A line-by-line translation

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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A trumpet sounds. CAESAR, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, METELLUS, TREBONIUS, CINNA, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POPILLIUS, and PUBLIUS enter, along with a crowd that includes ARTEMIDORUS and the SOOTHSAYER .

CAESAR

[to the SOOTHSAYER] The ides of March are come.

CAESAR

[To the SOOTHSAYER] March 15th has come.

SOOTHSAYER

Ay, Caesar, but not gone.

SOOTHSAYER

Yes, Caesar, but the day is not over.

ARTEMIDORUS

[offering his letter] Hail, Caesar! Read this schedule.

ARTEMIDORUS

[Offering his letter] Hail, Caesar! Read this letter.

DECIUS

[offering CAESAR another paper] Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read,At your best leisure, this his humble suit.

DECIUS

[Offering CAESAR another paper] Trebonius would like you to read his humble request for help, when you have the time.

ARTEMIDORUS

O Caesar, read mine first, for mine’s a suitThat touches Caesar nearer. Read it, great Caesar.

ARTEMIDORUS

Oh, Caesar, read mine first, for my letter actually pertains to you. Read it, great Caesar.

CAESAR

What touches us ourself shall be last served.

CAESAR

I will leave whatever pertains to me for last.

ARTEMIDORUS

Delay not, Caesar. Read it instantly.

ARTEMIDORUS

Don’t delay, Caesar. Read it immediately.

CAESAR

What, is the fellow mad?

CAESAR

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PUBLIUS

[to ARTEMIDORUS] Sirrah, give place.

PUBLIUS

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CASSIUS

[to ARTEMIDORUS] What, urge you your petitions in the street?Come to the Capitol.

CASSIUS

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CAESAR and the crowd with him go up to the senate house.

POPILLIUS

[to CASSIUS] I wish your enterprise today may thrive.

POPILLIUS

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CASSIUS

What enterprise, Popillius?

CASSIUS

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POPILLIUS

Fare you well.

POPILLIUS

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POPILLIUS approaches CAESAR.

BRUTUS

[to CASSIUS] What said Popillius Lena?

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

[aside to BRUTUS] He wished today our enterprise might thrive.I fear our purpose is discoverèd.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Look how he makes to Caesar. Mark him.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention —Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known, Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back, For I will slay myself.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Cassius, be constant.Popillius Lena speaks not of our purposes.For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Trebonius knows his time. For, look you, Brutus.He draws Mark Antony out of the way.

CASSIUS

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TREBONIUS and ANTONY exit.

DECIUS

Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him goAnd presently prefer his suit to Caesar.

DECIUS

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BRUTUS

He is addressed. Press near and second him.

BRUTUS

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CINNA

Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.

CINNA

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CAESAR

Are we all ready? What is now amissThat Caesar and his senate must redress?

CAESAR

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METELLUS

[kneeling] Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,Metellus Cimber throws before thy seatAn humble heart—

METELLUS

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CAESAR

I must prevent thee, Cimber. These couchings and these lowly courtesies Might fire the blood of ordinary men And turn preordinance and first decree Into the law of children. Be not fond, To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood That will be thawed from the true quality With that which melteth fools —I mean, sweet words, Low-crookèd curtsies, and base spaniel fawning. Thy brother by decree is banishèd. If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him, I spurn thee like a cur out of my way. Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause Will he be satisfied.

CAESAR

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METELLUS

Is there no voice more worthy than my ownTo sound more sweetly in great Caesar’s earFor the repealing of my banished brother?

METELLUS

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BRUTUS

[kneeling] I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar,Desiring thee that Publius Cimber mayHave an immediate freedom of repeal.

BRUTUS

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CAESAR

What, Brutus?

CAESAR

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CASSIUS

[kneeling] Pardon, Caesar. Caesar, pardon.As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fallTo beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.

CASSIUS

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CAESAR

I could be well moved if I were as you. If I could pray to move, prayers would move me. But I am constant as the northern star, Of whose true-fixed and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament. The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks. They are all fire and every one doth shine, But there’s but one in all doth hold his place. So in the world. 'Tis furnished well with men, And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive, Yet in the number I do know but one That unassailable holds on his rank, Unshaked of motion . And that I am he Let me a little show it even in this: That I was constant Cimber should be banished, And constant do remain to keep him so.

CAESAR

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CINNA

[kneeling] O Caesar—

CINNA

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CAESAR

Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus?

