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An Enemy of the People

Peter Stockmann. I! No, thank you. Good gracious--hot meat at night! Not with
my digestion,
Mrs. Stockmann. Oh, but just once in a way--
Peter Stockmann. No, no, my dear lady; I stick to my tea and bread and butter.
It is much more wholesome in the long run--and a little more economical, too.
Mrs. Stockmann (smiling). Now you mustn't think that Thomas and I are
spendthrifts.
Peter Stockmann. Not you, my dear; I would never think that of you. (Points to
the Doctor's study.) Is he not at home?
Mrs. Stockmann. No, he went out for a little turn after supper-- he and the boys.
Peter Stockmann. I doubt if that is a wise thing to do. (Listens.) I fancy I hear
him coming now.
Mrs. Stockmann. No, I don't think it is he. (A knock is heard at the door.) Come
in! (HOVSTAD comes in from the hall.) Oh, it is you, Mr. Hovstad!
Hovstad. Yes, I hope you will forgive me, but I was delayed at the printers. Good
evening, Mr. Mayor.
Peter Stockmann (bowing a little distantly). Good evening. You have come on
business, no doubt.
Hovstad. Partly. It's about an article for the paper.
Peter Stockmann. So I imagined. I hear my brother has become a prolific
contributor to the "People's Messenger."
Hovstad. Yes, he is good enough to write in the "People's Messenger" when he
has any home truths to tell.
Mrs, Stockmann (to HOVSTAD). But won't you--? (Points to the dining-room.)
Peter Stockmann. Quite so, quite so. I don't blame him in the least, as a writer,
for addressing himself to the quarters where he will find the readiest sympathy.
And, besides that, I personally have no reason to bear any ill will to your paper,
Mr. Hovstad.
Hovstad. I quite agree with you.
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