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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

RIVERSIDE



THE WORKS OF
HENRIK IBSEN



V\



THE VIKING EDITION

VOLUME

VIII




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.tyf^.<^ya^ (fl^^^^yi^ J^^ /U€d^£Oci^



n^A



HENRIK IBSEN



AN ENEMY OF THE
PEOPLE

THE WILD DUCK

WITH INTRODUCTIONS BY

WILLIAM ARCHER




NEW YORK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

1911



Copyright, 1911, by Charles Scribner^s Sons




CONTENTS



PAGE



INTRODUCTION TO " AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE' . 3

"an enemy of the people" 13

Translated by Mrs. Eleanor Maex-Aveling

introduction to "the wild duck" .... 221

"the wild duck" 233

Translated by Mrs. Frances E. Archer



ILLUSTRATIONS

FRU HENNINGS AS HEDVIG IN "tHE WILD DUCK"

Frontispiece

FACING PAGE

BEERBOHM TREE AS DR. STOCKMANN IN " AN

ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE" 150

BUST OF HENRIK IBSEN ABOUT 1865 314



AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE



AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
INTRODUCTION*

From Pillars of Society to John Gabriel Borkman, all
Ibsen's plays, with one exception, succeeded each other
at intervals of two years. The single exception was An
Enemy of the People. The storm of obloquy which
greeted Ghosts stirred him to unwonted rapidity of pro-
duction. Ghosts had appeared in December, 1881; al-
ready, in the spring of 1882, Ibsen, then living in Rome,
was at work upon its successor; and he jBnished it at Gos-
sensass, in the Tyrol, in the early autumn. It appeared in
Copenhagen at the end of November. Perhaps the rapidity
of its composition may account for the fact that we find
no sketch or draft of it in the poet's Literary Remains.

John Paulsen^ relates an anecdote of Ibsen's extreme
secretiveness during the process of composition, which
may find a place here: "One summer he was travelling
by rail with his wife and son. He was engaged upon a
new play at the time; but neither Fru Ibsen nor Sigurd
had any idea as to what it was about. Of course they
were both very curious. It happened that, at a station,
Ibsen left the carriage for a few moments. As he did so
he dropped a scrap of paper. His wife picked it up, and
read on it only the words, 'The doctor says. . . .' Noth-

* Copyright, 1907, by Charles Scribner's Sons.
* Samliv med Ibsen, p. 173.
3



4 AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

ing more. Fru Ibsen showed it laughingly to Sigurd, and
said, ' Now we will tease your father a little when he comes
back. He will be horrified to find that we know any-
thing of his play.' When Ibsen entered the carriage his
wife looked at him roguishly, and said, 'What doctor is
it that figures in your new piece ? I am sure he must have
many interesting things to say.' But if she could have
foreseen the effect of her innocent jest, Fru Ibsen would
certainly have held her tongue. For Ibsen was speechless
with surprise and rage. When at last he recovered his
speech, it was to utter a torrent of reproaches. What did
this mean ? Was he not safe in his own house ? Was he
surrounded with spies .^ Had his locks been tampered
with, his desk rifled ? And so forth, and so forth. His
wife, who had listened with a quiet smile to the rising
tempest of his wrath, at last handed him the scrap of
paper. 'We know nothing more than what is written
upon this slip which you let fall. Allow me to return it
to you.' There stood Ibsen crestfallen. All his sus-
picions had vanished into thin air. The play on which he
was occupied proved to be ^n. Enemy of the People, and
the doctor was none other than our old friend Stockmann,
the good-hearted and muddleheaded reformer, for whom
Jonas Lie partly served as a model."

The indignation which glows in An Enemy of the Peo-
ple was kindled, in the main, by the attitude adopted
towards Ghosts by the Norwegian Liberal press and the
"compact majority" it represented. But the image on
which the play rings the changes was present to the poet's
mind before Ghosts was written. On December 19, 1879
— a fortnight after the publication of A DolVs House —



INTRODUCTION 5

Ibsen wrote to Professor Dietrichson: "It appears to
me doubtful whether better artistic conditions can be at-
tained in Norway before the intellectual soil has been
thoroughly turned up and cleansed, and all the swamps
drained off." Here we have clearly the germ oi An
Enemy of the People. The image so took hold of Ibsen
that after applying it to social life in this play, he recurred
to it in Ths Wild Duck, in relation to the individual life.

