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Nora [moving about the room]. Oh, when
one has three children, one sometimes has
visits from women who are half — half
doctors — and they talk of one thing and
another.

Mrs. Linden [goes on sewing; a short
paiMe]. Does Doctor Rank come here every
daj7



Nora. Every day of his life. He has
been Torvald's most intimate friend from
boyhood, and he's a good friend of mine,
too. Doctor Rank is quite one of the family.

Mrs. Linden. But tell me — is he quite
sincere? I mean, is n't he rather given to
flattering people?

Nora. No, quite the contrary. Why
should you think so?

Mrs. Linden. When you introduced us
yesterday he said he had often heard my
name; but I noticed afterwards that your
husband had no notion who I was. How
could Doctor Rank — ?

Nora. He was quite right, Christina.
You see, Torvald loves me so indescrib-
ably, he wants to have me all to himself, as
he says. When we were first married, he
was almost jealous if I even mentioned any
of my old friends at home; so naturally I
gave up doing it. But I often talk of the
old times to Doctor Rank, for he likes to
hear about them.

Mrs. Linden. Listen to me, Nora! You
are still a child in many ways. I am older
than you, and have had more experience.
I'll tell you something? You ought to get
clear of all this with Doctor Rank.

Nora. Get clear of what?

Mrs. Linden. The whole affair, I should
say. You were talking yesterday of a rich
admirer who was to find you money —

Nora. Yes, one who never existed, worse
luck. What then?

Mrs. Linden. Has Doctor Rank money?

Nora. Yes, he has.

Mrs. Linden. And nobody to provide
for?

Nora. Nobody. But — ?

Mrs. Linden. And he comes here every
day?

Nora. Yes, I told you so.

Mrs. Linden. I should have thought he
would have had better taste.

Nora. I don't understand you a bit.

Mrs. Linden. Don't pretend, Nora.
Do you suppose I can't guess who lent you
the twelve hundred dollars?

Nora. Are you out of your senses? How
can you think such a thing? A friend who
comes here every day! Why, the position
would be unbearable!



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Mrs. Linden. Then it really is not he?

Nora. No, I assure you. It never for a
moment occurred to me — Besides, at
that time he had nothing to lend; he came
into his property afterwards.

Mrs. Linden. Well, I believe that was
lucky for you, Nora, dear.

Nora. No, really, it would never have
struck me to ask Doctor Rank — And yet,
I'm certain that if I did —

Mrs. Linden. But of course you never
would.

Nora. Of course not. It's inconceivable
that it should ever be necessary. But I'm
quite sure that if I spoke to Doctor Rank —

Mrs. Linden. Behind your husband's
back?

Nora. I must get clear of the other
thing; that's behind his back too. I mtut
get clear of that.

Mas. Linden. Yes, yes, I told jrou so
yesterday; but —

N 3RA [iDollcing up and down]. A man can
manage these things much better than a
woman.

Mrs. Linden. One's own husband, yes.

Nora. Nonsense. [Stands atiU.] Wlien
everything is paid, one gets back the paper.

Mrs. Linden. Of course.

Nora. And can tear it into a hundred
thousand pieces, and burn it up, the nasty,
filthy thing!

Mrs. Linden [looks at her fixedly^ lays
down her wark^ a;nd rises slowly]. Nora, you
are hiding something from me.

Nora. Can you see it in my face?

Mrs. Linden. Something has happened
since yesterday morning. Nora, what is it?

Nora [going toward her]. Christina — !
[Listens.] Hush I There's Torvald coming
home. Do you mind going into the nursery
for the present? Torvald can't bear to see
dressmaking going on. Get Anna to help
you.

Mrs. Linden [gathers some of the things
together]. Very well; but I shan't go away
until you have told me all about it.

[She goes out to the left.]

[Helmbr enters from the halt.]

Nora [runs to meet him]. Oh, how I've
been longing for you to come, Torvald, dear I



Hrlmer. Was that the dresBmaker — ?

Nora. No, Christina. She's helping me
with my costume. You'll see how nice I
shall look.

