Hedda Gabler - Act IV
by Henrik Ibsen
Presented by www.StageBeauty.net
This play script is presented for your reading pleasure only. Whilst this manuscript is now out of copyright in the UK, this applies only to publication and restrictions may remain as to other uses, particularly performance in public. Should you choose to download and/or utilise this script in any way, it is your responsibility to ensure it is free for your intended usage in your jurisdiction.

ACT III
SCENE - The Tesman's villa, in the west end of Christiania.

The same rooms at the TESMANS'. It is evening. The drawing- room is in darkness. The back room is light by the hanging lamp over the table. The curtains over the glass door are drawn close.

HEDDA, dressed in black, walks to and fro in the dark room. Then she goes into the back room and disappears for a moment to the left. She is heard to strike a few chords on the piano. Presently she comes in sight again, and returns to the drawing-room.

BERTA enters from the right, through the inner room, with a lighted lamp, which she places on the table in front of the corner settee in the drawing-room. Her eyes are red with weeping, and she has black ribbons in her cap. She goes quietly and circumspectly out to the right. HEDDA goes up to the glass door, lifts the curtain a little aside, and looks out into the darkness.

Shortly afterwards, MISS TESMAN, in mourning, with a bonnet and veil on, comes in from the hall. HEDDA goes towards her and holds out her hand.

Miss TesmanYes, Hedda, here I am, in mourning and forlorn; for now my poor sister has at last found peace.
HeddaI have heard the news already, as you see. Tesman sent me a card.
Miss TesmanYes, he promised me he would. But nevertheless I thought that to Hedda--here in the house of life--I ought myself to bring the tidings of death.
HeddaThat was very kind of you.
Miss TesmanAh, Rina ought not to have left us just now. This is not the time for Hedda's house to be a house of mourning.
Hedda[Changing the subject.]
She died quite peacefully, did she not,
Miss Tesman
Miss TesmanOh, her end was so calm, so beautiful. And then she had the unspeakable happiness of seeing George once more--and bidding him good-bye.--Has he not come home yet?
HeddaNo. He wrote that he might be detained. But won't you sit down?
Miss TesmanNo thank you, my dear, dear Hedda. I should like to, but I have so much to do. I must prepare my dear one for her rest as well as I can. She shall go to her grave looking her best.
HeddaCan I not help you in any way?
Miss TesmanOh, you must not think of it! Hedda Tesman must have no hand in such mournful work. Nor let her thought dwell on it either--not at this time.
HeddaOne is not always mistress of one's thoughts---
Miss Tesman[Continuing.]
Ah yes, it is the way of the world. At home we shall be sewing a shroud; and here there will soon be sewing too, I suppose --but of another sort, thank God!

[GEORGE TESMAN enters by the hall door.]
HeddaAh, you have come at last!
TesmanYou here, Aunt Julia? With Hedda? Fancy that!
Miss TesmanI was just going, my dear boy. Well, have you done all you promised?
TesmanNo; I'm really afraid I have forgotten half of it. I must come to you again to-morrow. To-day my brain is all in a whirl. I can't keep my thoughts together.
Miss TesmanWhy, my dear George, you mustn't take it in this way.
TesmanMustn't---? How do you mean?
Miss TesmanEven in your sorrow you must rejoice, as I do--rejoice that she is at rest.
TesmanOh yes, yes--you are thinking of Aunt Rina.
HeddaYou will feel lonely now,
Miss Tesman
Miss TesmanJust at first, yes. But that will not last very long, I hope. I daresay I shall soon find an occupant for Rina's little room.
TesmanIndeed? Who do you think will take it? Eh?
Miss TesmanOh, there's always some poor invalid or other in want of nursing, unfortunately.
HeddaWould you really take such a burden upon you again?
Miss TesmanA burden! Heaven forgive you, child--it has been no burden to me.
HeddaBut suppose you had a total stranger on your hands---
Miss TesmanOh, one soon makes friends with sick folk; and it's such an absolute necessity for me to have some one to live for. Well, heaven be praised, there may soon be something in this house, too, to keep an old aunt busy.
HeddaOh, don't trouble about anything here.
TesmanYes, just fancy what a nice time we three might have together, if---?
HeddaIf---?
Tesman[Uneasily.]
Oh nothing. It will all come right. Let us hope so--eh?
Miss TesmanWell well, I daresay you two want to talk to each other.
[Smiling.]
And perhaps Hedda may have something to tell you too, George. Good- bye! I must go home to Rina.
[Turning at the door.]
How strange it is to think that now Rina is with me and with my poor brother as well!
TesmanYes, fancy that, Aunt Julia! Eh?

