“Flow my tears,” by John Dowland


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Bildnis eines Laurenspielers by Giulio Campi

http://Bildnis eines Laurenspielers by Giulio Campi, 1502-1572

John Noel Dowland (1563 – buried 20 February 1626) was an English composer and lutenist.  However, he was trained in France and, between 1580 and 1584, he worked in Paris as secretary, first, to English ambassador Sir Henry Cobham and, second, as secretary to Sir Edward Stafford.  During that period, John Dowland converted to Catholicism.[i]

However, Dowland also studied under Luca Marenzio, a celebrated Italian composer of madrigals.  Dowland was therefore acquainted with the Italian madrigal.  Yet, he was mostly the composer of monophonic and melancholy lute songs.

He drew from sources such as the

  • pavane, a slow courtly dance.  His Pavana Lachrymæ and other works have inspired Fauré, Ravel, Debussy and Benjamin Britten;
  • the fifteenth-century French chanson; and
  • the Germanic Lied.

Yet, there is an intensity to his songs that suggests a more personal form of inspiration.

With respect to the French chanson, he can be associated with Claudin de Sermisy (remember Tant que vivray)Clément Janequin, Pierre de la Rue, Roland de Lassus (or Orlando di Lasso).  Although chanson composers and interpreters had been influenced by madrigals, the fifteenth-century French chanson was homophonic and has endured.

Heinrich Isaac :  Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen (click on title to hear)

As for the Lied, Dowland may have been influenced by Heinrich Isaac (c.1445 – 1517), a Franco-Flemish composer, born in Bruges (where else?), the composer of the immensely popular Innsbruck, Ich muss dich lassen.  Isaac’s student, Ludwig Senfl, (c.1486 – 1542/3) published posthumously Isaac’s three-volume Choralis constantinus.[ii] The Choralis constantinus contains:

  • 50 motets;
  • nearly 100 secular songs, including French chansons;
  • Italian frottole (plural for frottola);
  • and a large number of German Tenorlieder.

Motets are refined, polyphonic and, often, liturgical vocal works, brought to Venice by Adriaan Willaert.  As for the frottola, it was a popular song and an ancestor to the Italian madrigal.

Dowland as Precursor

Personally I also look upon Dowland as a precursor,

  • to Henry Purcell (10 September 1659 – 21 November 1695) and
  • to Franz Schubert, who gave the Germanic Lied a beauty that has yet to be surpassed.

Here, the common denominator is expressiveness and the importance of the solo singer.  In this regard, Dowland is a representative of Renaissance humanism in general.  Dowland knew how to set a text to music in a manner that touched the listener profoundly and touched exceptional listeners: Fauré, Ravel, Debussy and Benjamin Britten.

His contemporaries

In England, his contemporaries were Thomas Morley (1557 or 1558 – October 1602) were Thomas Weelkes (baptised 25 October 1576 – 30 November 1623) and John Wilbye (baptised 7 March 1574 – September 1638), all of whom wrote madrigals, Wilbye in particular.  In 1588 Nicholas Yonge published the very successful Musica transalpina, a collection of Italian madrigals by Francesco Ferrabosco I and Marenzio.

From 1598 until 1606, Dowland worked for Christian IV of Denmark who paid a fortune to hear his music.  He was dismissed because of frequent absences.  Six years after his return to England, in early 1612, he became James I‘s lutenist, a position he held until his death.

Monophonic or Partsongs

Specifically, Dowland wrote through-composed[iii] monophonic songs to which he gave a relatively discreet lute accompaniment.  He is also the composer of partsongs, but to a lesser extent.  In the case of partsongs, singers were given their part and could sit around a small table and sight-read.

Dowland published his aptly-titled First Book of Songs in 1597.  His Second Booke of Ayres was published in 1600.  He also wrote consort songs.  These were songs written for solo singers accompanied by a consort of viols.

His Legacy

John Dowland’s Flow my tears and his Pavana Lachrymae, have long survived him.  As mentioned above, he has been a source of inspiration to Fauré, Ravel and Debussy, and his song Come Heavy Sleepe, the Image of True Death inspired Benjamin Britten‘s Nocturnal after John Dowland for guitar, 1964.


This post was published several years ago. I was looking for posts on music and accidentally returned this post into “draft” form. I edited it and I am posting it. I have been unwell, hence my not posting or visiting for the last few days: migraine.

With my kindest regards to all of you.

Charles Mouton, the Lutenist by Francois de Troy, 1690 (Photo Credit: Google images

Charles Mouton, the Lutenist by Francois de Troy, Paris, 1690 (Photo Credit: Google images)

[i] In sixteenth-century France, Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants) were persecuted. Remember the Massacre of the St. Bartholomew’s Day (1572).

[ii] The Choralis constantinus contained many liturgical chants, at times resembling Gregorian Chant.

[iii] Though-composed songs do not have stanzas and a refrain.

Flow my tears
Paul Agnew (Tenor)
Christopher Wilson (Lute)


© Micheline Walker
29 November 2011
6 October 2015

Planned Parenthood & the American Congress


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Pierre Elliott Trudeau (18 October 1919 – 29 September 2000) was Prime Minister of Canada from to 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984. Pierre Trudeau resigned in 1984 so he could look after the education of his three sons.

Pierre Trudeau’s son Justin Trudeau (b. 25 December 1971) is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and he could be elected Prime Minister on 19 October 2015. He is one of the candidates.

Planned Parenthood

It appears a government shutdown over the matter of Planned Parenthood has been averted. But Planned Parenthood is an important issue and it is in no way frivolous. The family is still the basic organizational component of our society and this component begins with the couple. Children are born to a man and a woman who engage in sexual intercourse and usually manage their fertility.

Gone are the days when we let nature decide the number of children a couple produced, and it would be unrealistic to expect couples not to engage in sexual intercourse unless they are ready to face the consequences: a pregnancy. Hence Planned Parenthood or birth control, which involves consultation(s) with a medical doctor. A woman’s health could be at risk.


