ACT II

[THE SAME SCENE.--THE Christmas Tree is in the corner by the piano, stripped of its ornaments and with burnt-down candle-ends on its dishevelled branches. NORA'S cloak and hat are lying on the sofa. She is alone in the room, walking about uneasily. She stops by the sofa and takes up her cloak.] Nora [drops her cloak]. Someone is coming now! [Goes to the door and listens.] No--it is no one. Of course, no one will come today, Christmas Day--nor tomorrow either. But, perhaps--[opens the door and looks out]. No, nothing in the letterbox; it is quite empty. [Comes forward.] What rubbish! of course he can't be in earnest about it. Such a thing couldn't happen; it is impossible--I have three little children. [Enter the NURSE from the room on the left, carrying a big cardboard box.] Nurse. At last I have found the box with the fancy dress. Nora. Thanks; put it on the table. Nurse [doing so]. But it is very much in want of mending. Nora. I should like to tear it into a hundred thousand pieces. Nurse. What an idea! It can easily be put in order--just a little patience. Nora. Yes, I will go and get Mrs Linde to come and help me with it. Nurse. What, out again? In this horrible weather? You will catch cold, ma'am, and make yourself ill. Nora. Well, worse than that might happen. How are the children? Nurse. The poor little souls are playing with their Christmas presents, but-Nora. Do they ask much for me? Nurse. You see, they are so accustomed to have their mamma with them. Nora. Yes, but, nurse, I shall not be able to be so much with them now as I was before. Nurse. Oh well, young children easily get accustomed to anything. Nora. Do you think so? Do you think they would forget their mother if she went away altogether? Nurse. Good heavens!--went away altogether? Nora. Nurse, I want you to tell me something I have often wondered about--how could you have the heart to put your own child out among strangers? Nurse. I was obliged to, if I wanted to be little Nora's nurse.

Nora. Yes, but how could you be willing to do it? Nurse. What, when I was going to get such a good place by it? A poor girl who has got into trouble should be glad to. Besides, that wicked man didn't do a single thing for me. Nora. But I suppose your daughter has quite forgotten you. Nurse. No, indeed she hasn't. She wrote to me when she was confirmed, and when she was married. Nora [putting her arms round her neck]. Dear old Anne, you were a good mother to me when I was little. Nurse. Little Nora, poor dear, had no other mother but me. Nora. And if my little ones had no other mother, I am sure you would--What nonsense I am talking! [Opens the box.] Go in to them. Now I must--. You will see tomorrow how charming I shall look. Nurse. I am sure there will be no one at the ball so charming as you, ma'am. [Goes into the room on the left.] Nora [begins to unpack the box, but soon pushes it away from her]. If only I dared go out. If only no one would come. If only I could be sure nothing would happen here in the meantime. Stuff and nonsense! No one will come. Only I mustn't think about it. I will brush my muff. What lovely, lovely gloves! Out of my thoughts, out of my thoughts! One, two, three, four, five, six-- [Screams.] Ah! there is someone coming--. [Makes a movement towards the door, but stands irresolute.] [Enter Mrs Linde from the hall, where she has taken off her cloak and hat.] Nora. Oh, it's you, Christine. There is no one else out there, is there? How good of you to come! Mrs Linde. I heard you were up asking for me. Nora. Yes, I was passing by. As a matter of fact, it is something you could help me with. Let us sit down here on the sofa. Look here. Tomorrow evening there is to be a fancydress ball at the Stenborgs', who live above us; and Torvald wants me to go as a Neapolitan fisher-girl, and dance the Tarantella that I learned at Capri. Mrs Linde. I see; you are going to keep up the character. Nora. Yes, Torvald wants me to. Look, here is the dress; Torvald had it made for me there, but now it is all so torn, and I haven't any idea-Mrs Linde. We will easily put that right. It is only some of the trimming come unsewn here and there. Needle and thread? Now then, that's all we want. Nora. It is nice of you.

