Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Newly-married Couple - ACT II
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
The Newly-married Couple - ACT II Post by :iscaweb Category :Plays Author :Bjornstjerne Bjornson Date :June 2011 Read :1456

Click below to download : The Newly-married Couple - ACT II (Format : PDF)

The Newly-married Couple - ACT II


(SCENE.--AXEL's house, a year later. The room is arranged almost identically like that in the first act. Two large portraits of LAURA'S parents, very well executed, hang in full view. LAURA is sitting at the table, MATHILDE on the couch on the right.)

Mathilde (reading aloud from a book). "'No,' was the decided answer. Originally it was he that was to blame, but now it is she. He tore her from her parents, her home and her familiar surroundings; but since then he has sought her forgiveness so perseveringly, and her love so humbly, that it would take all the obstinacy of a spoilt child to withstand him. Just as formerly he could think of nothing but his love, so now she will consider nothing except her self-love; but she is so much the more to blame than he, as her motives are less good than his. She is like a child that has woke up too early in the morning; it strikes and kicks at any one that comes to pet it."

Laura. Mathilde--does it really say that?

Mathilde. Indeed it does.

Laura. Just as you read it?

Mathilde. Look for yourself.

Laura (takes the book and looks at it, then lays it down). It is almost our own story, word for word. I would give anything to know who has written it.

Mathilde. It is a mere coincidence--

Laura. No, some wicked wretch has seen something like this--some creature that is heartless enough to be able to mock at a parent's love; it must be some one who either is worthless himself or has had worthless parents!

Mathilde. Why, Laura, how seriously you take it!

Laura. Yes, it irritates me, this libelling of all fidelity. What is fidelity, if it does not mean that a child should be true to its parents?

Mathilde. But I was just reading to you about that. (Reads.) "The object of fidelity changes, as we ourselves change. The child's duty is to be true to its parents; the married, to one another; the aged, to their children--"

Laura. Don't read any more! I won't hear any more! Its whole train of thought offends me. (After a pause.) What a horrid book! (Indifferently.) What happens to them in the end?

Mathilde (in the same tone). To whom?

Laura. That couple--in the book.

Mathilde (still in an indifferent tone). It doesn't end happily. (A pause.)

Laura (looking up). Which of them suffers?

Mathilde. Which do you think?

Laura (beginning to sew again). She, I should think--because she is unhappy already.

Mathilde. You have guessed right. She falls in love.

Laura (astonished). Falls in love?

Mathilde. Yes. Sometime or other, love is awakened in the heart of every woman; and then, if she cannot love her husband, in the course of time she will love some one else.

Laura (dismayed). Some one else!

Mathilde. Yes. (A pause.)

Laura. That is horrible! (Begins to sew, then lays her hand down on the table, then begins to sew again.) And what happens to him?

Mathilde. He falls ill, very ill. And then some one finds him out and comforts him--a woman.

Laura (looking up). How does that happen?

Mathilde. His heart is like an empty house, in an atmosphere of sadness and longing. Little by little she--the woman who comforts him--creeps into it; and so in time there comes the day when he can say he is happy. (A pause.)

Laura (quietly). Who is she?

Mathilde. One of those poor-spirited creatures that can be content with the aftermath of love.

Laura (after a pause, during which she has been looking fixedly at MATHILDE). Could you be that?

Mathilde. No!--I must be first or nothing!

Laura. But about her?

Mathilde. The wife?

Laura. Yes. What happens to her?

Mathilde. Directly she realises that love for another has taken possession of her husband, she turns towards him with all her heart; but it is too late then. (LAURA sits absorbed for a few moments; then gets up hurriedly and goes to a little work-table that is standing at the end of the couch on the left, opens it, looks for something in it, stops to think, then looks in it again.) What are you looking for?

Laura. A photograph.

Mathilde. Axel's?

Laura. No--but what has become of it?

Mathilde. Don't you remember that one day you took it up and said you would not have it? So I hid it.

Laura. You?

Mathilde. Yes--till you should ask about it. (Gets up, opens her work-table that stands by the right-hand couch.) Here it is. (Gives it to her.)

Laura. So you have got it! (Lays it in her table drawer without looking at it, shuts the drawer, goes a few paces away, then comes back, turns the key in the drawer and takes it out.) Has Axel read the new book?

Mathilde. I don't know. Shall I give it to him?

Laura. Just as you like. Perhaps you would like to read it aloud to him. (A Maid comes in with a letter; LAURA takes it, and the Maid goes out again.) From my parents! (Kisses the letter with emotion.) The only ones who love me! (Goes out hurriedly. At the same moment AXEL comes in from the outer door.)

