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AN ENEMY OF SOCIETY<br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />[(source :: Eng Aveling (1887))]

DRAMATIS PERSONAE<br /><small>Dr. Thomas Stockmann, Medical Officer of the Baths.<br />Mrs. Stockmann, his wife.<br />Petra, their daughter, a teacher.<br />Ejlif & Morten, their sons, boys of 13.<br />Peter Stockmann, the Doctor’s elder brother, burgomaster and prefect of of police, chairman of the board of directors, etc.<br />Morten Kiil, master tanner, Mrs. Stockmann’s foster-father.<br />Hovstad, editor of the “People’s Messenger.”<br />Billing, on the staff.<br />Captain Horster, a ship’s captain.<br />Aslaksen, a printer.<br />Townsfolk present at the meeting all sorts of conditions of men, some women, and a crowd of schoolboys.</small><br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />

<small>Scene: A town on the South Coast of Norway<small><br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />

<big>Act I</big><small>[Evening. DR. STOCKMANN’S sitting-room; with simple but cheerful furniture and decorations. In the wall to the right are two doors, the first leading to the Doctor’s study, the second to an ante-room. In the opposite wall, facing the ante-room door, a door leading to the other rooms. Near the middle of this wall stands the stove, and further towards the foreground a sofa, with looking-glass above it, and in front of it an oval table with a cover. On the table a lighted lamp, with a shade. In the back wall an open door leading to the dining-room. In the latter is seen a dinner-table, with a lamp on it. <br />BILLING is seated at the table, a serviette under his chin. MRS. STOCKMANN stands by the table and hands him a great plate of roast beef. The other seats round the table are empty; the table is in some disorder, as at the end of a meal.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, if you’re an hour late, Mr. Billing, you must put up with a cold supper.

<small>BILLING </small><br /><small>[eating]</small>. <br />That’s excellent, delicious!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You know how Stockmann keeps to regular meal hours–

<small>BILLING </small><br />It’s all right. Indeed, I think it tastes better like this and eat all by myself, undisturbed.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, if you are satisfied I– <small>[Listening by door of ante-room.]</small> Surely there’s Hovstad coming too!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Very likely. <br /><small>[Enter BURGOMASTER STOCKMANN, wearing an overcoat and an official gold-laced cap, and carrying a stick.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Good evening, sister-in-law.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[coming into the sitting-room]</small>. <br />What, you! Good evening. It is very nice of you to look in.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I was just passing, and so–<small>[looks towards dining-room.]</small> Ah! I see you’ve still got company.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[rather awkwardly]</small>. <br />Oh, no! Not at all; it is quite by chance. <small>[Hurriedly.]</small> Won’t you come in and have something?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I? No, thanks. God forbid I should eat anything hot in the evening; that wouldn’t suit my digestion.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! just this once–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />No, no. Much obliged to you. I stick to tea and bread and butter. That’s more wholesome in the long run–and rather more economical, too.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[smiling]</small>. <br />Now, you mustn’t think Thomas and I are mere spendthrifts.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />You’re not, sister-in-law; far be it from me to say that. <small>[Pointing to Doctor’s study.]</small> Perhaps he’s not at home?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, he’s gone for a short stroll after supper–with the boys.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Good gracious! Is that healthy? <small>[Listening.]</small> There he is.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, that’s not he. <small>[A Knock.]</small> Come in <small>[Enter HOVSTAD, the editor, from the ante-room.]</small>

Ah! it’s Mr. Hovstad, who–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, you must excuse me, but I was delayed at the printer’s. Good-evening, Burgomaster.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[bowing rather stiffly]</small>. <br />Mr. Hovstad! I suppose you’ve come on business?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Partly. About something for the paper.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />So I supposed. I hear my brother is an extremely prolific contributor to the People’s Messenger.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, he writes for the Messenger when he has some truths to speak upon one thing or another.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[to Hovstad]</small>. <br />But won’t you–? <br /><small>[Points to dining-room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />God forbid I should blame him for writing for the class of readers from whom he expects most appreciation. And, personally I’ve no reason to bear your paper any ill-will, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No, I should think not.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />On the whole, there’s a great deal of toleration in this town. There’s much public spirit here. And that because we have one common interest which unites us all in one undertaking that equally concerns all right-thinking citizens.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes–the Baths.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Just so. We have our magnificent new Baths. Yes! The Baths will be the centre of life in this town, Mr. Hovstad, without doubt.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That’s just what Thomas says.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />How extraordinary the development of our town has been even within the last few years. Money has circulated among the people, there is life and movement. Houses and ground-rents have risen in value.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And the difficulty of getting work is decreasing.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And the poor-rates have been most satisfactorily lessened for the possessing class, and will be still further reduced if only we have a really fine summer this year–and plenty of visitors–lots of invalids, who’ll give the Baths a reputation.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And I hear there’s every prospect of that.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Things look most promising. Every day inquiries about apartments and so forth come flowing in.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Then the doctor’s essay is very opportune.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Has he been writing something again?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It’s something he wrote in the winter; recommending the Baths, and describing the advantageous sanitary conditions of our town. But at the time I didn’t use it.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Ha! I suppose there was some little hitch!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Not at all. But I thought it would be better to wait till the spring, for people are beginning to get ready now for their summer holidays.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />You’re right, quite right, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, Thomas is really indefatigable where the Baths are concerned.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Why, of course, he’s one of the staff.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, he was really their creator.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Was he? I occasionally hear that certain persons are of that opinion. But I should say I too have a modest share in that undertaking.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, that’s what Thomas is always saying.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Who wants to deny it, Burgomaster? You set the thing going, and put it on a practical footing. Everybody knows that I only meant that the idea originally was the doctor’s.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, certainly my brother has had ideas in his time–worse luck! But when anything is to be set going, we want men of another stamp, Mr. Hovstad. And I should have expected that in this house at least–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, my dear brother-in-law–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Burgomaster, how can you–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Do come in and take something, Mr. Hovstad; my husband is sure to be in directly.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Thanks; just a mouthful, perhaps. <br /><small>[He goes into the dining-room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br /><small>[speaking in a low voice]</small>. <br />It’s extraordinary that people who spring directly from the peasant-class never get rid of a want of tact.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But why should you care? Can’t you and Thomas share the honour as brothers?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, one would suppose so; but it seems a share of the honour isn’t enough for some persons.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />How ridiculous! You and Thomas always get on so well together. <br /><small>[Listening.]</small> There, I think I hear him. <br /><small>[Goes to the door of the ante-room.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[laughing without]</small>. <br />Here’s a visitor for you, Katrine. Isn’t it jolly here? Come in, Captain Horster. Hang your coat up there. Oh! you don’t even wear an overcoat? Fancy, Katrine, I caught him in the street, and I could hardly get him to come along.

<small>[CAPTAIN HORSTER enters and bows to MRS. STOCKMANN. </small>

<small>The Doctor is by the door.]</small> In with you, boys. They’re famished again! Come on, Captain; you must have some of our beef. <br /><small>[He forces HORSTER into the dining-room. EJLIF and MORTEN also join.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, Thomas, haven’t you seen–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[turning round in the doorway]</small>. Oh! is that you, Peter? <small>[Goes up to him and holds out his hand.]</small> Now, this is splendid.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Unfortunately, I must be off directly–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Nonsense! We’ll have some toddy in a minute. You haven’t forgotten the toddy, Katrine?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Of course not, the water’s boiling. <br /><small>[She goes into the dining-room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Toddy, too–!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes; sit down, and you’ll see how cosy we shall be.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Thanks; I never join in a drinking-bout.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But this isn’t a drinking-bout.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />It seems to me– <small>[Looks towards the dining-room.]</small> It’s wonderful how they can get through all that food.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[rubbing his hands]</small>. <br />Yes, doesn’t it do one good to see young people eat? Always hungry! They must eat! They need strength! It’s they who have to stir up the ferment for the after-time, Peter.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />May I ask what there is to be “stirred up,” as you call it?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, you’ll have to ask the young people that when the time comes. We shall not see it, of course. Two old fogies like us–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />There, there. Surely that’s a very extraordinary expression to use–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah! YOU mustn’t mind what I say, Peter. For you must know I am so glad and content. I feel so unspeakably happy in the midst of all this growing, germinating life. After all, what a glorious time we do live in. It is as if a new world were springing up around us.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Do you really think so?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, of course, you can’t see this as clearly as I do. You’ve spent all your life in this place, and so your perceptions have been dulled. But I, who had to live up there in that small hole in the north all those years, hardly ever seeing a soul to speak a stimulating word to me–all this affects me as if I were carried to the midst of a crowded city–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Hm! City–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! I know well enough that the conditions of life are small enough compared with many other towns. But here is life–growth, an infinity of things to work for and to strive for; and that is the main point. <small>[Calling.]</small> Katrine, haven’t there been any letters?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[in the dining-room]</small>. <br />No, none at all.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And then, the comfortable income, Peter! That’s something a man learns to appreciate when he has starved as we have–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Good heavens!–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh yes! you can imagine that we were hard put to it up there. And now we can live like lords! To-day, for example, we had roast beef for dinner, and what’s more, we’ve had some for supper too. Won’t you have some! Come along–just look at it, anyhow.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />No, no; certainly not.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, then, look here. Do you see that fine tablecloth?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, I’ve noticed it already.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And we’ve some nice lamps too. Do you see? Katrine has bought them all out of her savings. And it all helps to make a house so home-like. Doesn’t it? Come over here. No, no, no, not there! So–-yes–do you see how the light streams down–I do really think it looks very nice. Eh?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, when one can afford such luxuries.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! yes, I can afford it now. Katrine says I earn nearly as much as we spend.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes–nearly!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Besides, a man of science must live in some style. I’m certain a sheriff, spends much more a-year than I do.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, I daresay! A member of the superior magistracy!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, even a mere merchant! Such a fellow spends many times as much.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Well, that is unavoidable in his position.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />For the rest, I really don’t spend anything unnecessarily, Peter. But I can’t deny myself the delight of having people about me. I must have them. I, so long isolated, it is a necessity of life for me to see the young, brave, determined, free-thinking, strenuous men gathered around me–and that they are, all of them, sitting there and eating so heartily. I should like you to know more of Hovstad–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Ah, Hovstad! He was telling me that he is going to give another essay of yours.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />An essay of mine?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, about the Baths. An article written in the winter–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! that one–yes. But I don’t want that to appear just now.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Why not? This is the very time for it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, you may be right, under ordinary circumstances– <br /><small>[Crosses the room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[looking after him]</small>. <br />And what’s unusual in the circumstances now?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[standing still]</small>. <br />Peter, I can’t tell you yet–not this evening, at all events. The circumstances may turn out to be very unusual. On the other hand, there may be nothing at all. Very likely its only my fancy.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Upon my word, you’re very enigmatical. Is there anything in the wind? Anything I’m to be kept in the dark about? I should think that I, who am Chairman–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And I should think that I– There! don’t let’s tear one another’s hair, Peter.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />God forbid! I am not in the habit of “tearing hair,” as you express it. But I must absolutely insist that everything concerning the Baths shall be carried on in a business-like manner, and under proper authority. I can’t consent to the following of devious and underhand ways.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And am I in the habit of following devious and underhand ways?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Anyhow, you’ve an ingrained propensity for going your own way. And that in a well-ordered community is almost as dangerous. The individual must submit himself to the whole community, or, to speak more correctly, bow to the authority that watches over the welfare of all.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Maybe. But what the devil has that to do with me?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Well, it’s just this, my dear Thomas, that it seems you won’t learn. But take care; you’ll have to pay for it one of these days. Now, I’ve warned you. Good-bye.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Are you quite mad? You’re altogether on the wrong tack.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I’m not in the habit of being that. And I must beg that you will– <small>[Bowing towards dining-room.]</small> Good-bye, sister-in-law; good-bye, gentlemen. <small>[Exit]</small>.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[entering the room]</small>. <br />Is he gone?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, and in an awful rage, too.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, dear Thomas, now what have you been up to again?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Nothing at all. Surely he can’t expect me to account for everything–beforehand.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And what are you to account to him for?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Hm! Never mind about that, Katrine. It’s very odd that there are no letters. <br /><small>[HOVSTAD, BILLING, and HORSTER have risen from table and come into room. EJLIF and MORTEN enter soon after.]</small>

<small>BILLING. </small><br /><small>[stretching his arm]</small>. <br />Ah! God bless me! After a good meal one feels a new man.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />The Burgomaster didn’t seem in the best of tempers to-day.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That’s his stomach. He has a very poor digestion.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It’s more especially us of the Messenger that he can’t stomach.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I thought you got on with him well enough.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Oh, yes! But now we’ve only a truce.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />That’s so. That word quite sums up the situation.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />We must bear in mind that Peter is a bachelor, poor devil! He has no home to be happy in, only business, business. And then that cursed weak tea, that’s about all he takes. Now, then, put chairs round the table, boys! Katrine, aren’t we to have that punch soon?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[going towards dining-room]</small>. <br />I’m just getting it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you, Captain Horster, sit down by me on the sofa. So rare a guest as you–Be seated, gentlemen. <br /><small>[The men sit round the table, Mrs. STOCKMANN brings in a tray with kettle, glasses, water-bottles, etc.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />There you are! Here’s arrak, and this is rum, and this cognac. Now, help yourselves.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[taking a glass]</small>. <br />So we will! <small>[ While the toddy is being mixed.]</small> And now out with the cigars. Ejlif, you know where the box is. And you, Morten, may fetch my pipe. <small>[The boys go to the room right.]</small> I have a suspicion Ejlif cribs a cigar now and then, but I pretend not to notice it. <small>[Calls.]</small> And my skullcap, Morten. Katrine, can’t you tell him where I left it Ah! he’s got it <small>[The boys bring in the things.]</small> Now, friends, help yourselves. You know I stick to my pipe;–this one has been on many a stormy journey with me up there in the north. <small>[They touch glasses.]</small> Your health! There’s nothing like sitting here, warm and sheltered.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[who sits knitting]</small>. <br />When do you sail Captain Horster?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />I hope I shall have everything straight by next week.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you’re going to America?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Yes, that’s my intention.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />But then you won’t be able to take part in the election of the new council.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Is there to be a new election here?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Didn’t you know?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />No, I don’t bother about things of that sort.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />But I suppose you take an interest in public affairs.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />No, I don’t understand anything about them.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Still one ought to make use of one’s vote.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Even those who don’t understand anything about it?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Understand? Now, what do you mean by that? Society is like a ship; every man must help in the steering.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />That may be all right on shore, but at sea it would not do at all.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It is very remarkable how little most seafaring folk care about public matters.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Most extraordinary.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Seafaring folk are like birds of passage; they feel at home both in the south and in the north. So the rest of us have to be all the more energetic, Mr. Hovstad. Will there be anything of public interest in the People’s Messenger to-morrow?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Nothing of local interest. But the day after to-morrow I’m thinking of using your paper–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes–d–n it all, I say, you’ll have to hold that over.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Really? And we’d just got room for it. I should say, too, that this was the very time for it–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, yes, you may be right, but you’ll have to hold it over all the same. I’ll explain to you by-and-by– <br /><small>[PETRA enters with hat and cloak on, with a number of exercise books under her arm. She comes in from the ante-room.]</small>

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Good evening!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Good evening, Petra! Is that you? <br /><small>[They all bow. PETRA puts cloak and books on a chair by the door.]</small>

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Here you all are, enjoying yourselves, while I’ve been out slaving!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, then, you come and enjoy yourself too.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />May I mix you a little–?

<small>PETRA. </small><br /><small>[coming towards the table]</small>. <br />Thanks, I’ll help myself–you always make it too strong. But by the way father, I’ve a letter for you. <br /><small>[Goes to the chair where her things are lying.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />A letter! From whom?

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[searching the pocket of her cloak]</small>. <br />I got it from the postman just as I was going out–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[rising and going towards her]</small>. <br />And you only bring it me now?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />I really hadn’t time to run up again. Forgive me, father–here it is.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[taking letter]</small>. <br />Let me see, let me see, child. <small>[Reads the address]</small>. Yes; allright!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It is the one you’ve been expecting so, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, it is. Now, I must go to my room at once. Where shall I find a light, Katrine? Is there a lamp in the other room?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes–the lamp is lit. It’s on the writing table.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Excuse me one moment. <br /><small>[He goes to room R. and closes door]</small>

<small>PETRA. </small><br />What can it be, mother?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I don’t know. For the last few days he has been always on the look-out for the postman.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Probably a country patient.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Poor father! He really works too hard. <small>[Mixes her toddy.]</small> Ah! that’ll be good.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Have you been teaching in the night school as well to-day?

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[sipping her glass]</small>. <br />Two hours.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />And in morning four hours at the Institute–

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[sitting down by table]</small>. <br />Five hours.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And I see you’ve some exercises to correct this evening.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, quite a heap of them.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />You’ve enough to do, it seems to me.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes; but that’s a good thing. One is so delightfully tired after it.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Do you really think that?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, for then one sleeps so well.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />I say, Petra, you must be a very great sinner.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />A sinner!

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />Yes, if you work so hard. Mr Rorlund says work is a punishment for our sins.

<small>EJLIF </small><br /><small>[with a superior air]</small>. <br />Bosh! You are a child to believe such stuff as that.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Come, come, Ejlif.

<small>BILLING </small><br /><small>[laughing]</small>. <br />No! that’s too rich!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Would you like to work so hard, Morten?

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />No, I shouldn’t.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes; but what will you turn out then?

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />I should like to be a Viking.

<small>EJLIF. </small><br />But then you’d have to be a heathen.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />Then I’d be a heathen.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />There I agree with you, Morten. I say just the same.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[making a sign to him]</small>. <br />No, no, Mr. Billing, you don’t.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />God bless me! I should. I’m a heathen, and I’m proud of it. You’ll see we shall all be heathens soon.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />And shall we be able to do anything we like then?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Well, you see, Morten–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Now, run away, boys; I’m sure you’ve some lessons to prepare for to-morrow.

