Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

HEDDA.

No, thank you, my little Thea! Not there! You'll be good enough to come over here to me. I will sit between you.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, just as you please. [She goes round the table and seats herself on the sofa on HEDDA'S right. LOVBORG re-seats himself on his chair.

LOVBORG.

[After a short pause, to HEDDA.] Is not she lovely to look at?

HEDDA.

[Lightly stroking her hair.] Only to look at!

LOVBORG.

Yes. For we two — she and I — we are two real comrades. We have absolute faith in each other; so we can sit and talk with perfect frankness — -

HEDDA.

Not round about, Mr. Lovborg?

LOVBORG.

Well — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Softly clinging close to HEDDA.] Oh, how happy I am, Hedda! For only think, he says I have inspired him too.

HEDDA.

[Looks at her with a smile.] Ah! Does he say that, dear?

LOVBORG.

And then she is so brave, Mrs. Tesman!

MRS. ELVSTED.

Good heavens — am I brave?

LOVBORG.

Exceedingly — where your comrade is concerned.

HEDDA.

Exceedingly — where your comrade is concerned.

HEDDA.

Ah, yes — courage! If one only had that!

LOVBORG.

What then? What do you mean?

HEDDA.

Then life would perhaps be liveable, after all. [With a sudden change of tone.] But now, my dearest Thea, you really must have a glass of cold punch.

MRS. ELVSTED.

No, thanks — I never take anything of that kind.

HEDDA.

Well then, you, Mr. Lovborg.

LOVBORG.

Nor I, thank you.

MRS. ELVSTED.

No, he doesn't either.

HEDDA.

[Looks fixedly at him.] But if I say you shall?

LOVBORG.

It would be of no use.

HEDDA.

[Laughing.] Then I, poor creature, have no sort of power over you?

LOVBORG.

Not in that respect.

HEDDA.

But seriously, I think you ought to — for your own sake.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Why, Hedda — -!

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