صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Nora. - That I no longer believe. I think that before all else I am a human being, just as much as you are — or at least I will try to become one. I know that most people agree with you, Torvald, and that they say so in books. But henceforth I can't be satisfied with what most people say, and what is in books. I must think things out for myself, and try to get clear about them.

Helmer.- Are you not clear about your place in your own home? Have you not an infallible guide in questions like these? Have you not religion ?

Nora. - O Torvald, I don't know properly what religion is. Helmer. What do you mean?

Nora. — I know nothing but what our clergyman told me when I was confirmed. He explained that religion was this and that. When I get away from here and stand alone, I will look into that matter too. I will see whether what he taught me is true, or at any rate whether it is true for me.

Helmer. – Oh, this is unheard of! But if religion cannot keep you right, let me appeal to your conscience — for I suppose you have some moral feeling? Or, answer me: perhaps you have none ?

Nora. - Well, Torvald, it's not easy to say. I really don't know — I am all at sea about these things. I only know that I think quite differently from you about them. I hear too that the laws are different from what I thought; but I can't believe that they are right. It appears that a woman has no right to spare her dying father, or to save her husband's life. I don't believe that.

Helmer.- You talk like a child. You don't understand the society in which Nora. —No, I don't. But I shall

But I shall try to. I must make up my mind which is right — society or I.

Helmer. — Nora, you are ill, you are feverish. I almost think you are out of your senses.

Nora. — I have never felt so much clearness and certainty as to-night.

Helmer. — You are clear and certain enough to forsake husband and children?

Nora. — Yes, I am.
Helmer. — Then there is only one explanation possible.
Nora. - What is that?
Helmer.-You no longer love me.

you live.

Nora. — No, that is just it.
Helmer. — Nora! Can you say so?

Nora. - Oh, I'm so sorry, Torvald; for you've always been so kind to me. But I can't help it. I do not love you any longer.

Helmer [keeping his composure with difficulty). — Are you clear and certain on this point too?

Nora. — Yes, quite. That is why I won't stay here any longer.

Helmer. And can you also make clear to me how I have forfeited your love?

Nora. — Yes, I can. It was this evening, when the miracle did not happen; for then I saw you were not the man I had taken you for.

Helmer. — Explain yourself more clearly: I don't understand.

Nora. — I have waited so patiently all these eight years; for of course I saw clearly enough that miracles do not happen every day. When the crushing blow threatened me, I said to myself confidently, “Now comes the miracle!” When Krogstad's letter lay in the box, it never occurred to me that you would think of submitting to that man's conditions. I was convinced that you would say to him, “Make it known to all the world ”; and that then Helmer. - Well?

Well? When I had given my own wife's name up to disgrace and shame - ?

Nora. — Then I firmly believed that you would come forward, take everything upon yourself, and say, “I am the guilty one.”

Helmer. - Nora !

Nora. - You mean I would never have accepted such a sacrifice? No, certainly not. But what would my assertions have been worth in opposition to yours? That was the miracle that I hoped for and dreaded. And it was to hinder that that I wanted to die.

Helmer. – I would gladly work for you day and night, Nora, - bear sorrow and want for your sake, — but no man sacrifices his honor, even for one he loves.

Nora. — Millions of women have done so.
Helmer. – Oh, you think and talk like a silly child.

Nora. — Very likely. But you neither think nor talk like the man I can share


life with. When your terror was over, not for me, but for yourself, — when there was nothing more to fear, then it was to you as though nothing had happened. I was

your lark again, your doll — whom you would take twice as much care of in the future, because she was so weak and fragile.

Helmer [sadly]. - I see it, I see it; an abyss has opened between us. But, Nora, can it never be filled up?

Nora. As I now am, I am no wife for you.
Helmer.- I have strength to become another man.
Nora. — Perhaps — when your doll is taken away from you.

Helmer. - To part - to part from you! No, Nora, no; I can't grasp the thought.

Nora [going into room at the right). - The more reason for the thing to happen. [She comes back with outdoor things and a small traveling-bag, which she puts on a chair.]

Helmer.- Nora, Nora, not now! Wait till to-morrow.

Nora (putting on cloak]. - I can't spend the night in a strange man's house.

Helmer. - But can't we live here as brother and sister?

Nora (fastening her hat]. — You know very well that would not last long. Good-by, Torvald. No, I won't go to the children. I know they are in better hands than mine. As I now am, I can be nothing to them.

Helmer. — But sometime, Nora — sometime

Nora. — How can I tell? I have no idea what will become of me.

