Monday 31 July 1665

Up, and very betimes by six o’clock at Deptford, and there find Sir G. Carteret, and my Lady ready to go: I being in my new coloured silk suit, and coat trimmed with gold buttons and gold broad lace round my hands, very rich and fine. By water to the Ferry, where, when we come, no coach there; and tide of ebb so far spent as the horse-boat could not get off on the other side the river to bring away the coach. So we were fain to stay there in the unlucky Isle of Doggs, in a chill place, the morning cool, and wind fresh, above two if not three hours to our great discontent. Yet being upon a pleasant errand, and seeing that it could not be helped, we did bear it very patiently; and it was worth my observing, I thought, as ever any thing, to see how upon these two scores, Sir G. Carteret, the most passionate man in the world, and that was in greatest haste to be gone, did bear with it, and very pleasant all the while, at least not troubled much so as to fret and storm at it. Anon the coach comes: in the mean time there coming a News thither with his horse to go over, that told us he did come from Islington this morning; and that Proctor the vintner of the Miter in Wood-street, and his son, are dead this morning there, of the plague; he having laid out abundance of money there, and was the greatest vintner for some time in London for great entertainments. We, fearing the canonicall hour would be past before we got thither, did with a great deal of unwillingness send away the license and wedding ring. So that when we come, though we drove hard with six horses, yet we found them gone from home; and going towards the church, met them coming from church, which troubled us. But, however, that trouble was soon over; hearing it was well done: they being both in their old cloaths; my Lord Crew giving her, there being three coach fulls of them. The young lady mighty sad, which troubled me; but yet I think it was only her gravity in a little greater degree than usual. All saluted her, but I did not till my Lady Sandwich did ask me whether I had saluted her or no. So to dinner, and very merry we were; but yet in such a sober way as never almost any wedding was in so great families: but it was much better. After dinner company divided, some to cards, others to talk. My Lady Sandwich and I up to settle accounts, and pay her some money. And mighty kind she is to me, and would fain have had me gone down for company with her to Hinchingbroke; but for my life I cannot. At night to supper, and so to talk; and which, methought, was the most extraordinary thing, all of us to prayers as usual, and the young bride and bridegroom too and so after prayers, soberly to bed; only I got into the bridegroom’s chamber while he undressed himself, and there was very merry, till he was called to the bride’s chamber, and into bed they went. I kissed the bride in bed, and so the curtaines drawne with the greatest gravity that could be, and so good night. But the modesty and gravity of this business was so decent, that it was to me indeed ten times more delightfull than if it had been twenty times more merry and joviall. Whereas I feared I must have sat up all night, we did here all get good beds, and I lay in the same I did before with Mr. Brisband, who is a good scholler and sober man; and we lay in bed, getting him to give me an account of home, which is the most delightfull talke a man can have of any traveller: and so to sleep. My eyes much troubled already with the change of my drink. Thus I ended this month with the greatest joy that ever I did any in my life, because I have spent the greatest part of it with abundance of joy, and honour, and pleasant journeys, and brave entertainments, and without cost of money; and at last live to see the business ended with great content on all sides. This evening with Mr. Brisband, speaking of enchantments and spells; I telling him some of my charms; he told me this of his owne knowledge, at Bourdeaux, in France. The words these:

Voyci un Corps mort, Royde come un Baston, Froid comme Marbre, Leger come un esprit, Levons to au nom de Jesus Christ.

