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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, May 30, 1891   By:

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 100.

May 30, 1891.

MR. PUNCH'S POCKET IBSEN.

( CONDENSED AND REVISED VERSION BY MR. P.'S OWN HARMLESS IBSENITE. )

NO. IV. THE WILD DUCK.

ACT III.

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 Housekeeper. 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 IV.

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 ... Continue reading book >>


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