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 A Doll's House-Act 2-Part 3

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Mohamed LAHRI
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Posts : 125
Join date : 2009-07-27
Age : 30
Location : Zaida-Morocco

PostSubject: A Doll's House-Act 2-Part 3   Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:01 pm

NORA:
Yes, you have been awfully kind about that; but you could just as well dismiss some other clerk instead of Krogstad.

HELMER:
This is simply incredible obstinacy! Because you chose to give him a thoughtless promise that you would speak for him, I am expected to—

NORA:
That isn't the reason, Torvald. It is for your own sake. This fellow writes in the most scurrilous newspapers; you have told me so yourself. He can do you an unspeakable amount of harm. I am frightened to death of him—

HELMER:
Ah, I understand; it is recollections of the past that scare you.

NORA:
What do you mean?

HELMER:
Naturally you are thinking of your father.

NORA:
Yes—yes, of course. Just recall to your mind what these malicious creatures wrote in the papers about papa, and how horribly they slandered him. I believe they would have procured his dismissal if the Department had not sent you over to inquire into it, and if you had not been so kindly disposed and helpful to him.

HELMER:
My little Nora, there is an important difference between your father and me. Your father's reputation as a public official was not above suspicion. Mine is, and I hope it will continue to be so, as long as I hold my office.

NORA:
You never can tell what mischief these men may contrive. We ought to be so well off, so snug and happy here in our peaceful home, and have no cares—you and I and the children, Torvald! That is why I beg you so earnestly—

HELMER:
And it is just by interceding for him that you make it impossible for me to keep him. It is already known at the Bank that I mean to dismiss Krogstad. Is it to get about now that the new manager has changed his mind at his wife's bidding—

NORA:
And what if it did?

HELMER:
Of course!—if only this obstinate little person can get her way! Do you suppose I am going to make myself ridiculous before my whole staff, to let people think that I am a man to be swayed by all sorts of outside influence? I should very soon feel the consequences of it, I can tell you! And besides, there is one thing that makes it quite impossible for me to have Krogstad in the Bank as long as I am manager.

NORA:
Whatever is that?

HELMER:
His moral failings I might perhaps have overlooked, if necessary—

NORA:
Yes, you could—couldn't you?

HELMER:
And I hear he is a good worker, too. But I knew him when we were boys. It was one of those rash friendships that so often prove an incubus in after life. I may as well tell you plainly, we were once on very intimate terms with one another. But this tactless fellow lays no restraint on himself when other people are present. On the contrary, he thinks it gives him the right to adopt a familiar tone with me, and every minute it is “I say, Helmer, old fellow!” and that sort of thing. I assure you it is extremely painful for me. He would make my position in the bank intolerable.

NORA:
Torvald, I don't believe you mean that.

HELMER:
Don't you? Why not?

NORA:
Because it is such a narrow-minded way of looking at things.

HELMER:
What are you saying? Narrow-minded? Do you think I am narrow-minded?

NORA:
No, just the opposite, dear—and it is exactly for that reason.

HELMER:
It's the same thing. You say my point of view is narrow-minded, so I must be so too. Narrow-minded! Very well—I must put an end to this.
[Goes to the hall door and calls.] Helen!

NORA:
What are you going to do?

HELMER:
[looking among his papers]. Settle it. [Enter MAID.] Look here; take this letter and go downstairs with it at once. Find a messenger and tell him to deliver it, and be quick. The address is on it, and here is the money.

MAID:
Very well, sir.

[Exit with the letter.]

HELMER:
[putting his papers together]. Now then, little Miss Obstinate.

NORA:
[breathlessly]. Torvald—what was that letter?

HELMER:
Krogstad's dismissal.

NORA:
Call her back, Torvald! There is still time. Oh Torvald, call her back! Do it for my sake—for your own sake—for the children's sake! Do you hear me, Torvald? Call her back! You don't know what that letter can bring upon us.

HELMER:
It's too late.

NORA:
Yes, it's too late.

HELMER:
My dear Nora, I can forgive the anxiety you are in, although really it is an insult to me. It is, indeed. Isn't it an insult to think that I should be afraid of a starving quill-driver's vengeance? But I forgive you nevertheless, because it is such eloquent witness to your great love for me. [Takes her in his arms.] And that is as it should be, my own darling Nora. Come what will, you may be sure I shall have both courage and strength if they be needed. You will see I am man enough to take everything upon myself.

NORA:
[in a horror-stricken voice]. What do you mean by that?

HELMER:
Everything, I say—

NORA:
[recovering herself]. You will never have to do that.

HELMER:
That's right. Well, we will share it, Nora, as man and wife should. That is how it shall be. [Caressing her.] Are you content now? There! there!—not these frightened dove's eyes! The whole thing is only the wildest fancy!—Now, you must go and play through the Tarantella and practise with your tambourine. I shall go into the inner office and shut the door, and I shall hear nothing; you can make as much noise as you please. [Turns back at the door.] And when Rank comes, tell him where he will find me. [Nods to her, takes his papers and goes into his room, and shuts the door after him.]

NORA:
[bewildered with anxiety, stands as if rooted to the spot, and whispers]. He was capable of doing it. He will do it. He will do it in spite of everything.—No, not that! Never, never! Anything rather than that! Oh, for some help, some way out of it! [The door-bell rings.] Doctor Rank! Anything rather than that—anything, whatever it is! [She puts her hands over her face, pulls herself together, goes to the door and opens it. rank is standing without, hanging up his coat. During the following dialogue it begins to grow dark.]

stubbornness
dirty; vulgar
to invent or improvise a scheme
an “incubus” is an evil spirit or a very bad dream; Helmer is referring to Krogstad, noting the fact that their early association would return to haunt Helmer with nightmares or bad reflections.
a lively dance of southern Italy; the Tarantella was originally used as a remedy for tarantism, a condition once thought to be caused by the bite of a tarantula spider.
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A Doll's House-Act 2-Part 3
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