Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act I

TESMAN.

Why, my dearest Hedda, how can you be so indifferent about it?

HEDDA.

[As before.] I am not at all indifferent. I am most eager to see who wins.

BRACK.

In any case, Mrs. Tesman, it is best that you should know how matters stand. I mean — before you set about the little purchases I hear you are threatening.

HEDDA.

This can make no difference.

BRACK.

Indeed! Then I have no more to say. Good-bye! [To TESMAN.] I shall look in on my way back from my afternoon walk, and take you home with me.

TESMAN.

Oh yes, yes — your news has quite upset me.

HEDDA.

[Reclining, holds out her hand.] Good-bye, Judge; and be sure you call in the afternoon.

BRACK.

Many thanks. Good-bye, good-bye!

TESMAN.

[Accompanying him to the door.] Good-bye my dear Judge! You must really excuse me — - [JUDGE BRACK goes out by the hall door.

TESMAN.

[Crosses the room.] Oh Hedda — one should never rush into adventures. Eh?

HEDDA.

[Looks at him, smiling.] Do you do that?

TESMAN.

Yes, dear — there is no denying — it was adventurous to go and marry and set up house upon mere expectations.

HEDDA.

Perhaps you are right there.

TESMAN.

Well — at all events, we have our delightful home, Hedda! Fancy, the home we both dreamed of — the home we were in love with, I may almost say. Eh?

HEDDA.

[Rising slowly and wearily.] It was part of our compact that we were to go into society — to keep open house.

TESMAN.

Yes, if you only knew how I had been looking forward to it! Fancy — to see you as hostess — in a select circle! Eh? Well, well, well — for the present we shall have to get on without society, Hedda — only to invite Aunt Julia now and then. — Oh, I intended you to lead such an utterly different life, dear — -!

HEDDA.

Of course I cannot have my man in livery just yet.

TESMAN.

Oh, no, unfortunately. It would be out of the question for us to keep a footman, you know.

HEDDA.

And the saddle-horse I was to have had — -

TESMAN.

[Aghast.] The saddle-horse!

HEDDA.

— -I suppose I must not think of that now.

TESMAN.

Good heavens, no! — that's as clear as daylight!

HEDDA.

[Goes up the room.] Well, I shall have one thing at least to kill time with in the meanwhile.

TESMAN.

[Beaming.] Oh thank heaven for that! What is it, Hedda. Eh?

HEDDA.

[In the middle doorway, looks at him with covert scorn.] My pistols, George.

TESMAN.

[In alarm.] Your pistols!

HEDDA.

[With cold eyes.] General Gabler's pistols. [She goes out through the inner room, to the left.

TESMAN.

[Rushes up to the middle doorway and calls after her:] No, for heaven's sake, Hedda darling — don't touch those dangerous things! For my sake Hedda! Eh?

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