Helmer. Yes, wasn't that a happy
thought of mine?

Nora. Splendid! But is n't it good of
me, too, to have given in to you about the
tarantella f

Helmeb [takes her under the Mn]. Good
of you! To give in to your own husband?
Well, well, you little madcap, I know you
don't mean it. But I won't disturb you. I
dare say you want to be ** trying on."

Nora. And you are going to work, I
suppose?

Helmer. Yes. [ShotDS her a htmdle cf
papers.] Look here. I've just come from
the Bank — [Ooes toward his room]

Nora. Torvald.

Helmer [stopping]. Yes?

Nora. If your little squirrel woe to beg
you for something so prettily —

Helmer. Well?

Nora. Would you do it?

Helmer. I must know first what it is.

Nora. The squirrel would skip about
and play all sorts of tricks if you would
only be nice and kind.

Helmer. Come, then, out with it.

Nora. Your lark would twitter from
morning till night —

Helmer. Oh, that she does in any case.

Nora. I'll be an elf and dance in the
moonlight for you, Torvald.

Helmer. Nora — you can't mean what
you were hinting at this morning?

Nora [coming nearer]. Yes, Torvald, I
beg and implore you!

Helmer. Have you really the courage
to begin that again?

Nora. Yes, yes; for my sake, 3rou mud
let Krogstad keep his place in the Bank.

Helmer. My dear Nora, it's his place I
intend for Mrs. Linden.

Nora. Yes, that's so good of you. But
instead of Krogstad, you could dismiss
some other clerk.

Helmer. Why, this is incredible obsti-
nacy! Because you have thoughtlessly
promised to put in a word for him, I am
to — !



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NoBA. It's not that, Torvald. It's for
your own sake. This man writes for the
most scurrilous newspapers; you said so
yourself. He can do you no end of harm*
I'm so terribly afraid of him —

Hblmer. Ah, I xmderstand; it's old
recollections that are frightening you.

Nora. What do you mean?

HbTiMWR. Of course, you're thinking of
your father.

Nora. Yes — yes, of course. Only think
of the shameful slanders wicked people
used to write about father. I believe they
would have got him dismissed if you had
n't been sent to look into the thmg, and
been kind to him, and helped him.

Helmer. My little Nora, between your
father and me there is all the difference in
the world. Your father was not altogether
unimpeachable. I am; and I hope to re-
main so.

Nora. Oh, no one knows what wicked
men may hit upon. We could live so
quietly and happily now, in our cozy, peace-
ful home, you and I and the children, Tor-
irald! That 's why I beg and implore you —

Helmer. And it is just by pleading his
cause that you make it impossible for me
to keep him. It's already known at the
Bank that I intend to dismiss Krogstad.
[f it were now reported that the new man-
iger let himself be turned round his wife's
Sttle finger —

Nora. What then?

Helmer. Oh, nothing, so long as a will-
ul woman can have her way — I I am to
nake myself a laughing-stock to the whole
(taff , and set people saying that I am open
o all sorts of outside influence? Take my
vord for it, I should soon feel the conse-
luenoes. And besides — there is one thing
hat makes Krogstad impossible for me to
vork with —

Nora. What thing?

Helmer. I could perhaps have over-
CK>k6d his moral failings at a pinch —

Nora. Yes, could n't you, Torvald?

Helmer. And I hear he is good at his
rork. But the fact is, he was a college chum
»f mine — ^there was one of those rash
riendships between us that one so often
epents of later. I may as well confess it at



once — he calls me by my Christian name;
and he is tactless enough to do it even when
others are present. He delights in putting
on airs of familiarity — Torvald here,
Torvald there I I assure you it 's most pain-
ful to me. He would make my position at
the Bank perfectly imendurable.

Nora. Torvald, surely you're not seri-
ous?

Helmer. No? Why not?

Nora. That's such a petty reason.

Helmer. What! Petty! Do you con-
sider me petty!

