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Title: Mr Punch's Pocket Ibsen - A Collection of Some of the Master's Best Known Dramas
Author: Anstey, F., 1856-1934
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mr Punch's Pocket Ibsen - A Collection of Some of the Master's Best Known Dramas" ***

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  MR. PUNCH'S POCKET IBSEN

  _A COLLECTION OF SOME OF THE MASTER'S BEST-KNOWN DRAMAS_ CONDENSED,
  REVISED, AND SLIGHTLY RE-ARRANGED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EARNEST STUDENT

  BY

  F. ANSTEY

  AUTHOR OF "VICE VERSA," "VOCES POPULI," ETC.

  _WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY BERNARD PARTRIDGE_

  LONDON WILLIAM HEINEMANN 1893

  [_All rights reserved_]

       *       *       *       *       *

PREFATORY NOTE

_The concluding piece, "Pill-Doctor Herdal," is, as the observant reader
will instantly perceive, rather a reverent attempt to tread in the
footprints of the Norwegian dramatist, than a version of any actually
existing masterpiece. The author is conscious that his imitation is
painfully lacking in the mysterious obscurity of the original, that the
vein of allegorical symbolism is thinner throughout than it should be,
and that the characters are not nearly so mad as persons invariably are
in real life--but these are the faults inevitable to a prentice hand,
and he trusts that due allowances may be made for them by the critical._

_In conclusion he wishes to express his acknowledgments to Messrs.
Bradbury and Agnew for their permission to reprint the present volume,
the contents of which made their original appearance in the pages of
"Punch."_

       *       *       *       *       *

  CONTENTS

  ROSMERSHÖLM

  NORA; OR, THE BIRD-CAGE

  HEDDA GABLER

  THE WILD DUCK

  PILL-DOCTOR HERDAL

       *       *       *       *       *

ROSMERSHÖLM

ACT FIRST

_Sitting-room at Rosmershölm, with a stove, flower-stand, windows,
  ancient and modern ancestors, doors, and everything handsome about it._
  REBECCA WEST _is sitting knitting a large antimacassar which is nearly
  finished. Now and then she looks out of a window, and smiles and nods
  expectantly to someone outside._ MADAM HELSETH _is laying the table for
  supper._

REBECCA.

[_Folding up her work slowly._] But tell me precisely, what about this
white horse?

    [_Smiling quietly._

MADAM HELSETH.

Lord forgive you, Miss!--[_fetching cruet-stand, and placing it on
table_]--but you're making fun of me!

REBECCA.

[_Gravely._] No, indeed. Nobody makes fun at Rosmershölm. Mr. Rosmer
would not understand it. [_Shutting window._] Ah, here is Rector Kroll.
[_Opening door._] You will stay to supper, will you not, Rector, and I
will tell them to give us some little extra dish.

KROLL.

[_Hanging up his hat in the hall._] Many thanks. [_Wipes his boots._]
May I come in? [_Comes in, puts down his stick, sits down, and looks
about him._] And how do you and Rosmer get on together, eh?

REBECCA.

Ever since your sister, Beata, went mad and jumped into the mill-race,
we have been as happy as two little birds together. [_After a pause,
sitting down in arm-chair._] So you don't really mind my living here all
alone with Rosmer? We were afraid you might, perhaps.

KROLL.

Why, how on earth--on the contrary, I shouldn't object at all if
you--[_looks at her meaningly_]--h'm!

REBECCA.

[_Interrupting, gravely._] For shame, Rector; how can you make such
jokes?

KROLL.

[_As if surprised._] Jokes! We do not joke in these parts--but here is
Rosmer.

    [_Enter_ ROSMER, _gently and softly._

ROSMER.

So, my dear old friend, you have come again, after a year's absence.
[_Sits down._] We almost thought that----

KROLL.

[_Nods._] So Miss West was saying--but you are quite mistaken. I merely
thought I might remind you, if I came, of our poor Beata's suicide, so I
kept away. We Norwegians are not without our simple tact.

ROSMER.

It was considerate--but unnecessary. Reb--I _mean_, Miss West--and I
often allude to the incident, do we not?

REBECCA.

[_Strikes Tändstickor._] Oh yes, indeed. [_Lighting lamp._] Whenever we
feel a little more cheerful than usual.

KROLL.

You dear good people! [_Wanders up the room._] I came because the Spirit
of Revolt has crept into my School. A Secret Society has existed for
weeks in the Lower Third! To-day it has come to my knowledge that a
booby trap was prepared for me by the hand of my own son, Laurits, and
I then discovered that a hair had been inserted in my cane by my
daughter Hilda! The only way in which a right-minded Schoolmaster can
combat this anarchic and subversive spirit is to start a newspaper, and
I thought that you, as a weak, credulous, inexperienced and
impressionable kind of man, were the very person to be the Editor.

    [REBECCA _laughs softly, as if to herself._
      ROSMER _jumps up and sits down again._

REBECCA.

[_With a look at Rosmer._] Tell him now!

ROSMER.

[_Returning the look._] I can't--Some other evening. Well, perhaps----
[_To_ KROLL.] I can't be your Editor--because [_in a low voice_] I--I am
on the side of Laurits and Hilda!

KROLL.

[_Looks from one to the other, gloomily._] H'm!

ROSMER.

Yes. Since we last met, I have changed my views. I am going to create a
new democracy, and awaken it to its true task of making all the people
of this country noblemen, by freeing their wills, and purifying their
minds!

KROLL.

What _do_ you mean!

    [_Takes up his hat._

ROSMER.

[_Bowing his head._] I don't quite know, my dear friend; it was Reb----
I should say Miss West's scheme.

KROLL.

H'm! [_A suspicion appears in his face._] Now I begin to believe that
what Beata said about schemes----no matter. But under the
circumstances, I will _not_ stay to supper.

    [_Takes up his stick, and walks out._

ROSMER.

I _told_ you he would be annoyed. I shall go to bed now. I don't want
any supper.

    [_He lights a candle, and goes out; presently his footsteps
      are heard overhead, as he undresses._ REBECCA _pulls a bell-rope._

REBECCA.

[_To_ MADAM HELSETH, _who enters with dishes._] No, Mr. Rosmer will not
have supper to-night. [_In a lighter tone._] Perhaps he is afraid of the
nightmare. There are so many sorts of White Horses in this world!

MADAM HELSETH.

[_Shaking._] Lord! lord! that Miss West--the things she does say!

    [REBECCA _goes out through door, knitting antimacassar thoughtfully,
      as Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT SECOND

ROSMER'S _study. Doors and windows, bookshelves, a writing-table. Door,
  with curtain, leading to_ ROSMER'S _bedroom._ ROSMER _discovered in a
  smoking jacket cutting a pamphlet with a paper-knife. There is a knock
  at the door._ ROSMER _says "Come in."_ REBECCA _enters in a morning
  wrapper and curl-papers. She sits on a chair close to_ ROSMER, _and
  looks over his shoulder as he cuts the leaves._ RECTOR KROLL _is shown
  up._

KROLL.

[_Lays his hat on the table and looks at_ REBECCA _from head to foot._]
I am really afraid that I am in the way.

REBECCA.

[_Surprised._] Because I am in my morning wrapper and curl-papers? You
forget that I am _emancipated_, Rector Kroll.

    [_She leaves them and listens behind curtain in_ ROSMER'S _bedroom_.

ROSMER.

Yes, Miss West and I have worked our way forward in faithful
comradeship.

KROLL.

[_Shakes his head at him slowly._] So I perceive. Miss West is naturally
inclined to be forward. But, I say, _really_ you know----However, I
came to tell you that poor Beata was not so mad as she looked, though
flowers _did_ bewilder her so. [_Taking off his gloves meaningly._] She
jumped into the mill-race because she had an idea that you ought to
marry Miss West!

[Illustration: "Taking off his gloves meaningly."]

ROSMER.

[_Jumps half up from his chair._] I? Marry--Miss West! My good gracious,
Kroll! I don't _understand_, it is _most_ incomprehensible. [_Looks
fixedly before him._] How _can_ people?----[_Looks at him for a moment,
then rises._] Will you get out? [_Still quiet and self-restrained._] But
first tell me why you never mentioned this before?

KROLL.

Why? Because I thought you were both orthodox, which made all the
difference. Now I know that you side with Laurits and Hilda, and mean to
make the democracy into noblemen, and accordingly I intend to make it
hot for you in my paper. _Good_ morning!

    [_He slams the door with spite as_ REBECCA _enters from bedroom._

ROSMER.

[_As if surprised._] You--in my bedroom! You have been listening, dear?
But you _are_ so emancipated.

Ah, well! so our pure and beautiful friendship has been misinterpreted,
bespattered! Just because you wear a morning wrapper, and have lived
here alone for a year, people with coarse souls and ignoble eyes make
unpleasant remarks! But what really _did_ drive Beata mad? _Why_ did she
jump into the mill-race? I'm sure we did everything we could to spare
her! I made it the business of my life to keep her in ignorance of all
our interests--_didn't_ I, now?

REBECCA.

You did. But why brood over it? What _does_ it matter? Get on with your
great beautiful task, dear--[_approaching him cautiously from
behind_]--winning over minds and wills, and creating noblemen, you
know--_joyful_ noblemen!

ROSMER.

[_Walking about restlessly, as if in thought._] Yes, I know. I have
never laughed in the whole course of my life--we Rosmers don't--and so I
felt that spreading gladness and light, and making the democracy
joyful, was properly my mission. But _now_--I feel too upset to go on,
Rebecca, unless----[_Shakes his head heavily._] Yes, an idea has just
occurred to me----[_Looks at her, and then runs his hands through his
hair_]--Oh, my goodness! No--I _can't_.

    [_He leans his elbows on table._

REBECCA.

Be a free man to the full, Rosmer--tell me your idea.

ROSMER.

[_Gloomily._] I don't know what you'll say to it. It's this: Our
platonic comradeship was all very well while I was peaceful and happy.
Now that I am bothered and badgered, I feel--_why_, I can't exactly
explain, but I _do_ feel that I must oppose a new and living reality to
the gnawing memories of the past. I should perhaps, explain that this is
equivalent to an Ibsenian proposal.

REBECCA.

[_Catches at the chair-back with joy._] How? at _last_--a rise at last!
[_Recollects herself._] But what am I about? Am I not an emancipated
enigma? [_Puts her hands over her ears as if in terror._] What are you
saying? You mustn't. I can't _think_ what you mean. Go away, do!

ROSMER.

[_Softly._] Be the new and living reality. It is the only way to put
Beata out of the Saga. Shall we try it?

REBECCA.

Never! Do not--_do_ not ask me why--for I haven't a notion--but never!
[_Nods slowly to him and rises._] White Horses would not induce me!
[_With her hand on door-handle._] Now you _know_!

    [_She goes out._

ROSMER.

[_Sits up, stares, thunderstruck, at the stove, and says to himself._]
Well--I--_am_----

    [_Quick Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT THIRD

_Sitting-room at Rosmershölm. Sun shining outside in the Garden. Inside_
  REBECCA WEST _is watering a geranium with a small watering-pot. Her
  crochet antimacassar lies in the arm-chair._ MADAME HELSETH _is rubbing
  the chairs with furniture-polish from a large bottle. Enter_ ROSMER,
  _with his hat and stick in his hand._ MADAME HELSETH _corks the bottle
  and goes out to the right_.

REBECCA.

Good morning, dear. [_A moment after_--_crocheting._] Have you seen
Rector Kroll's paper this morning? There's something about _you_ in it.

ROSMER.

Oh, indeed? [_Puts down hat and stick, and takes up paper._] H'm!
[_Reads_--_then walks about the room._] Kroll _has_ made it hot for me.
[_Reads some more._] Oh, this is _too_ bad! Rebecca, they _do_ say such
nasty spiteful things! they actually call me a renegade--and I can't
_think_ why! They _mustn't_ go on like this. All that is good in human
nature will go to ruin if they're allowed to attack an excellent man
like me! Only think, if I can make them see how unkind they have been!

REBECCA.

Yes, dear, in that you have a great and glorious object to attain--and I
wish you may get it!

ROSMER.

Thanks. I think I shall. [_Happens to look through window and jumps._]
Ah, no, I shan't--never now, I have just seen----

REBECCA.

_Not_ the White Horse, dear? We must really not overdo that White
Horse!

ROSMER.

No--the mill-race, where Beata----[_Puts on his hat_--_takes it off
again._] I'm beginning to be haunted by--no, I _don't_ mean the
Horse--by a terrible suspicion that Beata may have been right after all!
Yes, I do believe, now I come to think of it, that I must really have
been in love with you from the first. Tell me _your_ opinion.

REBECCA.

[_Struggling with herself, and still crocheting._] Oh--I can't exactly
say--such an odd question to ask me!

ROSMER.

[_Shakes his head._] Perhaps; I have no sense of humour--no respectable
Norwegian _has_--and I _do_ want to know--because, you see, if I _was_
in love with you, it was a _sin_, and if I once convinced myself of
that----

    [_Wanders across the room._

REBECCA.

[_Breaking out._] Oh, these old ancestral prejudices! Here is your hat,
and your stick, too; go and take a walk.

[ROSMER _takes hat and stick, first, then goes out and takes a walk;
presently_ MADAM HELSETH _appears, and tells_ REBECCA _something._
REBECCA _tells her something. They whisper together._ MADAM HELSETH
_nods, and shows in_ RECTOR KROLL, _who keeps his hat in his hand, and
sits on a chair._

KROLL.

I merely called for the purpose of informing you that I consider you an
artful and designing person, but that, on the whole, considering your
birth and moral antecedents, you know--[_nods at her_]--it is not
surprising. [REBECCA _walks about wringing her hands._] Why, what _is_
the matter? Did you really not know that you had no right to your
father's name? I'd no _idea_ you would mind my mentioning such a trifle!

REBECCA.

[_Breaking out._] I _do_ mind. I am an emancipated enigma, but I retain
a few little prejudices still. I _don't_ like owning to my real age, and
I _do_ prefer to be legitimate. And, after your information--of which I
was quite ignorant, as my mother, the late Mrs. Gamvik, never _once_
alluded to it--I feel I must confess everything. Strong-minded advanced
women are like that. Here is Rosmer. [ROSMER _enters with his hat and
stick._] Rosmer, I want to tell you and Rector Kroll a little story. Let
us sit down, dear, all three of us. [_They sit down, mechanically, on
chairs._] A long time ago, before the play began--[_in a voice scarcely
audible_]--in Ibsenite dramas, all the interesting things somehow _do_
happen before the play begins----

ROSMER.

But, Rebecca, I _know_ all this.

KROLL.

[_Looks hard at her._] Perhaps I had better go?

REBECCA.

No--I will be short. This was it. I wanted to take my share in the life
of the New Era, and march onward with Rosmer. There was one dismal,
insurmountable barrier--[_to_ ROSMER, _who nods gravely_]--Beata! I
understood where your deliverance lay--and I acted. _I_ drove Beata into
the mill-race.... There!

ROSMER.

[_After a short silence._] H'm! Well, Kroll--[_takes up his hat_]--if
you're thinking of walking home, I'll go too. I'm going to be orthodox
once more--after _this!_

KROLL.

[_Severely and impressively, to_ REBECCA.] A nice sort of young woman
_you_ are! [_Both go out hastily, without looking at_ REBECCA.

REBECCA.

[_Speaks to herself, under her breath._] Now I _have_ done it. I wonder
_why_. [_Pulls bell-rope._] Madam Helseth, I have just had a glimpse of
two rushing White Horses. Bring down my hair-trunk.

