Mrs. Alving. That was the fear, then--
Oswald. Yes, it is so indescribably horrible, you know If only it had been an ordinary mortal disease--. I am not so much afraid of dying; though, of course, I should like to live as long as I can.
Mrs. Alving. Yes, yes, Oswald, you must!
Oswald. But this is so appallingly horrible. To become like a helpless child again--to have to be fed, to have to be--. Oh, it's unspeakable!
Mrs. Alving. My child has his mother to tend him.
Oswald (jumping up). No, never; that is just what I won't endure! I dare not think what it would mean to linger on like that for years--to get old and grey like that. And you might die before I did. (Sits down in MRS. ALVING'S chair.) Because it doesn't necessarily have a fatal end quickly, the doctor said; he called it a kind of softening of the brain--or something of that sort. (Smiles mournfully.) I think that expression sounds so nice. It always makes me think of cherry-coloured velvet curtains-- something that is soft to stroke.
Mrs. Alving (with a scream). Oswald!
Oswald (jumps up and walks about the room). And now you have taken Regina from me! If I had only had her, she would have given me a helping hand, I know.