Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act I

HEDDA.

[Rising.] You ought to write to him, Tesman. Perhaps he may not care to come to you of his own accord.

TESMAN.

Well, perhaps it would be the right thing to do, Hedda? Eh?

HEDDA.

And the sooner the better. Why not at once?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Imploringly.] Oh, if you only would!

TESMAN.

I'll write this moment. Have you his address, Mrs. — Mrs. Elvsted.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes. [Takes a slip of paper from her pocket, and hands it to him.] Here it is.

TESMAN.

Good, good. Then I'll go in — - [Looks about him.] By-the-bye, — my slippers? Oh, here. [Takes the packet and is about to go.

HEDDA.

Be sure you write him a cordial, friendly letter. And a good long one too.

TESMAN.

Yes, I will.

MRS. ELVSTED.

But please, please don't say a word to show that I have suggested it.

TESMAN.

No, how could you think I would? Eh? [He goes out to the right, through the inner room.

HEDDA.

[Goes up to MRS. ELVSTED, smiles, and says in a low voice.] There! We have killed two birds with one stone.

MRS. ELVSTED.

What do you mean?

HEDDA.

Could you not see that I wanted him to go?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, to write the letter — -

HEDDA.

And that I might speak to you alone.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Confused.] About the same thing?

HEDDA.

Precisely.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Apprehensively.] But there is nothing more, Mrs. Tesman! Absolutely nothing!

HEDDA.

Oh yes, but there is. There is a great deal more — I can see that. Sit here — and we'll have a cosy, confidential chat. [She forces MRS. ELVSTED to sit in the easy-chair beside the stove, and seats herself on one of the footstools.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Anxiously, looking at her watch.] But, my dear Mrs. Tesman — I was really on the point of going.

HEDDA.

Oh, you can't be in such a hurry. — Well? Now tell me something about your life at home.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, that is just what I care least to speak about.

HEDDA.

But to me, dear — -? Why, weren't we schoolfellows?

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