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drawing-room window draped with figured hangings; his vest decorated with a (fancy) watch guard; a delicate glove in one hand and a riding-whip in the other. I can always prophesy the advent of the company by the visible commotion which disturbs the lodging-houses, which all of a sudden appear to become impressed with the necessity of airing their bed-clothes and despatching their sheets to the mangle-woman. I detect other indications of the future in the smell of stale feathers which blows up from Wing-alley, and the luminous discharge of white-wash which occurs in Pit avenue. The grocers, too, ornament their windows at this season with a variety of pickled ham and red herrings; and the local bill-sticker assumes a wholly foreign air of respectability.

“Our Theatre,” by the way, invariably arrives nocturpally. “We fly by night,” is an assertion practically adopted by the company. How they do come I have never been able to ascertain, and there is always a sort of dramatic indistinctness about their latest location. To-day you pass the market-square, the broad area of which is in the sole possession of a half dozen hens, gallanted by a cock, mendicant in comb and muscle, who has defeated the evil intentions of the domestic larder for the past three years by his persistent abstinence. To-morrow evening you will be astonished to find the place populous, full of life and bustle, -wooden walls, canvass roofs, banners and streamers; a stage blazing with gold-lace, slashed velvets; immaculate muslins, feathered hats, daggers and rapiers ; whilst the voice of the manager, pledging his honour that the performance is about to commence, and beseeching the crowd to remember that the charge is but “one penny,” contends with the thunders of the drum and fife, which constitute the orchestra. Occasionally the company entertain the exterior public with a dance, in which, I state it with considerable reluctance, they violate every recognized law of dramatic propriety. Thus I have seen Hamlet, plumed and spangled, lead off a minuet with his mother, Queen Gertrude, and Ophelia perform a slip-jig with the King of Denmark. At other times the members of the corps united in a song; and I have often felt considerably mortified to hear Desdemona, Iago, and Michael Cassio execute: “Come let us be bappy together!" whilst Othello bandled the violin, and appeared to rejoice at this strange unanimity of sentiment. Those are sights deeply calculated to make the judicious grieve, though I confess they amuse the crowd amazingly; and only such entertainments are open and gratis, I have no doubt that the public would honour them with encores.

Of the prose, or common-place life of the company, I happen to know something. Though I have never frequented the stage-door in order to observe Catherine of Arragon abdicate her royalty and step out of her titles and velvets, into the battered bonnet and draggledtailed calico of Mary Dawson ; or, to see Richard III. renounce his gilded mail and false calves, and resolve himself into the lean shanks and shabby respectability of Fred. Higgins, and have abundant opportunities for

noticing the transformations through which the corps passes from the ideal to the actual.

Mr. Bunbury, whom the bills modestly announce as the “ leading tragedian of the day,” always occupies the top-room in the public-house, the gable of which is in a direct line with my residence. On the stage no one can be grander than the said Mr. Bunbury ; off the stage no one can be more contemptible. He is a strange man, gifted with a remarkable fluency of speech, and adorned with a very unique description of nose. The peculiarity of this organ consists in the fact that it is only visible in profile. At some remote stage of his existence Mr. Bunbury's nose must have been subjected to a slap of a mallet on its upper section, which reduced that particular part to a dead level with the plane of his countenance. Mr. Bunbury's nose makes its first perceptible projection precisely an inch and a half below the junction of his eyebrows, where it shoots out suddenly like a fragment of cornice, the upper surface of which forms a right angle with the vertical depression. In private life Mr. Bunbury appears to incline to conviviality. He ornaments the gable windows day after day with his nose, a long pipe, a pot of porter, and a shirt profusely spotted with purple tomahawks. I fear from the multitudinous phases of feeling which rapidly depict themselves on his face, that he is a victim to strong emotions. He has established an intimacy with the perriwinkle women at the corner; and I believe that cockles form a considerable element of his gastronomy. Only this morning I observed the “ leading tragedian" darting across from the baker's with a hot roll in one hand, and a bunch of radishes in the other. My landlady tells me that he is given to sheep's kidneys and sausages.