CAESAR

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DECIUS

[kneeling] Great Caesar—

DECIUS

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CAESAR

Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?

CAESAR

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CASCA

Speak, hands, for me!

CASCA

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CASCA and the other conspirators stab CAESAR. BRUTUS stabs him last.

CAESAR

Et tu, Bruté? —Then fall, Caesar. [dies]

CAESAR

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CINNA

Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.

CINNA

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CASSIUS

Some to the common pulpits, and cry out,“Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!”

CASSIUS

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Confusion. Some citizens and senators exit.

BRUTUS

People and senators, be not affrighted.Fly not. Stand still. Ambition’s debt is paid.

BRUTUS

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CASCA

Go to the pulpit, Brutus.

CASCA

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DECIUS

And Cassius too.

DECIUS

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BRUTUS

Where’s Publius?

BRUTUS

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CINNA

Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.

CINNA

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METELLUS

Stand fast together, lest some friend of Caesar’sShould chance—

METELLUS

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BRUTUS

Talk not of standing. —Publius, good cheer. There is no harm intended to your person, Nor to no Roman else. So tell them, Publius.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

And leave us, Publius, lest that the people,Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Do so. And let no man abide this deedBut we the doers.

BRUTUS

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PUBLIUS exits.

TREBONIUS enters.

CASSIUS

Where is Antony?

CASSIUS

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TREBONIUS

Fled to his house amazed.Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and runAs it were doomsday.

TREBONIUS

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BRUTUS

Fates, we will know your pleasures. That we shall die, we know. 'Tis but the time, And drawing days out, that men stand upon.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Why, he that cuts off twenty years of lifeCuts off so many years of fearing death.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Grant that, and then is death a benefit. So are we Caesar’s friends, that have abridged His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop, And let us bathe our hands in Caesar’s blood Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords. Then walk we forth, even to the marketplace, And waving our red weapons o'er our heads Let’s all cry, “Peace, freedom, and liberty!”

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Stoop, then, and wash.

CASSIUS

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The conspirators smear their hands and swords with CAESAR’s blood.

CASSIUS

How many ages henceShall this our lofty scene be acted overIn states unborn and accents yet unknown!

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,That now on Pompey’s basis lies alongNo worthier than the dust!

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

So oft as that shall be,So often shall the knot of us be called“The men that gave their country liberty.”

CASSIUS

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DECIUS

What, shall we forth?

DECIUS

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CASSIUS

Ay, every man away.Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heelsWith the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.

CASSIUS

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ANTONY'S SERVANT enters.

BRUTUS

Soft! Who comes here? A friend of Antony’s.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY'S SERVANT

[kneeling] Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel. [falls prostrate] Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down, And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say: Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest. Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving. Say I love Brutus, and I honor him. Say I feared Caesar, honored him, and loved him. If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony May safely come to him and be resolved How Caesar hath deserved to lie in death, Mark Antony shall not love Caesar dead So well as Brutus living , but will follow The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus Thorough the hazards of this untrod state With all true faith. So says my master Antony.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

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BRUTUS

Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman. I never thought him worse. Tell him, so please him come unto this place, He shall be satisfied and, by my honor, Depart untouched.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY'S SERVANT

[rising] I’ll fetch him presently.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

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ANTONY'S SERVANT exits.

BRUTUS

I know that we shall have him well to friend.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

I wish we may. But yet have I a mind That fears him much, and my misgiving still Falls shrewdly to the purpose.

CASSIUS

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ANTONY enters.

BRUTUS

But here comes Antony.—Welcome, Mark Antony.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY

O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well. —I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, Who else must be let blood, who else is rank. If I myself, there is no hour so fit As Caesar’s death’s hour, nor no instrument Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich With the most noble blood of all this world. I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard, Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke, Fulfill your pleasure. Live a thousand years, I shall not find myself so apt to die. No place will please me so, no mean of death, As here by Caesar, and by you cut off, The choice and master spirits of this age.

