... not weary with looking on her"
He's certainly smitten, is he not?

tc  •  Link

10,000 barges and boats

Imagine the clashing of oars! Remember, we're not firing up the old outboard here- every boat and barge is being pulled (perhaps some towed?) by oars plied by (sweating) boatmen, seamen, and probably anybody else who knew how to work an oar. And you can bet it was a plum position to man an oar on the vessel of some VIP!

Even if the fleet drifted with the current, they had to keep the oars out to keep the boats 'n' barges pointed in the right direction; and with so many boats, there must have been some choice profanity flying as men at the rudders tried to keep their boats from coming a-foul of another, what with all the oars sticking out to make the boats even wider. The river is not all that wide along the parade route- how many boats, with oars, will fit across the width of the river before we get crossed sculls?

Good thing the weather seemed to be fair! Throw in a stiff crosswind...

And all you boat lovers out there, imagine the range and variety of boats! What do you suppose an "antique-shaped open vessel", as Evelyn describes, would be like?

tc  •  Link

More boats and barges

Reading more carefully the Evelyn entry (thank you Dirk) we see "...I was in our new-built vessell, sailing amongst them."

Now, do you suppose some of the fleet were actually sailing, i.e., propelled by the wind, or is Evelyn using the term "sailing" to mean simply being afloat?

As if the traffic wouldn't be tough enough using only oars, imagine tacking or jibing in the narrow confines of the river with all the other boats... a nice gentle breeze offering a close or broad reach (wind over the side aft of the beam) to a run (wind up the bum) might make it possible...but as anyone who was at Cowes for the America's Cup Jubilee a couple of years back knows, it isn't always easy negotiating heavy traffic under sail...~~_/)_/)~(\_(\_~~


Linda F  •  Link

re: stunned
Thanks; yes, smitten, and I thought to such a degree that, even given Lady C's relationship with the King, it is incredible to Sam (i.e., he is stunned by the fact) that her husband observed *only* the civilities. I think that to SP, Lady C's extraordinary allure is its own excuse and that, in sympathy with her, he did not understand how her husband would have nothing very much to say to her, whatever else was going on. Which I thought naive, but more likely I am naive in reading it that way, and certainly see your point.

Bradford  •  Link

How close was Pepys to Lady Castlemaine? How keen were his eyes? Or did he have something to abet his speculation?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

I meant to say on canvas, obviously

A.Hamilton  •  Link

Thank you, Sam, for the vivid description of the flotilla and the vignette regarding the Palmers, with Lady C. 's display of "noble" concern,("But she of all the great ladies only run down among the common rabble to see what hurt was done, and did take care of a child that received some little hurt, which methought was so noble" -- am I alone in beig reminded of Princess Diana ?) all sandwiched (ha!) between official and family business.

Leslie Katz  •  Link

"joynter" means "jointure" but you can't say that "it should be jointure."

I meant “should be” in the sense that “jointure” is the word lawyers were using to describe the legal concept at the time.

I notice that, early in the seventeenth century, Coke was using the word “joynture” in his commentary on Littleton: see, for example, at 36b.

However, by Pepys’s time, Blackstone was using instead the word “jointure”: see, for example, II Commentaries, p 137.

David A. Smith  •  Link

A day full of everything!

What a wonderful mix of the sacred and profane, mighty and bawdy, political and personal. I'm going to list several sparkling lines and insights from a very, very eventful day and great diary entry.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"so much the command of the money, which must be removed"
Building on T. Foreman's point, if you want to make a government do your bidding, control the money.
"When you've got them by the wallets, their hearts and minds will follow." -- with apologies to John Wayne

David A. Smith  •  Link

"where I glutted myself with looking on her"
Writer and sybarite combine in this phrase. Few others would be so confident in both self and language to say it that way.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"I went away, not weary with looking on her"
O Sam, imagine if you had had the World Wide Web to surf, and could Google "Lady Castlemaine" Images?

David A. Smith  •  Link

"to purchase more land and to borrow money to pay for it"
Unremarked so far in the comment thread is this statement, which seems so commonplace to us today, but is revolutionary for its time. This is land speculation, fueled by the emergence of a capital marketplace.
The history of finance is cloudy, but it seems that most of the important conceptual breakthroughs came in the latter half of the 17th century, between London and Amsterdam (where the investment syndicate and stock market were essentially born of the Dutch East India Company).
Market emergence is also accompanied by sudden wealth creation as a byproduct of leverage (gearing to you British), as in Sam's next parenthetical:
"which he is willing to do, *because such a bargain* as that of Mr. Buggins's, of Stukely, *will not be every day to be had*”

