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A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (excerpt) HELMER (calls out from his room): Is that my little lark twittering out there? NORA (busy opening some of the parcels): Yes, it is! HELMER: Is it my little squirrel bustling about? NORA: Yes! HELMER: When did my squirrel come home? NORA: Just now. (Puts the bag of macaroons into her pocket and wipes her mouth.) Come in here, Torvald, and see what I have bought. HELMER: Don't disturb me. (A little later, he opens the door and looks into the room, pen in hand.) Bought, did you say? All these things? Has my little spendthrift been wasting money again? NORA: Yes but, Torvald, this year we really can let ourselves go a little. This is the first Christmas that we have not needed to economize. HELMER: Still, you know, we can't spend money recklessly. NORA: Yes, Torvald, we may be a wee bit more reckless now, mayn't we? Just a tiny wee bit! You are going to have a big salary and earn lots and lots of money. HELMER: Yes, after the New Year; but then it will be a whole quarter before the salary is due. NORA: Pooh! We can borrow until then. HELMER: Nora! (Goes up to her and takes her playfully by the ear.) The same little featherhead! Suppose, now, that I borrowed fifty pounds today, and you spent it all in the Christmas week, and then on New Year's Eve a slate fell on my head and killed me, and— NORA (putting her hands over his mouth): Oh! Don’t say such horrid things. HELMER: Still, suppose that happened,—what then? NORA: If that were to happen, I don't suppose I should care whether I owed money or not. HELMER: Yes, but what about the people who had lent it? NORA: They? Who would bother about them? I should not know who they were. HELMER: That is like a woman! But seriously, Nora, you know what I think about that. No debt, no borrowing. There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt. We two have kept bravely on the straight road so far, and we will go on the same way for the short time longer that there need be any struggle. NORA (moving towards the stove): As you please, Torvald. HELMER (following her): Come, come, my little skylark must not droop her wings. What is this! Is my little squirrel out of temper? (taking out his purse) Nora, what do you think I have got here? NORA (turning round quickly): Money! HELMER: There you are. (Gives her some money) Do you think I don't know what a lot is wanted for housekeeping at Christmas-time? NORA (counting): Ten shillings—a pound—two pounds! Thank you, thank you, Torvald; that will keep me going for a long time. HELMER: Indeed it must.