Nora. No, on the contrary, Torvald,
dear; and that's just why —

Helmer. Never mind; you call my mo-
tives petty; then I must be petty too.
Petty! Very well! — Now we '11 put an end
to this, once for all. [Goes to the door into
the hall and caila.] Ellen!

Nora. What do you want?

Helmer [searching among his papers].
To settle the thing.

[Ellen enters.]

Here; take this letter; give it to a mes-
senger. See that he takes it at once. The
address is on it. Here's the money.

Ellen. Very well, sir.

[Goes with the letter.]

Helmer [putting his papers together].
There, Madam Obstinacy.

Nora [breathless], Torvald — what was
in the letter?

Helmer. Krogstad's dismissal.

Nora. Call it back again, Torvald!
There's still time. Oh, Torvald, call It
back again! For my sake, for your own,
for the children's sake! Do you hear, Tor-
vald? Do it! You don't know what that
letter may bring upon us all.

Helmer. Too late.

Nora. Yes, too late.

Helmer. My dear Nora, I forgive your
anxiety, though it's anything but flattering
to me. Why should you suppose that /
would be afraid of a wretched scribbler's
spite? But I forgive you all the same, for
it's a proof of your great love for me.
[Takes her in his arms.] That's as it should
be, my own dear Nora. Let what will hap-
pen — when it oomee to the pinch, I shall



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have strength and courage enough. You
shall see: my shoulders are broad enough
to bear the whole burden.

Nora [terror-atruck]. What do you mean
by that?

Helmer. The whole burden, I say —

Nora [with decision]. That you shall
never, never do!

Hblmbr. Very well; then we'll share it,
Nora, as man and wife. That is how it
should be. [Petting her.] Are you satisfied
now? Come, come, come, don't look like a
scared dove. It's all nothing — foolish
fancies. — Now you ought to play the tar-
arUeUa through and practice with the tam-
bourine. I shall sit in my inner room and
shut both doors, so that I shall hear nothing.
You can make as much noise as you please.
[Turns round in doorway.] And when Rank
comes, just tell him where I 'm to be found.
[He nods to hery and goes wiih his
papers into his room, dosing the
doer.]

Nora [bewUdered loith terror^ stands as
though rooted to the ground^ and whispers].
He would do it. Yes, he would do it. He
would do it, in spite of all the world. — No,
never that, never, never I Anything rather
than that I Oh, for some way of escape!
What shMl I do — ! [HaU beU nngs.] Doc-
tor Rank — I Anything, anjrthing, rather
than — I

[Nora draws her hands over her
facet JfuUs herself together^ goes
to the door and opens it. Rank
stands outside hanging up his fur
coat. During what follows it be-
gins to grow dark.]

Nora. Good-afternoon, Doctor Rank.
I knew you by your ring. But you must n't
go to Torvald now. I believe he's busy.

Rank. And you?

[Enters and closes the door.]

Nora. Oh, you know very well, I have
always time for you.

Rank. Thank you. I shall avail msrself
of your kindness as long as I can.

Nora. What do you mean? As long as
you can?

Rank. Yes. Does that frighten you?

Nora. I think it's an odd expression.
Do you expect anything to happen?



Rank. Something I have long been pre-
pared for; but I did n't think it would come
so soon.

Nora [catching at his arm.] What have
you discovered? Doctor Rank, you must
tell me!

Rank [sitting down by the staoe], I am
running down hill. There's no help for it.

Nora [drawing a long breath of r^tef]. It's
you — ?

Rank. Who else should it be? — Why
lie to one's self? I am the most wiet^^ed
of all my patients, Mrs. Helmer. In these
last days I have been auditing my life-
account — bankrupt! Perhaps before a
month is over, I shall lie rotting in the
churchyard.

Nora. Oh! What an ugly way to talk.

