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look here — then you may print my paper — put it in
just as it is.

Hovstad. May I ? Is that a promise ?

Dr. STOCKMAN N (Jianding him the manuscript).
There it is ; take it with you. You may as well read
it in any case ; you can return it to me afterwards.

Hovstad. Very good ; I'll do so. And now,
good-bye, Doctor.

Dr. STOCKMANN. Good-bye, good-bye. You'll
see it'll all go smoothly, Mr Hovstad — as smoothly
as possible.



142 An Enemy of the People. [Act II.

Hovstad. Hm ! We shall see.

{Bows and goes out through tlu anteroom?)

Dr. STOCKMAN N {going to the dining-room door
and looking in). Katrine ! Hallo ! you back, Petra ?

Petra {entering). Yes, I've just got back from
school.

Mrs. Stockman n {entering). Hasn't he been here
yet?

Dr. Stockmann. Peter? No; but I've been
having a long talk with Hovstad. He's quite enthu-
siastic about my discovery. You see, it's of much
wider import than I thought at first So he's placed
his paper at my disposal, if I should require it.

Mrs. Stockmann. Do you think you will ?

Dr. Stockmann. Not I ! But all the same, one's
proud to know that the enlightened, independent press
is on one's side. And what do you think ? I've had
a visit from the Chairman of the Householders'
Association too.

Mrs. Stockmann. Really! What did he want?

Dr. Stockmann. To assure me of his support.
They'll stand by me at a pinch. Katrine, do you
know what I have behind me?

Mrs. Stockmann. Behind you ? No. What
have you behind you ?

Dr. Stockmann. The compact majority!

Mrs. Stockmann. Oh! Is that good for you,
Thomas ?

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, indeed ; I should think it
was good ! {Rubbing his hands as lie walks tip and
down.) Great God ! what a delight it is to feel oneself
in such brotherly concord with one's fellow-townsmen.



Act II.] An Enemy of the People. 143

Petra And to do so much that's good and useful,
father !

Dr. Stockmann. And all for one's native town,
too!

Mrs. Stockmann. There's the bell.

Dr. Stockmann. That must be he. {Knock at
the door?) Come in !

{Enter Burgomaster Stockmann from the
anteroom?)

Burgomaster. Good-morning.

Dr. Stockmann. I'm glad to see you, Peter.

Mrs. Stockmann. Good-morning, brother-in-
law. How are you ?

Burgomaster. Oh, thanks, so-so. {To the
Doctor.) Yesterday evening, after office hours, I
received from you a dissertation upon the water at
the Baths.

Dr. Stockmann. Yes. Have you read it ?

Burgomaster. I have.

Dr. Stockmann. And what do you think of the
affair ?

BURGOMASTER. Hm {Glancing at the women.)

Mrs. Stockmann. Come, Petra.

{She and PETRA go into the room, left?)

Burgomaster {after a pause). Was it necessary
to make all these investigations behind my back ?

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, till I was absolutely
certain, I

Burgomaster. So you're certain now?

Dr. Stockmann. You found no uncertainty in
my statement of the case, did you ?

Burgomaster. Is it your intention to submit



144 An Enemy of the People. [Act II.

this statement to the Board of Directors, as a sort of
official document ?

Dr. Stockman n. Of course. Something must
be done in the matter, and that promptly.

Burgomaster. As usual, you use very strong
expressions in your statement. Amongst other
things, you say that what we offer our visitors is a
slow poison !

Dr. STOCKMANN. Why, Peter, can you call it
anything else? Only think — poisoned water both
internally and externally ! And that to poor invalids
who come to us in all confidence, and pay us liberally
to cure them !

Burgomaster. And then you announce as your
conclusion that we must build a sewer to carry off all
the alleged impurities from the Mill Dale, and relay
all the water-pipes.

Dr. Stockman n. Yes. Can you suggest any
alternative ? — I know of none.

Burgomaster. I made an excuse for looking in
at the town engineer's this morning, and — in a half-
jesting way — I mentioned these alterations as things
we might possibly have to consider, at some future
time.

Dr. Stockman n. At some future time !

Burgomaster. Of course he smiled at what he
thought my extravagance. Have you taken the
trouble to think what your proposed alterations
would cost? From what the engineer said, I gathered
that the expenses would probably mount up to
several hundred thousand crowns.

Dr. Stockman n. So much as that ?



Act II.] An Enemy of the People. 145

Burgomaster. Yes. But that's not the worst.
The work would take at least two years.

Dr. Stockman n. Two years ! Do you mean to
say two whole years ?