Axel. She always goes when I come in!

Mathilde (getting up). This time it was an accident, though. (Looks at him.) How pale you are!

Axel (seriously). I am rather worried.--Have you read the new novel?

Mathilde (putting the book in her pocket). What novel?

Axel. "The Newly-Married Couple"--quite a small book.

Mathilde. Oh, that one--I have just been reading it.

Axel (eagerly). And Laura too? Has Laura read it?

Mathilde. She thinks it is a poor story.

Axel. It isn't that, but it is an extraordinary one. It quite startles me--it is like coming into one's own room and seeing one's self sitting there. It has caught hold of unformed thoughts that lie hidden deep in my soul.

Mathilde. Every good book does that.

Axel. Everything will happen to me just as it does in that book; the premises are all here, only I had not recognised them.

Mathilde. I have heard of very young doctors feeling the symptoms of all the diseases they read about.

Axel. Oh, but this is more than mere imagination. My temptations come bodily before me. My thoughts are the result of what happens, just as naturally as smoke is the result of fire--and these thoughts (lancing at MATHILDE) lead me far.

Mathilde. As far as I can see, the book only teaches consideration for a woman, especially if she is young.

Axel. That is true. But, look here--a young man, brought up among students, cannot possibly possess, ready-made, all this consideration that a woman's nature requires. He doesn't become a married man in one day, but by degrees. He cannot make a clean sweep of his habits and take up the silken bonds of duty, all in a moment. The inspiration of a first love gives him the capacity, but he has to learn how to use it. I never saw what I had neglected till I had frightened her away from me. But what is there that I have not done, since then, to win her? I have gone very gently to work and tried from every side to get at her--I have tempted her with gifts and with penitence--but you can see for yourself she shrinks from me more and more. My thoughts, wearied with longings and with the strain of inventing new devices, follow her, and my love for her only grows--but there are times when such thoughts are succeeded by a void so great that my whole life seems slipping away into it. It is then I need some one to cling to--. Oh, Mathilde, you have meant very much to me at times like that. (Goes up to her.)

Mathilde (getting up). Yes, all sorts of things happen in a year that one never thought of at the beginning of it.

Axel (sitting down). Good God, what a year! I haven't the courage to face another like it. This book has frightened me.

Mathilde (aside). That's a good thing, anyway.

Axel (getting up). Besides--the amount of work I have to do, to keep up everything here just as she was accustomed to have it, is getting to be too much for me, Mathilde. It won't answer in the long run. If only I had the reward of thanks that the humblest working-man gets-if it were only a smile; but when I have been travelling about for a week at a time, exposed to all sorts of weather in these open boats in winter, do I get any welcome on my home-coming? When I sit up late, night after night, does she ever realise whom I am doing it for? Has she as much as noticed that I have done so--or that I have, at great expense, furnished this house like her parents'? No, she takes everything as a matter of course; and if any one were to say to her, "He has done all this for your sake," she would merely answer, "He need not have done so, I had it all in my own home."

Mathilde. Yes, you have come to a turning-point now.

Axel. What do you mean?

Mathilde. Nothing particular--here she comes!

Axel. Has anything happened? She is in such a hurry!

(LAURA comes in with an open letter in her hand.)

Laura (in a low voice, to MATHILDE). Mother and father are so lonely at home that they are going abroad, to Italy; but they are coming here, Mathilde, before they leave the country.

Mathilde. Coming here? When?

Laura. Directly. I hadn't noticed--the letter is written from the nearest posting station; they want to take us by surprise--they will be here in a few minutes. Good heavens, what are we to do?

Mathilde (quickly). Tell Axel that!

Laura. I tell him?

Mathilde. Yes, you must.

Laura (in a frightened voice). I?

Mathilde (to AXEL). Laura has something she wants to tell you.

Laura. Mathilde!

Axel. This is something new.

Laura. Oh, do tell him, Mathilde. (MATHILDE says nothing, but goes to the back of the room.)

Axel (coming up to her). What is it?

Laura (timidly). My parents are coming.

Axel. Here?

Laura. Yes.

Axel. When? To-day?

Laura. Yes. Almost directly.

Axel. And no one has told me! (Takes up his hat to go.)

Laura (frightened). Axel!

Axel. It is certainly not for the pleasure of finding me here that they are coming.

Laura. But you mustn't go!

Mathilde. No, you mustn't do that.

