Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act IV

HEDDA.

That he did not. I am certain of that.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, yes! In delirium! Just as when he tore up our manuscript.

BRACK.

[Starting.] The manuscript? Has he torn that up?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, last night.

TESMAN.

[Whispers softly.] Oh, Hedda, we shall never get over this.

BRACK.

H'm, very extraordinary.

TESMAN.

[Moving about the room.] To think of Eilert going out of the world in this way! And not leaving behind him the book that would have immortalised his name — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, if only it could be put together again!

TESMAN.

Yes, if it only could! I don't know what I would not give — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

Perhaps it can, Mr. Tesman.

TESMAN.

What do you mean?

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Searches in the pocket of her dress.] Look here. I have kept all the loose notes he used to dictate from.

HEDDA.

[A step forward.] Ah — -!

TESMAN.

You have kept them, Mrs. Elvsted! Eh?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, I have them here. I put them in my pocket when I left home. Here they still are — -

TESMAN.

Oh, do let me see them!

MRS. ELVSTED.

[Hands him a bundle of papers.] But they are in such disorder — all mixed up.

TESMAN.

Fancy, if we could make something out of them, after all! Perhaps if we two put our heads together — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh yes, at least let us try — -

TESMAN.

We will manage it! We must! I will dedicate my life to this task.

HEDDA.

You, George? Your life?

TESMAN.

Yes, or rather all the time I can spare. My own collections must wait in the meantime. Hedda — you understand, eh? I owe this to Eilert's memory.

HEDDA.

Perhaps.

TESMAN.

And so, my dear Mrs. Elvsted, we will give our whole minds to it. There is no use in brooding over what can't be undone — eh? We must try to control our grief as much as possible, and — -

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, yes, Mr. Tesman, I will do the best I can.

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