Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold
by Matthew Arnold
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[362] Jean Racine (1639-99), tragic dramatist.

[363] Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux (1636-1711), poet and critic.

[364] Andre de Chenier (1762-94), poet, author of Jeune Captive, etc.

[365] Pierre Jean de Beranger (1780-1857), song-writer.

[366] Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine (1790-1869), poet, historian, and statesman.

[367] Louis Charles Alfred de Musset (1810-57), poet, play-writer, and novelist.

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[368] From The Recluse, l. 754.

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[369] Paradise Lost, XI, 553-54.

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[370] The Tempest, IV, i, 156-58.

[371] criticism of life. See The Study of Poetry, Selections, Note 1, p. 57.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 66 in this e-text.]

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[372] Discourses of Epictetus, trans. Long, 1903, vol. I, book II, chap. XXIII, p. 248.

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[373] Theophile Gautier. A noted French poet, critic, and novelist, and a leader of the French Romantic Movement (1811-72).

[374] The Recluse, ll. 767-71.

[375] AEneid, VI, 662.

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[376] Leslie Stephen. English biographer and literary critic (1832-1904). He was the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography. Arnold quotes from the essay on Wordsworth's Ethics in Hours in a Library (1874-79), vol. III.

[377] Excursion, IV, 73-76.

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[378] Ibid., II, 10-17.

[379] Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.

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[380] Excursion, IX, 293-302.

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[381] See p. 232.[Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 373 in this e-text.]

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[382] the "not ourselves." Arnold quotes his own definition of God as "the enduring power, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness." See Literature and Dogma, chap. I.

[383] The opening sentence of a famous criticism of the Excursion published in the Edinburgh Review for November, 1814, no. 47. It was written by Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey (1773-1850), Scottish judge and literary critic, and first editor of the Edinburgh Review.

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[384] Macbeth, III, ii.

[385] Paradise Lost, VII, 23-24.

[386] The Recluse, l. 831.

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[387] From Burns's A Bard's Epitaph.

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[388] The correct title is The Solitary Reaper.


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[389] This selection is the first chapter of Culture and Anarchy. It originally formed a part of the last lecture delivered by Arnold as Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Culture and Anarchy was first printed in The Cornhill Magazine, July 1867,-August, 1868, vols. XVI-XVIII. It was published as a book in 1869.

[390] For Sainte-Beuve, see The Study of Poetry, Selections, Note 2, p. 56.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 65 in this e-text.] The article referred to appeared in the Quarterly Review for January, 1866, vol. CXIX, p. 80. It finds fault with Sainte-Beuve's lack of conclusiveness, and describes him as having "spent his life in fitting his mind to be an elaborate receptacle for well-arranged doubts." In this respect a comparison is made with Arnold's "graceful but perfectly unsatisfactory essays."

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[391] From Montesquieu's Discours sur les motifs qui doivent nous encourager aux sciences, prononce le 15 Novembre, 1725. Montesquieu's Oeuvres completes, ed. Laboulaye, VII, 78.

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[392] Thomas Wilson (1663-1755) was consecrated Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1698. His episcopate was marked by a number of reforms in the Isle of Man. The opening pages of Arnold's Preface to Culture and Anarchy are devoted to an appreciation of Wilson. He says: "On a lower range than the Imitation, and awakening in our nature chords less poetical and delicate, the Maxims of Bishop Wilson are, as a religious work, far more solid. To the most sincere ardor and unction, Bishop Wilson unites, in these Maxims, that downright honesty and plain good sense which our English race has so powerfully applied to the divine impossibilities of religion; by which it has brought religion so much into practical life, and has done its allotted part in promoting upon earth the kingdom of God."

[393] will of God prevail. Maxim 450 reads: "A prudent Christian will resolve at all times to sacrifice his inclinations to reason, and his reason to the will and word of God."

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[394] From Bishop Wilson's Sacra Privata, Noon Prayers, Works, ed. 1781, I, 199.

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[395] John Bright (1811-89) was a leader with Cobden in the agitation for repeal of the Corn Laws and other measures of reform, and was one of England's greatest masters of oratory.

[396] Frederic Harrison (1831-), English jurist and historian, was president of the English Positivist Committee, 1880-1905. His Creed of a Layman (1907) is a statement of his religious position.

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[397] See The Function of Criticism, Selections, Note 2, p. 37. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 38 in this e-text.]

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[398] 1 Tim., IV, 8.

[399] The first of the "Rules of Health and Long Life" in Poor Richard's Almanac for December, 1742. The quotation should read: "as the Constitution of thy Body allows of."

