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Ballested (looking at him). In the profession too, perhaps?

Lyngstrand. Do you mean a painter?

Ballested. Yes.

Lyngstrand. No, I'm not that; but I'm going to be a sculptor. My
name is Hans Lyngstrand.

Ballested. So you're to be a sculptor? Yes, yes; the art of
sculpture is a nice, pretty art in its way. I fancy I've seen you
in the street once or twice. Have you been staying here long?

Lyngstrand. No; I've only been here a fortnight. But I shall try
to stop till the end of the summer.

Ballested. For the bathing?

Lyngstrand. Yes; I wanted to see if I could get a little
stronger.

Ballested. Not delicate, surely?

Lyngstrand. Yes, perhaps I am a little delicate; but it's nothing
dangerous. Just a little tightness on the chest.

Ballested. Tush!--a bagatelle! You should consult a good doctor.

Lyngstrand. Yes, I thought of speaking to Doctor Wangel one of
these times.

Ballested. You should. (Looks out to the left.) There's another
steamer, crowded with passengers. It's really marvellous how
travelling has increased here of late years.

Lyngstrand. Yes, there's a good deal of traffic here, I think.

Ballested. And lots of summer visitors come here too. I often
hear our good town will lose its individuality with all these
foreign goings on.

Lyngstrand. Were you born in the town?

Ballested. No; but I have accla--acclimatised myself. I feel
united to the place by the bonds of time and habit.

Lyngstrand. Then you've lived here a long time?

Ballested. Well--about seventeen or eighteen years. I came here
with Skive's Dramatic Company. But then we got into difficulties,
and so the company broke up and dispersed in all directions.

Lyngstrand. But you yourself remained here?

Ballested. I remained, and I've done very well. I was then working
chiefly as decorative artist, don't you know.

(BOLETTE comes out with a rocking-chair, which she places on the
verandah.)

Bolette (speaking into the room). Hilde, see if you can find the
embroidered footstool for father.

Lyngstrand (going up to the verandah, bows). Good-morning, Miss
Wangel.

Bolette (by the balustrade). What! Is it you, Mr. Lyngstrand?
Good-morning. Excuse me one moment, I'm only--(Goes into room.)

Ballested. Do you know the family?

Lyngstrand. Not well. I've only met the young ladies now and
again in company; and I had a chat with Mrs. Wangel the last time
we had music up at the "View." She said I might come and see
them.

Ballested. Now, do you know, you ought to cultivate their
acquaintance.

Lyngstrand. Yes; I'd been thinking of paying a visit. Just a sort
of call. If only I could find some excuse--

Ballested. Excuse! Nonsense! (Looking out to the left.) Damn it!
(Gathering his things.) The steamer's by the pier already. I must
get off to the hotel. Perhaps some of the new arrivals may want
me. For I'm a hairdresser, too, don't you know.

Lyngstrand. You are certainly very many-sided, sir.

Ballested. In small towns one has to try to acclam--acclimatise
Oneself in various branches. If you should require anything in
the hair line--a little pomatum or such like--you've only to ask
for Dancing-master Ballested.

Lyngstrand. Dancing master!

Ballested. President of the "Wind Band Society," by your leave.
We've a concert on this evening up at the "View." Goodbye, goodbye!

(He goes out with his painting gear through the garden gate.

HILDE comes out with the footstool. BOLETTE brings more flowers.
LYNGSTRAND bows to HILDE from the garden below.)

Hilde (by the balustrade, not returning his bow). Bolette said
you had ventured in today.

Lyngstrand. Yes; I took the liberty of coming in for a moment.

Hilde. Have you been out for a morning walk?

Lyngstrand. Oh, no! nothing came of the walk this morning.

Hilde. Have you been bathing, then?

Lyngstrand. Yes; I've been in the water a little while. I saw
your mother down there. She was going into her bathing-machine.

Hilde. Who was?

Lyngstrand. Your mother.




The Lady From The Sea by Henrik Ibsen
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