Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act III

LOVBORG.

It will not end with last night — I know that perfectly well. And the thing is that now I have no taste for that sort of life either. I won't begin it anew. She has broken my courage and my power of braving life out.

HEDDA.

[Looking straight before her.] So that pretty little fool has had her fingers in a man's destiny. [Looks at him.] But all the same, how could you treat her so heartlessly.

LOVBORG.

Oh, don't say that I was heartless!

HEDDA.

To go and destroy what has filled her whole soul for months and years! You do not call that heartless!

LOVBORG.

To you I can tell the truth, Hedda.

HEDDA.

The truth?

LOVBORG.

First promise me — give me your word — that what I now confide in you Thea shall never know.

HEDDA.

I give you my word.

LOVBORG.

Good. Then let me tell you that what I said just now was untrue.

HEDDA.

About the manuscript?

LOVBORG.

Yes. I have not torn it to pieces — nor thrown it into the fiord.

HEDDA.

No, no — -. But — where is it then?

LOVBORG.

I have destroyed it none the less — utterly destroyed it, Hedda!

HEDDA.

I don't understand.

LOVBORG.

Thea said that what I had done seemed to her like a child-murder.

HEDDA.

Yes, so she said.

LOVBORG.

But to kill his child — that is not the worst thing a father can do to it.

HEDDA.

Not the worst?

LOVBORG.

Suppose now, Hedda, that a man — in the small hours of the morning — came home to his child's mother after a night of riot and debauchery, and said: "Listen — I have been here and there — in this place and in that. And I have taken our child with — to this place and to that. And I have lost the child — utterly lost it. The devil knows into what hands it may have fallen — who may have had their clutches on it."

HEDDA.

Well — but when all is said and done, you know — this was only a book — -

LOVBORG.

Thea's pure soul was in that book.

HEDDA.

Yes, so I understand.

LOVBORG.

And you can understand, too, that for her and me together no future is possible.

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