[MISS TESMAN goes out by the hall door.]
Hedda[Follows TESMAN coldly and searchingly with her eyes.]
I almost believe your Aunt Rina's death affects you more than it does your Aunt Julia.
TesmanOh, it's not that alone. It's Eilert I am so terribly uneasy about.
Hedda[Quickly.]
Is there anything new about him?
TesmanI looked in at his rooms this afternoon, intending to tell him the manuscript was in safe keeping.
HeddaWell, did you find him?
TesmanNo. He wasn't at home. But afterwards I met Mrs. Elvsted, and she told me that he had been here early this morning.
HeddaYes, directly after you had gone.
TesmanAnd he said that he had torn his manuscript to pieces--eh?
HeddaYes, so he declared.
TesmanWhy, 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?
HeddaNo, he did not get it.
TesmanBut of course you told him that we had it?
HeddaNo.
[Quickly.]
Did you tell Mrs. Elvsted?
TesmanNo; 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.
TesmanHave not got it? What in the world do you mean?
HeddaI have burnt it--every line of it.
Tesman[With a violent movement of terror.]
Burnt! Burnt Eilert's manuscript!
HeddaDon't scream so. The servant might hear you.
TesmanBurnt! Why, good God---! No, no, no! It's impossible!
HeddaIt is so, nevertheless.
TesmanDo 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.
HeddaI advise you not to speak of it--either to Judge Brack or to anyone else.
TesmanBut 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.
TesmanFor my sake!
HeddaThis morning, when you told me about what he had read to you---
TesmanYes yes--what then?
HeddaYou acknowledged that you envied him his work.
TesmanOh, of course I didn't mean that literally.
HeddaNo matter--I could not bear the idea that any one should throw you into the shade.
Tesman[In an outburst of mingled doubt and joy.]
Hedda! Oh, is this true? But--but--I never knew you show your love like that before. Fancy that!
HeddaWell, I may as well tell you that--just at this time---
[Impatiently breaking off.]
No, no; you can ask Aunt Julia. She well tell you, fast enough.
TesmanOh, I almost think I understand you, Hedda!
[Clasps his hands together.]
Great heavens! do you really mean it! Eh?
HeddaDon't shout so. The servant might hear.
Tesman[Laughing in irrepressible glee.]
The servant! Why, how absurd you are, Hedda. It's only my old Berta! Why, I'll tell Berta myself.
Hedda[Clenching her hands together in desperation.]
Oh, it is killing me, --it is killing me, all this!
TesmanWhat is, Hedda? Eh?
Hedda[Coldly, controlling herself.]
All this--absurdity--George.
TesmanAbsurdity! Do you see anything absurd in my being overjoyed at the news! But after all--perhaps I had better not say anything to Berta.
HeddaOh---why not that too?
TesmanNo, no, not yet! But I must certainly tell Aunt Julia. And then that you have begun to call me George too! Fancy that! Oh, Aunt Julia will be so happy--so happy!
HeddaWhen she hears that I have burnt Eilert Lovborg's manuscript--for your sake?
TesmanNo, by-the-bye--that affair of the manuscript--of course nobody must know about that. But that you love me so much, Hedda--Aunt Julia must really share my joy in that! I wonder, now, whether this sort of thing is usual in young wives? Eh?
HeddaI think you had better ask Aunt Julia that question too.
TesmanI will indeed, some time or other.
[Looks uneasy and downcast again.]
And yet the manuscript--the manuscript! Good God! it is terrible to think what will become of poor Eilert now.

