Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act I

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Shakes her head.] It cannot be otherwise — not with him. I don't think he really cares for any one but himself — and perhaps a little for the children.

HEDDA.

And for Eilert Lovborg, Thea?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Looking at her.] For Eilert Lovborg? What puts that into your head?

HEDDA.

Well, my dear — I should say, when he sends you after him all the way to town — - [Smiling almost imperceptibly.] And besides, you said so yourself, to Tesman.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[With a little nervous twitch.] Did I? Yes, I suppose I did. [Vehemently, but not loudly.] No — I may just as well make a clean breast of it at once! For it must all come out in any case.

HEDDA.

Why, my dear Thea — -?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Well, to make a long story short: My husband did not know that I was coming.

HEDDA.

What! Your husband didn't know it!

MRS. ELVSTED.

No, of course not. For that matter, he was away from home himself — he was travelling. Oh, I could bear it no longer, Hedda! I couldn't indeed — so utterly alone as I should have been in future.

HEDDA.

Well? And then?

MRS. ELVSTED.

So I put together some of my things — what I needed most — as quietly as possible. And then I left the house.

HEDDA.

Without a word?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes — and took the train to town.

HEDDA.

Why, my dear, good Thea — to think of you daring to do it!

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Rises and moves about the room.] What else could I possibly do?

HEDDA.

But what do you think your husband will say when you go home again?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[At the table, looks at her.] Back to him?

HEDDA.

Of course.

MRS. ELVSTED.

I shall never go back to him again.

HEDDA.

[Rising and going towards her.] Then you have left your home — for good and all?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes. There was nothing else to be done.

HEDDA.

But then — to take flight so openly.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, it's impossible to keep things of that sort secret.

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