S&SWM PR papers L401 - L600

Here are transcriptions of some of the letters between L201-400 in Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Pitt-Rivers papers

If you would like to see the originals of these letters then please contact Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

Part III

There follows transcriptions of all the letters deemed relevant to the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers research project in the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum's Pitt-Rivers papers collection. They were transcribed in May 2011. It is hoped that all the letters in the collection (relevant to this project or not) can be scanned and made available in the near future.

For letters L1-200 and from L601 on see other Parts



Gailants Hotel Suffolk St Pall Mall

Nov 3 1887

Dear Gen'l Pitt Rivers

Col. Murdoch Smith RE Director of the Museum of Science & Art at Edinburgh asks me for anything of yours of the nature of Catalogue beyond Parts 1 & 2. If you can spare him a copy of your lecture on Primitive Warfare this would be useful to him.

Steps are being taken as to the carrying on of Balfour's work in your Museum. I am sorry to hear accounts of Moseley which give a less favourable impression of his condition of health. The doctors have forbidden him to think of resuming work at the beginning of the year. It is still that he cannot get natural sleep.

Yours very [illegible]

Edward B Tylor



Calne Wllts
Nov. 15. 87

My dear Sir

I have, according to your desire, written to Mr Peter Reid the Vice Consul at Puerto in Teneriffe to obtain & forward to Tisbury Sta. the things you mention as of use for your museum: * I have referred him to you and no doubt you will hear from him in due course

It has give [sic] me pleasure to be of use in so interesting a matter; & if I can pick up anything in the Engadine this winter illustrative of manners & customs there it will please me to offer it you on my return

Allow me to remain
truly yours
C.V. Goddard



[In red 'Oxford Museum']

The Museum House,
Nov 20 1887

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

The first steps towards arranging for Balfour were duly taken, but there has been great difficulty in the Hebdomadal Council, & it seems quite doubtful whether they will put forward a proposition which Balfour would accept if Convocation passed it. The matter is to come up in Council again tomorrow I am vexed about it but not surprised as just now it is not easy to get money grants out of the University Chest which has been much depleted. Will you tell me if you have a set of electrotypes of the John Evans series of British Coins illustrating degeneration of form. I was thinking of getting a set done to be placed in your Collection, if there is not a set already.

Yours sincerely

Edward B. Tylor



[Tylor ans'd 30 Nov 87]

University Museum Oxford

Nov 21 87

Dear General Pitt Rivers

The Hebdomadal Council are bringing forward a very liberal proposal, viz to grant £400 per annum for three years for completing the arrangement & for the catalogue. It is to be opposed on the ground of economy but I hope will go through

Yours [illegible]

Edward B Tylor

Mrs Tylor has a letter from Mrs Moseley which is the most encouraging we have had, as he seems to be getting right both as to food and sleep.



[Acland ans'd 30 Nov 87]

University Museum, Oxford
Department of Medicine and Public Health
Nov 25 1887

My dear General Pitt-Rivers

I cannot help writing an additional private line of thanks [4 words illegible] I have been very anxious in many ways, about the end of our last meeting I hope all will be quietly arranged for the present, at the next Convocation Till it is over I cannot tell. The Dean & [illegible] do and have done all in their power

I am
My dear General Pitt Rivers
yours faithfully
... Acland



[Oxford in red pencil]

University Museum, Oxford

Dec 1 1887

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

The opposition to the Supplementary Grant was for the most part on economic grounds, but it was happily got over. I have been to the British Museum seeing about the Coin Degeneration series. Head and another man who seemed extremely clever undertook to get a set of casts sent here from which a smaller set may be selected for declotyping. Keary in a little book called "Morphology of Coins" has some interesting points, but I hear of nothing better for explaining the principle than the Evans set. I am puzzled however with the band crossing the wreath at right angles, which is not accounted for by the Macedonian stater. Have you looked into this? You saw I think the asserted Andrea Ferara given by Mr Rigaud of Magdalen. One or two Court swords have also come in, but Pollock remarked when here on the gaps in the Sword Series where the Rapier in the earlier stages should be.

You will have noticed the Gold Medal awarded to Moseley.