Burgomaster. At least And what are we to do
with the Baths in the meanwhile ? Are we to close
them ? Of course we'd have to. Do you think any
one would come here, if it got abroad that the water
was pestilential ?

Dr. Stockman n. But, Peter, that's just what
it is.

Burgomaster. And all this now, just now, when
the Baths are doing so well ! Neighbouring towns,
too, are not without their claims to rank as health-
resorts. Do you think they wouldn't at once set to
work to divert the full stream of visitors to them-
selves ? Undoubtedly they would ; 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.

Dr. Stockmann. I — ruined !

Burgomaster. It's only through the Baths that
the town has any future worth speaking of. You
surely know that as well as I do.

Dr. Stockmann. But what do you think should
be done ?

Burgomaster. I have not succeeded in con-
vincing myself that the condition of the water at
the Baths is as serious as your statement represents.

Dr. Stockmann. I tell you it's if anything worse
— or will be in the summer, when the hot weather
sets in.

VOL. II. 10



146 An Enemy of the People. [Act II.

Burgomaster. I repeat that I believe you ex-
aggerate greatly. A competent physician should
know what measures to take in order to obviate
injurious influences, and to counteract them in case
they should make themselves unmistakably felt.

Dr. Stockmann. Indeed ? And then ?

Burgomaster. The existing water-works are,
after all, a fact, and must naturally be treated as
such. But when the time comes, the Directors will
probably not be indisposed to consider whether it
may not be possible, without unreasonable pecuniary
sacrifices, to introduce certain improvements.

Dr. Stockmann. And do you imagine I could
ever be a party to such dishonesty ?

Burgomaster. Dishonesty ?

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, it would be dishonesty —
a fraud, a lie, an absolute crime against the public,
against society as a whole !

Burgomaster. I have not, as I before remarked,
been able to convince myself that there is really any
such imminent danger.

Dr. Stockmann. You have — you must have!
I'm sure my demonstration is absolutely clear and
convincing. And you know that perfectly, Peter,
only you won't admit it It was you who insisted
that both the Bath-buildings and the water-works
should be placed where they now are ; and it's that —
it's that damned blunder that you won't confess.
Pshaw ! Do you think I don't see through you ?

Burgomaster. And even if it were so? If I do
watch over my reputation with a certain anxiety, I do
it for the good of the town. Without moral authority



Act II.] An Enemy of the People. 147

I cannot guide and direct affairs in the way I consider
most conducive to the general welfare. 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 the community. Later on I will bring up
the matter for discussion, and we'll do the best we
can, quietly ; but not a word, not a whisper, of this
unfortunate business must come to the public ears.

Dr. Stockmann. But it can't be prevented now,
my dear Peter.

Burgomaster. It must and shall be prevented.

Dr. Stockmann. It can't be, I tell you; far too
many people know about it already.

Burgomaster. Know about it ! Who ? Surely
not those fellows on the Peoptis Messenger ?

Dr. Stockmann. Oh yes ; they know. The
liberal, independent press will take good care you
zlo your duty.

Burgomaster {after a short pause). You're an
amazingly reckless man, Thomas. Haven't you
reflected what the consequences of this may be to
yourself?

Dr. Stockmann. Consequences? — Consequences
to me?

Burgomaster. Yes — to you and yours.

Dr. Stockmann. What the devil do you mean ?

Burgomaster. I believe I've always shown
myself ready and willing to lend you a helping hand.

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, you have, and I thank
you for it.

Burgomaster. I ask for no thanks. I was in



148 An Enemy of the People. [Act II.

some measure forced to act as I did — 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.

Dr. Stockman n. What ! So it was only for
your own sake S

Burgomaster. In a measure, I say. It is painful
for a man in an official position, when his nearest
relation goes and compromises himself time after
time.

Dr. Stockman n. And you think I do that ?

Burgomaster. Yes, unfortunately, you do, with-
out 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 occasion. You no sooner hit upon an
idea than you must needs write a newspaper article
or a whole pamphlet about it.

Dr. STOCKMANN. Isn't it a citizen's duty, when
he has conceived a new idea, to communicate it to
the public !

Burgomaster. Pshaw ! The public doesn't need
new ideas. The public gets on best with the good
old recognised ideas it has already.

Dr. STOCKMANN. You say that right out !

Burgomaster. Yes, I must speak frankly to you
for once. Hitherto I've tried to avoid it, for I know
how irritable you are ; but now I'm bound to tell you
the truth, Thomas. You've no conception how much
you injure yourself by your rashness. You complain
of the authorities, ay, of the Government itself — you
cry them down and maintain you've been slighted,



Act II.] An Enemy of the People. 149

persecuted. But what else can you expect, with your
impossible disposition.

