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in the chair; all his muscles relax; his face is expres-
sionless, his eyes have a glassy stare. MRS. ALVING
is quivering with terror?) What is this ? {Shrieks.)
Oswald, what's the matter with you ? {Falls on her
knees beside him and shakes him.) Oswald, Oswald !
look at me ! Don't you know me ?

OSWALD {tonelessly as before). The sun. The sun.

Mrs. Alving {springs up in despair, entwines her
Jiands in her hair and shrieks). I can't bear it
{whispers, as though petrified) ; I can't bear it ! Never !
{Suddenly.) Where has he got them ? {Fumbles
hastily in his breast.) Here ! {Shrinks back a
few steps and screams.) No ; no ; no ! Yes ! — No ;
nol



Act III.] Ghosts. ioi

{She stands a few steps from him with her Jiands
twisted in her hair, and stares at him in speech-
less terror^)
Oswald (sits motionless as before and says:) The
sun. The sun



AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.

(1882.)



Characters,



•*+■



Doctor Thomas Stockmann, medical officer of the Baths.
Mrs. Stockmann, his wife.
Petra, their daughter ; a teachet.

' \ their sons, boys of thirteen.
Morten, J * J

Peter Stockmann, the doctor's elder brother ', Burgomaster 1 and chief

of police , chairman of the Baths Committee, etc.

Morten Kiil, master tanner, Mrs. Stockmann s foster-father,

Hovstad, editor of the " People's Messenger."

Billing, on the staff.

Horster, a ship's captain.

ASLAKSEN, a printer.

Townsfolk present at the meeting ; all sorts and conditions of men t some
women, and a flock of school-boys.

Scene : A town on the South Coast of Norway.

i "Burgomaster" is the most convenient substitute for "Byfogd," but
"Town Clerk " would perhaps be a nearer approach to a literal rendering of the
t* rni. It is impossible to find exact counterparts in English for the different
graded of the Norwegian bureaucracy.



AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.

PLAY IN FIVE ACTS.



■*•*-



Act First.

{Evening. Dr. Stockmann'S sitting-room ; simply but neatly
fitted and furnished. 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 anteroom door, a door
leading to the other rooms. Near the middle of this wall
stands the stove ; further towards the foreground a sofa,
with a mirror 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 which
is seen a supper-table, with a lamp on it.)

(Billing is seated at the table, a napkin under his chin.
Mrs. Stockmann stands by the table and hands him a plate
with a large slice of roast beef. The other seats round the
table are empty ; the table is in disorder, as after a meal.)

Mrs. Stockmann. Well, if you're an hour late,
Mr. Billing, you must put up with a cold supper.

Billing {eating). It's excellent, delicious !

Mrs. Stockmann. You know how Stockmann
insists on regular meal-hours

Billing. Oh, I don't mind at all. I almost think
it tastes better when I can sit down like this and have
it all to myself, undisturbed.



106 An Enemy of the People. {Act L
Mrs. Stockman n. Well, if you're satisfied



{Listening in tJie direction of the anteroom?) Surely
that's Hovstad coming too.

Billing. Very likely.
(Burgomaster Stockmann enters, wearing an
overcoat and an official gold-laced cap, and carry-
ing a stick?)

Burgomaster. Good evening, sister-in-law.

Mrs. Stockmann {coming into the sitting-room).
Oh, good evening ; is it you ? It's very nice of you
to look in.

Burgomaster. I was just passing, and so

{Looks towards the dining-room!) Ah ! I see you have
company.

Mrs. Stockmann {rather embarrassed). Oh, no!
Not at all ; it's the merest chance. {Hurriedly.)
Won't you come and have something ?

Burgomaster. I ? No, thanks. Good gracious !
hot meat in the evening! that wouldn't suit my
digestion.

Mrs. Stockmann. Oh ! for once in a way

Burgomaster. No, no. Much obliged to you.
I stick to tea and bread and butter. It's more
wholesome in the long run — and rather more
economical, too.

