Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act III

ACT THIRD.

The room at the TESMANS'. The curtains are drawn over the middle doorway, and also over the glass door. The lamp, half turned down, and with a shade over it, is burning on the table. In the stove, the door of which stands open, there has been a fire, which is now nearly burnt out.

MRS. ELVSTED, wrapped in a large shawl, and with her feet upon a foot-rest, sits close to the stove, sunk back in the arm-chair. HEDDA, fully dressed, lies sleeping upon the sofa, with a sofa-blanket over her.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[After a pause, suddenly sits up in her chair, and listens eagerly. Then she sinks back again wearily, moaning to herself.] Not yet! — Oh God — oh God — not yet!

BERTA slips cautiously in by the hall door. She has a letter in her hand.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Turns and whispers eagerly.] Well — has any one come?

BERTA.

[Softly.] Yes, a girl has just brought this letter.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Quickly, holding out her hand.] A letter! Give it to me!

BERTA.

No, it's for Dr. Tesman, ma'am.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, indeed.

BERTA.

It was Miss Tesman's servant that brought it. I'll lay it here on the table.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, do.

BERTA.

[Laying down the letter.] I think I had better put out the lamp. It's smoking.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, put it out. It must soon be daylight now.

BERTA.

[Putting out the lamp.] It is daylight already, ma'am.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, broad day! And no one come back yet — -!

BERTA.

Lord bless you, ma'am — I guessed how it would be.

MRS. ELVSTED.

You guessed?

BERTA.

Yes, when I saw that a certain person had come back to town — and that he went off with them. For we've heard enough about that gentleman before now.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Don't speak so loud. You will waken Mrs. Tesman.

BERTA.

[Looks towards the sofa and sighs.] No, no — let her sleep, poor thing. Shan't I put some wood on the fire?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Thanks, not for me.

BERTA.

Oh, very well. [She goes softly out by the hall door.

HEDDA.

[Is wakened by the shutting of the door, and looks up.] What's that — -?

MRS. ELVSTED.

It was only the servant.

HEDDA.

[Looking about her.] Oh, we're here — -! Yes, now I remember. [Sits erect upon the sofa, stretches herself, and rubs her eyes.] What o'clock is it, Thea?

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