Helmer. - But you are my wife, now and always ?

Nora. - Listen, Torvald: when a wife leaves her husband's house, as I am doing, I have heard that in the eyes of the law he is free from all duties toward her. At any rate I release you from all duties. You must not feel yourself bound any more than I shall. There must be perfect freedom on both sides. There, there is your ring back. Give me mine.

Helmer.- That too?
Nora. - That too.
Helmer. Here it is.

Nora. — Very well. Now it is all over. Here are the keys. The servants know about everything in the house better than I do. To-morrow when I have started, Christina will come to pack up my things. I will have them sent after me.

Helmer. - All over! All over! Nora, will you never think of me again?

Nora. — Oh, I shall often think of you, and the children — and this house.

Helmer. — May I write to you, Nora ?

Nora. No, never. You must not.
Helmer. But I must send you -
Nora. — Nothing, nothing.
Helmer.- I must help you if you need it.
Nora. — No, I say. I take nothing from strangers.
Helmer. - Nora, can I never be more than a stranger to you?

Nora (taking her traveling-bag). — O Torvald, then the miracle of miracles would have to happen.

Helmer.- What is the miracle of miracles ?

Nora. — Both of us would have to change so that - O Torvald, I no longer believe in miracles.

Helmer. - But I will believe. We must so change that

Nora. — That communion between us shall be a marriage. Good-by. [She goes out.]

Helmer (sinks in a chair by the door with his face in his hands]. — Nora! Nora ! (He looks around and stands up.] Empty. She's gone! [A hope inspires him.] Ah! The miracle of miracles — ? [From below is heard the reverberation of a heavy door closing.]

FROM “ PEER GYNT.” SCENE : In front of a settler's newly built hut in the forest. A reindeer's

horns over the door. The snow is lying deep around. It is dusk. PEER

Gynt is standing outside the door, fastening a large wooden bar to it. Peer [laughing between whiles].

Bars I must fix me; bars that can fasten
The door against troll-folk, and men, and women.
Bars I must fix me; bars that can shut out
All the cantankerous little hobgoblins.
They come with the darkness, they knock and they rattle:
“Open, Peer Gynt, we're as nimble as thoughts are !
'Neath the bedstead we bustle, we rake in the ashes,
Down the chimney we hustle like fiery-eyed dragons.
Hee-hee ! Peer Gynt, think you staples and planks

Can shut out cantankerous hobgoblin thoughts ?
SOLVEIG comes on snowshoes over the heath ; she has a shawl over

her head and a bundle in her hand. Solveig — God prosper your labor. You must not reject me.

You sent for me hither, and so you must take me Peer Solveig! It cannot be !— Ay, but it is ! —

And you're not afraid to come near to me! Solveig One message you sent me by little Helga;

Others came after in storm and in stillness.

All that your mother told bore me a message,
That brought forth others when dreams sank upon me.
Nights full of heaviness, blank empty days,
Brought me the message that now I must come.
It seemed as though life had been quenched down there;
I could not laugh nor weep from the depths of my heart.
I knew not for sure how you might be minded;

I knew but for sure what I should do and must do.
Peer But your father ?

In all of God's wide earth
I have none I can call either father or mother,

I have loosed me from all of them.

Solveig, you fair one-
And to come to me ?

Ay, to you alone;
You must be all to me, friend and consoler.

[In tears.]
The worst was leaving my little sister;
But parting from father was worse, still worse ;
And worst to leave her at whose breast I was borne ;-
Oh no, God forgive me, the worst I must call

The sorrow of leaving them all, ay, all!
Peer — And you know the doom that was passed in spring?

It forfeits my farm and my heritage.
Solveig — Think you for heritage, goods, and gear,

I forsook the paths all my dear ones tread ?
Peer - And know you the compact? Outside the forest

Whoever may meet me may seize me at will.
Solveig - I ran upon snowshoes; I asked my way on;

They said, “Whither go you?” I answered, “I go home.” Peer - Away, away then with nails and planks!

No need now for bars against hobgoblin thoughts.
If you dare dwell with the hunter here,
I know the hut will be blessed from ill.
Solveig! Let me look at you! Not too near!
Only look at you! Oh, but you are bright and pure !
Let me lift you! Oh, but you are fine and light!
Let me carry you, Solveig, and I'll never be tired!
I will not soil you.

With outstretched arms
I will hold you out far from me, lovely and warm one !
Oh, who would have thought I could draw you to me,-
Ah, but I've longed for you, daylong and nightlong.
Here you may see I've been hewing and building;
It must down again, dear: it is ugly and mean.

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