Abortions do not seem an acceptable form of birth control. They are a last resort. Men and women should act responsibly. However, there are times when an abortion can be a doctor’s only way of ensuring the health of his patient and that of her child. Alcohol and drugs, including medication, can harm the fetus. Remember Thalidomide.

Moreover, no woman should be forced into a pregnancy. That would constitute an unacceptable intrusion on her privacy and, in some cases, an unwanted pregnancy can jeopardize a woman’s health and life. For instance, if a pregnancy is the result of rape, it would be cruel not to terminate it as soon as possible.

The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69

To borrow Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s words, governments should bring “the laws of the land up to contemporary society.” Where abortions are concerned, in Pierre Trudeau’s view, doctors were better than lawyers in deciding when a pregnancy was a danger to a woman’s health. A woman’s health, mental and physical, was Pierre Trudeau’s main concern regarding abortions, but the health of the fetus should also be taken into consideration. There are times when a woman carries a child who will die within a few days or a few weeks. I lost a large number of siblings to a congenital blood disease. They died shortly after birth: a few days or a few weeks. Nothing could be done to save them.

Pierre Trudeau is remembered as the Canadian Prime Minister who said “Just watch me,” when a cell, the Chénier cell I believe, of the Front de libération du Québec, a terrorist organization, kidnapped British diplomat James Cross (born 29 September 1921) and killed Pierre Laporte (25 February 1921 – 17 October 1970), Quebec’s Deputy Premier and the Minister of Labour. I have written a post on the October Crisis.

“There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of  the nation.”

Pierre Trudeau is also the Canadian Minister of Justice who stated that there was “no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” That famous statement was about was about homosexuality not planned parenthood.

I would like to show you a brief video, less than three minutes in length, that sums up Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s view on homosexuality and abortion. Trudeau also discusses  the use of breathalyzers. I am showing this video, The Omnibus Bill, because the Republican-led United States Congress threatened a government shutdown over the matter of Planned Parenthood.

I can’t believe I have written the above, but the matter of Planned Parenthood does not justify a government shutdown. I tend to believe this is yet another instance of obstructionism on the part of a Republican-led Congress. I would hate to think that threatening a government shutdown over the cost of Planned Parenthood reflects an elected representative’s view of human sexuality and, particularly, his or her view of women. Some couples cannot have children of their own, and some couples choose not to be parents. But the family remains the basic component of our society.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau: The Omnibus Bill (simply click on the title to view the video)

This post has been revised.

With kind regards to all of you.

Maison Cormier, Trudeau's House in Montreal
The Cormier House, Pierre Trudeau’s House in Montreal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On “pages,” but Syria is on my mind


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Cat by Paul Bransom

Cat by Paul Bransom (Photo credit: Pinterest)

This post provides information on my “pages,” but Syria is on my mind. I do not have enough information to write a post about the latest events in Syria. These are unfolding events. I must wait.


There are pages at the top of my site. They are lists of posts on a specific subject. I will be adding new posts to those lists, but my pages are now usable.

For example, one page is a list of posts on La Fontaine’s fables. If one of La Fontaine’s fables is also an Aesopic fable, the Aesopic fable is told and numbered according to the Perry Index. Several fabulists have written Aesopic fables and several artists have illustrated these fables. If you require information concerning other fabulists and the text of their fables, I would suggest you use Laura Gibbs’ site. Professor Gibbs also lists illustrators. (See Sources and Resources, below.)

I have written posts on the Medieval Bestiary and posts on Beast Literature (theory, genres, etc.). These are not listed, but they will be.

France has a website devoted to Jean de La Fontaine. It is bilingual site (French and English). If you click on the French flag, you will access all of La Fontaine’s fables in French. Conversely, by clicking on the British flag, you will access an English rendition of the fables. The sidebar is a menu leading not only to a translation of the fables, but also to related topics.


I did not realize readers could comment on “pages.” Pages are like posts. One can like a page and one can comment. My sincere apologies to persons who left unrecognized comments.

The Middle East

  • Russia
  • migrants drowning

There are no boots on the ground, but it seems Russian President Vladimir Putin has ‘entered’ Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit to President Putin about ten days ago asking for reassurance. However, given that relations between Russia and the United States have been strained for some time, President Putin could be goading the United States.

For instance, Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the United States to leave Syria immediately. This is too high-handed a request. Moreover, it appears Russia is not targeting Isil. Here is a link to the Telegraph, UK.


More Syrian migrants have drowned: 17. They were the “humble.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/syrian-refugees-turkey-1.3245691

Sources and Resources

Cat and Mice by Paul Bransom
(Photo credit: Bedford Fine Art Gallery http://www.bedfordfineartgallery.com/4069.html)

chat© Micheline Walker
1 October 2015

“… the humble pay the cost.”


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The Frogs and the Fighting Bulls” by Paul Bransom (Photo credit: An Argosy of Fables)

   “While the mighty quarrel, the humble pay the cost.”

I chose today’s subject matter, an Aesopian fable entitled “The Frogs and the Fighting Bulls,” because it brings to mind the plight of Syrians seeking refuge in a reticent Europe.

Four million Syrians have fled their country because their homes, if they are still standing, are not habitable and their government is no longer operative. Syria is a battlefield.

Where have the Mighty been? And will the Mighty now sit at a table and do their very best to fix the problem. I fear they may be politicians first and statesmen second, if ever they become statesmen, and “let the humble pay the cost.”

My kindest regards to all of you.