<small>EJLIF. </small><br />I may stay just a little longer.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, not you either. Now be off, both of you. <br /><small>[ The boys say good-night and go off by room L.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Do you think it does the boys any harm to hear these things?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, I don’t know; but I don’t like it.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />But mother, I think that’s ridiculous of you.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Maybe! But I don’t like it–here, at home.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />There’s so much falseness both at home and at school. At home you mustn’t speak, and at school you have to stand there and lie to the children.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />You have to lie?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes; don’t you know that we have to teach many and many a thing we don’t believe ourselves.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Yes, we know that well enough.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />If only I could afford it I’d start a school myself, and things should be very different there.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Ah! as to means–

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />If you are really thinking of doing that, Miss Stockmann, I shall be delighted to let you have a room at my place. My big old house is nearly empty; there’s a large dining-room on the ground floor–

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[laughing]</small>. <br />Yes, yes, thank you–but nothing will come of it.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Oh no! Miss Petra will yet come over to the journalists, I fancy. By-the-way, have you done anything at the English novel you promised to translate for us?–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Not yet. But you shall have it in good time. <br /><small>[DR. STOCKMANN enters from his room with the letter open in his hand]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[flourishing the letter]</small>. <br />Here’s some news, I think, will wake up the town!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />News?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What news?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />A great discovery, Katrine.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />What?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Made by you?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes–by me! <small>[Walks up and down.]</small> Now, let them come as usual, and say these are fads and crack-brained fancies. But they’ll not dare to. Ha! ha! I know they won’t.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Father, do tell us what it is.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, well, give me time, and you shall hear all about it. If only Peter were here now! There, you see how we men can go about and form judgments like blind moles–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />What do you mean, doctor?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[standing near table]</small>. <br />Is it not the general opinion that the town is healthy?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Of course.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Indeed, a quite exceptionally healthy place, worthy to be recommended in the warmest manner to our fellow-men, both the sick and the whole–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />My dear Thomas–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And we’ve recommended and belauded it too. I have written again and again, both in the Messenger and in pamphlets–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, and what then?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />These Baths, that we have called the pulse of the town, the living nerves of the town–and the devil knows what else–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />“The town’s palpitating heart”–it was thus that in one inspired moment I allowed myself to–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah, yes! that also! But do you know what in reality these mighty, magnificent, belauded Baths–that have cost so much money–do you know what they are?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No, what are they?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Why, what are they?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The whole place is a pest-house.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />The Baths, father?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[at the same time]</small>. <br />Our Baths!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[also at the same time]</small>. <br />But, doctor–!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Oh! it’s incredible.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The whole place, I tell you, is a whited sepulchre; noxious in the highest degree. All that filth up there in the mill dale, with its horrible stench, taints the water in the feed-pipes of the Baths; and the same d–d muck oozes out on the shore–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Where the sea Baths are?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />There.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />But how are you so certain of all this, doctor?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I have investigated the conditions as conscientiously as possible. This long time I have had my doubts about it. Last year we had some extraordinary cases of illness–both typhoid and gastric attacks–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, I remember.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />At the time we thought the visitors had brought the infection with them; but since–last winter–I came to another conclusion. So I set about examining the water as well as I could.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It was this you were working so hard at!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, you may well say I’ve worked, Katrine. But here, you know, I hadn’t the necessary scientific appliances, so I sent both our drinking and seawater to the university for an exact analysis by a chemist.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And you have now received it?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[shewing letter]</small>. <br />Here it is. And it proves beyond dispute the presence of organic matter in the water–millions of infusoria. It is absolutely injurious to health whether used internally or externally.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What a blessing you found it out in time.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, you may well say that.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And what do you intend to do now, doctor?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Why, set things right, of course.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Do you think that can be done?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It must be done. Else the whole Baths are useless, ruined. But there’s no need for that. I’m quite clear as to what will have to be done.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, my dear Thomas, that you should have kept all this so secret!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Would you have had me rush all over the town and chatter about it before I was quite certain? No, thanks ! I’m not so mad as that.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />But us at home–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Not one word to a living soul. But to-morrow you may run in to the Badger.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! Thomas–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, well, to your grandfather. He’ll have something to wonder at now, the old fellow. He thinks I’m not all right in my head–yes, and there are plenty of others who think the same, I’ve noticed. But now the good folk will see–now they will see! <small>[Walks up and down rubbing his hands.]</small> What a stir there’ll be in the town, Katrine! You can’t imagine what it will be! All the water-pipes will have to be re-laid.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[rising]</small>. <br />All the water-pipes?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Why, of course. They’ve been laid too low down; they must be moved up to higher ground.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />So, after all, you are right.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, do you remember, Petra? I wrote against it when they began building them. But then no one would listen to me. Now, be sure, I’ll speak straight out, for, of course, I have written a report to the Directors. It has been lying there ready a whole week; I’ve only been waiting for this letter. <small>[Points to letter]</small> But now they shall have it at once. <small>[Goes into his room and returns with a packet of papers.]</small> See! Four closely-written sheets. And the letter shall go too. A newspaper Katrine! Get me something to wrap them up in. There–that’s it. Give it to–to– <small>[Stamps.]</small> What the devil’s her name? Well, give it to the girl, and tell her to take it at once to the Burgomaster. <br /><small>[MRS. STOCKMANN goes out with packet through the dining room.]</small>

<small>PETRA. </small><br />What do you think Uncle Peter will say, father?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What should he say? He’ll be delighted that so important a fact has been discovered, I fancy.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I suppose you’ll let me write a short notice about your discovery for the Messenger.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, I should be really obliged to you.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It is very desirable. The sooner the public know about it the better.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, so it is.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[returning]</small>. <br />She’s gone with it.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />God bless me, doctor, you’re the greatest man in the town.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[walks up and down delightedly]</small>. <br />Oh, bosh! Why, alter all, I’ve done no more than my duty. I’ve been lucky in digging for treasures; that’s all; but all the same–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Hovstad, don’t you think the town ought to give Dr. Stockmann a torch-light procession?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I shall certainly see to it.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />And I’ll talk it over with Aslaksen.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, dear friends. Let all such clap trap alone. I won’t hear of anything of the sort. And if the directors want to give me a higher salary, I won’t take it. I tell you, Katrine, I will not take it.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you will be right, Thomas.

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[raising her glass]</small>. <br />Your health, father.

<small>HOVSTAD AND BILLING. </small><br />Your health, your health, doctor!

<small>HORSTER </small><br /><small>[touching glasses with the doctor]</small>. <br />I wish you much joy of your discovery.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Thanks, thanks, my good friends. I am so heartily glad;–ah ! it is in truth a blessing to know in one’s own mind that one has deserved well of his native town and his fellow-citizens. Hurrah! Katrine! <br /><small>[He seizes her with both hands, and whirls her round with him. Mrs. Stockmann screams and struggles. A burst of laughter, applause, and cheers for the doctor. The boys thrust in their heads in at the door]</small><br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />

<big>Act II</big><br /><small>[The same. The door of the dining-room is closed Morning. MRS. STOCKMANN enters from dining-room with a sealed letter in her hand, and goes to the room right first entrance, and peeps in.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Are you there, Thomas?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[within]</small>. <br />Yes, I’ve just got back. <small>[Enters.]</small> What is it?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />A letter from your brother. <br /><small>[Hands him letter.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah! let’s see. <small>[Opens envelope and reads.]</small> “The enclosed MS. remitted herewith– <small>[Reads on muttering.]</small> Hm–!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, what does he say?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[putting paper in his pocket]</small>. <br />Nothing; he only writes that he’ll come up himself about midday.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Then you must for once remember to stay at home.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! I can do that well enough, for I’ve finished my morning’s work.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I am very curious to know how he takes it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You’ll see he won’t be over-pleased that I, and not he himself, have made the discovery.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, aren’t you afraid of that, too?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No; at bottom you may be sure he’ll be glad. But still–Peter is so d––bly afraid that others besides himself should do anything for the good of the town.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Do you know, Thomas, you ought to be kind, and share the honours with him. Couldn’t you say it was he that put you on the track–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, gladly, for aught I care. If only I can set matters straighter, I– <br /><small>[Old MORTEN KIIL peeps in through the further door, looks round inquiringly, and speaks slyly.]</small>

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Is it–is it true?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[going towards him]</small>. <br />Father, is that you?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Hallo! Father-in-law; good morning. good morning.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But do come in.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Yes, if it’s true; if not, I’m off again.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />If what is true?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />That ridiculous story about the water-works. Now, is it true?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Why, of course it is. But how did you come to hear of that?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br /><small>[coming in]</small>. <br />Petra flew in on her way to school–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No; did she though?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Ay, ay–and she told me–I thought she was only trying to make game of me; but that is not like Petra either.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, indeed; how could you think that?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Ah! one should never trust anybody. You can be made a fool of before you know it. So it is true, after all?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Most certainly it is. Now just sit down, father-in-law. <small>[Forces him down on to the sofa.]</small> And isn’t it a real blessing for the town?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br /><small>[suppressing his laughter]</small>. <br />Blessing for the town?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, that I made the discovery at such a favourable time–

<small>MORTEN KIIL </small><br /><small>[as before]</small>. <br />Yes, yes, yes; but I never would have believed you could have played your very own brother such a trick.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Such a trick!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But really, dear father–

<small>MORTEN KIIL </small><br /><small>[resting his hands and chin on the top of his stick and winking slyly at the doctor]</small>. <br />Now, what is it all about? Isn’t it this way, that some animal has got into the water-pipes?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes; infusorial animals.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />And a good many of them have got in, Petra says; quite an enormous number.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Certainly. There may be hundreds of thousands.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />But no one can see them. Isn’t that so?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />True; no one can see them.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br /><small>[with a quiet, chuckling laugh]</small>. <br />d–d if that isn’t the best thing I’ve heard from you.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What do you mean?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />But you’ll never be able to make the Burgomaster believe anything of the sort.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, that remains to be seen.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Do you really think he’ll be so foolish?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I hope the whole town will be so foolish.

<small>MORTEN KIIL THE WHOLE TOWN? WELL, THAT MAY BE. </small><br />But serves them right; much good may it do them. They wanted to be so much cleverer than we old fellows. They chivvied me out of the chairmanship of the Board. Yes, tell I you they chivvied me out like a dog, that they did. But now it’s their turn. Only you keep the game up with them, Stockmann.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes; but, father-in-law–

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Keep it up, I say. <small>[Rising.]</small> If you can make the Burgomaster and his friends pay through the nose, I’ll give a hundred crowns straight away for the poor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Now, that would be good of you.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Yes. I’ve not got much to throw away, as you know; but if you do that, I’ll give the poor fifty crowns at Christmas. <br /><small>[Enter HOVSTAD from ante-room]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Good morning! <small>[Pausing]</small> Oh! I beg your pardon–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Not at all. Come in, come in.

<small>MORTEN KIIL </small><br /><small>[chuckling again]</small>. <br />He! Is he in it to?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />What do you mean?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, of course, he’s in it.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />I might have known it! It must be put into the papers. Ah! you’re the right sort, Stockmann. Let them have it. Now I’m off.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh no! Stop a little longer, father-in-law.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />No, I’m off now. Play them as many tricks as you can; I’ll see you don’t lose by it. <br /><small>[Exit. Mrs. Stockmann goes off with him.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[laughing]</small>. <br />Only think! That old fellow won’t believe a word about that affair of the water-works.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Was that what he–?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes; that was what we were talking about. And maybe you’ve come to do the same.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes. Have you a moment to spare, doctor?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />As many as you like, old man.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Have you heard anything from the Burgomaster?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Not yet. He’ll be here presently.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I’ve been thinking over the matter since last evening.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well–?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />To you, as a doctor and a man of science, this business of the water-works is an isolated affair. I fancy it hasn’t occurred to you that a good many other things are connected with it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes–how? Let’s sit down, old fellow. No–there, on the sofa. <br /><small>[HOVSTAD sits on sofa; the doctor on an easy chair on the other side of the table.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, so you think–?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You said yesterday that the bad water is caused by impurities in the soil–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, undoubtedly, it is caused by that poisonous swamp up in the mill dale.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Excuse me, doctor, but I think it is caused by quite another swamp.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What sort of a swamp may that be?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />The swamp our whole municipal life stands and rots in.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Mr. Hovstad, whatever have you got hold of now?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />All the affairs of the town have little by little me into the hands of a set of bureaucrats.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Come, now, they’re not all bureaucrats.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No; but those who are not are their friends and adherents. They are all wealthy men, the bearers of distinguished names in the town; it is they who control and govern us.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But they are men of ability and shrewdness.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Did they show their ability and shrewdness when they laid down the water-pipes where they are?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No; that was, of course, very stupid of them. But that’ll be set right now.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Do you think it will be done so smoothly?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, smoothly or not smoothly, it’ll have to be done.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, if the press takes it up.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Not at all necessary, my dear fellow; I’m sure my brother–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Excuse me, doctor, but I want you to know that I think or taking up the matter.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />In the paper?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes. When I took over the Peoples Messenger, I determined that I would break up this ring of obstinate old blockheads who hold everything in their hands.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But you yourself told me what it all ended in. You nearly ruined the paper.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, we had to draw in our horns then, that’s true enough. For there was the danger that the Baths wouldn’t be started if these men were thrown out. But now matters are different, and now we can do without these gentry.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Do without them, yes; but still we owe them much.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Which shall be paid to the full. But a journalist of such democratic opinions as mine can’t let such an opportunity as this slip through his fingers. He must explode the fable of the infallibility of our rulers. Such stuff as this must be got rid of, like every other superstition.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I agree with you there, Mr. Hovstad with all my heart. If it is a superstition, away with it.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Now, I should be sorry to deal too harshly with the Burgomaster, as he is your brother. But I know you think with me–the truth before all other considerations.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Why, of course. But–but–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You mustn’t think ill of me. I am neither more obstinate nor more ambitious than most men.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, my dear fellow, who says you are?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I come from humble folk, as you know, and I have had occasion to see what is wanted by the lower classes of society. And this is, that they should have a share in the direction of public affairs, doctor. This develops power and knowledge and self-respect–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I understand that perfectly.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, and I think a journalist assumes an immense responsibility when he neglects an opportunity of aiding the masses, the poor, the oppressed. I know well enough that the upper classes will call this stirring up the people, and so forth, but they can do as they please, if only my conscience is clear, I–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Just so, just so, dear Mr. Hovstad. But still–deuce take it–<small>[a knock at the door]</small>. Come in! <br /><small>[Enter ASLAKSEN, the printer, at the door of the ante-room. He is humbly but neatly dressed in black, wearing a white, slightly crumpled neckerchief; and carrying gloves and a felt hat.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[bowing]</small>. <br />I beg your pardon, doctor, for making so bold–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[rising]</small>. <br />Hallo! if it isn’t Printer Aslaksen!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes it is, doctor.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[getting up]</small>. <br />Do you want me, Aslaksen?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />No, I don’t. I didn’t know I should meet you here. No, it was for the doctor himself–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, what can I do for you?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Is what I’ve heard from Mr. Billing true–that the doctor is thinking of getting us better water-works?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, for the Baths.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Oh! yes, I know that. So I came to say that I’ll back up the affair with all my might.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[to the doctor]</small>. <br />You see!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I’m sure I thank you heartily, but–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />For it might do you no harm to have us middle-class men at your back. We now form a compact majority in the town–when we really make up our minds to. And it’s always as well, doctor, to have the majority with you.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That is undoubtedly true, but I can’t conceive that any special preparation will be necessary. I think that in so clear and straightforward a matter–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes. But all the same, it can do no harm; for I know the local authorities so well. The people in power are not very much inclined to adopt suggestions coming from others. And so I think it wouldn’t be amiss if we made some sort of a demonstration.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I think so too.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Demonstrate, say you? But what do you want to demonstrate about?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Of course with great moderation, doctor. I am always in favour of moderation; for moderation is a citizen’s first virtue–at least those are my sentiments.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />We all know that about you, Aslaksen.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes I think I may claim that much. And this affair of the water-works is so very important for us small middle-class men. And it is through the Baths that the whole lot of us are going to get our living, especially we householders. And so we shall gladly support the Baths all we can. So, as I am Chairman of the Householders’ Association–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And as I am agent for the Moderation Society –of course you know, doctor, that I work on behalf of moderation?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />To be sure, to be sure.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />So I naturally meet a great many people. And as I am known to be a temperate and law-abiding citizen, as the doctor himself well knows, I have a certain amount of influence in the town, a position of some authority–though say it that shouldn’t.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I know that very well, Mr. Aslaksen.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Well, so you see it would be easy for me to get I an address, if it came to a pinch.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />An address?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, a kind of vote of thanks to you, from the citizens of the town, for bringing to light a matter of such importance to the whole community. It goes without saying that it will have to be drawn up with befitting moderation, so that the authorities and persons of position may not be set against it. And if only we are careful about that, no one can take offence, I think.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well, even if they didn’t like it particularly–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />No, no, no; nothing to offend those in authority, Mr. Hovstad. No opposition to people who stand in such close relation to us; I’ve never gone in for that in my life; no good ever comes of it either. But no one can object to the thoughtful, free expression of a citizen’s opinion.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[shaking his hand]</small>. <br />I can’t tell you, dear Mr. Aslaksen, how heartily it delights me to find so much support among my fellow-citizens. I am so happy–so happy! Look here! Won’t you take a drop of sherry? Eh?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />No, thank you; I never take any kind of spiritious drink.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, then, a glass of beer–what do you say to that?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Thanks; not that either, doctor. I never take anything so early in the day. But now I’ll be off to town, and talk with the householders, and prepare public opinion.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Now, that is extremely good of you, Mr. Aslaksen ; but I can’t really get into my head that all these preparations are necessary; I think the matter will go of itself.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Officials are always very slow, doctor–God forbid I should say this by way of accusation–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />To-morrow we’ll stir them up in the paper, Aslaksen.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />But no violence, Mr. Hovstad. Proceed with moderation, or you’ll do nothing with them. You take my advice, for I have gained experience in the school of life. And now I’ll say good-morning to the doctor. You know now, that we small middle-class men, anyhow, stand behind you like a rock. You have the compact majority on your side, doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Many thanks, my dear Mr. Aslaksen. <small>[Holds out his hand.]</small> Good-bye, good-bye.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Are you coming to the printing office, Mr. Hovstad?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I’ll come on presently. I’ve got something to see to first.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />All right. <br /><small>[Bows, and goes. Dr Stockmann accompanies him into the ante-room]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[as the doctor re-enters]</small>. <br />Well, what do you say to that, doctor? Don’t you think it is high time we weeded out and got rid of all this apathy and vacillation and cowardice?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Are you speaking of Aslaksen?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, I am. He is one of those who are in the swamp, though he’s a good enough fellow in other things. And so are most of the people here; they’re for ever see-sawing and oscillating from one side to the other, and what with scruples and doubts, they never dare to advance a step.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but Aslasken seems to me so thoroughly well-intentioned.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />There is one thing I value more highly; that is to stand your ground as a trusty, self-reliant man.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />There I am quite with you.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />That’s why I am going to seize this opportunity now to see if I can’t stir up the well-intentioned among them for once. The worship of authority must be rooted up in this town. This immense, inexcusable blunder of the water-works should be enough to open the eyes of every voter.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Very well! If you think it is for the good of the community, so let it be; but not till I’ve spoken my brother.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Anyhow, I’ll be getting ready a leader in the meanwhile. And if the Burgomaster won’t go in for it–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But how can you imagine such a thing?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It can be imagined well enough. And then–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well then, I promise you; look here–then you may print my paper–put it in just as it is.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />May I really? Is that a promise?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[handing him MS.]</small>. <br />There it is; take it with you. It can do no harm for you to read it; and then tell me what you think of it.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Thanks, thanks; I shall do so willingly. And now, good-bye, doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Good-bye, good-bye. Yes, you’ll see it will all go smoothly, Mr. Hovstad, so smoothly.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Hm! We shall see.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[going to dining-room door and looking in]</small>. <br />Katrine! Hallo! you back, Petra?