[MRS. ELVSTED, dressed as in the first Act, with hat and cloak, enters by the hall door.]
Mrs Elvsted[Greets them hurriedly, and says in evident agitation.]
Oh, dear Hedda, forgive my coming again.
HeddaWhat is the matter with you, Thea?
TesmanSomething about Eilert Lovborg again--eh?
Mrs ElvstedYes! I am dreadfully afraid some misfortune has happened to him.
Hedda[Seized her arm.]
Ah,--do you think so?
TesmanWhy, good Lord--what makes you think that, Mrs. Elvsted?
Mrs ElvstedI heard them talking of him at my boarding-house--just as I came in. Oh, the most incredible rumours are afloat about him to-day.
TesmanYes, fancy, so I heard too! And I can bear witness that he went straight home to bed last night. Fancy that!
HeddaWell, what did they say at the boarding-house?
Mrs ElvstedOh, I couldn't make out anything clearly. Either they knew nothing definite, or else---. They stopped talking when the saw me; and I did not dare to ask.
Tesman[Moving about uneasily.]
We must hope--we must hope that you misunderstood them, Mrs. Elvsted.
Mrs ElvstedNo, no; I am sure it was of him they were talking. And I heard something about the hospital or---
TesmanThe hospital?
HeddaNo--surely that cannot be!
Mrs ElvstedOh, I was in such mortal terror! I went to his lodgings and asked for him there.
HeddaYou could make up your mind to that, Thea!
Mrs ElvstedWhat else could I do? I really could bear the suspense no longer.
TesmanBut you didn't find him either--eh?
Mrs ElvstedNo. And the people knew nothing about him. He hadn't been home since yesterday afternoon, they said.
TesmanYesterday! Fancy, how could they say that?
Mrs ElvstedOh, I am sure something terrible must have happened to him.
TesmanHedda dear--how would it be if I were to go and make inquiries---?
HeddaNo, no--don't you mix yourself up in this affair.

[JUDGE BRACK, with his hat in his hand, enters by the hall door, which BERTA opens, and closes behind him. He looks grave and bows in silence.]
TesmanOh, is that you, my dear Judge? Eh?
Judge BrackYes. It was imperative I should see you this evening.
TesmanI can see you have heard the news about Aunt Rina?
Judge BrackYes, that among other things.
TesmanIsn't it sad--eh?
Judge BrackWell, my dear Tesman, that depends on how you look at it.
Tesman[Looks doubtfully at him.]
Has anything else happened?
Judge BrackYes.
Hedda[In suspense.]
Anything sad, Judge Brack?
Judge BrackThat, too, depends on how you look at it, Mrs. Tesman.
Mrs Elvsted[Unable to restrain her anxiety.]
Oh! it is something about Eilert Lovborg!
Judge Brack[With a glance at her.]
What makes you think that, Madam? Perhaps you have already heard something---?
Mrs Elvsted[In confusion.]
No, nothing at all, but---
TesmanOh, for heaven's sake, tell us!
Judge Brack[Shrugging his shoulders.]
Well, I regret to say Eilert Lovborg has been taken to the hospital. He is lying at the point of death.
Mrs Elvsted[Shrieks.]
Oh God! oh God---!
TesmanTo the hospital! And at the point of death!
Hedda[Involuntarily.]
So soon then---
Mrs Elvsted[Wailing.]
And we parted in anger, Hedda!
Hedda[Whispers.]
Thea--Thea--be careful!
Mrs Elvsted[Not heeding her.]
I must go to him! I must see him alive!
Judge BrackIt is useless, Madam. No one will be admitted.
Mrs ElvstedOh, at least tell me what has happened to him? What is it?
TesmanYou don't mean to say that he has himself--- Eh?
HeddaYes, I am sure he has.
Judge Brack[Keeping his eyes fixed upon her.]
Unfortunately you have guessed quite correctly, Mrs. Tesman.
Mrs ElvstedOh, how horrible!
TesmanHimself, then! Fancy that!
HeddaShot himself!
Judge BrackRightly guessed again, Mrs. Tesman.
Mrs Elvsted[With an effort at self-control.]
When did it happen, Mr. Brack?
Judge BrackThis afternoon--between three and four.
TesmanBut, good Lord, where did he do it? Eh?
Judge Brack[With some hesitation.]
Where? Well--I suppose at his lodgings.
Mrs ElvstedNo, that cannot be; for I was there between six and seven.
Judge BrackWell then, somewhere else. I don't know exactly. I only know that he was found---. He had shot himself--in the breast.
Mrs ElvstedOh, how terrible! That he should die like that!
Hedda[To BRACK.]
Was it in the breast?
Judge BrackYes--as I told you.
HeddaNot in the temple?
Judge BrackIn the breast, Mrs. Tesman.
HeddaWell, well--the breast is a good place, too.
Judge BrackHow do you mean, Mrs. Tesman?
Hedda[Evasively.]
Oh, nothing--nothing.
TesmanAnd the wound is dangerous, you say--eh?
Judge BrackAbsolutely mortal. The end has probably come by this time.
Mrs ElvstedYes, yes, I feel it. The end! The end! Oh, Hedda---!
TesmanBut tell me, how have you learnt all this?
Judge Brack[Curtly.]
Through one of the police. A man I had some business with.
Hedda[In a clear voice.]
At last a deed worth doing!
Tesman[Terrified.]
Good heavens, Hedda! what are you saying?
HeddaI say there is beauty in this.
Judge BrackH'm, Mrs. Tesman---
Mrs ElvstedOh, Hedda, how can you talk of beauty in such an act!
HeddaEilert Lovborg has himself made up his account with life. He has had the courage to do--the one right thing.
Mrs ElvstedNo, you must never think that was how it happened! It must have been in delirium that he did it.
TesmanIn despair!
HeddaThat he did not. I am certain of that.
Mrs ElvstedYes, yes! In delirium! Just as when he tore up our manuscript.
Judge Brack[Starting.]
The manuscript? Has he torn that up?
Mrs ElvstedYes, last night.
Tesman[Whispers softly.]
Oh, Hedda, we shall never get over this.
Judge BrackH'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 ElvstedOh, if only it could be put together again!
TesmanYes, if it only could! I don't know what I would not give---
Mrs ElvstedPerhaps it can, Mr. Tesman.
TesmanWhat 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---!
TesmanYou have kept them, Mrs. Elvsted! Eh?
Mrs ElvstedYes, I have them here. I put them in my pocket when I left home. Here they still are---
TesmanOh, do let me see them!
Mrs Elvsted[Hands him a bundle of papers.]
But they are in such disorder--all mixed up.
TesmanFancy, if we could make something out of them, after all! Perhaps if we two put our heads together---
Mrs ElvstedOh yes, at least let us try---
TesmanWe will manage it! We must! I will dedicate my life to this task.
HeddaYou, George? Your life?
TesmanYes, 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.
HeddaPerhaps.
TesmanAnd 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 ElvstedYes, yes, Mr. Tesman, I will do the best I can.
TesmanWell then, come here. I can't rest until we have looked through the notes. Where shall we sit? Here? No, in there, in the back room. Excuse me, my dear Judge. Come with me, Mrs. Elvsted.
Mrs ElvstedOh, if only it were possible!

