A monologue from the play by Henrik Ibsen
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Collected Works of Henrik Ibsen, vol. vi: The League of Youth/Pillars of Society. Ed. William Archer. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1912.
I didn’t get you here to argue with you. I sent for you to tell you that the Indian Girl must be ready to sail the day after tomorrow. The day after tomorrow, do you hear?
At the same time as our own ship; not an hour later. I have my reasons for hurrying the affair. Have you read this morning’s paper? Ah!–then you know that the Americans have been making disturbances again.
The ruffianly crew turn the whole town topsy-turvy. Not a night passes without fights in the taverns or on the street; not to speak of other abominations. And who gets the blame of all this?
It is I–yes, I–that suffer for it. These wretched newspaper-men are covertly carping at us for giving our whole attention to the Palm Tree. And I, whose mission it is to set an example to my fellow citizens, must have such things thrown in my teeth!
I won’t bear it. I cannot have my name bespattered in this way. Not just now; precisely at this moment I need all the respect and goodwill of my fellow citizens, I have a great undertaking in hand,
as you have probably heard; and if evil-disposed persons should succeed in shaking people’s unqualified confidence in me, it may involve me in the most serious difficulties.
I must silence these carping and spiteful scribblers at any cost; and that is why I give you till the day after tomorrow.