Little Eyolf by Henrik Ibsen - HTML preview
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[An elevation, overgrown with shrubs, in ALLMERS'S garden. At the back a sheer cliff, with a railing along its edge, and with steps on the left leading downwards. An extensive view over the fiord, which lies deep below. A flagstaff with lines, but no flag, stands by the railing. In front, on the right, a summerhouse, covered with creepers and wild vines. Outside it, a bench. It is a late summer evening, with clear sky. Deepening twilight.]
[ASTA is sitting on the bench, with her hands in her lap. She is wearing her outdoor dress and a hat, has her parasol at her side, and a little travelling-bag on a strap over her shoulder.]
[BORGHEIM comes up from the back on the left. He, too, has a travelling-bag over his shoulder. He is carrying a rolled-up flag.]
BORGHEIM. [Catching sight of ASTA.] Oh, so you are up here!
ASTA. Yes, I am taking my last look out over the fiord.
BORGHEIM. Then I am glad I happened to come up.
ASTA. Have you been searching for me?
BORGHEIM. Yes, I have. I wanted to say good-bye to you for the present. Not for good and all, I hope.
ASTA. [With a faint smile.] You are persevering.
BORGHEIM. A road-maker has got to be.
ASTA. Have you seen anything of Alfred? Or of Rita?
BORGHEIM. Yes, I saw them both.
ASTA. What are you going to do with that flag?
BORGHEIM. Mrs. Allmers asked me to come up and hoist it.
ASTA. Hoist a flag just now?
BORGHEIM. Half-mast high. She wants it to fly both night and day, she says.
ASTA. [Sighing.] Poor Rita! And poor Alfred!
BORGHEIM. [Busied with the flag.] Have you the heart to leave them? I ask, because I see you are in travelling-dress.
ASTA. [In a low voice.] I must go.
BORGHEIM. Well, if you must, then--
ASTA. And you are going, too, to-night?
BORGHEIM. I must, too. I am going by the train. Are you going that way?
ASTA. No. I shall take the steamer.
BORGHEIM. [Glancing at her.] We each take our own way, then?
[She sits and looks on while he hoists the flag half-mast high. When he has done he goes up to her.]
BORGHEIM. Miss Asta--you can't think how grieved I am about little Eyolf.
ASTA. [Looks up at him.] Yes, I am sure you feel it deeply.
BORGHEIM. And the feeling tortures me. For the fact is, grief is not much in my way.
ASTA. [Raising her eyes to the flag.] It will pass over in time-- all of it. All our sorrow.
BORGHEIM. All? Do you believe that?
ASTA. Like a squall at sea. When once you have got far away from here, then--
BORGHEIM. It will have to be very far away indeed.
ASTA. And then you have this great new road-work, too.
BORGHEIM. But no one to help me in it.
ASTA. Oh yes, surely you have.
BORGHEIM. [Shaking his head.] No one. No one to share the gladness with. For it is gladness that most needs sharing.
ASTA. Not the labour and trouble?
BORGHEIM. Pooh--that sort of thing one can always get through alone.
ASTA. But the gladness--that must be shared with some one, you think?
BORGHEIM. Yes; for if not, where would be the pleasure in being glad?
ASTA. Ah yes--perhaps there is something in that.
BORGHEIM. Oh, of course, for a certain time you can go on feeling glad in your own heart. But it won't do in the long run. No, it takes two to be glad.
ASTA. Always two? Never more? Never many?
BORGHEIM . Well, you see--then it becomes a quite different matter. Miss Asta-are you sure you can never make up your mind to share gladness and success and--and labour and trouble, with one--with one alone in all the world?
ASTA. I have tried it--once.
BORGHEIM. Have you?
ASTA. Yes, all the time that my brother--that Alfred and I lived together.
BORGHEIM. Oh, with your brother, yes. But that is altogether different. That ought rather to be called peace than happiness, I should say.
ASTA. It was delightful, all the same.
BORGHEIM. There now--you see even that seemed to you delightful. But just think now--if he had not been your brother!
ASTA. [Makes a movement to rise, but remains sitting.] Then we should never have been together. For I was a child then--and he wasn't much more.
BORGHEIM. [After a pause.] Was it so delightful--that time?
ASTA. Oh yes, indeed it was.
BORGHEIM. Was there much that was really bright and happy in your life then?
ASTA. Oh yes, so much. You cannot think how much.
BORGHEIM. Tell me a little about it, Miss Asta.
ASTA. Oh, there are only trifles to tell.
