Dr. Stockmann. And what is that?
Peter Stockmann. As you have been so indiscreet as to speak of
this delicate matter to outsiders, despite the fact that you
ought to have treated it as entirely official and confidential,
it is obviously impossible to hush it up now. All sorts of
rumours will get about directly, and everybody who has a grudge
against us will take care to embellish these rumours. So it will
be necessary for you to refute them publicly.
Dr. Stockmann. I! How? I don't understand.
Peter Stockmann. What we shall expect is that, after making
further investigations, you will come to the conclusion that the
matter is not by any means as dangerous or as critical as you
imagined in the first instance.
Dr. Stockmann. Oho!--so that is what you expect!
Peter Stockmann. And, what is more, we shall expect you to make
public profession of your confidence in the Committee and in
their readiness to consider fully and conscientiously what steps
may be necessary to remedy any possible defects.
Dr. Stockmann. But you will never be able to do that by patching
and tinkering at it--never! Take my word for it, Peter; I mean
what I say, as deliberately and emphatically as possible.
Peter Stockmann. As an officer under the Committee, you have no
right to any individual opinion.
Dr. Stockmann (amazed). No right?
Peter Stockmann. In your official capacity, no. As a private
person, it is quite another matter. But as a subordinate member
of the staff of the Baths, you have no right to express any
opinion which runs contrary to that of your superiors.
Dr. Stockmann. This is too much! I, a doctor, a man of science,
have no right to--!
Peter Stockmann. The matter in hand is not simply a scientific
one. It is a complicated matter, and has its economic as well as
its technical side.
Dr. Stockmann. I don't care what it is! I intend to be free to
express my opinion on any subject under the sun.
Peter Stockmann. As you please--but not on any subject concerning
the Baths. That we forbid.
Dr, Stockmann (shouting). You forbid--! You! A pack of--
Peter Stockmann. I forbid it--I, your chief; and if I forbid
it, you have to obey.
Dr. Stockmann (controlling himself). Peter--if you were not my
Petra (throwing open the door). Father, you shan't stand this!
Mrs, Stockmann (coming in after her). Petra, Petra!
Peter Stockmann. Oh, so you have been eavesdropping.
Mrs. Stockmann. You were talking so loud, we couldn't help it!
Petra. Yes, I was listening.
Peter Stockmann. Well, after all, I am very glad--
Dr. Stockmann (going up to him). You were saying something about
forbidding and obeying?
Peter Stockmann. You obliged me to take that tone with you.
Dr. Stockmann. And so I am to give myself the lie, publicly?
Peter Stockmann. We consider it absolutely necessary that you
should make some such public statement as I have asked for.
Dr. Stockmann. And if I do not--obey?
Peter Stockmann. Then we shall publish a statement ourselves to
reassure the public.
Dr. Stockmann. Very well; but in that case I shall use my pen
against you. I stick to what I have said; I will show that I am
right and that you are wrong. And what will you do then?
Peter Stockmann. Then I shall not be able to prevent your being
Dr. Stockmann. What--?
Mrs. Stockmann. Dismissed!
Peter Stockmann. Dismissed from the staff of the Baths. I shall
be obliged to propose that you shall immediately be given notice,
and shall not be allowed any further participation in the Baths'
Dr. Stockmann. You would dare to do that!
Peter Stockmann. It is you that are playing the daring game.