Helmer (as he plays). Slower, slower!
Nora. I can’t do it any other way.
Helmer. Not so violently, Nora!
Nora. This is the way.
Helmer (stops playing). No, no—that is not a bit right.
Nora (laughing and swinging the tambourine). Didn’t I tell you so?
Rank. Let me play for her.
Helmer (getting up). Yes, do. I can correct her better then.
(Rank sits down at the piano and plays. Nora dances more and more wildly. Helmer has taken up a position beside the stove, and during her dance gives her frequent instructions. She does not seem to hear him; her hair comes down and falls over her shoulders; she pays no attention to it, but goes on dancing. Enter Mrs. Linde.)
Mrs. Linde (standing as if spell-bound in the doorway). Oh!—
Nora (as she dances). Such fun, Christine!
Helmer. My dear darling Nora, you are dancing as if your life depended on it.
Nora. So it does.
Helmer. Stop, Rank; this is sheer madness. Stop, I tell you! (Rank stops playing, and Nora suddenly stands still. Helmer goes up to her.) I could never have believed it. You have forgotten everything I taught you.
Nora (throwing away the tambourine). There, you see.
Helmer. You will want a lot of coaching.
Nora. Yes, you see how much I need it. You must coach me up to the last minute. Promise me that, Torvald!
Helmer. You can depend on me.
Nora. You must not think of anything but me, either today or tomorrow; you mustn’t open a single letter—not even open the letter-box—
Helmer. Ah, you are still afraid of that fellow—
Nora. Yes, indeed I am.
Helmer. Nora, I can tell from your looks that there is a letter from him lying there.
Nora. I don’t know; I think there is; but you must not read anything of that kind now. Nothing horrid must come between us until this is all over.
Rank (whispers to Helmer). You mustn’t contradict her.
Helmer (taking her in his arms). The child shall
have her way.
But tomorrow night, after you have danced—
Nora. Then you will be free. (The maid appears in the doorway to the right.)
Maid. Dinner is served, ma’am.
Nora. We will have champagne, Helen.
Maid. Very good, ma’am. [Exit.
Helmer. Hullo!—are we going to have a banquet?
Nora. Yes, a champagne banquet until the small
hours. (Calls out.)
And a few macaroons, Helen—lots, just for once!
Helmer. Come, come, don’t be so wild and nervous. Be my own little skylark, as you used.
Nora. Yes, dear, I will. But go in now and
you too, Doctor Rank.
Christine, you must help me to do up my hair.
Rank (whispers to Helmer as they go out). I suppose there is nothing—she is not expecting anything?