All the town is acquainted with that singular fragment of ancient virginity, “ Miss Mary Dawson,” who always plays the part of sentimental heroines, and is butchered by remorseless tyrants, thrice every night, on a conscientious average. Miss Dawson-her name is Mrs. Kilcock, being married for the last sixteen years to Mr. Kilcock, the drummer of the establishment is a marvellously fat, cherry-nosed individual. She walks about Brownchurch daily in a bonnet of the last century, embellished with a collection of flowers which reminds one of the dry specimens in a botanical

She has a very impressive countenance, one that would last your recollection for fifty years, perhaps, being distinguished for a mouth, permanently curled up into that agonising twist which the world recognised as the traditional inheritance of superannuated cornopean players. Miss Dawson's history is romantic, encouraging, and suggestive. At the age of thirteen she eloped from behind the counter of the Bull and Calf tavern with a rope-dancer, who captured her heart whilst exercising his muscular morality before the bar window. They fell out and separated at the end of three months, he departing, with the approbation of his countrymen, to a penal settlement in the South Seas, in consideration of his talents for lock-picking; she to tread the stage, and dwindle through a series of vicissi, tudes into the wonderful phenomenon which appals the inhabitants of Brownchurch.


One evening, three years ago, I invited my landlady to accompany me to “our theatre.” She readily accepted the invitation, and three hours before we were prepared to start, the amazing fact was the public property of the neighbourhood. The entire population of the street turned out to see us off; and we left amidst a tempest of congratulations. Having reached the theatre, we shouldered our way with considerable difficulty through a number of women and boys noisily congregated around the platform. My venerable companion and I ascended the ladder, and were about depositing the entrance money, when the manager informed me, in a whisper, that by going round to the pit we should make ourselves more comfortable than in the gallery. As we descended the ladder, the boys raised a cheer, and some of them had the consummate impudence to assert aloud, that “the old coves”-the profane epithet applied to us—“were turned out because they wanted to get in for nothing." I smothered my indignation, and went round to the pit. Outside the door a placard, which reminded me of a coloured photograph of a display of fire-works, and, which evidently owed its existence to a combination of brick dust and washing blue, with the fortuitous interposition of a paste-brush, informed us that “the sublime tragedy of Macbeth, with new scenery, dresses and appointments, would be produced that evening.” The manager's wife admitted us. She was a stout woman in half mourning, or more correctly, one of her eyes was black and the other white. We had scarcely seated ourselves when I had the supreme satisfaction of ascertaining that we were the only respectable persons in the house. A young woman, with a strong resemblance to a barrack laundress, sat close

Some ugly-looking fellows, who chewed tobacco and enjoyed unfeigned gratification in squirting the juice at the foot-lights, sat in front. The seat to the rear was tenanted by a butcher's boy, who had surreptitiously introduced bis master's bull-dog, the porter of the local workhouse, three applewomen, and a peace constable. The gallery was a chaos of heads enveloped in tobacco smoke, out of which there came occasionally peremptory orders to “ up with the rag," and demands for "Garryowen." “ The rag," I subsequently understood, was the term applied to the drop scene, a quiet piece of painting, which represented an Italian landscape with a campanile in the foreground, a Chinese pagoda in the background, and a backwood settlement in the middle distance. I soon became unpleasantly aware that I had attracted the attention of the gods on the upper benches. Amid a perfect storm of laughter, a great gruff voice, which I could only attribute to an enginedriver, congratulated me publicly on the fact of my possessing “a clean shirt ;" and immediately afterwards another voice suggested, amid increased merriment, that I had settled that ten-penny debt with my washer

With the traditional inconsistency of mobs, the attention of the gallery was now directed to my

landlady. That quiet-minded individual was rather loudly

interrogated on the condition of her bonnet, an article which, I am not ashamed to admit, belonged to a very remote fashionable epoch. It was insinuated that she slept in it; and, further, and most provoking of all, that it occasionally acted in the capacity of hostage for a balfcrown at the local pawn-office. Deeply agonised at those virulent attacks, I turned to my landlady for the purpúse of affording her a little seasonable consolation, when the slap of an orange peel, which I received on the nose, peremptorily terminated the conversation.

As we patiently sat on our pit bench, a cry of “In, in,” resounded from the exterior stage; the drum suddenly ceased, the boys cheered, the doors banged open, and in tumbled precipitately Macbeth, followed by Lady Macbeth, Duncan, Banquo, and the rest of the company. They swept in like a flight of Janissaries, rushed down the gallery steps, cleared the pit division at a bound, and darted behind the coulisse with the agility of a caravan of monkeys. The cries to “hoist the rag,” from the gallery, now became clamorous and deafening. A faint tinkle of a bell, which sounded like a spoon rattled in an egg-cup, gusts of conversation at the wings, evident perturbation behind the scenes, and the curtain went up.

