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SCENE I-An Apartment in the Palace of

Which makes it tedious: for in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
And tragical, my noble ford, it is;
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rehears'd, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.
The. What are they, that do play it?
Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens

The. More strange than true, I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers, and madmen, have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet,

Which never labor'd in their minds till now;
And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories
With this same play, against your nuptual.
The. And we will hear it.

Are of imagination all compact:

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,

It is not for you: I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to Extremely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,


To do you service,

And, as imagination bodies forth


The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

Lords, and Attendants.

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers
speak of.

Such tricks hath strong imagination;
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear?

Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.


The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth,-
Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love,
Accompany your hearts!

More than to us
Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed!
The. Come now; what masks, what dances shall
we have,

To wear away this long age of three hours,
Between our after-supper, and bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth!
What revels are in hand? Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Call Philostrate.


Here, mighty Theseus.

The. Say what abridgements have you for this evening?

What mask what music? How shall we beguile
The lazy time, if not with some delight?

Philost. There is a brief, how many sports are
Make choice of which your highness will see first.
Giving a paper.
The. [Reads.] The battle with the Centaurs

to be sung,

By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.
We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.

The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,

Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.
That is an old device; and it was play'd
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.

The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
That is some satire, keen, and critical,
Not sorting with a nuptual ceremony.

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe: rery tragical mirth.
ferry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord?!
Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten words

Which is as brief as I have known a play:
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long;
⚫Compacted, made. • Pastime. 6 Short account.

No, my noble lord,

I will hear that play;
For never anything can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.

Go, bring them in;-and take your places, ladies
Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd,
And duty in his service perishing.

The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such

Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind. The. The kinder we to give them thanks for nothing.

Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake:
And what poor duty can do,
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practised accent in their fears,
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome: Trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome;
And in the modesty of fearful duty

I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,
In least, speak most, to my capacity.

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But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. "This mar Pyramus, if you would know; "This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. "This man with lime and rough-cast, doth present "Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers sunder:

"And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are


"To whisper; at the which let no man wonder. "This man with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn, "Presenteth moon-shine: for, if you will know, "By moon-hine did these lovers think no scorn

"To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo. "This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, "The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, Did scare away, or rather did affright: And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall; "Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain: "Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall,

"And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain: "Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, "He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast; "And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade,

"His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, "Let lion, moonshine, wall, and lovers twain, "At large discourse, while here they do remain." [Ex. Prol., PYR., THISBE, Lion, and Moonshine. The. I wonder if the lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when" many asses do.

Wall. "In this same interlude, it doth be fall,
"That I, one Snout by name, present a wall:
"And such a wall, as I would have you think,
"That had in it a cranny'd hole, or chink,
"Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,
"Did whisper often very secretly.
"This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth

"That I am that same wall; the truth is so:
"And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
"Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper."
The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak

Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord.

The. Pyramus draws near the wall: silence!


Pyr. "Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb me

This." Tide life, tide death, I come without a
Wal!. "Thus have I, wall, my part discharged.
"And, being done, thus wall away doth go."
[Exeunt Wall, PYRAMUS, and THIS
The. Now is the mural down between the t

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are
wilful to hear without warning.

Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. The. The best in this kind are but shadows: ar the worst are no worse, if imagination amend ther Hip. It must be your imagination then, and n theirs.

at dreadi Eyes, do ·How ca nia nty do What st

The. If we imagine no worse of them, than the of themselves, they may pass for excellent met Here come two noble beasts in, a moon, and a lior Enter Lion and Moonshine.

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Lion. "You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts d
"The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps of



May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here 271,
"When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
"Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am
"A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam:

For if I should as lion come in strife
"Into this place, 'twere pity on my life."

The. A very gentle beast and of a good conscience, de
Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er

I saw.

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Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valor.
The. True; and a goose for his discretion.
Dem. Not so, my lord: for his valor cannot
carry his discretion; and the fox carries the goose.

The. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valor; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well: x leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the a moon.

Moon. "This lantern doth the horned moon


Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head. thin The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference.

Moon. "This lantern doth the horned moor.


'Myself the man i'the moon do seem to be."
The. This is the greatest error of all the rest: the
man should be put into the lantern: How is it else
the man i'the moon?

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Pyr. "O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!

"O night, which ever art, when day is not! "O night, O night, alack, alack, alack,

"I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!
"And, thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
"That stand'st between her father's ground and

"Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
"Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine
[Wall holds up his fingers.
"Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for

"But what see I No Thisby do I see.
"O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss;
"Curst be thy stones for thus deceiving me!"
The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should
curse again.

Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me, is Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will fall pat as I told you:- Yonder she comes.


This. "O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans, "For parting my fair Pyramus and me: "My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones;

"Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee." Pyr. "I see a voice: now will I to the chink, "To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. "Thisby!"