Rank. The thing itself is so oonfound-
edly ugly, you see. But the worst of it is,
so many other ugly things have to be gone
through first. There is only one last inves-
tigation to be made, and when that is over
I shall know pretty certainly wh«i the
break-up will begin. There's one thing 1
want to say to you: Helmer's delicate na-
ture shrinks so from all that is horrible: I
will not have him in my sick-room —

Nora. But, Doctor Rank —

Rank. I won't have him, I say — notoo
any account. I shall lock my door againsl
him. — As soon as I am quite certaiix d
the worst, I shall send you my visiting-
card with a black cross on it; and then yok
will know that the final horror has begtm

Nora. Why, you're perfectly unreasoiu
able to-day; and I did so want you to be ^
a really good humor.

Rank. With death staring me in tk
face? — And to suffer thus for another'.
sin! Where's the justice of it? And in ecu
way or another you can trace in every faifi-
ily some such inexorable retribution —

Nora [stopping fier ears]. Nonsense, noo-
sense! Now, cheer up!

Rank. Well, after all, the whole thing *s
only worth laughing at. My poor innocent
spine must do penance for my father's wdd
oats.

Nora [at tablet ^fl]- I suppose he was tou
fond of asparagus and Strasbourg p4U.
was n't he?



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Rank. Yes; and truffles.

Nora. Yes, truffles, to be sure. And
oysters, I believe?

RA.NK. Yes, oysters; 03rsters, of course.

Nora. And then all the port and cham-
pagne! It's sad that all these good things
should attack the spine.

Rank. Especially when the luckless
spine attacked never had any good of them.

Nora. Ah, yes, that's the worst of it.

Rank [looks ai her aearchingly], H'm —

Nora [a momerU later]. Why did you
smile?

Rank. No; it was you that laughed.

Nora. No; it was you that smiled.
Doctor Rank.

Rank [standing up], I see you're deeper
Ihan I thought.

Nora. I'm in such a crazy mood to-day.

Rank. So it seems.

Nora [with her hands on his sJundders].
Dear, dear Doctor Rank, death shall not
take you away from Torvald and me.

Rank. Oh, you 'U easily get over the loss.
The absent are soon forgotten.

Nora [looks at him anxiously]. Do you
think so?

Rank. People make fresh ties, and
then —

Nora. Who make fresh ties?

Rank. You and Helmer will, when I am
gone. You yourself are taking time by the
forelock, it seems to me. What was that
Mrs. Linden doing here yesterday?

Nora. Oh! — you're surely not jealous
of poor Christina?

Rank. Yes, I am. She wOl be my suc-
cessor in this house. When I am out of the
way, this woman will, perhaps —

Nora. Hush I Not so loud! She's in
there.

Rank. To-day as well? You see!

Nora. Only to put my costume in order
— dear me, how unreasonable you are!
[Sita on sofa,] Now, do be good, Doctor
Rank! To-morrow you shall see how beau-
tifully I shall dance; and then you may
fancy that I 'm doing it all to please you —
and of course Torvald as well. [Takes vari-
tnts things out of box.] Doctor Rank, sit
down here, and I'll show you something.

Rank [siUing], What is it?



Nora. Look here. Look!

Rank. Silk stockings.

Nora. Flesh-colored. Aren't they
lovely? It's so dark here now; but to-
morrow — No, no, no; you must only look
at the feet. Oh, well, I suppose you may
look at the rest too.

Rank. H'm —

Nora. What are you looking so critical
about? Do you think they won't fit me?

Rank. I can't possibly give any compe-
tent opinion on that point.

Nora [looking at him a moment]. For
shame! [HUs him lighUy on the ear with the
stockings,] Take that.

[RoUs them up again,]

Rank. And what other wonders am I to
see?

Nora. You shan't see anything more;
for you don't behave nicely.

[She hums a litUe and searches
among the things,]

Rank [after a short stU^ice]. When I sit
here gossiping with you, I can't imagine —
I simply cannot conceive — what would
have be^me of me if I had never entered
this house.

Nora [smtling]. Yes, I think you do fed
at home with us.

Rank [more softly — looking straight he-
fore him]. And now to have to leave it all —

Nora. Nonsense. You shan't leave us.

Rank [in the same tone]. And not to be
i^le to leave behind the sUghtest token of
gratitude; scarcely even a passing regret —
nothing but an empty place, that can be
filled by the first comer.

