Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

BRACK.

Well but, dear me — -

HEDDA.

[With a gesture of repulsion.] I won't have it. I would rather keep my seat where I happen to be — and continue the tete-a-tete.

BRACK.

But suppose a third person were to jump in and join the couple.

HEDDA.

Ah — that is quite another matter!

BRACK.

A trusted, sympathetic friend — -

HEDDA.

— -with a fund of conversation on all sorts of lively topics — -

BRACK.

— -and not the least bit of a specialist!

HEDDA.

[With an audible sigh.] Yes, that would be a relief indeed.

BRACK.

[Hears the front door open, and glances in that direction.] The triangle is completed.

HEDDA.

[Half aloud.] And on goes the train.

GEORGE TESMAN, in a grey walking-suit, with a soft felt hat, enters from the hall. He has a number of unbound books under his arm and in his pockets.

TESMAN.

[Goes up to the table beside the corner settee.] Ouf — what a load for a warm day — all these books. [Lays them on the table.] I'm positively perspiring, Hedda. Hallo — are you there already, my dear Judge? Eh? Berta didn't tell me.

BRACK.

[Rising.] I came in through the garden.

HEDDA.

What books have you got there?

TESMAN.

[Stands looking them through.] Some new books on my special subjects — quite indispensable to me.

HEDDA.

Your special subjects?

BRACK.

Yes, books on his special subjects, Mrs. Tesman. [BRACK and HEDDA exchange a confidential smile.

HEDDA.

Do you need still more books on your special subjects?

TESMAN.

Yes, my dear Hedda, one can never have too many of them. Of course one must keep up with all that is written and published.

HEDDA.

Yes, I suppose one must.

TESMAN.

[Searching among his books.] And look here — I have got hold of Eilert Lovborg's new book too. [Offering it to her.] Perhaps you would like to glance through it, Hedda? Eh?

HEDDA.

No, thank you. Or rather — afterwards perhaps.

TESMAN.

I looked into it a little on the way home.

BRACK.

Well, what do you think of it — as a specialist?

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