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THE POLITICIANS; OR, A STATE OF THINGS.

A DRAMATIC PIECE.

WRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN, AND A CITIZEN OF PHILADELPHIA.

PHILADELPHIA: PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR.

1798.

[Page]

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

MEN.
  • Conciliate, Kitefoot,
  • Dispassionate, Sugar-Loaf,
  • Partial, Adz,
  • Hasty, Sawney Biscuit,
  • Crusty, Cato,
  • O'Callaghan Sarcastic, Sambo,
  • O'Brazen, Coesar,
  • Monsieur Aristocrat, Pompey,
  • Mynheer Van Plump, Landlord.
WOMEN.
  • Mrs. Violent, Mrs. Turbulent.
[Page]

THE POLITICIANS, &c.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

A room in Mrs. Turbulent's house.
Enter Cato.
Cato.

I wonder what e debil woman have do we poletic, dere my misse and misse Violent, talke, talke, talke, bout trety, bout Masse Jay, bout president, bout congree, bout English, bout French, it mak me sick, dere two tongue go like mill clap.

[Exit.
Enter Mrs. Turbulent and Mrs. Violent.
Mrs. Turbulent.

Our minister refused! this is the effects of the cursed treaty, (walks in passion) I wish—I wish—

Mrs. Violent.

What do you wish?

Mrs. Turbulent.

I wish the president's hand had withered before he had signed it.

Mrs. Violent.

Abominable wicked wish.

Mrs. Turbulent.

Wicked, do you say?—no, he deserves the curses of his country for that one act, he has blasted his name forever; I was told it would come to this.

Mrs. Violent.

Ah, who was the sagacious person?

Mrs. Turbulent.
[Page 4]

Mr. Lisp was the person—Mr. Lisp is a man of penetration—Mr. Lisp is a man of parts—of most extraordinary parts.

Mrs. Violent.

He, he, he—Peter Porcupine won't admit that, (aside) you really consider him a man of consummate wisdom and parts.

Mrs. Turbulent.

I do, but he is not the only one who gave me intimation of what would happen in consequence of that diabolical treaty: I say Mr. Timid and Mr. Antici­pate of the Senate, told me we might be certain, that the treaty would draw down upon us the vengeance of the French, and Mr. Timid and Mr. Anticipate have the good of their country at heart.

Mrs. Violent.

Their own, rather say: their party have no­thing else at heart.

Mrs. Turbulent.

The reverse, they are disinterested men, it would be a great saving to the nation if such men as them were at the head of it. They would oeconomise.

Mrs. Violent.

Excellent patriots—excellent oeconomisers! they would oeconomise in order to disorganise.

Mrs. Turbulent.

You are bitter, very bitter, Mrs. Violent.

Mrs. Violent.

I will never be otherwise to your party—a wicked, restless, marplotting set; ever combining to cross the purposes of government, trying every possible means to render president washington's administration unhappy to him.

Mrs. Turbulent.

(scornfully) President washington's ad­ministration! He never was equal to the situation he was placed in: vastly has his talents been over-rated; he possesses none beyond that of being an overseer to a Virginia planta­tion, or the superintendance of a horse-stable: he is an ex­cellent judge of horses.

Mrs. Violent.

Monstrous! monstrous! (walking in rage) After such sacrilege, I shall be afraid to remain under your [Page 5] roof, left it should fall upon me, to speak so contemptuous of a man, who may justly be called, the father of his coun­try. A man, who is an honour to his God, a credit to his country, and an ornament to human nature.

Mrs. Turbulent.

He an honour to his country, he! and his infamous party have been the ruin of our country.

Mrs. Violent.

Your Jacobin faction are to be charged with all the evils that have befel us, and all the troubles that await our country: you have been abetting the French tyrants from the first to the present moment.

Mrs. Turbulent.

Madam, I desire to hear no more as­persions. Time will discover who are the best friends to their country.

Mrs. Violent.

Confusion to you all! time will unfold your mole-workings; and, like that animal, you will be dragged forth before your country, with the dirt upon your heads.

[Exit in a passion.
Mrs. Turbulent.

(following) Your humble servant, Mrs. Spleen.

SCENE,
A room in Conciliate's house.

Enter Conciliate.

'Tis unpleasant news, indeed; yet, I trust in God, the threatening storm will blow over. Continue us peace, Oh, heaven! and we solicit no more.

Enter Mrs. Violent, in haste.

(Walks in passion) Oh! that I had authority to punish eve­ry democrat.

Conciliate.

Who has discomposed you, sister?

Mrs. Violent.

Mrs. Turbulent—she has been abusing our beloved washington like a Fury: she had the audacity to assort that he has been an impostor, and that his abilities do not exceed those of a Negro driver, or an hostler—if ever I go into her house again, may my feet rot upon the spot.

Conciliate.
[Page 6]

Don't make so rash a promise, sister: forget and forgive, be more of the Christian.

Mrs. Violent.

(pettishly) Christian! and I suppose if a person hits me a slap upon the right cheek, I must turn my left also.—

Conciliate.

That would be Christian-like.

Mrs. Violent.

Then I will never be a Christian: I am de­termined always to give measure for measure.

Conciliate.

Forbearance, sister, is a happy quality,—it frequently makes our enemies become our friends.

Mrs. Violent.

Ah! you are constantly preaching up for­bearance: you are for our government forbearing with the French, until they bear off all the property of our mer­chants; for my part, I think our executive have acted very pusillanimous with their forbearance.

Conciliate.

That very forbearance, sister, will cause them to triumph over France:—France will blush for her con­duct towards us.

Mrs. Violent.

Ha, ha, ha, I should as soon expect to see a Negro blush. It is true, their faces have, from time to time, been well crimsoned with the blood of their fellow-citizens.

Conciliate.

Sister, sister, be not so severe.

Mrs. Violent.

Brother, I am honest, and speak my mind: I hate the French monsters, and I hate our devilish demo­crats: they would link together and destroy our country.

Conciliate.

Not the least fear of that.

Mrs. Violent.

There should be no countenance shewn to either of them: I'd banish them from the country.

Conciliate.

Sister, I could wish you were less of a partizan, really: by it you render yourself very unhappy.

Mrs. Violent.

I am afraid, brother, you lean towards the democrats.

Conciliate.