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[entering]</small>. <br />Yes, I’ve just got back from school.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[entering]</small>. <br />Hasn’t he been here yet?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Peter? No; but I’ve been having a long talk with Hovstad. He is quite overwhelmed at my discovery. For, you see, it is much further reaching than I thought at first. And so he has placed his paper at my disposal if occasion requires.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But do you think you will need it?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Not I? But all the same, one is proud to think that the free, independent press is on one’s side. Just think! I’ve also had a visit from the director of the Householders’ Association.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Really! And what did he want?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />To offer me support too. Everyone of them will stand by me if there should be any unpleasantness. Katrine, do you know what I have behind me?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Behind you? No. What have you behind you?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The compact majority!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! Is that good for you, Thomas?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, indeed; I should think it was good! <small>[Rubbing his hands as he walks up and down.]</small> Ah! by Jove! what a delight it is to be in such fraternal union with one’s fellow-citizens!

<small>PETRA. </small><br />And to do so much good, and be so helpful, father.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And to do it, into the bargain, for one’s native town!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />There’s the bell.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That must be he. <small>[Knock at the door.]</small> Come in! <br /><small>[Enter BURGOMASTER STOCKMANN from the ante-room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Good morning.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I’m glad to see you, Peter.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Good-morning, brother-in-law. How are you?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Oh,thanks, so, so. <small>[To the doctor.]</small> Yesterday evening, after office hours, I received a dissertation from you concerning the condition of the water connected with the Baths.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes. Have you read it?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I have.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And what do you think of the affair?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Hmm–<small>[Glancing at the women.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Come, Petra. <br /><small>[She and PETRA go into the room, left.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[after a pause]</small>. <br />Was it really necessary to make all those investigations behind my back?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, till I was absolutely certain I–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And so you are certain now?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, and I suppose it has convinced you too.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Is it your intention to submit this statement to the Board of Directors as an official document?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Of course. Why, something must be done in the matter, and that promptly.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />After your wont, brother, you use very strong expressions in your statement. Why, you actually say that what we offer our visitors is a persistent poison!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, Peter, can it be called anything else? Only think–poisonous water both internally and externally! And that for poor sick folk who come to us in good faith, and who pay us heavily to heal them.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And from this you come to the conclusion that we must build a sewer which will carry off all the supposed impurities from the Miller’s Dale, and relay all the water-pipes.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes. Can you suggest any other alternative?–I know of none.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I looked in at the town engineer’s this morning, and so–half in jest–I brought up the subject of these alterations as of a matter we might possibly have to take into consideration at some future time.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Possibly at some future time!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />He smiled at my apparent extravagance–naturally. Have you taken the trouble to reflect upon what these proposed alterations would cost? From the information I have received, these expenses would most likely run up to several hundred thousand crowns!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />So much as that?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes. But the worst is to come. The work would take at least two years.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Two years; do you mean to say two whole years?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />At least. And what are we to do in the meanwhile with the Baths? Are we to close them? For that is what it would come to. Besides, do you believe anyone would come here if the rumour got abroad that the water is injurious to health?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, Peter, you know it is injurious.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And all this now, just now, when the Baths are beginning to do well. Neighbouring towns, too, have some idea of establishing Baths. Don’t you see that they would at once set to work to divert the full stream of visitors to themselves? It’s beyond a doubt! And we should be left stranded! We should probably have to give up the whole costly undertaking; and so you would have ruined your native town.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I–ruined!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />It is only through the Baths that the town has any future worth speaking of. You surely know that as well as I do.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But what do you think should be done?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Your statement has not succeeded in convincing me that the condition of the water at the Baths is as serious as you represent.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I tell you it is, if anything, worse–or will be in the summer, when the hot weather sets in.

No English

No English

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The existing supply of water for the Baths is once for all a fact, and must naturally be treated as such. But probably the directors, at some future time, will not be indisposed to take into their consideration whether, by making certain pecuniary sacrifices, it may not be possible to introduce some improvements.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And do you imagine I could agree for a moment to such a deception?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Deception?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, it would be a deception–a fraud, a lie; an absolute crime against the public, against all society.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I have not, as I have already remarked, been able to attain the conviction that there is really any such imminent danger.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You have–you must have. My demonstration was so plainly true and right. Of that I am sure! And you know that perfectly, Peter, only you don’t admit it. It was you who insisted that both the Paths and the water-works should be laid out where they now are; and it is that, it is that d–d blunder which you won’t confess. Pshaw! Do you think I don’t see through you?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And even if that were so? It, perhaps, I do watch over my reputation with some anxiety, I do it for the good of the town. Without moral authority I cannot guide and direct affairs in such a manner as I deem necessary for the welfare of the whole community, therefore–and on various other grounds–it is of great moment to me that your statement should not be submitted to the Board of Directors. It must be kept back for the good of all. Later on I will bring up the matter for discussion, and we will do the best we can quietly; but nothing whatever, not a single word, of this unfortunate business must be made public.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But it can’t be prevented now, my dear Peter.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />It must and shall be prevented.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It can’t be, I tell you; far too many people know about it already.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Know about it! Who? Surely not those fellows on the People’s Messenger, who–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh, yes! They know, too. The liberal, independent press will take good care you do your duty.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[after a short pause.]</small> You are an extremely reckless man, Thomas. Haven’t you reflected what the consequences of this may be to yourself?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Consequences?–Consequences to me?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes–to you and yours.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What the devil do you mean?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I believe I have at all times conducted myself towards you as a useful and helpful brother.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, you have, and I thank you for it.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I ask for nothing. To some extent I had to do this–for my own sake. I always hoped I should be able to keep you within certain bounds if I helped to improve your pecuniary position.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What! So it was only for your own sake–!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />To some extent,I say. It is painful for a man in an official position when his nearest relative goes and compromises himself time after time.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you think I do that?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, unfortunately, you do, without yourself knowing it. Yours is a turbulent, pugnacious, rebellious spirit. And then you have an unhappy propensity for rushing into print upon every possible and impossible matter. You no sooner hit upon an idea than you must write at once some newspaper article or a whole pamphlet about it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but isn’t it a citizen’s duty, whenever he has a new idea, to communicate it to the public.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Pshaw! The public doesn’t need new ideas. The public is best served by the good old recognised ideas that they have already.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you say that thus bluntly–?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, I must speak to you frankly for once. Until now I have tried to avoid it, as I know how irritable you are; but now I am bound to speak certain truths to you, Thomas. You have no conception how much you injure yourself by your rashness. You complain of the authorities, ay, of the government itself–you even revile them and maintain you’ve been slighted, persecuted. But what else can you expect, firebrand that you are.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What next! So I’m a firebrand, too, am I?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, Thomas, you are an extremely difficult man to work with. I know it from experience. You set yourself above all considerations; you seem quite to forget that it is I whom you have to thank for your position here as medical officer of the Baths.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I had a right to it! I, and no one else! I was the first to discover that the town might become a flourishing watering-place. I was the only one who saw it then. For years I stood alone struggling for this idea of mine, and I wrote and wrote–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />No doubt. But then the right time hadn’t come. Of course, in that out-of-the-world hole of yours, you were not in a position to judge that. As soon the propitious moment came I–and others–took the matter in hand–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, and you bungled the whole of my splendid plan. Oh! we see now what shining lights you were.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />In my opinion we are now seeing that you again need some outlet for your pugnacity. You want to fly in the face of your superiors–and that’s an old habit of yours. You can’t endure any authority over you; you look jealously upon anyone who has a higher official post than yourself; you regard him as a personal enemy, and then it’s all one to you what kind of weapon you use against him; one is as good as another. But now I have called your attention to this, to the great interests at stake for the town, and consequently for me also. And therefore I tell you, Thomas, that I am inexorable in the demand I am about to make of you!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And what is this demand?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />As you have been so garrulous in talking about this unpleasant business to outsiders, although it should have been kept an official secret, of course it can’t be hushed up. All sorts of rumours will be spread everywhere, and the evil-disposed among us will swell these rumours with all sorts of additions. It will, therefore, be necessary for you to meet these rumours.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I? How? I don’t understand you.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />We venture to expect that after further investigation you will come to the conclusion that the affair is not nearly so dangerous or serious as you had, at the first moment, imagined.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah, ha! So you expect that!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Furthermore, we shall expect you to have confidence in the Board of Directors, and to express your belief that they will thoroughly and conscientiously carry out all measures for the removal of every shortcoming.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes; but you’ll never be able to do that as.long as you go on tinkering and patching. I tell you that, Peter, and it is my deepest, most sincere conviction.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />As an official, you’ve no right to have any individual conviction.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[starting]</small>. <br />No right to any–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />As official, I say. In your private capacity, good gracious, that’s another matter. But as a subordinate servant of the Baths, you’ve no right to express any conviction at issue with that of your superiors.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That is going too far! I, a doctor, a man of science, have no right to–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The matter in question is not a purely scientific one; it is a complex affair; it is both a technical and an economic matter.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Pshaw! Whats that to me? What the devil do I care! I will be free to speak out upon any subject on earth.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />As you please. But not a word about the Baths–we forbid that.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[shouting]</small>. <br />You forbid! you!–such fellows–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I forbid you that–I, your chief; and when I forbid you anything, you’ll have to obey.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[controlling himself]</small>. <br />Peter, really, if you weren’t my brother– <br /><small>[PETRA throws open the door.]</small>

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Father, you shall not submit to this! <br /><small>[MRS. STOCKMANN following her.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Petra, Petra!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Ah! so we’ve been listening!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You spoke so loud; we couldn’t help–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, I did stand there and listen.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Well, on the whole, I’m glad–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[coming nearer to him]</small>. <br />You spoke to me of forbidding and obeying–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />You forced me to speak to you in that tone.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And have I, in a public declaration, to give myself the lie?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />We consider it absolutely necessary that you should issue a statement in the terms I have requested.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And if I don’t–obey?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Then we shall ourselves put forth a statement to reassure the public.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well and good. Then I’ll write against you. I hold to my opinion. I shall prove that I am right, and you wrong. And what will you say to that?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I shall then be unable to prevent your dismissal.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What–!

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Father! Dismissal!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Dismissal!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Your dismissal from the Baths. I shall be obliged to urge that notice be given you at once, in order to dissociate you from everything concerning the Baths.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you would dare to do that!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />It is you yourself who play the daring game.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Uncle, such treatment of a man like father is shameful.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Do be quiet, Petra.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[looking at Petra]</small>. <br />Ah, ah! We already allow ourselves to express an opinion. Of course! <small>[To Mrs. Stockmann.]</small> Sister-in-law, apparently you’re the most sensible person in the house. Use all your influence with your husband; try to make him realise all this will bring with it, both for his family–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />My family concerns only myself.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />–Both for his family, I say, and the town in which he lives.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It is I who have the real good of the town at heart. I want to lay bare the evils that, sooner or later, must come to light. Ah! You shall yet see that I love my native town.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />You, who, in your blind obstinacy, Rant to cut off the town’s chief source of prosperity.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The source is poisoned, man! Are you mad? We live by trafficking in filth and garbage. The whole of our developing social life is rooted in a lie!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Idle fancies–or something worse. The man who makes such offensive insinuations against his own native place must be an enemy of society.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[going towards him]</small>. <br />And you dare to–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[throwing herself between them]</small>. <br />Thomas!

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[seizing her father’s arm.]</small> Oh! hush, father.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I will not expose myself to physical violence. You are warned now. Reflect upon what is due to yourself and to your family. Good-bye. <br /><small>[Exit.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[walking up and down.]</small> And I must bear such treatment! In my own house. Katrine! What do you think of it?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Indeed, it is a shame and an insult, Thomas–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />If only I could give it to uncle–!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It is my own fault. I ought to have rebelled against them long ago–have shown my teeth–and I made them feel them ! And so he called me an enemy of society. Me! I will not bear this; by Heaven, I will not!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, dear Thomas, after all, your brother has the power–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but I have the right!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah, yes, right, right! What is the good of being right when you haven’t any might?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Oh mother! how can you talk so?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What! No good in a free society to have right on your side? You are absurd, Katrine. And besides, haven’t I the free and independent press with me? The compact majority behind me? That’s might enough, I should think!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, good Heavens! Thomas, you’re surely not thinking of–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What am I not thinking of?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Of setting yourself up against your brother, I mean.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What the devil would you have me do if I didn’t stick to what is right and true?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, I too would like to know that?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But that will be of no earthly use. If they won’t they won’t.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ho, ho! Katrine, just wait awhile and you’ll see I shall yet get the best of the battle.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, you’ll fight them–but you’ll get your dismissal; that’s what will happen.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, then, I shall at any rate have done my duty towards the public, towards society. I to be called an enemy of society!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But towards your family, Thomas? To us here at home? Don’t you think your duty is to those for whom you should provide?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Ah! mother, do not always think first and foremost of us.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, it’s all very well for you to talk; if need be you can stand alone. But think of the boys Thomas, and think a little of yourself too, and of me–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, really, you’re quite mad, Katrine. Should I be such a miserable coward as to humble myself to Peter and his damned crew. Should I ever again in all my life have another happy hour?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That I cannot say; but God preserve us from the happiness we shall all of us have if you remain obstinate. Then you would again be without a livelihood, without any regular income I think we had enough of that in the old days. Remember them, Thomas; think of what it all means.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[struggling with himself and clenching his hands]</small>. <br />And such threats this officemonger dares utter to a free and honest man! Isn’t it horrible, Katrine?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes; that he is behaving badly to you is certainly true. But, good God! there is so much injustice to which we must submit here on earth! Here are the boys. Look at them! What is to become of them? Oh! no, no, you cannot find it in your heart– <br /><small>[EJLIF and MORTEN with school-books have entered meanwhile.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The boys! <small>[Suddenly stands still, firmly and decidedly.]</small> Never, though the whole earth should crumble, will I bend my neck beneath the yoke. <br /><small>[Goes towards his room.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[following him]</small>. <br />Thomas, what are you going to do?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[at the door]</small>. <br />I want to have the right to look into my boys’ eyes when they are grown men. <br /><small>[Exit into room.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[bursts into tears]</small>. <br />Ah! God help and comfort us all!

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Father is brave! He will not give in! <br /><small>[The boys ask wonderingly what it all means; PETRA signs to them to be quiet.]</small><br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />

<big>Act III</big><br /><small>[The Editor’s Room, ”People’s Messenger.“ In the flat at the back a door left; to the right another door with glasspanes, through which can be seen the printing-room. Another door right of the stage. In the middle of the room a large table covered with papers, newspapers, and books. Lower down left, a window, and by it a writing-desk and high chair. A few arm-chairs around the table; some others along the walls. The room is dingy and cheerless, the furniture shabby, the arm-chairs dirty and torn. Within the printing-room are seen a few compositors; further within, a hand-press at work. HOVSTAD, the Editor, is seated at the writing-desk. Presently BILLING enters from the right with the doctor’s manuscript in his hand.]</small>

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Well, I must say!–

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[writing]</small>. <br />Have you read it through?

<small>BILLING </small><br /><small>[laying MS. on the desk]</small>. <br />Yes, I should think I had.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Don’t you think the doctor comes out strong–?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Strong! God bless me! he is crushing, that’s what he is. Every word falls like a lever–I mean like the blow of a sledge-hammer.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, but these folk don’t fall at the first blow.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />True enough, but, we’ll keep on hammering away, blow after blow, till the whole lot of aristocrats come crashing down. As I sat in there reading that, I seemed to hear the revolution thundering afar.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[turning round]</small>. <br />Sh! Don’t let Aslaksen hear anything of that sort.