BORGHEIM. Such as--? Well?
ASTA . Such as the time when Alfred had passed his examination--and had distinguished himself. And then, from time, to time, when he got a post in some school or other. Or when he would sit at home working at an article--and would read it aloud to me. And then when it would appear in some magazine.
BORGHEIM . Yes, I can quite see that it must have been a peaceful, delightful life--a brother and sister sharing all their joys. [Shaking his head.] What I cannot understand is that your brother could ever give you up, Asta.
ASTA. [With suppressed emotion.] Alfred married, you know.
BORGHEIM. Was not that very hard for you?
ASTA. Yes, at first. It seemed as though I had utterly lost him all at once.
BORGHEIM. Well, luckily it was not so bad as that.
BORGHEIM. But, all the same--how could he! Go and marry, I mean-- when he could have kept you with him, alone!
ASTA. [Looking straight in front of her.] He was subject to the law of change, I suppose.
BORGHEIM. The law of change?
ASTA. So Alfred calls it.
BORGHEIM. Pooh--what a stupid law that must be! I don't believe a bit in that law.
ASTA. [Rising.] You may come to believe in it, in time.
BORGHEIM. Never in all my life! [Insistently.] But listen now, Miss Asta! Do be reasonable for once in a way--in this matter, I mean--
ASTA. [Interrupting him.] Oh, no, no--don't let us begin upon that again!
BORGHEIM. [Continuing as before.] Yes, Asta--I can't possibly give you up so easily. Now your brother has everything as he wishes it. He can live his life quite contentedly without you. He doesn't require you at all. Then this--this--that at one blow has changed your whole position here--
ASTA. [With a start.] What do you mean by that?
BORGHEIM. The loss of the child. What else should I mean?
ASTA. [Recovering her self-control.] Little Eyolf is gone, yes.
BORGHEIM . And what more does that leave you to do here? You have not the poor little boy to take care of now. You have no duties--no claims upon you of any sort.
ASTA. Oh, please, Mr. Borgheim--don't make it so hard for me.
BORGHEIM . I must; I should be mad if I did not try my uttermost. I shall be leaving town before very long, rind perhaps I shall have no opportunity of meeting you there. Perhaps I shall not see you again for a long, long time. And who knows what may happen in the meanwhile?
ASTA. [With a grave smile.] So you are afraid of the law of change, after all?
BORGHEIM. No, not in the least. [Laughing bitterly.] And there is nothing to be changed, either--not in you. I mean. For I can see you don't care much about me.
ASTA. You know very well that I do.
BORGHEIM . Perhaps, but not nearly enough. Not as I want you to. [More forcibly.] By Heaven, Asta--Miss Asta--I cannot tell you how strongly I feel that you are wrong in this! A little onward, perhaps, from to-day and to-morrow, all life's happiness may be awaiting us. And we must needs pass it by! Do you think we will not come to repent of it, Asta?
ASTA. [Quietly.] I don't know. I only know that they are not for us--all these bright possibilities.
BORGHEIM. [Looks at her with self-control.] Then I must make my roads alone?
ASTA. [Warmly.] Oh, how I wish I could stand by you in it all! Help you in the labour--share the gladness with you--
BORGHEIM. Would you--if you could?
ASTA. Yes, that I would.
BORGHEIM. But you cannot?
ASTA. [Looking down.] Would you be content to have only half of me?
BORGHEIM. No. You must be utterly and entirely mine.
ASTA. [Looks at him, and says quietly.] Then I cannot.
BORGHEIM. Good-bye then, Miss Asta.
[He is on the point of going. ALLMERS comes up from the left at the back. BORGHEIM stops.]
ALLMERS. [The moment he has reached the top of the steps, points, and says in a low voice.] Is Rita in there--in the summer-house?
BORGHEIM. No; there is no one here but Miss Asta.
[ALLMERS comes forward.]
ASTA. [Going towards him.] Shall I go down and look for her? Shall I get her to come up here?
ALLMERS. [With a negative gesture.] No, no, no--let it alone. [To BORGHEIM.] Is it you that have hoisted the flag?
BORGHEIM. Yes. Mrs. Allmers asked me to. That was what brought me up here.
ALLMERS. And you are going to start to-night?
BORGHEIM. Yes. To-night I go away in good earnest.
ALLMERS. [With a glance at ASTA.] And you have made sure of pleasant company, I daresay.
BORGHEIM. [Shaking his head.] I am going alone.