Nora. And if I were to ask you for — ?
No-
Rank. For what?

Nora. For a great proof of your friend-
ship.

Rank. Yes — yes?

Nora. I mean — for a very, veiy great
service —

Rank. Would you really, for once, make
me so happy?

Nora. Oh, you don't know what it is.

Rank. Then tell me.

Nora. No, I really can't, Doctor Rank.
It's far, far too much — not only a service,
but help and advice, besides —



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Rank. So much the better. I can't think
what you can mean. But go on. Don't you
trust me?

Nora. As I trust no one else. I know
you are my best and truest friend. So I
will tell you. Well, then, Doctor Rank,
there is something you must help me to
prevent. You know how deeply, how won-
derfully Torvald loves me; he wouldn't
hesitate a moment to give his very life for
my sake.

Rakk [bending Unvard her], Nora — do
you think he is the only one who — ?

Nora [with a slight startl Who — ?

Rank. Who would c^adly give his life
for you? •

Nora [sadly]. Oh!

Rank. I have sworn that you shall
know it before I — go. I shall never find
a better opportunity. — Yes, Nora, now
I have told you; and now you know that
you can trust me as you can no one
else.

Nora [standing up; simply and calmly].
Let me pass, please.

Rank [makes way for heTf but remains sit-
ting], Nora —

Nora [in the doortcay], Ellen, bring the
lamp. [Crosses to the stove,] Oh, dear, Doc-
tor Rank, that was too bad of you.

Rank [rising]. That I have loved you as
deeply as — any one else? Was that too
bad of me?

Nora. No, but that you should have
told me so. It was so unnecessary —

Rank. What do you mean? Did you
know — ?

[Ellen enters with the lamp; sets it on the
table and goes out again,]

Nora — Mrs. Helmer — I ask you, did
you know?

Nora. Oh, how can I tell what I knew
or did n't know? I really can't say — How
could you be so clumsy. Doctor Rank? It
was all so nice!

Rank. Well, at any rate, you know now
that I am at your service, body and soul.
And now, go' on.

Nora [looking at him]. Go on — now?

Rank. I beg you to tell me what you
want.



Nora. I can tell you nothing now.

Rank. Yes, yes! You must n't punish
me in that way. Let me do for you what-
ever a man can.

Nora. You can do nothing for me now.

— Besides, I really want no help. You shall
see it was only my fancy. Yes, it must be
so. Of course! [Sits in the rocking-chair^
looks at him and smiles.] You are a nice
person. Doctor Rank! Are n't you ashamed
of yourself, now that the lamp is on the
table?

Rank. No; not exactly. But perhaps I
ought to go — forever.

Nora. No, indeed you mustn't. Of
course, you must come and go as you'v©
alwajrs done. You know very well tha"^
Torvald can't do without you.

Rank. Yes, but you?

Nora. Oh, you know I always like to
have you here.

Rank. That is just what led me astray.
You are a riddle to me. It has of ten seemed
to me as if you liked being with me almost
as much as being with Helmer.

Nora. Yes; don't you see? There are
people one loves, and others one likes to
talk to.

Rank. Yes — there's something in that

Nora. When I was a girl, of course, I
loved papa best. But it always ddighted
me to steal into the servants' room. In the
first place they never lectured me, and in
the second it was such fun to hear them
talk.

Rank. Ah, I see; then it's their place I
have taken?

Nora [jumps up and hurries toward Mm]
Oh, my dear Doctor Rank, I don't meai
that. But you understand, with Torvald
it's the same as with papa —

[Ellen enters from the haU.]

Ellen. Please, ma'am —

[Whispers to Nora, and gwes her
a card,]
Nora [glancing at card]. Ah!

[Puts it in her poekeL]
Rank. Anything wrong?
Nora. No, no, not in the least. It's only

— it's my new costume —

Rank. Your oostume! Why, it's there.



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Nora. Oh, that one, yes. But this is
another that — I have ordered it — Tor-
vald must n't know —

Rank. Aha! So that's the great secret.