It became readily evident that no ordinary familiarity existed between the actors and the audience, for when the first witch, a gaunt, lean-boned man, attired in a cotton shawl and a night-cap, inquired of his mysterious associate, “When shall we three meet again ?" a gentleman in the gallery promptly replied—“To-night, of coorse, at The Cat and Gridiron,”—a pot-house of rarather equivocal reputation in one of the worst districts of Brownchurch. When the first witch took the liberty of enquiring, once more, “ Where the place ?” the same genıleman, probably annoyed at the diabolical stupidity of the spirit, roared, “Didn't I tell you before ?” Loud laughter followed this incident; and the witches vanished amid the cordial applause of the gallery. I think I have a fair recollection of the costumes which graced the second scene of the drama. King Duncan was imposingly splendid. A fillet of tin scolloped at the edges “rounded his kingly brows;" his legs were ornamented with mocassins, and a faded opera-cloak, brilliant with innumerable spangles, hung gracefully from bis shoulders. Malcolm rejoiced in the complete uniform of a private of Flying Artillery. Donalbain was glorious in a kilt of green calico, in addition to a constable’s tunic, the tails of which admiringly overlapped his skirt. Lennox's attire was provokingly miscellaneous; he wore pink tights under a trunk hose ; his skull was compressed into a cavalry forage-cap; and the belt at his waist was so profusely enriched with forks and white-handled dinner knives, that it might be mistaken for the domestic sec. tion of an archæological armoury. At the entrance of Macbeth and Banquo in the third scene,


occupants of the gallery simultaneously rose and cheered. The approbation was exclusively intended for Mr. Bunbury, who, as Macbeth, strode leisurely across the stage, as if he were going to disappear, but suddenly changing

to us.


his mind, wheeled sharply at the opposite wing, and in peated his order in a voice tremendously thrilling, aca voice of such terrific compass, that it seemed to pro- companying the mandate with a few metaphorical ceed from the soles of bis sandals, informed his com- flourishes of a horse-whip. The boys readily comprepanion that so foul and fair a day he had not seen. hended the managerial allegory, and cries of “Snuff the When I had time to study Mr. Bunbury's countenance, candles, Jack !" I observed that the ordinary characteristics of his nose No, I wont; 'tis your turn.” had totally disappeared. It had suddenly developed “ Snuff 'em, or I'll smash your itself into a perfectly symmetrical organ. I was wholly Would you be able ?" unable to account for this rapid reformation in the struc- “ I would.” ture of Mr. Bunbury's physiognomy; and I proceeded “ You wouldn't,” immediately arose from the guarto take a synopsis of his attire. The latter was singularly dians of the footlights. comprehensive. It consisted of a pair of white stock- At last one red-headed boy struck a big-mouthed ings; do. of purple knee-breeches; a tunic of chain boy on the mouth, and received at the same time a mail, and a Glengarry towering with turkey feathers. blow on the neck from a brown-headed boy behind His left arm was shielded by a capacious pot-lid, smell- him. The fight immediately became general, and the ing of a recent visitation of flannel and bathbrick, butcher's boy, followed by the smuggled bull-dog, whilst his right hand valorously grasped a basket- jumped into the mêlée. The former pummelled away handled sword. Mr. Bunbury did, no doubt, appre- vigorously, whilst the dog drove his teeth, as was eviciate his own importance. Every word was dropped denced by the gentleman's screams, deeper than the with premeditated grace ; his stalk was majestic enough corduroy, into a long-eared boy's inexpressibles. The for a Bengal tiger, and every gesture was as expressive delight of the gallery was unbounded. Cries of “Bravo!” as the mandate—“ Away with him to the lowest dun- 6 hit bim !” “ well done!” succeeded each other, and geon of the castle !” In delivering the soliloquies he every one appeared to enjoy the scene, until Mr. Bunknitted his brows, distended his chest, and rushed franti- bury, seeing the fruitlessness of verbal remonstrances cally from one side of the stage to the other. But through- to pacify the belligerents, stepped to the foot-lights, and out the evening, I could not dispossess myself of the knocked down the butcher's boy with a stroke of the notion that he entertained a certain anxiety touching pot-lid. He had scarcely performed this heroic feat, the integrity of his nose.

