Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act I

TESMAN.

Well, fortunately, Judge Brack has secured the most favourable terms for me, so he said in a letter to Hedda.

MISS TESMAN.

Yes, don't be uneasy, my dear boy. — Besides, I have given security for the furniture and all the carpets.

TESMAN.

Security? You? My dear Aunt Julia — what sort of security could you give?

MISS TESMAN.

I have given a mortgage on our annuity.

TESMAN.

[Jumps up.] What! On your — and Aunt Rina's annuity!

MISS TESMAN.

Yes, I knew of no other plan, you see.

TESMAN.

[Placing himself before her.] Have you gone out of your senses, Auntie? Your annuity — it's all that you and Aunt Rina have to live upon.

MISS TESMAN.

Well well — don't get so excited about it. It's only a matter of form you know — Judge Brack assured me of that. It was he that was kind enough to arrange the whole affair for me. A mere matter of form, he said.

TESMAN.

Yes, that may be all very well. But nevertheless — -

MISS TESMAN.

You will have your own salary to depend upon now. And, good heavens, even if we did have to pay up a little — -! To eke things out a bit at the start — -! Why, it would be nothing but a pleasure to us.

TESMAN.

Oh Auntie — will you never be tired of making sacrifices for me!

MISS TESMAN.

[Rises and lays her hand on his shoulders.] Have I any other happiness in this world except to smooth your way for you, my dear boy. You, who have had neither father nor mother to depend on. And now we have reached the goal, George! Things have looked black enough for us, sometimes; but, thank heaven, now you have nothing to fear.

TESMAN.

Yes, it is really marvellous how every thing has turned out for the best.

MISS TESMAN.

And the people who opposed you — who wanted to bar the way for you — now you have them at your feet. They have fallen, George. Your most dangerous rival — his fall was the worst. — And now he has to lie on the bed he has made for himself — poor misguided creature.

TESMAN.

Have you heard anything of Eilert? Since I went away, I mean.

MISS TESMAN.

Only that he is said to have published a new book.

TESMAN.

What! Eilert Lovborg! Recently — eh?

MISS TESMAN.

Yes, so they say. Heaven knows whether it can be worth anything! Ah, when your new book appears — that will be another story, George! What is it to be about?

TESMAN.

It will deal with the domestic industries of Brabant during the Middle Ages.

MISS TESMAN.

Fancy — to be able to write on such a subject as that!

TESMAN.

However, it may be some time before the book is ready. I have all these collections to arrange first, you see.

MISS TESMAN.

Yes, collecting and arranging — no one can beat you at that. There you are my poor brother's own son.

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