Mrs. Stockmann {smiling). You mustn't think
Thomas and I are mere spendthrifts, either.

Burgomaster. You're not, sister-in-law ; far be
it from me to say that. {Pointing to the Doctor's
study?) Is he not at home?

Mrs. Stockmann. No, he's gone for a little turn
after supper — with the boys.



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. 107

Burgomaster. I wonder if that's good for him ?
(Listening.) There he is.

Mrs. Stockman n. No, that's not he. (A knock.)
Come in ! (HOVSTAD enters from the anteroom.)
Ah ! it's Mr. Hovstad

HOVSTAD. You must excuse me ; I was detained
at the printer's. Good evening, Burgomaster.

BURGOMASTER {bowing rather stiffly). Mr. Hovstad!
Come on business, I presume ?

Hovstad. Partly. About something for the
paper.

Burgomaster. So I supposed. I hear my
brother's an extremely prolific contributor to the
People's Messenger.

Hovstad. Yes, he's good enough to give the
Messenger the benefit when he wants to relieve hi*3
mind on any special subject.

Mrs. Stockman n {to Hovstad). But won't

you ? {Points to the dining-room?)

Burgomaster. God forbid I should blame him
for writing for the class of readers he finds most
in sympathy with him. And, personally, I've no
reason to bear your paper any ill-will, Mr. Hovstad.

Hovstad. No, I should think not

Burgomaster. On the whole, there's a great deal
of mutual toleration in our town ; — an excellent
public spirit And that's because we have a great
common interest to hold us together — an interest in
which all right-minded citizens are equally concerned.

Hovstad. Yes — the Baths.

Burgomaster. Just so. We have our magni-
ficent new Baths. You'll see ! The whole life of the



108 An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

town will centre around the Baths, Mr. Hovstad,
beyond a doubt !

Mrs. Stockman n. That's just what Thomas says.

Burgomaster. How marvellously the place has
developed, even within the last few years. Money
has come into circulation, and brought life and
movement with it Houses and ground-rents rise in
value every day.

HOVSTAD. And the difficulty of getting work is
decreasing.

Burgomaster. That's true. There's a gratify-
ing diminution in the burden imposed on the well-
to-do classes by the poor-rates ; and they will be still
further lightened if only we have a really good sum-
mer this year — plenty of visitors — lots of invalids,
to give the Baths a reputation.

Hovstad. I hear there's every prospect of that

Burgomaster. Things look most promising.
Inquiries about apartments and so forth are flowing
in every day.

Hovstad. Then the Doctor's paper will come in
very opportunely.

Burgomaster. Has he been writing again ?

Hovstad. It's a thing he wrote in the winter ;
eulogising the Baths, and enlarging on the excellent
sanitary conditions of the town. But at the time I
held it over.

Burgomaster. Ha! I suppose there was some
little hitch.

Hovstad. Not at all. But I thought it better to
keep it till the spring, when people are beginning to
look about them, and think of their summer quarters.



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. 109

Burgomaster. You're right, quite right, Mr.
Hovstad.

Mrs. STOCKMANN. Yes, Thomas is really inde-
fatigable where the Baths are concerned.

Burgomaster. Well, you know, he's one of the
staff.

HOVSTAD. And of course he was really their
creator.

Burgomaster. Was he ? I hear now and then
that certain persons are of that opinion. But I
should have thought that I too had a modest share
in that undertaking.

Mrs. STOCKMANN. Yes, that's what Thomas is
always saying.

Hovstad. 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 original idea was the doctor's.

Burgomaster. Yes, my brother has certainly
had ideas enough in his time — worse luck ! But
when it comes to realising them, Mr. Hovstad, we
want men of another stamp. I should have expected
that in this house at least

Mrs. STOCKMANN. Why, my dear brother-in-
law

Hovstad. Burgomaster, how can you ?

Mrs. Stockmann. Do go in and take some-
thing, Mr. Hovstad ; my husband is sure to be in
directly.