Yours very much

Edward B Tylor




Hotel Caspar Badrutt
St Moritz Engadine
Feby 11 1888

My dear Sir

Knowing how interested you are in the implements &c. in use among peasants; I have noticed such things here during the winter with a view to enquiring if you think it worth while to acquire any; were I able, I would gladly purchase & present some to your museum but that unfortunately I can't do.

The following I have thought worthy of note -

1. Little sledge (or as we English call it "toboggan") used by children for sliding down steep streets, roads &c. It is generally a simple sledge but I have seen in Pontresina a more elaborate and quaint form having a sort of saddle to sit astride on [Drawing] somewhat thus, (in elevation.) I understand that about 5/- [insert] (or less) [end insert] would purchase one.

2. The plaited rawhide ropes used for all tying purposes, & for reins, here: they are made at a village in the valley. The reins cost 15 francs a pair; but ropes with wooden eyelet holes can easily be obtained new or used

3. The yoke, used for single oxen; placed behind the horns, & curving downwards - the ends of shafts being passed through on either side

4. Curious whips used by all - made of rawhide twisted thongs mounted on a handle formed by splitting one large stick into 4 & twisting them together into a tapering pliable handle [Drawing] Other whips are 6 or 8 feet long on a longer handle, ornamented with badger hair - these are the ones they crack so loudly.

5. Iron lamps hung from roof cosisting [sic] of a saucer or pan on which is placed a lump of tallow or grease & a bit of stuff to serve for wick.  I have seen several of these [insert] with [end insert] very well worked iron legs & stand; & I obtained a disused by inferior one for a couple of francs: no doubt they may be bought: & in England would be curious I think.

6. Round, & rather clumsy, snowshoes about as big as a dinner plate. Made of split wood & very coarsely meshed netting - They are made in another valley, but I have seen them here.

7. Wooden shovels for clearing snow - we have used great numbers in the ice rinks: the blade is of brick or pear wood I fancy & is curved to keep the snow from slipping off it: the handle is 4 feet long & straight [Drawing] Price 2 francs 50 They come over from Coire.

If you thought any of these worth having I should be happy to obtain & send them I hope you have the things from Teneriffe, that I ordered, by this time.

Truly yours

C.V. Goddard



Hotel Bernina
Mar. 2. 88

My dear Sir

I regret that the things from Teneriffe have not yet put in an appearance. On receipt of your letter last week I wrote at once to

Don Pedro Reid
Puerto de la Cruz

asking him to undertake the collection & despatch, & if his time was to [sic] much occupied, to pass on my request to Dr George Perez, who was a friend of mine & I am sure would be glad to assist in such an object. Either of these gentlemen would correspond with you (in English)

As regards Swiss things I have set several people on to obtain specimens of such things as I mentioned to you: and also [insert] a few articles [end insert] of dairy utensils, which (unless you have them already) appear to me to be of interest. If you can find time to answer this soon after receipt, I could get a big cowbell, collar, & old ornamental buckle; there are plenty here (if they will sell) but I fear the price would run between 20 & 30 francs.

The saddle sleighs are still in use commonly here; today I saw one dated 1820, & painted in gaudy colours. I am trying to obtain a child's ("toboggan") sleigh on the same principle - as I mentioned before, but fear; they regard them as heirlooms & will not part with them - but I can get one built from a pattern, no doubt.

I shall be leaving the Engadine in about a fortnight [insert] for Thuois [end insert] but will see to the matter well before I go.

Believe me
truly yours
Cecil V. Goddard



2 Rupell Chambers
Bury Street W.C.
May 7. 1888

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I write to tell you that according to promise I carefully examined the side of the small Wady near the Tombs you described at Kourneh but failed to discover any flint implements in situ.

This winter, however, I obtained two regularly formed "celts" or implements of this form [drawing], found with mummies at Kourneh. I had never known such objects to occur before in Egyptian Tombs.

I don't know whether you want to acquire any of the curios & beautiful Roman & early Christian Textiles - if so, I could should you a large & fine collection which I made myself at Echmin in Upper Egypt. Believe me to be

Sincerely yours

Greville J. Chester




16 Eyot Gardens
Hammersmith 28 May 1888

Dear Sir

Mr A. Carlyle, late of the Archaeological Survey of India, has requested me to help him to dispose of his collection of small Indian stone implements. If you should feel disposed to purchase some I shall be happy to send you a packet on approval.