[TESMAN and MRS. ELVSTED go into the back room. She takes off her hat and cloak. They both sit at the table under the hanging lamp, and are soon deep in an eager examination of the papers. HEDDA crosses to the stove and sits in the arm- chair. Presently BRACK goes up to her.]
Hedda[In a low voice.]
Oh, what a sense of freedom it gives one, this act of Eilert Lovborg's.
Judge BrackFreedom, Mrs. Hedda? Well, of course, it is a release for him---
HeddaI mean for me. It gives me a sense of freedom to know that a deed of deliberate courage is still possible in this world,--a deed of spontaneous beauty.
Judge Brack[Smiling.]
H'm--my dear Mrs. Hedda---
HeddaOh, I know what you are going to say. For you are a kind of specialist too, like--you know!
Judge Brack[Looking hard at her.]
Eilert Lovborg was more to you than perhaps you are willing to admit to yourself. Am I wrong?
HeddaI don't answer such questions. I only know that Eilert Lovborg has had the courage to live his life after his own fashion. And then-- the last great act, with its beauty! Ah! that he should have the will and the strength to turn away from the banquet of life--so early.
Judge BrackI am sorry, Mrs. Hedda,--but I fear I must dispel an amiable illusion.
HeddaIllusion?
Judge BrackWhich could not have lasted long in any case.
HeddaWhat do you mean?
Judge BrackEilert Lovborg did not shoot himself--voluntarily.
HeddaNot voluntarily?
Judge BrackNo. The thing did not happen exactly as I told it.
Hedda[In suspense.]
Have you concealed something? What is it?
Judge BrackFor poor Mrs. Elvsted's sake I idealised the facts a little.
HeddaWhat are the facts?
Judge BrackFirst, that he is already dead.
HeddaAt the hospital?
Judge BrackYes--without regaining consciousness.
HeddaWhat more have you concealed?
Judge BrackThis--the event did not happen at his lodgings.
HeddaOh, that can make no difference.
Judge BrackPerhaps it may. For I must tell you--Eilert Lovborg was found shot in--in Mademoiselle Diana's boudoir.
Hedda[Makes a motion as if to rise, but sinks back again.]
That is impossible, Judge Brack! He cannot have been there again to-day.
Judge BrackHe was there this afternoon. He went there, he said, to demand the return of something which they had taken from him. Talked wildly about a lost child---
HeddaAh--so that is why---
Judge BrackI thought probably he meant his manuscript; but now I hear he destroyed that himself. So I suppose it must have been his pocket- book.
HeddaYes, no doubt. And there--there he was found?
Judge BrackYes, there. With a pistol in his breast-pocket, discharged. The ball had lodged in a vital part.
HeddaIn the breast--yes?
Judge BrackNo--in the bowels.
Hedda[Looks up at him with an expression of loathing.]
That too! Oh, what curse is it that makes everything I touch turn ludicrous and mean?
Judge BrackThere is one point more, Mrs. Hedda--another disagreeable feature in the affair.
HeddaAnd what is that?
Judge BrackThe pistol he carried---
Hedda[Breathless.]
Well? What of it?
Judge BrackHe must have stolen it.
Hedda[Leaps up.]
Stolen it! That is not true! He did not steal it!
Judge BrackNo other explanation is possible. He must have stolen it---. Hush!