    [_Enter_ MADAM HELSETH, _with large hair-trunk, as Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT FOUR

_Late evening._ REBECCA WEST _stands by a lighted lamp, with a shade
over it, packing sandwiches, &c., in a reticule, with a faint smile. The
antimacassar is on the sofa. Enter_ ROSMER.

ROSMER.

[_Seeing the sandwiches, &c._] Sandwiches? Then you _are_ going! Why, on
earth--I _can't_ understand!

REBECCA.

Dear, you never _can_. Rosmershölm is too much for me. But how did you
get on with Kroll?

ROSMER.

We have made it up. He has convinced me that the work of ennobling men
was several sizes too large for me--so I am going to let it alone----

REBECCA.

[_With her faint smile._] There I almost think, dear, that you are wise.

ROSMER.

[_As if annoyed._] What, so _you_ don't believe in me either,
Rebecca--you never _did_!

    [_Sits listlessly on chair._

REBECCA.

Not much, dear, when you are left to yourself--but I've another
confession to make.

ROSMER.

What, _another_? I really can't stand any more confessions just now!

REBECCA.

[_Sitting close to him._] It is only a little one. I bullied Beata into
the mill-race--because of a wild uncontrollable---- [ROSMER _moves
uneasily._] Sit still, dear--uncontrollable fancy--for _you_!

ROSMER.

[_Goes and sits on sofa._] Oh, my goodness, Rebecca--you _mustn't_, you
know!

    [_He jumps up and down as if embarrassed._

[Illustration: "Oh, my goodness, Rebecca--you _mustn't_, you know!"]

REBECCA.

Don't be alarmed, dear, it is all over now. After living alone with you
in solitude, when you showed me all your thoughts without
reserve--little by little, somehow the fancy passed off. I caught the
Rosmer view of life badly, and dulness descended on my soul as an
extinguisher upon one of our Northern dips. The Rosmer view of life is
ennobling, very--but hardly lively. And I've more yet to tell you.

ROSMER.

[_Turning it off._] Isn't that enough for one evening?

REBECCA.

[_Almost voiceless._] No, dear. I have a Past--_behind_ me!

ROSMER.

_Behind_ you? How strange. I had an idea of that sort already. [_Starts,
as if in fear._] A joke! [_Sadly._] Ah, no--_no_, I must not give way to
_that_! Never mind the Past, Rebecca; I once thought that I had made the
grand discovery that, if one is only virtuous, one will be happy. I see
now it was too daring, too original--an immature dream. What bothers me
is that I can't--somehow I _can't_--believe entirely in you--I am not
even sure that I _have_ ennobled you so very much--_isn't_ it terrible?

REBECCA.

[_Wringing her hands._] Oh, this killing doubt! [_Looks darkly at him._]
Is there anything _I_ can do to convince you?

ROSMER.

[_As if impelled to speak against his will._] Yes, one thing--only I'm
afraid you wouldn't see it in the same light. And yet I must mention it.
It is like this.

I want to recover faith in my mission, in my power to
ennoble human souls. And, as a logical thinker, this I cannot do now,
unless--well, unless you jump into the mill-race, too, like Beata!

_REBECCA._

[_Takes up her antimacassar, with composure, and puts it on her head._]
Anything to oblige you.

_ROSMER._

[_Springs up._] What? You really _will_! You are _sure_ you don't mind?
Then, Rebecca, I will go further. I will even go--yes--as far as you go
yourself!

_REBECCA._

[_Bows her head towards his breast._] You will see me off? Thanks. Now
you are indeed an Ibsenite.

    [_Smiles almost imperceptibly._

_ROSMER._

[_Cautiously._] I said as far as _you_ go. I don't commit myself further
than that. Shall we go?

REBECCA.

First tell me this. Are _you_ going with _me_, or am _I_ going with
_you?_

ROSMER.

A subtle psychological point--but we have not time to think it out here.
We will discuss it as we go along. Come!

    [ROSMER _takes his hat and stick_, REBECCA _her reticule, with
    sandwiches. They go out hand-in-hand through the door, which they leave
    open. The room (as is not uncommon with rooms in Norway) is left empty.
    Then_ MADAM HELSETH _enters through another door_.

MADAM HELSETH.

The cab, Miss--not here! [_Looks out._] Out together--at this time of
night--upon my--_not_ on the garden seat? [_Looks out of window._] My
goodness! _what_ is that white thing on the bridge--the _Horse_ at last!
[_Shrieks aloud._] And those two sinful creatures running home!

    [_Enter_ ROSMER _and_ REBECCA, _out of breath_.

ROSMER.

[_Scarcely able to get the words out._] It's no use, Rebecca--we must
put it off till another evening. We can't be expected to jump off a
footbridge which already has a White Horse on it. And if it comes to
that, why should we jump at all? I know now that I really _have_
ennobled you, which was all I wanted. What would be the good of
recovering faith in my mission at the bottom of a mill-pond? No,
Rebecca--[_Lays his hand on her head_]--there is no judge over us, and
therefore----

REBECCA.

[_Interrupting gravely._] We will bind ourselves over in our own
recognisances to come up for judgment when called upon.

    [MADAM HELSETH _holds on to a chair-back._ REBECCA _finishes the
    antimacassar calmly as Curtain falls_.

       *       *       *       *       *

NORA; OR, THE BIRD-CAGE

(ET DIKKISVÖET)

ACT FIRST

_A room tastefully filled with cheap Art-furniture. Gimcracks in an
  étagerè: a festoon of chenille monkeys hanging from the gaselier.
  Japanese fans, skeletons, cotton-wool spiders, frogs and lizards,
  scattered everywhere about. Drain-pipes with tall dyed grasses. A
  porcelain stove decorated with transferable pictures. Showily-bound
  books in book-case. Window. The Visitor's bell rings in the hall
  outside. The hall-door is heard to open, and then to shut. Presently_
  NORA _walks in with parcels; a porter carries a large Christmas-tree
  after her--which he puts down_. NORA _gives him a shilling--and he goes
  out grumbling_.

  NORA _hums contentedly, and eats macaroons. Then_ HELMER _puts his head
  out of his Manager's room, and_ NORA _hides macaroons cautiously_.

HELMER.

[_Playfully._] Is that my little squirrel twittering--that my lark
frisking in here?

NORA.

Ess! [_To herself._] I have only been married eight years, so these
marital amenities have not yet had time to pall!

HELMER.

[_Threatening with his finger._] I hope the little bird has surely not
been digging its beak into any macaroons, eh?

NORA.

[_Bolting one, and wiping her mouth._] No, most certainly not. [_To
herself_] The worst of being so babyish is--one _does_ have to tell
such a lot of taradiddles! [_To_ HELMER.] See what I've bought--it's been
_such_ fun!

    [_Hums._

HELMER.

[_Inspecting parcels._] H'm--rather an _expensive_ little lark!

    [_Takes her playfully by the ear._

NORA.

Little birds like to have a flutter occasionally. Which reminds me----
[_Plays with his coat-buttons._] I'm such a simple ickle sing--but if
you _are_ thinking of giving me a Christmas present, make it cash!

HELMER.

Just like your poor father, _he_ always asked me to make it cash--he
never made any himself! It's heredity, I suppose. Well--well!

[_Goes back to his Bank._ NORA _goes on humming._

_Enter_ MRS. LINDEN, _doubtfully._

NORA.

What, Christina--why, how old you look! But then you are poor. I'm not.
Torvald has just been made a Bank Manager. [_Tidies the room._] Isn't it
really wonderfully delicious to be well off? But of course, you wouldn't
know. _We_ were poor once, and, do you know, when Torvald was ill,
I--[_tossing her head_]--though I _am_ such a frivolous little squirrel,
and all that, I actually borrowed £300 for him to go abroad. Wasn't
_that_ clever? Tra-la-la! I shan't tell you _who_ lent it. I didn't even
tell Torvald. I am such a mere baby I don't tell him everything. I tell
Dr. Rank, though. Oh, I'm so awfully happy I should like to shout, "Dash
it all!"

MRS. LINDEN.

[_Stroking her hair._] Do--it is a natural and innocent outburst--you
are such a child! But I am a widow, and want employment. _Do_ you think
your husband could find me a place as clerk in his Bank? [_Proudly._] I
am an excellent knitter!

NORA.

That would really be awfully funny. [_To_ HELMER, _who enters._]
Torvald, this is Christina; she wants to be a clerk in your Bank--_do_
let her! She thinks such a lot of _you_. [_To herself._] Another
taradiddle!

HELMER.

She is a sensible woman, and deserves encouragement. Come along, Mrs.
Linden, and we'll see what we can do for you.

    [_He goes out through the hall with_ MRS. LINDEN, _and the front-door
      is heard to slam after them._

NORA.

[_Opens door, and calls._] Now, Emmy, Ivar, and Bob, come in and have a
romp with Mamma--we will play hide-and-seek. [_She gets under the
table, smiling in quiet satisfaction_; KROGSTAD _enters_--NORA _pounces
out upon him._] Boo!... Oh, I beg your pardon. I don't do this kind of
thing _generally_--though I may be a little silly.

[Illustration: "Boo!"]

KROGSTAD.

[_Politely._] Don't mention it. I called because I happened to see your
husband go out with Mrs. Linden--from which, being a person of
considerable penetration, I infer that he is about to give her my post
at the Bank. Now, as you owe me the balance of £300, for which I hold
your acknowledgment, you will see the propriety of putting a stop to
this little game at once.

NORA.

But I don't at all--not a little wee bit! I'm so childish, you know--why
_should_ I?

    [_Sitting upright on carpet._

KROGSTAD.

I will try to make it plain to the meanest capacity. When you came to me
for the loan, I naturally required some additional security. Your
father, being a shady Government official, without a penny--for, if he
had possessed one, he would presumably have left it to you--without a
penny, then--I, as a cautious man of business, insisted upon having his
signature as a surety. Oh, we Norwegians are sharp fellows!

NORA.

Well, you _got_ papa's signature, didn't you?

KROGSTAD.

Oh, I _got_ it right enough. Unfortunately, it was dated three days
after his decease--now, how do you account for _that_?

NORA.

How? Why, as poor Papa was dead, and couldn't sign, I signed _for_ him,
that's all! Only somehow I forgot to put the date back. _That's_ how.
Didn't I _tell_ you I was a silly, unbusiness like little thing? It's
very simple.

KROGSTAD.

Very--but what you did amounts to forgery, notwithstanding. I happen to
know, because I'm a lawyer, and have done a little in the forging way
myself. So, to come to the point--if _I_ get kicked out, I shall not go
alone! [_He bows, and goes out._

NORA.

It _can't_ be wrong! Why, no one but Krogstad would have been taken in
by it! If the Law says it's wrong, the Law's a goose--a bigger goose
than poor little me even! [_To_ HELMER, _who enters._] Oh, Torvald, how
you made me jump!

HELMER.

Has anybody called? [NORA _shakes her head._] Oh, my little squirrel
mustn't tell naughty whoppers. Why, I just met that fellow Krogstad in
the hall. He's been asking you to get me to take him back--now, hasn't
he?

NORA.

[_Walking about._] Do just see how pretty the Christmas-tree looks!

HELMER.

Never mind the tree--I want to have this out about Krogstad. I can't
take him back, because many years ago he forged a name. As a lawyer, a
close observer of human nature, and a Bank Manager, I have remarked that
people who forge names seldom or never confide the fact to their
children--which inevitably brings moral contagion into the entire
family. From which it follows, logically, that Krogstad has been
poisoning his children for years by acting a part, and is morally lost.
[_Stretches out his hands to her._] I can't bear a morally lost
Bank-cashier about me!

NORA.

But you never thought of dismissing him till Christina came!

HELMER.

H'm! I've got some business to attend to--so good-bye, little lark!
[_Goes into office and shuts door._

NORA.

[_Pale with terror._] If Krogstad poisons his children because he once
forged a name, I must be poisoning Emmy, and Bob, and Ivar, because _I_
forged papa's signature! [_Short pause; she raises her head proudly._]
After all, if I am a doll, I can still draw a logical inference! I
mustn't play with the children any more--[_hotly_]--I don't care--I
_shall_, though! Who cares for Krogstad?

    [_She makes a face, choking with suppressed tears, as Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT SECOND

_The room, with the cheap Art-furniture as before--except that the
  candles on the Christmas tree have guttered down and appear to have been
  lately blown out. The cotton-wool frogs and the chenille monkeys are
  disarranged, and there are walking things on the sofa._ NORA _alone_.

NORA.

[_Putting on a cloak and taking it off again._] Bother Krogstad! There,
I won't think of him. I'll only think of the costume ball at Consul
Stenborg's, overhead, to-night, where I am to dance the Tarantella all
alone, dressed as a Capri fisher-girl. It struck Torvald that, as I am
a matron with three children, my performance might amuse the Consul's
guests, and, at the same time, increase his connection at the Bank.
Torvald is so practical. [_To_ MRS. LINDEN, _who comes in with a large
cardboard box._] Ah, Christina, so you have brought in my old costume?
_Would_ you mind, as my husband's new Cashier, just doing up the
trimming for me?

MRS. LINDEN.

Not at all--is it not part of my regular duties? [_Sewing._] Don't you
think, Nora, that you see a little too much of Dr. Rank?

NORA.

Oh, I _couldn't_ see too much of Dr. Rank! He _is_ so amusing--always
talking about his complaints, and heredity, and all sorts of
indescribably funny things. Go away now, dear; I hear Torvald.

    [MRS. LINDEN _goes. Enter_ TORVALD _from the Manager's room._ NORA
      _runs trippingly to him._

NORA.

[_Coaxing._] Oh, Torvald, if only you won't dismiss Krogstad, you can't
think how your little lark would jump about and twitter.

HELMER.

The inducement would be stronger but for the fact that, as it is, the
little lark is generally engaged in that particular occupation. And I
really _must_ get rid of Krogstad. If I didn't, people would say I was
under the thumb of my little squirrel here, and then Krogstad and I knew
each other in early youth; and when two people knew each other in early
youth--[_a short pause_]--h'm! Besides, he will address me as, "I say,
Torvald"--which causes me most painful emotion! He is tactless,
dishonest, familiar, and morally ruined--altogether not at all the kind
of person to be a Cashier in a Bank like mine.

NORA.

But he writes in scurrilous papers--he is on the staff of the Norwegian
_Punch_. If you dismiss him, he may write nasty things about _you_, as
wicked people did about poor dear papa!

HELMER.

Your poor dear papa was not impeccable--far from it. I _am_--which makes
all the difference. I have here a letter giving Krogstad the sack. One
of the conveniences of living close to the Bank is, that I can use the
housemaids as Bank-messengers. [_Goes to door and calls._] Ellen!
[_Enter parlourmaid._] Take that letter--there is no answer. [ELLEN
_takes it and goes._] That's settled--and now, Nora, as I am going to my
private room, it will be a capital opportunity for you to practise the
tambourine--thump away, little lark, the doors are double!

    [_Nods to her and goes in, shutting door._

NORA.

[_Stroking her face._] How _am_ I to get out of this mess? [_A ring at
the visitors' bell._] Dr. Rank's ring! _He_ shall help me out of it!
[Dr. RANK _appears in doorway, hanging up his great-coat._] Dear Dr.
Rank, how _are_ you? [_Takes both his hands_.

DR. RANK.

[_Sitting down near the stove._] I am a miserable, hypochondriacal
wretch--that's what _I_ am. And why am I doomed to be dismal? Why?
Because my father died of a fit of the blues! _Is_ that fair--I put it
to _you_?

NORA.

Do try to be funnier than _that_! See, I will show you the
flesh-coloured silk tights that I am to wear to-night--it will cheer you
up. But you must only look at the feet--well, you may look at the rest
if you're good. _Aren't_ they lovely? Will they fit me, do you think?

DR. RANK.