Believe me, Dear Sir,
Yours faithfully

Charles Seidler

Lt Genl Pitt Rivers


S&SWM L495 has a letter from Marquis de Pogüe asking for a cast or ‘squeeze’ of this object dated 6 June 1888, PR adds note to say it will be done as soon as possible




Egyptian Hall

25 July 1888

My dear Sir

Will it be convenient to you to take charge of your two portraits before next Tuesday? We require to clear out everything before August, and are now packing up. There is a box for the mummy if you wish to send it to the country. I shall be here every day till the packing is done, & ready to deliver your things. I have put aside a perfect flint knife & five other good pieces, all circ. 1400 B.C. for you, as you wished for some examples.

The mummy portrait was settled at £27, the other portrait £18, & I presume £5 will not be out of the way for the flints: £50 in all

Yours very truly

W.M. Flinders Petrie



6 Tenterden Street
Hanover sqr

28 Aug. '88


You may remember that the writer showed you an Italian bronze ornament (evidently being an inkstand from the sixteenth century) some time ago. I have not been able to communicate with my Danish friend [insert] who owns it [end insert] before now when he says he is willing to take £5- for it. This price I should say is cheap, & if you desire it, I will submit the ornament for your inspection again.

I herewith also beg to draw your attention to what is said to be the largest olhorn in the world. It measures more than five feet along the surface & more than six inches across the opening (of the horn itself, the mounting being 8 1/2 inch. across) It is well polished, & mounted in German silver. By the enclosed photograph you can form an idea of how it looks; it being a grand & unique ornament.

I am desirous of disposing of it, & it has been valued at £100. The horn may be seen at the above address.

I am, Sir,

Yours respectfully


Lt Genl Fox-Pitt-Rivers, F.R.S. etc

4 Grosvenor Gdns


P.S. Kindly return the photograph when done with.

[NB the photograph is still with the letter!]



55 High St
Sept 18/ 8


I have a collection of stone & bone implements which I should be pleased to show you when in town, as I know you are interested in any thing prehistoric. It includes, a Thames series Palaeolithic & Neolithic arrow hd knives scrapers as well as larger things Horn hammers, [insert] flint [end insert] axes etc & a unique [insert] stone [end insert] hammer. A Palaeolithic series from this place also of my own finding, containing specimens like Canon Greenwells High Lodge "side scraper;" & Le Moustier "chopper" I have also a general collection but these, of course were [illegible because smeared] interesting.

Hoping to have the pleasure of a visit any Thursday or Friday

I remain
Yours sincerely

G.F. Lawrence



University Museum, Oxford

Oct. 4 1888

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I was away from here yesterday or should have answered your letter. If I remember rightly, I was beginning to speak to you about the idea of a 3d Guide to the Pitt Rivers Museum when something else intervened and the subject did not come up again. The idea arose from the old Strangers Guide to the University Museum being now out of print and the Delegates wishing me to make arrangements to get a new one into shape. As this would involve some pages about the Pitt-Rivers Museum, the possibility suggested itself of these pages being also issued separately for visitors. The space (perhaps 10 - 15 pages 18vo) [sic] would be too limited for anything of the nature of a Catalogue but a ground-plan might be given with directions to the stranger where to find some of the principal series. For instance, he might be informed that on entering, he would find in the two Court Cases to right & left specimens illustrative of the development of fire-arms from the matchlocks to the wheel-flint, and percussion types. Further to the left, he would come to the wall-case showing the development of the shield from the parrying-stick, and of metal armour from rude defensive coverings. When he gets this information, the large labels on the cases, so far as Balfour has done them, will tell him more about the meaning of the series. When Balfour returns I will let you know, and I feel sure that your going over the Series with him will promote their being arranged so as to be open to the public (I mean those in the Galleries.) You will be able to ascertain from him what prospect there is of the publication of a Catalogue. To me it seems distant from the amount of work involved and the cost of illustrations. I think your active cooperation would do more than anything else to push it forward.

Believe me
Yours sincerely
Edward B Tylor

P.S. I have just seen Balfour returned from Finland and looking forward to your visit



Rectory Tuesday

Dear General Rivers

I would not for the world do anything that w. cause you annoyance. As you grant me permission to shoot Rabbits, I will gladly waive any claim I may have. I am glad I sent you the key. I have one or two more relics that I have dug up here & will send them.