Nora. Yes, of course. Please go to him;
he 's in the inner room. Do keep him while
I —

Rank. Don't be alarmed; he shan't
escape. [Goes into Hblmbr'b room,]

Nora [to Ellks], Is he waiting in the
kitchen?

EiiLBN. Yes, he came up the back stair —

Nora. Did n't you tell him I was en-
gaged?

E^iiUBN. Yes, but it was no use.

Nora. He won't go away?

Ellen. No, ma'am, not until he has
(qx>ken to you.

Nora. Then let him come in ; but quietly.
And, Ellen — say nothing about it; it's a
surprise for my husband.

Ellen. Oh, yes, ma'am, I understand.
[She goes oiU,]

Nora. It is coming I The dreadful thing
is coming, after all. No, no, no, it can never
be; it shall noti

[She goes to Hblubr's door and
slips the bolt.]

[E^LLBS opens the haU door for Krogstad,
and shtUs it after him. He wears a
traveting-coat, high boots, and afvr cap,]

Nora [goes toward him]. Speak softly;
my husband is at home.

Krogstad. All right. That's nothing to
me.

Nora. What do you want?

Krogstad. A little information.

Nora. Be cpiiok, then. What is it?

Krogstad. You know I have got my
dismissal.

Nora. I could n't prevent it, Mr. Krog-
stad. I fought for you to the last, but it
was of no use.

Krogstad. Does your husband care for
3rou so little? He knows what I can bring
upon you, and yet he dares —

Nora. How could you think I should
tell him?

Krogstad. Well, as a matter of fact, I
did n't think it. It was n't like my friend
Torvald Helmer to show so much courage —



Nora. Mr. Krogstad, be good enough to
si>eak respectfully of my husband.

Krogstad. Certainly, with all due re-
spect. But since you are so anxious to keep
the matter secret, I suppose you are a little
clearer than yesterday as to what you have
done.

Nora. Clearer than you could ever
make me.

Krogstad. Yes, such a bad lawyer as I —

Nora. What is it you want?

Krogstad. Only to see how you are get-
ting on, Mrs. Helmer. I've b^n thinking
about you all day. Even a mere money-
lender, a gutter-journalist, a — in short, a
creature like me — has a little bit of what
people call feeling.

Nora. Tlien show it; think of my little
children.

Krogstad. Did you and your husband
think of mine? But enough of that. I only
wanted to tell you that you need n't take
this matter too seriously. I shall not lodge
any information, for the present.

Nora. No, surely not. I knew you
would n't.

Krogstad. The whole thing can be set-
tled quite amicably. Nobody need know.
It can remain among us three.

Nora. My husband must never know.

Krogstad. How can you prevent it?
Can you pay off the balance?

Nora. No, not at once.

Krogstad. Or have you any means of
raising the money in the next few da3r8?

Nora. None — that I will make use of.

Krogstad. And if you had, it would not
help you now. If you offered me ever so
much money down, you should not get
back your I O U.

Nora. Tell me what you want to do with
it.

Krogstad. I only want to keep it — to
have it in my possession. No outsider shall
hear anything of it. So, if you have any
desperate scheme in your head —

Nora. What if I have?

Krogstad. If you should think of leav-
ing your husband and children —

Nora. What if I do?

Krogstad. Or if you should think of —
something worse —



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Nora. How do you know that?

Kroqstad. Put all that out of your
head.

NoBA. How did you know what I had
in my mind?

Kbogbtad. Most of us think of that at
first. I thou^t of it, too; but I had n't the
courage —

Nora [tonetesdy]. Nor I.

Kroqstad [relieved]. No, one hasn't.
You have n't tiie courage either, have you?

Nora. I have n't, I have n't.

Krogstad. Besides, it would be very
foolish. — Just one domestic storm, and
it's all over. I have a letter in my pocket
for your husband —

Nora. Telling him everything?

Krogstad. Sparing you as much as
possible.

Nora [quickly]. He must never read that
letter. Tear it up. I will manage to get the
money somehow —

Kroqstad. Pardon me, Mrs. Helmer,
but I believe I told you —



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