The mood to which we definitely owe An Enemy of
tlie People appears very clearly in a letter to George
Brandes, dated January 3, 1882, in which Ibsen thanks
him for his criticism of Ghosts. "What are we to say,"
he proceeds, "of the attitude taken up by the so-called
Liberal press — by those leaders who speak and write
about freedom of action and thought, and at the same
time make themselves the slaves of the supposed opin-
ions of their subscribers? I am more and more con-
firmed in my belief that there is something demoralising
in engaging in politics and joining parties. I, at any
rate, shall never be able to join a party which has the
majority on its side. Bjornson says, 'The majority is
always right'; and as a practical politician he is bound,
I suppose, to say so. I, on the contrary, of necessity say,
'The minority is always right.' Naturally I am not
thinking of that minority of stagnationists who are left
behind by the great middle party, which with us is called
Liberal; I mean that minority which leads the van, and
pushes on to points which the majority has not yet
reached. I hold that that man is in the right who is most
closely in league with the future."

The same letter closes with a passage which fore-



6 AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

shadows not only An Enemy of the People, but Rosmers-
holm: "When I think how slow and heavy and dull the
general intelligence is at home, when I notice the low
standard by which everything is judged, a deep despon-
dency comes over me, and it often seems to me that I
might just as well end my literary activity at once. They
really do not need poetry at home; they get along so well
with the Parliamentary Neivs and the Lutheran Weekly.
And then they have their party papers. I have not the
gifts that go to make a good citizen, nor yet the gift of
orthodoxy; and what I possess no gift for I keep out of.
Liberty is the first and highest condition for me. At
home they do not trouble much about liberty, but only
about liberties, a few more or a few less, according to the
standpoint of their party. I feel, too, most painfully
affected by the crudity, the plebeian element, in all our
public discussion. The very praiseworthy attempt to
make of our people a democratic community has inad-
vertently gone a good way towards making us a plebeian
community. Distinction of soul seems to be on the
decline at home."

So early as March 16, 1882, Ibsen announces to his
publisher that he is "fully occupied with preparations
for a new play." "This time," he says, "it will be a
peaceable production which can be read by Ministers of
State and wholesale merchants and their ladies, and from
which the theatres will not be obliged to recoil. Its exe-
cution will come very easy to me, and I shall do my best
to have it ready pretty early in the autumn." In this he
was successful. From Gossensass on September 9, he
wrote to Hegel : " I have the pleasure of sending you here-



INTRODUCTION 7

with the remainder of the manuscript of my new play.
I have enjoyed writing this piece, and I feel quite lost and
lonely now that it is out of hand. Dr. Stockmann and I
got on excellently together; we agree on so many sub-
jects. But the Doctor is a more muddleheaded person
than I am, and he has, moreover, several other charac-
teristics because of which people will stand hearing a good
many things from him which they might perhaps not have
taken in such very good part had they been said by me."
A letter to Brandes, written six months after the ap-
pearance of the play (June 12, 1883), answers some ob-
jection which the critic seems to have made — of what na-
ture we can only guess: "As to An Enemy of the People,
if we had a chance to discuss it I think we should come
to a tolerable agreement. You are, of course, right in
urging that we must all work for the spread of our opin-
ions. But I maintain that a fighter at the intellectual
outposts can never gather a majority around him. In
ten years, perhaps, the majority may occupy the stand-
point which Dr. Stockmann held at the public meeting.
But during these ten years the Doctor will not have been
standing still; he will still be at least ten years ahead of
the majority. The majority, the mass, the multitude, can
never overtake him; he can never have the majority with
him. As for myself, at all events, I am conscious of this
incessant progression. At the point where I stood when
I wrote each of my books, there now stands a fairly com-
pact multitude; but I myself am there no longer; I am
elsewhere, and, I hope, further ahead." This is a fine
saying, and as just as it is fine, with respect to the series
of social plays, down to, and including, Rosmcrsholm.



