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Conright EdUioH, CompUU in IS Volumes



▼•hiBM I. liMly Inger of Ottrat, The Feart at Sol-

houg, Love's Comedy
'* n. ThcYikingi«tHelfeland,ThcPrctend«n
" m. Brand
" IV. PeerGynt

" V. Enperor and Galflean (« parts)
" VI. League of Youth, Pillars of Society
" Vn. A Doll's House, Ghosts
" Vm. An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duok
** IX. Rosmersholm, The Lady from the Sea
•' X. Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder
" XI. little Eyolf, John Gabriel Borkman

When We Dead Awaken
* Xn. From Ibsen's Workshop
"Xm. The life of Henrik Ibsen. By
Edmund Gosse

Tht abore volumes. Clothe Itmo, - net 91 M each

Limp Leather^ 16mo, • net $1^ each

18 volumes in a box, Cldh, n«( $16.00

IS •* •* Limp Leather, nrf $19.50


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Copyright Edition



C. H. HERFORD, Litt.D.; M.A.




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Copyright, 1906, by Charles Scribner'a Sons

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Brand was written in the summer of 1865, at
Ariccia, near Rome. Fifteen months before,
Ibsen had left Christiania, a voluntary exile,
eager to escape from the narrow Scandinavian
world, and burning with the sense of national
disgrace. Denmark was in the throes of the
heroic but hopeless struggle to which her north-
em kinsmen had sent only a handful of volun-
teers. He had travelled southward, almost
within hearing of the Prussian guns; and
among the passengers on the steamer was that
venerable silver-haired mother who, as his sar-
castic verses tell, believed so firmly in the safety
of her soldier-son, and with such good ground,
" for he was a Norwegian soldier." * On arriv-
ing at Rome he turned resolutely away from
these rankling memories, broke all the bonds

1 For a more detailed diBOUssion of Brand the reader may
be referred to the Introduction prefixed to the original edition
of the present translation (London, 1894).

« The poem Troen» grund. It is translated by Mr. Wick-
■teed, Led, p. 24. This admirable little volume is indis-
pensable to the English student of Ibsen's poetry.

* Copyright, 1006, by Charles Scribner's Sons

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that tied him to his country, plunged into the
study of the ancient world, and made prepara-
tion for that colossal drama on the Emperor
Julian which eight years later saw the light.

But the genius of the North held him in too
strong a grip. " Never have I seen the Home
and its life so fully, so clearly, so near by," he
told the Christiania students in 1873, " as pre-
cisely from a distance and in absence." * Under
the Italian sky, among the myrtles and aloes of
the "Paradise of exiles," there arose before him
more vividly than ever the vision of the stem
and rugged Nbrwegian landscape, the solenm
twilight of the fjord, the storm-swept glacier,
the peasant-folk absorbed in the desperate strug-
gle for bread, officialdom absorbed in material
progress, " intelligence " growing refined, " hu-
mane," and somewhat effeminate; and, emerg-
ing here and there, glimpses somewhat futile
and forlorn of heroic manhood. A summer tour
which he had made among the western fjords
in July 1862, on a commission from Government
to collect popular legends, supplied a crowd of
vivid local and personal reminiscences; a ruined
parsonage under a precipice, a little mouldering
church, a wild march across Jotunheim in storm
and snow, and then the dizzy plunge down into
one of those deep lowland valleys that strike up
like huge rocky rifts from the fjord-head into
the heart of the mountains. A few months of
intense labour sufficed to organise these scat-
tered images into a moving world of drama,

> Speech to the students, printed in full in Halvoraen, Norsk
F»rfaUer-lexikon, art. "Ibsen."

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penetrated through and through with Ibsen's
individuality, and clothed in rich and many-
coloured poetry. He had as yet written nothing
at once so original, so kindling, and so profusely
strewn with the most provocative brilliances of
style; nothing which, with all its fierce invective
against Norway, was so profoundly and inti-
mately Norwegian in colouring and in spirit.
Upon its publication, on March 15, 1866, at Co-
penhagen, the whole Scandinavian world was
taken by storm.

The sale was from the outset immense, and
has continued, though at a diminished pace, till
the present day. Four editions appeared before
the close of 1866; the eleventh in 1889. Ibsen
was little accustomed to such success. It is said
that inunediately after the publication his sister-
in-law drank to the "tenth edition"; the poet
confidently shook his head and declared that the
profits of the tenth edition should be hers. She
took him at his word, and has not repented her
prophetic gift.^ Outside Scandinavia, too, the
name of the author of Brand rapidly became
famous. It was the beginning of his European
fame. In Germany, its intellectual suggestive-
ness and philosophical mysticism were keenly
appreciated; it was compared with Hamlet and
with Faust. 'No less than four translations ap-
peared there between 1872 and 1882.