<small>BILLING </small><br /><small>[in a lower voice]</small>. <br />Aslaksen is a weak-kneed, cowardly fellow, who hasn’t any manhood about him. But this time surely you’ll insist on having your own way. Hm? You’ll print the doctor’s paper?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes! if only the Burgomaster doesn’t give way I–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />That would be d–d unpleasant.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well, whatever happens, fortunately we can turn the situation to our account. If the Burgomaster won’t agree to the doctor’s proposal he’ll have all the small middle-class against him–all the Householders’ Association, and the rest of them. And if he does agree to it, he’ll fall out with the whole crew of big shareholders in the Baths, who, until now, have been his main support–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Ah! yes, yes; for it’s certain they’ll have to fork out a pretty heavy sum–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You may take your oath of that. And then, don’t you see, the ring will be broken up, and we shall day by day show the public that the Burgomaster is utterly unfit in ail respects, and that all positions of trust in the town, the whole municipal government, must be placed in the hands of persons of liberal ideas.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />God bless me, but that’s strikingly true. I see it, I see it. We are on the eve of a revolution! <br /><small>[A Knock at the door.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Sh–<small>[calls.]</small> Come in! <small>[Dr. Stockmann enters from flat left, </small>

<small>Hovstad going towards him.]</small> Ah! here’s the doctor. Well?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Print away, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Is it to go in just as it is?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Hurrah!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Print away, I tell you. Of course it is to go in as it is. Since they will have it so, they shall! Now, there’ll be war in the town, Mr. Billing!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />War to the knife is what I want–to the knife, to the death, doctor!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />This article is only the beginning. My head’s already full of plans for four or five other articles. But where do you stow away Alasksen?

<small>BILLING. </small><br /><small>[calling into the printing-room]</small>. <br />Aslaksen! just come here a moment.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Did you say four or five more articles? On the same subject?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Heaven forbid, my dear fellow. No; they deal with quite different matters. But they all arise out of the water-works and the sewers. One thing leads to another, you know. It is like beginning to shake an old house, exactly the same.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />God bless me, that’s true! And you can never do any good till you’ve pulled down the whole rubbish.

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[enters from printing-room]</small>. <br />Pulled down! Surely the doctor is not thinking of pulling down the Baths?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Not at all! Don’t be alarmed.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, we were talking of something quite different. Well, what do you think or my article, Mr. Hovstad?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I think it is simply a masterpiece–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, isn’t it? That does please me, that does please me.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It is so clear and to the point. One doesn’t in the least need to be a specialist in order to understand the reasoning. I am sure every intelligent, honest man will be your side.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And let us hope all the prudent ones too.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Both the prudent and imprudent–indeed, I think well-nigh the whole town.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Well, then, we may venture to print it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I should think you could!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It shall go in to-morrow.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, plague take it, not one day must be lost. Look here, Aslaksen, this is what I wanted you for. You, personally, must take charge of the MS.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Certainly I will.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Be as careful as if it were gold. No printers’ errors, every word is important. I’ll look in again presently; then I can make any small corrections. Ah! I can’t say how I long to see the thing in print–to hurl it forth–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />To hurl it–yes, like a thunderbolt!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And to submit it to the judgment of every intelligent fellow-citizen. Ah! you’ve no idea what I’ve had to put up with to-day. I’ve been threatened with all sorts of things. I was to be robbed of my most inalienable rights as a man.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />What! Your rights as a man–!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I was to be humbled, made a coward of, was to set my personal gain above my deepest, holiest convictions–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />God bless me! that is really too bad.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well just what was to be expected from that quarter.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But they’ll get the worst of it, I call promise them. Henceforth, every day I’ll throw myself into the breach in the Messenger, bombard them with one article alter another–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, but look here–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Hurrah! There’ll be war, there’ll be war!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br />I will smite them to the earth. I will crush them, level all their entrenchments to the ground before the eyes of all right-thinking men. I’ll do it.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />But all the same be reasonable, doctor; proceed with moderation–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Not at all, not at all don’t spare for dynamite.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[going on imperturbably]</small>. <br />For remember that henceforth it is not merely a question of water-works and sewers. No, the whole of society must be cleansed, disinfected–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />There sounded the word of salvation!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />All the old bunglers must be got rid of, you understand. And that in every department! Such endless vistas have opened out before me to-day. It was not all clear to me until now, but now I will right everything. It is the young, vigorous banner-bearers we must seek, my friends; we must have new captains for all the outposts.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Hear, hear!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And if only we hold together all will go so smoothly, so smoothly! The whole revolution will be only like the launching of a ship. Don’t you think so?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />For my part, I believe we have now every prospect of placing our municipal affairs in the hands of those to whom they rightly belong.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And if only we proceed with moderation, I really don’t think there can be any danger.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Who the devil cares whether there’s danger or not? What I do, I do in the name of truth and for conscience sake.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You are a man deserving of support, doctor.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, that’s certain. The doctor is a true friend to the town; he is a sincere friend of society.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />God bless me! Dr. Stockmann is a friend of the people, Aslaksen.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I think the Householders’ Association will soon adopt that expression.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[shaking their hands, deeply moved]</small>. <br />Thanks, thanks, my dear, faithful friends, it does me good to hear you. My fine brother called me something very different just now. I’ll pay him back with interest, though! But I must be off now to see a poor devil. I’ll look in again, as I said. Be sure to take good care of the MS., Mr. Aslaksen, and on no account leave out any of my notes of exclamation! Rather put in a few more. Well; good-bye for the present, good-bye, good-bye. <br /><small>[Mutual salutations while they accompany him to the door. <br />Exit.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />He’ll be of invaluable service to us.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, so long as he confines himself to the Baths. But if he goes further, it might not be advisable to go with him.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Hm! Well, that depends–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />You’re always so d-d afraid, Aslaksen.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Afraid? Yes, when it is a question of attacking local magnates, I am afraid, Mr. Billing; that, let me tell you, I have learnt in the school of experience. But go for higher politics, attack the government itself, and you’ll see if I’m afraid.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Oh! no, but that’s where you contradict yourself.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />The fact is, I am a conscientious man. If you attack governments, you at least do society no harm, for the men attacked don’t care a hang about it, you see; they stay where they are. But local authorities can be turned out, and thus a lot of know-nothings come to the front, and do no end of harm both to householders and others.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />But the education of citizens by self-government–what do you think of that?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />When a man has anything to look after, he can’t think of everything, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Then I hope I may never have anything to look after.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Hear, hear!

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[smiling]</small>. <br />Hm! <small>[Pointing to desk.]</small> Governor Stensgaard sat in that editor’s chair before you.

<small>BILLING. </small><br /><small>[spitting]</small>. <br />Pooh! A turncoat like that!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I’m no weathercock–and never will be.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />A politician must not swear to anything on earth, Mr. Hovstad. And as to you, Mr. Billing, you ought to take in a reef or two one of these days, since you’re running for the post of secretary to the magistracy.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />I–!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Are you really, Billing?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Well, yes–but, deuce take it, you know, I’m only doing so to annoy these wiseacres.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Well, that doesn’t concern me. But if I an called cowardly and inconsistent I should like to point out this: Printer Aslaksen’s past is open to everyone’s inspection. I have not changed at all, except that I am perhaps more moderate. My heart still belongs to the people, but I do not deny that my reason inclines somewhat towards the authorities–at least to the local authorities. <br /><small>[Exit into printing-room.]</small>

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Don’t you think we ought to get rid of him, Hovstad?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Do you know of anyone else that’ll advance money for the paper and printing?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />It’s a d-d nuisance not having the necessary capital.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[sifting down by desk]</small>. <br />Yes, if we only had that–

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Suppose you applied to Dr. Stockmann?

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[turning over his papers]</small>. <br />What would be the good? He has nothing himself.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />No; but he has a good man behind him–old Morten Kill–the ”badger,“ as they call him.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[writing]</small>. <br />Are you so sure he has anything?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Yes; God bless me. I know it for certain. And part of it will certainly go to Stockmann’s family. He is sure to think of providing for them–anyhow, for the children.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[half turning]</small>. <br />Are you counting on that?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Counting? Of course I don’t count upon anything.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You’re right there I And that post of secretary you shouldn’t in the least count upon; for I can assure you you won’t get it.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Do you think I don’t know that as well as you? Indeed, I’m glad I shall not get it. Such a rebuff fires one’s courage;–gives one a fresh supply of gall, and one needs that in a god-forsaken place like this, where any excitement is so rare.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[writing]</small> Yes, yes.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Well–they’ll soon hear of me! Now I’ll go and draw up the Appeal to the Householders’ Association. <br /><small>[Exit into room R.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[sitting by desk, gnawing his pen, says slowly]</small>. <br />Hm! Yes, that’ll do. <small>[A Knock at the door.]</small> Come in. <br /><small>[PETRA enters from the door L. in flat. HOVSTAD rising.]</small>

What! Is it you? Here?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes; please excuse me–

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[offering her an arm-chair]</small>. <br />Won’t you sit down?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />No, thanks; I must be off again directly.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I suppose it’s something your father–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />No. I’ve come on my own account. <small>[Takes a book from the pocket of her cloak.]</small> Here’s that English story.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Why have you brought it back?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />I won’t translate it.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />But you promised so faithfully–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes; but then I hadn’t read it. And no doubt you’ve not read it either.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No; you know I can’t read English, but–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Exactly; and that’s why I wanted to tell you that you must find something else. <small>[Putting book on table.]</small> This can’t possibly go into the Messenger.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Why not?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Because it is in direct contradiction to your own opinions.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well, but for the sake of the cause–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />You don’t understand me yet. It is all about a supernatural power that looks after the so-called good people here on earth, and turns all things to their advantage at last, and all the bad people are punished.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, but that’s very fine. It’s the very thing the public like.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />And would you supply the public with such stuff? Why, you don’t believe one word of it yourself. You know well enough that things don’t really happen like that.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You’re right there; but an editor can’t always do as he likes. He often has to yield to public opinion in small matters. After all, politics is the chief thing in life–at any rate for a newspaper; and if I want the people to follow me along the path of emancipation and progress, I mustn’t scare them away. If they find such a moral story down in the cellar, they’re much more willing to stand what is printed above it–they feel themselves safer.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />For shame! You wouldn’t be such a hypocrite, and weave a web to ensnare your readers. You are not a spider.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[smiling]</small>. <br />Thanks for your good opinion of me. No. That’s Billing’s idea, not mine.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Billing’s!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes. At least he said so the other day. It was Billing who was so anxious to get the story into the paper; I don’t even know the book.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />But how Billing, with his advanced views–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well, Billing is many-sided. He’s running for the post of secretary to the magistracy, I hear.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />I don’t believe that, Hovstad. How could he condescend to such a thing?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well, that you must ask him.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />I could never have thought that of Billing.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[looking fixedly at her]</small>. <br />No? Does that come as a revelation to you?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes. And yet–perhaps not. Ah! I don’t know.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />We journalists aren’t worth much, Miss Petra.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Do you really think that?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I think so, sometimes.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, in the little everyday squabbles–that I can understand. But now that you have taken up a great cause–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You mean that affair of your father’s?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Exactly. But now I should think you must feel yourself worth more than the common herd.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, to-day I do feel something of that sort.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, don’t you feel that? Ah! it is a glorious career you have chosen. Thus to clear the way for despised truths and new ideas–to stand forth fearlessly on the side of a wronged man–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Especially when this wronged man is–hm!–I hardly know how to put it.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />You mean when he is so true and honest.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[in a low voice]</small>. <br />I mean when he is your father–

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[as if she had received a blow]</small>. <br />That?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, Petra–Miss Petra.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />So that is what you think of first and foremost? Not the cause itself? Not the truth? Not father’s big, warm heart?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, of course, that as well.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />No, thank you; you’ve just let the cat out of the bag, Mr. Hovstad. Now I shall never trust you again in anything.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Can you reproach me because it is chiefly for your sake–?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />What I am angry with you for is that you have not acted honestly towards my father. You told him it was only the truth and the good of the community you cared about. You have fooled both father and me. You are not the man you pretend to be. And I shall never forgive you–never!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You should not say that so hardly, Miss Petra–not now.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Why not now?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Because your father can’t do without my help.

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[looking scornfully at him]</small>. <br />And that is what you are! Oh,shame!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No, no. I spoke thoughtlessly. You must not believe that.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />I know what to believe. Good-bye. <br /><small>[ASLAKSEN enters from printing-room, hurriedly and mysteriously.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Plague take it, Mr. Hovstad–<small>[seeing PETRA]</small> Sh! that’s awkward.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Well, there’s the book. You must give it to someone else. <br /><small>[Going towards main door.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[following her]</small>. <br />But, Miss Petra–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Good-bye. <br /><small>[Exit.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I say, Mr. Hovstad!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well, what is it?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />The Burgomaster is out there, in the printing office.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />The Burgomaster?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes. He wants to speak to you; he came in by the back door–he didn’t want to be seen.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />What’s the meaning of this? Don’t go. I will myself– <small>[Goes towards printing-room, opens the door, and bows as the Burgomaster enters.]</small>

Take care, Aslaksen, that–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I understand.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />You didn’t expect to see me here, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No, I can’t say I did.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[looking about him]</small>. <br />Why, you’ve arranged everything most comfortably here; quite charming.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Oh!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And I’ve come, without any sort of notice, to occupy your time.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You are very welcome; I am quite at your service. Let me take your cap and stick. <small>[He does so, and puts them on a chair.]</small> And won’t you sit down?

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[sitting down by table]</small>. <br />Thanks <small>[Hovstad also sits down by table.]</small>

I have been much–very much annoyed to-day, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Indeed? Oh, yes! With all your various duties, Burgomaster–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />To-day I’ve been worried by the doctor.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You don’t say so? The doctor?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />He’s been writings a sort of statement to the directors concerning certain supposed shortcomings of the Baths.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No, has he really?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes; hasn’t he told you? I thought he said–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Oh, yes, so he did. He said something about it.

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[from the office]</small>. <br />Wherever is the MS–?

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[in a tone of vexation]</small>. <br />Hm? There it is on the desk.

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[finding it]</small>. <br />All right.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Why, that is it–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, that’s the doctor’s paper, Burgomaster.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Oh! was that what you were speaking of?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The very same. What do you think of it?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I’m not a professional man, and I’ve only glanced at it.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And yet you are going to print it?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I can’t very well refuse so distinguished a man–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I have nothing to do with the editing of the paper, Burgomaster.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Of course not.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I merely print whatever comes into my hands.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />That’s as it should be.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />So I must– <br /><small>[Goes towards printing-room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />No, stay one moment, Mr. Aslaksen. With your permission, Mr. Hovstad–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />By all means, Burgomaster.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />You are a discreet and thoughtful man, Mr. Aslaksen.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I’m glad to hear you say so, Burgomaster.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And a man of considerable influence.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Chiefly among the small middle-class.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The small taxpayers are the most numerous–here as everywhere.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />That’s true enough.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />But I do no: doubt that you know what the feeling of most of them is. Isn’t that so?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, I think I may say that I do, Burgomaster.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Well–if there is such a praiseworthy spirit of self-sacrifice among the less wealthy citizens of the town, I–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />How so?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Self-sacrifice?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />It is an excellent sign of public spirit–a most excellent sign. I was near saying I should not have expected it. But, of course, you know public feeling better than I do.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes but, Burgomaster–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />And assuredly it is no small sacrifice that the town is about to make.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />The town?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />But I don’t understand–it’s about the Baths–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />According to a preliminary estimate, the alterations considered necessary by the doctor will come to several hundred thousand crowns.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />That’s a large sum; but–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Of course we shall be obliged to raise a municipal loan.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[rising]</small>. <br />You don’t mean to say that the town–?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />To be paid out of the rates? Out of the needy pockets of the small middle-class?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, my excellent Mr. Aslaksen, where should the funds come from?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />That’s the business of the shareholders who own the Baths.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The shareholders of the Baths are not in a position to go to further expense.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Are you quite sure of that, Burgomaster?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I have assured myself on the matter. So that if these extensive alterations are to be made, the town itself will have to bear the costs.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Oh, d-n it all!–I beg your pardon!–but this is quite another matter, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, it certainly is.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The worst of it is, that we shall be obliged to close the establishment for some two years.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />To close it? To close it completely?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />For two years!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, the work will require that time at least.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />But, d-n it all! we can’t stand that, Burgomaster. What are we householders to live on meanwhile?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Unfortunately, that’s extremely difficult to say, Mr. Aslaksen. But what would you have us do? Do you think a single visitor will come here if we go about trying to persuade them into fancying the waters are poisoned, and that we are living on a pest ground, and the whole town–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And it is all nothing but fancy?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />With the best intentions of the world, I’ve not been able to convince myself that it is anything else.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />But then it is quite inexcusable of Dr. Stockmann–I beg your pardon, Burgomaster, but–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />You are, unhappily, only speaking the truth, Mr. Aslaksen. Unfortunately, my brother has always been a headstrong man.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And yet you are willing to support him in such a matter, Mr. Hovstad!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />But who could possibly have imagined that–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I have drawn up a short statement of the facts, as they appear from a sober-minded point of view. And in it I have hinted that various unavoidable drawbacks may be remedied by measures compatible with the finances of the Baths.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Have you the paper with you, Burgomaster?