8 AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

To the psychological series, which begins with The Lady
from the Sea, this law of progression scarcely applies.
The standpoint in each is different; but the movement
is not so much one of intellectual advance as of deepening
spiritual insight.

As Ibsen predicted, the Scandinavian theatres seized
with avidity upon An Enemy of the People. Between Jan-
uary and March, 1883, it was produced in Christiania,
Bergen, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. It has always been
very popular on the stage, and was the play chosen to
, represent Ibsen in the series of festival performances
which inaugurated the National Theatre at Christiania.
The first evening, September 1, 1899, was devoted to
Holberg, the great founder of Norwegian-Danish drama;
An Enemy of the People followed on September 2; and
on September 3 Bjornson held the stage, with Sigurd Jor-
salfar. Oddly enough, Ein Volksfeind was four years
old before it found its way to the German stage. It was
first produced in Berlin, March 5, 1887, and has since
then been very popular throughout Germany. It has
even been presented at the Court Theatres of Berlin and
Vienna — a fact which seems remarkable when we note
that in France and Spain it has been pressed into the
service of anarchism as a revolutionary manifesto. When
first produced in Paris in 1895, and again in 1899, it was
made the occasion of anarchist demonstrations. It was
the play chosen for representation in Paris on Ibsen's
seventieth birthday, March 29, 1898. In England it was
first produced by Mr. Beerbohm Tree at the Haymarket
Theatre on the afternoon of June 14, 1893. Mr. (now
Sir Herbert) Tree has repeated his performance of Stock-



INTRODUCTION 9

mann a good many times in London, the provinces, and
America. He revived the play at His Majesty's The-
atre in 1905. Mr. Louis Calvert played Stockmann at
the Gentleman's Concert Hall in Manchester, January
27, 1894. I can find no record of the play in America,
save German performances and those given by Mr. Tree;
but it seems incredible that no American actor should
have been attracted by the part of Stockmann. Een
Vijand des Volks was produced in Holland in 1884, be-
fore it had even been seen in Germany; and in Italy Un
Nemico del Popolo holds a place in the repertory of the
distinguished actor Ermete Novelli.

Of all Ibsen's plays. An Enemy of the People is the least
poetical, the least imaginative, the one which makes least
appeal to our sensibilities. Even in The League of Youth
there is a touch of poetic fancy in the character of Selma;
while Pillars of Society is sentimentally conceived through-
out, and possesses in Martha a figure of great, though
somewhat conventional, pathos. In this play, on the
other hand, there is no appeal either to the imagination
or to the tender emotions. It is a straightforward satiric
comedy, dealing exclusively with the everyday prose of
life. We have only to compare it with its immediate
predecessor. Ghosts, and its immediate successor. The
Wild Duck, to feel how absolutely different is the imagin-
ative effort involved in it. Realising this, we no longer
wonder that the poet should have thrown it off in half the
time he usually required to mature and execute one of
his creations.

Yet An Enemy of the People takes a high place in the
second rank of the Ibsen works, in virtue of its buoyant



10 AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

vitality, its great technical excellence, and the geniality
of its humour. It seems odd, at first sight, that a dis-
tinctly polemical play, which took its rise in a mood of ex-
asperation, should be perhaps the most amiable of all the
poet's productions. But the reason is fairly obvious.
Ibsen's nature was far too complex, and far too specifi-
cally dramatic, to permit of his giving anything like direct
expression to a personal mood. The very fact that Dr.
Stockmann was to utter much of his own indignation and
many of his own ideas forced him to make the worthy
Doctor in temperament and manner as unlike himself as
possible. Now boisterous geniality, loquacity, irrepres-
sible rashness of utterance, and a total absence of self-
criticism and self-irony were the very contradiction of
the poet's own characteristics — at any rate, after he had
entered upon middle life. He doubtless looked round
for models who should be his own antipodes in these re-
spects. John Paulsen, as we have seen, thinks that he
took many traits from Jonas Lie; others say^ that one of
his chief models was an old friend named Harald Thau-
low, the father of the great painter. Be this as it may,
the very effort to disguise himself naturally led him to at-
tribute to his protagonist and mouthpiece a great super-
ficial amiability. I am far from implying that Ibsen's
own character was essentially unamiable; it would ill
become one whom he always treated with the utmost
kindness to say or think anything of the kind. But his
amiability was not superficial, effusive, exuberant; it
seldom reached that boiling-point which we call geniality;

* See article by Juliu? Elias in Die neue Rundschau, December,
1906, p. 1461.