Dr. Stockmann. Oh, indeed ! So I'm impossible,
am I?

Burgomaster. Yes, Thomas, you're an im-
possible man to work with. I know that from ex-
perience. You have no consideration ; you seem
quite to forget that you have me to thank for your
position as medical officer of the Baths

Dr. Stockmann. It was mine by right ! Mine,
and no one else's ! I was the first to discover the
town's capabilities as a watering-place ; I saw them,
and, at that time, I alone. For years I fought single-
handed for this idea of mine ; I wrote and wrote

Burgomaster. No doubt; but then the right
time hadn't come. Of course in that out-of-the-world
corner you couldn't judge of that As soon as the
propitious moment came, I — and others — took the
matter in hand

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, and you bungled the
whole of my glorious plan. Oh, we see now what a
set of wiseacres you were!

Burgomaster. All / can see is that you're
again seeking an outlet for your pugnacity. You
want to make an onslaught on your superiors
— that's an old habit of yours. You can't endure
any authority over you ; you look askance at any
one who has a higher post than your own ; you
regard him as a personal enemy — and then it's all
one to you what kind of weapon you use against him.
But now I've shown you how much is at stake for the
town, and consequently for me too. And therefore



150 An Enemy of the People [Act II.

I warn you, Thomas, that I'm inexorable in the
demand I am about to make of you !

Dr. Stockmann. What demand ?

Burgomaster. As you haven't had the sense to
refrain from chattering to outsiders about this delicate
business, which should have been kept an official
secret, of course it can't now be hushed up. All sorts
of rumours will get abroad, and evil-disposed persons
will invent all sorts of additions to them. It will
therefore be necessary for you publicly to contradict
these rumours.

Dr. Stockmann. I? How? 1 don't understand
you.

Burgomaster. We expect that after further in-
vestigation you will come to the conclusion that the
affair is not nearly so serious or pressing as you had
at first imagined.

Dr. Stockmann. Aha ! So you expect that?

BURGOMASTER. Furthermore, we expect you to
express your confidence that the Board of Directors
will thoroughly and conscientiously carry out all
measures for the removal of any possible drawback.

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, but you'll never be able to
do that, so long as you go on tinkering and patching.
I tell you that, Peter ; and it's my deepest, sincerest
conviction

Burgomaster. As an official, you have no right
to have any individual conviction.

Dr. Stockmann {starting). No right to any ?

Burgomaster. As an official, I say. In your
private capacity, of course, it's another matter. But
as a subordinate official of the Baths, you've no right



Act II.] An Enemy of the People. 151

to express any conviction at issue with that of your
superiors.

Dr. Stockman n. This is too much ! I, a doctor,
a man of science, have no right to

Burgomaster. The matter in question is not a
purely scientific one ; it's a complex affair ; it has
both a technical and an economic side.

Dr. Stockman n. Pshaw ! What's that to me ?
What the devil do I care ! I will be free to speak my
mind upon any subject on earth !

Burgomaster. As you please — so long as it
doesn't concern the Baths. With them we forbid you
to meddle.

Dr. Stockman n (shouts). You forbid ! you!

— a set of

Burgomaster. / forbid it — /, your chief; and
you must obey my prohibition.

Dr. Stockmann {controlling himself). Upon my
word, Peter, if you weren't my brother

Petra (tears open the door). Father, you shan't
submit to this !

Mrs. Stockmann (following her). Petra, Petra!

Burgomaster. Ah ! so we've been listening !

Mrs. Stockmann. The partition's so thin, we
couldn't help

Petra. I stood and listened on purpose.

Burgomaster. Well, on the whole, I'm not
sorry

Dr. STOCKMANN (coming nearer to him). You
spoke to me of forbidding and obeying

Burgomaster. You forced me to adopt that
tone.



152 An Enemy of the People. [Act II.

Dr. Stockman n. And I am to give myself the
lie, in a public declaration ?

Burgomaster. We consider it absolutely neces-
sary that you should issue a statement in the
terms indicated.

Dr. Stockmann. And if I don't obey ?

Burgomaster. Then we shall ourselves put forth
a statement to reassure the public.

Dr. Stockmann. Well and good ; then I'll write
against you. I shall stick to my point and prove that
/am right, and you wrong. And what will you do
then?

Burgomaster. Then I shall be unable to prevent
your dismissal.

Dr. Stockmann. What !

Petra. Father ! Dismissal I

Mrs. Stockmann. Dismissal!

