Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

HEDDA.

Don't get excited! That horrid Judge Brack is sitting watching you.

LOVBORG.

So she was in mortal terror! On my account!

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Softly and piteously.] Oh, Hedda — now you have ruined everything!

LOVBORG.

[Looks fixedly at her for a moment. His face is distorted.] So that was my comrade's frank confidence in me?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Imploringly.] Oh, my dearest friend — only let me tell you — -

LOVBORG.

[Takes one of the glasses of punch, raises it to his lips, and says in a low, husky voice.] Your health, Thea! [He empties the glass, puts it down, and takes the second.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Softly.] Oh, Hedda, Hedda — how could you do this?

HEDDA.

I do it? I? Are you crazy?

LOVBORG.

Here's to your health too, Mrs. Tesman. Thanks for the truth. Hurrah for the truth! [He empties the glass and is about to re-fill it.

HEDDA.

[Lays her hand on his arm.] Come, come — no more for the present. Remember you are going out to supper.

MRS. ELVSTED.

No, no, no!

HEDDA.

Hush! They are sitting watching you.

LOVBORG.

[Putting down the glass.] Now, Thea — tell me the truth — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes.

LOVBORG.

Did your husband know that you had come after me?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Wringing her hands.] Oh, Hedda — do you hear what his is asking?

LOVBORG.

Was it arranged between you and him that you were to come to town and look after me? Perhaps it was the Sheriff himself that urged you to come? Aha, my dear — no doubt he wanted my help in his office! Or was it at the card-table that he missed me?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Softly, in agony.] Oh, Lovborg, Lovborg — -!

LOVBORG.

[Seizes a glass and is on the point of filling it.] Here's a glass for the old Sheriff too!

HEDDA.

[Preventing him.] No more just now. Remember, you have to read your manuscript to Tesman.

LOVBORG.

[Calmly, putting down the glass.] It was stupid of me all this. Thea — to take it in this way, I mean. Don't be angry with me, my dear, dear comrade. You shall see — both you and the others — that if I was fallen once — now I have risen again! Thanks to you, Thea.

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