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vided into parties, a governor chosen from among are not more than forty or fifty persons about them would have involved the country in the him, who are not Christians. How far the She. quarrels of his own party, and he would have hab may be sincere in their professions, I am unbeen always endeavoring to exterminate his ad- able to decide: it is probable, that, if their inversaries; whereas a Turk, by carefully manag- terests should require it, they would again eming both parties, maintains a balance between brace the religion of their ancestors.”—Trarels them, though he is never able to overpower them in Syria, pp. 197, 198. completely; he can oppose the Christian inhabitants to the Druses, who are in much smaller
The following is the novel and interesting acnumbers than the former; and thus he is enabled count given by Burckhardt of the Druses residing to keep the country in a state of tranquillity, and in the Haouran :in subjection to the Pachas. This policy has long “In manners, these Druses very much resem. been successful, notwithstanding the turbulent ble those of the mountains of Kesrouan. The spirit of the mountaineers, the continual party families form clans almost independent of each fêuds, and the ambitious projects of many chiefs, other; and among whom there are frequent quaras well of the Druses as of the reigning house. rels. Insults are studiously avenged by the reThe Pachas were careful, also, not to permit any spective families; and the law of blood revenge one to become too powerful: the princes of the is in full force among them, without being mitireigning family were continually changed; and gated by the admission of any pecuniary commuparty-spirit was revived in the mountain, when- tation. They all go armed ; as do the Turks and ever the interests of the Porte required it.”- Christians of the Haouran in general. Few Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, pp. 194, 195. Druses have more than one wife; but she may
This writer having observed that, at present, be divorced on very slight pretexts. the most rich, shrewd, and powerful individual in “With respect to their religion, the Druses of the the mountain, el Sheik Bechir, is a Druse, and is Haouran, like those in Mount Libanus, have the a dangerons rival to the ruling prince, the Emir class of men called Akoul (sing. Aakel,) wbo are Bechir, who can do nothing important without his distinguished from the rest by a white turban, and consent, takes occasion from this circumstance the peculiarity of the folds in which they wear it. thus to develope still more clearly the political The Akoul are not permitted to smoke tobacco: state of Mount Lebanon :
they never swear; and are very reserved in their " It will be asked, perhaps, why the Sheik does manners and conversation. I was informed that not set aside the Emir Bechir, and take the os- these were their only obligations; and it appears tensible power into his own hands. Many per- probable, for I observed Akoul boys of eight or sons believe that he entertains some such design; ten years of age, from whom nothing more diffi. while others, better informed perhaps, assert that cult could well be expected, and to whom it is the Sheik will never make the attempt, because not likely that any important secret would be imhe knows that the mountaineers would never sub-parted. I have seen Akouls of that age, whose mit to a Druse chief. The Druses are certainly fathers were not of the order; because, as they in a better condition at present, than they would told me, they could not abstain from smoking and be under the absolute sway of the Sheik, who swearing. The Sheiks are, for the greater part, would soon begin to oppress instead of protecting Akouls. The Druses pray in their chapels, but them, as he now does; and the Christians, not at stated periods : these chapels are called who are a warlike people, detest the name of "an insulated place ;" and none but Druses are Druse too much ever to yield quietly to a chief of allowed to enter them. They affect to follow the that community. It is, probably, in the view of doctrine of Mohammed; but few of them pray attaching the Christians more closely to him, and according to the Turkish forms: they fast during to oppose them in some measure to the Druses, Ramadan, in the presence of strangers; but eat that the Emir Bechir, with his whole family, has at their own homes, and even of the flesh of the secretly embraced the Christian religion. The wild boar, which is frequently met with in these Shehab, as I have already mentioned, were for districts, merly members of the true Mussulman faith; and “ It is a singular belief, both among the westem they never have had among them any followers Druses and those of the Haouran, that there are of the doctrines of the Druses. They still affect a great number of Drases in England; an opipublicly to observe the Mohammedan rites : they nion founded, perhaps, upon the fanatical opinions profess to fast during the Ramadan; and the Pa- of the Christians of Syria, who deny the English chas still treat them as Turks; but it is no longer to be followers of Christ, because they neither matter of doubt, that the greater part of the She-confess nor fast. When I first arrived at the hab, with the Emir Bechir at their head, have Druse village of Aaere, there was a large comreally embraced Christianity : that branch only of pany in the Medhafe, and the Sheik had no opthe family which governs at Rasheya and Has- portunity of speaking to me in private: he there. beya continue in the religion of their ancestors. fore called for his inkstand, and wrote upon a
“ Although the Christians of the mountain have piece of paper the following questions: which I thus become more attached to their prince, their answered as well as I could, and returned him the condition, on the whole, is not bettered; as the paper: Where do the five Wadys flow to, in Emir scarcely dares do justice to a Christian your country ?-Do you know the grain of the against a Druse : still, however, the Christians plant Leiledj ; and where is it sown ?-What is rejoice in having a prince of their own faith; the name of the Sultan of China ?-Are the towns and whose counsellors and household are, with of Hadjar and Nedjran in the Yemen known to very few exceptions, of the same religion. There you ?-Is Hadjar in ruins ? and who will rebuild
it ?Is the Moehdy (the Saviour) yet come, or is whenever they have to receive considerable sums he now upon the earth ?”