Burgomaster. Your dismissal from the Baths.
I shall be obliged to move that notice be given you at
once, and that you have henceforth no connection
whatever with the Baths.

Dr. Stockmann. You would dare to do that !

Burgomaster. It is you who are playing the
daring game.

Petra. Uncle, this is scandalous conduct towards
a man like father.

Mrs. Stockmann. Do be quiet, Petra.

Burgomaster {looking at Petra). Aha! We
have opinions of our own already, eh ? Of course !
{To Mrs. Stockmann.) Sister-in-law, you are
apparently the most sensible person in the house.
Use all your influence with your husband ; try to



Act II.] An Enemy of the People. 153

make him realise what all this will involve both for
his family

Dr. STOCKMAN N. My family concerns myself
alone.

Burgomaster. Both for his family, I say,

and for the town he lives in.

Dr. Stockmann. It's I that 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.

Burgomaster. You, who, in your blind obstinacy,
want to cut off the town's chief source of prosperity!

Dr. Stockmann. The source is poisoned, man !
Are you mad ? We live by trafficking in filth and
corruption. The whole of our flourishing social life
is rooted in a lie !

Burgomaster. Idle fancies — or worse. The man
who makes such offensive insinuations against his
native place must be an enemy of society.

Dr. Stockmann {going towards hint). You dare
to

Mrs. Stockmann {throwing herself between them).
Thomas !

PETRA {seizing her father's arm). Keep calm,
father.

Burgomaster. I won't expose myself to violence.
You're warned now. Reflect upon what is due to
yourself and to your family. Good-bye.
{He goes.)

Dr. Stockmann {walking up and down). And I
must put up with such treatment ! In my own house,
Katrine ! What do you say to that ?



154 An Enemy of the People. [Act II

Mrs. Stockmann. Indeed it's a shame and a
disgrace, Thomas

Petra. Oh, I'd like to give it to uncle !

Dr. Stockmann. It's my own fault. I ought to
have bristled up against them long ago — to have
shown my teeth — and made them feel them ! And
he called me an enemy of society. Me ! I won't
bear it ; by Heaven, I won't !

Mrs. STOCKMANN. But, my dear Thomas, after
all, your brother has the power

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, but I have the right !

Mrs. Stockmann. Ah yes, right, right ! What's
the good of having the right when you haven't the
might ?

Petra. Oh mother ! how can you talk so ?

Dr. Stockmann. What! No good, in a free
society, to have right on your side ? I like that,
Katrine ! And besides, haven't I the free and inde-
pendent press with me, and the compact majority at
my back ? That's might enough, I should think !

Mrs. Stockmann. Why, good heavens, Thomas!
you're surely not thinking of ?

Dr. Stockmann. What am I not thinking of?

Mrs. Stockmann. Of setting yourself up against
your brother, I mean.

Dr. Stockmann. What the devil would you have
me do, if not stick to what's right and true ?

PETRA. Yes, that's what I'd like to know?

Mrs. Stockmann. But it'll be of no earthly use.
If they won't they won't.

Dr. Stockmann. Ho-ho, Katrine! just wait a
while and you'll see I can fight my own battles.



Act II.] An Enemy of the People. 155

MRS. STOCKMANN. Yes, you'll fight — till you get
your dismissal ; that's vvhat'll happen.

Dr. STOCKMANN. Well then, I shall at any rate
have done my duty towards the public, towards
society — I who am called an enemy of society !

Mrs. STOCKMANN. But towards your family,
Thomas ? Towards us at home ? Do you think
this is doing your duty towards those who are
dependent on you ?

PETRA. Oh mother, don't always think first of
us.

Mrs. STOCKMANN. Yes, it's all very well for you
to talk ; you can stand alone if need be. — But think
of the boys, Thomas ; and think a little of yourself
too, and of me

Dr. STOCKMANN. You're surely out of your
senses, Katrine. Am I to be such a miserable coward
as to knuckle under to this Peter and his damned
crew ? Should I ever have another happy hour in all
my life ?

Mrs. STOCKMANN. I don't know ; but God pre-
serve us from the happiness we shall all of us have
if you stick to your point There you would be
again, with nothing to live on, with no regular
income. I think we had enough of that in the
old days. Remember them, Thomas ; think of what
it all means.

Dr. STOCKMAN N {struggling with himself and
clenching his hands). And these jacks-in-office can
bring all this upon a free and honest man ! Isn't it
disgusting, Katrine ?