who know something of medical matters. But I often talk about such things with Doctor Rank. is Doctor Rank always as depressed as he was yesterday? Nora. and that is why his son was sickly from childhood. Of two things. Christine. Nora. At first he used to seem almost jealous if I mentioned any of the dear folk at home. Everyday regularly. my dearest Nora. I must tell you that he suffers from a very dangerous disease. you are not your father's daughter for nothing. When you introduced him to me yesterday. He is Torvald's most intimate friend. Torvald is so absurdly fond of me that he wants me absolutely to himself. Mrs Linde [goes on sewing. You are still very like a child in many things. Listen to me. yesterday it was very noticeable. That is quite right. as he says. poor creature. But. Let me tell you this--you ought to make an end of it with Doctor Rank. Nora [gets up. Yesterday you talked some nonsense about a rich admirer who was to leave you money-- . I think. he declared he had often heard my name mentioned in this house. it seems to me. A short silence]. Well. Christine. So how could Doctor Rank--? Nora. He is just like one of the family. Nora. But tell me this--is he perfectly sincere? I mean. I will tell you what--I shall come in for a moment and see you in your fine feathers. and I am older than you in many ways and have a little more experience. And so do you. But tell me. What makes you think that? Mrs Linde. Does Doctor Rank come here everyday? Nora.Mrs Linde [sewing]. Certainly Torvald does understand how to make a house dainty and attractive. isn't he the kind of man that is very anxious to make himself agreeable? Nora. But I have completely forgotten to thank you for a delightful evening yesterday. and they talk about one thing and another. No. do you understand? Mrs Linde [dropping her sewing]. He has consumption of the spine. So you are going to be dressed up tomorrow Nora. you get visits now and then from--from married women. Pooh! When you have three children. because he likes hearing about them. I don't think yesterday was as pleasant as usual. Mrs Linde. Mrs Linde. Not in the least. and crosses the stage]. how do you know anything about such things? Nora [walking about]. You ought to have come to town a little earlier. What ought I to make an end of? Mrs Linde. Mrs Linde. His father was a horrible man who committed all sorts of excesses. so naturally I gave up doing so. but afterwards I noticed that your husband hadn't the slightest idea who I was. and a great friend of mine too.

I must make an end of it with the other one. I told you so. Mrs Linde. Nora. I have no reason to think it could possibly be necessary. Besides.Nora. Nonsense! [Standing still. he came into his money afterwards. A man can put a thing like that straight much easier than a woman-Mrs Linde. Mrs Linde. No. Are you out of your senses? How can you think of such a thing! A friend of ours. and that will be behind his back too. but-Nora [walking up and down]. he had no money to lend then. Yes. but-Mrs Linde. No. I think that was lucky for you. Mrs Linde. Of course not. Mrs Linde. who comes here everyday! Do you realise what a horribly painful position that would be? Mrs Linde. Nora. Although I am quite sure that if I had asked him-Mrs Linde. I must make an end of it with him. But of course you won't. And has no one to provide for? Nora. Do you suppose I don't guess who lent you the two hundred and fifty pounds? Nora. yes. Nora. An admirer who doesn't exist. One's husband. It would never have entered into my head for a moment. Yes.] When you pay off a debt you get your bond back. unfortunately! But what then? Mrs Linde. I don't understand you at all. Mrs Linde. he is. it would never have come into my head to ask Doctor Rank. my dear Nora. Behind your husband's back? Nora. Then it really isn't he? Nora. Don't prevaricate. Yes. And comes here everyday? Nora. certainly not. don't you? . no one. Well. But how can this well-bred man be so tactless? Nora. But I am quite sure that if I told Doctor Rank-Mrs Linde. Nora. No. that is what I told you yesterday. Is Doctor Rank a man of means? Nora.

well. you will want to be trying on your dress. . Nora. [She goes into the room on the left. Nora.] Look at that. And can tear it into a hundred thousand pieces. [Shows her a bundle of papers. Christine! [Listens. it was Christine. What then? Nora. Nice?--because you do as your husband wishes? Well. But I am not going to disturb you. as a matter of course.] Nora [going up to HELMER]. I have just been into the bank. Splendid! But don't you think it is nice of me. to do as you wish? Helmer. Would you do it? Helmer. Yes.] Nora. I am sure you did not mean it in that way.Mrs Linde. You will see I shall look quite smart.] Hush! there's Torvald come home. Torvald. you are concealing something from me. Mrs Linde [gathering some of the things together]. Helmer. Certainly--but I am not going away from here until we have had it out with one another. too. Do I look as if I were? Mrs Linde. Helmer. she is helping me to put my dress in order. lays down her sewing and gets up slowly]. I suppose you are going to work. first. Wasn't that a happy thought of mine. Helmer. [Turns to go into his room. Nora. I have wanted you so much. Was that the dressmaker? Nora. Yes. Let Anne help you. and burn it up--the nasty dirty paper! Mrs Linde [looks hard at her. No. now? Nora. Nora. what is it? Nora [going nearer to her]. Do you mind going in to the children for the present? Torvald can't bear to see dressmaking going on. If your little squirrel were to ask you for something very. as HELMER comes in from the hall. Nora. Torvald dear. I expect. I should like to hear what it is. very prettily--? Helmer. Yes. you little rogue. Nora. Something has happened to you since yesterday morning. Helmer.

