Aslaksen. We cannot allow such a grave accusation to be flung at
a citizen community.
A Citizen. I move that the Chairman direct the speaker to sit
Voices (angrily). Hear, hear! Quite right! Make him sit down!
Dr. Stockmann (losing his self-control). Then I will go and shout
the truth at every street corner! I will write it in other towns'
newspapers! The whole country shall know what is going on here!
Hovstad. It almost seems as if Dr. Stockmann's intention were to
ruin the town.
Dr. Stockmann. Yes, my native town is so dear to me that I would
rather ruin it than see it flourishing upon a lie.
Aslaksen. This is really serious. (Uproar and cat-calls MRS.
STOCKMANN coughs, but to no purpose; her husband does not listen
to her any longer.)
Hovstad (shouting above the din). A man must be a public enemy to
wish to ruin a whole community!
Dr. Stockmann (with growing fervor). What does the destruction
of a community matter, if it lives on lies? It ought to be razed
to the ground. I tell you-- All who live by lies ought to be
exterminated like vermin! You will end by infecting the whole
country; you will bring about such a state of things that the
wholecountry will deserve to be ruined. And if things come to
pass, I shall say from the bottom of my heart: Let the whole
country perish, let all these people be exterminated!
Voices from the crowd. That is talking like an out-and-out enemy
of the people!
Billing. There sounded the voice of the people, by all that's
The whole crowd. (shouting). Yes, yes! He is an enemy of the
people! He hates his country! He hates his own people!
Aslaksen. Both as a citizen and as an individual, I am profoundly
disturbed by what we have had to listen to. Dr. Stockmann has
shown himself in a light I should never have dreamed of. I am
unhappily obliged to subscribe to the opinion which I have just
heard my estimable fellow-citizens utter; and I propose that we
should give expression to that opinion in a resolution. I propose
a resolution as follows: "This meeting declares that it considers
Dr. Thomas Stockmann, Medical Officer of the Baths, to be an
enemy of the people." (A storm of cheers and applause. A number
of men surround the DOCTOR and hiss him. MRS. STOCKMANN and PETRA
have got up from their seats. MORTEN and EJLIF are fighting the
other schoolboys for hissing; some of their elders separate
Dr. Stockmann (to the men who are hissing him). Oh, you fools! I
tell you that--
Aslaksen (ringing his bell). We cannot hear you now, Doctor. A
formal vote is about to be taken; but, out of regard for personal
feelings, it shall be by ballot and not verbal. Have you any
clean paper, Mr. Billing?
Billing. I have both blue and white here.
Aslaksen (going to him). That will do nicely; we shall get on
more quickly that way. Cut it up into small strips--yes, that's
it. (To the meeting.) Blue means no; white means yes. I will come
round myself and collect votes. (PETER STOCKMANN leaves the hall.
ASLAKSEN and one or two others go round the room with the slips
of paper in their hats.)
1st Citizen (to HOVSTAD). I say, what has come to the Doctor?
What are we to think of it?
Hovstad. Oh, you know how headstrong he is.
2nd Citizen (to BILLING). Billing, you go to their house--have
you ever noticed if the fellow drinks?
Billing. Well I'm hanged if I know what to say. There are always
spirits on the table when you go.
3rd Citizen. I rather think he goes quite off his head sometimes.
1st Citizen. I wonder if there is any madness in his family?
Billing. I shouldn't wonder if there were.
4th Citizen. No, it is nothing more than sheer malice; he wants
to get even with somebody for something or other.
Billing. Well certainly he suggested a rise in his salary on one
occasion lately, and did not get it.
The Citizens (together). Ah!--then it is easy to understand how
The Drunken Man (who has got among the audience again). I want
a blue one, I do! And I want a white one too!
Voices. It's that drunken chap again! Turn him out!
Morten Kiil. (going up to DR. STOCKMANN). Well, Stockmann, do you
see what these monkey tricks of yours lead to?
Dr. Stockmann. I have done my duty.
Morten Kiil. What was that you said about the tanneries at
Dr. Stockmann. You heard well enough. I said they were the source
of all the filth.
Morten Kiil. My tannery too?
Dr. Stockmann. Unfortunately your tannery is by far the worst.
Morten Kiil. Are you going to put that in the papers?
Dr. Stockmann. I shall conceal nothing.