when upwards of forty fellows scrambled into the pit, and I was profoundly anxious to see Lady Macbeth, that amid shouts of "fair play!” and “ha, ha, Bunbury!" is to say, Miss Mary Dawson. She came at last, and jumped upon the stage. Mr. Bunbury determined to didn't she create a sensation ? A tremendous rustling die like an ancient Roman, and was actually about to at the wings announced her approach ; and in she pink one of his assailants, when he received a blow on marched with a superb hauteur, robed in what appeared the nose which sent a deposit of painted putty flying to me to be a suit of flowered bed curtains. Lady into his

eyes, and reduced the nasal organ to its normal Macbeth advanced to the centre of the stage, slowly

condition. All now became confusion, screams for the raised her left hand in order to exhibit an arm lustrously police, and requests for mercy resounded from every white with chalk powder, and gathering up a parody quarter. Finally, the pit door was forced from within, on a smile from the nineteen angles of her mouth, gave, and giving my arm to my venerable companion, we in a voice which reminded me of the tone of a cracked escaped with safety from the theatrical tumult. piano sharp, the reply to Duncan,

“ All our service, In every point twice done, and then done double," &c.


We had now got as far as “ Scene VII." and had been introduced to "a room in the castle.” The room by the way was a curiosity; the side walls were represented by a variety of fir and larch trees, whilst the flat, or back scene, pictured a fisherman's cottage, adorned with dead ling and mackerel, High above the roar of trumpets and hautboys, the rush of servants, bearing pasteboard joints on fictitious dishes, and the grandiloquent tones of Mr. Bunbury, a voice at this moment roared out, from the top steps of the gallery, 6. Snuff the candles !” The ukase of the manager was addressed to a half-dozen ragged-backed youths who sat huddled in a group below the proscenium, and who had been admitted gratis on condition of their undertaking to snuff the candles. As the boys showed evident reluctance to discharge their functions, the manager re

It is a curious fact that in every corner of the world, civilized or barbarous, sneezing, a very natural result of obvious causes, is almost everywhere greeted, if we may be allowed the use of such a word in the presentinstance, with a salutatiop. In Italy, no matter how often you sneeze, it is customary for the bystanders to exclaim "prosit!” or in plain English, "May it do you good!” The Spaniards and the French employ similar invocations, and however the usage may have found its way into this country, the Irish, whether speaking the old language or the modern vernacular, invariably accompany the sternutation with a “God bless you!” We do not mean to insinuate that this custom prevails among what is called the "genteel class," which regards it in the light of a vulgarism, though perhaps without any good or solid reason, but we need hardly say to those who aro


familiar with the customs of the peasantry and working classes of Ireland, that the latter seldom omit the “ God bless you

!" when you happen to sneeze. It might be worth the while of some zealous antiquary to enlighten us on the origin of a custom which has prevailed so universally and at all periods, and show us why we Christians have adopted a mode of salutation which, in this particular instance, was looked upon by the Pagans as an indispensable formula of politeness. Sigonio, in his Lives of the Roman Pontiffs, tells us that this custom originated in the times of Pope St. Gregory (A.D. 590), “When,” says he, “ during the prevalence of the great plague that almost depopulated Rome, thousands died either in the act of sneezing or of yawning, which induced the formula observed even in our days, of saying 'God bless you l' when one sneezes, and making the sign of the cross on the mouth when we yawn.” The latter action, doubtless, may have found its origin in the circumstances alluded to by Sigonio; but as for the salutation with which sneezing was accompanied, it can be traced to a period long an. terior to the promulgation of Christianity. We have already observed that it was a polite formula among the idolatrous Romans, and, indeed we have only to turn to the pages of their literature for proofs of the assertion. Petronius Arbiter, for example, an elegant and licentious writer during the reign of Nero, tells us thata

