Forgotten History

amyasleigh

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One million likes for that last sentence Essie...could perfect perisher be translated as 'pure radge" nowadays?
Not to disparage for one moment, Mr. Wodehouse's brilliance with words; but, Mungoman -- the word "radge" being new to me, I resorted to the Online Dictionary: gives it as "wild, crazy, violent" [Scottish, informal]. I see the old slang term "perisher" as denoting someone annoying / uncouth / offensive; but basically rather silly and ineffectual (as Spode was, for sure). Or has the r-word acquired new meanings?
 

Yithian

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Not to disparage for one moment, Mr. Wodehouse's brilliance with words; but, Mungoman -- the word "radge" being new to me, I resorted to the Online Dictionary: gives it as "wild, crazy, violent" [Scottish, informal]. I see the old slang term "perisher" as denoting someone annoying / uncouth / offensive; but basically rather silly and ineffectual (as Spode was, for sure). Or has the r-word acquired new meanings?
Radge is a corruption/variation of rage, I think.

It took on a life of its own north of the border and became a person (of wild and dangerous temperament) and an decriptive adjective of the same or the mood/actions associated with such a person.
 

amyasleigh

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That's more like it ! I get the impression that the chap would have liked to be (a) radge; but hadn't a clue about how to actually perform that feat.
 
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Bizarre.

It might be supposed that in 1945, with war with Nazi Germany recently concluded, supporters of Nazism would not have been tolerated in Britain at all. Although the British government was aware that a few of its citizens supported National Socialism, its general policy was to ignore them. However, the discovery of a ‘church’ at Kingdom House, near Petworth in Sussex, set up by a group styling itself the League of Christian Reformers (LCR) and dedicated to the worship of Adolf Hitler, stretched the patience of the war-weary nation to the limit.

In November 1945, while reports of the Belsen trial were making headline news, another story hit the front pages of national newspapers. It began with the controversial auction of the contents of the German embassy in London. Among the items sold was a granite bust of Hitler, purchased for £500 by Captain Robert Gordon-Canning, a leading member of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) before the war. John Larratt Battersby, another former BUF member, also attended and bought some Nazi flags. They told reporters that their purchases were destined for Kingdom House, where the League of Christian Reformers had established a church.

Questions were asked in Parliament and the reply of the Home Secretary, James Chuter Ede, brought the League of Christian Reformers to public attention. He ‘entirely shared the feelings of revulsion against the LCR which, in the guise of religion, sought to make a cult of Hitler and of the forces of evil which the United Nations have recently successfully overcome’. But unless they broke the law, he added, nothing could be done.

https://www.historytoday.com/susan-gardiner/british-church-worshipped-hitler
 

hunck

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Here's an interesting story

Sailor's rape confession uncovered in 17th-century journal

A 17th-century sailor’s confession about a rape, of which he became so ashamed that he sought to cover it up for ever, has been exposed by conservation workers who discovered the note hidden under a rewritten version in his journal.

The confession went unseen for more than 300 years because the sailor pasted his second account so neatly over the top of the original that scholars missed it.

Edward Barlow’s lavishly illustrated journal of his extraordinary life is now held at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The farm worker’s son joined the navy as a child, sailed as a teenager on the same ship as Samuel Pepys to bring Charles II back to England, survived several shipwrecks and captivity, and eventually rose to become a captain.

It was Paul Cook, a senior paper conservator at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, who spotted the newly pasted page and exposed Barlow’s shame.

Cook was told the manuscript was “a problem” when he joined the museum in 1985.

Cook became the first person in more than 300 years to read Barlow’s original words, hidden under the rewritten version, which included the weeping woman on the shore but omitted the account of the rape. Instead, Barlow wrote: “I had in part promised her at London that I would marry her … having had a little more than ordinary familiarity with her”.
He ended up marrying her & they had several children. Full story at link.

An illustration from his journal

 
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Never heard of this group before, quite an interesting article.

My Great-Grandfather the Bundist
Molly Crabapple

“There, where we live, that is our country.”
—Motto of the Jewish Labor Bund

During his elder years, my great-grandfather, the post-Impressionist artist Sam Rothbort, tried to paint back into existence the murdered world of his shtetl childhood. Amid the hundreds of watercolors that he called Memory Paintings, one stood out. A girl silhouetted against some cottages, her dress the same color as the crepuscular sky above. A moment before, she’d hurled a rock through one now-shattered cottage window. On the painting’s margin, her boyfriend offers more rocks.

“Itka the Bundist, Breaking Windows,” Sam captioned the work.