Yrs very truly

G.H. Waterfall

L545 at end also from Waterfall says ‘I enclose a key which I dug up in my garden – quite as old as the one a similar looking one at the Museum !!



[Museum attendance]

London Institution
Finsbury Circus E.C.
16 15 Oct 88


You are reported in Nature (27 Sept) to have advocated the establishment of an anthropological museum. I do not altogether know from what facts you would draw encouragement but it occurs to me as possible you may be unaware of the present tendency at South Kensington.

In addition to the enclosed which you may observe deals with total attendance [newspaper letter saying attendance at the SKM had declined from The Kensington News of 13.10.1888] there was in St James's Gazette.

Some correspondents on the continuously decreasing evening attendance

But I fancy the case is better brought out by grouping the years into periods of five years each. This is one overleaf, of course from official statistics.

For my own part I do not quite see how any one could from this history draw argument for another educational establishment in London

I am your ob serv
Horatio Neale

X how do I imply that this has been done

Lieut Gen Pitt Rivers F.R.S.



Total attendance

[illegible] %

Total attendance

[illegible] %

Percentage of evening illegible to total

























'57 was an incomplete year & is therefore omitted


University Museum, Oxford

Oct. 20 1888

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I am glad we may expect to see you here soon.

There seems to me no doubt that an Illustrated Catalogue showing development series would have great effect in the world. The Bethnal Green Catalogue though on so limited a scale was very useful as showing something of the general scheme, & I wish it were not out of print When you settle the day of your visit will you let me know beforehand. Believe me

Yours [illegible]

EB Tylor



Museum of Antiquities
Oct. 22/ 88

Dear Sir,

I venture to write to you regarding your series of Lectures on "Primitive Warfare", delivered before the United Service Institution, and to suggest for your consideration the advisableness of republishing them in a separate work for the use of the rising generation of anthropologists.

Through the kindness of the Assistant Curator of the Museum of Science and Art I had the loan of a set of the Journals containing the lectures, and they seemed to me well worth republication in book form.

Yours very truly

Geo. F. Black

P.S. I trust you will overlook my forwardness in writing to you



[Containing description of Japanese kakemono of Heaven & Hell]

"St Heliers"
West Bank,
Stamford Hill, N.

Dear Sir

According to your wishes I herewith beg to enclose you a few descriptive remarks respecting your picture, [sic, there seem to be 4] which information has been gleaned by myself both from the natives themselves abroad and from several books I have from time to time consulted written by good authorities.

Any further information I can at any time impart I shall be pleased to give you if you will kindly write or call and ask me.

For the present any letters addressed to me at 160 New Bond St will be sure to reach me at once.

I am dear Sir
Yours faithfully
John Sparks

Gen'l Pitt Rivers


Dowdeswell & Dowdeswells
Fine Art Publishers
160 New Bond Street
London W. Oct 22 1888
Telephone No 3779

Re. "Heaven & Hell"

The lower portion of the picture (separated by the Golden Cloud, the cloud being used by Japanese Artists of that period instead of mere formal lines to denote that the subjects on either side were a distinct or separate picture in themselves) [sic, punctuation] represents the ordinary life of the Japanese on Earth.

The animal running in the foreground pierced by an arrow depicts a sport that was for many years practised in Japan, namely the hunting of dogs who were kept expressly for that purpose, the idea of thus depicting this pastime, is that according to the rules and teachings of Buddhism, cruelty to animals was one of the greatest of sins and anyone guilty of the crime received most condign punishment. In many instances the victim having to return to Earth after his death, in the form of the animal he tortured during his lifetime, and receiving tenfold the amount of pain he himself had inflicted.

The river on the right is supposed to represent the boundary twixt Life and Death, having crossed wich the spirit of the departed one is led by the attendant priests (as shown in the picture) before a Tribunal consisting of a number of Judges.

Over the head of the Probationer you will observe a species of canopy is borne, this is the ordinary covering for a dead body in the Japanese funerals and is given here by the artist to indicate that the figure over which it is being carried is that of a person but very recently defunct.