I lean towards all honest men, let their politics be what they may: in myself, I am a decided federalist, but I [Page 7] have no idea that I must knock a man down or insult him, because he differs in opinion from me: ought we not to be as liberal in politics as religion?

Mrs. Violent.

You may think, brother, to make proselytes of the demo's; but you will find yourself mistaken: you might as well pretend to dislodge the largest bell in Christ­Church. You are to have some of them to-morrow to dine with you, and see if they don't abuse your hospitality by quarrelling at your table.

Conciliate.

I'll trust to that, sister: let us go and arrange matters for their reception.

(Exeunt.

SCENE,
A room at Partial's lodgings.

Enter Partial and Hasty.
Partial.

We merit it and worse: we have been ungrateful to the most magnanimous nation on earth.

Hasty.

The most sanguinary and fickle nation on earth: as to gratitude, we owe them none: all, all is cancelled by their late base and cowardly conduct towards us.

Partial.

They have a right to regulate their own trade.

Hasty.

Not to our prejudice.

Partial.

What! are they to suffer their commerce to be cut up at all points; have we made any provision to protect their property in our vessels?

Hasty.

That is all a finesse: they are excellent inventers of pretences: they know our defenceless situation, and meanly take the opportunity of plundering us in open violation of the treaty that subsists between us; but I hope, ere long, our government will unshackle us so, that we may put ourselves in a condition to retaliate upon those marauders.

Partial.

Good!—we have suffered the arrogant and im­perious Britons to plunder us with impunity: neither we nor our government threw out threats to them, but meanly crouched and bent to their imperious purposes; in a word, [Page 8] by the late treaty with England, the executive have bartered away the independence of their country, for something less than a mess of pottage.

Hasty.

By the eternal supreme, sir, you wrong him: I am convinced our executive, in forming that treaty, had the dignity, peace, and prosperity of his country full in view.

Partial.

I think otherwise.

Hasty.

It is in vain to attempt to make any impression up­on your prejudices: be the issue of it as it will, it was legally conducted, and it is our duty to support the administrators of our government.

Partial.

I conceive myself under no such obligations.

Hasty.

Ah—there is a set of men among us, who do not hold themselves bound by any moral ties; but, in order to promote their ambitious views, decry and depreciate the most deserving characters among us.

Partial.

The good aristocrats, you mean—Hasty: you are charged with bearing towards that junto.

Hasty.

Shew me the man who dare seriously tell me so. No! I despise those two parties who are designated by the name of aristocrats and democrats. Some of the aristocrats, from their inordinate pride and arrogance, would trample out the existence of their fellow-citizens; and some of the democrats, to gratify their ambition, and others to retrieve their desperate fortunes, would hurl all things into confu­sion, that they might rise on the ruins of their country.

Partial.

Ha! ha! Hasty, too much politics hath almost made thee mad: if you are not a democrat or an aristocrat, in the name of Lucifer, what are you?

Hasty.

A federal republican. That is the name I glory in; that is the party, which will rally round our inimitable constitu­tion, and support it, against domestic traitors, or insidious foreign incendiaries.

Partial.
[Page 9]

Your servant, Mr. Crusty; what is the news?

Crusty.

Damn all news.

Partial.

Be not so short, good Mr. Crusty. Nothing from our good friends the French?

Crusty.

Damnation to them, the thieves: they our friends!

Partial.

I think so. Don't you know the old saying, Mr. Crusty, friends in need, are friends indeed; we should have been slaves, if they had not befriended us.

Crusty.

Not more so than they would make us.

Partial.

Did they not shew us their best affections.

Crusty.

'Twas interest, damme, Sir; nothing but interest: 'twas a stroke of policy; cutting a limb off of their powerful rival. Rome against Carthage, damme: Rome and Carthage over again.

Partial.

Then you don't conceive we are under the storn­gest ties of obligations to them?

Crusty.

No, Sir, no: I hate the words obligation and gra­titude; they are worn as thread-bare, as your great grand­mother's under petticoat: put the matter to concise reason­ing; I hate your damn'd long arguments: we had a dispute with Great-Britain about her unconstitutional attempts, on the score of taxation: we had recourse to arms: we had oc­casion for auxiliaries: we hired Frenchmen: we paid them: and what the devil do they want more?

Partial.

So you won't give them any credit—we are under no obligation!

Crusty.

By Jupiter! No, they are under obligations to us.

Partial.

How will you make that appear?

Crusty.

Why, damme, for inoculating them with liberty; if a change of things is to be a blessing to them, who are they to thank but us?

Partial.

This is curious sophistry; your logic won't do with me.

Crusty.
[Page 10]

What the devil would you be at?

Partial.

I would immediately break the accursed link, which has lately bound us to England, and make a new one with that of France; the only nation we can have a natural fraternity with.

Crusty.

(Ironically) Very natural to be sure: the same lan­guage, the same habits—damn their fraternity, I say. Hea­ven secure us from their fraternal hugs. (Ironically) How affectionately they have hugged part of Italy, and the Uni­ted Provinces. (Significantly) Just so they would hug the United States: their hugs are like the hugs of the bears, ne­ver disengage themselves, until they have hugged out the breath.

Partial.

Hell and the devil! I can no longer command my temper: did they not shed their blood, and expend their treasure for us?

Crusty.

Well, come, damme, I'll take you upon your own tack; who was it expended their treasure, and shed their blood?

Partial.

The people of France.

Crusty.

I deny it.

Partial.

Not the people of France?

Crusty.

No, Sir, damme, if they did, they knew no more about it than the Hottentots.

Partial.

Crusty, you would make a man with a happier disposition than Job, swear. Who did we receive assistance from?

Crusty.

From the king of France; and well has he been rewarded for it: he and part if his family, and most of his connections and friends, have perished in consequence of it.

Partial.

They deserved it.

Crusty.

By the Lord, they did not; they were most inhu­manly murdered by a set of the most bloody cut-throats that ever disgraced human nature.

Partial.
[Page 11]

You are a lying old scoundrel (walks up to him in a passion) Your age protects you.

Crusty.

(with indignant contempt) My age? (runs up to him in passion) Age has not so enervated this arm, but it can chas­tise such an insolent young jacobin puppy.

Partial.

(Retires) Stand off, or by all that's merciful, I'll make you repent your temerity.

Crusty.

I'll make you eat the lie, and be damned to you.

(Strikes at him, misses the blow, and falls.)
Enter Conciliate.
Conciliate.

