Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

HEDDA.

Oh yes, there is something in it.

BRACK.

Well?

HEDDA.

There is this in it, that I made use of Tesman to see me home from evening parties last summer — -

BRACK.

I, unfortunately, had to go quite a different way.

HEDDA.

That's true. I know you were going a different way last summer.

BRACK.

[Laughing.] Oh fie, Mrs. Hedda! Well, then — you and Tesman — -?

HEDDA.

Well, we happened to pass here one evening; Tesman, poor fellow, was writhing in the agony of having to find conversation; so I took pity on the learned man — -

BRACK.

[Smiles doubtfully.] You took pity? H'm — -

HEDDA.

Yes, I really did. And so — to help him out of his torment — I happened to say, in pure thoughtlessness, that I should like to live in this villa.

BRACK.

No more than that?

HEDDA.

Not that evening.

BRACK.

But afterwards?

HEDDA.

Yes, my thoughtlessness had consequences, my dear Judge.

BRACK.

Unfortunately that too often happens, Mrs. Hedda.

HEDDA.

Thanks! So you see it was this enthusiasm for Secretary Falk's villa that first constituted a bond of sympathy between George Tesman and me. From that came our engagement and our marriage, and our wedding journey, and all the rest of it. Well, well, my dear Judge — as you make your bed so you must lie, I could almost say.

BRACK.

This is exquisite! And you really cared not a rap about it all the time?

HEDDA.

No, heaven knows I didn't.

BRACK.

But now? Now that we have made it so homelike for you?

HEDDA.

Uh — the rooms all seem to smell of lavender and dried rose-leaves. — But perhaps it's Aunt Julia that has brought that scent with her.

BRACK.

[Laughing.] No, I think it must be a legacy from the late Mrs. Secretary Falk.

HEDDA.

Yes, there is an odour of mortality about it. It reminds me of a bouquet — the day after the ball. [Clasps her hands behind her head, leans back in her chair and looks at him.] Oh, my dear Judge — you cannot imagine how horribly I shall bore myself here.

BRACK.

Why should not you, too, find some sort of vocation in life, Mrs. Hedda?

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