Hovstad. Thanks ; just a mouthful, perhaps.
(He goes into the dining-room?)

Burgomaster (speaking in a low voice). It's



no An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

extraordinary how people who spring directly from
the peasant-class never can get rid of a want of
tact

Mrs. Stockmann. But why should you care?
Can't you and Thomas share the honour, like
brothers ?

Burgomaster. Yes, one would suppose so ; but
it seems a share of the honour isn't enough for some
persons.

Mrs. Stockmann. What nonsense! You and
Thomas always get on so well together. {Listening.)
There, I think I hear him.

{Goes and opens the door of the anteroom?)

Dr. Stockmann {laughing and talking loudly
without). Here's another visitor for you, Katrine.
Isn't it jolly, eh? Come in, Captain Horster. Hang
your coat on that peg. What ! you don't wear an
overcoat ? Fancy, Katrine, I caught him in the
street, and I could hardly get him to come along.
(Captain Horster enters and bows to Mrs. Stock-
mann. The DOCTOR is by the door?) In with you,
boys. They're famished again ! Come on, Captain ;

you must have some of our roast beef

{He forces Horster into the dining-room. ElLlF
and MORTEN join them?)

Mrs. Stockmann. But, Thomas, don't you see

Dr. STOCKMANN {turning round in the doorway).
Oh! is that you, Peter? {Goes up to him and Jwlds
out his hand.) Now this is really jolly.

Burgomaster. Unfortunately, I must be off
directly

Dr. Stockmann. Nonsense! We'll have some



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. hi

toddy in a minute. You're not forgetting the toddy,
Katrine ?

Mrs. Stockmann. Of course not ; the water's
boiling.

{She goes into the dining-room.)

Burgomaster. Toddy too !

Dr. Stockmann. Yes ; sit down, and let's enjoy
ourselves.

BURGOMASTER. Thanks ; I never join in drinking-
parties.

Dr. Stockmann. But this isn't a party.

Burgomaster It seems to me {Looks towards

the dining-room.) It's wonderful how they can get
through all that food.

Dr. Stockmann {rubbing his Jiandsy Yes,
doesn't it do one good to see young people eat?
Always hungry ! That's as it should be ! They
must eat They need strength ! It's they that have
got to keep the ferment of the future astir, Peter.

Burgomaster. May I ask what there is to be
■ kept astir," as you call it ?

Dr. Stockmann. You'll have to ask the young
people that — when the time comes. We shan't see it,
of course. Two old fogies like you and me

Burgomaster Come, come — surely that's a very
extraordinary expression to use

Dr. Stockmann. Oh, you mustn't mind my
nonsense, Peter. I'm in glorious spirits, you see.
I feel so unspeakably happy in the midst of all this
growing, germinating life. After all, what a glorious
time we live in ! It seems as though a whole new
world were springing up around us.



ii2 An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

Burgomaster. Do you really think so?

Dr. Stockman n. Of course you can't see it as
clearly as I do. You've passed your life in the midst
of it all; and that deadens the impression. But I,
who had to vegetate all those years in that little
hole in the north, hardly ever seeing a soul that could
speak a stimulating word to me — all this affects me as
if I had suddenly dropped into the heart of some
great metropolis

Burgomaster. Hm ; metropolis



Dr. Stockman n. Oh! I know well enough that
things are on a small scale here compared with many
other places. But there's vitality and promise — an
infinity of things to work and strive for ; and that's
the main point (Calling?) Katrine, haven't there
been any letters?

Mrs. Stockman n (in the dining-room). No, none
at all.

Dr. STOCKMANN. And then a good income,
Peter ! That's a thing one learns to appreciate when
one has lived on starvation wages

Burgomaster. Good heavens !

Dr. Stockman n. Oh yes ! I can tell you we had
often hard times of it up there. And now we can live
like princes ! To-day, for example, we had roast
beef for dinner, and we've had some of it for supper
too. Won't you have some ! Come along — just
look at it, anyhow.

