Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

BRACK.

His correctness and respectability are beyond all question.

HEDDA.

And I don't see anything absolutely ridiculous about him. — Do you?

BRACK.

Ridiculous? N — no — I shouldn't exactly say so — -

HEDDA.

Well — and his powers of research, at all events, are untiring. — I see no reason why he should not one day come to the front, after all.

BRACK.

[Looks at her hesitatingly.] I thought that you, like every one else, expected him to attain the highest distinction.

HEDDA.

[With an expression of fatigue.] Yes, so I did. — And then, since he was bent, at all hazards, on being allowed to provide for me — I really don't know why I should not have accepted his offer?

BRACK.

No — if you look at it in that light — -

HEDDA.

It was more than my other adorers were prepared to do for me, my dear Judge.

BRACK.

[Laughing.] Well, I can't answer for all the rest; but as for myself, you know quite well that I have always entertained a — a certain respect for the marriage tie — for marriage as an institution, Mrs. Hedda.

HEDDA.

[Jestingly.] Oh, I assure you I have never cherished any hopes with respect to you.

BRACK.

All I require is a pleasant and intimate interior, where I can make myself useful in every way, and am free to come and go as — as a trusted friend — -

HEDDA.

Of the master of the house, do you mean?

BRACK.

[Bowing.] Frankly — of the mistress first of all; but of course of the master too, in the second place. Such a triangular friendship — if I may call it so — is really a great convenience for all the parties, let me tell you.

HEDDA.

Yes, I have many a time longed for some one to make a third on our travels. Oh — those railway-carriage tete-a-tetes — -!

BRACK.

Fortunately your wedding journey is over now.

HEDDA.

[Shaking her head.] Not by a long — long way. I have only arrived at a station on the line.

BRACK.

Well, then the passengers jump out and move about a little, Mrs. Hedda.

HEDDA.

I never jump out.

BRACK.

Really?

HEDDA.

No — because there is always some one standing by to — -

BRACK.

[Laughing.] To look at your ankles, do you mean?

HEDDA.

Precisely.

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