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Solveig - Be it mean or brave, here is all to my mind,

One so lightly draws breath in the teeth of the wind.
Down below it was airless; one felt as though choked :
That was partly what drove me in fear from the dale.
But here, with the fir branches soughing o'erhead,
What a stillness and song! I am here in my

home.
Peer — And know you that surely ? For all your days ?
Solveig The path I have trodden leads back nevermore.
Peer - You are mine then ! In! In the room let me see you!

Go in! I must go to fetch fir-roots for fuel.
Warm shall the fire be and bright shall it shine;

You shall sit softly and never be a-cold. [He opens the door ; SOLVEIG goes in. He stands still for a while,

then laughs aloud with joy and leaps into the air. Peer — My king's daughter! Now I have found her and won her!

Hei! Now the palace shall rise, deeply founded ! [He seizes his ax and moves away; at the same moment an OLD

LOOKING WOMAN, in a tattered green gown, comes out from the wood ; an UGLY BRAT, with an ale flagon in his hand, limps

after, holding on to her skirt. The Woman - Good evening, Peer Lightfoot! Peer

What is it? Who's there? The Woman - Old friends of yours, Peer Gynt! My home is near by.

We are neighbors. Peer

Indeed ? That is more than I know. The Woman Even as your hut was builded, mine built itself too. Peer [going] — I'm in haste The Woman

Yes, that you are always, my lad;
But I'll trudge behind you and catch you at last.
Peer – You're mistaken, good woman!
The Woman

I was so before;
I was when you promised such mighty fine things.
Peer -- I promised — ? What devil's own nonsense is this?
The Woman ---

You've forgotten the night when you drank with my sire ?

You've forgot —? Peer

I've forgot what I never have known. What's this that you prate of? When last did we meet? The Woman When last we met was when first we met.

[To the Brat] Give your father a drink: he is thirsty, I'm sure. Peer

- Father? You're drunk, woman! Do you call him — ? The Woman

I should think you might well know the pig by its skin!

Why, wbere are your eyes ? Can't you see that he's lame in

His shank, just as you too are lame in your soul ?
Peer — Would you have me believe — ?
The Woman -

Would you wriggle away?
Peer - This long-legged urchin?
The Woman -

He's shot up apace.
Peer — Dare you, you troll-snout, father on me — ?
The Woman

Come now, Peer Gynt, you're as rude as an ox! [Weeping.
Is it my fault if no longer I'm fair,
As I was when you lured me on hillside and lea?
Last fall, in my labor, the Fiend held my back,
And so 'twas no wonder I came out a fright.
But if you would see me as fair as before,
You have only to turn yonder girl out of doors,
Drive her clean out of your sight and your mind ; -

Do but this, dear my love, and I'll soon lose my snout!
Peer Begone from me, troll-witch!
The Woman -

Ay, see if I do!
Peer — I'll split your skull open!
The Woman

Just try if you dare!
Ho-ho, Peer Gynt, I've no fear of blows !
Be sure I'll return every day of the year.
I'll set the door ajar and peep in at you both.
When you're sitting with your girl on the fireside bench, -
When you're tender, Peer Gynt, — when you'd pet and caress

her,—
I'll seat myself by you, and ask for my share.
She there and I, we will take you by turns.

Farewell, dear my lad, you can marry to-morrow!
Peer -- You nightmare of hell !
The Woman -

By-the-by, I forgot!
You must rear your own youngster, you light-footed scamp!

Little imp, will you go to your father ?
The Brat [spits at him]-

Faugh!
I'll chop you with my hatchet; only wait, only wait!
The Woman [kisses the Brat] -

What a head he has got on his shoulders, the dear!

You'll be father's living image when once you're a man. Peer (stamping]

Oh, would you were as far — ! The Woman

As we now are near? Peer [clinching his hands]

And all this!

The Woman - For nothing but thoughts and desires !