ALLMERS. [With surprise.] Alone!
BORGHEIM. Utterly alone.
ALLMERS. [Absently.] Indeed?
BORGHEIM. And I shall have to remain alone, too.
ALLMERS. There is something horrible in being alone. The thought of it runs like ice through my blood--
ASTA. Oh, but, Alfred, you are not alone.
ALLMERS. There may be something horrible in that too, Asta.
ASTA. [Oppressed.] Oh, don't talk like that! Don't think like that!
ALLMERS . [Not listening to her.] But since you are not going with him--? Since there is nothing to bind you--? Why will you not remain out here with me--and with Rita?
ASTA. [Uneasily.] No, no, I cannot. I must go back to town now.
ALLMERS. But only in to town, Asta. Do you hear!
ALLMERS. And you must promise me that you will soon come out again.
ASTA. [Quickly.] No, no, I dare not promise you that, for the present.
ALLMERS. Well as you will. We shall soon meet in town, then.
ASTA. [Imploringly.] But, Alfred, you must stay at home here with Rita now.
ALLMERS. [Without answering, turns to BORGHEIM.] You may find it a good thing, after all, that you have to take your journey alone.
BORGHEIM. [Annoyed.] Oh, how can you say such a thing?
ALLMERS. You see, you can never tell whom you might happen to meet afterwards--on the way.
ASTA. [Involuntarily.] Alfred!
ALLMERS. The right fellow-traveller--when it is too late--too late.
ASTA. [Softly, quivering.] Alfred! Alfred!
BORGHEIM. [Looking front one to the other.] What is the meaning of this? I don't understand--
[RITA comes up from the left at the back.]
RITA. [Plaintively.] Oh, don't go away from me, all of you!
ASTA . [Going towards her.] You said you preferred to be alone.
RITA. Yes, but I dare not. It is getting so horribly dark. I seem to see great, open eyes fixed upon me!
ASTA. [Tenderly and sympathetically.] What if it were so, Rita? You ought not to be afraid of those eyes.
RITA. How can you say so! Not afraid!
ALLMERS. [Insistently.] Asta, I beg you--for Heaven's sake--remain here with Rita!
RITA. Yes! And with Alfred, too. Do! Do, Asta!
ASTA. [Struggling with herself.] Oh, I want to so much--
RITA. Well, then, do it! For Alfred and I cannot go alone through the sorrow and heartache.
ALLMERS. [Darkly.] Say, rather--through the ranklings of remorse.
RITA. Oh, whatever you like to call it--we cannot bear it alone, we two. Oh, Asta, I beg and implore you! Stay here and help us! Take Eyolf's place for us--
ASTA. [Shrinking.] Eyolf's--
RITA. Yes, would you not have it so, Alfred?
ALLMERS. If she can and will.
RITA. You used to call her your little Eyolf. [Seizes her hand.] Henceforth you shall be our Eyolf, Asta! Eyolf, as you were before.
ALLMERS. [With concealed emotion.] Remain--and share our life with us, Asta. With Rita. With me. With me--your brother!
ASTA. [With decision, snatches her hand away.] No. I cannot. [Turning.] Mr. Borgheim--what time does the steamer start?
BORGHEIM. Now--at once.
ASTA. Then I must go on board. Will you go with me?
BORGHEIM. [With a suppressed outburst of joy.] Will I? Yes, yes!
ASTA. Then come!
RITA. [Slowly.] Ah! That is how it is. Well, then, you cannot stay with us.
ASTA . [Throwing her arms round her neck.] Thanks for everything, Rita! (Goes up to ALLMERS and grasps his hand.) Alfred-good-bye! A thousand times, goodbye!
ALLMERS. [oftly and eagerly.] What is this, Asta? It seems as though you were taking flight.
ASTA. [In subdued anguish.] Yes, Alfred--I am taking flight.
ALLMERS. Flight--from me!
ASTA. [Whispering.] From you--and from myself.
ALLMERS. [Shrinking back.] Ah--!
[ASTA rushes down the steps at the back. BORGHEIM waves his hat and follows her. RITA leans against the entrance to the summer-house. ALLMERS goes, in strong inward emotion, up to the railing, and stands there gazing downwards. A pause.]
ALLMERS. [Turns, and says with hard-won composure.] There comes the steamer. Look, Rita.
RITA. I dare not look at it.
ALLMERS. You dare not?
RITA. No. For it has a red eye--and a green one, too. Great, glowing eyes.
ALLMERS. Oh, those are only the lights, you know.