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[searching in his pockets]</small>. <br />Yes; I brought it with me in case you–

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[quickly]</small>. <br />D–n it, there he is!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Who? My brother?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Where, where?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />He’s coming through the printing-room.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />What a nuisance! I should not like to meet him here, and yet there are several things I want to talk to you about.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br /><small>[pointing to door L.]</small>. <br />Go in there for a moment.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />But–?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You’ll only find Billing there.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Quick, quick, Burgomaster, he’s just coming.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Very well. But see that you get rid of him quickly. <br /><small>[Exit door L., which ASLAKSEN opens, bowing.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Be busy doing something, Aslaksen. <br /><small>[He sits down and writes. ASLAKSEN turns over a heap of newspapers on a chair R.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[entering from printing-room]</small>. <br />Here I am, back again! <br /><small>[Puts down his hat and stick.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[writing]</small>. <br />Already, doctor? Make haste, Aslaksen. We’ve no time to lose to-day.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[to Aslaksen]</small>. <br />No proofs yet, I hear.

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[without turning round]</small>. <br />No; how could you I think there would be?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Of course not; but you surely understand that I am impatient. I can have no rest or peace until I see the thing in print.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Hm! It’ll take a good hour yet. Don’t you think so, Aslaksen?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I am almost afraid it will.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />All right, all right, my good friends; then I look in again. I don’t mind coming twice on such an errand. So great a cause–the welfare of the whole town; –upon my word, this is no time to be idle. <small>[Just going, but stops and comes back]</small> Oh! look here, there’s one other thing I must talk to you about.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Excuse me. Wouldn’t some other time–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I can tell you in two words. You see it’s only this. When people read my statement in the paper to-morrow, and find I’ve spent the whole winter silently working for the good of the town–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes; but, doctor–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I know what you would say. You don’t think it was a d–d bit more than my duty–my simple duty as a citizen. Of course I know that, just as well as you do. But you see, my fellow-citizens–good Lord! the kindly creatures think so much of me–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, your fellow-citizens did think very highly of you till to-day doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And that’s exactly what I’m afraid of, that–this is what I wanted to say: when all this comes to them–especially to the poorer class–as a summons to take the affairs of the town into their own hands for the future–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[rising]</small>. <br />Hm, doctor, I will not conceal from you–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Aha! I thought there was something a-brewing! But I won’t hear of it. If they’re going to get up anything–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />How so?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, anything of any sort, a procession with banners, or a banquet, or a subscription for a testimonial–or whatever it may be, you must give me your solemn promise to put a stop to it. And you too, Mr. Aslaksen; do you hear?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Excuse me, doctor; we might as well tell you: the whole truth first, as last– <br /><small>[Enter MRS. STOCKMANN.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[seeing the doctor]</small>. <br />Ah! just as I thought!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[going towards her]</small>. <br />Hallo! Your wife, too?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What the devil have you come here for, Katrine?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I should think you must know well enough what I’ve come for.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Won’t you sit down? Or can–?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Thanks; please do not trouble. And you mustn’t be vexed with me for coming here to fetch Stockmann, for you must bear in mind I’m the mother of three children.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Stuff and nonsense! We all know that well enough!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It doesn’t look as if you were thinking very much about your wife and children to-day or you’d not be so ready to plunge us all into misfortune.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Are you quite mad, Katrine! Mustn’t a man with a wife and children proclaim the truth, do his utmost to be a useful and active citizen, do his duty by the town he lives in?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Everything in moderation, Thomas.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />That’s just what I say. Moderation in all things.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you are wronging us, Mr. Hovstad, when you entice my husband away from his house and home, and befool him with all this business.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I am not aware I have befooled anyone in–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Befool! Do you think I should let myself be made a fool of?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but you do. I know well that you are the cleverest man in the town, but you so easily allow yourself to be taken in, Thomas. <small>[To HOVSTAD.]</small> And only think, he will lose his post at the Baths if you print what he has written.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />What!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, but you know, doctor–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[laughing]</small>. <br />Ha ha! just let them try! No, no, my dear, they daren’t do it! I’ve the compact majority behind me, you see.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That’s just the misfortune that you have such an awful thing behind you.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Nonsense, Katrine;–you get home and see after the house, and let me take care of society. How can you be so afraid when I am so confident and happy. <small>[Rubbing his hands and walking up and down.]</small> Truth and the people must win the day; that you may be sure. Ah! I see the independent citizens gathering together as in triumphant host! <small>[Stopping by chair.]</small> Why, what the devil is that?

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[looking at it]</small>. <br />Oh, Lord!

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[the same]</small>. <br />Hm!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Why, here’s the top-knot of authority! <br /><small>[He takes the Burgomaster’s official cap carefully between the tips of his fingers and holds it up.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The Burgomaster’s cap!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And here’s the staff of office, too! But how the deuce did they–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well then–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah! I understand. He’s been here to talk you over. Ha! ha! He brought his pigs to the wrong market! And when he caught sight of me in the printing-room <small>[bursts out laughing]</small>–he took to his heels, Mr. Aslaksen?

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[hurriedly]</small>. <br />Exactly; he took to his heels, doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Took to his heels without his stick and Fiddle, faddle! Peter didn’t make off without his belongings. But what the devil have you done with him? Ah!–in there, of course. Now you shall see, Katrine!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Thomas, I beg you–?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Take care, doctor!

<small>[DR. STOCKMANN has put the Burgomaster’s cap on and taken his stick : then he goes up, throws open the door, and makes a military salute. The Burgomaster enters, red with anger. Behind him enters BILLING.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />What is the meaning of this folly?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Be respectful, my good Peter. Now, it is I who am the highest authority in the town. <br /><small>[He struts up and down.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[almost crying]</small>. <br />But really, Thomas–!

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[following him]</small>. <br />Give me my cap and stick!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[as before]</small>. <br />If you are the chief of police, I am the Burgomaster. I am master of the whole town, I tell you!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Put down my cap, I say. Remember it is the official cap.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Pish! Do you think the awakening leonine people will allow themselves to be scared by an official cap? For you will see, we are going to have a revolution in the town to-morrow. You threatened to dismiss me, but now I dismiss you–dismiss you from ail your offices of trust. You think I cannot do it?–Oh, yes, I can! I have the irresistible force of society with me. Hovstad and Billing will thunder forth in the People’s Messenger, and printer Aslaksen will come forward at the head of the whole Householders’ Association–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I shall not, doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Surely you will–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Ah ha! Perhaps Mr. Hovstad is going to join the agitation?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No, Burgomaster.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />No, Mr. Hovstad isn’t such a fool as to ruin both himself and the paper for the sake of a fancy.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[looking about him]</small>. <br />What does all this mean?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You have represented your case in a false light, doctor; and therefore I am not able to give you my support.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />And after what the Burgomaster has been so kind as to tell me in there, I–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />In a false light! Charge me with that, if you will, only print my paper; I am man enough to stand by it.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I shall not print it. I cannot, and will not, and dare not print it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You dare not? What nonsense! You’re editor, and I suppose it is the editor that directs his paper.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />No it’s the readers, doctor.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Luckily, it is.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />It is public opinion, the enlightened people, the householders, and all the rest. It is they who direct a paper.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[quietly]</small>. <br />And all these powers I have against me?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Yes, you have. It would be absolute ruin for the townspeople if your paper were printed.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />So!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />My hat and stick.

<small>[DR. STOCKMANN takes off his cap and lays if on the table. </small>

<small>The Burgomaster takes them both.]</small> Your magisterial authority has come to an untimely end.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The end is not yet. <small>[To HOVSTAD.]</small> So it is quite impossible to print my paper in the Messenger.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Quite impossible; and for the sake of your family–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! please leave his family out of the question, Mr. Hovstad.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[takes a manuscript from his jacket.]</small> This will be sufficient to enlighten the public, if you will print this: it is an authentic statement. Thanks.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[taking MS.]</small>. <br />Good! I’ll see it is inserted at once.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And not mine! You imagine you can silence me and the truth! But it won’t be as easy as you think. Mr. Aslaksen, will you be good enough to print my MS. at once as a pamphlet–at my own cost–on my own responsibility. I’ll take five hundred copies–no, I’ll have six hundred.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />No. If you offered me its weight in gold I should not dare to lend my press to such a purpose, doctor. I must not, for the sake of public opinion. And you’ll not get that printed anywhere in the whole town.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Then give it me back.

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[handing him MS.]</small>. <br />By all means.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[taking up his hat and cane]</small>. <br />It shall be made public all the same. I’ll read it at a mass meeting; all my fellow-citizens shall hear the voice of truth!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />There’s not a society in the whole town that would let you their promises for such a purpose.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Not a single one, I am certain.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />No, God bless me, I should think not!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That would be too shameful! But why are all these men against you?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[angrily]</small>. <br />Ah! I’ll tell you. It is because in this town all the men are old women–like you. They all think only of their families, and not of the general good.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[taking his arm]</small>. <br />Then I will show them how an–an old woman can be a man, for once in a way. For now I will stand by you, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Bravely said, Katrine! For on my soul the truth will out. If I can’t make them let any hall, I’ll hire a drum, and I’ll march through the town with it; and I’ll read my paper at every street corner.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Surely you’re not such an arrant fool as all that?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I am.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />There’s not a single man in the whole town who would go with you.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />No, God bless me, that there isn’t.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Do not give in, Thomas. I will send the boys with you.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That’s a splendid idea!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Morten will be so pleased to go; Ejlif will go too–he too.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, and so will Petra. And you yourself, Katrine!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, no, not I. But I’ll stand at the window and watch you–that I will do gladly.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[throwing his arms about her and kissing her]</small>. <br />Thanks, thanks. Now, my good sirs, we are ready for the fight! Now, we’ll see if cowardice can close the mouth of a patriot who labours only for the common weal. <br /><small>[He and his wife go out together through door L. in flat.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[shaking his head doubtfully]</small> Now he’s sent her mad too!<br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />

<big>Act IV</big><br /><small>[A large old-fashioned room in CAPTAIN HORSTER’S house. An open folding-door in the background leads to an ante-room. Three windows, left. About the middle of the opposite wall is a small platform seat, and on it a small table, two candles, a bottle of water, and a bell. The rest of the room is lighted by sconces placed between the windows. Left, near the front of the stage, is a table with a light on it, and by it a chair. In front, to the right, a door, and near it a few chairs. Large meeting of all classes of townsfolk. In the crowd are a few women and school-boys. More and more people stream in, until the room is quite full.]</small>

<small>1ST CITIZEN </small><br /><small>[to another standing near him]</small>. <br />So you’re here too, Lamstad?

<small>2ND CITIZEN. </small><br />I always go to every meeting.

<small>A BYSTANDER. </small><br />I suppose you’ve brought your whistle?

<small>2ND CITIZEN. </small><br />Of course I have; haven’t you?

<small>3RD CITIZEN. </small><br />Rather. And Skipper Evensen said he should bring a great big horn.

<small>2ND CITIZEN. </small><br />What a fellow that Evensen is! <br /><small>[Laughter among the groups of Citizens.]</small>

<small>4TH CITIZEN </small><br /><small>[joining them.]</small> I say, what’s it all about? What’s going on here to-night?

<small>2ND CITIZEN. </small><br />Why, it’s Dr. Stockmann who is going to give a lecture against the Burgomaster.

<small>4TH CITIZEN. </small><br />But the Burgomaster’s his brother.

<small>1ST CITIZEN. </small><br />That doesn’t matter. Dr. Stockmann isn’t afraid, he isn’t.

<small>3RD CITIZEN. </small><br />But he’s all wrong; they said so in the People’s Messenger.

<small>2ND CITIZEN. </small><br />Yes, he must be wrong this time, for neither the Householders’ Association nor the Citizens’ Club would let him have a hall.

<small>1ST CITIZEN. </small><br />They wouldn’t even let him have a hall at the Baths.

<small>2ND CITIZEN. </small><br />No, you may be sure they wouldn’t.

<small>A MAN </small><br /><small>[in another group]</small>. <br />Now, whom are we to go with in this affair? Hm!

<small>ANOTHER MAN </small><br /><small>[in the same group]</small>. <br />You just stick to Printer Aslaksen, and do what he does.

<small>BILLING. </small><br /><small>[with a portfolio writing-case under his arm, makes his way through the crowd]</small>. <br />Excuse me, gentlemen. Will you allow me to pass? I am going to report for the Messenger. A thousand thanks. <br /><small>[Sits by table L.]</small>

<small>A WORKING-MAN. </small><br />Who’s he?

<small>ANOTHER WORKING-MAN. </small><br />Don’t you know him? That’s Billing, who writes for Aslaksen’s paper. <br /><small>[CAPTAIN HORSTER enters, leaning in MRS. STOCKMANN and PETRA by the right-hand door. EJLIF and MORTEN follow them.]</small>

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />I think you’ll all be comfortable here. You can easily slip out if anything should happen.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Do you think there will be any trouble?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />One can never tell–with such a crowd. But do sit down, and don’t be anxious.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[sitting down]</small>. <br />Ah! it was good of you to let Stockmann have this room.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Well, as no one else would, I–

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[who has also seated herself]</small>. <br />And it was brave too, Horster.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Shouldn’t think it needed much courage. <br /><small>[HOVSTAD and ASLAKSEN enter at the same moment, but make their way through the crowd separately.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br /><small>[going towards Horster]</small>. <br />Hasn’t the doctor come yet?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />He’s waiting in there. <br /><small>[Movement at the door in the background]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[to Billing]</small>. There’s the Burgomaster, look!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Yes, God bless me, if he has’nt come to the fore after all! <br /><small>[BURGOMASTER STOCKMANN makes his way blandly through the meeting, bows politely, and stands by the wall L. Immediately after, DR. STOCKMANN enters from 1st R Entrance. He is carefully dressed in frock-coat and white waist-coat. Faint applause, met by a subdued hiss. Then silence.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[in a low tone]</small>. <br />Well, how do you feel, Katrine?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! I am allright. <small>[In a low voice.]</small> Now do, for once, keep your temper, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh! I can control myself well enough, dear. <small>[Looks at his watch, ascends the raised platform, and bows.]</small> It is a quarter past the time, so I will begin. <br /><small>[Takes out his MS.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />But I suppose a chairman must be elected first.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No; there’s not the least necessity for that.

<small>SEVERAL GENTLEMEN </small><br /><small>[shouting.]</small> Yes, yes.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I am also of opinion that a chairman should be elected.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But I have called this meeting to give a lecture, Peter!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />A lecture concerning the Baths may very possibly lead to divergence of opinion.

<small>SEVERAL VOICES IN THE CROWD. </small><br />A chairman! a chairman!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />The general desire of the meeting seems to be for a chairman.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[controlling himself]</small>. <br />Very well, then; let the meeting have its will.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Will not the Burgomaster take the chair?

<small>THREE GENTLEMEN </small><br /><small>[clapping.]</small> Brave! Brave!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />For several reasons, which I am sure you will understand, I must decline But, fortunately, we have here in our midst one whom I think we all can accept. I allude to the president of the Householders’ Association, Mr. Aslaksen.

<small>MANY VOICES. </small><br />Yes, yes! Long live Aslaksen! Three cheers for Aslaksen.

<small>[DR. STOCKMANN takes his MS. and descends from the platform.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />If I am called upon by the confidence of my fellow-citizens, I shall not be unwilling to– <br /><small>[Applause and cheers. ASLAKSEN ascends the platform.]</small>

<small>BILLING. </small><br /><small>[writing]</small>. So-”Mr. Aslaksen was elected with acclamation–“

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And now, as I have been called to the chair, I take the liberty of saying a few brief words. I am a quiet peace-loving man; I am in favour of discreet moderation, and of–and of moderate discretion. That everyone who knows me, knows.

<small>MANY VOICES. </small><br />Yes, yes, Aslaksen!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I have learnt in the school of life and of experience that moderation is the virtue which best becomes a citizen–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Hear, hear!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />–and it is discretion and moderation, too, that best serve the community. I will therefore beg our respected fellow-citizen who has called this meeting to reflect upon this and to keep within the bounds of moderation.

<small>A MAN </small><br /><small>[by the door]</small>. <br />Three cheers for the Moderation Society.

<small>A VOICE. </small><br />Go to the devil!

<small>VOICES. </small><br />Hush! hush!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />No interruptions, gentlemen! Does anyone wish to offer any observations?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Mr. Chairman!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Burgomaster Stockmann will address the meeting.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />In consideration of my close relationship–of which you are probably aware–to the gentleman who is at present medical officer to the Baths, I should very much have preferred not to speak here this evening. But the position I hold at the Baths, and my anxiety with regard to matters of the utmost importance to the town, force me to move a resolution. I may, no doubt, assume that not a single citizen here present thinks it desirable that unreliable and exaggerated statements, as to the sanitary condition of the Baths and the town, should be disseminated over a wider area.

<small>MANY VOICES. </small><br />No, no, certainly not, We protest.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I therefore beg to move, ”That this meeting refuses to hear the medical officer of the Baths either lecture or speak upon the subject.“

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[flaming up]</small>. <br />Refuses to hear–what nonsense!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[coughing]</small>. Hm! hm!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[controlling himself]</small>. <br />Then I’m not to be heard.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />In my statement in the People’s Messenger I have made the public acquainted with the most essential facts, so that all well-disposed citizens can easily draw their own conclusions. You will see from this that the medical officer’s proposal–besides being a vote of censure against the leading men of the town–at bottom only means saddling the rate-paying inhabitants of the town with an unnecessary expense of at least a hundred thousand crowns. <br /><small>[Noise and some hissing.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[ringing the bell]</small>. <br />Order, gentlemen! I must take the liberty of supporting the Burgomaster’s resolution. It is also my opinion there is something beneath the surface of the doctor’s agitation. He speaks of the Baths, but it is a revolution he is trying to bring about; he wants to place the municipal government of the town in other hands. No one doubts the intentions of Dr. Stockmann–God forbid! there can’t be two opinions as to that. I, too, am in favour of self-government by the people, if only the cost do not fall too heavily upon the ratepayers. But in this case it would do so, and for this reason I–d–n it all–I beg your pardon–I cannot go with Dr. Stockmann upon this occasion. You can buy even gold at too high a price; that’s my opinion. <br /><small>[Loud applause on all sides]</small>.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I also feel bound to explain my attitude. In the beginning, Dr. Stockmann’s agitation found favour in several quarters, and I supported it as impartially as I could. But when we found we had allowed ourselves to be misled by a false statement–

No English

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Well, then, a somewhat unreliable statement. The Burgomaster’s report has proved this. I trust no one here present doubts my liberal principles; the attitude of the Messenger on all great political questions is well known to you all. But I have learned from experienced and thoughtful men that in purely local matters a paper must observe a certain amount of caution.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I quite agree with the speaker.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And in the matter under discussion it is evident that Dr. Stockmann has public opinion against him. But, gentlemen, what is the first and foremost duty of an editor? Is it not to work in harmony with his readers? Has he not in some sort received a silent mandate to further assiduously and unweariedly the well-being of his constituents? or am I mistaken in this?