of money, they take care that it shall be first ex. “I have not been able to obtain any informa- changed for other coin. The Sheik el Nedjem, tion concerning the period at which the Druses who generally accompanies the Sheik Bechir in first settled in these parts. Min Kadim a long his visits to the Emir, never tastes food in the place time ago, was the general answer of all those of the latter, nor even smokes a pipe there; always whom I questioned on the subject. During my asserting, that whatever the Emir possesses has stay at Aaere, news arrived there, that a body of been unlawfully obtained. There are different one hundred and twenty Druses had left the degrees of Akal, and women are also admitted western mountains, and were coming to settle in into the order; a privilege which many avail themHaouran.”—Travels in Syria, pp. 303–305. selves of, from parsimony, as they are thus exempt
The following delineation of the customs and ed from wearing the expensive head-dress and rich character of the Druses is taken from that part of silks fashionable among
them. Burckhardt's account, which relates to those of “The best feature in the Druse character, is them who inhabit Mount Lebanon :
that peculiar law of hospitality, which forbids them “ With respect to the true religion of the ever to betray a guest. I made particular inquiDruses, none but a learned Druse can satisfy the ries on this subject; and I am satisfied that no inquirer's curiosity. What I have already said consideration of interest or dread of power will of the Auzeyres is equally applicable to the Druses induce a Druse to give up a person who has once —their religious opinions will remain for ever placed himself under his protection. Persons from secret, unless revealed by a Druse. Their cus- all parts of Syria are in the constant practice of toms, however, may be described ; and as far as taking refuge in the mountain, where they are in they can tend to elucidate the mystery, the veil perfect security, from the moment they enter upon may be drawn aside by the researches of the tra- the Emir's territory: should the prince ever be veller. It seems to be a maxim with them to tempted by large offers to consent to give up a readopt the religious practices of the country in fugee, the whole country would rise, to prevent which they reside, and to profess the creed of the such a stain upon their national reputation. 'The strongest; hence, they all profess Islamism in mighty Djezzar, who had invested his own creaSyria; and even those who have been baptized, tures with the government of the mountain, never on account of their alliance with the Shehab fa- could force them to give up a single individual of mily, still practise the exterior forms of the Mo- all those who fled thither from his tyranny. Whenhammedan faith. There is no truth in the asser. ever he became very urgent in his demands, the tion, that the Druses go one day to the mosque Emir informed the fugitive of his danger, and adand the next to the church : they all profess Islam- vised him to conceal himself for a time in some ism ; and, whenever they mix with Mohamme- more distant part of his territory: an answer was dans, they perform the rites prescribed by their then returned to the Djezzar, that the object of his religion. In private, however, they break the resentment had fled. The asylum which is thus fast of Ramadan, curse Mohammed, indulge in afforded by the mountain, is one of the greatest wine, and eat food forbidden by the Koran. They advantages that the inhabitants of Syria enjoy bear an inveterate hatred to all religions except over those in the other parts of the Turkish domitheir own; but more particularly to that of the nions."-—Burckhardts Travels in Syria : pp. 200 Franks, chiefly in consequence of a tradition cur- —204. rent among them, that the Europeans will one It will have appeared from the preceding exday overthrow their commonwealth.