Axel. Are they not going to put up here?

Laura. Yes, I thought--if you are willing--in your room.

Axel. So that is what it is to be--I am to go away and they are to take my place.

Mathilde. Take my room, and I will move into Laura's. I will easily arrange that. (Goes out.)

Axel. Why all this beating about the bush? It is quite natural that you should want to see them, and equally natural that I should remove myself when they come; only you should have broken it to me--a little more considerately. Because I suppose they are coming now to take you with them--and, even if it means nothing to you to put an end to everything like this, at all events you ought to know what it means to me!

Laura. I did not know till this moment that they were coming.

Axel. But it must be your letters that have brought them here-- your complaints--

Laura. I have made no complaints.

Axel. You have only told them how matters stand here.

Laura. Never. (A pause.)

Axel (in astonishment). What have you been writing to them all this year, then--a letter every day?

Laura. I have told them everything was going well here.

Axel. Is it possible? All this time? Laura! Dare I believe it? Such consideration-- (Comes nearer to her.) Ah, at last, then--?

Laura (frightened). I did it out of consideration for them.

Axel (coldly). For them? Well, I am sorry for them, then. They will soon see how things stand between us.

Laura. They are only to be here a day or two. Then they go abroad.

Axel. Abroad? But I suppose some one is going with them?--you, perhaps?

Laura. You can't, can you?

Axel. No.--So you are going away from me, Laura!--I am to remain here with Mathilde--it is just like that book.

Laura. With Mathilde? Well--perhaps Mathilde could go with them?

Axel. You know we can't do without her here--as things are at present.

Laura. Perhaps you would rather I--?

Axel. There is no need for you to ask my leave. You go if you wish.

Laura. Yes, you can do without _me_.--All the same, I think I shall stay!

Axel. You will stay--with me?

Laura. Yes.

Axel (in a happier voice, coming up to her). _That is not out of consideration for your parents?

Laura. No, that it isn't! (He draws back in astonishment. MATHILDE comes in.)

Mathilde. It is all arranged. (To Axel.) You will stay, then?

Axel (looking at LAURA). I don't know.--If I go away for these few days, perhaps it will be better.

Mathilde (coming forward). Very well, then I shall go away too!

Laura. You?

Axel. You?

Mathilde. Yes, I don't want to have anything to do with what happens. (A pause.)

Axel. What do you think will happen?

Mathilde. That is best left unsaid--till anything does happen. (A pause.)

Axel. You are thinking too hardly of your friend now.

Laura (quietly). Mathilde is not my friend.

Axel. Mathilde not your--

Laura (as before). A person who is always deceiving one is no friend.

Axel. Has Mathilde deceived anybody? You are unjust.

Laura (as before). Am I? It is Mathilde's fault that I am unhappy now.

Axel. Laura!

Laura. My dear, you may defend her, if you choose; but you must allow me to tell you plainly that it is Mathilde's advice that has guided me from the days of my innocent childhood, and has led me into all the misery I am suffering now! If it were not for her I should not be married to-day and separated from my parents. She came here with me--not to help me, as she pretended--but to be able still to spy on me, quietly and secretly, in her usual way, and afterwards to make use of what she had discovered. But she devotes herself to you; because she--no, I won't say it! (With growing vehemence.) Well, just you conspire against me, you two--and see whether I am a child any longer! The tree that you have torn up by the roots and transplanted will yield you no fruit for the first year, however much you shake its branches! I don't care if things do happen as they do in that story she has taken such pleasure in reading to me; but I shall never live to see the day when I shall beg for any one's love! And now my parents are coming to see everything, everything--and that is just what I want them to do! Because I won't be led like a child, and I won't be deceived! I won't! (Stands quite still for a moment, then bursts into a violent fit of crying and runs out.)

Axel (after a pause). What is the meaning of that?

Mathilde. She hates me.

Axel (astonished). When did it come to that?

Mathilde. Little by little. Is it the first time you have noticed it?

Axel (still more astonished). Have you no longer her confidence, then?

Mathilde. No more than you.

Axel. She, who once believed every one--!

Mathilde. Now she believes no one. (A pause.)

Axel. And what is still more amazing--only there is no mistaking it--is that she is jealous!

Mathilde. Yes.

Axel. And of you?--When there is not the slightest foundation--. (Stops involuntarily and looks at her; she crosses the room.)

Mathilde. You should only be glad that this has happened.

Axel. That she is jealous?--or what do you mean?

Mathilde. It has helped her. She is on the high road to loving you now.