Aesop, with a fox, from the central medallion of a kylix, c. 470 BCE; in the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Vatican City. 600 BCE – 501 BCE (Photo credit: the Encyclopaedia Britannica)

The Perry Index of Aesopian Fables

In the Perry Index of Aesopian fables, “The Frog and the Fighting Bulls” is fable number 485 and is entitled: “The Frogs Dread the Battle of the Bulls.” Its source is Phaedrus (1st century CE) but I borrowed the text from An Argosy of Fables, 1921 (p. 130), selected by Frederic Taber Cooper (1864 – 1937) and illustrated by Paul Bransom (1885 – 1979). However, this post includes Jean de La Fontaine’s[1] Les Deux Taureaux et une Grenouille” and its English translation: “The Two Bulls and the Frog.” 

You may remember that Phaedrus (1st century CE)[2] is the Latin author who versified Aesop‘s[3] fables, thereby removing them from an oral tradition. (See Oral-formulaic composition, Wikipedia). Babrius (2nd century CE) also took Aesopian fables away from oral literature but he wrote Aesop’s fables in the Greek language.

Subsequent writers of fables have used both Phaedrus and Babrius to publish Aesopian fables in Latin or Greek, or French, or English, or other languages. We are reading a translation of Phaedrus’ Latin collection, but Frederic Taber Cooper has not provided his readers with the name of a translator.

The Frogs and the Fighting Bulls

A FROG, sitting at the edge of a swamp, was watching a battle between two Bulls in an adjoining field. “Alas! what deadly danger threatens us,” he said. Another Frog, overhearing him, asked what he meant, when the Bulls were merely fighting to decide which should lead the herd, and the cattle passed their lives quite apart from the home of the Frogs. “It is true,” rejoined the first Frog, “that they are a different race and live apart from us. But whichever Bull is beaten and driven from his leadership in the woods will come to find some secret hiding place; and I fear that many of us will be trampled to pieces under his hard hoofs. That is why I say that their battle means death and destruction to us.”

When the mighty quarrel, the humble pay the cost.

(Phaedrus, Fables, Vol. I, No. 30.)
 An Argosy of Fables, p. 100

Les Deux Taureaux et une Grenouille

Deux Taureaux combattaient à qui posséderait.
Une Génisse avec l’empire.
Une Grenouille en soupirait:
« Qu’avez-vous ? se mit à lui dire
Quelqu’un du peuple croassant.
Et ne voyez-vous pas, dit-elle,
Que la fin de cette querelle
Sera l’exil de l’un ; que l’autre, le chassant,
Le fera renoncer aux campagnes fleuries ?
Il ne régnera plus sur l’herbe des prairies,
Viendra dans nos marais régner sur les roseaux,
Et nous foulant aux pieds jusques au fond des eaux,
Tantôt l’une, et puis l’autre, il faudra qu’on pâtisse
Du combat qu’a causé Madame la Génisse. »
Cette crainte était de bon sens.
L’un des Taureaux en leur demeure
S’alla cacher à leurs dépens :
Il en écrasait vingt par heure.
Hélas! on voit que de tout temps
Les petits ont pâti des sottises des grands.

Livre 2, fable 4

The Two Bulls and the Frog

Two bulls engaged in shocking battle,
Both for a certain heifer’s sake,
And lordship over certain cattle,
A frog began to groan and quake.
“But what is this to you?”
Inquired another of the croaking crew.
“Why, sister, don’t you see,
The end of this will be,
That one of these big brutes will yield,
And then be exiled from the field?
No more permitted on the grass to feed,
He’ll forage through our marsh, on rush and reed;
And while he eats or chews the cud,
Will trample on us in the mud.
Alas! to think how frogs must suffer
By means of this proud lady heifer!”
This fear was not without good sense.
One bull was beat, and much to their expense;
For, quick retreating to their reedy bower,
He trod on twenty of them in an hour.
Of little folks it often has been the fate
To suffer for the follies of the great.

Book 2, Fable 4


Sources and Resources

[1] “Jean de La Fontaine”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 28 Sep. 2015

[2] “Aesop”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 27 Sep. 2015

[3] “Phaedrus”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 27 Sep. 2015


“Agnus Dei,” Mass in C (The Coronation), K 337
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Kathleen Battle (soprano), Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

imagesKQQK6UE7© Micheline Walker
28 September 2014

The Ten Lost Tribes: Native Americans


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Tah-Chee (Dutch), a Cherokee chief, 1837 Charles Bird King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Earlier this week, I caught a glimpse of a post showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whispering to President Obama. There was a video and a superimposed text. I read the text which, I believe, was an interpretation rather than a quotation of what Prime Minister Netanyahu may be have been whispering. To the best of my recollection, Prime Minister Netanyahu was reminding President Obama of the sorry fate of Amerindians. I was truly puzzled.

The Ten Lost Tribes

A few minutes later, I remembered reading that members of certain North-American “tribes,” several Cherokees, for instance, believe they are the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes. I tried to retrieve the post I had glimpsed, but it had disappeared from my reader.

This is not a recent theory. One of its early proponents was Indian trader James Adair (c.1709 – 1783) who published The History of the Indians, in 1775, an Internet Archive publication. (See Ten Lost Tribes, Native Americans.) Moreover, the theory is also supported by Israeli scholars.


The Beringia Land Bridge


Beringia (Photo credit: Settlement of the Americas, Wikipedia)

The prevailing theory remains that Amerindians came to the Americas via the Behring Strait or through the Beringia Land Bridge. These Native Americans would belong to the Clovis culture,13,200 to 12,900 calendar years ago, or the Folsom complex, about 9,000 calendar years ago. The Clovis culture used pointed projectiles called the Clovis point. As for the Folsom complex, its hunters used the Folsom point. Both projectiles are in the shape of a leaf and both Clovis and Folsom are locations in New Mexico.

However, there is evidence of other entryways. For instance, aboriginals may have lived in Beringia for a long time, long enough for Beringians to be ancestors to Native Americans.


Aboriginals may also originate from countries located in southeast Asia and would have arrived by boat to the west coast of the Americas.

