MRS. ALVING. Never in all the world would Regina have done this!
OSWALD. Regina would have done it. Regina was so splendidly light-hearted. And she would soon have wearied of nursing an invalid like me.
MRS. ALVING. Then heaven be praised that Regina is not here.
OSWALD. Well then, it is you that must come to the rescue, mother.
MRS. ALVING. [Shrieks aloud.] I!
OSWALD. Who should do it if not you?
MRS. ALVING. I! your mother!
OSWALD. For that very reason.
MRS. ALVING. I, who gave you life!
OSWALD. I never asked you for life. And what sort of a life have you given me? I will not have it! You shall take it back again!
MRS. ALVING. Help! Help! [She runs out into the hall.]
OSWALD. [Going after her.] Do not leave me! Where are you going?
MRS. ALVING. [In the hall.] To fetch the doctor, Oswald! Let me pass!
OSWALD. [Also outside.] You shall not go out. And no one shall come in. [The locking of a door is heard.]
MRS. ALVING. [Comes in again.] Oswald! Oswald — my child!
OSWALD. [Follows her.] Have you a mother's heart for me — and yet can see me suffer from this unutterable dread?
MRS. ALVING. [After a moment's silence, commands herself, and says:] Here is my hand upon it.
OSWALD. Will you — ?
MRS. ALVING. If it should ever be necessary. But it will never be necessary. No, no; it is impossible.
OSWALD. Well, let us hope so. And let us live together as long as we can. Thank you, mother. [He seats himself in the arm-chair which MRS. ALVING has moved to the sofa. Day is breaking. The lamp is still burning on the table.]
MRS. ALVING. [Drawing near cautiously.] Do you feel calm now?
MRS. ALVING. [Bending over him.] It has been a dreadful fancy of yours, Oswald — nothing but a fancy. All this excitement has been too much for you. But now you shall have along rest; at home with your mother, my own blessëd boy. Everything you point to you shall have, just as when you were a little child. — There now. The crisis is over. You see how easily it passed! Oh, I was sure it would. — And do you see, Oswald, what a lovely day we are going to have? Brilliant sunshine! Now you can really see your home. [She goes to the table and puts out the lamp. Sunrise. The glacier and the snow-peaks in the background glow in the morning light.]
OSWALD. [Sits in the arm-chair with his back towards the landscape, without moving. Suddenly he says:] Mother, give me the sun.
MRS. ALVING. [By the table, starts and looks at him.] What do you say?
OSWALD. [Repeats, in a dull, toneless voice.] The sun. The sun.
MRS. ALVING. [Goes to him.] Oswald, what is the matter with you?
OSWALD. [Seems to shrink together to the chair; all his muscles relax; his face is expressionless, his eyes have a glassy stare.]
MRS. ALVING. [Quivering with terror.] What is this? [Shrieks.] Oswald! what is the matter with you? [Falls on her knees beside him and shakes him.] Oswald! Oswald! look at me! Don't you know me?
OSWALD. [Tonelessly as before.] The sun. — The sun.
MRS. ALVING. [Springs up in despair, entwines her hands in her hair and shrieks.] I cannot bear it! [Whispers, as though petrified]; I cannot bear it! Never! [Suddenly.] Where has he got them? [Fumbles hastily in his breast.] Here! [Shrinks back a few steps and screams:] No! No; no! — Yes! — No; no!
[She stands a few steps away from him with her hands twisted in her hair, and stares at him in speechless horror.]
OSWALD. [Sits motionless as before and says.] The sun. — The sun.