and do what she wants. Speak plainly. Helmer. Well. Your father's reputation as a public official was not above suspicion. you have been awfully kind about that. I am expected to-Nora. it is recollections of the past that scare you. but you could just as well dismiss some other clerk instead of Krogstad. Nora. and if you had not been so kindly disposed and helpful to him. I beg you so earnestly-Helmer. my skylark does that anyhow. Nora--you surely don't mean that request you made to me this morning? Nora [going near him]. with her song rising and falling-Helmer. What do you mean? Helmer. And it is just by interceding for him that you make it impossible for me to keep him. Helmer. Have you really the courage to open up that question again? Nora. I understand. of course. you must let Krogstad keep his post in the bank. Nora. Your squirrel would run about and do all her tricks if you would be nice. Nora. Just recall to your mind what these malicious creatures wrote in the papers about papa. Your skylark would chirp about in every room. you have told me so yourself. and have no cares--you and I and the children. Helmer. Nora. This is simply incredible obstinacy! Because you chose to give him a thoughtless promise that you would speak for him. as long as I hold my office. Yes.Nora. dear. I believe they would have procured his dismissal if the Department had not sent you over to inquire into it. We ought to be so well off. there is an important difference between your father and me. This fellow writes in the most scurrilous newspapers. It is already known at the Bank that I mean to dismiss Krogstad. That isn't the reason. Is it to get about . Nora. Helmer. and how horribly they slandered him. Torvald. so snug and happy here in our peaceful home. and I hope it will continue to be so. you must do as I ask. Yes--yes. He can do you an unspeakable amount of harm. Torvald. You never can tell what mischief these men may contrive. Yes. I would play the fairy and dance for you in the moonlight. My dear Nora. Helmer. Yes. Nora. Mine is. it is his post that I have arranged Mrs Linde shall have. I am frightened to death of him-Helmer. It is for your own sake. My little Nora. Torvald. Naturally you are thinking of your father. Ah. Torvald! That is why I beg you so earnestly-Helmer.

and here is the money. Nora [breathlessly].] Helmer [putting his papers together]. 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. His moral failings I might perhaps have overlooked. I can tell you! And besides. we were once on very intimate terms with one another. too. Krogstad's dismissal.] Look here. and be quick. You say my point of view is narrow-minded. He would make my position in the Bank intolerable. Helmer. [Goes to the hall door and calls. [Exit with the letter. Helmer. Don't you? Why not? Nora. Because it is such a narrow-minded way of looking at things. [Enter MAID. Very well. just the opposite. 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. Helmer. It was one of those rash friendships that so often prove an incubus in afterlife. old fellow!" and that sort of thing. . On the contrary. Narrow-minded! Very well--I must put an end to this. Whatever is that? Helmer. Yes. take this letter and go downstairs with it at once. But I knew him when we were boys. It's the same thing. And what if it did? Helmer. But this tactless fellow lays no restraint on himself when other people are present. I may as well tell you plainly. Nora. you could--couldn't you? Helmer. Find a messenger and tell him to deliver it. Helmer. Settle it. Nora. And I hear he is a good worker. Maid. Torvald.] Helen! Nora.now that the new manager has changed his mind at his wife's bidding-Nora. dear--and it is exactly for that reason. What are you going to do? Helmer [looking among his papers]. if necessary-Nora. I assure you it is extremely painful for me. Now then. I don't believe you mean that. little Miss Obstinate. The address is on it. Torvald--what was that letter? Helmer. sir. and every minute it is "I say. No. What are you saying? Narrow-minded? Do you think I am narrow-minded? Nora. there is one thing that makes it quite impossible for me to have Krogstad in the Bank as long as I am manager. so I must be so too. he thinks it gives him the right to adopt a familiar tone with me.

] Nora. During the following dialogue it begins to grow dark. Call her back.] Doctor Rank! Anything rather than that--anything. my own darling Nora. Nora. I say-Nora [recovering herself]. I knew your ring. Doctor Rank. never! Anything rather than that! Oh.Nora. hanging up his coat.] And when Rank comes. you may be sure I shall have both courage and strength if they be needed. [Turns back at the door. Nora. Helmer. Well. What do you mean by that? As much of it as you can? Rank. [Nods to her. But you mustn't go in to Torvald now. some way out of it! [The door-bell rings. I shall go into the inner office and shut the door. Torvald! There is still time. I can forgive the anxiety you are in. call her back! Do it for my sake--for your own sake--for the children's sake! Do you hear me. stands as if rooted to the spot. He will do it. you must go and play through the Tarantella and practise with your tambourine. Torvald? Call her back! You don't know what that letter can bring upon us. for some help. Rank. Nora. You will see I am man enough to take everything upon myself. That's right. pulls herself together.] And that is as it should be. whatever it is! [She puts her hands over her face. Rank. [Takes her in his arms. as man and wife should. and I shall hear nothing. I shall make use of as much of it as I can. That is how it shall be. It is. Thank you. because it is such eloquent witness to your great love for me. He was capable of doing it. Yes. Nora [in a horror-stricken voice]. Isn't it an insult to think that I should be afraid of a starving quilldriver's vengeance? But I forgive you nevertheless. My dear Nora. And you? Nora [brings him in and shuts the door after him]. not that! Never. and shuts the door after him. Everything. Helmer. RANK is standing without. you can make as much noise as you please. indeed. [Caressing her. does that alarm you? . tell him where he will find me. it's too late. Oh Torvald. What do you mean by that? Helmer. goes to the door and opens it. Come what will. Well. He will do it in spite of everything.] Nora [bewildered with anxiety. You will never have to do that. we will share it. although really it is an insult to me. Oh. It's too late. and whispers]. you know very well I always have time for you.] Are you content now? There! There!--not these frightened dove's eyes! The whole thing is only the wildest fancy!--Now. takes his papers and goes into his room.--No. Helmer. I think he is busy with something. Good day.