But the above, does not preclude the possibility of North American aboriginals being members of the Ten Lost Tribes. Identifying the origin of first Americans now includes DNA analysis, a reliable tool.


If Cherokees are descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes, Sequoya who created the Cherokee syllabary could be a descendant of the Ten Lost Tribes and Jewish. At the moment, sources differ as to the identity of Sequoya’s father. Some claim that his father was a peddler from Swabia (Germany) whose name was Guyst, Guist, or Gist. Sequoya’s English-speaking friends called him George Guess or George Gist. According to Josiah C. Nott, Sequoyah was the “son of a Scotchman.”

In 1971, writer Traveller Bird, a Cherokee who claims Sequoyah was his ancestor, wrote a book entitled Tell Them They Lie: The Sequoyah Myth. In Traveller Bird’s opinion, Sequoyah was a Cherokee. His mother was named Wuteh and, at one point, the two left Tennessee and settled in Alabama where Sequoya created his Cherokee syllabary and married Sally Benge in 1815. In 1829, Sequoyah moved to a location near the present city of Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

Sequoya was self-taught, but very gifted and resourceful. Once his syllabary was accepted, the literacy rate of Cherokees surpassed that of the local European population (see Sequoyah, Wikipedia). Exceptional resourcefulness is a characteristic often attributed to the Jews.

Sequoya, Cherokee

Sequoya, Cherokee by Charles Bird King (Photo credit: Google Images)


Ojibwa Woman and Child by Charles Bird King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Josiah C. Nott

The above-mentioned Josiah C. Nott (31 March 1804 – 31 March 1873) was an American surgeon and author. He is known for his racist theories. He claimed, for instance, that “the negro achieves his greatest perfection, physical and moral, and also greatest longevity, in a state of slavery.” Sickening! He hired Swiss-born Henry Hotze to translate Arthur de Gobineau‘s Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, published in 1853 and 1855.

We have discussed Arthur de Gobineau, in Comments on Racism.


Amerindians speak several languages, which points to different ancestry and some tribes have moved. At one point in their history, there was a migration of Cherokees from the vicinity of Lake Superior to the southeast of the current United States.

I will never know what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whispered to President Obama, but it may have been about the possible Jewish origins of certain North American Aboriginals. It’s an interesting hypothesis.

With kind regards to all of you and apologies for being away from my computer. I’ve not been well.

Col-lee, a Band Chief

Col-lee, a Band Chief, 1834 George Catlin (Photo credit: The Museum Syndicate)


Sources and Resources


© Micheline Walker
24 September 2015
25 September 2015 (revised)

Buffalo Bull Grazing, 1845
George Catlin

King Philip’s War


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King Philip is Metacomet, a Wampanoag

Massasoit = Wampanoag chief or sachem
Pokanotet = a tribe belonging to the Wampanoag confederacy
Wamsutta = Alexander (Massasoit’s 1st son)
Metacomet = Philip (Massasoit’s 2nd son)

In my last post, dated 16 September 2015, I mentioned King Philip’s War. One is tempted to think King Philip was a European monarch. He wasn’t. Philip is the name adopted by Metacomet or Metacom (c. 1638 – 1676), to which the English attached the word King. Philip was the second son of Wampanoag chief (sachem) Massasoit who had five children. His first son was Wamsutta, renamed Alexander.


Statue of Pokanoket leader Massasoit Ousamequin in Plymouth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tribal Territories in Southern New England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Abenaki (Maine) (Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie)
Narragansett (Rhode Island)
Nauset (“Cape Cod fishhook”)
Wampanoag (Pokanoket) (Massachusetts)
Washantucket western Pequot (Connecticut)
and other tribes


Massasoit smoking a peace pipe with Governor John Carver in Plymouth, 1621. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  • the “Mayflower:” arrival of Pilgrims at Plymouth (Plymouth Colony)
  • peaceful coexistence fostered by sachem Massasoit
  • suspicious death of Wamsutta = Alexander

Although, he would not allow Wampanoags to become Christians, Wampanoag chief Massasoit, or the sachem Ousa Mequin, had promoted peaceful coexistence with the Pilgrims who had settled in Plymouth ColonyThe Mayflower had arrived on 11 November 1620 in what we now know as the “Cape Cod fishhook” (see Nauset on the map shown above), in the present-day New England state of Massachusetts, named after the Massachusett tribe. During the first winter, half of the Pilgrims died, about 50, but more ships arrived. The “Fortune” was the second ship to reach Plymouth Colony and on board was Philip Delano (from “de la Noye” FR), an ancestor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

After Massasoit’s death, in c. 1661, and the death of his first son Wamsutta (ca. 1634 – 1662), renamed Alexander, Philip became chief of the Wampanoags. His brother Wamsutta had angered Plymouth Colony settlers by selling land to “outsiders.” Wamsutta had therefore been imprisoned for three days and died shortly after his release, causing suspicion among Wampanoags.

Moreover, the number of settlers was growing rapidly. Between 1620 and 1640, 20,000 Puritans arrived in New England wishing to settle. It became clear to Chief Philip, who lived at Mount Hope, that Native Americans would eventually lose territory that had always been theirs and their culture. By 1678, the English population in New England was approximately 60,000 (see Plymouth Colony, Wikipedia).

Raids by Amerindians

  • murder of John Sassamon, a scholar among the Massachusett people
  • execution of three Wampanoags
  • King Philip’s War (1675 – 1678)
  • defeat of Wampanoags
  • Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie
  • Benjamin Church

The conflict began when officials in Plymouth Colony (Massachusetts) hanged three Wampanoags for the 1675 murder of Christianized Massachusett John Sassamon who had attended Harvard College for a year. Because he could read and write, John Sassamon had worked for Massasoit and may have known and told that King Philip and allies, such as the Narragansett people of Rhode Island and the Abenakis of le Maine, were planning raids on settlers. The war’s theatre was Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine, where Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie was cultivating the Abenakis‘ loyalty to New France, hoping to stave off invasions from the south.