Axel. Now?

Mathilde. Love often comes in that way--especially to the one who has been made uneasy.

Axel. And you are to be the scapegoat?

Mathilde. I am accustomed to that.

Axel (quickly, as he comes nearer to her). You must have known love yourself, Mathilde?

Mathilde (starts, then says). Yes, I have loved too.

Axel. Unhappily?

Mathilde. Not happily. But why do you ask?

Axel. Those who have been through such an experience are less selfish than the rest of us and are capable of more.

Mathilde. Yes. Love is always a consecration, but not always for the same kind of service.

Axel. Sometimes it only brings unhappiness.

Mathilde. Yes, when people have nothing in them, and no pride.

Axel. The more I get to know of you, the less I seem really to know you. What sort of a man can this fellow be, that you have loved without return?

Mathilde (in a subdued voice). A man to whom I am now very grateful; because marriage is not my vocation.

Axel. What is your vocation, then?

Mathilde. One that one is unwilling to speak about, until one knows that it has been successful.--And I don't believe I should have discovered it, but for him.

Axel. And is your mind quite at peace now? Have you no longings?

Mathilde (speaking here, and in what follows, with some vehemence). Yes, a longing to travel--a long, long way! To fill my soul with splendid pictures!--Oh, if you have any regard for me--

Axel. I have more than that, Mathilde--the warmest gratitude--and more than that, I--

Mathilde (interrupting him). Well, then, make it up with Laura! Then I shall be able to go abroad with her parents. Oh, if I don't get away--far away--there is something within me that will die!

Axel. Go away then, Mathilde--you say so, and therefore I believe you.

Mathilde. But I am not going till you two are reconciled! I don't want all three of us to be unhappy. No, I am not unhappy; but I shall be if you are--and if I don't get abroad now!

Axel. What can I do in the matter?

Mathilde (quickly). Stay here and give the old folk a welcome! Behave to Laura as if there were nothing the matter, and she will say nothing!

Axel. Why do you think she will say nothing?

Mathilde. Because of all I have done to make that likely!

Axel. You?

Mathilde. Yes--no--yes; at least, not as you wanted me to, but indirectly--

Axel. Even at the beginning of all this?

Mathilde. No, not then, it is true. But forget that, because now I have made it good! I did not know you then--and there were reasons--

Axel (going nearer to her). Mathilde, you have filled me with an extraordinary regard for you--as if everything that I have been denied in another quarter was to be found in you, and as if now for the first time I--

Mathilde. There is the carriage!

Axel. What shall I do?

Mathilde. Go down and welcome the old folk! Be quick! Look, Laura is down there already--oh, don't let her miss you just at this moment! There, that is right. (He goes.) Yes, that was right; this is my first real victory! (Goes out. Voices are heard without, and soon afterwards the MOTHER comes in with LAURA, and after her the FATHER with AXEL and MATHILDE.)

Mother. So here I am in your home, my darling child! (Kisses her.) It is really worth being separated, for the pleasure of meeting again! (Kisses her.) And such nice letters from you, every single day--thank you, darling! (Kisses her again.) And you look just the same--just the same! Perhaps a trifle paler, but that is natural. (Kisses her.)

Axel (to the FATHER, who is taking off a coat and several comforters). May I?

Father (bowing). Thank you, I can manage quite well myself.

Axel. But let me hang them up for you?

Father. Much obliged--I will do it myself! (Takes them out into the hall.)

Mother (to LAURA, in a low voice). It was hard work to get your father to come, I can tell you. He still cannot forget--. But we had to see our little girl before we set off on our travels; and we had to travel, because it was getting so lonely at home.

Laura. Dear mother! (She and MATHILDE help her to take her things off.)

Axel (to the FATHER, who has come in again). I hope you had a pleasant journey, sir?

Father. Remarkably pleasant.

Axel. Caught no cold, I hope?

Father. Nothing to speak of--just a trifle--a slightly relaxed throat; out late--and heavy dews. You are well?

Axel. Very well, thank you.

Father. I am extremely pleased to hear it.

Mother (to the FATHER). But, do you see--?

Father. What, my love?

Mother. Do you mean to say you don't see?

Father. No, what is it?

Mother. We are at home again! This is our own room over again!

Father (in astonishment). Upon my word--!

Mother. The carpet, the curtains, the furniture, everything--even down to their arrangement in the room! (Goes across to AXEL and takes his hand.) A more touching proof of your love for her we could never have had! (To the FATHER.) Isn't that so?