This. "My love, thou art my love, I think." Pyr."Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace; "And like Limander am I trusty still."

This. "And I like Helen, till the fates me kill."
Pyr. "Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true."
This. "As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you."
Pyr. "O, kiss me through the hole of this vile
This. "I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all."


Dem. He dares not come there for the candle: for you see, it is already in snuff.

Hip. I am aweary of this moon: Would, he would change!

The. It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane: but yet, in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay the time.

Lus. Proceed, moon.

Moon. All that I have to say, is, to tell you, that the lantern is the moon: I, the man in the moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.

Dem. Why all these should be in the lantern; for they are in the moon. But, silence; here comes Thisbe.


This. "This is old Ninny's tomb: Where is my
Lion." Oh.- "

The. Well moused, lion.

[The Lion roars.— THIS BE runs off Dem. Well roared, lion. The. Well run, Thisbe.

Hip. Well shone, moon.-Truly, the moon

shines with a good grace.

The Lion tears THISBE's mantle and exit
Dem. And so comes Pyramus.
Lys. And so the lion vanish'd.


Pyr. "Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy sunny

"But stay;-0 spite!
"But mark;-Poor knight,

1 In anger; & quibble.

"I thank thee, moon, for shining now so bright "For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering streams, "I trust to taste of truest Thisby's sight.

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"My soul is in the sky:

"Tongue, lose thy light! "Moon, take thy flight! "Now die, die, die, die, die."

[Dies.- Exit Moonshine. Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one. Lye. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he nothing.

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The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet Tover, and prove an ass.

Every elf, and fairy sprite,

gone, before

Hop as light as bird from brier;
And his ditty, after me,

Hip. How chance moonshine is
Thebe comes back and finds her lover?
The. She will find him by star-light.- Here she Sing, and dance it trippingly.
comes; and her passion ends the play.


A tomb
"Must cover thy sweet eyes.
"These lily brows,
"This cherry nose,
"These yellow cowslip cheeks,

"Are gone, are gone:
"Lovers, make moan!
"His eyes were green as lecks.
"O sisters three,

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve :-
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn,
As much as we this night have overwatch'd.
This palpable gross play hath well beguil'd
The heavy gait of night.-Sweet friends, to bed.―
A fortnight hold we this solemnity,

In nightly revels, and new jollity.


Enter PUCK.

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud,
Puts the wretch, that lies in woe,

In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night,

That the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the church-way paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run

By the triple of Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent, with broom, before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.
Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their Tr: in.

Obe. Through this house give glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsy fire:

Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote:
To each word a warbling note,
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.


Obe. Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue, there create,
Ever shall be fortunate.
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be;
And the blots of nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,

Shall upon their children be.-
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless.
Through this palace with sweet peace:
E'er shall it in safety rest,

"Come, come, to me,

"With hands as pale as milk;
"Lay them in gore,
66 Since you have shore
"With shears, his thread of silk.
Tongue, not a word:-
"Come, trusty sword;
"Come, blade, my breast imbrue:

"And farewell, friends;-
"Thus Thisbe ends:
"Adieu, adieu, adieu."


Phe. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead.
Dem. Ay, and wall too.

Bt. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance, between two of our company?

The. No epilogue, I pray you; for your play Reeds no excuse. Never excuse; for when the payers are all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it, had play'd Pyramus, and banzed himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tragedy: and so it is truly; and very notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask: et your epilogue alone.

a Coarse yarn.

[Here a dance of Clowns.


And the owner of it blest.

Trip away;
Make no stay;

Meet me all by break of day.

Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and Train.

Puck. If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, (and all is mended,)
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear,
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
How to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends, ere long:
Else the Puck a liar call.

So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends. [Exi • Overcome.



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And not to be seen to wink of all the day,
(When I was wont to think no harm all night,
And make a dark night too of half the day ;)
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there:

King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep;
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.
And then grace us in the disgrace of death
When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
The endeavor of this present breath may buy
That honor, which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors:- for so you are,
That war against your own affections,
And the huge army of the world's desires.-
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Birón, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me,
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes,
That are recorded in this schedule here:
Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names;
That his own hand may strike his honor down,
That violates the smallest branch herein;
If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oath and keep it too.
Long. I am resolv'd: 'tis but a three years' fast;
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bank rout quite the wits.
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified;
The grosser manner of these worl is delights
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy.

Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, To live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances:
As, not to see a woman in that term;
Which, I hope well. is not enrolled there:
And, one day in a week to touch no food:
And but one meal on every day beside;
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there;
And then to sleep but three hours in the night,

King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these
Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please?
I only swore, to study with your grace,

And stay here in your court for three years' space.
Long. You swore to that, Birón, and to the rest
Biron. By yea and nay sir, then I swore in jest.-
What is the end of study? let me know.