<small>MANY VOICES. </small><br />No, no, no! Hovstad is right.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It has cost me a bitter struggle to break with a man in whose house I have of late been a frequent guest–with a man who up to this day has enjoyed the universal goodwill of his fellow-citizens–with a man whose only, or at any rate, whose chief fault is that he consults his heart rather than his head.

<small>A FEW SCATTERED VOICES. </small><br />That’s true! Three cheers for Dr. Stockmann.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />But my duty towards the community has forced me to break with him. Then, too, there is another consideration that compels me to oppose him, to stay him if possible from the fatal descent upon which he is entering: consideration for his family–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Keep to the water-works and the sewers!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />–consideration for his wife and his unprovided-for children.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />Is that us, mother?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Hush!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I will now put the Burgomaster’s resolution to the vote.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It is not necessary. I haven’t the slightest intention of speaking of all the filth at the Baths. No! You shall hear something quite different.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[aside]</small>. <br />What nonsense has he got hold of now?

<small>A DRUNKEN MAN </small><br /><small>[at the main entrance]</small>. <br />I’m a duly qualified ratepayer! And so I’ve a right to my opinion! My full, firm opinion is that–

<small>SEVERAL VOICES. </small><br />Silence, up there.

<small>OTHERS. </small><br />He’s drunk! Turn him out! <br /><small>[The drunken man is put out.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Can I speak?

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[ringing the bell]</small>. <br />Dr. Stockmann will address the meeting.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I should have liked to see anyone, but a few days ago, dare to make such an attempt to gag me as has been made here to-night! I would then have fought like a lion in defence of my holiest rights as a man. But now all this is quite indifferent to me, for now I have more important things to speak of. <small>[The people crowd closer round him. MORTEN KIIL is now seen among the bystanders. </small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN continues.]</small> During the last few days I have thought, reflected much, have pondered upon so many things, till, at last, my head seemed to be in a whirl–

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[coughing]</small>. <br />Hm!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br />–but then I began to see things clearly; then I saw to the very bottom of the whole matter. And that is why I stand here this evening. I am about to make a great revelation to you, fellow-citizens! I am going to disclose that to you which is of infinitely more moment than the unimportant fact that our water-works are poisonous, and that our Hygienic Baths are built upon a soil teeming with pestilence.

<small>MANY VOICES </small><br /><small>[shouting]</small>. <br />Don’t speak about the Baths! We won’t listen to that! Shut up about that!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I have said I should speak of the great discovery I have made within the last few days–the discovery that all our spiritual sources of life are poisoned, and that our whole bourgeois society rests upon a soil teeming with the pestilence of lies.

<small>SEVERAL VOICES </small><br /><small>[in astonishment and half aloud]</small>. <br />What is he saying?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Such an insinuation–

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[with hand on bell]</small>. <br />I must call upon the speaker to moderate his expressions.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I have loved my native town as dearly as man could love the home of his childhood. I was not old when I left our town, and distance, privations, and memory threw, as it were, a strange glamour over the town and its people. <small>[Same clapping and cheers of approval]</small>

Then for years I found myself stranded in an out-of-the-way corner in the north. Whenever I met any of the poor folk who lived there, hemmed in by rocks, it seemed to me, many a time, that it would have been better for these poor degraded creatures if they had had a cattle doctor to attend them instead of a man like me. <br /><small>[Murmurs in the room.]</small>

<small>BILLING </small><br /><small>[laying down his pen]</small>. <br />God bless me! but I’ve never heard–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It is an insult to an estimable peasantry.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />One moment! I do not think anyone can reproach me with forgetting my native town up there. I brooded over my eggs like an cider duck, and what I hatched–were plans for the Baths here. <small>[Applause and interruptions.]</small>

And when, at last, after a long time, fate arranged all things so well and happily for me that I could come home again–then, fellow-citizens, it seemed to me that I hadn’t another wish upon earth. Yes; I had the one ardent, constant, burning desire to be useful to the place of my birth, and to the people here.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[looking into vacancy]</small>. <br />The method is rather extraordinary–hm!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And when I came here I rejoiced blindly in my happy illusions. But yesterday morning–no, it was really two evenings ago–the eyes of my mind were opened wide, and the first thing I saw was the extraordinary stupidity of the authorities. <br /><small>[Noise, cries, and laughter. MRS. STOCKMANN coughs zealously.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Mr. Chairman!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br /><small>[ringing bell]</small>. <br />In virtue of my office–!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />It is mean to catch me up on a word, Mr. Aslaksen. I only meant that I became aware of the extraordinary muddling of which the leading men have been guilty down there at the Baths. I detest lending men–I’ve seen enough of these gentry in my time. They are like goats in a young plantation: they do harm everywhere; they stand in the path of a free man wherever he turns–and I should be glad if we could exterminate them like other noxious animals– <br /><small>[Uproar in the room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Mr. Chairman, can such an expression be permitted.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br /><small>[with one hand on shelf ]</small>. <br />Doctor Stockmann–!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I can’t conceive how it is that I only now have seen through these gentry; for haven’t I had a magnificent example before my eyes daily here in the town–my brother Peter–slow in grasping new ideas, tenacious in prejudice– <br /><small>[Laughter, noise, and Whistling. MRS. STOCKMANN coughs. </small>

<small>ASLAKSEN rings violently.]</small>

<small>THE DRUNKEN MAN </small><br /><small>[who has come in again]</small>. <br />Do you mean me? Sure, enough, my name is Petersen, but d-n me if–

<small>ANGRY VOICES. </small><br />Out with that drunken man. Turn him out. <br /><small>[The man is again turned out]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Who is that person?

<small>A BYSTANDER. </small><br />I don’t know him, Burgomaster.

<small>ANOTHER. </small><br />He doesn’t belong to this town.

<small>A THIRD. </small><br />Probably he’s a loafer from– <br /><small>[The rest is inaudible.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />The man was evidently intoxicated with Bavarian beer. Continue, Dr. Stockmann, but do strive to be moderate.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, fellow-citizens, I will say no more about our leading men. If anyone imagines, from what I have said here, that I want to exterminate these gentlemen to-night, he is mistaken–altogether mistaken. For I cherish the comforting belief that these laggards, these old remnants of a decaying world of thought, are doing this admirably for themselves. They need no doctor’s help to hasten their end. Nor, indeed, is it this sort of people that are the most serious danger of society; it is not they who are the most effective in poisoning our spiritual life or making pestilential the ground beneath our feet; it is not they who are the most dangerous enemies of truth and freedom in our society.

<small>CRIES FROM ALL SIDES. </small><br />Who, then? Who is it? Name, name.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, you may be sure I will name them! For this is the great discovery I made yesterday! <small>[In a louder tone.]</small> The most dangerous enemies of truth and freedom in our midst are the compact majority. Yes, the d–d compact, liberal majority–they it is! Now you know it. <br /><small>[Immense noise in the room. Most are shouting, stamping, and whistling. Several elderly gentlemen exchange stolen glances and seem amused MRS. STOCKMANN rises nervously. EJLIF and MORTEN advance threateningly toward the school-boys, who are making a noise. ASLAKSEN rings the bell and calls for order. HOVSTAD and BILLING both speak, but nothing can be heard. At last quiet is restored]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />The chairman expects the speaker to withdraw his thoughtless remarks.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Never, Mr. Aslasken. For it is this great majority of our society that robs me of my freedom, and wants to forbid me to speak the truth.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Right is always on the side of the majority.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Yes, and the truth too, God bless me!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The majority is never right. Never, I say. That is one of those conventional lies against which a free, thoughtful man must rebel. Who are they that make up the majority of a country? Is it the wise men or th foolish? I think we must agree that the foolish folk are, at present, in a terribly overwhelming majority all around and about us the wide world over. But, devil take it, it can surely never be right that the foolish should rule over the wise! <small>[Noise and shouts.]</small>

Yes, yes, you can shout me down, but you cannot gainsay me. The majority has might–unhappily–but right it has not. I and a few others are right. The minority is always right. <br /><small>[Much noise again.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Ha! ha! So Dr. Stockmann has turned aristocrat since the day before yesterday!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I have said that I will not waste a word on the little, narrow-chested, short-winded crew that lie behind us. Pulsating life has nothing more to do with them. But I do think of the few individuals among us who have made all the new, germinating truths their own. These men stand, as it were, at the outposts, so far in advance that the compact majority has not yet reached them–and there they fight for truths that are too lately borne into the world’s consciousness to have won over the majority.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />So the doctor is a revolutionist now.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, by Heaven, I am, Mr. Hovstad! For I am going to revolt against the lie that truth resides in the majority. What sort of truths are those that the majority is wont to take up? Truths so full of years that they are decrepit. When a truth is as old as that it is in a fair way to become a lie, gentlemen. <small>[Laughter and interruption.]</small>

Yes, yes, you may believe me or not; but truths are by no means wiry Methusalahs, as some people think. A normally-constituted truth lives–let me say–as a rule, seventeen or eighteen years, at the outside twenty years, seldom longer. But truths so stricken in gears are always shockingly thin. And yet it is only then that a majority takes them up and recommends them to society as wholesome food. But I can assure you there is not much nutritious matter in this sort of fare; and as a doctor I know something about it. All these majority-truths are like last year’s salt pork; they are like rancid, mouldy ham, producing all the moral scrofula that devastates society.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />It seems to me that the honourable speaker is wandering very considerably from the subject.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I quite agree with the chairman.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I really think you quite mad, Peter! I am keeping as closely to the subject as I possibly can, for what I am speaking of is only this–that the masses, the majority, that d-d compact majority–it is they, I say, who are poisoning our spiritual life, and making pestilential the ground beneath our feet.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And this the great, independent, majority of the people do, just because they are sensible enough to reverence only assured and acknowledged truths?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah! my dear Mr. Hovstad, don’t talk so glibly about assured truths! The truths acknowledged by the masses, the multitude, are truths that the advanced guard thought assured in the days of our grandfathers. We, the fighters at the out-posts nowadays, we no longer acknowledge them, and I don’t believe that there is any other assured truth but this–that society cannot live, and live wholesomely, upon such old, marrowless, lifeless truths as these.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />But instead of all this vague talk it would be more interesting to learn what are these old, lifeless truths which we are living upon. <br /><small>[Approving applause generally.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah! I couldn’t go over the whole heap of abominations; but to begin with, I’ll just keep to one acknowledged truth, which at bottom is a hideous lie, but which, all the same, Mr. Hovstad, and the Messenger, and all adherents of the Messenger live upon.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And that is–?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That is the doctrine that you have inherited from our forefathers, and that you heedlessly proclaim far and wide–the doctrine that the multitude, the vulgar herd, the masses, are the pith of the people–that, indeed, they are the people–that the common man, that this ignorant, undeveloped member of society has the same right to condemn or to sanction, to govern and to rule, as the few people of intellectual power.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Now really, God bless me–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[shouting at the same time]</small>. <br />Citizens, please note that!

<small>ANGRY VOICES. </small><br />Ho, ho! Aren’t we the people? Is it only the grand folk who’re to govern?

<small>A WORKING-MAN. </small><br />Turn out the fellow who stands there talking such twaddle.

<small>OTHERS. </small><br />Turn him out!

<small>A CITIZEN </small><br /><small>[shouting]</small>. <br />Blow your horn, Evensen. <br /><small>[Loud hooting, whistling; and terrific noise in the room.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[when the noise had somewhat subsided]</small>. <br />Now do be reasonable! Can’t you bear to hear the voice of truth for once ? Why, I don’t ask you all to agree with me straight away. But I did certainly expect that Mr. Hovstad would be on my side, if he would but be true to himself. For Mr. Hovstad claims to be a free-thinker–

<small>SEVERAL VOICES ASK WONDERING </small><br /><small>[in a low voice]</small>. <br />Free-thinker, did he say. What ? Editor Hovstad a free-thinker?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[shouting]</small>. Prove it, Dr. Stockmann! When have I said that in print?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[reflecting]</small>. <br />No; by Heaven, you’re right there. You’ve never had the frankness to do that. Well, I won’t get you into a scrape, Mr. Hovstad. Let me be the free-thinker then. For now I’ll prove, and on scientific grounds, that the Messenger is leading you all by the nose shamefully, when it tells you that you, that the masses, the vulgar herd, are the true pith of the people. You see that is only a newspaper lie. The masses are nothing but the raw material that must be fashioned into the people. <small>[Mumurs, laughter, and noise in the room.]</small>

Is it not so with all other living creatures on earth? How great the difference between a cultivated and an uncultivated breed of animals! Only look at a common barn hen. What sort of meat do you get from such a skinny animal? Nothing to boast of! And what sort of eggs does it lay? A fairly decent crow or raven can lay eggs nearly as good. Then take a cultivated Spanish or Japanese hen, or take a fine pheasant or turkey–ah! then you see the difference. And then I take the dog, man’s closest ally. Think first of an ordinary common cur–I mean one of those loathsome, ragged, low mongrels, that haunt the streets, and are a nuisance to everybody. And place such a mongel by the side of a poodle dog, who for many generations has been bred from a well-known strain, who has lived on delicate food, and has heard harmonious voices and music. Don’t you believe that the brain of a poodle has developed quite differently from that of a mongrel? Yes, you may depend upon that! It is educated poodles like this that jugglers train to perform the most extraordinary tricks. A common peasant-cur could never learn anything of the sort–not if he tried till Doomsday. <br /><small>[Laughing and chaffing are heard all around]</small>

<small>A CITIZEN </small><br /><small>[shouting]</small>. <br />Do you want to make dogs of us now?

<small>ANOTHER MAN. </small><br />We are not animals, doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, on my soul, but we are animals, old fellow! We’re one and all of us as much animals as one could wish. But, truly, there aren’t many distinguished animals among us. Ah! there is a terrible difference between men–poodles and men-mongrels. And the ridiculous part of it is, that Editor Hovstad quite agrees with me so long as we speak of four-footed animals–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Oh! do drop them!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />All right! but so soon as I apply the law to the two-legged, Mr. Hovstad is up in arms; then he no longer dares to stick to his own opinions, he does not dare to think out his own thoughts to their logical end; then he turns his whole doctrines upside down, and proclaims in the People’s Messenger that barn-yard hens and gutter mongrels are precisely the finest specimens in the menagerie. But it is always thus so long as you haven’t work’d the vulgarity out of your system, and fought your way up to spiritual distinction.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I make no kind of pretensions to any sort of distinction. I come from simple peasants, and I am proud that my root lies deep down among the masses, who are being jeered at now.

<small>SEVERAL WORKMEN. </small><br />Three cheers for Hovstad! Hurrah! hurrah!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The sort of people I am speaking of you don’t find only in the lower classes; they crawl and swarm all around us–up to the very highest classes of society. Why, only look at your own smug, smart Burgomaster! Truly, my brother Peter is as much one of the vulgar herd as any man walking on two legs. <br /><small>[Laughter and hisses.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I beg to protest against such personal allusions.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[imperturbably]</small>. <br />–and that not because he–like myself–is descended from a good-for-nothing old pirate of Pomerania, or somewhere thereabouts–yes, for that we are so–

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Absurd tradition! Has been refuted!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />–but he is so because he thinks the thoughts of his forefathers, and holds the opinions of his forefathers The people who do this, they belong to the unintellectual mob;–see–that’s why my pretentious brother Peter is at bottom so utterly without refinement,–and consequently so illiberal.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Mr. Chairman–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />So that the distinguished persons in this country are liberals? That’s quite a new theory.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, that too is part of my new discovery. And you shall hear this also; that free thought is almost precisely the same thing as morality. And therefore I say that it is altogether unpardonable of the Messenger to proclaim day after day the false doctrine that it is the masses and the multitude, the compact majority, that monopolise free thought and morality,–and that vice and depravity and all spiritual filth are only the oozings from education, as all the filth down there by the Baths oozes out from the Mill Dale Tan-works! <small>[Noise and interruptions. </small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN goes on imperturbably smiling in his eagerness.]</small> And yet this same Messenger can still preach about the masses and the many being raised to a higher level of life! But, in the devil’s name–if the doctrine of the Messenger holds good, why, then, this raising up of the masses would be synonymous with hurling them into destruction! But, happily, it is only an old hereditary lie that education demoralises. No, it is stupidity, poverty, the ugliness of life, that do this devil’s work! In a house that isn’t aired, and whose floors are not swept every day–my wife Katrine maintains that the floors ought to be scrubbed too, but we can’t discuss that now ;–well,–in such a house, I say, within two or three years, people lose the power of thinking or acting morally. A deficiency of oxygen enervates the conscience. And it would seem there’s precious little oxygen in many and many a house here in the town, since the whole compact majority is unscrupulous enough to be willing to build up the prosperity of the town upon a quagmire of lies and fraud.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I cannot allow so gross an insult, levelled at all the citizens here present.

<small>A GENTLEMAN. </small><br />I move that the chairman order the speaker to sit down.

