[The Preceding. LADY KIRSTEN.]
LADY KIRSTEN. [Softly.] Not so, my son, you have told her—?
OLAF. All I was able to say I have said. Now you tell her the rest, and then, mother, let me never, never see her again.
[He casts a glance at ALFHILD and goes out past the house.]
LADY KIRSTEN. That folly will soon be burned out of his soul, if—
LADY KIRSTEN. [As if she suddenly has an idea.] But in case I—Ah, if that could succeed, then would he be cured,—that I can promise. But Alfhild—? Well, nevertheless, it must be attempted.
ALFHILD. [To herself.] So then there is here too anguish and woe; Well, so let it be; I shall never despair. The sorrow of earth I never need know, Still Olaf is good and fair!
LADY KIRSTEN. [Approaches.] It seems to me that gloomy thoughts are weighing upon your mind.
ALFHILD. Yes, yes, the result of things I have recently heard.
LADY KIRSTEN. From Olaf?
ALFHILD. Certainly from Olaf; he has told me—
LADY KIRSTEN. I know, Alfhild. I know what he has said.
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aside.] He has mentioned to her his wedding, I see.
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aloud.] This very night it is to be held.
ALFHILD. What is to be held?
LADY KIRSTEN. The wedding!
ALFHILD. [Eagerly.] Oh, yes, that I know!
LADY KIRSTEN. You know it and do not take it more to your heart than this?
ALFHILD. No. Why should I take it to heart?
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aside.] There is something she is meditating,—I see that clearly.
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aloud.] Well, so much the better for all of us. But tell me, when the wedding is over, what then will you do?
ALFHILD. I? I have little thought of that.
LADY KIRSTEN. I mean, have you in mind to remain here or to go home?
ALFHILD. [Looks at her, surprised.] I have in mind to remain!
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aside.] There we have it; she thinks to hold him in her wiles even after he is wed. Well, we shall see about that.
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aloud.] Alfhild! I wish you every possible good, and if you dared rely on my—
ALFHILD. Yes, that I certainly dare!
LADY KIRSTEN. Well and good; then you will let me take upon myself your happiness. I shall take charge of you as best I know how, and if you but give me your word you shall this very night go to the church as a bride.
ALFHILD. Yes, I know that.
LADY KIRSTEN. [Surprised.] You know that! Who has told you?
ALFHILD. Olaf himself said so.
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aside.] Has Olaf—? Yes, forsooth, he has had the same idea that I had, to marry her off in order to be rid of her. Or perhaps in order to—well, no matter,—when she is finally married, when Olaf on his side is a married man, then—
LADY KIRSTEN. [Aloud.] Well and good, Alfhild! If Olaf has told you our intention for you, then it is not necessary for me to—But do you now hasten, go in there in the store house; there you will find my own wedding gown; that you shall wear!
ALFHILD. [With childlike joy.] Shall I! Your own wedding gown!
LADY KIRSTEN. Do as I say. Go in there and dress yourself as splendidly as you please.
ALFHILD. And do I also get a bridal crown?
LADY KIRSTEN. Certainly! A bridal crown and silver rings and golden bracelet. You will find plenty of them in the coffers and chests.
ALFHILD. Silver rings and golden bracelets!
LADY KIRSTEN. Go, go, and hurry as fast as you can.
ALFHILD. O, I shall not be long about it.
[Claps her hands.]
ALFHILD. I shall have silver rings and golden bracelets!
[She runs out to the left.]