On the left of the Tribunal is a hideous old hag who is apparently mutilating a victim, this is the Sodzu-gawa no Uba, or the Woman of the Three paths whose avocation is to receive the earthly clothing from each new arrival and then according to the fiat of the Tribunal dispatch them on One of the Three Paths namely either to Nirvana (Paradise), Jigoku (Hell) or back again in some other form to Earth again.

In Hell itself are depicted the usual forms of punishment; amongst them may be noted the Liar & Slanderer who is having his tongue torn out by the roots. The lustful sinner who is always seeing a gay courtesan close before him and yet when he reaches forward to seize upon her he falls and lacerates his body on the spikes that lay around.

The Unfaithful Women are being slowly drowned in a pool of blood (drawn from themselves during their lifetime,)(periodically).

The "Gaki', or, men who in life have been gluttonous, are here depicted as wretched starvelings craving for food which occasionally is tendered to them in tempting form by Demons, when immediately upon their placing it to their lips it turns into fire and burns their mouths etc.

The victim being held up by the hair of his head in the clutches of a large Demon is one who having denied his crime is being held up before the Magic Mirror whereupon he at once sees reflected, himself committing the crime he has just denied which in this instance was the setting fire to a Buddhistic Temple.

The figure in the centre at whose feet children are seen, is one of the favourite deities or saints of the Japanese, viz the god "Jizo" who is supposed to be ever on the watch to protect little children and who also at certain periods himself undergoes the tortures of Hell in order that those under sentence may be respited

The other priestly figures surrounding the altar area Saints residing in Purgatory and [insert] who [end insert] are incessantly offering up prayers and penances, thus mitigating the severer sentences passed on the most unfortunate.

To the right of the whole picture is given a description of the hard wearisome journey made by the true Buddhist, together with the many devotions and purifications to be performed ere he can hope to reach "Nirvana" which is depicted on the extreme right by a representation of the Bhuddist [sic] Trinity namely Buddha & his two sons surrounded by the Heavenly choir.

"Nirvana" being protected by a sea of a Dragons [sic] who prevent any one entering save through the medium of the Goddess of Mercy whose form may be seen at the very top of the High mountains as if urging the Toiler to struggle on his upward path.





5 King Henry's Road,
South Hampstead
26. Oct. 88

Dear Sir,

I understand from Mr Tylor that in offering the Azorean "Disciplinas" for your museum at Oxford I have proposed somewhat too high a value for them. I was, as I said, rather at a loss how to value them at all: but if you care to have them for, say, £5, I shall be pleased to send them up. I should prefer before leaving England again to see them housed in such a collection, where they can be seen & compared.

Yours faithfully

Osbert H. Howarth



2 Worcester St: Oxford
Oct'r 26th 1888


In reply to your enquiry about the "Court-Cup'd" [court cupboard*] I beg to say that the price of the one in the warehouse (ground floor) is £14.0.0 of the one in the shop with its' back to the window 12.0.0, and of the other 16.0.0

I am sorry to say that I have not been able to find the photograph wh: my daughter mentioned Should I do so, they shall be forwarded. I am afraid however that there was only one of them wh was of an unsold C't Cup'd.

I should say that all I have are genuinely old that is to say are not "made up" cup'ds.

They have been, where needed, carefully restored and as little done [insert] to them [end insert] as possible. [insert] in the case of [end insert] The one you remarked, as having new columns, they are exact copies of the old ones which were being much split and cut about, and I have kept them, in order that a purchaser may see how closely they have been copied.

Regretting that I was not at home when you honoured me with your call.

I am Sir
Yours obediently
Wm. Ogden

General Pitt Rivers



5 King Henry's Road,
South Hampstead
2 Nov: 88

Dear Sir,

I am much obliged to your letter of the 28th.

I have forwarded the flagella, &c, to Dr Tylor, & hear that they have arrived safely

Yours faithfully

O.H. Howarth

Lt Gen'l Pitt Rivers



Museum of Antiquities
Nov. 3/ 88

Dear Sir,

Your letter just received on my return from Aberdeen. I am very glad to hear that you contemplate republishing you lectures on Primitive Warfare, as I am sure they will be of much service to Anthropologists in their new shape, besides being more handy for reference.