Gentlemen, gentlemen, for God's sake, you are not quarreling, I hope.

Partial.

It is morally impossible to avoid quarreling with him: he allows no latitude to his litigious, abusive tongue.

Crusty.

Ah, damme, and while ever I can stir it, I'll oppose it to your diabolical crew. I shall take another opportunity of resenting this affront.

(Exeunt.
Conciliate.

What in the world was the occasion of the con­test between you and Mr. Crusty? I thought you were upon very good terms.

Partial.

So we have been until now, but it was impossible to hear his aspersions against the French government with­out being irritated.

Conciliate.

Oh, my dear friend, his years give him a li­cence: old people should be privileged. I must see this breach made up.

Enter Dispassionate.
Dispassionate.

Gentlemen, your humble servant.

Omnes.

Your servant, Mr. Dispassionate.

Conciliate.

Any thing new to day, sir?

Dispassionate.

Yes, sir, a very unwelcome piece of news for our commercial interest: information has just come to hand, that a French privateer, off our Capes, has taken one of our most valuable Indiamen.

Conciliate.
[Page 12]

I am sorry to hear it: whatever losses that en­terprising class of citizens sustain, must be very generally felt.

Partial.

They have brought it all on themselves, by sup­porting the executive, in his vile treaty with England.

Dispassionate.

I must beg leave to differ with you in opi­nion on that subject, Mr. Partial. There cannot be a stronger proof of the merits of that treaty, than their advocating it: they are not apt to act against their own interest; beside, I cannot conceive what right the French government have to take umbrage at our foreign connections.

Partial.

I think they have, if they interfere with them: I maintain it, that the late treaty with Britain, is an open viola­tion of ours with theirs.

Dispassionate.

I cannot be convinced of that. I have look­ed over the arguments on both sides of the question, with an unprejudiced eye, and with a mind open to conviction, but could not discover that we had departed from that good faith we were bound to support with them.

Partial.

(Pettishly) I have read them otherwise, nor will I give up my judgment for any man.

Conciliate.

Gentlemen, I pray ye to change your subject: politics destroys friendship, and creates choler.

[Exit.
Dispassionate.

No, upon my honour, not with me; liberty of sentiment is the grand privilege of an American.

Partial.

I shall never run into passion, with you, Dispassion­ate: what I meant, was, my right to a fixed opinion: I cannot give up the idea, but that France has been provoked to her present temper towards us.

Dispassionate.

Rely upon it, that France has adopted the most impolitic policy towards this country, that was ever conceived, or executed by a government: by pursuing such a system, she will alienate the affections of the people of the [Page 13] United States from her; joined to that, it will excite strong resentments against her, for their attempts to overawe us to her views.

Partial.

P'shaw! what cares she for our resentment? what can we do without ships of war, without soldiers, or resour­ces?

Dispassionate.

Rember what we did when we were defen­ding our rights against Great-Britain: our resources were nothing then in comparison to what they are now.

Partial.

Ah, now you are come to the point: what could we have done, had it not been for France.

Dispassionate.

The deuce take it, you are always lugging in the obligations that we are under to France. I am willing to give them all the credit which is due to them. They did assist us to our Independence: the benefit was great; but, sure­ly we did not give an eternal mortgage upon ourselves for that.

Partial.

We can never repay them.

Dispassionate.

Believe me, if we are to repay them in the way that their present politics demand, that is, a surrender of our independence, it would have been better for us never to have applied to them for assistance.

Partial.

They have no such designs.

Dispassionate.

Their recent conduct but favours it too much.

Partial.

Pray, Mr. Dispassionate, what line of conduct would you mark our for them towards us?

Dispassionate.

As thus: immediately to put a stop to their shameful depredations on our trade, make restitutions for their spoilations, interfere no more in our domestic affairs, nor presume to dictate to our government about its concerns with foreign states.

Partial.

Now, do you sincerely think, that a nation, who has, at this moment, the most powerful states of Europe pros­trate at her feet, would stoop to us?

Dispassionate.
[Page 14]

It would not be stooping: it would be but an act of justice: she has been dealing unfairly with us: we have merited from her a very different treatment.

Partial.

I cannot see where we have been so meritorious towards her.

Dispassionate.

Well, now I'll take the matter up from the abolition of monarchy: were we not the first to acknowledge their new order of things, by receiving their agent? that, too, in the face of one of the most powerful combinations that was ever formed against a nation, with the risk of bringing down on us their vengeance? did not our government almost break its heart-strings to pay our national debt: and every way bemeaned itself towards them with due rectitude?

Partial.

Ah, that is your side of the story: our government discovered much rectitude, to be sure, when she formed new and social connections with her inveterate enemy! her enemies should have been ours.

Dispassionate.

My dear Sir, you might as well say, you are under an obligation to set yourself at variance with every per­son who does not happen to look pleasant at your particular friend.

Partial.

(pettishly) Comparisonsare not always just: there is a consanguinity between us which should always bind us.

Dispassionate.

At the present crisis that may be disputed: when France was contending for her liberty and independence, there was a strong similarity: then, I believe, the hearts of most Americans went with her; but she has changed her disposi­tion: she is now grasping at power and dominion.

Partial.

No more than what she has gloriously acquired by her arms.

Dispassionate.

Confessed; but still it would be much more to her happiness, and to that of her neighbours, were she to [Page 15] retire to her primitive limits—make peace—draw her citizens from licentious freedom to industry, by encouraging agri­culture, commerce and manufactures: by so doing, she would do honor to a republican government in Europe; but if she perseveres in her present line of conduct, in all probability, ere long, she will bring on her dissolution as a republic.

Partial.

No, she will continue for centuries to come, a great military republic, and the terror of crowned despots.

Dispassionate.

Time will unfold whether you or me are right; but, I think, if I have made just observations in turning over the page of history, or if I have acquired any knowledge of human nature, I will be bold to assert, that it is morally im­possible for an individual or a government to flourish long by the means of rapine and want of moral rectitude.

Partial.

What a charge against a nation! You are their avowed enemy?

Dispassionate.

'Fore heaven, I am not. Take them, in toto. I think them the most accomplished people on earth: 'tis to be lamented that so great a nation should be sacrificed to the ambition of men in power.

Partial.

Their ambition is of a laudable nature, and that they will teach us ere long: they will make our aristocrats in power tremble before their victorious battalions.

Dispassionate.

