eBooks Cube
 


Mrs. Stockmann. What a mercy you discovered it in time.

Dr. Stockmann. You may well say so.

Hovstad. And what do you propose to do now, Doctor?

Dr. Stockmann. To see the matter put right, naturally.

Hovstad. Can that be done?

Dr. Stockmann. It must be done. Otherwise the Baths will be
absolutely useless and wasted. But we need not anticipate that; I
have a very clear idea what we shall have to do.

Mrs. Stockmann. But why have you kept this all so secret, dear?

Dr. Stockmann. Do you suppose I was going to run about the town
gossiping about it, before I had absolute proof? No, thank you. I
am not such a fool.

Petra. Still, you might have told us--

Dr. Stockmann. Not a living soul. But tomorrow you may run around
to the old Badger--

Mrs. Stockmann. Oh, Thomas! Thomas!

Dr. Stockmann. Well, to your grandfather, then. The old boy will
have something to be astonished at! I know he thinks I am
cracked--and there are lots of other people who think so too, I
have
noticed. But now these good folks shall see--they shall just see!
(Walks about, rubbing his hands.) There will be a nice upset
in the town, Katherine; you can't imagine what it will be. All
the conduit-pipes will have to be relaid.

Hovstad (getting up). All the conduit-pipes--?

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, of course. The intake is too low down; it
will have to be lifted to a position much higher up.

Petra. Then you were right after all.

Dr. Stockmann. Ah, you remember, Petra--I wrote opposing the
plans before the work was begun. But at that time no one would
listen to me. Well, I am going to let them have it now. Of
course I have prepared a report for the Baths Committee; I have
had it ready for a week, and was only waiting for this to come.
(Shows the letter.) Now it shall go off at once. (Goes into his
room and comes back with some papers.) Look at that! Four closely
written sheets!-- and the letter shall go with them. Give me a
bit
of paper, Katherine--something to wrap them up in. That will do!
Now give it to-to-(stamps his foot)--what the deuce is her name?-
-give it to the maid, and tell her to take it at once to the
Mayor.

(Mrs. Stockmann takes the packet and goes out through the dining-
room.)

Petra. What do you think Uncle Peter will say, father?

Dr. Stockmann. What is there for him to say? I should think he
would be very glad that such an important truth has been brought
to light.

Hovstad. Will you let me print a short note about your discovery
in the "Messenger?

Dr. Stockmann. I shall be very much obliged if you will.

Hovstad. It is very desirable that the public should be informed
of it without delay.

Dr. Stockmann. Certainly.

Mrs. Stockmann (coming back). She has just gone with it.

Billing. Upon my soul, Doctor, you are going to be the foremost
man in the town!

Dr. Stockmann (walking about happily). Nonsense! As a matter of
fact I have done nothing more than my duty. I have only made a
lucky find--that's all. Still, all the same...

Billing. Hovstad, don't you think the town ought to give Dr.
Stockmann some sort of testimonial?

Hovstad. I will suggest it, anyway.

Billing. And I will speak to Aslaksen about it.

Dr. Stockmann. No, my good friends, don't let us have any of that
nonsense. I won't hear anything of the kind. And if the Baths
Committee should think of voting me an increase of salary, I will
not accept it. Do you hear, Katherine?--I won't accept it.

Mrs. Stockmann. You are quite right, Thomas.

Petra (lifting her glass). Your health, father!

Hovstad and Billing. Your health, Doctor! Good health!

Horster (touches glasses with DR. STOCKMANN). I hope it will
bring you nothing but good luck.

Dr. Stockmann. Thank you, thank you, my dear fellows! I feel
tremendously happy! It is a splendid thing for a man to be able
to feel that he has done a service to his native town and to his
fellow-citizens. Hurrah, Katherine! (He puts his arms round her
and whirls her round and round, while she protests with laughing
cries. They all laugh, clap their hands, and cheer the DOCTOR.
The boys put their heads in at the door to see what is going on.)





An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
Category:
Play
Nabou.com: the big site