Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

HEDDA.

And perhaps you have confided to her something about us?

LOVBORG.

Not a word. She is too stupid to understand anything of that sort.

HEDDA.

Stupid?

LOVBORG.

She is stupid about matters of that sort.

HEDDA.

And I am cowardly. [Bends over towards him, without looking him in the face, and says more softly:] But now I will confide something to you.

LOVBORG.

[Eagerly.] Well?

HEDDA.

The fact that I dared not shoot you down — -

LOVBORG.

Yes!

HEDDA.

— -that was not my arrant cowardice — that evening.

LOVBORG.

[Looks at her a moment, understands, and whispers passionately.] Oh, Hedda! Hedda Gabler! Now I begin to see a hidden reason beneath our comradeship! You(11) and I — -! After all, then, it was your craving for life — -

HEDDA.

[Softly, with a sharp glance.] Take care! Believe nothing of the sort! [Twilight has begun to fall. The hall door is opened from without by BERTA.

HEDDA.

[Closes the album with a bang and calls smilingly:] Ah, at last! My darling Thea, — come along!

MRS. ELVSTED enters from the hall. She is in evening dress. The door is closed behind her.

HEDDA.

[On the sofa, stretches out her arms towards her.] My sweet Thea — you can't think how I have been longing for you! [MRS. ELVSTED, in passing, exchanges slight salutations with the gentlemen in the inner room, then goes up to the table and gives HEDDA her hand. EILERT LOVBORG has risen. He and MRS. ELVSTED greet each other with a silent nod.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Ought I to go in and talk to your husband for a moment?

HEDDA.

Oh, not at all. Leave those two alone. They will soon be going.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Are they going out?

HEDDA.

Yes, to a supper-party.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Quickly, to LOVBORG.] Not you?

LOVBORG.

No.

HEDDA.

Mr. Lovborg remains with us.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Takes a chair and is about to seat herself at his side.] Oh, how nice it is here!

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