Partial, you are surely bantering: sentiments like those, cannot seriously proceed from you.

Partial.

I never disguise my sentiments.

Dispassionate.

In that you are honest: tho' you may be wrong: it will be very visionary in France, or her partizans here, to suppose the United States may be subjected: for, how­ever the people may differ in their domestic or foreign poli­tics, in case of a French invasion, I am much mistaken in the character of my countrymen, if they would not generally unite in repelling: the love of country would prevail, and super­cede all animosities.

Partial.
[Page 16]

Then, you are for a French war?

Dispassionate.

No, Heaven avert it as the worst of calami­ties; nothing but dire necessity should compel us to it:—that of supporting our character as an independent people.

Partial.

They will not come to destroy, but secure us in our liberties.

Dispassionate.

That would be their pretence.

Enter Hasty.
Dispassionate,

I have been seeking you for some time—wish to speak with you on some particular business.

Dispassionate.

I will attend you, sir; fare you well, Partial: reformation to you.

[Exeunt.
Enter Conciliate.

Mr. Partial, I come to make a request of you.

Partial.

Sir, I shall be happy to grant it: when so good a man as Mr. Conciliate begs a boon, who can refuse?

Conciliate.

(makes a bow) Sir,—you are pleased to flatter.

Partial.

No, upon my honour: flattery is a species of meanness I never could reconcile myself to; but there is no crime in paying a well-timed compliment.

Conciliate.

Sir, (makes a bow) to the point: my request is, that you will make certain concessions to Mr. Crusty.

Partial.

What? to apologise to him, the old—

Conciliate.

Hold! refrain from such contemptuous epithets: Crusty is in a respectable grade of life, at the head of a fine family, and tho' somewhat of a cynic, yet he is not one of the worst men in the world.

Partial.

He most infamously vilified the French.

Conciliate.

Well, well, in that, the old man is, in some de­gree, to be excused: some of his connections have sustained very heavy losses by them.

Partial.

(pettishly) So have mine by the piratical English: I wish the damn'd island was at the bottom of the sea.

Conciliate.
[Page 17]

That, my young friend, is a rash, and a very inhuman wish.

Partial.

Have they not been the disturbers of the peace of the world, ever since their wooden walls, as they proudly call them, were built?

Conciliate.

Dear Partial, let us wave this subject: I come to you as a pacific negociator: will you go with me to Crus­ty's drop a few words of an accommodating kind, and the matter will be amicably settled? which I can assure you, will be a pleasing circumstance to me; you are both to dine with me to-day, it would be very unpleasant to me, to see you frowning upon each other.

Partial.

Do you think I was the aggressor?

Conciliate.

Upon my veracity, I do.

Partial.

If he had reflected on any other nation—(pauses) I'll with you, Sir.

[Exeunt.

SCENE.
O'Callaghan Sarcastic's lodgings.

Enter O'Callaghan and Monsieur Aristocrat.
Aristocrat.

Vat you tink of de news, Misteer Sarcastic?

O'Callaghan.

Why, by my soul, I don't like it: 'tis not of an agreeable nature at all, at all, and I can't help thinking, that your countrymen are behaving damn'd uncivil to us.

Aristocrat.

Dat is because you ave behave uncivil to dem.

O'Callaghan.

Now faith, that is high enough, you'r vindi­cating them, who, but the other day was glad to run away from them with your head; but is only fulfilling the old say­ing, that a Frenchman will be a Frenchman all over the world, and all the days of his life.

Aristocrat.

Futre—to be sure.

O'Callaghan.

Arrah, but why are you not consistant? if you are an aristocrat, why do you be a democrat?

Aristocrat.

Vat you talk?

O'Callaghan.
[Page 18]

I say, what is the raison that you are an aris­tocrat and a democrat, too?

Aristocrat.

I am no democrat.

O'Callaghan.

Upon my conshience, if I had my way, there are two descriptions of Frenchmen I would clare the United States of.

Aristocrat.

Vat description?

O'Callaghan.

Aristocrats without property, and democrats without principle.

Aristocrat.

Sacra! (walks agitated) I no like dat canver­sation. (takes a pinch of snuff) I tell you, I no like dat remark, Sair, (takes a pinch of snuff) Diable.

O'Callaghan

By my soul, I won't brake my heart about it, whether you like it or not: O'Callaghan Sarcastic will always spake what he thinks, I hate ingratitude; have we not like good Christians, opened our arms to receive your fugitives? did we not fade them, and advance money, (a great dale of it too,) to relave their pressing wants, and for that they have been staling our property, and want to cut our throats, into the bargain?

Aristocrat.

De Americans ave been ungrateful—dey ave brake deir faith with my countrymen—dey go to de An­glish—dey ave no right to make de treaty so.

O'Callaghan.

What is that to France? Our government has a right to do wrong. I don't mane by that, she has done so.

Aristocrat.

Begar, she ave done wrong, and we will make you smoke for it.

O'Callaghan.

By J—s it is enough to make a dumb man swear, to hear the conversation of some of you Frenchmen: by my soul, I believe the most of you are nothing but spies some of you pretend to go and explore the country, (ironi­cally) [Page 19] to see which way the wind blows, to discover the na­kedness of our land: but, I hope they have found, and always will find, nothing but plenty, and a number of brave souls to defend it.

Aristocrat.

Sacra futre! (walks in passion) you talk too much, Misteer Sarcastic.

O'Callaghan.

That I cannot do, against your countrymen, if I was to talk all the days of my life. The more I think about you, the more I am provoked; your impudence is be­yond all bounds; you must be interfaring in our national concerns; you must be striving to make our paple run away from themselves; that is, I mane you would make them lave their own government, that they built with their own hands. Now, suppose the Americans were to behave in France, as you do here, knock up a hubbub there, oppose the govern­ment, put on a national cockade, appare as so many soldiers arrayed against them; by my soul, you would make them march off, quick-step, without their heads.

Aristocrat.

Futre! futre! (walks in passion) Diable. (takes a pinch of snuff) You ar one impudent Irishman: come along; you and I quarrel one little bit.

Sarcastic.

I am your man: I will mate you, in any way you plaise: I should think myself unworthy of braithing Ameri­can air, if I would not espouse her cause.

[Exeunt.

SCENE.
The [...]

Coesar and Pompey, meeting.
Coesar.

Citizen Pompey, how you do, to-day, Sir?

Pompey.