He saw four little girles, very young ones, all kneeling, each of them, upon one knee; and one begun the first line, whispering in the eare of the next, and the second to the third, and the third to the fourth, and she to the first. Then the first begun the second line, and so round quite through, and, putting each one finger only to a boy that lay flat upon his back on the ground, as if he was dead; at the end of the words, they did with their four fingers raise this boy as high as they could reach, and he [Mr. Brisband] being there, and wondering at it, as also being afeard to see it, for they would have had him to have bore a part in saying the words, in the roome of one of the little girles that was so young that they could hardly make her learn to repeat the words, did, for feare there might be some sleight used in it by the boy, or that the boy might be light, call the cook of the house, a very lusty fellow, as Sir G. Carteret’s cook, who is very big, and they did raise him in just the same manner. This is one of the strangest things I ever heard, but he tells it me of his owne knowledge, and I do heartily believe it to be true. I enquired of him whether they were Protestant or Catholique girles; and he told me they were Protestant, which made it the more strange to me. Thus we end this month, as I said, after the greatest glut of content that ever I had; only under some difficulty because of the plague, which grows mightily upon us, the last week being about 1700 or 1800 of the plague. My Lord Sandwich at sea with a fleet of about 100 sail, to the Northward, expecting De Ruyter, or the Dutch East India fleet. My Lord Hinchingbroke coming over from France, and will meet his sister at Scott’s-hall. Myself having obliged both these families in this business very much; as both my Lady, and Sir G. Carteret and his Lady do confess exceedingly, and the latter do also now call me cozen, which I am glad of. So God preserve us all friends long, and continue health among us.

39 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"there coming a citizen thither with his horse to go over" transcribe L&M.

"Voyci un Corps mort,
Roy comme un Baston,
Froid comme Marbre,
Leger comme un esprit,
Levons te au nom de Jesus Christ."

Behold, a dead body,
Still as a stone,
Cold as marble,
Light as a spirit,
We lift you in the name of Jesus Christ.

deepfatfriar   Link to this

". . .putting each one finger only to a boy that lay flat upon his back on the ground, as if he was dead; at the end of the words, they did with their four fingers raise this boy as high as they could reach..." I saw the exact thing done (without the incantation--I forget the exact method of "inducing" the lightness)when a child. It was for a week or so a very popular trick in the schoolyard around 1960, until we moved on to other mysteries. I had not thought of it since until reading this. I had no idea it was such an old trick.

JKM   Link to this

Hello, I am de-lurking out of sheer astonishment. I had no idea something I once did with some other girls at a sleepover dated back to the Renaissance. Our debased version of the incantation was "light as a feather and stiff as a board." I think that if the "corpse" remains stiff then the weight distributed among eight points might not be too difficult to lift. Under conditions of low light and emotional intensity.
I wonder what "charms" Pepys knew?

jeannine   Link to this

"I had no idea something I once did with some other girls at a sleepover dated back to the Renaissance"

I played the same game too. And speaking of sleepover games.....I can't wait to see Sam's entry when he finds himself sitting at the table with Elizabeth and the maids asking his Ouiji Board "will Harman marry Pall?" and getting an answer that says, "not likely". Then he'll pull out his Magic 8 Ball and ask if Balty will ever find a job of his own, he'll give it a shake and it will say "NO WAY!"

Martin   Link to this

Pepys, the dramatist, is at his best today. The nuptial bed scene, with Sam first having some ribald exchanges with the groom and then kissing the bride in bed before drawing the curtains and tiptoeing out, is fabulous, and should find its way into a movie. And yet, "the modesty and gravity of this business was so decent, that it was to me indeed ten times more delightfull than if it had been twenty times more merry and joviall" — he recognizes there's something sublime about the whole affair.

CGS   Link to this

[be] witching hour for lawfull wedded bliss.


1. Prescribed by, in conformity with, or having reference to ecclesiastical edict or canon law.
b. canonical hours: (a) stated times of the day appointed by the canons for prayer and devotion; (b) the hours (now from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) within which marriage can be legally performed in a parish church in England; (c) transf.
1665 PEPYS Diary (1879) III. 207 We, fearing the canonicall hour would be past before we got thither, did with a great deal of unwillingness send away the license and wedding ring

c. canonical dress, etc.; the articles of dress worn by clergy according to canon.
1666 PEPYS Diary 27 Sept.,

d. canonical obedience: the obedience to be rendered by inferior clergy to the bishop or other ecclesiastical superior, according to the canons.

Maurie Beck   Link to this

I too played that game as a wee child. I even played it at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

It's quite amazing how Sam carries on amidst the plague.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Poor Bess. As I suspected, no invite. While meanwhile...

"Though Bess got no invitation through the mails.
Sam's presence is requested this day,
It's formal, a silk suit, gold buttons and lace.
No plague now could take the joy out of his face.
Because he's invited to step out this day
With silk suit, gold buttons, and lace.