[400] Epictetus, Encheiridion, chap. XLI.

[401] Sweetness and Light. The phrase is from Swift's The Battle of the Books, Works, ed. Scott, 1824, X, 240. In the apologue of the Spider and the Bee the superiority of the ancient over the modern writers is thus summarized: "Instead of dirt and poison we have rather chose to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light."

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[402] Independents. The name applied in England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the denomination now known as Congregationalists.

[403] From Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America, Works, ed. 1834, I, 187.

[404] 1 Pet., III, 8.

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[405] Epsom. A market town in Surrey, where are held the famous Derby races, founded in 1780.

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[406] Sallust's Catiline, chap. LII, Sec. 22.

[407] The Daily Telegraph was begun in June, 1855, as a twopenny newspaper. It became the great organ of the middle classes and has been distinguished for its enterprise in many fields. Up to 1878 it was consistently Liberal in politics. It is a frequent object of Arnold's irony as the mouthpiece of English philistinism.

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[408] Young Leo (or Leo Adolescens) is Arnold's name for the typical writer of the Daily Telegraph (see above). He is a prominent character of Friendship's Garland.

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[409] Edmond Beales (1803-81), political agitator, was especially identified with the movement for manhood suffrage and the ballot, and was the leading spirit in two large popular demonstrations in London in 1866.

[410] Charles Bradlaugh (1833-91), freethought advocate and politician. His efforts were especially directed toward maintaining the freedom of the press in issuing criticisms on religious belief and sociological questions. In 1880 he became a Member of Parliament, and began a long and finally successful struggle for the right to take his seat in Parliament without the customary oath on the Bible.

[411] John Henry Newman (1801-90) was the leader of the Oxford Movement in the English Church. His Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864) was a defense of his religious life and an account of the causes which led him from Anglicanism to Romanism. For his hostility to Liberalism see the Apologia, ed. 1907, pp. 34, 212, and 288.

[412] AEneid, I, 460.

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[413] The Reform Bill of 1832 abolished fifty-six "rotten" boroughs and made other changes in representation to Parliament, thus transferring a large share of political power from the landed aristocracy to the middle classes.

[414] Robert Lowe (1811-92), afterwards Viscount Sherbrooke, held offices in the Board of Education and Board of Trade. He was liberal, but opposed the Reform Bill of that party in 1866-67. His speeches on the subject were printed in 1867.

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[415] Jacobinism. The Societe des Jacobins was the most famous of the political clubs of the French Revolution. Later the term Jacobin was applied to any promulgator of extreme revolutionary or radical opinions.

[416] See ante, Note 2, p. 248.

[417] Auguste Comte (1798-1857), French philosopher and founder of Positivism. This system of thought attempts to base religion on the verifiable facts of existence, opposes devotion to the study of metaphysics, and substitutes the worship of Humanity for supernatural religion.

[418] Richard Congreve (1818-99) resigned a fellowship at Oxford in 1855, and devoted the remainder of his life to the propagation of the Positive philosophy.

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[419] Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), philosopher and jurist, was leader of the English school of Utilitarianism, which recognizes "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" as the proper foundation of morality and legislation.

[420] Ludwig Preller (1809-61), German philologist and antiquarian.

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[421] Book of Job. Arnold must have read Franklin's piece hastily, since he has mistaken a bit of ironic trifling for a serious attempt to rewrite the Scriptures. The Proposed New Version of the Bible is merely a bit of amusing burlesque in which six verses of the Book of Job are rewritten in the style of modern politics. According to Mr. William Temple Franklin the Bagatelles, of which the Proposed New Version is a part, were "chiefly written by Dr. Franklin for the amusement of his intimate society in London and Paris." See Franklin's Complete Works, ed. 1844, II, 164.

[422] The Deontology, or The Science of Morality, was arranged and edited by John Bowring, in 1834, two years after Bentham's death, and it is doubtful how far it represents Bentham's thoughts.

[423] Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-62) was the author of the History of Civilization in England, a book which, though full of inaccuracies, has had a great influence on the theory and method of historical writing.

[424] Mr. Mill. See Marcus Aurelius, Selections, Note 2, p. 145. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 183 in this e-text.]

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[425] The article from which Arnold quotes these extracts is not Frederic Harrison's Culture: A Dialogue, but an earlier essay in the Fortnightly Review for March 1, 1867, called Our Venetian Constitution, See pages 276-77 of the article.

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[426] Peter Abelard (1079-1142) was a scholastic philosopher and a leader in the more liberal thought of his day.

[427] Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81), German critic and dramatist. His best-known writings are the epoch-making critical work, Laokooen (1766), and the drama Minna van Barnhelm (1767). His ideas were in the highest degree stimulating and fruitful to the German writers who followed him.