Even on the stage, for which it was never
meant. Brand has not been quite unknown. In
Christiania the Fourth Act has repeatedly been
played; but it was reserved for the Director of
the New Theatre at Stockholm, L. Josephson, to
> Halyoiaen, Forfaiter-lexikon^ ua.

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undertake the bold experiment of performing
the whole. On March 24, 1885, a crowded house
sat through a performance which lasted from
6.30 to 1.15. It was repeated fifteen times.^

In 1893 a single performance of the Fourth
Act, in the present version, was given in London.

Together with its still more splendid and vari-
ous, yet completely dissimilar successor. Peer
Oynt, Brand marks an epoch in Scandinavian
literature. A large majority of those who know
the original believe that it marks an epoch in
the literature of Europe. Nothing in English
literature in the least resembles a work, which
is nevertheless peculiarly fitted to impress and
to fascinate the English nature.^ But those who
can imagine the prophetic fire of Carlyle fused
with the genial verve and the intellectual ath-
leticism of Browning, and expressed by aid of a
dramatic faculty to parallel which we must go
two centuries backward, may in some degree
understand that fascination.

Primarily, however, Brand was addressed to
Norway and to Norway alone. It was the pas-
sionate cry — at once invective and appeal — of a
Norwegian, to the mother-country, of which,
grievous as her failings are, he cannot bring
himself to despair. The situation must be re-
called. When the Danish King, in November

» The Stockholm Ny ill. Tidning, 1885, Nos. 14, 15, gives
an interesting account of the performance, with several
ilinstrations. Brand was played by E. Hillberg. Ibsen con-
gratulated the Director in a letter printed by Halvorsen, u.s.

' Mr. Grosse has, however, pointed out that it has points of
likeness, striking rather than inxportaat, to Dobell's dramatic
poem B<aaer (18M).

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1863, supported by the King of Sweden, declared
Slesvig an integral part of Denmark, there was
much loud jubilation in Norway at the extension
of " Scandinavian " rule, even among people not
at all prepared to allow that the cause of Den-
mark and of Norway were one; while the more
ardent spirits pledged themselves over flowing
cups to support their " brothers " in the field.
The actual invasion of Denmark by Prussia and
Austria which followed (February 1864) was, in
Ibsen's eyes, for his own country too, a moral
crisis which could be manfully met only in one
way; and when the Storthing, by virtually re-
fusing war* forced the King, to his bitter shame,
to leave Denmark to her fate, Ibsen's heroic
scorn broke into flame, and found its fiercest and
keenest expression in the invectives of his hero.

Brand was no doubt originally intended to be
simply an embodiment of Ibsen's own heroic
ideal of character. He is represented as a priest
of modern Norway. But Ibsen has himself de-
clared that this was not at all essential for his
purpose. "I could have applied the whole syl-
logism just as well," he told Georg Brandos, " to
a sculptor, or a politician, as to a priest. I
could quite as well have worked out the impulse
which drove me to write, by taking Galileo, for
instance, as my hero — assuming, of course, that
Galileo should stand firm and never concede the
fixity of the earth; — or you yourself in your

1 They aooepted the King's demand that the army should
be placed absolutely in his hands, but ooupled the condition
that he was to make war only in alliance with England oi

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Struggle with the Danish reactionaries."* The
gist of the whole is therefore ethical, in spite
of its theological clothing, and in spite of the
theological phraseology in which Ibsen's own
ethical conceptions were as yet habitually en-
tangled. The faith which inspires it is the faith
in the spirit of man — "the one eternal thing,"
as Brand declares in a splendid outburst, that
of which* churches and creeds are only passing
moods, and which, now dispersed and disinte-
grated among the torsos of hiunanity, shall one
day gather once more into a whole.

Brand was to be the ideal antitype of the Nor-
wegian people. But Ibsen's own complexity of
nature, and perhaps also his keen dramatic in-
stinct interfered with this simple scheme. The
ideal type grew human and individual; the Ti-
tan going forth with drawn sword against the
world became a struggling and agonised soul,
swayed by doubts and entangled by illusion; the
vices he denounces are represented by men,
drawn mostly with a genial and humorous, and,
in the case of the " humane " old Doctor, with a
kindly and sympathetic hand. The beautiful
creation of Agnes serves the purpose of satire
admirably in the Second Act, where her heroism
is set off against the "faintheartedness" of the
Peasants and Einar; but in the Third and
Fourth Acts she has passed into the domain of
tragedy; her heroism is no longer an example
hurled at the cringing patriots of 1864, but a
pathetic sacrifice to the idol which holds her
husband in its spell. Thus the tragedy of

» First published by Brandee in hia Gjennembrudtsmcend;
partially quoted by Jaeger, H, Ibsen (Eng. Tr., p. 155).