ANTONY

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BRUTUS

O Antony, beg not your death of us. Though now we must appear bloody and cruel— As by our hands and this our present act You see we do —yet see you but our hands And this the bleeding business they have done. Our hearts you see not. They are pitiful. And pity to the general wrong of Rome— As fire drives out fire, so pity pity— Hath done this deed on Caesar. For your part, To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony. Our arms in strength of malice and our hearts Of brothers' temper do receive you in With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Your voice shall be as strong as any man’sIn the disposing of new dignities.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Only be patient till we have appeased The multitude, beside themselves with fear, And then we will deliver you the cause, Why I, that did love Caesar when I struck him, Have thus proceeded.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY

I doubt not of your wisdom. Let each man render me his bloody hand. [shakes hands with the conspirators] First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you. —Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand. —Now, Decius Brutus, yours. —Now yours, Metellus. —Yours, Cinna. —And, my valiant Casca, yours. —Though last, not last in love, yours, good Trebonius. —Gentlemen all, alas, what shall I say? My credit now stands on such slippery ground That one of two bad ways you must conceit me, Either a coward or a flatterer —That I did love thee, Caesar, O, ’tis true. If then thy spirit look upon us now, Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death To see thy Antony making his peace, Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes— Most noble!—in the presence of thy corse? Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds, Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood, It would become me better than to close In terms of friendship with thine enemies. Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bayed, brave hart; Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand, Signed in thy spoil, and crimsoned in thy lethe. O world, thou wast the forest to this hart, And this indeed, O world, the heart of thee. How like a deer, strucken by many princes, Dost thou here lie!

ANTONY

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CASSIUS

Mark Antony—

CASSIUS

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ANTONY

Pardon me, Caius Cassius.The enemies of Caesar shall say this;Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.

ANTONY

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CASSIUS

I blame you not for praising Caesar so. But what compact mean you to have with us? Will you be pricked in number of our friends? Or shall we on, and not depend on you?

CASSIUS

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ANTONY

Therefore I took your hands, but was indeed Swayed from the point by looking down on Caesar. Friends am I with you all and love you all Upon this hope: that you shall give me reasons Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous.

ANTONY

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BRUTUS

Or else were this a savage spectacle! Our reasons are so full of good regard That were you, Antony, the son of Caesar, You should be satisfied.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY

That’s all I seek. And am moreover suitor that I may Produce his body to the marketplace, And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend, Speak in the order of his funeral.

ANTONY

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BRUTUS

You shall, Mark Antony.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Brutus, a word with you . [aside to BRUTUS] You know not what you do. Do not consent That Antony speak in his funeral. Know you how much the people may be moved By that which he will utter?

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

[aside to CASSIUS] By your pardon. I will myself into the pulpit first, And show the reason of our Caesar’s death. What Antony shall speak, I will protest, He speaks by leave and by permission, And that we are contented Caesar shall Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies. It shall advantage more than do us wrong.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

[aside to BRUTUS] I know not what may fall. I like it not.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar’s body. You shall not in your funeral speech blame us, But speak all good you can devise of Caesar, And say you do ’t by our permission. Else shall you not have any hand at all About his funeral. And you shall speak In the same pulpit whereto I am going, After my speech is ended.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY

Be it so.I do desire no more.

ANTONY

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BRUTUS

Prepare the body then, and follow us.

BRUTUS

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Everyone exits except ANTONY.

ANTONY

O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! Thou art the ruins of the noblest man That ever livèd in the tide of times. Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood! Over thy wounds now do I prophesy— Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue— A curse shall light upon the limbs of men. Domestic fury and fierce civil strife Shall cumber all the parts of Italy. Blood and destruction shall be so in use, And dreadful objects so familiar, That mothers shall but smile when they behold Their infants quartered with the hands of war, All pity choked with custom of fell deeds, And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge, With Ate by his side come hot from hell, Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war, That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial.

ANTONY

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OCTAVIUS' SERVANT enters.

ANTONY

You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?

ANTONY

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OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

I do, Mark Antony.

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

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ANTONY

Caesar did write for him to come to Rome.

ANTONY

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OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

He did receive his letters and is coming.And bid me say to you by word of mouth— [sees CAESAR’s body] O Caesar!—

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

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ANTONY

Thy heart is big. Get thee apart and weep. Passion, I see, is catching, for mine eyes, Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, Began to water. Is thy master coming?

ANTONY

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OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

He lies tonight within seven leagues of Rome.

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

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ANTONY

Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanced. Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, No Rome of safety for Octavius yet. Hie hence, and tell him so.—Yet, stay awhile. Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corse Into the marketplace. There shall I try, In my oration, how the people take The cruèl issue of these bloody men. According to the which, thou shalt discourse To young Octavius of the state of things. Lend me your hand.

ANTONY

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They exit with CAESAR’s body.

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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.