to us, the fate of an army, or the success of a great enterprize, was often marred by a sneeze! Herodotus, for example, gives us the following proof of what we have stated. “When Hippias, son of Pisistratus," says the father of history, was at the head of the army, he was suddenly seized with such violent fit of sneezing that one of his teeth fell out, and could not be found after a diligent search. This being observed by the general, he remarked, “We cannot conquer this country, or occupy more of it than my tooth covers. Be it said to their credit, however, that there were some few exceptions to this wide-spread superstition, for we read of an Athenian captain who laughed at his soldiers for being intimidated when a man in the ranks sneezed, and addressed them thus, to revive their courage :“What wonder if among so many thousands there should be one having a cold in his head; and why should not the man sneeze?" In fact, the Greeks regarded sneezing as an omen of good or ill luck, and this superstition was not only prevalent but very ancient, even in the days of Homer, as appears from the seventeenth book of the Odyssey, where we find Penelope exclaiming that her prayers were heard because her son Telemachus had sneezed.

“She spoke Telemachus they sneezed aloud;
Constrain'd, his nostril echo'd through the crowd.
The smiling queen the happy omen blest:
So may these impious fall by fate opprest."*

" When Giton sneezed three times one after the other, so that the bed shook, Eumolpus faced about at the sound, and cried, 'Jove keep you, Giton !?”

Pliny, in the 28th book of his history, relates of Ti. berius Cæsar, that "he not only saluted the person who sneezed, but peremptorily insisted, even when riding in his chariot, on being saluted whenever he himself sneezed.” Nor was the custom less in vogue among the Greeks, as we learn from a collection of epigrams by an anonymous author, one of which humourously narrates how a certain Proclus had such a long nose that he never said, “ Help me, Jove !” because the length of the organ and its distance from the ears prevented bim from hearing the sound! Translated into Latin, the epigram runs thus

Nor was it less prevalent among the Romans, for they believed that to sneeze before dinner hour (which was in the morning), was an unlucky omen, fore. tokening a calamitous day: and they also held, that to sneeze from the right nostril was a presage of good luck. St. Augustin, in his first book de Doctrina Christiana, mentions that folly of this sort prevailed such to an extent in his time, that it was usual for a person who sneezed when rising in the morning or while in the act of dressing, to return to bed in order to avert the evil omen; and the Jesuit Godingo, in his life of Silveria, a celebrated missionary, who spent a long time in southern Africa, relates that when the king of Menomotapa sneezes his courtiers not only cry out lustily, invoking blessings on his majesty, but speed the salutation from mouth to mouth till the whole region resounds with prayers to avert all sorts of ills from their monarch. The reasons assigned for this custom by Aristotle and others may be reduced to three. First, the pagans regarded the human head as something holy, and the seat of intellect, not only because it is immediately connected with the organs of vision and hearing, but also because Pallas sprang from the brain of Jove; therefore as sternutation proceeds from the organ more immcdiately connected with the head, so, in their opinion, did the one partake of the divinity of the other.

Secondly, they held that sneezing was a sign of good health; for although the material cause of this effect is not good, nevertheless the effect itself is good, and

“Non potis est Proclus digitis emungere nasum
Namque est pro nasi mole pusilla manus.
Nec vocat ille Jovem sternutans : quippe nec audit
Sternutamentum, tam procul aure sonat.”

From this it appears that it was not only customary to salute others when they sneezed, but likewise that the sneezers were in the habit of saluting themselves, using some such invocation, as - aid me, Jove!” So absurdly superstitious were the pagans about this most insignificant action, that if a guest on rising from table happened to sneeze, the whole company were wont to resume their seats, and although filled to repletion, eat something more, in order that the feast should not terminate with a sinister omen. Strange as it may appear

* Pope's Translation,

After many

an evidence of health and vigour which enables one to

Spreads foreign wonders in his country's sight; get rid of a peccant or vitious obstruction.