Tank you, citizen Caesar, berry well; I hope you, and you lady, enjoy good health.

Coesar.

Bery good, I gib you tank, Sir.

Pompey.

Here cum citizen Sambo, twig he pig cu. Since he get free, how he wag he tail.

[Page 20] Enter Sambo.

Gemmem, it gib me extreme pleasure to see you bote: I hope you are bote well, citizens.

Omnes.

Tank you, Sir, bery will.

Sambo.

Any ting new to day, gemmem?

Pompey.

Trong talke French war.

Coesar.

Dam French.

Pompey.

Dam English.

Coesar.

What you dam English, for?

Pompey.

What e debil you dam French, for?

Coesar.

Cause I don't like 'em.

Pompey.

Why you no like 'em.

Coesar.

Cause massa no like 'em.

Pompey.

My massa no like English—I hate 'em too—drom proud—so conceit coxcomb—look like ebery body tunk in enose.

Coesar.

Ten hundred time better den French, drom fribble, buffoon, ape, monkey; English, fine, manly fellow, besides French come cut our troat, I like English: English, for eber!

Pompey.

France for eber! France git liberty to slabe liber­ty; and, France for eber: my massa for France—so I, who you for, Sambo.

Sambo.

I go we massa too.

Pompey.

He for France.

Sambo.

No.

Pompey.

For English.

Sambo.

No.

Coesar.

Who debil he for den?

Sambo.

He for he country.

Pompey.

For he country!

Sambo.
[Page 21]

Ah, for he country! massa say, dam French, dam English; he say, what e debil business have we do wi two bully nation? he say, let em fight and be dom'd.

Coesar.

Dere our massas: come, you go, Sambo?

[Exeunt.

END OF ACT FIRST.

ACT II.

SCENE I.
Conciliate's house.

Enter Conciliate and Hasty.
Hasty.

Not arm! do you say? after such insolent treat­ment to our commissioners? are we to put up with every insult from that imperious, overbearing government, am not resent it? such cowardly pusilanimity would but be courting more aggravated insults.

Conciliate.

What should we gain by arming?

Hasty.

Protect our property, and support our national and natural rights.

Conciliate.

And bring on a war!

Hasty.

Fury!—Are not we now suffering more than if we were at war with them. They capture our vessels in vio­lation of all treaties—treat our mariners in a manner that would disgrace savages—yet this must be borne with—we must bear their stripes without making even wry faces.

Conciliate.

The hardships you speak of, are but of a partial nature, in comparison to the whole nation being involved in a war. Peace, my dear friend, is what, by all means, our go­vernment should preserve. We must view France in a state of political intoxication: when she becomes sober, she will be more rational.

Hasty.
[Page 22]

Then, forsooth, if France gets drunk, you think that in her cups, she is authorised to plunder, kick cuff and abuse us, and, as mad Alexander did to his friend, take away our existence: (we must submit to all) The height of presump­tion, to think of defending ourselves against the almighty na­tion. By Heaven, I'd rather be transmogrified into a hog, and be worried by the dogs, than such a cancer-hearted Ameri­can.

Enter Crusty.

You have heard the news, gentlemen, from imperial Rome. The next decree will be, to cite our executive and the principal citizens who have supported his measures, before them, to answer for their rebel conduct.

Enter Dispassionate.

What think you of our affairs now, gentlemen?

Hasty.

Mr. Conciliate's opinion is, that France is deranged, and that we must permit her to act as she thinks fit, that is would be a still greater act of madness in us, to administer that relief, which is commonly given to people in a state of insanity, such as bloodletting, &c.

Conciliate.

Do not prevert my meaning: I did observe, France was intoxicated with her successes, and not to be won­dered at her fortune in arms, has been beyond all calculation. She is dazzled with her preponderance in the scale of Eu­ropean politics. I rather think it would be most prudent in our government, to forbear a little longer: something may turn up in our favor.

Dispassionate.

Our situation is truly critical, and distressingly hard. I am convinced our government has left nothing un­done to avoid a serious controversy with France; and their refusing to accommodate with our commissioners, reduces us to the sad necessity of putting ourselves in a state of defence by sea and land: self-preservation, and national honour, justi­fy the measure.

Conciliate.
[Page 23]

I hope Congress will not adopt the measure—Better ten years depredation on our commerce, than two years war: Those who have experienced its dreadful effects, fear it.

Dispassionate.

I have suffered as much as most men by it; and dread its deplorable consequences; I know, that even arming in our own defence, is almost a certain prologue to a war; but, in the name of Heaven, what are we to do?

Crusty.

There are two ways to get out of the scrape.

Hasty.

Which are they?

Crusty.

Why, damme, overturn our government, and [...] a new one to suit the purposes of France: pour all our wealth into her lap, or send a deputation to them, requesting them, in their great goodness, to condescend to send over commissioners, or a'pro-consul to govern us: that will put all matters to rights, and we shall be a charming, happy people; living under the benign sun-shine of the grand nation.

Hasty.

Be governed by them! never, never! by the hea­venly powers, never! Americans are not yet so lost to that duty they owe their country, themselves and posterity, as to become Helots. I'll answer for it, that there are millions of our countrymen, who will draw their swords in the support of their rights and independence.

Conciliate.

Whether it is owing to the ardent wish of my heart, I cannot say; but I am impressed with the strongest hopes, that matters will yet be amicably settled.

Dispassionate.

Heaven grant it! for, to tell the truth, I would rather go to a good dinner, than to a battle.

Conciliate.

True—recollect you take your plates with me to day.

Dispassionate.

The hour?

Conciliate.

Four.

Dispassionate.
[Page 24]

Gentlemen, it is time to be off, in order that we may get ourselves brushed up a little.

Omnes.

Your most obedient, Sir.

[Exeunt.
Conciliate.

Adieu, Gentlemen.

Enter Mrs. Violent

I would seize all their property, and send every soul of them out of the country, aristocrats and democrats, bag and baggage.

Conciliate.

Who are you going to send out of the country in such a hurry, sister?

Mrs. Violent.

The French! The vile French! They don't deserve to live another moment with us.

Conciliate.

I pray you, sister, to be more charitable. You would not, surely, punish the innocent for the guilty.

Mrs. Violent.

They are all guilty, both in deeds and words. Did you not take notice last night, how Aristocrat vindica­ted the French government?

Conciliate.

That was natural.

Mrs. Violent.

