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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.
Nora. — No, that is just it.
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.
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. - 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. — 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.
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
Can shut out cantankerous hobgoblin thoughts ?”
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,
I knew but for sure what I should do and must do.
In all of God's wide earth
I have loosed me from all of them.
Solveig, you fair one-
Ay, to you alone;
The sorrow of leaving them all, ay, all!
It forfeits my farm and my heritage.
I forsook the paths all my dear ones tread ?
Whoever may meet me may seize me at will.
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.
With outstretched arms