Bolette. Ah! You don't yourself know how selfish you are!
Lyngstrand. I, selfish! Good heavens! Oh, if only you knew me a
little better than you do! (Bending closer to her.) Miss Wangel,
when once I am gone--and that will be very soon now--
Bolette (looks pityingly at him). Oh, don't think of anything so sad!
Lyngstrand. But, really, I don't think it is so very sad.
Bolette. What do you mean?
Lyngstrand. Well, you know that I set out in a month. First from
here, and then, of course, I'm going south.
Bolette. Oh, I see! Of course.
Lyngstrand. Will you think of me sometimes, then, Miss Wangel?
Bolette. Yes, gladly.
Lyngstrand (pleased). No, promise!
Bolette. I promise.
Lyngstrand. By all that is sacred, Miss Bolette?
Bolette. By all that is sacred. (In a changed manner.) Oh, but
what can come of it all? Nothing on earth can come of it!
Lyngstrand. How can you say that! It would be so delightful for
me to know you were at home here thinking of me!
Bolette. Well, and what else?
Lyngstrand. I don't exactly know of anything else.
Bolette. Nor I either. There are so many things in the way.
Everything stands in the way, I think.
Lyngstrand. Oh, another miracle might come about. Some happy
dispensation of fortune, or something of the sort; for I really
believe I shall be lucky now.
Bolette (eagerly). Really? You do believe that?
Lyngstrand. Yes, I believe it thoroughly. And so--after a few
years--when I come home again as a celebrated sculptor, and well
off, and in perfect health!
Bolette. Yes, yes! Of course, we will hope so.
Lyngstrand. You may be perfectly certain about it. Only think
faithfully and kindly of me when I am down there in the south;
and now I have your word that you will.
Bolette. You have (shaking her head). But, all the same, nothing
will surely come of it.
Lyngstrand. Oh! yes, Miss Bolette. At least this will come of it.
I shall get on so much more easily and quickly with my art work.
Bolette. Do you believe that, too?
Lyngstrand. I have an inner conviction of it. And I fancy it will
be so cheering for you, too--here in this out-of-the-way place-to
know within yourself that you are, so to say, helping me to
Bolette (looking at him). Well; but you on your side?
Bolette (looking out into the garden). Hush! Let us speak of
something else. Here's Mr. Arnholm.
(ARNHOLM is seen in the garden below. He stops and talks to HILDE
Lyngstrand. Are you fond of your old teacher, Miss Bolette?
Bolette. Fond of him?
Lyngstrand. Yes; I mean do you care for him?
Bolette. Yes, indeed I do, for he is a true friend--and adviser,
too--and then he is always so ready to help when he can.
Lyngstrand. Isn't it extraordinary that he hasn't married!
Bolette. Do you think it is extraordinary?
Lyngstrand. Yes, for you say he's well-to-do.
Bolette. He is certainly said to be so. But probably it wasn't so
easy to find anyone who'd have him.
Bolette. Oh! He's been the teacher of nearly all the young girls
that he knows. He says that himself.
Lyngstrand. But what does that matter?
Bolette. Why, good heavens! One doesn't marry a man who's been
Lyngstrand. Don't you think a young girl might love her teacher?
Bolette. Not after she's really grown up.
Lyngstrand. No--fancy that!
Bolette (cautioning him). Sh! sh!
(Meanwhile BALLESTED has been gathering together his things, and
carries them out from the garden to the right. HILDE helps him.
ARNHOLM goes up the verandah, and comes into the room.)
Arnholm. Good-morning, my dear Bolette. Good-morning, Mr.--Mr.--
hm--(He looks displeased, and nods coldly to LYNGSTRAND, who
Bolette (rising up and going up to ARNHOLM). Good-morning, Mr.
Arnholm. Everything all right here today?
Bolette. Yes, thanks, quite.
Arnholm. Has your stepmother gone to bathe again today?
Bolette. No. She is upstairs in her room.
Arnholm. Not very bright?
Bolette. I don't know, for she has locked herself in.
Arnholm. Hm--has she?
Lyngstrand. I suppose Mrs. Wangel was very much frightened about
that American yesterday?
Arnholm. What do you know about that?
Lyngstrand. I told Mrs. Wangel that I had seen him in the flesh
behind the garden.