What an ugly thing to say! Rank. It is all up with me. the whole thing. when I have done that. And it can't be helped. in one way or another. Helmer's refined nature gives him an unconquerable disgust at everything that is ugly. you must tell me. Nora [gripping him by the arm]. Nora. yes. Oh. I am the most wretched of all my patients. Oh. Is anything likely to happen? Rank. Nora. It was such a strange way of putting it. I shall only make one more examination of myself. Who else? It is no use lying to one's self. and the worst of it is that I shall have to face so much more that is ugly before that. I won't have him there. but. I shall know pretty certainly when it will be that the horrors of dissolution will begin. Lately I have been taking stock of my internal economy.Nora. You are quite absurd today. Doctor Rank-Rank. Is it about yourself? Rank. Nora [with a sigh of relief]. I suppose you mean that he was too partial to asparagus and pate de foie gras. Nora. And oysters too. don't you? Rank. Not on any account. Rank. Nothing but what I have long been prepared for. There is something I want to tell you. that goes without saying. I bar my door to him. 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. As soon as I am quite certain that the worst has come. Nora [sitting at the table on the left]. Yes. Oysters. of course. I suppose? Rank. I shall send you my card with a black cross on it. What have you found out? Doctor Rank. Truffles. Mrs Helmer. And I wanted you so much to be in a really good humour. some such inexorable retribution is being exacted-Nora [putting her hands over her ears]. Rank. Nora. I won't have him in my sick-room. and then you will know that the loathsome end has begun. and to truffles. My poor innocent spine has to suffer for my father's youthful amusements. Bankrupt! Probably within a month I shall lie rotting in the churchyard. The thing itself is cursedly ugly. it's a mere laughing matter. Rank [sitting down by the stove]. But I certainly didn't expect it to happen so soon. . Rubbish! Do talk of something cheerful.

Rank. Nora. Nora [looking at him anxiously]. I think. Hm!-Nora [after a short pause]. Nora. It is a loss you would easily recover from. Nora. Rank. It is sad that all these nice things should take their revenge on our bones. death mustn't take you away from Torvald and me. of course. Rank. and you can imagine I am doing it all for you--and for Torvald too. and I will show you something. Hush! don't speak so loud. Doctor Rank. I am in a silly mood today. So it seems. There. She will be my successor in this house. it was you that smiled. Those who are gone are soon forgotten. this woman will-Nora. come and sit down here. Doctor Rank! Rank [rising]. how unreasonable you are! [Sits down on the sofa. No. you see. You yourself are already on the high road to it. Rank. And heaps of port and champagne. Today again. when I am gone. You are a greater rascal than I thought.] Doctor Rank. it was you that laughed. She is in that room. dear Doctor Rank. What did that Mrs Linde want here last night? Nora. I am. Yes. [Takes various things out of the box. Nora [putting her hands on his shoulders]. Why did you smile? Rank. Dear. When I am done for.] Be nice now. Especially that they should revenge themselves on the unlucky bones of those who have not had the satisfaction of enjoying them. No. Oho!--you don't mean to say you are jealous of poor Christine? Rank. Who will form new ties? Rank. What is it? .Nora. Do you believe that? Rank. Yes. and then-Nora. that's the saddest part of it all. Rank [with a searching look at her]. and tomorrow you will see how beautifully I shall dance. Bless my soul. Nora. Rank [sitting down]. People form new ties. Both you and Helmer. She has only come to sew my dress for me.