Can you thus soften such impudence?

Conciliate.

Come, dear sister, I beg you to soften your temper with respect to politics. How goes the honours of the table?

Mrs. Violent.

I have always, brother, done my best to set your table off to advantage.

Conciliate.

I thank you, good sister, we'll go look at it.

[Exeunt.

SCENE,

A Beer-House.
Adz and Sawney Biscuit, drinking.
Adz.

Here's to the French republic: Success to her by land and sea. (Drinks.)

Sawney.

By my saal, I dinna think you are a very bonny American, to drink sic a toast as that.

Adz.
[Page 25]

Are they not our allies and best friends?

Sawney.

Ye may ca them allies, and your beest freends: If they are yeare beest freends, they have a very extraordinary way of shewing it, by roobing and insoolting you.

Adz.

We have used them damn'd ill, by making a treaty with the English.

Sawney.

I canna kin what they ha to do wee that: youre gouvernment surely has a right to make its own bargains; if they canna do that, ye need nae mare make a boast about yeare independence.

Adz.

Hell take our government! I shall always dislike it, for making such a treaty.

Sawney.

Upon my word, if you was in England, and to mutter sic sentiments against their gouvernment, you would be ganged awaw to Boutany Bay; for my part, I am veery weel satisfied with leeving under your gouvernment.

Adz.

The treaty, I am talking of.

Sawney.

Have you ever read it?

Adz.

Have I read it!

Sawney.

I ask you the queestion.

Adz.

Hem—(confused) hem—I—hem—I can't say I have.—

Sawney.

Is it right fair in you to censure and condemn what ye ha na seen?

Adz.

Mr. Buzabout gave me an insight into it, and he ex­plained it to all our neighbours round about: He is a man that watches day and night for the good of his country.

Sawney.

His ai [...] interest most likely.

Adz.

No, he is not such a man, he is staunch to the back bone, he is a true friend to equality, and an enemy to the aristocratical part of our government.

Sawney.

What part is that?

Adz.

The Senate.

Sawney.
[Page 26]

By St. Andrew, your talk is enough to split ones heed, you dinna know the constituted parts of your ai [...] gouvernment.

Adz.

I do not!

Sawney.

What do you ca aristocracy.

Adz.

The Senate.

Sawney.

Thats nae an answer: what's the meaning of aris­tocracy?

Adz.

Hem (confused) why—hem—it is aristocracy.

Sawney.

Ha, ha, ha! By the Thistle, that is women's rea­soning; ye dinna know the meaning of the word.

Adz.

I do not!

Sawney.

Nae you do not, but you take up an erroneous idea, that the Senate of the United States, is like the British house of lairds.

Adz.

And so they are.

Sawney.

Nae comparison, nae comparison.

Adz.

The very same kind of a body.

Sawney.

I'll try to convince youof your mistake. Who chooses the senators?

Adz.

Why, I suppose you think I can't tell you that.

Sawney.

Weel, tell me.

Adz.

Why the state governments?

Sawney.

Wha chooses those who make choice of them?

Adz.

Of them—hem—of them—let me consider—the people.

Sawney.

Weel, then, how can they be an aristocratical body? All power is from the people: The people are the great fountain from which all authority flows. They give it and it gangs back to them again. Ye hae the freest gouvern­ment in the world; and if ye dinna continue to be a free people, it is your ain faults, all that ye hae to do, is to be true to yoursels, do nae suffer English or French factions to influ­ence you. As I said before, be steady to yoursels, and you [Page 27] may bid defiance to ae the universe, and your constitution will stand to the end of time.

Adz.

I don't like the constitution.

Sawney.

In the name of heeven, were is its defects?

Adz.

I don't like three branches.

Sawney.

How would you hae it?

Adz.

One and devisible.

Sawney.

Ha, ha, ha! one and devisible, you canna kin your ain toungue; what do ye ca it?

Adz.

(Pettishly) What do I ca it—do you call that English, and be damned to you. The Americans are come to a pretty pass, when Scotchmen undertake to teach them English.

Sawney.

Out with your shallow brain: Is there a coontry on earth turns oot so many learned men as Scotland?

Adz.

Nor poorer not prouder.

Sawney.

Nae, national reflections, Mr. Adz! nae national reflections. It would be happy for your coontry, if all the re­fractory Americans were sent out of it, and replaced by poor honest proud Scotchmen; they would have pride enough to get a good living, and conform to the laws of your coontry: But pray, Mr. Adz, let us know the meaning of the word one and devusible.

Adz.

Why, damn it, you don't pronounce that word right (with contempt) but it is as well as can be expected from an ignorant Scotch-tory-aristocrat.

Sawney.

By St. Andrew, you lie! I profess myself to be a republican and a friend to the gouvernment of the United States.

Adz.

Have you the impudence to give me the lie (goes up to strike him, speaks loud) will you clear me of the law if I give you a baisting?

Sawney.

By my saal I will: ye need nae think because I am less than you, I am afraid; I will na flinch.

[Page 28] Enter landlord (in haste.)
Landlord.

Gentlemen, I suffer no quarrelling in my house.

Sawney.

I dinna want to make a distourbance in your hoose, sir, but wha is to bear with the violence of this doomocrat?

Adz.

did not you make game of me and call me a liar?

Sawney.

Did you not came a Scotch tory, and an aristocrat, and offer to strike me?

Landlord.

Take my advice, gentlemen, and go home, and be better friends in future.

Sawney.

I owe him nae grudge. I would nae injure a hair in his heed, but in my ain defence.

Adz.

I'll put you to it. I'll warrant you, I'll give you a dressing the first place I meet you, damme, if I don't.

Sawney.

Veery weell, veery weell, try your hand at it. I'll warrant ye, Sawney will ne'er disgrace his coontry.

[Exeunt.

SCENE.

O'Callaghan Sarcastic's lodgings.
Enter O'Callaghan and O'Brazen.
O'Brazen.

Cousin Sarcastic, you will bring yourself into a very unaisy situation by wounding the Frenchman.

O'Callaghan.

It hangs very aisy upon my conscience. I would desire no better sport than to cool every prater against our country, in the same way.

O'Brazen.

Perhaps you may mean that to me, or some of my friends from Ireland: but, I think they have not been well used.

O'Callaghan.

In what way?

O'Brazen.

Why, after fighting Liberty's battles in their own country, as long as they could, until necessity con­strained them to come here, yet this government takes no notice of them.