Burgomaster. No no ; certainly not

Dr. Stockman n. Well then, look here. Do you
see we've bought a table-cover ?
Burgomaster. Yes, so I observed.



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. 113

Dr. Stockman n. And a lamp-shade too. Do
you see? Katrine has been saving up for them.
They make the room look comfortable, don't they ?
Come over here. No no no, not there ! So — yes —
do you see what a rich light it throws down ? — I
really think it looks very nice. Eh ?

Burgomaster. Yes, when one can afford such
luxuries

Dr. Stockman n. Oh yes, I can afford it now.
Katrine says I make almost as much as we spend.

Burgomaster. Yes — almost !

Dr. Stockman n. Besides, a man of science must
live in some style. Why, I believe a mere sheriff 1
spends much more a year than I do.

Burgomaster. Yes, I daresay ! A member of
the superior magistracy !

Dr. Stockman n. Well then, even a common
merchant ! A man of that sort will get through
many times as much

Burgomaster. That's natural, in your relative
positions — —

Dr. Stockman n. And, after all, 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. After being so long isolated, I find it
a necessity of life to have bright, cheerful, freedom-
loving, hard-working young men around me — and
that's what they are, all of them, sitting there eating
so heartily. I wish you knew more of Hovstad

Burgomaster. Ah, Hovstad! He was telling

1 Amtmandi the chief official of an Amt or county ; consequently a
high dignitary in the bureaucratic hierarchy.

VOL. II. 8



ii4 An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

me that he's going to publish another article of
yours.

Dr. Stockmann. An article of mine?

Burgomaster. Yes, about the Baths. An article
you wrote last winter

Dr. Stockmann. Oh, that one! But I don't
want that to appear just now.

Burgomaster. Why not? It seems to me this
is the very time for it.

Dr. STOCKMANN. Very likely — under ordinary
circumstances {Crosses the room.)

BURGOMASTER {looking after hini). And what's
unusual in the circumstances now ?

Dr. Stockmann {standing still). Peter, I really
can't tell you yet — not this evening, at all events.
There may prove to be a great deal that's unusual in
the circumstances. On the other hand, there may be
nothing at all. Very likely it's only my fancy.

Burgomaster. Upon my word, you're very
enigmatical. Is there anything in the wind ? Any-
thing I'm to be kept in the dark about ? I should
think, as Chairman of the Bath Committee

Dr. Stockmann. And I should think that I

There ! don't let's get our backs up, Peter.

Burgomaster. God forbid! I'm not in the
habit of "getting my back up," as you express it.
But I must absolutely insist that everything shall be
carried on in a business-like manner, and through the
proper authorities. I can't be a party to crooked or
underhand ways.

Dr. Stockmann. Have / ever been given to
crooked or underhand ways ?



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. 115

BURGOMASTER. Anyhow, you have an ingrained
propensity to going your own way. And that, in a
well-ordered community, is almost as inadmissible.
The individual must submit to society, or, more pre-
cisely, to the authorities whose business it is to watch
over the welfare of society.

Dr. Stockman n. Maybe. But what the devil
has that to do with me ?

Burgomaster. Why that's the very thing, my
dear Thomas, that it seems you won't learn. But
take care ; you'll have to pay for it sooner or later.
Now I've warned you. Good-bye.

Dr. Stockman n. Are you quite mad? You're
on a totally wrong track

Burgomaster. I'm not usually on the wrong

track. Besides, I must beg you not to {Bowing

towards dining-room.) Good-bye, sister-in-law; good-
bye, gentlemen.
{He goes.)

MRS. STOCKMANN {entering the sitting-room). Is
he gone?

Dr. STOCKMANN. Yes, and in a fine temper,
too.

Mrs. Stockmann. Why, my dear Thomas, what
have you been saying to him now?

Dr. Stockmann. Nothing at all. He can't
expect me to account to him for everything — before
the time comes.