It is something out of all reason. I mean a tremendously big favour-Rank. I believe you do feel thoroughly at home with us. Would you really make me so happy for once? Nora. And to be obliged to leave it all-Nora. looking straight in front of him]. Not a single thing more. No. When I am sitting here. And if I asked you now for a--? No! Rank. Silk stockings. I have no means of forming an opinion about that. I really can't. you may have leave to look at the legs too. Doctor Rank. Nora [looks at him for a moment]. Flesh-coloured. I cannot imagine for a moment what would have become of me if I had never come into this house. Hm!-Nora. Why are you looking so critical? Don't you think they will fit me? Rank. Nora. it means advice. talking to you as intimately as this. Nonsense. but you don't know what it is yet.] Rank. no. For shame! [Hits him lightly on the ear with the stockings. no! you must only look at the feet. for being so naughty. Aren't they lovely? It is so dark here now. For what? Nora. Rank [in a lower voice. Nora [smiling]. And what other nice things am I to be allowed to see? Nora. and . Just look at those! Rank. yes! Nora. Rank. but tomorrow--. Yes.] That's to punish you. humming to herself. you are not going to leave it.] Rank [after a short silence]. Ah. [Folds them up again. Rank.Nora. Rank [as before]. Nora. Nora. [She looks among the things. scarcely even a fleeting regret--nothing but an empty place which the first comer can fill as well as any other. Oh well. No--but tell me. For a big proof of your friendship-Rank. And not be able to leave behind one the slightest token of one's gratitude.

help. I was determined you should know it before I went away. Yes. What do you mean? Did you know--? [MAID enters with lamp. The bigger a thing it is the better. Do tell me. Haven't I your confidence? Nora. puts it down on the table. To have loved you as much as anyone else does? Was that horrid? Nora. [Goes over to the stove. Rank. There was really no need-Rank. Doctor Rank! We were getting on so nicely. too. More than anyone else. deliberately and quietly]. Oh. Let me have permission to do for you whatever a man may do. After what happened? Rank.] Nora--Mrs Helmer--tell me. I know you are my truest and best friend. Well. he would never for a moment hesitate to give his life for me. at all events you know now that you can command me. Now you know it. You mustn't punish me in that way. I can't tell you anything now. and so I will tell you what it is. The only one who would gladly give his life for your sake. and there will never be a better opportunity than this. had you any idea of this? Nora. You can do nothing for me now. Nora [sadly]. Well. yes. that was really horrid of you. Let me pass. Nora. Helen. Doctor Rank. and goes out. I really don't need any help at all. And now you know. it is something you must help me to prevent. and a favour-Rank. I beg you to let me know what it is. body and soul. Nora. Nora [rises. Nora! Nora [at the hall door]. but sits still]. how do I know whether I had or whether I hadn't? I really can't tell you--To think you could be so clumsy. The only one--? Rank. how inexpressibly deeply Torvald loves me. Rank [leaning towards her]. that you can trust me as you would trust no one else.] Dear Doctor Rank. Is that it? Rank. Besides. Nora--do you think he is the only one--? Nora [with a slight start]. No. You know how devotedly. Rank. Nora. I can't conceive what it is you mean. bring in the lamp. You . Rank. Rank [makes room for her to pass him. but to go and tell me so. So won't you speak out? Nora [looking at him].

[Whispers and hands her a card. Nora. Rank. that one.] Nora [glancing at the card]. no. Rank. Nora. he is sitting in the inner room. and talked to each other about such entertaining things. nice Doctor Rank. It really is so--of course it is! [Sits down in the rocking-chair. It is only something--it is my new dress-Rank.will find that the whole thing is merely fancy on my part. And he is standing waiting in the kitchen? . Oho! Then that was the great secret. Make your mind easy. not in the least. yes. there is something in that. I never meant that at all. Just go in to him. Of course. of course I loved papa best. Yes. You are a riddle to me. Nora. It is just that. Nora [jumping up and going to him]. because they never moralised at all. and others whom one would almost always rather have as companions. but this is another. you shall not. If you please. indeed. No. I won't let him escape. But surely you can understand that being with Torvald is a little like being with papa--[Enter MAID from the hall. that put me on the wrong track. Rank. But perhaps I had better go--for ever? Nora. Keep him as long as-Rank. No. Nora. now the lamp has come? Rank. Not a bit. Rank. Yes--you see there are some people one loves best. but you? Nora.] Maid. ma'am. Oh. dear. I see--it is their place I have taken. Oh. Torvald mustn't know about it-Rank. When I was at home. I am always tremendously pleased when you come. I ordered it. Yes. [Goes into HELMER'S room. I have often thought that you would almost as soon be in my company as in Helmer's. You know very well Torvald can't do without you. Of course you must come here just as before.] Rank. Is there anything wrong? Nora. What? Your dress is lying there. Doctor Rank!--don't you feel ashamed of yourself.] You are a nice sort of man. Oh! [Puts it in her pocket.] Nora [to the MAID]. Oh. and looks at him with a smile. But I always thought it tremendous fun if I could steal down into the maids' room.