Father (struggling with his astonishment). Yes, I must say--

Mother. And you never wrote us a single word about this, Laura?

Mathilde. It is not only this room, but the whole house is arranged like yours as far as possible.

Mother. The whole house! Is it possible!

Father. It is the most charming way of giving pleasure to a young wife that I ever heard of!

Mother. I am so astonished, Laura, at your never having mentioned a word of all this in your letters.

Father. Never a word of it!

Mother. Hadn't you noticed it?

Father. Ah, well--what one sees every day, one is apt to think every one knows all about--isn't that it, little girl? That is the explanation, isn't it?

Mother. And Axel has given you all this by his own exertions! Aren't you proud of that?

Father (clapping her on the back). Of course she is, but it was never Laura's way to say much about her feelings; although this is really something so--

Mother (laughing). Her letters lately have been nothing but dissertations upon love.

Laura. Mother!--

Mother. Oh, I am going to tell! But you have a good husband, Laura.

Laura. Mother!--

Mother (in a lower voice). You have paid him some little attentions in return, of course?--given him something, or--

Father (pushing in between them). Worked something for him, eh?

(MATHILDE, in the meantime, has brought in wine and filled some glasses.)

Axel. Now, a glass of wine to welcome you--sherry, your favourite wine, sir.

Mother. He remembers that! (They each take a glass in their hands.)

Axel. Laura and I bid you heartily welcome here in our house! And we hope you will find everything here--(with emotion) just as you would wish it. I will do my best that you shall, and I am sure Laura will too.

Mother. Of course she will!--Drink his health! (AXEL touches her glass with his; her hand trembles, and she spills come wine.) You have filled the glasses too full, my dear! (They all clink glasses and drink.)

Father (when the glasses have been filled again). My wife and I-- thank you very much for your welcome. We could not set out on our journey without first seeing our child--our two children. A good friend of ours (looking at MATHILDE) advised us to come unexpectedly. At first we did not want to but now we are glad we did; because now we can see for ourselves that Laura told the truth in her letters. You are happy--and therefore we old folk must be happy too, and bury all recollection of what--what evidently happened for the best. Hm, hm!--At one time we could not think it was so--and that was why we did not wish to be parted from our child; but now we can make our minds quite easy about it--because now we can trust you. I have complete trust in you, Axel, my dear son--God bless you! (They grasp hands, and drink to each other again.)

Mother. Do you know what I should like?

All. No!

Mother. I should like Axel to tell us how your reconciliation came about.

Laura. Mother!

Mother. Why should you be shy about it? Why have you never told us about it? Good gracious, didn't you think your parents would be only too glad to hear how lucky their little girl was?

Father. I think it is a very good idea of your mother's. Now let us sit down and hear all about it. (They sit down; LAURA turns away.) No, come and sit down beside your mother, Laura! We are going to have a good look at you while he tells us about it. (Pulls her to him.)

Mother. And don't forget anything, Axel! Tell us of the very first sign of love, the first little kindness, Laura showed you.

Axel. Yes, I will tell you how it came about.

Laura (getting up). But, Axel--!

Axel. I shall only be supplementing what you told in your letters, Laura.

Mother. It is all to your credit, my child! Now be quiet and listen to him, and correct him if he forgets anything. (Pulls her down to her seat again.)

Axel. Yes, my dear parents. You know, of course, that we did not begin very well--

Father. Quite so--but you can pass over that.

Axel. As soon as she was left to depend on herself alone, I realised the great wrong I had done to Laura. She used to tremble when I came near her, and before long she used to tremble just as much before any one. At first I felt the humility of a strong man who has triumphed; but after a time I became anxious, for I had acted too strongly. Then I dedicated my love to the task of winning back, in a Jacob's seven years of service, what I had lost in one moment. You see this house--I made everything smooth in it for her feet. You see what we have round us--I set that before her eyes. By means of nights of work, by exerting myself to the uttermost, I got it all together, bit by bit--in order that she should never feel anything strange or inhospitable in her home, but only what she was accustomed to and fond of. She understood; and soon the birds of spring began to flutter about our home. And, though she always ran away when I came, I was conscious of her presence in a hundred little loving touches in my room--at my desk--

Laura (ashamed). Oh, it isn't true!

Axel. Don't believe her! Laura is so kind-hearted--her fear of me made her shy, but she could not withstand her own kind impulses and my humble faithfulness. When I was sitting late in my room, working for her, she was sitting up in hers--at any rate I often thought I heard her footstep; and when I came home late after a wearisome journey, if she did not run to welcome me, it was not because she was wanting in wifely gratitude--Laura has no lack of that--but because she did not wish to betray her happiness till the great day of our reconciliation should come. (LAURA gets up.)