Mrs. Stockmann. What are you to account to
him for?

Dr. Stockmann. Hm ! Never mind about that,
Katrine. It's very odd that there are no letters.



i t6 An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

(Hovstad, Billing, and Horster have risen
from table and come forward into the
sitting-room. ElLIF and MORTEN presently

follow.)

BILLING {stretching himselj r ). Ah! Strike me dead
if one doesn't feel a new man after such a meal.

Hovstad. The Burgomaster didn't seem in the
best of tempers this evening.

Dr. Stockman n. That's his stomach. He has a
very poor digestion.

Hovstad. It's the staff of the Messenger he finds
it hardest to stomach.

Mrs. Stockman n. I thought you got on with
him well enough.

Hovstad. Oh, yes! But it's only a sort of
armistice between us.

Billing. That's it That word sums up the
situation.

Dr. Stockmann. We must remember that Peter's
a bachelor, poor devil ! He has no home to be
happy in ; only business, business. And then all that
cursed weak tea he goes and pours down his throat !
Now then, put chairs round the table, boys ! Katrine,
shan't we have the toddy now ?

Mrs. Stockmann {going towards the dining-room).
I'm just getting it

Dr. Stockmann. And you, Captain Horster, sit

down by me on the sofa. So rare a guest as you

Be seated, gentlemen.

{The men sit round the table ; Mrs. STOCKMANN
brings in a tray with kettle^ glasses } decanters^
etc.)



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. 117

Mrs. Stockmann. There you are ! Here's
arrak, and this is rum, and this cognac. Now, help
yourselves.

Dr. Stockmann {taking a glass). So we will !
( While the toddy is being mixed.) And now out with
the cigars. Eilif, I'm sure you know where the box
is. And you, Morten, may fetch my pipe. {The boys
go into the room> right) I have a suspicion that Eilif
cribs a cigar now and then, but I pretend not to notice
it. {Calls.) And my smoking-cap, Morten. Katrine,
can't you tell him where I left it ? Ah ! he's got it.
{The boys bring in the things) 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. ( They clink glasses.) Your health !
Ah, I can tell you it's better fun to sit cosily here,
safe from wind and weather.

Mrs. Stockmann {who sits knitting). Do you
sail soon, Captain Horster ?

HORSTER. I hope to be ready for a start by next
week.

Mrs. Stockmann. And you're going to America ?

Horster. Yes, that's the intention.

BILLING. But then you'll miss the election of the
new Town Council.

Horster. Is there to be an election again ?

Billing. Didn't you know ?

Horster. No, I don't bother about these things.

Billing. But I suppose you take an interest in
public affairs ?

Horster. No, I don't understand anything about
them.



n8 An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

BILLING. Still one ought to make use of one's
vote,

Horster. Even those who don't understand any-
thing about it ?

Billing. Understand ? Now, what do you mean
by that ? Society's like a ship : every man must put
his hand to the helm.

HORSTER. That may be all right on shore ; but at
sea it wouldn't do at all.

Hovstad. It's remarkable how little sailors care
about public affairs, as a rule.

BILLING. Most extraordinary.

Dr. STOCKMANN. Sailors are like birds of
passage : they're 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 ?

Hovstad. Nothing of local interest. But the
day after to-morrow I'm thinking of printing your
article

Dr. Stockman n. Oh confound it, I say! You'll
have to hold that over.

Hovstad. Really? We happen to have plenty
of space, and I should say this was the very time for
it

Dr. Stockman n. 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

(PETRA, wearing a hat and cloak, and with a
number of exercise books under her arm, comes
in from the anteroom?)

Petra. Good evening 1



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. 119

Dr. Stockmann. Good evening, Petra! Is that
you ?

{General greetings. Petra puts her cloak \ hat>
and books on a chair by the door.)

Petra. Here you all are, enjoying yourselves,
while I've been out slaving !

Dr. Stockmann. Well then, you come and
enjoy yourself too.

Billing. May I mix you a little ?