Yes, Sam's...Puttin' on his silk suit...Polishin' up his gold buttons, brushin' up his lace.
He's...Duding up his waist bands,
Puttin' on the periwig,
Polishin' up those nails,
Your Sam's steppin' out, dear Bess,
To breathe an atmosphere
That simply reeks with class;
And he trusts that you'll excuse his dust
As that six horse carriage goes past,
For he'll be there,
Breathin' on his gold buttons,
Mussin' up the new suit,
Dancin' in his lace."

Wonder if his line with Bess is the ole... "What falderal, all this extra work keeping me from you." Sigh. "But you know Carteret is one of my bosses and I have to keep the bosses happy. You know how much I loathe all this nonsensical hobnobbing with the wealthy and powerful."

Glyn   Link to this

My own diary entry for today took just six words - am I more efficient than him? (Since you really, really want to know it was: "V&A live. London Zoo")

Seriously, how long would it have taken him to have written this entry by candlelight at midnight in shorthand at the end of a long and busy day. And it seems to me that his diary entries are tending to get ever longer.

Glyn   Link to this

An important diary entry.

"All saluted her, but I did not till my Lady Sandwich did ask me whether I had saluted her or no."

What does salute mean in this context... kiss?

"and we lay in bed, getting him to give me an account of home, which is the most delightfull talke a man can have of any traveller: and so to sleep"

Well said Sam, what better things can you hear from a foreign visitor (in this case a Scot) but stories about his home,

Sorry, but I still don't understand how 4 girls can lift a sleeping boy. Can someone please explain?

Mary   Link to this

the modesty and gravity of the business..."

Well, the bride was looking "mighty sad."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I think, Glyn, in this context "the salute" though physically a kiss to formally greet the new bride, is quite important. Lady Sandwich was offering Sam firm proof that he is now a fully accepted member of the family-no longer a servant, a true cousin. Sam, wisely deferrential, hung back until such a proof was made. His noting that the Carterets' now consider him a "cozen" is a part of that rise to full family member.

All the effort he's put in here and over the years has finally paid off. He has arrived, at last. How sweet that the seal should come from his dear Lady Jemina. And what a sad thing that he never thought to try and have Bess included to see him in his long-awaited triumph.

Ghalle   Link to this

I am new to this diary, about 5 weeks, this entry was absolutely wonderful. I am hooked.

Bradford   Link to this

How many married visitors to the Diary, as chronicled in Phil's beautifully charted "Site statistics," would you imagine were accompanied to their [italicized] nuptial beds in this fashion?

"I got into the bridegroom’s chamber while he undressed himself, and there was very merry, till he was called to the bride’s chamber, and into bed they went. I kissed the bride in bed, and so the curtaines drawne with the greatest gravity that could be, and so good night."

---asking out of purely disinterested sociological curiosity, mind.

dirk   Link to this

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library

Henry Moore to Sandwich

Written from: Hinchingbroke
Date: 31 July 1665

Has conferred with "Mr Attorney Montagu" at Faxton, who lodged there on his journey to Sir John Aubrey in Wales, whither he has resolved to proceed because he can come thence "to the meeting at Salisbury..." more safely, considering that the roads remote from London are more free from the Plague, than others nearer." Enters at great length, into particulars of dowry, jointure, and settlements, in relation to a proposed marriage of Lord Hinchinbroke [Lord Hinchinbroke, afterwards Second Earl of Sandwich, married Anne Boyle, daughter of Richard, Earl of Burlington. In this letter the lady's name is not mentioned.] (about which, as it seems, the meeting at Salisbury "was to be held"), and enumerates certain points as to which "Mr Attorney" desires his Lordship's instructions. ...

JWB   Link to this

Cannonical hours

CGS gives us 8-3, but would they have chosen times when both hands of the clock rising, or is this a pecular notion around these parts?

language hat   Link to this

"Levons te au nom de Jesus Christ.
We lift you in the name of Jesus Christ."

I don't believe this reading; it's lousy French. Surely it would have been "Levons-le" -- "Let us lift him." (The letter l is easily confused with t.)

jeannine   Link to this

Culture differences ??

How lovely that Sam can appreciate the 'solemn' wedding. "But the modesty and gravity of this business was so decent, that it was to me indeed ten times more delightfull than if it had been twenty times more merry and joviall." Perhaps witnessing a couple who take marriage vows seriously ??? or the difference in an upper class 'event'???

