Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

TESMAN.

I think it shows quite remarkable soundness of judgment. He never wrote like that before. [Putting the books together.] Now I shall take all these into my study. I'm longing to cut the leaves — -! And then I must change my clothes. [To BRACK.] I suppose we needn't start just yet? Eh?

BRACK.

Oh, dear no — there is not the slightest hurry.

TESMAN.

Well then, I will take my time. [Is going with his books, but stops in the doorway and turns.] By-the-bye, Hedda — Aunt Julia is not coming this evening.

HEDDA.

Not coming? Is it that affair of the bonnet that keeps her away?

TESMAN.

Oh, not at all. How could you think such a thing of Aunt Julia? Just fancy — -! The fact is, Aunt Rina is very ill.

HEDDA.

She always is.

TESMAN.

Yes, but to-day she is much worse than usual, poor dear.

HEDDA.

Oh, then it's only natural that her sister should remain with her. I must bear my disappointment.

TESMAN.

And you can't imagine, dear, how delighted Aunt Julia seemed to be — because you had come home looking so flourishing!

HEDDA.

[Half aloud, rising.] Oh, those everlasting Aunts!

TESMAN.

What?

HEDDA.

[Going to the glass door.] Nothing.

TESMAN.

Oh, all right. [He goes through the inner room, out to the right.

BRACK.

What bonnet were you talking about?

HEDDA.

Oh, it was a little episode with Miss Tesman this morning. She had laid down her bonnet on the chair there — [Looks at him and smiles.] — and I pretended to think it was the servant's.

BRACK.

[Shaking his head.] Now my dear Mrs. Hedda, how could you do such a thing? To the excellent old lady, too!

HEDDA.

[Nervously crossing the room.] Well, you see — these impulses come over me all of a sudden; and I cannot resist them. [Throws herself down in the easy-chair by the stove.] Oh, I don't know how to explain it.

BRACK.

[Behind the easy-chair.] You are not really happy — that is at the bottom of it.

HEDDA.

[Looking straight before her.] I know of no reason why I should be — happy. Perhaps you can give me one?

BRACK.

Well-amongst other things, because you have got exactly the home you had set your heart on.

HEDDA.

[Looks up at him and laughs.] Do you too believe in that legend?

BRACK.

Is there nothing in it, then?

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