tracts, that the religious opinions of the Druses “ Nothing is more sacred with a Druse than have been the object of curious investigation to his public reputation. He will overlook an insult, travellers and others. The author has carefully if known only to him who has offered it ; and will consulted what has been said concerning this put up with blows where his interest is concerned, people by the Jesuit missionaries (Lettres Edifiprovided nobody is a witness: but the slightest antes et Curieuses, vols. I. and II.) and by Nieabuse given in public, he revenges with the great- buhr, Volney, and Burckhardt ; writers, who, at est fury. This is the most remarkable feature of successive periods during the last century, have the national character: in public, a Druse may 'made actual research in Syria, relative to this sinappear honorable, but he is easily tempted to a gular people. Burckhardt seems to give up the contrary behavior, when he has reason to think subject in despair. We must, not, however, overthat his conduct will remain undiscovered. The look what appears to be the most authentic inforties of blood and friendship have no power among mation as yet received concerning their faith, and them : the son no sooner attains the years of which is to be found in the Chrestomathie Arabe maturity, than he begins to plot against his fa- of the Baron De Sacy, (vol. II. pp. 334—403.) ther,
published at Paris in the year 1806; where the “ The Akal are those who are supposed to know reader will find a French translation of several the doctrines of the Druse religion; they super- Arabic manuscripts reputed to be the sacred books intended divine worship in the chapels or, as they of the Druses. The learned translator intimates are called, Khaloue; and they instruct the children in his notes, that he has, for many years, been colin a kind of catechism. They are obliged to abstain lecting ample materials for a work on this subject. from swearing and all abusive language, and dare The following extracts from what he has already not wear any article of gold or silk in their dress. made public may prove not unacceptable to the Many of them make it a rule never to eat of any English er : and they will abundantly suffice food, nor to receive any money, which they suspect to give the missionary student a general idea of the to have been improperly acquired: for this reason, character of the Druse creed; a crecd professedly
ABRIDGED LIFE OF HAKEM.
secret, and certainly—so far as the veil of mystery Certainly, you will know one day, yes, certainly may be supposed to have been drawn aside by this you will know one day, ah, if ye were instructed translation of their books—very unprofitable. in a sure knowledge.
"The Druses designate themselves by the name * You have had a multitude of benefits heaped of Unitarians. They are called Dorouy or Duz upon you, in such abundance, that none of those zeyyeh. They are the disciples of Hamza, son of who have preceded you have ever received the Ali; and honor with divine worship Hakem-biamr- like; neither have any of the people that have Allah, Caliph of Egypt, of the family of Obaid- been before you in past ages, neither the compaAllah Mahdi.”
nions of the flight of Mohammed, nor those who received him hospitably in Medina, ever attained to a more exalted degree of prosperity.
" It is not on account of your merit or good works, O men and women, that the vicegerent of
God has bestowed upon you these benefits; but « Our lord Hakem, whose name be glorified, from his kindness, goodness, tenderness and pity was the son of Ishmael of the race of Ali, son of for you; and in order to prove you, that he might Abu-Talib, and his mother was of the race of Fa- know who among you are given to good works. tima, the daughter of Mohammed. He was born at “ As to the exterior precious benefits which ye Cairo, in the year 375 of the Hegira. His father have received from him, they are talents heaped declared him his successor in the year 383. He up of gold and silver, horses of the greatest price, ascended the throne in the year 386, and reigned all sorts of cattle and a multitude of other gifts, as 25 years. He disappeared on the night of the pensions, fiefs, lands, and an infinity of temporal 27th of the month Shoual, in the year 111. The goods. Besides, he has raised you all
, generally time of his sojourn in this world, from his birth and individually, to the most sublime honors and to his disappearing, was thirty-six years and seven ranks, that ye might walk in the paths of intelligent months. He wrote a Venerable Charter, and sus- beings. He has honored you with the quality of pended it in the mosques. He then disappeared. Emirs, and decorated you with the most eminent We expect his return in a short time, if it please titles. He has extended your power on earth, to the him. He will reign over all the earth, throughout east and to the west, in the plains and in the mounall ages. Those whom he has invited to the pro- tains, by sea and by land. You have been made fession of his unity and have not obeyed, that is, kings and sultans. You have received tribute. the men of all other sects and religions, will be By the aid of the vicegerent of God, you have subjected to him, put in irons, and laid under an been put in full liberty. All hostile and factious annual tribute ; but as for the Unitarians, they will parties have come to submit themselves to you. reign with him throughout all ages.”