I am much interested in the curious Peruvian implement which you refer to on p 420 of No LI vol xii (and pl. xviii 169) Besides the four referred to [insert] in [end insert] your lecture, there are no less than five others in the Museum at Kelso, with shafts from 6" to 16" inches in length, each mounted with a large arrowhead of flint. There are also the shafts of four others, from 8" to 14" inches in length.

These were all found together with a number of other articles in a tomb at Arica, after an earthquake in August 1868.

In the Museum of Science and Art there is one found with a mummy &c. at (I think) Arica.

There are also three in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology, found in 1836 in a grave at Bay of Chacota along with a large number of other objects (11th Ann. Rept. Peabody Museum, 289, 290, and fig. 15).

I am inclined to think these implements have been used as Knives, precisely as the American Indians use their larger arrowheads "Col. Long said that 2 inches was the greatest length of stone arrowheads that he found in use among the Indians; that all longer not used for javelin and spearheads were strongly hafted and used as cutting implements. This was confirmed by Catlin." - Smithsonian Report, 1885, p. 884.

Dr Mitchell is now Sir Arthur Mitchell, K.C.B. As Sir Arthur is staying at Pettycur House, Fife, just now, it is probable he does not know about your book, which will be waiting his return to Edinburgh.

I venture to congratulate you on publishing such a valuable record of your excavations, but I think it is a pity it cannot obtain a wider circulation archaeologists. [sic]

If you think I can be of any service to you in the republication of your lectures, it will give me great pleasure to do what I can.

I am &c

Yours very truly

Geo. F. Black



University Museum, Oxford

Nov 4 1888

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I have been reading Collier's Art Primer which you were so good as to send me, and am glad to see him breaking ground in a rational theory of Art very different to what used to prevail. I see he gives the [Drawing] as a Peruvian form. Your remark about somewhat similar form in the Zuni property has drawn attention to the desirability of getting a Mexican specimen. As Gilbert has been here for a day or two I have asked him to pick up some Mexican pottery showing it. There are good Mexican figures as you know in the Museum, but not vases. The scourges have duly arrived & doubtless Balfour has acknowledged them. With many thanks for the book I am

Yours very sincerely

Edward B. Tylor



... I therefore accept your terms viz 30/- [30 shillings] a week and house-room while at Rushmore, when elsewhere the same sum with an additional 2/- per day ... ---




58 Acre Lane London, S.W.

Nov 15- '88

Dear Sir,

Acting on your suggestion I have made copies, (two only for the moulds were accidentally destroyed) of the remarkable round bottomed urn, and of the small 4 looped urn, from Kingston Deverill. One of each I have given to Mr Franks, and one of each I have sent to your address by parcels post, this afternoon. As they are from your own neighbourhood - almost within the limit of your your [sic] own archaeological preserves, they will I hope be of interest to you.

As they are from the specimen in the Society's Museum, I have mentioned the circumstances to Mr Smith.

You will find the notice of these vessels in Anc. Wilts. I 45, 46 - a note on the convex one p. 46.

I am having them, and a large "double" urn from Crendon, photographed and and [sic] hope to mention them in a note in the Wilts Mag.

I remain

Dear Sir

your faithful serv't

W. Cunnington

The process used I have found useful in modelling delicate objects - to cover them with tissue paper, before taking the moulds



23rd Nov 1888

8 Sloane Terrace

Dear Sir,

Having on Saturday 17th despatched to you a letter enclosing the three plates which you sent to me, some drawings of my own, & note from Mr Greville Chester and a letter from Mr Watson and not having up to date received my answer from you I now write again to beg that you will kindly let me know your decision

Yours truly

George Grahame

[Enclosure, presumably a draft response in Pitt-Rivers' handwriting]

Rushmore, Salisbury

Nov. 24. 1888

Dear Sir

I took a little time to consider whether your drawings were sufficient for my work. I have no doubt that in time you would take some time and I have get into it, but as it would take some time, and I have already a draughtsman under instruction for my particular work, I fear that I shall not be able to come to any arrangement with you. I am sorry to should have [word illegible] to the trouble of doing the drawing for me. I return Mr Chester's letter which appears quite satisfactory.

Yours obediently [sic]

A Pitt Rivers

Transcribed by AP May 2011 as part of the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project

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