[_Gloomily._] A poor fellow with both feet in the grave is not the best
authority on the fit of silk stockings. I shall be food for worms before
long--I _know_ I shall!

[Illustration: "A poor fellow with both feet in the grave is not the
best authority on the fit of silk stockings."]

NORA.

You mustn't really be so frivolous! Take that! [_She hits him lightly on
the ear with the stockings; then hums a little._] I want you to do me a
great service, Dr. Rank. [_Rolling up stockings._] I always liked _you_.
I love Torvald most, of _course_--but, somehow, I'd rather spend my time
with you--you _are_ so amusing!

RANK.

If I am, can't you guess why? [_A short silence._] Because I love you!
You can't pretend you didn't know it!

NORA.

Perhaps not--but it was really too clumsy of you to mention it just as I
was about to ask a favour of you! It was in the worst taste! [_With
dignity._] You must not imagine because I joke with you about silk
stockings, and tell you things I never tell Torvald, that I am therefore
without the most delicate and scrupulous self-respect! I am really quite
a good little doll, Dr. Rank, and now--[_sits in rocking chair and
smiles_]--now I shan't ask you what I was going to!

    [ELLEN _comes in with a card._

NORA.

[_Terrified._] Oh, my goodness!

    [_Puts it in her pocket._

DR. RANK.

Excuse my easy Norwegian pleasantry--but--h'm--anything disagreeable up?

NORA.

[_To herself._] Krogstad's card! I must tell _another_ whopper! [_To_
RANK.] No, nothing--only--only my new costume. I want to try it on here.
I always do try on my dresses in the drawing-room--it's _cosier_, you
know. So go in to Torvald and amuse him till I'm ready.

    [RANK _goes into_ HELMER'S _room, and_ NORA _bolts the door upon him,
    as_ KROGSTAD _enters from hall in a fur cap_.

KROGSTAD.

Well, I've got the sack, and so I came to see how _you_ are getting on.
I mayn't be a nice man, but--[_with feeling_]--I have a heart! And, as I
don't intend to give up the forged I.O.U. unless I'm taken back, I was
afraid you might be contemplating suicide, or something of that kind;
and so I called to tell you that, if I were you, I wouldn't. Bad thing
for the complexion, suicide--and silly, too, because it wouldn't mend
matters in the least. [_Kindly._] You must not take this affair too
seriously, Mrs. Helmer. Get your husband to settle it amicably by taking
me back as Cashier; _then_ I shall soon get the whip-hand of _him_, and
we shall all be as pleasant and comfortable as possible together!

NORA.

Not even that prospect can tempt me! Besides, Torvald wouldn't have you
back at any price now!

KROGSTAD.

All right, then. I have here a letter, telling your husband all. I will
take the liberty of dropping it in the letter-box at your hall-door as I
go out. I'll wish you good evening!

    [_He goes out; presently the dull sound of a thick letter dropping into
    a wire box is heard._

NORA.

[_Softly, and hoarsely._] He's done it! How _am_ I to prevent Torvald
from seeing it?

HELMER.

[_Inside the door, rattling._] Hasn't my lark changed its dress yet?
[NORA _unbolts door._] What--so you are _not_ in fancy costume, after
all? [_Enters with_ RANK.] Are there any letters for me in the box
there?

NORA.

[_Voicelessly._] None--not even a postcard! Oh, Torvald, don't, please,
go and look--_promise_ me you won't! I do _assure_ you there isn't a
letter! And I've forgotten the Tarantella you taught me--do let's run
over it. I'm so afraid of breaking down--promise me not to look at the
letter-box. I can't dance unless you do.

HELMER.

[_Standing still, on his way to the letter-box._] I am a man of strict
business habits, and some powers of observation; my little squirrel's
assurances that there is nothing in the box, combined with her obvious
anxiety that I should not go and see for myself, satisfy me that it is
indeed empty, in spite of the fact that I have not invariably found her
a strictly truthful little dicky-bird. There--there. [_Sits down to
piano._] Bang away on your tambourine, little squirrel--dance away, my
own lark!

NORA.

[_Dancing, with a long gay shawl._] Just _won't_ the little squirrel!
Faster--faster! Oh, I _do_ feel so gay! We will have some champagne for
dinner, _won't_ we, Torvald?

    [_Dances with more and more abandonment._

HELMER.

[_After addressing frequent remarks in correction._] Come, come--not
this awful wildness! I don't like to see _quite_ such a larky little
lark as this.... Really it is time you stopped!

NORA.

[_Her hair coming down as she dances more wildly still, and swings
the tambourine._] I can't.... I can't! [_To herself, as she dances._]
I've only thirty-one hours left to be a bird in; and after
that--[_shuddering_]--after _that_, Krogstad will let the cat out of the
bag!

    [_Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT THIRD

_The same room_--_except that the sofa has been slightly moved, and one
  of the Japanese cotton-wool frogs has fallen into the fire-place_. MRS.
  LINDEN _sits and reads a book_--_but without understanding a single
  line_.

MRS. LINDEN.

[_Laying down her book, as a light tread is heard outside_.] Here he is
at last! [KROGSTAD _comes in, and stands in the doorway._] Mr. Krogstad,
I have given you a secret _rendezvous_ in this room, because it belongs
to my employer, Mr. Helmer, who has lately discharged you. The etiquette
of Norway permits these slight freedoms on the part of a female
cashier.

KROGSTAD.

It does. Are we alone? [NORA _is heard overhead dancing the
Tarantella_.] Yes, I hear Mrs. Helmer's fairy footfall above. She dances
the Tarantella now--by-and-by she will dance to another tune! [_Changing
his tone._] I don't exactly know why you should wish to have this
interview--after jilting me as you did, long ago, though?

MRS. LINDEN.

Don't you? _I_ do. I am a widow--a Norwegian widow. And it has occurred
to me that there may be a nobler side to your nature somewhere--though
you have not precisely the best of reputations.

KROGSTAD.

Right. I am a forger, and a money-lender; I am on the staff of the
Norwegian _Punch_--a most scurrilous paper. More, I have been
blackmailing Mrs. Helmer by trading on her fears, like a low cowardly
cur. But, in spite of all that--[_clasping his hands_]--there are the
makings of a fine man about me _yet_, Christina!

MRS. LINDEN.

I believe you--at least, I'll chance it. I want some one to care for,
and I'll marry you.

KROGSTAD.

[_Suspiciously._] On condition, I suppose, that I suppress the letter
denouncing Mrs. Helmer?

MRS. LINDEN.

How can you think so? I am her dearest friend; but I can still see her
faults, and it is my firm opinion that a sharp lesson will do her all
the good in the world. She is _much_ too comfortable. So leave the
letter in the box, and come home with me.

KROGSTAD.

I am wildly happy! Engaged to the female cashier of the manager who has
discharged me, our future is bright and secure!

    [_He goes out; and_ MRS. LINDEN _sets the furniture straight;
    presently a noise is heard outside, and_ HELMER _enters, dragging_
    NORA _in. She is in fancy dress, and he in an open black domino._

NORA.

I shan't! It's too early to come away from such a nice party. I _won't_
go to bed!

    [_She whimpers._

HELMER.

[_Tenderly._] There'sh a naughty lil' larkie for you, Mrs. Linen!
Poshtively had to drag her 'way! She'sh a capricious lil' girl--from
Capri. 'Scuse me!--'fraid I've been and made a pun. Shan' 'cur again!
Shplendid champagne the Consul gave us--'counts for it! [_Sits down
smiling._] Do you _knit_, Mrs. Cotton?... You shouldn't. Never knit.
'Broider. [_Nodding to her, solemnly._] 'Member that. Alwaysh
_'broider_. More--[_hiccoughing_]--Oriental! Gobblesh you!--goo'ni!

MRS. LINDEN.

I only came in to--to see Nora's costume. Now I've seen it, I'll go.

    [_Goes out._

HELMER.

Awful bore that woman--hate boresh! [_Looks at_ NORA, _then comes
nearer._] Oh, you prillil squillikins, I _do_ love you so! Shomehow, I
feel sho lively thishevenin'!

[Illustration: "Oh, you prillil squillikins!"]

NORA.

[_Goes to other side of table._] I won't _have_ all that, Torvald!

HELMER.

Why? ain't you my lil' lark--ain't thish our lil' cage? Ver-_well_, then.
[_A ring._] Rank! confound it all! [_Enter_ Dr. RANK.] Rank, dear old
boy, you've been [_hiccoughs_] going it upstairs. Cap'tal champagne, eh?
'_Shamed_ of you, Rank!

    [_He sits down on sofa, and closes his eyes gently._

DR. RANK.

Did you notice it? [_With pride._] It was almost incredible the amount I
contrived to put away. But I shall suffer for it to-morrow.
[_Gloomily._] Heredity again! I wish I was dead! I do.

NORA.

Don't apologise. Torvald was just as bad; but he is always so
good-tempered after champagne.

DOCTOR RANK.

Ah, well, I just looked in to say that I haven't long to live. Don't
weep for me, Mrs. Helmer, it's chronic--and hereditary too. Here are my
P.P.C. cards. I'm a fading flower. Can you oblige me with a cigar?

NORA.

[_With a suppressed smile._] Certainly. Let me give you a light?

    [DOCTOR RANK _lights his cigar, after several ineffectual attempts,
    and goes out_.

HELMER.

[_Compassionately._] Poo' old Rank--he'sh very bad to-ni'! [_Pulls
himself together._] But I forgot--Bishness--I mean, bu-si-ness--mush be
'tended to. I'll go and see if there are any letters. [_Goes to box._]
Hallo! some one's been at the lock with a hairpin--it's one of _your_
hairpins!

    [_Holding it out to her._

NORA.

[_Quickly._] Not mine--one of Bob's, or Ivar's--they both wear hairpins!

HELMER.

[_Turning over letters absently._] You must break them of it--bad habit!
What a lot o' lettersh! _double_ usual quantity. [_Opens_ KROGSTAD'S.]
By Jove! [_Reads it and falls back completely sobered._] What have you
got to say to _this_?

NORA.

[_Crying aloud._] You shan't save me--let me go! I _won't_ be saved!

HELMER.

Save _you_, indeed! Who's going to save _Me_? You miserable little
criminal. [_Annoyed._] Ugh--ugh!

NORA.

[_With hardening expression._] Indeed, Torvald, your singing-bird acted
for the best!

HELMER.

Singing-bird! Your father was a rook--and you take _after_ him. Heredity
again! You have utterly destroyed my happiness. [_Walks round several
times._] Just as I was beginning to get on, too!

NORA.

I have--but I will go away and jump into the water.

HELMER.

What good will _that_ do me? People will say I had a hand in this
business. [_Bitterly._] If you _must_ forge, you might at least put your
dates in correctly! But you never _had_ any principle! [_A ring._] The
front-door bell! [_A fat letter is seen to fall into the box_; HELMER
_takes it, opens it, sees enclosure, and embraces_ NORA.] Krogstad won't
split. See, he returns the forged I.O.U.! Oh, my poor little lark,
_what_ you must have gone through! Come under my wing, my little scared
song-bird.... Eh? you _won't_! Why, what's the matter _now_?

NORA.

[_With cold calm._] I have wings of my own, thank you, Torvald, and I
mean to use them!

HELMER.

What--leave your pretty cage, and [_pathetically_] the old cock bird,
and the poor little innocent eggs!

NORA.

Exactly. Sit down, and we will talk it over first. [_Slowly._] Has it
ever struck you that this is the first time you and I have ever talked
seriously together about serious things?

HELMER.

Come, I do like that! How on earth could we talk about serious things
when your mouth was always full of macaroons?

NORA.

[_Shakes her head._] Ah, Torvald, the mouth of a mother of a family
should have more solemn things in it than macaroons! I see that now, too
late. No, you have wronged me. So did papa. Both of you called me a
doll, and a squirrel, and a lark! You might have made something of
me--and instead of that, you went and made too much of me--oh, you
_did_!

HELMER.

Well, you didn't seem to object to it, and really I don't exactly see
what it is you _do_ want!

NORA.

No more do I--that is what I have got to find out. If I had been
properly educated, I should have known better than to date poor papa's
signature three days after he died. Now I must educate _myself_. I have
to gain experience, and get clear about religion, and law, and things,
and whether Society is right or I am--and I must go away and never come
back any more till I _am_ educated!

HELMER.

Then you may be away some little time? And what's to become of me and
the eggs meanwhile?

NORA.

That, Torvald, is entirely your own affair. I have a higher duty than
that towards you and the eggs. [_Looking solemnly upward._] I mean my
duty towards Myself!

HELMER.

And all this because--in a momentary annoyance at finding myself in the
power of a discharged cashier who calls me "I say, Torvald," I expressed
myself with ultra-Gilbertian frankness! You talk like a silly child!

NORA.

Because my eyes are opened, and I see my position with the eyes of
Ibsen. I must go away at once, and begin to educate myself.

HELMER.

May I ask how you are going to set about it?

NORA.

Certainly. I shall begin--yes, I shall _begin_ with a course of the
Norwegian theatres. If _that_ doesn't take the frivolity out of me, I
don't really know what _will_!

    [_She gets her bonnet and ties it tightly._

HELMER.

Then you are really going? And you'll never think about me and the eggs
any more! Oh, Nora!

NORA.

Indeed, I shall--occasionally--as strangers.

[_She puts on a shawl sadly, and fetches her dressing-bag._] If I ever
do come back, the greatest miracle of all will have to happen. Good-bye!

    [_She goes out through the hall; the front door is heard to bang
    loudly._

HELMER.

[_Sinking on a chair._] The room empty? Then she must be gone! Yes, my
little lark has flown! [_The dull sound of an unskilled latchkey is
heard trying the lock; presently the door opens, and_ NORA, _with a
somewhat foolish expression, reappears._] What? back already! Then you
_are_ educated?

NORA.

[_Puts down dressing-bag._] No, Torvald, not yet. Only, you see, I found
I had only threepence-halfpenny in my purse, and the Norwegian theatres
are all closed at this hour--and so I thought I wouldn't leave the cage
till to-morrow--after breakfast.

HELMER.

[_As if to himself._] The greatest miracle of all has happened. My
little bird is not in the bush _just_ yet!

    [NORA _takes down a showily-bound dictionary from the shelf and
    begins her education;_ HELMER _fetches a bag of macaroons, sits
    near her, and tenders one humbly. A pause._ NORA _repulses it,
    proudly. He offers it again. She snatches at it suddenly, still
    without looking at him, and nibbles it thoughtfully as Curtain
    falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

HEDDA GABLER

ACT FIRST

SCENE--_A sitting-room cheerfully decorated in dark colours. Broad
  doorway, hung with black crape, in the wall at back, leading to a
  back drawing-room, in which, above a sofa in black horsehair, hangs
  a posthumous portrait of the late_ GENERAL GABLER. _On the piano is
  a handsome pall. Through the glass panes of the back drawing-room
  window are seen a dead wall and a cemetery. Settees, sofas, chairs,
  &c., handsomely upholstered in black bombazine, and studded with
  small round nails. Bouquets of immortelles and dead grasses are
  lying everywhere about._

      _Enter_ AUNT JULIE (_a good-natured-looking lady in a smart hat._)

AUNT JULIE.

Well, I declare, if I believe George or Hedda are up yet! [_Enter_
GEORGE TESMAN, _humming, stout, careless, spectacled._] Ah, my dear boy,
I have called before breakfast to inquire how you and Hedda are after
returning late last night from your long honeymoon. Oh, dear me, yes; am
I not your old aunt, and are not these attentions usual in Norway?

GEORGE.