“ As to the interior gifts which you have receiv. ed from him, of this number is the intercourse which you have externally seemed to have with
him; intercourse, which constitutes your glory in Copy of the Charter which was found suspended in this world, and the hope of your happiness in eter
the mosques, at the time of the disappearance of nity:* Another of his internal benefits, is the our lord the Imam Hakem.
having revived the laws of Islamism and of the
faith, which are in the eyes of God the true reli“In the name of God the pitying and merciful. gion.f “ The future recompenses are destined to those “ It is thus that you have been raised since his who rouse themselves from the slumbers of the time, in honor and purity, above all other sects : thoughtless, and retire from the folly of the sense he has distinguished you from the adorers of idols; I less; to him, whose faith is firm and sincere, and he has separated them from you, in frustrating who hastens to return to the Most High God; and their hopes and desires : he has overtured their to him, who is his vicegerent and witness to mor- churches and their schools of religion, although tals, his vicar upon earth, to whom he has con- they had subsisted for a long course of ages: the fided the care of his creatures, the prince of the partisans of these sects, tolerated among Mussu). believers.
mans, have been subjected to you, by good will or “O men, the threatenings, the exhortations, the force; they have entered in crowds into the relipromises, which till now have been made to you gion of God. by your sovereign chief, the Imam of your age, the But you have hated knowledge and wisdom: successor of your prophets, the witness of your you have despised his benefits, and cast them beCreator, the vicar of him who will render witness hind your back: you have preferred the good of against you for the crimes which cause your perdition, in short, all the counsels and warnings which * " This intercourse between Hakem and his subhave been lavished upon you, are more than suf- jects, and all the actions of his humanity, are, accordficient for those who have heard with submission | ing to the doctrine of Hamza, merely appearances and docility, who have entered into the right way, designed to veil his divinity and incomprehensible who have resisted their passions for the salvation nature. (Note by De Sacy: p. 373.). of their souls, and who have preferred the future
t" That is to say, according to the doctrine of the life to this present world. But, all this notwith- Druses
, all the precepts of the literal and the alle standing, you are still plunged in the torrent of have their
true explication only in the Unitarian re
gorical doctrine, that is of Islamism and the faith, ignorance, and wandering in the desert of crror: ligion.” (Note by De Sacy.) you amuse yourselves unceasingly, till surprised “These adorers of idols are the Jews and the by that day with which you have been threatened. ! Christians.” (Note by De Sacy.)
this world, as did before you the children of Israel profitable and useful to those, to whom he shall in the time of Moses (upon whom be peace !) The grant grace to observe its contents ! vicegerent of God was unwilling to compel you “Anathema, anathema to whomsoever shall not against your choice : he has shut the door of his copy it, and shall not read it to the penitents in a preaching :* he has caused you to be taught wis- low chapel.* dom: out of his palace he has opened a school of “Anathema, anathema to whomsoever shall have science, where were to be had all instruction con- the opportunity of copying it, and shall neglect to cerning religion, the jurisprudence of the Alcoran do so." Praise be to God alone.” upon things permitted or forbidden, decisions and judgments conformably to the books of the ancients and the books of Abraham and Moses. (May the favors of God repose on all of them !) The oath, by which the initiated Druses are He has given you paper and pensions, ink and admitted, is given by the baron De Sacy, accordpens, in order that you might attain to that which ing to the following translation :might render you happy, opening your eyes and delivering you from your foolishness.
