Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

BRACK.

Well, good-bye, good-bye, ladies.

LOVBORG.

[Bowing.] About ten o'clock, then, [BRACK, LOVBORG, and TESMAN go out by the hall door. At the same time, BERTA enters from the inner room with a lighted lamp, which she places on the drawing-room table; she goes out by the way she came.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Who has risen and is wandering restlessly about the room.] Hedda — Hedda — what will come of all this?

HEDDA.

At ten o'clock — he will be here. I can see him already — with vine- leaves in his hair — flushed and fearless — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, I hope he may.

HEDDA.

And then, you see — then he will have regained control over himself. Then he will be a free man for all his days.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh God! — if he would only come as you see him now!

HEDDA.

He will come as I see him — so, and not otherwise! [Rises and approaches THEA.] You may doubt him as long as you please; I believe in him. And now we will try — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

You have some hidden motive in this, Hedda!

HEDDA.

Yes, I have. I want for once in my life to have power to mould a human destiny.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Have you not the power?

HEDDA.

I have not — and have never had it.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Not your husband's?

HEDDA.

Do you think that is worth the trouble? Oh, if you could only understand how poor I am. And fate has made you so rich! [Clasps her passionately in her arms.] I think I must burn your hair off after all.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Let me go! Let me go! I am afraid of you, Hedda!

BERTA.

[In the middle doorway.] Tea is laid in the dining-room, ma'am.

HEDDA.

Very well. We are coming

MRS. ELVSTED.

No, no, no! I would rather go home alone! At once!

HEDDA.

Nonsense! First you shall have a cup of tea, you little stupid. And then — at ten o'clock — Eilert Lovborg will be here — with vine-leaves in his hair. [She drags MRS. ELVSTED almost by force to the middle doorway.

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