Initially, Amerindians destroyed twelve of the region’s towns. White lives were lost and the economy, ruined. (See King Philip’s War, Wikipedia.) By the end of the three-year conflict, most of King Philip’s warriors had died. Out of Philip’s 3,400 warriors, 400 had survived. Among his 3,500 opponents, 2,900 had survived. Metacomet, King Philip, had retreated to his home at Mount Hope when he realized Native Americans could not defeat the colonists, led by Benjamin Church. King Philip was killed in 1676 “while walking in the forest.” (See King Philip’s War, Wikipedia.) Many captured Native Americans, including Metacomet’s son and, according to some reports, his wife, were sold into slavery and sent to Bermuda.

The Treaty of Casco (1678)

  • end of the war (1676, for King Philip)
  • diseases
  • famine

For King Philip, the war ended in 1676. But hostilities continued until the Treaty of Casco was signed. The loss of lives had been enormous. The war King Philip and his allies had initiated was a bloodbath and the greater victims. They were losing their land and their values were threatened. Moreover, the ravages of war led to famines. Longfellow‘s Song of Hiawatha is fiction, but facts support much of what he wrote. Minnehaha dies in a famine. Northeastern Amerindians were hunters, but they also grew their food. The war caused interruptions and destruction.

Particularly destructive were the communicable diseases settlers brought to the Americas: the plague, smallpox, typhoid, measles, venereal diseases, influenza… Many Europeans had died and still died of such diseases, but exposure had created a degree of immunity. North American Indians, however, had no immunity to the diseases of Europeans. Entire populations were wiped out.


Elijah Tahamont, or Dark Cloud, an Abenaki Actor and Model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Age of Discovery

It could be that the major fallacy of the Age of Discovery was the notion that land discovered was land conquered; that it belonged to the nation that had discovered it. Native Americans were disowned. Moreover, etched in the mind of colonists was another misconception. They believed they had the right to own black slaves who would work on their plantations. One can’t imagine a greater danger than being the possession of another human being. A new aristocracy had arisen: the wealthy.


In short, King Philip was a Native American whose real name was Metacomet or Metacom (other spellings exist). Metacomet could tell that the land of Native Americans would be taken away from them.

Attacks on settlers were an ignominy, but so were encroachments on land that had always ensured the survival of Native Americans: their fields and hunting grounds.

My best wishes to all of you.


Sources and Resources 

Manifest Destiny
http://www.history.com/topics/manifest-destiny (from the History Channel)
Video: The Last of the Sioux (please click on Manifest Destiny).


© Micheline Walker
20 September 2015

Christopher Columbus
by Sebastiano del Piombo
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bernard-Anselme and Joseph d’Abbadie: Sons of a Different Mind


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The Baron’s Sons: Bernard-Anselme & Joseph

Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin had several children, most of them born to Pidianske, one of the daughters of Abenaki chief Madokawando. Two are known to historians and to the curious: Bernard-Anselme d’Abbadie (1689 – 1720) and Joseph d’Abbadie (active 1720 – 1746).

Both sons continued to fight the English, which had been their father’s mission, but did so in what appears a less aggressive manner. Jean-Vincent participated in King Philip’s War (1675 -1678), a conflict which was a response to attacks on New England settlers by Amerindians. Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie had played an active role in these attacks. King Philip’s War decimated the Amerindian population of New England. Of a total of 3,400 men, only 400 Amerindians survived, but on Britain’s side, of a total of 3,500, 2,900 men survived.

Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie did fulfill his responsibilities. However, when Jacques de Chambly, was freed, the French having paid a ransom, Jean-Vincent married Pidianske and soon identified with his Abenaki tribe. He had an habitation built surrounded by wigwams.

At the foot of my last post, I inserted a video, a French television programme. The programme’s host states that Jean-Vincent was an Abenaki. It was a clear case of self-identification, but Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, Baron de Saint-Castin, an unlikely candidate, became an Abenaki chief (sachem), no less. He was assimilated.

Bernard-Anselme d’Abbadie, Baron de Saint-Castin

Bernard-Anselme (active as of 1707) Jean-Vincent’s first-born and fourth Baron de Saint-Castin continued to cultivate the loyalty of his tribe, following in his father’s footsteps. However, he married Marie-Charlotte d’Amours de Chauffours, of Port-Royal, the daughter of Louis d’Amours de Chauffours (born at Quebec – died in Paris, 1718). He thereby entered a prominent French family.

Bernard-Anselme began by dividing his time between Port-Royal, where he had his family residence, and Pentagouet, his native village, which remained an advanced bastion of the Acadian defences. But he was not really an Abenaki chief in the absolute sense, as his father had been[.] (Bernard-Anselme, DCB/DBC.)[1]

His sisters also married in the best Acadian families:

In December the baron’s sisters married Philippe Mius d’Entremont and Alexandre Le Borgne de Belle-Isle respectively; thus the Saint-Castins, Franco-Abenaki half-breeds, became linked by marriage with the best Acadian families.” (See Bernard-Anselme, DCB/DBC.) [2]

When news of Jean-Vincent’s death reached Nouvelle-France, Bernard-Anselme viewed himself as fourth Baron d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin, a title he would later claim.

In 1714, a year after Acadia fell to the British, by virtue of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Bernard Anselme and Marie-Charlotte sailed to France. In 1717, three years after his arrival in France, Bernard-Anselme, who had faced considerable opposition, was admitted into the States of the Béarn in the order of the nobility.” (Bernard-Anselme, DCB/DBC.)[3] It was a short-lived privilege as he died in 1720.

