Lyngstrand. Yes; because it looks exactly as if we were engaged.
Hilde. I'm sure you've never walked out arm in arm with a lady
before, Mr. Lyngstrand. (They go off.)
Wangel (who is standing beside the beacon). Dear Ellida, now we
have a moment to ourselves.
Ellida. Yes; come and sit down here, by me.
Wangel (sitting down). It is so free and quiet. Now we can have a
little talk together.
Ellida. What about?
Wangel. About yourself, and then about us both. Ellida, I see
very well that it can't go on like this.
Ellida. What do you propose instead?
Wangel. Perfect confidence, dear. A true life together--as
Ellida. Oh, if that could be! But it is so absolutely impossible!
Wangel. I think I understand you, from certain things you have
let fall now and again.
Ellida (passionately). Oh, you do not! Don't say you understand!
Wangel. Yes. Yours is an honest nature, Ellida--yours is a
Ellida. It is.
Wangel. Any position in which you could feel safe and happy must
be a completely true and real one.
Ellida (looking eagerly at him). Well, and then?
Wangel. You are not suited to be a man's second wife.
Ellida. What makes you think that?
Wangel. It has often flashed across me like a foreboding. Today
it was clear to me. The children's memorial feast--you saw in me
a kind of accomplice. Well, yes; a man's memories, after all,
cannot be wiped out--not so mine, anyhow. It isn't in me.
Ellida. I know that. Oh! I know that so well.
Wangel. But you are mistaken all the same. To you it is almost as
if the children's mother were still living--as if she were still
here invisible amongst us. You think my heart is equally divided
between you and her. It is this thought that shocks you. You see
something immoral in our relation, and that is why you no longer
can or will live with me as my wife.
Ellida (rising). Have you seen all that, Wangel--seen into all
Wangel. Yes; today I have at last seen to the very heart of it--
to its utmost depths.
Ellida. To its very heart, you say? Oh, do not think that!
Wangel (rising). I see very well that there is more than this,
Ellida (anxiously). You know there is more?
Wangel. Yes. You cannot bear your surroundings here. The
mountains crush you, and weigh upon your heart. Nothing is open
enough for you here. The heavens above you are not spacious
enough. The air is not strong and bracing enough.
Ellida. You are right. Night and day, winter and summer, it
weighs upon me--this irresistible home-sickness for the sea.
Wangel. I know it well, dear Ellida (laying his hands upon her
head). And that is why the poor sick child shall go home to her
Ellida. What do you mean?
Wangel. Something quite simple. We are going away.
Ellida. Going away?
Wangel. Yes. Somewhere by the open sea--a place where you can
find a true home, after your own heart.
Ellida. Oh, dear, do not think of that! That is quite impossible.
You can live happily nowhere on earth but here!
Wangel. That must be as it may. And, besides, do you think I can
live happily here--without you?
Ellida. But I am here. And I will stay here. You have me.
Wangel. Have I, Ellida?
Ellida. Oh! don't speak of all this. Why, here you have all that
you love and strive for. All your life's work lies here.
Wangel. That must be as it may, I tell you. We are going away
from here--are going somewhere--out there. That is quite settled
now, dear Ellida.
Ellida. What do you think we should gain by that?
Wangel. You would regain your health and peace of mind.
Ellida. Hardly. And then you, yourself! Think of yourself, too!
What of you?
Wangel. I would win you back again, my dearest.
Ellida. But you cannot do that! No, no, you can't do that, Wangel!
That is the terrible part of it--heart-breaking to think of.
Wangel. That remains to be proved. If you are harbouring such
thoughts, truly there is no other salvation for you than to go
hence. And the sooner the better. Now this is irrevocably
settled, do you hear?
Ellida. No! Then in heaven's name I had better tell you
everything straight out. Everything just as it is.
Wangel. Yes, yes! Do.
Ellida. For you shall not ruin your happiness for my sake,
especially as it can't help us in any way.
Wangel. I have your word now that you will tell me everything
just as it is.
Ellida. I'll tell you everything as well as I can, and as far as
I understand it. Come here and sit by me. (They sit down on the
Wangel. Well, Ellida, so--
Ellida. That day when you came out there and asked me if I would
be yours, you spoke so frankly and honestly to me about your
first marriage. It had been so happy, you said.
Wangel. And so it was.
Ellida. Yes, yes! I am sure of that, dear! It is not for that I
am referring to it now. I only want to remind you that I, on my
side, was frank with you. I told you quite openly that once in my
life I had cared for another. That there had been a--a kind of
engagement between us.
Wangel. A kind of--
Ellida. Yes, something of the sort. Well, it only lasted such a
very short time. He went away; and after that I put an end to it.
I told you all that.
Wangel. Why rake up all this now? It really didn't concern me;
nor have I once asked you who he was!
Ellida. No, you have not. You are always so thoughtful for me.
Wangel (smiling). Oh, in this case I could guess the name well
enough for myself.
Ellida. The name?
Wangel. Out in Skjoldviken and thereabouts there weren't many to
choose from; or, rather, there was only a single one.
Ellida. You believe it was Arnholm!
Wangel. Well, wasn't it?
Wangel. Not he? Then I don't in the least understand.