Tilbake

Peer Gynt

av Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen

ACT 5

SCENE SECOND

(Close under the land, among sunken rocks and surf. The ship sinks. The jolly-boat, with two men in her, is seen for a moment through the scud. A sea strikes her; she fills and upsets. A shriek is heard; then all is silent for a while. Shortly afterwards the boat appears floating bottom upwards.)

(PEER GYNT comes to the surface near the boat.)

PEER

Help! Help! A boat! Help! I'll be drowned!
Save me, oh Lord-as saith the text!

(Clutches hold of the boat's keel.)

THE COOK

(comes up on the other side).

Oh, Lord God-for my children's sake,
have mercy! Let me reach the land!

(Seizes hold of the keel.)

PEER

Let go!

THE COOK

Let go!

PEER

I'll strike!

THE COOK

So'll I!

PEER

I'll crush you down with kicks and blows!
Let go your hold! She won't float two!

THE COOK

I know it! Yield!

PEER

Yield you!

THE COOK

Oh yes!

(They fight; one of the COOKS hands is disabled; he clings on with the other.)

PEER

Off with that hand!

THE COOK

Oh, kind sir-spare!
Think of my little ones at home!

PEER

I need my life far more than you,
for I am lone and childless still.

THE COOK

Let go! You've lived, and I am young!

PEER

Quick; haste you; sink;-you drag us down.

THE COOK

Have mercy! Yield in heaven's name!
There's none to miss and mourn for you-

(His hand slips; he screams:)

I'm drowning!

PEER (seizing him).

By this wisp of hair
I'll hold you; say your Lord's Prayer, quick!

THE COOK

I can't remember; all turns black-

PEER

Come, the essentials in a word-!

THE COOK

Give us this day-!

PEER

Skip that part, Cook;
you'll get all you need, safe enough.

THE COOK

Give us this day-

PEER

The same old song!
One sees you were a cook in life-

(The COOK slips from his grasp.)

THE COOK

(sinking).

Give us this day our-

(Disappears.)

PEER

Amen, lad!
to the last gasp you were yourself.-

(Draws himself up on to the bottom of the boat.)

So long as there is life there's hope-

THE STRANGE PASSENGER

(catches hold of the boat).

Good morning!

PEER

Hoy!

THE PASSENGER

I heard you shout.-
It's pleasant finding you again.
Well? So my prophecy came true!

PEER

Let go! Let go! 'Twill scarce float one!

THE PASSENGER

I'm striking out with my left leg.
I'll float, if only with their tips
my fingers rest upon this ledge.
But apropos: your body-

PEER

Hush!

THE PASSENGER

The rest, of course, is done for, clean-

PEER

No more!

THE PASSENGER

Exactly as you please.

(Silence.)

PEER

Well?

THE PASSENGER

I am silent.

PEER

Satan's tricks!-
What now?

THE PASSENGER

I'm waiting.

PEER

(tearing his hair).

I'll go mad!-
What are you?

THE PASSENGER

(nods).

Friendly.

PEER

What else? Speak!

THE PASSENGER

What think you? Do you know none other
that's like me?

PEER

Do I know the devil-?

THE PASSENGER

(in a low voice).
Is it his way to light a lantern
for life's night-pilgrimage through fear?

PEER

Ah, come! When once the thing's cleared up,
you'd seem a messenger of light?

THE PASSENGER

Friend,-have you once in each half-year
felt all the earnestness of dread?

PEER

Why, one's afraid when danger threatens;-
but all your words have double meanings.

THE PASSENGER

Ay, have you gained but once in life
the victory that is given in dread?

PEER

(looks at him).

Came you to ope for me a door,
'twas stupid not to come before.
What sort of sense is there in choosing
your time when seas gape to devour one?

THE PASSENGER

Were, then, the victory more likely
beside your hearth-stone, snug and quiet?

PEER

Perhaps not; but your talk befooled me.
How could you fancy it awakening?

THE PASSENGER

Where I come from, there smiles are prized
as highly as pathetic style.

PEER

All has its time; what fits the taxman,
so says the text, would damn the bishop.

THE PASSENGER

The host whose dust inurned has slumbered
treads not on week-days the cothurnus.

PEER

Avaunt thee, bugbear! Man, begone!
I will not die! I must ashore!

THE PASSENGER

Oh, as for that, be reassured;-
one dies not midmost of Act Five.

(Glides away.)

PEER

Ah, there he let it out at last;-
he was a sorry moralist.


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