David A. Smith  •  Link

"He ... do much cry against ... but I think will not meddle in himself"
Young but cynical, our Sam -- here he observes that though his protector, Montagu, complains privately about the Treasury, he does nothing, which in some sense invalidates the grounds for complaint. Methinks I hear the younger man's tone of dismissal at his lord so brave in private and timid in public.

language hat  •  Link

land speculation

A relevant quote from an excellent book I'm reading, Alan Taylor's American Colonies:

"Ultimately, most colonial fortunes depended upon the increased real estate value produced by expansion and farm-building on the frontier. Once granted thousands of acres of forest, a colonial land speculator stood to enhance his fortune by retailing farm-sized lots of one hundred to two hundred acres to settlers for clearing and cultivation."

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

"Ultimately, most colonial fortunes depended upon the increased real estate value produced by expansion and farm-building on the frontier. Once granted thousands of acres of forest, a colonial land speculator stood to enhance his fortune by retailing farm-sized lots of one hundred to two hundred acres to settlers for clearing and cultivation."

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Same thing happened in Australia - the colonial government could not control the squatters who simply moved north with cattle, equipment and labourers and carved up huge chunks of good grazing land in what became Queensland in the area known now as the Darling Downs. Eventually it all became regulated, but those initial land-grabbers became the wealthy "squattocracy" of Queensland, building large houses in Brisbane (some of which survive) for when they came in from the bush and their stations (a station is Australian for the American ranch and the English estate).

Jeannine  •  Link

My favorite Lady Castlemaine comment is the one that appears today! Not because she acted in a manner that could have appeared "nice" by jumping to aid a child, but simply because of all of the works that I've read that cite her character this day is always quoted and highlighted. Sadly it seems to be the only thing she ever did in her life that could have even appeared to be "nice". It's rather pathetically sad to think that in someone's entire lifetime that only one act of decency (which may have been staged for all we'll ever know) is attributed to them as a person. Sort of like saying, "she always kicked the dog on the way out the door, but one time she missed, and didn't come back and try again." This is the day of her blessed goodness, dramatically staged for all to see.

Pedro  •  Link

More on the Thames.

In addition to the descriptions of Pepys and Evelyn, Davidson in her biography of Catherine says-

"On the day, which was of summer weather, and radiantly fine, Catherine left Hampton Court, and came down to the waterside, where lay awaiting her was the royal barge. She got in, and Charles after her, followed by the Duke of York and the Princes Edward and Rupert, and the Countess of Suffolk as lady-in-waiting. When they had pushed off, another barge filled with Catherine's ladies and officers of the household. The Countesses Penalva and Ponteval did not add their farthingales to the show. They were both unwell and unable to accompany Catherine.

The shores of the river were lined with soldiery, and mobs of eager people pressed one against the other to see the sight. When they came within eight miles of London they had to alight from their barges, and re-embark in others, so much larger that they could not come further up the river. This inconvenient change of barge might have been considered sufficient. The second barge had glass windows and a crimson and gold canopy. But at Putney Bridge there was another disembarkation, and at last the Royalties were in the state barge prepared for the entry. Four and twenty watermen rowed her. They were in red head to foot. On the barges sides and bow were the royal arms, and the canopy of gold flashed back the sunshine to the gilding within and without. The canopy had plumes and feathers at the corners and the top. In Stoop's plates Catherine is shown sitting beneath it, and delightfully watching the procession of boats. She is pictured as very slight, very girlish, almost infantile, and very sweet. She looks animated and happy. She has forgotten for a while her tears.

Shouts and acclamations echoed the guns and music. The people were frenzied in their joy. It must have been hard for the rowers of the Queen's barge to make their way through the crowds that floated about them, but at six in the evening they reached Whitehall bridge and the pier that had been built to receive them, near the Palace, and, amid the royal salute from all the cannon across the river the King and Queen got out of their barge, and were met by the Queen Mother and all the whole Court and nobility in their richest dresses."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Was Sandwich contemplating land speculation?

Consider: he judged (1) it was available at a good price and (2) most telling, it was most likely a parcel of land adjoining Huntingdon, Cambs. on the south; so he was more likely considering extending his holdings around Brampton.

Nonetheless, L&M say, c. 1665 John Buggins sold the manor of Stukely, Hunts. to Anne Bigge. No purchase of any of his land by Sandwich has been traced.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"My Lord...told is a very good rule indeed that the Treasurer in no office ought to be of the Commission."

Thomas Povey (Treasurer to the Duke of York) became Treasurer to the Commission for Tangier and was in fact made a member of the Commission too; in March 1665 he resigned the Tangier treasurership to Pepys, also a member.
(L&M note)

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