Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act I

TESMAN.

[Following.] Yes, but have you noticed what splendid condition she is in? How she has filled out on the journey?

HEDDA.

[Crossing the room.] Oh, do be quiet — -!

MISS TESMAN.

[Who has stopped and turned.] Filled out?

TESMAN.

Of course you don't notice it so much now that she has that dress on. But I, who can see — -

HEDDA.

[At the glass door, impatiently.] Oh, you can't see anything.

TESMAN.

It must be the mountain air in the Tyrol — -

HEDDA.

[Curtly, interrupting.] I am exactly as I was when I started.

TESMAN.

So you insist; but I'm quite certain you are not. Don't you agree with me, Auntie?

MISS TESMAN.

[Who has been gazing at her with folded hands.] Hedda is lovely — lovely — lovely. [Goes up to her, takes her head between both hands, draws it downwards, and kisses her hair.] God bless and preserve Hedda Tesman — for George's sake.

HEDDA.

[Gently freeing herself.] Oh — ! Let me go.

MISS TESMAN.

[In quiet emotion.] I shall not let a day pass without coming to see you.

TESMAN.

No you won't, will you, Auntie? Eh?

MISS TESMAN.

Good-bye — good-bye! [She goes out by the hall door. TESMAN accompanies her. The door remains half open. TESMAN can be heard repeating his message to Aunt Rina and his thanks for the slippers. [In the meantime, HEDDA walks about the room, raising her arms and clenching her hands as if in desperation. Then she flings back the curtains from the glass door, and stands there looking out. [Presently, TESMAN returns and closes the door behind him.

TESMAN.

[Picks up the slippers from the floor.] What are you looking at, Hedda?

HEDDA.

[Once more calm and mistress of herself.] I am only looking at the leaves. They are so yellow — so withered.

TESMAN.

[Wraps up the slippers and lays them on the table.] Well, you see, we are well into September now.

HEDDA.

[Again restless.] Yes, to think of it! — already in — in September.

TESMAN.

Don't you think Aunt Julia's manner was strange, dear? Almost solemn? Can you imagine what was the matter with her? Eh?

HEDDA.

I scarcely know her, you see. Is she not often like that?

TESMAN.

No, not as she was to-day.

HEDDA.

[Leaving the glass door.] Do you think she was annoyed about the bonnet?

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