Dialogue in English

D is the doctor. C is the Copenhagener. I is the engineer.

D: Now let’s see how the well cover looks on top.
C: It’s the bit a worse for wear, isn’t in?
D: Let’s call it rotten. And it’s covered by a thick layer of filth.
C: Where does that come from?
D: You’ll see.
C: That’s the cow stables. Isn’t that a cute little kitty?
D: You ought to look at the man’s feet.
C: Ouch, he really put his foot in it.
D: Yes, and in a minute he’ll step on the well cover.
C: What’s that? Is she washing – diapers?
D: Yes, and now she’s trudging through the unsavory soapy water.
C: She’s probably headed for the well too.
D: No doubt.
C: I can’t see what … oh, the poor fellow needs to relieve himself.
D: Or the poor fellow is ill, and without thinking, he stomps his own germs onto the well cover.
C: Where there’s a heart on the door …
D: … there’s also a bucket, and that must be emptied from time to time…
C: Where’s he going with it?
D: It’s probably going to be emptied onto the dunghill – it usually is – and if someone on the farm is ill, we have the whole scandal, because the sick person’s germs will end up, sooner or later, on the well cover.
C: Why don’t we take a look down the well?
D: With pleasure.
C: What is that, if I may be so bold?
D: That’s just a dead rat.
C: Ugh! I’ll be da… I’ll be doggone.
D: Maybe you ought to say: rats!
C: And that?
D: That’s a toad. In a moment, it’ll tumble down …
C: … down to the rat?
D: Can you see how the well wall is damp and slimy?
C: Yes, where does the damp come from?
D: It seeps in from the outside … Mr. Engineer, you know more about that.
I: Look at this – very close to the well lies the dunghill …
C: And what’s that on the other side of the well?
I: That’s a sewer pipe.
C: What’s the matter with that?
I: You’ll see.
C: Is it that the pipes don’t meet?
I: Bravo, you’re recovering.
C: Thank you.
I: You’re welcome. You can see here how the filth from both sides seeps into the well. And why?
C: Because the well walls aren’t waterproof.
I: Correct – A+.
C: But the water coming out of the spout is both clear and clean.
D: You mustn’t let that fool you. Even if the water looks crystal clear, it can contain millions of germs. There are all kinds of diseases that can spread contagion through the water – typhoid, paratyphoid, Weil’s disease, dysentery, even poliomyelitis can derive from well water.
C: Ugh! Tell me, is that strawberries she’s rinsing?
D: Yes, in water from the dunghill.
C: She’s probably not thinking of that.
D: No, fortunately for her … You can be sure that she isn’t thinking about that she’s brushing her teeth with sewer water.
C: He’s really splashing about.
D: If only he knew that there is a dead rat down the well.
C: Cleanliness is a virtue …
D: …said the old woman and cooled the bathwater with dirty water from the well – and now just wait and see what happens … there you go! the sponge in the mouth with germs and everything.

Translated by Casper Tybjerg.

Det Danske Filminstitut CARL TH. DREYER - THE MAN AND HIS WORK

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