I may have been fifteen, seventeen, or twenty when I saw the watercolor, in my great aunt’s sunbaked living room or my mother’s apartment; I don’t recall exactly. What sticks with me is the Old World awkwardness of the heroine’s name. Itka. I turned the Yiddish syllables on my tongue. And Bundist. What was that?

This question became a thread that led me to the Bund, a revolutionary society of which my mother’s Grandpa Sam had been a member, whose story was interwoven with the agonies and triumphs of Jews in Eastern Europe, and whose name has all but been erased.

Founded in 1897 in Vilna (Vilnius in modern-day Lithuania), and reaching its height in interwar Poland, the Bund was a sometimes-clandestine political party whose tenets were humane, socialist, secular, and defiantly Jewish. Bundists fought the Tsar, battled pogroms, educated shtetls, and ultimately helped lead the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Though the Bund was largely obliterated by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, the group’s opposition to Zionism better explains their absence from current consciousness. Though the Bund celebrated Jews as a nation, they irreconcilably opposed the establishment of Israel as a separate Jewish homeland in Palestine. The diaspora was home, the Bund argued. Jews could never escape their problems by the dispossession of others. Instead, Bundists adhered to the doctrine of do’ikayt or “Hereness.” Jews had the right to live in freedom and dignity wherever it was they stood. ...

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/10/06/my-great-grandfather-the-bundist/
 

amyasleigh

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(Post just discovered) -- a matter of interest .. thanks. The linked-to item is of some length: have as yet only skimmed it, though I'll go back and read it in detail. Your post has filled in a bit of an informational blank for me.

Long ago, I read several novels by Leon Uris -- though this chap is IMO God-awful as a literary craftsman, his books are in a naive kind of way: powerful and moving reading, unless one is totally without sympathy for the Jewish people in their sufferings through the course of history. I recall in his Mila 18, about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, a mention of the particularly heroic death therein of one of the Jewish fighters, an "old-time Bundist"; and a couple of other passing references in the book, to the "Bund". I having -- to be honest -- a somewhat less than consuming interest in these matters, I was content to figure out from the context, that the Bund must have been some kind of Jewish militant movement originating well before the 1940s. Clearly the word stuck with me -- am glad of the opportunity given now, to learn more fully concerning what this outfit was all about.

I presume that the central figure's home town of "Volkavisk", is the present-day Vawkavysk in Belarus.
 

Swifty

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In 1917, The Pyrin and the Fernebo steamers got into trouble in the waters at Cromer. 'Luckily' for them, the now world famous lifeboat man and later coxon Henry Blogg and his crew were there to rescue them. A large portion of the townsfolk turned out forming human chains on the beach to help with the rescues .. the wreckage of the Fernebo was uncovered a few years back, me and the Mrs went down a few times to check it out and I was able to recover a few bits and pieces of the ship before they were lost again forever .. a measuring stick and an old dice that I found lodged in a rusting oily sand filled tube as well as other non descript looking barnacle covered parts of the hull.

Weirdly, both The Henry Blogg museum and Cromer Museum didn't express any interest in receiving them as free donations!? .. I wasn't about to just chuck this stuff away and our current coxon was happy to take them off my hands, they now currently reside at the lifeboat station on our pier.

'Shrimp' Davies in this video has since passed away although I know his grandson and worked with his great grand daughter who once helped me evacuate a hotel we were working at when it was hit by lightning without even so much as a glimmer of panic. Cromer kids are tough.

 
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An interesting take on a largely forgotten war.

Independence Lost by Kathleen DuVal

Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution by Kathleen DuVal was first published in 2016. The author is a professor of early American history at the University of North Carolina. The subject of this work is Spain’s war with Great Britain in the Gulf of Mexico. This conflict was part of the American Revolution. Over the last couple of years, this book has gotten a lot of buzz among those who read and talk a lot about the American Revolution. DuVal has taken what is, on the surface a military history, and turned it into a study of people, culture and long term historical impact. In the end, she draws an unusual combination of conclusions.

A little background on the situation in the Gulf of Mexico during the American Revolution helps one to understand what this book is about. The thirteen rebellious colonies that formed the young United States were not the only European colonies in the region. Over the course of decades, European colonies in the Gulf of Mexico had been traded with some frequency, as a result of war and diplomacy, between Great Britain, France and Spain. At the time of the American War for Independence, Louisiana and Cuba were Spanish colonies. East Florida and West Florida were British colonies that did not join the rebellion against Great Britain.