Good Lord, yes! My six months' honeymoon has been quite a little
travelling scholarship, eh? I have been examining archives. Think of
_that_! Look here, I'm going to write a book all about the domestic
interests of the Cave-dwellers during the Deluge. I'm a clever young
Norwegian man of letters, eh?

AUNT JULIE.

Fancy your knowing about that too! Now, dear me, thank Heaven!

GEORGE.

Let me, as a dutiful Norwegian nephew, untie that smart, showy hat of
yours. [_Unties it, and pats her under the chin._] Well, to be sure, you
have got yourself really up--fancy that!

    [_He puts hat on chair close to table._

AUNT JULIE.

[_Giggling._] It was for Hedda's sake--to go out walking with her in.
[HEDDA _approaches from the back-room; she is pallid, with cold, open,
steel-grey eyes; her hair is not very thick, but what there is of it is
an agreeable medium brown._] Ah, dear Hedda!

    [_She attempts to cuddle her._

HEDDA.

[_Shrinking back._] Ugh, let me go, do! [_Looking at_ AUNT JULIE'S
_hat._] Tesman, you must really tell the housemaid not to leave her old
hat about on the drawing-room chairs. Oh, is it _your_ hat? Sorry I
spoke, I'm sure!

AUNT JULIE.

[_Annoyed._] Good gracious, little Mrs. Hedda; my nice new hat that I
bought to go out walking with _you_ in!

GEORGE.

[_Patting her on the back._] Yes, Hedda, she did, and the parasol too!
Fancy, Aunt Julie always positively thinks of everything, eh?

HEDDA.

[_Coldly._] You hold _your_ tongue. Catch me going out walking with your
aunt! One doesn't _do_ such things.

GEORGE.

[_Beaming._] Isn't she a charming woman? Such fascinating manners! My
goodness, eh? Fancy that!

AUNT JULIE.

Ah, dear George, you ought indeed to be happy--but [_brings out a flat
package wrapped in newspaper_] look _here_, my dear boy!

GEORGE.

[_Opens it._] What? my dear old morning shoes! my slippers! [_Breaks
down._] This is positively too touching, Hedda, eh? Do you remember how
badly I wanted them all the honeymoon? Come and just have a look at
them--you _may_!

HEDDA.

Bother your old slippers and your old aunt too! [AUNT JULIE _goes out
annoyed, followed by_ GEORGE, _still thanking her warmly for the
slippers;_ HEDDA _yawns;_ GEORGE _comes back and places his old slippers
reverently on the table._] Why, here comes Mrs. Elvsted--_another_ early
caller! She had irritating hair, and went about making a sensation with
it--an old flame of yours, I've heard.

    [_Enter_ MRS. ELVSTED; _she is pretty and gentle, with copious wavy
    white-gold hair and round prominent eyes, and the manner of a
    frightened rabbit._

MRS. ELVSTED.

[_Nervous._] Oh, please, I'm so perfectly in despair. Ejlert Lövborg,
you know, who was our tutor; he's written such a large new book. I
inspired him. Oh, I know I don't look like it--but I did--he told me so.
And, good gracious! now he's in this dangerous wicked town all alone,
and he's a reformed character, and I'm _so_ frightened about him; so, as
the wife of a sheriff twenty years older than me, I came up to look
after Mr. Lövborg. Do ask him here--then I can meet him. You will? How
perfectly lovely of you! My husband's _so_ fond of him!

HEDDA.

George, go and write an invitation at once; do you hear? [GEORGE _looks
around for his slippers, takes them up and goes out._] Now we can talk,
my little Thea. Do you remember how I used to pull your hair when we met
on the stairs, and say I would scorch it off? Seeing people with copious
hair always _does_ irritate me.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Goodness, yes, you were always so playful and friendly, and I was so
afraid of you. I am still. And please, I've run away from my husband.
Everything around him was distasteful to me. And Mr. Lövborg and I were
comrades--he was dissipated, and I got a sort of power over him, and he
made a real person out of me--which I wasn't before, you know; but, oh,
I do hope I'm real now. He talked to me and taught me to think--chiefly
of him. So, when Mr. Lövborg came here, naturally I came too. There was
nothing else to do! And fancy, there is another woman whose shadow still
stands between him and me! She wanted to shoot him once, and so, of
course, he can never forget her. I wish I knew her name--perhaps it was
that red-haired opera-singer?

HEDDA.

[_With cold self-command._] Very likely--but nobody does that sort of
thing here. Hush! Run away now. Here comes Tesman with Judge Brack.
[MRS. ELVSTED _goes out;_ GEORGE _comes in with_ JUDGE BRACK, _who is a
short and elastic gentleman, with a round face, carefully brushed hair,
and distinguished profile._] How awfully funny you do look by daylight,
Judge!

BRACK.

[_Holding his hat and dropping his eye-glass._] Sincerest thanks. Still
the same graceful manners, dear little Mrs. Hed--Tesman! I came to
invite dear Tesman to a little bachelor-party to celebrate his return
from his long honeymoon. It is customary in Scandinavian society. It
will be a lively affair, for I am a gay Norwegian dog.

[Illustration: "I am a gay Norwegian dog."]

GEORGE.

Asked out--without my wife! Think of that! Eh? Oh, dear me, yes, _I_'ll
come!

BRACK.

By the way, Lövborg is here; he has written a wonderful book, which has
made a quite extraordinary sensation. Bless me, yes!

GEORGE.

Lövborg--fancy! Well, I _am_--glad. Such marvellous gifts! And I was so
painfully certain he had gone to the bad. Fancy that, eh? But what will
become of him _now_, poor fellow, eh? I am so anxious to know!

BRACK.

Well, he may possibly put up for the Professorship against you, and,
though you _are_ an uncommonly clever man of letters--for a
Norwegian--it's not wholly improbable that he may cut you out!

GEORGE.

But, look here, good Lord, Judge Brack!--[_gesticulating_]--that would
show an incredible want of consideration for me! I married on my chance
of _getting_ that professorship. A man like Lövborg, too, who hasn't
even been respectable, eh? One doesn't do such things as that!

BRACK.

Really? You forget we are all realistic and unconventional persons here,
and do all kinds of odd things. But don't worry yourself!

    [_He goes out._

GEORGE.

[_To_ HEDDA.] Oh, I say, Hedda, what's to become of our fairyland now,
eh? We can't have a liveried servant, or give dinner parties, or have a
horse for riding. Fancy that!

HEDDA.

[_Slowly, and wearily._] No, we shall really have to set up as fairies
in reduced circumstances, now.

GEORGE.

[_Cheering up._] Still, we shall see Aunt Julie every day, and _that_
will be something, and I've got back my old slippers. We shan't be
altogether without some amusements, eh?

HEDDA.

[_Crosses the floor._] Not while I have one thing to amuse myself with,
at all events.

GEORGE.

[_Beaming with joy._] Oh, Heaven be praised and thanked for that! My
goodness, so you have! And what may _that_ be, Hedda, eh?

HEDDA.

[_At the doorway, with suppressed scorn._] Yes, George you have the old
slippers of the attentive aunt, and I have the horse-pistols of the
deceased general!

GEORGE.

[_In an agony._] The pistols! Oh, my goodness! _what_ pistols?

HEDDA.

[_With cold eyes._] General Gabler's pistols--same which I
shot--[_recollecting herself_]--no, that's Thackeray, not Ibsen--a
_very_ different person.

    [_She goes through the back drawing-room._

GEORGE.

[_At doorway, shouting after her._] Dearest Hedda, _not_ those dangerous
things, eh? Why, they have never once been known to shoot straight yet!
Don't! Have a catapult. For _my_ sake, have a catapult!

    [_Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT SECOND

SCENE--_The cheerful dark drawing-room. It is afternoon._ HEDDA _stands
  loading a revolver in the back drawing-room_.

HEDDA.

[_Looking out and shouting._] How do you do, Judge? [_Aims at him._]
Mind yourself!

    [_She fires._

BRACK.

[_Entering._] What the devil! Do you usually take pot-shots at casual
visitors?

    [_Annoyed._

HEDDA.

Invariably, when they come by the back-garden. It is my unconventional
way of intimating that I am at home. One does do these things in
realistic dramas, you know. And I was only aiming at the blue sky.

BRACK.

Which accounts for the condition of my hat. [_Exhibiting it._] Look
here--_riddled!_

HEDDA.

Couldn't help myself. I am so horribly bored with Tesman. Everlastingly
to be with a professional person!

BRACK.

[_Sympathetically._] Our excellent Tesman is certainly a bit of a bore.
[_Looks searchingly at her._] What on earth made you marry him?

HEDDA.

Tired of dancing, my dear, that's all. And then I used Tesman to take me
home from parties; and we saw this villa; and I said I liked it, and so
did he; and so we found some common ground, and here we are, do you
see! And I loathe Tesman, and I don't even like the villa now; and I do
feel the want of an entertaining companion so!

BRACK.

Try me. Just the kind of three-cornered arrangement that I like. Let me
be the third person in the compartment--[_confidentially_]--the tried
friend, and, generally speaking, cock of the walk!

HEDDA.

[_Audibly drawing in her breath._] I cannot resist your polished way of
putting things. We will conclude a triple alliance. But hush!--here
comes Tesman.

    [_Enter_ GEORGE _with a number of books under his arm._

GEORGE.

Puff! I _am_ hot, Hedda. I've been looking into Lövborg's new book.
Wonderfully thoughtful--confound him! But I must go and dress for your
party, Judge.

    [_He goes out._

HEDDA.

I wish I could get Tesman to take to politics, Judge. Couldn't he be a
Cabinet Minister, or something?

BRACK.

H'm!

    [_A short pause; both look at one another, without speaking. Enter_
    GEORGE, _in evening dress with gloves._

GEORGE.

It is afternoon, and your party is at half-past seven--but I like to
dress early. Fancy that! And I am expecting Lövborg.

EJLERT LÖVBORG _comes in from the hall; he is worn and pale, with red
patches on his cheek-bones, and wears an elegant perfectly new
visiting-suit and black gloves._

GEORGE.

Welcome! [_Introduces him to_ BRACK.] Listen--I have got your new book,
but I haven't read it through yet.

LÖVBORG.

You needn't--it's rubbish. [_Takes a packet of MSS. out._] This _isn't_.
It's in three parts; the first about the civilising forces of the
future, the second about the future of the civilising forces, and the
third about the forces of the future civilisation. I thought I'd read
you a little of it this evening?

BRACK _and_ GEORGE.

[_Hastily._] Awfully nice of you--but there's a little party this
evening--so sorry we can't stop! Won't you come too?

HEDDA.

No, he must stop and read it to me and Mrs. Elvsted instead.

GEORGE.

It would never have occurred to me to think of such clever things! Are
you going to oppose me for the professorship, eh?

LÖVBORG.

[_Modestly._] No; I shall only triumph over you in the popular
judgment--that's all!

GEORGE.

Oh, is that all? Fancy! Let us go into the back drawing-room and drink
cold punch.

LÖVBORG.

Thanks--but I am a reformed character, and have renounced cold punch--it
is poison.

    [GEORGE _and_ BRACK _go into the back-room and drink punch, whilst_
    HEDDA _shows_ LÖVBORG _a photograph album in the front._

LÖVBORG.

[_Slowly, in a low tone._] Hedda Gabler! how _could_ you throw yourself
away like this!--Oh, is _that_ the Ortler Group? Beautiful!----Have you
forgotten how we used to sit on the settee together behind an
illustrated paper, and--yes, very picturesque peaks--I told you all
about how I had been on the loose?

HEDDA.

Now, none of that here! These are the Dolomites.--Yes, I remember; it
was a beautiful fascinating Norwegian intimacy--but it's over now. See,
we spent a night in that little mountain village, Tesman and I.

LÖVBORG.

Did you, indeed? Do you remember that delicious moment when you
threatened to shoot me down? [_Tenderly._] I do!

HEDDA.

[_Carelessly._] Did I! I have done that to so many people. But now all
that is past, and you have found the loveliest consolation in dear,
good, little Mrs. Elvsted--ah, here she is! [_Enter_ MRS. ELVSTED.] Now,
Thea, sit down and drink up a good glass of cold punch. Mr. Lövborg is
going to have some. If you don't, Mr. Lövborg, George and the Judge will
think you are afraid of taking too much if you once begin.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, please, Hedda! When I've inspired Mr. Lövborg so--good gracious!
_don't_ make him drink cold punch!

HEDDA.

You see, Mr. Lövborg, our dear little friend can't trust you!

LÖVBORG.

So _that_ is my comrade's faith in me! [_Gloomily._] _I'll_ show her if
I am to be trusted or not. [_He drinks a glass of punch._] Now I'll go
to the Judge's party. I'll have another glass first. Your health, Thea!
So you came up to spy on me, eh? I'll drink the Sheriff's
health--_everybody's_ health!

    [_He tries to get more punch._

HEDDA.

[_Stopping him._] No more now. You are going to a party, remember.

    [GEORGE _and_ TESMAN _come in from back-room._

LÖVBORG.

Don't be angry, Thea. I was fallen for a moment. Now I'm up again!
[MRS. ELVSTED _beams with delight._] Judge, I'll come to your party,
as you _are_ so pressing, and I'll read George my manuscript all the
evening. I'll do all in _my_ power to make that party go!

GEORGE.

No? fancy! that _will_ be amusing!

HEDDA.

There, go away, you wild rollicking creatures! But Mr. Lövborg must be
back at ten, to take dear Thea home!

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, goodness, yes! [_In concealed agony._] Mr. Lövborg, I shan't go away
till you do!

    [_The three men go out laughing merrily; the Act-drop is lowered for
    a minute; when it is raised, it is 7_ A.M., _and_ MRS. ELVSTED
    _and_ HEDDA _are discovered sitting up, with rugs around them._

MRS. ELVSTED.

[_Wearily._] Seven in the morning, and Mr. Lövborg not here to take me
home _yet_! what can he be doing?

HEDDA.

[_Yawning._] Reading to Tesman, with vine-leaves in his hair, I suppose.
Perhaps he has got to the third part.

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, do you _really_ think so, Hedda. Oh, if I could but hope he was
doing that!

HEDDA.

You silly little ninny! I should like to scorch your hair off. Go to
bed!

    [MRS. ELVSTED _goes_.

    [_Enter_ GEORGE.

GEORGE.

I'm a little late, eh? But we made _such_ a night of it. Fancy! It was
most amusing. Ejlert read his book to me--think of that! Astonishing
book! Oh, we really had great fun! I wish _I'd_ written it. Pity he's
so irreclaimable.

HEDDA.

I suppose you mean he has more of the courage of life than most people?

GEORGE.

Good Lord! He had the courage to get more drunk than most people. But,
altogether, it was what you might almost call a Bacchanalian orgy. We
finished up by going to have early coffee with some of these jolly
chaps, and poor old Lövborg dropped his precious manuscript in the mud,
and I picked it up--and here it is! Fancy if anything were to happen to
it! He never could write it again. _Wouldn't_ it be sad, eh? Don't tell
any one about it.

    [_He leaves the packet of MSS. on a chair, and rushes out_; HEDDA
    _hides the packet as_ BRACK _enters._

BRACK.

_Another_ early call, you see! My party was such a singularly animated
_soirée_ that I haven't undressed all night. Oh, it was the liveliest
affair conceivable! And, like a true Norwegian host, I tracked Lövborg
home; and it is only my duty, as a friend of the house, and cock of the
walk, to take the first opportunity of telling you that he finished up
the evening by coming to mere loggerheads with a red-haired
opera-singer, and being taken off to the police-station! You mustn't
have him here any more. Remember our little triple alliance!

HEDDA.

[_Her smile fading away._] You are certainly a dangerous person--but you
must not get a hold over _me_!

BRACK.

[_Ambiguously._] What an idea! But I might--I am an insinuating dog.
Good morning!

