Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act III

MRS. ELVSTED.

[In agonised foreboding.] Lovborg — what have you done with the manuscript?

HEDDA.

[Looks anxiously at him.] Yes, the manuscript — -?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Where is it?

LOVBORG.

The manuscript — -. Well then — I have torn the manuscript into a thousand pieces.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Shrieks.] Oh no, no — -!

HEDDA.

[Involuntarily.] But that's not — -

LOVBORG.

[Looks at her.] Not true, you think?

HEDDA.

[Collecting herself.] Oh well, of course — since you say so. But it sounded so improbable — -

LOVBORG.

It is true, all the same.

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Wringing her hands.] Oh God — oh God, Hedda — torn his own work to pieces!

LOVBORG.

I have torn my own life to pieces. So why should I not tear my life- work too — -?

MRS. ELVSTED.

And you did this last night?

LOVBORG.

Yes, I tell you! Tore it into a thousand pieces — and scattered them on the fiord — far out. There there is cool sea-water at any rate — let them drift upon it — drift with the current and the wind. And then presently they will sink — -deeper and deeper — as I shall, Thea.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Do you know, Lovborg, that what you have done with the book — I shall think of it to my dying day as though you had killed a little child.

LOVBORG.

Yes, you are right. It is a sort of child-murder.

MRS. ELVSTED.

How could you, then — -! Did not the child belong to me too?

HEDDA.

[Almost inaudibly.] Ah, the child — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Breathing heavily.] It is all over then. Well well, now I will go, Hedda.

HEDDA.

But you are not going away from town?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, I don't know what I shall do. I see nothing but darkness before me. [She goes out by the hall door.

HEDDA.

[Stands waiting for a moment.] So you are not going to see her home, Mr. Lovborg?

LOVBORG.

I? Through the streets? Would you have people see her walking with me?

HEDDA.

Of course I don't know what else may have happened last night. But is it so utterly irretrievable?

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