[TESMAN and MRS. ELVSTED have risen from the table in the back- room, and come into the drawing-room.]
Tesman[With the papers in both his hands.]
Hedda, dear, it is almost impossible to see under that lamp. Think of that!
HeddaYes, I am thinking.
TesmanWould you mind our sitting at you writing-table--eh?
HeddaIf you like.
[Quickly.]
No, wait! Let me clear it first!
TesmanOh, you needn't trouble, Hedda. There is plenty of room.
HeddaNo no, let me clear it, I say! I will take these things in and put them on the piano. There!

[She has drawn out an object, covered with sheet music, from under the bookcase, places several other pieces of music upon it, and carries the whole into the inner room, to the left. TESMAN lays the scraps of paper on the writing-table, and moves the lamp there from the corner table. He and Mrs. Elvsted sit down and proceed with their work. HEDDA returns.]
Hedda[Behind Mrs. Elvsted's chair, gently ruffling her hair.]
Well, my sweet Thea,--how goes it with Eilert Lovborg's monument?
Mrs Elvsted[Looks dispiritedly up at her.]
Oh, it will be terribly hard to put in order.
TesmanWe must manage it. I am determined. And arranging other people's papers is just the work for me.

[HEDDA goes over to the stove, and seats herself on one of the footstools. BRACK stands over her, leaning on the arm-chair.]
Hedda[Whispers.]
What did you say about the pistol?
Judge Brack[Softly.]
That he must have stolen it.
HeddaWhy stolen it?
Judge BrackBecause every other explanation ought to be impossible, Mrs. Hedda.
HeddaIndeed?
Judge Brack[Glances at her.]
Of course Eilert Lovborg was here this morning. Was he not?
HeddaYes.
Judge BrackWere you alone with him?
HeddaPart of the time.
Judge BrackDid you not leave the room whilst he was here?
HeddaNo.
Judge BrackTry to recollect. Were you not out of the room a moment?
HeddaYes, perhaps just a moment--out in the hall.
Judge BrackAnd where was you pistol-case during that time?
HeddaI had it locked up in---
Judge BrackWell, Mrs. Hedda?
HeddaThe case stood there on the writing-table.
Judge BrackHave you looked since, to see whether both the pistols are there?
HeddaNo.
Judge BrackWell, you need not. I saw the pistol found in Lovborg's pocket, and I knew it at once as the one I had seen yesterday--and before, too.
HeddaHave you it with you?
Judge BrackNo; the police have it.
HeddaWhat will the police do with it?
Judge BrackSearch till they find the owner.
HeddaDo you think they will succeed?
Judge Brack[Bends over her and whispers.]
No, Hedda Gabler--not so long as I say nothing.
Hedda[Looks frightened at him.]
And if you do not say nothing,--what then?
Judge Brack[Shrugs his shoulders.]
There is always the possibility that the pistol was stolen.
Hedda[Firmly.]
Death rather than that.
Judge Brack[Smiling.]
People say such things--but they don't do them.
Hedda[Without replying.]
And supposing the pistol was not stolen, and the owner is discovered? What then?
Judge BrackWell, Hedda--then comes the scandal!
HeddaThe scandal!
Judge BrackYes, the scandal--of which you are so mortally afraid. You will, of course, be brought before the court--both you and Mademoiselle Diana. She will have to explain how the thing happened--whether it was an accidental shot or murder. Did the pistol go off as he was trying to take it out of his pocket, to threaten her with? Or did she tear the pistol out of his hand, shoot him, and push it back into his pocket? That would be quite like her; for she is an able-bodied young person, this same Mademoiselle Diana.
HeddaBut I have nothing to do with all this repulsive business.