I am sure that in his days Sam has attended many different types of weddings, including perhaps some on the bawdy side of the tracks. His comments today are intriguing to me.

Also, of note --has anyone caught his overall comments about the "Ladies" --Lady Sandwich and Lady Carteret are perhaps 2 of the few women that Sam continuously writes of as gracious, kind and overall just plain classy.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"gravity of this business"
Maybe a relic from Catholic times;after all Catholics still consider marriage to be a sacrament.

GrahamT   Link to this

Re: Roy/Royde.
Wheatley looks more accurate than L&M in one respect: raide (royde) means stiff, roi (roy) means king. Baston is odd too. Old spelling of bâton = stick/wand not stone (pierre).
Royde come un Baston = Raide comme un bâton = Stiff as a stick?
Did Pepys use shorthand for French or clear text? If the latter, then t and l could be confused, as LH suggests, but why would he use clear French to describe his peccadillos, which his French speaking wife could easily read?

DiPhi   Link to this

"So God preserve us all friends long, and continue health among us."

What a wonderful and elegant close to one of his very best entries.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Culture differences ??

Am I the only one surprised by the speed of the marriage process?

SP proposed the idea of this marriage to Carteret on June 24th.; financial and other arrangements concluded by June 28th.; the couple meet first on July 15th., "but nothing to the lady from him at all. To supper, and after supper to talk again, he yet taking no notice of the lady. My Lord would have had me have consented to leaving the young people together to-night, to begin their amours, his staying being but to be little. But I advised against it, lest the lady might be too much surprised. So they led him up to his chamber, where I staid a little, to know how he liked the lady, which he told me he did mightily; but, Lord! in the dullest insipid manner that ever lover did." ( ); part on the 17th.; meet again on the 24th.; are 'well acquainted' by the 28th., and married today, the 31st.

I realize that the families know of each other, and that this is no modern 'love match,' (and that marriages 'of state' could take place by proxy without the parties even setting eyes on each other) but by way of comparison the time taken for the couple to get to know each other over the course of fifteen days, seems less than that required by SP in the diary period for sufficient familiarity to develop between two men for them to agree to dine at each other's houses.

Moira   Link to this

Here in Co. Cork Ireland the expression "to salute" a person is still used meaning to greet by a lifting of the hand in a quick flick ---less than a wave more than gesture. Its usually an acknowledgement of a stranger or an aquaintance and is mostly done in country areas or villages now. A person will comment on someone ignoring them by saying "he didnt even salute me" .It is also often done between drivers passing each other on a country road

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Re: Roy/Royde. Did Pepys use shorthand for French or clear text?

My copy of L&M, vi., p. 177. (1972 ed.) reads:
"Royde comme un Baston"

"The passages are all written in shorthand: and to obscure the meaning still further, many words are complicated by inserting between syllables the shorthand symbols for 'l, r, m, or n. ... they appear in this text with with older French spellings, or with Spanish forms that are now non standard ..."
L&M vol. i, Introduction, p. lxi.

CGS   Link to this

stiff stick, the start of rhyming slang?

CGS   Link to this

What does salute mean in this context… kiss?

OED see 2:not 3?


[a. F. salut masc., of twofold origin: (1) = Sp. saludo, It. saluto, vbl. n. f. Common Rom. (L.) sal{umac}t{amac}re to SALUTE; (2) originally fem., = Sp. salud, Pg. saude, It. salute:{em}L. sal{umac}t-em (nom. sal{umac}s) health, safety, salvation.]

I. An act of saluting.

1. An utterance, gesture, or action of any kind by which one person salutes another; a salutation. Now chiefly used with reference to other than verbal modes of saluting: cf. the following senses.

2. A kiss, by way of salutation. (Cf. SALUTE v. 2e.)
1590 GREENE Never too late (1600) 93 To her hee goes, and after his wonted salute sat downe by her.

