Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act IV

HEDDA.

Well, did you find him?

TESMAN.

No. He wasn't at home. But afterwards I met Mrs. Elvsted, and she told me that he had been here early this morning.

HEDDA.

Yes, directly after you had gone.

TESMAN.

And he said that he had torn his manuscript to pieces — eh?

HEDDA.

Yes, so he declared.

TESMAN.

Why, good heavens, he must have been completely out of his mind! And I suppose you thought it best not to give it back to him, Hedda?

HEDDA.

No, he did not get it.

TESMAN.

But of course you told him that we had it?

HEDDA.

No. [Quickly.] Did you tell Mrs. Elvsted?

TESMAN.

No; I thought I had better not. But you ought to have told him. Fancy, if, in desperation, he should go and do himself some injury! Let me have the manuscript, Hedda! I will take it to him at once. Where is it?

HEDDA.

[Cold and immovable, leaning on the arm-chair.] I have not got it.

TESMAN.

Have not got it? What in the world do you mean?

HEDDA.

I have burnt it — every line of it.

TESMAN.

[With a violent movement of terror.] Burnt! Burnt Eilert's manuscript!

HEDDA.

Don't scream so. The servant might hear you.

TESMAN.

Burnt! Why, good God — -! No, no, no! It's impossible!

HEDDA.

It is so, nevertheless.

TESMAN.

Do you know what you have done, Hedda? It's unlawful appropriation of lost property. Fancy that! Just ask Judge Brack, and he'll tell you what it is.

HEDDA.

I advise you not to speak of it — either to Judge Brack or to anyone else.

TESMAN.

But how could you do anything so unheard-of? What put it into your head? What possessed you? Answer me that — eh?

HEDDA.

[Suppressing an almost imperceptible smile.] I did it for your sake, George.

TESMAN.

For my sake!

HEDDA.

This morning, when you told me about what he had read to you — -

TESMAN.

Yes yes — what then?

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