Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act III

HEDDA.

I daresay.

TESMAN.

But now comes the strange part of it, Hedda; or, I should rather say, the melancholy part of it. I declare I am almost ashamed — on Eilert's account — to tell you — -

HEDDA.

Oh, go on — -!

TESMAN.

Well, as we were getting near town, you see, I happened to drop a little behind the others. Only for a minute or two — fancy that!

HEDDA.

Yes yes yes, but — -?

TESMAN.

And then, as I hurried after them — what do you think I found by the wayside? Eh?

HEDDA.

Oh, how should I know!

TESMAN.

You mustn't speak of it to a soul, Hedda! Do you hear! Promise me, for Eilert's sake. [Draws a parcel, wrapped in paper, from his coat pocket.] Fancy, dear — I found this.

HEDDA.

Is not that the parcel he had with him yesterday?

TESMAN.

Yes, it is the whole of his precious, irreplaceable manuscript! And he had gone and lost it, and knew nothing about it. Only fancy, Hedda! So deplorably — -

HEDDA.

But why did you not give him back the parcel at once?

TESMAN.

I didn't dare to — in the state he was then in — -

HEDDA.

Did you not tell any of the others that you had found it?

TESMAN.

Oh, far from it! You can surely understand that, for Eilert's sake, I wouldn't do that.

HEDDA.

So no one knows that Eilert Lovborg's manuscript is in your possession?

TESMAN.

No. And no one must know it.

HEDDA.

Then what did you say to him afterwards?

TESMAN.

I didn't talk to him again at all; for when we got in among the streets, he and two or three of the others gave us the slip and disappeared. Fancy that!

HEDDA.

Indeed! They must have taken him home then.

TESMAN.

Yes, so it would appear. And Brack, too, left us.

HEDDA.

And what have you been doing with yourself since?

TESMAN.

Well, I and some of the others went home with one of the party, a jolly fellow, and took our morning coffee with him; or perhaps I should rather call it our night coffee — eh? But now, when I have rested a little, and given Eilert, poor fellow, time to have his sleep out, I must take this back to him.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

At the end of the play, Hedda realizes that




Quiz