1684 EARL OF ROSCOMMON Ess. Transl. Verse 314 There, cold salutes, But here, a Lovers kiss.

3. Mil. and Naut. a. A discharge of cannon or small arms, display of flags, a dipping of sails, a cheering of men, manning the yards, etc., as a mark of respect, or as military, naval, or official honour, for a person, nation, event, etc.
A salute is said to be of as many guns as there are volleys fired.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

JKM asks "I wonder what 'charms' Pepys knew?"

Good question! I wonder whether he was acquainted with the LEMEGETON, CLAVICULA SALOMONIS, or THE LESSER KEY OF SOLOMON, Detailing the ceremonial art of commanding spirits both good and evil (1641?)

The Wikipedia article about it:

jean-paul   Link to this

First, welcome Ghalle—and enjoy the catching-up!. Second, i am French and i testify to the exactitude of "royde comme un baston", it is still widely used today in its modernised form "raide comme un bâton" (the circomflex accent is a remnant of the letter "s", as in hôpital, rôti, maître, a.s.o.).
Finally, some light on the levitation trick (Pepys is even quoted!) at
And what a great entry!

tyndale   Link to this

Today's Intelligencer:

Plymouth, July 25: The Elizabeth has caught six Dutch ships in the channel.
Middlesex and City and Liberties of Westminster, July 25: Charitable donations to the sufferers in London should be given to four churchwardens listed in order to ensure they end up being applied correctly.
Cadiz, July 6: The Dutch are trying to stir up the Moors agains the English at Tangier, but it's not working; the mole raised at Tangier will frustrate Dutch incursions; description of the mole and its fortress.
Warshaw, July 17: Lubomirski and the Confederates have joined up with the King's army; Bialenoienkow has defeated several Muscovite generals.
London, July 28: The Dutch have supposedly devised two councils of war "to sit abord the Fleet" but in fact "the Dominus fac Totum is De Wit, the rest serving onely to countenance the design;" the Fleet officers are offended by all this; the fleet lies in the Texel, but does not have enough ships to put out; De Ruyter confirmed to be at Bergen in Norway
The Dutch in the East have been defeated by a Chinese pirate.
Numbers from the latest plague bill.
Vienna, July 18: Turkish ambassador thinks he is not getting enough respect; Ambassador from Munster complaining of the injuries he has received from the Netherlands; expecting news of a big battle in Poland
Legorn, July 18: Sir John Einth, the British resident in Tuscany, is making a good impression; ; description of his reception by the Grand Duke of Tuscany; the Dutch in Legorn celebrated when they heard a rumor that the Dutch fleet was victorious, but when more accurate news arrived that they had been defeated they disappeared and the English were celebrating publicly.
Flushing, Aug 4 [presumably Gregorian calendar]: Holland has usurped on the privileges of this province by enlisting men for the navy; alarms of dangers out of Germany; "This state is dryed up, and the Merchant, languishing for want of Trade"
Ostend, August 5: The states of Holland are in such bad shape that it's hard to see how they can continue the war "considering the general defection, misery; and complaint of the People, which resort hither of late in great numbers, and we find them better informed in the true state as the difference then stands with the convenience of their Governors."
Antwerp, August 4: The Dutch fleet will sail out when they can, but "wise men are of opinion they will not venture to sea yet this fortnight;" the naval commanders look on De Witt "as a kind of Amphibion,"
Final article: JPs of County Surrey have direted the closure of the wells and other plague measures

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Pedro   Link to this

“De Ruyter confirmed to be at Bergen in Norway”

De Ruyter had reached the Norwegian coast and sailed towards Jutland after cleaning his ships in case he met with the enemy.

Sandwich was hovering about Dogger Bank, and thinking of attacking De Ruyter if he took refuge in the neutral port of Bergen. He also hoped to take rich cargo of the returning East India fleet and had obtained permission from the Danes upon promise of giving them half the booty. When he heard that De Ruyter had been seen near Bergan on the 10/20th July he made for it with his whole fleet; but De Ruyter had just escaped to the south.

De Ruyter decided to try to reach the Ems past Heligoland, and if this was possible to take refuge in the Elbe or the Weser. On 23rdJuly/2nd August he met a few English ships but Sandwich was on the coast of Norway and so he was able to make straight for Holland. In his Journal he put this down to the direct assistance of God, and he reached western Ems on the same day. The buoys and beacons had been removed to prevent English attack.