<small>EAGER VOICES. </small><br />Yes, yes, that’s right! Sit down! Sit down!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[flaring up]</small>. <br />Then I will proclaim the truth from the house-tops! I’ll write to other newspapers outside the town! The whole land shall know how matters are ordered here.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It would almost seem as if the doctor wanted to ruin the town.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, I love my native town so well I mould rather ruin it than see it flourishing upon a lie.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />That is speaking strongly. <br /><small>[Noise and whistling. MRS. STOCKMANN coughs in vain; the doctor no longer heeds her.]</small>

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[shouting amid the tumult]</small>. <br />The man who mould ruin a whole community must be an enemy of society!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[with growing excitement]</small>. <br />It doesn’t matter if a lying community is ruined! It must be levelled to the ground, I say! All men who live upon lies must be exterminated like vermin! You’ll poison the whole country in time; you’ll bring it to such a pass that the whole country will deserve to perish. And should it come to this, I say, from the bottom of my heart: Perish the country! Perish all its people!

<small>A MAN </small><br /><small>[in the crowd]</small>. <br />Why, he talks like a regular enemy of the people!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />There, God bless me! spoke the voice of the people!

<small>MANY SHOUTING. </small><br />Yes! yes! yes! He’s an enemy of the people! He hates the country! He hates the people!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Both as a citizen of this town and as a man, I am deeply shocked at what I have been obliged to listen to here. Dr. Stockmann has unmasked himself in a manner I should never have dreamt of. I am reluctantly forced to subscribe to the opinion just expressed by a worthy citizen, and I think we ought to give expression to this opinion. I therefore beg to propose, ”That this meeting is of opinion that the medical officer of the Bath, Dr. Thomas Stockmann, is an enemy of the people.“ <br /><small>[Thunders of applause and cheers. Many form a circle round the doctor and hoot at him. MRS. STOCKMANN and PETRA have risen. MORTEN and EJLIF fight the other school-boys who have also been hooting. Some grown-up persons separate them.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[to the people hooting]</small>. <br />Ah! fools, that you are! I tell you that–

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[ringing]</small>. <br />The doctor is out of order in speaking. A regular vote must be taken, and out of consideration for the feelings of those present the vote will be taken in writing and without names. Have you any blank paper, Mr. Billing?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Here’s both blue and white paper–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />That’ll do. We shall manage more quickly this way. Tear it up. That’sit. <small>[To the meeting.]</small> Blue means no, white means yes. I will myself go round and collect the votes. <br /><small>[The Burgomaster leaves the room. ASLAKSEN and a few others go round with pieces of paper in hats.]</small>

<small>A GENTLEMAN </small><br /><small>[to Hovstad]</small>. <br />Whatever is up with the doctor? What does it all mean?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Why, you know how irrepressible he is.

<small>ANOTHER GENTLEMAN </small><br /><small>[to Billing]</small>. <br />I say, you’re intimate with him. Have you ever noticed if he drinks?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />God bless me! I really don’t know what to say. Teddy is always on the table whenever anyone calls.

<small>3RD GENTLEMAN. </small><br />No, I rather think he’s not always right in his head.

<small>1ST GENTLEMAN. </small><br />Yes–I wonder if madness is hereditary in the family?

<small>BILLING. </small><br />I shouldn’t wonder.

<small>4TH GENTLEMAN. </small><br />No, it’s pure jealousy. He wants to be over the heads of the rest.

<small>BILLING. </small><br />A few days ago he certainly was talking about a rise in his salary, but he did not get it.

<small>ALL THE GENTLEMEN </small><br /><small>[together]</small>. <br />Ah! that explains everything.

<small>THE DRUNKEN MAN </small><br /><small>[in the crowd]</small>. <br />I want a blue one, I do! And I’ll have a white one too!

<small>PEOPLE CALL OUT. </small><br />There’s the drunken man again! Turn him out!

<small>MORTEN KIIL </small><br /><small>[coming near to the doctor]</small>. <br />Well, Stockmann do you see now what this tomfoolery leads to?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I have done my duty.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />What was that you said about the Mill-Dale Tanneries?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Why, you heard what I said; that all the filth comes from them.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />From my tannery as well?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Unfortunately, your tannery is the worst of all.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Will you put that into the papers too?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I never keep anything back.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />That may cost you dear, Stockmann! <br /><small>[Exit.]</small>

<small>A FAT GENTLEMAN </small><br /><small>[goes up to Horster without bowing to the ladies]</small>. <br />Well, Captain, so you lend your house to an enemy of the people.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />I suppose I can do as I please with my own, sir.

<small>THE MERCHANT. </small><br />Then, of course, you can have no objection if I do the same with mine?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />What do you mean, sir?

<small>THE MERCHANT. </small><br />You shall hear from me to-morrow. <br /><small>[Turns away, and exit]</small>

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Wasn’t that the shipowner?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Yes, that was Merchant Vik.

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[with the voting papers in his hands, ascends the platform and rings]</small>. <br />Gentlemen! I have to acquaint you with the result of the vote. All, with one exception–

<small>A YOUNG GENTLEMAN. </small><br />That’s the drunken man!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />With one exception–a tipsy man–this meeting of citizens declares the medical officer of the Baths, Dr. Thomas Stockmann, an enemy of the people. <small>[Cheers and applause.]</small> Three cheers for our honourable old community of citizens! <small>[Applause.]</small> Three cheers for our able and energetic Burgomaster, who has so loyally put on one side the claims of kindred! <small>[Cheers.]</small> The meeting is dissolved. <br /><small>[He descends.]</small>

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Three cheers for the chairman!

<small>ALL. </small><br />Hurrah for Printer Aslaksen!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />My hat and coat, Petra! Captain, have you room for passengers to the new world?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />For you and yours, doctor, we’ll make room.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[while Petra helps him on with his coat]</small>. <br />Good! Come, Katrine! come, boys! <br /><small>[He gives his wife his arm.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[in a low voice]</small>. <br />Dear Thomas, let us go out by the back way.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No back ways, Katrine! <small>[In a louder voice.]</small> You shall hear of the enemy of the people before he shakes the dust from his feet! I’m not so forgiving as a certain person: I don’t say I forgive you, for you know not what you do.

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[shouting]</small>. <br />That is a blasphemous comparison, Dr. Stockmann!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />It is, God bl– A serious man can’t stand that!

<small>A COARSE VOICE. </small><br />And he threatens us into the bargain!

<small>ANGRY CRIES. </small><br />Let’s smash the windows in his house. Let’s give him a ducking!

<small>A MAN </small><br /><small>[in the crowd]</small>. <br />Blow your horn, Evensen Ta-rata ra-ra! <br /><small>[Horn-blowing, whistling, and wild shouting. The doctor, with his family, goes toward the door. Horster makes way for them.]</small>

<small>ALL </small><br /><small>[shouting after them as they go out]</small>. <br />Enemy of the people! Enemy of the people! Enemy of the people!

<small>BILLING. </small><br />Well, God bless me if I’d drink toddy at Doctor Stockmann’s to-night! <br /><small>[The people throng towards the door; the noise is heard from the street beyond; cries of ”Enemy of the people! Enemy of the people!“]</small><br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />

<big>Act V</big><br /><small>[DR. STOCKMANN’S study. Bookcases and various preparations along the walls. In the background a door leading to the ante-room; to the left first entrance, a door to the sitting-room. In wall right are two windows, all the panes of which are smashed. In the middle of the room is the doctor’s writing-table, covered with books and papers. The room is in disorder. It is morning. DR. STOCKMANN, in dressing-gown, slippers, and skull-cap, is bending down and raking with an umbrella under one of the cabinets; at last he rakes out a stone.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[speaking through the sitting-room door]</small>. <br />Katrine, I’ve found another one.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[in the sitting-room]</small>. <br />Ah! you’re sure to find lots more.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[placing the stone on a pile of others on the table]</small>. <br />I shall keep these stones as sacred relics. Ejlif and Morten shall see them every day, and when they are grown men they shall inherit them from me. <small>[Poking under the bookcase.]</small> Hasn’t–what the devil’s her name?–the girl–hasn’t she been for the glazier yet?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[coming in]</small>. <br />Yes, but he said he didn’t know whether he’d be able to come to-day.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You’ll see he daren’t come.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, Rudine also thought he didn’t dare to come, because of the neighbours. <small>[Speaks through sitting-room door]</small>. What is it,Rudine?–All right. <small>[Goes in and returns again immediately.]</small> Here’s a letter for you, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Let’s see. <small>[Opens letter and reads.]</small> Ah, ha!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Whom is it from?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />From the landlord. He gives us notice.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Is it possible? Such a pleasantly-behaved man.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[looking at the letter]</small>. <br />He daren’t do otherwise, he says. He is very loath to do it; but he daren’t do otherwise on account of his fellow-citizens, out of respect for public opinion–is in a dependent position–does not dare to offend certain influential men–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />There, you can see now, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, yes, I see well enough; they are cowards, every one of them cowards in this town; no one dares do anything for fear of all the rest. <small>[Throws letter on table.]</small> But that’s all the same to us, Katrine. Now we’re journeying to the new world, and so–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but, Thomas, is that idea of the journey really well-advised?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Perhaps you’d have me stay here where they have gibbeted me as an enemy of the people, branded me, and smashed my windows to atoms? And look here, Katrine, they have torn a hole in my black trousers.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Oh dear, and they’re the best you’ve got.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />One ought never to put on one’s best trousers when one goes fighting for liberty and truth. Of course, you know I don’t care so much about the trousers; you can always patch them up forme. But it is that the mob should dare to attack me as if they were my equals–that’s what, for the life of me, I can’t stomach.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, they’ve been very insolent to you here, Thomas; but must we leave the country altogether on that account?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Don’t you think the plebeians are just as impertinent in other towns as here? Ah, yes, they are, my dear; they’re pretty much of a muchness everywhere. Well, never mind, let the curs snap; that is not the worst; the worst is that all men are party slaves all the land over. Nor is it that–perhaps that’s no better in the free west either; there, too, the compact majority thrives, and enlightened public opinion and all the other devil’s trash flourishes. But you see the conditions are on a larger scale there than here; they may lynch you, but they don’t torture you; they don’t put the screw on a free soul there as they do at home here. And then, if need be, you can live apart. <small>[Walks up and down.]</small> If I only knew whether there were any primeval forest, any little South Sea island to be bought cheap–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but the boys, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[standing still]</small>. <br />What an extraordinary woman you are, Katrine! Would you prefer the boys to grow; up amid such a society as ours? Why, you saw yourself yesterday evening that one half of the population is quite mad, and if the other half hasn’t lost its reason, that’s because they’re hounds who haven’t any reason to lose.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But really, dear Thomas, you do say such impudent things!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well! But isn’t what I say the truth? Don’t they turn all ideas upside down? Don’t they stir up right and wrong in one mess of potage? Don’t they call lies what I know to be truth? But the maddest thing of all is that there a a whole mass of grown men, Liberals, who go about persuading themselves and others that they are free! Did you ever hear anything like it, Katrine?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, yes, it is certainly quite mad. But– <small>[PETRA enters from sitting-room]</small>.

Back from school already?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, I’ve been dismissed.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Dismissed?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You, too!

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Mrs. Busk gave me notice,and so I thought it would be best to leave there and then.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />On my soul you did right!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Who could have thought Mrs. Busk was such a bad woman?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Oh! Mother, Mrs. Busk isn’t really so bad; I saw clearly how much it pained her. But she didn’t dare to do otherwise, she said; and so I’m dismissed.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[laughing and tubbing his hands]</small>. <br />She dared not do otherwise, she too! Ah! that’s delicious.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah! well! after the dreadful uproar last night–

<small>PETRA. </small><br />It wasn’t only that. Now you shall hear, father!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Mrs. Busk showed me no less than three letters she had received this morning.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Anonymous, of course?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />They didn’t dare to give their names, Katrine–!

<small>PETRA. </small><br />And two of them wrote that a gentleman who frequently visits our house, said at the club last night that I had such extremely advanced opinions upon various matters.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And, of course, you didn’t deny that?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Of course not You know Mrs. Busk herself has pretty advanced opinions when we are alone together; but now this has come out about me she didn’t dare keep me on.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And to think–it was one who came to our house! There, now, you see, Thomas, what comes of all your hospitality.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />We won’t live any longer amid such foulness. Pack up as quickly as you can, Katrine; let us get away–the sooner the better.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Hush! I think there’s some one outside in the passage. Just see, Petra.

<small>PETRA. </small><br /><small>[opening door]</small>. Ah! is it you, Captain Horster? Please come in.

<small>HORSTER </small><br /><small>[from the ante-room]</small>. <br />Good morning. I thought I must just look in and see how you’re getting on.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[holding out his hand]</small>. <br />Thanks; that’s very beautiful of you.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And thanks for seeing us home, Captain Horster.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />But however did you get back again?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Oh! that was all right. You know I’m pretty strong, and these folk’s bark is worse than their bite.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Isn’t it marvellous, this piggish cowardice? Come here, I want to show you something! See, here are all the stones they threw in at us. Only look at them! Upon my soul there aren’t more than two decent big fighting stones in the whole lot; the rest are nothing but pebbles–mere nothings. And yet they stood down there, and yelled, and swore they’d slay me–the corrupt one;–but for deeds, for deeds–there’s not much of that in this town!

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Well, that was a good thing for you this time, anyhow, doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Of course it was. But its vexatious all the same; for should it ever come to a serious, really important struggle, you’ll see, Captain Horster, that public opinion will take to its heels, and the compact majority will make for the sea like a herd of swine. It is this that is so sad to think of; it grieves me to the very heart.–No, deuce take it–at the bottom all this is folly. They’ve said I am an enemy of the people; well then, I’ll be an enemy of the people.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You will never be that, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You’d better not take your oath of it, Katrine. A bad name may work like a pin’s prick in the lungs. And that d–d word–I can’t get rid of it; it has sunk into my diaphragm–there it lies, and gnaws, and sucks like some acid. And magnesia is no good against that.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Pshaw! You should only laugh at them, father.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />The people will think differently yet, doctor.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, Thomas, you may be as sure of that as you’re standing here.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes–perhaps when it is too late. Well, much good may it do them! Let them go on wallowing here in the mire, and repent that they have driven a patriot into exile. When do you sail, Captain Horster?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Hm I–it was really that I came to speak to you about–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Has anything gone wrong with the ship?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />No; but it’s like this, I’m not going with it.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Surely you have not been dismissed?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />(smiling). Yes, I have.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />You too!

No English

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And for truth’s sake! Ah! had I thought such a thing–

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />You musn’t take it to heart; I shall soon get a berth with some other company.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And this Merchant Vik! A wealthy man, independent of anyone! Good Heavens–

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />In other matters he is a thoroughly fair man, and he says himself he would gladly have kept me on if only he dared.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But he didn’t dare–that goes without saying.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />It wasn’t easy, he said, when you belong to a party–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That was a true saying of the honourable man’s! A party is like a sausage-machine; it grinds all the heads together in one mash; and that’s why there are so many blockheads and fat heads all seething together!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Now really, Thomas!

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[to Horster]</small>. <br />If only you hadn’t seen us home perhaps it would not have come to this.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />I don’t regret it.

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[holding out her hands]</small>. <br />Thank you for that!

<small>HORSTER. </small><br /><small>[to Dr. Stockmann]</small>. <br />And so what I wanted to say to you was this: that if you really want to leave I have thought of another way–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That is good–if only we can get off–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Sh! Isn’t that a knock?

<small>PETRA. </small><br />I’m sure that’s uncle.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Aha! <small>[Calls.]</small> Come in.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Dear Thomas, now do for once promise me– <br /><small>[Enter Burgomaster from ante-room.]</small>

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[in the doorway]</small>. <br />Oh! you’re engaged. Then I’d better–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, no; come in.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />But I wanted to speak with you alone.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />We’ll go into the sitting-room.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />And I’ll look in again presently.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, no, go with them, Captain Horster, I must have further information–

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />All right, then I’ll wait. <br /><small>[He follows MRS. STOCKMANN and PETRA into the sitting-room. </small>

<small>The Burgomaster says nothing, bat casts glances at the windows.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Perhaps you find it rather drafty here to-day? Put your hat on.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Thanks, if I may <small>[puts on hat]</small>. I fancy I caught cold yesterday evening. I stood there shivering.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Really? I should have said it was pretty warm.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I regret that it was not in my power to prevent these nocturnal excesses.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Have you nothing else to say to me?

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[producing a large letter]</small>. <br />I’ve this document for you from the Directors of the Baths.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I am dismissed?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes; from to-day. <small>[Places letter on table.]</small> We are very sorry–but frankly, we dared not do otherwise on account of public opinion.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[smiling]</small>. <br />Dared not? I’ve heard that word already to-day.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I beg of you to understand your position clearly. You must not, for the future, count upon any sort of practice in the town here.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Deuce take the practice! But are you so sure of this?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The Householders’ Association is sending round a circular from house to house, in which all well-disposed citizens are called upon not to employ you, and I dare swear that not a single father of a family will venture to refuse his signature; he simply dare not.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well well; I don’t doubt that. But what then?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />If I might give you a piece of advice, it would be this–to go away for a time.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, I’ve had some thought of leaving this place.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Good. When you’ve done so, and have had six months of reflection, then if, after mature consideration, you could make up your mind to acknowledge your error in a few words of regret–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I might perhaps be re-instated, you think?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Perhaps; it is not absolutely impossible.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but how about public opinion? You daren’t on account of public opinion.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Opinions are extremely variable things. And, to speak candidly, it is of the greatest importance for us to have such an admission from you.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Then you may whistle for it! You remember well enough, d–n if what I’ve said to you before about these foxes’ tricks!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />At that time your position was infinitely more favourable; at that time you might have supposed you had the whole town at your back–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, and now I feel I’ve the whole town on my back. <small>[Faring up.]</small> But no–not if I had the devil himself and his grandmother on my back–never–never, I tell you!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />The father of a family must not act as you are doing; you must not, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Must not! There is but one thing on earth that a free man must not do, and do you know what that is?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />No.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Of course not; but I will tell you. A free man must not behave like a blackguard; he must not so act that he would spit in his own face.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />That really sounds extremely plausible; and if there were not another explanation of your mulish obstinacy–but we know well enough there–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What do you mean by that?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I’m sure you understand. But as your brother, and as a man of common-sense, I give you this advice: don’t build too confidently upon prospects and expectations that perhaps may fail you utterly.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But what on earth are you driving at?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Do you really want to make me believe that you are ignorant of the provisions Master Tanner Kiil has made in his will?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I know that the little he has is to go to a home for old indigent working-men. But what’s that got to do with me?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />To begin with, it is not a ”little“ we’re speaking of. Tanner Kiil is a fairly wealthy man.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I’ve never had any idea of that!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Hm! Really? Then you hadn’t any idea either that a not inconsiderable portion of his fortune is to go to your children, and that you and your wife are to enjoy the interest on it for life. Hasn’t he told you that?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />No, on my soul! On the contrary, he was constantly grumbling because he was so preposterously over-taxed. But are you really so sure of this, Peter?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />I had it from a thoroughly reliable source.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But,good Heavens! Why, then, Katrine is all right–and the children too! Oh! I must tell her– <small>[Calls.]</small> Katrine, Katrine!