INTRODUCTION 11

and for that very reason Thomas Stockmann became the
most genial of his characters. He may be called Ibsen's
Colonel Newcome. We have seen from the letter to
Hegel (p. 7) that the poet regarded him with much the
same ironic affection which Thackeray must have felt for
that other Thomas who, amid many differences, had the
same simple-minded, large-hearted, child-like nature.

In technical quality, An Enemy of tlie People is wholly
admirable. We have only to compare it with Pillars of
Society, the last play in which Ibsen had painted a broad
satiric picture of the life of a Norwegian town, to feel how
great an advance he had made in the intervening five
years. In naturalness of exposition, suppleness of de-
velopment, and what may be called general untheatri-
cality of treatment, the later play has every possible ad-
vantage over the earlier. In one point only can it be said
that Ibsen has allowed a touch of artificiality to creep in.
In order to render the peripetia of the third act more
striking, he has made Hovstad, Billing, and Aslaksen, in
the earlier scenes, unnaturally inapprehensive of the sacri-
fices implied in Stockmann's scheme of reform. It is
scarcely credible that they should be so free and emphatic
in their offers of support to the Doctor's agitation, before
they have made the smallest inquiry as to what it is likely
to cost the town. They think, it may be said, that the
shareholders of the Baths will have to bear the whole ex-
pense; but surely some misgivings could not but cross
their minds as to whether the shareholders would be
prepared to do so.



AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

(1882)



CHARACTERS

Doctor Thomas Stockmann, medical officer of the Baths.
Mrs. Stockmann, his ivife.
Petra, their daughter, a teacher.

^ > their sons, thirteen and ten years old respectively.

Peter Stockmann, the doctor's elder brother. Burgomaster^ and

chief of police, chairman of the Baths Covimittee, etc.
Morten Kiil,^ master tanner, Mrs. Stockmann s adoptive-father.
HovsTAD, editor of the "People's Messenger."
Billing, on the staff of the paper.
HoRSTER, a ship's captain.
AsLAKSEN, a printer.

Participants in a meeting of citizens: all sorts and conditions of
men, some women, and a band of schoolboys.



The action passes in a town on the South Coast of Norway.

^ " Burgomaster " is the most convenient substitute for " By-
fogd," but " Town Clerk " would perhaps be more nearly equivalent.
It is impossible to find exact counterparts in English for the differ-
ent grades of the Norwegian bureaucracy.

^ Pronounce: Keel.



AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

PLAY IN FIVE ACTS



ACT FIRST



Evening. Dr. Stockmann's sitting-room; simply but
neatly decorated and furnished. In the wall to the
right are two doors, the further one leading to the hall,
the nearer one to the Doctor's study. In the opposite
wall, facing the hall door, a door leading to the other
rooms of the house. Against the middle of this wall
stands the stove; further forward a sofa with a mirror
above it, arid 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 supper-table, with a napkin under
his chin. Mrs. Stockmann is standing by the table
and placing before him a dish with a large joint of
roast beef The other seats round the table are empty;
the table is in disorder, as after a meal.

Mrs. Stockmann.

If you come an hour late, Mr. Billing, you must put up
with a cold supper.

Billing.

\Eating.'\ It is excellent — really first rate.

15



IG AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE [act i



Mrs. Stockmann

u know how
hours



You know how Stockmann insists on regular meal-



BlLLING.

Oh, I don't mind at all. I almost think I enjoy my
supper more when I can sit down to it like this, alone
and undisturbed.

Mrs. Stockmann.

Oh, well, if you enjoy it [Listening in the direc-
tion of the hall.] I believe this is Mr. Hovstad coming
too.

Billing.

Very likely.

Burgomaster Stockmann enters, wearing an overcoat
and an official gold-laced cap, and carrying a stick.

Burgomaster.
Good evening, sister-in-law.