    [_Goes out._

LÖVBORG.

[_Bursting in, confused and excited._] I suppose you've heard where
_I've_ been?

HEDDA.

[_Evasively._] I heard you had a very jolly party at Judge Brack's.

    [MRS. ELVSTED _comes in._

LÖVBORG.

It's all over. I don't mean to do any more work. I've no use for a
companion now, Thea. Go home to your sheriff!

MRS. ELVSTED.

[_Agitated._] Never! I want to be with you when your book comes out!

LÖVBORG.

It won't _come_ out--I've torn it up! [MRS. ELVSTED _rushes out,
wringing her hands._] Mrs. Tesman, I told her a lie--but no matter. I
haven't torn my book up--I've done worse! I've taken it about to
several parties, and it's been through a police-row with me--now I've
lost it. Even if I found it again, it wouldn't be the same--not to me! I
am a Norwegian literary man, and peculiar. So I must make an end of it
altogether!

[Illustration: "I am a Norwegian literary man, and peculiar."]

HEDDA.

Quite so--but look here, you must do it beautifully. I don't insist on
your putting vine-leaves in your hair--but do it beautifully. [_Fetches
pistol._] See, here is one of General Gabler's pistols--do it with
_that_!

LÖVBORG.

Thanks!

    [_He takes the pistol, and goes out through the hall-door; as soon
    as he has gone_, HEDDA _brings out the manuscript, and puts it on
    the fire, whispering to herself, as Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT THREE

SCENE.--_The same room, but_--_it being evening_--_darker than ever.
  The crape curtains are drawn. A servant, with black ribbons in her
  cap, and red eyes, comes in and lights the gas quietly and
  carefully. Chords are heard on the piano in the back drawing-room.
  Presently_ HEDDA _comes in and looks out into the darkness. A short
  pause. Enter_ GEORGE TESMAN.

GEORGE.

I am _so_ uneasy about poor Lövborg. Fancy! he is not at home. Mrs.
Elvsted told me he has been here early this morning, so I suppose you
gave him back his manuscript, eh?

HEDDA.

[_Cold and immovable, supported by arm-chair._] No, I put it on the fire
instead.

GEORGE.

On the fire! Lövborg's wonderful new book that he read to me at Brack's
party, when we had that wild revelry last night! Fancy _that_! But, I
say, Hedda--isn't that _rather_--eh? _Too_ bad, you know--really. A
great work like that. How on earth did you come to think of it?

HEDDA.

[_Suppressing an almost imperceptible smile._] Well, dear George, you
gave me a tolerably strong hint.

GEORGE.

Me? Well, to be sure--that _is_ a joke! Why, I only said that I envied
him for writing such a book, and it would put me entirely in the shade
if it came out, and if anything was to happen to it, I should never
forgive myself, as poor Lövborg couldn't write it all over again, and so
we must take the greatest care of it! And then I left it on a chair and
went away--that was all! And you went and burnt the book all up! Bless
me, who _would_ have expected it?

HEDDA.

Nobody, you dear simple old soul! But I did it for your sake--it was
_love_, George!

GEORGE.

[_In an outburst between doubt and joy._] Hedda, you don't mean that!
Your love takes such queer forms sometimes. Yes, but yes--[_laughing in
excess of joy_]--why, you _must_ be fond of me! Just think of that now!
Well, you _are_ fun, Hedda! Look here, I must just run and tell the
housemaid that--she will enjoy the joke so, eh?

HEDDA.

[_Coldly, in self-command._] It is surely not necessary even for a
clever Norwegian man of letters in a realistic social drama, to make
quite such a fool of himself as all that.

GEORGE.

No, that's true too. Perhaps we'd better keep it quiet--though I _must_
tell Aunt Julie--it will make her so happy to hear that you burnt a
manuscript on my account! And, besides, I should like to ask her whether
that's a usual thing with young wives. [_Looks uneasy and pensive
again._] But poor old Ejlert's manuscript! Oh Lor', you know! Well,
well!

    [MRS. ELVSTED _comes in._

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, please, I'm so uneasy about dear Mr. Lövborg. Something has happened
to him, I'm sure!

    [JUDGE BRACK _comes in from the hall, with a new hat in his hand._

BRACK.

You have guessed it, first time. Something _has_!

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, dear, good gracious! What is it? Something distressing, I'm certain
of it!

    [_Shrieks aloud._

BRACK.

[_Pleasantly._] That depends on how one takes it. He has shot himself,
and is in a hospital now, that's all!

GEORGE.

[_Sympathetically._] That's sad, eh? poor old Lövborg! Well, I _am_ cut
up to hear that. Fancy, though, eh?

HEDDA.

Was it through the temple, or through the breast? The breast? Well, one
can do it beautifully through the breast, too. Do you know, as an
advanced woman, I like an act of that sort--it's so positive to have the
courage to settle the account with himself--it's beautiful, really!

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, Hedda, what an odd way to look at it! But never mind poor dear Mr.
Lövborg now. What _we've_ got to do is to see if we can't put his
wonderful manuscript, that he said he had torn to pieces, together
again. [_Takes a bundle of small pages out of the pocket of her
mantle._] There are the loose scraps he dictated it to me from. I hid
them on the chance of some such emergency. And if dear Mr. Tesman and I
were to put our heads together, I _do_ think something might come of it.

GEORGE.

Fancy! I will dedicate my life--or all I can spare of it--to the task. I
seem to feel I owe him some slight amends, perhaps. No use crying over
spilt milk, eh, Mrs. Elvsted? We'll sit down--just you and I--in the
back drawing-room, and see if you can't inspire me as you did him, eh?

MRS. ELVSTED.

Oh, goodness, yes! I should like it--if it only might be possible!

    [GEORGE _and_ MRS. ELVSTED _go into the back drawing-room and become
    absorbed in eager conversation_; HEDDA _sits in a chair in the
    front room, and a little later_ BRACK _crosses over to her_

HEDDA.

[_In a low tone._] Oh, Judge, _what_ a relief to know that
everything--including Lövborg's pistol--went off so well! In the breast!
Isn't there a veil of unintentional beauty in that? Such an act of
voluntary courage, too!

BRACK.

[_Smiles._] H'm!--perhaps, dear Mrs. Hedda----

HEDDA.

[_Enthusiastically._] But _wasn't_ it sweet of him! To have the courage
to live his own life after his own fashion--to break away from the
banquet of life--_so_ early and _so_ drunk! A beautiful act like that
_does_ appeal to a superior woman's imagination!

BRACK.

Sorry to shatter your poetical illusions, little Mrs. Hedda, but, as a
matter of fact, our lamented friend met his end under other
circumstances. The shot did _not_ strike him in the _breast_--but----

    [_Pauses._

HEDDA.

[_Excitedly._] General Gabler's pistols! I might have known it! Did they
_ever_ shoot straight? Where _was_ he hit, then?

BRACK.

[_In a discreet undertone._] A little lower down!

HEDDA.

Oh, _how_ disgusting!--how vulgar!--how ridiculous!--like everything
else about me!

BRACK.

Yes, we're realistic types of human nature, and all that--but a trifle
squalid, perhaps. And why did you give Lövborg your pistol, when it was
certain to be traced by the police? For a charming cold-blooded woman
with a clear head and no scruples, wasn't it just a leetle foolish!

HEDDA.

Perhaps; but I wanted him to do it beautifully, and he didn't! Oh, I've
just admitted that I _did_ give him the pistol--how annoyingly unwise of
me! Now I'm in _your_ power, I suppose?

BRACK.

Precisely--for some reason it's not easy to understand. But it's
inevitable, and you know how you dread anything approaching scandal. All
your past proceedings show that. [_To_ GEORGE _and_ MRS. ELVSTED _who
come in together from the back-room._] Well, how are you getting on with
the reconstruction of poor Lövborg's great work, eh?

GEORGE.

Capitally; we've made out the first two parts already. And really,
Hedda, I do believe Mrs. Elvsted _is_ inspiring me; I begin to feel it
coming on. Fancy that!

MRS. ELVSTED.

Yes, goodness! Hedda, _won't_ it be lovely if I can. I mean to try _so_
hard!

HEDDA.

Do, you dear little silly rabbit; and while you are trying I will go
into the back drawing-room and lie down.

    [_She goes into the back room and draws the curtains. Short pause.
    Suddenly she is heard playing_ "The Bogie Man" _within on the
    piano._

GEORGE.

But, dearest Hedda, don't play "_The Bogie Man_" this evening. As one of
my aunts is dead, and poor old Lövborg has shot himself, it seems just a
little pointed, eh?

HEDDA.

[_Puts her head out between the curtains._] All right.

I'll be quiet after this. I'm going to practise with the late General
Gabler's pistol!

    [_Closes the curtains again;_ GEORGE _gets behind the stove_, JUDGE
    BRACK _under the table, and_ MRS. ELVSTED _under the sofa. A shot
    is heard within._

GEORGE.

[_Behind the stove._] Eh, look here, I tell you what--she's hit me!
Think of that!

    [_His legs are visibly agitated for a short time. Another shot is
      heard._

MRS. ELVSTED.

[_Under the sofa._] Oh, please, not me! Oh, goodness, now I can't
inspire anybody any more. Oh!

    [_Her feet, which can be seen under the valance, quiver a little and
    then are suddenly still._

BRACK.

[_Vivaciously, from under the table._] I say, Mrs. Hedda, I'm coming in
every evening--we will have great fun here togeth----[_Another shot is
heard._] Bless me! to bring down the poor old cock-of-the-walk--it's
unsportsmanlike!--people don't _do_ such things as that!

    [_The table-cloth is violently agitated for a minute, and presently
    the curtains open, and_ HEDDA _appears._

HEDDA.

[_Clearly and firmly._] I've been trying in there to shoot myself
beautifully--but with General Gabler's pistol--[_She lifts the
table-cloth, then looks behind the stove and under the sofa._] What! the
accounts of all those everlasting bores settled? Then my suicide becomes
unnecessary. Yes, I feel the courage of life once more!

    [_She goes into the back-room and plays_ "The Funeral March of a
    Marionette" _as the Curtain falls._]

[Illustration: "What! the accounts of all those everlasting bores
settled?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WILD DUCK

ACT FIRST

_At_ WERLE'S _house. In front a richly-upholstered study._ (R.) _A
  green baize door leading to_ WERLE'S _office. At back, open
  folding doors, revealing an elegant dining-room, in which a
  brilliant Norwegian dinner-party is going on. Hired Waiters in
  profusion. A glass is tapped with a knife. Shouts of "Bravo!" Old
  Mr._ WERLE _is heard making a long speech, proposing--according to
  the custom of Norwegian society on such occasions--the health of
  his House-keeper, Mrs._ SÖRBY. _Presently several short-sighted,
  flabby, and thin-haired_ CHAMBERLAINS _enter from the dining-room
  with_ HIALMAR EKDAL, _who writhes shyly under their remarks._

A CHAMBERLAIN.

As we are the sole surviving specimens of Norwegian nobility, suppose we
sustain our reputation as aristocratic sparklers by enlarging upon the
enormous amount we have eaten, and chaffing Hialmar Ekdal, the friend of
our host's son, for being a professional photographer?

THE OTHER CHAMBERLAINS.

Bravo! We will.

    [_They do; delight of_ HIALMAR. OLD WERLE _comes in, leaning on his
    Housekeeper's arm, followed by his son,_ GREGERS WERLE.

OLD WERLE.

[_Dejectedly._] Thirteen at table! [_To_ GREGERS, _with a meaning glance
at_ HIALMAR.] This is the result of inviting an old college friend who
has turned photographer! Wasting vintage wines on _him_, indeed. [_He
passes on gloomily._

HIALMAR.

[_To_ GREGERS.] I am almost sorry I came. Your old man is _not_
friendly. Yet he set me up as a photographer fifteen years ago. _Now_ he
takes me down! But for him, I should never have married Gina, who, you
may remember, was a servant in your family once.

GREGERS.

What? my old college friend married fifteen years ago--and to our Gina,
of all people! If I had not been up at the works all these years, I
suppose I should have heard something of such an event. But my father
never mentioned it. Odd!

    [_He ponders_; OLD EKDAL _comes out through the green baize-door,
    bowing, and begging pardon, carrying copying work_. OLD WERLE
    _says "Ugh" and "Pah" involuntarily._ HIALMAR _shrinks back, and
    looks another way. A_ CHAMBERLAIN _asks him pleasantly if he knows
    that old man._

HIALMAR.

I--oh no. Not in the least. No relation!

GREGERS.

[_Shocked._] What, Hialmar, you, with your great soul, deny your own
father!

HIALMAR.

[_Vehemently._] Of course--what else _can_ a photographer do with a
disreputable old parent, who has been in a penitentiary for making a
fraudulent map? I shall leave this splendid banquet. The Chamberlains
are not kind to me, and I feel the crushing hand of fate on my head!

    [_Goes out hastily, feeling it._

MRS. SÖRBY.

[_Archly._] Any nobleman here say "Cold Punch"?

    [_Every nobleman says "Cold Punch" and follows her out in search of
    it with enthusiasm._ GREGERS _approaches his father, who wishes he
    would go_.

GREGERS.

Father, a word with you in private. I loathe you. I am nothing if not
candid. Old Ekdal was your partner once, and it's my firm belief you
deserved a prison quite as much as he did. However, you surely need not
have married our Gina to my old friend Hialmar. You know very well she
was no better than she should have been!

[Illustration:

"Father, a word with you in private: I loathe you." ]

OLD WERLE.

True--but then no more is Mrs. Sörby. And _I_ am going to marry
_her_--if you have no objection, that is.

GREGERS.

None in the world! How can I object to a step-mother who is playing
Blind Man's Buff at the present moment with the Norwegian nobility? I am
not so overstrained as all that. But really I can_not_ allow my old
friend Hialmar, with his great, confiding, childlike mind, to remain in
contented ignorance of Gina's past. No, I see my mission in life at
last! I shall take my hat, and inform him that his home is built upon a
lie. He will be _so_ much obliged to me!

    [_Takes his hat, and goes out._

OLD WERLE.

Ha!--I am a wealthy merchant, of dubious morals, and I am about to marry
my house-keeper, who is on intimate terms with the Norwegian
aristocracy. I have a son who loathes me, and who is either an Ibsenian
satire on the Master's own ideals, or else an utterly impossible prig--I
don't know or care which. Altogether, I flatter myself my household
affords an accurate and realistic picture of Scandinavian Society!

    [_Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT SECOND

HIALMAR EKDAL'S _Photographic Studio. Cameras, neck-rests, and other
  instruments of torture lying about._ GINA EKDAL _and_ HEDVIG, _her
  daughter, aged 14, and wearing spectacles, discovered sitting up
  for_ HIALMAR.

HEDVIG.

Grandpapa is in his room with a bottle of brandy and a jug of hot water,
doing some fresh copying work. Father is in society, dining out. He
promised he would bring me home something nice!

HIALMAR.

[_Coming in, in evening dress._] And he has not forgotten his promise,
my child. Behold! [_He presents her with the menu card_; HEDVIG _gulps
down her tears_; HIALMAR _notices her disappointment, with annoyance_.]
And this all the gratitude I get! After dining out and coming home in a
dress-coat and boots, which are disgracefully tight! Well well, just to
show you how hurt I am, I won't have any _beer_ now! What a selfish
brute I am! [_Relenting._] You may bring me just a little drop. [_He
bursts into tears._] I will play you a plaintive Bohemian dance on my
flute. [_He does._] No beer at such a sacred moment as this! [_He
drinks._] Ha, this is real domestic bliss!

    [GREGERS WERLE _comes in, in a countrified suit_.

GREGERS.

