By Molière

Alceste, misanthrope farouche, aime l. a. coquette Célimène. Par sa mauvaise humeur et sa franchise brutale, "l'homme aux rubans verts" détonne dans le salon de sa belle, peuplé de petits marquis frivoles et de poètes amateurs. Célimène renoncera-t-elle à ses nombreux soupirants pour suivre Alceste dans los angeles retraite où il prétend se réfugier ?

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Særlig flittig var han med penselen, han malte på det han kom over, og apoteket var fullt av bildene hans. Han tegnet karikaturer av alle han så, husets folk, kunder og ellers store og små i byen. Og han viste dem gjerne fram. Slik kom pennen gradvis til å bryte isen og gjøre Grimstads befolk­ ning oppmerksom på at de hadde en apotekerlærling med ganske usedvanlige evner blant seg. Alt fra den første tiden gjorde han seg også bemerket med sin kjappe replikk og imponerende rimkunst, og det sies at guttene og jentene i byen flokket seg rundt ham for å høre på vittighetene hans.

Han kan nå titulere seg medhjelper, og ikke bare lærling. Måneden etter frafaller Reimann ankesaken og overdrar apoteket til sin fordringshaver, som igjen selger videre til Reimanns tidligere lær­ ling og Henriks forgjenger, Lars Nielsen. Dermed tar tingene en ny vending, både i den lokale apotekhistorien og i Ibsens liv. Lars Nielsen var en ung mann med pågangsmot, og med en smule kapital i bakhånd. Apoteket ble flyttet til en sentral gård i Østregade, og vareutvalget ble utvidet med kolonialvarer og fine 41 Henrik Ibsen - Mennesket og masken viner.

28 Skien Venstøp På Venstøp var familien Ibsen prisgitt et nøkternt levesett. Gårds­ driften kastet noe av seg, men neppe nok. Knud Ibsen holdt det gående med litt plankekjøring for Fossum jernverk og andre tilfeldige jobber han kunne få, og jevnlig sendte han inn søknader om stilling som undertollbetjent i distriktet. Antagelig har en fast stilling fristet frem­ for å starte som kjøpmann fra bunnen av igjen, men søknadene kom alltid i retur med nedslående svar. En tid arbeidet han litt hos prokurator Blom, men alt i alt slet han for å holde kreditorene fra livet.

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