MRS. STOCKMANN. Yes, no doubt they're treating



156 An Enemy of the People. [Act II.

you shamefully. But God knows there's plenty of
injustice one must just submit to in this world. —
Here are the boys, Thomas. Look at them ! What's
to become of them ? Oh no, no ! you can never

have the heart

(ElLlF and MORTEN, with sc/iool- books, havt
meanwhile entered?)

Dr. Stockman n. The boys ! ( With a sudden

access of firmness and decision?) Never, though the
whole earth should crumble, will I bow my neck
beneath the yoke.

{Goes towards his room.)
Mrs. Stockman n {following him). Thomas, what
are you going to do ?

Dr. Stockman n {at the door). I must have the
right to look my boys in the face when they've grown
into free men.

{Goes into his room.)
MRS. STOCKMANN {bursts into tears). Ah! God
help us all !

Petra. Father's all right ! He'll never give in !
{Tlie boys ask wonderingly what it all means;
PETRA signs to them to be quiet?)



Act III.] An Enemy of the People 157



Act Third.

{The Editor's Room; office of the "People's Messenger? In the
background, to the left, a door; to tJie right another door, with
glass panes, through which can be seen the pri?iting-room. A
door in the right-hand wall. In the middle of the room a
large table covered with papers, newspapers^ and books. In
front, on the left, a window, and by it a writing-desk with a
high stool. A couple of ar?n-chairs beside the table; some
other chairs 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 at work; further
within, a hand-press in operation?)

(Hovstad is seated at tlie desk, writing. Presently Billing
enters from the rights with the DOCTOR'S manuscript in his
hand.)

Billing. Well, I must say

Hovstad {writing). Have you read it through ?

Billing {laying MS. on the desk). Yes, I should
think I had.

Hovstad. Don't you think the Doctor comes out
strong ?

Billing. Strong! Why, strike me dead if he
isn't crushing ! Every word falls like a — well, like a
sledge-hammer.

Hovstad. Yes, but these fellows won't collapse
at the first blow.



158 An Enemy of the People. [Act III.

Billing. True enough ; but we'll keep on ham-
mering away, blow after blow, till the whole bureau-
cracy comes crashing down. As I sat in there reading
that article, I seemed to hear the revolution thundering
afar.

HOVSTAD {turning round). Hush ! Don't let
Aslaksen hear that

BILLING {in a lower voice). Aslaksen's a white-
livered, cowardly fellow, without a spark of manhood
in him. But this time surely you'll have your own
way ? You'll print the Doctor's paper ?

HOVSTAD. Yes, if only the Burgomaster doesn't
give in

BILLING. That would be deuced annoying.

Hovstad. Well, whatever happens, fortunately we
can turn the situation to account. If the Burgo-
master 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 have
hitherto been his main support

BILLING. Yes, of course ; for it's certain they'll
have to fork out a lot of money

Hovstad. You may take your oath of that. And
then, don't you see, when the ring is broken up, we'll
din it into the public day by day that the Burgo-
master is incompetent in every respect, and that all
positions of trust in the town, the whole municipal
government in short, must be entrusted to men of
liberal ideas.

BlLLrTfG. Strike me dead if that isn't the square



Act III.] An Enemy of the People. 159

truth. I see it, I see it : we're on the eve of a
revolution !

{A knock at the door.)

HOVSTAD. Hush — {calls). Come in !
(Dr. Stockman n enters from the back, left.)

Hovstad {going towards him). Ah ! here's the
Doctor. Well ?

Dr. Stockmann. Print away, Mr. Hovstad !

Hovstad. So it's come to that ?

Billing. Hurrah !

Dr. Stockmann. Print away, I tell you. To
be sure it's come to that. Since they will have it so,
they must ! War is declared, Mr. Billing !

Billing, War to the knife, say I ! War to the
death, Doctor !

Dr. STOCKMANN. This article is only the be-
ginning. I've got plans for four or five others in my
head already. But where do you keep Aslaksen ?

BILLING {calling into the printing-room). Aslaksen !
just come here a moment.

Hovstad. Did you say four or five more articles ?
On the same subject ?

Dr. Stockmann. Not at all, my dear fellow.
No ; they'll deal with quite different matters. But
they're all of a piece with the water-works and
sewer question. One thing leads to another. It's
like beginning to pick at an old house, don't you
know ?

Billing. Strike me dead, but that's true! You
feel you can't leave off till you've pulled the whole
rubbish to pieces.

Aslaksen {enters from the printing-room). Pulled



160 An Enemy of the People. [Act III.

to pieces ! Surely the Doctor isn't thinking of pulling
the Baths to pieces ?


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