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 A Doll's House-Act2-Part 4

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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-Act2-Part 4   Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:02 pm

NORA:
Good-day, Doctor Rank. I knew your ring. But you mustn't go in to Torvald now; I think he is busy with something.

RANK:
And you?

NORA:
[brings him in and shuts the door after him]. Oh, you know very well I always have time for you.

RANK:
Thank you. I shall make use of as much of it as I can.

NORA:
What do you mean by that? As much of it as you can?

RANK:
Well, does that alarm you?

NORA:
It was such a strange way of putting it. Is anything likely to happen?

RANK:
Nothing but what I have long been prepared for. But I certainly d idn't expect it to happen so soon.

NORA:
[gripping him by the arm]. What have you found out? Doctor Rank, you must tell me.
Rank [sitting down by the stove]. It is all up with me. And it can't be helped.

NORA:
[with a sigh of relief]. Is it about yourself?

RANK:
Who else? It is no use lying to one's self. I am the most wretched of all my patients, Mrs. Helmer. Lately I have been taking stock of my internal economy. Bankrupt! Probably within a month I shall lie rotting in the churchyard.

NORA:
What an ugly thing to say!

RANK:
The thing itself is cursedly ugly, and the worst of it is that I shall have to face so much more that is ugly before that. I shall only make one more examination of myself; when I have done that, I shall know pretty certainly when it will be that the horrors of dissolution will begin. There is something I want to tell you. Helmer's refined nature gives him an unconquerable disgust at everything that is ugly; I won't have him in my sick-room.

NORA:
Oh, but, Doctor Rank—

RANK:
I won't have him there. Not on any account. I bar my door to him. As soon as I am quite certain that the worst has come, I shall send you my card with a black cross on it, and then you will know that the loathsome end has begun.

NORA:
You are quite absurd to-day. And I wanted you so much to be in a really good humour.

RANK:
With death stalking beside me?—To have to pay this penalty for another man's sin? Is there any justice in that? And in every single family, in one way or another, some such inexorable retribution is being exacted—

NORA:
[putting her hands over her ears]. Rubbish! Do talk of something cheerful.

RANK:
Oh, it's a mere laughing matter, the whole thing. My poor innocent spine has to suffer for my father's youthful amusements.

NORA:
[sitting at the table on the left]. I suppose you mean that he was too partial to asparagus and pâté de foie gras, don't you?

RANK:
Yes, and to truffles.

NORA:
Truffles, yes. And oysters too, I suppose?

RANK:
Oysters, of course, that goes without saying.

NORA:
And heaps of port and champagne. It is sad that all these nice things should take their revenge on our bones.

RANK:
Especially that they should revenge themselves on the unlucky bones of those who have not had the satisfaction of enjoying them.

NORA:
Yes, that's the saddest part of it all.

RANK:
[with a searching look at her]. Hm!—

NORA:
[after a short pause]. Why did you smile?

RANK:
No, it was you that laughed.

NORA:
No, it was you that smiled, Doctor Rank!

RANK:
[rising]. You are a greater rascal than I thought.

NORA:
I am in a silly mood to-day.

RANK:
So it seems.

NORA:
[putting her hands on his shoulders]. Dear, dear Doctor Rank, death mustn't take you away from Torvald and me.

RANK:
It is a loss you would easily recover from. Those who are gone are soon forgotten.

NORA:
[looking at him anxiously]. Do you believe that?

RANK:
People form new ties, and then—

NORA:
Who will form new ties?

RANK:
Both you and Helmer, when I am gone. You yourself are already on the high road to it, I think. What did that Mrs. Linde want here last night?

NORA:
Oho!—you don't mean to say you are jealous of poor Christine?

RANK:
Yes, I am. She will be my successor in this house. When I am done for, this woman will—

NORA:
Hush! don't speak so loud. She is in that room.

RANK:
To-day again. There, you see.

NORA:
She has only come to sew my dress for me. Bless my soul, how unreasonable you are! [Sits down on the sofa.] Be nice now, Doctor Rank, and to-morrow you will see how beautifully I shall dance, and you can imagine I am doing it all for you—and for Torvald too, of course. [Takes various things out of the box.] Doctor Rank, come and sit down here, and I will show you something.

RANK:
[sitting down]. What is it?

NORA:
Just look at those!

RANK:
Silk stockings.

NORA:
Flesh-coloured. Aren't they lovely? It is so dark here now, but tomorrow—. No, no, no! you must only look at the feet. Oh well, you may have leave to look at the legs too.

RANK:
Hm!—

NORA:
Why are you looking so critical? Don't you think they will fit me?

RANK:
I have no means of forming an opinion about that.

NORA:
[looks at him for a moment]. For shame! [Hits him lightly on the ear with the stockings.] That's to punish you. [Folds them up again.]

RANK:
And what other nice things am I to be allowed to see?

NORA:
Not a single thing more, for being so naughty. [She looks among the things, humming to herself.]

RANK:
[after a short silence]. When I am sitting here, talking to you as intimately as this, I cannot imagine for a moment what would have become of me if I had never come into this house.

NORA:
[smiling]. I believe you do feel thoroughly at home with us.

RANK:
[in a lower voice, looking straight in front of him]. And to be obliged to leave it all—

NORA:
Nonsense, you are not going to leave it.

Dr. Rank feels it is time for him to properly evaluate the workings of his body and refers to it as “taking stock” of what is occurring inside him. He is prepared to recognize and accept the condition of his poor health.
unable to be persuaded
repayment; a fine
have permission
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A Doll's House-Act2-Part 4
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