Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act III

HEDDA.

Well then, you must do as I tell you. You must go into my room and lie down for a little while.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh no, no — I shouldn't be able to sleep.

HEDDA.

I am sure you would.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Well, but you husband is certain to come soon now; and then I want to know at once — -

HEDDA.

I shall take care to let you know when he comes.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Do you promise me, Hedda?

HEDDA.

Yes, rely upon me. Just you go in and have a sleep in the meantime.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Thanks; then I'll try. [She goes off to the inner room. [HEDDA goes up to the glass door and draws back the curtains. The broad daylight streams into the room. Then she takes a little hand-glass from the writing-table, looks at herself in it, and arranges her hair. Next she goes to the hall door and presses the bell-button.

BERTA presently appears at the hall door.

BERTA.

Did you want anything, ma'am?

HEDDA.

Yes; you must put some more wood in the stove. I am shivering.

BERTA.

Bless me — I'll make up the fire at once. [She rakes the embers together and lays a piece of wood upon them; then stops and listens.] That was a ring at the front door, ma'am.

HEDDA.

Then go to the door. I will look after the fire.

BERTA.

It'll soon burn up. [She goes out by the hall door. [HEDDA kneels on the foot-rest and lays some more pieces of wood in the stove.

After a short pause, GEORGE TESMAN enters from the hall. He steals on tiptoe towards the middle doorway and is about to slip through the curtains.

HEDDA.

[At the stove, without looking up.] Good morning.

TESMAN.

[Turns.] Hedda! [Approaching her.] Good heavens — are you up so early? Eh?

HEDDA.

Yes, I am up very early this morning.

TESMAN.

And I never doubted you were still sound asleep! Fancy that, Hedda!

HEDDA.

Don't speak so loud. Mrs. Elvsted is resting in my room.

TESMAN.

Has Mrs. Elvsted been here all night?

HEDDA.

Yes, since no one came to fetch her.

TESMAN.

Ah, to be sure.

HEDDA.

[Closes the door of the stove and rises.] Well, did you enjoy yourselves at Judge Brack's?

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