[428] Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), a voluminous and influential German writer, was a pioneer of the Romantic Movement. He championed adherence to the national type in literature, and helped to found the historical method in literature and science.

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[429] Confessions of St. Augustine, XIII, 18, 22, Everyman's Library ed., p. 326.


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[430] The present selection comprises chapter IV, of Culture and Anarchy. In the preceding chapter Arnold has been pointing out the imperfection of the various classes of English society, which he describes as "Barbarians, Philistines, and Populace." For the correction of this imperfection he pleads for "some public recognition and establishment of our best self, or right reason." In chapter III, he has shown how "our habits and practice oppose themselves to such a recognition." He now proposes to find, "beneath our actual habits and practice, the very ground and cause out of which they spring." Then follows the selection here given.

Professor Gates has pointed out the fact that Arnold probably borrows the terms here contrasted from Heine. In Ueber Ludwig Boerne (Werke, ed. Stuttgart, X, 12), Heine says: "All men are either Jews or Hellenes, men ascetic in their instincts, hostile to culture, spiritual fanatics, or men of vigorous good cheer, full of the pride of life, Naturalists." For Heine's own relation to Hebraism and Hellenism, see the present selection, p. 275.

[431] See Sweetness and Light, Selections, Note 1, p. 244. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 392 in this e-text.] Maxim 452 reads: "Two things a Christian will never do—never go against the best light he has, this will prove his sincerity, and, 2, to take care that his light be not darkness, i.e., that he mistake not his rule by which he ought to go."

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[432] 2 Pet. I, 4.

[433] Frederick William Robertson (1816-53) began his famous ministry at Brighton in 1847. He was a man of deep spirituality and great sincerity. The latter part of his life was clouded by opposition roused by his sympathy with the revolutionary ideas of the 1848 epoch and by the mental trouble which eventually resulted in his death. The sermon referred to seems to be the first Advent Lecture on The Greek. Arnold objects to Robertson's rather facile summarizing. Four characteristics are mentioned as marking Grecian life and religion: restlessness, worldliness, worship of the beautiful, and worship of the human. The second of these has three results, disappointment, degradation, disbelief in immortality.

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[434] Heinrich Heine. See Heine, Selections, pp. 112-144. [Transcriber's note: This section begins at the text reference for Footnote 135 in this e-text.]

[435] Prov. XXIX, 18.

[436] Ps. CXII, 1.

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[437] Rom. III, 31.

[438] Zech. IX, 13.

[439] Prov. XVI, 22.

[440] John I, 4-9; 8-12; Luke II, 32, etc.

[441] John VIII, 32.

[442] Nichomachaean Ethics, bk. II, chap. III.

[443] Jas. I, 25.

[444] Discourses of Epictetus, bk. II, chap. XIX, trans. Long, I, 214 ff.

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[445] Learning to die. Arnold seems to be thinking of Phaedo, 64, Dialogues, II, 202: "For I deem that the true votary of philosophy is likely to be misunderstood by other men; they do not perceive that he is always pursuing death and dying; and if this be so, and he has had the desire of death all his life long, why when his time comes should he repine at that which he has been always pursuing and desiring?" Plato goes on to show that life is best when it is most freed from the concerns of the body. Cf. also Phaedrus (Dialogues, II, 127) and Gorgias (Dialogues, II, 369).

[446] 2 Cor. V, 14.

[447] See Aristotle, Nichomachaean Ethics, bk. X, chaps. VIII, IX.

[448] Phaedo, 82D, Dialogues, I, 226.

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[449] Xenophon's Memorabilia, bk. IV, chap. VIII, Sec. 6.

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[450] Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-82), English divine and leader of the High Church party in the Oxford Movement.

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[451] Zech. VIII, 23.

[452] my Saviour banished joy. The sentence is an incorrect quotation from George Herbert's The Size, the fifth stanza of which begins:—

"Thy Savior sentenced joy, And in the flesh condemn'd it as unfit,— At least in lump."

[453] Eph. V, 6.

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[454] The first two books.[Arnold.]

[455] See Rom. III, 2.

[456] See Cor. III, 19.

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[457] Phaedo. In this dialogue Plato attempts to substantiate the doctrine of immortality by narrating the last hours of Socrates and his conversation on this subject when his own death was at hand.

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[458] Renascence. I have ventured to give to the foreign word Renaissance—destined to become of more common use amongst us as the movement which it denotes comes, as it will come, increasingly to interest us,—an English form.[Arnold.]