What is it? Krogstad. high boots and a fur cap. Nora. but it was no good. Krogstad. But didn't you tell him no one was in? Maid. Nora. [Exit. This dreadful thing is going to happen! It will happen in spite of me! No. Yes. An explanation of something. Maid. Nora. a little respect for my husband. I fought as hard as I could on your side. but it was no good. Does your husband love you so little. no. . such a bad lawyer as I am. and yet he ventures-Nora. let him come in--but quietly. he came up the back stairs. Krogstad. But since you have kept the matter so carefully to yourself. You know. No matter about that. Nora. ma'am. He won't go away? Maid. please. Helen. Yes. Yes. Mr. It is a surprise for my husband. it can't happen--it shan't happen! [She bolts the door of HELMER'S room. What do you want of me? Krogstad. I didn't suppose so at all. of what it actually is that you have done? Nora.] Nora [advancing towards him]. Speak low--my husband is at home. It would not be the least like our dear Torvald Helmer to show so much courage-Nora.] Nora. Make haste then. no. No. Mr. ma'am. Yes. that I have got my dismissal. He is wearing a fur coat. then? He knows what I can expose you to. I suppose. Krogstad.Maid. Krogstad. I make bold to suppose that you have a little clearer idea. I couldn't prevent it. Certainly--all the respect he deserves. Nora. More than you could ever teach me. How can you suppose that he has any knowledge of the sort? Krogstad. The MAID opens the hall door for KROGSTAD and shuts it after him. I quite understand. Nora. Krogstad. than you had yesterday. you mustn't say anything about it to anyone. Krogstad. Well. he says he won't until he has seen you.

. What is it you want of me? Krogstad. Krogstad. No. The whole thing can be arranged amicably. Have you and your husband thought of mine? But never mind about that. Only to see how you were. Well.Nora. Nora. Or perhaps that you have some expedient for raising the money soon? Nora. No one who is not concerned in the matter shall have the slightest hint of it. Nora. Krogstad. It will remain a secret between us three. So that if the thought of it has driven you to any desperate resolution-Nora. I would never part with your bond. Or even something worse-Nora. In the first place there will be no accusation made on my part. Krogstad. How could you know that? Krogstad. Show it. Krogstad. then. Nora. I only wanted to tell you that you need not take this matter too seriously. Krogstad. If you had it in your mind to run away from your home-Nora. My husband must never get to know anything about it. Tell me what purpose you mean to put it to. It has. you know. I had. I have been thinking about you all day long. No. it would have been of no use to you now. not just at present. of course not. Mrs Helmer. I was sure of that. think of my little children. If you stood there with ever so much money in your hand. a quill-driver. Krogstad. How did you know I had thought of that? Krogstad. Krogstad. a man like me--even he has a little of what is called feeling. I did. Nora. in any case. Most of us think of that at first. Give up the idea. I shall only preserve it--keep it in my possession. too--but I hadn't the courage. a--well. there is no reason why anyone should know anything about it. How will you be able to prevent it? Am I to understand that you can pay the balance that is owing? Nora. Krogstad. Nora. A mere cashier. No expedient that I mean to make use of.

That he will never do! Krogstad. I will find some means of getting money. Krogstad. I want to rehabilitate myself. with your hair fallen out-- . and I will get the money. Mrs Helmer. He mustn't get the letter. spoilt lady like you-Nora. you will see. it would have been a great piece of folly. and I am not going to be satisfied with merely being taken into favour again. but I think I told you just now-Nora. No. you can't frighten me. in the spring. in a higher position. No more had I. He will. Nora [quickly]. Mrs Helmer. Your husband must make a place for me-Nora. Krogstad. Krogstad. Oh. For the last year and a half I have not had a hand in anything dishonourable. Tell me what sum you are asking my husband for. You will see. I am not speaking of what I owe you. Do you mean that you will--? Nora. I want to get into the Bank again. to float up to the surface. I haven't--I haven't. perhaps? Down into the cold. I was content to work my way up step by step. he dare not protest. No. Under the ice. Nora. amid all that time I have been struggling in most restricted circumstances. Krogstad [in a tone of relief]. It will be Nils Krogstad and not Torvald Helmer who manages the Bank. Now I am turned out. And as soon as I am in there again with him. Krogstad. I will tell you. In as lenient a manner as I possibly could. and in that your husband must help me. I know him. Nora. then you will see! Within a year I shall be the manager's right hand. I want to get on. Besides. Tear it up.Nora [faintly]. Once the first storm at home is over--. coal-black water? And then. I have courage enough for it now. all horrible and unrecognisable. What do you want. I want to get on. Krogstad. I tell you. that's it. then? Krogstad. Nora. I have a letter for your husband in my pocket. I am not asking your husband for a penny. Excuse me. isn't it--you hadn't the courage either? Nora. That's a thing you will never see! Krogstad. Telling him everything? Krogstad. A fine.