Judge BrackNo. But you will have to answer the question: Why did you give Eilert the pistol? And what conclusions will people draw from the fact that you did give it to him?
Hedda[Lets her head sink.]
That is true. I did not think of that.
Judge BrackWell, fortunately, there is no danger, so long as I say nothing.
Hedda[Looks up at him.]
So I am in your power, Judge Brack. You have me at your beck and call, from this time forward.
Judge Brack[Whispers softly.]
Dearest Hedda--believe me--I shall not abuse my advantage.
HeddaI am in your power none the less. Subject to your will and your demands. A slave, a slave then!
[Rises impetuously.]
No, I cannot endure the thought of that! Never!
Judge Brack[Looks half-mockingly at her.]
People generally get used to the inevitable.
Hedda[Returns his look.]
Yes, perhaps.
[She crosses to the writing-table. Suppressing an involuntary smile, she imitates TESMAN'S intonations.]
Well? Are you getting on, George? Eh?
TesmanHeaven knows, dear. In any case it will be the work of months.
Hedda[As before.]
Fancy that!
[Passes her hands softly through Mrs. Elvsted's hair.]
Doesn't it seem strange to you, Thea? Here are you sitting with Tesman--just as you used to sit with Eilert Lovborg?
Mrs ElvstedAh, if I could only inspire your husband in the same way!
HeddaOh, that will come too--in time.
TesmanYes, do you know, Hedda--I really think I begin to feel something of the sort. But won't you go and sit with Brack again?
HeddaIs there nothing I can do to help you two?
TesmanNo, nothing in the world.
[Turning his head.]
I trust to you to keep Hedda company, my dear Brack.
Judge Brack[With a glance at HEDDA.]
With the very greatest of pleasure.
HeddaThanks. But I am tired this evening. I will go in and lie down a little on the sofa.
TesmanYes, do dear--eh?

[HEDDA goes into the back room and draws the curtains. A short pause. Suddenly she is heard playing a wild dance on the piano.]
Mrs Elvsted[Starts from her chair.]
Oh--what is that?
Tesman[Runs to the doorway.]
Why, my dearest Hedda--don't play dance-music to-night! Just think of Aunt Rina! And of Eilert too!
Hedda[Puts her head out between the curtains.]
And of Aunt Julia. And of all the rest of them.--After this, I will be quiet.
[Closes the curtains again.]
Tesman[At the writing-table.]
It's not good for her to see us at this distressing work. I'll tell you what, Mrs. Elvsted,--you shall take the empty room at Aunt Julia's, and then I will come over in the evenings, and we can sit and work there--eh?
Hedda[In the inner room.]
I hear what you are saying, Tesman. But how am I to get through the evenings out here?
Tesman[Turning over the papers.]
Oh, I daresay Judge Brack will be so kind as to look in now and then, even though I am out.
Judge Brack[In the arm-chair, calls out gaily.]
Every blessed evening, with all the pleasure in life, Mrs. Tesman! We shall get on capitally together, we two!
Hedda[Speaking loud and clear.]
Yes, don't you flatter yourself we will, Judge Brack? Now that you are the one cock in the basket---

[A shot is heard within. TESMAN, MRS. ELVSTED, and BRACK leap to their feet.]
TesmanOh, now she is playing with those pistols again.

[He throws back the curtains and runs in, followed by MRS. ELVSTED. HEDDA lies stretched on the sofa, lifeless. Confusion and cries. BERTA enters in alarm from the right.]
Tesman[Shrieks to BRACK.]
Shot herself! Shot herself in the temple! Fancy that!
Judge Brack[Half-fainting in the arm-chair.]
Good God!--people don't do such things.

THE END

Play IndexAct IAct IIAct III  Act III