However, in the spring of 1720, he had written « Mémoire des services rendus par les sieurs de Saint-Castin, père et fils, » in which it is clearly stated that ties between the French and Native Americans protected the French and had to be secured. It is as though Bernard-Anselme were writing that Jean-Vincent, his father, had married an Amerindian in the line of duty. Bernard-Anselme died in the Béarn and was survived by his wife (d. 1734, at Pau), and his three daughters. The baronetcy fell to Marie-Anselme, Bernard-Anselme’s daughter.

The Buccaneers

Not that Bernard-Anselme was a candidate for life in 18th-century French Salons, by then the meeting place of philosophes, or intellectuals, not pirates. The life he chose was that of privateer, or buccaneer. He was in fact one of four French buccaneers, Pierre Morpain, Pierre Maisonnat, known as “Baptiste,”[4] and Daniel Robinau de Neuvillette. (Bernard-Anselme, BCB/DBC.)

In the year 1709 alone they sank 35 of their ships and took 470 of them prisoner. (Bernard-Anselme, DCB/DBC.)[5]

These buccaneers were a force to contend with.

Queen Anne’s War

Mighty as were buccaneers, on 5 October 1710, Acadia nevertheless fell to Francis Nicholson, commanding 2,000 soldiers and 36 ships. How could Acadia’s governor, Auger de Subercase, win this particular battle with only 500 soldiers and 127 militia men? Bernard-Anselme was on the high seas when Acadia fell to Britain. When he  returned to Port-Royal, the capital of Acadie, it had been renamed Annapolis Royal, in honour of Queen Anne who supplied Nicholson with the ship, men and the artillery he required. 

The Treaty of Utrecht

The Treaty of Utrecht, or Peace of Utrecht, was not signed until 1713, but Bernard-Anselme accompanied John Livingstone to Quebec, taking Acadia’s act of capitulation to Philippe de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor-general of New France from 1703 until 1725.

Marquis de Vaudreuil

Marquis Philippe de Vaudreuil, Governor-General of New France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bernard-Anselme, Governor of Acadie

A year later, an optimistic Vaudreuil named Bernard-Anselme d’Abbadie governor of what remained of Acadie, the current Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island, but Acadia, Nova Scotia and le Maine, could not be recaptured. It was still possible for Bernard-Anselme to ensure the loyalty of the Abenaki in a defeated Maine and other North American “Indians.” However, the Abenaki themselves needed the protection of the French. After King Philips’ War, a response to attacks on settlers, Amerindians knew there was little if any willingness on the part of Britain to accommodate Native Americans.


Allow me a “footnote.”

My last post allowed us a glimpse at a form of acculturation: a “process of cultural change and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures,”  (Wikipedia). But in the case of Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, acculturation did not happen in the direction sought by colonists, i.e. the assimilation of North American natives into a European culture. French ensign, Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, Baron de Saint-Castin, was assimilated into Abenaki culture.

Jean-Vincent’s acculturation cannot be confused with that of Europeans involved in fur trading, beginning with the French, who married Amerindians. The history of the Bois-Brûlés (burnt wood), the Métis people of the central provinces of the current Canada, differs from that of North Eastern “Indians.” The Métis people became a separate nation. There is no Métis nation in Eastern Canada, but its population is métissé(e), often, if not mostly, unknowingly.

Joseph d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin

But to return to our tale of two brothers, Bernard-Anselme and Joseph, Joseph inherited his father’s looks. He was blue-eyed and blond. He and a yet-to-be identified brother, a third brother, continued to fight the British and were paid to do so, as had been Bernard-Anselme who died in France in 1720. Like his father Jean-Vincent, Joseph was also a chief, a great chief, of the Abenaki. In 1721, he was tricked into going aboard a British ship. He had been deceitfully invited for refreshments. Once he was aboard the ship, it lifted anchor. Joseph d’Abbadie was therefore imprisoned in Boston from November 1721 until May 1722. If he left prison, it was not for his blue eyes, but because he was a “great chief.” It seems his captors wanted to appease Amerindians.

By 1726, he was nevertheless recognized as an officer in the French army and served until 1746, when his unidentified brother died of wounds “received in a brawl” (see Joseph d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin). After the death of his brother, in 1746, Joseph was never seen again. It seems he literally “took to the woods,” or went into hiding. The French were losing the war.

Benjamin West, 1738 – 1820, The Death of Wolfe
George B. Campion, 1795 – 1870, The Battle of Sainte-Foy
Charles William Jefferys, 1869 – 1951, Montcalm (2)

updated conclusion

First our story is about self-identification. Bernard-Anselme and Joseph were sons of a different mind. One brother could be French, but not the other. Such was the reality they carved out for themselves.

Similarly, a large number of French Canadians look upon the Battle of the Plains of Abraham as the decisive event in the fall of New France. New France was conquered by Britain in a battle fought on Abraham Martin’s field on 13 September 1959.

That is not entirely the ‘truth.’ Nouvelle-France was ceded to Britain in 1763, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. In fact, there was another battle, won by the French. On 28 April 1760, the Chevalier de Lévis defeated the British at the Battle of Sainte-Foy, but it is as though this battle never occurred.

It could be that being conquered by Britain is a fate kinder than being ceded by one’s motherland, a motherland that kept its sugar-rich colonies.


Officially, Acadie was the first province of New France to fall to Britain, by virtue of the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, and under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, in 1763, New France was conquered by Britain. It is also official that Acadians were deported in 1755 by the British and that no embittered descendant of Huguenots (French Protestants) had any role to play in this horrible event. Fortunately, I can’t remember the name of my Huguenot, which probably means that the British deported the Acadians unassisted.

As for our brothers, Bernard-Anselme was French and Joseph, an Abenaki and a chief. Our story therefore remains one of self-identification.

Reality is often conditioned by the human mind, which at times is a creative and forgiving mind. How else could we survive an otherwise horrific past?

On the third day, He rose again.

With kindest regards to all of you.