Mrs Linde. You don't know all. Oh no. Christine. Do not do anything foolish. Mrs Linde. Do you see that letter? There. I forged a name. Come here.] Nora [goes to the hall door. There. there is no hope for us now! [Mrs Linde comes in from the room on the left. I see it. . People don't do such things. [Steals across to the hall door. Mrs Linde [throwing the dress down on the sofa]. come here. then KROGSTAD'S footsteps are heard. carrying the dress. NORA utters a stifled cry. He is not putting the letter in the box. Nora--it was Krogstad who lent you the money! Nora. opens it slightly and listens. Besides. Christine--you must be my witness. In the letter-box. Nora. Is he hesitating? Can he--? [A letter drops into the box. Afterwards? When I am no longer-Krogstad.] Nora. Krogstad. Would you like to try it on--? Nora [in a hoarse whisper]. Goodbye. Yes. Believe me. and now Torvald will know all about it.] He is going. look--you can see it through the glass in the letter-box. I shall expect a message from him. I have warned you. Nor you me.] Mrs Linde. and runs across the room to the table by the sofa. That letter is from Krogstad. Mrs Linde. I can't see anything more to mend now. Good heavens--! Nora. no! that's impossible! [Opens the door by degrees. I only want to say this to you. Nora.] What is that? He is standing outside. what use would it be? I should have him completely in my power all the same. Mrs Helmer. He is not going downstairs. A short pause. And be sure you remember that it is your husband himself who has forced me into such ways as this again. until they die away as he goes downstairs. Yes. What is the matter with you? You look so agitated! Nora. now. Nora.] Well. I will never forgive him for that. that's the best thing for both of you.Nora. Mrs Linde. Nora.] There it lies--Torvald. Mrs Helmer. When Helmer has had my letter. You can't frighten me. [Exit through the hall. Have you forgotten that it is I who have the keeping of your reputation? [NORA stands speechlessly looking at him. Torvald.

. The letter is lying there in the box. He? Mrs Linde. I will. the letter--! Helmer [calls from his room. And if it should happen that there were some one who wanted to take all the responsibility. How should I know--? Yes [feeling in her pocket]. here is his card. Then you must be my witness. Nora. Mrs Linde. Torvald. How should you understand it? A wonderful thing is going to happen! Mrs Linde. Don't be so frightened. yes--but how can you suppose--? Nora. indeed. Yes. Christine. Your witness? What do you mean? What am I to--? Nora.Mrs Linde. Yes. I am in my right senses now. Nora! Nora [cries out anxiously]. did the whole thing. Are you trying on your dress? Nora. Nora. and I alone. Where does he live? Nora. you understand-Mrs Linde. We are not coming in. Don't go to him. for instance. I will go at once and see Krogstad. But the letter. not for all the world. you have locked the door. knocking at the door]. There was a time when he would gladly do anything for my sake. Nora! Nora! you are quite out of your mind. that might prevent my being here-Mrs Linde. it mustn't happen. Nora. that's it. It is hopeless. Nora. all the blame. Mrs Linde. Yes. a wonderful thing!--But it is so terrible. I. that it is not true. but it's no use. Mrs Linde. I look so nice. what's that? What do you want? Helmer. Remember that. A wonderful thing? Nora. But I don't understand all this. Nora. Or if anything else should happen to me--anything. I am not out of my mind at all. Mrs Linde [who has read the card]. and I tell you no one else has known anything about it. Christine. Nora! Nora. he will do you some harm. If I should go out of my mind--and it might easily happen-Mrs Linde. Yes. I see he lives at the corner here. Oh.

Yes. Why not? Nora. Mrs Linde. Rank led me to expect a splendid transformation. Torvald dear? Helmer. we will soon work it up again. Nora. There is nothing there. Torvald! Helmer. Not the tiniest bit of business--you mustn't even take a pen in your hand. Will you promise. Well? May I venture at last to come into my own room again? Come along. I understood so. Go in to him in the meantime.] Nora [goes to HELMER'S door. Torvald. Helmer. But you will need to-Nora. by the way. I will come back as soon as I can. dear? Helmer. NORA. Have you been practising too much? Nora. This evening I will be wholly and absolutely at your service. Torvald. first of all I will just-. help me. Rank. I have absolutely forgotten the whole thing. You must give yourself up to me entirely this evening. Torvald! Helmer [from the inner room].Mrs Linde. Nora. plays the .[Goes towards the hall door.] Nora. Well. nobody is to have the chance of admiring me in my dress until tomorrow. I promise. Nora. Helmer. Only see if any letters have come. Promise that you will! I am so nervous about it--all the people--. at the piano. You must delay him. you look so worn out.] But what is this? Nora. Helmer. Yes. Ah. my dear Nora. I have not practised at all. now you will see-. What is what. Rank [in the doorway]. [She goes out hurriedly through the hall door. No. indeed I shall. Yes. he must find some pretence-Nora. [Turns to go to the letter-box. But it is just at this time that Torvald generally-Mrs Linde. No. And your husband keeps the key? Nora. Oh. But. Yes. let me look. Helmer. opens it and peeps in]. please don't. but evidently I was mistaken. always. But I can't get on a bit without you to help me. What are you going to do there? Helmer.[Halting in the doorway. Torvald. Krogstad must ask for his letter back unread. no! don't do that. you helpless little mortal.

