« السابقةمتابعة »
the old bottles of Judaism, compelled by the outcry of the same strong party.
It is true that if philosophers have suffered, their cause has been amply avenged. Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules; and history records that whenever science and orthodoxy have been fairly opposed, the latter has been forced to retire from the lists, bleeding and crushed, if not annihilated : scotched, if not slain. But orthodoxy is the Bourbon of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget; and though, at present, bewildered and afraid to move, it is as willing as ever to insist that the first chapter of Genesis contains the beginning and the end of sound science; and to visit, with such petty thunderbolts as its half-paralyzed hands can hurl, those who refuse to degrade Nature to the level of primitive Judaism.
Philosophers, on the other hand, have no such aggressive tendencies. With eyes fixed on the noble goal to which “ per aspera et ardua” they tend, they may, now and then, be stirred to momentary wrath by the unnecessary obstacles with which the ignorant, or the malicious, encumber, if they cannot bar, the difficult path ; but why should their souls be deeply vexed ? The majesty of Fact is on their side, and the elemental forces of Nature are working for them. Not a star comes to the meridian at its calculated time but testifies to the justice of their methods - their beliefs are one with the falling rain and with the growing corn.” By doubt they are established, and open inquiry is their bosom friend. Such men have no fear of traditions however venerable, and no respect for them when they become mischievous and obstructive; but they have better than mere antiquarian business in hand, and if dogmas, which ought to be fossil but are not, are not forced upon their notice, they are too happy to treat them as non-existent.
HENRIK IBSEN, a Norwegian poet and dramatist, was born at Skien, a small village on Langesund Fjord, Norway, March 20, 1828. While in his twentieth year he wrote several poems which were published in country papers. While preparing for Christiania University he wrote a drama entitled “ Catilina.” The same year he entered Christiania University and began writing for the daily and other periodicals, and he closed the year by obtaining the presentation of a one-act play, “Kjaempehöjen,” at the Christiania Theater. At this period Ibsen was a Radical and a pronounced Socialist. His Christiania career was cut short by the offer of the post of theater director and dramatic author for the theater at Bergen, the second city of Norway. His first drama at Bergen, "Sancthansnat,” was not successful and was not published. The next, “Fru Inger til Östraat,” was well received and is still considered one of his best acting dramas. “ Gildet Paa Solhaug” and “Haermaendene paa Helgeland” were also successful.
When his engagement closed, Ibsen returned to Christiania. He subsequently visited Germany, Austria, Italy, and France, being absent from Norway for ten years. In the first year he wrote “ Brand,” and in the second “ Peer Gynt.”
Five years after his departure from Norway he published a prose drama for actual stage presentation, “De Unges Forbund.” The presentation of this drama at Christiania caused great excitement, and from that moment Ibsen's sway over the Norwegian stage was complete.
His plays have been translated into all the principal languages.
The following is a list of Ibsen's dramas, with the titles in English: “Catiline," “ Lady Inger of Ostraat,” “The Feast at Solhaug,” “The Warriors at Helgeland,” “Claimants of the Throne," “ The Comedy of Love," “ Brand,” “Peer Gynt,” “ The Young Men's League,” “Emperor and Galilean,” “The Pillars of Society," “Nora, or, a Doll House," “Ghosts,” “An Enemy of Society,” “Wild Duck,” “Rosmersholm,” “The Lady from the Sea,” “ Hedda Gabler,” “Builder Solness,” “Little Eyolf,” and « John Gabriel Borkman."
THE DEPARTURE OF NORA.
(From "A Doll's House.") SCENE: Sitting-room in TORVALD HELMER's house (a flat) in
Christiania. Time: The Present Day. NORA HELMER enters, crossing to table in every-day dress.
Helmer. – Why, what's this ? Not gone to bed? You have changed your dress. .
Nora. — Yes, Torvald ; now I have changed my dress.
Nora [looking at her watch]. — It's not so late yet. Sit down, Torvald : you and I have much to say to each other. [She sits at one side of the table.]