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Brand, the man, struggling in the grip of his
formula, disengages itself from the "satire" of
Brand, the Titan, subduing the world to his

Brand is written throughout in one or other
of two varieties of four-beat verse. "I wanted
a metre in which I could career where I would,
as on horseback," Ibsen said to the present trans-
lator in 1893. And in his hands the metre de-
velops a versatility of tone, rhythm and rhyme
arrangement for which Browning's Christmas
Eve and Easter Day is the only proximate Eng-
lish parallel. But the two varieties — ^iambic and
trochaic, instead of being deftly mingled, as in
L^ Allegro and II Penseroso, are kept strictly
apart and used with felicitous effect to heighten
the distinction between two classes of scene.
The iambic is the measure of the more familiar
and pedestrian scenes, where the tone is collo-
quial, argumentative, satirical, or, again, bust-
ling and lively. The swifter and more sensitive
trochaic, on the other hand, is used in scenes
of passion and poetry, of poignant emotion, of
mystic vision, of solitary thought. Thus all the
great revealing crises of the action, the points
at which the informing fire breaks through —
the monologues of Brand, the visions of Agnes
(Acts II. v.), and the scenes in which they suc-
cessively " stand at the crossway " to choose (end
of Acts II. III. IV.) — are conveyed in the more
lyrical metre, while the more conversational
clothes the intervening tracts of common life.^

1 In Spain, conversely, the trochaic was the normal metre,
the iambic a comparatively rare variation in situations of
exceptional dignity.

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xii BRAND.

The present translation retains the metres of
the original, and follows the text, in general,
line for line. But no attempt has been made at
exact correspondence in points, such as the use
of single or double rhymes, and the sequence
and arrangement of rhymes, where the original
itself is completely arbitrary.

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His Mother.
EiNAB, a painter,

The Ma yob.

The Doctob

The Dean.

The Sexton.

The Schoojmasteb.


A Peasant.

His Young Son.

Anotheb Peasant.

A Woman.

Anothbb Woman.

A Glbbk.

Priests and Officials.

Cbowd : Men, Women and Ghildbbn.

The Tbmpteb in the Desert.

The Invisible Choir.

A Voice.

The actum takes place in our ovm time, at various points
around a fjord-hamlet on the west coast of Norway,

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High up in the mountain snowfields. The ndsi lies
thtck and close ; it is raining, and nearly dark

Brand in black, with stick and wallet, is struggling on
westward. A Peasant and his Young Son, who
have joined him, are a little way behind.

The Peasant.
[Calling afier Brand.]
Hullo, you stranger fellow, stay !
Where are you }


The Peasant.

You've got astray \
The fog*s so thick, my sight it passes
To see a stafTs-length 'fore or back

The Son.
Father, here's clefts \

The Peasant.

And here crevasses !

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BRAND. [act I.

And not a vestige of the track.

The Peasant.
[Crying out.]
Hold, man ! God's death — I The very ground
Is but a shell ! Don't stamp the snow !

} hear the roaring of a fall.

The Peasant.
A beck has gnawed its way below ;
Here's an abyss that none can sound ;
'Twill open and engulf us all !

As I have said, I must go on.

The Peasant.
That's past the power of any one.
I tell you — the ground's a rotten crust —
Hold, hold, man ! Death is where it's trod !

A great one gave me charge ; I must.

The Peasant.
What is his name ?

His name is God.

The Peasant.
And what might you be, pray ?

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act i.] brand.


A priest.
The Peasant.
Maybe ; but one thing's clear at least ;
Though you were dean and bishop too
Death will have laid his grip on you
Ere daybreak, if you dare to breast
The glacier's cavern-cloven crest.

[Approaching warily and insinuatingly !\
Hark, priest, the wisest, learned'st man
Cannot do more than what he can.
Turn back ; don't be so stifF and stout !
A man has but a single life ; —
What has be left if that goes out ?
The nearest farm is two leagues off.
And for the fog, it's thick enough
To hack at with a hunting-knife.

If the fog's thick, no glimmering ray
Of marsh-light lures our feet astray.

The Peasant.
All round lie ice-tarns in a ring.
And an ice-tarn's an ugly thing.

We'll walk across.

The Peasant.

On waves you'll walk
Your deeds will hardly match your talk.

Yet one has proved, — whose faith is sound
May walk diy-footed on the sea.

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BRAND. [act I.

The Peasant.
Yes, men of olden time, maybe ;
But nowadays he'd just be drowned.

Farewell !

The Peasant.

You throw your life away !


If God should haply need its loss,

Then welcome chasm, and flood, and foss.

The Peasant.

[To himself.]
Nay, but his wits are gone astray !

The Son.
Come away. Father ! see how black
With coming tempest is the wrack !

[Stoppifig and approaching again ]
Hear, peasant ; you at first profess'd.
Your daughter by the Qordside lying,
Had sent you word that she was dying.
But could not with a gladsome breast.
Until she saw you, go to rest ?