Sources and Resources



[1] Georges Cerbelaud Salagnac, “ABBADIE DE SAINT-CASTIN, BERNARD-ANSELME D’, Baron de Saint-Castin,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 15, 2015, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/abbadie_de_saint_castin_bernard_anselme_d_2E

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Alexander Ross names Canadiens voyageurs ‘Baptiste,’ in Ross’s Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, 1810-1813 (Carlisle Massachusetts: Applewood Books Reprint [London, 1849]).

[5] Georges Cerbelaud Salagnac, op. cit.

Alfred Brendel plays Joseph Hadyn‘s Piano Sonata in E flat

Death_of_General_Montcalm© Micheline Walker
16 September 2015

Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, Baron de Saint-Castin


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—Baron de Saint-Castin by Wiliam H. Lowe, 1881, Museum Archives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baron de Saint-Castin by Will H. Lowe, 1881, Wilson Museum Archives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, baron de Saint-Castin

  • Régiment de Carignan-Salières
  • The 1670s in New France

I am currently trying to tell the story of Jean-Vincent, baron de Saint-Castin (1652 -1707), but fatigue has slowed me down. Jean-Vincent came to New France as a member of the Régiment de Carignan-Salières, under the command of Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy (c. 1596 or 1603 – 1670). Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie was 13 years old when he joined the régiment, which was acceptable in the 17th century, given his birth and education. He was made an ensign.

At that time in the history of New France, Daniel de Rémy de Courcelle (1626 – 1698) was governor-general and the Filles du Roy, the King’s Daughters, were arriving in Nouvelle-France so settlers could marry French women. Eight hundred women immigrated to New France between 1663 and 1673.

The Régiment de Carignan-Salières was sent to New France in 1665, by Louis XIV, king of France, to protect French settlers who were frequently attacked by Iroquois, allies of the British. According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, “[i]t is probable that in 1666 Jean-Vincent took part with his regiment in the campaign of the Marquis de Tracy against the Iroquois.” He returned to France in 1668.

Images by Francis Back: Le Régiment de Carignan-Salières

Jean-Vincent in le Maine, Acadia

  • Treaty of Breda (1667)
  • Hector d’Andigné de Grandfontaine, governor of Acadia (1670 – 1673)
  • Pentagouet
  • Castine, Maine

However, in 1670, the Baron of Saint-Castin accompanied Captain Hector d’Andigné de Grandfontaine (1627 – 1696), formerly of the Régiment de Carignan-Salières. Grandfontaine had been appointed governor of Acadia, newly restored to France by virtue of the Treaty of Breda (1667). Both Grandfontaine and Saint-Castin took up residence at Pentagouet, le Maine, on the Penobscot River.

Le Maine is the current state of Maine, in the Northeast of the United States. However, until 1713, le Maine was part of Acadia, one of the two provinces of New France. It was contested territory as ownership of this land was claimed by France, England and Holland. As we know, it belonged to the aboriginals, but …

Castine, Maine

The town of Castine, Maine, is named after the Baron de Saint-Castin and, from 1670 until 1674, it was the capital of Acadia. However, if Castine is the baron’s namesake, it is largely because he mingled with Amerindians which, of course, benefited New France, but also showed that Jean-Vincent did not look upon Amerindians as inferior human beings. In fact he married an Amerindian woman and, after her death, her sister.


Abenaki Couple, an 18th-century watercolor by an unknown artist. Courtesy of the City of Montreal Records Management & Archives, Montreal, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jean-Vincent’s Marriage(s)

The alliance he created between the French and the Amerindians was more than friendship. If Jean-Vincent, baron de Saint-Castin, has gone down in the annals of history, the best explanation is that he married Pidianske the daughter of Penobscot chief Madockawando (born in Maine c. 1630; died 1698), renamed Marie-Mathilde.

Pidianske and Pidiwamiska

Marie-Mathilde bore the baron ten children. As for her husband, he became an Abenaki[1] chief after Madockawandos death in 1698. Grandfontaine, whom Jean-Vincent accompanied to Maine, served briefly, a mere three years, from 1670 until 1673. He was replaced by Jacques de Chambly, who was taken prisoner by Dutch pirates. So was Jean-Vincent who was tortured, but escaped and alerted officials. Pentagouet, however, ceased to be the capital of Acadia and the baron went to live with his tribe, using his Pentagouet quarters as a trading-post.

According to the video at the bottom of this post FR, after the death of Marie-Mathilde, Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie married Pidianske’s sister, Pidiwamiska, who bore him two children. Charles-Anselme d’Abbadie and Joseph, two of Jean-Vincent’s sons, were also militant Abenakis, but could not match their father’s exceptional leadership.

One Marriage blessed by the Church

There is confusion regarding the baron’s marriages. He seems to have married twice, à la façon du pays,[2] but one couple’s vows were blessed by the Catholic Church in the last quarter of 1684, at Pentagouet. As requested by Monseigneur François de Laval, the Bishop of Quebec, Father Jacques Bigot, the Jesuit missionary to the Abenakis, married the couple. However, the baron had become an Amerindian, spoke the language of Amerindians and lived with them. He was an Abenaki chief and a successful fur trader.

François, évêque de Québec


François de Laval, Bishop of Quebec, Project Gutenberg [EBook #17174]

Return to France

Born in Béarn, Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Gascony), in 1652, Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie returned to France in 1701 hoping to consolidate his title and inheritance as third baron de Saint-Castin. His effort in that regard were thwarted by family members. He had been absent a very long time. He died at Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in 1707, in his fifties. Opposition to his legitimate claim proved more deleterious than life in a wigwam.


Cover page of an 1864 edition of Longfellow’s “Tales of a Wayside Inn”  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Longfellow’s “The Baron of St. Castine”

However, he is remembered not only as his namesake, Castine, but because Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), who was born in Portland, Maine, wrote a poem honouring the baron de Saint-Castin, “The Baron of St. Castine,” part of Tales of a Wayside Inn (1864). Longfellow is the author of Évangéline, a Tale of Acadie, 1847.  Évangéline is a fictional victim of the Expulsion of the Acadians, in 1755.