Petra {coming towards the table). Thanks, I'll
help myself — you always make it too strong. But,
by the way, father, I've a letter for you.

{Goes to the chair where her things are lying.)

Dr. Stockmann. A letter! From whom?

Petra {searching in the pocket of her cloak). I
got it from the postman just as I was going out

Dr. STOCKMANN {rising and going towards her).
And you only bring it me now ?

Petra. I really hadn't time to run up again.
Here it is.

Dr. Stockmann {seizing the letter). Let me see,
let me see, child. {Reads the address?) Yes ; that's
it

Mrs. Stockmann. Is it the one you've been
expecting so, Thomas ?

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, it is. I must go at

once Where shall I find a light, Katrine ? Is

there no lamp in my study again ?

Mrs. Stockmann. Yes — the lamp's lit It's on
the writing-table.

Dr. Stockmann. Good. Excuse me one mo-
ment



i2o An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

(He goes into tJu room on the right.)

Petra. What can it be, mother ?

Mrs. Stockman n. I don't know. For the last
few days he's been continually on the look-out for
the postman.

Billing. Probably a country patient

Petra. Poor father ! He'll soon have far too
much to do. {Mixes tier toddy.) Ah ! this'll be good.

Hovstad. Have you been teaching in the night
school as well to-day?

PETRA (sipping her glass). Two hours.

Billing. And four hours in the morning at the
institute

Petra (sitting down by the table). Five hours.

Mrs. Stockmann. And I see you've some
exercises to correct this evening.

Petra. Yes, a heap of them.

Horster. It seems to me you've plenty to do,
too.

Petra. Yes ; but I like it One feels so delight-
fully tired after it.

Billing. Do you like that ?

Petra. Yes, for then one sleeps so well.

MORTEN. I say, Petra, you must be a great sinner.

Petra. A sinner !

MORTEN. Yes, if you work so hard. Mr. Rorlund 1
says work is a punishment for our sins.

ElLIF (contemptuously). Bosh ! What a silly you
are to believe such stuff as that !

Mrs. Stockmann. Come come, Eilif.

BILLING (laughing). Capital, capital !

1 Sec The Pillari of Society.



Act I.] An Enemy of the People. 121

Hovstad. Wouldn't you like to work so hard,
Morten ?

Morten. No, I shouldn't

Hovstad. What do you intend to be, then ?

MORTEN. I should like to be a Viking.

ElLIF. But then you'd have to be a heathen.

Morten. Well, so I would.

Billing. There I agree with you, Morten. I say
just the same.

MRS. STOCKMANN {making a sign to hint). No,
no, Mr. Billing, you don't

Billing. Strike me dead but I do, though. I am
a heathen, and I'm proud of it You'll see we shall
all be heathens soon.

Morten. And shall we be able to do anything
we like then ?

BILLING. Well, you see, Morten

Mrs. Stockman n. Now run away, boys ;
I'm sure you've some lessons to prepare for to-
morrow.

ElLIF. You might let me stay just a little
longer

Mrs. Stockmann. No, you must go too. Be off,
both of you.

( The boys say good-night and go into the room on
the left?)

HOVSTAD. Do you really think it can hurt the
boys to hear these things ?

Mrs. Stockmann. Well, I don't know ; but I
don't like it.

Petra. Well mother, I think you're quite wrong
there.



122 An Enemy of the People. [Act I.

Mrs. Stockmann. Maybe! But I don't like it—
here, at home.

Petra. There's no end of hypocrisy both at home
and at school. At home you must hold your tongue,
and at school you have to stand up and lie to the
children.

HORSTER. To lie ?

PETRA. Yes; do you think we don't have to teach
many and many a thing we don't believe ourselves ?

Billing. Yes, we know that well enough.

Petra. If only I could afford it, I'd start a school
myself, and things should be very different there.

Billing. Oh, afford it !

HORSTER. If you're really thinking of doing that,
Miss Stockmann, I shall be delighted to let you have


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