Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

HEDDA.

Which you understood so particularly well — -

LOVBORG.

How could you sit and question me like that? Question me quite frankly — -

HEDDA.

In roundabout terms, please observe.

LOVBORG.

Yes, but frankly nevertheless. Cross-question me about — all that sort of thing?

HEDDA.

And how could you answer, Mr. Lovborg?

LOVBORG.

Yes, that is just what I can't understand — in looking back upon it. But tell me now, Hedda — was there not love at the bottom of our friendship? On your side, did you not feel as though you might purge my stains away — if I made you my confessor? Was it not so?

HEDDA.

No, not quite.

LOVBORG.

What was you motive, then?

HEDDA.

Do think it quite incomprehensible that a young girl — when it can be done — without any one knowing — -

LOVBORG.

Well?

HEDDA.

— -should be glad to have a peep, now and then, into a world which — -?

LOVBORG.

Which — -?

HEDDA.

— -which she is forbidden to know anything about?

LOVBORG.

So that was it?

HEDDA.

Partly. Partly — I almost think.

LOVBORG.

Comradeship in the thirst for life. But why should not that, at any rate, have continued?

HEDDA.

The fault was yours.

LOVBORG.

It was you that broke with me.

HEDDA.

Yes, when our friendship threatened to develop into something more serious. Shame upon you, Eilert Lovborg! How could you think of wronging your — your frank comrade.

LOVBORG.

[Clenches his hands.] Oh, why did you not carry out your threat? Why did you not shoot me down?

HEDDA.

Because I have such a dread of scandal.

LOVBORG.

Yes, Hedda, you are a coward at heart.

HEDDA.

A terrible coward. [Changing her tone.] But it was a lucky thing for you. And now you have found ample consolation at the Elvsteds'.

LOVBORG.

I know what Thea has confided to you.

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