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Solveig - Be it mean or brave, here is all to my mind,
One so lightly draws breath in the teeth of the wind.
Go in! I must go to fetch fir-roots for fuel.
You shall sit softly and never be a-cold. [He opens the door ; SOLVEIG goes in. He stands still for a while,
then laughs aloud with joy and leaps into the air. Peer — My king's daughter! Now I have found her and won her!
Hei! Now the palace shall rise, deeply founded ! [He seizes his ax and moves away; at the same moment an OLD
LOOKING WOMAN, in a tattered green gown, comes out from the wood ; an UGLY BRAT, with an ale flagon in his hand, limps
after, holding on to her skirt. The Woman - Good evening, Peer Lightfoot! Peer
What is it? Who's there? The Woman - Old friends of yours, Peer Gynt! My home is near by.
We are neighbors. Peer
Indeed ? That is more than I know. The Woman Even as your hut was builded, mine built itself too. Peer [going] — I'm in haste The Woman
Yes, that you are always, my lad;
I was so before;
You've forgotten the night when you drank with my sire ?
You've forgot —? Peer
I've forgot what I never have known. What's this that you prate of? When last did we meet? The Woman When last we met was when first we met.
[To the Brat] Give your father a drink: he is thirsty, I'm sure. Peer
- Father? You're drunk, woman! Do you call him — ? The Woman
I should think you might well know the pig by its skin!
Why, wbere are your eyes ? Can't you see that he's lame in
His shank, just as you too are lame in your soul ?
Would you wriggle away?
He's shot up apace.
Come now, Peer Gynt, you're as rude as an ox! [Weeping.
Do but this, dear my love, and I'll soon lose my snout!
Ay, see if I do!
Just try if you dare!
Farewell, dear my lad, you can marry to-morrow!
By-the-by, I forgot!
Little imp, will you go to your father ?
What a head he has got on his shoulders, the dear!
You'll be father's living image when once you're a man. Peer (stamping]
Oh, would you were as far — ! The Woman
As we now are near? Peer [clinching his hands]
And all this!
The Woman - For nothing but thoughts and desires !
It is hard on you, Peer! Peer
For nothing but thoughts and desires ! It is hard on you, Peer! The Woman
For nothing but thoughts and desires ! It is hard on you, Peer! Peer
It is worst for another! Solveig, my fairest, my purest gold ! The Woman - Oh ay, 'tis the guiltless must smart, said the Devil:
His mother boxed his ears when his father was drunk ! [She trudges off into the thicket with the Brat, who throws the
flagon at Peer Gynt. Peer [after a long silence]
The Boyg said, “ Go roundabout !” so one must here.
And see that it bring me nor gain nor loss.
[Goes a few steps towards the hut, and stops again.)
[Throws away his ax.]
Such as now I am, would be sacrilege.
Are you coming ?
You must wait.
Be patient, my girl;
you must wait. Solveig [nodding to him as he goes)
Yes, I'll wait! [Peer Gynt goes down the wood-path. Solveig remains standing in SELWYN IMAGE.
the open half-door.
SELWYN IMAGE, artist, born about 1850. Educated at Brighton College and Marlborough, and took a degree at New College, Oxford, 1872. Was ordained in the same year, and continued in orders until 1880, when he gave up clerical work altogether and began the study of art. With Herbert Stone, he started the Hobby Horse in 1886.
(From “Poems and Carols.") BECAUSE the world is very stern;
Because the work is very long;
Because the foes are very strong,
Because my spirit's eyes are dim;
Because with failures to the brim
Because the smile of sin is sweet;
Because so readily run my feet
Because God's image stamps me yet;
Oh! by Thy Passion, Christ, forget