O'Callaghan.

What is the government to do with them? it is enough that they find an asylum here: if the govern­ment [Page 29] were to take notice of them, it should be to send ma­ny of them out of the country, for their seditious behaviour, instead of accommodating themselves to the laws of the land, the first thing they do when they come, is, to join the opposition party, in a hue-and-cry against the government, and the administrators of it: upon my conscience, I am asham­ed of some of my countrymen: for, after their making their escape from the jaws of Death—after getting here, they are so mischievous, or wrong-headed, as not to have discernment enough to discriminate between the govern­ment they came from, and the government where they are: they think they must fall into the same practices here as they followed there, of barking at the government: it may pos­sibly have been right there, but that is not quite clear to me: however, this much I know, it is damnably criminal here, because our government is perfectly free, and the adminis­trators of it, honest men.

O'Brazen.

There is freedom enough here, but very little fraternity, unless it is among the good democrats.

O'Callaghan.

I tell you, cousin O'Brazen, you had bet­ter take my advice, and leave the company of those good democrats, as you call them: for, by my soul, in the end, you'll gain a loss by them; they are not the most substantial paple in the world. Come, you know we are engaged to dine out to day, (pulls out his watch) 'tis on the moment of the time.

[Exeunt.

SCENE, a hall in Conciliate's house.

Enter Cato.
Cato.

Dam segar and politic most choke (coughs) dam se­gar and politic, I say: place tink most enough to knock a body down.

[Page 30] Enter Sambo.
Sambo.

Ha, ha, ha! dey got at it.

Enter Coesar and Pompey.
Coesar.

Ha. ha, ha! dey at it, hip e tie, how old Crusty provoke massa Partial.

Pompey.

He don't peak true, damme, he don't peak true, he tell lie bout French.

Coesar.

He do peak true, I say, he can't tell lie bout French, he can't make em too bad.

Pompey.

Take care what you say, Caesar, you and I friends, but, I bedam if I hear my friends abuse.

Coesar.

Pompey, I no fraid you, I say, I no fraid you, Pompey, I hate e French.

Sambo.

He, he, he! two black fool go fight (aside) citi­zens, you go too fast, you go too fast, citizens.

Cato.

Caesar and Pompey, take advice of an old man, neber quarrel bout politic, it bring much trouble, what you do wid such tings? it seem to me, Negro head got quite wrong now-a-day, you must all be gemmem, must dress in fashion, talk high flow, must have one and wool powder, dat foolish, only make your face look more black, howeber, let me advise you no quarrel bout politic, I wish all e world like my massa, Conciliate; he good man, he seek how he do good, if any body be in distress, he help em, he neber quarrel bout politic—if a man be an aristocrat, and for Eng­lish, he no fight him, if he democrat, and for French, he no quarrel wid him, he no angry wid any body, for what dey tink, he ebery body friend, and nobody enemy, he so good, he no hurt cockroach.

Sambo.

I suppose he no kill a fly when he bite im.

Pompey.

No, I see him many time brush a fly of he leg when he bite him.

Sambo.

He no shoot a bird.

Cato.
[Page 31]

No, he tink dat cruel.

Sambo.

He eat him when he shot?

Cato.

O yes, he eat him when he shot.

Sambo.

Ha, ha, ha! dat make a me laugh, dat put me in mind of a parson who preach against eating good tings, afterwards go home and tuff e gut like e dibel.

Cato.

Ah! you young fool, Sambo.

Pompey.

Massa Conciliate a bery good man; I know him bery good man, but I like a man take some part for all dat.

Sambo.

Oh! dram me, I sick of politic, let us go.

(Exeunt.

SCENE

changes, and discovers company at table, as follows: Conciliate, Dispassionate, Hasty, Partial, Crusty, Kitefoot, Sugar-Loaf, Mynheer Van Plump.
Van Plump.

Shilence, shentlemen, a doast, cot tam, a doast from Mr. Conciliate.

Hasty.

Damn your toasts, I say, the French never assisted us, until we were able to take care of ourselves.

Partial.

You can't support the assertion.

Hasty.

I can; did they not keep us hanging upon them until Burgoyne was captured? when they found we were capable of capturing a whole British army, they came for­ward.

Partial.

Aye, that they did, with a powerful navy and army to protect us.

Crusty.

So they did, but as the dogs protect sheep from the wolves, that they may devour them theirselves; damn them, they are nothing but beasts of prey, cannibals. They have been devouring one another like cannibals, since the commencement of their revolution.

Partial.

'Tis false, by heaven, 'tis false, and we un rate­fully forget their services.

Hasty.
[Page 32]

Still belching the old story of gratitude! I have told you before, and I tell you again, sir, that they have cancelled every obligation that we were under to them, by their in­famous treatment to us: from the beginning of their revolu­tion, delineate their conduct to us after their new situation, see them sending their agent in the person of Genet, to take possession of us, as their common property—see him, ar­riving at the seat of government, where he had the impu­dence to oppose himself to our chief magistrate; nay, had the weakness, folly and presumption, to compare himself to him in power, as representative of the French nation—that not taking effect, they attempted to circumvent us by the insidious Fauchet, and lastly, by the open audacity of Adet, who dared attempt to divide the people from their government: all of them were officious machines from arbi­trary, artful, designing juntos: but, thanks to heaven, and to the vigilance of the illustrious washington, and some of his trusty counsellors, their hellish projects have been coun­teracted.

Crusty.

No, damn them! they are still to be counteracted, by paying them to keep their tyger paws from us: Monsieur Talleyrand has beheld the glittering side-boards of our citi­zens, and has told his masters, the people are wealthy, and that we are disjointed, and will readily submit to any terms they think proper to exact.

Hasty.

'Ere that should take place, I'd banish myself to the confines of the earth. No! that vile government will have ample demonstration that the Americans will not sub­mit to such ignominious terms as they have prescribed: if it was but a fraction, it should not be acceded to, the principle is the thing: war, war, with all its consequences, once more for our liberties and independence.

Van Plump.
[Page 33]

Shilence, shentlemen, (hichups) I gall for a doast, again, from misder Conshiliate, cot tam Bolidies.

Omnes.

A toast from Mr. Conciliate.

Conciliate.

Order, gentlemen, and I'll give you a toast. May England and France make a speedy and reciprocal peace.—

[Omnes drinks it.
Dispassionate.