RITA. Henceforth they are eyes--for me. They stare and stare out of the darkness--and into the darkness.
ALLMERS. Now she is putting in to shore.
RITA. Where are they mooring her this evening, then?
ALLMERS. [Coming forward.] At the pier, as usual--
RITA. [Drawing herself up.] How can they moor her there!
ALLMERS. They must.
RITA. But it was there that Eyolf--! How can they moor her there!
ALLMERS. Yes, life is pitiless, Rita.
RITA. Men are heartless. They take no thought--whether for the living or for the dead.
ALLMERS. There you are right. Life goes its own way--just as if nothing in the world had happened.
RITA. [Gazing straight before her.] And nothing has happened, either. Not to others. Only to us two.
ALLMERS . [The pain re-awakening.] Yes, Rita--so it was to no purpose that you bore him in sorrow and anguish. For now he is gone again--and has left no trace behind him.
RITA. Only the crutch was saved.
ALLMERS. [Angrily.] Be silent! Do not let me hear that word!
RITA. [Plaintively.] Oh, I cannot bear the thought that he is gone from us.
ALLMERS. [Coldly and bitterly.] You could very well do without him while he was with us. Half the day would often pass without your setting eyes on him.
RITA. Yes, for I knew that I could see him whenever I wanted to.
ALLMERS. Yes, that is how we have gone and squandered the short time we had with Little Eyolf.
RITA. [Listening, in dread.] Do you hear, Alfred! Now it is ringing again!
ALLMERS. [Looking over the fiord.] It is the steamer's bell that is ringing. She is just starting.
RITA. Oh, it's not that bell I mean. All day I have heard it ringing in my ears.-Now it is ringing again!
ALLMERS. [Going up to her.] You are mistaken, Rita.
RITA. No, I hear it so plainly. It sounds like a knell. Slow. Slow. And always the same words.
ALLMERS . Words? What words?
RITA. [Nodding her head in the rhythm.] "The crútch is--flóating. The crútch is-flóating." Oh, surely you must hear it, too!
ALLMERS. [Shaking his head.] I hear nothing. And there is nothing to hear.
RITA. Oh, you may say what you will--I hear it so plainly.
ALLMERS. [Looking out over the railing.] Now they are on board, Rita. Now the steamer is on her way to the town.
RITA. Is it possible you do not hear it? "The crútch is--flóating. The crútch is-- ---"
ALLMERS . [Coming forward.] You shall not stand there listening to a sound that does not exist. I tell You, Asta and Borgheim are on board. They have started already. Asta is gone.
RITA. [Looks timidly at him.] Then I suppose you will soon be gone, too, Alfred?
ALLMERS. [Quickly.] What do you mean by that?
RITA. That you will follow your sister.
ALLMERS. Has Asta told you anything?
RITA. No. But you said yourself it was for Asta's sake that--that we came together.
ALLMERS. Yes, but you, you yourself, have bound me to you--by our life together.
RITA. Oh, in your eyes I am not--I am not--entrancingly beautiful any more.
ALLMERS. The law of change may perhaps keep us together, none the less.
RITA. [Nodding slowly.] There is a change in me now--I feel the anguish of it.
RITA. Yes, for change, too, is a sort of birth.
ALLMERS. It is--or a resurrection. Transition to a higher life.
RITA. [Gazing sadly before her.] Yes--with the loss of all, all life's happiness.
ALLMERS. That loss is just the gain.
RITA. [Vehemently.] Oh, phrases! Good God, we are creatures of earth after all.
ALLMERS. But something akin to the sea and the heavens too, Rita.
RITA. You perhaps. Not I.
ALLMERS. Oh, yes--you too, more than you yourself suspect.
RITA. [Advancing a pace towards him.] Tell me, Alfred--could you think of taking up your work again?
ALLMERS. The work that you have hated so?
RITA. I am easier to please now. I am willing to share you with the book.
RITA. Only to keep you here with me--to have you near me.
ALLMERS. Oh, it is so little I can do to help you, Rita.
RITA. But perhaps I could help you.
ALLMERS. With my book, do you mean?
RITA. No; but to live your life.
ALLMERS. [Shaking his head.] I seem to have no life to live.
RITA. Well then, to endure your life.
ALLMERS. [Darkly, looking away from her.] I think it would be best for both of us that we should part.
RITA. [Looking curiously at him.] Then where would you go? Perhaps to Asta, after all?
ALLMERS. No--never again to Asta.
