Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

LOVBORG.

How so?

HEDDA.

Or rather on account of other people.

LOVBORG.

Indeed?

HEDDA.

Otherwise people might be apt to suspect that — in your heart of hearts — you did not feel quite secure — quite confident in yourself.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Softly.] Oh please, Hedda — -!

LOVBORG.

People may suspect what they like — for the present.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Joyfully.] Yes, let them!

HEDDA.

I saw it plainly in Judge Brack's face a moment ago.

LOVBORG.

What did you see?

HEDDA.

His contemptuous smile, when you dared not go with them into the inner room.

LOVBORG.

Dared not? Of course I preferred to stop here and talk to you.

MRS. ELVSTED.

What could be more natural, Hedda?

HEDDA.

But the Judge could not guess that. And I say, too, the way he smiled and glanced at Tesman when you dared not accept his invitation to this wretched little supper-party of his.

LOVBORG.

Dared not! Do you say I dared not?

HEDDA.

I don't say so. But that was how Judge Brack understood it.

LOVBORG.

Well, let him.

HEDDA.

Then you are not going with them?

LOVBORG.

I will stay here with you and Thea.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, Hedda — how can you doubt that?

HEDDA.

[Smiles and nods approvingly to LOVBORG.] Firm as a rock! Faithful to your principles, now and for ever! Ah, that is how a man should be! [Turns to MRS. ELVSTED and caresses her.] Well now, what did I tell you, when you came to us this morning in such a state of distraction — -

LOVBORG.

[Surprised.] Distraction!

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Terrified.] Hedda — oh Hedda — -!

HEDDA.

You can see for yourself! You haven't the slightest reason to be in such mortal terror — - [Interrupting herself.] There! Now we can all three enjoy ourselves!

LOVBORG.

[Who has given a start.] Ah — what is all this, Mrs. Tesman?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh my God, Hedda! What are you saying? What are you doing?

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