Mine, gentlemen—May their only ambition be in maintaining it inviolate.

[Omnes drinks it.
Van Plump.

My doast, shentlemen, shitizens, sheneral washingdon, Shon Adams, Thomas Shefferson and the Pedavian rebublic.

Crusty.

I object to the last part of that toast; 'tis no sovereign power, 'tis nothing but a province of France.

Van Plump.

I insist on that bart of the doast, there are a sovereign bower, your government has acknowledged it as such, cot tam, misder Grusdy, what you mean?

Omnes.

The toast, (they drink it.)

Kitefoot.

My toast, gentlemen—May congress make no more partial laws.

[Omnes drink it.
Sugar-loaf.

That is my toast, too.

Conciliate.

Mr. Sugar-loaf, not in the same words, but something, if you choose, that would convey the same mean­ing.

Crusty.

You and Kitefoot have never ceased grum­bling at congress, since they put a duty upon snuff and sugar, do you expect to carry on lucrative business, without easing the reins of government? are the merchants to be the only money finders? besides, you don't pay it, damme, you don't pay it; you make the consumer pay it. Some of you have made great fortunes since the duty was put on; you have made the consumers pay it, treble and treble.

Conciliate.
[Page 34]

Order, Mr. Crusty, order, decorum: every one to the liberty of toasts.

Omnes.

A toast, Mr. Sugar-loaf.

Sugar-loaf

May I be hanged, if I know what to drink.

Conciliate.

Something, Mr. Sugar-loaf, think of some­thing.

Sugar-loaf.

Well, then, if congress won't repel the tax upon snuff and sugar, may their throats pe stuffed full of sour-crout, and stick there 'till Kitefoot and I pull it out.

Omnes.

Ha, ha, ha. (drink it.)

Partial.

My turn, gentlemen. The great republic of France, may she never make peace with her enemies, until she has so erippled them, as never to be in a condition to kick at her again, nor accommodate with the United States, until they have humbled them for their ingratitude.

Hasty.

May I be damned, if I drink that toast.

Crusty.

And I by heaven, I'd much rather see them ham­strung, they have got too much power already, they would unhinge the universe if they could.

Partial.

If it was a toast in favour of England, you would not boggle at it.

Crusty.

(hickups) Ah! what the devil would you do if it was not for England? (hickups) damme, don't she find you and one-half the world in cloathing? damme, we could not eat without her.

Partial.

How will you maintain that?

Crusty.

Why, (hickups) damme, don't she find us in knives and forks?

Partial.

I wonder you don't say provisions, too: damn her, and all that takes her part. I must insist upon you and Hasty's drinking that toast.

Crusty.

I'd see you in hell, first.

Hasty.
[Page 35]

Ditto, ditto, (hickups) ditto. I'd see you roasting there first, I would that; we should solicit England for assistance and meet war with all its horrors, first.

Crusty.

(Hickups) Ah, damme! England for ever! huz­za for England!

Partial.

(Hickups) Huzza! huzza for France! France, for ever!

Conciliate.

(gets up and speaks to Crusty, Hasty, and Partial) Gentlemen, gentlemen, I beg you to drop this conversation. I hope you don't mean to break up this society.

Crusty.

(hickups) No, damme, I love society: I love my bottle and friend, (hickups) but I say, he is an enemy to his country, who huzza's for France.

Dispassionate.

Gentlemen, I cry you to social order, we did not come to partake of Mr. Conciliate's hospitality with a view to insult him, I hope.

Hasty.

There is no man I respect more than Mr. Con­ciliate, but I cannot restrain my resentment. I say, the man that dares to huzza for France, as we are now circum­stanced with her, is a traitor to his country.

Partial.

(takes up a bottle and throws it at Hasty) Take that and the traitor in your teeth, (here a general confusion takes place.)

Conciliate.

(gets up and runs through the company much agi­tated) For heaven's sake, gentlemen, do not commit your­selves in this way, behave like gentlemen, from you, Mr. Partial, I should have expected better treatment, is no res­pect due?

Partial.

Away, sir. I know no respect! now to be called a traitor! (runs at Hasty) the epithet should not go unre­sented, from my brother.

Dispassionate.
[Page 36]

(interferes) Mr. Partial, this is not, nor must not be a place for gratifying revenge.

Partial.

What, sir, are you his advocate? are you his fighting man?

Hasty.

My fighting man! (runs up to him—Conciliate in­terferes) stand off, my friend, stand off! I respect and es­teem you. I am sorry that I have been a partial cause of this disturbance (attempts to get from him) I'll convince him that I want no substitute.

Dispassionate.

(takes hold of Hasty) Are you deprived of every rational faculty? will you remember that you are in a gentleman's house, and not in a brothe! or tavern? I in­sist upon your going home with me.

Hasty,

Sir, I stand corrected! I beg pardon, Mr. Con­ciliate, (hickup) I beg pardon, I'll with you, Dispassionate, I'll see you, Partial, in proper time and place.

Partial.

If I don't may the name of traitor rest on my head; and you that are for France, follow me.

Crusty.

And you that are for England, follow me. Huzza! for England.

Partial.

Huzza! for France, France will triumph over all her enemies. Huzza, for France! (going off huzzaing for France. Crusty follows, huzzaing for England) as they go off.

Enter O'Callaghan.
O'Callaghan.

In the name of the tutelar Saint of Ireland, what does all this mean?

Conciliate.

(with anxiety) Such a scene, they will surely get a fighting in the street; I must follow, to prevent them.

(Exeunt in haste.
O'Callaghan.

(solus) God save us, what a combustion here? is a subject for the most shallow-pated to moralize upon: Americans enrolling themselves under the banners of foreign powers, now, upon my conshience, I think the [Page 37] sons of Columbia should observe more dignity, than to suffer themselves to be divided by governments across the Atlantic; it would be more to their honour, to parade in favour of their own government, and learn to do well by other's ills, let them take a lesson from the fate of the United Provinces, there see the effects of suffering two rival pow­ers to insinuate themselves; the one dragging them one way, and the other another; for centuries past, and, finally, they have been swallowed up by the one, their indepen­dence gone as a nation, perhaps never to revive again: I hope in God, it will not be the lot of the United States: I trust the people will know how to prize their singular hap­py situation among the nations of the earth, and join heart and hand, in supporting the tried patriot, who is at the head of their great national affairs, [...].

FINIS.

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