Mrs. Stockmann.

[Coming forward into the sitting-room.] Oh, good
evening; is it you ? It is good of you to look in.

Burgomaster.

I was just passing, and so [Looks towards the

drawing-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 sit down and have a
little supper?



ACT I] AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 17

Burgomaster.

I? No, thank you. 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 are 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 has gone for a little turn after supper — with the
boys.

Burgomaster.

I wonder if that is a good thing to do ? [Listening.]
There he is, no doubt.

Mrs. Stockmann.
No, that is not he. [A knock.] Come in!
HovsTAD enters from the hall.



18 AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE [act i

Mrs. Stockmann.
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 ? You come on
business, I presume ?

Hovstad.

Partly. About an article for the paper.

Burgomaster.

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

Hovstad.

Yes, when he wants to unburden his mind on one thing
or another, he gives the Messenger the benefit.

Mrs. Stockmann.

[To Hovstad.] But will you not ? [Points to the

dining-room.]

Burgomaster.

Well, well, I am far from blaming him for writing for
the class of readers he finds most in sympathy with him.
And, personally, I have no reason to bear your paper any
ill-will, Mr. Hovstad.



ACT I] AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 19

HOVSTAD.

No, I should think not.

Burgomaster.

One may say, on the whole, that a fine spirit of mu-
tual tolerance prevails in our town — an excellent public
spirit. And that is 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 magnificent new Baths. Mark
my words! The whole life of the town will centre around
the Baths, Mr. Hovstad. There can be no doubt of it!

Mrs. Stockmann.
That is just what Thomas says.

Burgomaster.

How marvellously the place has developed, even in
this couple of years! Money has come into circulation,
and brought life and movement with it. Houses and
ground-rents rise in value every day.

Hovstad.
And there are fewer people out of work.

Burgomaster.

That is true. There is a gratifying diminution in the
burden imposed on the well-to-do classes by the poor-



20 AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE [act i

rates; and they will be still further lightened if only we
have a really good summer this year — a rush of visitors —
plenty of invalids, to give the Baths a reputation.

HOVSTAD.

I hear there is every prospect of that.

Burgomaster.

Things look most promising. Inquiries about apart-
ments and so forth keep on pouring in.

HoVSTAD.

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

Burgomaster.
Has he been writing again ?

Hovstad,

This is a thing he wrote in the winter; enlarging on the
virtues of the Baths, and on the excellent sanitary con-
ditions of the town. But at that time I held it over.

Burgomaster.

Ah — I suppose there was something not quite judi-
cious about it?

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 21

Burgomaster.
You were right, quite right, Mr. Hovstad.

Mrs. Stockmann.

Yes, Thomas is really indefatigable where the Baths
are concerned.

Burgomaster.
It is his duty as one of the staff.

Hovstad.
And of course he was really their creator.

Burgomaster.

Was he? Indeed! I gather 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 is what Thomas is always saying.

Hovstad.

No one dreams of denying it, Burgomaster. You set
the thing going, and put it on a practical basis; every-
body 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 thought that in this house at any rate



22 AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE [act i

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

HOVSTAD.

Burgomaster, how can you ?

Mrs. Stockmann.

Do go in and have some supper, Mr. Hovstad; my
husband is sure to be home directly.

Hovstad.

Thanks; just a mouthful, perhaps.

[He goes into the dining-room.

Burgomaster.

[Speaking in a lo7V voice] It is extraordinary how peo-
ple who spring direct from the peasant class never can
get over their want of tact.

Mrs. Stockmann.

But why should you care.' Surely you and Thomas
can share the honour, like brothers.

Burgomaster.

Yes, one would suppose so; but it seems a share of the
honour is not 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 to the hall.



ACT I] AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 23

Dr. Stockmann.

[Laughing and talking loudly, without.] Here's another
visitor for you, Katrina. Isn't it capital, eh ? Come in.
Captain Horster. Hang your coat on that peg. What!
you don't wear an overcoat ? Fancy, Katrina, I caught
him in the street, and I could hardly get him to come in.

Captain Horster enters and hows to Mrs.
Stockmann.

Dr. Stockmann.

[In the doorway.] In with you, boys. They're fam-


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