I have left my father's home--dinner-party and all--for ever. I am
coming to lodge with you.

HIALMAR.

[_Still melancholy._] Have some bread and butter. You won't?--then I
_will_. I want it, after your father's lavish hospitality. [HEDVIG
_goes to fetch bread and butter_.] My daughter--a poor short-sighted
little thing--but mine own.

GREGERS.

My father has had to take to strong glasses, too--he can hardly see
after dinner. [_To_ OLD EKDAL, _who stumbles in very drunk_.] How can
you, Lieutenant Ekdal, who were such a keen sportsman once, live in this
poky little hole?

OLD EKDAL.

I am a sportsman still. The only difference is that once I shot bears in
a forest, and now I pot tame rabbits in a garret. Quite as amusing--and
safer. [_He goes to sleep on a sofa._

HIALMAR.

[_With pride._] It is quite true. You shall see.

    [_He pushes back sliding doors, and reveals a garret full of
    rabbits and poultry--moonlight effect._ HEDVIG _returns with
    bread and butter_.

HEDVIG.

[_To_ GREGERS.] If you stand just there, you get the best view of our
Wild Duck. We are very proud of her, because she gives the play its
title, you know, and has to be brought into the dialogue a good deal.
Your father peppered her out shooting, and we saved her life.

HIALMAR.

Yes, Gregers, our estate is not large--but still we preserve, you see.
And my poor old father and I sometimes get a day's gunning in the
garret. He shoots with a pistol, which my illiterate wife here _will_
call a "pigstol." He once, when he got into trouble, pointed it at
himself. But the descendant of two lieutenant-colonels who had never
quailed before living rabbit yet, faltered then. He _didn't_ shoot. Then
I put it to my own head. But at the decisive moment, I won the victory
over myself. I remained in life. Now we only shoot rabbits and fowls
with it. After all I am very happy and contented as I am.

    [_He eats some bread and butter._

GREGERS.

But you ought _not_ to be. You have a good deal of the Wild Duck about
you. So have your wife and daughter. You are living in marsh vapours.
Tomorrow I will take you out for a walk and explain what I mean. It is
my mission in life. Good night!

    [_He goes out._

GINA AND HEDVIG.

What _was_ the gentleman talking about, father?

HIALMAR.

[_Eating bread and butter._] He has been dining, you know. No
matter--what _we_ have to do now, is to put my disreputable old
whitehaired pariah of a parent to bed.

    [_He and_ GINA _lift_ OLD ECCLES--_we mean_ OLD EKDAL--_up by the
    legs and arms, and take him off to bed as the Curtain falls_.

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT THREE

HIALMAR'S _Studio. A photograph has just been taken._ GINA _and_
  HEDVIG _are tidying up._

GINA.

[_Apologetically._] There _should_ have been a luncheon-party in this
act, with Dr. Relling and Mölvik, who would have been in a state of
comic "chippiness," after his excesses overnight. But, as it hadn't much
to do with such plot as there is, we cut it out. It came cheaper. Here
comes your father back from his walk with that lunatic, young Werle--you
had better go and play with the Wild Duck.

    [HEDVIG _goes_.

HIALMAR.

[_Coming in._] I have been for a walk with Gregers; he meant well--but
it was tiring. Gina, he has told me that, fifteen years ago, before I
married you, you were rather a Wild Duck, so to speak. [_Severely._] Why
haven't you been writhing in penitence and remorse all these years, eh?

GINA.

[_Sensibly._] Why? Because I have had other things to do. _You_ wouldn't
take any photographs, so I _had_ to.

HIALMAR.

All the same--it was a swamp of deceit. And where am I to find
elasticity of spirit to bring out my grand invention now? I used to shut
myself up in the parlour, and ponder and cry, when I thought that the
effort of inventing anything would sap my vitality. [_Pathetically._] I
_did_ want to leave you an inventor's widow; but I never shall now,
particularly as I haven't made up my mind what to invent yet. Yes, it's
all over. Rabbits are trash, and even poultry palls. And I'll wring that
cursed Wild Duck's neck!

GREGERS.

[_Coming in beaming._] Well, so you've got it over. _Wasn't_ it soothing
and ennobling, eh? and _ain't_ you both obliged to me?

GINA.

No; it's my opinion you'd better have minded your own business.

    [_Weeps._

GREGERS.

[_In great surprise._] Bless me! Pardon my Norwegian _naïveté_, but this
ought really to be quite a new starting-point. Why, I confidently
expected to have found you both beaming!--Mrs. Ekdal, being so
illiterate, may take some little time to see it--but you, Hialmar, with
your deep mind, surely _you_ feel a new consecration, eh?

HIALMAR.

[_Dubiously._] Oh--er--yes. I suppose so--in a sort of way.

    [HEDVIG _runs in, overjoyed._

HEDVIG.

Father, only see what Mrs. Sörby has given me for a birthday present--a
beautiful deed of gift! [_Shows it._

HIALMAR.

[_Eluding her._] Ha! Mrs. Sörby, the family house-keeper. My father's
sight failing! Hedvig in goggles! What vistas of heredity these
astonishing coincidences open up! _I_ am not short-sighted, at all
events, and I see it all--all! _This_ is my answer. [_He takes the deed,
and tears it across._] Now I have nothing more to do in this house.
[_Puts on overcoat._] My home has fallen in ruins about me. [_Bursts
into tears._] My hat!

GREGERS.

Oh, but you _mustn't_ go. You must be all three together, to attain the
true frame of mind for self-sacrificing forgiveness, you know!

HIALMAR.

Self-sacrificing forgiveness be blowed!

    [_He tears himself away, and goes out._

HEDVIG.

[_With despairing eyes._] Oh, he said it might be blowed! Now he'll
_never_ come home any more!

GREGERS.

Shall I tell you how to regain your father's confidence, and bring him
home surely? Sacrifice the Wild Duck.

HEDVIG.

Do you think that will do any good?

GREGERS.

You just _try_ it!

    [_Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT FOURTH

_Same Scene._ GREGERS _enters, and finds_ GINA _retouching photographs_.

GREGERS.

[_Pleasantly._] Hialmar not come in yet, after last night, I suppose?

GINA.

Not he! He's been out on the loose all night with Relling and Mölvik.
Now he's snoring on their sofa.

GREGERS.

[_Disappointed._] Dear!--dear!--when he ought to be yearning to wrestle
in solitude and self-examination!

GINA.

[_Rudely._] Self-examine your grandmother!

    [_She goes out_; HEDVIG _comes in_.

GREGERS.

[_To_ HEDVIG.] Ah, I see you haven't found courage to settle the Wild
Duck yet!

HEDVIG.

No--it seemed such a delightful idea at first. Now it strikes me as a
trifle--well, _Ibsenish_.

GREGERS.

[_Reprovingly._] I _thought_ you hadn't grown up quite unharmed in this
house! But if you really had the true, joyous spirit of self-sacrifice,
you'd have a shot at that Wild Duck, if you died for it!

HEDVIG.

[_Slowly._] I see; you mean that my constitution's changing, and I ought
to behave as such?

GREGERS.

Exactly, I'm what Americans would term a "crank"--but _I_ believe in
you, Hedvig.

    [HEDVIG _takes down the pistol from the mantelpiece, and goes into
    the garret with flashing eyes_; GINA _comes in_.

HIALMAR.

[_Looking in at door with hesitation; he is unwashed and dishevelled._]
Has anybody happened to see my hat?

GINA.

Gracious, what a sight you are! Sit down and have some breakfast, do.

    [_She brings it._

HIALMAR.

[_Indignantly._] What! touch food under _this_ roof? Never! [_Helps
himself to bread-and-butter and coffee._] Go and pack up my scientific
uncut books, my manuscripts, and all the best rabbits, in my
portmanteau. I am going away for ever. On second thoughts, I shall stay
in the spare room for another day or two--it won't be the same as living
with you!

    [_He takes some salt meat._

GREGERS.

_Must_ you go? Just when you've got nice firm ground to build
upon--thanks to me! Then there's your great invention, too.

HIALMAR.

Everything's invented already. And I only cared about my invention
because, although it doesn't exist yet, I thought Hedvig believed in it,
with all the strength of her sweet little short-sighted eyes! But now I
don't believe in Hedvig!

    [_He pours himself out another cup of coffee._

GREGERS.

[_Earnestly._] But, Hialmar, if I can prove to you that she is ready to
sacrifice her cherished Wild Duck? See!

    [_He pushes back sliding-door, and discovers_ HEDVIG _aiming at the_
    Wild Duck _with the butt-end of the pistol. Tableau._

GINA.

[_Excitedly._] But don't you _see_? It's the pigstol--that fatal
Norwegian weapon which, in Ibsenian dramas, _never_ shoots straight! And
she has got it by the wrong end too. She will shoot herself!

GREGERS.

[_Quietly._] She will! Let the child make amends. It will be a most
realistic and impressive finale!

GINA.

No, no--put down the pigstol, Hedvig. Do you hear, child?

HEDVIG.

[_Still aiming._] I hear--but I shan't unless father tells me to.

GREGERS.

Hialmar, show the great soul I always _said_ you had. This sorrow will
set free what is noble in you. Don't spoil a fine situation. Be a man!
Let the child shoot herself!

HIALMAR.

[_Irresolutely._] Well, really, I don't know. There's a good deal in
what Gregers says. H'm!

GINA.

A good deal of tomfool rubbish! I'm illiterate, I know. I've been a Wild
Duck in my time, and I waddle. But for all that, I'm the only person in
the play with a grain of common-sense. And I'm sure--whatever Mr. Ibsen
or Gregers choose to say--that a screaming burlesque like this ought
_not_ to end like a tragedy--even in this queer Norway of ours! And it
shan't, either! Tell the child to put that nasty pigstol down, and come
away--do!

[Illustration: "Put that nasty pigstol down!"]

HIALMAR.

[_Yielding._] Ah, well, I am a farcical character myself, after all.
Don't touch a hair of that duck's head, Hedvig. Come to my arms and all
shall be forgiven!

    [HEDVIG _throws down the pistol--which goes off and kills a rabbit--and
    rushes into her father's arms_. Old EKDAL _comes out of a corner
    with a fowl on each shoulder, and bursts into tears. Affecting
    family picture._

GREGERS.

[_Annoyed._] It's all very pretty, I dare say--but it's not Ibsen! My
real mission is to be the thirteenth at table. I don't know what I
mean--but I fly to fulfil it! [_He goes._

HIALMAR.

And now we've got rid of _him_, Hedvig, fetch me the deed of gift I tore
up, and a slip of paper, and a penny bottle of gum, and we'll soon make
a valid instrument of it again.

    [_He pastes the torn deed together as the Curtain slowly descends._

       *       *       *       *       *

PILL-DOCTOR HERDAL

[PREFATORY NOTE.--The original title--_Mester-Pjil-drögster
Herdal_--would sound a trifle too uncouth to the Philistine ear, and is
therefore modified as above, although the term "drögster," strictly
speaking, denotes a practitioner who has not received a regular
diploma].

ACT FIRST

_An elegantly furnished drawing-room at_ Dr. HERDAL'S. _In front, on
  the left, a console-table, on which is a large round bottle full
  of coloured water. On the right a stove, with a banner-screen made
  out of a richly-embroidered chest-protector. On the stove, a
  stethoscope and a small galvanic battery. In one corner, a hat and
  umbrella stand: in another, a desk, at which stands_ SENNA BLAKDRAF,
  _making out the quarterly accounts. Through a glass-door at the
  back is seen the Dispensary, where_ RÜBUB KALOMEL _is seated,
  occupied in rolling a pill. Both go on working in perfect silence
  for four minutes and a half._

DR. HAUSTUS HERDAL.

[_Enters through hall-door; he is elderly, with a plain sensible
countenance, but slightly weak hair and expression._] Come here Miss
Blakdraf. [_Hangs up hat, and throws his mackintosh on a divan._] Have
you made out all those bills yet?

    [_Looks sternly at her._

SENNA.

[_In a low hesitating voice._] Almost. I have charged each patient with
three attendances daily. Even when you only dropped in for a cup of tea
and a chat. [_Passionately._] I felt I _must_--I _must_!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Alters his tone, clasps her head in his hands, and whispers._] I wish
you could make out the bills for me, _always_.

SENNA.

[_In nervous exaltation._] How lovely that would be! Oh, you are so
unspeakably good to me! It is too enthralling to be here!

    [_Sinks down and embraces his knees._

DR. HERDAL.

So I've understood. [_With suppressed irritation._] For goodness' sake,
let go my legs! I do _wish_ you wouldn't be so confoundedly neurotic!

[Illustration: "For goodness' sake, let go my legs!"]

RÜBUB.

[_Has risen, and comes in through glass-door, breathing with difficulty;
he is a prematurely bald young man of fifty-five, with a harelip, and
squints slightly._] I beg pardon, Dr. Herdal, I see I interrupt you.
[_As_ SENNA _rises_.] I have just completed this pill. Have you looked
at it?

    [_He offers it for inspection, diffidently._

DR. HERDAL.

[_Evasively._] It appears to be a pill of the usual dimensions.

RÜBUB.

[_Cast down._] All these years you have never given me one encouraging
word! _Can't_ you praise my pill?

DR. HERDAL.

[_Struggles with himself._] I--I cannot. You should not attempt to
compound pills on your own account.

RÜBUB.

[_Breathing laboriously._] And yet there was a time when _you_, too----

DR. HERDAL.

[_Complacently._] Yes, it was certainly a pill that came as a lucky
stepping stone--but not a pill like that!

RÜBUB.

[_Vehemently._] Listen! Is that your last word? _Is_ my aged mother to
pass out of this world without ever knowing whether I am competent to
construct an effective pill or not?

DR. HERDAL.

[_As if in desperation._] You had better try it upon your mother--it
will enable her to form an opinion. Only mind--I will not be responsible
for the result.

RÜBUB.

I understand. Exactly as you tried _your_ pill, all those years ago,
upon Dr. Ryval.

    [_He bows and goes out._

DR. HERDAL.

[_Uneasily._] He said that so strangely, Senna. But tell me now--when
are you going to marry him?

SENNA.

[_Starts--half glancing up at him._] I--I don't know. This year--next
year--now--_never_! I cannot marry him ... I cannot--I _cannot_--it is
so utterly impossible to leave you!

DR. HERDAL.

Yes, I can understand _that_. But, my poor Senna, hadn't you better take
a little walk?

SENNA.

[_Clasps her hands gratefully._] How sweet and thoughtful you are to me!
I _will_ take a walk.

DR. HERDAL.

[_With a suppressed smile._] Do! And--h'm!--you needn't trouble to come
back. I have advertised for a male book-keeper--they are less emotional.
Good-night, my little Senna!

SENNA.

[_Softly and quiveringly._] Good-night, Dr. Herdal!

    [_Staggers out of hall-door, blowing kisses._

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Enters through the window, plaintively._] Quite an acquisition for
you, Haustus, this Miss Blakdraf!

DR. HERDAL.

She's--h'm--extremely civil and obliging. But I am parting with her,
Aline--mainly on _your_ account.

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Evades him._] Was it on my account, indeed, Haustus? You have parted
with so many young persons on my account--so you tell me!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Depressed._] Oh, but this is hopeless! When I have tried so hard to
bring a ray of sunlight into your desolate life! I must give Rübub
Kalomel notice too--his pill is really too preposterous!

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Feels gropingly for a chair, and sits down on the floor._] Him, _too_!
Ah, Haustus, you will never make my home a real home for me. My poor
first husband, Halvard Solness, tried--and _he_ couldn't! When one has
had such misfortunes as I have--all the family portraits burnt, and the
silk dresses, too, and a pair of twins, and nine lovely dolls.

    [_Chokes with tears._

DR. HERDAL.

