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An Enemy of the People

(Loud applause. ASLAKSEN mounts the platform.)
Billing (writing), "Mr. Aslaksen was elected with enthusiasm."
Aslaksen. And now, as I am in this position, I should like to say a few brief
words. I am a quiet and peaceable man, who believes in discreet moderation,
and--and--in moderate discretion. All my friends can bear witness to that.
Several Voices. That's right! That's right, Aslaksen!
Aslaksen. I have learned in the school of life and experience that moderation is
the most valuable virtue a citizen can possess--
Peter Stockmann. Hear, hear!
Aslaksen. --And moreover, that discretion and moderation are what enable a
man to be of most service to the community. I would therefore suggest to our
esteemed fellow-citizen, who has called this meeting, that he should strive to
keep strictly within the bounds of moderation.
A Man by the door. Three cheers for the Moderation Society!
A Voice. Shame!
Several Voices. Sh!-Sh!
Aslaksen. No interruptions, gentlemen, please! Does anyone wish to make any
remarks?
Peter Stockmann. Mr. Chairman.
Aslaksen. The Mayor will address the meeting.
Peter Stockmann. In consideration of the close relationship in which, as you all
know, I stand to the present Medical Officer of the Baths, I should have preferred
not to speak this evening. But my official position with regard to the Baths and my
solicitude for the vital interests of the town compel me to bring forward a motion. I
venture to presume that there is not a single one of our citizens present who
considers it desirable that unreliable and exaggerated accounts of the sanitary
condition of the Baths and the town should be spread abroad.
Several Voices. No, no! Certainly not! We protest against it!
Peter Stockmann. Therefore, I should like to propose that the meeting should
not permit the Medical Officer either to read or to comment on his proposed
lecture.
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