King. Why, that to know, which else we should
not know.

Biron. Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common sense?

King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.
Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so,
To know the thing I am forbid to know:
As thus-To study where I well may dine,
When I to feast expressly am forbid;
Or study where to meet some mistress fine,

When mistresses from common sense are hid
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study to break it, and not break my troth.
If study's gain be thus, and this be so,
Study knows that, which yet it doth not know:
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say, no.

King. These be the stops that hinder study quite,
And train our intellects to vain delight.

Biron. Why, all delights are vain; but that most
Which with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain:
As, painfully to pore upon a book,

To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:

Light, seeking light, both light of light beguile:
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
Study me how to please the eye indeed,

By fixing it upon a fairer eye;

Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that was it blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,

That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks:

Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books.
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,
That give a name to ever fixed star,
Have no more profit of their shining nights,
Thin those that walk, and wot not what they are.
Too much to know, is, to know nought but fame;
And every godfather can give a name.

King. How well he's read, to reason against reading!

Dun. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding! Lang. He weeds the corn, and still let's grow the weeding. Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are a breeding. Dum. How follows that? Biron. Dum. In reason nothing. Biron. Something then in rhyme. Long. Birón is like an envious sneaping frost, That bates the first-born infants of the spring. Biron. Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast,

Fit in his place and time.

Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in an abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose

Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows; But like of each thing, that in season grows.


you, to study now it is too late,

Chab o'er the house t' unlock the little gate.
King, Well, sit you out: go home, Birón; adieu!
Bion. No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay
with you:

And, though I have for barbarism spoke more,
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,

And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Give me the paper, let me read the same;
And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.
King. How well this yielding rescues thee from

Biron. [Reads] Item, That no woman shall
cone within a mile of my court.-
Ant hath this been proclaim'd?

Four days ago.

Biron. Let's see the penalty.
[Rats.-On pain of losing her tongue. —
Who devis'd this?

Long. Marry, that did I.
Biron. Sweet lord, and why?


Bron. A dangerous law against gentility. [Rate Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he sha!! enture such public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.

This article, my liege, yourself must break;

For, well you know, here comes in embassy The French king's daughter, with yourself to speak,

A maid of grace, and complete majesty,About surrender-up of Aquitain

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father; Therefore this article is made in vain,

Or vainly comes the admired princess hither.
King. What say you, lords? why, this was quite

Bion. So study evermore is overshot;
Wole it doth study to have what it would,
It doth forget to do the thing it should:
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
'Tis won, as towns with fire; so won, so lost.
King. We must of force, dispense with this decree;
She must lie here on mere necessity.

Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three years'

King. Ay, that there is: our court, you know, is

space :

For every man with his affects is born;

Not by might mister'd, but by special grace:
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me,
I am forsworn on mere necessity.-

So to the laws at large I write my name: [Subscribes.
And he, that breaks them in the least degree,
Stands in attainder of eternal shame:

Suzzestionsa are to others, as to me;
But, I believe, although I seem so loath,
Am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted!
1 Nipping. 2 Reside.

With a refined traveller of Spain;

A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain:
One, whoin the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,

Long. To fright them hence with that dread pe- house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken
following her into the park; which, put together,
is, in manner and form following. Now, sir, for
the manner,-it is the manner of a man to speak
to a woman; for the form,-in some form.
Biron. For the following, sir?

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and
God defend the right!

For interim to our studies, shall relate,
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
But, protest, I love to hear him lie,
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.
Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be out

And, so to study, three years is but short.

Enter DULL, with a letter, and COSTARD, Dull. Which is the duke's own person? Biron. This, fellow; What would'st?

Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for am his grace's tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood. Biron. This is he.

Dill. Signior Arme-Arme-commends you.There's villany abroad; this letter will tell you


Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touch ing me.

King. A letter from the magnificent Armado. Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

Long. A high hope for a low having: God grant us patience!

Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing?

Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.

Birim. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

Biron. In what manner?

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all these three: I was seen with her in the nanor

King. Will you hear this letter with attention!
Biron. As we would hear an oracle.

Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King. [Reds. Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering putron,—

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.

King. So it is,

Cost. It may be so: but if he say it is so, in telling true, but so, so.

King. Peace.

he 19,

Cost-be to me, and every man that dares not fight!

King. No words.

Cost. of other men's secrets, I beseech you. King. So it is, besieged with sable-colored mel ancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing hu mor to the most wholesome physic of thy healthgiving air; and, as I am a gentleman, befook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, an ! men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper. So much for the time when. Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walked upon; it is yeleped thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene, an ́t most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-colored ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest: but to • Cailed. si. e. Third-borough, a peace officer. In the fact.

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