Helmer. - Nora, what does this mean? Your cold, set face
Nora. -Sit down. It will take some time: I have much to talk over with you.
Helmer [sitting down at the other side of the table]. — You alarm me; I don't understand you.
Nora. - No, that's just it. You don't understand me; and I have never understood you — till to-night. No, don't interrupt. Only listen to what I say. We must come to a final settlement, Torvald !
Helmer. - How do
Nora [after a short silence]. — Does not one thing strike you as we sit here?
Helmer. - What should strike me?
Nora. — We have been married eight years. Does it not strike you that this is the first time we two -you and I, man and wife - have talked together seriously?
Helmer. - Seriously! Well, what do you call seriously?
Nora. — During eight whole years and more — ever since the day we first met — we have never exchanged one serious word about serious things.
Helmer. – Was I always to trouble you with the cares you could not help me to bear? Nora. - I am not talking of I
have never yet set ourselves seriously to get to the bottom of anything.
Helmer. – Why, my dear Nora, what have you to do with serious things ?
Nora. — There we have it! You have never understood me. I have had great injustice done me, Torvald: first by my father, and then by you.
Helmer. - What! by your father and me?- by us who have loved you more than all the world?
Nora (shaking her head ]. - You have never loved me. You only thought it amusing to be in love with me.
Helmer. – Why, Nora, what a thing to say!
Nora. — Yes, it is so, Toryald. While I was at home with father he used to tell me all his opinions, and I held the same opinions. If I had others I concealed them, because he would not have liked it. He used to call me his doll child, and play with me as I played with my dolls. Then I came to live in your house —
Helmer.- What an expression to use about our marriage !
Nora [undisturbed]. - I mean I passed from father's hands into yours. You settled everything according to your taste; and I got the same tastes as you; or I pretended to - I don't know which — both ways perhaps. When I look back on it now, I seem to have been living here like a beggar, from hand to mouth. I lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and father have done me a great wrong. It's your fault that my life has been wasted.
Helmer. – Why, Nora, how unreasonable and ungrateful you are! Haven't you been happy here?
Nora. — No, never: I thought I was, but I never was.
Nora.— No, only merry. And you have always been so kind to me. But our house has been nothing but a play-room. Here I have been your doll wife, just as at home I used to be papa's doll child. And the children in their turn have been my dolls. I thought it was fun when you played with me, just as the children did when I played with them. That has been our marriage, Torvald.
Helmer. — There is some truth in what you say, exaggerated and overstrained though it be. But henceforth it shall be different. Play-time is over; now comes the time for education.
Nora. - Whose education? Mine, or the children's ?
Helmer. — And you say that?
Nora. — Did you not say yourself a few minutes ago you dared not trust them to me?
Helmer. – In the excitement of the moment: why should you dwell upon that?
Nora. — No-you are perfectly right. That problem is beyond me. There's another to be solved first — I must try to educate myself. You are not the man to help me in that. I must set about it alone. And that is why I am now leaving you.
Helmer (jumping up]. - What — do you mean to say —
Nora. - I must stand quite alone to know myself and my surroundings; so I cannot stay with you.
Helmer. - Nora! Nora!
Christina will take me in for to-night
Helmer. – You are mad. I shall not allow it. I forbid it.
Nora. It's no use your forbidding me anything now. I shall take with me what belongs to me. From you I will accept nothing, either now or afterward.
Helmer. - What madness!
Nora. I mean to what was my home. It will be easier for me to find some opening there.
Helmer. -Oh, in your blind inexperience
Helmer. – To forsake your home, your husband, and your children! You don't consider what the world will say.
Nora. - I can pay no heed to that! I only know that I must do it.
Helmer. — It's exasperating! Can you forsake your holiest duties in this way?
Nora. — What do you call my holiest duties?
Helmer. - Do you ask me that? Your duties to your husband and your children.
Nora. — I have other duties equally sacred.