[_As if to lead her away from the subject._] Yes, yes, yes, that must
have been a heavy blow for you, my poor Aline. I can understand that
your spirits can never be really high again. And then for poor Master
Builder Solness to be so taken up with that Miss Wangel as he was--that,
too, was so wretched for you. To see him topple off the tower, as he did
that day ten years ago----

MRS. HERDAL.

Yes, that too, Haustus. But I did not mind it so much--it all seemed so
perfectly natural in both of them.

DR. HERDAL.

Natural! For a girl of twenty three to taunt a middle-aged architect,
whom she knew to be constitutionally liable to giddiness, never to let
him have any peace till he had climbed a spire as dizzy as himself--and
all for the fun of seeing him fall off--how in the world----!

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Laying the table for supper with dried fish and punch._] The younger
generation have a keener sense of humour than we elder ones, Haustus,
and perhaps after all, she was only a perplexing sort of allegory.

DR. HERDAL.

Yes, that would explain her to some extent, no doubt. But how _he_ could
be such an old fool!

MRS. HERDAL.

That Miss Wangel was a strangely fascinating type of girl. Why, even I
myself----

DR. HERDAL.

[_Sits down and takes some fish._] Fascinating? Well, goodness knows, I
couldn't see _that_ at all. [_Seriously._] Has it never struck you,
Aline, that elderly Norwegians are so deucedly impressionable--mere
bundles of overstrained nerves, hypersensitive ganglia. Except, of
course, the Medical Profession.

MRS. HERDAL.

Yes, of course; those in that profession are not so inclined to gangle.
And when one has succeeded by such a stroke of luck as you have----

DR. HERDAL.

[_Drinks a glass of punch._] You're right enough there. If I had not
been called in to prescribe for Dr. Ryval, who used to have the leading
practice here, I should never have stepped so wonderfully into his
shoes as I did. [_Changes to a tone of quiet chuckling merriment._] Let
me tell you a funny story, Aline; it sounds a ludicrous thing--but all
my good fortune here was based upon a simple little pill. For if Dr.
Ryval had never taken it----

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Anxiously._] Then you _do_ think it was the pill that caused him
to----?

DR. HERDAL.

On the contrary; I am perfectly sure the pill had nothing whatever to do
with it--the inquest made it quite clear that it was really the
liniment. But don't you see, Aline, what tortures me night and day is
the thought that it _might_ unconsciously have been the pill which----
Never to be free from _that_! To have such a thought gnawing and burning
always--always, like a moral mustard plaster!

    [_He takes more punch._

MRS. HERDAL.

Yes; I suppose there is a poultice of that sort burning on every
breast--and we must never take it off either--it is our simple duty to
keep it on. I too, Haustus, am haunted by a fancy that if this Miss
Wangel were to ring at our bell now----

DR. HERDAL.

After she has been lost sight of for ten years? She is safe enough in
some sanatorium, depend upon it. And what if she _did_ come? Do you
think, my dear good woman, that I--a sensible clear-headed general
practitioner, who have found out all I know for myself--would let her
play the deuce with me as she did with poor Halvard? No, general
practitioners don't _do_ such things--even in Norway!

MRS. HERDAL.

Don't they indeed, Haustus? [_The surgery-bell rings loudly._] Did you
hear _that_? There she is! I will go and put on my best cap. It is my
duty to show her _that_ small attention.

DR. HERDAL.

[_Laughing nervously._] Why, what on earth!---- It's the night-bell. It
is most probably the new book-keeper! [MRS. HERDAL _goes out_; Dr.
HERDAL _rises with difficulty, and opens the door_.] Goodness
gracious!--it is that girl, after all!

[HILDA WANGEL _enters through the dispensary door. She wears a divided
skirt, thick boots, and a Tam o' Shanter with an eagle's wing in it.
Somewhat freckled. Carries a green tin cylinder slung round her, and a
rug in a strap. Goes straight up to_ HERDAL, _her eyes sparkling with
happiness_.] How are you? I've run you down, you see! The ten years are
up. Isn't it scrumptiously thrilling, to see me like this?

DR. HERDAL.

[_Politely retreating._] It is--very much so--but still I don't in the
least understand----

HILDA.

[_Measures him with a glance._] Oh, you _will_. I have come to be of use
to you. I've no luggage, and no money. Not that _that_ makes any
difference. I never _have_. And I've been allured and attracted here.
You surely know how these things come about?

    [_Throws her arms round him._

DR. HERDAL.

What the deuce! Miss Wangel, you _mustn't_. I'm a married man! There's
my wife!

    [MRS. HERDAL _enters_.

HILDA.

As if _that_ mattered--it's only dear, sweet Mrs. Solness. _She_ doesn't
mind--_do_ you, dear Mrs. Solness?

MRS. HERDAL.

It does not seem to be of much _use_ minding, Miss Wangel. I presume you
have come to stay?

HILDA.

[_In amused surprise._] Why, of course--what else should I come for? I
_always_ come to stay, until--h'm!

    [_Nods slowly, and sits down at table._

DR. HERDAL.

[_Involuntarily._] She's drinking my punch! If she thinks I'm going to
stand this sort of thing, she's mistaken. I'll soon show her a
pill-doctor is a very different kind of person from a mere Master
Builder!

    [HILDA _finishes the punch with an indefinable expression in her
    eyes, and_ Dr. HERDAL _looks on gloomily as the Curtain falls_.

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT SECOND

Dr. HERDAL'S _drawing-room and dispensary, as before. It is early in
  the day._ Dr. HERDAL _sits by the little table, taking his own
  temperature with a clinical thermometer. By the door stands the_
  NEW BOOK-KEEPER; _he wears blue spectacles and a discoloured white
  tie, and seems slightly nervous_.

DR. HERDAL.

Well, now you understand what is necessary. My late book-keeper, Miss
Blakdraf, used to keep my accounts very cleverly--she charged every
visit twice over.

THE NEW BOOK-KEEPER.

I am familiar with book-keeping by double entry. I was once employed at
a bank.

DR. HERDAL.

I am discharging my assistant, too; he was always trying to push me out
with his pills. Perhaps you will be able to dispense?

THE NEW BOOK-KEEPER.

[_Modestly._] With an additional salary, I should be able to do that
too.

DR. HERDAL.

Capital! You _shall_ dispense with an additional salary. Go into the
dispensary, and see what you can make of it. You may mistake a few drugs
at first--but everything must have a beginning.

    [_As the_ NEW BOOK-KEEPER _retires_, MRS. HERDAL _enters in a hat and
    cloak with a watering-pot, noiselessly_.

MRS. HERDAL.

Miss Wangel got up early, before breakfast, and went for a walk. She is
so wonderfully vivacious!

DR. HERDAL.

So I should say. But tell me, Aline, is she _really_ going to stay with
us here?

    [_Nervously._

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Looks at him._] So she tells me. And, as she has brought nothing with
her except a tooth-brush and a powder-puff, I am going into the town to
get her a few articles. We _must_ make her feel at home.

DR. HERDAL.

[_Breaking out._] I _will_ make her not only _feel_ but _be_ at home,
wherever that is, this very day! I will _not_ have a perambulating
Allegory without a portmanteau here on an indefinite visit. I say, she
shall go--do you hear, Aline? Miss Wangel will go!

    [_Raps with his fist on table._

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Quietly._] If you say so, Haustus, no doubt she will _have_ to go. But
you must tell her so yourself.

    [_Puts the watering pot on the console table, and goes out, as_ HILDA
    _enters, sparkling with pleasure._

HILDA.

[_Goes up straight to him._] Good morning, Dr. Herdal. I have just seen
a pig killed. It was _ripping_--I mean, gloriously thrilling! And your
wife has taken a tremendous fancy to me. Fancy _that_!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Gloomily._] It _is_ eccentric certainly. But my poor dear wife was
always a little----

HILDA.

[_Nods her head slowly several times._] So _you_ have noticed that too?
I have had a long talk with her. She can't get over your discharging Mr.
Kalomel--he is the only man who ever _really_ understood her.

DR. HERDAL.

If I could only pay her off a little bit of the huge, immeasurable debt
I owe her--but I can't!

HILDA.

[_Looks hard at him._] Can't _I_ help you? I helped Ragnar Brovik.
Didn't you know I stayed with him and poor little Kaia--after that
accident to my Master Builder? I did. I made Ragnar build me the
loveliest castle in the air--lovelier, even, than poor Mr. Solness's
would have been--and we stood together on the very top. The steps were
rather too much for Kaia. Besides, there was no room for her on top. And
he put towering spires on all his semi-detached villas. Only, somehow,
they didn't let. Then the castle in the air tumbled down, and Ragnar
went into liquidation, and I continued my walking-tour.

DR. HERDAL.

[_Interested against his will._] And where did you go after _that_, may
I ask, Miss Wangel?

HILDA.

Oh, ever so far north. There I met Mr. and Mrs. Tesman--the second Mrs.
Tesman--she who was Mrs. Elvsted, with the irritating hair, you know.
They were on their honeymoon, and had just decided that it was
impossible to reconstruct poor Mr. Lövborg's great book out of Mrs.
Elvsted's rough notes. But I insisted on George's attempting the
impossible--with Me. And what _do_ you think Mrs. Tesman wears in her
hair _now_?

DR. HERDAL.

Why, really I could not say. Vine-leaves, perhaps.

HILDA.

Wrong--_straws_! Poor Tesman _didn't_ fancy that--so he shot himself,
_un_-beautifully, through his ticket-pocket. And I went on and took
Rosmershölm for the summer. There had been misfortune in the house, so
it was to let. Dear good old Rector Kroll acted as my reference; his
wife and children had no sympathy with his views, so I used to see him
every day. And I persuaded him, too, to attempt the impossible--he had
never ridden anything but a rocking-horse in his life, but I made him
promise to mount the White Horse of Rosmershölm. He didn't get over
_that_. They found his body, a fortnight afterwards, in the mill-dam.
Thrilling!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Shakes his finger at her._] What a girl you are, Miss Wangel! But you
mustn't play these games _here_, you know.

HILDA.

[_Laughs to herself._] Of course not. But I suppose I _am_ a strange
sort of bird.

DR. HERDAL.

You are like a strong tonic. When I look at you I seem to be regarding
an effervescing saline draught. Still, I really must decline to take
you.

HILDA.

[_A little sulky._] That is not how you spoke ten years ago, up at the
mountain station, when you were such a flirt!

DR. HERDAL.

_Was_ I a flirt? Deuce take me if I remember. But I am not like that
_now_.

HILDA.

Then you have really forgotten how you sat next to me at the _table
d'hôte_, and made pills and swallowed them, and were so splendid and
buoyant and free that all the old women who knitted left next day?

DR. HERDAL.

What a memory you have for trifles, Miss Wangel; it's quite wonderful!

HILDA.

Trifles! There was no trifling on _your_ part. When you promised to come
back in ten years, like a troll, and fetch me!

DR. HERDAL.

Did I say all that? It _must_ have been _after table d'hôte_!

HILDA.

It was. I was a mere chit then--only twenty-three; but _I_ remember. And
now _I_ have come for _you_.

DR. HERDAL.

Dear, dear! But there is nothing of the troll about me now I have
married Mrs. Solness.

HILDA.

[_Looking sharply at him._] Yes, I remember you were always dropping in
to tea in those days.

DR. HERDAL.

[_Seems hurt._] Every visit was duly put down in the ledger and charged
for--as poor little Senna will tell you.

HILDA.

Little Senna? Oh, Dr. Herdal, I believe there is a bit of the troll left
in you still!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Laughs a little._] No, no; my conscience is perfectly robust--always
was.

HILDA.

Are you quite _quite_ sure that, when you went indoors with dear Mrs.
Solness that afternoon, and left me alone with my Master Builder, you
did not foresee--perhaps wish--intend, even a little, that---- H'm?

DR. HERDAL.

That you would talk the poor man into clambering up that tower? You want
to drag _Me_ into that business now!

HILDA.

[_Teasingly._] Yes, I certainly think that then you went on exactly like
a troll.

DR. HERDAL.

[_With uncontrollable emotion._] Hilda, there is not a corner of me safe
from you! Yes, I see now that _must_ have been the way of it. Then I
_was_ a troll in that, too! But isn't it terrible the price I have had
to pay for it? To have a wife who---- No, I shall never roll a pill
again--never, never!

HILDA.

[_Lays her head on the stove, and answers as if half asleep._] No more
pills? Poor Doctor Herdal!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Bitterly._] No--nothing but cosy commonplace grey powders for a whole
troop of children.

HILDA.

[_Lively again._.] Not grey powders! [_Quite seriously._] I will tell
you what you shall make next. Beautiful rainbow-coloured powders that
will give one a real grip on the world. Powders to make every one free
and buoyant, and ready to grasp at one's own happiness, to _dare_ what
one _would_. I will have you make them. I will--I _will_!

[Illustration: "Beautiful rainbow-coloured powders that will give one a
real grip on the world!"]

DR. HERDAL.

H'm! I am not quite sure that I clearly understand. And then the
ingredients----?

HILDA.

What stupid people all of you pill-doctors are, to be sure! Why, they
will be _poisons_, of course!

DR. HERDAL.

Poisons? Why in the world should they be _that_?

HILDA.

[_Without answering him._] All the thrillingest, deadliest poisons--it
is only such things that are wholesome, nowadays.

DR. HERDAL.

[_As if caught by her enthusiasm._] And I could colour them, too, by
exposing them to rays cast through a prism. Oh, Hilda, how I have needed
you all these years! For, you see, with _her_ it was impossible to
discuss such things.

    [_Embraces her._

MRS. HERDAL.

[_Enters noiselessly through hall-door._] I suppose, Haustus, you are
persuading Miss Wangel to start by the afternoon steamer? I have bought
her a pair of curling-tongs, and a packet of hairpins. The larger
parcels are coming on presently.

DR. HERDAL.

[_Uneasily._] H'm! Hilda--Miss Wangel I _should_ say--is kindly going to
stay on a little longer, to assist me in some scientific experiments.
You wouldn't understand them if I told you.

MRS. HERDAL.

Shouldn't I, Haustus? I daresay not.

    [_The_ NEW BOOK-KEEPER _looks through the glass door of dispensary._

HILDA.

[_Starts violently and points--then in a whisper._] Who is _that?_

DR. HERDAL.

Only the new Book-keeper and Assistant--a very intelligent person.

HILDA.

[_Looks straight in front of her with a far-away expression, and
whispers to herself._] I thought at first it was.... But no--_that_
would be _too_ frightfully thrilling!

DR. HERDAL.

[_To himself._] I'm turning into a regular old troll now--but I can't
help myself. After all, I am only an elderly Norwegian. We are _made_
like that.... Rainbow powders--_real_ rainbow powders! With Hilda!...
Oh, to have the joy of life once more!

    [_Takes his temperature again as Curtain falls_.

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT THIRD

[_On the right, a smart verandah, attached to_ Dr. HERDAL'S
  _dwelling-house, and communicating with the drawing-room and
  dispensary by glass doors. On the left a tumble-down rockery, with
  a headless plaster Mercury. In front, a lawn, with a large
  silvered glass globe on a stand. Chairs and tables. All the
  furniture is of galvanised iron. A sunset is seen going on among
  the trees._

DR. HERDAL.

[_Comes out of dispensary-door cautiously, and whispers._] Hilda, are
you in there?

    [_Taps with fingers on drawing-room door._

HILDA.

[_Comes out with a half-teasing smile._] Well--and how is the
rainbow-powder getting on, Dr. Herdal?

DR. HERDAL.

[_With enthusiasm._] It is getting on simply splendidly. I sent the new
assistant out to take a little walk, so that he should not be in the
way. There is arsenic in the powder, Hilda, and digitalis too, and
strychnine, and the best beetle-killer!

