SCENE: At the "View," a shrub-covered hill behind the town. A
little in the background, a beacon and a vane. Great stones
arranged as seats around the beacon, and in the foreground.
Farther back the outer fjord is seen, with islands and
outstanding headlands. The open sea is not visible. It is a
summer's evening, and twilight. A golden-red shimmer is in the
airand over the mountain-tops in the far distance. A quartette is
faintly heard singing below in the background. Young townsfolk,
ladies and gentlemen, come up in pairs, from the right, and,
talking familiarly, pass out beyond the beacon. A little after,
BALLESTED enters, as guide to a party of foreign tourists with
their ladies. He is laden with shawls and travelling bags.
Ballested (pointing upwards with a stick). Sehen Sie, meine
Herrschaften, dort, out there, liegt eine andere mountain, That
wollen wir also besteigen, and so herunter. (He goes on with the
conversation in French, and leads the party off to the left.
HILDE comes quickly along the uphill path, stands still, and
looks back. Soon after BOLETTE comes up the same way.)
Bolette. But, dear, why should we run away from Lyngstrand?
Hilde. Because I can't bear going uphill so slowly. Look--look
at him crawling up!
Bolette. Ah! But you know how delicate he is.
Hilde. Do you think it's very--dangerous?
Bolette. I certainly do.
Hilde. He went to consult father this afternoon. I should like to
know what father thinks about him.
Bolette. Father told me it was a thickening of the lungs, or
something of the sort. He won't live to be old, father says.
Hilde. No! Did he say it? Fancy--that's exactly what I thought.
Bolette. For heaven's sake don't show it!
Hilde. How can you imagine such a thing? (In an undertone.) Look,
here comes Hans crawling up. Don't you think you can see by the
look of him that he's called Hans?
Bolette (whispering). Now do behave! You'd better!
(LYNGSTRAND comes in from the right, a parasol in his hand.)
Lyngstrand. I must beg the young ladies to excuse me for not
getting along as quickly as they did.
Hilde. Have you got a parasol too, now?
Lyngstrand. It's your mother's. She said I was to use it as a stick.
I hadn't mine with me.
Bolette. Are they down there still--father and the others?
Lyngstrand. Yes; your father looked in at the restaurant for a
moment, and the others are sitting out there listening to the
music. But they were coming up here presently, your mother said.
Hilde (stands looking at him). I suppose you're thoroughly tired
Lyngstrand. Yes; I almost think I'm a little tired now. I really
believe I shall have to sit down a moment. (He sits on one of the
stones in the foreground.)
Hilde (standing in front of him). Do you know there's to be
dancing down there on the parade?
Lyngstrand. Yes; I heard there was some talk about it.
Hilde. I suppose you think dancing's great fun?
Bolette (who begins gathering small flowers among the heather).
Oh, Hilde! Now do let Mr. Lyngstrand get his breath.
Lyngstrand (to HILDE). Yes, Miss Hilde; I should very much like
to dance--if only I could.
Hilde. Oh, I see! Haven't you ever learnt?
Lyngstrand. No, I've not. But it wasn't that I meant. I meant I
couldn't because of my chest.
Hilde. Because of that weakness you said you suffered from?
Lyngstrand. Yes; because of that.
Hilde. Aren't you very sorry you've that--weakness?
Lyngstrand. Oh, no! I can't say I am (smiling), for I think it's
because of it that everyone is so good, and friendly, and kind to
Hilde. Yes. And then, besides, it's not dangerous.
Lyngstrand. No; it's not at all dangerous. So I gathered from
what your father said to me.
Hilde. And then it will pass away as soon as ever you begin
Lyngstrand. Of course it will pass away.
Bolette (with flowers). Look here, Mr. Lyngstrand, you are to put
this in your button-hole.
Lyngstrand. Oh! A thousand thanks, Miss Wangel. It's really too
good of you.
Hilde (looking down the path). There they are, coming along the
Bolette (also looking down). If only they know where to turn off.
No; now they're going wrong.
Lyngstrand (rising). I'll run down to the turning and call out to
Hilde. You'll have to call out pretty loud.
Bolette. No; it's not worth while. You'll only tire yourself
Lyngstrand. Oh, it's so easy going downhill. (Goes off to the
Hilde. Down-hill--yes. (Looking after him.) Why, he's actually
jumping! And he never remembers he'll have to come up again.