Form of engagement to the vicegerent of this age. “The blessed and Most High God hath said
“ I put my confidence in our lord Hakem, the • If my servants ask you concerning me, tell them sole, the one, the eternal, exempt from all associthat I am near; and that I hear the prayers of those ations, and all number. who call upon me.' Up, then, O men! If you keep yourself in these desert and uncultivated mind and body, in full liberty and acting by an
“Such a one, son of such a one, being of sound places,f your eyes will trace the commencement obedience perfectly voluntary, without violence or of that route, which was taken by the Emir of the constraint, does, by the present act of submission, to believers at the moment when he was conceal- which he binds his soul and body, confess and declare ed. Assemble yourselves, therefore, with your that he renounces all sects, professions, religions, children: purify your hearts : render your inten- and creeds, and acknowledges no other obedience tions pure before God, the Lord of the universe : than that to our lord Hakem (whose name be be sincerely converted to him: avail yourselves glorified !) obedience which consists in serving and of the most powerful mediation with him, that He adoring him—that he will serve none other with may pardon you, and grant you the return of his him, past, present, or to come—that he gives over vicegerent. But take good heed that none of you his soul, his body, his goods, his children, and all inquire into the course taken by the Emir of the that he possesses, to our lord Hakem (whose name faithful (on whom be the peace of God!) or en be glorified !)—that he submits to his disposal of deavor to learn what has become of him. Cease him, without opposing him in any thing, or disapnot to reiterate your prayers, all of you together, proving any thing in his works, whether he bestow at the entering of the way, saying, "Behold our pleasure or pain. If he renounces the religion of abiding place and, when the moment of mercy our lord Hakem, (whose name be glorified !) to is come for you, the vicegerent of God, satisfied which he has submitted by this writing, and to with your conduct, will
, of his own choice and free which he has bound his soul by this authentic dewill, appear at your head-He will show himself claration, or if he reveals it to others, or if he disin the midst of you.
obeys any of its commandments, he shall no longer “ The servant of the empire of the prince of have any part with the Creator who is adored : the believers (on whom be the peace of God!) | he shall be deprived of the advantages which he wrote this in the year 411.
might have received from the ministers (of the “ May God be propitious to Mohammed, the religion of the Unity,) and he shall merit the prince of apostles, the seal of prophets !
chastisements of God most high (whose name be “ Care shall be taken for the security of those glorified !) Whosoever confesses, that he has not religious persons, who shall observe what is writ- in heaven any God worthy of adoration, nor on ten in this document; and none shall be hindered earth any Imam existing other than our lord Hafrom copying and reading it. May God render it kem (whose name be glorified !) is in the number *"That is, he has destroyed the monastery named
of the happy Unitarians.
• Written in such a month, of such a year of Deir-alkasr.” (Note by De Sacy-page 374, referring to page 79.)
the erat of the servant of our lord (whose name This passage has an illusion to a curious piece be glorified !) and of his slave Hamza, son of Ali, of history respecting the disappearance of Ha- son of Ahmet, the director of those who are obekem; who, according to the account of some, died dient, and the avenger of those who adore many a violent death-some pretending that his sister caused him to be murdered.(Chrestomathie, II. *" It seems probable to me, that this piece was to 87.) De Sacy, in his note on this passage, observes, be read only by those who were initiaied into the that these desert places refer to a part of ihe city of doctrine of Hainza; and it is doubtless with this Cairo, situated to the south-east, and the Mount view, that the promise is given of watching over the Mokatlam. “It was hither," he remarks, "that secarity of those who conform to the orders made Hakem used to go out for his evening walks; and, to them. It is in this view, also, that the reading of the night when he perished, he had gone out this this document is commanded to be in some retired way, and reached the Mount Mokattam, where he and subterranean place, which should serve as a was killed. The next morning, the principal officers chapel for the assembling of the initiated.” Note of the palace, with a numerous train, went out by by De Sacy, p. 377. the same route to seek for the Caliph, whose body 7" The era of the Druses, or of Hamza, begins was found in a well near Holwan.”--Note by De with the year 408 of the Hegira;
that is, about A. Sacy, Chrestomathie Arabe-vol II. p. 376. D. 1016."—Note by De Sacy-p. 379.
Gods, and of apostates by the sword of our lord enter the mosques, and perform the ablutions and (whose name be glorified !) and by the force of prayers. Or are they among the Marsonites, they his sole power.”