The poem refers to Saint-Castin’s father, but Castine’s father had probably died prior to his son departure for New France. However, the image of an aging father awaiting the return of his son in a French castle was far too compelling for Longfellow not to depict.

A Father Grieves

Facts being at times uncertain in the life of Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, fiction demanded a grieving father.

Baron Castine of St. Castine
Has left his château in the Pyrenees,
And sailed across the western seas.
When he went away from his fair demesne
The birds were building, the woods were green;
And now the winds of winter blow
Round the turrets of the old château,
The birds are silent and unseen,
The leaves lie dead in the ravine,
And the Pyrenees are white with snow.

His father, lonely, old, and gray,
Sits by the fireside day by day,
Thinking ever one thought of care;
Through the southern windows, narrow and tall,
The sun shines into the ancient hall,
And makes a glory round his hair.
The house-dog, stretched beneath his chair,
Groans in his sleep as if in pain,
Then wakes, and yawns, and sleeps again,
So silent is it everywhere,–
So silent you can hear the mouse
Run and rummage along the beams
Behind the wainscot of the wall;
And the old man rouses from his dreams,
And wanders restless through the house,
As if he heard strange voices call.



Acadia fell to Britain under the terms the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, peace treaties that ended the War of the Spanish Succession. However, under the terms of The Treaty of Ryswick, 1698, the French had already lost authority over le Maine.

Founded in 1604, four years before Quebec, Acadia was the first province of New France to be handed however to Britain. At the time Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie arrived in Maine, the total number of Acadians was 885. As for the inhabitants of Quebec or Canada, they numbered 3,200 people. (See Canadian Military History.)

The French and the Amerindians

The story of Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie provides insight into the relationship between the French and the Amerindians. French voyageurs learned to live as did the Amerindians, or would have perished. They entered every nook and cranny of the North American continent and married Amerindians, creating the Métis people. However, there were very few French settlers, and most lived on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River and in Acadie.

My best regards to all of you.


Sources and Resources


“Abenaki”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 11 Sep. 2015
© Micheline Walker
11 September 2015
12 September 2015 (updated)


A. Y. Jackson: Nature Untamed


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Grey Day, Laurentians by A. Y. Jackson, 1928 (Photo credit: wikiart.org)

It is still summer in Sherbrooke. In fact, summer did not begin until late July, if not later. Yet, we will soon be fascinated by autumn’s palette of colours: shades of red, yellow, purple, burgundy: a study in vibrant colours. This type of scenery was depicted by members of the Group of Seven (see Group of Seven, Canadian Encyclopedia). And so was winter. Above is A. Y. Jackson’s Red Maple (1914), an early painting, but most of the paintings I am showing are winter landscapes depicting Quebec. Jackson was born in Montreal, and it would appear we all belong to the land of our youth.

The Red Maple by A. Y. Jackson, 1914 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Red Maple by A. Y. Jackson, 1914 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alexander Young Jackson

  • Montreal
  • Chicago
  • Paris

Born and raised in Montréal, A.Y. Jackson CC CMG (October 3, 1882 – April 5, 1974) first apprenticed taking evening classes at the Monument-National and the Conseil des arts et manufactures (Internet Archive) under Edmond Dyonnet (1896-99). He then studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1906-07) and at the Académie Julian in Paris, under Jean-Paul Laurens (1907). He joined the Étapes art colony, a productive stage in his career. One of his paintings, “Paysage embrumé,” was accepted by the Paris Salon.

Therefore, A. Y. Jackson was an unlikely member of the Group of Seven, of which he was a founding member all of whom portrayed Canada’s wilderness. Matters changed, when Jackson exhibited his Edge of the Maple Wood (1910), shown below. The painting drew the attention of the Group of Seven’s only wealthy member, Lawren Harris, who purchased it. Jackson could not earn a living in Montreal.

The Group of Seven

Recognition worked its magic and induced A. Y. Jackson to move to Toronto where he first shared a studio with Tom Tompson (Canadian Encyclopedia), the artist featured in my last post.

“Jackson taught Thomson aspects of technique, especially colour, while Thomson taught Jackson about the Canadian wilderness (see A. Y. Jackson, Canadian Encyclopedia).”

Jackson visited Algonguin Park, where Thomson built his cabin, loved its scenery and  chose to be a landscape artist. He also went west, to the Rocky Mountains, but by and large, he worked in Ontario areas associated with the Group of Seven such as Algonguin Park, the Algoma districtGeorgian Bay and the North Shore (Lake Superior), etc. But Jackson also painted Quebec.

Career …

A. Y. Jackson was a war artist (1917-1919). He taught at the Ontario College of Art, the current Ontario College of Art and Design and the Banff School of Fine Arts (1943-1949). Later, he was artist-in-residence at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario, where he died at the age of 91.

Members of the Group of Seven were Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston (replaced by A. J. Casson), Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. Macdonald and F. H. Varley. The group was formerly established in 1924 and 1925, but had held its first exhibition in 1920 at the Art Gallery of Toronto, now the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The video we will view shows Tom Thompson, the Group’s precursor, as well as Emily Carr and David Milne, celebrated artists who also loved nature untamed.

My kindest regards to all of you.

Sources and Resources

The Edge of the Maple Wood by A. Y. Jackson, 1910 (Photo credit: wikiart.org)

The Edge of the Maple Wood by A. Y. Jackson, 1910 (Photo credit: wikiart.org)

Maple Wood

Maple Wood, Algoma by A. Y. Jackson, 1920 (Courtesy the Canadian Encyclopedia and the NGC)

The Group of Seven, David Milne and Emily Carr
Jane Coop plays Claude Debussy‘s “Clair de Lune”

ay-jackson-411_jpg© Micheline Walker
8 September 2015


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