An Enemy of the People
(SCENE.--DR. STOCKMANN'S sitting-room. It is evening. The room is plainly but
neatly appointed and furnished. In the right-hand wall are two doors; the farther
leads out to the hall, the nearer to the doctor's study. In the left-hand wall,
opposite the door leading to the hall, is a door leading to the other rooms
occupied by the family. In the middle of the same wall stands the stove, and,
further forward, a couch with a looking-glass hanging over it and an oval table in
front of it. On the table, a lighted lamp, with a lampshade. At the back of the
room, an open door leads to the dining-room. BILLING is seen sitting at the
dining table, on which a lamp is burning. He has a napkin tucked under his chin,
and MRS. STOCKMANN is standing by the table handing him a large plate-full of
roast beef. The other places at the table are empty, and the table somewhat in
disorder, evidently a meal having recently been finished.)
Mrs. Stockmann. You see, if you come an hour late, Mr. Billing, you have to put
up with cold meat.
Billing (as he eats). It is uncommonly good, thank you-- remarkably good.
Mrs. Stockmann. My husband makes such a point of having his meals
punctually, you know.
Billing. That doesn't affect me a bit. Indeed, I almost think I enjoy a meal all the
better when I can sit down and eat all by myself, and undisturbed.
Mrs. Stockmann. Oh well, as long as you are enjoying it--. (Turns to the hall
door, listening.) I expect that is Mr. Hovstad coming too.
Billing. Very likely.
(PETER STOCKMANN comes in. He wears an overcoat and his official hat, and
carries a stick.)
Peter Stockmann. Good evening, Katherine.
Mrs. Stockmann (coming forward into the sitting-room). Ah, good evening--is it
you? How good of you to come up and see us!
Peter Stockmann. I happened to be passing, and so--(looks into the dining-
room). But you have company with you, I see.
Mrs. Stockmann (a little embarrassed). Oh, no--it was quite by chance he came
in. (Hurriedly.) Won't you come in and have something, too?