RITA. Where then?
ALLMERS. Up into the solitudes.
RITA. Up among the mountains? Is that what you mean?
RITA. But all that is mere dreaming, Alfred! You could not live up there.
ALLMERS. And yet I feel myself drawn to them.
RITA. Why? Tell me!
ALLMERS. Sit down--and I will tell you something.
RITA. Something that happened to you up there?
RITA. And that you never told Asta and me?
RITA. Oh, you are so silent about everything. You ought not to be.
ALLMERS. Sit down there--and I will tell you about it.
RITA. Yes, yes--tell me!
[She sits on the bench beside the summer-house.]
ALLMERS . I was alone up there, in the heart of the great mountains. I came to a wide, dreary mountain lake; and that lake I had to cross. But I could not--for there was neither a boat nor any one there.
RITA. Well? And then?
ALLMERS. Then I went without any guidance into a side valley. I thought that by that way I could push on over the heights and between the peaks--and then down again on the other side of the lake.
RITA. Oh, and you lost yourself, Alfred!
ALLMERS . Yes; I mistook the direction--for there was no path or track. And all day I went on--and all the next night. And at last I thought I should never see the face of man again.
RITA. Not come home to us? Oh, then, I am sure your thoughts were with us here.
ALLMERS. No--they were not.
RITA . Not?
ALLMERS. No. It was so strange. Both you and Eyolf seemed to have drifted far, far away from me--and Asta, too.
RITA. Then what did you think of?
ALLMERS. I did not think. I dragged myself along among the precipices--and revelled in the peace and luxury of death.
RITA. [Springing up.] Oh, don't speak in that way of that horror!
ALLMERS . I did not feel it so. I had no fear. Here went death and I, it seemed to me, like two good fellow-travellers. It all seemed so natural--so simple, I thought. In my family, we don't live to be old--
RITA. Oh, don't say such things, Alfred! You see you came safely out of it, after all.
ALLMERS. Yes; all of a sudden, I found myself where I wanted to be-- on the other side of the lake.
RITA. It must have been a night of terror for you, Alfred. But now that it is over, you will not admit it to yourself.
ALLMERS. That night sealed my resolution. And it was then that I turned about and came straight homewards. To Eyolf.
RITA. [Softly.] Too late.
ALLMERS . Yes. And then when--my fellow-traveller came and took him-- then I felt the horror of it; of it all; of all that, in spite of everything, we dare not tear ourselves away from. So earthbound are we, both of us, Rita.
RITA. [With a gleam of joy.] Yes, you are, too, are you not! [Coming close to him.] Oh, let us live our life together as long as we can!
ALLMERS. [Shrugging his shoulders.] Live our life, yes! And have nothing to fill life with. An empty void on all sides--wherever I look.
RITA. [In fear.] Oh, sooner or later you will go away from me, Alfred! I feel it! I can see it in your face! You will go away from me.
ALLMERS . With my fellow-traveller, do you mean?
RITA. No, I mean worse than that. Of your own free will--you will leave me--for you think it's only here, with me, that you have nothing to live for. Is not that what is in your thoughts?
ALLMERS. [Looking steadfastly at her.] What if it were--?
[A disturbance, and the noise of angry, quarrelling voices is heard from down below, in the distance. ALLMERS goes to the railing.]
RITA. What is that? [With an outburst.] Oh, you'll see, they have found him!
ALLMERS. He will never be found.
RITA. But what is it then?
ALLMERS. [Coming forward.] Only fighting--as usual.
RITA. Down on the beach?
ALLMERS . Yes. The whole village down there ought to be swept away. Now the men have come home--drunk, as they always are. They are beating the children
-do you hear the boys crying! The women are shrieking for help for them--
RITA. Should we not get some one to go down and help them?
ALLMERS. [Harshly and angrily.] Help them, who did not help Eyolf! Let them go--as they let Eyolf go.
RITA. Oh, you must not talk like that, Alfred! Nor think like that!
ALLMERS. I cannot think otherwise. All the old hovels ought to be torn down.
RITA. And then what is to become of all the poor people?
ALLMERS. They must go somewhere else.
RITA. And the children, too?
ALLMERS. Does it make much difference where they go to the dogs?
RITA. [Quietly and reproachfully.] You are forcing yourself into this harshness, Alfred.
ALLMERS. [Vehemently.] I have a right to be harsh now! It is my duty.
RITA . Your duty?