The Peasant.
That's certain, as I hope for bliss !

And as her last day mentioned — this ?

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The Peasant.

Not a later ?

The Peasant.


Then come

The Peasant.
iTie thing's impossible — turn home !


[Looking Jucedly at him.']
Listen I Would you give twenty pound
If she might have a blest release ?

The Peasant.
Yes, parson !

Forty }

The Peasant.

House and ground
rd very gladly sign away
If so she might expire in peace !

But would you also give your life ?

The Peasant.
What ? life } My good friend !



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BRAND. [act I.

The Peasant.
[Scratching his head,]

Nay, nay,

I draw the line somewhere or other !

In Jesus' name, remember, pray.
At home I've children and a wife.

He whom you mention had a mother.

The Peasant.
Ay, that was in the times of yore ; —
Then marvels were of every day ;
Such things don't happen any more.

Go home. You travel in death's track.
You know not God, God knows not you.

The Peasant.
Hoo, you are stem !

The Son.
[Pulling him awayJ]

Come back ! come back

The Peasant.
Ay, ay ; but he must follow too !

Must I ?

The Peasant.
Ay, if I let you bide
Up here in this accursed weather,
And rumour told, what we can't hide.
That you and we set out together,
Vm haul'd some morning to the dock,^

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And if you're drown *d in flood and fen,
Fm sentenced to the bolt and lock

You suffer in God's service, then.

The Peasant.
Nor his nor yours is my affair ;
My own is hard enough to bear.
Come then !

Farewell !
[A hollow roar is heard in the distana

The Son.

An avalanche roar '

[7b the Peasant who has seized his collar,^

The Peasant.

This instant !

The Son.

Stay no more '

The Peasant.
[Struggling with Brand.]

Nay, devil take me 1

[Shakes him off and throws him down in the snow ]

That, depend
On it, he will do in the end ! [Goes.

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10 BRAND. (act I.

The Peasant.
\ Sitting and rubbing his arm,]
Ow, ow ; his arm's an iron rod ;
And that's what he calls serving God

[Calling as he gets up.]
Ho, priest !

The Son.
He's gone athwart the hilL

The Peasant.
Ay, but I see him glimmer still.

[Calling again,]
Hear me, — if you remember, say.
Where was it that we lost the way ?

[In the mist.]
You need no cross to point you right ; —
The broad and beaten track you tread.

The Peasant.
God grant it were but as he said.
And I'd sit snug at home to-night.

[He and his Son retire eastwards.

[Reappears higher up, and listens in the direction in
which the Peasant went.]
Homeward they grovel ! Thou dull thrall.
If but thy feeble flesh were all,
If any spark of living will
Sprang in thee, I had help'd thee still.
With breaking back, and feet way-worn.
Lightly and swift I had thee borne ; —

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CT I.] BRAND. 11

But help is idle for the man

Who nothing wills but what he can.

[Goes further o«.]
Ah life ! ah life ! Why art thou then
So passing sweet to mortal men ?
In every weakling's estimation
His own life does as grossly weigh
As if the load of man's salvation
Upon his puny shoulders lay.
For every burden he's prepared,
God help us, — so his life be spared i

\Smiles as in recollection.^
Two thoughts in boyhood broke upon me.
And spasms of laughter in me woke.
And from our ancient school-dame won me
Many a just and bitter stroke.
An Owl I fancied, scared by night ;
A Fish that had the water-fright ;
I sought to banish them ; — in vain.
They clung like leeches to my brain.
Whence rose that laughter in my mind ?
Ah, from the gulf, dimly divined.
Between the living world we see
And the world as it ought to be.
Between enduring what we must.
And murmuring, it is unjust !

Ah, whole or sickly, great or small.
Such owls, such fishes, are we all.
Bom to be tenants of the deep,
Born to be exiles from the sun.
This, even this, does us appal ;
We dash against the beetling steep,
Our starry -vaulted home we shun.
And crying to heaven, bootless pray
For air and the glad flames of day !

[Pauses a moment ^ starts, and listens^

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12 BRAND. [act I.

What do I hear ? A sound of singing.
Ay, blended song and laughter ringing.
With now a cheer and now a hollo, —
Another — and another — follow !

ho, the sun rises ; the mist lifts.
Already through the breaking rifts
The illimitable heights I see ;
And now that joyous company
Stands out against the morning light
Upon the summit of the height.
Their shadows taper to the west,
Farewells are utter'd, hands are pressed.
And now they part, the others move
Eastward away^ two westward wend,
And, waving hats and kerchiefs, send
Their farewell messages of love.

[The sun gradually breaks through and dis-
perses the mist. Brand stands and looks
donm on the two as they approach.]
How the light glitters round these two !
It is as if the mist took flight.
And flowering heather clothed the height.

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