This book is about the Spanish invasion, launched from Louisiana and Cuba, into British West Florida and its aftermath. Adding to the complexity of the situation was the fact that the British had native American allies that played a major part in the conflict. The book also covers the years after the war. Peace saw the emergence of the new United States as well as a resurgent Spain, which controlled large parts of North America, including Florida and New Orleans. Spain attempted to set up a system of alliances with Native American tribes in an attempt to prevent the United States from further expansion. DuVal argues that this strategy actually worked until instability in Napoleonic Europe weakened the Spanish Empire.

Though the subjects involve military and political events, this book is very much a social history. Duval focuses on individuals. Many residents of the region are put under the microscope. These include natives and immigrants from Great Britain, France and Spain, the first Cajuns who settled around New Orleans, slaves and Native Americans. The region was a hodgepodge of these groups. Individuals and families needed to choose which side to take and how they would participate in the conflict.

The lives of some fascinating people are explored. For instance, Amand Broussard was a settler living in Louisiana. He was an Acadian of French ancestry whose parents had been exiled from Canada and treated harshly by the British in what was known as the Great Expulsion. He and his fellow exiles thirsted for revenge against Great Britain and enthusiastically volunteered for military service with the Spanish to fight against the British. The descendants of Broussard’s people are today called Cajuns. ...

https://briansbabblingbooks.blogspot.com/2018/09/independence-lost-by-kathleen-duval.html
 
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Swifty

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Someone's decided to put a phone recording of Lyndon B Johnson ordering some trousers in 1964, so naturally that belongs here ..

 
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A forgotten feminist fighter emerges from the mist of time.

Forgotten Feminisms: Ernestine Rose, Free Radical
Judith Shulevitz

It may seem strange to include the subject of three modern biographies in a column called “Forgotten Feminisms.” But mention the name “Ernestine Rose” to the next feminist you meet, and odds are she’ll have no idea who you’re talking about. Rose has little or no name recognition outside defenders in university Gender Studies departments.

That’s a big gap in our collective memory. Rose began agitating for women’s rights a decade before Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and she mentored them both. As a public speaker, Rose was more famous—and notorious—than they were, at least in her heyday. Rose “has as great a power to chain an audience as any of our best male speakers,” said the Albany Transcript in 1854, meaning the comparison as a compliment. “A good delivery, a forcible voice, the most uncommon good sense, a delightful terseness of style, and a rare talent for humor,” an anonymous female journalist wrote in 1860. Rose also had the unfair advantage of good looks: a French journalist and reformer once described her as “a slender petite, gracious woman, with a beautiful forehead, sparkling eyes of an extraordinary sweetness, even, white teeth, and a charming half smile.” The newspapers called Rose “The Queen of the Platform” in an era when lectures rivaled theater as a form of popular entertainment. ...

Why resurrect Rose now? “As a Jew, as an atheist, as a woman and a foreigner, Ernestine Rose did not fit into the early-twentieth-century narrative of US history,” writes Bonnie S. Anderson in The Rabbi’s Atheist Daughter (2017). She was rediscovered by feminists during the 1970s, but she never received her full due, notwithstanding Kolmerten and Anderson’s excellent biographies and a collection of speeches and letters titled Mistress of Herself (2008), edited by Paula Doress-Worters (though Rose extemporized and kept no notes of her speeches, their texts were preserved in the proceedings of women’s-rights and abolitionist conventions, and she wrote a great many articles and letters to editors). I have drawn heavily from all three books for this essay; there is also a handful of scholarly papers as well as a 1959 biography, in English, by the Yiddish poet Yuri Suhl that insightfully imagines life in her early Jewish milieu but invents dialogue and gives no sources. ...

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/...e=Newsletter&utm_term=essay on Ernestine Rose
 
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I think my review of Peterloo fits here. Like the film it may be both too long and too short. Too long because of the historical details inserted, too short because I haven't put in enough background. An essay may be required.

Peterloo: In some way this historical drama feels over long yet paradoxically also too short as it devotes little time to the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre.Too long perhaps because of the vast cast of characters with speaking parts; director Mike Leigh might have better served his viewers if he had combined characters to ease the unfolding of the narrative. Four main magistrates in Manchester, later joined by a score more is perhaps a tad too many; especially seeing as one of them seems to be channeling Rowan Atkinson. But the cruelty of the magistrates, many of whom were clergymen is revealed in how they deal with ordinary people accused of petty crimes.