ALLMERS. My duty to Eyolf. He must not lie unavenged. Once for all, Rita--it is as I tell you! Think it over! Have the whole place down there razed to the ground -when I am gone.
RITA. [Looks intently at him.] When you are gone?
ALLMERS. Yes. For that will at least give you something to fill your life with--and something you must have.
RITA. [Firmly and decidedly.] There you are right---I must. But can you guess what I will set about--when you are gone?
ALLMERS. Well, what?
RITA . [Slowly and with resolution.] As soon as you are gone from me, I will go down to the beach, and bring all the poor neglected children home with me. All the mischievous boys--
ALLMERS. What will you do with them here?
RITA. I will take them to my heart.
RITA. Yes, I will. From the day you leave me, they shall all be here, all of them, as if they were mine.
ALLMERS. [Shocked.] In our little Eyolf's place!
RITA . Yes, in our little Eyolf's place. They shall live in Eyolf's rooms. They shall read his books. They shall play with his toys. They shall take it in turns to sit in his chair at table.
ALLMERS. But this is sheer madness in you! I do not know a creature in the world that is less fitted than you for anything of that sort.
RITA. Then I shall have to educate myself for it; to train myself; to discipline myself.
ALLMERS. If you are really in earnest about this--about all you say--then there must indeed be a change in you.
RITA . Yes, there is, Alfred--and for that I have you to thank. You have made an empty place within me; and I must try to fill it up with something--with something that is a little like love.
ALLMERS. [Stands for a moment lost in thought; then looks at her.] The truth is, we have not done much for the poor people down there.
RITA. We have done nothing for them.
ALLMERS. Scarcely even thought of them.
RITA. Never thought of them in sympathy.
ALLMERS. We, who had "the gold, and the green forests"--
RITA. Our hands were closed to them. And our hearts too.
ALLMERS. [Nods.] Then it was perhaps natural enough, after all, that they should not risk their lives to save little Eyolf.
RITA. [Softly.] Think, Alfred! Are you so certain that--that we would have risked ours?
ALLMERS. [With an uneasy gesture of repulsion.] You must never doubt that.
RITA. Oh, we are children of earth.
ALLMERS. What do you really think you can do with all these neglected children?
RITA. I suppose I must try if I cannot lighten and--and ennoble their lot in life.
ALLMERS. If you can do that--then Eyolf was not born in vain.
RITA. Nor taken from us in vain, either.
ALLMERS. [Looking steadfastly at her.] Be quite clear about one thing, Rita--it is not love that is driving you to this.
RITA. No, it is not--at any rate, not yet.
ALLMERS. Well, then what is it?
RITA. [Half-evasively.] You have so often talked to Asta of human responsibility--
ALLMERS. Of the book that you hated.
RITA. I hate that book still. But I used to sit and listen to what you told her. And now I will try to continue it--in my own way.
ALLMERS. [Shaking his head.] It is not for the sake of that unfinished book--
RITA. No, I have another reason as well.
ALLMERS. What is that?
RITA. [Softly, with a melancholy smile.] I want to make my peace with the great, open eyes, you see.
ALLMERS. [Struck, fixing his eyes upon her.] Perhaps, I could join you in that? And help you, Rita?
RITA. Would you?
ALLMERS. Yes--if I were only sure I could.
RITA. [Hesitatingly.] But then you would have to remain here.
ALLMERS. [Softly.] Let us try if it could not be so.
RITA. [Almost inaudibly.] Yes, let us, Alfred.
[Both are silent. Then ALLMERS goes up to the flagstaff and hoists the flag to the top. RITA stands beside the summer-house and looks at him in silence.]
ALLMERS. [Coming forward again.] We have a heavy day of work before us, Rita.
RITA. You will see--that now and then a Sabbath peace will descend on us.
ALLMERS. [Quietly, with emotion.] Then, perhaps, we shall know that the spirits are with us.
RITA. [Whispering.] The spirits?
ALLMERS. [As before.] Yes, they will perhaps be around us--those whom we have lost.
RITA. [Nods slowly.] Our little Eyolf. And your big Eyolf, too.
ALLMERS. [Gazing straight before him.] Now and then, perhaps, we may still-on the way through life--have a little, passing glimpse of them.
RITA. When, shall we look for them, Alfred?
ALLMERS. [Fixing his eyes upon her.] Upwards.
RITA. [Nods in approval.] Yes, yes--upwards.
ALLMERS. Upwards--towards the peaks. Towards the stars. And towards the great silence.
RITA. [Giving him her hand.] Thanks!