there is time now. I tell you! [RANK stops playing. Helmer. but goes on dancing. you are dancing as if your life depended on it. her hair comes down and falls over her shoulders.] Nora [takes out of the box a tambourine and a long variegated shawl. No. Christine! Helmer. With great pleasure. This is the way. criticise me. You have forgotten everything I taught you. Enter Mrs Linde. Helmer. Nora! Nora. Rank. do. Then she springs to the front of the stage and calls out]. Let me practise at once. and correct me as you play. no--that is not a bit right.] Helmer [as he plays]. RANK stands by the piano behind HELMER. Helmer [getting up]. and looks on. dear? Nora. I can't dance tomorrow if I don't practise with you. Nora [laughing and swinging the tambourine]. Didn't I tell you so? Rank. . HELMER has taken up a position beside the stove. and NORA suddenly stands still. before we go to dinner. Now play for me! I am going to dance! [HELMER plays and NORA dances. Yes.] Aha! Nora. Torvald dear. if you wish me to. slower! Nora.first bars of the Tarantella. this is sheer madness. Let me play for her. Are you really so afraid of it. She does not seem to hear him. Helmer [going up to her]. Such fun. Helmer [stops playing]. Nora. so dreadfully afraid of it. Helmer. So it does. NORA dances more and more wildly. HELMER stops in the doorway. Stop. [Sits down at the piano. I can correct her better then. My dear darling Nora. Not so violently. [RANK sits down at the piano and plays. and during her dance gives her frequent instructions. she pays no attention to it. Oh!-Nora [as she dances]. I can't do it any other way. Sit down and play for me. Yes. HELMER goes up to her. She hastily drapes the shawl round her. Slower.] Mrs Linde [standing as if spell-bound in the doorway].] I could never have believed it. Stop.

] Maid. Nora. Be my own little skylark. indeed I am. after you have danced-Nora. [Calls out. I think there is. Helen--lots. you must help me to do up my hair. a champagne banquet until the small hours. Nora. Very good. Maid. dear.] Nora. Nora. you are still afraid of that fellow-Nora. Rank [whispers to HELMER]. Torvald! Helmer. Come. Well! . We will have champagne. Ah. my dear fellow. but you must not read anything of that kind now. I suppose there is nothing--she is not expecting anything? Helmer. Helmer. either today or tomorrow. You must coach me up to the last minute.Nora [throwing away the tambourine]. it is simply nothing more than this childish nervousness I was telling you of. You mustn't contradict her. Christine. you see. Nora. You can depend on me. [The MAID appears in the doorway to the right. you see how much I need it. I don't know. I will. Helmer. don't be so wild and nervous. ma'am. ma'am. But tomorrow night. [They go into the right-hand room. Yes. Nora. I can tell from your looks that there is a letter from him lying there. as you used. There. Helmer. But go in now and you too. Hullo!--are we going to have a banquet? Nora. Far from it. Yes. Promise me that. You will want a lot of coaching. [Exit. come. just for once! Helmer. Nothing horrid must come between us until this is all over. you mustn't open a single letter--not even open the letter-box-Helmer. Rank [whispers to HELMER as they go out]. Doctor Rank. Helmer [taking her in his arms]. Then you will be free. Dinner is served. You must not think of anything but me. Helen.] And a few macaroons. Nora. Yes. The child shall have her way. Yes.

Oh. I wrote a note for him. Go in to them. Nora. I will come in a moment. [Mrs Linde goes into the dining-room. He is coming home tomorrow evening. Here she is! . Then she looks at her watch.] Five o'clock. as if to compose herself. Where's my little skylark? Nora [going to him with her arms outstretched]. I could tell from your face. you wouldn't understand. Mrs Linde. Seven hours until midnight. and then fourand-twenty hours until the next midnight. You should have let it alone. Nora. Gone out of town. Then the Tarantella will be over. What is it that you are waiting for? Nora.Mrs Linde. Twenty-four and seven? Thirty-one hours to live. After all. Mrs Linde. Helmer [from the doorway on the right]. you must prevent nothing. NORA stands still for a little while. it is splendid to be waiting for a wonderful thing to happen.