The film opens in the aftermath of Waterloo as demobbed soldiers make their way home on foot across Britain. one of them is Joseph (David Moorst) who returns to Manchester. Joseph is not well, suffering from what we would now call PTSD, still wearing his old uniform, he staggers around Manchester, fruitlessly seeking work. Through Joseph and his family we see the suffering of ordinary people in those times. The Corn Laws kept the price of bread high, wages were low, unions were suppressed. Another device used to fill in the background is the singing weaver (Dorothy Atkinson) who in two songs gives a potted history of the woes of the common people. But it wasn't just the immediate economic issues which concerned them, there was also a realisation that their lack of a vote prevented them from advancing their interests. Indeed in that era of rotten parliamentary boroughs, Manchester had no representation in the House of Commons. The build up to the Massacre takes up much of the film we see the clerks at the Home Office reading intercepted mail and reports from Manchester magistrates. Informers tell of what is happening at Reform Society meetings; agent provocateurs are sent in to encourage the wilder elements to resort to violence rather than to campaign for reform and the vote.

There are also those merchants and minor industrialists of Manchester who are at the helm of the Reform Movement, they publish the Manchester Observer (forerunner of The Guardian). They bring the reformer Henry Hunt (Rory Kinnear) to speak at the planned Peterloo meeting. Banned by magistrates it has to be put off for a week. The magistrates haven't finished though, they plan attacks on the new meeting and the Yeomanry prepare their weapons, the regular Army is also readied. On the day of the meeting (16 August 1819) which is called to demand Representation of the People and Democracy, 100,000 gather in the Peterloo fields. As Henry Hunt rises to speak a magistrate reads the Riot Act out the window of a building on the other side of the square, unheard by anyone other than his fellow magistrates. The Yeomanry and Hussars ride into the crowd, slashing at people with their sabres, joined by infantry with fixed bayonets. It is impossible for many to escape and eighteen people are killed with hundreds injured. The Government saw this as as a victory, even inking Peterloo to Waterloo. But from this terrible scene the green shoots of democracy grew.

The Yeomanry, Government and local magistrates felt they were crushing, Anarchy,an English version of the French Revolution, the reality was that they were attacking mor a peaceful version of the American Revolution: a protest against taxation without representation. People also maddened by hunger, low wages and repression of their attempts to organise unions. The Massacre is filmed in a choreographed manner without taking away from the slaughter which occurred. Meetings in dark halls and taverns are contrasted with gatherings and marching practice on the bright green and sunny Saddleworth Moor. The talk and debate is also central to the film but at times !9th Century Mancunian dialect may be difficult to follow.

Leigh delivers a vivid historical drama which falls short of being a classic due to being overstuffed with characters. This might better have been related in a six hour TV series. 7.5/10.
 
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Ermintruder

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This is an utterly-fascinating insight into an entire historical episode that I've been oblivious to, up until now (and more): the New York City Shakespear Riots.

That truly-excellent YouTuber TheHistoryGuy gives astounding insights into the 'American Antebellum' period (between the Wars of 1812 and the Wars Between the States of the 1860s). I'd never heard the term "the upper 10,000 for America's new (and not so new) rich elite.

The militia shootings are harrowing, and feel so like the Peterloo Massacre in their intimate mundane killings of innocents and passers-by.

I had *no* idea that the rivalry between stage actors could ever have resulted in such horrifying social consequences.

It is very persuasive (and interesting) to conclude from this video that the New York City sub-culture of 'The Bowery Boys & Girls' may represent the keystone characterisation of the stereotypical American Citizen of the meritocratic present: self-assured, unashamedly non-deferential, intelligent, loud, dynamic and self-possessed. This may be a false corollary on my part, but conflation apart, I still feel it...fits.

>Seriously< recommended for investing 14 minutes of your time into.


 

hunck

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Here's a particularly grim tale from Victorian times.

Amelia Dyer, from Bristol, murdered babies for over 30 years and was one of the most prolific female serial killers ever recorded in the UK

Amelia Dyer brutally murdered babies by starving, drugging and strangling them, over an almost 30-year period.

Dyer, who was from Bristol, but travelled to Plymouth and other places across England to pick up the babies, was paid by unwed mothers and rich families to take care of their offspring in exchange for money, usually between £10 and £80, the equivalent of £1,000 - £8,000 today.

In 1869, she began placing adverts in local newspapers to adopt healthy children, enticing them in by mentioning she was married - which was a lie as her husband died the same year - and had a 'nice country home'.

She began murdering her innocent, helpless victims by overdosing them with a cordial, referred to as 'Mother's friend'.

The murders went undetected by the authorities due to the high infant mortality rates during the Victorian era, but in 1879, one doctor became suspicious due to the amount of death certificates he was issuing for babies being 'cared for' by Dyer.

She was eventually jailed for neglect - not murder - and was handed a six month sentence in a labour camp - but as soon as she was released, she returned to her sinister ways.

This time she changed her method to strangulation and continued to place ads and collect payments.

