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.)
Help! Help! A boat! Help! I'll be drowned!
Save me, oh Lord-as saith the text!
(Clutches hold of the boat's keel.)
(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.)
I'll crush you down with kicks and blows!
Let go your hold! She won't float two!
I know it! Yield!
(They fight; one of the COOKS hands is disabled; he clings on with the other.)
Off with that hand!
Oh, kind sir-spare!
Think of my little ones at home!
I need my life far more than you,
for I am lone and childless still.
Let go! You've lived, and I am young!
Quick; haste you; sink;-you drag us down.
Have mercy! Yield in heaven's name!
There's none to miss and mourn for you-
(His hand slips; he screams:)
By this wisp of hair
I'll hold you; say your Lord's Prayer, quick!
I can't remember; all turns black-
Come, the essentials in a word-!
Give us this day-!
Skip that part, Cook;
you'll get all you need, safe enough.
Give us this day-
The same old song!
One sees you were a cook in life-
(The COOK slips from his grasp.)
Give us this day our-
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-
(catches hold of the boat).
I heard you shout.-
It's pleasant finding you again.
Well? So my prophecy came true!
Let go! Let go! 'Twill scarce float one!
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-
The rest, of course, is done for, clean-
Exactly as you please.
I am silent.
(tearing his hair).
I'll go mad!-
What are you?
What else? Speak!
What think you? Do you know none other
that's like me?
Do I know the devil-?
(in a low voice).
Is it his way to light a lantern
for life's night-pilgrimage through fear?
Ah, come! When once the thing's cleared up,
you'd seem a messenger of light?
Friend,-have you once in each half-year
felt all the earnestness of dread?
Why, one's afraid when danger threatens;-
but all your words have double meanings.
Ay, have you gained but once in life
the victory that is given in dread?
(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?
Were, then, the victory more likely
beside your hearth-stone, snug and quiet?
Perhaps not; but your talk befooled me.
How could you fancy it awakening?
Where I come from, there smiles are prized
as highly as pathetic style.
All has its time; what fits the taxman,
so says the text, would damn the bishop.
The host whose dust inurned has slumbered
treads not on week-days the cothurnus.
Avaunt thee, bugbear! Man, begone!
I will not die! I must ashore!
Oh, as for that, be reassured;-
one dies not midmost of Act Five.
Ah, there he let it out at last;-
he was a sorry moralist.