Father. Then you were not reconciled immediately?

Axel. Not immediately.

Mother (anxiously, in a subdued voice). My goodness, Laura did not say a word about that!

Axel. Because she loved you, and did not want to distress you unnecessarily. But does not her very silence about it show that she was waiting for me? That was her love's first gift to me. (LAURA sits down again.) After a while she gave me others. She saw that I was not angry; on the contrary, she saw that where I had erred, I had erred through my love for her; and she is so loving herself, that little by little she schooled herself to meet me in gentle silence--she longed to be a good wife. And then, one lovely morning--just like to-day--we both had been reading a book which was like a voice from afar, threatening our happiness, and we were driven together by fear. Then, all at once, all the doors and windows flew wide open! It was your letter! The room seemed to glow with warmth--just as it does now with you sitting there; summer went singing through the house-- and then I saw in her eyes that all the blossoms were going to unfold their petals! Then I knelt down before her, as I do now, and said: For your parents' sake, that they may be happy about us--for my sake, that I may not be punished any longer--for your own sake, that you may be able again to live as the fulness of your kind heart prompts--let us find one another now! And then Laura answered-- (LAURA throws herself into his arms, in a burst of tears. All get up.)

Mother. That was beautiful, children!

Father. As beautiful as if we were young again ourselves, and had found one another!--How well he told it, too!

Mother. Yes, it was just as if it was all happening before our eyes!

Father. Wasn't it?--He's a very gifted man.

Mother (in a low voice). He will do something big!

Father (in the same tones). Ay, a big man--and one of our family!

Axel (who has advanced towards the foreground with LAURA). So that was your answer, Laura?

Laura. You haven't remembered everything.

Mother. Is there something more? Let us hear some more!

Axel. What did you say, then?

Laura. You know I said that something had held me back a long, long time! I saw well enough that you were fond of me, but I was afraid it was only as you would be fond of a child.

Axel. Laura!

Laura. I am not so clever as--as some others, you know; but I am not a child any longer, because now I love you!

Axel. You are a child, all the same!

Father (to the MOTHER). But what about our arrangements? We were to have gone on our travels at once.

Axel. No, stay with us a few days now! (LAURA makes a sign to him.) Not?

Laura (softly). I would rather be alone with you, now.

Mother. What are you saying, Laura?

Laura. I?--I was saying that I should like to ask you, if you are going abroad now, to take Mathilde with you.

Mother. That is very nice of you, Laura, to remember Mathilde. People generally say that newly-married couples think of no one but themselves.

Father. No, Laura is not like that!

All. No, Laura is not like that!

Laura (gently). Mathilde, forgive me! (They embrace, and LAURA says softly:) I understand you now for the first time!

Mathilde. Not quite.

Laura. I know that I should never have got Axel, but for you.

Mathilde. That is true.

Laura. Oh, Mathilde, I am so happy now!

Mathilde. And I wish you every happiness.

Axel (taking LAURA'S arm). Now you may go and travel abroad, Mathilde!

Mathilde. Yes!--and my next book shall be a better one.

Axel. Your next--?


Content of ACT II

The End
Bjornstjerne Bjornson's play: The Newly-Married Couple

If you like this book please share to your friends :


John Rosmer, of Rosmersholm, an ex-clergyman.Rebecca West, one of his household, originally engaged ascompanion to the late Mrs. Rosmer.Kroll, headmaster of the local grammar school, Rosmer's brother-in-law.Ulrik Brendel.Peter Mortensgaard.Mrs. Helseth, Rosmer's housekeeper. (The action takes place at Rosmersholm, an old manor-house in theneighbourhood of a small town on a fjord in western Norway.)

The Newly-married Couple - ACT I The Newly-married Couple - ACT I

The Newly-married Couple - ACT I
ACT I (SCENE.--A handsomely furnished, carpeted room, with a door at the back leading to a lobby. The FATHER is sitting on a couch on the left-hand side, in the foreground, reading a newspaper. Other papers are lying on a small table in front of him. AXEL is on another couch drawn up in a similar position on the right-hand side. A newspaper, which he is not reading, is lying on his knee. The MOTHER is sitting, sewing, in an easy-chair drawn up beside a table in the middle of the room.)(LAURA enters.)Laura. Good morning, mother! (Kisses her.)Mother. Good morning, dear.