Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

BRACK.

Well, I say that a moral victory — h'm — may be all very fine — -

TESMAN.

Yes, certainly. But all the same — -

HEDDA.

[Looking at TESMAN with a cold smile.] You stand there looking as if you were thunderstruck — -

TESMAN.

Yes — so I am — I almost think — -

BRACK.

Don't you see, Mrs. Tesman, a thunderstorm has just passed over?

HEDDA.

[Pointing towards the room.] Will you not take a glass of cold punch, gentlemen?

BRACK.

[Looking at his watch.] A stirrup-cup? Yes, it wouldn't come amiss.

TESMAN.

A capital idea, Hedda! Just the thing! Now that the weight has been taken off my mind — -

HEDDA.

Will you not join them, Mr. Lovborg?

LOVBORG.

[With a gesture of refusal.] No, thank you. Nothing for me.

BRACK.

Why bless me — cold punch is surely not poison.

LOVBORG.

Perhaps not for everyone.

HEDDA.

I will deep Mr. Lovborg company in the meantime.

TESMAN.

Yes, yes, Hedda dear, do. [He and BRACK go into the inner room, seat themselves, drink punch, smoke cigarettes, and carry on a lively conversation during what follows. EILERT LOVBORG remains standing beside the stove. HEDDA goes to the writing-table.

HEDDA.

[Raising he voice a little.] Do you care to look at some photographs, Mr. Lovborg? You know Tesman and I made a tour in they Tyrol on our way home? [She takes up an album, and places it on the table beside the sofa, in the further corner of which she seats herself. EILERT LOVBORG approaches, stops, and looks at her. Then he takes a chair and seats himself to her left.

HEDDA.

[Opening the album.] Do you see this range of mountains, Mr. Lovborg? It's the Ortler group. Tesman has written the name underneath. Here it is: "The Ortler group near Meran."

LOVBORG.

[Who has never taken his eyes off her, says softly and slowly:] Hedda — Gabler!

HEDDA.

[Glancing hastily at him.] Ah! Hush!

LOVBORG.

[Repeats softly.] Hedda Gabler!

HEDDA.

[Looking at the album.] That was my name in the old days — when we two knew each other.

LOVBORG.

And I must teach myself never to say Hedda Gabler again — never, as long as I live.

HEDDA.

[Still turning over the pages.] Yes, you must. And I think you ought to practise in time. The sooner the better, I should say.

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At the end of the play, Hedda realizes that




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