Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

BRACK.

And then you might bring your manuscript with you, and read it to Tesman at my house. I could give you a room to yourselves.

TESMAN.

Yes, think of that, Eilert, — why shouldn't you? Eh?

HEDDA.

[Interposing.] But, Tesman, if Mr. Lovborg would really rather not! I am sure Mr. Lovborg is much more inclined to remain here and have supper with me.

LOVBORG.

[Looking at her.] With you, Mrs. Tesman?

HEDDA.

And with Mrs. Elvsted.

LOVBORG.

Ah — - [Lightly.] I saw her for a moment this morning.

HEDDA.

Did you? Well, she is coming this evening. So you see you are almost bound to remain, Mr. Lovborg, or she will have no one to see her home.

LOVBORG.

That's true. Many thanks, Mrs. Tesman — in that case I will remain.

HEDDA.

Then I have one or two orders to give the servant — - [She goes to the hall door and rings. BERTA enters. HEDDA talks to her in a whisper, and points towards the inner room. BERTA nods and goes out again.

TESMAN.

[At the same time, to LOVBORG.] Tell me, Eilert — is it this new subject — the future — that you are going to lecture about?

LOVBORG.

Yes.

TESMAN.

They told me at the bookseller's that you are going to deliver a course of lectures this autumn.

LOVBORG.

That is my intention. I hope you won't take it ill, Tesman.

TESMAN.

Oh no, not in the least! But — -?

LOVBORG.

I can quite understand that it must be very disagreeable to you.

TESMAN.

[Cast down.] Oh, I can't expect you, out of consideration for me, to — -

LOVBORG.

But I shall wait till you have received your appointment.

TESMAN.

Will you wait? Yes but — yes but — are you not going to compete with me? Eh?

LOVBORG.

No; it is only the moral victory I care for.

TESMAN.

Why, bless me — then Aunt Julia was right after all! Oh yes — I knew it! Hedda! Just fancy — Eilert Lovborg is not going to stand in our way!

HEDDA.

[Curtly.] Our way? Pray leave me out of the question. [She goes up towards the inner room, where BERTA is placing a tray with decanters and glasses on the table. HEDDA nods approval, and comes forward again. BERTA goes out.

TESMAN.

[At the same time.] And you, Judge Brack — what do you say to this? Eh?

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