On the 28th July/6th August at 3 o’clock the fleet towing its prizes adorned with their English flags in sign of triumph, anchored in the roads of Delfzijl. The news spread like wildfire throughout the whole Republic.

No Admiral had ever been given such a reception and Lowestoft was forgotten. Everyone believed that their hero would save the country from danger.

One of the prizes he had taken contained a quantity of sugar and tobacco as well as 1600lbs of elephant trunks, 682 marcs of gold to the value of nearly £20,000 and a number of other goods.

(Summary from the Life of De Ruyter by Blok)

Pedro   Link to this

“The Dutch in the East have been defeated by a Chinese pirate.”

Strange how the Chinese are regarded as pirates. Boxer in his Dutch Seaborne Empire (1600-1800) says…

The Chinese impression of the Dutch in the 17th Century was naturally influenced by the piratical attacks of the Netherlands against the Fukienese junks trading with Manila, and by forcibly kidnapping of the Chinese to help populate Batavia after Coen’s capture of Jakarta.

tyndale   Link to this

I think this guy actually is a pirate, though. The Ming dynasty had trouble controlling their huge empire, and Chinese pirates fluorished through the 17th century.

It might be Zheng Jing, whom you can read about here:

language hat   Link to this

"Warshaw, July 17: Lubomirski and the Confederates have joined up with the King’s army; Bialenoienkow has defeated several Muscovite generals."

Brief summary of events in Eastern Europe: Ukraine had long been restive under the rule of Poland (or, to be precise, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which up to this point had been a major power); in 1654 the Ukrainian Cossack leader Bogdan Khmelnitsky, encouraged by Tsar Alexei, had declared independence, starting a long war between Poland (aided by the Turks) and Russia. Things had been going badly for the Russians on the battlefield since 1660, but the Polish King John Casimir (Polish: Jan Kazimierz Waza) was faced with a revolt of the nobility led by Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski, who will defeat the king's forces in August near Częstochowa (before being forced into exile in 1668). At the moment drawn-out peace negotiations are being carried on between Russia and Poland that will culminate in January 1667 in the Truce of Andrusovo, which gives Left Bank Ukraine (the eastern part) to Russia and Right Bank Ukraine to Poland. The disruption caused in Russia by the war, increasingly onerous taxation, and oppression of the peasants (who fled in massive numbers to the relative freedom of Ukrainian Cossack life) will lead in a few years to Stepan (Stenka) Razin's rebellion. Poland will continue to suffer war and rebellions and in the next century will be divided up between Russia, Prussia, and Austria.

I have no idea who "Bialenoienkow" might be.

CGS   Link to this

here be all them's that believe ye shall NOT steal?
freedom of the seas then dominion over all that crawl....

Australian Susan   Link to this

Reading the account of the girls levitating the boy took me back [**] years to when I was 10 and doing this by candlelight in a friend's cellar. Quite scary. And I too had no idea this was so old. We used to chant in a voice just above a whisper:(repeating round the group) "she looks pale, she is pale, she looks cold, she is cold, she looks dead, she is dead, raise her"

Weddings used to be rowdy affairs in medieval times and it was Puritan influences beginning in the 16th century which sobered things up. Sam was expecting a lot of boisterous play with garters and ribbons and so on, but no such luck. He did get to kiss (salute) the bride and then get another kiss in once she had been put to bed. And him in his red suit AND gold buttons AND gold lace. (and also no Bess.....)

"sad" means grave, not miserable.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Time of Marriage

You had to be married before 2.30. There's a whole plot line developed around this in Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd.

dirk   Link to this

JWB - cannonical hours - "would they have chosen times when both hands of the clock rising, or is this a pecular notion around these parts?"

I've never heard of this custom, but it probably wasn't in use in the 17th c. - for the simple reason that it was only in the mid 17th c. that clocks were fitted with a second (minutes) hand...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Hurry, Hewer. We've only seconds to..."


"Right, seventeenth century. We've less than a minute to spare!"

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

May I add, to the general admiration of this entry for its lively detail about the wedding day, my appreciation of Sam's writing on to give (as he often did) his monthly/quarterly summary of the affairs of his life and community. The change in focus from the minute to the overview is particularly effective here.

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