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[restraining him]</small>. <br />Hush! don’t say anything about it yet.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[opening the door]</small>. <br />What is it?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Nothing, my dear, go in again. <small>[MRS. STOCKMANN closes the door. </small>

<small>He walks up and down.]</small> Provided for! Only think–all of them provided for! And that for life! After all it is a pleasant sensation to feel yourself secure!

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Yes, but it is not exactly so–you are not. Tanner Kiil can annul his testament at any day or hour he chooses.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But he won’t do that, my good Peter. The badger is immensely delighted that I’ve attacked you and your wiseacre friends.

<small>BURGOMASTER </small><br /><small>[stops and looks searchingly at him]</small>. <br />Aha! that throws a new light upon a good many matters.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What matters?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />So the whole affair has been a combined manoeuvre. These violent, restless attacks which you, in the name of truth, have launched against the leading men of the town.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What, what?

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />So this was nothing but a preconcerted return for that vindictive old Morten Kiil’s will.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[almost speechless]</small>. <br />Peter–you’re the most abominable plebeian I’ve ever known in my life.

<small>BURGOMASTER. </small><br />Everything is over between us. Your dismissal is irrevocable–for now we have a weapon against you. <br /><small>[Exit]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Shame! shame! shame! <small>[Calls.]</small> Katrine! The floor must be scrubbed after him! Tell her to come here with a pail–what’s her name?–confound it–the girl with the sooty nope–

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[in the sitting-room]</small>. <br />Hush, hush! Thomas!

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[also in the doorway]</small>. <br />Father, here’s grandfather, and he wants to know if he can speak to you alone.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, of course he can. <small>[By the door.]</small> Come in, father-in-law. <small>[Enter MORTEN KIIL. DR. STOCKMANN closes the door behind him.]</small>

Well, what is it? Sit you down.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />I’ll not sit down. <small>[Looking about him]</small>. It looks cheerful here to-day, Stockmann.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, doesn’t it?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Sure enough it does: and you’ve plenty of fresh air, too; I should think you’d have enough of that oxygen you chattered about so much yesterday. You must have an awfully good conscience to-day, I should think.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, I have.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />So I should suppose. <small>[Striking himself upon the heart.]</small> But do you know what I’ve got here?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, a good conscience, too, I hope.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Pshaw! No, something far better than that. <br /><small>[Takes out a large pocket-book, opens it, and shows a mass of papers.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[looking at him in astonishment]</small>. <br />Shares in the Baths!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />They weren’t difficult to get to-day.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And you’ve been and bought these up–?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />All I’d got the money to pay for.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, my dear father-in-law,–just now, when the Baths are in such straits.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />If you behave like a reasonable creature you can set the Baths going again.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ay, why you can see for yourself that I’m doing all I can. But the people of this town are mad!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />You said yesterday that the worst filth came from my tannery. Now, if that’s really the truth, then my grandfather, and my father before me, and I myself have all these years been littering the town like three destroying angels. Do you think I’ll let such a stain remain upon me?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Unfortunately, you can’t help yourself now.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />No, thanks. I stand for my good name and my rights. I have heard that the people call me ”badger." Well, the badger is a swinish sort of animal, but they shall never be able to say that of me. I will live and die a clean man.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And how will you manage that?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />You shall make me clean, Stockmann.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Do you know with what money I’ve bought these shares ? No, you can’t know, but now I’ll tell you It’s the money Katrine and Petra and the little lads will have after me. Yes, for you see, I’ve invested my little all to the best advantage anyhow.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[flaring up]</small>. <br />And you’ve thrown away Katrine’s money like this!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />O yes; the whole of the money is entirely invested in the Baths now. And now I shall really see if you’re so possessed–demented–mad, Stockmann. Now, if you go on letting this dirt and filth result from my tannery, it’ll be just the same as if you were to flay Katrine with a whip–and Petra too, and the little lads. But no decent father of a family would ever so that–unless, indeed, he were a madman.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[walking up and down]</small>. <br />Yes, but I am a madman; I am a madman!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />But I suppose you’re not so stark mad where your wife and bairns are concerned.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[standing in front of him]</small>. <br />Why on earth didn’t you speak to me before you went and bought all that rubbish?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />What’s done can’t be undone.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[walking about uneasily]</small>. <br />If only I weren’t so certain about the affair! But I’m thoroughly convinced that I’m right!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br /><small>[weighing the pocket-book in his hand]</small>. <br />If you stick to your madness these aren’t worth much. <br /><small>[Puts book into his pocket.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, deuce take it! surely science will be able to find some remedy, some antidote.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Do you mean something to kill the animals?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, or at least to make them innocuous.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Can’t you try rat’s-bane.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Tush! Tush! But all the people say it is nothing but fancy! Let them have their own way, then! Haven’t the ignorant, narrow-hearted curs reviled me for an enemy of the people;–and did not they try to tear the clothes from off my back!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />And they’ve smashed all the windows for you, too!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Then, too, one’s duty to one’s family. I must talk it over with Katrine; she is such a stickler in matters of this sort.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />That’s right! You just follow the advice of a sensible woman.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[going to him angrily]</small>. <br />How could you act so perversely! Staking Katrine’s money and getting me into this horribly painful dilemma! I tell you that when I look at you I seem to see the devil himself–!

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Then I’d better be off. But you me know your decision by two o’clock. It it’s shares go to the Charity–and that this very day.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And what does Katrine get?

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Not a brass farthing. <small>[The door of the ante-room opens. MR. HOVSTAD and ASLAKSEN are seen outside it.]</small>

Do you see these two there?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[staring at them]</small>. <br />What! And they actually dare to come to me here!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Why, of course we do.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />You see there is something we want to talk to you about.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br /><small>[whispers.]</small> Yes or no–by two o’clock.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br /><small>[with a glance at Hovstad.]</small> Aha! <br /><small>(Exit Morten Kiil)</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, what is it you want with me? Be brief.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I can very well understand that you resent our conduct at the meeting yesterday–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And that’s what you call conduct! Yes, it was charming conduct! I call it misconduct–disgraceful. Shame upon you!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Call it what you will; but we could not do otherwise.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You dared not, I suppose? Is not that so?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Yes, if you will have it.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />But why didn’t you drop a word beforehand? Just the merest hint to Mr. Hovstad or to me?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />A hint? What about?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />About what was at the bottom of it.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />I don’t in the least understand you.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br /><small>[nods familiarly]</small>. <br />Oh! yes you do, Dr. Stockmann.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />It’s no good concealing it any longer now.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[Looking from one to the other]</small>. <br />Yes; but in the devil’s own name–!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />May I ask–isn’t your father-in-law going about the town and buying up all the shares in the Baths?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, he has bought shares in the Baths to-day, but–

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />It would have been wiser if you’d set somebody else to do that–someone not so closely connected with you.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And then you ought not to have appeared under your own name. No one need have known that the attack on the Baths came from you. You should have taken me into your counsels, Dr. Stockmann.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[stares straight in front of him; a light seems to break in upon him, and he looks thunder-stricken]</small>. <br />Are such things possible? Can such things be?

<small>HOVSTAD </small><br /><small>[smiling]</small>. <br />Well, we’ve seen they can. But you see it ought all to have been managed with finesse.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And then, too, you ought to have had several in it; for you know the responsibility is less for the individual when it is shared by others.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[calmly]</small>. <br />In one word, gentlemen, what is it you want?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Mr. Hovstad can best–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No, you explain, Aslaksen.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Well, it’s this; now that we know how the whole matter stands, we believe we shall be able to place the People’s Messenger at your disposal.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You dare do so, now? But how about public opinion? Aren’t you afraid that a storm will burst out against us?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />We must strive to ride out the storm.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And the doctor try to manage his face-about with dexterity. As soon as your attack has produced its effect–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />As soon as my father-in-law and I have bought up the shares at a low price, you mean.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />No doubt it is scientific reasons principally that have impelled you to take over the direction of the Baths.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Of course; it was for scientific reasons that I made the old Badger go and buy up these shares. And then we’ll tinker up the water-works a bit, and then dig about a bit by the shore down there, without it costing the town a half-crown. Don’t you think that can be done? Hm?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />I think so–if you have the Messenger to back you up.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />In a free society the press is a power, Doctor.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, indeed, and so is public opinion; and you, Mr. Aslaksen–I suppose you’ll be answerable for the Householders’ Association?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Both for the Association and the Moderation Society. You may rely upon that.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But, gentlemen–really I am quite ashamed to mention such a thing–but–what return?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />Of course, you know we should be best pleased to give you our support for nothing. But the Messenger is not very firmly established; it is not getting on as it ought; and just now, that there is so much to be done in general politics, I should be very sorry to have to stop the paper.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Naturally; that would be very hard for a friend of the people like you. <small>[Flaring up.]</small> But I–I am an enemy of the people! <small>[Walking about the room.]</small> Wherever is my stick? Where the devil’s my stick?

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />What do you mean?

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />Surely you would not–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[standing still]</small>. <br />And now, suppose I don’t give you a single farthing out of all my shares? You must remember that we rich folk don’t like parting with our money.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />And you must remember that this business of the shares can be represented in two ways.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, you’re the man for that; if I don’t come to the rescue of the Messenger, you’ll certainly see the affair in an evil light; you’ll hunt me down, I suppose–bait me, try to strangle me as the dog does the hare.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />That is a law of nature–every animal wishes to live.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />And must take its food where he can find it, you know.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Then, go and see if you can’t find some out there in the gutter <small>[rushes about the room]</small>; for now, by Heaven! we’ll see which is the strongest animal of us three. <small>[Finds umbrella and swings it.]</small> Now, look here–

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />You surely don’t mean to use violence to us!

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br />I say, take care of that umbrella!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Out at the window with you, Mr. Hovstad!

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br /><small>[by the door of the ante-room]</small>. <br />Are you quite mad?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Out at the window, Mr. Aslaksen! Jump, I tell you! As well first as last.

<small>ASLAKSEN. </small><br /><small>[running round the writing-table]</small>. <br />Be moderate, doctor. I’m a delicate man; I can stand so little. <small>[Screams]</small>. Help! help! <br /><small>[MRS. STOCKMANN, PETRA, and HORSTER enter from sitting- room.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Good Heavens! Thomas, whatever is the matter?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[brandishing the umbrella]</small>. <br />Jump out, I tell you. Out into the gutter.

<small>HOVSTAD. </small><br />An assault upon a defenceless man! I call you to witness, Captain Horster. <br /><small>[Rushes off through the sitting-room.]</small>

<small>ASLAKSEN </small><br /><small>[at his wit’s end]</small>. <br />If only I knew the local conditions– <br /><small>[He slinks out through the sitting-room door.]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[holding back the doctor]</small>. <br />Now, do restrain yourself, Thomas!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[throwing down umbrella]</small>. <br />On my soul, they’ve got off after all.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But what do they want with you?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You shall hear that later; I’ve other matters to think of now. <small>[Goes to table and writes on a card.]</small> Look here, Katrine, what’s written here?

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Three big Noes; what is that?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That, too, you shall learn later. <small>[Handing card.]</small> There, Petra; let the girl run to the Badger’s with this as fast as she can. Be quick! <br /><small>[PETRA goes out through the ante-room with the card.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, if I haven’t had visits to-day from all the emissaries of the devil, I don’t know! But now I’ll sharpen my pen against them till it is a dagger; I will dip it into venom and gall; I’ll hurl my inkstand straight at their skulls.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, but we’re to go away, Thomas! <br /><small>[PETRA returns.]</small>

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well!

<small>PETRA. </small><br />All right.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Good. Go away, do you say? No, I’ll be damned if we do; we stay where we are, Katrine.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Stay!

No English

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, here; here is the field of battle; here it shall be fought; here I will conquer! Now, as soon as my trousers are sewn up I’ll go out into the town and look after a house, for we must have a roof over our heads, for the winter.

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />That you can have with me.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Can I?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Yes, indeed, you can. I’ve room enough, and, besides, I’m hardly ever at home.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Ah! How good it is of you, Horster.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Thank you.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[holding out hand]</small>. <br />Thanks, thanks! So that trouble, too, is over. And this very day I shall start on my work in earnest. Ah! there is so much to root out here, Katrine! But it’s a good thing I’ve all my time at my disposal now; yes, for you know I’ve had notice from the Baths.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[sighing]</small>. <br />Ah, yes! I was expecting that.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />–And now they want to take my practice in the bargain. But let them! The poor I shall keep, anyhow–those who can’t pay anything; and, good Lord! it’s they who have most need of me. But, by Heaven! I swear they shall hear me; I will preach to them in season and out of season, as it is written somewhere.

<small>MORTEN KIIL. </small><br />Dear Thomas, I fancy you’ve seen what good preaching does.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You really are ridiculous, Katrine. Should I let myself be beaten off the field by public opinion, and the compact majority, and such devilry? No, thanks. Besides, what I want is so simple, so clear and straight-forward. I only want to drive into the heads of these curs that the Liberals are the worst foes of free men; that party-programmes wring the necks of all young living truths; that considerations of expediency turn morality and righteousness upside down, until life is simply hideous. Yes, Captain Horster, don’t you think I shall be able to make the people understand that?

<small>HORSTER. </small><br />Maybe; I don’t know much about such matters myself.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, you see–now you shall hear! It is the party-leaders who must be got rid of. For you see, a party-leader is just like a wolf–like a starving wolf; if he is to exist at all he needs so many small beasts a-year. Just look at Hovstad and Aslaksen! How many small beasts do not they devour; or else they mangle them and knock them about, so that they’re fit for nothing else but householders and subscribers to the People’s Messenger. <small>[Sits on edge of table]</small>. Now, Katrine, just come here; see how bravely the sun shines to-day. And the blessed fresh spring air, too, blowing in upon me.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, if only we could live on sunshine and spring air, Thomas!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Well, you’ll have to pinch and save where you can–then it’ll be all right. That’s my least concern. Now what does trouble me is, that I don’t see any man free and brave enough to dare to take up my work after me.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Ah! don’t think of that, father. You have time before you. Why, see, there are the boys already. <br /><small>[EJLIF and MORTEN enter from the sitting-room]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Have you had a holiday to-day?

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />No; but we had a fight with the other fellows in the play-time–

<small>EJLIF. </small><br />That’s not true; it was the other fellows who fought us.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />Yes, and so Mr. Rorlund said it would be best if we stayed at home for a few days.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[snapping his fingers and springing down from the table]</small>. <br />Now I have it, now I have it, on my soul! Never shall you set foot in school again!

<small>THE BOYS. </small><br />Never go to school!

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />But really, Thomas–

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Never, I say. I’ll teach you myself–that is to say, I’ll not teach you any blessed thing.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />Hurrah!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />– but I’ll make free, noble-minded men of you. Look here, you’ll have to help me, Petra.

<small>PETRA. </small><br />Yes, father, you may be sure I will.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />And we’ll have our school in the room where they reviled me as an enemy of the people. But we must have more pupils. I must have at lease twelve boys to begin with.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You’ll never get them here in this town.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />We shall see that. <small>[To the boys.]</small> Don’t you know any street-boys–some regular ragamuffins–?

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />Yes, father, I know lots!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />That’s all right; bring me a few specimens of them. I want to experiment with the good-for-nothings for once–there may be some good heads amongst them.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />But what are we to do when we’ve become free and noble-minded men?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Drive all the wolves out to the far west, boys. <br /><small>[EJLIF looks rather doubtful; MORTEN jumps about, shouting hurrah!]</small>

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />If only the wolves don’t drive you out, Thomas.

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />You are quite mad, Katrine! Drive me away! now that I’m the strongest man in the town.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />The strongest–now?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Yes, I dare to say so bold a word; that now I’m one of the strongest men upon earth.

<small>MORTEN. </small><br />I say, father!

<small>DR. STOCKMANN </small><br /><small>[in a subdued voice]</small>. <br />Hush! you must not speak about it yet; but I have made a great discovery.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br />What, again?

<small>DR. STOCKMANN. </small><br />Assuredly. <small>[Gathers them about him, and speaks confidently]</small>. You see, the fact is that the strongest man upon earth is he who stands most alone.

<small>MRS. STOCKMANN. </small><br /><small>[shakes her head smiling]</small>. <br />Ah! Thomas–!

<small>PETRA </small><br /><small>[taking his hands trustfully]</small>. <br />Father!<br /><br /><hr width="25%" align="left" /><br />

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