follow them to church, and take the holy-water The Christian reader will discern, in the midst like them. Many of them, importuned by the of this unintelligible jargon, various traces of Ju- missionaries have received baptism; then, solicita daism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism. The ed by the Turks, they have allowed themselves general scope of the system, supposing these do- to be circumcised; and have finished by dying, cuments to exhibit it truly, would seem to be pure neither Christians nor Mussulmans." - Volney's Deism. The doctrine, however, of incarnate Travels in Syria-Chap. 22. Section 3. Deity, and the expectation of a second advent of It will, however, be proper to hear what the the head of the Druse religion, are points of re- Romish missionaries themselves relate concerning semblance to the New Testament, peculiarly the reception which their labors have had among striking. That the Druses are not to inquire into the Druses. They speak without reserve of their the time of this second advent, is analogous to the total want of success; and even seem to regard feeling which the Jews at present hare concern the conversion of this people as a hopeless ex. ing their Messiah; and the belief that all nations periment. With the following extract, the acare to be subject to Hakem may be a corruption, count of the Druses shall conclude. either of the secular expectations of the Jews, or “We often perform a mission to the Catholics of the spiritual hopes of Christians. In respect who are in their country, and we have as often to the practical or experimental part of this reli- the pain of seeing that this nation is very far from gion, while much is said of acknowledging un- the kingdom of God. It is true that they love the deserved favors, while human merit seems to be Christians, and do not love the Turks. It is true, disclaimed, and an illusion is even made to the likewise, that they prefer calling themselves Chrisidea of mediation ; it is nevertheless impossible tians rather than Turks, although they wear the not to see, that the exhortations to piety all pro- green turban. They even receive us kindly and ceed on the idea that man has the power in him-joyfully into their houses. self to become pious. However far Moham- Notwithstanding these favorable dispositions, medans, Druses, Deists, or the propagators of any their inviolable attachment for their religion, which other false religion, may extract matter from the is a frightful compound of Christian and MohamOld or the New Testament, yet they all drop the medan ceremonies, and still more, their obstinacy doctrine of man's corruption by the fall—both the in refusing instruction, give just reason to fear fact, and all its train of inevitable consequences. that this nation will persist in shutting its eyes to These documents form an additional proof of the the light of the gospel.”—Lettres Edifiantes et tendency of mankind to corrupt pure revelation, Curieuses : Vol. I. pp. 372, 373. and to fabricate a religion of their own; while the barrier of secrecy, with which they endeavor to surround it, is but a stratagem of the arch enemy to preclude the detection and overthrow of their
A curious additional circumstance shall here be The Ansari are a people residing in the mounquoted from the writings of the Jesuit missionaries, tainous parts near Antioch, and in other places which, if correct, seems to prove that the Druses of Northern Syria. The origin of this sect, marare not exempt from the reproach of idolatry. vellous and seini-fabulous, is thus given by Asse
“ There are only two of their villages, which mann, translated from the Syriac of Bar-Hehave the honor (speaking their language) of pos- bræus :sessing the statue of their great legislator.
" Whereas many desire to know the origin of "His statue, according to their law, must be the Nazaræi, receive the following account from of gold or of silver. They enclose it in a wooden us. In the year of the Greeks 1202,* there apcase, and exhibit it only on the day of their grand peared an old man in the region Akula (this is ceremonies; when they address their vows to it, Cupba, a city of Arabia, as Bar-Hebræus elseto obtain the object of their desires. They ima- where notices,] in a village which the inhabitants gine that they are speaking to God himself, so call Nazaria. This old man having the appeargreat is their veneration for this idol. The only ance of a person given to severe fasts, great po two villages where it is preserved are called Ba- verty, and strict devotion, many of the natives of gelin and Fredis.”—Lettres Edifiantes el Curi- that place followed him; out of whom having -Vol. I. pp. 371, 372.
chosen twelve, according to the number of the Volney has intimated, that the Druses have, at apostles, he commanded them to preach a new different times, imposed upon the missionaries in doctrine to the people. The governor of the place, the Levant, by a profession of Christianity. It is hearing of this, commanded to apprehend him; almost superfluous to observe, that the statements and, having cast him into a dungeon in his own of an avowed enemy of the gospel are to be re- house, swore that on the following morning hc ceived with extreme reserve. The following ex- would have him crucified. On the same night, tract from that traveller, so far as it may demon- the governor, going to bed half intoxicated with strate the facility of temper of the Druses, is wor- wine, placed the key of the dungeon under his thy of attention ; but cannot be regarded as a pillow : a maid of the household, perceiving this, faithful account of the proceedings of the mis- when he was fast asleep withdrew the key ; and, sionaries :
pitying this old man, given to fasting and prayer, “When they go among the Turks, they affect the external appearance of the Mussulman; they
Corresponding to A. D. 891.