Imparts what others have invented well, Thirdly, they regarded it as ominous of prosperous

And stirs his own to match them or excel. or adverse contingencies. Need we say that if the

'Tis thus reciprocating, each with each,

Alternately the nations learn and teach." augurs and aruspices, and Aristotle himself, had the good fortune to be familiar with the use of tobacco, a

To what country is to be attributed the merit of origisingle pinch of snuff would have overturned some of

ginating exhibitions designed to encourage the applitheir profoundest theories ?

cation of Art to Industry, it would be difficult to determine. So far back as the year 1754, the Society of Arts in London projected displays for the promotion of

this object with such gratifying results, that the example THE DUBLIN ART EXHIBITION.

was followed not long after by the Royal Dublin Society. TRIENNIALLY for the past five and thirty years the Irish

In France, in 1797, an exposition of Gobelin tapestries, metropolis has been enlivened by the expositions held in

carpets of the Savonnerie, and manufactures in Sèvres connection with the Royal Dublin Society, with the intent china, was held in the then unoccupied palace of St. to develope the chief natural vegetable and mineral Cloud, and this was succeeded in the ensuing year by productions of Ireland, in their advance from the crudity

another of a more artistic character in the Champ de of the raw material to the perfect finish of the manu

Mars. These may be regarded as the first national infactured article, the machinery which aids these pro

stitutions of the kind, and the advantages which accrued cesses, as well as the apparatus of agricultural enterprise,

from them in the popularisation of art-industry was at and so to foster the industrial spirit of her people.

once recognised. The present century is 'par excellence' With the yet vivid memory of that splendid event which,

the age of these treasure-houses of whatever thought eight years since, made Dublin a universal cynosure, and

and labour contribute towards the world's civilization in anticipation of the London International Exhibition and luxury, but far from having arrived at their culmiof 1862, the Society this year proposed to vary the

nation, they are receiving daily the addition of some field of their action by the formation of departments for

more comprehensive element. They are the objectthe display of all available illustrations of the genius of

instructors of the millions, in which whatever is novel Art and the mechanism of Science.

in art or science, in utility or fashion, find a place, and months of solicitous hope and anxious endeavour, their as the eye is more apt in receiving educational imdesigns were successfully and seasonably accomplished,

pressions than the ear, blind indeed must they be who and the chaos of the treasures which they have en

cannot study their inculcations to advantage. shrined within their .walls has gradually subsided be

For its dimensions there is a positive embarras de fore the adjusting hands of taste.

richesses in the Fine Arts Exhibition of 1861. With

The scope of this Exhibition is so much smaller than that of its precursor,

many chefs d'auvres of the atelier and the studio, we find that it would manifestly be derogatory to the designs pictures which are the result of the application of scienof its promoters, as well as unfair to the zealous efforts tific discovery, and examples of every matériel capable of those entrusted with their execution, to institute a

of being wrought into forms of beauty and utility by the comparison of the present with the recollection of the tool of the sculptor or the cunning of the chemist. Here past_of the fait accompli of May 1861 with the achieve- the precious metals glister in all the exquisite and ment of May 1853. However, expositions such as this, graceful shapes that highly-cultivated taste and skilled whether their site be on the banks of the Liffey or of

manipulation can elaborate in jewellery and bijouterie, the Thames, of the Seine or of the Neva, of the Hudson

while the utilitarian and decorative adaptability of the or of the Ganges, whether they be metropolitan or pro

coarser metals is evidenced in the admirably-conceived vincial, of a magnitude requiring acres, or of a parvity

and deftly-wrought articles that minister to the everyfor which roods suffice, whether structures as crystal

day necessities and luxuries of society. There the eye and fairy-like as that prototype of the Hyde Park

is relieved by specimens of ceramic manufacture, reIndustrial Palace of 1851 limned in the previsions of

markable for their grace of outline and aptness of ornapleasant old Geoffrey Chaucer nearly five hundred years

ture. The products of the loom and of the mill, too, ago, or edifices less frail and transparent in their material,

are worthily represented. Textile fabrics in all their and imposing in their coup d'ail, are too cosmopolitan

varieties, from filmy muslin to costliest silks, and tabiin character to admit of comparisons which might lead nets and poplins, carpets of the most intricate woofs and to conclusions as erroneous as premature. In any and

richest dyes, and laces that rival gossamer, attract atevery clime they serve as progression-gauges to mark tention, and testify to the delicate taste and dexterous the intellectual and industrial advance of the human handicraft of the designers and manufacturers. If defirace—the Ariels that put the golden cestus of Trade

cient in that stupendous sort of beauty necessary to proaround the earth, and we know that

duce great effects, and to awe the mind of the visitor,

this parterre of art charms by its elegance and lightness, “ Art thrives most

and compactness. Upon the occasion of the inaugural Where Commerce has enriched the busy coast; He catches all improvements in his flight,

ceremony in particular, the tout ensemble was singularly

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