It is hard on you, Peer! Peer

For nothing but thoughts and desires ! It is hard on you, Peer! The Woman

For nothing but thoughts and desires ! It is hard on you, Peer! Peer

It is worst for another! Solveig, my fairest, my purest gold ! The Woman - Oh ay, 'tis the guiltless must smart, said the Devil:

His mother boxed his ears when his father was drunk ! [She trudges off into the thicket with the Brat, who throws the

flagon at Peer Gynt. Peer [after a long silence]

The Boyg said, “ Go roundabout !” so one must here.
There fell my fine palace, with crash and clatter !
There's a wall around her whom I stood so near;
Of a sudden all's ugly - my joy has grown old. —
Roundabout, lad! There's no way to be found
Right through all this from where you stand to her.
Right through? Hm, surely there should be one.
There's a text on repentance, unless I mistake.
But what? What is it? I haven't the book.
I've forgotten it mostly, and here there is none
That can guide me aright in the pathless wood. —
Repentance ? And maybe 'twould take whole years,
Ere I fought my way through. 'Twere a meager life, that,
To shatter what's radiant and lovely and pure,
And clinch it together in fragments and shards?
You can do it with the fiddle, but not with a bell.
Where you'd have the sward green, you must mind not to

trample.
'Twas naught but a lie though, that witch-snout business!
Now all that foulness is well out of sight.
Ay, out of sight maybe, not out of mind.
Thoughts will sneak stealthily in at my heel.
Ingrid! And the three, they that danced on the heights !
Will they too want to join us ? With vixenish spite
Will they claim to be folded, like her, to my breast,
To be tenderly lifted on outstretched arms ?
Roundabout, lad : though my arms were as long
As the root of the fir, or the pine-tree's stem,-
I think even then I should hold her too near,
To set her down pure and untarnished again.
I must roundabout here, then, as best I may,

And see that it bring me nor gain nor loss.
One must put such things from one, and try to forget.

[Goes a few steps towards the hut, and stops again.)
Go in after this? So befouled and disgraced ?
Go in with that troll rabble after me still ?
Speak, yet be silent; confess, yet conceal - ?

[Throws away his ax.]
It's a holy-day evening. For me to keep tryst,

Such as now I am, would be sacrilege.
Solveig [in the doorway]-

Are you coming ?
Peer (half aloud]- Roundabout!
Solveig

What?
Peer

You must wait.
It is dark, and I've got something heavy to fetch.
Solveig - Wait; I will help you; the burden we'll share.
Peer No, stay where you are! I must bear it alone.
Solveig - But don't go too far, dear!
Peer

Be patient, my girl;
Be my way long or short

you must wait. Solveig [nodding to him as he goes)

Yes, I'll wait! [Peer Gynt goes down the wood-path. Solveig remains standing in SELWYN IMAGE.

the open half-door.

SELWYN IMAGE, artist, born about 1850. Educated at Brighton College and Marlborough, and took a degree at New College, Oxford, 1872. Was ordained in the same year, and continued in orders until 1880, when he gave up clerical work altogether and began the study of art. With Herbert Stone, he started the Hobby Horse in 1886.

DE PROFUNDIS.

(From “Poems and Carols.") BECAUSE the world is very stern;

Because the work is very long;

Because the foes are very strong,
Whatever side I turn:
Because my spirit ebbs away;

Because my spirit's eyes are dim;

Because with failures to the brim
My cup fills day by day :
Because forbidden ways invite;

Because the smile of sin is sweet;

Because so readily run my feet
Towards paths, that close in night,
Because God's face I long to see;

Because God's image stamps me yet;

Oh! by Thy Passion, Christ, forget
Me not, who fly to Thee !

FINIS.
A LITTLE while, and all in silence ends.
My best or worst ! On each at last descends
The fatal curtain ! Soul, thy part is played :
No voice thou heedest now of foes or friends!
In one strait space of clinging earth I lie,
Unmoved for storm or sunlight drifting by:

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