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[459] This essay, originally an address delivered at the Royal Institution, was published in the Fortnightly Review, for March, 1878, and reprinted in Mixed Essays, 1879. In the present selection the opening pages have been omitted. Arnold begins with a statement of England's tendency to maintain a condition of inequality between classes. This is reinforced by the English freedom of bequest, a freedom greater than in most of the Continental countries. The question of the advisability of altering the English law of bequest is a matter not of abstract right, but of expediency. That the maintenance of inequality is expedient for English civilization and welfare is generally assumed. Whether or not this assumption is well founded, Arnold proposes to examine in the concluding pages. As a preliminary step he defines civilization as the humanization of man in society. Then follows the selected passage.

[460] Isocrates. An Attic orator (436-338 B.C.). He was an ardent advocate of Greek unity. The passage quoted occurs in the Panegyricus, Sec. 50, Orations, ed. 1894, p. 67.

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[461] Giacomo Antonelli (1806-76), Italian cardinal. From 1850 until his death his activity was chiefly devoted to the struggle between the Papacy and the Italian Risorgimento.

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[462] famous passage. The Introduction to his Age of Louis XIV.

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[463] Laveleye. See George Sand, Selections, Note 2, p. 212. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 336 in this e-text.]

[464] Sir Thomas Erskine May, Lord Farnborough (1815-86), constitutional jurist. Arnold in the omitted portion of the present essay has quoted several sentences from his History of Democracy: "France has aimed at social equality. The fearful troubles through which she has passed have checked her prosperity, demoralised her society, and arrested the intellectual growth of her people. Yet is she high, if not the first, in the scale of civilised nations."

[465] Hamerton. See George Sand, Selections, Note 2, p. 215. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 340 in this e-text.] The quotation is from Round My House, chap, XI, ed. 1876, pp. 229-30.

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[466] Charles Sumner (1811-74), American statesman, was the most brilliant and uncompromising of the anti-slavery leaders.

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[467] Alsace. The people of Alsace, though German in origin, showed a very strong feeling against Prussian rule in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. In September, 1872, 45,000 elected to be still French and transferred their domicile to France.

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[468] Michelet. See George Sand, Selections, Note 1, p. 195. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 305 in this e-text.]

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[469] The chorus of a popular music-hall song of the time. From it was derived the word jingoism. For the original application of this term see Webster's Dictionary.

[470] Dwight L. Moody (1837-99) and Ira D. Sankey (1840-1908), the famous American evangelists, held notable revival meetings in England in 1873-75.

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[471] See, e.g., Heine, Selections, p. 129.[Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 154 in this e-text.]

[472] Goldwin Smith. See Note 2, p. 301.

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[473] See Milton's Colasterion, Works, ed. 1843, III, 445 and 452.

[474] Goldwin Smith (1824-1910), British publicist and historian, has taken an active part in educational questions both in England and America. The passage quoted below is from an article entitled Falkland and the Puritans, published in the Contemporary Review as a reply to Arnold's essay on Falkland. See Lectures and Essays, New York, 1881.

[475] John Hutchinson (1616-64), Puritan soldier. The Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, written by his wife Lucy, but not published until 1806, are remarkable both for the picture which they give of the man and the time, and also for their simple beauty of style. For the passage quoted see Everyman's Library ed., pp. 182-83.

[476] paedobaptism. Infant baptism.

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[477] Man disquiets himself, but God manages the matter. For Bossuet see The Function of Criticism, Selections, Note 2, p. 49. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 60 in this e-text.]

[478] Prov. XIX, 21.

[479] So in the original.[Arnold.]

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[480] Bright. See Sweetness and Light, Selections, Note 1, p. 248.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 395 in this e-text.]

[481] Richard Cobden (1804-65), English manufacturer and Radical politician. He was a leader in the agitation for repeal of the Corn Laws and in advocacy of free trade.

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[482] Prov. XIV, 6.

[483] Compare Culture and Anarchy, chaps. II and III, and Ecce Convertimur ad Gentes, Irish Essays, ed. 1903, p. 115.

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[484] Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), English diarist.

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[485] young lion. See Sweetness and Light, Selections, Note 1, p. 261.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 408 in this e-text.]

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[486] Mill. See Marcus Aurelius, Selections, Note 2, p. 145. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 183 in this e-text.]

[487] Spencer Compton Cavendish (1833-1908), Marquis of Hartington (since 1891 Duke of Devonshire), became Liberal leader in the House of Commons after the defeat and withdrawal of Gladstone in January, 1875.

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[488] Menander. See Contribution of the Celts, Selections, Note 3, p. 177.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 255 in this e-text.]


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