HILDA.

[_With happy, wondering eyes._] _Lots_ of beetle-killer. And you will
give some of it to _her_, to make her free and buoyant. I think one
really _has_ the right--when people happen to stand in the way----!

DR. HERDAL.

Yes, you may well say so, Hilda. Still--[_dubiously_]--it _does_ occur
to me that such doings may perhaps be misunderstood--by the
narrow-minded and conventional. [_They go on the lawn, and sit down._

HILDA.

[_With an outburst._] Oh, that all seems to me so foolish--so
irrelevant! As if the whole thing wasn't intended as an allegory!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Relieved._] Ah, so long as it is merely _allegorical_, of course----
But what is it an allegory _of_, Hilda?

HILDA.

[_Reflects in vain._] How can you sit there and ask such questions? I
suppose I am a symbol--of some sort.

DR. HERDAL.

[_As a thought flashes upon him._] A cymbal? That would certainly
account for your bra---- Then, am _I_ a cymbal too, Hilda?

HILDA.

Why yes--what else? You represent the artist-worker, or the elder
generation, or the pursuit of the ideal, or a bilious conscience--or
something or other. _You're_ all right!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Shakes his head._] Am I? But I don't quite see---- Well, well, cymbals
are meant to clash a little. And I see plainly now that I ought to
prescribe this powder for as many as possible. Isn't it terrible, Hilda,
that so many poor souls never really die their own deaths--pass out of
the world without even the formality of an inquest? As the district
Coroner, I feel strongly on the subject.

HILDA.

And, when the Coroner has finished sitting on all the bodies,
perhaps--but I shan't tell you now. [_Speaks as if to a child._] There,
run away and finish making the rainbow-powder, do!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Skips up into the dispensary._] I will--I will! Oh, I do feel such a
troll--such a light-haired, light-headed old devil!

RÜBUB.

[_Enters garden-gate._] I have had my dismissal--but I'm not going
without saying good-bye to Mrs. Herdal.

HILDA.

Dr. Herdal would disapprove--you really must not, Mr. Kalomel. And,
besides, Mrs. Herdal is not at home. She is in the town buying me a reel
of cotton. _Dr._ Herdal is in. He is making real rainbow powders for
regenerating everybody all round. Won't _that_ be fun?

RÜBUB.

_Making_ powders? Ha! ha! But you will see he won't _take_ one himself.
It is quite notorious to us younger men that he simply daren't do it.

HILDA.

[_With a little snort of contempt._] Oh, I daresay--that's so likely!
[_Defiantly._] I know he _can_, though. I've _seen_ him!

RÜBUB.

There is a tradition that he once--but not now--he knows better. I think
you said Mrs. Herdal was in the town? I will go and look for her. I
understand her so well. [_Goes out by gate._

HILDA.

[_Calls._] Dr. Herdal! Come out this minute. I want you--awfully!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Puts his head out._] Just when I am making such wonderful progress
with the powder. [_Comes down and leans on a table._] Have you hit upon
some way of giving it to Aline? I thought if you were to put it in her
arrowroot----?

HILDA.

No, thanks. I won't have that now. I have just recollected that it is a
rule of mine never to injure anybody I have once been formally
introduced to. Strangers don't count. No, poor Mrs. Herdal mustn't take
that powder!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Disappointed._] Then is nothing to come of making rainbow powders,
after all, Hilda?

HILDA.

[_Looks hard at him._] People say you are afraid to take your own
physic. Is that true?

DR. HERDAL.

Yes, I am. [_After a pause--with candour._] I find it invariably
disagrees with me.

HILDA.

[_With a half-dubious smile._] I think I can understand _that_. But you
did _once_. You swallowed your own pills that day at the _table d'hôte_,
ten years ago. And I heard a harp in the air, too!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Open-mouthed._] I don't think that _could_ have been me. I don't play
any instrument. And that was quite a special thing, too. It's not every
day I can do it. Those were only _bread_ pills, Hilda.

HILDA.

[_With flashing eyes._] But you rolled them, you took them. And I want
to see you stand once more free and high and great, swallowing your own
preparations. [_Passionately._] I _will_ have you do it!
[_Imploringly._] Just _once_ more, Dr. Herdal!

DR. HERDAL.

If I did, Hilda, my medical knowledge, slight as it is, leads me to the
conclusion that I should in all probability burst.

HILDA.

[_Looks deeply into his eyes._] So long as you burst _beautifully_! But
no doubt that Miss Blakdraf----

DR. HERDAL.

You must believe in me utterly and entirely. I will do
anything--_anything_, Hilda, to provide you with agreeable
entertainment. I _will_ swallow my own powder! [_To himself, as he goes
gravely up to dispensary._] If only the drugs are sufficiently
adulterated!

    [_Goes in; as he does so, the_ NEW ASSISTANT _enters the garden in
    blue spectacles, unseen by_ HILDA, _and follows him, leaving open
    the glass door._

SENNA.

[_Comes wildly out of drawing-room._] Where is dear Dr. Herdal? Oh, Miss
Wangel, he has discharged me--but I can't--I simply _can't_ live away
from that lovely ledger.

HILDA.

[_Jubilantly._] At this moment Dr. Herdal is in the dispensary, taking
one of his own powders.

SENNA.

[_Despairingly._] But--but it is utterly impossible! Miss Wangel, you
have such a firm hold of him--_don't_ let him do that!

HILDA.

I have already done all I can.

    [RÜBUB _appears, talking confidentially with_ MRS. HERDAL, _at
    gate._

SENNA.

Oh, Mrs. Herdal, Rübub! The Pill-Doctor is going to take one of his own
preparations. Save him--quick!

RÜBUB.

[_With cold politeness._] I am sorry to hear it--for his sake. But it
would be quite contrary to professional etiquette to prevent him.

MRS. HERDAL.

And I never interfere with my husband's proceedings. I know _my_ duty,
Miss Blakdraf, if _others_ don't!

HILDA.

[_Exulting with great intensity._] At last! Now I see him in there,
great and free again, mixing the powder in a spoon--with jam!... Now he
raises the spoon. Higher--higher still! [_A gulp is audible from
within._] There, didn't you hear a harp in the air? [_Quietly._] I can't
see the spoon any more. But there is one he is striving with, in blue
spectacles!

THE NEW ASSISTANT'S VOICE.

[_Within._] The Pill-Doctor Herdal has taken his own powder!

HILDA.

[_As if petrified._] That voice! _Where_ have I heard it before? No
matter--he has got the powder down! [_Waves a shawl in the air, and
shrieks with wild jubilation._] It's too awfully thrilling! My--_my_
Pill-Doctor!

[Illustration: "My, my Pill-doctor!"]

THE NEW ASSISTANT.

[_Comes out on verandah._] I am happy to inform you that--as, to avoid
accidents, I took the simple precaution of filling all the
dispensary-jars with camphorated chalk--no serious results may be
anticipated from Dr. Herdal's rashness. [_Removes spectacles._] Nora,
don't you know me?

HILDA.

[_Reflects._] I really don't remember having the pleasure---- And I'm
_sure_ I heard a harp in the air!

MRS. HERDAL.

I fancy, Miss Wangel, it must have been merely a bee in your bonnet.

THE NEW ASSISTANT.

[_Tenderly._] Still the same little singing-bird! Oh, Nora, my long-lost
lark!

HILDA.

[_Sulkily._] I'm _not_ a lark--I'm a bird of prey--and when I get my
claws into anything----!

THE NEW ASSISTANT.

Macaroons, for instance? I remember your tastes of old. See, Nora!
[_Produces a paper-bag from his coat-tail pocket._] They were fresh this
morning!

HILDA.

[_Wavering._] If you insist on calling me Nora, I think you must be just
a little mad yourself.

THE NEW ASSISTANT.

We are all a little mad--in Norway. But Torvald Helmer is sane enough
still to recognise his own little squirrel again! Surely, Nora, your
education is complete at last--you have gained the experience you
needed?

HILDA.

[_Nods slowly._] Yes, Torvald, you're right enough _there_. I have
thought things out for myself, and have got clear about them. And I have
quite made up my mind that Society and the Law are all wrong, and that I
am right.

HELMER.

[_Overjoyed._] Then you _have_ learnt the Great Lesson, and are fit to
undertake the charge of your children's education at last! You've no
notion how they've grown! Yes, Nora, our marriage will be a true
marriage now. You will come back to the Dolls' House, won't you?

HILDA-NORA-HELMER-WANGEL.

[_Hesitates._] Will you let me forge cheques if I do, Torvald?

HELMER.

[_Ardently._] All day. And at night, Nora, we will falsify the
accounts--together!

HILDA-NORA-HELMER-WANGEL.

[_Throws herself into his arms, and helps herself to macaroons._] That
will be fearfully thrilling! My--_my_ Manager!

DR. HERDAL.

[_Comes out very pale, from dispensary._] Hilda I _did_ take the---- I'm
afraid I interrupt you?

HELMER.

Not in the least. But this lady is my little lark, and she is going
back to her cage by the next steamer.

DR. HERDAL.

[_Bitterly._] Am I _never_ to have a gleam of happiness? But stay--do I
see my little Senna once more?

RÜBUB.

Pardon me--_my_ little Senna. She always believed so firmly in my pill!

DR. HERDAL.

Well--well. If it must be. Rübub, I will take you into partnership, and
we will take out a patent for that pill, jointly. Aline, my poor dear
Aline, let us try once more if we cannot bring a ray of brightness into
our cheerless home!

MRS. HERDAL.

Oh, Haustus, if only we _could_--but why do you propose that to
me--_now_?

DR. HERDAL.

[_Softly--to himself._] Because I have tried being a troll--and found
that nothing came of it, and it wasn't worth sixpence!

    [HILDA-NORA _goes off to the right with_ HELMER; SENNA _to the left
    with_ RÜBUB; Dr. HERDAL _and_ MRS. HERDAL _sit on two of the
    galvanised-iron chairs, and shake their heads disconsolately as the
    Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

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  Page 1

    Telegraphic Address:

    _Sunlocks, London._

    _21 BEDFORD STREET, W.C._

    _March 1893._

A LIST OF MR. WILLIAM HEINEMANN'S

PUBLICATIONS AND FORTHCOMING WORKS

_The Books mentioned in this List can be obtained to order by any
Bookseller if not in stock, or will be sent by the Publisher post free
on receipt of price._

  Page 2

INDEX OF AUTHORS.             PAGE

Alexander                       13
Arbuthnot                        8
Atherton                        13
Baddeley                         8
Balestier                    9, 13
Barrett                          9
Behrs                            6
Bendall                         16
Björnson                    11, 14
Bowen                            5
Brown                            9
Brown and Griffiths             16
Buchanan                 8, 10, 14
Butler                           5
Caine                        8, 12
Caine                           16
Cambridge                       12
Chester                          7
Clarke                          10
Colomb                           6
Compayre                         5
Couperus                        11
Crackanthorpe                   13
Davidson                         5
Dawson                          16
De Quincey                       7
Dowson                           9
Eeden                            4
Ellwanger                        8
Ely                              8
Farrar                           8
Fitch                            5
Forbes                           6
Fothergill                       9
Franzos                         11
Frederic                     7, 12
Garner                           8
Garnett                          4
Gaulot                           4
Gilchrist                       10
Gore                            16
Gosse                     4, 7, 10
Grand                            9
Gray                             8
Gray (Maxwell)                   9
Griffiths                       16
Hall                            16
Harland                         13
Hardy                           12
Heine                        4,  6
Henderson                       14
Howard                          10
Hughes                           5
Hungerford               9, 10, 13
Ibsen                           14
Irving                          14
Ingersoll                        9
Jæger                        7, 15
Jeaffreson                       6
Keeling                         10
Kimball                         16
Kipling and Balestier           10
Lanza                           13
Le Caron                         6
Lee                             10
Leighton                         9
Leland                          16
Lie                             11
Lowe                         6,  7
Lowry                           10
Lynch                           13
Maartens                        10
Maeterlinck                     14
Maude                            6
Mantegazza                       4
Maupassant                      11
Maurice                          6
Merriman                         4
Michel                           3
Mitford                         13
Moore                            9
Murray                           6
Norris                           9
Ouida                           10
Palacio-Valdés                  11
Pearce                          10
Pennell                          7
Philips                         14
Phelps                          13
Pinero                          15
Rawnsley                         8
Renan                            7
Richter                          8
Riddell                         13
Rives                           10
Roberts (C.G.D.)                 9
Roberts (A. von)                11
Salaman (M. C.)                  7
Salaman (J. S.)                  7
Scudamore                        6
Serao                           11
Sergeant                        13
Sienkiewicz                     11
Tallentyre                       4
Tasma                       10, 12
Terry                            4
Thurston                        16
Tolstoy                     11, 14
Tree                            15
Valera                          11
Ward                            13
Warden                          13
Waugh                            6
Weitemeyer                       8
West                             5
Whistler                     4,  7
White                           10
Whitman                          8
Williams                         8
Wood                            10
Zangwill                     7, 10
Zola                            13

  Page 3

_In preparation_.

REMBRANDT:

HIS LIFE, HIS WORK, AND HIS TIME.

BY

ÉMILE MICHEL,

_MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE OF FRANCE._

EDITED AND PREFACED BY

FREDERICK WEDMORE.


Nothing need be said in justification of a comprehensive book upon the
life and work of Rembrandt. A classic among classics, he is also a
modern of moderns. His works are to-day more sought after and better
paid for than ever before; he is now at the zenith of a fame which can
hardly decline.

The author of this work is perhaps, of all living authorities on
Rembrandt, the one who has had the largest experience, the best
opportunity of knowing all that can be known of the master.

The latest inventions in photogravure and process-engraving have enabled
the publisher to reproduce almost everything that is accessible in the
public galleries of Europe, as well as most of the numerous private
collections containing specimens of Rembrandt's work in England and on
the Continent.

This work will be published in two volumes 4to, each containing over 300
pages. There will be over 30 photogravures, about 40 coloured
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  Page 4

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  Page 7

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  Page 10

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  Page 11

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  Page 12

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  Page 13

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  Page 14

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CLUES; or, Leaves from a Chief Constable's Note-Book. By WILLIAM
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DRAMATIC LITERATURE.

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THE PRINCESSE MALEINE: A Drama in Five Acts (Translated by Gerard
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THE DRAMA, ADDRESSES. By HENRY IRVING. Fcap. 8vo. With Portrait by J.
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  Page 15

SOME INTERESTING FALLACIES OF THE MODERN STAGE. An Address delivered to
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THE LIFE OF HENRIK IBSEN. By HENRIK JÆGER. Translated by CLARA BELL.
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     _St. James's Gazette._--"Admirably translated. Deserves a cordial
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     _Guardian._--"Ibsen's dramas at present enjoy a considerable vogue,
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THE PROFLIGATE: A Play in Four Acts. With Portrait of the Author, after
J. MORDECAI. (Vol. II.)

     _Pall Mall Gazette._--"Will be welcomed by all who have the true
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THE CABINET MINISTER: A Farce in Four Acts. (Vol. III.)

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THE HOBBY HORSE: A Comedy in Three Acts. (Vol. IV.)

     _St. James's Gazette._--"Mr. Pinero has seldom produced better or
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LADY BOUNTIFUL: A Play in Four Acts. (Vol. V.)

THE MAGISTRATE: A Farce in Three Acts. (Vol. VI.)

DANDY DICK: A Farce in Three Acts. (Vol. VII.)

SWEET LAVENDER. (Vol. VIII.)

To be followed by The Schoolmistress, The Weaker Sex, Lords and Commons,
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  Page 16

POETRY.

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