Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act I

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, I am too restless to sit down.

HEDDA.

Oh no, you're not. Come here. [She draws MRS. ELVSTED down upon the sofa and sits at her side.

TESMAN.

Well? What is it, Mrs. Elvsted — -?

HEDDA.

Has anything particular happened to you at home?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes — and no. Oh — I am so anxious you should not misunderstand me — -

HEDDA.

Then your best plan is to tell us the whole story, Mrs. Elvsted.

TESMAN.

I suppose that's what you have come for — eh?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, yes — of course it is. Well then, I must tell you — if you don't already know — that Eilert Lovborg is in town, too.

HEDDA.

Lovborg — -!

TESMAN.

What! Has Eilert Lovborg come back? Fancy that, Hedda!

HEDDA.

Well well — I hear it.

MRS. ELVSTED.

He has been here a week already. Just fancy — a whole week! In this terrible town, alone! With so many temptations on all sides.

HEDDA.

But, my dear Mrs. Elvsted — how does he concern you so much?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Looks at her with a startled air, and says rapidly.] He was the children's tutor.

HEDDA.

Your children's?

MRS. ELVSTED.

My husband's. I have none.

HEDDA.

Your step-children's, then?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes.

TESMAN.

[Somewhat hesitatingly.] Then was he — I don't know how to express it — was he — regular enough in his habits to be fit for the post? Eh?

MRS. ELVSTED.

For the last two years his conduct has been irreproachable.

TESMAN.

Has it indeed? Fancy that, Hedda!

HEDDA.

I hear it.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Perfectly irreproachable, I assure you! In every respect. But all the same — now that I know he is here — in this great town — and with a large sum of money in his hands — I can't help being in mortal fear for him.

TESMAN.

Why did he not remain where he was? With you and your husband? Eh?

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