Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act I

HEDDA.

Well! And what did he say?

MRS. ELVSTED.

He said that when they parted, she threatened to shoot him with a pistol.

HEDDA.

[With cold composure.] Oh nonsense! No one does that sort of thing here.

MRS. ELVSTED.

No. And that is why I think it must have been that red-haired singing- woman whom he once — -

HEDDA.

Yes, very likely.

MRS. ELVSTED.

For I remember they used to say of her that she carried loaded firearms.

HEDDA.

Oh — then of course it must have been she.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Wringing her hands.] And now just fancy, Hedda — I hear that this singing-woman — that she is in town again! Oh, I don't know what to do — -

HEDDA.

[Glancing towards the inner room.] Hush! Here comes Tesman. [Rises and whispers.] Thea — all this must remain between you and me.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Springing up.] Oh yes — yes! For heaven's sake — -!

GEORGE TESMAN, with a letter in his hand, comes from the right through the inner room.

TESMAN.

There now — the epistle is finished.

HEDDA.

That's right. And now Mrs. Elvsted is just going. Wait a moment — I'll go with you to the garden gate.

TESMAN.

Do you think Berta could post the letter, Hedda dear?

HEDDA.

[Takes it.] I will tell her to.

BERTA enters from the hall.

BERTA.

Judge Brack wishes to know if Mrs. Tesman will receive him.

HEDDA.

Yes, ask Judge Brack to come in. And look here — put this letter in the post.

BERTA. [Taking the letter.] Yes, ma'am. [She opens the door for JUDGE BRACK and goes out herself. Brack is a main of forty-five; thick set, but well-built and elastic in his movements. His face is roundish with an aristocratic profile. His hair is short, still almost black, and carefully dressed. His eyebrows thick. His moustaches are also thick, with short-cut ends. He wears a well-cut walking-suit, a little too youthful for his age. He uses an eye-glass, which he now and then lets drop.

JUDGE BRACK.

[With his hat in his hand, bowing.] May one venture to call so early in the day?

HEDDA.

Of course one may.

TESMAN.

[Presses his hand.] You are welcome at any time. [Introducing him.] Judge Brack — Miss Rysing — -

HEDDA.

Oh — -!

BRACK.

[Bowing.] Ah — delighted — -

HEDDA.

[Looks at him and laughs.] It's nice to have a look at you by daylight, Judge!

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