Realising that she was found out by doctors previously, she skipped reporting the deaths to the doctors, and instead ditched their lifeless bodies into rivers, including the River Avon and the River Thames, or bury them.

Some people would ask for their babies to be immediately murdered after birth, due to the shame of single motherhood in the era, knowing that the coroners would be unable to tell the difference between suffocation and still-birth.

She moved from town to town to avoid detection of her heinous crimes and even faked a mental illness, getting herself admitted into a mental asylum.

In 1896, she slipped up by dropping two bodies in the Thames at Reading, but did not weigh the boxes down enough, resulting in them being discovered by a bargeman.

In the package was the body of one-year-old Helena Fry, who had white tape around her neck - but Dyer had forgotten one vital thing.

The packaging was stamped with an address of a Mrs Thomas of 26 Piggott's Road, Caversham, Dyer's maiden name and home address.

Det Con James Beattie Anderson examined the package, which is now on display at the Thames Valley Police Museum, and spotted the clue.

Neighbours told the police where Dyer had relocated, and upon arrival at her home in Reading, were met by the stench of decomposing bodies, piles of baby clothing and receipts from adverts she had placed in various newspapers across the UK.

Officers ordered that the Thames was dredged, and discovered six more babies, all with identical tape to that which was used to murder Helena Fry.

She chillingly told them: "You'll know all mine by the tape around their necks."

On May 22, 1896, she appeared at the Old Bailey for the trial for the murders.

The then 57-year-old tried to plead insanity, but was convicted by a jury, who took less than six minutes to find her guilty.

After eventually confessing to her crimes, she was hanged on June 10, 1896, at Newgate Prison.
 

JamesWhitehead

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Here's a particularly grim tale from Victorian times.
There is a whole book about her called Amelia Dyer: Angel Maker, 2007.
I read it a few years ago and passed it on.

Dyer seems to have been prolific and ultimately unsuccessful but baby-farming was widely practiced, small-ads. promising that mothers burdened with unwanted responsibilities could hand them over to be cared for. There was much demand for their services and no one to inspect their premises. Courts were very reluctant to hang women. The most common cause of death was "overlaying" in a world where there were several to a bed.

Insurance companies were compelled to stop insuring babies, as pay-outs were a perverse incentive to infanticide. In a grotesque pyramid-selling twist, the companies did not blow the whistle on suspect cases because successful claims were good publicity for them, in areas where premiums were collected by a local tally-man. :(
 
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Swifty

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Here's George Formby's dad (also called George Formby) singing in 1909 @ 41:52 ..

edit: an excerpt of the write up from the below musical link:

'British listeners will probably be familiar with the name of George Formby, a huge star in the 1930s and 1940s, but may not be aware that his father was also called George Formby, and was if anything an even bigger star in his day.

Born to an alcoholic prostitute mother and a coal miner father in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, then neglected, mistreated and malnourished, George often had to sleep outside because his parents were being held in police cells. In order to raise some money for food, he began singing on street corners for pennies, and was good enough to get real work in a singing duo in his teens.

Touring music halls, George developed stage characters, including “John Willie”, described by Jeffrey Richards as “the archetypal gormless Lancashire lad … hen-pecked, accident-prone, but muddling through” – and whose costume served as inspiration for Charlie Chaplin when he was creating his Little Tramp.

Formby’s health was never strong – he gained the nickname of “The Wigan Nightingale” after incorporating his bronchial cough into his act, and had to retire from music hall after a stage accident in 1916. He contracted influenza in the pandemic of 1918/19 and a bout of pulmonary tuberculosis finished him off in 1921 at the age of 45. In the 1909 recording featured in this mix, he is a mere 33 years old, but sounds much older.'


https://centuriesofsound.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/1909/
 

maximus otter

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Lord Lucan

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Then there is the Great Emu War of 1932 where the Royal Australian Artillery was defeated by emus. This always makes me laugh.

Australian Geographic's version of the Emu war
A slightly more humorous look at the infamous military loss
Wikipedia's take on the subject

I love the brief Wikipedia summation as follows:

Date 2 November – 10 December 1932
Location Campion district, Western Australia
Also known as Great Emu War
Participants
Emus
Sir George Pearce
Major G.P.W. Meredith
Royal Australian Artillery
Outcome Failure. Emu population persists.

It was not our finest moment.
 

AlchoPwn

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Then there is the Great Emu War of 1932 where the Royal Australian Artillery was defeated by emus. This always makes me laugh. It was not our finest moment.
They were only defeated because they gave up. If you want to kill emus, you need a crate of apricots covered in strychnine. I have it on good authority from a Territorian.
 
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